As mentioned previously, after rereading Dick Stout's Coin Hunting... In Depth book over the holidays I took his advice and stepped away from my standard sites to find new ones. It seems to be working (thanks, Dick). Statistics on that later in this post. Last week I went to one of those 'new sites', a century old park, and in the first 2 hours I found 83 cents in modern coins searching along a road and around a crushed stone parking lot that had previously produced only one old coin -- a beat up Wartime nickel ('Warnick'). I decided to move to a picnic area for the last hour, and as you can see in the picture, I was rewarded. (Sorry for the overexposure on the Warnick.)
One of the Buffies showed up first, about 5-6 inches. Next was the Merc at 4-5 inches. The other two nickels followed (neither more than about 4 inches deep) and the big surprise was the Indian Head, also only about 4 inches deep. My previous Personal Record ('PR') was only two old coins in one day's hunting. Note that I don't count Wheat pennies in this category. My single day PR there is 27. Needless to say I was quite pleased.
Oh, the 22 cartridge was found next to the above mentioned parking lot on a previous hunt. Given that it's in a muni park (and we don't have gang problems..., etc.) I assume this was dropped long ago. It's possible it was dropped after the park opened by a hunter who was getting his gear together after getting out of the car, before exiting the park on foot into the nearby woods. The lead bullet appears to have 3 rings, one smooth and two serrated (if that's the correct word). Can anyone put an age on this? It was oriented vertically about 6 inches deep and sounded as sweet as any silver dime I've ever found, with the TID centered around 27. Except for the 'P' on the back of the Warnick, there is no mintmark on any of the other coins. The IH is 1903 and the Buffie dates are only partially visible. I think one is 1916 and the other 1924. None of these is scarce, but they still get counted in my 'other old coin' category.
A little about the park. As I mentioned it was established over a century ago. I knew of its existence but figured so did every coin hunter within 100 miles. Surely there was nothing left for me.... But another thing I've learned is that there is no such thing as "hunted out". I've put 52 1/2 hours into hunting this park so far (all in 2020) and there's still more uncovered area awaiting. Here are some numbers to mull over: my 'other old coin' finds per hour is 0.27 for this site compared to 0.08 for all other hunted sites since beginning of 2017. 8 of the 14 finds are nickels. Meanwhile Wheat pennies recovered per hour is 0.21, compared to 0.26/hr for all other sites starting in 2017. And here is a sampling of my trash finds:
These are from 12 1/2 hours of hunting this park. All but a couple of the ring-and-beavertail pulltabs had Equinox TID's in the modern USA coin regions: 12-14 (nickels) and 19 and above. If the nickel and pseudo-nickel target ID touches 15 I don't dig. My custom high tone is 20 and up to make sure I notice Indian Head pennies. (Note from the photo: I count Zincolns as trash and that's what the pictured discs are.) The 14-18 region is typically thought of as pulltabs, but those in the photo (exception of a couple r&b's) all sounded and TID'ed like nickels. The aluminum screwcaps TID 21-23. Crown caps can be in both nickel zone and Zincoln zone (elsewhere, too), depending upon composition. I did dig more trash than this, mostly can slaw but also some aluminum foil and the usual few bent nails, square nails, copper wire, etc. This park is absolutely loaded with the old pulltabs, and the broken off beavertails are the worst. It got to where I was requiring the TID to at least flash a 13 for me to dig 'nickels', and still you see what I pull out. Unfortunately I later dug a pure 12 and it was a nickel. 😪 I wonder how many of those I left in the ground.
If you're still here I hope you don't mind one more statistic: for common coins of denomination 25 cents and less (so not counting Wheaties or other old coins, but including Zincolns), the fraction of nickels among common coins since beginning of 2017 (but not counting this site) is 15%. At this site (again, not counting the eight old nickels) is 26%.
In summary, I'm finding a lot of old coins compared to my other sites, but not more Wheaties. I'm finding a lot more nickels (relative to other coins) than my other sites. I'm finding tons of pulltabs in the nickel zone. How does all this tie together? Simple: the site has been hunted by detectorists cherry picking the high conductors and ignoring the nickels because they don't want to dig pulltabs. Of course they missed some Indian Heads (probably didn't want to be bothered with Zincolns either) and a few silver dimes. Hopefully I'll find a higher denomination silver coin, but even if I don't I'm happy with the oldies that have been showing up.
