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Old Line Paul

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Everything posted by Old Line Paul

  1. Right now, I’m that guy. My $70 Winbest Pro always finds at least a few coins. Mainly an excuse to get out of the house and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. I must admit, however, that finding a little gold/silver ring last month has made me start contemplating something better.
  2. Everything is complicated in my part of Maryland (suburb of Washington DC). Rules, regulations and permits for everything. No detecting on federal land or in state parks. Detecting in local parks by permit only, but if you ask they say, “No.” Some beaches allow detecting in certain areas, but I’m several hours away from the beach. (But from what I read, France is probably just as bad.)
  3. Great tip! I live in a townhouse community where the lawn contractor dumped grass clippings in the woods for decades. Then, one very dry summer, the mountain of clippings spontaneously combusted and started a small forest fire. Since then, the HOA Board has made the lawn service haul away the clippings. You can barely see where “Mt. Grassmore” was anymore. Once winter has killed the weeds, I’ll check it out.
  4. Too bad I can’t plant money trees in my backyard. I’d rather be a successful black truffle detector than a metal detector any day of the year! bon chanceux!
  5. HaHa! You must not live in Maryland. 🙄
  6. “If these old coins could talk!” I know nothing about Chinese coins. But I assume that its journey from China to America to being lost to being found would be fascinating if we only knew. I collect Russian Mosin-Nagant rifles. There are an estimated 260 variants, but nobody knows for sure. They were manufactured from 1891 until the 1960s, not only in Russia but in several other countries, including the US. Many were sold, given and/or captured and reissued by other nations. Most have been refurbished or remade into different variations at least one point in their lives. Every time I pick one up, I wonder what stories it could tell.
  7. I had never heard of these before! Wikipedia doesn’t even have an entry on them. Just ordered a set from Amazon.
  8. I agree. I may be new to metal detecting, but I’ve been collecting militaria all my life. You need a big bag of tricks. ultrasonic cleaners work well on removing greasy grime and dirt, especially out of tight places like proof marks, serial numbers, inscriptions and the loops of 8s, 9s and 0s. They don’t do much for tarnish or corrosion. In fact, as I alluded to in my first post, they can make things worse. I zapped a clean but tarnished copper penny and silver dime. Not only did they not get shiny, but if zapped long enough they developed a mottled appearance. Of course, in antiques, “patina” is important. One man’s “cleaning” is another man’s “damaging.” here’s a before/after
  9. Do you have an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner? I bought a $35 home model. I’ve had mixed results. I tested some worthless items first, and found if you zap them too long you can mar the finish of some coins and knock loose paint/plate finishes. I’d be afraid to use it on something truly valuable. And you definitely need warm water and some cleaning solution to get the best results. But if you zap things in short bursts and use a soft toothbrush between zaps, it can remove caked on grime in tight places.
  10. I know I sound like a broken record*, but 5 months into the hobby and I’m still amazed at the quantity of coins people manage to lose in parks! Especially something like your silver half-dollar. First, it’s a substantial item. Wouldn’t you notice if you dropped it? Second, 50 cents was a significant amount of money 100 years ago. Even 55 years ago, I could have bought 5 ice cream cones for that amount. Wouldn’t you get down on your hands and knees until you found it? I suppose it could have fallen out of some young man’s trouser pocket while he was sitting on the grass, pitching the woo to his sweetheart, and he didn’t notice. If those old coins could talk! * I’m showing my age. How many people today know what a broken record sounds like?
  11. Saint Anthony of Padua is known as the Patron Saint of Lost Things. While his day job is helping the original owner find what was lost, I bet he looks after metal detectors in his spare time.
  12. What a haul! As a newbie, I continue to be amazed at the number of lost coins that are out there. I didn’t think many people even carried change these days. Most people I know put their change in a jar, and take it to a coin-counting machine when it gets full. And more and more people use credit/debit cards instead of cash.
  13. I dug this up two weeks ago. I thought it was a broken rosary and tossed it in my bag. I looked at it more closely yesterday, and realized it has the wrong number of beads to be a rosary. A little online research and I discovered it was a chaplet. Rosaries are the most common kind of chaplet, but there are many others - with varying numbers and arrangements of beads - used for different devotions. I’ve been unable to determine exactly what kind this one is, however. The other curious thing was that I found it directly on the end line of a soccer field, right in the center of the goal box. Put there on purpose as a good luck charm?
