Treated myself to some jeweller’s scales

Some time ago I bought a digital caliper from Aldi for measuring finds precisely. I’ve now added a set of jeweller’s pocket scales to my armoury for weighing finds precisely. All I need now is to find some precious metal to weigh.

There are plenty of these things about, virtually all made in China. I went for the On Balance Truweigh scale which weighs up to 100g in 0.01g increments. It also weighs in dwt (pennyweight), grains and carats (?) and needs a 100g calibrating weight to initially set it up and then to keep it accurate.

It struck me that pennyweight is precisely that – the official weight of an English silver hammered penny.


Royal Mint to produce commemorative silver pennies

Babies who are born on the same day as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child are to receive a free “lucky” silver penny, the Royal Mint has announced today.

The Royal Mint will be giving away 2,013 of the pennies at an estimated cost of more than £50,000.

The penny, which will be presented in a pink or blue pouch, has been marked with the year 2013 to commemorate the babies’ year of birth and features a shield of the Royal Arms.

Parents of newborns who share their birthday with the third-in-line to the throne need to apply online for one of the 2,013 coins that have been struck by visiting

Royal Mint to produce commemorative silver pennies


Nice idea, but two questions arise:

1. Why, when there is so much concern about gender stereotyping of children, are the coins to be presented in pink or blue pouches?
2. Why should parents only be able to register via Facebook, whose attitude to personal privacy and data abuse is open to such question?

Gloucester medieval penny bought for £2,000 by museum

A 930-year-old silver penny which was found in a field near Gloucester has been sold to a city museum for display.

The medieval coin, hammered during the reign of William the Conqueror, is said to be of “major historical importance”.

Gloucester City Council paid £2,000 for the penny, which was found in Highnam by Maureen Jones, a member of Taynton metal detecting club, in 2011.

Before the discovery, experts had no evidence of coins being minted locally between 1077-1080.

The hammered coin features the name Silacwine and where it was minted.

Gloucester medieval penny bought for £2,000 by museum