Nettie and a Penny Dreadful

27th June 2019 — 9 Comments

Nettie shows some of her finds at a Minelab Day . . .

I really don’t know where this post is going to lead, but I have a rough idea. The catalyst was Golden Girl, Nettie Edmundson. I’ve written about her in the past, but only about her greatest golden finds. See a teaser HERE written for one of my follow-up articles in The Searcher magazine. Sometime soon I will reprise that story in one of my future blogposts.

Nettie is a very successful detectorist and has found other things, of course. I was especially fascinated with what was imaginatively created with the numerous crotal bells she’d found. This multi-talented lady, ‘thought about making a wind chime’. And, for your delight and delectation, here it is:

© Nettie

When Nettie showed her chime on a detecting forum several people made admiring comments; others bemoaned the fact that they had never found even one bell! Chris said, “Brilliant! Not only do you have to much time on your hands … you have too many crotal bells!” Others also commented on what a good idea it was.


Imaginative Uses for the Penny?

Taking the lead from Nettie I’ve researched this subject and suggest what you could do with all the penny coins you find . . . and all the ones you don’t.

How to use the penny test to measure tyre tread

Tire America

Let the Queen’s head tell you if it’s time to replace the tyres on  your car. Insert a one penny piece into the tread. If you can’t cover the top of the head inside the tread, it’s time to replace the tyres. Check regularly and you will avoid breaking the law by having the correct depth of tyre tread. Be sure to check multiple grooves – inner, outer and central. Also works with the Lincoln penny.


Keep cut flowers fresh

Wild flower posies, bouquets and other cut flowers will stay fresh longer if you add a copper penny and a cube of sugar to the vase water. An old wive’s tale? Not so; many florists believe that the copper content of the penny acts as an antibacterial agent. Be sure to use pennies minted before 1992. Since then the penny has been made with copper-plated steel. That’s why they are manky when found by detectorists. See one of my previous blogs.


Making a durable floor

I know this sounds crazy, but if you’d like a real challenge – albeit on a smaller scale – then you might try to emulate Matt Giles from Telford, who said that what he did was, “worth every penny”. A picture speaks a thousand words. Matt’s imaginative and unique work was made from 27,000 pennies. I don’t think for one moment that any one out there has found that many, but it may give you an idea for a project. There is also a video available, but I don’t have permission to use it. You can see it HERE.

Matt and this penny floor. Picture courtesy of the Shropshire Star

Have you heard of this scam?

Just when we think we’ve found a way to protect the car from wrong’uns, they come up with new ways to steal things. Their latest trickery is so devious it’s almost genius, and all it takes is a penny, your car door, and a blind eye.

Have you ever found a penny stuck in the door handle of your car? Adopt the habit of checking the doors – you probably wouldn’t notice it on the passenger side or one of the rear doors, but when you go to lock your car, the coin will keep that door from locking properly, leaving the door open for thieves.

Courtesy of Boredom Therapy

The scoundrel wouldn’t even have to follow you anywhere. They could just wait until you come home from work (say), blissfully unaware that the coin is still lodged in the car door, and steal the vehicle when you go inside.

Use as a makeshift screwdriver

And now, a use off the penny that most of you will be familiar. At a pinch, the coin becomes a remarkably effective flathead screwdriver for slot-headed screws, and a great tool to pry open battery compartments on everything from your TV remote to a keyless entry fob.



It is illegal to deface a coin by altering the date or sum, because of its monetary value, making the coin fraudulent. You can legally drill through a coin, paint it, melt it, or bend it – but the moment you try and use that coin as currency, you are breaking the law.  HMG



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9 responses to Nettie and a Penny Dreadful

  1. As always John an interesting read!

  2. Looking forward to seeing the Bell art in a future Searcher. I think we get a new digital version tonight. ( Friday in Oz)

  3. Hi John. Thanks for another interesting read. Jerry.

  4. wonderful story.John.. i really like that crotal bell wind chime.. I wish that we could find more out my way


  5. what a pity someone stole that large bell she had, it would have sat nicely on the chime. Well done Nettie!

  6. Here’s a cracker!

    My friend Brian Ridley said, “Last year I had blight on my tomatoes so I looked on Google . . . if you cut slightly into the stem of the plant, and wedge a copper coin between, it cures blight. I tried it and it worked! I used an old penny.

    Thank you ALL for the comments.

  7. Or of course you could save up about 300 of them and buy a pint of your favourite ale?? — actually make that about 400!!

    A great read mate, that’s a really interesting one about the penny flowers and sugar cube!!

  8. nettie is one of the nicest ladies you could wish to meet . always smilling and a great detectorist with the golden touch ..shame some low life had to steal from her collection

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