Thursday, February 24, 2011

Plaque in the Park

Recently I was detecting in a city park, without much luck as it happens, when suddenly while searching around some trees the Ace 250 almost blew a fuse. Thinking it was probably a heap of drink cans I began to dig.
To my surprise I uncovered a brass plaque that had been laid back in 1976  in memory of the late Norman Kirk, a previous Prime Minister of  NZ. He was Prime Minister from 1972 until his death in  August 1974.

I contacted the Parks people at Auckland City who say they will investigate raising the plaque to keep it visible for future park visitors.

The plaque talks about three mighty Totara trees being planted but it seems only two have survived the 35 years.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NZ Army Regiment hat badge

Amongst last weekends finds was what appeared  to be a cap badge from one of the NZ armed forces.
I became curious as to its origin so set about trying to ID it.
As the badge was found in a marine location my first contact was the Navy Museum and as they did not recognize it they referred me to the NZ National Army museum who had no trouble sorting it out as follows:

Thanks for the photo; this is a New Zealand Regiment Hat Badge - Second Pattern. The NZ Regiment was formed in 1947 when the troops returned home from WW2, the old regional regiments (Such as the Wellington or Auckland etc) were disbanded (Later to be turned into the Territorial forces) and the troops all became part of one Regiment.  

24/2/11 Update:    More historical information from the National Army Museum.

This type of badge was gilt and silver wash with enamel inlay - this design was superseded in 1964 when the battalion was re-designated 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment  (1RNZIR) - the new badge was a very similar design .Something I didn’t mention before is the Queens crown at the top which allows you to get a rough date for the badge (The Queens crown is only used if a Queen is on the throne) - so we can assume the badge was manufactured between 1953-1964. 
Thanks to Adam Moriarty.

The badge is in reasonable condition for having been about 200mm underground although the silver and gilt plating is long gone. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pro Pointer is a cool tool

After waiting 16 days my Pro Pointer and Leche tool to arrive from the USA  I was real keen to try them out.
The Pro Pointer certainly speeds up the find and more or less eliminates missed finds especially in dry sand.
My current coins find value was up a bit this weekend and also my first 50% silver shilling. Now that I have a proper dig tool for the harder ground I have started hitting parks etc. and found the NZ Regiment badge in the middle of a large lawn. I think it's a NZ Navy cap badge. The bone shaped tag came from a beach and belonged to a dog named Elsa.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Silver n Coins morning

I have a beach that I visit to MD quite regularly and one reason is that I usually get at least one worthwhile find other than coins. The other reason is that it is a really nice place to be that early in the morning with the sun shining and the small waves lapping at the shore.  Other beach users at that time of the day are walkers, joggers, dog walkers, child minders and City Council workers servicing the bins and the loo's.  Most people are quite chatty and regularly ask with a hint of disbelief  "did ya find any tresha yet".  Well here is today's treasure including a 925 silver ring (squashed) and a small bar broach with  a STG mark on the underside. Unfortunately the single central stone is missing however it seems to be quite an old item..

 I also got to assist an Asian guy with not so good English, who I think was probably at the wrong beach to meet his friends and an attractive young lady who wanted to know if I had found her sock she lost last night. 
Another family asked if I was working for the Government !! 
I should have said yes.
Wish I had. :-) 
Just goes to show there is more to MD'ing than finding stuff.