Thursday, 1 September 2016

''Ere, Metil Tectrists, Wot Yeh Kin do Wiv th' Bit's Ya Dont Want M8s"

Casting some Silver ingots from scrap
silver detected and found by Lord Lovell
of the Metal Detecting Forum
This is what some metal detectorists with tattoos do with the objects they do not add to their collections (12.4 Oz Solid Silver Ingot Cast - Scrap Silver Melting)
I melted some detecting scrap Silver into an ingot today, my first Silver melt - went smoothly without issues, this containts [sic] blank Silver coins / fragments, Silver Spoon parts and other broken/damaged pieces of Silver weve pulled out of the fields. It looks rough because of the mould i used - a cast iron one, going to look for a smoother graphite type for the next precious metal pour. This ingot can be better smoothed and buffed (i did a little) if need be to make it more appealing to the eyes but i like it in this form

One shudders to think how many objects not seen by the PAS are ending up as shiny lumps, buffed up to look nice. A question occurs to me looking at some of that scrap, how does the artefact hunter know that every single piece in that pile is less than 300 years old? Anything older is Treasure and a crime is being committed if it is melted down and not reported. Who gets to decide and on what grounds? PAS guidance notes on "melting down your metal-detecting finds" seem not to be available.


Anonymous said...

So, ummm, why would anyone pay for the electricity to melt it down, and lose a proportion of the volume which the process involves and pay to get it assayed and stamped as silver bullion, all in order to sell it for little more than it's value as scrap???

Hougenai said...

Without an Assay mark the ingot remains essentially worthless, so what questions do Customs and Excise ask on the origin of the 'scrap' silver?
When they are informed 'we detected it mate' shouldn't they ask for details of individual items, weight, description, proof of ownership ie copies of agreements with landowners etc. As PB points out, Treasure could be being laundered, as could the family silver from some recent local burglary and one hopes The Taxman would prefer not to be complicit to such activities.

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