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Metal Hunter Makes Quite the Find Outside Church

Shane Houston uncovers copper penny dated 1798
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 25, 2020 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – A man with a metal detector has found a long-hidden, 222-year-old coin under a few inches of soil outside a church in Maine, the AP reports. Shane Houston, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was on a metal-detecting trip with a friend from New Hampshire when he found the coin earlier this month, the Bangor Daily News reported. The copper penny, dated 1798, comes from the first decade of American-minted money in North America. He said it was found on the grounds of a church in Embden where he had permission to use his metal detector.

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"I don't want to share the spot—where I might find some more goodies," said Houston. "And with metal detecting, it's getting increasingly hard to find spots where it's legal." The penny is not in pristine condition. Houston said it might fetch $200 but he has no intentions of selling it. On the same trip, he also found an 1818 penny, a full wagon wheel and a musket ball. The ammunition was measured at 0.75 caliber, making it British in origin. (In related news, teenagers have uncovered 1,100-year-old gold coins. And a man has been indicted for allegedly spending eight months digging up a cemetery for treasure.)


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