Beachcomber pockets 75 yr old sixpence

By Joseph Aldridge

There's nothing Shane Creamer likes more than digging for buried treasure.

With his trusty metal detector at hand, Mr Creamer has spent hours combing the beach at Pilot Bay during his Christmas holiday this year.

On holiday from Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands, Mr Creamer never misses an opportunity to hit the beach.

"The women are out shopping and I'm out fossicking," he said.

"Any chance I can get I'm out there doing it."

Mr Creamer said he was hoping to find some old coins buried under the sand along Pilot Bay.

"If you find coins between 1800 and 1830, that's considered a pretty good find in our country. It's not as if you're finding Roman coins or anything, so that's what I'm looking for."

"I got 1967 on the first day, and then yesterday I scored it. I got a silver 1937 sixpence and a 1963 sixpence but it's not silver, they're copper nickels by that stage."

Mr Creamer spent about four hours fossicking along the beach on Christmas Day and was often approached by cruise ship passengers interested in seeing what he'd found.

A lot of the time, he finds ring-pulls from soft drink cans and other worthless junk but it's the possibility of uncovering a piece of history that keeps him coming back for more.

"Most people are looking for old coins, that's the buzz of the find, the older the better."

His best find ever was an 1834 silver sixpence, minted in England, he said.

Mr Creamer said he's planning to launch a magazine called New Zealand Fossickers and Collectors, targeting the increasing number of people buying metal detectors.

A basic unit, which can detect metal 15cm underground, costs about $500, he said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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