Mystery Copper

Back to yesterday’s site.  The weatherman claimed it was getting up to 48 today, but it didn’t even feel close.  No sun, and a biting chill wind.  Felt like it was 28.  Well, at least I’m fortunate enough to detect now as others deal with snow, so I should stop whining about the weather.

I’ll whine about Chester County coppers instead, as that is a favorite topic around here.  Pulled this treasure today.

What’s interesting about it is that it is larger than a large cent or your typical British George II/G III copper.  Its a hefty 17.54 gr, 32mm diameter, and 2mm thick.  Its diameter, at least, is consistent with a couple of the more exotic coppers in the early pages of the Redbook.

(And I swear, before I looked in the Redbook, when I put it under water, it seemed there was a bust with a weird neckline and unusual hair, and the typical wreath on the back; features exactly consistent (along with the diameter), of the birch cent.  It even appears to have lettering on the edge, tho I can only make out what looks like one or two of the letters.  There are only 8 or so known of them, so its not that — amazing what the mind will do when it tries to fit ambiguity.  Too bad I’ll never know what it is (and you don’t want it to be something that rare, cause you feel even worse that it is so abused).  Oh, and if you are a copper expert a know a copper that fits those measurements, please post a comment.

As for silver, continued to work the grid in the same direction per yesterday’s entry, and made up a little on the whacked dime/quarter ratio, pulling 4 rosies, 3 of them barely legal.  We’ll take em.

And the rest of the hunt produced a pic that is even harder on the eyes than that copper.  A massive pile of clad.  Yuck!  That’s $5.50 worth of dirty money.  Are you kidding me?  I haven’t dug that much in a very long time. (Just an interesting fact for those reading who are not detectorists — just those 4 dimes above are worth over $8, compared to that junk below (of course its about the sport, not the money, but I figured I’d point that out for reference)).

I guess that it is statistical revenge, cause up to now, this site has had very favorable clad/silver ratio, but I wasted alot of time digging it today.  Problem was, they were mostly deep and iffy, and many sounded good due to nearby trash and perhaps the added effects of the heavy mineralization.  You gotta dig ‘em, and it is painful. You don’t know how many times I was certain I had a silver Q. And, speaking of the Q’s all 13 I dug today were dated 65-71, most 65-67.  Are you kidding me?

Also pulled a silver ring (the one on the left).  The silver cub scout ring on the right was pulled yesterday; forgot about it yesterday’s writeup.

As for working the site, its sort of in who knows? mode now.  I pretty much finished up the last of the most promising section today (which, BTW, took me right into the heart of where the old timer’s halfs supposedly were, got about 3 or 4 good, deep half dollar signals, but lots of wasted adrenaline, as it was all junk).

So, we got a few loose ends here, the section I think is filled/dead, and acres and acres of expanding away from the hot area into nondescript fields.  I got to at least clean up the loose ends, and try a couple of days expanding into those fields, especially given that copper, but it may have given up its last silver today.  Lets hope not, but we’ll see.  43 tho, ain’t too bad.

Back in the Saddle

Frozen dirt and other bad weather, family time, work time, doing the taxes (yuck!, and this marks the latest I’ve ever gotten them done), added up to a whole lot of not detecting.  Last hunt (not counting that 15 minute attempt that got snowed on the other day) was the niner of 2/15, so it was nice to get back in the saddle today, given the 48 degree weather (and you know you are warm-deprived when you celebrate such a hideously low temp).

And it ended well, a dollar day, and we don’t get too many of them.

The last time we were at this site, we thought it might be petering, due to the last two hours of grid extension giving up nothing after 9 silvers at a record run rate.  Moreover, adding a rank to the grid on that snowed out day with not a single coin only added to that sentiment.

So, what did I try today?  Keep extending the grid in that direction.  It was rational, given that it was a) heading into a trashy area; b) heading towards the road; and c) heading into an embankment.  All, experience suggests, its where you want to be, but it ended up in 26 cents in clad, and no wheaties.  Are you kidding me?  Just goes to show that probably everything I’ve written over the last 18 months is garbage, and it is all luck.

So, we all know when to cut our losses, so I tried to expand in the direction where I found that putative vanity silver piece, hoping to find the rest of it.  There was a nice tell at the edge of that side of the grid (a deep 65 Q), but the fish weren’t biting in that direction either. 2 hours in, and not even a wheatie yet.

Fortunately, it is a huge site, and there is one more direction to go (actually 3, one is unknown, and the other leads into the presumed filled area; these for another time, perhaps), so we go in the remaining direction, and keep getting deep clad, and a couple of bottlecaps.  God I love deep bottlecaps. These are the tells, so you go at it and go at it until the shiny comes out, and eventually I got the merc.  Quite an iffy signal, but we’ll take it.  This is the first silver I’ve gotten from this site that is not in the linear flow paradigm as described in previous entries, so there is hope after all.

Not long after the merc, its a strange signal that is quite high tonish, and open it up, and out pops a nickel.  Are you kidding me?  I know there’s high tone in there, (figure its a clad spill), and poke around with the pinpointer, and out pops a silver Q.  Sweet baby!  Poke in again, and again the propointer goes off, and out pops another silver Q.  Got a silver spill goin’, baby!  Poke in again, and another silver comes out, this time a rosie.  But that’s the end of it.  Ties my record largest silver spill at 3, but at 60 cents, is my largest in terms of face value.

So, we continue to work the grid, which is basically skirting around what I think is the filled area, and things are pretty dead.  Also working towards where the old timer says he buried the halfs (not that I believe him, but who wouldn’t give it a try?). Have 2 silver events (feels like a 2 silver day, even tho we have 4, in terms of judging the local density), in this paradigm.  Dead dead dead, until it is almost time to go.  Not enough time to do another rank of the grid, so I just freestyle off the edge of it, and randomly nail a silver Q.  Are you kidding me?  I guess that just opened up continuing the grid that direction.

But it gets even crazier.  Its past time to go, and I just start heading back to the car, which takes me across the previous hot zone (which I believe I’ve gridded out). and I get a slam dunk silver dime silver in the zone I’ve diligently worked.  Are you kidding me?  Silver number 6 on the day.  I feel too embarrassed to write this part up, and it will likely not survive the morning edit.

All I can say was, it was sort of on the edge of the hot zone grid, and sometimes it is tough to remember grid boundaries in featureless fields.  OTOH, as I’m driving home trying to think of the reasons for this miss (as always, thinking of things like channel management), I remember what I wrote re the double digit day: there’s no question in my mind I left a few in the ground.  This one was in that zone.  Geez.  At least I got a lucky do over.  I don’t ever go over my grids again (who has the patience?), so I guess there are more in that zone for the competition.  Ouch.  I guess its true that no site is ever hunted out (at least my grids aren’t apparently).

Well, number 39 from this site, ranking it as my 10th best all time, and just one from officially becoming a honeyhole.  Fascinating site.  If the weather holds, hopefully more updates, and hopefully a post showing all those old timer’s halfs.  We’ll see, as we work the grid in that direction.

And, of course, gotta post it all shinied up –

Rain, Wiz-War Cards, and Celtic Music

No metal detecting today.  Drove a half hour back to my site of recent luck, and literally the moment I started swinging, it started to snow.  Are you kidding me?  Got thru one rank of building on the grid, and called it a day.  The snow was melting on my machine, and when it gets wet, it weirds it out bigtime.  I worry about permanent damage.  I need to get me one of those waterproof 3030s (except I hear they are not as good on silver as the E-Trac, who knows if that’s true?  I don’t have 2 grand to do that experiment.).

And, I guess my silver streak is broken for detecting for 15 minutes.  I don’t really track them anymore, but if I had a monster one going, I probably wouldn’t count it as broken.  I think I’m in the ballpark of 10 or so now.

So now we’ve got some steady rain, so I took the time to get some tasks off my list; one being putting set 5 of my Wiz-War cards up.  These were actually done in December, but who has the time? — (especially when loading 1500 songs onto someone’s iPod poke poke :-) )  Some of these cards are a bit experimental, and may be removed or modified, we’ll see.

I guess I should spend some time writing about the awesome Celtic music fest from Saturday, but I’m horrible writing about music.  (Yeah a music festival in February — sort of a weird venue — a windowless floor below the Valley Forge Casino, but what are you going to do in the dead of winter?  While we all prefer street festivals or other outdoor venues, didn’t really detract from it much at all).

All I can say is that Albannach, Brother, and Barleyjuice were awesome.  Saw two sets by the first two.  The highlight for me was when Shelley from Barleyjuice played fiddle during Albannach’s set (for those who don’t know, and I’m sure that’s most everyone reading this), Albannach is 4 percussionists and bagpipes.  Quite an awesome sound in its own right, but the added fiddle really worked, especially when it is someone you know from another band you like.

Yeah, I’m not gonna be able to spend 10 paragraphs writing about this concert.  You can’t get the sound from a lame blog anyway (at least not this one), and it could not do it justice.  Maybe I need to get a phone (although the phone vids I’ve seen don’t do it justice either).  Gotta go to these things live, I’m afraid.  (BTW, Albannach, at least, and probably Barleyjuice will be at the Celtic Fling they have every summer in Lebanon County.  Set your calendars, there are always a ton of great bands there).

