Another controversial post

6 Mar

I took my XP Deus metal detector, Maurice, to an old park I frequent. I have found my share of silver at this park. The park goes back over 100 years so there are old, deep coins there. As with all the parks in my beloved city, this one has been hunted thoroughly. So it was sort of a surprise when, upon moving to a spot new to me, I began to find clad. In the 40 minutes I was there I found four clad dimes and two memorials, all from the 60’s with the exception of a 1959 memorial and none deeper than 5 inches.

Now my friend Steve would say that somebody cherry-picked the silver. But I don’t believe that is possible. Yes, let me put that succinctly: You Can Not Cherry-pick Silver.

Oh I can hear you all now: “You ignorant fool”, “What do YOU know, pulltab?”, “I know a guy who can do it”. Yes, it is true that I don’t know every machine out there. But I don’t have to. All I have to know is this: If there was a machine out there that could cherry-pick silver, it would by now, be the only machine in the market, having put all other brands out of business.

Wha-wha-wha-whaaaaat!!?? Yes. This is why that would happen. We, metal detectorists we, are braggarts. We love to show off our finds. That is why we have blogs, forums and clubs and that is why we like to hunt with friends. The second we unearth something shiny and cool, we turn into 9 year olds again, and we rush to tell our buddies about it. And our friends oblige and ooh and aah at our cool, cool find. Don’t deny it. I’ve seen it happen many times. When my friend lawdog1 found his super cool Seated quarter, I was doing cartwheels for him, and I thought he was the coolest guy in the world because he found that coin.

And so, if there was a detector out there that could cherry-pick silver, we would ALL know about it by now. And we would know whatever settings we needed to make the cherry-picking happen. No matter how well guarded the secret, somebody would tell his close friend, who would tell his close friend, who would brag about it in a forum. When LookingForSeated and those guys were finding all that silver with their E-tracs, suddenly everyone was buying etracs. When people began finding all kinds of cool things with their AT Pro, the AT Pro began to sell like hot cakes. So when this mythical machine appears, this pattern will hold.

Now, this is not to say that the Etrac and the AT Pro are not good machines; they are in fact, very good machines, but neither of them can cherry-pick silver. I have hunted with enough Etrac users by now, to know that the Etrac users will get fooled by an aluminum wine screwcap as often as AT Pro users are. I, with the mighty Deus, still dig aluminum screw caps because they can sound just like a dime. About the only time a detector might cherry-pick silver is if the conditions are ideal, the user fully experienced with the machine, and the dimes are on the surface, laying flat.

But don’t let me bring you down. I myself will be very sad the day they finally make a machine that can id a buried object with 100% accuracy at 24 inches deep. Right now I rather enjoy the uncertainty of metal detecting; it makes finding those keepers so much sweeter.

***Ozarks from the Ozarks Metal Detecting Blog, points out that you can cherry pick tones and I agree. That’s the best you can hope for. But if you are leaving coins in the ground because you are sure they are not silver, please let me know where you hunt! :)***

Thank you for stopping by.


12 Responses to “Another controversial post”

  1. Ozarks March 6, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    The term cherry picking doesn’t mean that a guy isn’t alos finding aluminum, copper and brass targets too. It merely means a guy is hunting the high tones. By nature, if a person only digs high tones, they will dig less foil, less tabs and less iron. He can cover more ground while hunting the high tones only, amd thus increases his chance at finding silver coins which are high tones. It isn’t so much what the detector can do, it’s a technique that the user can do to increase the percentage of silvers to trash dug ratios. Cherry picking high tones would be a better term. That same guy will miss some great targets like gold, or even silvers that don’t give clean tones, but cherry picking is one technique that a person can use. It doesn’t mean that his detector can do something that no other machine can do. It means the user is only listening for clean silver tones among the trash. 🙂

    • pulltabMiner March 6, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

      Ozarks, you are absolutely right and I should have clarified in the post. However, some people around here actually believe that you can tell a clad dime from a silver dime while the coin is in the ground. I think that’s insane!

