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I tried finding my previous (2019) summary report and New Year's resolutions but failed.  Well, I have the data (from my logs) and I roughly remember my goals -- find some new detecting spots.  I left my old heavily searched (by me) schools and parks alone this year and returned to a couple I had barely detected plus one I had never detected.  90% of my year's detecting was spent on this last (previously undetected by me) site.  All three yielded silver coins.  Not surprisingly I spent most of my year in the one that seemed to be the best producer.

I finally retired for good in February (I'd been 50% for the previous 1 1/2 years) and it did lead to more hours in the field, but not large multiples (311 hrs vs. my previous best of 263 hrs).  My most noticeable increase in raw numbers was almost doubling my "other old coins" finds, those being pennies before Lincolns, denominations no longer minted (e.g. 2 cent), 5 cent pieces before Jeffersons plus the silver Warnicks, and all higher denominations prior to 1965 -- i.e. the silver years.  I keep a separate category for Wheat pennies.  My other old coin count (still modest compared to many here, some of you reporting 100 or more for the year) was 43 (previous record 22).  I found 103 Wheaties along the way (previous record 90).  Most of the increase in the 'others' was from nickels across the board (especially Buffies and Warnicks).  Here's a photo of my last 6 month's 'other old coins':


No rare or even semi-key date+mintmarks there.  Both Indian Head Pennies are from the early 20th century (very common).  I can't read the dates on the very badly worn V-nickel and two of the three Buffies (other is 1920 plain).  The Jeffie (lower right) doesn't count as "other old coins" but is included because it's a fairly low mintage 1950 plain (not to be confused with the lowest mintage of the series which also came out that year, with Denver mintmark).  The silver charm(?), at least I think it's silver, is not marked but I think it's some kind of artisan silver piece -- rather crudely made as you can see.  Surprisingly I got very little silver jewelry this year since I dig everything about 20 on the Equinox (i.e. above Zinc pennies).

I didn't buy a single detector this during 2020, only a couple coils (both for the Fisher F75).  I feel like I learned a lot about using the Equinox but nowhere near everything I'd like to know and apply.  Oh, one of the IHP's was found with the Tesoro Vaquero.  (Only 9 hrs or about 3% of the year was spent hunting with anything except the Eqx and almost all of it with the 11" coil.)  I used to buy a new (or used) detector every 8 or 9 months.  The risk (and I paid for it) is not ever really learning one properly before I shelved it for the greener grass on the other side of the hill.  I'm not making that mistake with the Equinox.

For 2021, my goals/resolutions are the same, but to a higher magnitude.  I'm going to find some local old, forgotten sites thru research and at least make an attempt to get permissions (if they are private, which is likely).  The pandemic did hinder me a bit in 2020 with no detecting trips out of my local area.  I have three promising permissions on hold (a 19th Century picnic/swimming hole, a 19th Century church site, and an 18th Century New England homestead -- none of these has ever been detected according to their owners).  I missed getting out west for natural gold searching and ghosttowning.  I should at least get to Colorado late spring or early summer for both and maybe Nevada (fingers crossed) again this year.  While the weather is uncooperative for detecting I'll do more backyard testing and (finally) learn how to clean my now 294 Wheaties, many with dates currently hiding under the infamous green scale.  (Maybe some semi-keys among them -- I hope, I hope.)  If I can figure out how to pan in my (heated) workshop without making a mess I'll do some of that on uncooperative winter days as well.  I do have some unpanned promising material and don't mind practicing with pseudo-gold (lead flakes), either.

I hope all of you're pleased with your 2020 efforts and especially hope you harbor high aspirations for 2021.  Happy New Year!

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7 hours ago, GB_Amateur said:

If I can figure out how to pan in my (heated) workshop without making a mess I'll do some of that on uncooperative winter days as well. 

I have a kiddies plastic pool set on one side of the garage to catch any mess that I do. I set my pay dirt in one bucket and scoop a small amount into my pan and add some water. I then pan over a square bucket that I get from Walmart's deli dept. for free. The pool is only there to catch any mess that happens, which is hardly never as I have learned from my mistakes in the past.

Good luck on panning and have a happy new year.

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GB_Amateur I had some luck looking for " old horse racing tracks " in farming districts that the race course don't exist to-day. I used old parish maps which showed them prior to 1930 here in Aust. Hope this gives you another choice.

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