Friday, 23 December 2011

Margate beach coins

To date I haven't found much as a result of the Margate sea defence works , but then it is early days and there will be plenty of opportunity this Christmas holiday to find something and this opportunity will continue well into 2012 and beyond. To give some idea what to expect I have scanned a few coins that I have found over the years around the Margate Harbour and Jetty area. As you can see the condition is not great and they are typical beach finds from old Margate when deep digging takes place. This is evident when clay from the old creek and deep black sand mixed with shingle and shards start appearing as a result of the digging. In fact the more smelly the sand is the better chance of an old find.
Somehow this dark black sand has an effect on coins. Copper and bronze coins do seem to do well and retain this distinctive colour that can be seen on three of the coins. Silver on the other hand suffers badly and most of silver coins I have found in the Margate Harbour basin around the Georgian period are so badly pitted and are wafer thin due to the reaction of the sand. Overall almost every beach coin will have no value except historically as each coin has been found in Margate and are a representation of old Margate.
The coin on the top left is a George III halfpenny found where the entrance to the Jetty was before the breakwater was built, the coin to the right of it was found near the square head of the stone pier where digging is taking place at present and is a William III halfpenny, the large coin is a 1797 cartwheel penny found many years ago where the north wall works will commence later in 2012 , the coin to the right of the cartwheel penny was found in the cut. The cut for those who do not know is where the original Jarvis Jetty of 1824 was built through a clearing in the rocks and then followed by Margate Jetty. Today a landing stage can still be seen at low water.
After the storm of January 1978 that completely destroyed the jetty. The cut was completely scoured out of sand and many coins from the George IV period where found just laying on the chalk including the one pictured.

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