Career Silver #1000

First, hopefully everyone who endured the storm has come thru fine.  The eye of the fucking thing came right thru southern Chester County, a direct hit, more or less.  But Chester County took much less damage than other areas to the east and northeast.  Chalk that up to the cold front that was coming from the west at the same time, trapping the hotter wind from the ‘cane above the tree line, for the most part.  So sorry those further east weren’t so lucky.  We lost power for about 24 hours, and had alot of road closures, but that was the extent of our inconvenience.

I’d write more about the storm, especially about its politicalization, from assholes on both the left and right, but this is a metal detecting blog, and we don’t do “stories” here anymore,. so lets talk about the silver.

And I did manage to get out today after spending the earlier part of the week hunkering down — to the same honeyhole that has been the subject of recent posts, and I scored both a slam dunk Q in an out of the box zone (that really trashy section right next to the road that no one ever wants to detect; it was only 4 inches deep), and a really nasty to recover rosie in the next zone to work; the damn thing was on its side under a pull tab; it took a good 5 minutes to recover — these are the hardest ones, cause you can’t pinpoint em, and they sound good from so many directions.

It was really muddy and cold out there, and my morale was a bit sapped due to the storm and my empath nature, so I only spent 2 hours, but we are still clocking in at one per hour here.  The fact of the matter is, in all honesty, that I should have been doing something to help out rather than wasting the midday jacking my silver count, but how does one?  They say (and “they”, sometimes being fellow economists) that capitalism is the most optimal system for the allocation of resources.  Its on these days that I know that “they” are 100% full of bullshit.  And, just multiply the inefficiency both in order of magnitude, and number of people, and it is disgusting.

Well, enough pontificating.  Just demonstrates, once again, the meaningless of milestones.  But not in the Nordkapp or Mt. Washington sense (i.e, we drive there), cause silver coins are hard to find and take a bit of skill and talent, but it is not the occasion  to celebrate a milestone, so I can’t.

1822 Half Reale

A couple of days ago, I was whining about not being able to get into that dead zone of 1800-1890 silver at my current site, when coppers, IHs, and modern silver are present, as well as colonial era relics.  This problem pretty much haunts me at most sites,

But today I got in there with an 1822 half reale.  Technically, its not a “Spanish silver”, but a Mexican coin.  According to my Krause Standard Catalog of World Coins, it is from the “Empire of Iturbide”, whatever that means (I don’t know much of Mexican coinage or history; no doubt it means alot to those so endowed with such knowledge).

For the curious, the coin is the size of an American half dime; slightly smaller than a dime, and thinner.  On the E-Trac, came in at a CO of 35 to 37.  Not something you would normally dig cause its in the dreaded zincoln zone, but if it has “that sound”, and is deep in an old field giving up colonial relics, you gotta dig em all.  Of course, I dug a ton of zincolns today as well.

As much as I love the find, I’d love to nail another American silver of the same age. The universe mocks my every move.

As for the rest of the hunt, of course it was Farewell Farewell day, so the hunt was cut short a bit by a long lunch, but before lunch I pulled a silver Q along with the half reale, and after lunch I pulled 3 rosies, for a fivespot on the day.  Not bad.

The site is now officially a “honeyhole”, having given up 41 silvers.  I have named levels for sites at 3, 7, 14, 21, 40, and 100 silvers (as I said at 14, nevermind).  This is my 9th site to reach 40 silvers; and I’m about 85% done.  High 40s is possible here, tho of course we continue to work from expected most productive to least productive.  We’ll see.

Sixspot Today

Day started off slow, 3 hours of gridding, and 3 hours of nothing, not even a wheatie.  After three hours, I had about 70 cents in clad, and nothing else.  Most people would have given up, and I would have as well, except that this site has already given up 30 silvers, and is characterized by dead zones and bursty zones.

Eventually got a merc, it was right on the edge of the field against the woods, and not only that, it was in trash.  I almost didn’t dig cause I was so frustrated, but glad I did.

Things picked up from there rather quickly; soon thereafter I got a rosie and a another merc in the same hole, the badly worn merc, then a couple of slam dunk rosies, all in about an hour.  Six silvers in one hour.  Are you kidding me?  Of course, it was also six silvers in 4 hours after 3 in the dead zone, still not too bad.

The last hour was also dead, but I got one beautiful hit that turned out to be a deep clad dime.  Not sure why I keep getting fooled on these here — I think the mineralization is goofy here, or something.  The good news is that the dead last hour was less dead than the first 3, got a couple of wheaties and some deep clad, and was leaving tons of clad in the ground, in contrast with the first 3 hours, so there is still hope for this zone for a couple of more.  We’ll see.

