1800 Half Dime (VF 20)

This is truly a find of a lifetime for me. Found at just 4 inches in modern park, and it sounded just like a modern penny (VDI +53).

Had it graded by a pro at VF-20, which, undamaged, would list at about $2500. (I did a little damage and there is other damage from 200 years in the ground). It is still a pretty coin, and I am quite happy with what I was offered for it.

Found: 07-Jun-2010; Location: park/school; Machine: V3

1830 Bust Half (VF 30ish)

Another find of a lifetime.  I’m fortunate enough to have had 2.  Just a random spot in a random field, sometimes better to be lucky than good.  I like hunting fields for a change, but most of the time you get occasional reales and coppers, after hours and hours of patience.  This was a nice treat.  Came in bouncing between 01-42 and 22-something on the E-Trac, about 8 inches.  Saw the eagle first, thought it might be a walker, then turned it over and was shocked to see the bust.  I was jacked.  Here is the original blog entry.

As for ranking it #2 on this list, tough call, but a good problem to have I, guess.  It is a stunning coin, and should be #1, maybe.  OTOH, the draped bust half dime is also beautiful, much rarer, and worth considerably more.  Even tho it is a smaller bust silver, it is a type older, and I’ve never ever seen one posted on an MD forum, so I think it is a harder find as well.  So, that’s that, tough decision.

Found: 19-Nov-2013; Location: field; Machine: E-Trac.

1842 Seated Half (XF 40)

XF 40 I guess is a little generous on this baby, given the tarnish, but a seated half is still a pretty rare find (at least for me), and its an old one, 1842.  Hard to believe this was found at 7 inches in a public park.  Sometimes it pays to be in the right place at the right time.

Odd thing was, I was pretty confident the place had been hunted out — 2 or 3 hours of not even much clad, then I got a wheatie, and started focusing on that zone, then a rosie, and then this.  I remember when I first saw it, I thought it was some sort of token — it took quite a few seconds to realise what it was, then do the happy dance.

Found: 19-Jun-2011; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

1854 Seated Dime (VF 20)

It was 102 degrees, and the dirt was cement hard. I did not have a pinpointer. Machine said it was about 8 inches deep, and I dug and dug and dug for 20 minutes in that heat. No dice.

I finally figured out that the coin must be on its side, and sure enough, got a similar reading on the far side off one side of the top of the hole. Cut another plug there, and saw the silver poking out. I said, literally and out loud, “this better be an f’ing seated for all this work”, and I couldn’t believe it when it was. It was only 2 inches deep. And its in nice shape as well.

Found: 06-Jul-2010; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

1821 2 Reale (Gorgeous)

This is the nicest Spanish silver I have ever found (only 8th overall career at time of writing).  I think it is a gorgeous coin for a big, old silver.  Found at the ruins of a 1700′s mansion.  Here is the original blog entry.

Found: 05-May-2013; Location: ruins; Machine: E-Trac

1857 Seated Quarter (G4)

Its a bit worn, but we’ll take it.  Seated quarters can be hard to find, and this is the only one I’ve ever found.  It was a difficult dig, at 4 inches, but on its side in a trashy area.  This site had never even given up barber silver, just mercs and rosies for the most part (tho it had given up a few coppers), so it was quite a surprise.

Found: 15-Jul-2011; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

1853 Three Cent Piece (F12)

This (at the time) was the third oldest American silver coin I have found (4th oldest now), an 1853 three cent piece, or “trime”. Its in pretty good shape, save for a little corrosion. This was at an old house with tons of iron, and it was not a very good signal; CO 33 or so on the E-Trac after an iron null. Not a signal I would dig too often at a park or school, but I was glad I did. 4-5 inches deep.

Found: 25-Sep-2010; Location: private yard; Machine: E-Trac

1807 Spanish 2 Reale

This is the second Spanish 2 Reale I’ve dug this year, and by far the best.  It is a bit tarnished, but otherwise, there is plenty of detail, and no holes or other abuse, which have plagued my previous Spanish silvers.

