Home Metal Detecting

A Confession, a "What the Heck is That?", and Further Adventures.

CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 9, 2023 3:16AM in Metal Detecting

First, the confession. I've been detecting since the Fall of 2020, after the wife gave me a Garret ATPro for my birthday - (little did she know what she was creating!). The ATPro is a good detector, and I've learned a lot using it, but decided to expand to the Minelab Equinox. Fast forward to recent times, and I'm probably approaching 100 hunts. During all this time, I've read the updates on the metal-detecting forum with much interest, privately enjoying the "finds" many of you have experienced, yet I’ve never posted anything... until today. While I've found many hundreds of items, coins - mostly clad/copper cents, I've been very fortunate to find many silver pieces as well - a few Barber Quarters & Dimes, Standing Lib Quarters, and many silver Merc/Rosie dimes and Washington Quarters, jewelry/rings, etc... So I wanted to thank you all for the insight and stories you've provided that have helped me hone my rudimentary skills over a short period of time.

Now on to the "What the Heck is That?"

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hunt an old farm site (circa 1825). After a few hours of sifting through numerous clad and copper hits in the front & side yards, (the copper was all Memorial cent-era), I decided to shift over to the back yard. I was happy to hit a couple of silver pieces near a large pine tree (Rosie dime & Washie Quarter), which got the adrenaline pumping, but after an hour or so, I just kept hitting on more clad dimes & Memorial cents. It was like someone had at one time simply flung a roll of dimes & pennies into the yard back in the 70's for a kid’s “change hunt”. Keeping the momentum going, I hit on a target that was ringing up just like the multiple Memorial cents I'd already pulled from the ground. I even said to myself as I prepared to dig the hole "Ok, let's go get that Memorial cent!" Once I pulled the plug, a large clog dropped into the hole - about 6-7 inches deep. After pinpointing the target within this clog, I pulled it out and broke it in two. Upon turning the "hot half" over, I saw this...

I immediately thought... "What the heck is that... a foreign coin?"... until I pulled it from the layer and turned it over... I immediately recognized it, and have to say I was blown away.

After getting it home and giving it a rinse, here 'tis - along with the Rosie & Washie. I'm surprised given the amount of its remaining detail - most of the Barber dimes I've found have been well-worn, nearly wafer-thin. I'd give it an XF? grade with a few hairlines, which is to be expected from spending decades in the ground. It's definitely the oldest silver (I've uncovered several large cents) and the first and only Seated Liberty coin I've yet to find.
The wife likened it to finding a "little silver unicorn".


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Comments

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,967 ✭✭✭✭

    That's a great find. Although not super deep, the AT Pro might not have found it because old farm sites are often full of iron that masks the high conductors.

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,580 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude Very nice. I also use an AT Pro with great results. Try Pro zero setting, Iron discrimination at 35, notch out everything up to 66, ground balance and you're ready to go. In loamy soil, I hit coins at 10-12". Of course, shallow targets mask whatever is deeper. I revisit productive areas after I dig all the shallow stuff. Good luck. Ho ho ho! Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Namvet69 said:
    @CharlotteDude Very nice. I also use an AT Pro with great results. Try Pro zero setting, Iron discrimination at 35, notch out everything up to 66, ground balance and you're ready to go. In loamy soil, I hit coins at 10-12". Of course, shallow targets mask whatever is deeper. I revisit productive areas after I dig all the shallow stuff. Good luck. Ho ho ho! Peace Roy

    Wow… thanks Roy. I will definitely give that a try. My only real issue with the ATPro is the volume control. With the wireless headphones, it’s fine, but without the HPs, I can’t seem to adjust the external volume… too loud depending on location sometimes. In the heat of the summer, wearing headphones is not practical for me. Thanks again!

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  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Bayard1908 said:
    That's a great find. Although not super deep, the AT Pro might not have found it because old farm sites are often full of iron that masks the high conductors.

    Agree Bayard - there was a lot of iron junk throughout. I’m sure I missed a few good pieces (using the Nox 600) because of masking issues. Not sure how to fully resolve that short of digging every signal up. .