Seven More Silvers

Yesterday’s hunt at the same site as recent hunts gave up a pair of mercs and a 11.57 gram silver object; I have no clue what it is (other than that it is big and silver, and that works for me), but someone suggested that it was some sort of jewelry that a woman would put in her hair.  Maybe, who knows?

Yesterday’s hunt was a struggle ’til the end, where I got one merc in the zone I was working, and with a little time left before I had to get back, was freestyling thru a zone I had little hope for, and got the other one.  That merc opened that zone up for me.

And today I hit it, and did quite well, pulling 5 silvers.  The day started off quite slowly; I pulled just 3 coins in the first 90 minutes — fortunately the first one was a rosie.  Getting a silver early really helps your morale thru these tedious and slow zones, and it often pays off.

I kept working it, and eventually got some targets, mostly deep clad, but deep clad is good, says the competition hasn’t hit it that hard either now nor in the 80s, and also says something may have been going on in this section back in the day (the site is a huge, nondescript field).  Eventually got another rosie and a barber dime.

I’m thinking trifecta now, and had I gotten it, I would have written a blow by blow story of how I pulled it out in the last 3 minutes like my double digit day, but since I didn’t, I guess I won’t, except there was still plenty of drama, so I will anyway.

With about 75 minutes left, I got a deep, jumpy signal, that sounded pretty loud, with alot of bounce to FE 01, and lots of CO 47+.  These are almost always silver half dollars, but I figured it could be a merc, but it turned out to be the silver Q. I’ll take it.  Got 3 other beautiful silver dime signals, one with just 15 minutes to go, but two of them turned out to be deep clad dimes, while one was another rosie.  Oh well, missed the trifecta, but 5 silvers is still nice.  One thing about this section is that the ground is really crappy, giving me an auto rec in the teens, which makes the TID iffy, and is probably why these last few targets fooled me.  Also probably explains why this section was so loaded; my machine/program may be better suited to it than others.

Also an indian in there that I pulled, rang at CO 30, and is totally abused.  It is an 1886.

One thing about this site is that it had some modern silver era use on top of a field that dates to the colonial era, which explains the finding of modern silvers over stuff like the KG II copper and 1803 LC I’ve found.  I love sites like this, cause the modern silver keeps you going, while you dream of the big fish.

But they can also be frustrating.  I always seem to get the coppers, and colonial era relics, but nothing in that mid-range, say from 1850 to 1890.  Just can’t get in that dead zone (better known as the seated era), for some reason.  And that’s the zone I really want.  Don’t understand it really.  This site had 1950+ usage, but before that was just a field.  If I can get coppers, why not something from the dead zone?  Did get two kinda dead zone coins today, the 1886 IH, and the 1911 barber dime (which also pre-dates any but farm field use), but where are the seateds?

Well, there is still some even less promising real estate here left to cover, maybe I can get something from the dead zone one of these days.

As for colonial era relics, outside of countless buckles, I got a crotal bell, and a small button that was really deep (telling me the machine is hitting deep, very small conductive targets here, so where are the seated half dimes?).

And finally, today’s silver cleaned up, which doesn’t look much better, given that most of it is tarnished.  But hey, will take it.  Its beautiful to me.

Double Digit Day!

It was quite a day, as I dropped my 14th career double digit day, pulling 5 mercs, 4 rosies, and a 1937 Q.

Started working the field from yesterday’s site which showed some promise at the end of the day, and got a merc right off the bat.  Shortly thereafter got the Q; it sounded horrible, blowing my ears off — I thought it was going to be a canslaw.  It was only 4 inches deep, not sure why it sounded so horrible, but we’ll take it.  2 silvers in the first half hour.

Hit a slow spell, but about 2 hours later, hit a deep, iffy one which I thought could be a silver, and on these I like to take a bit of time to test the channels on it to see which one sounds the best.  Was running channel 10, tested a couple of other channels where it also came in iffy, did a noise cancel with the coil against the ground (as I always do), it recommended channel 2, tried that one on the target, and could hear the target much better on channel 2.  Was sure it was a silver.  Once again demonstrating that channel management matters (I usually noise cancel about 15-30 times a hunt).  It turned out to be a rosie on its side.

Then, just a foot away, got quite a bonus, 3 silvers in one hole, a merc and 2 rosies.  Are you kidding me? I dug each one out separately, and the E-Trac with the big 13 inch unit had no trouble separating them.  I wonder if they sounded like trash to other machines.  3 hours in, and 6 silvers, tho admittedly 4 within 5 minutes that were probably one event.  I’m thinking double digit day now, or at least a dollar day.

