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.

2018 Georgia Gold Season

Georgia’s mild climate means that looking for gold can pretty much be a year-round adventure.  But, it’s nice to be comfortable when pursuing recreational hobbies.   For Georgia’s climate that is roughly March – October.   If you are going full diving then maybe a bit shorter.