A young start into metal detecting
I know that many of you have followed me for years, however, here is some background those who are new. I have been treasure hunting and metal detecting since I was 10 years old (35 years ago now). My passion for this began on a family camping trip to the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I remember buying some metal detecting magazines in a gas station for a little road-trip reading material. But the magazine pulled me in. It had articles about the latest detecting equipment with plenty of pictures of it in wild and adventurous places. There were articles about people who made fabulous finds, complete with pictures of them holding rare gold coins, handfuls of jewelry and piles of silver coins.
“There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.” – Mark Twain
I read those articles many times and spent hours staring at those pictures and imagining myself on those hunts and finding those treasures. I was determined to buy my own detector. Because we had no local detector dealer, and I didn’t know anyone else who detected, I was on my own to figure it out. As a result, I couldn’t get my hands on those flashy Garrett or Whites machines, in fact, the only detector I could find was in the Radio Shack store. It wasn’t expensive (so right in line with the finds for a 10-year-old boy), and it certainly wasn’t great, but it did find metal.
I hunted every place I get to which translated to my yard, the yards of my friends and a neighborhood park that I would ride to on my bike while hold the detector across the handle bar. These locations weren’t old, but I was the first person to ever put a detector in them. I dug coins coins on every trip until I just got tired of digging.
The love of silver
One of those early detecting outings probably did more than anything else to cement the love of detecting in my heart. I remember digging a strange looking coin. It would have been the size of a silver dollar but it was cut in half and had strange writing. The only thing I knew about it was that it looked old, it looked silver and it wasn’t anything I had ever seen before. I began hunting the spot more and dug a whole one, and this one had a date; 1776!! Then I found another and another. I was in metal detecting heaven!
I began showing them to everyone I knew who might be able to give me an ID on these. Finally, the local coin store gave me the news that these were Spanish silver 8 Reales (with one cut to equal a 4 Reale). I remember he offered to buy them from me, but I wouldn’t have sold them for anything. They were MY treasure. Later, as I cleaned them better, I discovered they were fakes you could buy as souvenirs. Even though that broke my heart, it didn’t break my spirit. I wanted to find real ones, and any other silver coin possible.
Metal detecting upgrades
As the years went by, my metal detecting equipment improved. I finally bought one of those detectors I read about in the magazines (a Garrett MasterHunter 7) which I used for a LOT of years. As my mobility increased with my first car, my detecting grounds grew too. I finally began hunting places old enough that I started digging silver coins. They say you never forget your first, I still remember mine. It was a 1942 Mercury dime, dug next to the sidewalk in front of our local high school. I still have it, I just don’t know which one them now was the first.
Then I bought a Whites 6000di Pro SL. It was such a great detector and lasted me until I finally decided to take a chance on a foreign detector I had heard so much about. I wouldn’t believe all the stories I had heard about how much silver could be found with one of “those Minelab machines”, I thought they had to be lies or at least huge exaggerations. Then I decided to take the plunge on the brand-new E-Trac. I learned quickly that none of the stories were lies. My silver coin count exploded after that and I’ve been using Minelabs ever since. So, I once again find myself impatiently waiting for the latest model of detector to arrive.
Good luck and Happy Hunting!