27 March 2016

Relic Hunting Post #143 - Spanish Silver in the Shenandoah Valley

Good Friday was good in more ways than one. I had a couple of free hours Friday morning so I returned to one of my favorite Colonial era relic hunting sites here in the Shenandoah Valley. I wasn't there very long when I was able to recover my oldest coin (and first Spanish silver) to date: a 1782 1 Reale. The design shows King Charles (Carolus) of Spain on the front of the coin. Carolus III reigned from 1759 to 1788. The design on the back of the coin shows a crowned shield and two large pillars on either side. 

As an article from the University of Notre Dame website notes:
The importance of Spanish money in the colonies cannot be overstated. It has been estimated that half of the coins in colonial America were Spanish reales.
It was quite an experience, recovering and holding this piece of history in my hand; perhaps the first human to touch it in well over 200 years. I also recovered two Colonial era Tombac buttons from the same location that same day. This site was once a Colonial homesite here in the Valley and also the home of a merchant/craftsman.

The video below is the live recovery of the Spanish silver, along with a Civil War bullet find a couple of weeks ago from a winter camp here in the Valley.