You never know what you’ll find

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Everybody loves treasure. Just the thought of finding something that was lost or hidden gets the adrenaline pumping and the mind racing. Just think of the last lottery ticket that you scratched that crumbly gray goo off. Were you not, just for a split second, flooded with anticipation while the numbers were slowly revealed?

Mother Nature’s Mercy

In metal detecting, digging a promising signal can be that and so much more. It is not simply a hidden number, but a physical thing hidden by decades of mother nature’s mercy. It is tangible and historic. It was part of an adventure, perhaps a carefully planned adventure. If requires both sleuth and observation. But most of all, the long forgotten items unearthed from the ground are reborn into a new day for all to see and for you to proudly display.

These treasures are a part of living history. A history that can often time be collaborated to the history of the place in which it was found. Locations and the past lives of communities are the contexts in which treasures depend on and in themselves hold their own secrets and mysteries.

What Were They Doing

It is all about the time people spend in an area. When metal detecting in a park one day, I notice people sitting together under a big oak tree enjoying the shade. After they left I worked my way over to the area, and sure enough, many people must have used that big oak tree for shade. I came away with a pocket full of coins.

The local swimming pool I grew up at as a kid, was a great place to spend an afternoon metal detecting. I already knew the places to look. I used to hang out at those very spots. The thought of finding the quarter I lost 20 years ago brings a smile. After paying attention to where the people are hanging out, I soon noticed that behind the diving boards seemed to be the new hangout spot. On a return trip to the pool, I worked that area and came away very satisfied. It was newer coins, but coins just the same. It is all treasure to me.

So always keep an open mind when researching places to metal detect. Remember that new parks might be on the old fairgrounds. The metro station just might be where the old stagecoach stop was and, possibly, a general store.

Locations and the past lives of communities are the contexts in which treasures depend on and in themselves hold their own secrets and mysteries.

The Best Part

This leads to what kind of treasure should I look for and what should I expect to find. For me this is the best part of metal detecting. You just never know what you will find. When your machine registers a signal anything could be down in that ground. My imagination will go wild for a while. That is why it is the best part for me. I get to dream for a little while with every signal I dig.

I have found a lot of things that were not even metal. I have many times dug up old marbles. This is usually done at playgrounds, schools, and sometimes back yards. Mousetraps are another thing I have found in backyards. Plastic toys are interesting things you will find. It is all about the time people spent in the area and what were they doing. Most of the time, it was kids playing with toys. Where there were children, parents were there also. The old saying “one man’s trash is another man’ treasure” is an accurate and true statement. Just remember that sometimes that trash is historic and needs to be treated properly.

The Value of Money

I have seen people throw pennies away on the ground. I can not really understand this. These people are obviously not treasure hunters. A penny does not seem like a lot of money by itself, however they do add up. I have traded pennies in may of times for gas money to get me to a place to go digging. In turn have left that area with enough money for a half tank of gas to get me to work through the week.

The economy has changed a lot since the first metal detector was made. With that so has people’s idea of value. When people think a penny is not worth anything, they have lost their sense of value, in my opinion. That penny you find with your metal detector could be a rare penny. The average person is not a numismatist(coin collector), so they do not keep up with what is rare or valuable in the coin market. Coin collectors and dealers survive on this fact.

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A very rare 1955 Doubled Die Wheat Penny,

There are many “flaws” or misstrike coins that come out of the U.S. Mint. These are coins you can find in your pocket change. Again, you need to know what to look for and this is where research is important. The resources available today to the average person online is incredible. A good start in this direction would be this article about valuable coins found in pocket change .

I did not have such a luxury in my early years of collecting. There was a reference book called the little red book. It showed coin types, quantities minted and values based on a condition. It would show some flaws, however you had to do more research to find all the misstrikes that were out there. A 1913 nickel misstrike just sold recently for over 3 million dollars. Now that is what I call a serious return on five cents.

So back to the person who throws their new pennies away, because they are worthless. Better check that coin, one never knows it might be a flaw. It could just be that 1922 no mint mark wheat penny worth many thousands of dollars.

Treasure Will Not Find You

The types of finds you will encounter are vast. The old farmhouse is a great place to look for interesting items. The homesteaders of the past had a lot of hand-made things they used and needed. When it was lost, it was a big deal to them. It could be anything from a spoon to bullets, horseshoes to a wedding band. Might even find an old gun or knife. This type of find is collectible. The ultimate treasure for me is always jewelry, the rings. It is really neat to pull up out of the ground a gold ring or silver ring. The really cool part is when it is your size, that always makes me smile.

“The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers. ”
― Erich Fromm

The one key factor in all treasure hunting is, getting out there to do it. Treasure will not come to your door step. You must get a metal detector and get out there and do it. I have seen many good metal detectors sit in closets and under beds because people would not get out and use them. They either did not have time or a good place to go. I have even heard them say, when they did go out they never found anything good or valuable.

Metal detecting is just like anything in life. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. A metal detector can not find anything tucked away under the bed, or stored in the closet. It also takes time to get to know your machine. The more you use it the better you will get at finding things. The more time spent with your metal detector the more likely you are going to really know how to use it, under what conditions, and what to expect. Then we have the exercise part.

Metal detecting is great exercise. Now that is always a bit of personal treasure. Instead of sitting around the house drinking beer watching old movies, you get out and get some exercise. That is good for your overall well-being. Spending a day in the sunshine looking for hidden valuables is better than any day in the office or shop. Think about it, walking around and bending down and such is really good, moderate exercise. Most anybody can get out and do that. It is not stressful.

Now is the time to make the decision to get a metal detector and join the ranks of the metal detectorists. It is a special club, and you are welcome to join. There is a lot of support out there for you. Most cities have a metal detector clubs and annual meets. You will soon find people to go hunting with. The world is your oyster. Go out there and claim your share. It will not be long before you have a nice collection of coins, jewelry and relics you have found. It is always fun to show off your collection to family and friends, and especially the people who think you do not find anything.

Good Diggings!

Comments (1)
  1. Amber

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