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Connecting to the past

26 Oct

Although an old coin can connect you to our collective past, relics can do it in a more personal way.

Today I stopped at an old apartment complex I lovingly call Dog Sh**t Town on my way home from work. I noticed that the city has began a beautification project around the complex and in the process, they removed an old sidewalk and a ton of brush from the area. Naturally, I took out Maurice (my XP Deus metal detector) for a quick look-see.

I only spent a few minutes there but I managed some old clad that obviously laid under the sidewalk since the late 70’s and I also found this really cool commemorative medallion from October, 1913.

The medallion is made of brass or copper, or maybe bronze and it read like a copper penny. It was about 8 inches deep.

Religious commemorative medallion

It happened in October 1913

The emblems on the medallion appear to be Catholic to me. The text around the perimeter says: “Annual Session Hutchinson Kan Oct 1913.


The emblems on the medallion are in fact, from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and not Catholic as I thought. The order officially came to the United States from England in 1819. The order still operates today. What gave the medallion away was the three links at the bottom of the emblems. The order is altruistic in nature.

Now I need to find out what session this is. Like I said, this medallion, dated to a specific month on a specific year 99 years ago, is a more personal connection to the past.

I love it and I love my XP Deus!

Thank you for looking.

My oldest coin

14 Oct

I met up with a Stevouke and Patton from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum and we hunted a 100 year plus old school that shut down earlier this year.

I had hunted this school before but not since I bought my XP Deus metal detector. It took about one hour before I found my first significant coin; a 1910 wheat cent.

1910 Lincoln cent - obverse

Sorry about the blurry pic. Still, 1910. Cool

Following KansasDave’s (another FMDF member) advice, I began a tight spiral around the spot where I found this wheat and sure enough, about a foot away, I got another good signal. I dug a hole and just about the 7 inch mark, I pulled something I knew was silver.

silver coin still in the dirt

Oh, what a lovely sight!

I didn’t want to pull it out until the guys saw it because I thought it may be a Barber coin or maybe even a Seated coin. Steveouke’s son, a favorite hunting buddy of mine, couldn’t resist anymore and pulled the 1920 Mercury out.

1920 Mercury dime

Worn down but it’s all mine

Later, I managed to find an Indian Head cent. It had a pretty heavy cover of crud but after some tender brushing, I was able to uncover the date: 1881; my oldest coin to date.

1881 Indian Head cent - obverse

If you look carefully, you can see the year it was minted: 1881

After a couple of toasted wheats, one of which I believe to be a 1911, I found a really cool token:

1933 Ford token

I wonder when it was the last time Ford used this logo

1933 Ford token - reverse

Thirty Years of Progress

The last thing I found was some kind of pin. The logo looks familiar but I can’t place it.

vintage metal pin

It was a fun hunt and the XP Deus didn’t disappoint. I know this school has been hit super hard before and after it closed, and yet, look at all the goodies. I plan on returning as often as I can to it.

Thank you for looking!

My first ever St. Christopher

1 Oct

Through the year and a half I’ve been metal detecting, I have seen all the other hunters around here find St. Christopher medallions of various sizes and made of various metals but I never found one.

Well, finally, during my stay at the church camp this weekend, I got a little time to swing the XP Deus around the place. I decided to test the woods around my cabin and after finding some clad, I got what I thought was another dime signal. About five inches deep, I found my first ever St.Christopher medallion.

Saint Christopher medallion

Looks good even dirty

Saint Christopher medallion clean, front

Nice and shiny

Saint Christopher medallion, back


It wasn’t until I looked at it with a magnifying glass to verify that it was silver, that I saw the word ‘SUCK’ scratched onto the back of the medallion. Darn kids!

Scratched or not, I’ll take it. Now I hope that since I’ve broken the religious medallion drought, that more of these will be forthcoming; maybe even some made of gold!

Thank you for looking!


When the bullet hits the bone

26 Aug

I went metal detecting this morning with my XP Deus metal detector.

I hit an old park for two hours and after countless pieces of foil, I decided to change venues. I returned to my old tried-and-true spot at the old trashy park.

