Tag Archives: relics

So many coins, so little time

3 Nov

Yesterday, I went back to a couple of spots that have been producing coins for me. The first was at the 1884 park where I have an 5′ x 10′ area that won’t stop giving up coins and the second was at another old park (1887) where I pulled a number of old coins this past Summer from an area equally as small.

I didn’t take a picture but I found two wheats from one park and one wheat and two copper pennies from the 70’s from the other. Again, these coins were there every time I hunted those two spots before and I missed them.

Anyway, today at lunch I tried a different park (1886) and as I was detecting, the thought struck me that there hundreds of spots in the old parks where I’ve never ran my detector. The possibilities are endless.

You may think me overly optimistic for no reason but in fact I do have a reason and I am going to tell you about it.
Before the Great Depression, Wichita was a happening place. I don’t mean just a good place to be at; I mean THE place to be at. Wichita was slated to become the next Chicago. Movers and shakers were relocating here in troves. Opportunity flowed through the city streets and anyone with a modicum of spunk could make it big. All these successful and driven people needed a place to be seen and a place to relax after a hard day of getting rich and our city parks were a great place to do just that. That is why I get excited at the thought of all those areas in our old parks I’ve never touched.

Before I had to go back to work, I pursued a faint signal under an old tree among a roar of iron grunts. at the bottom of a nine inch hole sat a spoon:

Sometime in the 20’s I would guess, one of those early Wichita dreamers sat near the Arkansas river with his lovely companion to have a pick-nick. Between laughter, drinks, and talk about their bright future, one of them dropped this spoon and forgot all about it.
(Or a hobbo during the Depression ate his hobbo stew with an old spoon he found somewhere). Take your pick. It is still a cool find.

Thank you for stopping by.



13 May

I am a coinshooter. To a coinshooter, things under the ground are either coins, or Other Than Coin (O.T.C.)

Today at lunch, I took the Blisstool metal detector, Dragomir, to the park I hunted yesterday at lunch, with the hopes of pulling that elusive Seated coin. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Instead I dug O.T.C.


This is all the OTC I dug up on my lunch hour. Generally, I don’t post about OTC unless it’s a really cool object. I wonder what the cylindrical object is. It is only one half of it. It may have been part of a cigar container. The flat brass object was in the hole with it ***UPDATE…It just occurred to me that this is the end of a pocket knife*** . The bullet case must predate the park, unless it was perfectly OK to shoot your gun at the park in 1884. Bird shot has appeared in my life again. It seems every time I get a new detector and begin to learn its language, I dig a bunch of bird shot. It sounds really good and with the Bliss, I dug those suckers at 5 and 6 inches deep. The square nail and the wire were experimental digs, just to see what the Bliss was telling me. I wonder why they didn’t get caught by the discrimination circuit.

Very early on in Wichita, the Chisholm creek ran a very close to where this park is. Just 2 or 3 blocks away, one of Wichita’s earliest mills was built at the edge of the creek. I imagine that people came hunting around the creek as wild life would have concentrated here. I have found a good number of old bullets at this park, including a large .58 caliber mini ball from a Springfield rifle.

At any rate, I am getting a little better at listening to the signals Dragomir produces. The Seateds are not far behind.

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!


7 Nov

I went back to the oldest park in Wichita for lunch today. I continue to explore the new 11 inch coil on the Deus. It’s a new paradigm I tell you. So I decided to try a new area of the park. It’s funny how a small park such as this has ‘areas’ but yet it does. Right away I began to get signals at a spot that didn’t have signals before. The first target was a 1907 Indian Head cent. Soon after, another 1907 Indian came out of the ground. Then a couple of memorials, then a cool medical pin mixed in with trash. Last, I pulled a 1918D wheat cent.


I think I have found the spot at the park that will yield the Seated coin. I got a slim signal there; I would say this was my first whisper with the 11 inch coil. I dug a foot deep and found a Bell jar’s lid with the glass insert at the bottom. I broke all to pieces trying to extract it. I was really hoping that there would be coins with it but alas, it was not to be. Then I got another whisper. I dug an 11 inch deep hole and at the bottom I found a piece of brass that appeared to have designs on it. You can see it pictured above with the coins. So I surmise that this part of the park has not been messed with much and all the old stuff is fairly deep. I left many, many signals undug because I ran out of time but it is for sure that I will hit that spot hard in the coming hunts. There is a Seated coin there and I WILL find it. 🙂

Thank you for looking!