Next up, not 10 feet away, but I go slow, so it took a bit of time to get there, was a tough signal, 12-42 next to a big hunk of iron. Figured it could be a wheatie or a silver, since it was affected by the iron all bets are off, and it turned out to be the thin ’17 merc.  You don’t seem to lose separation with that Detech 13 unit (as an aside, pulled a merc from under a pulltab with that coil the other day).  The Detech 13 totally rocks the house, and they aren’t even paying me to say that.

Just right after that hit a nice deep 12-47 which I figured was a slam dunk silver Q for #8 on the day, but instead it was an abused copper, an 1803 draped bust large cent.  Old coppers are fun to find, but given how abused they are, just give me an 1803 quarter next time.

Did get #8 fairly soon after that tho, a slam dunk merc.  So, that was 6 silvers and a copper all within about 10-20 feet of each other.  Sometimes you just find these inexplicable hot zones.  And its not like the site isn’t hunted by others; I’ve been there 5 times, and seen three other detectorists, but none with an E-Trac with my magic program and coil.

So, I had about an hour and a half left before I had to get back to work, but that was the end of the hot zone (and given the spill, it was probably only 3 silver events, not 6), and things started to dry up.  With only 10 minutes before I had to leave, I hit a beautiful 03-47 which was a certain slam dunk #9, but it turned out to be a clad Q on its side.  Are you kidding me?  Clad on its side often fools the E-Trac (or me, I guess), into thinking it is silver.  (Maybe someday I’ll write why I think that is).

But the next target, just 2 minutes on, was a slam dunk rosie, for #9, with about 8 minutes before I had to leave.  I finished out that section of a grid, no more silvers, and no time left.

But, I swing on my way back to the parking lot, thru sections I haven’t worked yet, and, unbelievably, I got a beautiful 12-46 with “that sound” that I knew was my 10th silver of the day.  And sure enough it was.  I was about 10 minutes late getting back to the parking lot, but it was worth it.  Total hunt time was a little over 5 hours, or 2 per hour, which is about the best I ever do.

Well, there were alot of dead zones in this field, but a few pockets of silver here and there.  I’ve obviously hit the most promising sections (in my judgement anyway), but hopefully there will be a couple more in the more dead sections.

What an awesome day!  What an awesome sight –

Silver Yesterday and Today

Yesterday’s hunt was quite frustrating.  Back to the site from early in the week where I got 1 silver and 7 wheaties for a longer hunt to get a better feel for the place, and I got 1 silver and 12 wheaties.  Are you kidding me?  Well off the magic 2.5:1 ratio.

It was bizarre.  No clad, no trash, just wheaties.  Who cherrypicks to that degree?  Who digs the clad and trash, and not the wheaties?  It was just unbelievable.  This is a permission site, and I was told it has not been hunted since the early 90s/80s.  Since it is still in use and there was no clad, it is obviously being snuck into, and by someone who picks off everything but the wheaties.  Why?  I tried to think of a technical explanation; sometimes when I get wheaties and silvers out of ratio like this, it means I am swinging too fast to see the silvers, and a conscious effort to slow down corrects the problem, but that wasn’t it.  To make it worse, I gort 5 to 10 wheatie signals I didn’t even bother to dig.

So, over two days, 19 wheaties and 2 silvers over 7 hours.  I generally write off a site if the silver rate is less than 1 per 2 hours, and this ratio has me flummoxed.  I decided to give the site a break  and maybe go back someday — it has such potential, but the evidence suggests that it is a dud.

Today went a bit better; I went back to the site where I found my 300th silver for a little cleanup of sections in one zone I didn’t get to last time, and the first section had a deep, iffy merc, and the second section had a war nickel that came in at an unbelievable CO of 30 on the E-Trac.  Usually they are CO 15 or 16.  I’ve seen one before at 12, and one at 22, but never this high.  Of course, at an old site, you dig any deep, repeatable signal, regardless of the numbers, but 30 is really high for a war nik (I airtested it to be sure).  As you can see in the pic, it is quite shiny; perhaps it has a lot more silver than most.  I also dug sterling ring in this zone.

The site has two other zones, one being a large field, and I decided to hit that field in the remaining time I had before I had to get back to work.  Hit a pair of silver dimes, so that was sweet.  Maybe that opens the field up; I’ll try some more in there if I have the time later this week.  Now 11 silvers from this site.

Rainy Day Silver

Finally managed to get permission at a site I have been trying to do so for quite some time (problem was always trying to find someone there).