Niner Baby!

Alright, here goes.  Lets try not to be as obnoxious as the entry from the other day, but pulling silver is hard, and damn exciting, so sometimes its tough not to be.  The adrenaline takes time to drain sometimes, and it rarely drains by writing time (but of course its all gone by the time of the morning edit).

57 degrees today, and all the snow melted, so back to the prospective honeyhole of recent entries, working the grid towards the road (as opposed to the direction that produced that silver frame thingy and the putative area of the old timer’s buried halfs), and the second noise cancel gives me a channel 3, which is the lowest of the low on my opinion of E-Trac channels, and what I do when I get a crap channel is run in it for about 3 minutes and NC again hoping to get a good one (there is a method to this madness, which I may write up better sometime), but pretty much after I got that NC 3  I got a beautiful silver signal that blew my ears off.  A walker at 3 inches.  Are you kidding me?  And, my first silver ever found on E-Trac channel 3 (yeah, I track this, shouldn’t you?), but of course, a Radio Shack detector could have found this one.  I rarely get slam dunk half dollars, this may be a first (usually they are either deep, affected, or on edge or on the edge of or in out of the box locations of the site).

So that’s a good start, but it gets better.  Merc, then merc, both tough.  This “towards the road section” is both highly mineralized, and trashy, which is a double whammy.  Then we get a beautiful 10-48 which almost always ends well, and this one did — not one, but 2 silver quarters in the hole.  At first, it looked like one was clad, and one was silver, but fortunately they both came in shiny.  Rock on, baby! and it wasn’t even lunch time.

But it gets even better, if you can believe it.  Silver #6 was a slam dunk rosie, and #7 was a silver Q awkwardly positioned between two pieces of iron.  I ran over, ran over, ran over that signal trying to separate it, and eventually just dug in, unable to pinpoint, hoping for the best, not one of my better plugs (and my plugs are usually masterpieces), but I got the damn thing.  Sometimes better to be lucky that good.  While I never saw a good number, I always heard a good sound, and E-Trac newbies have to pay attention to this point — its about “that sound”, not so much about the numbers.  That’s why I rarely post numbers in my writeups (aside the fact that I usually don’t remember them).

So we’re thinking we got a double today, and not soon after, silver #8 comes in, an iffy merc that all I honestly remember about was that after I dug the plug, it somehow ended up in the grass beside the plug.  Quite a problem to find, but we’ll take it.

At this point, I had 8 silvers by 12:30.  A 4 per hour run rate, and that’s not accounting for my lunch.  Are you kidding me?  I think that’s unprecedented for me.

But things slowed down, and silver #9, another Q, came in a half hour later.  I still had an hour an a half before I had to get back, so there was little doubt about getting a double.

But it was not to be.  The next 90 minutes produced plenty of deep wheaties and clad, and many moments of “here it is, baby!”, but here it wasn’t.  The worst was when I got a beautiful deep 06-48, and this is at a site that has been coughing up silver, so you know its gonna be a silver, and it was two high tone buttons.  Are you kidding me?  D’oh!

So, that’s that.  A 9 silver day, but a $1.90 day was well.  Sort of like a 19 silver day, if you think about it.  My 5th best day in terms of face value, all time.  We’ll take it.  Who wouldn’t?

But, there’s more.  There always is.  This direction of grid towards the road seemed dead after the entry of the other day.  I was ready to call it a 25 silver site.  Then, I hit another hot zone, then more dead.  What’s happening, I think, is that in the hot zones, the bedrock is shallow, and in the dead zones, the bedrock is deep.  That’s been my digging experience.  So, it might not be a case of “what was going on in these hot zones”, but more a case of the “silver has sunk beyond detecting range” in the dead zones.  Who knows?  This still doesn’t explain the linear path of the silvers along my grid, which after a few hunts here, I’ve finally got going the right direction.

Weird and interesting site, but now seemingly dead in the direction of the grid towards the road.  Still have the direction of the silver thingy, and the old-timers halfs, and overall have covered only about 3% of the site (tho I feel by far the hottest section).  At 33, close to hitting my original call of 35, and blowing out my revised call of 25.  Could still end up be a honeyhole, tho, we’ll see, and lets hope so.

And lets see that shiny all cleaned up –

Nailed this one baby (and no, I didn’t nail that trainwreck from the other day, but at least kept my word not to edit it).  I like this one tho; I don’t think I’ll be editing it.

And besides, who has the time?  Tomorrow morning (and all day, and all weekend), is a Celtic festival I’ll be at, which will not only feature Barleyjuice (previously blogged about), but Brother and Albannach as well.   Tribal Celtic fusion.  Are you kidding me?   Too bad I don’t have the time to blog about the latter two, but google and download the sound.  You will not be disappointed.

Update On That Silver Thingy

Sitting at home watching the snow melt today. unbelievable that others were out detecting in the sleet and snow last night.  My feet get cold and my machine gets wacky.  Some people are certainly more hardcore that I am.

Anyway, I posted pics of that thingy from yesterday to my Facebook group.  Piece of a picture frame, piece or trim of a mirror, trim from a vanity (I don’t even know what a vanity is, but I imagine it is in the mirror space), were some of the guesses.  All sound reasonable to me.  Maybe there are many more pieces of it to be found; I found it very near the end of the day.  We’ll see.  I don’t have much luck on that sort of thing, but I did once find both of a pair of silver earrings.

More Silver

Alot goin’ on here.  Didn’t have time to think of a cool title, but the one we’ve got seems fine for a metal detecting blog, doesn’t it?  Lets try to nail this one without a tomorrow morning edit (cause who has the time?); here goes (can we do it in under 10 minutes? we’ll see) –

Running at 6 AM and the ground is rock hard frozen, and they are calling for a winter storm to hit around 2PM, so lets see if we can squeeze some dirt fishing in between.  Headed for the site of 01/31 which gave up a double (who wouldn’t, free of constraints?), and the ground was like chocolate pudding when I got there.  Rock on, baby!

As I recall from the last hunt, I pulled 9 silvers rather quickly, and as I tried to expand the grid further, pulled in a couple more, but it was a struggle.  Figured that direction was somewhat beat, but it didn’t have much to go to butt up against the area I figured was filled (from my prospecting at the first hunt at this site), so I decided to start off by closing that off, just to be anal.

And I pulled 2 silvers and 4 wheaties in the first 15 minutes.  Are you kidding me?  No question in my mind that I left a couple in the ground re my 01/31 entry due to the adrenaline of the prospect of a double (was swinging too fast, no doubt), but what is done is done.  Happy to take a 2 spot, cause silver coins are hard to find, and one silver day is a good day.

Closed off the grid against the contoured area which I’ve assumed is the fill, and not much happening ’til I got quite close, and got a deep 12-40, and to my surprise, pulled an Indian head.  I don’t pull too many Indian heads (this is only my career 25th, compared to 32 silvers just this year) for various reasons (some guys are excited by them; I’m not one of them, but I’ll leave that for another day).  The thing about this find was that it was kinda odd, cause a), its not an IH old kinda site (but anything built on 300 year old farmland is possible), and b) IH’s are usually at a quite lower CO number.  I’ll chalk it up to difficult TID at this site (more on that later, maybe, since this is a no edit take).  In any case, here it is, in all its beauty  (are you kidding me — some folks get excited about these; they obviously do not live in Chester County) (OK, enough editorializing; I know guys get on my shit for getting excited about 64 roses (and believe me, I do); to each their own)  –

So now I’m looking at a grid working out from a hot zone that seems dead in all directions, but got 2 sides going into hundreds and hundreds of acres of field, and one side going towards the road.  Which way would you go?

Duh?  Its actually a tough choice, cause the road is obvious, but, as such, the area by the road is obvious to the competition as well.  On the other hand, the great wide open fields are an obvious no go, but are so peaceful (and remember the story in my comments from the 01/31 entry; the prospect of finding the half dollars buried by the old timer, which are more in the field direction)..

So of course I go for the road direction, cause its trashier, and trash is your friend. If the detecting is hard, you have a better chance.  And while the grid in that direction was much more sparse than in the hot zone, I did manage to pull a merc (next to some sort of large high tone trash, which managed to mask it, I imagine, for some of the competition with machines with slower separation), giving me my third silver coin of the day.  Also pulled a 7.5 gram silver ring that was under a memorial penny.  Got it on the rescan (and it sounded like a silver Q; d’oh!).  Note to newbies — always rescan your holes.  Of course you do, don’t you?

But, there’s more.  Of course, there always is.  First, lets honor the promise to talk about target ID.  It was brutal.  It was random.  I dug 13 wheaties, and a hideous 17 memorial pennies.  Are you kidding me?  Many sounded quite sweet.  I also dug 5 clad dimes and one clad quarter.  Economists love looking at stats, and the first one that jumps out is just one clad Q against all those other coins.  That’s good — it shows I was lucky enough to hear high tones the competition was missing (one in 5 to one in 6 coins is normally a clad Q).  OTOH, clad and wheaties were sounding like silver in many cases, which is why I wasted so much of my precious day digging them.  I think what is happening is that the particular characteristics of this site (high particle mineralization), are adding to the target.  I was also digging plenty of high conductive coins (copper pennies), at FE numbers that did not drop lower than 25.  Just like the last time I was here, when I dug a silver dime with a high FE number.  Sometimes it just works out that way.  Beware, and be open minded when the site has weird ground.  Or, maybe it was my settings.  Or maybe the big unit. Or maybe the alignment of the planets.  Who knows?  Just be open minded and flexible, and most importantly, lucky.

