Tag Archives: wheat cent

Finally, a hunt!

18 Sep

After a week of no hunting, I finally was able to take Maurice for a spin. For my triumphant return, I chose to hunt my tried and true deep silver park at lunch time yesterday. I selected an area that I have hit numerous times in the past but had not hunted in the last six months or so. Not five minutes into the hunt I got a super sweet signal with a classic silver dime VDI. It is very rare for me to get this kind of signal but I wasn’t about to complaint:


It just warms my heart to see this sight!


Out of the hole came a 1948 Roosevelt dime. Afterwards,  I found a pretty piece of old bling (not pictured) and a 1919 wheat cent and nothing else but I went back to work happy.

Thank you for looking!

Off The Deep End

7 Jun

I stopped at a park on my way home from work last night. The spot I selected to hit with my XP Deus metal detector was a spot I hunted often in the past. I’ve pulled many a keeper from here including old coins, cool relics, and silver and gold jewelry. I’ve hunted it to the point that the high tones are scant.

Knowing that the high tones were all but gone, I decided to do something I’ve threatened to do for a long time and that is I decided to hunt the iron grunts. Yes, you heard me right. I went after the signal practically every other hunter works hard to avoid.

Right off I want to tell you that hunting iron grunts is not something you should do often. It will drive you mad. Nonetheless, there I was, digging the old rusted iron.

My protocol was simple: dig any grunt with a shape, that is, any grunt that repeated from all angles:



Not pictured here are about 12 pieces of amorphous rusted iron that included many pieces of iron foil. From left to right you are looking at a spatula handle that was about a foot deep, two open pocket knives, a complete harmonica reed and a few nails. I was surprised that I didn’t dig any more nails.

I also dug up any wrap-around iron signal I came across with surprising results:



The “pin” is something I’ve dug elsewhere in Wichita and I don’t know what it is. It has a logo but as in the past, I can’t quite make it out.  The small button-like round objects are all lead.

So there you have it. Even though it is not something I recommend you do often, I do recommend you do it at least once but only at a very old site so that at least you can end up with some interesting junk.

Thank you for looking!

1928 D Mercury dime

5 Jun

For lunch today, my XP Deus metal detector and I returned to the spot where I found the 1941 Merc yesterday.

I decided to concentrate on a relatively small area. After I found a couple of wheat cents, I knew that I had selected the right place. Soon I got a deep signal with no VDI but with a sweet tone. I dug a 7 inch hole and the target was still in the hole but barely under the bottom. One more scoopful brought up the coin ball:


Have I mentioned that I just LOVE seeing that silver edge poking out of the dirt?

After I released the coin from its dirt jail, I saw that it was a 1928 D Merc in bad shape. It it heavily scratched and worn but I’ll take it.



The last target that was not trash, was a Kansas 2 Mil tax token. It was a fun hunt and I hope to take more keepers from there.


Thank you for looking!

Sweet Coin Spill

23 May

Maurice (my XP Deus metal detector) and I have done it again at another old park. I began hunting this park a few days ago because it is an old park, it is a trashy park, and it is a mid-sized park. All these things told me there was silver to be had there.

As usual, I took my lunch hour and headed straight to the park. I had found in my previous hunts there a number of early wheats and various and sundry other things. Today I was more determined than ever to find silver. I began at an area that I knew from previous hunts was loaded with pulltabs and was especially loaded with bottle caps. That scenario is a nightmare to hunt but finding keepers in a spot like that is part and parcel for the mighty XP Deus.

Sure enough, after digging a number of deep, flat,and rusted bottle caps, I finally hit upon a sweet tone among the harsher cap tones. The VDI, of course, was nowhere near being accurate. The Deus reported a 98, which is a tell-tale of iron wrap-around.The sweetness of the dim tone could not be denied however so I set upon  the task of digging a hole.

At first, I pulled a 1919 wheat at about 7 inches. I stuck my pinpointer in and got nothing more so I covered the hole but as I always do, I ran the coil over the spot one more time and again I got a deep, dim high tone with no VDI but this signal was just to the side of the now covered hole.  I re-dug the hole and out came this:


I cleaned the dirt off the 1936 D Merc and I took a picture of it with the wheat and sent it to Stevouke as proof that I had pulled silver from this park as I promised I would do.

Once the message was sent, I re-scanned the hole with the Deus and I got a sweet signal on the loose dirt I had pulled. It was another wheat. I scanned again and I got a deep, not so sweet high tone in the hole. I pulled yet another wheat. Both wheats were from the 1920’s. I ran the coil over the hole and I got yet another deep signal to the side of the hole. I widened the hole and I was very happy to see this come out:


If you look closely, you can see the edge of another silver dime showing! After I broke it out of the dirt ball, I had a 1942D Mercury dime. I very carefully re-scanned the hole and pulled a couple of rusted bottle caps but no more coins. No matter; I had a sweet coin spill to post about.