Got 7 wheaties and an abused rosie in 90 minutes before the rain hit.  My E-Trac hates rain (the buttons stop working), so that was that.

The site has been hunted quite a bit before (and they told me that), but it is large, so hopefully I’ll get a few when I have a few more hours to put into it.  It did seem a bit dead tho, nothing but really deep coins, none of that mid-level and deep clad, trash, and especially bottlecaps which tend to be the tells of a honeyhole.

Original estimate was that it could be a 50-75 silver site, but we’ll dial that back to 20 for now.  We’ll see what a couple of good days of hunting reveal if I get the chance.  Could be dialing down the estimate even more.

Huntsaver Rosie

Today was Farewell Farewell day at my recent site, the gist of which we described yesterday, and Farewell Farewell day is usually fun cause of the local interaction, local food, and local beer, but the metal detecting generally sucks due to the fact that when farewelling a site, its usually a cleanup of loose ends and corners of the grid, sounding of very low probability zones, if there are any left, and so forth, and they rarely seem to give it up, but we do it out of completeness, a) cause its the anal thing to do, and b) Farewell Farewell is tradition, and c) twice I’ve pulled silver halves in those unwanted zones, and another time pulled an SLQ and another time a merc, and nothing rocks the house more than pulling silver in the early part of Farewell Farewell day out of those crap edge zones, then going off to the downtown or village for local food and drink to celebrate.

But today wasn’t like that.  This site has been tough, the 6 silver day a week ago notwithstanding.  I got nada in the morning, and more nada in the afternoon, til I dropped a rose with just 9 minutes left before I had to return to work, in a very improbable zone.  We call those last minute silvers a “huntsaver”.  We’ll take it.

The fact of the matter is that this site is so huge it would be impossible to ever grid it out in a lifetime, and I know nothing of the low probability zone I just scored in, so maybe there is more, but I need to Farewell Farewell this place and move on for now.  I’ll probably be back someday, tho.  20 silvers including a reale is the final count from here.  Not bad for a hunted out site.

YTD Silver #300 Today

After a rough couple of hunts, yesterday’s hunt was also rough.  Back to to last Friday’s six silver site for another round of abuse, and it delivered that in spades, 8 wheaties, and no silvers.  I did manage to pull a 6+ gram sterling St. George slaying the dragon pendant, which took some of the sting off, but silver bling just isn’t the same as silver coins.

Over the last three hunts, its been 18 wheaties and 1 silver.  Are you kidding me?  My lifetime ratio is 2.4 to 1, and that has been consistent, more or less, for a very long time.

I didn’t have too much hope for today, as I was going back to a relatively new site from the beginning of the month; the first hunt produced 3 silvers, an IH, and a 1740 KG II copper, but the second hunt, which was moving closer to that “middle” we talked about in the last entry, only generated an IH and a buff, neither target all that constructive, as many silver guys (myself included sometimes, ignore these lower tones).

But today went well, as the first target, within the first 5 minutes, was a deep rosie on its side that the E-Trac had no problem with, putting me at #299 for the year.  The next target, about 20 minutes later, rang like a deep silver quarter, but turned out to be another rosie, putting me at 300 for the year.  So, that’s that.  Not all that close to 516, but we’ll take it.

Ironically, after the second silver sounding like a Q and being a dime, the next sounded like a silver dime and turned out to be an SLQ.  God, those a so fun to dig.  Just love seeing them come out of the ground more than pretty much anything else.  Even dateless, even abused, still fun.

Rounded out the day with an abused merc, a thin 35S.  This was in a section that gave up a ton of targets (mostly clad), in a site that was otherwise pretty sparse.  The reason for this, again, is the E-Trac; something was funky about the dirt here, you could not pinpoint, and the propointer went bonkers on pretty much every rock in this section.  Extreme mineralization, and the merc was only at three inches, and an iffy signal at that.  Just goes to show that mineralization matters, and having a machine (and the skill) that can deal with it is important, as it is clear the competition missed plenty of targets in this zone.  I did as well; who knows what lies at 5-6 inches, as I couldn’t see beyond 4.

I’d write more about the silliness of milestones, and why we think they are important, when in fact they are not, but I’m tired, and I will leave that to another day.  302 silvers for a year seems good (tho not as good as last year), and I’m content with it, and glad I don’t have to think about milestones for a while.

Tomorrow is farewell farewell day at last Friday’s 6 silver site, where we hit a local pub, drink some local beer, do a final detect of the site, then go home and listen to Sandy Denny sing Farewell Farewell.  What could be better?

