Small change could prove a rich find for Warrnambool's Peter Ronald after he discovered a Queen Victoria threepence coin on a leisurely afternoon walk near Thunder Point.
The maritime archaeologist and former Flagstaff Hill director was walking with his dog Chino towards Shelly Beach when he found the coin.
"I found the coin in an Aboriginal midden along the coast - it was rather corroded but its black circular shape stood out," he said.
"It could possibly pre-date European settlement of Warrnambool in the mid-1840s, which would be a significant historical find. "The face side of Queen Victoria is still noticeable and given the design it could be from as far back as 1838 as the profile was used between that time and the late 1860s."
Mr Ronald said it was possible the coin was a small remnant of one of the numerous shipwrecks that occurred off the south-west coast in the 19th century.
"There was about 100 shipwrecks between 1835 and 1870 so it would be hard to determine which one exactly, but it is a possibility that it was from a shipwreck," he said.