Treasure Detecting Tips
Metal Detecting Treasure Tips by Jim Foster
Where to use your Coin and Relic Detector
There is no end to the places you can use a detector
Treasure hunters around the world consistently unearth relics from the past such as old buttons, badges, belt-buckles, US civil war memorabilia and Roman artifacts. These objects have been buried for centuries.
These items are often valuable, some worth many hundreds, even thousands of dollars.
Decimal, pre-decimal and Roman coins are found scattered throughout Europe. Spanish doubloons and pieces of eight are often found on the beaches of the USA.
In the cities there will always be places close by that will yield lots of coins, relics and jewelry. Schools, parks, play grounds, picnic areas, show grounds and racetracks are all good spots for coins and jewelry, the ground under the swings, around show rides and racetracks can be detected on a regular basis for coins.
Searching a field or around an old homestead is one of the most rewarding forms of metal detecting.
Beaches are well known places for coins and jewelry.
Your Own Backyard:
Jewelry often lost while gardening, including diamond wedding rings or gold necklaces lost before the invention of metal detectors lay waiting to be discovered. Many a coin has dropped from a pocket and fallen through cracks in the floorboards of a well used porch.
Common practice in years past was to bury money and valuables in the backyard for safekeeping.
Close to all cities and towns there are abandoned farm houses and old home sites. Often the only sign of them is a few flowering bulbs, or sometimes the threadbare limbs of a tired old peppercorn tree where once shrill voices were raised in play and treasure lost in the sandy soil.
Kids lose things they shouldn’t have, girls at play often borrow more than shoes and clothes to dress up. Rings and other jewelry sometimes come into play and get lost. Wedding and engagement rings are often found around old house sites having been accidently thrown out with the vegetable scraps. Chickens racing to the scraps and gleefully scratching them around soon covered any jewelry lost this way.
Clothes lines were also a place where coins and such were lost. Small coins hiding deep in the pockets were thrashed about the wind and would work their way free and drop beneath the clothes line into the grass. There they would lie, lost, until someone comes along with a coin detector.
Detective Work and Research:
Searching out old buildings and house sites.
These often yield nothing more than some common artifacts such as keys, locks, and other non-ferrous metal objects. Sometimes it is just one or two rare coins worth a couple of hundred dollars. Other times it can be a pocket full of pre-decimal coins. But the real fun is the detective work.
Searching out old house sites is often no more than a pleasant drive in the country during spring. Why spring? Well, it can be in any season but in spring the bulbs are flowering where there were once so lovingly planted beside a now long gone home. Deciduous trees are full of leaves making them stand out like sign posts shouting “Here are coins and rings”. And hardy fruit trees that once helped feed a pioneering family are struggling to flower one more time in an open field.
That is probably what makes coin hunting so much fun.. The detective work, the research into history. Every coin or artifact found is a moment frozen in time. Any historical artifact that once meant something to someone can mean something to the finder too. It can be seen not just as a coin or artifact but more a window into the past.
It means different things to different people but most of all coin hunting can be a lot of fun for the whole family.
Old churches are one of the best coin hunting sites for older coins. Coins were always taken to church for the collection plate. Children often lost theirs during play prior to the service, but grownups lost many too.
Picture a church on Sunday after the service, most congregated outside socializing with neighbors they saw only on Sundays. Handbags were dropped and coins and other valuables lost.
I once searched an old church ground and found several dozen old coins. Telling a friend about my good fortune I urged him to see if I’d missed any. I didn’t think I had but he returned with as many coins as I had found. Finding as I had done the obvious areas he looked closely at the site and thought hard about where there might be more coins. He found where the horse and buggies had been left in the paddock next door. Coins are easily lost when one has to lift a leg high to dismount from a horse, carriage, or buggy.
The next week we both returned to that site and found more coins. At the rear of the church we found a line of hollows were a giveaway. Trees mean shade from hot summer sun. Trees mean kids climbing. Trees mean coins lost – and found.
Trees around playing fields are always good spots. Trees around old houses, schools, and halls will always produce coins.
Old halls that date back to the horse and buggy days, and many do, will produce coins from funny places. Around the front porch, or steps are just the first place to look.
Betting games were often played around country halls. Work out where they may have played and you will be assured of a pocket full of old coins.
Horse racing was very popular in days gone by. Tracks were everywhere in the days when fifteen or twenty kilometers was a big trip. In my home town, I know of at least five race tracks in a twenty kilometer radius.
Recently my detector club spent about two hours searching an abandoned race track. Their finds were spectacular. Many old silver and copper coins all dated before the turn of the century. The best coin found was a gold half sovereign worth several hundred dollars.
But a race track doesn’t have to be abandoned to produce a lot of coins. Our local race track produced many hundreds of old and new coins, including two sovereigns, a half sovereign plus an amount of jewelry and all this just from the car park!
The betting and viewing areas on the racecourse would also yield many coins, some quite valuable, but these areas are usually under manicured lawns so are off limits.
The beach is one of the best places to hunt for coins and treasure because of:
- The large number of people who go to the beach.
- The nature of sand and how easily small objects are lost. Fingers shrink in the cold water and rings slip off, while watches and other jewelry get loosened by waves.
- The ease of retrieving objects from the sand.
- Beaches are easily accessible to most people living near the cost.
Few country towns had a swimming pool before the 1950’s, but they had a local swimming hole. Most towns, for obvious reasons, were sited on or near a river. Kids being kids love the water. I was brought up in a town that didn’t acquire a swimming pool until the 1960’s. Our swimming hole was on a bend of the river on the edge of town, and very popular it was too.
In 1980 when I searched the area with a metal detector for coins, I found very little. I returned fifteen years later with a modern coin detector and found coins by the pocket full. Not only were these coins numerous, many of them were in good condition and were worth some hundreds of dollars each. I had no idea my friends had so much loose change to lose. But I had only been thinking of my own generation. I few inquiries revealed that swimming holes had been used by the children of many generations before my time. No wonder there were so many old coins.
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