independent

Thursday 10 July 2014

We're throwing money in the river

And we've been doing it for years, divers discover

BILL BROWNE

Published 21/03/2013|05:26

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A pile of one euro coins ! thrown into the river Blackwater near Fermoy weir

THERE'S money in that there river.

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Old coin's have a habit of turning up in the place where you least expect them to such as old buildings or buried in gardens.

However, as members of the Blackwater Sub Aqua Club will readily testify, our rivers and waterways can also prove to be fertile hunting grounds for Numismatists (coin collectors).

Blackwater SAC spokesman Timmy Carey said many people are unaware of just how regularly divers come across coins buried in slit on riverbeds.

"While the bulk of these tend to be recent coins of small denomination, occasionally, when the mud is cleaned away, you may find you have a rare coin on your hands," said Timmy.

"These can include coins from all over the world. Our divers have found rare French francs, a German token and even a World War I vintage penny," he added.

Only last year divers in Fermoy found a Welsh coin which was at least 200-years old and now sits proudly among the exhibits at the National Museum in Dublin.

Timmy said that archaeologists will very often use old coins and other finds as a means of dating early settlements.

"In addition to 200-year old coins, our members have found weaponry in the River Blackwater dating back well over 400-years. There are still vast quantities of our waterways that have never been explored, so who knows what still may lay hidden below their surfaces," he said.

"That was highlighted by the recent find of a very rare a special Viking sword in the river Shannon by the Shannsonside Sub Aqua Club."

Timmy said that just as mystifying, given the current economic times, was the amount of new coins that divers find in the Blackwater.

"One of our divers recently surfaced with the princely sun of €11 euro coins. It is strange that people thrown their money into the river, given that we are in the midst of a recession," he said.

"Mind you in 200-years time some of these coins could create a stir of excitement themselves," laughed Timmy.

Corkman

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