Date nails and the question of the ruby

19 Mar

While hunting the ghost town (now plowed under), the guy who invited us told me about Date Nails. It seems that the railroad companies would put a special nail on the railroad ties to date them with the purpose of knowing when to replace them. I had never heard of this before and I thought it was very neat. We walked along the railroad tracks looking at old discarded ties looking for date nails. The oldest we found were from 1929. How cool is that!?

1929 date nail

In 1929 a worker nailed this to the railroad tie.

Also, I finally took the red stone from the old ring I found metal detecting last year to the jewelry store. Two very nice ladies looked at it. The first said that she thought it was a synthetic ruby because of the abrasions on the stone. The second lady said that it could be a natural ruby that had been abused. I want to agree with the second lady because:

A) The ring seemed very old (the 1 int he 14K stamp had completely worn off!)

B) The ring was in the dirt for I don’t know how long so the abrasions may have come from that.

Anyway. The thing that got resolved beyond doubt was what kind of stone it is. It is a ruby.


It's a ruby!

Now, where do I sell it?

Thank you for looking!


One Response to “Date nails and the question of the ruby”

  1. Patton March 20, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    I goggled date nails and found several web sites that are selling these on line.
    Funny thing is, I have one also to sell. Along with a very old St Louis Lock.

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