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 – 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.

Awesome Day!

Tim and I were excited for another day of detecting. We rendezvoused at my house at 7am and were at the first field by 8. Tim had yet to visit the latest producing honey hole and he was due to find some silver. The air was brisk this morning and our hands were freezing. But we quickly warmed up when Tim uncovered his first Mercury dime for the day!

Shortly after his lucky find, laying directly on the surface, I found a pretty buffalo nickel. The weather went from mid 30’s to high 50’s very quickly and we found ourselves taking off our jackets as we continued to search the field. We both found some wheat cents and clad before we decided it was late enough in the morning to go knock on doors to get new permissions.

There was a home I had been eyeing about two blocks away from 1890. Unfortunately, we were denied access to the property by the land owner. We went back in the opposite direction where, only a block or so from the field, was a home from 1935. Tim and I were greeted by a kind elderly man, which after some explaining of what metal detecting is exactly, were granted permission to give it a go in his gigantic yard. Thrilled, Tim and I geared up and headed in opposite directions.

Moments later, on the side of the house, I was smiling when I dug a nice wheatie, but then I hear “Oh, Mike!”. I look over my shoulder and in the front yard Tim’s first target was a 1934 Washington quarter. We knew we were in for treat. It was very exciting, target after target I was finding old wheat cents. There must have been 7 or 8 when, BAM, I score my first silver for the day, a shinny Merc only inches deep.

An hour or two later, Tim and I find ourselves both searching the back yard. I had skimmed through it earlier, before I jealously entered Tim’s front yard turf after hearing he had found his 3rd piece of silver, a 2nd Mercury dime. As we swung in the back, Tim asked if I’m ready to get some lunch, to which I replied with his favorite line to me, “15 more minutes”. About 5 minutes from then, Tim glees with excitement, “Mike, I got another one”. It was a 1946 Roosevelt. That 15 minutes became about 45 after I then dug up my 2nd mercury dime for the day.

Tim and I thanked the old man and asked if we could come knocking on his door again. He said that would be fine, but was befuddled as to why after we showed him our great finds. Tim and I filled up on some great lunch before heading to the next location. It was the neighbors house. We were able to get permission from the neighbor before we left for lunch when he had spotted us detecting while he went to get his mail and sparked up a conversation when he curiously asked us what we were doing.

His house was new, built in 1978 I believe. But he told us that before it was built, there were a couple older homes on the lot that were tore down. He further explained that on his other neighbors yard, there used to be a mortuary. He said that he was good friends with that neighbor, who was currently out of town, but that it would be OK for us to head in that lot too as he knew he wouldn’t’ mind.

Tim and I were lethargic from lunch, but still excited to hit this lot becuase we had done so well at the house next door. Around 40 minutes into the hunt, I got a nice 32 signal on my Equinox 800. I dug up the barrel of an old cap gun. But wait, a cap gun usually doesn’t ring up in the 30’s. I check the hole and sure enough, that nice 32 signal still toned away. I continued to dig and found a beautiful sterling silver winged Saint Christopher ‘be my guide” emblem.

Getting tired, I headed towards Tim to see if he had found anything. He did! It was a buffalo nickel. We then headed to the mortuary lot, where we didn’t last but another 20 minutes before calling it a day. We knocked at the door and told the owner our thanks.

Tim’s Garret GTI 2500 finds of the day included a 1934 Washington quarter, 1936 & 1944 Mercury Dimes, 1946 Silver Roosevelt dime, an undated buffalo nickel, and 10 wheat cents.
Mike’s Equinox 800 finds include a 1942 Mercury dime and 1941 Mercury dime, St Christopher “Be My Guide” Stick Pin for car visor circa 1940, buffalo nickel and 15 wheat cents.

Another Score

I realize that people are going to read this and think you never scored a first time let alone again. But it can be tough to find coins over 50 years old. Tim and I have been out numerous times at homesteads old enough for turn of the 20th century finds, but come home empty handed.

Wheat cents are fairly easy to find, however, even those can get us excited, especially if we been swinging for a couple hours. Silver coins and coinage before the modern designs, such as a buffalo nickel, can be difficult to find. That is why when I do find silver, I consider it a win. And today, I won again!

This is actually historic for me, it marks the 3rd time in a row I’ve gone out and recovered a silver coin. Almost, 4 times in a row, but I had an outing in between with not much more than a Tootsie car. Anyway, this Sunday morning, I was able to dig up about $1.28 in clad, six wheat cents, and a 1951 Roosevelt dime.

What did you find today?

Silver again!

All week long I’d been yearning to search for another silver dime. After this past Sunday, I had I counted my tally for the year and I was at 9 silver dimes. So, I was hoping that within a little less than two months, before the end of the year, I’d make that an even 10.

My brother was feeling under the weather, so he was unable to join me. But I called my dad up and we met to hit the field where I had found the war nickel the Sunday before. I was in luck! About 30 minutes in I swung, heard a crisp 28 tone and right on the surface, without even digging, I could see some nice shinny silver. It was a 1944 Mercury dime!

Pumped up as ever, I continued to search the area. About 30 minutes later, I uncovered a 1954 Rosie. It is unusual for silver to tarnish in GA soil, but the obverse of this one was blackened. I didn’t know for sure it was silver until I was able to get it cleaned up a bit to be able to read the date.

My dad didn’t make the board this hunt, but he did find around $1 in clad. I think my total clad was about 73 cents. I was lucky enough to snatch 3 wheeties too.

My First War Nickel!

This past Saturday Tim and I went detecting but didn’t find anything exciting. Sunday morning I was making plans with my dad to meet him and my mom for lunch and he wanted to meet later in the afternoon because he wanted to hit the dirt to do some detecting. After getting off the phone with him, I thought to myself, I should get out there too, and boy, I’m glad I did.

It was a fantastic morning! I went out to a field where a I knew for sure used to sit a house from the 50’s. Not too old, but I figured old enough for silver. I ended up getting a few neat finds. The tally included $1.16ish in clad, a wheat cent, an 1942 mercury dime, a Namco token, an 1909 Canadian one cent piece, and my first war Nickel dated 1942 P.

Obverse of significant finds from 11/1/2020. Includes 1942 War Nickel, 1942 Mercury Dime, and a 1909 Canadian One Cent Piece.

The ground was very wet that morning and when I dug the nickel I couldn’t see the date or mint marking. But, I knew it was something special because it had a glow that just seemed to bright for a regular nickel.

Don’t be lazy. Get off your keister and do some swingin’ and a diggin’. I’m sure glad I did!

Reverse of significant finds from 11/1/2020. Includes 1942 War Nickel, 1942 Mercury Dime, and a 1909 Canadian One Cent Piece.

North GA Waterfall 2″ Gold Dredging

A few years back my brother and I found this little waterfall that we decided to dredge out using our 2″ dredge. We did pretty good and found stringy gold like it was near the source. Now, we decided to go back and see if over the years the flood waters have replenished the gold. So we set up the 2″ dredge. This time we added a 2nd sluice box. During a different outing we had two grains of gold that we sucked up to see if we were losing anything and yep, sure enough we were. We only recovered one of the two grains. In fact, the 2nd sluice box ended up being the only place where we found gold this time around. What a night mare; It only goes to say that testing configurations can really pay off. To see how much gold we found the 2nd time around, watch the video below.