Tag Archives: schools

Lots of square inches, lots of coins

18 Nov

I hunted a site that has been active in our city’s history since its very beginnings. The school sitting there is the modern version of the school that was there in the 1870’s. Unfortunately, the dirt at this site has been moved countless times as other structures were built and torn down and at least one railway crossed it. Still, I was hopeful a coin or two may have been left unmolested in the ground.

After almost an hour of digging bits of zinc and old brass, I managed to dig a 1940 wheat cent, then my lunch hour was over. On my way back to the car I could see the thousands of square inches I did not ran my coil over, each with the potential of having a coin under it.

I have mentioned this before. If you think of the site you are working as a collection of square inches, then, maybe, you will be more careful about exploring each and every one of those square inches. I am just saying.

Again, I didn’t take a picture of my wheat; you know what a wheat looks like. I am really enjoying my metal detecting these days. I hope you all are too.

Thank you for stopping by.


First hunt of 2014

1 Jan

Although we were expecting snow today, it was not to happen until the afternoon so I grabbed Maurice and headed into 2014 full of hope. I went to the same school I went to last year on my first hunt of 2013. The school campus is so large that there had to be a keeper or two left.

After about an hour of digging clad, I got a sweet signal and I went for it. I will never get tired of seeing that edge in the coin ball”

The winner of 2014’s first silver coin of the year is a 1947D Roosevelt dime:

Next I found a cool holed token. This token was made by the Pace Manufacturing Company from 1927 until the 1940’s. It went into vending machines also made by the same company, such as the Bantam Mint Vending machine. The vending machines also doubled as slot machines in that after you made the purchase, you also could get tokens back that could be traded for merchandise. It was a clever way to get around anti-gambling laws:


I spent two hours at the school and I left as I did last year feeling that I haven’t yet even scratched the surface. By the way, I found 10 nickels.

So we are off.

Thank you for looking

I Believe I Can Fly!

28 Dec

Once again, the plans of Deus and Man went awry. I had decided to take my XP Deus metal detector to a hunt with Stevouke for lunch but I had to take my lunch earlier than I had planned. I went to a lot where a house stood recently. Somebody had beaten me to it. There were fresh holes and a number of dug items left on site. I still pulled 4 memorials and a clad dime that they missed.

Since I had 45 minutes left, I drove to a school and 20 minutes into the hunt, I got a signal very much like the one I got yesterday when I found the Walking Liberty half. The VDI was high but the audio was sweet. So I dug it with the hopes of scoring another half. What I got instead is about as sweet:



These are my first silver wings. Other hunters in the area have found silver wings and now it was my turn. They are large and heavy. I did nick them a little bit but for the most part they are in good shape.  I couldn’t get a good picture of the markings but it says Sterling on the back. Not that I needed to see the marking to know I had silver!

This is the 5th piece of silver I have recovered since I learned how to interpret this one particular signal on the Deus. I began studying this signal when me and lawdog1 from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum went hunting together. He had asked me to check a signal with my Deus and I dismissed the signal as iron. The target turned out to be a wheat cent and I turned out to be a dunce.

Since that day however, I started to listen more closely to this particular signal. It is a composite signal with a sweet element to it. What I’ve done is to learn to isolate the sweet element and investigate further regardless of the VDI I get.

In the case of the wings, an additional note is that they were standing upright and so I was hitting only the tip of one of the wings. I wished I had taken a picture of them in the hole but in the excitement, I didn’t think of it.

And there you have it. I sure hope this streaks holds until at least tomorrow when I hunt an old church site with Steveouke.

Thank you for looking!

In the twelfth day of Christmas…

24 Dec

…my Deus brought to me…

One war nickel…


…two silver Rosies…

1963_Rosie_in_situ 1964_rosie

….teeeeeeeeen wheat-back ceeeeeeeeents.


So last night, Steveouke once again graciously invited me to hunt what seemed like the perfect spot to find very old coins. The house on the property was built in the 1870’s and there was a stone barn where a church held gatherings in the old days. With visions of Seated coins dancing in our heads we tackled the site but after a couple of hours of hard detecting, none of us had anything to show for our efforts.

