Anne Bentley of the Massachusetts Historical Society forwarded this article about a metal detectorist's early American discovery in New Jersey. Thank you. Great find!
The 220-year-old button sifted from New Jersey dirt was the find of a lifetime.
Treasure hunter Michael Reinheimer of Stroudsburg had his headphones on and was in the groove, sweeping the land with his metal detector, so he hoped his friend Rick Pressl had a good reason for sneaking up and startling him.
“He said you’re not going to believe what I just found,” Reinheimer recalled.
Pressl placed a 1789 George Washington inaugural button in his hand.
“My eyes just about fell to the ground. I knew right away what it was from research,” Reinheimer said. “It is the holy grail of buttons. They are so rare.”
The two friends are hobbyist metal detectors. They gained permission to search the Schiff Natural Lands Trust in Mendham, N.J., in late 2007 and have been working the property since then. It was just this summer when four of the rare inaugural buttons were pulled from the ground.
Authenticated by the U.S. Department of Interior, the four buttons are the second set of the same size ever to be found. The other set was also found in northern New Jersey, according to Pressl.
At the time of the nation’s first inauguration, military officers wore the buttons to show support for Washington. Only the elite could afford the buttons, which cost about six months’ salary. Today, they are even more valuable, especially as a set. Early estimates set the value near $7,500 each.
A tray with George Washington’s headquarters in Morristown, N.J.
Congratulations to the finders!
Be sure to read the complete article online for more information on the detective work that went into locating a likely spot to dig for early American artifacts.
To read the complete article, see:
Treasure hunters discover rare George Washington buttons
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2012 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster