Year End Summary

Well, the year is over.  I dug 209 silver coins this year, down from 380 last year, and my personal record of 516 two years ago.  They don’t regenerate, after all. Too bad.

I found 4 coins that made My Best Finds list: an 1821 2 reale, 1875 Indian head, 1803 half reale, and 1830 bust half.  The latter is certainly a highlight of my career, and I still relive the experience of digging it. Here are the pics –

I’m also fairly confident that I dug an 1918/& S SLQ this year, but it is to hard to see with the date worn down, that I doubt the grading services will go for it, so it has to be scored as the really big one that got away.  Too bad.

I dug 13 coppers this year, down from 29 last year.  I’m not big on coppers, and last year was a blowout year in that department.  13 is more or less consistent with where I usually end up.

I dug about 3500 coins this year, compared with 5500 last year, so total activity is down as well.  I get a new digger each year, and the less wear on this year’s digger shows that.  I’d provide a pic, but I just don’t have the time.

One stat that is up is silver blings.  I dug 36 this year, compared to 35 last year.  Go figure.

One stat that is hideous is the wheatie to silver ratio, coming it at 2.91 this year.  Well above historical norms, and driving my career ratio from 2.35 to 2.45.  Not sure what’s going on here with that.  Bad luck?  Economists don’t believe in luck.  More likely aggressive reaching in the face of the decline.

So, that’s that.  It was a good year.  I hope everyone reading this had a good year, and has an even better year next year.

Year End Silver

Got out today for 3 hours, for the final hunt of the season.  My new battery now has 18 hours on its first charge, still with full bars.

Managed to pull a rosie, a large sterling ring that looks like it fell off a suit of armor, and a quarter than someone made into a guitar pick.  That seems pretty bizarre.  Is it a coin or a relic?  All up to the role of the reader (as is everything, of course).

So, that’s that for the season.  Its expected to be bitter cold around here going forward, so that may be it for a long time, as the ground freezes, the E-Trac hates the cold, and so do I.

Oh, and I guess I still have to do the year end summary.  I’ll do that in another post.

More Silver

Pulled 3 more silver coins today, at the site of recent entries.  This is now a 62 silver coin site; my 6th career 60+ silver site.  I didn’t think the B and C class zones at this site had it in them to produce much, but that’s why you get out and swing the coil.  You just never know.  We’ll see how the class D zones do someday.

Not much to say about the hunt, except the first couple were a bit tough to nail.  Got a pretty decent silver signal after about an hour of hunting, and just couldn’t nail it.  Spent about 5 minutes hacking at it, and just couldn’t find it.  Decided to move on, and just a swing later, hit an obvious deep silver Q, which I proceeded to pull.

That gave me confidence to again work that prickly one I couldn’t nail, and sure enough, I got it.  Not sure if it was the confidence of the silver Q, suggesting a one event spill, or the fact the the silver Q prolly pulled the pinpoint off on the first target,  Maybe a combination of these things.  Who knows?  Who cares, so long as the silver is flying out of the ground?  (Well, I care; but that is for another time).

Well, all I can say is that it is nice that we are now having our typical December weather around here, and I’m able to hunt during this holiday period.  Didn’t look so good 2 weeks ago.  Today’s hunt was 4.5 hours, putting the total time on my new battery at 15 hours, without a charge.  Still full bars.  Who’s taking the over/under on 30 hours?  I know I’m taking the under, but, we’ll see.

Snowy Silver

Back to the Christmas Eve site, working the area where I got a couple of coppers, and it started snowing pretty hard.  It was only supposed to be a snow shower, so I stuck it out.  I don’t think I’ve ever detected in heavy snow before.  One thing detecting in the snow allows you to do is to see how good your grid really is, and see if you are missing spots.

I got a rosie fairly quickly, and the snow stopped after about a half hour, leaving a dusting, but it was too damn cold, so I finished up that zone, and went home.  Total time was about 2.5 hours.  Add that to Tuesday’s 3 hours, and last week’s 4 hours, and we are now at 10.5 hours on the new battery with full bars, and no recharge.  Will be curious to see if I get 30 hours, like many claim.

