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.

Gorgeous

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.

Coil Testing

Finally got out to do a little coil testing, to the site where most of April’s silvers have come from.  The idea was to go over the area I had gridded out in 2011 with the pro coil, this time with the Ultimate 13, and, if I got an iffy signal, swap out the coils to see if I could hear the target with the pro coil.  Then, if I had time, I would reverse the experiment and lead with the pro coil.  I wanted to see if I could find evidence that the Ultimate 13 was deeper, by maybe finding a silver I missed in 2011.

I didn’t.  In fact, the test really didn’t show any material difference between the coils in terms of depth, which I define as simply giving a signal I would feel like digging (and I don’t like to dig, so it has to be a decent repeatable signal with tight pinpoint, and that “bounce”).  Of course, its hard to get a deep iffy signal in the first place, and its also hard to control for all variables, such as sweep speed, channel, positioning, and so forth (each coil seemed to like different channels on the same dirt, which makes sense, cause each is actually seeing different dirt).

If anything, the pro coil gave better ID at depth, which surprised me, as past anecdotal and statistical evidence seemed to suggest the opposite (and I know I have claimed that in the past), this is of course why you try to do controlled experiments if you can.  When you think about it, this makes sense, as I had one target that came in as an 11-47 on the big unit, and a 12-43 on the pro coil.  It was right next to a hunk of iron (you could hear the null), and the big unit is seeing more of the iron and adding it in than the smaller coil.  Separation was fine with both tho, but the pro coil was right — it was a penny.

One other signal was an iron that the big unit gave me a 50/50 silver/iron, and the pro coil was pretty sure it was iron.  But, had it been a silver, would the big unit have been right?  Maybe.  I think it is a more aggressive coil, enticing me to dig some of these, and sometimes they work out.

The big unit, of course, has better width, and this is actually important, if you can’t keep a tight, overlapping grid.  You could be off quite a bit with this coil and still hear the target; with the pro coil, I had to be pretty much on top of it, and this may be its big advantage, even if depth and TID at depth aren’t really proven.  You can work a site more efficiently and faster with the big unit.

Obviously, the pro coil was quieter.  There was no material difference in the auto rec, so I imagine mineralization affects them about the same.  As I said, they each wanted different channels, and I did lots of channel testing with each one, what it wanted, what the other wanted, on the same target, and so forth, and when the big unit wanted channel 7, couldn’t hear the target at all.  Of course, we know channel 7 is a crap channel, but it doesn’t hurt to keep being reminded that keeping an eye on channel matters.  In fact, which channel I was on made more of a difference than which coil I had on.

I got bored of doing the tests, and eventually just decided to expand the grid into undetected sections of the site, working off where I found a silver Q last time I was here.  I happened to have the pro coil on, and nailed a merc.  This is a brutally mineralized section (the auto rec can go as low as 10 here), and it was a tough signal; a choppy 10-47 that easily could have been mistaken for an iron target,  It was like 4 inches deep, and I figured it was a clad Q.  Would have been nice to see how the big unit reacted to this merc, in hindsight, but I was too burnt out by that point on the test.

Well, I still like the big unit, even if I can’t prove it is deeper.  I think I do better with it than I do with the pro coil.  I can see so many flaws in the experiment that I’m not sure it was worth doing, but it was fun anyway until I got burnt out swapping them (and it is pretty easy with a duplicate shaft; I wouldn’t bother if I had only one set of hardware, tho).  You can’t draw conclusions from a test that involved less than 10 targets, none of them really deep and iffy, at least in the less mineralized section.  There’s more I could write about better experiment design (which would involve a more long term, statistical approach), but I’m tired, so that’s that.

One Leaden Soldier

I didn’t expect to get out much over the last few days, but I did squeeze in a 4 hour hunt today at a place I call “the shrine”, cause that’s where I found my 500th YTD silver coin in 2011.  I haven’t been back there in a while, cause all that is left is this huge middle section that seems ultra dead, but I did pull a gold ring and a copper out of this section in the past, and have never used the big unit there, so why not?

The thing about this site is that there is lots of high tone trash on the edges for some reason (its alot of copper scrap — not sure why it is here, never seen anything like it anywhere else), and not much low tone trash (not that constant din of foil and pulltabs like you get at a normal park), but there are alot of deep mid tones, so you can end up digging a little bit of different stuff rather than being singularly focused on that one sound we all know and love so well.

Which, sadly, I simply did not hear today.  One of the deep mid tones was a toasted 1888 IH (which actually doesn’t look too bad when wet in a close up pic (like so many other things in life), but of course we’d rather have a ’64 rosie).  It came in at CO 30 on the E-Trac.

The best find of the day, tho, was this leaden toy soldier (boy I love when you can drop into Middle English and legitimately inflect those adjectives; there are only a few you can still do that with — for homework, think of the others, or try learning a language where all adjectives are routinely inflected.  Yikes!  English speakers don’t realise how easy English is to learn to speak (English spelling, however, is a different kettle of fish)).  Anyway,  the toasted IH is there just for size reference; it would look slightly better in a close up pic (but not much). (As if my stubby fingers wouldn’t suffice for reference).

I don’t know how old the damn thing is.  I don’t usually get excited about relics, but this one is kinda cool (and, of course, if you are incapable of pulling silver on the day, you have to trump something up to make the hunt look cool; I’m sorry, abused IH’s just don’t cut it for me — I don’t care how old they are).

But, I like it.  I’ll try to find out how old it is, if I’m bored.  I rarely get relics, so it is certainly one of my better ones.  Just a couple of notes on it — at the end of the gun is what appears to be a sickle.  Also, it won’t stand up straight.  I don’t know if that is a manufacturing defect with its base, or years in the ground have warped the base.  Too bad.  Would look kinda cool standing on my office window.

Untitled

Back to yesterday’s site and pulled a 3rd silver coin from this site, a 62 rosie.  Sounded like silver, pulled it, looked like clad, rubbed the date, looked like 1969, rubbed again, looked like 1962.  Whohoo!  We’ll take it.  Silver coins are hard to find, especially at this place.

The trick to this place is slow and meticulous gridding (which, I believe, is the trick at most places).  But, I think the place is played out.  Its seated era old, but a challenge to pull even surface clad (except for that walker, which remains an unexplained anomaly), and besides, meticulous gridding is hideously boring at this place.  At least give me some deep, affected clad that sounds like silver to dig and gets the heart racing and all those other primal juices flowing.

FWIW, I’m overloaded with work and chores now, so the next post will likely be next week.   I guess the silver will have to wait.  Too bad.

YTD Silver #100

Always a nice title.

Friday’s Hunt

First, a little about Friday’s hunt; I did have a really overly long and baroque writeup, even  for me, if that is possible, but it sucked too bad, so I blew it out of there pretty quickly.  The bottom line is that I found those 2 silvers in what I’ll call the “upper zone” of the site.  Until then, despite the place being huge and having many zones, I’ve only ever found them in the lower zone, and an embankment.

The upper zone is old, and should have old stuff, it just never has despite my many attempts.  But on Friday, I got my first wheatie up there, and kept at it, and eventually got a rosie.  Got the Q at the very end of the hunt, in the tailings from where it looks like they just stumped and rooted out an old growth tree.  Pretty much luck, and not a great tell, but always check the spots of recently removed old trees.  3 time this has happened for me.

Well, that’s 36 silvers from this place now.  The upper zone is large enough to have a few more, but not sure it will.  Its a really hard site — both trash and mineralization.  And, I’ve never heard anything deep in the upper zone (the lower zone has much less trash, making it easier to hear the deep ones).  While I have faith in the big unit coil for both trash and mineralization, I want to drop down to the pro coil for this section just to see. (Still waiting for my backup lower shaft hardware from that dealer, which I paid for nearly a month ago (like the other small dealer who didn’t even respond, I guess he doesn’t want to sell me a CTX 3030 someday either).  Next time I’ll just use KellyCo.  I like supporting smaller dealers, but I expect reasonable service at least.  Say what you want about KellyCo, they have always served me fine).

Sunday SAR

I did get out Sunday to help an SAR team find some lost personal effects from an apparent suicide from December.  I’ve never done this before, and it was quite interesting.  There were about 15 detectorists from our club on the project, and I missed being the one to find what they were looking for by a foot.  A sometime hunting buddy of mine found the goods, buried just under the ground.  It was in a heavily wooded, off the beaten path of a thorny park, so I didn’t expect to find anything but what they were looking for, but did find a colonial era shoe buckle and some recent buckshot, even tho hunting is illegal here.  Of course, I didn’t mind not finding anything; I like doing my civic duty when I get the chance.  A writeup in a local newspaper of the suicide is here.   (As an aside, I don’t feel right blogging additional details of the event that we were given).

Today’s Hunt

Onto today’s hunt, which was a new site, cause I’m still waiting for my coil hardware, and they are not good about mowing the grass at Friday’s site, which is finally getting long a month late (tho this week is still feeling like the endless winter again).

Today was one of the deadest sites I can remember.  After about an hour, I had a total of 3 coins, and I only left 2 clad coins in the ground.  And this is a site that is still in use.  Are you kidding me?  I got the impression that someone must be working it on a daily basis.  No surface clad.  No midrange clad.  No deep clad.

One thing that I noticed about the site was that it was very lightly mineralized (auto rec at 28, and it let me use channel 9, which is pretty much best case; channel 9 is the best, but it is often bad in crappy dirt).  I decided to hit the edge, and go really really slow: I often make jokes about how slow you have to swing the E-Trac: “If you see the coil moving, you are going too fast”, “There are two speeds, stop and slower than that”.

