Conductive Tones vs TTF Test

I have not got out much at all since the last entry.  Work and other chores and so forth.  I haven’t found much either, a few wheaties and no silver.  Cleaning up a few old sites and writing them off.  All boring, but I like to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

And (my wife will kill me for starting a paragraph with a conjunction) now that school is almost out, I prolly won’t get out much going forward either.  If I’m lucky, I’ll update this page once a week or so, but maybe not, we’ll see.

Anyway, one of the sites is just brutally iron infested — way worse than the colonial site, which is surprising, since it only goes back to the late 30s, and I don’t think there was anything there before it, but maybe there was.  You won’t hear a threshold anywhere here, at least in the one section.

I run multi tone conductive pretty much everywhere, tho I know alot of folks would run TTF at such a site.  When I got a diggable high tone that I was fairly sure was a silver and not an iron false, I switched over to my TTF mode (and I have a full tested TTF mode based on some smart peoples’; I don’t mean just switching the TTF setting), I did not hear anything I would dig.

So I dug it, first comes a chunk of iron, then another chunk, then the high tone target (a wheatie), then there was still more iron in there under it — still no threshold.

I’ve always felt that multi conductive vs TTF was just a “presentation layer” thing as a software guy might say, and that, deep down, the machine was doing the same thing, and so long as your multi conductive was set up right, and you were used to it, there was nothing to fear from no threshold.

I would never try to convince anyone not to use TTF it if works for them, and I know it does for alot of folks.  And, this is just one test on one target.  But, I don’t think it works so well for me, and my multi conductive program does.  So, that’s that FWIW.

Final Colonial Site Hunt

Last week, finished up the colonial site I was working.  Found out it was actually settled over 300 years ago.

Didn’t find much, other than another toasted copper, a small silver bling of some sort, and a large copper button, which at first I thought was a huge dollar-sized copper.

The smaller copper was the most beautiful, deep, signal you would ever hear, especially at a site where most of the high tones (especially the shallow ones), had been picked over.  I was sure it was a big, deep silver, and was quite disappointed.  I can make out a right facing bust that the Britannia device on the back.  Its too small to be a KG III, so it is probably a Machin’s Mills or some other sort of colonial knockoff, but there isn’t enough detail to get a positive ID.,  Oh well.

As for the button, there are little floral designs on it, but I ain’t good enough to get them to come out in the pic.  Surprising that it is the only button I found at the site, as, unlike park hunting, I dug almost all non-ferrous tones.

It was a fine site, but only 3 silvers, and no seateds or older American coins.  Oh well.  Did find 19 old coins over the 2 weeks, all 1923 or older except one.  Of course, that 2 reale I found it the first half hour was prolly worth 2 weeks of hunting.

Haven’t been out since last week, being swamped with work and other projects.  One of those projects was going thru all my beat coppers, and trying to get an ID on some of them.  Managed to determine that two of them where Connecticut coppers, and two were New Jersey coppers.  Both New Jersey coppers were found at the same site on the same day last summer (that site gave up 10-12 coppers).  These coppers are so beat, I wonder why I wasted my time.

One thing I did discover, tho, was that a half cent I found at that site which I originally thought was an 1808 is actually an 1802/0.  That’s a very rare date.  Too bad the thing is so abused.  I don’t feel like taking a pic; its prolly in these pages somewhere (found it on 7/27/12).  Maybe I’ll put it on Ebay and see if I can get anything for it.

Not sure when I’ll get out again, hopefully soon.

Barber Dime + Silver Thimble

I guess the title says it all; no need to read the lame copy.  Scroll down for the pic.

Back to yesterday’s site, gridding out what remains of the one zone that gave up 6 old coins yesterday, and pulled another ’16 wheatie and a silver thimble.  The thimble is not stamped, which means its older than 1905, but not really old, as evidenced by the floral pattens (really old ones are just silver and boring looking, as if silver could ever look boring).  This is the third intact silver thimble I’ve found, and while I’m not a big relic guy, they are fun to find.

