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Author: Sandi Gilardi

May 9 2021 Meeting Notes

Recorded by Stepper Camilleis

The highlight of this meeting was the El Cazador prize raffle. Paulo Adams held up a jar filled with 980 raffle tickets for the certified 1780 Spanish silver coin that was recovered from the wreck of the El Cazador. This spectacular coin was won by Dave Rockwell.


Scott Ferguson came up with the excellent idea of hosting a similar contest, perhaps quarterly rather than annually. One suggestion for a prize is a gold nugget recovered from the SS Central America that sank in 1857. There will be further discussions regarding what works best in terms of shipwreck recoveries.

There was a preliminary discussion about reopening live club meetings starting in September or October. A temporary meeting site was suggested, at the former site of Fort Devens in Ayer. Paulo and Scott aired this proposal out to the attendees of the meeting. Further details will be forthcoming regarding this or any other potential meeting sites.

Regarding the COVID scourge and everyone’s health, we got updates from Rick and Bobby and Sue.

Victor Ausilio discussed how he has observed that so many grandparents are raising children, especially since last year. Judi Batchelder also observed that children are losing their parents and that it’s sometimes tough these days for children to get a decent education, especially in a virtual setting.

Kudos to Judy for sponsoring a program about metal detecting program at the elementary school in Pembroke where she teaches second grade. This is taking place Friday afternoon, May 14. Foreign coins will be strewn over the schoolyard in ample quantity so that each of 16 kids can detect about 20 coins. Thank you so much for your support to the community, Judi!

Paulo mentioned that Rita Colella, a longtime MTHA member and former resident of Watertown, is interested in coming back and joining us on the Zoom meetings soon. It was unanimously voted that Rita would be reinstated as a lifetime member. Welcome back, Rita!

As for exciting detecting stories, Kent Blethen came back and found a beautiful 1747 Mexican 1-reale. Dan Schwartz displayed a 1630s King Charles I British silver twopence a friend of his found. Dan also spoke of a hunt at a park in 2006 in Somerville, near where he used to live, where his detecting buddy found a 1569 Elizabeth I silver coin … this may have come over on the Mayflower or even earlier! Dan also discussed his adventures at Plum Island where he detected lots of old silver coins, and his friend found a Spanish 2-reales and a Revolutionary War button of the Massachusetts 11th Regiment, which is apparently quite rare.

There was also a discussion of an abundance of 17th-century Islamic coins found on the Cape, and debate as to whether these coins were tied to activity of one particular pirate. The general consensus is that the coins and the pirate are not related. Last September, Stepper Camilleis detected a Spanish copper maravedi from 1651 that was in fact determined to be a pirate coin. Stepper lives on the Cape and wasn’t aware of any Islamic coin circulation.

Two-week Finds Contest winners:

1747 Reale

1st – Kent Blethen – 1747 Mexican 1-reale

2nd – Aidan Shea – gold ring with onyx stone

3rd – Stepper Camilleis – Coin spill of 3 Barber quarters and a “V” nickel

Barber half draw – Christina Lamkin – didn’t win (180 tickets sold for this)

Standard raffles:

1902 Morgan dollar – Bob Denault

1960 Franklin half – Sue Rockwell

1941 Walking Liberty half – Aidan Shea

50/50 – Rick Smith

El Cazador ticket raffles:

Grand prize – 1780 Spanish 2-reales – Dave Rockwell

2nd place – 1921 Morgan dollar – Bob O’Neill

3rd place – 1934 Peace dollar – Judi Batchelder

4th, 5th and 6th place – SLQs – Bob Denault, Scott Ferguson and Stepper Camilleis

Special Prize – El Cazador comic book – Sue Rockwell

April 25 Meeting Notes

April 25 minutes by Stepper

Scott spoke of his scuba diving adventures where he has found lots of good stuff in lakes and ponds.

There was discussion about the current and changing parking situation at Revere Beach. Parking meters were installed, and special permits for seniors will be effective      May 1. We are also clarifying whether the street (Revere Beach Road) is DCR or municipal property.
Four members were back after health concerns.
Phil is back on his feet now and able to go detecting.

Speaking of “Tree” coins, Scott spoke of a recent acquaintance, a lady who just started detecting a year ago, who recently found a 1662 Pine Tree twopence … beginners luck?!
Sandi told us an interesting story about an event just a few days preceding her stupendous find of a 1652 Pine Tree shilling over a year ago. She explained that good acts earlier in the week resulted in the rare coin she detected!
Bob was logged in to our meeting from Tampa where he was paying respects to his family. Bob told us a story of how his brother would give a gift to his sister, such as a two-headed silver dollar or a colorized $2 bill, on her birthday which is April 15. Then on Richard’s birthday, April 23, she’d give it back to him. This family tradition went on for 55 years!

So many great finds this month! Broderick took his toddler son to the beach, and Broderick found a Civil War Union artillery button. Glenn , on
another detecting trip, to New Jersey this time, found an 1807 Mexican half-reale and lots of other goodies. Judi found an amazing 1924 high school class ring made of 10k gold. She also found other great stuff, including an 1855large cent in incredibly preserved condition at an old yard.
Congrats to Joe Mishley for winning the Diorama lead soldier contest.  Joe presented an array of dug toy soldiers, 3-ringer bullets
and other cool items.
Paulo Adams mentioned that he’s already collected $511 in ticket sales for the El Cazador 1780 Mexican 2-reale coin that had been donated by Jack Beth, one of the MTHA’s “Founding Fathers.” Jack has since retired and moved to Arizona. Paulo has sent out an email to all members about the deadline for purchasing tickets for the raffle of this historical coin salvaged from the El Cazador, which had sank in 1784.
The April item for the end of year raffle is a 1935-D Arkansas Centennial commemorative half dollar, of which only 5,505 were struck. This is a beautiful coin and appears to be in nearly mint condition.

Two-week Finds Contest winners:

1st – Judi Batchelder – 1924 10k gold class ring

2nd – Glenn Godwin – 1807 Mexican ½-reale
3rd – Stepper Camilleis – Sterling silver thimble
Buffalo nickel draw – Rick Smith – he won the pot of 4 Standing Liberty quarters!  Congrats, Rick!
1921 Morgan dollar – Paulo Adams
1963 Franklin half – John McGillicuddy
1942 Walking Liberty half – Dave Rockwell

50/50 – Rick Smith ($71) – Bob Denault