[BANNER] 1693 HAMMERED SILVER - A PIRATES COIN! (Updated Below)
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  1. #1

    1693 HAMMERED SILVER - A PIRATES COIN! (Updated Below)

    I found this small hammered silver coin two weeks ago at an early colonial-period site dating back to the mid-1600’s. Located near Newport, RI, this productive site has offered up an Oak Tree shilling, two Spanish cobs, numerous coppers, buttons, buckles, seal spoon fragments, etc. over the past several years. For finding early colonial-period finds, this site is like Disney World for detectorists.

    I was using the new 11” coil on my XP Deus when I got a high-toned signal. It gave a slight but consistent tone, though my machine couldn’t put any numbers to it. I cut and flipped a deep plug. The signal was on the dirt side of the plug. Upon probing the plug, I could discern a silver-like color to something. I was skeptical, but my probe thought otherwise, as it gave a loud signal. I removed a clod of dirt and saw a small hammered silver coin. I could see a design on the coin. I thought it was possibly a Massachusetts Silver two-pence or three-pence coin, but I couldn’t see a tree design. Perhaps it was a Spanish cob? I avoided rubbing dirt off the coin, which can be damaging. I ran to my car for a bottle of water to clean the coin. I ran into the property owner and he came with me back to the hole. I doused the coin with water, and this is what we saw.

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    Here is the cut plug. The coin can be seen on the top of the plug.

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    The coin is about the size of a dime and nearly thin as a razor. Here are some photos taken when I got home.

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    I went on a fruitless search for the identity of this coin for the next week. The writing on the coin is Arabic. I had some thoughts on its origin, where it came from and when, but I wanted a certain and exact identification for the coin before posting it. My first insight on the coin’s true identity, a Khums Kabir coin from Yemen, came from the most unlikely of sources. Although I had never cared for any of those TV treasure hunting shows, I heard from my hunting partner that Diggers on National Geographic had dug a worn fragment of a similar coin (Mystery Coin Episode). They also had found their coin in Newport, which I knew to be no coincidence. There was a reason for all of this in the town’s history. So I watched the episode online. I don’t get the whole tree climbing routine or running around acting half-crazed after digging a worn copper, but they did find a half coin fragment further broken in two pieces that matched my find. More importantly, they correctly identified the fragment as coming from a Khums Kabir coin out of Yemen.

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    My online search for these specific coins produced only a few results for further follow-up; however, I did find one specialist in Islamic and Indian coins, Steve Album Rare Coins, in California. While speaking with him on the phone, I e-mailed the pictures below, and he read the inscription, with the ease of someone reading the breakfast menu at a local Denny’s.

    Here is his reply (cut and pasted):

    Yemen
    Qasimid dynasty
    Muhammad III, AH1098-1130 / 1687-1718, with the title al-Hadi
    AR khumasi
    Mint of al-Hadra’
    Date AH1105 (began on 10 September 1693)Listed in my “Checklist of Islamic Coins” as #1138.

    Stephen Album Rare Coins
    P.O. Box 7386
    Santa Rosa CA 95407, USA

    He said that I did well by contacting him, as there were only about two people in the U.S.
    who could identify my coin, he being one of them. He stated that my coin was in wonderful condition and had a numismatic value of $100. He added that coins from Yemen are “the most unappreciated coins on the face of the planet.” None of that mattered to me, as I value the coin much more for its provenance and history.

    I was hoping for a date of 1693 or earlier. In the 1690’s, the American colonies was carrying out brisk trade with each other, the Caribbean Islands, the west coast of Africa for the slave trade, and England, but no one was sailing to the Indian Ocean to trade anywhere near Yemen at the time for many reasons. Yemen is located along the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea with Saudi Arabia located to the North; moreover, it’s found north of the Horn of Africa on the east coast, i.e., the Indian Ocean.

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    So how did these coins from Yemen get half a world away to Southern New England in the late 17th Century? While the Diggers TV show provided a much needed identification and mentioned the coin’s long journey from Yemen to New England, I can’t believe what they failed to recognize. They declared that the coin was the first one ever to be found in the United States, which is a doubtful claim, along with a bunch of other hype, and all the ridiculous slang words (sweet nectar, roundness in the hole, etc.). If they had researched how the coin came to Newport from half a world away in the late-17th Century, they could have made a greater and indisputable claim. These 17th Century Yemeni coins came to Newport by only one means - piracy!