That’s the way it usually is with me, but I went even slower than normal, and hit a wheatie, measured at 10 inches, not counting the grass.  I rarely get small coins deeper than 5 or 6 inches (and often note it when I do), and also wonder about those who claim to be pulling silver dimes at 11 inches.  Not that I doubt their claims, but do they carry a tape measure like I do?  It can be surprisingly subjective.  OTOH, I never get dirt this clean around here, so I can see how folks are hitting them if they have clean dirt.  That was the deepest small coin I can remember hitting in quite some time, if ever, tho my memory isn’t what it used to be.

So, that was the game, go glacially slow, and dig any deep, iffy signal.  I figured I wasn’t gonna get a dime at that depth, cause dimes are smaller and don’t halo like wheaties, but I figured I had a shot at a quarter.  At least it was nice that someone had cleaned out all the trash and clad, but I was still digging my share of iron falses that sounded like they could be deep silvers or wheaties.  You really had no choice.

Then I got one out of the blue, a deep 02-48, 01-46, that sort of thing, which turned out to be a walker at 9 inches.  Are you kidding me? Sounded great, and I was almost certain it would be a silver quarter.  Was surprised it was a silver half, in this totally dead site.  Unbelievable.  But we’ll take it, obviously.  Always a sweet sight at the bottom of the hole.

I didn’t find much more.  A few more wheaties, all deep, and a rosie, for my 100th silver coin of the year.  Whohoo!  This coin actually wasn’t that deep, but it was a real pain in the ass.  It was at the very edge of the site, in a real gravely area, where the pinpointer went off on everything.  Like there are little pieces of coal and iron in the gravel.  It didn’t even sound like a silver.  The first time I opened the hole, that’s all I was getting, pinpointer hits on everything, and no coin.  I decided F this, and lets move on, but rescanned, and still heard it (sounded like a wheatie), and gave it one more try, a little off where the old plug was, pinpointer was still useless, and I eventually poked it out of a tangle of roots.  I was actually surprised it was a silver.  I wonder how many other silvers I’ve left out there like this, cause I ain’t patient unless I’m at least 80% certain its a silver.

So, despite finding 2 silvers in 3 hours at this new place, I’m not sure I can justify going back.  It just felt so dead everywhere, and as I expanded out from the edge where the stuff was to the middle, I could not muster a single coin.  But. we’ll see.

So, that’s that.  I think most of the words are spelled right.  But the cleaned up walker looks alot shinier in person for some reason.

Two Silvers Today

Wasn’t really into it today, for obvious reasons, but continued to grid out the park from recent entries, and managed to pull a pair of silver coins, and 4 wheaties.  Yesterday I pulled a rosie and a merc (no pic), and 12 wheaties, so it is definitely getting thinner, as expected, as we get farther and farther from the better part of the site.

Maybe I can add something of value here, and that is that I pulled 12 clad quarters, and only 3 clad dimes today.  These ratios are important (at least to me).  While we all cherrypick the quarters, and leave the dimes, I was leaving quarters as well, and don’t recall leaving too many dimes, so I think today’s ratio is true.  This skewed ratio tells me the problem isn’t “hunted out”, but “mineralization”, and that gives you the confidence to keep at it, manage channels diligently, and investigate every iffy signal, and hope you are lucky enough to hear a silver thru the noise rather than giving up.  Thinking about these things help you pull silver from supposedly “hunted out” sites, when perhaps that is not the proper diagnosis.  I hear it all the time “I guess you are not hunting parks anymore”, or words to that effect, and yeah, even I’ll hunt out all my sites over time, but I don’t think that is the best way to look at the problem.  Looking at the problem as an economist would might be the better approach, and might lead to an extra silver now and then.  Who knows?

Hope today’s tip was valuable.  I don’t think it was, but it works for me.  Hard to explain. I guess.

Sad Day

My thoughts to the victims and their families.  If it we’re me, I’d want others to go on with their daily routine as if nothing happened — posting finds, and so forth, whatever it is.  But its not me, its a sad day, and hopefully tomorrow will be a less sad day.

Morning Merc

Amazing that you can find a way to get out on weekends when you have a site that can only be hunted on weekends.  Well, I got out to last Saturday’s 5 silver site for a few hours early this morning, and scored a merc.  Not a great run rate (1 per 4 hours), but we’ll take it.

Trying to expand last Sat’s grid, and it was dead, went the other way, and that’s were she was, along with a handful of wheaties.  Beyond that, more dead.  Site has been pounded hard, so I am lucky I got what I got, and was struggling to even get clad.  Site is so huge, so it is hard to figure out how to play it, but it mostly seems dead.  The one nice thing, tho, is that I am getting quite a few deep old field tells, such as colonial era buckles, buttons, and other hardware.  The only coins I’m gonna hear at that depth are coppers or silver half dollars, and 200 year old silver half dollars just don’t happen (at least not to me).

Barber Silver

So, back to the park of recent entries, which we figure to Farewell Farewell either today or tomorrow, and I work corner zone here, corner zone there, loose ends and all that jazz, and its sort of the Nothing of the All or Nothing thing — you know you aren’t gonna get anything, but you don’t know how you know (its almost a psychic bond with the earth, machine, universe, whatever, but economists don’t believe in that BS (but we want to know why)).

So, you come back, and decide to expand the main grid in the primary zone, which appeared dead a couple of days ago, with speculation about weak batteries, heat affecting the big unit coil, dry dirt, and so forth.   As much as I’d like to do science on this section, the batteries were fresh, temp was 25 degrees lower, and we had heavy rain last night.  Too bad.  I like science.  In any case, I’ll always charge the batteries every night now (used to be every 2 or 3 nights), but I can’t control the weather.  (As for science regarding the big unit vs the pro coil, its waiting for Godot on the hardware I need to make it hassle-free from these pain in the ass MD dealers who either don’t respond, or promise one thing and don’t deliver.  I guess they don’t want my business).

So, I guess I should get on to the actual finding of the silver, cause what else matters?  As it turns out, as I expanded the grid past the dead zone discussed in previous entries, I started pulling wheaties again, in fact, I pulled 7 of them without finding a single silver coin.  Are you kidding me?  Another ratio hit.

But, as much as I hate wheaties, they are nice tells, and keep the morale going, and eventually I got a 53 rosie.  Woohoo.  This was a hard one, it came in at 01-29, but had a tight pinpoint.  You dig it in open space, especially after a few wheaties, but you will never hear it in the trashy sections of a site (at least I won’t).  That may help explain part of the All or Nothing syndrome in some cases.  I only dug it cause I was desperate for a silver.  It was only 6 inches deep.  Welcome to the world of our variable mineralization.  This is where I have envy for those with that beautiful sandy loam clean non-mineralized soil who are digging dimes at 10 inches.

And on we go, a bouncy 12-46ish deep signal, which I knew was a silver before I dug it, but was surprised it was a 1908-O barber Q.  Sweet.  We’ll take it.  Its only my 9th barber Q, so it is quite a thrill.  A deep, iffy modern merc rounded out the the day.  All silvers were hard, deep (for this place_, and late in the day.  We’ll take em all, cause finding silver coins is hard, and, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do any more science to find out why.

This site is now at 30 silvers, most of them from a couple of years ago.  I don’t see it going above 32 or 33, based on what is left, even if I grid over previous areas with the big unit.  Its huge, but too many areas have  dudded.  I’d love to go over the area from the other day that dudded, with fresh batteries, cooler weather, and wet soil, in the name of science, but it the name of impatience, it ain’t gonna happen.  Too bad.  So, next week, when this site is closed, we’ll be once again scrambling to find a new site, or trying to breathe life into an old one.

Skunked Yesterday, Silver Today

Yesterday was back to Monday’s 4 silver park to start closing it out, adding onto the grid, and got 4 wheaties early, then nada for 3 hours.  WTF?  More all or nothing — its usually not like this.  It felt the E-Trac just wouldn’t hit deep.  I had crap auto rec, and was getting crap channels (4 and 7), so there may have been something technical with the dirt, who knows?  Its rare that I go an extended period of time without hitting anything deep.  I wonder why?  Battery was low, but I figured it was all digital, but maybe not?  Maybe the big unit was too hot (they make ‘em white to reflect heat, and while I am no engineer, it is possible that the engineer knows that heat may be an issue with this coil.  Thing is, I did very well with this coil last August, so I’m not sure heat is an issue).

Anyway, today was back to the same site to try to do some science, at least see if a fresh battery made a difference, and swap out the big unit for the pro coil if I got an iffy signal.  But, the hardware to make swapping coils easy didn’t arrive (I had the package, but not all the parts were in it), so I decided to hit some loose ends of the site instead with a view to closing it out this week.

One loose end, an embankment with old trees didn’t pan out.  Too bad.  Many times, embankments work out, including at this site, where many of the silvers have come from a different one.

Since the other embankment was so good in the past, I decided to hit 2 ranks of flat area just above it (despite the fact that the flat area in general had no good tells on previous prospecting), and that turned out to be a good idea.  I hit 4 wheaties, including a very deep one (so my confidence in the machine and the big unit was restored, tho this area is far from the other area, and I was able to use channel 2), and then hit a merc at just 3 inches.  Are you kidding me?  This park is hard, and gives up its silver very grudgingly.  It was a 12-45, you often don’t dig ‘em when they are shallow, but fortunately it had “that sound”, but I was still shocked.  Not to far on got the ’37 Q, crap signal, and not too deep, but I think it was on its side, cause I got it with the digger, and it ended up in the tailings.  Rounded it out with a rosie that was somewhat masked by a modern penny, but you could still hear it.  Love the E-Trac.

