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May 5 and 6 – Silvers and the Camera Curse!

May 5 and 6 – Silvers and the Camera Curse!

May 5 and 6 – Silvers and the Camera Curse!

It seems that no matter how much I plan, prep and hope for more detecting time, it rarely happens.  Thankfully I was able to get out for part of each day over the weekend.  At least my non detecting time has been productive with either jobs or yard-work at home.  I love digging old silver coins, but the curse of the camera can get in the way.

Finally detecting again

Finally heading out just after noon on Saturday, and began my usual search pattern.  Driving up and down the main roads on the old side of town looking for construction, tear-outs, sidewalk replacement, etc.  Any time you can jump into some freshly worked or scraped ground, don’t pass it by!

The first place I stopped to search was an older school property.  This is a site that is undergoing refurbishment into apartments and they were doing a LOT of earthwork in the old playground area.  I have hunted this before but never found more than a couple wheat cents.  It seemed like either it had been pounded hard by previous hunters or everything was too deep.  So when I saw the ground work, I immediately began drooling at the possibilities.  Then I parked and my heart sank back down because they had dug out well more than a foot of ground.  Other spots had deep ground used as fill.

When in doubt, hunt it out

So, I wasn’t exactly hopeful for vast carpets of newly exposed silver coins.  I jumped into the first cut and began my search.  Just as I feared; silence everywhere my coil swung.  I climbed out of the cut and began searching  a section that was partially filled and leveled.  First target sounded good and turned out to be an old shotgun cap.  A junk target, but one that showed age of use before the school was built.  So at lest a good sign.   Then the next target had that wonderful silver edge.  Breaking open the clod showed a Barber dime!  Now I was hot, now things were going to get started!

1903 Dime

After digging a few modern memorial cents I got a great quarter target.  I just knew it was going to be a Standing Liberty or Barber.  But the outline I saw in the dirt pile had straight edges.  I knew this wasn’t going to be a silver, but what was it?  Cleaning off the dirt I knew I had a token, and tokens are almost as much fun to dig as silver.  Tokens can also be MUCH more valuable than silver!  Although this one was one I have dug before, and not a valuable specimen, they are still great pieces of history many people have never seen before.  I spent another half hour wandering the site but more coins of any type turned up.

crystal cake token and ad

Need another spot to hunt

So, back to the basic question… where to hunt next?  I wasn’t very far from the town square.  This is a place I spent half a year hunting almost daily during a construction project {YouTube video}.  It would be an amazing understatement to say this place has potential.  However, it’s also a place many other people have hunted many times and I have hunted very hard.  This would be a good test for the new metal detector.  Could the new Equinox find anything good missed by everyone before?

A day without video

The weather was already unseasonably hot.  Temperature was 93 and the air was desert dry.  I picked the first section that had shade to start my hunt.  Within a couple minutes I hit my first solid signal.  A near perfect nickel reading and it seemed fairly deep (always a good sign) turned up a 1945 silver “war nickel”.  Thats a good way to start!  Almost immediately after I dug deep, early wheat cent.  Dang, I don’t think I ever found any good targets in this patch during previous hunts.  A few more really deep wheaties and then I dug a Mercury dime in beautiful condition.  Yes, this hunt was going great!

silver "war" nickel

first silver dime today






Normally I like to work every place I hunt like a grid so I can be sure to not miss anything.  Today I followed the shade.  As soon as the shade ended in the first area, I moved around to another in my attempt to not get fried by the sun.  The plan was working too!  First target in the next section was another silver dime!  A “squeaker” silver, meaning a 1964; the last year silver coins were minted.

1964 rosie   vertical dime

Then a stream of wheat cent after center, mixed with a large amount of surface clad.  My next good find was another Mercury dime, standing on edge, next to a large iron target. Then a cool, turn-of-the-century advertising pin from a plow manufacturer.  After a dinner break, I was determined to try to pull a few more good coins before the sun set.

A great (green) way to end the day

Without the intense sun on me, I went to the far edge of the square and began hunting in my normal grid search.  First target was an 1898 Indian Head, showing there were still coins from the first days of my town hiding in the soil.  Followed on by a couple more wheats and then my last target was an 1893 Indian Head.  The clear details and beautiful green patina told me this was almost certainly lost the year it was made, the same year my town sprang to life in a Land Run.

1898 Indian Head cent   1893 Indian Head Cent

With 5 silver coins, wheats, Indians and tokens, the only bad part about this day’s hunt was that I didn’t have my video camera with me.  So many great targets, I already knew I was coming back again tomorrow ready to shoot the next YouTube video.  Surely it would be filled with even more silvers than I got today!

Second day; curse of the camera!

I got back to the site mid morning ready to hunt and ready to video!  Very first target sounded like that great, deep, “warbly” high tone that means an old coin.  Set up the camera and audio, re-sweep the target, and now its not very good.  High and low mixed response, clipped tones, it still had the possibility to be a deep coin but the curse of the camera was holding fast and it tuned out to be a chunk of iron.  More good targets, some sounded like cents, some sounded like dimes, a few even sounded like quarters.  None of them turned out to be silver.  I spent a good 6 hours hunting.  It wasn’t a bad hunt, I did dig Indian Heads, and Buffalo nickels and more wheaties.  I also got video to show what coins next to iron sound like, and how deep coins respond. {this hunt video link}

second hunt nickels

I also snapped the weld on my Sampson 31 inch digging tool.  It was frustrating and sad.  I had used that digger on almost every single hunt for at least 6 or 7 years.  It’s also the perfect recovery tool.  If you are only using a hand trowel, you are missing out on how sweet recovering targets can be.  But nothing lasts forever.  I’ll get a new one and then get this one re-welded for a back-up.

broken digger

So overall it was a good weekend of digging. I didn’t get the silver video I hoped for but I did get a good video to post.  My new motto on hunting is “Dig it all, film it all”.  I’ll break the curse of the camera one of these days, and there will be more awesome silver porn to post on YouTube! Thanks for reading,  I hope you enjoyed it.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting – SilverFiend

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