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Man finds a 222-year-old copper penny on a metal-detecting trip

A man with a metal detector found a long-hidden, 222-year-old coin under a few inches of soil outside a church in Maine.

Shane Houston, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was on a metal-detecting trip with a friend from New Hampshire when he found the coin earlier this month.

As Houston dug it up from under a few inches of dirt, he immediately saw the 1798 mark on it and knew it was something special.




The copper penny, dated 1798, comes from the first decade of American-minted money in North America.


“Honestly, 99 percent of the things I dig up are garbage,” he said.

He said it was found on the grounds of a church in Embden where he had permission to use his metal detector.



The penny is not in pristine condition. Houston said it might fetch $200 but he has no intentions of selling it.

On the same trip, he also found an 1818 penny, a full wagon wheel and a musket ball. The ammunition was measured at 0.75 caliber, making it British in origin.


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