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  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,580 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude I can ignore the volume and lack of adjustment. Just put a piece of tape over part of the speaker. I'm listening for those real short high tone chirps between the mid and low blips. Often I'll pull a coin out between a cut nail and a ferrous remnant cause the coil hits all three. The hunt continues. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,967 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 11, 2022 5:51PM

    @CharlotteDude said:

    Agree Bayard - there was a lot of iron junk throughout. I’m sure I missed a few good pieces (using the Nox 600) because of masking issues. Not sure how to fully resolve that short of digging every signal up. .

    If you are in lots of iron turn your recovery speed up to 3 on your Equinox 600. If you have an Equinox 800 use recovery speed 5 or 6, which would be the equivalent of 3 on the Equinox 600.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude ... Great story, great pictures and a great find. That is a very productive site you have there... Good luck, I am sure there is much more to be found. Cheers, RickO

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,967 ✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude said:

    Agree Bayard - there was a lot of iron junk throughout. I’m sure I missed a few good pieces (using the Nox 600) because of masking issues. Not sure how to fully resolve that short of digging every signal up. .

    Something else that has given me a number of good finds with the Equinox 600 is to dig signals that are less than text book two way hits. If I get a good signal in one direction and then turn 90 degrees, I will dig even if the perpendicular signal is just a tiny chirp coming through my discrimination pattern.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dig everything... miss nothing. Lots of extra effort, but think of it as exercise. ;) Cheers, RickO

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks gents. I do plan to go back there soon, armed with both the ATPro and Nox. I just noticed that I miss-typed the date the home is noted in county records as being built… 1825 vice 1875… here has to be more out there.

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  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude .... Wow... That gives you an additional 50 years of opportunity for lost treasures..... Good luck, we look forward to the next installment. Cheers, RickO

  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    all nice silver finds, wtg :)

  • TreashuntTreashunt Posts: 6,747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    Dig everything... miss nothing. Lots of extra effort, but think of it as exercise. ;) Cheers, RickO

    agreed!

    Frank

    BHNC #203

  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,668 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great finds!

  • Wow! The condition of that seated liberty dime is incredible!

  • Steven59Steven59 Posts: 8,146 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great find!

  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,194 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wonderful! When I saw that reverse in the action shot, it gave me chills and reminded me of the day I dug an 1839 dime.


    Explore collections of lordmarcovan on CollecOnline, management, safe-keeping, sharing and valuation solution for art piece and collectibles.
  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A continuation of recent outdoor adventures. This was at the location of a dwelling built in 1894…
    The hole:

    The plug:

    The target:

    At first, I had to do a double take before I realized it was a Barber quarter… 1909. Upon rinsing it off, and giving a light “scrub” with a wet q-tip, it’s still quite blotchy… is there anything milder than acetone one can soak coins that have been in contact with soil/elements for decades that can make them more presentable?

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  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can use alcohol... but my preference would be acetone... removes all organics and does not harm the metal. Great pictures. Look forward to seeing the coin without the dirt. Cheers, RickO

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,967 ✭✭✭✭

    In my experience, badly stained coins can be improved by applying dip such as EZest or Jeweluster with a cotton swab. Unfortunately, although the stain can be removed or reduced, the coin will usually end up with an artificial looking dull gray appearance that is unattractive. I wouldn't try it except on a coin that is so ugly that you have nothing to lose.

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ok… here it is after a few minutes in acetone, with a rinse and a little more work with a dampened Q-tip. Still blotchy, but better than it was before the acetone soak. That Tarheel soil sure left its mark on her over the years.

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  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It is improved... However, I would recommend a long soak in acetone (keep the container covered due to evaporation). Then some work with a rose thorn. It should remove most of the black discoloration, but surface metal degradation will still be evident. Cheers, RickO

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,967 ✭✭✭✭

    I would leave that coin alone, not much upside to working on it.

  • metalmeistermetalmeister Posts: 4,584 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great finds!

    email: [email protected]

    100% Positive BST transactions
  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Okay… the effort continues despite the temps dipping into the 20’s overnight. A recent opportunity to get out to a local residence, registered as built in 1900.

    Sometimes you can only tell you have “something good” just by the 3rd side… i,e,… the rim.


    And then this one….

    That then revealed…

    After the rinse…

    The Merc is surprising… dated 1919 with excellent detail, and what looks to be FSB?