So, the actual more for the “but, there’s more”, is this thing, a silver relic.  This was in the direction of the wide open fields when I got burnt out working the trashy direction towards the road.  I have no clue what it is, but it looks really old.  Firstly, its tarnished (and most of the coinage I’ve pulled here is not), and it is not stamped, which means it is older than 1905.  If you know what it is, please comment (fingers provided for perspective (sorry, had to say that :) )).

So, this today was my 24th silver coin from this site, ranking it 13th all time for me in terms of sites.  The interesting thing about sites that get to 21 silvers for me (the “possible honeyhole” level), they almost always get to the “honeyhole” level at 40 silvers.  Weird how that works, and why I have my levels where they are, but I’m still calling this a 25 silver site.  We’ll see, and hopefully it is more like a honeyhole.  That will take finding the old-timer’s buried halfs.  Good luck with that.

Nailed this one baby! (tho it took more like 20 minutes.  Maybe just start posting: here’s the silver; cause who has the time to both read and write this?).  Anyway, here are the cleaned finds (forgetting whatever that silver relic is, cause that was processed separately) –

Nice Day Today

Should have waited one more day to post, and avoided yesterday’s totally lame post, cause today we can just as easily do the same, but at least I was able to detect today, and this one involves silver.  Gotta love it, squeezing in the silver on the days you can.

Ground seemed to be thawing more, and as much as I am aching to get back to my 11 silvers on 1/31 site, I decided heading south or east was a good idea, and, given that I had errands in that direction anyway, in was the obvious choice for what was promising to be a mid 40s and sunny day, with thawed ground (at least in that direction).

Hit a site I last remember hitting in the fall of 2011.  This site is a bit of a shrine for me, as it played a big part in my longest consecutive silver streak (52 hunts a row), and I remember one day scrambling for hours at this site to keep the streak alive, and pulled it out with a merc with just 10 minutes left before I had to get back to work.   This is also the same town where I did 112 silvers in 17 days at a different site (and wrote it up for Minelab back in the fall of 2011), so the town is quite a shrine as well (that site ended up producing 140 silvers, and it is still not closed, tho it is probably mostly dead).  Needless to say, it is by far my largest producing municipality.  (Too bad I wasn’t blogging in those days; tho I did take copious notes and pics, and one day may write it up, but who has the time?).

Anyway, onto the detecting.  I proceeded to build out from the grid I built in the fall of 2011, but seemed to be dying out, as it was going from more dense to low density sections, but experience tells us that even these low density sections have the occasional random silver.

The mineralization was tough.  I could not get auto rec above 20.  I don’t remember this being a problem in the past at this site, but I could be wrong.  What I was getting was moderately deepish clads and wheaties (but no deep quarters) — deepish clad is usually a good tell.  Deep clad quarters usually an even better tell.  What this was telling me was that the big unit was getting deepish, small high tone targets that the competition was missing (the competition was obviously getting the deepish quarters), but, on the other hand, I was struggling to hit these targets (most of the signals were very iffy), and in fact, both the silver cross pendant and the merc and the clads were not extraordinarily deep (as these things go compared to other sites) — (tho I am certain the cross was on its side; not sure about the merc, cause I just pulled a deep pile of dirt onto my drop cloth, and there she was).  (If you managed to parse that massive run on, congrats!).

What this all lead to was conflicting thoughts.  Maybe I’m getting deeper stuff here that others missed.  OTOH, I was struggling on the deep ones (that didn’t really seem that deep in an absolute sense), so maybe the smaller pro coil is a better choice at a consistently highly mineralized site than the big unit.  It has never felt like an issue before, but it did today.  Too bad I didn’t have both so I could swap out and test (not that I would have wanted to — I’m both lazy and impatient, but the scientist in me wants to get this right),

Anyway, today’s merc puts this as a 20 silver site.  Not bad. Want to get back to my double digit site tho, so it may be a while before I’m back in this area.  Unfortunately, weather looks foul going forward, so we’ll see what happens next.

Well, I didn’t nail this one, but at least it won’t require the traditional next morning edit.

Still Frozen

Tried to get out for the first time this month today.  Valley Forge Park, were I run in the morning, seemed mostly thawed, which made me optimistic, but the site I went to today was totally frozen, which surprised me, since it has full, all day exposure to the sun.  I didn’t bother to try to go anywhere else around here, since there is a thin layer of snow everywhere, which suggests that it is still frozen everywhere.

Thought about hitting a tot lot today.  Haven’t done that since I was a newbie.  Still not that desperate, tho.  When is the last time anyone has found silver in a tot lot?  (Though, unbelievably, I found a V nickel in one when I was a newbie.  Are you kidding me?).

A few guys around here are getting out.  They’ve commented that the ground is not frozen where they are hunting.  I’m not sure where that is, but it must be to the east and south of me.  Some guys also dig the frozen dirt.  I’m not one of them.  I figure I’m gonna run out of silver producing sites sooner rather than later, so might as well enjoy them when it is 70 and sunny.

Supposed to be 50 today.  50 my curvy butt.  Lucky if we get above 39.  But its not gonna get too cold at night, so, if we can get the sun beating down for a few days, it might thaw this week.  In any case, may try to head east tomorrow to a couple sites I’ve worked pretty good, but have not finished, and a couple of prospective sites in the same township.  We’ll see.

So, I’ve spent the downtime working extensively on my music collection  — stressing over important issues such as whether, Elvis, Fine Young Cannibals, or Rusted Root has recorded the best version of Suspicious Minds, and which one to download.  In the unlikely event that you are a big music fan and spend alot of time working your collection, chime in on your opinion of that question (I gave my family a ear test on the question, and discussing the results turned out to be quite interesting).

And, if you don’t have a streaming service, and want a good one, use MOG.  If you click on this link and sign up (its free), I get even more free music (and like MLM, you can do the same).  Shameless incentivized promotion for sure, but what’s the harm?  Its fun to play along once in a while.

Well, this may be the last entry before the ground thaws and I actually find some silver again (unless I do a Wiz-War entry in the meantime, which is well overdue).

Double Digit Day Baby!

Yesterday I thought I had a chance at a double digit day, but didn’t come close.  Nailed it today tho, baby!

So, in yesterday’s entry, I tried to articulate (probably poorly), how my grid seemed to be running perpendicular to a hot zone.  That is, as I transected the grid across the piece of the site I thought was most promising, the silvers seemed to show up in a line at one particular place in the transect.

So, its like duh, why wouldn’t you just change your grid to run into the putative intersecting hot zone?  Easy to say, but it does take a couple of days of gridding to get a visual picture of the site, especially when the aerials and other research don’t give you any reason to believe in said putative linear hot zone.

So today was the day, brutally cold and windy, to set up a grid around the presumed hot zone.  And it worked.  Hot dog, baby!  Started at 10:30, and after I pulled my 6th silver, looked at my watch, and it was only 12:00.  Are you kidding me?  That’s a rare run rate, and I was too giddy to do the math.  You can’t get an adrenaline like this from other games (at least the ones I’ve played).  Not only that, after I looked at my watch, pulled my 7th on the day just 5 minutes later.  Are you kidding me?

At that point is was 2 Q’s and 5 mercs, giving me a dollar day, which are rare enough, but I wanted a double.   I mean, it was only noon after all (and I skipped lunch, being on this roll, wouldn’t you?).

And it wasn’t much longer before I pulled a another merc and a rosie, the latter of which didn’t come in with an FE number lower than 25 on the E-Trac.  Its the sort of target many would not have dug, and I may have been among them, except it had that sound and that precise pinpoint, and the ground is rough, so you gotta pull it, especially when you are on a roll, and the adrenaline is flowing and the prospect of a double is in the air.  9 at this point, baby.

But the 10th took some work.  I was getting a ton of good high tones, but they turned out to be high tone trash, wheates, or a stray clad.  I know I was swinging too fast, as the adrenaline was pumping.  I kept saying to myself: SLOW DOWN!  You have an E-Trac.  If you see the coil is moving, you are swinging too fast.

Then I got some good luck that looked like bad luck at first.  A local came over to talk to me.  I generally don’t like it when people come up to talk to me (always the prospect of park people or some asshole with a ‘tude), but it actually almost always ends well in my experience, and this was no exception.  I hope to have more to write about this local’s conversation later (as it was way cool), but the proximate effect was to slow me down, and get me to stop thinking about the double.

And at 1:24, I got a beautiful deep 11-47 which I was certain was a deep silver Q, and turned out to be my first walker of the season.  10 silvers in less than 3 hours!  Are you kidding me?  And wait ’til you see this walker.  Nothing trumps the site of deep, big silver in the hole.