I went to a local rec center today for 1 1/2 hours. The soccer fields were closed due to chemical sprays, so I decide to hunt around the other areas I haven't hit before. On the big field I generally find very little, so I assume it really gets pounded. I still had the 11" coil on the Equinox from beach detecting, so it felt like an Exacto knife rather than the sword-like 15".
Right off the bat I started hitting quarters. It seemed like I couldn't take 10 steps without hitting another. My initial goal was to search for signals in the 5-13 range. I couldn't do that due to the overwhelming amount of change in the ground. Not complaining, just amazed at how much was in the ground there. Although 42 quarters came out of the ground, I left a good amount behind so I can take my friend who is just getting into detecting. He will have a blast if his knees can handle it.
I bet I covered about 10% of the ground so far. I left close to 20 dimes in the ground just because my legs were feeling it, I was being selective, and Florida's state bird was starting to suck my blood. I was using Park 1, ground balanced, 13 sensitivity (lots of interference initially), all metal, and 7 recovery.
I tend not to get too excited, especially before I go out for a hunt. This morning I was reviewing some of my recent sites with https://www.historicaerials.com when I stumbled upon some magic words on an older USGS topo -- "Drive-in Theater". If that doesn't get your detecting mouth salivating then you're not a coin hunter. Stay tuned.
Update: Officer Murphy (the one the law was named after) pulled me over as I was getting ready to head down the driveway. The garage door cable came off the pully and in the process of fixing that I've messed up even more.... Detecting adventure is going to have to wait. Hopefully I get time tomorrow because they're predicting iffy weather for the next three days after that.
Update 2: Garage door fixed, but too late to get in much detecting as I had evening plans. But I did have time to scout out the spot. Good news is that it's public property and thus accessible. However, I think I'm going to need to be discrete as some might object to me hunting this spot, even though I can freely walk into and out of it (not having to climb fences). I don't know exactly when the Drive-In closed. I think it opened in 1955 and was closed before turn-of-21st Century, so ballpark 40 years in operation. Unfortunately where the cars parked has been reworked (with fill) but the projector building location and hopefully concession stand and kiddie playground wasn't, at least it looks overgrown unlike the rest of the area. Now, have others detected there? Maybe back in the 90's but I suspect that in the last 20 years it's either been forgotten about or completely unknown to modern detectorists. Even if it's been hunted, my experience is they usually leave a few crumbs for me! I haven't decided when I'll go there, as I think it's going to be best for me to pick my spots when I won't be noticed, or at least if noticed, not hassled -- early mornings and late evenings during the long daylight months (I guess that includes now). I will report what I find, especially if that includes pre-1965 coins. There appears to have been about 10-15 year window when silver was in circulation there. I'm optimistic.
Did a quick stint at the park this morning and found a Battle of Verdun coin/medallion dated 1916. As you can see from the pics I nicked it with the digging tool. 🤮
I'd like some advice on how to avoid this in the future. I know part of it is just experience, but there must be some techniques or mechanics that will help to mitigate this. I've included an image of a better conditioned coin too. Found a bunch of clad coins along with this. The Vanquish is a sweet little detector. Won't replace my Nox 800, but it is really fun to use! I think I will get the bigger coil for it...
I am hoping someone with a First Texas detector like the Gold Bug Pro or any of it's variants, even the T2 or F75 who owns a British 925 silver Florin could give me it's target ID.
It's the only British silver coin type I've never found that was NZ currency.
At the moment I know the Equinox ID of it which is 31/32 (Thanks to PimentoUK) and as I've found a British silver 925 Shillings which read as 29/30 on the Equinox and on the Gold Bug Pro and T2 they read as 86 so I estimate it will be 88 based off that. If anyone could verify this for me that'd be great. From what I've seen First Texas units with Target ID seem to use the same numbers so any First Texas Target ID may help.
I like to take a cheat sheet with me into the field with the coils I'm hunting's ID's so I can make dig decisions on solid targets. I guess I should just dig all those high conductors but I'd like my list to be complete.
Obviously if anyone has a list of First Texas Target ID's for British coins I'd like it 🙂