This was found in a huge, wide open field on private property.  A one in a million shot, except I also found a barber half in the same field on the same day.  Unbelievable day.

Found: 31-Jul-2012; Location: field; Machine: E-Trac

1822 Mexican Half Reale

I generally would not rate foreign silver so high, but it is more like Spanish silver: its old, and circulated in the US like a half dime. It was worth about 6 cents, and Mexican half reales are the reason they did not make half dimes from about 1808 thru 1829 (had it been a US half dime from that era, it would be up near #1, as my other is). Its also in half decent shape as these things go (no hole, readable date).  Here is the original blog entry

Found: 29-Oct-2012; Location: field; Machine: E-Trac.

1894-S Barber Half (G4)

This is the third barber half I’ve found (at the time of writing), in the span of less than a year (so I guess they are more common than I thought), but it is the only one from the 1800s that I’ve found.  1800s silver is special; 1800s big silver is extra special.

It was about 6-7 inches deep, right on the edge of a field.  I thought it was going to be a silver quarter when it rang up.

(And yes, I’ll always feels snubbed that this coin didn’t make the American Detectorist banner (and I would come to feel more of that), especially considering some of the coins that did.  Well, it is what it is, I guess these things shouldn’t matter so much, and they really don’t, at least not to me, but I do need to mention this, and move on).

Found: 31-Jan-2012; Location: field; Machine: E-Trac

1907 Sterling Silver Spoon

This is such a beautiful silver relic, only one imperfection in the bowl.  It is monogrammed “Regina” on the front, and “07″ on the back of the handle.  I’ve found a few silver spoons (and parts), but have never seen a dug one that looked this nice.

I even met an old woman who knew of and lived a couple houses down from the little girl this was made for.  How cool is that. (Unfortunately, there were no surviving members of the family, so I could not return this heirloom).

Found: 18-Jan-2012; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

1777 Spanish 2 Reale

This is the 4th Spanish silver I’ve dug (at the time of writing), but it is my first 2 reale.  Yes its worn, and has a hole, but I just don’t see many of these larger than 1 reale posted (I certainly don’t expect to ever find one again).

Its between the size of a quarter and a half dollar (for those that don’t know, Spanish silver comes as a 1/2 reale (6.25 cents), 1 reale (12.5 cents), 2 reale (25 cents), and so forth, so its kinda like an old quarter, tho certainly not nearly as rare as a 1700s US quarter would be).

This was a deep, iffy signal in a sparely targeted New England park.  I thought it was going to be a deep dime or quarter, and was quite surprised.

Found: 06-Apr-2012; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

Silver Ring (likely 19th century)

This old silver ring is only worth about a buck or two, but I think it is really cool. Who wore it? Was it a wedding band, or did it have any other personal significance? Are the initials an organization, or a person’s name? Is the family still in the county? It will be cool to figure this out someday.

I don’t really know how old it is, but it was found in the same field as a button I dated to the late 1800s, and a 1801 Spanish silver. Found at a good 8 inches, and rang nicely as deep silver on the V3. It was fun digging it out, like I was unearthing “my precious”.

Found: 23-Mar-2010; Location: field; Machine: V3

1755 Spanish Reale

This is the oldest silver coin I’ve ever found, a 1755 Spanish reale. The coin is in pretty good shape, except for the hole. It is a Fernando VI. Was only 4 inches, rang like a silver dime.

I remember the day, I was with a hunting buddy, and I was trying to find my 50th silver of the year at a site that had been generous to both of us in the past.  But we were both being skunked — he decided to leave, I decided to take one more swing thru the field, and good thing I did.  This is the last silver I ever found at that site, despite a couple of repeat trips.

Found: 04-Sep-2010; Location: field; Machine: E-Trac

1924 SLQ (F12)

This is the most beautiful SLQ I’ve ever found, and its only one of 2 pre 1925 that I’ve found with a date.  They are very difficult to find with dates, at least for me. This is an absolutely beautiful silver coin that the scan doesn’t do justice to. SLQs are the most beautiful US silver coin IMHO. Was at about 8 inches, solid signal.