Number 50 is another Barber dime

11 Oct

I took Maurice down to Riverside park again today at lunch. I decided to return to an area that appears was a pond at one time. The earliest aerial photo I can find, from 1938, shows that the pond was already dry by then. Anyway, I’ve found a few old coins along the erstwhile bank so I thought I would try again.

Not too long into the hunt, I got a deep squeak and I decided it was worth digging. Around the eight inch mark I pulled this, my fiftieth silver coin of the year.


It’s another 1899 Barber dime with no mint mark (which means it was minted in Philadelphia). Two things to note here: The coin was laying against rusted iron and the coin was at one time, exposed to water for a considerable time. I thus deduce that this coin was dropped when there was water in the pond. Brilliant, I know.

Before I covered the hole, I scanned it with the pinpointer and I got another hit! Unfortunately, it was a piece of ancient barbed wire (I think) and possibly the piece of rusted iron the dime rested next to.


I did a cursorily cleaning on the coin and this is the best I can do for now:


After my mandatory 30 minutes, I called the hunt done:


The half round object near gave me a stroke. It was at the bottom of a 9 inch deep hole and I thought for sure I had a large cent! Alas, it is a piece of a very old pocket watch. It is decorated (it is cool how long ago we even decorated pieces that were not meant to be seen) and the holes and pits you see is where this piece fit with the other parts of the watch. The wheat cent is a 1944 and the square nail is the millionth square nail I have found in our city parks. I will never know for sure why there are soooo many square nails in our city parks.

Now, I only need to find another 50 silver coins between today and New Year’s to meet my goal of 100 silver coins for the year.

Thank you for looking!

Finding the X

30 Aug

X marks the spot, the saying goes. I’ve been hunting a site for over a year now where once a neighborhood thrived. It has been a chore to locate the backyards and front yards, where modern construction has not covered them. Last year, I found a backyard that produced two Indian cents and a Walking Liberty half.  An erstwhile front yard produced a number of wheats.

Today, on a 15 minute hunt during my lunch hour, I think I located another backyard. The site is horribly littered with the remains of the houses that stood there, yet, my Deus is custom built for this kind of situation. I raised my reactivity (recovery speed in Deus parlance) and immediately found a piece of ornate bling from times past:


Then, I found pieces of old brass tags, and pieces of toy cars and such. Last, I got a sweet signal that spoke of old coin. Maurice (my Deus metal detector) didn’t lie. In the hole, I found an 1890 Indian Head cent, my tenth this year. Although it has iron incrustations, the coin shows little wear, leading me to conclude that it was dropped near its mint date.


It is not unusual for me to find early stuff like this along with relics and coins from later years since the neighborhood stood there from Wichita’s early years to the 1970’s, when it was torn down.

I am happy to have a new spot to scrub in search of cool coins and such.

Thank you for looking!

Renten Pfennig

30 Jun

I love finding old foreign money. This morning I found this cool Renten Pfennig coin from Germany. It is from 1929 and it’s in very good shape. In size, it is just a tad smaller than a U.S. dime.



To date I have found coins from China, Israel, France, Canada, Italy, Mexico, and now, Germany. I think it would be extremely cool to find an old silver foreign coin.

Also, in my hunts, I find many, many pieces of old brass and copper that never make it to the blog. This morning I found this odd piece of brass at the park. It was fairly deep so I surmise that it harkens back to the early days of the park. I have no idea what it is but I love how we used to decorate even the smallest pieces of whatever back in the day. This whatsit is about the size of a U.S. quarter.


Thank you for looking!

Wednesday Evening V nickel

19 Jun

I had some free time this evening so I headed to the park to continue investigating all the new features on my XP Deus metal detector.

I was specifically looking for pull tab signals hoping for some gold. No gold was found but I did find this cool 1902 V nickel:


I knew I was in an old spot because after the nickel I found Dr. Scholl Footeazer, patented in July 25, 1905.
The Footeazer is a shoe insert. The picture below shows the underside of it. On the top, the Footeazer had a surface of leather or cloth. The bottom part was supposed to spring as the user walked.


