By Mike Hillis
Haven't hunted much this year. I think this was my second or third outing.
This is a weird site. I started hunting it back in 2004. Back then I was just starting out and was happy to get lots of clad and this site gave me a lot of clad back then. It has been stingy on jewelry but I found foreign coins there ( I like finding foreign coins) and so I'd hunt it three or four times a year. I'm not a clad snob. It pays for my battery money and I enjoy the extra hundred bucks every year. Anyway... My first gold ring from this site came out of there back in 2017. In 2018 I found another, and Sunday morning I found two more and a little silver locket. So the gold finds have been recent. Guess I should have taken a picture of the Canadian dime and 50 cent Euro coin I found too but I didn't.
The first ring is small. 10K JTS hallmark. Don't know if its a diamond or a topaz. I suspect its Topaz as its white in the light. Its child size or could be tiny woman.
The second ring is 14K, and looks to be part of a set. Its woman sized.
The locket is .925
These were found with the Tesoro Compadre running the Cleansweep coil (I modified my Compadre so I could swap coils). Both rings were one way signals and at least half flattened. I worked them back into roundness.
Anyway....I love coming home with gold in my pouch. Even better with two gold and some silver.
Since I keep records of all my hunts I've gotten into the habit of summarizing the years' finds. First the raw numbers (with 2017 numbers in parentheses):
Hours in the field: 263.5 (228).
Number of hunts: 80 (65).
Common coin (clad, Memorial) face value: $78.68 ($20.65).
Different sites searched: 15 (11). [Note: 6 of this years' sites were permissions compared to just 2 last year.]
Pulltabs (all types): 382 (524).
"Old" US coins (see photo): 22 (8).
Wheat cents: 90 (61).
By "old US coins" I mean any silver coin, Buffalo nickels or earlier, Indian Head cents or earlier. About 2/3 of my old coin finds have already been reported on this website. The photo (below) shows six silver dimes and six silver nickels ("Warnicks") for a total of 12 silvers. Also shown is one V-nickel (next to the dimes), seven Buffies, and two Indian Heads (bottom row). Also shown on the bottom row are a 1917 Canadian large cent, my first ever (and only, to date) dollar (modern 😢) and half dollar (clad 😢).
The nickels are the big surprise since I hadn't found a Warnick since 1972(!) and back in the spring when a thread was begun (paraphrased) "what are you hoping to find first with your Equinox" I responded "my first ever Buffalo nickel". As you can see I found seven, the first two without dates and then a run of five with dates. None of the coins shown has any value over metal content (silver) or face (the rest) since they are all common dates. My best Wheatie find of the year was a 1924-D which I reported on in detail earlier this year.
Although I don't hunt jewelry as many do, I sometimes find some anyway. My second photo shows my better jewelry finds and my best relic of the year, a Civil War cartridge box plate size and front face are quite similar to belt buckels but the backside is different. (I wrote this up earlier in the year -- found on 4th of July!) Just found the pocket watch on my last hunt of the year (Sunday 30 Dec). It's in very bad shape as you can see. I think it's gold plated -- you can see one very shiny spot. Probably never was a valuable piece.... The only piece of jewerly which has more than a few dollars value is the amethyst crystal in the gold bezel. Interestingly that is the only jewelry find my wife has ever wanted -- I happily gave it to her after I photo'ed it. 🙂
So why the change in production (both clad coins and old coins)? There are several small reasons but I think the big one is the use of an 11 inch coil (on the Equinox). Another thing I wrote up previously is that I was 'forced' to use a coil larger than my previous habit of 5 inch to 6 inch diameter and I was able to cover a lot more ground as a result.
By Gerry in Idaho
Pulled 1 last really cool find before years end. Went to a late 1800’s site and found a few keepers with the Equinox 800. My favorite is this Pre WW1 military dog tag. I don’t want to clean it up much more than is, but I think it says: MILTON P CROWE. L 1ST CAVALRY. If I understand it correctly, then the L is for Lieutenant. 1ST should be 1ST CAVALRY. Also saved this US Cavalry crossed sabers Insignia Pin, a nice large non primer rifle casing, an old lead bullet, Eagle Coat Button and then another “whats it” do-dad. It’s made of brass and has like a pull end with two guide lengths (sorry about my description, check the photo). Any help of ID or knowledge in it is appreciated as well. But the dog tag is the shits…
Anyone familiar with old military dog tags and how to research them, please email me the site.
I have been nugget hunting seriously for the past 6 years with some fair success and once in a while I would find a relic the prosecutors left behind. These relics compromised primarily of rusty iron, picks, axe heads and shovels. As usual I set out early morning to detect some nuggets when i got this deep tone on my Minelab. I was using my Coiltek 14" mono and I knew by the sound of it that the target was deep. I dug a foot down, than 2 feet..the sound got loud ...but the dirt was compact and hard..virgin ground I thought..another foot down and perhaps a life changing gold nugget maybe? no gold...damn !! After about a half hour of digging..I pulled out a beautiful piece of a 2 piece Naval buckle. The wreath is sharp, as if it was made yesterday...a gorgeous patina to boot. After research, I am pretty sure its a 1840-1850's Naval belt buckle, I could be wrong...as I only found 2 examples of it on line and they were reproductions. I think I have a real treasure here, in a historic perspective. I would imagine this sailor probably came to the gold fields from San Francisco, probably went AWOL and set his course to the Sierras in his search for gold. California just became a new State and joined the Union...and now I hold this buckle in my hand. For me this is as good as GOLD !
Sometimes it is better to be very lucky than good. So I am working this beaten slope of a hill in Stafford, VA off of a period CW road. It's thick as snot and getting the coil to the ground was a struggle. I get this nice 22-23 signal with the Nox down 11". I dig up the target and it is s deep knap sack hook. Scan the hole and I am still hearing that 22-26 signal. One more shovel full and it is in my dirt pile. Usually a IH or a trime will ring up that high but not brass unless it is big. In the dirt pile is this half inch by half inch piece of folded brass. So how does a knap sack hook and a piece of folded brass read so high? I look at the folded brass and see some silver plating where the two pieces meet. I very GENTLEY pry it open and see my surprise.
Soldier looks to have made an ID tag from possibly a tin-type picture case. The tag reads: SERGt J. Brown
Com C. 7th Reg
The tag belonged to Sergeant Joseph Brown, Company C, 7th Rhode Island.