Thank you for looking!


11 Apr

Since I didn’t get to detect in March, I decided to try to catch up a little so I took Maurice, my XP Deus metal detector, to the Iron Pit for a two hour hunt after work.

I began at the Iron Pit proper but after getting no diggable signals I moved off a little and after a few minutes I had wraparound signal with no VDI and iffy audio with just enough sweetness. I dug my obligatory 7 inch hole and just below the surface of the bottom I got a nice solid hit with the Garrett pinpointer. One more dirt scoop with the old Lesche revealed that much beloved silver edge. Out came a 1929 Mercury dime.


I continued my hunt and after a few minutes I got another iffy signal although this one was better defined than the first one. I dug the hole and again, somewhere between 7 and 8 inches I found another little dirt ball with a gorgeous reeded edge! And wouldn’t you know it, it was another 1929 Mercury dime!



Right about that time, I heard a little girl ask someone what it was I was doing. The father of the girl said I was metal detecting. I looked up and asked her if she wanted to see my coins. They both came over and I showed them the dimes. The dad was very impressed and the little girl thought the coins were pretty. While they were admiring the coins a woman with her dog stopped to see the coins and then another man with his dog stopped and I had an audience! The man with the dog told me he had gotten 5 Mercury dimes from a dime roll once. He knew about coins because he explained to my audience that although they are commonly known as Mercury dimes, the proper name is Winged Liberty.

Anyway, it was kind of cool to have people not judge me and instead have them appreciate my finds.


After that I found three wheats, the earliest being a 1916, a Kansas tax token, some clad dimes, and a No Cash Value token.


Not a bad hunt.

Thank you for looking!

A Thrilling and Exciting Hunt

9 Apr

I returned to the spot where I found the Mercury dime this weekend for my lunch hour hunt. The very first signal was a nice solid high tone with that smooth edge about it. The VDI again indicated a wheat cent. I dug a 7 inch hole and the Garrett pinpointer told me that the target was still under the soil at the bottom of the hole. I dug out one more scoop of dirt  and there I saw the sight that gladdens my heart and just never gets old:


A beautiful 1934 D Mercury dime.


For the remainder of the hunt I pulled 8 wheats, a 1940 Jefferson nickel and an ornate brass button that looks old to me. I wasn’t even gridding! I was just meandering around. Me thinks there is more stuff there.

My hour came and went very fast it seemed, but I have a place to grid for the rest of the week.


I also put the junk in the picture but if you ask me, that’s a decent ratio of junk to keepers. The two zincolns were in one pocket spill.

Thank you for looking!

Sunday morning silver

7 Apr

I got up today before everyone else and hit my deep silver park with my Deus metal detector. I started as I always do by finding wheat cents. I don’t know why there are so many wheats cents in this park. The earliest one I found today was a 1919.

Eventually, I moved to a spot where I have found close to 30 wheats this year alone and got an iron signal. Since I have found a number of pocket knives at this spot as well, I decided to dig it. Instead of a pocket knife, I found what looks to be a bracelet made of iron. Interesting.

Towards the very end of my two hour hunt I got a sweet signal and a VDI that screamed wheat cent. I found no wheat at the bottom of that 6 inch hole though!




I just LOVE to see that silver edge in the clump! This is only my second Merc of the year.


I ended up with 5 wheats, two clad dimes and other stuff. For a second, I thought the tiny pendant was silver as it has hardly any corrosion but it is not silver.

I hope I can find silver every day in April. Ha ha keep wishing.

Thank you for looking!

Back to silver

5 Apr

After work I stopped at my old trashy park to do some hunting. While there, I got a text from my friend Stevouke telling me that today he was going to catch up with me on the silver coin count. He has 11 silver coins for the year with his trusty Ace 250 whilst I had 12. I told him he may well catch up but that I wasn’t gonna make it easy for him.

So after about an hour I came upon a signal you don’t get very often in the old trashy park. This was undeniably a coin and a dime at that. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting a silver but a clad dime. Instead, this beauty came out of the 6 inch deep hole:



This is silver coin number 13 for the year.

Later I found a few more interesting things including a 1919 wheat cent.


I haven’t found a shot shell in a while and the arrow head looking thing appears to be a tip from a fence maybe.

So it was an enjoyable afternoon and I am back to silver after a whole month of not hunting much.

On my way to the car I saw this bit of graffiti. Normally I disapprove of graffiti but this was too clever to pass up.


Here’s to finding more silver in April!

Mommy, why can’t I find a coin?

