Equinox 800 — silver hammered coins depth test

Mike created a video and chart to prepare for his trip to England. He wanted to test his machine on silver hammered coins and just how deep he could detect them.

Here is the chart Mike created:

Minelab equinox 800 depth test on hammered silver coins tested in southern red clay

Here’s the video Mike created:

BONE 28, 2021 – Day 5

All things must come to an end and today was the last day of BONE 28 natural hunts. Steve from Long Island was kind enough to give Tim and I a ride this morning because our rental car wouldn’t start last night and we had to get it towed. When we got to the fields for sign-in, we met up with Jim. He was very lucky and yesterday, on day 4, found an awesome militia button!

Jim B’s Awesome Militia Button

There were two large fields available to hunt today on day 5. The first area was a grassy knoll whereas the 2nd was an alfalfa field that had huge clumps of of grass that made it very difficult to detect.

Alfalfa Field – BONE 28 Natural Hunt Saturday April 24, 2021.

I started on the grassy knoll, where I found a round ball and a prize token. The prize was a Minelab backpack! I didn’t stay on the grass that long though and ventured off to the alfalfa field. Around half past noon, I found my first good target. It had a 26 target ID on my Equinox 800 showing at a depth of max bars. Tim scanned it with his GTI 2500 but didn’t pick up the signal. I started digging a big hole and scanned again. The ID went up to 30! The sweet sound and high number had us thinking silver and we were right! It is marked sterling with a hallmark of IHD or IMD and appears to be a suspender adjustment loop.

It was a great feeling to find silver and about 5 feet away I was surprised to have another nice little tone. This one was reading as an 11 on the Nox; It was a nice little button that still had the shank fully attached.

Mike’s Equinox 800 finds – BONE 28 Day 5 – April 24, 2021.

I detected until 5pm today with only a short break for lunch but I didn’t dig up anything else worth mentioning. I met a guy named Dean out in the field and he had a spectacular day! He was showing me about 5 or 6 buttons he had dug and not one but two draped large cents – plus a barber dime. The BONE 28 event was a success if you ask me and I had a blast! There are talks of a fall 2021 BONE mini 2 day hunt and I’m seriously contemplating heading back to attend.

One of Dean’s draped bust large cents

BONE 28, 2021 -Days 3 & 4

Wow, BONE is such a cool event. Tim and I haven’t been unearthing excellent targets but we have been meeting great people who have been. Jim from TX was one of the those folks; on Day 3 he dug up a Vermont Copper!

Jim’s Vermont Copper

Tim hasn’t been too lucky at this event. On day 3 Tim’s best find was 1834’s – 1913 Mallory Wheeler padlock. He also found a cool set of old pliers. I was able to dig up an old flat button.

Mallory Wheeler Padlock found by Tim using a Garrett GTI 2500
BONE 28, Day 3 – Mike’s finds using an Equinox 800 include a buckle and flat button

Since the fields weren’t being too fruitful we decided to leave an hour early and go door knocking across the Connecticut river in Vermont. At our first stop we gained permission from a very nice lady at an old house but the owner’s weren’t sure how old exactly. She thought it was 100 years old, though it looked older. About 5 minutes after we started hunting, I was startled by a super nice gentlemen that had rolled up in his motorized wheelchair. He followed me around the huge property vicariously metal detecting through me as we both discovered each target. Tim found quite a bit of clad. I didn’t find any coins but did get a cool bell.

Old bell about 4″ tall found door knocking in Vermont

Since the finds weren’t all that great after about an hour we decided to try our luck at one more spot. While the next location was the site of an old wealthy estate, it had been picked over numerous times before us and we didn’t get any thing great from this stop. That didn’t stop us from having a blast though – I’d love to go back to Vermont to give it another go sometime.

On Day 4 of BONE 28 there were several fields available to hunt. Tim and I began the day at a field off Wentworth Rd. My best finds here were a Tombac button and two pocket knives. After an hour or two at this first field, Tim and I went to another field also off Wentworth Rd, where I found yet another flat button and a newer pocket knife. This flat button, however, had some of the gold gilt still on the back side.

Pocket Knife, pocket knife blade and Tombac Button – BONE 28, Day 4
BONE 28, 2021 – Day 4 Mike’s flat gold gilded flat button

We then ate lunch and tried another new corn field that was available to us. It didn’t seem all that great so we decided to again go door knocking, but this time in NH. We gained permission at an 1840’s mansion but it must have been hunted out because we struck out here. Either way, it was a great 4th day and we can’t wait for day 5!

BONE 28 – day 2

Great 2nd day attending bone 28 in Keene NH! It rained almost all day, but that didn’t stop us from hitting the fields all day.