Got another rosie a bit later for my 11th of the day, and as I moved away from the linear hot zone, got not much more on the day.  I was, at this point, moving towards a section that previous prospecting suggested was dry, and it was.  And it sounded that way.  The cold biting wind, and 11 silvers pulled gave me a nice excuse to call it a day.

21 from this site now.  I’m gonna downgrade it to a 25 site from a 35 site, however, as there is no evidence of anything outside this narrow band, and the endpoints of the band seem tapered.  What you do is try to construct why a site is as it is from the evidence, use the reconstruction to guide your detecting, and find more silvers based on this reconstruction (an article on this, called “flow paradigms”, seems appropriate, but is for another day).  But, its a huge site, so maybe more than the estimate will be forthcoming.  We’ll see.  And, I have not clue why there is this strip of silvers across a huge site.  I’m still expecting some scattereds, but it will take some patience working more low density areas.

A note on the weather.  It was brutal.  A cold, icy wind.  But when you have a 6 silver day yesterday, and belief in more from the site, and are getting them, you have to do it.  You tough it out.  Who wouldn’t?

But wait, there’s more.  When you drop a double, the adrenaline doesn’t let up, and you feel the need to keep writing.  In this case, it is actually a tip, which I meant to post yesterday, (and yeah, its more on noise cancel, but here it is):  If you get an iffy target, go as close to the target as you can to get a clean threshold, do a noise cancel, then go back over the target.   Most times, the target will ID better.  The principle here is that you wan the channel that works best in the local target’s dirt.  Try it.  It works (at least for me, in our highly variable soil).

So, lets look at that shiny cleaned up, and then that beautiful walker (which, unfortunately, seems a bit out of focus).

Well, I didn’t nail this one, but when you have a day like today, sometimes you just don’t care, baby!

The Big Unit is Back

Yesterday was the first day I was able to test my replacement big unit.  It was warm (58 degrees), but the ground was still frozen solid (that happens after 10 days of sub 20 weather).

I went to a park with a large hunted out field, just to make sure I heard the blissful sound of threshold hum and the occasional clad, then into the woods at the same park to some ruins that have produced 3 of my best 30 finds; an extremely difficult, iron infested site. (and come to think of it, I’m not sure any other site can claim 3 of my top 30 finds).

Anyway, the coil purred like a kitten in the hunted out section, and seemed to work acceptably in the difficult section, tho I found nothing of note in either place.  At least I was able to get the test out of the way on a throw away day with the ground frozen.  Why do coils go bad?  Who knows? I hope this one doesn’t go bad like the last one.

Anyway, today was the big test, to see if the new big unit could score silver at a site marked as a prospective honeyhole, where the pro coil scored 4 silvers on 1/17.  Its a difficult site to work: the mineralization is brutal, and there is lots of iron, so you are constantly wondering about iron falses vs mucked up deep silvers.  But it was 66 degrees today, so you have to give it a go, don’t you?

And it did not go well initially.  The first hour produced little, just three clads, and lots of chatter from the coil.  But, the coil sounded like it usually does at hard sites with the man cranked, tho I was wondering if the pro coil might have been a better choice for the site, given the smaller footprint in the high mineralization, and given that it found 4 silvers last time.

But I have faith in the big unit (when it is working), and my faith was eventually rewarded with a merc and a worn barber right next to each other (no doubt the same event).  Not only that, scored a couple of rosies in the next half hour to complete the trifecta in just 2 hours, all before lunch.  Are you kidding me?  I rarely get trifectas.  At this point, I’m looking at a 2 per hour site, and thinking double digit day.

But it was not to be.  After lunch it went slowly, I pulled another merc and then a Q just near the end of the day.  Total of 6 silvers in 4.5 hours.  Any time you can get 1 per hour plus is fantastic, but that special experience of the rarefied air of a 2 per hour honeyhole was not to be, at least not today.

I’m not sure what to think of the site going forward.  Its produced 10 silvers in 2 hunts, but it is hard to read.  I already wrote about the possibly filled section on 1/17.  All of the silvers were sort of in a line, which my rectangular (and perpendicular) grid transected.  The obvious thing is to grid along that line, rather than perpendicular to it, but why are all the silvers in a line like that?  Who knows?  Who knows what the site has going forward.  Still sounding like a 5-35 silver site.  Its huge, but the area producing the silvers is quite small.  We’ll see, if the weather holds up.

One more note on the big unit.  Dug just 5 wheaties today.  Gotta love it.  The previously blogged entries here before the ground froze using the pro coil noted a large uptick in wheaties relative to silvers.  While any economist will tell you that this is not a large enough sample size, just anecdotally we see an uptick in wheaties with the pro coil, and a downdick with the big unit.  Its simple.  While I’m not ready to claim the big unit gives better depth, I am willing to claim that it give better TID at depth, allowing us to leave those wheaties for the competition (and I did that today, choosing not to dig several of them, that I doubt I would have had the confidence to ignore with the pro coil).  My stats since using this coil bear this out.  I just hope that its does not go bad.

Ok, enough intellectual BS.  Gotta see that shiny cleaned up; may be quite a while before I drop another sixspot.

New Coil

Got my replacement Detech 13 today.  Nice one KellyCo — no hassles on getting me the replacement at all.

Of course, I can’t use it.  They are saying warmer weather early next week, but I’m not sure it will be enough for the ground to thaw; we’ll see.

My concern is that there is an underlying problem with the engineering of this coil, and it may go bad as well.  Only time will tell.  I once owned a non Minelab machine, and went thru two bad coils on that machine due to systemic engineering issues, and called it a day with that coil, that machine, and that company.  I do not have alot of tolerance for products that fail.  I hope it was just bad luck with my first Detech 13, and not a systemic problem.  If it does fail, I’m not sure what I’ll do for a large coil — maybe a big SEF (also made by Detech, but I’ve never heard of any issues with it).

Last Hunt For a While

Looks like I’m done for a while.  They say we won’t be above 30 or for a couple of weeks, and may be getting a big snowstorm.  That’s just as well, I guess, got out today for the first time since Friday, and it was miserable cold.   Ground is starting to freeze — in that state now where the first inch or so is frozen — won’t be long ’til its all rock hard.

Today’s hunt was lousy, 5 wheaties and nothing shiny.  Its a close by site — wanted to go to Friday’s site, but it is far and didn’t want a long drive in case it snowed today.  Today’s site was one I discovered over Christmas week, and have yet to get a silver out of, tho I think I have at least 10 wheaties there.  This is a place one of my acquaintances told me he worked hard for a period of 2 months and dug everything, so I am determined to get a silver out of there, more for curiosity’s sake than anything else.  So far, it looks like he did get them all (the main part is totally dead so far), tho I am getting some deep high tones around the edges of the site.

We’ll see, might be a month or more before I am out there again, and this is a low priority project for when I need something close.

17 Straight

Alot goin’ on here.  Lets try to nail it.  Not too optimistic on that score, but we’ll see.

First off, the title refers to a hideous statistic that dates back to my last entry (1/15), and that is 17 straight wheaties dug without a silver coin.  Are you kidding me?  Hell could not be worse.

On 1/15, we dug a merc, then 8 wheaties, then whined about it (wouldn’t you?).  Rained on 1/17, had to work most of the day 1/18, but found some time to get out to a local park I’ve never been to, and would never plan to be to, except that it was close, and had not the time to travel far, so I hit it up, and dug 4 more wheaties.  Site has promise actually, given the deep high tones I dug, but it is a project for another day.

But today it was 34 degrees and windy, the perfect day to stay inside, except when driving home from Tuesday’s site, I drove by a field and said to myself — that’s a 25-75 silver site.  Finally I had a day to attack it (after spending the rainy day Wednesday at the court house to see if the site was public property), and attack it today I did, in 6 layers (those who read me know I consider 80 degrees cold; I’m in my comfort zone at 95 and humid).

But it did not start well.  I found only 2 coins in the first hour, a wheatie and a clad dime.  But the wheatie was good, I guess.  The one thing I did notice was that the ground was lumpy, and this was supposed to be an old baseball field (yeah, I cheated, there is more to the game than just driving by, I looked at the old aerials as well).  Baseball fields aren’t lumpy, so I figured the evil fill and grade twins had been here (well, just fill in this case), so I focused my attention right along the road where some old trees were.  Fill and grade don’t mess with those).  When I was nailing deep clad there, I surmised the problem with the baseball field area was indeed fill and grade, rather than that hunted, and his sister out, had paid a visit.  I was in business (at least in terms of solving part of the site).

The trick was to find a part of the site where fill and grade hadn’t been, and with alot of terraced grading at the site, you just use your detector and listen for high tones.  Eventually I got a section where there were some more wheaties (4 more to be exact), giving me 17 in a row with no silver, but at least the ground seemed natural (or more accurately, graded before the silver era usage).

Finally, I got me an 11-45 which I knew was a silver (it had “that sound”, as E-Trac users know), then another, then the Q.  Are you kidding me?  17 wheaties in a row, then 3 silvers.  Yes, I was “due”, but economists/statisticians will tell you that that is “gambler’s fallacy” to be “due”, but well take it.  Not only that, pulled a 5 gr silver ring as the next target (yeah, there are 4 silver coins in the pic, hopefully I’ll close that off, we’ll see).

