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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

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.

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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.

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:
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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!

The new thing I need in a detector

4 Jul

I hope you all are having a great 4th of July weekend. Please bring your pets in to minimize their suffering during this time of fireworks and revelry.

Here in my part of the country, we’ve had a couple of days of torrential rain so I am cooped up. Actually, the rain stopped long enough last evening to go out bike riding with my youngest and we had a great time.

Eventually, however, my thoughts returned to my favorite past-time. I’ve read discussions on the Web about new detectors being planned and produced and what features we would want. In the past I’ve said I want a detector that is not based on Electromagnetism. Right now my limited mind can only think of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) but alas, an affordable and light GPR unit may not happen in my lifetime.

So if I am to be stuck with the status quo, what improvement would I like? More depth? Better unmasking? Yes, sure, I always want those but what I really, really would like is the ability to identify metals based on their chemical composition and not based on their conductivity. Yeah, that’s it. I want my detector to tell copper, gold, aluminum, and silver apart regardless of the shape and size of the object.

Also, if we can send probes to Mars and land them precisely where we want them to land, why can’t we accurately tell how deep an object is with our metal detectors? I can already hear all of you telling me that you can do that with your brand of detector already but let me break it to you as gently as I can: No, you can’t. Your machine can give you an estimate of depth but not accurately tell you. Granted, sometimes the machine comes close but many times all you get is a ballpark figure.

So there you have it. If you are a smart techie, please get working on these things. I am getting older by the minute and would like to see a paradigm shift before I am too old to detect.

Thank you for stopping by.

I’ve done told you

27 Jun

Regardless of the heat, at lunch time today, I went to the place where I’ve found a number of old coins in the recent past. Saturday morning I took my Tesoro Compadre and cleaned a bunch of trash from the first 5-6 inches of soil. The spot is a bear in terms of iron. But it wasn’t the iron I was after, I was after all the freaking aluminum foil. As it happened, I removed a bunch of iron that was near the surface as well.

So today I took my time and decided to dig only the choosiest of signals. I was fooled a couple of times with rusted nails and I even got fooled a few times with small aluminum foil that I missed with the Compadre. By the way, I decided to take the XP Deus on this hunt. Towards the very end of my lunch hour I got a nice signal among iron. Nice and repeatable. After I dug up my obligatory 9 inch hole I stuck my pinpointer in and got an iffy bing at the bottom of the hole. This always makes me smile because that means the object is deep. Incidentally, in an effort to avoid holes-to-nowhere, I dusted off my DetectorPro Pulse Induction pinpointer. It has a reach of about 4 inches for a quarter size coin and a solid 3 inches for a dime sized coin so if I miss my pinpointing with the Deus, I can still find the target in the hole.

This particular target was about 2 inches deeper. I know, I ought to quit talking about depth. It means nothing to anyone else but me. Be that as it may, I pulled this nice 1905 Indian Head cent out of the dirt:

This IH was dropped shortly after it was minted. You can see part of the word Liberty on the headdress and the reverse has nice details on it.

And now comes a bit of ranting

Here is the list of all coins found at this relatively small spot at this park: I’d say is about 15ft x 15ft. You can see the pictures of these coins in the last 10 or so posts:
1919 Wheat
1918 Wheat
1915 Wheat
18xx V nickel
189X V nickel
1890 Indian
1905 Indian
1917 Type 1 Standing Liberty
1894 Barber quarter
1901 Barber dime
1912 Barber dime
1904 Barber dime
KS Tax Token

This list does not include the coins found by Redd and KSDave three years ago, many from this very same spot, one of which was a Seated dime.
Also, keep in mind that this park has been hunted a quadrillion times by a thousand detectorists since the hobby came about.

My point is that our old parks are choke-full of old coins but these coins are not easily accessible. You most definitely will NOT find these coins if you:
Swing too high
Swing too fast
Lift the coil at the ends of your swing
Listen poorly to the tones
Use a detector not built for these environs
Use a detector you do not know well
Do not learn from the trash you dig

I am not trying to be an ass. Really. I am just saying those of us who came into the hobby in the last 10 years have a different reality to contend with. Unless you are only hunting private properties (lucky you), you need to approach our city parks with a fresh set of expectations, philosophy, and equipment.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

Are you a treasure hunter?

22 Jun

I went out this lunch hour in the 95+ degree weather to clean up a site that it is promising. This task was assigned to the Mighty Compadre. I just love that little power-house of a detector.

After an hour, I had a respectable amount of wire, nails, foil and even some pulltabs in my pocket. I wasn’t expecting any coins as I know those are beyond the depth capabilities of the Tesoro Compadre and its five inch coil. No matter. I considered my hunt a success. Now I can return with the Bliss and the 15 inch coil to explore the depths of that dirt.

On my way back I began to think about what a different detectorist I am today. Five years ago there is absolutely no way I would have done what I just did. No way José. So what’s different?

I believe the answer is that I stopped being a treasure hunter and became a detectorist.
Wait a minute pullTab!, I hear you say; aren’t those synonyms?  Well, not in my way of thinking they are not.

See, when I began to detect for fun and profit, I was really mostly going after the profit. Finding things that could not readily be turned into cash would just ruin my day. I was rather petulant about it if I am to be honest. I did not accept the reality of metal detecting; and that is that the ratio of trash to good stuff is somewhere in the vicinity of 1000/1 and in some parks around here, that’s actually a pretty good ratio!
I was in other words, hunting for treasure.

Later, as I packed in the hours detecting, I began to relax a bit and began to explore the signals for the sheer pleasure of exploring them. Don’t get me wrong, I still love that shiny silver and gold but now I can really enjoy a sortie even when all I find is junk. I believe now I can really be described as a detectorist true and through. You could say I am no longer one dimensional when it comes to our beloved hobby. I’ve grown wiser… Ok, I’ll stop making myself look good.