Right away I hit a transportation token. Just when I think I’ve gotten the last one from there, I find another one! I am not complaining though, I love them.

old Wichita trolley token

They read as foil on my detector

Then I found a bullet. I find bullets all the time but this one is a little creepy. Look at the blunt end where the bullet hit something. It sure looks like the pattern shattered bone makes! Maybe I am just seeing things.

fired bullet

Sure looks like this one hit something

The next thing I found, besides the countless pull tabs and foil, was a shot shell. I don’t get excited about shot shells anymore but this one is in such good shape! According to Cartridge Corner (see links on the right), this Winchester shot shell was made from 1884 to 1894. Niiiice.

shot gun shell bottom

Like it was dropped yesterday!

Last, I found a locket. I don’t know how old it may be but it opens. I will clean it later and try to open it to see what’s in it.

Old heart-shaped locket

What’s inside?

I am happy I got to hunt for a few hours. We finally got some decent rain and the ground is a joy to dig.

Thank you for looking!

The Goings On lately

20 Aug

I’ve hunted sporadically lately with my XP Deus metal detector.

I went out with the guys from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum to a former Girl Scout camp and found a cool old button with religious (Catholic maybe) motifs. The guys found silver and other cool stuff. I had to leave early for my Karate class.

Then I went out on my own to my old trashy park and found a 24 gram, 10K gold chain. I haven’t determined yet if it is plated or solid. It is almost too heavy to be plated. At first glance it appears to have some corroded spots but under the microscope that seems to be some kind of tar-like material sticking to the gold. I snipped the chain with a wire cutter but this didn’t help as the wire cutters crimped the metal and it made it look like it was solid gold. I just got the idea to break the chain the way I saw someone else do it by bending the chain link back and forth until it breaks. This will surely reveal the true nature of the chain. I sure hope it’s the real deal as it would be a cool $500 for mee pocket!

Last, I procured a nickel program for the Deus from Pescadore from the Friendly and after a couple of times of using in the old trashy park, I’ve collected a fistful of Jefferson nickels. I know there are Buffalo nickels there as I have pulled nine of the them from there this year. I also know there are V nickels since I dug one up near the park this Summer. I am hoping this nickel program will increase my count of cool nickels.

So I am looking for more gold. I need to have enough for both the 11 inch coil for the Deus (due sometime late this year or early 2013) and whatever new machine Fisher comes out with next year. If Fisher doesn’t produce a new unit, I will then get a Garrett AT Gold. Oh, don’t get me wrong; I am 110% happy with the Deus but I really liked my AT Pro and I miss it sometimes. I want to have a water proof machine anyway. As for the Fisher, I hear their new machine may be a multi-frequency  a la CZ-3D. I hope they make it light!

Sorry I didn’t have time to process the pictures I had for this post so I leave you with this photo I found on the InterWebs:

child licking ice cream cone


Thank you for looking!

Egypt in the Midwest

8 Aug

I finally got to metal detect again with my XP Deus metal detector. At lunch time today, I stopped at an empty lot near downtown Wichita. I have driven by this lot for a long time and finally decided to stop and see what I could find. Right away I found a 1946 wheat cent. Promising!

Then I found some clad and on my way to the car I got a copper cent signal using the Deus Fast program. I use the Deus Fast because I mostly hunt very trashy places. Anyway, I didn’t find another wheat but I found a cool copper belt. I’ll have to go back to see if the rest of it is somewhere in the lot.

various metal objects

Egypt in a belt

I think this belt was bought somewhere around Cairo back in the 40’s or 50’s. I can just see the vendor selling trinkets to the tourists. There are no markings anywhere on the belt so either this was made in some little shop in Egypt or the part with the markings is still somewhere in the empty lot.

small copper plate with Egyptian pyramids and Sphinx

Surely made for the tourists!

Thank you for looking!


Sicher’s Hotel watch fob

23 Jul

I went metal detecting at lunch with my XP Deus metal detector again.

I returned to the site where I found the trade tokens and found some interesting brass and copper trash and also a watch fob.

old metal watch fob

Sicher’s Hotel

I was using the Deus Fast program. The fob read as a zinc Lincoln cent and it was about six inches deep.

I looked up Sicher’s Hotel and found out that the hotel was built in 1872 in Sedalia, Missouri by two brothers. In 1880, they sold the hotel to a George T. Brown.  Obviously, by the time this fob was given as a compliment, the owners had changed again. By 1937 the hotel was known as the Sicher, Elks, Antlers, and Royal. I don’t know when the hotel closed but I think these days the building serves as the headquarters to a company and it is not a hotel anymore.