So this morning, after breakfast and some family time and with an eye to redeem myself for last night, I bid goodbye to the family and headed out into the very cold morning. I began at a school next to a park. The school was built in the early 50’s so it held the promise of silver Roosevelt dimes and maybe even some late Mercuries.

I found a couple of wheats (’44 and ’56) and then I got a sweet signal at about 3 inches deep. The VDI screamed dime and after I chiseled through the 3 inches, the beautiful sight of a silver coin’s rim appeared to my delight. I gave the school a few more minutes and managed to extract a 1910 wheat and a 1940 wheat before I decided that the ground was too hard.

So I moved on to the park. I decided to re-grid an area that gave up 6 silver coins last year and after about 30 minutes, I had 3 more wheats in my pocket. I then began walking randomly at a different spot that I had not hunted before and I found a 1939 wheat. Next I hit on a 1929 wheat. This was getting interesting! Then I got a quarter signal that sounded like trash. I decided to investigate because the Deus was telling me the target was 7 to 8 inches deep.  The first thing out of the hole was a huge rusted nail. Sometimes, very rusted iron gives quarter signals. However, out of habit, I put the pinpointer in the hole and I got another hit. One more scoopful of dirt revealed the silver edge of a 1942 S nickel! Score!

I stood up and I walked maybe ten steps when I got another quarter signal. I dug it up and the first thing out of the whole was a piece of unidentified rusty iron. No way! I put the pinpointer in the hole and nothing. I covered the hole and before I moved, I ran the Deus over the spot again and I got a surface dime signal! Sure enough, I had pulled a 1964 Rosie along with the nail but I didn’t notice.

So I ended the 4 hour hunt with 3 silvers, 10 wheats, 7 clad quarters, 3 clad dimes and an assortment of copper Lincolns.

Not bad.

Thank you for looking!

Never, never, never, NEVER!…

4 Dec

…skip a site because you’ve heard it has been hunted out.

This year, while hunting a postage stamp-sized park from the late 1800’s with some friends, I found a gold bracelet that at 10K –the bracelet was unmarked, will bring around $400 U.S. once melted. The park is notorious for not yielding anything anymore and yet, there it was, under the coil of my XP Deus metal detector.

The reason why a place is likely to never be hunted out is three-fold:

1) People continue to use a site, even empty lots, and thus the site is replenished with new drops.

2) People who have hunted the place may not have been at the top of their game and thus missed lots of stuff.

3) Considering that a typical target takes up about a square inch of space, well, you do the math.

Plus, there is another mystery to consider here. I don’t know why, and I doubt anyone else knows either, there are many targets that will only be detected at a very specific angle. I had read about this phenomenon from day one but I experienced it first hand well into my first year of detecting. I had hit a private yard from two directions perpendicular to each other (90 degrees) and had returned to do a diagonal search. Going over a spot I had gone over twice in the previous hunts, I got a sweet signal on the AT Pro (my machine at the time) and a VDI that said quarter. I couldn’t believe that I had missed this before. So I decided to go around the target and run my coil over it from different directions. To say that I was shocked is an understatement. I only had to deviate about 15 degrees before I lost the signal completely. COMPLETELY! Not a peep. Not a grunt, whisper, moan. Nothing. Unless I hit the target from that very narrow angle. I dug the hole and at about 4 inches or so, if memory serves me right, I pulled a dateless Standing Liberty quarter.

So lets now think about the fact that a typical target will occupy about 1 square inch of space. Even in a small park, or lot, or yard, we will have a sizable number of square inches to contend with. Add that to the fact that the majority of hunters don’t grid as carefully as they should, or if they do, they eventually tire and get careless, and now you’re beginning to see why there are still good targets left everywhere. Now, remember those targets that will only sound off at a very specific angle and my point is made.

Last, I want to mention something Tom Dankowski says (Tom is a legend of this hobby). “80% of all dropped coins ever, are still in the ground”. He says this because there are several factors making these coins undetectable, the main one being masking. Another one is depth. Tom says that these coins will yield only to the very experienced hunters or to metal detectors of the future.

So there. Don’t be discouraged, the stuff is there. Go get it.

***you can tell when I am not hunting or when I am not finding anything because I start waxing philosophical LOL!***

Thank you for looking!