Such a huge park, but so few areas produce.  Fill and grade isn’t an issue, so its sort of a smaller scale all or nothing.  I guess I should just stop trying to figure stuff out.  Still some loose ends to do, I will try to expand the main grid, and will probably go over the main embankment again as carefully as possible, then its Farewell Farewell to another site.  But, at least I don’t think that will be tomorrow.

Four Silvers Today

Back to my favorite silver municipality, which was really good for me in 2011, to try a new site, a very small, but old playground in a very old neighborhood.  Site completely dudded, not even a single wheatie.  Small sites rarely seem to work out for me, unless they are completely out of the box or excessively trashy, but one less than a quarter mile away gave up a barber Q and several other silvers in the past, so it was worth a try.

I gave up after a couple of hours, and hit my backup site, a 20 silver site that gave most of them up in the fall of 2011, with 3 last spring, and 1 a couple of months ago.  Its huge, but very thin, outside of a couple of specific zones I worked some time ago.

I still keep meticulous records of all my grids in case I ever go back (its not an exact science; I have to pace them off from landmarks, and this site doesn’t have many), but I set up to expand my grid, and managed to pull 4 modern silver coins (the oldest a 1926 dime), and 6 wheaties.  All were deep.

I was only here for less than 2 hours, and this has never been a 2 per hour site, at least not since the early days, and prolly not even then.  Both rosies, however, were in the same hole, so it is really 3 events.  But hey, I guess I’ll work it some more this week, and see how it goes.

I will say that this could be about the big unit.  All the silvers found at this site before this year were found with the pro coil, and I always felt this site was meant for a bigger coil, given that most of the old coins in the past seemed right at the edge of the pro coil’s range, and its a very clean, sparse site.  While today’s coins were deep, I was hitting them well.  We’ll see how it goes the rest of the week (I don’t really have any other site in development right now anyway, tho plenty to work on closing out that are not promising).  I may even consider gridding out the hotter sections I did with the pro coil, tho that will take forever, and has had mixed results at previous sites where I’ve tried it.

The good news is that this site is now at 24 silvers.  Once a site gets above 21, it almost always jumps to the high 30s (only one exception), and usually makes it to honeyhole status.  I wonder why?  Its that All or Nothing thing again.  I think I get the killer instinct at this point — I feel it now, tho I never saw this as more than a high teens site in the past.  Amazing what a different coil (or different machine), could possibly due to breathe new life into a site.

The other good news is that I saw 82 on my car thermometer today.  Are you kidding me?  Maybe even warmer the rest of the week.  Finally.  Bring it on.  Now we need rain — ground is parched for the first inch, but damp below that.  Grass is still very short, unlike this time last year.  That’s worth an inch, and can also be a factor at better success at this site.  Given how everything seemed on the edge of detectability here in the past, a note to myself to possibly regrid when the grass is this short (don’t think I’ll be able to do that this year before it grows).

All cleaned up, a couple more 61 dimes for the pile, just like Saturday –

All or Nothing

Another rough series of hunts, but it ended on a high note.

Wed 4/3 was back to the “old honeyhole” site I’ve mentioned a couple of times recently to formally close it down.  65 silvers as of 4/27/2011, and 2 more recently for 67 total, but none on Wed.  Farewell Farewell.  Was an awesome site (my 4th best), but all things must pass.  Was gonna put up a GE image of the site and 30s aerials, to show what a sweet site it was, but I want bang this out and watch basketball.  As I’ve written before about this site, its been pounded by the competition since I was last there — I leave the wheaties and clad, and they were gone this time around, tho I did dig a few deep wheaties and a deep clad quarter on its side.

Thu 4/4 was to try to open up a new site, yet another old sports field.  Disappointment when I arrived as I saw half the site had recently been regraded and was freshly planted with grass.  Of the half that was left, half of that was under brutal power lines, and I could not get anywhere do to the EMI.  That left the last 25%, which at least was likely the oldest and most used, but it has been hit hard — no shallow clad.  I did manage 8 deep wheaties, but nothing shiny, and while there are handful of silver dimes here, I had neither the luck nor the patience to find them after 3 hours of misery.  I doubt I’ll be back, but we’ll see.  I’ve never been to the town in question, and there are other interesting sites there.

Onto the backup site, which is old houses, no longer standing, on public property.  These sites can be iffy, cause once the competition figures it out, and it isn’t hard, they can be cleaned out, the hope is that technical skill with the machine will find what they missed.  Other than a few deep high tone trash and deep clad, I didn’t find anything.  Will give the site one more try some other time.

Fri 4/5 was hunting some small 100 year old parks in Philly with a friend from the Facebook group.  This wasn’t gonna end well — really old small parks in high density areas rarely end well (I only know of one exception in my career), and it didn’t, tho I was surprised to find 3 wheaties at the extreme edge of one of them.  In all honesty, we didn’t spend enough time at the latter parks to get a feel, but they didn’t look for feel like silver parks to me.

So, the massive slump continued, and, to this point, I had dug 21 wheaties in a row without digging a silver coin.  That, I believe, is a record for me.  By my ratios, that should have translated into at least 8 silvers, and even by the worse case that others report (7:1, ouch!), I should have gotten at least 3.  But I got bupkis, and have no site, and low morale.

Sat 4/6 I was able to get out to a new site, as the kid was mired in homework, and the wife mired in a mall crawl (ouch!).  This site is an old school on older farmland.  These can be iffy, cause they are easy targets, but you can sometimes get a copper or barber half or such from the old farmland, as well as the mercs and rosies.  And besides, I didn’t have anywhere else to go.

And it started out badly,  No shallow clad.  That’s a bad sign.  No deep clad either.  Even a worse sign.  But, the site is large, and I figured density would be an issue, and I kept at it, and I did get a deep colonial era buckle, which was good, and then I got a deep ’66 clad dime,  which was even better.  I set up a grid around the ’66 dime, and was in business.

Got a deep 11-46 which is almost always a clad Q around here, but I knew it was silver before I dug, and was overjoyed to see a rosie pop out.  My first silver coin in forever.  Not only that, pinpointer went off when I put it back in the hole, as I always do (note to newbies — always do this), and my second silver coin in forever was a merc.  We’ll take it.

They are singing the national anthem for that basketball, so I better wrap this up.  Next decent signal was a deep silvery 01-45, and that always ends well (often as a big silver), and it did, a deep rosie on its side (coins on their side always sound bigger cause I think the E-Trac picks up the signal from both sides and adds it).

Then I got something cool, it was like a 12-37 with a 09-44 mixed in that sounded like silver; I could hear it, but could not isolate it.  I figured the 12-37 was a zincoln in the way of the deep silver, so I went to pull the zincoln first so I could isolate the silver, and instead got a spill, a rosie, 3 memorials, and a wheatie, my first wheatie of the day.  Hot damn!  Rescanned, and heard the zincoln as a 12-32.  Sweet!  Got all the coins without the trash.  But, I dug it out anyway, cause I was there, and maybe it was a gold ring, but it was one of those thick, old-style pull tabs.

Next swing, right past the 5 coin spill + pulltab produced a slam dunk rosie.  5 silver coins in 3 hours.  Whohoo.  But, only 3 events, as two were spills.  But we’ll take it, who wouldn’t?

But, there’s more.  Unfortunately, its much less exciting.  It was only lunchtime, and I’m thinking a double is in the cards today, but I have to go out to get lunch, and as I’m leaving, all these cars are coming in with all these little kids in sports outfits heading for the area I was working.  My day was done, as I didn’t feel like exploring elsewhere on the site, especially when I was doing so well there, and so poorly elsewhere on the site.

So, after lunch, I head for my backup site, which is just a huge field with no reason to believe there will be anything there, but occasionally you can get reales or coppers in these fields (I’ve gotten 3 reales this way, and well over 20 coppers and a barber half this way as well, so you never know), but I didn’t get much.  Just a couple of wheaties, and a real heartbreaker, a deep, sweet silver sound that turned out to be a 1972 clad Q on its side at 7 inches.  Are you kidding me?  In a non-descript field.  Giving me a heart attack.  Once again foiled on the big fish.

So, what I’m not understanding is the All or Nothing way my hunting seems to work.  Forgetting things like non-descript fields, which no one expects to work, I either seem to get monster days or monster sites, or nothing at the next site.  Just don’t understand it.  For someone obsessed with stats and numbers, I’d just love to ride the stats wave, and figure any old site I plop into, I’ll run at 1 per 1-2 hours.  But it just ain’t working out that way.  I wonder why?  Is it mineralization, and the E-Trac being more suited to some sites than others?  Is it the incompetence of the competition, who doesn’t keep meticulous records of all the sites, and finish them off in an efficient manner?  Is it that we are still working off that “golden age”, more silver than time and competition to get it all yet, but that day is coming fast and soon?  Or, do I just overthink everything?  Who knows?

What I do know is that I am running out of sites myself, as previously blogged.   I think there is no chance I will be doing this next year at this time, due to lack of sites, unless I reinvent myself and become a full time door knocker?  While I’m not afraid to do that, I’m not sure I’ll enjoy the experience.  But, we’ll see.  I am addicted to the experience of seeing the shiny in the hole.  But I see a future of always struggling to find a new site.  Today’s site, of course, can only be hunted on weekends and in the summer, so I’ll be trying a new site on Monday.  Hopefully, it will be All, instead of Nothing.  We’ll see.  At least it is in my most productive municipality, and the backup site is a 20 silver site I have yet to finish off.

