I was metal detecting with my GO-FIND 20 around Northern Sydney at some reserves near the harbour looking for early coins/relics etc. and I got to some sand trap with sandstone walls, I was gonna skip it as I wanted to do a big park area instead but there was this nagging voice in my mind saying "do that spot!!!" and so I decided to do some detecting there. First find in that trap was a 1951 half penny which was encouraging for me to continue and after 10 or 15 minutes detecting finding bits of rubbish and old nails I dug a mid-range ring/ringpull/coin symbol signal and was expecting rubbish but out came a gold coin and I was like WHOAAAAA!!!!! I looked at it and immediately identified it as a half gold sovereign, the head on the back was Queen Victoria and the date is 1873!!! I was over the moon, I never was expecting to find a half soveign there, and I was thinking sovereigns/half sovereigns would be generally found in old gold mining towns. Anyhow I shared the photos on Facebook, one of my metal detecting mates told me it could be worth $700-$1000 in its condition!!! I quickly learned that if it were a Melbourne minted half sov (M at the bottom of the reverse side of the coin) it would be worth quite a lot, an uncirculated Melbourne 1873 half sov is worth $25000! There was some caked dirt over the mint mark so I carefully picked a chunk of it off with my fingernail (without damaging the coin) and to my delight it does indeed have the M mint mark, so it's a Melbourne minted 1873 half sov!!! My coin has some scratches here and there so it’s worth is a fraction of an uncirculated but it doesn't matter because I am not selling it, it is a keeper for me being a keen collector of old coins!!! Goes to show you don't need a top of the range metal detector to find gold items of high value, you just have to be at the right place at the right time and decide to dig the lower signals!
Tom - New South Wales, Australia