Many people will finally tell you where the good old relic fields were. They have been hunted out and left with most all the stuff pulled out already but there are still good things to find if you know what you are doing. People who look for bullets, buttons, and buckles just don’t think much about the hard to find objects. Oh sure, they might find a half dollar but the very old small denomination coins like the half dime and silver three cent piece, very seldom. They will only find them if they just by accident happen to fall into a clean patch with nearly no signals or have been plowed up to the surface.
Consider the field which is full of old square nails, junk iron and bits of lead. Peaking down through that mass of junk is a job for anyone but with the right plan and equipment you can pull some nice old coins out of it. On those days when you just wish to go somewhere quiet and take your own good time to look around for old coins you can get a small coil and probe around these old relic sites. Old cellar holes and the fields up on the north-east coast may contain some of these coins too. It is just that the Civil war soldiers had a pocketful of these tiny coins and I am sure that many of them did not have the time to patch the holes in their pockets.
You could take a four inch coil and have lots of fun looking for these coins at the old sites. One of the funny things that I noticed is that they seem to register all over the scale on different machines. Not to mention that they have been laying there for over 140 years maybe and have a nest of old iron rust and junk around them. Pulling them is a test of a good hunter and a pleasant way to spend a day.
On A Whites XLT the two cent rang up at 75 VDI, the three cent silver at 54 VDI and the old dime at VDI 71. You might think that it would be easy but then I went to a Fisher CZ5 and they showed up much higher on the scale while a new CZ7a Pro showed one down into the pulltab scale. Add to that the different halo as it lays in the ground and you have a good challenge to search for.
Take time to perform a target profile which will tell you something of the shape and size of the coin. You are looking for the weaker signals with a tiny profile. Nearly all of these kind of targets should prove interesting.
I picked up my trusty 1235X Fisher and ran a test using the discriminate knob. The old dime and two cent ring up along where a silver coin will but the smaller half dime and three cent piece fall downscale a bit under the zinc penny some, especially the three cent silver. It seems that the size means a lot too on discrimination and you just can’t look for SILVER where you usually find it. Tiny silver is downscale and most hunters may not find it.
I suggest that you turn off all discrimination and just look around until you start finding these old coins. Some could be deep too as the plow has run them deep in all that time. Use a good deep detector with a small coil and have fun!
Some of you might not want to buy a small coil and you might use this trick. Lift the coil so that the projection cone of signal under the cone is reduced to only a few inches. Learn just how high to lift it to use only a three inch search area. There may be more to know about metal detecting than you can read in books!