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  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,967 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 28, 2022 7:20PM

    Pity about the environmental damage on the Mercury dime. You've got some harsh soil. Early Mercury dimes are rarely dug having that much detail.

  • You could try wetting the coin and fold a piece of baking foil over it and gently rub your fingers together in a circular motion, I tried this method on this James l hammered shilling I found on Tuesday, it highlights the raised points on the coin.





  • No HeadlightsNo Headlights Posts: 2,024 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Enjoy as is. A barber quarter is a great find. But the reality is this coin is probably only worth melt. Head back to the site and find another one with a New Orleans mint. Good luck.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude... Nice finds... That Merc does look like FSB.... Cheers, RickO

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First hunt opportunity of 2023 — After spending New Year’s Eve and the past week in Aruba, I was able to get out and visit an old 1925 homesite this morning once the temps eased up over the freezing mark. After about 30 minutes of pulling the usual copper cents and clad, I came across a deep, yet strong, promising signal by an old oak tree in the front yard, street side corner. Upon pulling the plug up, this little guy appeared… it had been in the crease, just above where the coin is laying in the pic.

    Here’s the obverse:

    And reverse:

    Moving on to the backyard, I hit another deep, strong target along a walkway that leads to a garage- like structure.
    If you look closely, you can see the target in the plug at an angle, just left of center… those silver rims stick out like spotlight nearly every time:

    And for a close-up:

    And the pair after a little clean-up:

    The final yield for this brief soirée was only 14 copper cents and 4 quarters. Four of the coppers are wheaties (still processing them), and of the four quarters, two are silver. Although the total number of finds was quite low, I’ll take a 50% silver ratio in quarters any day.

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  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,580 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude I have had good results soaking dirty silver like your 09 Q in hydrogen peroxide overnight. The oxygen reacts with organic particles and dissolves them. Might be a good coin to try it on. Good luck. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks Roy. I’m going to give that a try. At its current state, I don’t think it could harm it any worse!

    Got Crust....y gold?
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Two silver quarters... Very nice... I agree with the peroxide soak.... Good luck. Cheers, RickO

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Back out again today… temps started out in the low 30’s, but rose quickly headed to the 50’s by late morning. I didn’t have a lot of time, so hit only a couple of spots. First stop was a permission home that was built in 1928. As far as home properties go, I generally stick with dwellings built no later than 1940… the earlier the better. An area between an old oak and picket fence in the corner of the front yard was a brief hot spot yielding a ‘45 Quarter and several wheaties. The quarter was a surprise, as the signal was more in the dime range. My phone was in the car, so unfortunately no action shots. Upon finishing up without any further interesting finds, it was on to an old park with both baseball and football fields that go back to the ‘50’s and perhaps even the ‘40’s. Along the periphery of the football field I hit a deep target in the high dime range. This popped out…



    After finishing my line and heading back around, another hot signal…

    I finished up with a sterling silver ring that was barking like a quarter… the field yielded a ton of clad quarters (26) and dimes (30), considering the limited amount of time (and area covered) I was there.
    After the clean up, here’s the silver yield.

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  • SurfinxHISurfinxHI Posts: 2,322 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent!

    Dead people tell interesting tales.
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude... Nice silver pieces and what a major haul of clad quarters and dimes.... :o Cheers, RickO

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hit an old ballpark yesterday since the temps were holding in the mid-40’s. First hit was a nickel signal, which I rarely dig due to the majority of them being pull-tabs. This signal was deep… 9-10 inches, but strong, so shoveling I went. At first I didn’t know what it was… knew it was nickel sized, but at first thought it was foreign design, so no action shots. Later, I hit a good dime signal and was ready as soon as I saw the “white” of silver. Aside from a healthy number of wheaties and more clad/copper, that’s about the extent of yesterday’s limited adventure. The nickel was a cool find… my first Liberty “V” nickel, dated 1896.