So, of course you are going to set up a grid in this area, (after the first hour produced just 2 coins in a different area), and that went ok.  I pulled 9 more wheaties, and as the final target of the day, another rosie (which is the 4th rosie in the above pic).  14 wheaties and 4 silvers on the day, coupled with 12 wheaties and 1 silver over the previous 2 days.  Ouch.  I want my new Ultimate 13 (tho, admittedly, most of this ratio failure is not the fault of the pro coil, but due to prospecting (where we dig more wheaties than normal at new sites), and brutal mineralization at the current site (where TID fails so you have to dig em all), and just bad luck (I guess, anyway, or lack of focus/distraction due to the brutal cold wind).

At least a couple of the wheaties were old (a ’10 and a ’17).

Going forward, this site is huge, but the best part appears to have been filled.  I’m downgrading it to a 5-25 silver site, we’ll see.  (Too bad it looks like the ground will freeze next week; might be a while before we get back).

As for the rest of this entry, was gonna do some killer Friday Afternoon Album entries, but I’m shot.  And of course, this entry is way to long as it is, but I mostly nailed it.  Just have to drop a cleaned up pic of that shiny, cause its my first multi day of the year.

Wheatie Fest

Went to a new site today, an old park in the middle of nowhere.  The village it is in is very small, but it has a baseball field on the old aerials, so you never know.

As expected, density was an issue, as I pulled only 2 coins in the first hour of hunting.  At least one of them was a merc — nice to see a merc for a change.  Decided to set up a grid around where I found the merc, and pulled 8 wheaties and no more silver.  Are you kidding me?  Talk about a ratio killer.  And the frustrating thing is that some of them sounded quite good.  One was an 09-48 which I figured for a slam dunk silver Q (turns out there was a pull tab piece in the hole, and I was getting that adding effect due to my deep on, fast off setting).

Outside the wheaties, pulled just 4 other clads, for a total of 13 coins in 4 hours.  And this is a public park.  Talk about low density.  The site is rather large, and just screams for my big unit, which is on its way to KellyCo.  I think this site needs to be tabled ’til I get a new one back, tho I don’t get terribly excited about a 1 in 4 hour site.  Can’t judge a site on just one hunt, tho.

Coil Troubles

Its been a rough few days.  Friday was a rough hunt, as previously blogged, no detecting Saturday, but Sunday I decided at the last minute to go to a group hunt.  It was supposed to be 60 degrees, after all.  Who wouldn’t want to be out detecting?

I had low hopes for the hunt, given that the site was 800 acres of mostly nothing (fields and woods), with old cultural features sprinkled in for those who did the research.  I didn’t do the research, cause I didn’t think I was gonna go, but decided to go just for the social aspect.  Its fun to hang with 50 local detectorists, after all, even if you find nothing.

I found nothing, despite finding several old cultural features, and giving them quite an intense go.  I did find a big pile of metal detecting trash that some other asshole dropped at one of them; no wonder the hobby is banned by park people.

I think about 5 people, maybe a couple more, found a silver or copper.  I wasn’t one of the 10-20% on this day.  Is it skill or luck?  I dunno, all I can say is that those who did find something are people who I consider skillful.  They found what they found near cultural features.  Not like finding a random reale in the middle of a 100 acre field (I’ve actually done that, cause what I generally do is luck).  So, skill takes the day, and it wasn’t me.   (I did find a clad dime in the middle of a 100 acre field on the day, talk about a sort of ironic luck, if there is such a concept).

So, I left, not cause I wasn’t finding anything, and knew I wouldn’t find anything, but cause it was too damn cold, and some of my friends were leaving as well.  60 my curvy butt.  45 tops, and a cold 45 at that, with fog, mist, clouds, and drizzle.

But after lunch I decided to hit a backup site, and that is when things went from miserable to worse.  I kept getting CO 01 on pretty much everything.  It was constant.  Even when holding the coil in the air.  I was finding clad, but nothing deep.  I wondered about a coil or machine issue.

I moved to a backup backup site, and it was even worse.  I went to a third site 5 miles away, more of the same — constant low tones at CO 01, no matter what you do.  I went to a site 5 minutes from my house that I know very well, and is totally hunted out (cause I was the one who hunted it out), and the dirt is very clean and there is no EMI, and tested the machine there, still the same.  Some part of my rig failed.  No wonder I couldn’t find anything.

Monday, swap out the big unit Ultimate 13 for the stock coil, and she’s purring again.  Hit a nice deep target which I figure is either a wheatie or bottlecap, and put the big unit back on, and its as quiet as a mouse.   Nails the bottlecap with better TID than the stock coil, and I figure my coil troubles are behind me.

Decide to then go hunt a police station to test the coil (wouldn’t you?  Ok, that was totally random, but that’s what happened. Think about it — they are generally public property and part of the municipal park system, and sometimes in old buildings, and who is gonna bother you?  Its not like you are skulking from the cops (and, in my experience, police officers tend to be very interested in MD’ing).  (And besides, one of my best all time finds was at a police station). They also tend to be very trashy, cause not many people hunt them, and it seemed the perfect place to stress test the possibly dysfunctional coil.

But, the coil seemed to work fine, until it didn’t.  Got a rosie and a couple of wheats at the police station, but then the machine went haywire, in a sort of different way (not just constant low tones, but all sorts of tones).  Since the site was so trashy, it was hard to tell what was going on, so I decided to move on to a hunted out park to eliminate some of the uncertain variables and work on my machine again.

(Why do I bother?  Its not even in focus.  And we’ve all seen rosies before.  I should just cycle the same stock rosie pic).

And at the hunted out park, the coil was toast.  Constant low tones even while holding it in the air.  The stock coil was fine (and I’ll tell you, it is a pain in the ass to switch them for these tests).  I found a nice deep wheatie with the stock coil, which the Ultimate 13 could barely hear.  Ouch.  This may explain the issues I wrote about Friday.

Well, I had a high opinion of the Ultimate 13, but it seems it went bad on me, so I have to withdrawal all previous opinions for now.  KellyCo says send it back and they’ll send me a new one, so I may soon be writing about KellyCo’s service (good or bad, depending on how it goes, and right now, I’m expecting it to be good).  I still like the Ultimate 13, and what I’ve found with it, and hope a new one restores my confidence.

So, for now, its back to the pro coil.

Oh my, totally missed this one, should have done a Friday afternoon album instead, or relayed some conversations with my competition about parks we have both hunted recently (which was totally interesting).  But sometimes you just have to document what is going on, as tedious as it is.

Everything but the Girl

Frustrating hunt yesterday, and my first of the year without scoring a silver.  And I felt like I got everything right, too.  Was hitting deep wheaties, deep clad, bottlecaps, even a couple of deep 200 year old copper buckles, all the tells you could want, but sometimes you just don’t get the girl.  Oh well.

Based on getting 6 wheaties, I should have gotten 2 silvers, and that is what I expected when the hunt started.  I did, by far, get the most deep coins yesterday of any hunt here (digging 8-9 inch clad is frustrating, cause it can sound so good), and more diligent channel management seems to be helping, but, I think I’ll give this site a rest for a while, and look for greener pastures.  I’ll come back someday, as there are still some edge/out of box sections to do.

I did pull a small (1.5 gr) sterling silver ring as a consolation prize.

Under a Rock

Yesterday back to the same site as the previous days, and gave equal time to the older section where I found the copper, and the graded section near the ball field where the modern silvers were.

Not much near where copper was except for a couple of wheaties, but scored a 1940 Q near the ball field.  Nice to get a silver other than a rosie this year.

It was under this rock, which isn’t a huge rock, but but you wonder how a coin dropped in the 50s sinks under a rock (that is literally older than dirt), at all.  Get a pot of dirt, put a quarter on it, put a rock 3 inches down directly under it, sit it on your kitchen table, and check it in 50 years.  Bet the quarter is still on the top.

But out there, the way coins (and rocks), move and shift around it amazing.  (I once found a wheatie directly under a 4×6 inch rock (1 inch thick) in an area I believe has never been disturbed).  Its not intuitive, but I have theories on why this happens.  And I also have theories on how understanding this (or at least thinking you understand it), can help your detecting.  I don’t have time to write it all up, but the executive summary is coins won’t sink as far in shady areas, and areas where the grass is old and unhealthy, and rocky areas.  My results bear this out — I do much better where the grass is weaker than where there is a thick, healthy carpet (part of the dynamic is the fact that grass decomposes to soil, earthworms, grubs, burrowing mammals, water/ice, and so forth play in the dynamic also.  All for another day).

One thing for today is more on noise cancel, tho. I can’t reiterate how important this is on the E-Trac (at least around here).  I went about 45 minutes yesterday without digging a single target.  Of course the site is sparse, and I do not like to dig, cause digging is expensive, but that was ridiculous.  I even dropped my digger over the coil to make sure the machine was still working.

Eventually I got a real crappy CO 27 to 37 at about 4 inches, not likely to be anything good, but I needed to dig something, and it turned out to be a wheatie at 4 inches, in decent shape.  Are you kidding me?  Got something similar nearby, this time I remembered to noise cancel, and it came in loud and clear, like it should.  Shifted back to the old channel, and it was a crap signal.  I know this stuff matters, but I haven’t seen such a stark case in a while, as I am usually pretty good about it.  Maybe it was something local to the site.