Not a lot of good finds from Mike and I, but others found some great finds.

Mike’s button found with a Equinox 800
Tim’s finds for day 2 using a Garrett GTI 2500

BONE 28 – 2021, Day 1

For the last 28 years, George Streeter has been sponsoring a metal detecting hunt called BONE, Best of New England or Best of North Eastern. He has a small metal detecting and gold prospecting store near Keene New Hampshire. This year, BONE 28, has a total of 5 natural hunts and one seeded hunt.

Tim and I signed up for the event around October 2020 and we were super excited to get here and start digging. The first location is a farm of roughly 183 acres. Today the weather was nice starting off at 36F but quickly warming into the low 60’s. We rendezvoused at the location about 7:30am for a 8 O’clock start. Unfortunately, we weren’t released for hunting until closer to 9am after a 8:30am raffle.

The farm crop is corn and the field we were in had old stalks which made swinging a pain. The signals were far and few between. After about a 30 or 40 mintues, I think i dug my first target -just trash though. Some where about 1 – 1.5 hours into the hunt I got a 17 tone on my MineLab Equinox 800. OH- coin size, but no, not a coin. It was a nice flat button with a design in the center.

Within another 30 minutes I again was digging up another 17 tone, and it too was a flat button. Shortly after or before I also dug up an old thimble and a neat relic.

We detected until 5pm but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any other nice finds. Tim had a lousy day all together and ended up not making the board today. We did ask around, and there were reports of some old coins, some large cents including a pretty early one circa 1808 -1811. We were close to a detectorist Brian who found a really nice button, possibly a revolutionary war button. I wish I had taken a picture, it was really nice. I had a blast and can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Civil War Relics & Old Coins

Last weekend was so great, I had to go back for more! My brother couldn’t make it but I invited my dad to come out with me and we headed west to a town with roots in the 1830’s. We got there just in time too. I didn’t want to leave too early because I don’t like knocking on doors early in the morning. When we arrived the home owner was on her way out, but luckily gave us the go ahead to stay and detect.

It’s a great place to hunt because the area is large, there is no interference, very little trash, and lots of old treasure. It was about40 minutes in before I had my first good target – a smashed Minié ball. about 30 minutes later I found a musket ball and about 1 minute after that another.

Another 15 minutes or so when by and I hear a faint signal that read 21 on the Equinox but the tone was hampered with what sounded like trash one direction and OK but not that great in the opposite direction. It sounded just like the first two musket balls, so I called my dad over so he could swing over it with his AT Max. He too agreed that it didn’t sound that great but I told him I think it is another musket ball, so I let him dig it and keep it, it was his first musket ball for the day!

We continued on and the next thing I know I’m digging up another musket ball. Shortly later my dad says, hey I got another one too. Moments later I hear, Mike, and I see my dad waving me over. He’s sitting on the ground with a huge smile on his face. He found what appears to be shrapnel from an exploded canon ball! How cool is that?

Then things slowed down for a while, but we continued on and it was worth it. My dad found a 3rd musket ball and I got a 1902 V Nickel. By this time my dad was getting tired so he went back to the car to sit down.

I kept at it though for about another 30 minutes. I was closer to the road and there was more junk in the ground. But then I hear this loud strong 34 or 35 VDI signal sketching from my Minelab Nox head phones. It was reading to be at about the same depth as the other good finds, but I thought to myself, there’s no way its going to be anything good. I was wrong; it was a 1901 Barber half dollar!

I detected for another 15 minutes or so but I knew my dad was waiting in the car for me so I figured I’d save the rest of the field for next time and we packed up for the day.

Garret AT Max finds included 4 Musket Balls & Exploded Cannon Ball Fragment- US Civil War Era
MineLab Equinox 800 finds: 4 Musket balls, 1 Minié ball, 1902 V Nickel and a 1901 Barber Half Dollar

American Civil War Era Relics Found

Tim and I hadn’t been out hunting for a while, so we were excited to get out to see what we could find. We usually take turns picking locations to go detecting and this weekend I chose to return to Bartow county. In the past, we’ve done pretty good finding some older coins and relics out this way. We’ve found V nickels, a shield nickel, and a blade belt tongue or batwing to name a few. Tim and I both didn’t expect to find much because we’ve been out numerous times and usually come home empty handed despite having hours of fun.

But we both had a pretty good day. At the first stop for the day, Tim started things off by finding a ’48 silver Roosevelt dime and a really cool wooden nickel play coin circa 1940. The site must had been worked over pretty well in the past though, there were few targets and I left with not much more than a wheatie.

