unearthing canberra\'s long lost backyard treasures
With metal detectors in their hands, they swept the surface of a small park in the oldest suburb of Canberra.
Neil\'s device detected something.
Could this be an elusive gold sovereign?
Or just another aluminum cap?
\"I \'ve always been interested in finding long-lost treasures and old coins,\" Neil said . \".
He took out his pen knife and took out a penny.
\"What you really want to find is gold sovereignty, or 1930 P,\" he said . \".
\"They are real gold and silver.
Paul dug a 1917 silver shillings nearby.
\"I like to pull old coins and I think it\'s great,\" he said . \".
\"My first one is six. pence.
It\'s exciting to actually pull some old silver, pre-
Decimal, from the ground.
\"Neil has been looking for coins for ten years, and Paul started this unusual hobby about two years ago.
A few months ago, the two met by chance, when they happened to appear at a primary school in Canberra at the same time, looking for coins.
Now, they meet every two weeks to explore an open space in the old district of the capital.
\"You have to try to find the old way people have traveled.
\"In the past 100 s or so, a lot of people have come through here,\" Paul said . \".
\"There could have been a hedge here a long time ago and people had to move around so you had to try and fix those.
Between them, they found hundreds of coins, pins and knives.
But there\'s a lot of garbage. \"Pull-
\"Labels, a dime and two cents, and caps are our worst nightmare,\" Paul laughs.
\"Some days, I have 50 to 60 dollars in my pocket.
Paul\'s favorite discovery so far is 1876 and a half.
Penny, nicknamed \"hate me. \"
\"It\'s old, it\'s pre-
\"There is also some healthy competition between the two.
\"Neil seems to have found all the flower words,\" joked Paul . \".
\"He found four small flowers in the last four hunts, and I found one.
So I labeled him King frolin, I am Silver Fox, because I tend to find all the silver coins.
\"In addition to the excitement of discovery, there is more to this hobby.
\"Breathe fresh air outside, exercise, relax and leave for a while,\" Neil said . \".
The civil servant has also done a lot of research to track local \"hot spots\", such as the former village of Palmer Ville, near the button highway between belconning and gungeling.
\"It used to have prisoner cells there, a homestead, a village, a shop --
\"It\'s just a big park right now,\" he said . \"
\"Before Canberra was heard of the real 1880 people.
You go there to find some old artifacts, iron door handles, old padlocks and pieces.
\"For Paul, he likes to go home and solve his problems with his seven children --year-old son Oliver.
\"When I got home, my son couldn\'t wait to get me into the door and go \'Daddy, what did you find? \'? \',\" he said.
\"He took out the bag and slowly put the coin into the pre-
He wants to keep the decimals, decimals and some cool stuff, and then we get the trash like foil.
\"Today I found an army officer lying on the ground.
Cool. It\'s been 50 or 80 years sitting there. who knows. \" Topics:human-
Interest in Canberra act-