      • Winston Smith March 7, 2015 at 10:32 am #

        ptM, I must respectfully disagree with your statement that no machine can distinguish a clad from a silver dime. I run a CTX and its not always clear that the target is silver, but my Safari gives a silver tone and reads 39(or in less than 1% of the cases a 38) over every silver target. I have never had the Safari over silver that it didn’t id it as such (speaking of the dug targets, of course- you never know about the ones you leave in the ground). Anytime Safari said 39 and gave the hi silver tone, I dug. And it was silver.
        I have 400-500 silver targets recovered with the Safari fwiw.

        Also a hunt buddy runs an ATP and he claims to be able to tell the silver difference also. I cant cite you his stats but I have seen him do it and believe his claim.

  2. Ozarks March 7, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    Right, we might be able to call a silver occasionally but not all the time. I know if I’m finding quarters that it couldn’t have been cherry picked. Now I do know that for me usually a silver will be one or two numbers higher on TID. But thats not 100% of the time.

  3. Dave McCarthy March 7, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    With my Minelab Explorer there is a slight variation in tone between a clad coin and it’s silver counterpart. But of course that is in an ideal situation where there is no other metals in close proximity. Which is almost never .. 😆

    • pulltabMiner March 10, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

      Dave, I have been detecting for 3 years I have yet to find the ideal situation around here LOL! But you are right, I said in the article that under ideal conditions, it may be possible to id a silver coin 100%. Even then, the experience of the person plus their knowledge level of the machine, heck, even their mood that day, can make those ideal conditions moot. I have been curious about the Safari for some time now. I am in search for a deeeeep detector (10 inches plus at least) but when I give up that wild goose chase, I may buy a Safari. Seems that a lot of people are very happy with their pre-etrac Minelab machines. I am kind of excited about the new wireless, collapsible, GoFind Minelabs.Thank you for commenting and thank you for stopping by!

  4. lawdog1 March 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    Personally, I prefer “iron picking”! Nice article, I think you’re right on.

    • pulltabMiner March 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

      Now, you know about my fail-proof method for finding all the coins at any given site: dig all the iron signals. LOL!

  5. Clark Rickman March 9, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    Excellent post! I completely agree. I’ve pulled more great finds from sites that have been hunted by others than all of the “virgin” sites I’ve hunted put together.

    • pulltabMiner March 10, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

      Clark, that is proof enough for me that no one can successfully cherry pick silver. Sure, there are people who are good at id’ing a silver based on the signal, but I have pulled enough silver out of pulltab signals, zinc signals and trashy signals to know that if your are not digging signals because you are sure they are not silver, then you are leaving a lot of silver in the ground. Thank you for commenting.

  6. pulltabMiner March 10, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Winston, The myriad conditions under which a coin can be sitting in the ground make it impossible to cherry pick silver, that is, take out only the silver targets out of the dirt and leave only the non-silver targets. To start with, there are the masked coins, which in the estimation of many people, number in the thousands if not the tens of thousands (I believe they number in the millions). then you have coins sitting next to other metal items which will inevitably confuse the discrimination circuit of the machine. Last, there are those baffling mysteries for which there is no answer, such the number of silver coins I have found with a pull tab signal (and no tab found) and with zinc signals (where no zincoln was found). I am not even going to talk about the bag full of small silver jewelry that I have found with foil signals. But even if the Safari could overcome all these obstacles, why did Minelab bother to continue to make detectors? Seems to me the Safari would be the Holy Grail of detectors and like I said, put all the other detector companies out of business. I do not doubt in the least, that you have the ability to find silver with the Safari, but unless you dig every target in your path, you cannot be assured that you have successfully cherry picked all the silver. Now, there is always the chance that I am wrong and so I am glad you commented here as all sides should always be considered. Thank for stopping by!

  7. Ozarks September 6, 2017 at 11:44 pm #

    Came back for another read, great post!

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