Ok, I got to watch that basketball (way too much blather tonite, but I’m excited after dropping a 5 spot while in a horrific slump).  Few things trump detecting, but March Madness is one of them.  And, not only won’t we get a morning edit on this one, we won’t even get a clean up edit right now.  So, I hope its readable.

Lets see those slump breaking dimes again all shinied up  –

Cross Country Story #1

Endless winter over my foot.  Forty degrees and than incessant chill wind again today.  The leaves are not even sprouting on the trees yet, and that’s usually a mid March thing around here. I would have toughed it out if I still didn’t have a cold, but I called it a day after an hour or so.

So, rather than working or researching, which I should be doing, I wanted to post one of my little stories from my cross country trip from last year (something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, but who has the time?).  It wasn’t a detecting trip, but I did do a little detecting along the way.

This is from 6/11/12, in Kokomo Indiana.  I had about 2 hours to detect while there, and found a map online from 1877.  Below is the section I found interesting, due to the “Normal School” (whatever that means).  Old schools always seem a reasonable place to start.

But what’s there now?  Here’s the GE of the block that school was on.

Sweet! A parking lot.  Its either public property, or close enough, I imagine, and there are plenty of grassy areas.  I figured it would be hunted out, but it was worth a shot.

And it was mostly hunted out, but I did score a 1939 merc and a couple of wheaties for my trouble, on the west side.  In two hours, I didn’t cover much more than that.  There just as easily could have been a seated there, given the age of the block.  Maybe there is.

Its really hard to drive into a town you know nothing about, and find a place that might have silver, much less find one (I failed in a previous town in Ohio the day before, tho I did get some deep wheaties there), so that was cool.  Add Indiana to the list of states I’ve found silver in.

So, that’s that.  If you can’t find silver, you can still write about finding it in the past, and in any case, certainly better than yesterday’s train wreck (and yeah, we prolly need to reinstate the morning edit).  There are three or four more installments to this series; hopefully I’ll find the time to do them in the next 10 years.

Still Slumping

I did pull a silver today (a ’44 merc), so some would say the title is misleading, but its not like that.  Its a slump.  And, for control freaks, stat freaks, grind it out and force success freaks like me, its like that.

But hey, we’ll take it, silver coins are hard to find, and any hunt that produces one is a good hunt.

Today was back to the “old honeyhole” site of about a week ago, a site that has given up 66 silvers and a site I’d like to formally close, to work some edge sections, including a section that I think an old house was located in.  These rarely end well, cause the competition has been all over it since the the 70s, but it did give up some nice deep high tone tells, but no silvers.  Maybe the competition was leaving that stuff in the ground, who knows?

When my patience waned on the putative old house section, it was back to the hot zone section of the site for some careful low and slow gridding to see what I (and every joe schmoe since me) missed since 2011, and it was a couple of deep wheaties next to iron.  Are you kidding me?  I’m not paid enough to solve these deep, stupid, wheaties, and, at one point, I figured I’d just dug my 16th consecutive wheatie without a silver.  Are you kidding me?  Talk about a ratio killer.  I think my record on this stat is 17, so this is a pretty yucky streak.

Then, something amazing happened.  There was a edge of a silver dime poking out of the side of the hole.  What a sweet sight!  Woohoo.  I’ll never tire of that sight, and as rare as it has been lately, it is even sweeter.  One silver in 3.5 hours.  One more hunt to close this site, which I really haven’t dealt with since the spring of 2011, but I just wanted to see if my improved skill and improved unit would make a difference.  I don’t think it did.

BTW, at least this site had a nice auto rec, 24-26 range.  I’m noticing that this stat tends to run with the geography: Northern Chester County good, Southern/Western Chester County bad (there’s no “Eastern Chester County”, go figure).  The odd thing is that the last honeyhole I closed was in the bad section (and was the only good site I’ve ever had in that section); I think that had to do with the shallow bedrock at that site.  All of this stuff bears watching if one is worried about their efficiency, as of course all economists are.  Too bad all the good good section sites seem to be more or less hunted out — at least I can take consolation in the fact that I was the one who did it, for the most part.

Now what?  Same problem as last entry — the inevitable decline.  Tomorrow will be an abandoned old house site — I don’t like these sorts of sites, cause the competition has been hitting them since the 70s, but we’ll see how it goes.  Maybe it hasn’t been hit with an E-Trac yet.  We’ll see.

Rough Couple of Hunts

Thursday’s hunt was trying to open up a new site just a quarter of a mile from the recent honeyhole — you figure if one site gives up 65 silvers, the one down the street might give up a few as well.  But it wasn’t to be — all I found is midrange depth clad quarters from the 60s to 80s.  Usually a good tell, but it worried me that I found no dimes or pennies.  The mineralization was brutal, and I guess I’m not seeing them, so I’m not gonna see a silver dime.  Maybe a silver quarter, but I didn’t have the patience.  I only remember this happening once before, in the red clay soil of North Carolina, where you struggle to see clad quarters, and have no chance of seeing smaller coins.  Not sure it is the case here or not, but the site is probably a failure.

Moved on to a big park in the area that I wrote about the other day where I pulled a merc, and I was hoping to open up the site with more silver, but it wasn’t to be.  The park really is pretty hunted out, but I was in a zone that had given up the merc, and it was giving up tons of clad, which is usually a good tell, but all I got was one wheatie and this sterling elephant ring.  Its such a big park tho, there is still a chance of pulling something in an out of the box zone, but again. mineralization is an issue here.

Saturday I met up with some guys at at a massively huge park for some woods hunting — last time I was here, I pulled 3 silver coins, but it was all due to sticking to an old roadbed in the woods, and I worked that paradigm pretty hard last time, so I wasn’t sure where the silver would come from this time, just randomly swinging in the woods, but guys have pulled seated halves, dimes, reales, and so forth from these woods, so you have to give it a go, and besides, its more fun to hunt with others, even if you don’t find anything.  I didn’t find anything, other than a couple of corroded wheaties.  Not sure anyone else did; if they did, I don’t know about it.

I had to attend to some errands, then had some time for another hunt closer to home, at yet another site on my prospective list that I have never been to, and I was again skunked.  This is an old school, and these can be hit or miss, but this was bad, not a single deep coin in the “obvious section”.

But the out of the box section, the corner of the property gave up some wheaties, and I was optimistic, but was not to be.  The wheaties were shallow, and I pulled 6 of em, which means I’m owed two silvers, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.  The mineralization was the most brutal I remember ever seeing — I was getting an auto rec of 9 for a good part of the hunt, and almost always lower than 15.  I like to be above 21, and consider below 19 pathological.  This site is mostly a writeoff as well, except for one huge old farm field that I may wonder sometime when I’m in the mood to go for a one in a million field score.

So, two prospective sites, both dudding, as well as that park I was hoping to develop, but now looks bleak as well.  You get times like this you feel you will never see silver again — one of the downsides of working a site dry and then moving onto the next one.  One day, there will not be a next one.  Maybe that day is today, who knows?  These sorts of sites do not grow on trees, and meanwhile the competition has been at work on others with their Minelabs as well.   But, I feel like I had a good run since May 2010 if I never find another good site, but I’ll keep trying for a while, or maybe I’ll get more serious about door knocking — but that’s not my style — when I’ve done it, its generally just for the day, and I enjoy the experience of solving a site day after day.

What I’m not understanding is this all or nothing vibe I run into.  Some sites give up 20 to140 silvers, and some give up bupkis.  All basically look the same in the research.  I wonder why.  I wonder if it is about the intense and variable mineralization we seem to have around here, or if it is just the case that myself and the competition are in the process of cleaning everything up, sort of the tail end of a golden age.  Who knows?

Well, at least I won’t have to write blog entries that often, and I can learn to play the lute.

Farewell Honeyhole

Always the saddest title, even sadder than “Skunked”.

Back to this winter’s honeyhole for the Final Farewell Farewell hunt — cleaning up loose ends, wandering aimlessly around a huge field, and getting skunked (except for a nice field tell – a colonial buckle, not very deep, but there’s no reason to believe the random areas of this field are any better than the random areas of any other random field, and reasons to believe they are worse).

No more old timer’s half dollars.  No big fish.  But the site did produce 65 silver coins, including 3 silver half dollars, one of which may have been one of the old timer’s.  We’ll never know, but it made good copy at the time, and was fun to think about.  The oldest silver coin was a 1901 barber dime.  There may have been some IHs or some abused coppers as well; if so, I don’t remember them.  In any case, my 5th best site ever in terms of silver coin count, tho it did not produce a top 30 career find.  The big fish, if they were there and deep, were hidden by the brutal mineralization.

This was a bizarre site to figure out, and in fact, I never did.  It had the most dense hot zone I’ve ever hit, flanked not 30 feet away by zones that would not even give up clad.  Fortunately, it had one traditional zone that could be meticulously gridded out to get some stray silvers after the hot zone, but that was the exception, not the rule — everything was dead in other directions.  38 in the hot zone (about a half acre).  1 in the devil strip. 26 traditionally gridded out in about a 3-5 acre area.  And acres and acres of dead all around and in between.  Weird.  No doubt alot of fill and grade, incompetent competition, intense variable mineralization, and variable bedrock, and many more factors going on.  Who knows?

So, that’s that.  Onto look for a new site.  We’ll see how that goes.  At least the weather is improving.  The endless winter may finally be winding down.