Thanksgiving Buffalo

22 Nov

After all the food was eaten and people set out to visit with each other, I quietly slipped away, grabbed my XP Deus metal detector, and set out to explore the High School at the town where the Thanksgiving celebrations were being held. The High School was built in 1916 so, even though I know that the local metal detectorist is legendary, I had hopes he missed a coin or two.

Right away, the second coin I dug was this beautiful 1936 Buffalo nickel. The signal was strong and the depth was 5 inches.

Buffalo nickel freshly dug

Ah, I love these nickels!

1936 Buffalo nickel, obverse

This is the best preserved buff I’ve ever dug

1936 buff, reverse

There he is

After almost two hours, it was time to rejoin the family at the T-giving fiesta. I managed about 2 dollars in clad as well but no other old coins. I sure would like to spend a day detecting around this school.

One of the locals told me that near the present garbage dump at this town, there lies a forgotten park that was in vogue in the late 1800’s.  The park is now nothing more than an overgrown empty lot and that a couple of decades ago, a local hunter found gold coins there. I need to research this!

Thank you for looking!


Cold silver

11 Nov

Yesterday, we had temps in the high 60’s with sunny skies. I didn’t metal detect. Today, the thermometer read 34 degrees, cloudy and windy so of course I grabbed Maurice and headed out.

In truth, I wanted to test some new thermal underwear. I had a spot next to a school I’ve been wanting to try for a while. When I got there, I put my XP Deus metal detector to work. As luck would have it, the very first, digable coin signal turned out to be a nice 1939 Mercury dime at about 6 inches deep.

1939 Mercury dime still in the dirt

I love this sight!

It sure makes you think you will be digging silver dimes all day when your first signal is a Merc.

1939 Mercury dime

Cold silver!

The field where I found this Merc is fairly large and I knew I would only be able to cover but a small portion of it. I sure hope there is more silver there.

At the end of the hunt, I ended with 3 wheats, some clad, and of course, the Merc.

Not a bad hunt

Not bad for a cold and windy day. Oh and the thermal underwear performed well.

Thank you for looking!

Getting a little too full of myself

1 Nov

Ok, I have to come clean. I don’t always post my finds.Not because I don’t have time, although often that is the case. It’s just that I don’t deem the finds worthy of a post. After you post the same finds over and over you start wanting to make your posts memorable. If I was finding silver coins every day or gold rings or really cool relics, I wouldn’t be like this. But as it happens, my usual finds are always the same; bullets, clad, crap. YAAAAWN….

Somehow, silver rings got in the category of boring finds in my mind. So I haven’t been posting the silver rings I’ve been finding. Just in the last 3 weeks or so, I’ve found three silver rings that I haven’t even been telling my friends about.

I will remedy this however. I need to get out of that mind set and return to the days when everything and anything I found was exciting.

So here’s a picture of a silver ring I found at lunch the other day, along with the clad and, yep, a bullet. I hadn’t yet deleted this picture from my phone. I did tell Steveouke about this one though.

coins, bullet, and silver ring

The loot

So I hope I continue to find silver rings to tell you about.

Thank you for looking!

Another Indian from the 100 year old school

24 Oct

I returned to the 100 year old school today with my XP Deus metal detector. I was met there by Silversmith45 from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum. Going over the same dirt where I pulled a 1920 Merc, I came across a signal that was in the pulltab range with the smallest bleep of a high tone. Since the soil at this site seems to be a bit strange, I decided to dig it. At about 5-6 inches, I found this 1907 Indian Head cent in kind of a corroded state.

1907 Indian Head cent - obverse

To me, there is no ugly Indian Head

Not bad for hunting a spot that I’ve been over twice already.

1907 Indian Head cent in situ

Fresh out of the dirt

There is a high probability that this Indian Head cent has been in the ground for 100 years. The person who dropped this coin  is probably dirt themselves by now.

I continue to be impressed with my Deus. I even found this coin without headphones as I had forgotten them at home.

I lost count of how many Indians I’ve found this year. I think maybe 10 or 12 now.

This is Indian Head cent number 9 for the year. Even though it is the most recently minted Indian, it is also about the worse condition-wise. The years of my Indians are:
1906 (x2)

All of them were found in Wichita. I wonder if I can find 10 indians for the year.

Thank you for looking!

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!