After that zone was complete, into a dead zone that hadn’t yet produced a single coin, and not even a decent tell, so I was quite pleased to pull a 1903 barber dime (of course, I’m trained to think like a park hunter, looking for tells, and I realise these old homesites don’t work like that, but that’s an entry for another day).  This one had a high FE number; mostly 20+, and it wasn’t that deep, but had that tight pinpoint, and the occasional low bounce.  That’s what you look for at iron infested sites.

Too bad it wasn’t a seated.  Saw the back (which looks more or less the same as a seated), and got excited for a minute.  Continue to dance around the seated at this place.  Everything but the girl.  Oh well.  There’s not really enough promising real estate left to get one at this point, but I gave it a good go.  One more day, maybe, before tabling or closing the site.

Old Coin Potpourri

Its been a few days, mainly cause I’ve been way busy with other stuff, and ain’t been finding much — I’ve only gotten out about half as much as usual.

Last Wed went back to the colonial era site that gave up that gorgeous 2 reale and 1875 IH, and as I feared was possible, did not dig a single coin all day.  Sheesh.

Next day went back to the park that’s given up 40 silvers (20 or so this year), just trying to finish off the loose ends, and again didn’t find anything but a few wheaties.  I hate that stage of hunting a site, but that is often when you find the best stuff — have found a couple of walkers and a barber Q in those loose ends sections of other sites, but it just doesn’t seem likely here.  Too bad there is still more unpromising land to do to close that site off.

Friday had an appointment and went to a new site near the appointment — it seemed promising — an old park surrounded by houses at least old enough to be on the ’37 aerials, but the site was a dud — heavy mineralization and shallow bedrock, in some cases only 3 inches.  The frustrating thing was the site should have been killer, plenty of trash, and tons of good tells: 60s and 70s clad and old bottlecaps, none really deep, but all I could muster was one wheatie.  Are you kidding me?  I usually eat these sorts of sites up.  I wasn’t gonna find anything deep due to the extreme mineralization, but the bedrock kept everything shallow.  Where was the silver?  How was the silver gotten, but not the 60s and 70s clad?  Who knows?  My guess is its a density issue — not many houses around, and no reason to really visit this park from elsewhere.  There may be a couple of silvers here, but I don’t think I will be the one to find them.  Certainly the most frustrating hunt of the 3 days, due to expectations, and hope of developing a new site, which I am in sore need of.

Saturday, ran 21 miles, so I was shot for the weekend.

Today, legs still shot from the run, decided to go back to the colonial site from last weekend/early last week, cause there are not many targets, which would be easy on my legs.  Another hour and a half goes by at this site, working the area near where I found the 2 reale, and still not another coin, and was about to give up and go elsewhere (not that I really have an elsewhere to go right now), when I got a 12-37, which turned out to be a smoothie copper on its side.  Only my third copper of the year.  Too bad its a smoothie, but it gives you the adrenaline and hope that it is still possible to find old coins here.

Finished up that area, and decided to work an unfinished area between where I found a wheatie and and that old silver spoon, and the IH, and had some better luck here.  Hit a wheatie spill with a nail — was surprised to pull a 1910 and 2 1916s wheaties from the same hole.  3 old coins in one shot.  Woohoo.  Shortly thereafter pulled a decent looking 1912 V nickel, as these things go (only the 4th of my career, along with 1100+ silvers — I guess that’s a whacked ratio), then a really nice, heavily greened 1910 wheatie.  It would definitely be XF, but the patina has a weird shiny marbled look (that’s the way it came out of the ground for some reason).

I figured I’d never see another silver coin again (it had been a while, at least time wise), since my last (but when it is a coin as nice as that 2 reale, you really don’t care), and had already written this entry in my mind, titled “No Silver”, when I got a beautiful 12-44 that bounced to 07-45 and the like.  I knew it was a silver dime, and was hoping barber or seated, given the other old coins here, but it was a 1920 merc.  I was happy to see the silver at the bottom of the hole, but figure I have a real shot at a seated or older American coin at this place, but, outside this small zone, good targets are incredibly sparse, and I figured I blew one of my last chances at a seated on this one.