    Captain Thomas Tew of Newport, RI sailed aboard the sloop Amity from Bermuda with a privateer’s commission to attack French trade off the West Coast of Africa in 1692. Once out to sea, he gathered his men and instead proposed that they turn pirate or “go on the account” and sail for richer waters in the Arabian Sea. He didn’t have to argue the point, as they all readily agreed. They captured only took one ship in late 1693; it was all they needed. It was a rich merchantman belonging to the Great Mogul of India. Masters of intimidation, Tew’s crew took the ship despite there being 300 Indian soldiers aboard for defense. After tearing through the vessel, they hit the jackpot, recovering 100,000 pounds sterling in gold and silver. Every member of his crew earned 1300 -1500 pound sterling on the cruise, while some select crew members made a bit more. After a 22,000 mile cruise and 15 months at sea, they went home and arrived in Newport, RI where gold and silver coins along with plundered trade goods flowed into the local economy for a spending binge on eating, drinking, and carousing.

    In this fanciful illustration by artist Howard Pyle from 1894, Thomas Tew offers good company and conversation with the New York’s governor Benjamin Fletcher after returning home from his successful voyage.

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    While Tew’s fantastic haul of looted gold and silver makes him the most likely suspect on the origins of my coin, there was a mob of other cut-throats, the Pirate Roundsmen, which followed in his wake to the rich shipping routes of the Arabian Sea - Henry “Long Ben” Every, Robert Culliford, and the unfortunate Captain William Kidd. So perhaps my coin came from one of these other pirate voyages, as most of them and their crew had New England connections. Regardless, I firmly believe that the coin I recovered has an absolute and undeniable connection with piracy in the Arabian Sea during the late 1690’s. There was no other source for such coins at this time. I’m surprised that the Diggers show overlooked all this fantastic history.

    I apologize for my long, rambling post, but I don’t find a genuine pirate’s coin every day. I wanted to make a convincing case for this latest find, and I appreciate any feedback on the T-Net. More importantly, if anyone has found coins similar to what I recovered, please let me know! Don’t be surprised if someone else posts one of these amazing coins.
    Two fragments of these coins were found by members of a local metal detecting club, the Silver City Treasure Seekers in Tauton, MA. Fragmented coins are not surprising, as the cutting and clipping of silver coins was a common practice among thrifty colonists. If you have recovered similar coins along the East Coast, please post a photo. You might have found a 1690’s coin for Yemen. More importantly, you might have a genuine pirate’s coin.



    Good Hunting
    Last edited by Silver Tree Chaser; May 26, 2014 at 07:10 PM. Reason: simple typo
    got Mass Silver?

  2. #2
    us
    dan

    May 2011
    porterville calif...
    fisher 1212x,whites mxt
    599
    590 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    great research ,great find,great story...this is what its all about..thank you...

  3. #3
    Super find! Great research and seems like you got in contact with the correct knowledgeable person.
    "The mantra has always been don't clean a (copper) coin or it will lose value.
    For undug coins this is true. For dug coins this is untrue.
    The value will increase with judicious cleaning."

  4. #4
    us
    Anthony

    May 2013
    City of Rensselaer (upstate NY)
    Minelab Equinox 800-Explorer SE -Sovereign-GT- -Whites 6000 Di pro SL-Specturm XLT.
    7,941
    6759 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Awesome find, man that's old..
    Silver Tree Chaser likes this.

  5. #5

    Apr 2008
    Central Illinois
    Fisher CZ-3D
    1,259
    811 times
    Nice coin, and a very well written story, one for the treasure magazines. Congrats.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

    Oct 2004
    N. San Diego area (Pic of my two best 'finds'; son and grandson)
    Minelab Explorer
    19,476
    12596 times
    Shipwrecks
    Honorable Mentions (2)
    Gotta luv the research !!
    Don.......

  7. #7
    us
    Jul 2012
    Pennsylvania
    Garrett AT Pro, Garrett Pro Pointer
    1,545
    878 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    With history like that, that coin deserves a display all to itself. Thinking something like this:

    http://eacgallery.com/ItemImages/000...onFRMD_lg.jpeg
    Silver Tree Chaser likes this.


    My Best Finds
    Oldest Visible Year: 1730
    Colonial Coppers: 7
    Large Cents: 10
    Half Cents: 2
    Indian Head Cents: 6
    Silver: 31
    Gold: 1
    Bells: 5


  8. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    John

    Feb 2013
    Arkansas
    I’ve used about all modern ones but right now: CTX 3030, Nokta Anfibio, White’s TRX, Profind 35
    2,527
    1462 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)
    I thought that the coin looked familiar and then I read further into your post. I remember the episode where they dug that fragment. I don't know anything about the coin, but they were ecstatic on the show and it is suppose to be rare and special to find one in the US.

