It had been a year since I had a chance to hunt with my friend Strick. We finally were able to get together for 4 days of relic/coin/ring detecting.
On day 1 we went to an old standby location (ghost town) we had visited many times in the past. Strick found 2 silver coins, an 1876 and 1877 Seated Liberty dimes in the space of 1 hour. I found a few buttons.
Day 2 we took his boat up the Delta to a party beach where I hunted in the water for the first time ever. I had a blast using my CTX 3030 just wading up to my waist. I found 2 silver rings which beat the costume jewelry Strick got so I was the king that day.
On day 3 of my visit with him, we were off to a private property in the low Sierra foothills of California to meet up with Strick's friend, the ranch owner, and detect an early gold camp. We have been hunting this area for a few years when our schedules will allow. The last time I was here with Strick he had found a Quarter Eagle and some seated coins while I had only found buttons.
On this day things were not looking so great for me as I had only found one nice button and the usual assortment of period trash while Strick had scored a nice cast buckle wreath. We had just taken a break and had compared finds with the ranch owner, discussing the "whatizits" we had found. It was getting later in the day so we went back to detecting. I had earlier got into an area with quite a bit of scattered iron which developed into a nail bed which was obviously the remains of an old structure. So I returned to the heaviest area of nails which was about 250' away from the location of Strick's gold coin, and was carefully searching through the machine gun iron signals when I hear a definite signal but scratchy signal on my Deus. It was jumping around depending on which direction I swung but was repeatable. Just another bullet or cartridge I think as I pop the plug. Then I see about a quarter of a gold coin sticking out of the plug as it crumbles. I didn't stop to savor the moment or reflect on my find like you hear so many times. I started screaming like a 14 year old Valley Girl, " I found a gold coin" and waving my arms at my friends who were a short distance away. The coin was an 1849 Half Eagle. It has been my fondest detecting desire to find a gold coin and now I had realized it.
On the journey back to Stricks I looked up the value of the coin as people always ask. I didn't much care as I did not plan to sell it but that is usually the first question from family and friends. I had not cleaned it well or looked at it too closely but I knew it had some wear so I figured a ball park figure of $500?
It wasn't until we returned to Strick's place that he was looking at it through a low power microscope and he says" Her headband doesn't say liberty it says Moffat". I had never in a million years ever dreamed I may find a Territorial coin but I knew in an instant that I had just scored the find of my life.
On Day 4 we went to a location of an old military base. Strick has taken buckets of military paraphernalia from there and he scored again. I found 2 pieces but they were severely corroded.
I would say this has been the best detecting trip I have ever been on due to finding the Territorial Half Eagle. All the thanks go to my buddy, Strick and the ranch owner for getting me on that location.
I will ask Strick to post his pics of his finds.