Another British Invasion?

29 Dec

I returned to the spot where I found the gold button from the Royal Army Pay Corps and although I did not find gold again, I did find this curious medal, about the size of  a U.S. dime:

Unfortunately, I broke it into three pieces when I dug it up and I misplaced the third piece but you can see most of the medal. It says: “Queen Elizabeth The Second” and it includes a profile of the queen.

Something brought subjects of the Crown to my beloved city and during their sojourn they dropped some items for me to find later. Now I am really curious as to what else is under that dirt.

I’ll say this again; people who don’t metal detect will never encounter these mysteries and their lives will be duller.

Thank you for stopping by.

Christmas gold

25 Dec

On Christmas eve, the temperatures were holding on the high 50’s and the sun was out and shining. After a while, my family got busy with things and my wife told me to go and hunt.

I wasn’t planning on disturbing the soil this day and so the XP Deus was not charged. I decided to do a little gold hunting with the mighty Tesoro Compadre.

I spent two hours at the park and for my effort I found this: img_2162

img_2163

This read as a nickel and although it is not marked, I know it is gold. The button has the words Fide Et Fiducia at the bottom and a lion atop a crown above that motto.

This it turns out, is a button from the Royal Army Pay Corps. These guys did the finances for the army of the crown. They were vigent from 1919 t0 1992. What in the world this button was doing in one of our parks, I will never know.

The second piece of gold is not less impressive but I won’t picture it here. Also unmarked, it tests as 22k gold with my old acid. It is super soft and about 1 oz heavy. The signal was that of a pulltab. You can id things on the Compadre by dialing the discrimination up or down. Anyway, when I came home, I ran both pieces by the Deus and the id’s remained the same.

The problem with these two pieces is that since they are unmarked, no one around here will pay me for more than 10K gold. The thing to do is to send it to a smelter but I quit doing that a while ago when they lost a necklace with diamonds on it and only gave me $18 dollars for my trouble.

I’ll figure something out later. Meanwhile, I have the day off tomorrow and the day promises to be a beautiful one. I will go see what other gold may be lurking under the dirt. Hopefully I can find enough to finance my next detector.

Thank you for stopping by.

The Conquest of Henry Park

23 Nov

A long time ago, I foolishly declared that I would find silver coins in every old park in our fair city. By sheer luck, I’ve managed to do that at almost every old park except for one; Henry park.

I got the information about Henry park’s founding from a city web page that no longer exists. If I recall, the park opened in 1886; a neighborhood park the size of a city block. Today, the park is a flat piece of land with no trees in it. The oldest trees on its periphery, could be from the 1940’s. Only recently, the city put some modern play equipment on one of its corners.

I hunted this park once or twice in the last five years and didn’t find any silver coins. Today, I wanted to give it another shot and took my XP Deus metal detector and two hours in an incredibly beautiful day. For the first hour and half, the park behaved exactly as before. I found nothing but aluminum foil and a few pieces of rusted wire (there are lots of wire at this park for some reason). However, towards the end of my hunt, the park began to act its age. At about 6 inches down I found a 1942 War nickel. A few minutes later I pulled the bottom of a shotgun shell known around these parts as a head stamp. Last came a small silver earring.

Henry park loot

Henry park November 23 2016

henrypark02earringdetail

I see that I need to spend more time at this park. It is incredibly trashy for not having any amenities and for not being used very much. I also suspect that sometime after the Second World War, this park was filled and graded, putting the coins from the turn of the century out of reach. I could be wrong. I aim to find out.

Thank you for stopping by.

Lots of square inches, lots of coins

18 Nov

I hunted a site that has been active in our city’s history since its very beginnings. The school sitting there is the modern version of the school that was there in the 1870’s. Unfortunately, the dirt at this site has been moved countless times as other structures were built and torn down and at least one railway crossed it. Still, I was hopeful a coin or two may have been left unmolested in the ground.

After almost an hour of digging bits of zinc and old brass, I managed to dig a 1940 wheat cent, then my lunch hour was over. On my way back to the car I could see the thousands of square inches I did not ran my coil over, each with the potential of having a coin under it.