The fact that the fob has Sicher’s Hotel and not the multiple name mentioned above, makes me suspect the fob goes back to before 1937. The site where I found the fob dates as far back as  1880 although I doubt the fob would be in as good a condition if it were that old. Given the other things I’ve found at this site, the fob could be from the 1920’s.

metal watch fob reverse

Return to other side…?

Thank you for looking!

The Deus rocks and that’s no bull

15 Jul

I got to go metal detecting this afternoon with the XP Deus metal detector.

I hit several places with no luck until I decided to revisit a place I had not been able to detect due to Electromagnetic Interferece (EMI) from a large power plant nearby. The Deus was only a little chatty but the noise in no way interfered with the signals.

I was using the Deus Fast program due to the large amounts of old house debris at the site. I detected under a tree and right away I got a nice signal with a VDI in the mid 80’s. About three inches down I got this really cool pendant:

Bull Durham tobacco logo pendant

Bull Durham

If you look really carefully, you can see the words Bull Durham on the pendant. The bull looked old timey so I looked it up on the Web. The bull is the logo of the Bull Durham Tobacco company. The logo was common around the 1920’s.

Bull Durham tobacco ad

The bull logo is a dead match for the pendant

The back of the pendant says 14K gold plated but most of the gold is gone from the pendant.

I continued hunting around the same tree and I got another signal in the mid 80’s. This time only about two inches down I found my very first Trade Token ever!

Trade token obverse

Good for 5 cents in trade

Trade token reverse


I think this is really cool but there is no identifying information on the token other than the number 16259 on the reverse. Hmmmmm…

I found pictures of similar tokens with the same ornamental elements from the early 1900’s mostly from Wichita tobacco stores and bowling alley’s.

Last, before I left, I got another signal around that tree and it was a nice quarter signal. With visions of Barber quarters dancing in my head, I happily dug a six inch deep hole and I found this brooch at the bottom:

Ornate brooch

I was tired and it was time to go home but you can bet I am returning to grid the area. This area is the site of a very old neighborhood that was razed in the mid 1970’s and it is now part of a park.

Thank you for looking!

First Real World Hunt with the XP Deus.

7 Jul

I took my XP Deus metal detector for a real world hunt this morning.

I met Patton, Redd, KansasDave, and gsmith; all from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum at a productive site and we went to work. Right away, I began finding wheat cents (found a total of 16 for the day). The XP Deus gave me nice solid signals. At this site, nothing is deeper than six inches so all the signals I got from the Deus were nice and solid.

There is a lot for me to learn. I began with a factory installed program called Basic 1. Basic 1 runs at 12Khz and so it’s good for general metal detecting. The program comes with a low discrimination setting, meaning it was set to hunt foil on up. I changed the discrimination to hunt for silver and clad. Like many other detectors, the Deus loses depth as you increase the discrimination. Since most targets at the site were relatively shallow, this didn’t cause a problem.

At some point I opened the Deus back up and that’s how I found a fake gold ring and an old interesting brooch.

various metal objects

Deus loot

The Deus is a joy to swing. As KansasDave put it: “it’s like swinging a broom stick”. It is even more of a joy to transport around since you just simply collapse it into a very short machine.

The backphones are very well designed. Once you put them over your ears you quickly forget about them.

Once you hunt without wires and with a light powerful detector, you will settle for nothing less.

The stock nine inch coil is so accurate, I hardly used the pinpoint feature at all.

It was a successful first hunt as I even managed to find a silver coin.

I think I made the right decision.

Thank you for looking!

American Airlines Junior Pilot Ring

5 Jul

I went metal detecting with my Tesoro Compadre this morning. My intent was to clean an area at the park of any pull tabs within the first five inches of ground.

As I was digging a pull tab signal I found this:

Child's brass ring

Not a pull tab

Wing motif on the side of ring

Cool motif

A quick Google search reveals that this ring probably dates to the 40’s or early 50’s. Some people suggest this ring may have come from a cereal box.

***UPDATE*** I now have anecdotal evidence that these rings were given out even into the 1960’s. Kids got them from the pilots when they visited the cockpit and also they got them from the stewardesses***

At any rate, rings are very personal relics and a ring like this always makes me wonder about the person who wore it. They also had Junior Stewardess rings for girls (it was the 50’s after all!) but I believe this ring may have belonged to a girl because a Girl Scout camp stood for many years where I found this ring. I wonder if the person who got this ring as a child is still alive. I wonder if they remember getting this ring and if they sometimes wish they hadn’t lost it.

I think it’s a very cool ring.

Thank you for looking!