Rough Couple of Hunts

After last Friday’s six silver/$1.00 hunt, it sometimes feels like you can do no wrong, but silver coins are still really hard to find, and it only takes a hunt like the last two I’ve had to remind me of that fact every day.

Yesterday, of course, back to Friday’s site (wouldn’t you?), working the grid in the same direction that I pulled the six silvers (in fact, the last rank produced both the walker and a rosie), but it was nothing but bupkis.  Are you kidding me?

FWIW, the way I work a site is that I start in the out of the box, edge sections, try to establish a few old coins/silvers there. then slowly grid out towards that central middle grassy area that is always dead.  The reason that central middle grassy area is always dead is cause newbies often drive up to the park, look at  that inviting area, dive in, get bupkis or a stray wheat, then get frustrated after an hour or two of nothing else, then go home, leaving the more out of the box sections untouched, so they end up seeming a bit less pounded.  Those nice beautiful middle grassy areas/where the ballfield is are so pounded and dead, and sometimes tend to defend old sites well.

But, its hard to tell beforehand where the boundary between out of the box and pounded land is, and this site has worked out quite differently.  The edge/out of the box sections were more or less dead, just enough to keep my interest (and in fact, a couple of coppers and a reale, which justified working an apparently dead site), and so I kept at it, and the closer I got to that beautiful obvious grassy middle/ballfield section, the more silvers I got!  Who am I to blow against the breeze? So, I figured press on for even more silvers, but It wasn’t to be.  Just proves I either happened to find the boundary between out of the box land and pounded land, or that I have no clue about what I’m talking about.  No question in my mind its a combination of the two.

In any case, Monday’s 5 hour hunt of expanding the grid past the 6 silver zone generated a total of 3 wheats.  I then called that huge promising zone in that direction as hunted out, and started gridding another direction, and pulled one more wheat.  4 wheats in 5 hours.  At least one of them was a rather nice 1910.  The sort of site many write off (and I would (and should) too), but I’ve pulled 19 silvers (including a reale and a walker), as well as a pair of coppers.  Just suggests that there may be a method to my madness.  The question is, how much juice, if any, does this site have left?

Today wasn’t the day to find out.  Hit a new site that another detectorist suggested I hit (and that rarely ends well — would you tip your honeyhole?), but I decided to give it a go anyway, mostly cause it was in the direction of an area I wanted to scout anyway, and cause it was in a township that has given up manyilvers in the past (and I’ve found tracking silvers by township/municipality has worked really well).

Drove up to the site and almost had a heart attack.  Said to myself it was 25 to 35 silver site, based on my experience.  But it was not to be.  Knew after 30 minutes that the site was dead.  Dead sites and silver sites have their own sound.  This site had a dead site sound.  No trash.  Clean threshold.  Auto rec at 28. You know the drill.  Dead site sound.

Prolly a 5 to 10 silver site, and given it size, maybe a 1 per 4 hour site.  Did get a rosie and 6 wheaties in 2.5 hours, which doesn’t seem bad, but its a dead site.  Consider the rosie a hard won victory. Maybe will go back and reassess next year, when and if they mow the grass (one problem was that it is an abandoned schoolhouse, with unmowed grass, which disrupted my grid it out/low and slow/partition the site method, which maybe has biased my assessment). My rule is only write off a site after two substantial hunts without silver, but sometimes you just know, and in this case, I just do (or at least I think I do).

So, 7.5 hours of hunting over the past 2 days nets a single rosie and 10 wheats.  It seems lame to post a single rosie, but it isn’t.  It always serves to remind us all how extremely difficult it is to find silver coins in the game, and that cannot be stressed enough.

Six Silvers Today

I wasn’t able to get out much this week, due to work, and the weather, but today I managed to get out in the beautiful weather for about 5 hours, and had quite a lucky day, scoring 6 silvers, including a walker, and a pair of bison, dated 1927 and 1935.

Two of the dimes were in the same hole.  All were very deep.  The walker was about 9 inches, and came in as a silver quarter silver pretty much, but was bouncing around.  I’ve gotten 19 silvers at this site, and aside from a 1 reale, all have been dimes.  I was hoping for my first quarter, and was shocked.  I actually thought I had junk when I got down to it, cause I hit a rock right above it that was black and looked like metal junk.

The walker marks my 13th silver half dollar of the year.

Century Trifecta

Pulled a coin from three centuries today, a George II copper which appears to be dated 1740, an 1899 Indian, and a hat trick of silver dimes, the oldest being a 1916 merc.  Second one of those in as many days,  They are always a heartstopper.  Also pulled 9 wheaties.  This is the most detail I’ve ever gotten off of a dug KG II copper.