Christmas Eve Hunt

Back to the site of 12/21.  1 rosie, 2 coppers (a half decent 1822, and a totally abused one of the same type), a pair of silver blings, and a pair of weaties; the oldest a 1914.  Well, its Christmas Eve; I’m drinking sangria, and carving turkey, so no bad stream of consciousness writing today :)   Have a good one everyone!

Another Silver Fish :)

Tried to get out yesterday, but there was too much snow at the sites I went to.  It melted some more overnight, and I was able to find a section of an old site that had patchy snow to about an inch left.

This was one of my favorite sites, before today a 55 silver site that has given up a little bit of everything: my oldest coin, a 1723 Wood’s Hibernia copper, a seated quarter, a stunning SLQ, a pair of gold rings, a flying eagle, countless coppers, and more (never gotten any Barber silver here, tho, and of course, nothing from the dead zone).  A true honey hole.

Almost all of this was in 2010 and 2011, and the last time I was there was July 2012, finishing up a couple of zones, and getting a couple of rosies.  Its a huge site, and I had pretty much written off all the other zones, as prospecting never tuned up anything, and there was never any reason to believe anything should be in any of them, but now we are a bit smarter about things.

I didn’t expect to find anything, its sort of like random field theory, but I wanted to get out, it was the first time I could in a while, and I wanted to test that new battery, so out I went.

And, surprisingly, I found a pair of mercs, and a silver fish.  Not another big fish, unfortunately, but a silver fish nonetheless.  Pretty cool.  Just in the middle of a field.

I can’t get a date off the one merc.  Too bad.  As for the RNB Innovations battery, it worked fine.  I didn’t really detect any difference, nor did I expect to.  Its lighter than the stock battery, and after 4 hours of hunting, I still had full bars.  In the colder weather, the stock battery would have been toast by that time.  I don’t know if it is deeper; I didn’t get any deep, iffy targets, except things I was pretty sure were ferrous.  And besides, I forgot the stock battery anyway to comparison test.

Well, it will be about 60 today, and 70 tomorrow.  I expect all the snow around here to be completely gone in the next 36 hours.  So, it looks like my season isn’t over yet at all.  Not sure where or when I’ll go next, with the holidays and all.

As for hunting in the snow, its a pain.  The snow cakes on that Big Unit coil, making it really heavy, and every hole you dig is a mudfest.  (That was another reason to choose this site, as  I did not expect to dig many targets).  So, good riddance to the snow!

Well, I guess I shouldn’t be whining; at least I can detect again.  And, just a little bit of mud, I guess –

Snow and Ice

We rarely get snow this early in the season around here, but got some last night, and are supposed to get dumped on some more later in the week.  We’ll see.  Perhaps my season is over.  I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, but I’m glad I got to 200 silver coins for the year last week.

I did get out for a couple of hours on Saturday to an old colonial era site from May that gave up a couple of nice coins, but only found a couple of stray clad pennies on Sat.  I did fields and woods, and I know 2 hours isn’t really enough time to find anything, especially at this site, which is the hardest hunted site I know (I’ve seen 4 other detectorists in person here; at no other site have I seen more than 1). Tough way to end the season, if that be the case.

I got my new battery, and I wanted to test it see if it really does give more depth, or at least see if it holds a charge for 30 hours like everyone claims.  A project for another time, now.

Maybe I’ll take the downtime to redo my trainwreck web site (a project to huge to contemplate), or work on some outdoor puzzles, or do some research.

YTD Silver #201

The barber dime was YTD silver #200, and the merc was #201.  We’ll take it.  Milestones are fun, but should not be the primary purpose.  Same site as the past few entries (now an 11 silver site).  One or two more hunts to close it out, tho now that I am out of “milestone hell”, perhaps I’ll just hunt fields for the rest of the year looking for big fish.  Oh yeah, also pulled a silver religious pendant.

Battery Issues

First the good news.  Dug these yesterday.

Same site, same experience.  Everything was really deep, and you had to dig ‘em all.  Ended up digging 22 clad quarters.  Are you kidding me?  That’s alot.

The bad news is I got a weird error on the E-Trac: “OVER VOLTAGE”, and it shut down, and would not boot.  Pulled the battery, kept trying, and so forth, so I went home.  What else can you do?

I googled around, and could not find anything interesting (which, I imagine, will be the same experience for the next person who has this issue, and happens to land here), so I put the double AA pack in, and it booted fine.  I put the rechargeable pack in, after just 15 minutes of recharging, and it was fine.  Go figure.  When I started the day, on a fully charged battery, it started with one bar.  After charging for an hour, after this problem, it had all but one bar.  Go figure.

