It's been a while, but I was excited to share a couple silver dime finds from a while back. I found one of the Mercury dimes using the 10x5 Coiltek coil in a VERY iron littered park that has been stripped clean for decades. The other dime was found on a local baseball field in a small section of the outfield. The war nickel is fairly trashed. 2021 is the first year I found Mercury dimes. I do like the artistic nature of the coins.
Equinox, Park 1, 4 recovery, all metal
I closed out my 5 1/2 days of hunting in Texas Panhandle today and I ended up with a few more keepers. What a productive trip it was. Since I will not be coming back to this area again for some time, my intent was to hunt for wheats and silver only. I did not want to spend most of my time digging trash chasing nickles and low conductors. I hunted 3 different parks and 1 school.
I'm not sure how many hours I hunted, maybe 50 or so, but, I hunted until I could not swing the coil anymore each day
The first 2 pictures are of today's hunt followed by the total's for the week. Thanks for stopping by and having a look.
It seems one of my recurring detecting New Year's Resolutions has been to find new hunting grounds and not get stuck in a rut trying to find the last crumbs I'm capable of tasting in the sites I've detected extensively. So far this year I've done well (at least one silver coin in each) at three 'new' sites (two parks and one school) and 3 weeks ago before heading out East I was able to get in a short 1 hour hunt at another park I've never previously visited.
I vaguely knew about this spot previously but for various reasons I never tried it. My first 'requirement' is that a new (to me) site have a decent chance of hiding old coins. For the most part that means having had significant human activity prior to 1970 and preferably prior to 1960. This 4th 'new' (to me) site of 2021 didn't seem to meet that minimal requirement. In fact there is a prominent bronze plaque on site which states it didn't become a park until 1974 and previously was an industrial storage lot for several decades. However, Historic Aerials hinted at a more promising past. It seemed to show that some of the modern park's features were present at least back to 1965. I'll go deeper into that later in this post.
That first 1 hour hunt produced three Wheat pennies along with four copper (alloy) Memorial Cents and a couple clad dimes. Three Wheaties in an hour on a site which supposedly wasn't frequented until 1974 was surprising but far from earth shaking. I filed it away until after getting home from my week+ in the East. After getting home I needed some time to decompress (i.e. take care of other things) and it was quite humid besides. Further, this summer has been wetter than normal and the grass grows back as fast as it gets cut. Finally this past Thursday (2 days ago as I write) I got in 3 hours on a freshly mown park. I concentrated on areas that the Historic Aerials indicated would be most promising but still did some fairly broad surveying. The results were a bit disappointing compared to the previous short run -- 1 Wheat cent vs. 4 copper Memorials along with a few modern 5, 10, 25 cent coins. Here's a photo of only the coin finds (oh, plus a Sterling ring my wife has already claimed):
The next day I returned for another 3 hours, this time hunting exclusively on what I considered the most promising part of this site. Now the floodgates started to open: 10 Wheaties compared to 5 copper Memorials along with $1.85 in larger denomination modern coins:
The dates on the 10 Wheaties are: 1909, 1918, 1920, 192x-D (haven't yet resolved that last digit), four from the 40's and two from the 50's. Non-cent finds don't seem to show any particular date pattern although only 2 or 3 are from the current millenium. Now for the non-coin finds from these last 2 days (total of 6 hours):
Pretty much the typical park trash. There is one arcade token from 80's or later (right below five Stinkin' Zincolns). The ladies watch appears to be nothing special (no precious metal or stones). Possibly most interesting is above the drink can lid -- it's a copper piece that looks like it has a coin slot in it. The padlock is badly corroded and the shank has been cut with a hacksaw. It may be from this site's industrial days. Oh, one last interesting find. To the right of the Hot Wheels car is a wooden piece I recognize as being from a Lincoln Logs wooden playset (not metallic)!
So what explains the plethora of Wheat Cents? Here are some hypotheses:
1) The bronze plaque is wrong and the property was turned into a park well before 1974. This seems a bit odd -- I mean the park department historian can't get a date right and spends hundred+ dollars on a sign with erroneous information?
2) The industrial site's employees spent some of their lunch-hours in the same shady(?) sloped spot, either accidentally dropping coins or even possibly playing some kind of penny-ante game tossing them and missing picking up some?
3) Nature's randomness is conspiring to try and trick me into thinking this site's Wheats/Memorials ratio is indicative of something other than just luck.
The plausibility of this last hypothesis can be tested with statistics. I'll start with my on-going 5 year record of fraction of copper Lincolns that are Wheats. That's 338/1547 = 21.58%. Most of these have come from parks and schools, all of those sites having been established no earlier than 1974 while most of the remaining sites were private permission homesites that were established no later than 1960. Thus using this value as 'typical' for sites frequented for at least 47 years is a stricter requirement than necessary. Still, using 21.58% ratio of Wheats to total coppers, the chance that of the first 27 copper alloy Lincolns found, 14 or more would be Wheats is less than one in 7100.
Of course Wheats tend to be an indicator that even better (yes, silver coins) treasures are hidden and awaiting a coil to be swung over them. Hopefully I can add some more evidence by digging one (or more) of those on my next trip to this spot.
