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Getting to know it

12 May

It was nice and sunny today at lunch so I took Dragomir, my Blisstool V3 metal detector to the oldest park in the city. I’ve talked about this park before. It is a small park, smaller than a city block in fact but it has produced some nice silver and other old coinage for me with a variety of metal detectors.

As far as trash, this park is at DEFCON 4. It is hard to hunt with any detector if you don’t have the patience. Definitely it is the kind of park where a small coil would be indicated. Except that the coins I am hunting are too deep for a small coil. So I must endure the cacophony of beeps.

After I successfully ground balanced the Bliss manually (I had to clean a spot using auto ground balance in order to do it) I eventually got the kind of signal I was looking for. I decided to implement the Money Maker Protocol because now that I can manually ground balance the machine, I get fooled by shallow small aluminum. At any rate after making sure that it was no shallow small aluminum I kept digging until I got to the target:

1916D

No silver but yet another old coin. 1916 D Wheat cent. No too badly worn so it must have been dropped closed to its mint date. This cent was minted when the U.S. had not yet entered WWI and Wichita was experiencing a growth boom.

With time and practice, my ears will become more attuned to the winning signals.

Thank you for stopping by.

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Out of my control…or Can’t catch a break

4 May

After using the Bliss for a few days I noticed somethings were not working as they should.

Never being one to blame the machine, I knew the issues were due to my inexperience with Dragomir. I reached out to a more knowledgeable Blisstool user and he gave me some pointers to properly do a manual ground balance.

I have to say, ground balancing the Bliss appears to be the biggest challenge for first time Blisstool users. I followed the manual’s advice to start on auto ground balance and was having a huge problem with false signals and with discrimination. Upon successfully doing a manual ground balance I noticed two things:
1) Auto-ground balance left my machine ‘hot’, way hotter than I would normally run it.
2) Manual ground balance was extremely easy, so long as you know that the pots, i.e. knobs, are rather sensitive.

The biggest problem with the manual ground balance was finding a spot in the park devoid of metal. I had to actually clean a two by two foot spot in order to balance Dragomir.

Having completed this task, the number of false signals dropped to near zero and I was able to discriminate fine.

So armed with Dragomir in its more stable state, I went where a road ran through an old park. The road was removed sometime in the 90’s and a person who was there at the time they removed the road, told me that they found large cents and Seated coins and so on and so forth. The beauty of this spot is that it is relatively devoid of modern trash besides being rather large area wise.

I began and hardly a signal was to be had, as I expected. Finally, I got a nice repeatable signal and I went for it. Digging there you can immediately tell there was a road in the past. There were chunks of asphalt and cement but around the 5-6 inch mark, I found the target. I could see that the chunk of asphalt and dirt I dug up was round. My heart was giddy with the anticipation of uncovering a precious Seated dime.
clad_dime

Give me a break! A clad dime. I can’t even tell the date because of the cement stuck to it. the reverse actually has asphalt stuck so you can’t even see it. ***UPDATE*** After soaking the dime in soft drink (cola), I can see the dime was minted in 1966.***

I put in the work. Dragomir put in the work. This was our reward. Leave it to me to find the only clad coin that was possibly dropped by a city worker at some street repair job in the past. Sigh!

On my way home, I stopped by another park and buried a dime 12 inches deep. I dug up the hole and I stuck a new shiny dime in the side of the hole at the bottom and covered it back up. I then began tinkering with the Bliss until I got a solid, repeatable signal. 12 inches. My Deus, beloved and respected as it is (it remains my go-to machine for hunting the parks)
cannot give me a solid repeatable signal on a dime 12 inches under the ground (with the 11 inch coil).

And that is the purpose of the Blisstool. The Deus will unmask a coin better than any machine out there and the Blisstool will sniff me out some of the deepest stuff. But I cannot control what was dropped in the past.

Thank you for stopping by.

Dragomir’s first coin

23 Apr

This morning at the park where I found some old coins late last year the Bliss and I dug a bunch of deep holes. After a couple of rusted iron bits and a couple of ‘holes to nowhere’ the Bliss found its first coin: a 1915D wheat. I was excited and forged on.

After leaving my soul in every hole I dug, I was beat. Digging 14 inch deep holes is hard work, especially when you never reach the target. I definitely need a relic digging shovel. Finally, the Bliss found its second coin: A toasted 189x V nickel.

 I wanted to stay and find that Seated but I had promised my family I would only stay out for a couple of hours.
No matter, those deep seateds aren’t going anywhere.