So, I went back to the site, more to see if the machine was fine than anything else, and it was, and I also pulled the silver Q, making this a 9 silver site.

Today, I went back to the same site, same experience, except I pulled 24 clad quarters this time, one at an unbelievable 9 inches.  Are you kidding me?  I figured I had a silver on that one.  But, I didn’t, in fact, I didn’t get a single silver all day.  I’m in a less promising section of the site (field not as old), but the grade is true, so there should be a stray silver or two.  Hopefully there will be in the future.

The fully charged battery died after just 3 hours today.  At least I didn’t get that hideous message.  I finished up on the AA pack.

So, I ordered the RMB Innovations replacement battery.  Reading good things about it.  Expect it on Friday; maybe I’ll get a chance to test it next week, we’ll see.

Interesting thing about this battery is that alot of comments (including one on the manufacturer’s site), suggest that this battery will give you more depth.  Some people on the forums just come right out and claim that it does.  I’m no engineer, but that has got to be absolute bullshit.  But, it tickles your buying bone.  It tickles your gullibility.  People are naturally gullible, and will always buy hope and other irrationality, regardless of how obviously stupid the suggestion is.  I’m not going to get too off-topic or offensive here, but you see this in the “real world” everyday.  I’ll leave it to the role of the reader to come up with their own examples.

Well, my gullibility bone has been tickled (not that I had a choice; I need a new battery, and  the OEM battery is apparently garbage).  But, more depth from a battery?  Are you kidding me?  Do these people buy LRL machines as well.  I know one prominent dealer that sells them, so someone must.

Well, the OEM battery is easy enough to carry around and swap out.  When I get this new battery, maybe I’ll do some depth tests, then post the results.  If someone wants to give me a free LRL machine, I’ll test that too (well, maybe not) :)

A Few More Dimes

Friday I went back to the site that coughed up the 3 dimes on Thanksgiving for a couple of hours, and got skunked. Oh well.

Sunday I had some business in a town about an hour and a half from where I live.  I have a hunting buddy out that way, but we haven’t hooked up in forever due to the drive, but since I was out there, I hit him up, and he took me to a site where he had found a few reales and a capped bust half dime, as well as some coppers.  Thanks buddy!

We hunted for about 3 or 4 hours, and the only old coin I found was a totally abused King George III copper.  Its not even worth a pic.  I read that some guys are jaded about finding modern silvers (I don’t think that will ever happen to me; I enjoy the experience on so many levels), but I know for certain I am totally jaded on finding abused coppers.  To each their own, I guess.

Today I had a few hours to hunt a ballfield I last hunted on Jan 2nd of this year.  It produced a silver that day, and a couple more before Christmas last year.  Interesting that my notes on this site say “don’t get discouraged”.  I have no memory of why I wrote that; usually my notes are more of a practical nature of the details of the site.

Whatever, put the Big Unit on, and give the site another go.  The site only dates to the early 50s, and all the silvers I have found were dated in the 60s.  Whatever.  The sites I’ve been working recently (fields and more fields for the most part), have really been devoid of targets.  It was nice to go to a site that at least was noisy for a change of pace.

Got the first rosie pretty quickly, a deep iffy signal, and that is the way the whole day went.  All the top level clad had been cleaned out, and I was left chasing down deep, iffy signals all day.  Everything was so deep that TID wasn’t working, so I had to dig an inordinate amount of clad and wheaties.  Many sound good, even without TID, but one after another — wheatie, clad dime, clad quarter.  I dug almost 40 such coins after that first rosie without a second shiny coin to show for it.  Sheesh.  I figured the dimes were just out of reach, given that silver dimes don’t leave the halo like clad and wheaties do.

But with just 10 minutes before I had to go, I got yet another deep, iffy one, no TID, but nice sound, and it was a worn ’39 merc.  Whohoo.  Then, 5 minutes later, a rosie on another deep one.  I’m not sure if the machine heard it, as there was a wheatie in the hole as well, which is maybe what it heard.

So, at the end of the day, the ratios turned out to be good, but it was just good luck in the last few minutes (or regression to the mean, if you want to look at it that way).