Found: 06-Aug-2010; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

Gold Opel Ring with Ice

14K gold, center opel, 18 side stones, what’s not to like? I don’t know what it’s worth, and I’ll never find out, as my wife likes it as much as I do.

Found in the dry sand, not too deep.

I guess such a piece should be higher on the list, as outside the half dime, it is by far the most valuable thing I’ve ever found.  I imagine all gold should make the list.  This is one of 7 gold rings I’ve found, but the only one to make the list.  I guess I’m just an old silver/copper snob.  Maybe I should look for more gold.

Found: 31-Mar-2010; Location: beach (dry sand); Machine: V3

Gold Chain w/ Gold Charms

This is my best gold find, both in terms of melt value and beauty.  The only reason it ranks lower than the gold opal ring is that my wife loved the latter and kept it, and still wears it.  But, I think this gold chain with gold charms is a real beauty.  If I wasn’t a silver guy, perhaps it would rank even higher.

Not much to say in about the hunt that wasn’t mentioned in the original blog entry.

Found: 30-May-2012; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

Old 18K Gold Ring

6.05 gram 18K gold ring.  I think it is about turn of the century cause it was found 8 inches deep near where a copper and an IH were found, and cause of the styling of the mark.  Or so I’m told, I am certainly no expert.

Not all gold makes the list, and its not as pretty as some of the gold that has, but I like it cause its old.

Found: 24-Aug-2012; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

1875 Indian Head (XF 40)

Beautiful semi-key date Indian Head with nice patina and full details, both sides.  Just have to get the dirt off of it someday.  Was found at the same mansion ruins as the 1821 2 reale above.  Found only 3 silvers at this site, but the site produced 2 entries for the top finds list.  Here is the original blog entry.

Found: 07-May-2013; Location: ruins; Machine: E-Trac

1801 Spanish Reale

Finding Spanish silver isn’t nearly as exciting as finding American silver of the same age, but it is still pretty cool to find silver this old. This was my second Spanish silver find, but it was my first in decent shape, as my actual first, a half-reale, was barely identifiable. This is a nice coin for its age.

Found: 23-Mar-2010; Location: field; Machine: V3

1700s Pewter Cup

I’m not much of a relic hunter, but I think this one is really cool. As near as I can tell it is a 1700′s pewter cup. The unfortunate thing is that it doesn’t have a bottom. I believe it had a glass bottom at one point.

This was my second or third hunt ever — I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. It was just under the surface, and rang up like a nickel on the Ace 250.

Found: 19-Jul-2008; Location: woods/ruins; Machine: Ace 250

Vintage Sterling Silver Thimble

This is a size 10 sterling silver thimble in beautiful shape.  This is my second dug, intact, thimble, and by far my prettiest one.  I found it in a private yard, and offered it to the owner, who I guess thought it was junk, and said keep it.  Well, I think it is cool.

Found: 25-Jan-2012; Location: private yard; Machine: E-Trac

1787 Vermont Copper

Yes, its abused, but at least you can identify it. This was the first identifiable colonial copper I had found at the time, and is one of 17 coppers I had found in a rather small area, where there is no historical evidence (that I’m aware of), of a settlement, so this will be a cool research project for another day. And, who knew there was a “Republic of Vermont” back in the 1700s?  I certainly didn’t.

At the time I’d found this, this was the oldest identifiable coin I had ever found, and it was quite a thrill. I was a newbie then, and it was high on the list, now I realise that the MD snobs are not interested in abused coppers, I still think it is cool, and I understand only about 5000 or so were minted.  Will always be a special find for me.

Found: 08-Jun-2009; Location: field; Machine: DFX

1826 Half Cent (G4)

Its actually a pretty nice coin if I ever work on getting the caked on dirt off, trust me :) (much nicer than this pic; I have a better pic somewhere I need to dig up). I just think it is cool to find obsolete denomination coins like a half cent, especially one that is not totally beat up (I found another one that was, same year).  (People outside of Chester County have to understand how acidic our soil is, and it is nearly impossible to dig coppers like they dig in New England and Ohio)

This one was found deep in the woods, near some ruins. It was only about 4 inches deep. I wasn’t sure what it was when I dug it. Dug it the same day as a nice large cent, quite a day of hunting for me.