I usually noise cancel about 20-30 or so times a hunt, but I made a conscious effort to do so more often yesterday, including on each iffy target.  I probably NC’d about 40-50 times, and it helped.  I was hitting deep ones moreso than other days at the site (too bad they were all very deep clad.  Grrr) and dug more coins today than any other day here.  Now, who is to know it is not a shift in density?  You don’t without more scientific method outside the couple of targets I did do, but its not.  Noise cancel and channel management matters on the E-Trac.

Well, too bad I couldn’t turn it into a multi-silver day.  5 hunts here recently (6 overall), and just one silver each.  But, any silver day is a good day.

Got My Oldie Today

Yesterday I speculated about the possibility of pulling an old coin from the sparsely-targeted 50s park I’m working due to finding a couple of old flat buttons.

The past couple of hunts there, I’ve found a couple of rosies near the baseball field, but fill and grade were there in the 50s when they built the field, so I wasn’t expecting much older than that there.  Further out, in the more naturally contoured section, I found the flat buttons.  Being that this section is closer to a road that I believe is at least 200 years old, I decided to focus there and hope to score an oldie (and still score some more modern silver, as that was part of the park in the 50s as well), rather than work closer to the ball field.

It seemed like a mistake.  I spent nearly 4 hours in older flat button section, gridding it carefully, and got bupkis.   I got some constructive stuff, like deep clad and deep bottlecaps (those that read me know there is nothing better than finding deep bottlecaps (other than the goods themselves, of course)), but nada in the old coin department.  I couldn’t even muster a wheatie.  I decided to do one more rank of the grid, and if I don’t get a least a wheatie in that rank, I’m going elsewhere.

I did get a wheatie just at the end of that rank, but decided to go elsewhere anyway.  I hit the embankment by the ballfield, cause I love hunting embankments, but there was nada there as well.  This place is sparse.  I then went thru some bushes and across a creek to an “out of the box section” which doesn’t really look like park property (but is), cause I do well in these situations sometimes, and it is clear this zone hasn’t been hunted much due to the trash, but it is also clear why — no deep high tones other than a lone 60s penny. (This section merits further exploration on another day, tho).

Then I decide to just meander (I don’t like doing this cause its inefficient), and I hit a very deep rosie between the tot lot and the ballfield.  Are you kidding me?  Maybe sometimes I outthink myself, cause that is generally the last area I hit cause it is always harder hit by everyone else.  But, there was a silver there.  Maybe there are more.  Who knows?  I don’t think so, but we’ll see.

That area is obviously now high on my list, but there wasn’t the time to set up a new grid to work with my old grid (I keep all the grid points in my head, and it is too much to start new sections that I can’t complete before going back to work), so I decide to go back to the old section and just add on until I have to go, and I get bupkis again.

With not enough time to complete another rank before I have to leave, I just start meandering back towards the parking lot thru the old section, and hit a beautiful deep high tone bouncy signal.  Didn’t think it was a silver cause it was a bit low (CO 42, more ore less, but some bounce into the silver range), figured it could be an exotic silver, but was most likely a wheatie or deep memorial. (This was the zone that gave up a clad quarter at 8 inches yesterday).

Turned out to be an 1822 largie on its side at 5 inches.  I knew there would be old coins in this section.  The trick is to get a silver this old.  Here’s hoping, not likely.  But, at least we got our first copper of the season.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Well, the weekend sucked.  Was actually warm enough around here to detect, but I dealt with a plumbing crisis all weekend instead.  I rarely get out on weekends, but thought I’d have the chance this time. Oh well.

But today I got out to the same site as Friday, the 50s park with sparse targets where I found a rosie and a copper flat button.  And today, I managed a another rosie and a copper flat button.

The differences were that it was warmer today, and I spent more time out there.

Any hunt with silver is good, but in all honesty, it was a frustrating hunt.  Got the silver early, and then just not even much hope.  I dug a total of just 4 coins in the 2 hours after the silver.  No one, of course, likes digging clad, but just a few more deep ones to break the monotony and give my tendinitis a rest would have been nice.

Did have one heart stopper — after the flat button, which again gives you the hope of a real oldie, cause its was mid-high tone one, I got a beautiful 8 inch deep silver quarter signal just 2 feet away.  Turned out to be a 1969 clad Q.  Are you kidding me?  Talk about dashing hopes.  And the flat button was only about three inches deep.

I don’t know about coming to this park, its only 50s, but there are reasons to believe a real oldie could be hiding here, but I feel like I’m waiting for Godot on that.  I will say that I’ve gotten one silver coin each time I’ve been here, but it feels like pulling teeth.

BTW, the button has a back mark.  Near as I can tell from some half-hearted googling, dates from the 1820-1860 range, tho I am certainly no expert on these things.

Another Frigid Rosie

Got out today to a small park in a neighborhood that was built in the 50s.  Not my first choice, but I was in the area due to other business.  And besides, in each of the previous two trips, this park has surrendered a silver coin, so it is not a hopeless cause (this is the same site where I found a merc on 12/17 (and, no doubt, wrote a very similar entry at the time)).  My theory is that I’m not going to invest time in a new site, which may require permission, and may require return permission, both of which may be awkward, when the weather is miserable and unpredictable.

Today, however, the weather was predictable: it was miserable.  Cold and windy, and the ground was frozen.  Not the sort of rock hard frozen where you need a jackhammer, sort of the frozen like hard ice cream, where you can work a plug if you really want to, but it is a pain in the ass.

Well, I got me a rosie and a copper flat button.  Nine out of ten detectorists would prefer the flat button.  I’m the 10th.  For me, its about seeing the shiny in the hole, that experience.  Puzzle solved.  But the flat button is cool.  It even has the loop intact.  It gives you the hope of finding an old silver, cause it was a high tone target that is at least 200 years old.  Around here, pretty much everything has been farmland since the early 1700s, so you just never know.

I did succumb to the weather with an hour and a half left to hunt.  Oh well.  It wasn’t fun freezing my ass off.  If someone who takes things more seriously than myself and is willing to freeze gets the shiny, that’s life I guess.

On the Board in 2013

Just a barely legal rosie yesterday, at a ballfield that gave up a couple of ’62 rosies near the end of last year.  Site dates at least to the 50s, but has been hunted hard.  Its trashy tho, and while that defends some silver, it also mucks with the TID, leading to the inefficiency of digging deep clad.  I had many deep ones that sounded like silver but were clad dimes, sounding good due to the additive effects of nearby trash.  Unfortunately, you have to dig ‘em.

This site isn’t high potential, but its here for now.  Cold winter hunting is sort of throwaway in some sense, cause I don’t know if I’ll feel like going out, or how long I’ll stay out.  The cold did get to me, and I left an hour and a half early to do some errands, and get back to work.  Today looks even colder, so I don’t think I will go out.

Year End Summary

Well, the season ended a bit early this year,  with 4 inches of snow on Saturday.  I was able to get out for a few hours on Friday, to a site that I thought could be quite good, a park behind an old office building that was a high school in the 1920s (a similar site gave me 65 silvers last year, one of my better sites), but it was totally cleaned out, filled/graded, or both.  All I found was a handful of wheats right along the road.

Anyway, 380 silvers for the year, which is down from 516 from last year, but still not bad.  14 of them were silver half dollars, which is pretty good.  3 of them were Barber halves, the oldest being a 1894S.  4 of them were reales, 2 2 reales, 1 1 reale, and 1 half reale.  I had 4 double digit silver days this year.

I did set personal record on coppers, digging 29.  My old record was 19.  All other totals were down from last years blowout year: clad, wheaties, silver blings, and so forth.  I did dig 2 gold blings, which was the same as last year.  My efficiency ratios were up tho: 6.86% of coins dug where silver, and wheaties to silvers was 2.13 (both personal records).  Maybe that is a result of using the Ultimate 13 coil, which I really like.

Well, economists love numbers and stats, but that’s enough of that I guess.  I did find four new types this year for me: liberty capped half cent, draped bust half cent, draped bust large cent, and a franklin half.  I now have 34 old coin types out of 58 (ok, I lied, one more number).

My biggest disappointment was finding only one seated coin, and no bust silver.  That stuff is hard to find, tho, at least for me.

As for goals for next year, kinda a stupid idea.  You can’t control how many sites are left, how many have been filled, graded, or hunted out.  All you can do is try to get out as much as you can to high potential sites, and attempt good research, so that what I’ll try.  The nominal goal is always 30 silvers a year, cause they are hard to find, and get harder each year.  I do know I will certainly have to do more door knocking.

So, here are some of my better finds of 2013 –


Christmas Present

Got a new digger for Christmas, which is the same as my old digger, except that it still has all its inches.  Its amazing how these things wear down.  The one on the top is less than a year and a half old, and has lost a little over an inch in that time.

I haven’t been out in about a week due to the weather and the holidays, and doubt I will be again this year, but we’ll see.  I’d like to get one or two more hunts in to try to snag a year end silver.

