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It should be an easy goal really.  I made it a personal challenge within the first 10 minutes of swinging my coil at an elementary school in an old neighborhood of my hometown, built in the 1930's.  With my kids playing in the bark chips, I powered up my Etrac, and dug my first wheatie within the first 10 feet of starting.  I said to myself... "self, you will find a silver coin here".  That was in May.  Since then, I have stopped by this location at least a half dozen times, usually when time was too short to fight traffic and drive into Portland OR to hunt the old parks and schools there.  My hunts at this school have been under two hours each time... but still plenty of time to use a methodically test several areas of the plot.  I have used my Etrac, Explorer SE Pro, CTX and briefly, my ATX.  

My first visit, I found 4 wheats and a couple dollars in clad quarters along with an equal amount in other clad.  Most of my recoveries were less than 6".  Clad showing up in the 2-4" range, and the wheats in the 4-6" range.  All the earmarks of a site that hasn't been overly pounded in recent years, and still giving up old coins.  There is a fair amount of trash and iron in the ground, I found myself digging plenty of can slaw and pop tops, pencil erasers and rusty nails, bits of chain link fence and other undesirables... but I was able to isolate enough high tones to keep my interest.

So, I started my research.  I found that the existing school structure was built in the mid-90's and is positioned on the opposite side of the plot from where the original school structure was built and stood in the 30's.  Sadly, much of the prime playground was now covered by the new building, parking lots, asphalt playgrounds and basketball courts, as is the case for many old school grounds.  In the illustration below, you can see where the old school buildings stood (blue blocks in the lower right of the picture).  Armed with this new knowledge, it made sense that I pulled several wheats from the area just off the edge of the playground on the left side... that ground existed from the time the original school was built.  I have placed yellow dots to indicate the general area I found my original 4 wheats and a few additional wheats during subsequent trips.  During my second trip, I also found an aluminum tax token from Washington State (shown in red), and I was convinced I was digging a silver coin... high tone, 6+ inches... silver in the hole... Aluminum.  Not unhappy about that find... more proof that this site is dated and this target was a solid 2 way tone in 4 directions... so it gave me comfort that those that came before me, left a few goodies behind for me.  In one of my follow up trips, the clad finds diminished, but I did find a silver ring in the area used as a youth soccer field.

But in these several hunts, maybe 5 or 6 hours swing time... no silver coins.

Last night, I spent about 1.5 hours coming in from the opposite side of the field (where the old school previously stood), and my Etrac was nulling all over the place.  It was expected... I'm sure that was a lot of fill dirt and loaded with bits of iron from the demo.  But surprisingly, I recovered a 1930 wheat and another tax token just below the basketball court, in an area that should have been previously covered by the old building... so my guess is that it was dirt moved into that area during the demo and it happened to contain a few old targets.  But again, no silver coins.

I post this, for two reasons... to share my misery (and hopefully ultimate celebration) of my thus far futile attempts to find just one silver coin in this old ground.  I won't be able to give up on it until I do... which could be a long long road ;).  And second, to see if anybody has any tips looking at the pic and positioning of the buildings (old and new) as to where you would focus your hunts..  Obviously, a lot of my time has been spent gridding the small area where the majority of the yellow dots are... not to say I won't be re-gridding that area (which I plan to do with the ATX after reading the other forum thread which also included the Tom D. Behind the Mask article link.) in hopes to clean out anything that may be masking a nice target.  It has become my obsession.  LOL.

This site has to have silver, and I am going to find it. :)

Happy Hunting to all.  Tim.