    I'm also curious on how many have been found are available in the US. With that, I would consider this a banner find for nothing more than simply the historic nature of your find.
    Last edited by Pointman; May 26, 2014 at 04:33 PM.
    Silver Tree Chaser likes this.

  9. #9
    us
    Oct 2007
    South Carolina
    E-Track, MXT, CZ6A
    1,160
    635 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    ARRRRGG Ye' Matey , you did good on your research, you dug deep and dug up the TREASURE!!!!

    Good job!
    SEEK AND YEA SHALL FIND and when you do THANK GOD!!!

  10. #10
    us
    Sorry Honey, I canít. Iíve got plans with my metal detector.

    Nov 2013
    Mountain Maryland
    Garrett AT Pro, AT Max
    8,678
    14218 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Honorable Mentions (2)
    sure glad you didn't have only one pic, and sell your coin in a minute...this would have got ugly..LOL. great find my man...banner vote is in
    Silver Tree Chaser likes this.
    EVERY COIN, SILVERS, AND TOKENS FOUND IN FLORIDA I SOLD...STARTING FRESH IN MARYLAND

  11. #11

    Feb 2013
    west central indiana
    Garrett AT Pro Garrett ace250
    71
    44 times
    Spectacular find! Good luck ever beating a historical story like that.
    Silver Tree Chaser likes this.

  12. #12
    us
    Mar 2010
    SW Ct. Formerly N Va.
    Equinox 600 E Trac AT Pro Nautilus 11Ba MXT M6 6000 DiPro Omega Bounty hunter TR550 Heathkit homemade
    212
    101 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Great find and amazing job on the research. Banner!
    Silver Tree Chaser likes this.

  13. #13
    us
    May 2011
    North Carolina
    Equinox 800 Teknetics T2 SE Teknetics G2+
    963
    1008 times
    Colonial Period
    Great research and story to go with it. I found a similar coin at a colonial site in the southeast coastal area of NC a couple of years ago. ( See link below) I had no idea what it was until I was directed to Steve Album who correctly identified it. My th on how my coin ended up in the field where I dug is was that someone serving in the early navy brought it home as a souvenir from the Barbary wars off the coast of Africa. I think with the background story that you have that your coin is most likely pirate booty. Congrats on a very rare find.

    Dug a hammered silver coin - but its not Spanish
    Silver Tree Chaser likes this.
    Equinox 800
    Teknetics T2 SE w/ DST
    Teknetics G2+

    Best Coin Finds -
    Cob - Charles II 1/2R (1665-1697)
    1672 Hammered Morrocan Silver Mizuna (Pirate Treasure)
    Cut Pistareen Philip V (1717-1737)
    Mexico 1739-Mo MF real

    1781 Spanish 1/2 Real
    1877 Silver Trade Dollar (My Avatar)
    1621 Hammered Bronze
    Valencia, Philip IV (dug two)
    1732 KG II Half Penny
    1752 Spanish 1/4 Real

  14. #14
    us
    Jul 2012
    Pennsylvania
    Garrett AT Pro, Garrett Pro Pointer
    1,545
    878 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Quote Originally Posted by screwynewy View Post
    Great research and story to go with it. I found a similar coin at a colonial site in the southeast coastal area of NC a couple of years ago. ( See link below) I had no idea what it was until I was directed to Steve Album who correctly identified it. My th on how my coin ended up in the field where I dug is was that someone serving in the early navy brought it home as a souvenir from the Barbary wars off the coast of Africa. I think with the background story that you have that your coin is most likely pirate booty. Congrats on a very rare find.

    Dug a hammered silver coin - but its not Spanish
    I was gonna say that I didn't think your coin had Arabic writing. These are both awesome finds! Hopefully someday I can find something like that in SePa.
    Silver Tree Chaser likes this.


    My Best Finds
    Oldest Visible Year: 1730
    Colonial Coppers: 7
    Large Cents: 10
    Half Cents: 2
    Indian Head Cents: 6
    Silver: 31
    Gold: 1
    Bells: 5


  15. #15
    us
    Zodiacdiverdave

    Mar 2011
    The North Atlantic Ocean
    XP Deus, AT Pro, Sea Hunter II, JW Fisher Proton Magnatometer, Shovel, Hammer and chisel
    2,765
    1368 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    That's an increadable find, and as you have stated it is most likely pirate booty. I'm voting Banner on the basis of provenance and it's historical significance. An amazing piece in amazing condition. Congrats and nice job on the research too.
    ZDD
    Silver Tree Chaser likes this.
    Living the dream

 

 
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