Devil Strip Silver

I love that term, and I guess unless you are from Akron, Ohio, or are a linguistics freak, you may not know what it means.  What it means is that strip of grass between the sidewalk and the road.  Turns out its a very regionalized term, and I have no idea what the Chester County term is, so I’ll just use it, cause its cool, and proves I’m well-read on these matters, I guess (I grew up, and now live, in an area without sidewalks, so I don’t have a term, in actuality, but no doubt I’ve used “curb strip” in the past).  (Also turns out someone did a study on these regionalized terms, and published a huge dictionary on the matter.  Very cool, (but still proves many people have too much time on their hands).  Google around for it.  My favorite term has to be “zep”, a term, as far as I know, that is only current in the Schuylkill valley area of Montgomery and Chester Counties (where I did grow up and still live), which means “hoagie”, “hero”, “sub”, and the like (cool to define a regional term with other regional terms; most folks use “hoagie” around here except the true old time locals).  I love it that you can still walk into pizza joints around here (at least the old, cool ones), and see the term on the menu, even in this day and age of homogenization.

Anyway, onto the silver, and you know if the preamble is long, and off-topic, the hunt was likely lame.  It wasn’t too bad, cause any hunt with silver is a good hunt.  Back to the recent honeyhole (not the “old honeyhole”, the one before that where I’ve spent most of my time this year), to work a few undetected sections, including the devil strip along the road that runs thru it, and the first target was a ’41 merc.  Not bad.  Unfortunately, the next three hours produced bupkis (not even a wheatie), except of a gold-filled wedding band.

Hunting devil strips is an acquired taste.  Its hard.  Its trashy, and passersby (I love that word as well; a rare English word that is infix inflected (anyone still working on gender inflected interjections? :) )) are in your face from both sides.  And, not only is it trashy, its brutally trashy.  Did I mention that it is also trashy?  But often you can get silver there when the adjacent area is dead, because some people miss them, and some people hate trashy.  I remember one hunted out park that produced nothing but a rosie after hours and hours of hunting, and then in the short devil strip was a walker and a huge silver ring, so its always worth checking out if you can stomach the passersby and the trash.

As for the “gold filled” ring, it claims to be 1/20th of 10K, which I guess makes it .5K.  If that ring were gold, it would be worth about $200, so I suppose its worth about $10.  But, its someone’s wedding ring.  It has names inscribed in it.  Too bad they are common names, and there is no date.  Last time I found one with names inscribed, one of the names was uncommon, and there was an exact date, and I still could not find the owner, despite all the research tools at my fingertips and at the historical society.  The odds of me finding the owner are low, but we’ll see.

So, I think that will be the last silver from this place, as all other areas tested dead, but I will give it one final farewell farewell hunt.  After 65 silvers, I owe it that much.

But, there’s more.  Actually, there isn’t really.  I should really write about the awesome Bad Religion concert Sunday night.  It was the best concert I’ve ever been to (even better than when I saw them 6 or 7 years ago), but I don’t really have the skill, much less the time, to do so.  One thing that was kinda weird tho was that some dude comes up to me and asks how old I am (and I am kinda old to be in a mosh pit and deal with crowd surfing, but I am in good shape and have been dealing with such for 30 years), and I tell him, and he says is friend is 33 and didn’t come cause he thought he was too old to go.  Are you kidding me?  The band has been making music that long.  Get out and live.  Never let your fear decide your fate (ok, I stole that line, but I like it).  Awesome concert in any case.

Well, we got some linguistics instead of the dismal science for a change.  I guess I’m just an intellectual jack of all trades.  Maybe next time we’ll throw in some particle physics.  What is a Higgs boson anyway, and why to we care that its existence was recently (supposedly) confirmed?  Isn’t all that stuff sort of obvious?  Sort of like the collective yawn that occurred when the background microwave radiation was confirmed.  Duh.  (As an aside, I’m proud to have called that one when I was very young, we’ll before it was confirmed and while there were many theories out there that were inconsistent with its existence.  Not that it ever did anything for me — look how I ended up, a slob writing a pseudo intellectual metal detecting blog that gets really excited about finding 60 year old shiny disks.  But, there is always more to the story than meets the eye).

Oh my, that was a bizarre entry.  Should have spent more ink on the BR concert.  But what is done is done; we don’t do morning edits anymore.

Old Honeyhole

Haven’t been out since Wed, and was itching to get out, and despite another cold, dreary day here in late March, got in a rare weekend day hunt.

Went to an old honeyhole — the last time I was here there was 4/24/11, and it turns out its my 4th best site, having given up 65 silvers.  I’ve been thinking about it alot lately, given that my current site, which I will probably close this week, weather permitting (and that is supposed to be even worse next week), is at 64.

I wondered, since I’ve improved so much in two years, whether I could coax a few more out of this site.  This site had one hot zone that gave up 19 silvers in a single day (and it would have been 20 or 21 if my battery didn’t die), and I was wondering if the big unit would help.  And besides, its pretty close to where I live.

But the site was pretty dead.  Alot has happened in 2 years, including, I reckon, the competition buying Minelab machines.  I think I went over it pretty well that spring I was there, but not this well.  Pulled a total of 6 coins in 3 hours.  Are you kidding me?  Just one clad coin, 4 deep greenie meanie wheaties, and a 1946 rosie.  Woohoo.  Any hunt with silver is good.

I passed on three other wheaties, and only one clad dime, so this site has been slammed in the meantime.  It still needs a hunt or two to formally close it off, as there is still silver there, but it is very sparse.

Well, off to see Bad Religion now at the Factory.  One of my favorite bands.  Hard to believe they are still kicking after over 30 years.  Wonder how I’ll hold up in the pit?

Third Site’s a Charm

Back to the honeyhole to work on one of the two remaining small zones, the first of which gave up a wheatie spill last week, but I had no other intel on it.  A couple of wheats in there today, but no other good tells, and it didn’t have the best sound.  It was cold, and the wind was biting (this is an exposed site, and its always biting, but biting less when the silver is flying).

As much as I would have loved to remain to clean up this section, I decided to cut my losses and head for a nearby site which is more protected from the wind.  Before doing so, I pulled a pocket watch, too bad its base metal.

The second site was where I found just my 12th career silver, way back in the fall of 2009, and I have not been back since.  Its a 50s park in a very old town, so its a mixed bag of expectations.  I’m not sure if my expectations were dashed or not, but it was quiet as a church mouse — not even a wheatie, and I did all the right things, like working the edges, out of the box sections, and so forth.  Obviously not the right things today.

Decided to go home, but that takes me past another old site, a site I’ve hit many times, but have only a rosie to show for it, which I found in 2010.  Everyone claims its hunted out, but its too big to be hunted out.  Its true its hard to find silver here, at least for me, but I’ve always felt the problem was that the mineralization was too extreme, not that there isn’t silver there.  I’ve never had good luck here either, but this was my first hunt at the site with the big unit, and I pulled a merc and a wheatie in the 45 minutes I had.

If I can make this site sing with the big unit, that would be awesome, cause it looks like a 50-100 site, but I’m not too optimistic on that score.  This is my 5th or 6th hunt there, with just two dimes.

Lucky Mo-Jo

Lots goin’ on here tonite.  I feel one of those “story” posts coming, but I think it’ll be all good.  We’ll see.  Lets roll it.

Back to the honeyhole of recent entries was the plan — to regrid from a different angle the extreme 2 per hour hot zone, as we started to last hunt.  Weather was rainy, and as I pulled out of my driveway, it started to pour.  Almost turned around, but its a half hour drive, so maybe it would clear.  It did, just as I got there.  Day was actually nice for a change.

So, first, check this out, heart pounding tone coming in as a beautiful 09-48 at 8 inches.

Lucky Mo-Jo.  GOOD LUCK.  Are you kidding me!  “GOOD LUCK” would have been a SLQ.  “Lucky Mo-Jo” would have been another old timer’s silver half.  Its not even a copper.  Its an effen token with a hole in it.   Silver halfs come in at 3-5 inches at this place, and I dig 8 inches for some Lucky Mo-Jo.

But its cool in its own right.  Check this out.  It never ceases to amaze me what people put on the Internet, and what you can find out there, with just a few clicks of a mouse.  Some dude actually has a blog with scans of a vintage catalog with all sorts of snake oil and whatnot for sale, and this thing is in there –

The full blog post is here, but its very pic heavy.  Its basically a scan of the whole catalog.  Is that catalog cool, or what? As near as I can tell, this thing is from the ’30s or ’40s, which would be consistent with the other coins I’ve dug here.  Hopefully, it will bring me some Lucky Mo-Jo, but I wonder if it brought its original owner such, and how the lodestone and John the Conqueror root worked out for him.

But hey, its cool to kinda think about the person who carried and lost this, in the context of the place, what their life was like, getting such a catalog in the mail and spending a buck’s worth of silver for this stuff, (which could have been lost instead for me to find), and so forth, but lets move on (oh, and as an aside, I had no idea “mojo” was current in the 30s.  I thought it was a more modern borrow.  One more thing to research).

Anyway, onto the silver, and hoping I would have some lucky mojo on that front, going over an area I had already done.  This is the first time I have ever done this to a serious degree, and I was curious how it would go.  On the one hand, you want to find lots of silver, cause you always want to find lots of silver, but that would prove you sucked the first time.  OTOH, you don’t want to find any, cause that would prove you have some skill at working a site, but not finding silver sucks.

My goal was to simply go slow and carefully from a different angle to see what I had missed.  It was sort of an experiment; given that it was such a hot zone, and I had previously found 2 silvers in this section after I had already supposedly finished it. It seemed worthwhile.