4 Apr

I took my trusty XP Deus metal detector, Maurice, out for a spin at lunch time today. The sun was finally out and the temps hovered in the low 50’s with a brisk cool breeze. Since I have grown in confidence with the Deus, I decided to hit a spot in downtown Wichita that I had hunted before. The site has an interesting history as it is the northernmost part of what was once an island in the middle of the Arkansas river. The island was filled in in the 30’s in one of those famed WPA projects. The island was known as Ackerman’s Island and it was large enough to accomodate a baseball field and an amusement park.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, there were buildings in that lot since the island was filled in and today, there are remnants of multiple foundations and even, I swear, a buried railroad line (although I haven’t dug it up to find out for sure). In other words, it’s tough going if you want to hunt it. But, as I said, since I think I am Mr. Big Deus Bridges I went there for lunch.

After many false starts I finally got a signal that sounded like a coin. It wasn’t very deep and I recovered a 1976 memorial. A little later, I got a faint sweet signal and around 6 inches I found a 1953 wheat cent. Last, before I ran out of time, I got a choppy signal with enough sweetness that it got my attention. I was also getting a VDI in the Indian Head range. With these two things I decided to dig the target. I pulled a toasted Indian Head cent from about 7 inches. **after much effort, I can barely make out the date: 1907**


By the way, this is only the second one cent trifecta I’ve dug up in one single hunt.

The interesting part of this hunt is of course, the Indian Head. Not only because Indian Head cents are super cool but also because of the reason for its choppy signal:


Yep, that’s a chunk of rusted iron stuck to the coin. I am very impressed that the Deus not only presented me with a semi-sweet signal but also with a nice solid VDI. The Deus is a master of iron.

***I posted this picture on a forum and one of the gurus of the hobby pointed out that in this case, the detector will aggregate the signals given by both the coin and the rusted nail and it will likely interpret the signal as a coin. This is because the two metals are touching. So I guess the find is not as impressive as I thought but still it is cool***

Now you know why it’s hard to pull some coins out of the ground!  I wonder if I would have been able to find this coin with any other detector.

Now, where is the silver?!

Thank you for looking.

Why So Many Wheat Cents?

12 Feb

I am often mystified as to why I find so many more wheat cents than I find dimes while metal detecting. I counted my wheats for 2013 so far and I have 78. That’s a lot of wheat cents. Most of them hearken back to the 30’s and 40’s.

The obvious answer is that people carried more one cent coins than they did other currency in their pockets and thus they lost more one cent coins. The question that arises next is why. Why did people carry more one cent coins than any other currency?

It would be a mistake to try to answer that question with today’s eyes. Today, we carry one cent coins because in spite of the one cent coin being practically worthless, we still mint billions of them every year. Today, a one cent coin is more of an inconvenience that anything else. However, back in the 30’s and 40’s and even into the 50’s and 60’s, a one cent coin was real money.

Some discussions on the Internet bring back notions of penny candy and one penny for a loaf of bread. Someone posted in a forum that in the early 60’s, he could buy two pieces of candy for one cent. I myself, although growing up in a different country, remember receiving a dollar for delivering doughnuts in my bicycle in 1970 (I was six years old) and buying a candy bar with it. I got 95 cents in change! I ate candy for a week with that dollar. Also, in case you’re wondering, it was not uncommon where I grew up for children to have jobs as soon as the notion made sense in our little heads. The concept of a supermarket was relatively new and there were still many corner stores everywhere. The baker in my neighborhood employed us to deliver doughnuts and other pastries to these corners stores. Other jobs followed such as delivering papers, shoe shining, and selling candy from a friend’s house where his father graciously allowed us to make a makeshift candy store out of one of the rooms in his house. It was at this time that I discovered wholesale prices were a lot lower than retail prices LOL!

So people didn’t carry wheat cents in their pockets because they could not spend them on anything, they carried them because you could actually buy things with them. You could buy a soft drink with a few wheat cents. You could buy gum. You could buy a bus ride with a few wheat cents.

So now we can kind of see why people didn’t need to carry silver dimes or quarters. Carrying those denominations in your pocket would be a little like carrying $20 dollar bills today. I don’t carry $20’s because the only time I need that kind of cash is when I am going to the grocery store. If I am planning on eating lunch out, I carry a $10, or a $5.

Incidentally, we in the U.S. are not anywhere near eliminating the one cent coin. I hear rumors of the mint changing the composition of the one cent coin again, from zinc to a yet to be determined substitute, perhaps aluminum, perhaps tin or steel. Canada just a few days ago, officially killed the one cent coin.

Thus there is my theory: People lost more wheat cents because they carried more wheat cents; and people carried more wheat cents because you could actually buy things with them.

Thank you for looking!