By George, what a bounty beneath
DETECTORIST Mark Gardam was ecstatic to discover a 1799 English halfpenny under the drawing room floor at Glen Derwent in New Norfolk.
“It was a significant find for me because you don’t find many older coins in Tasmania,” said Mr Gardam.
“It’s the oldest coin I’ve ever found.”
Coin expert John Haddad said the copper coin held historical significance.
“It would have been an early proclamation coin,” he said.
“Australia didn’t start minting coins until 1853, and officially until 1855.”
“Unfortunately, due to the condition it’s not worth a lot but is valuable to collectors.”
The exciting find came about during renovations at the Glen Derwent heritage retreat.
Mrs Liz Virtue, of Glen Derwent, said the house was built in 1818, almost 20 years after the coin was dated.
“It makes you realise
just how old the house is,” Mrs Virtue said.
“People in the detecting community are in awe of the date of that coin.”
The 1799 English halfpenny features a faded portrait of long-serving monarch King George III, who was king when Tasmania was settled.
UNEARTHED: Mark Gardam with his metal detector and the coins found under the drawing room floor at Glen Derwent Heritage Retreat.