Thank you for stopping by.

Deploying the BIG GUNS

10 Jun

*** Before you read this post, read this post about the time Dick Stout spoke to Congress about our hobby. Plus, check out the eye candy. No, I am not talking about the pictures of Stout.***

I decided it was time. No more pussyfooting around. It was time to dig deeply and carry a big coil.

I am not, generally speaking, a fan of large coils. As a coin shooter, I have never found a use for them. An 11 inch coil has been the limit for me. However, with my recent acquisition of the Blisstool V3, I became the proud owner of a 15 inch coil. This thing looks comical and to quote my fellow hunter Steve Ukena, it looks as if I am compensatin’.

Yet, there is a spot at a local old park. I hunted it once or twice with no good results. This spot is a sea of bottle caps. It is interesting how some areas of our city parks will get a certain personality. Sometimes it is pull tabs, sometimes it is bottle caps, and sometimes it is both.

So I drive by this particular area and think about the next time I will hit it. You see, this area has always been open. Since the very beginning of our city’s history. It never had any structures. I know, as I have been told by someone in their 80’s, that after swimming in the river or in the municipal swimming pool that stood nearby, people would sit in this very spot and have pick nicks. I can see how this may have happened all the way back to the late 1800’s.

There is evidence that this spot has been covered with silt from the river during the many pre-1960 floods that occurred here. There is a layer of clay on top of what I surmise to be the original sand.

This has led me to believe, that the very old coins and stuff are buried deep under the silt and the bottle caps. I spent some time with the Deus and the Bliss with the 11 inch coil but I am not penetrating deep enough; thus my decision to apply the 15 inch coil to the dirt here. I did the first excursion yesterday at lunch.

I was happy with the coil’s pinpointing ability. The Blisstool doesn’t have an all metal pinpointing feature. You pinpoint the old fashion way. I like to use the front of the coil
and use the wiggle method. I tested this yesterday and was able to pinpoint relatively shallow targets with precision. Of course, I had to work spots from every direction because of the coils large footprint but this does not represent a hindrance to me. I worked to empty a large enough area to be able to manually ground balance the Bliss but although I dug 5 pieces of trash from a 2×2 area, more trash was revealed that was previously masked. Such is the ground I hunt.

Last  I want to mention a phenomenon that I will call the “Now you don’t see it, now you do” syndrome. I have experienced it several times in the last 5 years. I select an area somewhere that’s utterly hopeless. I stick to it and after a number of excruciatingly painful hunts I cross a certain threshold and voila! keepers! It goes beyond removing trash; I believe it has to do with my brain getting to know the particulars of the dirt, almost as if a psychic connection is made between the site and me; as if the ghosts of the past finally break through the mist and whisper in my ear…
Laugh all you want, but I believe this is why I consistently pull silver out of certain parks where others don’t.

Anyway, it’s getting hot out there. The dirt is beginning to harden and time’s awastin’. Time to dig!

Thank you for stopping by.

Memorial day

30 May

I went out this morning to Linwood park where I’ve been finding old coins for a while now. I left the Bliss home and took the Deus instead. I just wanted to hunt and not worry about the new detector.

The very first signal was a nice 1904 Barber with no mint mark. Then I dug a bunch of deep trash. Last I got a crackling more than a signal. The only reason I dug it is because the all metal mode told me there was a definite object down there. The target was a 2 mil Kansas tax token.

mem-day

I really like my Deus. I know it. I know what it’s telling me. I just wish I could find deeper coins. 9 inches seems to be the limit for dimes. It can go deeper on larger coins of course but dimes are so much more common.

At any rate, I found that dime in the same 5×5 area around this young tree where I’ve found a number of old coins before. As you can see, there is no lack of trash. All that trash with the exception of the bottle cap was deep.

More rain is in the forecast so I don’t know when I’ll get another chance to detect.

Thanks for stopping by.

Дълбок сребърен парк (the deep silver park)

20 May

Pardon my Bulgarian. Nah! I don’t really speak Bulgarian but I did teach myself to read the Cyrillic script. Incidentally, that last word, with four characters, spells the word ‘park’ just like in English.

I returned to the deep silver park at lunch today. Now that I can ground balance the Bliss like a boss (OK, maybe not like a boss but well enough) I wanted to let my Blisstool V3 metal detector loose on a patch of park where I have gravely removed all targets but the iron. Mind you, I have removed a lot of iron as well.

Right away, I began to get nice solid signals. I am not shocked that I found the aluminum foil. In this spot, there stood a swing set from about the 30’s to the 60’s. I have found close to a hundred of what appear to be aluminum seals for old timey milk and juice glass bottles. I remember those suckers from my childhood. Somehow I missed them with the Deus. Most were at the 7-8 inch mark. They could also be from Boy Scout and Girl Scout camp outs as I have also found a good number of Scout related items at this spot in the past. They are distinctively round and gold colored.

I was rather surprised however to pull that beaver tail pull tab. I could swear there were no such signals left here. Then I found that 1946d Wheat cent. No matter how many times I declare this spot coin free, I am proven wrong.
hunt By the way, I intend to keep on posting my Wheaties. First, because I want to prove that you can use the Blisstool V3 to detect trashy parks and still find coins. Second, when I start finding the really cool stuff, and I will, I want all the haters to know I don’t plant coins for my self-glorification and if I was to do that, I most certainly would not plant Wheats from the 40’s!

1944d

I am pleased with the progress I am making with Dragomir. I have a very good feeling about this machine.

Thank you for stopping by.