GTI 2500 Finds including a 1948 Silver Dime and wooden nickel play coin token

Across the street from the 1830’s location number 1 was a new house that we gained permission to hunt next. It was a pretty big yard, but hard to tell where the property line ended. Neither of us found anything but clad at this location though. So to lunch we went.

After lunch we hit location number 3 – a property across the street from where I found a large cent last year. Here there was a gigantic yard to hunt and we didn’t waste much time before we got started. Unfortunately, after only 20 minutes or so the owner told us he had an emergency to tend to and asked us to leave. Luckily he said we were welcome back in the future though. Before we chased off Tim found a really cool iron work, perhaps from a bench?

We were off to location number 4, a couple doors down from location number 1. This site too had a large yard for us to hunt. The owners of the 1965 built house said it was 5 acres in total. After about 30 minutes searching in the field I found a super worn mercury dime. I was happy to finally get on the board for the day. About 5 minutes later I unearthed a musket ball – a first for me. Two-three minutes later, Tim is shouting at me, Minié ball!

With excitement in our eyes we continued to hunt the large field. A flat iron was among one of the more interesting finds. It has some writing on it, so I’m going to try and clean it up to see if I can date it. After the flat Iron, I was lucky enough to find another 3 musket balls and my first Minié ball to go with them. Meanwhile, Tim uncovered some horse shoes.

It was getting late in the day and we had to call it quits, but the property owners told us we could come back again in the future. I think we’ll be taking them up on that offer.

Equinox 800 finds of the day include a Flat Iron, Minié ball, and 4 musket balls.

Amazing first hunt of 2021

Wow, what a great day! Mike and I went out metal detecting and the good finds just kept coming!

We started near Mike’s house and I scored a magnificent BPOE badge which stands for benevolent protective order of elks. I also found a wheatie and a 1965 silver half dollar!

Antique BPOE (Benevolent Protective Order of Elks) badge/shield, 1964 Silver half dollar and a wheat penny — found using a Garrett GTI 2500

We headed further north and our first stop was a local church. We had previously obtained permission to detect this site from the grounds keeper but we had missed a small section on the other side of the church so we decided to give it a try. Mike and I found a few clad coins and I scored a 1965 Bahrain 100 fils (roughly 27 cents) coin. What a obscure find! It rang up as a nickel on my GTI 2500. Another example of why it’s important to dig the nickel signals!

By this time, Mike was pretty discouraged because my finds were pretty good and all he had were some clad coins. However, I kept telling him, “you’re going to beat me by the end of the day, I just feel it!”. Sure enough, our next stop Mike scored a 1916 Barber dime in excellent condition! He hit a homerun, what a beautiful coin and a extremely hard to find coin!

However, Mike and I weren’t done yet. After lunch we headed back to the same site where he had found the Barber dime and I found a 1907 V-nickel! It was my first v-nickel in Georgia, I had found them in Michigan, but not down south so I was thrilled. As amazing as Mike’s Barber dime was though, he out did himself and scored a silver 1899 Barber quarter!!!! Mike just hit a grand slam (using the baseball analogy again)! Mike also found a cool buffalo nickel (no date) and four wheaties, but finding two barber coins in the same day was outstanding!

1899 Barber quarter, 1916 barber dime, buffalo nickel (no date) and 4 wheaties found using a Minelab Equinox 800

One more stop and Mike found some more clad and a few more wheaties. No more silver on the last stop, but we were riding the clouds and you can’t win them all. I found a few old pocket knives and couples of bullets shells at the last site. Here are my finds for the fantastic day!

1907 V-nickel, 1964 silver half dollar, 1965 Bahrain 100fils coin, antique BPOE shield and numerous clad and relics found using a Garrett GTI 2500

During the last week of 2020 I found a gold ring and now its the first week of 2021 and I’ve already scored a v-nickel and silver half dollar! Mike’s first week of 2021 and he’s already got two, count them two, Barber coins and his first silver quarter. How many detectorists can say their first silver quarter was a Barber from the 19th century, simply amazing! Welcome to 2021…it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic year!!!

Mike’s find from the amazing day in North GA included a 1899 Barber silver quarter, a 1916 silver barber dime (excellent condition), a buffalo nickel (undated) and numerous “wheat” pennies — All found with a Minelab Equinox 800

Silver & Gold found!

My wife called me around 3:30 and told me that she would be running late and would be home later than usual. I thought to myself, “yes! That will give me a couple of hours to go metal detecting!”. I’ve been itching to head back to the 1906 farm house site. During my last visit I pulled out a couple more pennies from the 1940s and 1950s, so I knew there could be more! It’s getting tougher to find the good stuff, but you can’t give up on a productive site until it’s completely worked out!

