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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


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


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.

More Wow

19 Jan

I returned to the park with my XP Deus metal detector. I was aiming to spend some careful time at the spot I hunted yesterday (for the 1000th time).

Right away I hit a couple of clusters of pull tabs. Amazing that these were not picked up by me on the previous 999 times I hunted this particular spot. Then I hit a 1944 wheat. Some guy approached me to ask about the hobby. As he shadowed me, I dug some trash. Then he watched me dig the 1919 Buffalo. He thought the coin was valuable. I had to tell him the truth of the matter. Still, he thought the Buff was a really neat coin (and it is!). After he left, I hit yet another wheat, this time a 1941. Hard to believe.

As I was walking to my car I got a nice repeatable foil signal with a non-shifting target id. Thinking it may be gold I went for it. Instead of gold I found a stud earring with the unmistakable silver sheen. I had to wait until I got home to look for markings.


It would be really nice if I found silver every time I went out this year. Come on, a guy can dream!

Thank you for stopping by!

Sometimes less is more

27 Jun

On my second day of hunting with the Compadre, I met a fellow hunter at an old park.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t finding very many pull tabs there so I decided to try the Compadre at the spot in the park that has produced 10 silvers and which I know is heavily iron laden. First target was a small piece of old, unidentifiable brass. I was impressed because I’ve covered this spot from every direction and about 100 times with Maurice (my XP Deus detector). Next target was a big and loud signal. Again, I’ve removed all signals from this spot except for the iron so I was one more time surprised. After a minute or two of digging I produced this from the hole:

This little shield pin is about one inch tall by 1/2 inch wide. It is (was) gold plated. The back has no writing of any kind but the gold plating is more obvious there. It looks to be old, I would say pre-1940’s. The pin on the back is missing but the welding is plainly visible.

Not much to talk about other than I found it with the Mighty Compadre at a spot that I thought Maurice and I had thoroughly cleaned. I must say however that this spot continues to produce targets and probably will continue to produce targets in the future.

One last thing; I am using the iPhone ear plugs since the Compadre only has one beep at one volume and fancy headphones are not required. I had forgotten what a royal pain in the behind wires are! I am now in the process of researching some kind of wireless solution for my Compadre. I can’t go back to wires. Don’t ask me.

Thank you for looking!

The Mysteries of Masking and the Mighty Compadre

26 Jun

I went out for an hour yesterday, after dealing with a sick child. Once he was feeling better and was watching t.v. I excused myself for a bit of gold hunting.

I returned to one of three spots that I am methodically clearing of all mid-tones. At one point, I got what I believed to be a deep target signal. It was a consistent high chirp from all directions. I cut a deep plug and stuck the pinpointer in the hole but got no signal. When I laid the pinpointer down to deepen the hole, the pinpointer sat about 12 inches away from the hole and it went off big. I thought I would remove whatever was making the pinpointer go off before I continued looking for my deep target. The target that was setting the pinpointer off was a large mass of iron just a couple of inches below the surface.

So before I returned to digging the deep target out, I stood up and re-swiped the hole just to be sure I wasn’t off on my pinpointing.  There was no signal in the hole anymore so I scanned the plug and bang! a solid, no-doubt-about-it pull tab signal came loudly through the backphones. What!?

Curious, I put the plug back in the hole and scanned it from the top. Sure enough, the loud pull tab signal was there. Why didn’t I get this loud signal before? I dug the pull tab out with the Lesche and it turned out to be just 3 inches deep. I swear that I scanned this signal from all sides! And before I removed the large iron object  the pull tab sounded faint and high like the kind of signal that I dig all the time and that usually produces a deep target.

After thinking about it, I decided that the large iron target, TWELVE inches away, was masking this pull tab. I was using my 11 inch coil, which has a large footprint. An obvious solution to this is to use a sniper coil, thus minimizing the effects of the masking in this case. So yes, a smaller coil would have dealt with this problem but it wouldn’t eliminate THE problem, which is masking.

Now consider this on a smaller scale. Say, an aluminum can is sitting 6 inches away from a desirable target, Would I hear the good target? What if the large masking target was sitting 4 inches away? What if you don’t use a sniper coil all the time? Masking is a real problem and I fear an all too frequent one. And the point I am really trying to make here is that the masking target NEED NOT be on TOP of the good target to effectively mask it. Here are the metal chunk and the pull tab in question:



The rusted iron is about 2 inches thick.

So, today, for my lunch hour hunt, I left Maurice at home and brought instead the Mighty Compadre. With its 5 inch coil, is perfect for hunting gold in a trashy park. As if to assert his mightiness, the second target in my lunch hour hunt with the Compadre was this:


The ring was about 5 inches deep and gave a nice and clear beep. I was discriminating anything below nickel. The ring is obviously silver although no maker’s mark is present. It is well worn and the style says vintage. The picture doesn’t do it justice. Once I got to my office and cleaned it well, I could tell there was absolutely no corrosion. The silver looks old and the stone looks to be a garnet. I will test it with the acid once I get home but I am confident this is very old silver.

After a 1977 nickel and a few more pull tabs I decided to go get some food.

I’ve decided to continue my gold hunting with the Compadre. I know it won’t let me down.

Thank you for stopping by!


I’m not dead yet!

23 Jun

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post!

I am back in the game though. I’ve managed three hunts in as many days. For my return to my beloved hobby, me and Maurice are looking for gold.

