As a Christmas present, a friend of mine asked around amongst many friends/acquaintances and received five positive replies for permission for me to search their properties. Last weekend I went to my 3rd (actually 3b since this is a property now owned by one of the original five, but a second property). I find it interesting to compare/contrast two of these properties which I'll call 3a and 3b.
3a) small (<1000 sq ft) home built about 1940 on a corner lot. Total property size ~0.1 acre. There is a detached garage, part of the yard is fenced off for farm animals, and although I had permission to search in with them (goats and chickens) I didn't do as thorough of a job searching their space as the rest, for obvious reasons. I was expecting good results but a 4 hour hunt only produced one old coin -- a late 1930's Wheat Cent. It's possible this site had been searched previously but I think it's less likely than a second theory -- whoever has lived there just didn't hang out much in the yard and/or didn't carry coins in places where they could be dropped. Regardless, I was disappointed to the sparsity of finds, but that just makes me hungrier for other sites and more excited when those produce. To my surprise and appreciation, that home owner told me she was in the process of buying a rental and said I was welcome to search it. Proceed to...
3b) similar size home and lot, but this time no farm animals, built ~1955. Assuming the 'old' coins I seek stopped being circulated by the early 1970's, this property only offers about 15 or so years to have accumulated these targets as opposed to twice as long with 3a. After my previous experience I wasn't expecting a windfall but still was hopeful. Last Sunday I was able to put in 3 hours of searching and covered a little more than half of the searchable ground. During the hunt I was finding a moderate number of coins, mostly copper Memorial cents, a few clad dimes and quarters and a couple Jefferson nickels. I was discriminating hard against Zincolns which might have been a mistake. Two of the copper cents I found (I think both were Wheats but not sure) hit 20-21 ID on my Equinox 800 (Park 1, 5 custom tones, ground balanced, recovery speed = 6, iron bias = 2, gain = 18). When I don't expect Indian Heads I tend to discriminate at 21/22 ID break.
I don't like trying to clean coins in the field so although I knew I had some Wheaties I wasn't sure how many. Turns out 7 of the 21 pennies I recovered were Wheats. My standard procedure is to soak in just water for several hours and then use just my fingers (including fingernails) and a soft toothbrush to figure out date+mintmark. Soaking removes the loose grit (think 'abrasive' which is why I don't mess with coins in the field) and a fingernail is soft enough not to scratch the metal. As most of you experience, copper coins that have been in the ground a long time tend to build up a scale which doesn't come off easily. 95% of the time I have to scrape the date area with a fingernail. It's kind of a fun process because rather than seeing a date immediately there is a gradual revelation. For example: "looks like a 194x, no maybe 191x (scrape some more), OK 1942? or is that a 3 or 8? I'm seeing a mintmark but can't tell if 'D' or 'S'. Hope it's an 'S'...." Part of this process is driven by poor eyesight, even using magnifiers.
That's exactly what happened with the coin shown below. It looked like a 1924 but there was too much scale to see a mintmark. As usual I hope for the best "please be a -D" but my dreams almost never reach fruition. However, this time, bonus!! Just as I had begged for, a -D (Denver mint) showed through. Of the >200 business strike Lincoln cents, the order of rarity (based upon mintage) is 1909-S VDB, 1931-S, 1914-D, 1909-S, 1924-D. I found the fifth scarecest Lincoln (not counting the rare and sometimes valuable 'error' coins such as the Double Dies and off-metal planchet errors nor 'proof' coins issued for collectors only). In the 1960's I searched bank rolls and pocket change religiously for my collection. I estimate over the years I looked at 25,000 or more Lincoln cents and not only did I never find a 1924-D, but no cents as valuable either. (Actually the value even today is quite modest. Given its wear, even if I can successfully clean off the scale it would only be worth about $15 on Ebay.) Since restarting metal detecting 3 years ago I've found just over 100 Wheaties. 1/100 beats 0/25,000 every day of the week.
By Mark Gillespie
Upon returning from my beach vacation and a difficult week at work (always seem to get behind when I go on vacation) I returned to the school construction site. A lot of dirt has been moved in the last two weeks and I got another one of those 1st (Francs 2). The mercury was on edge by the way the audio responded, but it's amazing how the Equinox will not vary much on the ID when it comes to coins and pull tabs. Even though the coin was on edge, the ID was a steady 23-24. I knew it was a coin of some sort.
My first Roman Silver found with the NOX, Field2. VDI 14/15, default settings 8 inches down, 4 units on the depth gauge. Lovely tone
Believed to be a Silver Denarius by Septimus Severus AD209, This side Minerva, the other side the head of one of his Sons either Geta or Caracalla, commemorating the victories achieved by the Romans led by Severus and Caracalla in Scotland AD209 -10.
I have been detecting for 40 years, found a lot of different coins. But there was one on my bucket list I never thought I would find.I found a beach that use to be a resort in the turn of the century and found a lot of silver coins there.Every week is a new adventure with the movement of sand. Today was one of those days. Got a 27-28 signal on the 600, dug down , got a 1907 barber dime. After checking the hole got a 37-38 signal. Called my son over with his etrac and he got a 12-40 signal. After a few scoops, down about a foot came up a 1935 Peace dollar! Wow! Never thought this day would come!
I was lucky enough to find a couple large cents awhile back and was hoping someone knowledgeable with copper coins / large cents could shed some light on dating one of them. The 1845 large cent (good condition) measures appx. 27mm while the other large cent (which is in extremely poor condition) measures appx. 28mm. The larger coin also has the word "CENT" underlined on the reverse whereas the 1845 does not (see photos).
I have The Official Red Book of United States Coins, 63rd edition (2010) and I believe the larger cent is older. Anyone have an opinion on appx. date of larger cent?
Thanks in advance, Malcolm