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Even a blind squirrel..... So i stopped at a park that should have been old enough for some wheats or silver, but most of the park has been upgraded with ball fields and soccer fields.  I spent m

After finding my first Merc in a campground, I have spent lots of hours in every one I can find. The most productive areas is in the duff that has been raked off for a tent. I have also talked to neig

It should be an easy goal really.  I made it a personal challenge within the first 10 minutes of swinging my coil at an elementary school in an old neighborhood of my hometown, built in the 1930's.  W

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I had a near by school I used to hunt because it was good for when I didn't have time to venture out further.. It was very frustrating.. I found over 30 wheats, before I finally scored a rosy out front near the street.. I later found a real deep merc dime several hunts ( and wheat cents) later.. All I can figure is that it was cherry picked for silver many years ago... As for those Washington tax tokens! I live in Washington and I have learned to hate those things.  Most times they will ring up as a quarter on my E-Trac.. I was hunting a very old park earlier this year and hit that beatiful, perfect, deeeep tone 8-10"down.. I very carefully dig down to unearth my Standing Liberty/Barber Quarter and out pops a Washington Tax token!!  20 minutes later I do the exact same thing! Mental Torture...    Your entire school yard is worth detecting but I would probably hit those trees between the old school location and the very bottom left corner near the houses.  Especially if those are old houses.  Out front along the street too..  Good luck.. there's a silver coin out there somewhere..

Bryan

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Great post! I got my start detecting silver way, way back in the day. Then I transitioned to gold detecting and coin detecting sort of fell by the wayside. Even when not nugget detecting my time in town tends to get spent looking more for jewelry than coins. A big reason for that is I prefer not to plug (dig deep holes) in parks and other public places. Popping shallow targets with a screwdriver looking for a ring is easier and less damaging politically - and one ring makes up for a lot of coins!

However, I have been doing a great deal of metal detector testing the last couple years in Reno, and the easiest way in general to do that is to just go hit the parks detecting for deep coins. I like trying to find borderline “iffy” targets still in the ground to compare detectors on. It is very difficult to see any real edge on one detector versus another on 98% of the targets I find. Long story short it is a great learning experience but it has also eased me back into coin detecting. I have always enjoyed finding silver dimes in particular, especially Mercury dimes. It has been a very long time - like a couple decades - since I have dug silver in earnest. I am getting back into it now though and so I hope to have more finds to post here in the future.

The problem of course is trying to find places where there is any silver left after decades of heavy detecting. Unfortunately so far I have been too chicken to do the knock on doors and ask permission thing, so just eking out a missed coin here and there out of the standard public areas will have to serve for now. The key there is just like a lot of detecting - patience and lots of hours.

Anyway, best of luck to you in your search for silver!

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44 minutes ago, Cabin Fever said:

I had a near by school I used to hunt because it was good for when I didn't have time to venture out further.. It was very frustrating.. I found over 30 wheats, before I finally scored a rosy out front near the street.. I later found a real deep merc dime several hunts ( and wheat cents) later.. All I can figure is that it was cherry picked for silver many years ago... As for those Washington tax tokens! I live in Washington and I have learned to hate those things.  Most times they will ring up as a quarter on my E-Trac.. I was hunting a very old park earlier this year and hit that beatiful, perfect, deeeep tone 8-10"down.. I very carefully dig down to unearth my Standing Liberty/Barber Quarter and out pops a Washington Tax token!!  20 minutes later I do the exact same thing! Mental Torture...    Your entire school yard is worth detecting but I would probably hit those trees between the old school location and the very bottom left corner near the houses.  Especially if those are old houses.  Out front along the street too..  Good luck.. there's a silver coin out there somewhere..

Bryan

Ugh! yes those tax tokens sound sooooo goooood at depth!!!  Thanks for the suggestions and well wishes Bryan!  Tim.

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8 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

Great post! I got my start detecting silver way, way back in the day. Then I transitioned to gold detecting and coin detecting sort of fell by the wayside. Even when not nugget detecting my time in town tends to get spent looking more for jewelry than coins. A big reason for that is I prefer not to plug (dig deep holes) in parks and other public places. Popping shallow targets with a screwdriver looking for a ring is easier and less damaging politically - and one ring makes up for a lot of coins!

