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Delaware's Coin Beach

There are many Coin Beaches located along the Delmarva Coastline. You can find coins about every ¼ mile. Many people associate shipwrecks with Florida and the Caribbean. Many people forget that one of the largest ports of call in the early America's was Philadelphia. The only way of reaching this port at a time when our waterways were our highways, was through shipping along the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. This brought to the Delmarva Coast one of the highest concentrations of shipping for hundreds of years. The most well known is actually called Coin Beach. This one mile long stretch of coastline north of Indian River Inlet has produced thousands of coins over the years from the wreck of the Faithful Steward.

The sinking of the Faithful Steward, of course, was an insignificant event in the formationand reformation of the beach. No one remembers when the first coins were found on the beach, but it was probably in the late 1800s when someone picked up from the surf line a corroded copper coin and rubbed it to reveal the image of King George III.

Those first coins were merely considered "old" and were attributed to no particular wreck, as locations of the sinking had been long forgotten. More and more of the coins appeared and by 1920, the beach just north of the Indian River Inlet was already known as "Coin Beach". During the 1930s, the United States Coast Guard personnel that manned the old Life Saving Station about 1.5 miles north of the Indian River Inlet found a way to amuse themselves at their desolate post.

After each severe storm, they searched the beach for coins, and after several years they had literally filled buckets with many thousands of the old half pennies. The number is by no means exaggerated, for by this time, organized groups routinely visited the beach to state their own treasure hunts. One such treasure hunt was reported in a news article of 1937.


Typical copper Irish Half Penny recovered from Coin Beach


Aerial view of Coin Beach

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