Unprecedented service in unprecedented times.

The over-used word, ‘unprecedented,’ adequately describes a tale of two firms who’ve met the current, ‘unprecedented’, economic situation head-on. What follows is neither an ‘ad’ nor puffery, simply a personal appraisal. If you think otherwise, well…tough luck.

Now that the hatches are firmly battened down, many Detectorists are sifting through their coin tins in search of denominations, miscellaneous various. I’ve got barrow load of UK spendable, but all in need of a scrub-up before acceptance over the bar as whisky tokens. So, it’s barrelling time again.

But here’s the rub; ‘Chez Howland’ had a problem; a serious absence of a barrelling equipment. My previous one went belly-up during a house move after being subjected to an unintentional six-month bath during storage. So, what to do? I give Nigel Ingrams at ¹Regton a bell…that’s what.

“Is that Regton ?”
“Yes, it is. Can I help you?”
“Can you put me through to Nigel?”
“Hello mate…I need a barrelling machine…blah…blah…blah.” With the plastic duly bashed the deal’s done and the Regton marketing machine’s cogs whirr into action.

 The very next day, a courier-in-a-surgical-mask-and-blue-rubber-gloves plonks a barrelling machine (a Beach Lapidary jobby) on my doorstep. Lockdown? Pah! Covid-19? Pah!

These BL tumblers are simply the mutt’s nuts when it comes to scrubbing-up spendable coinage prior to re-entry into the economy along with any other odds and sods falling within the range of our metal detectors. That said, NEVER, EVER, ‘barrel’ high value coins especially… hammered, Celtic, Roman, or any kind of brooch until positively identified, not unless that is, you’re an avid collector of worthless tat. Your choice.

The BL barrelling machines Regton supplies, come complete with steel ‘shapes’ (cleaning media), and burnishing soap; everything you need to get started. Nigel advises that, “When you’ve finished use hot water to heat medium and then tip it into a flat tray to allow the medium to dry under its own heat. Put a couple of drops of any oil in barrel and return medium and shake to coat.”

Me being a lazy bugger thinks that’s too much faffing about. There has to be an easier way. The military adage that ‘time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted’ proved accurate. Taking a ‘butcher’s hook’ at Beach Lapidary’s website https://www.beachlapidary.co.uk/  I find they sell… stainless steel ‘media’… which doesn’t rust! Simply give it a quick swill with fresh water and Bob’s your aunt’s live-in lover. Win! Win! Happy days! At £26.60 for a 500g bag seemed a small price to compensate for my inherent laziness.

A quick call to BL’s David Lascelles and a pack of stainless steel media was Dorset bound.

So if you’re in the market for one of these excellent bits of kit, be advised to ‘condition’ the tumbling barrel for a couple of hours before first use with coins and the like. Apparently it improves the unit’s efficiency. Don’t ask me how or why, but if David Lascelles says so, and he makes them, that’s good enough for me. Talking of which, Nigel, stumped-up another useful top operational tip.

“When a road is tarred and chipped they use granite chippings. Change from pins/bearings to granite for cupro-nickel and brass coinage to get back into circulation. Now try to remember where you last saw a pile of granite chippings in a lay-by; there will be loads left.”

Another amongst others he strongly advises : “Never mix metals.”

(Now, where did I put those Bronze Age palstaves?)

My thanks to both Nigel Ingrams at Regton Ltd and David Lascelles at Beach Lapidary for fast, efficient service in these ‘unprecedented’ times.



Lodes of atomic number 79 

The Daily Telegraph recently reported another fever  vying with Covid-19. Under the headline ‘Gold rush fever gripping Britain’ gold panning it seems, is Britain’s new pandemic-on-the-block. According to the DT article, “thousands” of amateur panners were “rushing to comb rivers in search of a fortune.”

Though precisely how these “thousands” were evading the lockdown to reach the rivers went unexplained. I rather suspect the piece was a DT ‘filler’ – but nonetheless, an interesting account presumably based on pre-lockdown data.

The DT went on to report UK gold prices were now at a five-year high and an ounce of the stuff fetching £1,400 with Welsh gold – the rarest on Earth – fetching up to thirty times more.

So, once lockdown is over and you fancy trying your hand at gold panning take a look at https://www.bullionbypost.co.uk/index/gold/where-to-find-gold-in-the-uk/  here you’ll find the hot-spot locations and the legal considerations.

You’ll get all the kit you need from Regton or, see page 78 of their 2020 Metal Detecting Catalogue.

Alternatively you can find gold with a metal detector and the XP Deus and Garrett AT Gold are ideal tools.

Happy and lucrative panning/detecting.

Stay safe all you Tekkies


Lest we forget…

…The words of Paul Barford, a buffoon who describes himself as an archaeologist, who wrote on his appalling blog in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic : –

n1232058 copy 3

“The Metal Detecting problem in the UK may well soon be over, natural selection may solve it for us as utterly moronic artefact hunters insist on holding a commercial meeting for hundreds of artefact hunters in a few weeks(sic) time…”

That anyone should wish this dreadful disease on another defies comprehension.


3 thoughts on “Unprecedented service in unprecedented times.

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