However, I have been doing a great deal of metal detector testing the last couple years in Reno, and the easiest way in general to do that is to just go hit the parks detecting for deep coins. I like trying to find borderline “iffy” targets still in the ground to compare detectors on. It is very difficult to see any real edge on one detector versus another on 98% of the targets I find. Long story short it is a great learning experience but it has also eased me back into coin detecting. I have always enjoyed finding silver dimes in particular, especially Mercury dimes. It has been a very long time - like a couple decades - since I have dug silver in earnest. I am getting back into it now though and so I hope to have more finds to post here in the future.

The problem of course is trying to find places where there is any silver left after decades of heavy detecting. Unfortunately so far I have been too chicken to do the knock on doors and ask permission thing, so just eking out a missed coin here and there out of the standard public areas will have to serve for now. The key there is just like a lot of detecting - patience and lots of hours.

Anyway, best of luck to you in your search for silver!

Thanks Steve, great comments as always.  I do have other sites I go to, and while I'm not exactly raking in the silver, I have found a few "leftovers" here and there... I'm with you... something about those mercury dimes!!  Of course, if I am ever lucky enough to uncover a seated... I might change my tune a little  ;).  This site though, has thrown down the gauntlet and I am refusing to let it be my Waterloo. lol. 

When I am not coming to blows with this schoolyard...  I am working to hone my research and hunting skills to do exactly what you outlined above.  I am trying to focus my future detecting on "renewable" targets.  As you mentioned, one piece of gold is worth the best day of silver coin hunting in $$.  I also agree with your comments about digging deep plugs and try to be judicious in my deep hole digs.  I am also hoping to get past my fear of door knocking... good to know it isn't only me :).  Tim.

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Excellent post, Tim.  This sounds very much like a site I've been hunting this summer (and maybe again this weekend) -- new school built in the early 90's to replace a much older one (don't know how old...).  I've found a few Wheats and one Merc.

Here are my impressions of your site:

1) Finding Wheats is a great marker, IMO.  I can't imagine many detectorists who refuse to dig copper coins but then have the ability to instead select silver dimes.  The ID's are so close (on my detectors anyway) that trying to distinguish would seem to be hopeless.  Thus I think you should find silver dimes where you're finding wheats.  There just aren't as many of them.  This summer at various sites I've found about 40 Wheats and five silver dimes -- that's an 8::1 ratio in this small sample.  So just continuing to go over that area which has produced wheats could produce more goodies.

2) Again, from my experience at the site mentioned above, the street sides of the location of the old school are where I've found most of my oldies.  In my case there was less excavation/backfill done there.  Any old indicators (old trees, old sidewalks, etc.) are good places to search.  Another 'trick' is to look for uneven ground (especially sloped) where water has caused some erosion.  This can expose deeper old ground and even turn some buried coins into surface coins.  I can't tell from the photo how flat the area you are searching is.

3) I like Cabin Fever's recommendation of searching near those houses.  That is far away from both the new school and the old school, possibly meaning there wasn't much excavation done there when they tore down the old school and built the new one.  I agree with you that sometimes backfill brings in old stuff, but more often than not it adds too much baren overburden to good ground making the old stuff way too deep for detection.

Good fortune in your next hunt(s) there.  Don't discount the wheaties (there may be some scarce dates+mintmarks among them!) and hope you find some silver.

 

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My thoughts on this.............

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 6.41.16 PM.png

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1 hour ago, GB_Amateur said:

Excellent post, Tim.  This sounds very much like a site I've been hunting this summer (and maybe again this weekend) -- new school built in the early 90's to replace a much older one (don't know how old...).  I've found a few Wheats and one Merc.

Here are my impressions of your site:

1) Finding Wheats is a great marker, IMO.  I can't imagine many detectorists who refuse to dig copper coins but then have the ability to instead select silver dimes.  The ID's are so close (on my detectors anyway) that trying to distinguish would seem to be hopeless.  Thus I think you should find silver dimes where you're finding wheats.  There just aren't as many of them.  This summer at various sites I've found about 40 Wheats and five silver dimes -- that's an 8::1 ratio in this small sample.  So just continuing to go over that area which has produced wheats could produce more goodies.