Found: 28-Jun-2009; Location: woods/ruins; Machine: DFX

1845 Large Cent (VF20)

Another one that will clean up real nice once I work on the dirt. There is alot of detail still in the hair, and no damage. (The cruft is just caked on dirt).

This was the first target on the same day and place as the 1826 half cent above, and what is remarkable is that it was only an inch or two deep. Came up at +84 on the DFX, just like a clad quarter, which is what I thought it was going to be.

Found: 28-Jun-2009; Location: woods/ruins; Machine: DFX

1864 2 Cent Piece (VG8)

This was my first ever 2 cent piece.  It wasn’t my first shield coin; that was this shield nickel that was in the same hole, and it came out first.  A 7 cent shield spill, hard to believe.

It rang up as a wheatie, and there was no inkling that the shield nickel was in there as well.  This was found on a club detecting trip to Prospect Park, in Brooklyn.  This was an awesome site, and I wish I knew how to use the E-Trac then, like I do now, as likely I would have found more that day. (I did find 4 clad dollar coins that day; and I think $23 in clad overall, but these were the only oldies).

Found: 30-Oct-2010; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

1800 Draped Bust Large Cent

This is only the second draped bust LC I’ve ever found.  The other is a 1798, and even more abused, and further down the list.  For an abused Chester County copper, I like it.  Was only 4 inches deep at a site that appeared to have been hunted fairly hard.

Found: 15-Aug-2012; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac

1798 Draped Bust Large Cent

This is the only 1700s US federal issue coin I’ve found with readable date (I’ve found 3 dateless liberty cap large cents), and it is my first and only draped bust large cent.

Its abused, and takes a bit of trick photography to get it readable at all (it looks much worse, if you can believe it, in real life), but coins this old are still fun to find.

This was only an inch deep, in the tailings from the excavations at a construction site.  It sounded like a clad quarter, and when I dug it, it  was so beat I wasn’t sure what it was.  I sorta saw the bust, and I said — hey, that could be an old copper, but at the time I thought it was some sort of token.

Found: 11-Jan-2012; Location: construction site; Machine: E-Trac

14K Gold Ring

You’ve gotta love gold. I’ve dug six other gold rings (at the time of writing), including some larger, but this was my first, when I really had no clue what I was doing, and it really got me hooked on the hobby.

This was interesting, ’cause when I hit the target with my detector, I just knew it was going to be gold. It was weird.

Found: 20-Aug-2008; Location: volleyball court; Machine: Ace 250

Platinum Engagement Ring

I answered an ad on a metal detecting forum to help a guy find a platinum engagement ring that he threw into a neighbor’s lawn. It was not clear how far or in what direction the ring was thrown, and there were bushes there into which it could have landed. The first day I spent 3.5 hours searching in oppressive heat, with no luck. I wanted to give it another go the next morning, and after 5 hours total searching, and 20 minutes before I was to give up, I found it. I was pretty excited, and he was ecstatic.

This ring was worth alot (we agreed to to mention value or post pictures on the net). He did give me a $100 reward. It was 60 feet from where he said he threw it, and he had been looking for it for a month, including with other detectors. It was a very cool experience.

Found: 25-Sep-2010; Location: private yard; Machine: E-Trac

1808 Half Cent (P2)

Yeah, a pretty crappy coin, but half cents are hard to find.  Draped bust half cents are even harder to find.  But, I have 35 slots on the best find list, and this is at number #30, and it is certainly better than a placeholder, isn’t it?  It also knocks one off my type coin bucket list.  Hopefully the next one will be better, but I am not optimistic on that score.

Oh, and BTW, it turns out its a really rare one, 1802/0.  Woohoo.

Found: 27-Jul-2012; Location: park/school; Machine: E-Trac