Muddy and Cold Silver

Today was what we call a throwaway hunt; I had an appointment in a different town that I don’t know well, and know of only one producing site in the area (and have no time to do research), so I always hit the site when in the area.  Its very, very large, and very, very sparse, and rarely gives up the goods, but has given up 2 silver dimes.  I keep a graph paper notebook of all my in progress sites, and add a bit to the grid each time I go, and that is what I did today.

Problem was we had standing water on good parts of the site due to torrential rain last night, and where there wasn’t standing water, it was a muddy mess to dig any target.  To top it off was a hard chill wind at 40 degrees, and snow flurries.  It was miserable.  What we do for silver.

I stopped the grid a after a few ranks, cause I didn’t really feel like digging targets, and I wasn’t finding anything anyway, and freestyled about the site a bit, still finding nothing.  I hate freestyling (except when visiting a site for the first time), cause it is inefficient, and working a grid provides greater discipline — in particular, it forces you to go slow, and you need to go slow to get the deep iffy silvers.

I decided to pack it in, cause I wasn’t having fun, and had some work to do, but noticed an embankment that I’ve never worked before.  I love embankments, they often give up the goods when the surrounding site is dead — and this one did not disappoint: a 1941 merc and a couple of wheaties.

Pretty Fly For a Silver Guy

Ok, that title was pretty lame, but check this out.  Dug one of the more bizarre things I’ve ever dug yesterday (Wed), a large (13.5 gram) sterling silver fly broach.  Even used to have a stone in it at one time, but it is prolly lost in the hole somewhere.

Who would wear something like that?  Who knows?

This was at one of my better sites, a site that has given up 124 silver coins.  I never really finished it off, but all the unworked zones never seemed to have shown any promise, but I figured I’d give them one more try since I had a bigger coil and more skill.

One of those zones did give up a rosie the day before (Tue), but this was an extremely tough zone to work — it was a very steep embankment.  You wonder why anyone would have ever been on it, but you work it anyway, cause it prolly has never been worked before (especially given the number of silvers found in the hot part).  Tons of high tone trash here, it had definitely never been worked, but it only contained 3 coins.  I worked hard for that silver, cause not only was it steep, it was muddy, and I kept sliding down.

Today I had millions of Christmas errands, including buying some beer for the holidays from my favorite brewery, which put me in a town where I’ve never found one stinkin’ silver coin, despite a few old sites and many, many, attempts.  I just figured the whole town was hunted out — its possible if you live there, and work each site the way I work sites.

But I was there, and there are still some sites I’ve never tried, and I hit one of them today, and, fortunately, the entire town isn’t hunted out, as I scored two rosies and 4 wheaties in short order.  One of the rosies was affected by iron, the type you need an E-Trac with see thru turned on to see, in all honesty.  All of the wheaties were tough and in trash.  The other rosie was a slam dunk, which is nice.  Otherwise, the site seemed pretty hunted out, as there was little easy clad, but it is large, and very trashy, so there is hope for skillful working to squeeze a couple more out.  Dunno when that will happen, as its Christmas stuff and winter weather (or so they tell me), from this point on.

So, it looks like we’ll fall a bit short of 400 silvers this season, assuming I don’t get out much more, but we’ll take this season, of course.  If I don’t have anything more to post the rest of the year, I’ll at least post a recap of my season on New Year’s Eve (assuming the world hasn’t ended, since it is already 12-21-12 in parts of it).

HH and Happy Holidays!

Merc Today

Well, the 4 hunt slump was broken today with a ’41 merc.  Certainly not stunning silver, but we’ll take it.  Despite my almost unbelievable success over the past few years, it remains true that silver coins are still really hard to find, as the recent slump reminds me.  We’ll take it.

The site is a baseball field built in the 1950s in a small development built at the same time.  The last time I was at this site was Nov of 2010 when I pulled a dateless SLQ, and my notes said the site was dead.  And it was; the SLQ was about the only target I found, more of a circumstantial target than a systemic one. Not a site I would normally seek out aggressively, but I had a doctor’s appt in that municipality today, and the municipality in question is my second best overall (yeah, I track silver by municipality; IMHO that is by far the most important stat I track).

Whatever.  It may be a 4-5 silver site, and I got 2 of ‘em now.  Doesn’t solve the “need a new site problem”.  Not sure when I’ll be back to this site or solve the “new site problem”, we’ll see.


I am in quite a slump, having hunted all week without finding a single silver coin.

Tuesday and Wednesday at the same site that gave up 2 silvers last Friday, which I thought had the potential to be a monster site, simply dudded.  Someone better than me had cleaned it out.

Thursday was at an old park in a new town (for me, anyway), that likewise seemed hunted out.  Problem was the bedrock was very shallow, meaning coins could not sink, meaning no advantage for my big unit and E-Trac.  I did find an abused Indian head there (which I don’t get excited about), and there is likely a couple silvers there if I had more patience, I just don’t.

Today (Friday), was a hunt at a church from the 1740s I got permission to hunt.  The churchyard was totally hunted out, not a single high tone to be had anywhere, and I gave it a good three hours.  There is alot more to this story (as those who may have read the pre-edited version know), but that’s that.

In the field behind the church, I did find a liberty cap half cent, my first ever of this type of coin.  Its totally abused.  You can make out that it is a liberty cap half cent in person, tho I could not get a photo that shows it really.  Too bad it isn’t in passable condition; it would be quite a find for me, and something to feel good about during this silver slump.

Woods Hunt

Family is doing a mall crawl (something I will not do under any circumstances, especially this time of year), so I got to do some detecting this morning.  I may even get to tomorrow morning if it doesn’t rain.

Anyway, a member of our Facebook club put together a hunt for this morning, it was an hour and a quarter drive for me, but I decided what the hell, I just wanted to meet some of the other people.

I had no time to do any research on the site, and had no idea where to go, so I just started milling around these woods more or less where everyone else was, and was finding nothing.  As far as I could read the terrain, the woods were second growth (reclaimed farmland), so it was like hunting a farm field.  I couldn’t even get iron nulls, and if you ain’t gettin’ that, the odds of getting anything else at an old site are between slim and none.

Eventually I did find where an old house was, you can tell from the domestic vegetation, bricks, and so forth, and most importantly, constant iron nulls.  So I focused there for quite some time, carefully gridding, and still got nothing but junk.  I did have one heart pounding moment when I found a small ceramic jar with a metal lid, I says, ok here is my first cache, but it was empty.

I was about 2 hours in, and still had not found a single coin or other keeper.  These sorts of hunts can be like this, and more often than not they are for me.

Burnt out on constant nulling/TTF, I decided to go into the purer woods from the homesite grass for some peace, got a 12-43 which I figured was a wheatie or a copper, but it turned out to be an abused 1919 merc.  Are you kidding me?  Just randomly in the woods when the homesite turned up bupkis.

Then I found an old road bed, and this was something worth focusing on, and I hit a spill of a wheatie and a 1946 Q.  On the board with my second silver of the day.  Two ahead of what I expected.  There was also a huge hunk of iron in the hole.  First I got the iron, and I said, are you kidding me?  I hear silver in here.  Scanned again, got the wheatie.  Scanned again, got the Q.

Found another old roadbed and got another weird signal, but I heard silver in there.  I pulled out of that hole 2 coppers fused together, a silver dime (1913 Canadian), and a huge hunk of iron.

The above pic shows the coppers fused together.  I cannot identify either one.  Here is a side view of the fusion –

After forcing the coppers apart, I still can’t identify them.  Since they were shallow, were in a hole with a Canadian dime, and rang a little light  (12-40 range), I’m think the possibility is that they are Canadian large cents (tho some early 1800 American LCs have been pulled from this site by others), who knows?  The one with the X looks like it has a bust, the other looks like a mirror image of that bust.  The one with the X also looks like it has the LC wreath on the back.  I’ll never know; scored as unidentifiables/smoothies.

One final thought on the iron.  At sites like this, it seems if you are not getting lots of iron junk, your odds of a silver or copper are low (occasionally you get a random one in the woods for fields, but that is rare, at least for me).

Below is the iron I had to deal with in 2 of the 3 holes with silver.  The Q is for size reference.  The smaller piece was on top of the wheatie and the Q in that hole, and the E-Trac still heard the silver; the larger piece was in the hole with that Canadian dime and fused copper pair.

All in all a fine morning hunt when I did not expect to find anything.

Copper and Silver

I had alot to write tonight.  Stories are dead, but it totally would have been a story otherwise.  Too bad, cause it was good, but, there simply is no time.

Tue went to a buddy’s site, and was skunked.  Wed worked a 13 hour day,  Thu went to  4 sites and eventually got a pair of silvers and an abused KG III copper; (1761 or 1767), at the 4th one.

[12-7] Well, I’m told I can’t have a KG III at 1761 or 1767.  Maybe it is a 1781 or 1787.  Who knows? [12-8] Now they tell me its a KG II and the date is 1751.  It might be.

Nice To See Some Silver

With the snow, and not much time to hunt, and no good place, it had been a while since I saw silver.  Three hunts in a row to be exact, but got a few today.