But then I got one more beautiful signal, a 12-47 bouncing to an 01-42/01-43, a little scratchy, but these always end well.  My heart was thumping.  Opened the plug and hit a small nail.  Sweet, that would explain the scratchiness of the signal, and sure enough, it came in even cleaner on the rescan.  Now I’m thinkin’ seated Q or half, finally hit it, and its a deep piece of solid copper.  D’oh!  Are you kidding me?  Oh well.

So, here’s today’s take 1910 x2, 1916×2, 1912V, 1920 merc, and smoothie copper –

By far my best day in terms of quantity of coins at this place (previously, the best was just two old coins).  Its a frustrating site, tons and tons of iron that sometimes sound good untll you work the signal, yet so few diggable targets.  Hard to describe really — certainly not like park hunting, but the possibility of a big fish, no matter how remote, keeps you going.

Well, I guess I’ll give it another day here.  The sad thing is — the section that has given up a decent quantity of old coins has very little left of it.  All the old coins except the 2 reale and the copper have been found in one this area, and all other areas seem dead, except one stray newer wheatie elsewhere in a zone that didn’t work out.  I really don’t expect to find another coin here, but I have to keep at it.  Wouldn’t you?

BTW, is this effing winter ever gonna end?  It was 38 when I woke up.  I had to put 4 layers on, and there was a wicked chill breeze.  When the sun was in, it felt like all those February hunts, just without the copious quantities of silver.

Semi Key Indian

Back to the colonial era site of the last 2 days, and in a little less than 4 hours of hunting, I dug exactly 2 coins.  Talk about low density (it is a huge site), being hunted out, or both.

One of them, tho, was a rather nice semi-key date IH.  Those who read me know I’m pretty disdainful of IHs, cause they usually come out of the ground around here looking like crap, but check this one out –

Full bold Liberty, full detail in the feathers, and even the diamonds on the ribbons.  Would go EF40 or AU50 for sure, where it not for the dirt.  I’m afraid to clean it.  Rare that I would get one that is not corroded (my first), a semi key date (my first), and EF detail (my first or second).  When you can’t pull a silver trifecta, (or silver unifecta for that matter), you take what you can get.  Nice coin, really.  (I’d love to get a copper at this site, seeing how benign the dirt seems to be here).

The other coin was a 1945 wheatie.  No great shakes, but it opens up a new paradigm at the site.  Even so, I wasn’t planning to go back to the site for a spell, given that I had only dug 4 known older coins in about 8 hours of hunting, and only one silver, but that IH is nice, and older than I expected, so maybe I can squeeze a seated out of here after all.  OTOH, its very possible I won’t find another coin here.  We’ll see.

BTW, Pink Panther points out that yesterday’s spoon is from 1905.  I didn’t think it was that old.  Another reason to get reenergized about the site.  Thanks Pink (I’m not sure why the comments don’t work, prolly cause you included a link — preventing links in comments eliminates spam).  Here’s the link to the spoon on Ebay (this link may be bad in a couple of weeks).


1863 Silver Spoon

Back to yesterday’s colonial era site where I pulled the 2 reale, and started working out out a tight grid near where I found the wheatie and the deep Chinese coins.

First decent target was a sterling hair clip or some sort.  I don’t think it is all that old.

Second decent target was a silver spoon.  The handle was dated 1863.  Whohoo!  Since the site is old, I figured I had something special, and it would be a matter of time that the seated silver would be flying out of the ground.

Well, it makes a good story and catchy title, but when I got it home and cleaned it up, it turned out to be a Gettysburg souvenir spoon.  I don’t know how old it actually is; not very is my guess.  Too bad, cause I was pretty excited about it at the time, and figured it was a great tell.

I dug only one coin today, a 1961 penny.  Geez.  These old house sites can be rough.  I’ll bet there is always iron under the coil.  Cut a random plug, put the pinpointer in, and it will go off for sure.

Alot of folks use TTF for this sort of site; I don’t and wonder if I should.  Multi tone conductive with “see thru” always seems to work fine for me — both silver objects today were picked up that way.  Its hard to describe what this sounds like — I think of the sound like the silver being trapped under ice, and screaming to get thru.  Hard to describe really.  I don’t bother to look at the numbers in these situations; they always show a high FE number that you would never dig, but you get a repeated trapped under ice high tone, dig it, cause sometimes it is silver.  You also dig alot of iron tho, it is impossible, at least for me, to tell this from big “bulbous ferrous” targets.