Thank you for stopping by.

The Summer of Seateds

21 Apr

No, no, no, I haven’t found a Seated coin yet. I do think however, that by this Summer, I will have found a number of them. Whaaat??!! I hear you say…

I base this prediction on the fact that I took The Bliss out at lunch time to try a technique to gauge depth created by Ahmed Merchev, the designer of the Bliss. The technique worked just as advertised.

I purposely chose a park that is super trashy. In fact, I chose a spot in the park that is trashier than the rest. I wanted to try as many targets as possible to test this method. I located eleven targets that, by following the described technique, I believed were nine inches or deeper. All eleven targets were indeed nine inches or deeper. ten were iron (square nails, cut nails, iron blobs) and one was what appeared to be a piece of cup made of copper.

You may be scoffing  by now about the fact that I dug mostly iron. I am not worried. The one thing I was just giggly about, is that this technique avoids the pesky miniature aluminum that so plagues me when I use the Deus for the same deep targets. I wanted to try this technique at this park especially because I know that there is so much darn shredded aluminum there. I dug none of it with the Bliss today.

So I’m all set for the Summer of Seateds. I have five very old and very trashy parks where very deep and very old targets are to be found. I will happily dig a pound of deep iron if it means I can find a hundred silver and gold old coins.

Stay tuned.

The Key To Finding Old Coins

18 Dec

The key to finding old coins is to go to a place that has them. Really.

I returned to the old coin park. I hunted in the same general area and the very first deep target was my first and only Indian cent of the year.

1890

A couple of pieces of deep rusted iron later, I hit upon this key

key

I have found a few of this very same kind of key before at other old parks. This company must have been a very popular place to buy keys back in the day. I am not sure how old this key may be; I am thinking maybe 30’s.

Anyway, the rest of the hunt produced only rusted iron and a number of very small pieces of aluminum foil from picnics of days of old.

I tell you, I am not afraid of telling the world about this since I know the kind of discipline and focus that it takes to hunt deep whispers. As long as I continue to pull the occasional  old coin from my excavations I will continue.

By the way, if you do decide to look for deep signals in the park, please use a dirt towel or some other way to hold the dirt. It is hard to put a deep hole back together and the towel will help.

I am going to try to take advantage of this super mild Winter courtesy of El Niño (I think) and hunt more before the year is up.

Thank you for stopping by.

Another one from the depths

11 Dec

My lunch time hunt happened at the same park and at the same spot on that park where I found the other old coins recently.

Maurice, my XP Deus metal detector, and I began our hunt just North of where the other coins where found. My first hole was a deep rusted nail. The second was a bottle cap because I always have to dig one. The third hole was a hole to nowhere where I may have been off on my pinpointing. The fourth hole produced this at around 10.5 inches deep with a very faint signal:

1894front

1894back

I am very excited about this. It proves that there are many silver coins left in the park. I am excited for the possibility of Seateds and gold coins.

Stay tuned.

More diatribe

4 Dec

I hunted for a short time today at the site where I’ve been finding old coins. I’m still perfecting the Money Making Protocol (MMP) with the trusty XP Deus.

So, if you don’t know already, I believe there are still thousands of silver coins in our city parks but they are either too deep or masked. The MMP is designed to find me the former and it didn’t disappoint this morning.

After digging a couple of very deep iron I got a signal within the parameters of the protocol. As per the protocol, I dug a 4-5 inch hole. If this was a small piece of foil, this is where I would find it. There was nothing in the plug nor in the hole. I then dug the hole further to the 9 inch level (the pinpointer is 9 inches long and it’s very handy for this step). If this was a coin, it would be in the dirt or in the hole. I explored the dirt that I dug up and found nothing. I then put the pinpointer in the hole and got a weak ding. I cleaned the hole and pinpointed again and the target was a bit off center but at the bottom. At this point, I expected to find deep iron and dug a couple of inches more of dirt. I applied the pinpointer to the new excavated dirt and got a nice solid bang. Still expecting iron I was pleasantly surprised to see this:

1912

Yep, this puppy was down about 10 inches. Now, there is only moderate wear on it so I think it was dropped near the date of minting.

1912 Barber, Philadelphia mint.

I am very excited for the possibilities. I know there are more Seated coins in that park and I aim to get me at least one.

Thank you for looking!

