A First For Me

Dug this treasure today (yeah, I’m talking about the merc), which happens to be career silver #1300.  We always celebrate our milestones.

That toasted copper is a first for me, tho, a King George one penny (as opposed to the more commonly dug halfpenny).  You can tell by the size (half dollar size), and the weight (25 grams; it is supposed to be 1 oz, or about 28 grams — compare to the last KG III halfpenny I dug at less that 7 grams).  You can also tell by the raised rim, which let to these coins being called “cartwheels”.  This thing is thick as well as large.

It is of course dateless, but they were only dated 1797, so it is a 1797 KG III penny.  We also know it was actually minted in Britain cuz the colonists did not counterfeit these (most KG II and KG III halfpennies are colonial counterfeits).

I’ve actually never seen one of these posted, so in that sense it is an uncommon find.  Too bad it is still worthless.  Its the thrill that counts, I suppose.  It was about 10 inches down in a small park that was established in the 40s (and a new site for me).

The merc was really weird, came in at CO 38, which I rarely dig in a park, but since it was a new site, I wanted to see a wheate, and saw one.  Scanned the hole again, and got a 42 (ok, another wheatie), and found the merc instead (then the second wheatie).  Really weird.  The E-Trac is usually good at sniffing the silver out in this situation.

Class Ring Returned

First, I found this barber dime at the same site as the “Bizarre Hunt” entry from the other day.

8 inches down, iffy signal, but a typical E-Trac silver.

Anyway, regarding the class ring, also from the “Bizarre Hunt” entry, it was rather quite simple in this case — found the yearbook online, the initials were unique, and a little bit of googling and I knew the guy’s life story within 2 hours.  Prolly had enough info to take out a mortgage in his name.  The internet is scary.

I’ll admit I did two things.  I looked at his house online to see if it was old and detectable (it wasn’t), and I looked to see if he was a good person (he was, volunteering, supporting firefighters and police, which, at least to me anyway, seems good).  I just didn’t want a bad person, like if he was a rapist or something, I would not have returned the ring.  Does the detectorist ethic allow the finder to judge and decide if they want to return the ring? Yeah, at least if it is me.

So, it was really cool, looking at the pic in the high school yearbook from the mid 70s, and a modern pic, and talking to him and all that about the day he lost the ring about 40 years ago, which he remembered quite well, the circumstances of why he was there, his girlfriend at the time who was with him, how he lost the ring, where he thought he lost it and how he tried to find it, and all that stuff.  I could prolly write a pretty decent short story on the whole thing; I just don’t want to, cause its his life.

All I can say is that he was happy to get the ring back after 40ish years.  And no, I did not nail this one, but how could I?  I would have loved to, as it is a great story, (but his privacy trumps my ego).

Anyway, that is what makes metal detecting cool — people who don’t know what they are looking at think it is about the money, as if finding loose change is cool — no, its about puzzles and stories of the past.  A story, in this case, so few will ever know, but it is so cool to experience just the same.  The tapestry of normal people living normal lives, experienced thru a lost ring.

Bizarre Hunt

Yesterday found a bizarre mix of stuff in a field.  I had hit this field a couple of times before, finding a reale, an old ring, and a button from the 1870s or so.

Yesterday I hit a section where I had found a few musket balls.  Found a few more (8 to be exact); are you kidding me?

And that doesn’t count the ones I didn’t dig, which was prolly just as many.  These things come in at CO 30-35 on the E-Trac, and nothing good that I’m looking for lives there except half dimes and half reales, and these had a bigger sound, so I felt safe in leaving a few for the next guy.  I’ve prolly found about 15 or so myself in this area over the years. Why so many in one spot?

When I posted this pic on Facebook, someone suggested they may be “canister shot”.

Who knew such a thing existed?  I sure didn’t.

Anyway, I think he is right, cause they are all sort of in one place, and they do look more that color than lead that has been in the ground, and these were supposedly tin or tin-plated, tho one is definitely lead.

So, this is a Civil War era weapon.  Who knew such a weapon would have been fired in Chester County, PA?  I wonder under what circumstances?  You’d need a pretty big gun to fire off one of these things.  I have found no other old relics in the area.  Very weird, and kinda cool when you think about it.  Problem is, the area where these things are is at the corner of the field, so I’ll never find anything else to help solve this mystery.

Anyway, about 15 feet from this area was the most beautiful deep silver quarter sound you’d ever hear.  You think of all the cool things it could be, like bust or seated, and all the lame things it prolly is, like a copper buckle or toasted large cent, and you are digging, digging so carefully not to hit it with the digger, and what you get?  A 1962Q.  Are you kidding me?  It is the last thing I expected to find in an old field near these canister balls.

Yes, you can be disappointed when finding silver.  But, silver coins are hard to find, so you always take them.

I then proceeded to find a war nickel, which came in at CO 24 or so on the E-Trac, (usually they come in at 15), and a 15 gram 10K white gold class ring dated 1975.  All in the same field.  Very bizarre.  I will try to return the ring, but in past experience, that has been hard.

Getting Back Into It

Found 2 silvers today, as well as a pair of silver blings.  2 hour hunt at a new site for me.  Just a small park in a small town.  Maybe, at best, a 5 silver site.  Prolly will come it at 3.  We’ll see.

Found the merc in the first 5 minutes, under a large nail; the nail was on the surface, and the merc was just a half inch down.  Q was found on a deep enbankment, as were the 2 blings.  Some people go to a park and start in the middle; I go to a park and start in the most awkward sections, usually the sides.  It worked today.  It often works.

This is my 6th hunt of the year.  A mix of old and new sites, including a ruin near my house that produced a merc.  No other silvers from those sites, so I’m at 3 for the year.

Its nice to be back.  That said, I will prolly only spend about 10-20% of the time hunting as I did in the past.  I will also prolly only blog month end summaries, unless I have a fantastic day.  I expect to spend about 70% of my hunting time in random fields, cause even tho you never find anything, it is just relaxing (and BTW. my last random field a couple of years ago netted me a very nice bust half, and a pair of seated dimes next to each other, so you don’t always don’t find nothing, but you get the idea; when you don’t find nothing, it can end well :) ).  My goal is to find 15-25 silvers this year.

I still love park and school hunting, and figuring this and that out about these places, and where they were.  During my hayday, I found 1227 silvers over a 4 year period at such places.  Its just you run out of such places with 45 minutes of where you live.  There are only so many.  I don’t think I’ve found them all, but I’ve found a good number of them around here; maybe I’ll find some more, we’ll see, but the odds of that seem low.

But, that is not why I took a pause.  I took a pause cause I wanted to write a puzzle hunt.  So that is what I did, and it is cool.  If you figure it out, you even find silver.  The problem is, there is no real audience for this sort of thing.  But, I did it anyway, cause I wanted to.