Arriving at the farm, I knocked on the door and I was greeted by a nurse. She said the owner was sleeping and asked me who I was. I told her the owner normally gives me permission to go metal detecting in her yard. She said, “just a minute, let me check with her”. The owner was confined to her bed, she had recently taken a fall. I asked if I could speak briefly with her and took off my shoes and went inside to go talk to her. The owner is always very sweet and immediately wished me luck and I was off running!

My first good find of the day was a “war” nickel. I was working in all-metal mode and the target rang up as a nickel, but when I saw it, it just looked strange! I immediately, thought, silver “war” nickel and checked the date — 1945.

I was digging every single target that didn’t fall in the “iron” range, so that included a few larger iron relics and even a couple of nails fooled my detectors discrimination. I continued to work the field and out popped a 1942 “wheatie”. Not a spectacular find, but with the silver “war” nickel and the wheat penny, I was encouraged there might be additional good finds waiting to happen.

I worked the yard from around 4:00pm until dusk which since it’s winter was 5:45. I got another pull-tab signal about 3 feet from the large tree in the front yard and I thought to myself, “another pulltab :(“. I cut the plug and in the bottom of the plug I saw gold! It was a beautiful two tone gold band. My wife thinks it might be a wedding band, but I’m not sure. It’s around a size 5.5 or 6 and fits my pinkie perfectly. It’s a beautiful ring, but unfortunately it’s not marked. I’ll have to take it to a jewelry store or pawn shop to have it tested, but it sure looked shiny and new in the Georgia dirt!

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I think the saying still goes, “Dig everything and a site is never worked out!!!”. It’s not often you find both silver and gold when you go metal detecting, but when you do, it sure feels great! Good luck and I hope to see you all in the field getting your own silver and gold!

Metal detecting finds using a Garrett GTI 2500 in all-metal mode — large iron spanner wrench, part of plow blade, 1942 “wheatie”, 1945 silver war nickel and a two-tone gold ring!
Gold ring, 1945 silver “war” nickel, 1942 penny and assorted relics found metal detecting using a Garrett GTI 2500

How to repair a Garrett GTI 2500 battery holder

Anyone who reads our blog knows I love my Garret GTI 2500 metal detector! It’s super sensitive and it finds the gold! However, if there is anything that could be improved, it would be the battery holder. About two seasons ago I took my GTI 2500 to Daytona beach, when I got back I noticed I was having more trouble with my battery pack. Sometimes the detector wouldn’t turn on and I’d have to take the batteries out and put them back in and repeat until the detector was working again. I decided to investigate the issue. The first step was to open up the battery holder, remove it from the detector and flip it over on your work bench. The battery holder is held together by 5 phillips head #2 screws.

Garrett GTI 2500 metal detector battery holder — remove 5 screws to open up battery pack

When I opened up the battery holder it became immediately apparent why I was having so much trouble…two of the four battery terminals were severely corroded!

The Garrett GTI 2500 battery holder has four battery contacts that are soldered into the plug that goes between the battery back and the detector.

Garret GTI 2500 battery holder with severely corroded battery contacts (probably oxidation from trip to salt water beach)

After researching, I found the following battery contacts available from Newark.com:

KEYSTONE  209  Battery Contact, AA, A, Snap Contact, Steel, Nickel Plated

I also ordered some new AA battery holders from Newark. Total cost was $18 dollars with shipping and taxes.

QTY-2 — KEYSTONE  209  Battery Contact, AA, A, Snap Contact, Steel, Nickel Plated

QTY-2 — PRO POWER  28-12570  Battery Holder, Snap Fit, AA X 4

To finish the repair I cut off the corroded contacts using a pair of wire cutters. Since the wiring fits snugly in the battery holder, I added a small piece of copper wiring to extend the wiring I cut. I then soldered in the KEYSTONE 209 battery contact and used heat shrink tubing where necessary to complete the repair.

Pay attention to the orientation of the battery contact. I actually soldered in one of them backwards and had to remove it and turn it around and solder it in again (the contact only snaps in with a certain orientation)
Completed repair of GTI 2500 battery holder — I only replaced the outer two battery contacts (the other two didn’t seem corroded bad enough to warrant replacement)

I hope you enjoyed with tutorial. As I said, I love my Garrett GTI 2500, but the battery holder is the metal detector’s weak point. Fortunately, if you’re handy with electronics and soldering, it’s a pretty easy fix. If not, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Garrett directly. They have a world class support team and could either repair your existing battery holder or sell you a complete new one. I can’t wait to see what hybrid metal detector’s they come up with the purchase of White’s electronics. What a great combination, Garrett quality and Whites innovation!