Anyway, that’s how I do it at these sorts of sites. Maybe I should try TTF, tho.  One coin is pretty lame.

Oh, and here is the spoon before I tried to straighten it out.  Sort of lends some credence to the “freeze thaw cycle theory” that stuff gets pushed around from freezing and thawing, and targets you could not hear before may become visible after a few cycles of this.  I’ve never bought into that — always seemed like a “just so” story of false hope to me.  But, how else to explain how a spoon can get bent so sitting in the ground.  Freeze thaw cycle theory must be true.


The day started out well (cold, of course, as the endless winter rolls on), but well, especially when my wife says lets go metal detecting.  Are you kidding me? I don’t get out much on weekends, as we usually do other stuff, so this was a nice bonus.  Any company when metal detecting is good, good company is even better.

Today’s plan was a new site: an abandoned mansion.  I’d almost say “plantation”, but, in all honesty, I don’t exactly know what that word means (or connotes), and I don’t think we have them around here, but that’s the feel of the place, at least to me.  Its sort of out of the box, and huge, so it has a chance of not being totally hunted out.  I generally have bad luck at 200+ year old properties, cause every detectorist and their uncle bangs the crap out of them, and there isn’t much density at these sites to start with, but it is always worth a try.  If you want the big fish, you have to mix in these low probability sites in once in a while (as if I’m an expert on big fish, having exactly one on my trophy board in my career, found in a modern park).  And besides, when my wife is with me, I always have good luck.

Always at a new site, we meander before setting up grids, and right into it, less than a half hour in, was a nice deep clean small pinpoint 10-46 on the E-Trac.  You get that at a colonial era site, you could prolly sell it on ebay for nice $$$ before digging.

Dug about 6 inches, and couldn’t get it on the PP.  Told my wife when you don’t get them, right on like that, they are not silver dimes but are usually deep junk or deep iron (yeah, redundant again, but a different kind of redundant).  But kept at it, digging another inch or two (it was such a gorgeous signal), and eventually got a PP hit, and eventually popped out a silver coin.  Woohoo.

And below, here we all all cleaned up.  Isn’t this a gorgeous coin?  1821 2 reale Spanish silver. But not just a run of the mill Spanish silver — a gorgeous one. Apparently, this is the last year they made em.  Yeah, I’d love an 1821 US Q, but you take what you can get in this life.  I’ve dug 8 Spanish silvers in my career (3 or them 2 reales), but this is, by far, the most gorgeous of them.  We’ll take it; who wouldn’t?

But, there’s more.  There always is.

So, of course you start a tight grid on the area that this coin was found (who wouldn’t), and I did, and I didn’t find anything.  Not even any high tone trash.  Tons and tons of iron falses (which is typical of these sorts of sites), but each one that sounds good initially always sounds like iron on final examination.

The hours roll on, and after 2 hours, this is the only coin I have dug at the site.  Are you kidding me?  And, what’s worse, only one other deep high tone trash, and no shallow high tone trash.  Nothing but iron and a competition banged out site.  How did they miss the 2 reale?  Who knows?

So, the grid out failed, not even a wheatie, so I decide to meander to other parts of the site, and eventually hit a 12-41, about 4 inches deep.  I say, please, please, be a wheatie (and this, coming from someone who usually ignores wheates), and sure enough, it was, a 1917.  I did a happy dance on this wheatie.  Gives me hope for more from the site.  2 coins in 2.5 hours.  Certainly not like park hunting, is it?

So, of course you are gonna try to grid out from the wheatie; and I did, and got a beautiful, deep, quarter signal not that far away.  Another signal you could sell on ebay.  Visions of seated or bust quarters swirling in my head, and what pops out, an effing Chinese coin or some crap.  And its not even silver.  Are you kidding me?  I’m no xenophobe, and a silver Chinese coin would have made me happy, but this is just too much.  What is a Chinese coin doing at a colonial era site?   Did they use Chinese slaves or servants in those days?  Who knows?