2) Again, from my experience at the site mentioned above, the street sides of the location of the old school are where I've found most of my oldies.  In my case there was less excavation/backfill done there.  Any old indicators (old trees, old sidewalks, etc.) are good places to search.  Another 'trick' is to look for uneven ground (especially sloped) where water has caused some erosion.  This can expose deeper old ground and even turn some buried coins into surface coins.  I can't tell from the photo how flat the area you are searching is.

3) I like Cabin Fever's recommendation of searching near those houses.  That is far away from both the new school and the old school, possibly meaning there wasn't much excavation done there when they tore down the old school and built the new one.  I agree with you that sometimes backfill brings in old stuff, but more often than not it adds too much baren overburden to good ground making the old stuff way too deep for detection.

Good fortune in your next hunt(s) there.  Don't discount the wheaties (there may be some scarce dates+mintmarks among them!) and hope you find some silver.

 

Good stuff GBA!  Some great stuff to keep in mind the next time (s) I am there.  

1)  well, I have found 7 wheats, so one more and I will expect the silver coin to be next bases on your 8:1 ratio ;).

2)  interestingly enough, the area running diagonally, in line with the wheat and token I found last night in front of the two big trees, is all sloped down to the asphalt playground... so your comment about erosion unvovering deeper targets makes sense!

I did test that lower right corner by the houses a bit last night and on a previous hunt, but will give it a harder look next time out.  Similar comment to the curbside..I tested one curb area, but will focus a full hunt on the perimeter soon.   

Thanks to all for taking the time to thoughtfully resoond!!

 

Tim

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48 minutes ago, johnedoe said:

My thoughts on this.............

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 6.41.16 PM.png

JD, it is funny you say that... as I was plotting the old school against the current map, that area stood out to me as well.  I think you are exactly correct about that being the old entrance and should have had a lot of traffic over the years!.  

I am excited to get back out there! 

Tim.

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      Back to how to become the best you can be. It takes hours and hours of using the correct techniques to become consistent in producing good finds. But just knowing your detector and technique is not enough by any means! The first part of becoming successful is doing the research to get you to a good spot. You can’t just always follow your buddies to get you to a good area. If they have been there, then you are looking for the left overs. It is fairly easy to find the cream in a spot, but to find what is below the cream and mixed in with the ferrous targets, or just plain DEEP TARGETS is what we are trying to do.

      You must put in the time to be successful.

      Wanting to find older coins and relics, then you have to be at a site that can hold those old items. The local city park is probably not your best choice but can be a very good place to practice honing your skills. The same holds true for a school yard. Lots of targets to get in some practice. With all the junk targets you can perfect your swing speed, coil control and keeping your coil level to the ground all the way through your swing. Learn how to separate targets and look for the deep ones, not the easy ones in the top 4 or 5 inches. Pass those up and leave those for later, but instead listen for the faint deep signals. The deep signals should be the better coins and relics. Look at the ground to see if has been turned over or fill has been added. While driving around look for old trees or stumps that have been there for years. Watch for older homes, especially ones that have bad lawn care. It can increase your chance to detect. Empty lots where old homes once stood. Look for foundations in those lots along with colored glass and trash from days gone by. Research at city hall or the library from where old roads or buildings once stood. Get photos from the era of when the community or mining camp was first started. Look at areas that didn’t have electricity back in the day, especially mine sites. Look for old maps of towns, forts or mining camps that are not on today's maps.

      The internet is a great source of information, but books and maps are usually the best way to go. As my detecting partner has told countless people, you will spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars buying that perfect detector, but you won’t spend a $100 a year buying research material to get you to those spots no one else finds. They are still out there. Research is all part of learning how to become successful.