  14. I know zero about jewelry! I am, however, a hoarder of scrap silver. I know that 950 silver is rare in the US and UK, but more common in Europe and Mexico. Since I found the ring near a soccer field in a mostly Central American neighborhood, I assume it is silver/gold and not platinum/gold.
  15. On Monday (my 19th detecting session) I found this: I found it on the sidelines of “my” soccer field. The ring is marked 18K and 950. Weight 45 grains. There was a teeny-tiny, clear stone in the center but it fell out in the ultrasonic cleaner. I was able to rescue the little stone and trapped it in a clear piece of packing tape. Should I ever propose to a mouse, I’m sure she’ll be impressed.
  16. KAC & GB_Amateur Thanks for the info. I guess I subconsciously assumed since gold was “better” than the other metals it would be “louder” in my earphones. 🙄 BAD NEWS: I may be missing the really good stuff in “my” soccer field. GOOD NEWS: It’ll still be there when I go back. I have lived in Maryland nearly 40 years and I have never seen anyone with a metal detector except at the beach.
  17. Hadn’t thought about that. The Winbest manual doesn’t even mention gold. I just assumed gold would be even more conductive than silver. I will have to take some gold items out in the backyard and see what happens. Thanks for the tip.
  18. I learned about “coin popping” by lurking here all winter. Honestly, if I had not found this website, I’m sure my first detecting trip would have been my last. Thanks, Steve!
  19. Did you see the “Pickles” comic strip from September 19? The mother gave her retired husband a metal detector, which he uses in their backyard, to keep him out of her hair. The mother says it was the best investment she ever made. When the daughter asks how much it cost, the mother replies, “Oh, about two hundred dollars…plus another thirty a month on old coins to bury in the yard when he’s not looking.”
  20. This is the second half of my post for lurkers and noobies On May 13, I went detecting for the very first time and found my first penny. I was hooked! I went back to the park on May 16, May 19, May 31 and June 7. I stuck to the playground and Fitcore lot because the digging was easy and I figured people were most likely to lose items while active. My expectations were low. My detector is basic and the park is a 25 year old suburban athletic field, not a 150 year old park in the center of town. I was out for the nice weather and the thrill of the hunt. I always came home with at least one coin. The problem with my search strategy was that the playgrounds are the most-used part of the park on weekdays. In this day and age, I didn’t want to be the Weird Old Man who shows kids his metal detector. And I certainly didn’t want to annoy the musclemen when they were working out! On June 14, I was crowded out of the playgrounds. So I tried the sidelines of the soccer field. My neighborhood is largely immigrant, and amateur soccer is a very big deal. Still, I wasn’t optimistic. How much can you drop watching soccer? Do young people even carry change any more? I started swinging. Keep in mind that I still was using the “all metal” setting and digging every target. Also the ground was bone dry and rock-hard from being trampled by spectators. Much to my surprise, I was finding a target every few feet. Because of the soil condition and the fact that this is a park, I didn’t dig more than 2” before giving up. Still, after 2 hours, I had found 2 dimes and 3 pennies (in addition to countless bottle tops). QUESTION: How the heck does a coin minted in 2018 end up 2” under turf in 2021? Before I left, I looked around. How did I not notice there was a shaded hill at each end of the field? A quick check showed they not only had perfect views of the field, but plenty of trash and trampled grass. Hey, I was learning to read the terrain! On June 17 and June 23 I hit the hills. Not only did I find 2 dimes, 3 nickels 11 pennies (a huge haul for me at the time) but I was getting a PhD in telling trash from treasure. For the first time, I started playing with the discrimination knob, finding the spot where I could dial out the countless beer bottle tops. Armed with this new knowledge, I hit the more productive of the hills on August 4. Here’s what I found in 3 hours: I continue to hit those hills, especially on Mondays. On August 23, I decided to detect the field itself. I figured young Central American men + competitive soccer = lost gold chains. Since I was looking for surface finds and didn’t want to leave holes players could trip on, I only probed targets with a thin screwdriver. No gold, but I did pop 1 dime, 2 pennies, and a house key, along with 2 aluminum cleats (which really pegged the meter!). QUESTION: How the heck do coins end up in the middle of a soccer field? That’s the end of my tale. I don’t consider myself a Tenderfoot any longer. A beginner, but not a Tenderfoot. As I sharpen my skills, I continue to find more coins, not fewer, as I work the same park. I hope I have inspired others. You don’t need a fancy rig or an historic location to have fun.
  21. Once, I had a down day at the horse races. Walking back to my car, I found $30 in the parking lot. When people asked how I did at the track that day, I honestly said, “Up 8 bucks.”
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