But, there is even more.  The Chinese coin was at least a nice tell (deep, high tone), on top of the wheatie, so you figure the competition has tread lighter on this section, so you keep at it, gridding even more carefully and slowly (and its still iron infested, or course), and I get another deep high tone, and it is another effing Chinese coin.  Are you kidding me?

This one came out looking like silver, but its not, despite its high tone.  Its too light, and doesn’t have “the ring” when you spin it on the table.  Not sure what high tone metal it is. In any case, here are the Chinese coins.  3.5 hours of hunting, one American coin, and 3 other coins.  We’ll certainly take that 2 reale, tho.

The sucky thing about these Chinese coins (aside from the fact that they should have been seateds or 2 cent pieces or something), is that you can’t even google to see how old they are.  I’m guessing 1880s or so, cause that is my memory from history class of the huge Chinese labor influx (tho I thought that was more of a west cost thing), not a Chester County thing, but WDIK?

In the unlikely event that I can date them, I will update this page.  But, I’m not counting on it.  Not sure how to score the site — any site that gives up such a gorgeous old coin deserves more hours; OTOH, not sure I have the patience to deal with hour upon hour of few  high tones at all.  We’ll see.

Nailed this one baby!  And even if not, that is one gorgeous old big silver coin.  You don’t have to nail it when you pull coins like that, do you?

Silver Yesterday

I didn’t find any silver today, but I did pull a barely legal rosie yesterday.  Woohoo.  Just cleaning up the loose ends of the current site, which at 40 silvers surrendered, is now officially a honeyhole, tho it doesn’t really feel like one, and too bad it ain’t gonna give up any more, I fear.  Still, not bad, since I have up on it 2 years ago at 20 silvers, and the locals around here (I guess that’s redundant, isn’t it?) all think it is hunted out.

Its a grueling site — trash, mineralization, and so forth, and it burns you out pretty good.  Been trying to close it off for a month, but it keeps leading you on with those onesies and twosies, not to mention a stray barber quarter, which keeps you saying “there must be more”,  when really there isn’t much more.

Kept trying to poke at new zones today, but it ain’t giving it up.  May close it off next week, or may try to find a new site, neither prospect terribly pleasant.  Its all about that middle experience, when you’ve proven the site, there’s alot to go, and you mine those multispots day after day, and put off these dregs cleanup days as long as possible.  Hope to experience that again, but the prospects of that aren’t looking that good right now.

Mayday Silver

Back to yesterday’s site, into the trashy, mineralized area, near the tot lot and the playground equipment, which I had written off when I worked this site in 2011.  Just proves you can get better, I guess.  Hit a ’27 merc pretty quickly.  Sweet.

Then I hit a silver Q at just one inch.  Are you kidding me?  Right under the swingset in that patch directly under the swing that is all worn down from the kids’ feet.  When it blew I my ears off, I thought it was gonna be a silver ring. Unbelievable.  In 50 years, not a single coil had run over that spot.  Well, it took me over 2 years to get there, but once I get in a zone that seems productive, I try to cover every inch, cause you never know.

Hard dirt grassless areas like this can give up shallow silvers cause there is no grass growing to build up more dirt, and it is often hard packed so nothing lives under it either, so stuff just doesn’t sink sometimes in these areas.  I’ve had alot of luck in similar dirtless areas, but never right under a swingset at one inch like this.  Figured everyone would be pounding around the playground equipment looking for clad and bling.  Maybe it was at 6 inches at one time, and all the wear on the spot from the kids’ feet had worn it down over time.  Who knows?  It was a pretty deep rut.  Zone was also giving alot of deep 60s and 70s clad, which is usually quite constructive, but only one wheatie.  I’m guessing there is more here, but it may be beyond the trash and mineralization.

So, this site has given up 39 silvers now.  About 20 in 2011, and about 20 this year.  Kinda cool to bring it back to life like this.  There are a few other zones — I hope I can bring one of them to life, we’ll see.  I did try to bring another one back today which was dead two years ago, and seemed dead again today.  Oh well, you just never know.