My 2021 New Years Resolution (and I think my 2020 one, too) was to find sites I hadn't previously searched rather than to put all my eggs on cleaning up what's left of familiar sites. (I still do some of that, too, though). This year I've already reported on four previously unsearched (by me, that is) sites, all which have produced. More on those in my year end summary in a month. Early in November I decided to make one more try for 2021 at finding some new ground and with the help of HistoricAerials.com, I found four promising locations. I'm going to simply refer to them as sites 0, 1, 2, and 3.
Site 0 is the easiest to report on. From early 20th Century USGS topos it was a small (one room?) school that disappeared around 1950. A drive by showed that not only is it now a private home, but that the intersection where it was located has been seriously reworked, i.e. enlargened. At best it falls into the 'private permission' category and I'm not at all good at those.
Site 1, with added help from Google searching, was an elementary school and high school back at least to the eary 30's. The HS closed in the mid 60's and the elementary school a few years later. The building is still there but there are mixed signals as to whether it's public or private. Some threatening signs indicated at least part of it is currently privately leased, but the a__holes are very vague about what is and isn't theirs. I spent 1 1/2 hours in a couple spots with promising results (see photo of good finds below) but I just didn't feel comfortable. There was a lot of coming and going by various groups (sports participants, church goers, etc.) and although no one bothered me I just didn't feel welcome.
Site 2 was another small elementary school. I don't know when it was formed but it appears to also go back to early in the 20th Century. I think it closed around 1960. It's now a small public park and community center. Unfortunately both my visual (internet) research as well as detecting and viewing the site in person makes me think it's been heavily reworked since the school was torn down. First hunt there, 3 1/2 hours, produced 2 Wheaties and a sterling ring, plus a fair amount of modern coins and trash. That was my survey hunt. My second trip there was intended to focus in on a trashy but potentially less overfilled part with the ML Equinox and 6" coil, but that wasn't very fruitful. About 2 hours in I was approached by an elderly (81 year old) friendly neighbor who filled me in on some history. He said he had attended that school as a youngster (presumably around 1950) and told me that although several detectorists had been there before me, as far as he knew they had never searched a slope near one edge of the property where he said he used to play and that bulldozers hadn't bothered. Now that's the kind of info I like to hear! I thanked him and headed over there. For now I'll leave it at that and tell more in the show-and-tell portion of this post. He twice more returned and told me of some other nearby sites I should search but they all sounded like private properties.
Site 3 is an active, modern elementary school which replaced an early one built around 1955. I was able to go there during their Thanksgiving recess. Unfortunately this site has been heavily reworked since the original school was razed and it also feels like it's been rather thoroughly searched. In 7 1/2 hours (two days) of hunting I only found 2 Wheats plus one other oldie (more on that shortly).
OK, here is the eye candy you've been waiting for:
Top two items are from Site 1 -- 1983-D nickel-clad half dollar (only my second ever) and a necklace chain and pendant which was clean but unfortunately apparently (magnetic) nickel plated copper. Both were reasonably shallow but not on the surface. Based upon these finds I don't think this part of this site has seen detectors in 2 or 3 decades.
Now the finds are in pairs from lower left. Site 2 produced this sterling ring with stones (don't know if real, but they look nice to my eye, and especially to my wife who has already claimed it!). Thanks to that 81 year old former student I found the 1899 Indian Head Penny on the virgin slope where he used to play. Turns out the EMI was so bad I had to use 4 kHz on the ML Equinox and its dTID rang up in the high 20's (silver coin zone), not 20-ish where they show up in MultiFrequency. It was only about 4 inches deep.
Next two (silver alloy 'Warnick' and broken piece of jewelry) were found at Site 3, showing that there are a few spots which haven't been backfilled. The broken piece showed up in the USA nickel zone (dTID 12-13 on the Equinox) and given its size I think this is high conductive composition. Both ends show that they were broken off something larger (bracelet?) and the fact there is zero copper coloring there makes me think this could be a silver alloy.
Finally, the last two items on the right were found this past week in my bread-and-butter 2021 site, the 'Wheatfield', not one of these four recently reserached sites. The ring has a men's wedding band shape but is marked '925' so sterling. (My wife has claimed it, too.) The IHP is a 1901. In my two times searching there last week I found 5 Wheat pennies each day (3 hour hunts per day). I expect to spend my last few hunts this year at that site. I'm sure there are more oldies and I'm shooting for a record year (quantity) of Wheat penny finds. I only need 5 more to tie last year's 103.
The above picture is the 'good'. Here are the 'bad' -- interesting (?) non-coin finds from these four sites:
And if you want to see 'ugly', you'll have to await a future post.
Was out today to a local park and came across a strong 32-38 signal on the Equinox. I raised the coil and it still was loud. I thought it was going to be deep junk, but there were a couple 32s that showed consistently on the screen. I was not aware that 1967 was still 40% silver.
