Today marked my ninth straight hunt of pulling at least one silver coin. A far cry from my record of 52 straight, but we’ll take it. Silver coins are still hard to find, and every one is a gift, especially as me and my competition continue to hunt the area out.
On the subject of stats, economists like to look at data, and look for explanations of that data. That can even have relevance to metal detecting. For example, my current site has given up 11 silver coins: 5 quarters, 5 dimes, and 1 war nickel. This ratio is consistent with modern change (and while I don’t track pennies cause they ain’t silver, the quantity I am finding is consistent with modern change as well).
Normally, at a silver site, the ratio of dimes to quarters will range from 3:1 (good), to 10:1 (normal), or even worse. These ratios, skewed well off the modern change ratio, suggest the site was hunted, especially in the 80s (cause quarters are easier to find than dimes). The worse the ratio, the harder it has been hunted.
Judging how hard a site has been hunted is important. You don’t want to waste your time at a hard-hunted site while the competition is picking low-hanging fruit elsewhere; you need to be the one picking that low-hanging fruit, and come back to the hard-hunted site later.
But this one is hard. The ratio suggests that it has not been hunted (and given that it is a permission site, that is possible). OTOH, the quantity suggests that it may have been (its not alot of quantity per square area). OTOH, the research suggests the site may have had a low density usage during the silver era, meaning the quantity and ratio of finds are consistent with a low usage, never been hunted site. OTOH, the mineralization is god-awful; I can’t get an auto rec above 19, and even some of the quarters have iffy signals, suggesting many deep dimes may be being masked by mineralization, skewing the data!
Are you kidding me? These are the things an economist thinks about while metal detecting, all in the name of optimization. My guess is that there are not many economists who metal detect. My guess is that there are even less that blog. And, after that, even fewer readers. You (if you are not a searchbot), are likely unique. Cheers!
But, the question remains, why hunt such as site? Cause its damn old, and there could be a big one here, but with the crappy dirt, it may be tough to hear it. The hope is it has not been detected before (giving you a shot at a shallow big one), but the evidence is inconclusive. At least the Dismal Science gives you a way to think about the problem, and that’s what I’m trying to do. Cut and run, or press on? Tough call.