January 6, 2010 – England’s Portable Antiquities Scheme is the most successful program on coin finds world-wide. No other country has won so many supporters to co-operate with archaeology. Reporting coin finds by now has there become standard procedure and an affair of honour not least because the finder can be sure that the government will not just confiscate his finds without compensating him. In addition, the archaeologists did manage to build a bridge between science and the “treasure hunters” and to teach the latter the field’s basic methods so that they are enabled to apply them.
A telling example for this is the website where anyone can learn how to identify a Roman coin. At http://www.finds.org.uk/romancoins/index.php pretty much everything is assembled a Roman coin displays. There are the denominations, the inscriptions, the images and the mintmarks.
And, by the way, anyone more interested in Medieval coins should have a look at http://www.finds.org.uk/medievalcoins/ where a manual on Medieval coinages can be found that, however, is partly still under construction.