I have mentioned this before. If you think of the site you are working as a collection of square inches, then, maybe, you will be more careful about exploring each and every one of those square inches. I am just saying.

Again, I didn’t take a picture of my wheat; you know what a wheat looks like. I am really enjoying my metal detecting these days. I hope you all are too.

Thank you for stopping by.

The return to the Iron Pit

17 Nov

For lunch today, I returned to the Iron Pit. The Iron Pit is a segment of river bank where, a few years back, I found a number of wheats and other old bits just laying on the surface. Eventually the Iron Pit yielded silver and gold and many other cool things. One of the funnest things about the Iron Pit, was finding a relatively large number of small silver pieces; charms, small rings, bits of earrings; that sort of thing.

Along with all that, I found a number of small transportation tokens from the early days of Wichita. I suspect, although I never was able to corroborate this, that this spot was a stop in the InterUrban rail system that existed in my city before the 1940’s. This would explain the amount of coinage and tokens and the bits of silver jewelry (plus two gold rings). This would also explain the high concentration of iron there.

Since I am back to gold hunting, I decided to return to see if the rains of the past couple of years had washed up something I missed. I didn’t take a picture but today i found a number of bits of foil and two non-ferrous targets: a 1928 wheat cent and a brass ring, not the jewelry kind, more like it belonged to some machine. Both items gave nice signals and neither was deeper than five inches.

I think the Iron Pit is ready to give up more goodies. Stay tuned.

Thank you for stopping by.

Fall Day Silver

11 Nov

For lunch today I took Maurice, my XP Deus metal detector, to a section of river bank where I found a number of rings a few years back. My intention was to dig all mid-tones. A good number of pulltabs are no longer buried there and this:
1942mercury

Not too shaby. I plan on returning and finish cleaning the area of all foil and pulltabs.

Thank you for stopping by.

So many coins, so little time

3 Nov

Yesterday, I went back to a couple of spots that have been producing coins for me. The first was at the 1884 park where I have an 5′ x 10′ area that won’t stop giving up coins and the second was at another old park (1887) where I pulled a number of old coins this past Summer from an area equally as small.

I didn’t take a picture but I found two wheats from one park and one wheat and two copper pennies from the 70’s from the other. Again, these coins were there every time I hunted those two spots before and I missed them.

Anyway, today at lunch I tried a different park (1886) and as I was detecting, the thought struck me that there hundreds of spots in the old parks where I’ve never ran my detector. The possibilities are endless.

You may think me overly optimistic for no reason but in fact I do have a reason and I am going to tell you about it.
Before the Great Depression, Wichita was a happening place. I don’t mean just a good place to be at; I mean THE place to be at. Wichita was slated to become the next Chicago. Movers and shakers were relocating here in troves. Opportunity flowed through the city streets and anyone with a modicum of spunk could make it big. All these successful and driven people needed a place to be seen and a place to relax after a hard day of getting rich and our city parks were a great place to do just that. That is why I get excited at the thought of all those areas in our old parks I’ve never touched.

Before I had to go back to work, I pursued a faint signal under an old tree among a roar of iron grunts. at the bottom of a nine inch hole sat a spoon:
img_2130

Sometime in the 20’s I would guess, one of those early Wichita dreamers sat near the Arkansas river with his lovely companion to have a pick-nick. Between laughter, drinks, and talk about their bright future, one of them dropped this spoon and forgot all about it.
(Or a hobbo during the Depression ate his hobbo stew with an old spoon he found somewhere). Take your pick. It is still a cool find.

Thank you for stopping by.

Masking is the new frontier

31 Oct

Sunday evening I returned to the 1884 park with my trusty XP Deus metal detector.

I wanted to spend a little more time at the spot where I found the two Mercury dimes Saturday morning. This time I began my hunt with a high recovery speed and stayed at the same 5’x 10′ area.