I did get out Friday once I found out it didn’t snow to the south of me, and went to a town south of me, that despite several tries, has yet to give up one stinkin’ silver coin.  I went to a small park that a buddy of mine once said gave up silver, but it had been picked clean — just a couple of wheaties.

Sunday I got out for 2 hours to the site I scouted last weekend — also picked clean, just 2 clad quarters were the only two coins.  That’s the problem with small sites, easy for the competition to pick clean, which I why I generally avoid them.  My technical skills with the E-Trac just didn’t help.  I did find a crotal bell at just one inch, which means it may have been regraded, or another detectorist could have dropped it.  There was lots of deep, high tone trash, just no coins or other keepers.  Oh well.  There is a bit more terrain here, but I don’t think I will be going back.

Still without a place, but the weather today was too nice to stay in and do research, an undertaking that has been quite frustrating lately, so I went to a huge site that had given up 20 silvers, but most zones that are left seemed dead, except one, where I got a stray rosie out of the blue last time I was there.

Got 3 more silvers, all in the first hour, right near where the rosie was.  I imagine they were all one or two events, cause this is an out of the way section, and the rest of it was dead as well.  I’ll take it, but it is more luck that skill silvers.  This is the sort of site that is so huge it would take a lifetime to cover completely, and I don’t really expect to find anymore there, but I guess I’ll be back someday if I am desperate for a place.


I guess my detecting days are done, at least for this week.  One of the reasons I was able to get to 500+ last year was lack of snow/frozen ground.  I did think I might have a shot at 400 this year, but I’d have to average one a day thru year end, and that does not seem likely at this point, and, I don’t really want to think about milestones anymore.

I did get out for a couple hours yesterday, this was to an old honeyhole from last fall that gave up 47 silvers in my run at 500, and I had one 20×20 section I never finished, plus the woods to still do.  I had no hope for these sections, and was not disappointed, as they gave up just one clad dime.

I did take the opportunity to run my big unit coil over the part I had already did, to see if I missed any, and this is the perfect site for that, as most were on the edge of detectability last time, but all I got was a couple of older wheaties and a a sterling ring.  The ring looks like it has a fake amethyst on it, which of course did not come out in the pic.  This site had low density the first time, so a 1 hour hunt with the big unit doesn’t prove much — a 5 hour hunt would, but I don’t think I have the patience to spend that kind of time on ground I have already covered.

Merc Today

Got out for a little over 2 hours to that small corner monument site from last Wed where I pulled that nice SLQ, to finish it off, and managed to pull a ’44 merc.  It was miserable, 39 degrees, and a harsh chill wind blowing.  One silver a day is good; one silver on a day like this is even better.

It was at the end of the hunt, after digging 23 clads (yuck!).  Like most, I hate digging clad, but at a really trashy site, you are not afforded the luxury of passing on any high tone, despite the E-Trac’s legendary TID.

We’ll, we’ll take it.  I rarely hunt on weekends, so weekend silver is nice,  I also took some time to scout a new site (which, by its nature, may only be hunted on weekends, at least for now), and it is small, but promising.  Perhaps a 2-3 silver site, we’ll see.

But, they are calling for snow on Tue, and I have no site for tomorrow, and may have alot of work, so it may be door knocking, random untried sites, or random driving, if I get out at all tomorrow.

More Wiz-War Cards

I’ve added yet another collection of Wiz-War cards to my homebrew set.  I’ll be playtesting them this long holiday weekend.   They are less over the top than previous sets, but work to keep important ratios in place.

I continue to think about refactoring the game.  I’m loyal to the original (the classic edition, not the modern edition), but see a simple 10% refactoring/pulling just a few things into the architecture and out of the cards leading to pure magic.  When we play, its almost pure magic — unintended consequences that are resolved rationally, to the wisest wizard.  What if you could do this unambigiously for all combinations in the architecture?

Godel has proved that this is impossible to do for a complex system (and believe me, Wiz-War is a complex system), but just like NP complete problems can be de facto solved approximately in non NP complete time, Godel can be cheated (in approximation) by my minor Wiz-War refactoring.

It would be pure magic, but I can’t due to my loyalty to the original.  Which I guess is ok, cause when we play, the things I speak of are still pure magic.  Its unbelievable.

Recent Hunts

Not alot going on around here due to the holidays, but I think we can cobble the last few days into an interesting entry, we’ll see.

First of all was a Sunday, 11/18 hunt — I rarely hunt on weekends, but I had some free time, and the site can only be hunted on Sunday.  Its an early 1800s saloon on private property for which I have permission to hunt, but it is tenant occupied (a business); the tenants not there on Sunday.  I know alot of guys get excited about sites like this; I’m not one of them.  The reason is simple — these high profile old sites draw the detectorists out like flies on shit, and they detect em with or without permission, and, with the yards of these sites generally being very small, my advantage of meticulously working a large site is neutered.  I do much better on public property, cause everyone scoffs at it and ignores it.

Anyway, of course you are gonna hunt a site like this when you have permission, and meticulously grid it out I did, nailing a ’26 and ’30 wheatie, and some deep clad.  Problem with sites like this is that the trash is so heavy, you have to dig all the high tones when the TID is jammed, including the deep clad.  Ouch!.  A 1967 dime at 6 inches at a 300 year old site. Well, I’m glad I did the site, and I’m glad I have permission at all of the landlord’s other properties (which, fortunately, are a bit lower profile, but not nearly as old); maybe I’ll hit them after the holiday.

Monday was a historical site I blogged about perhaps 2 months ago or so.  This was a site where I was helping the local historical people find artefacts on the site, and we finally got together where I showed them what I found and where I found it.  I had about an hour left of the site to work, and managed to find another wheatie before they came, and that’s about it.  This site is closed, and that’s that.  I think the historical people are happy, and will be using my intel on the site for further development, either to bring in an archaeologist, make a park, or both.  I’ll blog on any of that if it happens, but that may be quite some time from now.  The best part of this experience is that the historical people know the people who run a local national park, and I may get to detect said national park.  Detecting national parks is illegal, of course, and if I get this, anything I find goes to the people, and of course I’m fine with that; its all about the experience.  In the unlikely event that any of this happens, I’ll blog it.

Later on Monday was trying to develop a new site — a modern park on old farmland which included a community center which dated to at least the 1930s.  I generally have very good luck at sites like this, but struck out completely; not even mustering a single wheatie.  Go figure, when a similar site not more than 3 miles down the road gave up 47 silvers last year.

Tuesday was an intense 13 hour work day.  No detecting for me.  After all this blather, I wonder if anyone is reading (not that I care; blogs are for writers, not readers), but I think it is time to throw some silver in here, isn’t it.

Today was closing out the site from past days which gave up a trifecta just last week, but I figured was dead.  Had to confirm, and hit all the edge zones, and yet another swath thru the middle, and not much, except one edge zone which was totally loaded with deep clad and wheaties, and should have given up a silver or two, but it did not.  Unbelievable site — 2 per half hour run rate in 3% of the site; bupkis elsewhere.  Never seen it before, but what is is, and the site is closed.  97% of a 2 per half hour site just sitting there.  Have at it folks.

But, this entry will end with silver (sheesh, is anyone but a bot reading this drivel?), and I can go contently into the long weekend ending with a silver hunt (tho I don’t track it, I don’t think I’ve had three consecutive hunting days without a silver since Apr 2011).

Hit an out of the box site near the park I just closed, in the same town, one of those corner grassy areas where the streets come together at acute angles, and there is a monument, a couple of trees, and not much else, and you wonder if the competition has bothered.  Looks sorta (well, exactly, without the street name redaction) like this.  You know these sort of places, ever detected them?  I do –

Well, the monument is dated from the 30s.  The monument honors war veterans, so I detect quite a far respectful distance from it. These sort of sites turn out to be like detecting sidewalk strips,  Tons and tons of trash.  You hear the high tone, you work thru a handful of nails, just to dig high tone trash.  Are you kidding me?  It is frustrating beyond belief.

But the site was giving up the stray wheatie (and aforementioned high tone trash), and that is the tell to press on, cause its got silver.  And finally I got me one, a rather nice 1927 SLQ at just 4 inches, at pretty much the end of my (otherwise) 3rd silverless day.

(why am I still posting these pics dirt on?  If you don’t believe my finds, you are not reading me anyway (I post only a small fraction of my finds on the forums).  Its all cause of a few assholes who have doubted me, who prolly don’t read me anyway).  Anyway, it looks better dirt off, doesn’t it (and aren’t SLQs special?)) –

Oh, and BTW, found a silver ring today.  This was at the park from last week that I closed today.  I don’t get all too excited about silver jewelery, tho this one is a bit interesting, as it is stamped at 900 rather than 925.  I wonder if that means its is old.  Oh, and than park is closed at 10 silver coins.  Not a honeyhole, but not bad, we’ll take it.  Here’s the ring (3 grams) –

But wait, there’s more, if you can believe it.  After this train wreck, I have to blog about Wiz-War.  Hopefully it won’t be this bad, but, we’ll see.  And, in regards to metal detecting, I’ve closed a few places over the past few days, but have no place after the holidays. Hopefully I’ll get a new place, we’ll see.

Have a nice holiday, everyone.