So, my beach season hunting has officially started. I was going to shoot for two days hunting but a wash out on Thursday made me change some plans. I had reserved Thursday for the GPX 6000 and the 14” DD coil, but had to settle for trying the 6000, 5000 and Equinox on Friday. I changed beach locations too and ended up at the less EMI beach for the day. Started out using the GPX 5000 for clearing out some of the recently deposited junk in an area that has produced silver before. I thought the storms that ripped through the previous day would remove some sand, but it was just the opposite…. sand deposited along 3/4 of the beach (top to bottom). Also, high tide reach to the highest point of the beach, so I could only hunt where the waves did not constantly reach up top. The 5000 did well considering the beach was really sanded in and gave me my first silver of the season – a 1955 Washington quarter. The rest was clad, but for 2 copper pennies. Some junk jewelry, and maybe some iron shot or just a ball bearing, - it measured .75 caliber. The big spoon was found at 20” and I thought I was going to get a beer can or some big iron, so that was a nice surprise. Hunted with the 5000 for 6 hours and decided I cleared enough to try the 6000 in that spot. The EMI was a bit more than usual but not really bad. I’m still not sold on that 14” coil. I tried both ground settings, as well as both Salt mode and EMI mode. I tried auto, auto +, manual (full) and manual (setting 1) and some in between. I just could not get the 6000 to not false on the sand. It was partially damp, as high tide receded a while ago, but with a sensitivity of 1, I would have expected a smooth clean machine. IDK maybe the coil is not good. I did not bring the 11” mono as I really wanted to see if the salt mode would work on the 14” DD. Being a bit disappointed, and after trying all combinations of settings, I called it after around 10 minutes. So, the tide was getting as low as it was going to be, so I hunted for 3 hours with the Equinox and traded my spade for my scoop. I didn’t use the Nox much last season as the 5000 was killing the silver, so the Nox sat idle. But I wanted to see if the heavy waves dropped anything on the beach along with all that sand. There weren’t many targets, so I dug everything to get a feel for all the numbers. The hairpins and tiny wire all read a steady -2, -3. The Nox did well for the short time I used it and if I wasn’t beat from the hunt, I would have stayed in the area that was producing some coins. It was the best machine for the day to give me a chance at some gold. It felt really, really good to get out and just walk the beach. Next week all 3 machines will be at the crazy EMI beach. I will have the mono coin and the DD to see if this beach (dry sand) will be ok for the 14” coil. Can’t wait!!!
By Steve Herschbach
It should be getting obvious the GPX 6000 is a great nugget detector. I think it also has great possibilities for beach detecting for jewelry.
If somebody was to ask me about relic detecting, I’d tell them the same thing I say about the GPZ 7000 - way too sensitive to tiny ferrous. There is such a thing as too sensitive, and the fact that the GPX 5000 can be set up to miss the tiniest ferrous is actually an advantage. The 6000 will bang hard on the tiniest slivers of ferrous stuff, like almost invisible bits of hair thin wire.
However, it might be something those who already have the machine might want to play with, and I have already been learning a few discrimination tricks while beach detecting. Anyone familiar with the Minelab PI detectors knows you get two main tone responses, either a high tone, or a low tone. The simple way to think of what these tones mean is high tone = small or weaker / low conductive targets, and low tone = large or stronger / high conductive targets. The dividing line between the two is not fixed, but varies with the ground balance setting. This means people in lower mineral ground will not get the same results as those in high mineral ground. It’s a complex subject, one I go into great detail at here.
The GPX 6000 has one bit of magic for this task. The Normal/Difficult ground setting button. It allows a change in the tone response by simply pressing a button. I do not know the details of Normal vs Difficult, but it changes the timings enough to flip the tone response on many targets. I found I could use it to get four different target classes.
Hi tone normal, high tone difficult = Aluminum foil, misc aluminum, wire, most bottle caps, misc small ferrous - low VDI targets. Small gold. Hi tone normal, low tone difficult = Nickel range targets, larger aluminum. Larger gold. Low tone normal, low tone difficult = Zinc penny range targets. Even larger gold. Low tone normal, high tone difficult = Quarters, dimes, copper penny, high VDI targets, nails (larger ferrous). Silver rings. The results closely mimic my coin detecting results with other ground balancing PI detectors, but with a big difference. With all the other machines I had two classes of targets. High tone small stuff, low conductors, and low tone large stuff, high conductors. This new method delivers four target classes, potentially a big step up in discrimination capability with a PI. Ferrous can show up in any of the ranges, just depends on size and type.
By digging the fourth category, it’s basically just high conductive coins, and nails. No zinc pennies or aluminum screw caps. Not good if you have lots of nails, but I will be doing this in a park soon, as many parks are not loaded with nails. Others might be, so it’s site specific.
The other big caveat I already mentioned. This assumes bad ground, with a ground balance setting to match. The GPX 6000 is automatic and sets its own ground balance. You have no way to set and lock it, unlike a TDI. So I have no idea where the tone shifts will occur in other ground. The good news is that you really don’t need a PI as much in low mineral ground. This might allow people to get more depth on silver coins in really bad ground. The DD coil also skews results, depending on which mode it is in, salt or cancel.
In other words folks, I’m looking for people who are willing to experiment, and document. I will be doing more of this and adding new information here as I go. Any adventurous souls, please do the same. There is a definite crude discrimination system included with the GPX 6000, by way of an easy button push. Let’s figure it out, and it may open up some new detecting possibilities.
I blew it on my first go at this, as I dropped finds into different pockets of my pouch, to separate them by category for a photo, along with the trash. Then I got home and by habit just dumped it all in my sieve to sort the sand and trash out - oops. So will do better at that next time. Bottom line is I got real good at calling out the coins before digging. There are some real possibilities here for the adventurous types - PI naysayers need not apply!