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Incredible story of two cut farthings

Experienced detectorists will be used to hearing far-fetched tales about detecting finds. Those outside the hobby would consider many tales as being hard to believe. Those inside the hobby will believe most of them, for they will have many of their own far-fetched tales to tell.

Tyndall Jones has been swinging a search-head for 23 years and during that time he has unearthed many interesting finds, some of which are in museums. Like many of us, he has a ‘wish list’, which includes a number of items he has been searching for but has never manged to find.

On 30 March Tyndall was searching a field on which signals were few and far between. We’ve all been on sites like that, when you can walk for what seem like ages and your headphones remain dead. After a while Tyndall resorted to digging dodgy signals – the kind that almost invariably leads to a piece of junk. However, after one such signal he broke apart a clod of soil and out popped a voided short cross cut farthing. These things are tiny and this one was the first ever cut farthing that Tyndall had found. He said he was absolutely over the moon.

No doubt the farthing encouraged Tyndall to keep plodding on. About 20 feet away from his last dodgy signal he got another one. After breaking up another clod of soil he was amazed when yet another cut farthing dropped out! He waited 23 years for the first and ten minutes later he unearthed a second example!

After not been able to pin down the second cut farthing he emailed images of it to me. I was able to tell him that farthing number two was cut from a helmet type penny of King Canute. This was more significant than the voided short cross farthing, as it is the first Anglo-Saxon coin that Tyndall has found.

On 30 March cut farthings seem to have been like buses, in that you wait for ages for one to come and then two turn up together. Tyndall said over the years he has unearthed many cut halfpennies and now, at last, they can be joined by a couple of cut farthings.

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