Found Civil war relic and a tale of two nickels

Mike and I hit north GA again this weekend looking for civil war era relics and we had a blast! Mike scored some serious coin finds by landing two really old nickels. The first find was a 1867 US Shield nickel! 1867 was only the 2nd year the US mint starting producing US 5 cent pieces from Nickel!! It was Mike’s first shield nickel and I’ve never found one, so it was extremely exciting. When Mike first showed me his find, I thought he had found a “V” nickel, but he kept saying, I don’t see a “V” on it. We both looked at the coin and then at each other and almost shouted simultaneously “shield nickel!!!!”.

1867 US “shield” nickel found using Minelab Equinox 800

When we spoke with the property owner, she said she had no problem with us detecting the property, but 15 other metal detectorists had beat us to it! That’s assuming she remembers every single one too, the number could be even greater! To say the least, this site has been hit hard over the years!

After Mike’s shield nickel find, we continued to hunt the civil war era home. I found the following copper relic which at the time Mike and I had no idea of its purpose:

Civil war era US issued sling blade belt tongue or batwing found using GTI 2500.

After a lot of internet searching, I finally identified the relic. The piece was part of a US issued carbine belt that would have been used around their shoulder to help a soldier carry his weapon.

Here is a complete example of the US issued Carbine belt. I found the piece that secures the end of the leather belt.
Another view of the 1867 shield nickel and “V” nickel found using a Minelab Equinox 800

Mike’s 2nd great find of the day was the above “V” nickel found on the adjacent property. A partial date is just barely visible with “188x” shown and “V” nickels were first made in 1883, so that dates his 2nd nickel between 1883 and 1889!

Mike and I had a great day of metal detecting. We also found numerous pieces of trash and a few clad coins. We hunted three old homes, the oldest was dated to 1840 and was used during the US civil war. Mike’s other nickel was found on the property adjacent to the 1840’s home which was built around 1890. This is just another example of the old metal detecting adage, “a site is never completely worked out”, so get out there and hit some hunted out sites!

Civil war US soldier shown using Carbine sling
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