And I ended up finding 3 silver dimes and 10 wheaties (the oldest being a 1919), as well as 2 deep clad quarters and the mojo token.

Not bad, or not good, depending on how you look at it.  The first silver was sort of straightforward, could be clad, could be silver, could be a wheatie, but I was pretty sure it was a silver before I dug it.  Other than the somewhat ambiguous TID, there was nothing hard about this one, and I should have gotten it the first time.

The second one was one of the toughest silvers I’ve found in a while.  In all honesty, it may have been a benefit of experiment bias.  It was a deep, iffy, iron false sort of signal, often the sort of thing I don’t dig, as it didn’t pinpoint great, but the second time around, when targets are thin, you may be more likely to dig it.  This was a dime at approximately 7 inches, I’m guessing. with a large piece of iron.  I may not have even heard the dime, just the iron, and got lucky.  As it worked out, I’m diggin’ diggin’ down for this thing, and it seems way deeper than it should be, and I check the tailings on the dropcloth, and there it is.  The thing I was actually going for was the iron hunk, after I had already pulled the silver out unknowingly.  Note to newbies — be aware of this possibility.  It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes what you think is the primary target, may not be, and the good target could always be in the tailings or the plug.  Its part of my protocol to always check this when I think the target is too deep.   In any case, I don’t feel bad about missing this one the first time.  We just had alot of rain, and many other factors could have been different as well.

The third one was a unique experience, and also may be a bit biased.  I hit a shallow canslaw, a big one, and those things sound awful and obvious on the E-Trac, and are easy to ignore, so no doubt I heard it the first time thru.  But this time I thought I heard the sweet sound of silver in the racket.  Was certain there was a silver quarter in there as well.  Couldn’t separate it, but I felt I heard it.  Pulled the canslaw, rescanned, and there it was, a barely legal 64 rosie.  Amazing.  It wasn’t directly under it, but it was close, a little off to the side.  Don’t think I’ve ever found one affected by a huge canslaw before.

As for the wheaties, I expected some, as I generally don’t dig ‘em unless they are iffy, but most of these were iffy.  So I missed 10 wheaties, 3 silvers, 3 others the first time, at least that I know of.  In addition to the rain, I do know that when I first started at this site, and I believe the first day and second day in this zone, I was using the pro coil and not the ultimate 13.  So, as an experiment, in terms of controlling variables and whatnot, this doesn’t come close to qualifying, but interesting nonetheless.

Total hunt time today was 5 hours, so it was still not a bad run rate.  Original silvers in this zone was 33, plus 3 more today, and 2 on other days when I thought I was done, for a total of 38.  According to Google Earth, the area is about 100×200 or about half an acre (the site is at least 50 acres, and goes much faster, and much as been written off, and accounts for 26 silvers).  Of course, it was alot faster working it the second time, less targets, and you knew the bounds of the hot zone.  Imagine the run rate you could get if you knew up front exactly where the boundaries are.

So, as an optimization/economic problem, I’m prolly very unlikely to rework a zone of a site I’ve been over carefully, unless it is really dense, and really hard (where there may be benefits from seeing it from a different angle), as this one was.  But, it worked out for me in this case — I’m glad I did it, and glad I took these notes for future reference.

Anyway, enough data, lets see them dimes all shiny’ed up, so I can test this auto gallery update thing.  My hope was to find just one silver coin today, so I can test that live for the first time.  Here goes — we’ll see this pic and Lucky Mo-Jo in the gallery if all goes well.  If not, I’ll be hacking code all night rather than watching basketball.

Gallery Programming Project

Took advantage of the down time from the bad weather and being sick (the former which seems to be ongoing indefinitely; the latter mostly passed) to finally do a programming project that was on my list, my gallery of finds from 2012 on.  (Its also under the Galleries menu above).

The idea is that when I make a post, the pics automatically get loaded into the gallery (so long as they silvers, more or less).  Hopefully it works, and hopefully I’ll be finding some more silver to test it on an ongoing basis, we’ll see.

It was a pain in the ass, and took way longer than I expected it to (3 days).  But what’s done is done.  Prolly infinitely many bugs, including not working on browsers other than mine (and certainly not on mobile devices, cause I don’t even have a mobile device, and who’s gonna dial up my finds on their iPhone anyway?), but letterboxers who view my site are used to that :)

All the pics are on one page.  But, I like the impact of seeing all the silver at once.  Its my site, after all, so bring a hispeed connection.  TODO tho may be to break it into years, especially if I import my pre 2012 gallery that is still on FMDF.  TODO is to also put my best finds in a Gallery format.  That could look cool.

So, one thing that was kinda sad — I had to read thru alot of my old entries as part of this project, and aside from the fact that I didn’t take a pic of every silver I found (too bad, cause each is hard fought, and it would make the gallery even bigger), was that this time last year I was writing about how the grass was growing too thick to detect at the site I was working. No such luck this year, as the weather remains cold and miserable, with no prospect of improvement in the foreseeable future.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get out this week anyway, assuming the current snow doesn’t amount to anything, we’ll see.

In any case, feel free, if you see an obvious bug in the gallery using a browser I’m likely to have, to drop me a note.

Miserable Week

What a miserable week.  I got sick with some sort of fever, cough, sore throat kinda thing.  Went out anyway on Wednesday to my honeyhole, in the gray, cold, chill wind, and was skunked again.  Cleaning up loose ends at the site, and trying to expand a couple more directions from the hot zone that was giving up 2 per hour back a month ago or whenever it was.  Hard to believe, just 30 feet away, I couldn’t even get good tells.  The direction into the field seems played, and while I was getting good tells in some of the loose end sections, no silver.  It was a miserable day.

I couldn’t bring myself to get out Thursday, as the wind was even worse, and I was even sicker, but I did get out today, even tho I am still sick, and got more of the same.  Bupkis.  The site seems played.  Too bad, cause finding new sites can be a struggle.

But I did something I haven’t done much before, and that was to start regridding the hottest zone after I had already covered it fairly thoroughly (at least in my mind).  And I got one.  Gotta do a pic with the dirt on cause even I don’t believe I dug it.  First silver coin since last week.  It was deep and iffy.

What I did on the regrid was grid diagonally.  Most people grid parallel/perpendicular to the edge of the site, but going diagonally may be a good idea, especially if you know it has already been gridded out at traditional right angles.  I didn’t do much of it, so I may regrid the entire hot zone on diagonals very carefully next week.

In addition, there are two other sections I have not spent much time in, and one gave up a wheatie spill during a quick prospecting run.  That said, I don’t think these sections are very promising (which is why I’ve left them to last).  I’ve closed off all of the other paradigms, so this honeyhole is just about played.  Looks like a 61-65 silver site.  Its just the strangest site, with a really hot patch, a traditional density patch just one direction from it, and then huge absolute dead zones right next to it where it should be promising.  Some may have been filled, but old trees and roots in others suggest that that is not the whole story.  Who knows?

One silver this week, I was sick, it was cold, and the honeyhole played out a bit sooner than I had hoped.  What a joy. Hopefully next week will be better.

So, lets see that beautiful rosie all shiny’ed up.  They are exciting, especially if you only get one once a week.

Skunked Again

Back to my honeyhole today, no coil issues, no cops telling me about my competition sneaking onto private historical properties (which, if you think about it, is actually a good thing, cause they ain’t at my prospective sites), plenty of iron falses, no bad stream of consciousness writing (at least we hope not), and worst of all, no silver.  I had to endure the silverless drive of shame home, as they call it over on American Detectorist.

Did pull a 1901 IH and 6 wheaties, the oldest being a 1910.  I know some people feel pulling an IH isn’t being skunked, but we all know how I feel about them.  This one is actually one of the better ones I’ve pulled, tho.

So now I have a huge site that appears to have stopped producing — just 1 silver in the past 8 hours, and we really like to be at 1 per 2 hours at worst to continue with a site  — but this site has been so good to me, so I think we have to consider giving it a few more tries.  The direction I’m going in seems pretty played out (tho I didn’t even make it to the road bed yet), but there are plenty of other sections.

Its now back to either prospecting mode here, or trying to find another site.  I guess we’ll see how it plays out.

Lots of Words

This is gonna end up being lots of words for a hunt that did not produce one goddamn coin.  But that’s cool, isn’t it; isn’t that what blogging’s all about?  Its not about the shiny or otherwise material success in your endeavours, its about the drama.  Not so in my world, and I rarely blog without the shiny, (and I very rarely hunt on weekends either), but I think this post actually has a chance of working, so we’ll see.

So, alot goin on here.  First, I didn’t expect to find a single coin.  This is what we call a throwaway hunt — I had a couple of free hours late this afternoon with the family doing other stuff, and the thermometer with a 6 handle — are you kidding me?  which hasn’t happened since the month started with an O, so you gotta get outside, even if it is to do yardwork (and my neighbor, who I nickname “Flanders”, actually was, except he was paying someone else to do it, so I guess I’ll call him El Flanders (nevermind)).  In my case, I blow off the yardwork til it actually needs to be done (which is when the grass is actually growing, and the weeds are actually sprouting), and hit a local field about a half a mile from my house.

Like I said, I didn’t expect to find anything.  This is a field that recently became township property (and the corruption involved in that process is fodder for another blogger on another blog), but, as a tip to newbies, paying attention to what goes on in the township w.r.t to land can be valuable.  Too bad it wasn’t today.  But, it is this huge field.  Recently became township property.  Not signed as such.  You never know what you’ll find in an old, nondescipt field that may have been lightly detected.

