[HONORABLE MENTION] Gold pocketwatch family reunion 100+ years later
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  1. #1
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Minelab Equinox 800
    3194 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Gold pocketwatch family reunion 100+ years later

    I recently took a two-week vacation with my wife and stepson to England to visit with my in-laws (my wife is British). My father-in-law is a retired vicar (priest in the Anglican church); he retired a little over a year ago as vicar of a very old church in a tiny village in Norfolk County. My in-laws are good friends with the owners of a huge "hall", which is basically a large mansion on an estate, that was built in the early 1600's. I received permission from the owners to metal detect on the grounds of the estate.

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    One day as I was detecting not far from the main entrance to the hall I got a really good signal about 8 inches deep. When I uncovered part of the target I saw a round gold object with roman numerals around a dial and I instantly knew that it was a gold pocket watch!

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    It's an 18 carat gold Dent pocket watch with an elaborate monogram on the back side. The case is in superb condition. Dent actually built the clock mechanism inside of Big Ben, and was the official clock/watch maker to the queen.

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    After cleaning the watch I took it to the owners of the estate. They took one look at the monogram and immediately recognized it as a family monogram, so it belonged to one of their ancestors. After hearing this I said, "Then it's yours." They were both astounded by the fact that I found it and very grateful to me for giving the watch to them. To me it was a no-brainer; there was no way that I would have kept a family heirloom, and besides they were very generous to let me detect on their property. It really made me feel good to return the watch to the family, where it belongs. After returning to the US I did a lot of research & found out that the watch if restored would be worth several thousand dollars. Even so I have no regrets and would have done exactly the same thing if I had known this at the time.

    The case was made by James Weir of Glasgow, Scotland. His company made watch cases from 1891 to the 1920's, so that pins down the age of the watch to those years.
    Davers, RJ55, DirtStalker and 21 others like this.

  2. #2
    "Nova Scotia is a metal detecting paradise"

    Feb 2014
    Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
    Fisher F75 Ltd SE 2 & Fisher F2 with 11"DD
    7187 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Thats a awesome find and even better return! Good job!
    thrifty76now and DownNDirty like this.
    BANNER #1...

    BANNER #2...

    BANNER #3...
    Still working on getting this one! 😃👍

  3. #3
    Sep 2012
    Orange, Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Max Minelab eTrac Minelab Excalibur 8" Makro Racer
    1205 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Wow and Wow...Great job! Better yet, please post some of your other finds. Just looking at that manor makes me drool for a detector.

    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.
    Target must be in the ground...Coil must swing over target...User must dig.

    Gold for the money...silver for the pleasure...copper for the history.

    I do not use the Like button. Proper intercourse should not be replaced by a click.

    Social media is not social, nor is it media.

  4. #4
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Minelab Equinox 800
    3194 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I will be posting them soon-the coppers have been soaking in mineral oil. Based on what I found I don't think the property has ever been detected.
    thrifty76now likes this.

  5. #5
    Oct 2010
    The Garden State
    Minelab Explorer SE Pro & CTX-3030
    2471 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Great photos and even better story. What a stand-up thing to do in returning it to the family from whence it came! One of the great return stories on this site and definitely deserves an Honorable Mention!

  6. #6
    Silver Coin Fiend

    Apr 2014
    XP Deus V3.2 9" & 11" Coils, AT Pro, ProPointer AT, Lesche 55, 75 & 80LT
    16835 times
    Digging In Strangers Front Yards
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    WOW... That is a stunning find!

    When you told me you found a pocket watch, I had no idea it would be that sweet. That is one awesome find! I think that was a really class act move to return it to the family.

    I would have been torn between greed and doing the right thing... it would have been an epic battle between right and right now!

    Is this a banner find? It's 18K and 100 years old... and that monogram is killer, as well as identifies the long lost owner. Let's see what the other TNet members think. It would look nice up top...

    Congrats on a really nice find, as well as kudos for the return.
    thrifty76now and DownNDirty like this.

  7. #7
    Feb 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Whites, MXT.
    5229 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Wow , Great find/return that should continue your access to that property for years to come ! Did you recover any silver coins
    on this property ?

    ( Yes - Banner ! )
    Last edited by Argentium; Jul 28, 2015 at 10:58 AM.
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.

  8. #8
    Oct 2010
    The Garden State
    Minelab Explorer SE Pro & CTX-3030
    2471 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (2)
    I was so caught up in the pics and return story, but yes, definitely a Banner Find as well! I cast my vote for Banner and Honorable Mention!
    Last edited by Erik in NJ; Jul 28, 2015 at 10:40 AM.

  9. #9
    Charter Member

    Jun 2006
    Moonlight and Magnolias
    Fisher F75, Whites DualField PI, Fisher 1266-X and Tesoro Silver µMax
    6787 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (8)
    Honorable Mentions (2)
    I think this is a banner find. Great photos, and the watch was given back to the descendants. This needs to be on the banner for those reasons:

    High Value and made of solid gold
    Great photos and story
    Returned to the family

    Congrats on such a great find, and having an awesome story to tell--and most importantly for doing the right thing!