I decided to try a two tone approach but it was tricky deciding on the cut-off for iron. I didn’t want to miss any small gold so I probably left the setting too low because I ended up digging about 20 rusty nails. Still, the hunt was productive:
img_2125

Iron was found with every target except for the new dime, which was on the surface. The Mercury dime was a faint signal in spite of being only about six inches deep. I attribute this to the Jack that was in the hole with it. The Nickel is from 1949 and was found as part of a pocket spill with the two Wheat cents.

Let me recap so I can paint a picture for you. The area is approximately 5 feet by 10 feet. I conservatively estimate that I have dug more than 200 rusty nails and pieces of other iron from it since I began hunting the spot three years ago. During this hunt I dug two large pieces of iron near the surface. I find large pieces of iron near the surface every time I dig here. There appears to be no end to it.

Why all the iron? I surmise a structure stood here a long time ago; possibly even before the swing set stood there. I think this because I have dug very old door hinges and other pieces of iron that hold wood together from here. Theory number two is that the spot where the park now sits was used as a dump, which I understand was common on the old days. All the coins I have found here harken back to the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, when the swing set sat there.

There you have it. A classic case of iron masking. There is something called silent masking. As I understand it, this is the case when you hear neither the iron nor the non ferrous target being masked. In other words, the coil goes over both the iron and the coin but the detector makes no noise at all. I believe this is happening here as well.

Stay tuned to see if I am right about this.

Thank you for stopping by.

Back to silver

29 Oct

I returned to the park this morning where I found the token the other day with the aim of exploring more deep signals with my XP Deus metal detector. I have been using the 9 inch coil lately to try to get around the trash.

I selected an area I haven’t explored in several years. I remember this area was heavily infested by foil and pull tabs but today I was amused to find out that the area was relatively clear of shallow trash. Seems like other hunters have been working the spot. After an hour of nothing but deep chunks of rusted iron, I changed my strategy. One of the beautiful things about the XP Deus is that it is ridiculously fast. At its slowest setting, it is as fast as many other machines at their fastest. This is known.

So I raised my recovery speed to 3 and moved to the 5’x10′ area where I have found 99 percent of all coins at this park. I actually watched a guy with an Etrack several years ago grid this very same spot and come up empty handed. I myself have come up empty handed several times but today, I was in a good mental place and got in the ‘zone’ quickly. I must add that the reason why a high recovery speed is necessary at this location is that if you sink your digger to about seven to eight inches randomly, you will likely find rusted nails and several small round pieces of amorphous rusted iron. I know that in the 30’s and 40’s there was play equipment here but why all the nails and other rusted iron are there I’ll never know. Here are my non-ferrous targets:
hyde102016

The round piece of rusted iron is a steel wheat cent. This is either the third or fourth I have dug since I began back in 2011. The rivet, I was told by my friend lawdog1, is likely from a pair of old overalls. The two mercs were around six inches deep but barely gave a signal as they were heavily masked by iron. I wonder how many more coins are there being silently masked by the insane amount of iron.

I will continue to explore this spot in the coming weeks to see if I can squeeze more silver from it.

Thank you for stopping by!

An interesting token

25 Oct

I stopped by a very old park where I have found a number of silver coins and some big gold before. I only intended to hunt for maybe 10 minutes mostly to test something.  After I dug up a couple of very deep chunks of iron, I got another such deep signal and after digging an 11+ inch hole I thought for sure I would find yet another chunk of rusted iron when to my surprise, a round shape was sitting on the dirt:

For a split second I thought I had a large cent but my brain quickly discarded that idea. I could see the date plainly: 1837 and the back had a design common to British coins so I thought I had a British coin but I was wrong on that count as well.

This is a British gaming token known as a Cumberland Jack. The token was first minted in 1837 when young Victoria became queen. Because she was a woman, queen Victoria could not assume the throne of Hanover due to some law that prohibited women from ruling that part of the world. So that post went to a certified jackass duke of Cumberland. This token was made in derision of him. The token was outlawed in 1883, which coincidentally, is one year before the park I found this beauty at was opened.

This is not the first token I’ve found with a super cool history. A few years ago I found a token from the East. You can read about it here.

Not the Seated coin I was looking for but alas, it is a very cool token if you ask me.

Thank you for stopping by.