Now, I’ve heard tales and I’ve heard fables about people who can tell gold by the type of signal they get. Not to call anyone a liar but I am highly skeptical of this. I remember ONCE, with the AT Pro, getting a nickel signal that was silky and full and all kinds of groovy and finding a pendant in the hole when I dug the signal. That was it however. Not before and not since have I gotten a signal like that on a mid tone. Even the gold rings I have found sounded like a plain old mid tone signal.

So, this means I am digging every signal between high foil and pull tab. It’s unforgiving work let me tell you. So far, I estimate a total of 180 pull tabs, and about half that number in aluminum foil. Out of all that I have found a Wichita Transportation token from the 60’s and a pretty metal button. Brutal.

Oh, and I am digging every bottle cap as well. I have dug about 100 bottle caps so far in these three hunts. The reason for digging the bottle caps is that when I look for gold, I don’t meander around but rather, I pick a spot and work every signal there. It keeps me from losing my mind because as I am looking for gold, I am also cleaning a spot for future deep-signal hunting. To this end, I am selective about the spots I choose.
A) They have to be target rich. That tells me that there was heavy human activity in the past.
B) They have to be spots that are no longer popular, thus ensuring all targets are old-ish.

Hunts like these make me wish I had started metal detecting in my 20’s. Right now, I can do this non-stop for about three hours. After that, my attention wanes and all I want is a sandwich and a drink. Once I stop, I am useless as my body stiffens and all I am good for is sitting and watching tv.

I intend to keep on going until I score a ring, or a chain or some other gold item. Stay tuned for updates.

Thank you for stopping by!


Nickelodeon and the mystery of the missing gold

28 Jan

I went out with my XP Deus metal detector the other day looking for cool stuff. As usual, I hit one of our city parks. Most of our city parks are hunted regularly so I am not surprised when I don’t find a lot of clad –or any clad, there.

This time however, I found a few dimes, a bunch of nickels, and even a quarter.


The clad was surprising but the nickels were not. Finding nickels with the Deus is child’s play. And since it seems that no one else digs nickel signals, there are always many left in any of our city parks.

The mystery to me is that with as many nickels as I dig, and 7 to 8 nickels a hunt is not unusual, why am I not finding lots of gold? I guess that speaks volumes about the volume of gold in our parks; that is, there is not much. Still, I will continue to dig nickel signals because Maurice makes it easy.

Oh, and I found my first silver ring of the year. About 6 inches down and gave a strong quarter signal. I’ll take it.


Because of the increased level of stress at my job this time of year, I find it necessary to resume my lunch hour hunts to clear my head. So much for the walking! LOL!

Thank you for looking!



The cool silver clip

8 Nov

I returned to the spot I found yesterday at the city’s oldest park. Maurice immediately found me some very deep, very old pieces of metal, mostly lids from bell jars and other assorted stuff. I dug a number of lead seals from all over the area. I can’t imagine what they went to. Eventually I stopped digging that signal but I may at one point dig all of them up. My findings convinced me that I am right and that the spot is the oldest undisturbed piece of the park.

Before I left, I got a deep signal. With the 11″ coil, the deep signals are much louder and sometimes I even get an accurate VDI. This signal was louder than the old whispers I used to get with the 9″ coil and the VDI was that of a wheat or an Indian. So I dug up my usual 7 inch deep plug and at the bottom I got a dim hit with the Garrett pinpointer. Another inch of dirt out and I saw the clump of metal at the bottom. Once I cleaned it a little I thought I could read the word sterling on it but I wasn’t sure. Plus, the word was on the front and not on the back as one would expect.

Once I got home I cleaned it and sure enough, it says sterling. I place this piece at the turn of the century and now I know I can hit smallish silver at 8 inches with no problem and with a good, discernible tone. The Seated coin is still in the ground; for now.



Thank you for looking!

If you only dig coin signals you will miss stuff

5 Nov

I was talking with Steveouke yesterday about how some old coins in the ground don’t sound like coins at all when you run your metal detector’s coil over them. This is particularly important to me since I am still looking for my first Seated coin.

Well, after work I stopped at a park for a few minutes at a spot that I just know has more old coins (I’ve found a few there already). I didn’t find any coins but I did get a signal that registered between a pull tab and a zinc Lincoln cent. I don’t usually get this target id. I have the XP Deus set to give a mid tone on this VDI. It was good and consistent so I decided to dig it. I pulled a rusted nail first and then I re-scanned the hole but got nothing else. I knew that the nail would not have given off that signal, so I scanned the plug with my pinpointer and sure enough, I got a hit at about the 4-5 inch mark. This is what I found:




This tiny pendant is marked “Sterling” on the back. If I only dug high tones with coin VDI’s I would have left this in the ground. Let me remind you that three cent coins would also ring somewhere around this range.

I am not saying you should dig every beep but you may want to broaden your digging criteria if you only dig coin signals.

Thank you for looking!


The park gave

19 Sep

I stopped by the park for a quick 20 minute hunt after work. I really just wanted to test a new tweak I made to Maurice, my XP Deus metal detector. Right away I started getting good, deep hits. The first thing I dug up was an old gas tank door key (no photo). Then I found a couple of ancient brass whatsits. Finally, at the very end of the 20 minutes I got yet another deep, repeatable hit. At 7 inches of depth I found this:


Yep, that’s my first gold ring of the year. I was beginning to think that I was going to go the whole year without finding a gold ring. Phew! This signet ring is 10K and as soon as I can discern the maker’s mark (it looks like a B and an O with the 10K wedged sideways between the two letters) I will have a more accurate idea of its age. I can safely say that it is not a modern ring though, given the park and the depth at which I found it. Plus the style just says vintage.

I think I will have it reshaped and polished.

Thank you for looking!