      Coils are always a hot topic. What coil do I need? Well, you need the one designed to do the task you are attempting. If you are looking for shallow small targets, then a huge coil is not a good choice. Same way if you are looking for deep targets a small coil is not correct choice. Are you going to use discrimination, if so, you will need a DD coil. If you are after depth and sensitivity the mono coil is what you will want because they are more sensitive than their DD partners. There is also concentric coils on our coin and relic machines. You need to match the right coil to the task at hand. Smaller coils are designed to find smaller shallow targets. Big coils are made to go deep looking for that Lunker or deep coin, but if there is a small target at depth the big coil will most likely not see it and the small coil can’t see that deep so what does that mean. You simply can’t get them all unless you are scraping off a few inches at a time down to bedrock but we do try. Again, do some testing, if you are a nugget hunter then buy yourself some lead (Bird shot and fishing weights) in different sizes and put them in the ground at different depths and TEST!!!

      Coin hunters bury those coins in the ground so you can barely hear them. That serves two purposed, practice on faint targets and the opportunity to try different modes and setting to see what works in real life. Air tests are ok, but the mineralization and wetness in the ground tell the real story. That way you know what works and what doesn’t. That gives you the confidence and so you will not have to wonder if your machine and coil combination is correct. You will know! Confidence is a good thing. That is how we all have learned, practice practice practice….

      You don’t have to be in the gold fields or a ghost town to become better on your detector. Instead of sitting on your couch go outside and put in some time learning about to make the machine and you work together to be successful. You might be surprised about how you want to get out there and find the get swinging after honing your skill level. If you have a family, what a way to spend some quality time together. And mom and dad you know the kids are going to get better than you.

      In conclusion, you want to be really good or just so so, the choice is yours. Everyone doesn’t want to be a Pro but if you do, it requires time, energy, investment and a lot of hours swing an digging. Remember, if you want to be the best then learn what you can from the successful hunter. Detector classes give you a huge leap forward to becoming successful. The final word is something I did hear on a video from a fellow digger:

      “Look of a reason to dig not for an excuse not to dig”

      Thanks for your time,
      Rye Patch Ron

      PS: Always fill in your holes, ask permission and leave it as good or better than before you dug.
    • By Dances With Doves
      With all the damage the many good explorer hunters did in my area to the silver turf population it shows me that the Nox is at or near the top of the class for silver  coins.This is all from hard  hit  spots with about 15 from the water.My   friend who just switched from the   explorer  to the nox(this year) is at 48 and he has won the    title for most silver in a year many times.He has the best  2 silver coins   with a barber half and a seated quarter .I did manage 3 walker halves and a 1894-o barber dime.I agree with  people when they say if they could only use 1 machine that  they would pick the  nox. I am at a 102 so maybe  I can focus on some turf gold since I only have 1  for the year and the only reason  I dug it was because it was a  nickle hit  next to a wheat penny   I just dug.  
    • By kac
      Local water supply is super low from the drought we have here and was able to finally walk out to an island that is normally not that accessable. Not a whole lot on the island or at least what was in range of my Gold Racer's coil due to the erosion over the years but at least I got much of the curiosity out of the way. Out of it found a couple musket balls, shield nickel 18??, IH penny 18?4, old button with bit of guilding on the edges still on it, some odd double loop thing that looked like some junk jewelry. Lots of sinkers, various rounds and of course a Pencil Erasor!





    • By xawi29
      In September I was participating in 5th season of archeological dig for remains of huge silver treasure discovered in 2015. Treasure consist mostly of parted coins from Samanid Empire 8 to 9 century, Slavic jewelry and coins from  Germany , Hungary  and Denmark. In this season of digging ( 4 meetings) we discovered totally 150 fragments of treasure. Field were it was discovered is an iron carpet, were many detector fail to separate good targets  from iron junk. I attend 2 digs and I was lucky  to discover 35 silver items. 

















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