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Tag Archives: silver jewelry

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.

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More Wow

19 Jan

I returned to the park with my XP Deus metal detector. I was aiming to spend some careful time at the spot I hunted yesterday (for the 1000th time).

Right away I hit a couple of clusters of pull tabs. Amazing that these were not picked up by me on the previous 999 times I hunted this particular spot. Then I hit a 1944 wheat. Some guy approached me to ask about the hobby. As he shadowed me, I dug some trash. Then he watched me dig the 1919 Buffalo. He thought the coin was valuable. I had to tell him the truth of the matter. Still, he thought the Buff was a really neat coin (and it is!). After he left, I hit yet another wheat, this time a 1941. Hard to believe.

As I was walking to my car I got a nice repeatable foil signal with a non-shifting target id. Thinking it may be gold I went for it. Instead of gold I found a stud earring with the unmistakable silver sheen. I had to wait until I got home to look for markings.
Hunt2

stud_earring

It would be really nice if I found silver every time I went out this year. Come on, a guy can dream!

Thank you for stopping by!

The Mysteries of Masking and the Mighty Compadre

26 Jun

I went out for an hour yesterday, after dealing with a sick child. Once he was feeling better and was watching t.v. I excused myself for a bit of gold hunting.

I returned to one of three spots that I am methodically clearing of all mid-tones. At one point, I got what I believed to be a deep target signal. It was a consistent high chirp from all directions. I cut a deep plug and stuck the pinpointer in the hole but got no signal. When I laid the pinpointer down to deepen the hole, the pinpointer sat about 12 inches away from the hole and it went off big. I thought I would remove whatever was making the pinpointer go off before I continued looking for my deep target. The target that was setting the pinpointer off was a large mass of iron just a couple of inches below the surface.

So before I returned to digging the deep target out, I stood up and re-swiped the hole just to be sure I wasn’t off on my pinpointing.  There was no signal in the hole anymore so I scanned the plug and bang! a solid, no-doubt-about-it pull tab signal came loudly through the backphones. What!?

Curious, I put the plug back in the hole and scanned it from the top. Sure enough, the loud pull tab signal was there. Why didn’t I get this loud signal before? I dug the pull tab out with the Lesche and it turned out to be just 3 inches deep. I swear that I scanned this signal from all sides! And before I removed the large iron object  the pull tab sounded faint and high like the kind of signal that I dig all the time and that usually produces a deep target.

After thinking about it, I decided that the large iron target, TWELVE inches away, was masking this pull tab. I was using my 11 inch coil, which has a large footprint. An obvious solution to this is to use a sniper coil, thus minimizing the effects of the masking in this case. So yes, a smaller coil would have dealt with this problem but it wouldn’t eliminate THE problem, which is masking.

Now consider this on a smaller scale. Say, an aluminum can is sitting 6 inches away from a desirable target, Would I hear the good target? What if the large masking target was sitting 4 inches away? What if you don’t use a sniper coil all the time? Masking is a real problem and I fear an all too frequent one. And the point I am really trying to make here is that the masking target NEED NOT be on TOP of the good target to effectively mask it. Here are the metal chunk and the pull tab in question:

masking

 

The rusted iron is about 2 inches thick.

So, today, for my lunch hour hunt, I left Maurice at home and brought instead the Mighty Compadre. With its 5 inch coil, is perfect for hunting gold in a trashy park. As if to assert his mightiness, the second target in my lunch hour hunt with the Compadre was this:

old-ring

The ring was about 5 inches deep and gave a nice and clear beep. I was discriminating anything below nickel. The ring is obviously silver although no maker’s mark is present. It is well worn and the style says vintage. The picture doesn’t do it justice. Once I got to my office and cleaned it well, I could tell there was absolutely no corrosion. The silver looks old and the stone looks to be a garnet. I will test it with the acid once I get home but I am confident this is very old silver.

After a 1977 nickel and a few more pull tabs I decided to go get some food.

I’ve decided to continue my gold hunting with the Compadre. I know it won’t let me down.