In this case, not much.  The first looks find ike an old copper, and I found it in the first 3 minutes, but it rings in at a CO 27.  That’s button territory, but it has no shank.  Its not a button.  I have no clue what it is.  The second treasure rang in as a wheatie, so it is obviously copper, but there is no way to score it as a copper.  It is random copper trash.  So that’t that for this hunt in this random, nondescript field.  It could have ended better, but there was no reason to expect it to.

But, there’s more.  And its all interesting, IMHO.  In fact, this entry would not even exist were it not for the following.

First, its the cop.  As a bit more background, I just pull into this field and park, cause there ain’t no beautifully lined-striped macadam parking with those blue handicapped spots where obese, but otherwise able-bodied folks park their Lexus’s and Benz’es with their handicapped placards (and yeah, as an economist with a severely handicapped mother, I specifically observe this phenomena, and an contemplating a paper on the subject), and after about an hour I see this cop pulled up next to my car.  Of course I stop what I’m doing an go over, and he asks if I have permission to be here, and I say I have permission to detect any township property (which is actually true, and he’s impressed that I actually know its township property), and he chats me up, telling me he’s thinking about getting a machine, and asking me for recommendations, and so forth, and that all goes well.  And I tell him, don’t detect here, cause there ain’t nothing, but I do give him the location of a 41 silver site honeyhole on township property.  The advantages of office.  Ok, too much background for the punchline.

And the punchline is simple, and is this.  He’s telling me that he sees people constantly detecting a private property site near the police station.  Its a rather famous site in the area (even I know about it, and I’m clueless), and I’ve even asked permission there.  They said NO with a capital N, and told me stories of all the detectorists they chase off the property.  I guess some things never change, and while I’m saddened by the lack of ethics by my competition, I take solace in two probabilities — a) its likely hunted out by the parade of assholes who didn’t get caught, so the modern assholes are in a bad risk/reward proposition, and b) once again the predictions of the Dismal Science are affirmed.  Its nice to know that you are in a line of work that will never fail, so long as humans (and hence human nature), exists.

But there’s even more, and that’s story #2 from today’s hunt.  Its about the Big Unit (the Detech Ultimate 13), and software.

I’m hunting this dead field, pulling the random thing that looks like a copper but isn’t every half hour, but otherwise having nothing but pure boring threshold (which is actually rather soothing when composing cop-related blogs in your head) to listen to, and all the sudden things get all wacky.  All sorts of low tone sounds both when the coil is on the ground and when in the air.  The exact same symptoms when my first Big Unit went bad.  Are you kidding me?  All I need is another bad coil.  I noise cancel every three seconds, and it ain’t fixed.

Then I turn the machine off, and on, and it is fixed.  Are you kidding me?  I remember an entry from quite some time ago where I write about improved success after lunch (where I always turn off the machine), and I said I wasn’t gonna attribute anything to turning off the machine (if I was a real blogger who cared, I’d link to the entry, but I ain’t and I don’t (more likely, it was one of my “stories” on American Detectorist; it was a long time ago)), but now there is no question in my mind that it matters.  I’m an ex software guy (and good riddance to that life).

Software guys have a fancy technical term called “waxy buildup”.  In layman’s terms, what this means, is that the longer a software program runs, even if it is essentially doing the same thing (“running the main loop” in software guy jargon, which no doubt the E-Trac is doing), its performance may degrade (there are technical terms to throw about here as to why, but nevermind); as time goes by.

The solution to waxy buildup, other than find another software guy, is to reboot the program or system.  The fact that rebooting the E-Trac fixed this problem is suggestive of a waxy buildup problem in the E-Trac software.  This is the second observed instance of improved performance after turning off and on, and sadly, this will now have to become part of my hunting protocol.

(As an aside, when the Big Unit coil did go bad a few months ago, I did lots of turn off, turn off tests, and waxy buildup was not the problem.  The coil was genuinely bad, as apparently verified by KellyCo.  Hopefully that is not the case this time, and it is a software issue).

But, there’s even more, if you can believe it!  As I said, Lots of Words.  One further wonders how I could write so much when I found not one f***ing coin.  The answer is simple — I like to write.  You obviously like to read, but as Umberto Eco (my literary hero) says, “who needs readers?”.

But here is story #3, and its about iron falses.  I’ve always wondered about iron falses.  I’m detecting this park, and that park, and got the sens cranked at 30, as always, and of course you get your share of iron falses, and the deep iffy ones you dig, cause you have to, cause once in a while its a deep barber or seated, but more often than not, its a rusty nail, and we all know how VLF machines love to false off the ends of deep iron nails.  We’ve all been there, haven’t we?  (And if you haven’t you ain’t gonna find all the shiny).

Every park I go to, I come back with piles and piles of deep iron nails that were probably iron falses going in, but you have to dig em.

And the one question I always ask is this — why are there so many nails here, deep in the soil of this old park or school?  Did people carry them in their pocket?  Did people bury them as good luck charms?  Were all parks and schools sponsored by a nail manufacturer who gave out free samples?  Did students and teachers at that 1930s schoolyard that has been giving up the shiny and the occasional iron false also smoke iron nails on their cigarette break?

Who knows?  Why so many iron nails in parks and old schoolyards?  They are just everywhere, at every such site, even when most such sites have no evidence of old buildings or other structures which would generate said nails.  I always figured it was from before the park or school use, like from old wagons or other farm equipment that plied the site before it became a park or school, where iron nails would not seem to be really prevalent.  And I just accepted that, sort of an Occam’s Razor explanation.

But, in today’s old farm field, there were no deep iron nails, or deep iron of any kind, despite it being farmed since the 1700s.  So the old farm equipment plying the land before it was a park or school theory just doesn’t wash.  I have no answer as to why there are deep iron nails that sound like silver and silver sites.  Maybe its a semiosis, but I don’t think so.  Maybe an intelligent gamemaster f***ing with me.  Who knows?

Nailed it baby.  Exactly what I wanted to do, especially for an entry that described a hunt that produced nothing.  Just goes to show what the constant drone of the threshold does to your brain.

Silver Quarter Today

Pulled a silver Q out of the loose end section from yesterday.  It was in the hole with a huge chunk of high tone sheet metal.  How I heard it, I have no clue.  More likely, I heard the sheet metal, and simply got lucky.

This is the 60th silver pulled from this site.  Are you kidding me?  That’s alot, as these things go.  Next stop is at 65, which would tie it as my 4th best site.  Next named level, “Monster Site” is at 100 silvers (good luck on that one, tho I’ve had 2 sites get to that level).  I never figured this as a 60 silver site, and given that I’ve only covered 30% of the area so far, who knows how far it could go.  You just get the sense, however, that each hunt will be the last to produce, yet each one produces as you move into presumably less and less likely areas.

But, the Q was right on the edge of the presumably filled area.  What if I’m wrong about it being filled?  If I am, there’s 50 silvers in there.  But I’m not.  There’s two at best on the fringe, and that’s it.  But I’m gonna waste a day trying to make that putative filled area produce.

Couple of Mercs

Nor’easter dudded.  They were calling for 4-8 inches in some reports, and we didn’t even get flurries.  Hardly any rain either.  If I were that bad at my job, I’d be out on the streets.

So, take advantage of an unexpected detecting day, and back to the field. Slow going for a while, fewer wheaties, and no silver until about 3 hours in, when I got a ’17 merc.  Quite tarnished, but otherwise would prolly grade VF-XF.  Interesting that at this site, all the silvers and wheaties/IH’s older than 1930 seem tarnished or badly abused, but those newer than 1930 are shiny and clean (even the wheaties, which is rare around here).  Maybe around 1930 they stopped putting fertilizer on the field, or there was some other chemical event.  Who knows? — I am certainly clueless about such things.  I don’t even know if they used chemical fertilizer before 1930.  Observing things like this, and thinking about them will occasionally lead to useful insight into the site — too bad it ain’t happening now.

One thing I discovered in the field today was an old road bed.  Didn’t see it on any old maps, but I’m certain its very old.  Last time I found a road bed in a field, I scored a barber half along it.  I’m having my doubts about getting a big fish here tho; it is so quiet that such seems unlikely, but when I get to the old road, maybe the sound of the site will change and I will get lucky with that big fish.

With about 20 minutes left before I had to get back, I didn’t have enough time to do another rank along the field grid, so I worked on one of the loose end sections right by the supposed filled section; its just a 10 foot wide strip between that section and the field, awkward with trees, and right by a tree pops out a 44S merc, nice and shiny, at only 3 inches deep.   Always be anal and clean up the loose ends at a good site, you never know.

Further into the Field

Continuing the gridding of the site of recent entries further into the field, and I finally got a field tell, an old buckle.  Also got a couple of rosies and another sterling ring.  Things are getting thinner and thinner, including a 45 minute stretch without a coin of any type (except a couple of zincolns, and they don’t count), and not much junk either, but experience says press on, and eventually I got the rosies.

The buckle was deep.  I will never hear an old coin at the depth this buckle was, unless it is a half or silver dollar.  If I get a big fish here, that’s what it will be.  We can dream, and that’s what I did, thinking of the flowing hair halfs flying into my pouch.

The weather was beautiful today, 48 degrees, no clouds, no wind.  But a nor’easter is on the way, anywhere from 3-8 inches coming.  Glad I got out today, and toughed it out yesterday; nice to go on hiatus knocking down the silver.

Sadly, there isn’t more. Gridding out a proven site is boring (at least to the reader), but boring is actually good in most endeavors.  Maybe I’ll post that big fish after the snow melts, but I’m not too optimistic on that score.

