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Aside from the fact you might find gold jewelry in the nickel range, why do you hunt for nickels? I also am a detector nut myself and do understand the concept of detecting for anything just for the fun of it.

When I do coin hunt however the fact is most older nickels I find are in such poor condition that it’s doubtful they are even worth face value. Yet most silver coins I find look as new as the day they were dropped. Many silver coins found will grade out decently, but that is very rare for old nickels. This means the chance of finding high value silver coins is vastly better than the chance of finding high value nickels. Or so I believe. Newer nickels are in better condition, but key date Jefferson’s are not exactly worth a fortune, and they are few and far between.

Then there is the fact that going after nickels usually involves more trash per coin, at least in my experience. If I focus on silver dimes and higher there is very little trash that ends up in my pouch.

Anyway, is anyone digging nickels for any real reason other than that finding an old Buffalo or V nickel is a fun find? What’s the highest value nickel anyone has found? I have some War nickels that might be worth a few bucks, but that’s it for me.

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I have had this same argument with myself several times Steve :).

But for me, I dig nickel tones at a new site for the information they provide me.  Yes, they are also in the range of a few selections of gold rings, but I look at it on a larger scale.  If I have a site that I am pulling multiple nickels from, that tells me it hasn't been detected much for gold jewelry at all... so I start paying more attention to the TID's just below and above the nickel id.  Especially if there are few high tone coins, but several nickels.  At least that is my approach, it isn't the nickel ID itself, but what it represents for that area. 

Having said that, I have pulled three War Nickels since I got my Equinox E600, and I am pretty stoked about that too.  Not a lot of value, but cool finds :). 

And Cabin Fever's post reminded me why I dig zinc pennies too. :)

Tim.

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I only started metal detecting last year, so I haven't found many good finds or even many nickels for that matter, but I did find a 1939 D (key date) in good condition. At that point I hadn't found any silver yet, so I traded it with my Dad (who has been collecting coins nearly his whole life and didn't have one of these) for a few silver coins.

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My Nickel digging is definitely site and mood dependent..  If I’m hunting an aluminum infested parking strip, I’m not wasting my time on Nickels..  Key date Nickels are hard to come by in my area compared to the Wheats and silvers.. I got a 16 D Buff this year and a couple 17 S last year.. Lucky if their worth $20.00 in dug condition.. Probably closer to the $5-$10 range..  Some Nickels with meat left on them clean up nice with steel wool and look pretty cool if not cleaned to far..  I usually only chase the deeper nickel signals to keep the tab count down.. The only gold rings that I have found were all Nickel signals since I’m not a jewelry hunter..

Im already working on my Equinox Nickel skills trying to find a strategy to cut down on the the trash..  I do this knowing I could be missing some good stuff.. I’m trying to find a balance of time, quality of finds and fun.. 

In Park 1 I have yet to dig a Nickel that has either bounced down to 11 or up to 14.. Not saying this can’t happen but it hasn’t yet..  If I get even one flash of 11 over several sweeps it has always been a rolled up or broken Beaver Tail, or in one of yesterday’s digs, an old junk kids ring.. I’m thinking a Silver War Nickel could bounce higher, but I haven’t found one yet with the Nox and they really don’t excite me much either..

This all being said. In a park that I know well, and where old stuff is real deep. I will dig almost all non ferrous signals that lay beneath the aluminum zone..  That’s how you get the cool pins, buttons, tokens and such..

Bryan

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17 minutes ago, Cabin Fever said:

I’m thinking a Silver War Nickel could bounce higher, but I haven’t found one yet with the Nox and they really don’t excite me much either..

All three of mine were 13-14, or solid 14.

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2 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

When I do coin hunt however the fact is most older nickels I find are in such poor condition that it’s doubtful they are even worth face value.

I'm sure it depends upon the ground conditions.  I dug a 1949-D (common date+MM) in VF condition a couple weeks ago and except for discoloration it cleaned up quite nicely with soap and water.  That came from the lot I've been so successful finding Wheat and silver.  Come to think of it I can't remember finding any clad in the upper part of the lot (where I found the nickel) and hardly any Memorials (thankfully no Zincolns).  My conclusion is that this nickel was in the ground a long time, probably 50+ years.

The one Shield Nickel I found (1867 w/rays) in another location was very badly deteriorated from the acid in the ground.  From the details on the coin I was able to deduce that it hadn't been in circulation a long time so likely dropped well over a century ago.  The extra time plus likely a higher soil acidity than site 1 really did a number on it, unfortunately.

As far as Warnicks, which were minted in large quantity and thus shouldn't be as hard to find as some of the semi-key date Jeffies, they contain 78% as much silver as a silver dime.  At today's $16.55/tr.oz price that makes a (not too badly worn) Warnick worth about $0.90 (silver content).

I can't bring myself to skip digging nickel TID signals, particularly if they're tight on the 12-13 TID of the Eqx.  It's certainly a numbers game as far as finding collectible dates, but I've been pleased with my Wheat finds so far and, besides, it's just fun for a few hours (until I get them soap-and-water clean) wondering if this time I got a good one!

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Sometimes something beautiful comes up.  This did with my ctx in a park at 8" this past Monday.  Thanks fpr the writeup Steve :)

20180326_173554.jpg

20180326_173609.jpg

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Just finding old coins is what I enjoy, so far this year I have found a 1867 shield nickel 1907 V nickel 1918 Buffalo 1943 war nickel

plus after over 40 years of detecting my first 3 cent nickel 1865.  And 2 two cents a 1866 and 1864. The war nickel is the only silver coin I found this year so far.

Stick.

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Must be related to the soil conditions where one hunts.  My local park reveals clad dimes and quarters a dark reddish color and copper pennies a dark brown.  Nickels have a purple coating but in good condition. I recover about 1 pull tab to every 10 zinc pennies, the zincs are usually totally corroded.  My take is about 50/50 clad to zinc.

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2 hours ago, Vez said:

Sometimes something beautiful comes up.  This did with my ctx in a park at 8" this past Monday.  Thanks fpr the writeup Steve :)

20180326_173554.jpg

20180326_173609.jpg

Nice!   Better take a very close look at that date Vez..

There is a rare Doubled Die version of that coin running around that start in the 4 figure range..

 

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