Equinox, 15" coil, Park 1, 23 sensitivity, 4 Recovery speed, All metal
My sister-in-law was coming into town today so my wife gave me the green light to go do some metal detecting for a couple of days. I decided to go try a couple of new spots. First one was about 45 minutes from the house the second one was about an hour and a half. Neither one panned out so I decided to drive another hour and a half to a place that had produced some silver last month. It was 1:00 when I finally got to do some serious hunting. I kept having a gut feeling to hunt a certain area so that's where I began. Within 3 hours I had five silvers and a couple of Wheaties. I hit a nice spill that had four coins in the same hole, a merk, a silver Washington quarter, a 1940 nickel and a 1936 Buffalo nickel. My little honey hole played out so I decided to do a little roaming around. I went to another section of the park, started off with a couple of Wheaties ended up scoring three more silver dimes. My goal for the year was to hit 100 silver coins today put me over the top at 103. I'm going back tomorrow to spend about 5 or 6 hours and see if I can find a couple of more hot spots.
We've had nice weather here in the Midwest the past week or so and after getting out Wednesday I was doubling up on Thursday afternoon. The curve ball mentioned in the thread title was breaking an ML Equinox 11" coil ear when loading the car, which I described in the appropriate thread. Fortunately I have both the 6" and 12"x15" coils (but not the Coiltek 5"x10" yet). I'm detecting a park with not too much iron or aluminum trash so I figured the large coil would be OK, as long as it didn't mess up my elbow swinging a heavy coil through the deep grass. (Wet and warm early autumn hasn't met with the Parks Department's mowing budget....)
First target was showing low 20's (typically an aluminum screw cap) and out popped a clad dime. Hmmm, that should have been 25-26. Was the larger coil giving different dTID's. Going back over the hole answered the question -- 20-21 and out comes a Zincoln. I don't think the two coins were touching but they were super close to each other leading to the anomalous dTID initially.
15 minutes into the hunt I get a Wheatie, not too deep (3-4 inches). That's the age coin I'm looking for.
Maybe an hour later after the typical occasional can slaw, a couple rusty nails, and a few modern coins I got a nice sounding but inconsistent tone & dTID. From one direction as I swept close to the target location left-right I was getting hi-lo-hi-lo... tones (14-19 = pulltab zone is set for a medium tone whereas 20 and up are high tones; the tone was alternating between these two). This is not typical of coins in my experience by any means so I'm thinking a flattened, non-symmetric aluminum screw cap. I don't remember the exact strength indicator value but I'm sure it was at least 5, maybe mostly 6, possibly occassional 7. I also don't remember the dTID at a 90 degree compass change angle of approach but I'm sure it was at least high 20's (large, elongated can slaw?). The tone volume told me it wasn't a near-surface coin-sized object. Definitely good enough to dig.
Weak(er) signal strength means take a good sized plug so about 7"-8" diameter and 5" deep was my start. The Garrett Carrot (set at max gain = 3) said I was in the right spot and switching to the fine tuning White's TRX told me I had a localized (coin-like size) target which was between 1" and 2" deeper than the current hole depth. I carefully cut about a tennis ball sized chunk of dirt centered on the TRX signal's centroid and upon removal was told the target was in that glob. Breaking it up with my fingers I saw a coin but it wasn't immediately obvious if modern clad or silver. Again, careful not to scratch I picked off a clod of dirt and saw the familiar (from dimes I've found 🙂 Barber Head. See middle coin in photo:
Only my 3rd silver quarter ever and 1st Barber Quarter, others being Washingtons. (Guess I'm going to skip the Standing Liberties. ) Even better than being 19th Century date was the -S mintmark. Left coin in the photo is actually a 1919-S which I found the previous day probably less than 10 m away from where I found the quarter. So -S mint oldies in consecutive days, and neither is particularly common although neither is a semi-key. On the right is a 1941 Merc which I found last week, so three consecutive hunts with non-penny old coins. That's very good for me in my current public sites.
Why the anomalous dTID from one direction? I wonder if the coin was oriented on-edge.
So what's the big 'A'? Some of you recognize this as the Atlanta Braves initial. For those who don't follow our North American professional baseball, they just won the annual championship (not so modestly called 'World Series') for their first time in a quarter century. They were underdogs vs. at least their last two playoff opponents. But there is a detecting connection. I sometimes hunt in rural areas during Autumn and that is prime (gun) hunting season. I have other bright (orange) garb but I wanted a baseball cap (easier to accomodate headphones) and I saw this hat at a flea market for $5 a few years back. I wonder if I can sell it now for a profit. Anyone interested?
After getting a new coil for the Equinox under warranty, it had its maiden voyage today at the local football field that has been hammered by the other 15"! The dime gave a 31 signal with some iron sounds mixed in; it was down the length of the Garrett carrot. The coil works like the other one, possibly with a bit less EMI. The dime is nothing spectacular, but the conditions were good for detecting and I'll take silver any day.