Thank you for stopping by!

 

Nickelodeon and the mystery of the missing gold

28 Jan

I went out with my XP Deus metal detector the other day looking for cool stuff. As usual, I hit one of our city parks. Most of our city parks are hunted regularly so I am not surprised when I don’t find a lot of clad –or any clad, there.

This time however, I found a few dimes, a bunch of nickels, and even a quarter.

nickels

The clad was surprising but the nickels were not. Finding nickels with the Deus is child’s play. And since it seems that no one else digs nickel signals, there are always many left in any of our city parks.

The mystery to me is that with as many nickels as I dig, and 7 to 8 nickels a hunt is not unusual, why am I not finding lots of gold? I guess that speaks volumes about the volume of gold in our parks; that is, there is not much. Still, I will continue to dig nickel signals because Maurice makes it easy.

Oh, and I found my first silver ring of the year. About 6 inches down and gave a strong quarter signal. I’ll take it.

ring1

Because of the increased level of stress at my job this time of year, I find it necessary to resume my lunch hour hunts to clear my head. So much for the walking! LOL!

Thank you for looking!

 

 

The cool silver clip

8 Nov

I returned to the spot I found yesterday at the city’s oldest park. Maurice immediately found me some very deep, very old pieces of metal, mostly lids from bell jars and other assorted stuff. I dug a number of lead seals from all over the area. I can’t imagine what they went to. Eventually I stopped digging that signal but I may at one point dig all of them up. My findings convinced me that I am right and that the spot is the oldest undisturbed piece of the park.

Before I left, I got a deep signal. With the 11″ coil, the deep signals are much louder and sometimes I even get an accurate VDI. This signal was louder than the old whispers I used to get with the 9″ coil and the VDI was that of a wheat or an Indian. So I dug up my usual 7 inch deep plug and at the bottom I got a dim hit with the Garrett pinpointer. Another inch of dirt out and I saw the clump of metal at the bottom. Once I cleaned it a little I thought I could read the word sterling on it but I wasn’t sure. Plus, the word was on the front and not on the back as one would expect.

Once I got home I cleaned it and sure enough, it says sterling. I place this piece at the turn of the century and now I know I can hit smallish silver at 8 inches with no problem and with a good, discernible tone. The Seated coin is still in the ground; for now.

old-hunt

cool-clip

Thank you for looking!

If you only dig coin signals you will miss stuff

5 Nov

I was talking with Steveouke yesterday about how some old coins in the ground don’t sound like coins at all when you run your metal detector’s coil over them. This is particularly important to me since I am still looking for my first Seated coin.

Well, after work I stopped at a park for a few minutes at a spot that I just know has more old coins (I’ve found a few there already). I didn’t find any coins but I did get a signal that registered between a pull tab and a zinc Lincoln cent. I don’t usually get this target id. I have the XP Deus set to give a mid tone on this VDI. It was good and consistent so I decided to dig it. I pulled a rusted nail first and then I re-scanned the hole but got nothing else. I knew that the nail would not have given off that signal, so I scanned the plug with my pinpointer and sure enough, I got a hit at about the 4-5 inch mark. This is what I found:

dirty-pendant

 

clean-pendant

This tiny pendant is marked “Sterling” on the back. If I only dug high tones with coin VDI’s I would have left this in the ground. Let me remind you that three cent coins would also ring somewhere around this range.

I am not saying you should dig every beep but you may want to broaden your digging criteria if you only dig coin signals.

Thank you for looking!

 

Silver by any other name…

17 Jun

I have been hunting but I haven’t been posting. Here are the finds from the last few hunts:

From my neighborhood park, a silver St. Christopher, a little larger than a U.S. quarter, that got in a fight with a lawnmower and lost:

st-silver

From a private property that I hunted with Stevouke and another hunter from the Wheat State Treasure Hunters came a cool 1913 Buffalo nickel and a 1908 Indian Head cent:

IH-Buff

From my deep silver park, a 1936 Buffalo nickel and an old sterling silver ring that I broke during extraction:

silv-ring

 

1936Buff

No silver coins although I get the feeling many silver coins will forthcoming soon! Why?…

MAURICE HAS A NEW BRAIN!!!!