Before my time was up, I found this medal:


It needs better cleaning but I can see that it is a Wichita Kansas Scottish Rite Temple medal. The reverse is still too encrusted with dirt to see what’s written on it or what emblem is depicted.
From what I can tell, this medal stems from the 20’s and it may have been a visitor’s medal. Here’s what it’s supposed to look like:

srt-medal 2

srt-medal 1

Now, I think my version of the metal may be older because of the style of the name tag. An interesting bit here is that the temple depicted on the medal, shows that the tower in the corner of the building has a copula; when you visit the temple today, the tower has no cupola anymore. I wonder what happened to it? The Scottish Rite Temple depicted in this medal was built in 1887.

I am definitely getting used to the full tones feature of the Deus. Now I need to figure out how to exploit the deeper capabilities of the machine.

Thank you for looking!

Thrash By Any Other Name…

30 May

…could be something cool!

What do you consider trash when metal detecting? Pull tabs? Foil? Zinc Lincoln cents?

The reason why I want to split hairs here is that I have read many, many posts out on the Web, whereas some wizened detectorist tells noobies that if the VDI jumps all over the place and the audio is a mix of mid tones, high tones, and iron grunts, that the target is likely to be trash.

Not too long ago, I would have accepted that assertion as gospel but now that I have put away childish things, I am looking at that kind of signal in a different way.

Let me repeat something someone smarter than me said: “There is no such thing as an iffy signal, only iffy analysis”. So when you run into a signal as the one described above, you could be leaving a keeper in the ground if you don’t spend some time looking at it with a critical eye.

Just yesterday, I ran into one such signal. What got my attention was the fact that the depth kept changing with each VDI shown in the screen. The audio changed accordingly. I asked myself, “Am I looking at an amorphous piece of aluminum can, or am I looking at several targets in close proximity here?” I walked around the target and tightened my swing to try to separate each sound. Eventually I could isolate the high tone and it came in somewhere below where a copper penny would be at 12KHz. If I moved the coil just a tad bit more, the mid tones and iron grunts would pipe in, at different depths.

It was then time to dig it to see if I was right. I was right. In the hole, there were: One piece of aluminum can (can slaw), a piece of rusted iron, and a 1996 clad dime. Sure, it was just a clad dime but it could have been anything in the coin range, even silver. The VDI was a bit off because of the other objects near the dime.

I am not suggesting you dig every signal of this nature. I am only suggesting that you spend a little more time evaluating them. It may pay off for you to do so.

And by the way, I no longer consider pull tabs and bottle caps trash. Their signals are so unique and consistent that I think of them as relics. Another thing I don’t consider trash is rusted iron, especially nails. In fact, square nails now are kind of sweet to me, especially if they are whole. In my hate list there are only two things (in order of hate)

1) Empty holes, or holes to nowhere as I like to call them.

2) Foil.

Unfortunately, given the way I run my detector and the nature of the signals I hunt, I dig more holes to nowhere than I should. And foil, well, foil may eventually grow on me and move over to the category of relic as well.

Thank you for looking!

Old Timey Relics

7 May

I met Stevouke from the Wheat State Treasure Hunter group after lunch work to hunt a lot located in an old part of town. We both experienced heavy EMI so it was tough hunting.

For my part, I ended with three cool relics:


This is a 1922 commemorative token from Pella Iowa. I saw that one sold online for $18.  They are supposed to be rare.

The interesting thing about this token is the Latin inscription; ‘In Des Spes Nostra et Refugium’ translates to ‘In God our Hope and refuge’. Every where I looked however, the Latin for that phrase was ‘In Deo Est Spes Nostra et Refugium’. I wonder if they really misspelled the Latin word for God. Please if you know Latin, weigh in.


This tag is from New Method Bood Bindery from Jacksonville Illinois. The company was founded in 1920 and their motto was ‘ These books are bound to stay bound’


The last relic is definitely local. I couldn’t find any information about it online. I have no idea who Sherry Peter Turley was. Most of the Turleys that came up on my search were from Hutchinson, Ks.  Skateland of course, is a skating rink. I don’t know if they are still open in Wichita.

Besides these cool relics, I found a Bell jar lid with the glass insert still intact plus some clad. No old coins.

Thank you for looking.