One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pit or trench sunk through surface deposits in order to locate a vein of ore and ascertain its extent.
no object To sink a costean.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in William Pryce (d. 1790), surgeon, mineralogist, and antiquary. Origin uncertain; perhaps from an otherwise unattested Cornish phrase or compound from a first element of uncertain origin + sten tin<br>mid 19th century; earliest use found in Cornwall Royal Gazette. From costean.
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