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  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,580 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nickels suffer at the hands of fertilizer. You could play with that nickel with Nik-a-date. Which is mild nitric acid. Nice finds. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice finds... That nickel has been in the ground a looooonnnnnggg time.... Cheers, RickO

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Had a few hours to burn yesterday morning, so I went out to visit a couple of permissions - the first was an old horse farm house built @ 1870; the 2nd was a much more recent build - 1940. According to the owners, the farmhouse had already been detected once @ 7-8 years ago, and it was evident by the amount/items I was able to find. Other than a few copper cents and clad, I did pull an interesting St Christopher medallion. After a couple hours of very limited finds, it was off to the other location. Finds were definitely better there - two Mercs, with a few wheaties to boot.
    Merc #1 - this was the very first target I encountered in the front yard, about 4-5 feet from the front steps.

    Merc #2 - this one was in the middle of the back yard, by a crepe myrtle that I doubt was there when the coin was dropped. I had to pry it from the top of a root, about 7-8 inches down. It’s amazing how bright silver can sometimes look, coming out of the ground after decades, only to oxidize and darken after a few hours.

    The wheaties were all found in the back yard, in a cluster area about 10-12 feet from the Merc, all dating in the 40’s & 50’s. The soil in this southern MD location has not been kind to them.
    Here’s a group shot of the good stuff.

    Happy hunting!

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  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Silver and wheaties.... a good sign that more will be found... Cheers, RickO

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2, 2023 5:38PM

    Today, I had the opportunity to take advantage of mild temperatures before the onset of a brutal freeze predicted for tomorrow in the mid-Atlantic region by sliding out of work a few hours early to visit a nearby permission. The location is a farm house built in 1925 that I had partially detected last Spring, but only the front of the residence were I was fortunate to find a Merc and a silver Rosie. Today, I only had a couple of hours, so I focused on the back yard. There, I came across a few copper memorial cents, a wheatie or two, a horse shoe, and then I hit this. Although it was darker than the usual silver find, I could immediately tell it wasn’t clad by its reeding/rim.

    and then not 4 feet from that, I hit this one…

    After several outward spirals from the quarter hits, I came across this… as soon as I saw its edge, I knew it was silver.


    After a few clad, memorial and a couple more wheatie hits, I had to wrap it up and head home…. Maybe the old farm is worth a revisit.
    Here is the lineup… the standing lib is dateless, but I’ll happily accept it into the fold. The wheaties are awfully toasty… can’t read two of the dates. The middle two are 1944 & 1946, respectively.

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  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Silver and wheaties.... Great hunt before the big freeze. Cheers, RickO

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,580 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Someone's having fun. Nice.

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 4, 2023 6:38AM

    @Namvet69 said:
    Someone's having fun. Nice.

    Exactly. My wife thinks it’s funny how one minute I’m showing or talking higher grade early or branch mint gold, but the next I’m happily talking about the “cool, but worn silver dime” I found in the yard at some old house or farm. I like to characterize it as liberating these old silver coins from their entombment and can only imagine how they got there in the first place.

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  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude .... Yep... That is an anomaly we all experience.... High grade gold or silver in our collection, but thrilled at finding silver in the dirt..... Yippee.... :D Don't lose it... the thrill of finding treasure. Cheers, RickO

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    @CharlotteDude .... Yep... That is an anomaly we all experience.... High grade gold or silver in our collection, but thrilled at finding silver in the dirt..... Yippee.... :D Don't lose it... the thrill of finding treasure. Cheers, RickO

    Thank you, RickO… I plan to embrace it, hold it, squeeze it and call it George for as long as the legs and back allow me to!

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  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CharlotteDude.... Roll on brother... Life is for the living. Cheers, RickO

  • CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,846 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 13, 2023 3:46AM

    Got out both Saturday and yesterday before the rain set in during the late morning. Hit a familiar park on Saturday where I found lots of clad (37 quarters and a SBA dollar), 12 wheaties and one silver - 1924 Merc dime. Yesterday, I was able to detect a 1915-built permission where I started in the right front yard and got a good signal, pulled the plug and this fell out of the crumbled edge…



    Later, in the back yard, another good signal, and this…


    Back in the front yard, left side, yet another good signal… notice it just right of the hole?

    Coin’s reverse:

    And obverse:

    I knew it was a good when I could make out ribbons in the lower left…

    The total silver and wheatie group for Sunday (yesterday):

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  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,967 ✭✭✭✭

    I am having difficulty finding public sites that still have silver remaining to be found. What is your procedure for obtaining permissions? You seem to have a lot of opportunities on private property.

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