ONE of those wintery storms that battered the region in the past few weeks left more than a lasting impression on Rockingham.
The storms also left a very old coin – a 1926 threepence featuring the face of King George V – ripe for re-discovery.
Keen fossicker Aaron Trousselot was scouring sand on the beach with his children on a recent afternoon when his metal detector went berserk.
Such a strong reaction translates to hidden junk more often than hidden treasure, but this time he unearthed a silver coin more than 90 years old.
“When I pulled it up I could just make out the Coat of Arms but I had no idea who the person was on the other side, because you’re so used to seeing the Queen,” he said.
“It was right down by the water’s edge and only about an inch beneath the surface – the storms must have churned it up and left it there.
“I’m amazed the beach cleaner hadn’t taken it because it takes an inch or two of dirt when it comes along.”
While the ‘thrummer’ was not a find to run to the bank with, the Rockingham local has happily added it to his beachcombing booty, which so far comprises about $90 and a few pieces of jewellery.
The threepence was minted in Australia from 1910 until the introduction of decimal currency.
Mr Trousselot said the reason his detector had reacted so strongly was because the threepence – despite being only about the size of a modern-day 5c piece – was nearly pure silver.
Like many coins before World War II, the threepence was made from 92.5 per cent sterling silver with just a fraction of copper.
Current ‘silver’ coins in circulation such as 10c or 20c contain 75 per cent copper and 25 per cent nickel, with no silver at all.
George V, the grandfather of modern monarch Queen Elizabeth II, was King from 1910 until he died in 1936.
His portrait featured on Australia’s threepence from 1911 to 1936.