The Money Maker Protocol

18 Nov

Yesterday I went to a very old park in the city. I won’t call it a hunted out park because, really, ALL our parks are hunted out! Anyway, a couple of years ago, a pair of detectorists hit this park with their E-tracs and pulled a number of very cool coins out of there. Needless to say, scores of other detectorists descended upon this park but none repeated the impressive results the two guys with their Minelabs achieved.
The park is, of course, very trashy and, as it is very popular today, the trash continues to pile up.

I myself have hunted this park a number of times and managed to pull a silver coin now and again. This time however, I took my XP Deus to this park with a very specific protocol in mind. Protocol is a fancy word for what you all do now when detecting. Do you dig a signal or not? The answer to that question depends on your protocol.

I specifically wanted to try the spot where the two guys mentioned above found all their coins. Heck, I was there for one of their hunts and watched as one of them dug up a super cool Seated dime. I know they did a very thorough job at that spot but being me, and the reputation of the E-track notwithstanding,  I believe there are still many cool coins to be had there.

I walked to the very spot where KansasDave found that Seated dime that morning and I began applying my protocol. I had to dig a couple of rusted bottle caps to establish some parameters and then I began to seriously look for treasure. Not long I had a couple of signals that fit the criteria of the Money Making Protocol. The first coin was a wheat minted in 1919. Cool. Next signal was a wheat from 1918.  Next signal turned out to be a very toasted V nickel. I can barely make out the first two numbers of the date: 18xx.
V-nickel

I continued and dug up a couple of small pieces of aluminum foil. The protocol is susceptible to this so I still need to refine it. Not to worry though as my next signal gifted me with this beauty:
Stander-obverse

A 1917 Type 1 Standing Liberty Quarter.
Stander-reverse

A few feet away, the next signal turned out to be a 1901 Barber dime with a New Orleans mint mark:
Barber-front

Barber-reverse

The last signal of the hunt was a very deep 1964 memorial. Geez!

So I think that the Money Maker Protocol is a winner. I wouldn’t apply this protocol to just any park. It is designed for very old parks.

hunt

Hopefully I will get to hunt a bit more this Fall and Winter.

Thank you for stopping by!

My 2 Cents Worth

22 Aug

Friday morning, as I was heading in to work, I noticed that they had removed a sidewalk across the street from my office. My office sits at the site of the first Presbyterian church in town back in the early days of the city. I have seen pictures of it and it was pretty much a dug out.

I didn’t think much of the tear out because I figured it would be covered by the time I left work. When I left work however, about  1/3 of it was still open so I slammed on the brakes, found a place to park, and Maurice and I went to work.

My second swing (really!) produced a signal just north of pull tab. I decided to dig it and 4 inches down, I found a coin slightly larger than a U.S. nickel and made of copper or bronze. To say I was excited is an understatement.

fresh

Images of Seateds and gold coins dancing in my head, I continued the hunt for another hour and a half. Unfortunately, nothing else came out. The site was heavily iron laden as multiple railroad lines ran through here until about 10 years ago. It was really cool because I hit a couple of very old wooden foundations.

Thinking I had a large cent, I went home and began the process of cleaning the coin. To my surprise, what was revealed was, in my opinion, something cooler than a large cent: a 2 cent coin!

I tried cleaning it further with masking tape and the freezing method which removed the dirt but not the iron encrustations. Finally, today, I soaked the coin in WD-40 and managed to expose a bit of the date: 1864, my oldest coin to date.

2-cent

1964

I am doubly proud of having found this coin in my city. This coin was dropped by one of Wichita’s early inhabitants. I wonder what was going through his or her head as they walked along, possibly to attend church just a few yards away. I am still missing that Seated coin but this is definitely one off my list. It almost makes up for the total lack of detecting for me this year.

Thank you for stopping by!

Yay! A Silver!

12 Aug

I actually found this little guy a week ago while doing a noble job for a church here in town. The Wheat State Treasure Hunters metal detecting club met at a local church to do a bit of community service and help them locate some lost items. They kindly told us we could keep all the coins we found and I think by the end of the day, 8 or 9 silver coins were found by various club members.

For me, it had been a while since I found my last silver coin. I can’t even take a whole lot of credit for finding this coin with Maurice as I saw it before I ran the coil over it. The 1943 War Nickel was laying all naked and pretty at the foot of a very old tree, obviously washed out by the rain.

Be that as it may, finding this coin got me all excited about metal detecting again, so hopefully there will be more of these in the future.

yay-a-silver