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The first Barber of 2012

15 Oct

Phew! I thought I was going to go all through 2012 without finding a Barber coin. Luckily, the XP Deus metal detector is a monster in iron. I returned for an hour to the 100 year old school that I hunted yesterday and was able to pull a trade token and an 1897 Barber quarter.

The token is about the size of a U.S. nickel and thanks to Steveouke, I know that it was made by a company called Mills between 1913 and 1932. The token was used in slot machines that were designed to prove that the machines themselves were not gambling machines!  They did this by telling the gambler (gamer?) how many coins he or she would win on the next spin. If the number shown was zero, then you would put your coin in anyway because the next number  shown could be something other than zero. The machines also dispensed gum for your coin, thus making the machine a combination of vending and gambling machine. Interesting to say the least.

trade token and Barber quarter

Not a bad haul

The Barber quarter gave a dime signal. I wonder if the reason for that is that the quarter is very worn. The coin was about 5 inches deep.

Although the spot where I found these two (and the 1881 Indian Head and 1920 Merc yesterday) is iron infested, the Deus was able to pick up their signal nice and clear. I think I will hit it one more time before I move on to my other spot where I think I will find silver.

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!

Good Luck Token

22 Sep

I met a couple of guys from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum this morning to metal detect at an old city park. These two guys use Etracs and they have been tearing this park apart, finding silver coin after silver coin, including a very cool 1891 Seated Liberty dime last weekend. I of course, brought Maurice, my XP Deus metal detector.

After a couple of hours, none of us had found very much. Redd found a 1910 wheat with no mint mark and I found this very cool Good Luck token.

Good Luck token

World Fair, St. Louis Missouri!

The token is just about the size of an American half-dollar coin and it references the Worlds Fair in St. Louis that took place in 1904. So either this token was given out at the fair or it was made after the fair and the token advertises that their stoves won the grand prize at the Worlds Fair. Either way, it is my oldest good luck token to date.

Good Luck token - reverse

The middle has a four-leaf clover and the words Good Luck.

Since KansasDave found that very cool Seated dime, I intend to hunt this park quite a bit this Fall.

Thank you for looking!

My findings as of late

13 Sep

Although I haven’t been posting lately, I have been able to get out and dig a thing or two.

I have been concentrating on a particular spot at a particular park with the long term goal in mind of eventually hitting it with a P.I. machine or maybe even with a BlissTool. To that end, I have been digging up all targets and I am now left with only tiny pieces of foil, which the Deus hits hard at very impressive depths. Still, I continue to be amazed that after almost a year of hunting this spot, I still find interesting objects there.

A couple of weeks ago I was very surprised to find this Wichita Transportation Co. token at about 6 inches down.

Old Wichita trolley token

Good for one fare

About 20 yards away from this one, on a different day, I found an even earlier version of this token from when the company was called The Wichita Railroad and Light Co. Unfortunately, I misplaced that picture.

At a different park, I found yet another dateless Buffalo nickel. I don’t get tired of them though!

Buffalo nickel

I love them Buffs

And speaking of nickels, one of the things I love to do with the Deus is to turn it into a nickel machine by changing the tones and by using notching. There are countless nickels in our city parks just waiting for me to dig them up.

Jefferson nickels

This is becoming a common occurrence

And I continue my search for more gold even as my friends Patton and Steveouke are cleaning up on the silver coins.

Fall is here and I should be able to get out more often. Stay tuned!

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!

A token kind of day

19 Jul

I spent two hours very early this morning metal detecting with the XP Deus metal detector. I returned to the site where I found my very first ever trade token and I found two more of the same except the number in the back was different. Then I found two additional but different tokens and a numbered lead seal.

This leads me to believe that this may have been the site of a store at some time in the past. I found no coins though, at least not yet.

various old tokens

A fistful of tokens

Trade token

The numbers on the reverse are different

Trade token obverse

This one is in much better shape than the last one

The two other tokens are in poor shape. I have seen the Palmolive token many times before so I know what it is for (a cake of soap). The Ranch El Campo token is a different story. I’ve never seen one before.

I found other things at the site including a copper spoon that I broke while extracting it from the hard, dry ground and a number of house parts made of brass and copper.

I still have hopes of finding coins there but I may wait for more rain (we got some rain today but not nearly enough).

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

16259

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!

The Deus and the Iron Pit

11 Jul

I took the XP Deus metal detector to the Iron Pit. The Iron Pit has become the proving grounds for all my metal detectors.

The Deus p-owned the Iron Pit!

I have said that I have hunted the Iron Pit until there were no signals left except ferrous signals. Then I took the Tesoro Compadre and was floored that I was able to get a few non-ferrous targets out of the Iron Pit.

Well today, after work, I hit the Iron Pit with the Deus. In essence and for all practical purposes, the Iron Pit has become a live site again, with LOTS of non-ferrous signals.

various metal objects

Iron Pit, p-owned!

I even managed to get a silver earring!

Not pictured are about a dozen pull tabs and beaver tails that were invisible to my other detectors.

silver earring

This was so loud and clear, a deaf man could have found it.

Getting non-ferrous targets from an iron-infested site with the Deus was like taking candy from a baby.

I used the Deus Fast program that came installed from the factory. I am so excited at the prospect of gridding the Iron Pit with the Deus and seeing what amazing goodies I missed before.

Oh, and I only took the targets that were easy to extract. I left many signals that were deep and will wait for me and the Sampson T-handle digger.

Thank you for looking!

Square token – **UPDATED**

10 Jul

I found an interesting square token with my XP Deus metal detector this morning.

It is made of brass and it is exactly 2cm x 2cm (approx. 3/4 inch) or about the size of a U.S. nickel coin.  The fact that the measurements are exact in metric units makes me suspect that this is not a U.S. token (metrication is voluntary in the U.S.).

**UPDATE** I was right. This token appears to be a German transportation token. Many thanks to Stevouke for steering me in the right direction. Although I could not find an exact match, I found many other examples that matched the style of the this token and all were transportation tokens from Germany. This one could be old.****

I find it interesting that the value (?) of this token is 2 1/2.

square brass token

M.K. Hmmmmm….

brass token reverse

About two fitty

Another interesting thing is that the font on the obverse does not match the font on the reverse.

I could not find any information about it on the Web.

At the spot where I found the token, there stood a Girl Scout camp from the 1920’s to the 1980’s but the neighborhood around it dates as far back as 1900. I’ve found several Indian Head cents at the site, as well as a 1901 dog tag.

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!