Relic hunter and collector Marc Sciance thought he had stumbled
across another Civil War bullet Oct. 21, 2006, while metal detecting
near Fredericksburg, Va. Instead, what he found was a heavily worn
1792 silver half disme as he sifted through a clump of soil.
Sciance considered the discovery of an example of the nation’s first
silver 5-cent coin his best in 24 years of metal detecting, a pursuit
sparked by his father.
Heavily worn, the piece was considered at the time to be
approximately in Fair 2 condition. Approximately 50 to 100 examples of
the 1792 half disme are known in all grades.
Sciance consigned the find to Stack’s March 20, 2007, auction, where
it was offered as having an About Good 3 obverse and Fair 2 reverse.
The coin realized $11,500, which included a 15 percent buyer’s fee.