    Best Wishes,

    2020 CaneField Bandits Totals:
    Republic of Texas Navy Cuff Button
    US Civil War Belt Plate
    Eagle Breastplate
    Three Louisiana Pelican Cuff Buttons
    Louisiana Pelican Coat Button
    Shield from an 1820-30 Artillery Shako Cap Badge
    Corps of Artillerists and Engineers Button 1798-1802
    Four CW eagle coat buttons
    One CW eagle cuff button
    French Navy Equipages de Ligne button (1 piece, 1830-40s)
    New York Staff Officer Cuff Button
    Colonial silver sleeve link/button made from a half real
    Monogrammed Silver Love Token
    M1858 Remington Revolver Trigger Guard
    Silver spoon made by Alexander McGrew 1805-1836
    Coin Silver mid-1800s "Fede Ring"
    1820s-30s silver eyeglasses frame fragment
    End of a gold crucifix or mechanical pencil
    Tip of a silver mechanical pencil
    William IV farthing (1830-1837)
    dateless half real
    half-cut half real (“quarter real”)
    1781 and 1807 half reales
    1840 quarter franc French silver
    1850 20 centimes French silver
    1851-O, 1852 three cent silver and a dateless 1/4 of a three cent silver
    Two 1839-O, 1840, 1842, 1848-O, 1851, 1851-O, 1852-O, two 1853's, 1856, 1856-O, 1857, 1857-O, 1858 (holed) and three 1858-O Half Dimes
    1874, 1891-O, one dateless Seated Liberty Dime, and one dateless half-cut Seated Liberty Dime
    1877-CC and 1875 Seated Quarters
    1892-O, 1899 and 1906-O Barber Quarters
    1940 Washington Quarter
    1942-P, two 1943-S and two 1943-P War Nickels
    shotgun breechblock
    iron prisoner shackles
    picket pin
    Plantation tokens
    Minieballs, Beefaloes, V and Shield Nickels, and some GawGag


    Any relics, coins, or other items appearing in my signatures were found on PRIVATE PROPERTY with total consent and permission from the owners of said property.

  10. #10

    May 2013
    City of Rensselaer (upstate NY)
    Minelab Equinox 800-Explorer SE -Sovereign-GT- -Whites 6000 Di pro SL-Specturm XLT.
    7347 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Awesome find....
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.

  11. #11
    Detector Collector

    May 2015
    Madison, MS
    Fisher F75SE, F44, F2 and CZ-20. Minelab E-TRAC and Go-Find 60. Tesoro Tejon. BH Quick Silver.
    2232 times
    I mainly coin shoot, but I also enjoy relic hunting and shallow ocean hunting.
    Congrats on getting to hunt that property! Congrats on the watch! Props for turning the watch over to the owners...way to shine a positive light on the hobby. I can't wait to see the rest of your finds!!!
    thrifty76now and DownNDirty like this.
    Clad - 2 dollars, 274 quarters, 282 dimes, 115 nickels, 787 pennies, 1 foreign
    Older - 1 Barber Half, 1 Walker, 1 Franklin, 1 Seated Qtr, 1 Barber Qtr, 5 Washington, 4 Barber Dimes, 12 Mercs, 13 Rosies
    1 CB Half Dime, 1 Shield, 3 Vs, 8 Buffalos, 4 War Nickels, 10 IHPs, 137 Wheats, 1803 Half Real
    Relics - 1 3-Ringer, 1 Round Ball, Silver fork, 3 pocket knives, Gem Micromatic razor, small compact, Silver bib clip, Silver brush, skeleton key
    Jewelry - 2 Gold rings, 2 Silver rings, Silver bracelet, Silver earring, 3 Silver charms, lady's watch

    Fisher F75SE, F44, F2 and CZ-20. Minelab E-TRAC and Go-Find 60. Tesoro Tejon. BH Quick Silver.

    Captain Caveman

  12. #12
    Oct 2013
    New Hampshire
    Garrett GTI 2500
    156 times
    Metal Detecting
    This deserves both an honorable mention and banner find! Fantastic!!!
    DownNDirty and thrifty76now like this.

  13. #13
    Jul 2014
    western NC
    XP Deus/Garrett Pro Pointer II
    1166 times
    Metal Detecting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Super find and great thing you did to give it to them. Good karma heading your way. Banner vote also!
    DownNDirty likes this.

  14. #14
    Great find and return DnD. I've been looking for your post I agree Banner vote in.
    Last edited by DirtStalker; Jul 28, 2015 at 11:42 AM.
    thrifty76now and DownNDirty like this.

  15. #15
    Agreed, a no brainer on the return.

    On the positive side, I'm sure your be welcome back anytime.
    thrifty76now and DownNDirty like this.

    'Time isn't money it's finds, unless your finds are money' 08/12/17
    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' 25/06/08
    A real man thinks about detecting every 6 seconds.
    'They look over their shoulder, I look to the ground' 30/09/12
    We can not understand ourselves unless we understand our HISTORY.
    I open my prezzies out of lumps of mud. 02/10/19
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.


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