Today’s Hunt

40 degrees and a fierce chill wind.  I shouldn’t have gone out, but I needed a shiny fix.  Despite wearing 7 layers, it was still miserable, but I toughed it out.  Not the best decision of my life, but what’s done is done.  At least I am able to hunt, and we have to look at the positive.

And it wasn’t a bad hunt — I pulled 2 dimes, 11 wheaties (the oldest, one of the abused greenie meanies, being a 1913), and another abused Chester County IH (on the right — as near as I can tell, its from either the 1800s or the 1900s, but who knows? :)   I do know that it has a 1 in the date; unlike most IH’s I pull :) ).  Also pulled a sterling silver pinkie ring.

As for the site, it seems to be thinning on clad, but today produced alot of wheaties, more than usual, it seems.  Too bad the silver didn’t keep up with the normal ratios on the wheaties.  Still no field tells, other than the IH and the greenie meenies (I’d like to see one buckle or button or somesuch to think I have hope for a big fish here).  Site has now given up 55 silver coins, which ties it with my 5th best site all time (that would be the one from last fall).  I guess when you have a site like this, you fight the cold to get there every chance you can.

But, there’s more.  There often is.  Just this.  Imagine seeing this at 9 inches (without the hole).  Figured I had myself a deep copper and legitimate field tell, but it just says GHH 683 in big letters on the otherside., That may mean something to someone; too bad that someone isn’t me.

More Silver

So, back to the project, expanding the grid even farther into the field.  At this point, it becomes a simple statistics game — so long as one in 20 coins is a silver, and so long as for every 2 or 3 wheaties or so you get one, keep grinding for the tells, and so long as they continue to come, the modern silver will continue to fly into your pill bottle.  So that’s what we did, and that’s sort of what happened.

But, there’s more.  There always is, except, in this case, there really isn’t.  It was the most grind it out, uneventful hunt that you could ever imagine.   That’s good, at least IMO, as the hard work to prove the site is long done, and the peaceful experience of grinding out a proven site and pulling a random silver is quite pleasant, at least to me.  I know some others would not have this kind of patience, but to me, it is quite soothing.

Except, of course, in this case there really is more, and that is this — no matter how much we have, we always want more. (We economists have a term for this: “human nature”).  And in this case, its about the field.  We think we have a golden site, grid out for the modern silvers, over a 1700s field, and pick up the old silvers as well.  Given that the parts of the modern site seem to have been lightly detected, it seems reasonable to expect that huge sections of the field have never been detected, so we should be expecting to see the capped bust quarters flying into the pouch from the field, shouldn’t we?

But the tells just don’t seem to be there.  I’m in this 1 silver per 2 hour field now for the big fish, but have not gotten great field tells.  No buckles.  No buttons.  No crotal bells.  But I do take the copper from a couple of days ago, and yesterday’s barber dime as a possible old field tell.  But I’d love to see more field tells.  I see a chance at not only another old timer’s half, but a special big fish here.  This field is huge, near an old town, and probably not skillfully detected. But its hard to tell when to suspend the site for greener pastures, or to keep looking for the big fish here.  I guess so long as this one is giving up the modern silver, you press on.  At least that’s how I’ll start next week.

As for the pic above, that green treasure is an IH.  Once again, a reason why I simply do not care about Indian heads here in the acidic soil of Chester County.  But, maybe its a field tell.  Who knows?  Also dug a 1915 wheatie.  Maybe there is hope for the older silver here, but I think it may be too deep for the mineralization.   Three pre 1916 coins, all in one specific area of the field.  Here’s hoping.

Seated Suspense

Back to our recent project, expanding the grid further into the wide open field, and there is sort of a quiet area, at the end where the old timer’s halfs may be, and where the 60s clad is, and a quieter than dead area at the other end, but that end is transected by an imaginary line, if you extend the hot zone along it, so you figure you ought to keep doing both.  Besides, really dead quiet open fields can be good, cause you dig every iffy signal; signals you might not even hear above the din of noisier areas.

So, I decide I’ll go one more rank thru the quieter than dead area and back, and if I don’t get a tell, I’ll bag that end, and spend more time where the better tells are.

I get a few iffy signals down there, all of which are ferrous falses, until I get one that pops out a small grey disk which no doubt is a silver dime.  Not only that, there’s no doubt in my mind that its a seated dime, given how deep and tarnished it is.  Seated dimes are so rare for me (I’ve only found 2 in over 20,000 coins), so I’m pretty stoked.  Problem is that it is caked in dirt, and you don;t want to rub the dirt off in case its a valuable date, cause it will show up as cleaned, so I just stuff it in the pill bottle caked in dirt.

This was early in the hunt, and the hunt goes on without much happening, but at least I’m happy I probably have a seated.  Its all I thought about, and it was killing me not knowing til not only after I got home, but after work as well.  I was thinking of all the things I was gonna write about my seated.

Near the end of the hunt, I got a beautiful deep silver quarter signal nearby, and figured, wow, maybe I have a seated or barber quarter as well, but it turned out to be a clad Q.  Are you kidding me?  Everything seems to read high at this site.

I did get a few more deep silver signals, almost all of which turned out to be clad (the worst was a 09-47 to 01-45 near yesterday’s old timer half that was clad), but as can be seen in the above pic, I did squeak in a few modern silvers at the end of the hunt.  That’s 51 now for this site, my 7th site to reach 50 or more, and best site since last fall.

As for the seated, turned out to be a 1901 barber dime.  D’oh!  I was certain I had one, too.  Well, its only my 23rd barber dime, so I suppose I should be happy, but I really wanted that seated, especially after waiting all day to find out.  Oh well.  Be happy with any silver.  And, at least I had the joy of thinking I had a seated most of the day.

Well, tomorrow is Farewell Farewell Friday (which of course is every Friday at a good site, whether I’m ready to farewell it or not).  Just haven’t been able to do that since the last fall, for any number of reasons, including trying to lose weight, not having good sites, bad weather, or so forth.  Got a great restaurant picked out, and it should be fun.  Hopefully my wife can join me.

Geez, botched that one (would have been better if it actually was a seated), but its month end time, and I’ll be working ’til midnight, so I had to be quick.  Maybe it will look better after the morning edit, but silver always looks good, no matter how tarnished, or lame the writing.

Old Timer’s Half?

Back to the honeyhole, and there are basically 4 choices.  Imagine an L shaped grid that represents the hot zone of recent posts — choice 1 is the inside of the L and is what should be the hottest section, but I believe has been filled.  Out from the bottom of the L is just field, but it goes along an old road towards where an old house was.  Out from the back of the L is field for as far as the eye can see; what used to be old farmland, and where I found yesterday’s copper.  And 4th, just loose ends, connecting the L up to the road, embankments, and so forth.  Wish I should show my Google Earth grid, but I don’t want 50 guys there tomorrow (as if even 5 people read this).

(BTW, here’s an example of how I do my grids for all my sites on Google Earth using the path tool.  Its very handy, tho if I had that CTX 3030, I hear the built in GPS does this automatically; what a sweet feature, if it really works as I would like (this is from another site I don’t care if 50 guys are crawling over tomorrow, have at it)) –

So, the obvious choice is down from the bottom of the L, thru the fields by the old road, towards the old house.  This is also the closest section to the hottest part of the hot zone (the bottom of the L).  But, in a half hour of expanding the grid out that direction, I got zero coins.  Not even clad.  Are you kidding me?  This is 30 feet from a section that gave up over 30 silvers in the past month.  Just 3 high tones — 2 bottlecaps and a piece of copper tubing.  I’ll never figure this game out.  And, assuming the inside of the L is dead as well, go figure?

So,  I cut my losses and expand out from the back of the L into the great expanse of the fields; this is a huge grid rank taking about a half hour for one rank, and things go a bit better.  Clad dime, then a pair of silver dimes back to back.

Near the top of the L is the section where the old timer supposedly buried the halfs, and I actually get one in that area.  Are you kidding me?  It was a weird signal, a 03-46 or 03-48 or something like that, and it turns out to be a silver clad JFK.  I’ve had 28 silver halfs, and 12 clad halfs, but this is my first silver clad half.  Its only 40% silver, but just like a war nickel, it counts (some try to argue that war nickels and other coins with less than 50% silver don’t count, but they can all pound sand.  If it contains one atom of silver, it counts in my book).

So, is this one of the old timer’s halfs?  Who knows?  Its 45 years old, and assuming he was 15 when he buried it, that makes him 60, and that’s about right.  Of course, all the clad in this area was dated 65-71, so it is consistent with that as well.  Occam’s Razor says go with the simplest explanation that fits the facts, and I’m still a bit dubious of that burying the halfs story.  OTOH, for me, silver clad halfs are as rare as bust half dimes, so who knows?  I do know if I find another one over there consistent with the date, I’ll believe the old timer’s story, and think it is really cool.

So, on we go, into the great wide open of the field, and it gets rather quiet, and I keep hoping for a tell that says the action of the hot zone spread even farther into the field, and I get a couple of wheaties, and that’s good, then, also near the old timer zone, I get a beautiful 01-44, which I assume is the second old timer half, and adrenaline is pumping, but it turns out to be a silver Q (not bad of course, but I got this half story in my mind).  I figure at that reading, its gotta be a spill, but it isn’t.  TID is always whacked here, I guess I should just get used to it.

So, perhaps there is some more life at this place, tho it is definitely getting quieter as  I expand out.  Maybe squeeze a couple more out of it, we’ll see.  Then onto the challenge of finding a new place.  That’s the problem with honeyholes, they always end (but I am yet hopeful that I am wrong about the inside of the L being filled).