Yep, the software on the Deus has been upgraded to version 3. I took it out for a quick spin this afternoon and quickly got targets out of a spot in the park that had long since dried up, even with the Deus! Version 3 has a number of improvements and additions one of which may become my hunting standard. Right away I can go deeper. There is a noticeable increase on the strength of the small, deep beeps. Also, the Deus is noticeably better on the iron. Instead of getting my usual iron wrap-around, many of the iron signals actually came in with the VDI of 00. The other thing that just blew my mind is how much faster the thing is! All of that plus a bucket full of new features is sure to increase my silver count.

Thank you for looking!

Trash talk and a Merc

29 Apr

I went to a small park for lunch to swing the Deus over dirt from 1920. This is another stamp-size park in my beloved city that has been hunted heavily. In fact, while I was hunting, an old timer came by to chit chat about the good old days. He told me that the park was hit hard back in the day and that the easy silver was long gone by the 1970’s. I was about to tell him that Maurice and I specialize on finding hard silver when he acknowledged that top of the line tech would make a difference on reviving a dead park. My hat was off to the old White’s guy for his keen observation.

Anyway, back to the subject. The situation at this park, at least in the spot where I was digging, was dismal. There was what appeared to be black top detritus, thick and deep under the grass. Lots of coke and I don’t mean the drink. It was almost as if there was a railway there at one time.  Coke, in case you don’t know, is some kind of coal that has been processed and it sets off a metal detector. It was used as fuel in the olden days. So Maurice was chirping like a deranged robot. All the signals I got were wrap-around; that is, high tones with 97-98 VDIs. Lots of iron grunts as well. Not pretty.

But like I said, Maurice and I specialize in hunting this kind of dirt and soon we had a winner:

1939-dirty

A 1939 D Mercury dime at about 4-5 inches. Even at this shallow depth, the Deus reported it as a 97-98 with a high tone in between all the noise.

At the end, this was my hunt:

hunt

When I took this picture, I didn’t know that the small hair clip was silver. It is heavily tarnished but it is marked Sterling on the back with a Jeweler’s mark of a capital letter B inside a circle and a patent number. So make that two silver items out of the coke and iron infested spot. You go Maurice!

***The hair clip –tie clip? Has the words PAT. followed by what appears to be a date : x-7-15 (no patent numbers here or the UK are formatted this way). I cannot see the first number clearly because of a small rusted iron encrustation that is obscuring part of it but it looks to be a 7. Careful research in the U.S. patent website reveals that no patents were applied for nor given on 7-7-1915. It’s an old silver clip either way***

silver

EATING CROW SECTION

My friend lawdog1 from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum, invited me to hunt this park last year. I smugly scoffed at the suggestion because I had hunted this park with my other detectors and had found nothing. Well, my friend, here’s me eating humble pie. There is silver in them thar grassy areas!

Thank you for looking!

Another Buffalo and a ring

31 Mar

March was a bad month for me as far as metal detecting goes. I hardly got out to hunt at all.

On this last day of March I managed to get out to the park for a couple of hours of quality time with Maurice.

After digging a number of small pieces of old brass I got a signal that was reading like a wheat or an Indian Head but instead was a dateless Buffalo nickel. Actually there is a date but it is hardly visible. It looks like a 1929 but I could be wrong. On my way back to the car, I got another signal I thought would be a wheat or an Indian but it turned out to be a small silver ring.

Buff-n-ring

Clean

 

So I ended the month with a cool coin and some silver. Here’s hoping that I can hunt more in April!

Thank you for looking.

 

A small silver ring

24 Jan

Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, the only silver comes in the form of a ring. This one read like a half-dollar on my XP Deus metall detector. It is very heavy so I suppose that’s the reason for the high reading.

ring_dirty

 

ring_clean

The stamp reads MEX 925

Thank you for looking!