Treasure Finds and Stories
10x12 S.E.F Finds a $1,000 Dime!
I'm still shakin'...seriously.
Niterider_58... (Phil the Yeti).. and I road tripped to St. Louis over Memorial weekend to hit some parks. We met up with forum member small change (Dan)...and another good feller' from the forum that goes by the name "Nick Papageorgio".
We started out at one park where I spotted a nice looking area that had some shade trees along it. The tree line set up on a small hillside overlooking a ball diamond a few yards away.
It wasn't long before we started getting overrun by clad hits...everywhere. I just slowed down and tried my best to concentrate for a deeper "warble" to come through the clad hits.
About 30 minutes into the hunt I got nice HEAVY sterling silver man's band from about 8" down.
I plugged along for another hour or so then got a very sweet "warble" that was buried on the depth meter. I called over the Yeti so he run his coil over it... and was happy to see the 6 x 8 SEF coil he had on was nailing it just like my 10 x 12 SEF was. He agreed...deeeeeep silver dime! We were both wrong. From nearly 10" down came the sterling silver cub scouts ring.
After 2 more hours of scorching heat, 2 bottles of Pepsi, and a SWEET ham/turkey/roast beef "sammie" provided by brother Nick - we decided to vamoose to another park.
We arrived at one park and it was just simply too crowded...so we headed to another.
When we got there Nick asked me where I wanted to hunt at, but I don't know my way around the park, so I just told him to keep driving until I flagged him down. What a big mistake that was because traffic was backed up inside the park for nearly 45 minutes. After driving around the park some more...I finally saw the spot I was looking for. I had no clue where it was, and no clue how to find it, but I knew as soon as I saw it, that it was the spot I had hunted a few years back that had produced some oldies.
We all spread out and began pounding the turf. I chose to pound an area that looked like it would have been the LEAST promising to past hunters. After about 30 minutes I got a deep wheatie and a couple of shallow clad quarters...then nothing for a while.
About 45 minutes went by until I came upon a big tree with about 3 feet of turf on the outside strip, so I just continued my path towards it. I got a nice deep warbly hit with my 10 x 12 SEF coil, which almost buried the depth meter. It hit okay from a couple of angles, but broke up somewhat from the other 2 angles. Anyway I dug down about 8" and then ran the probe. It sang nice and clear, and from right at 9" down, out popped a worn Merc-SWEET. My first and only silver coin of the day...but without my glasses on...it was just another worn Merc.
I continued on hunting, holding the merc, wheatie, and 2 clad quarters in my left hand as I hunted. I then got an iffy injun hit so I stopped to investigate it. Right before I started to dig the hole..I called the Yeti over near to where I was. I chucked the worn Merc about 10 feet his way and asked him if he could read the date to me because I didn't have my glasses on. He was no help either and his response was "it's a worn Merc, that's all I can tell ya' because I don't have my glasses on either". He then chucked the Merc back to me and I just plopped the coins on the blade of predator and listened to them "clank" as they came to rest.
I then remembered I still had to check the injun hit, so I set the coins on the grass as I dug. The hit turned out to be a nice little piece of wire which frustrated me. I was also starting to get eaten alive by mosquitoes, so I told Yeti we needed to bum some bug spray off of Nick. I headed Nick's way, all the while clutching the 4 coins in my hand, not concerned about the lonely worn merc being jostled around with the clad quarters.
I got to where he was and asked him if he had some bug spray we could use I then gave him the merc and asked him to see if he could make out a date. He quickly said it was a 1916, and my heart raced a little, but I didn't think much of it. Not until he turned it over anyway, and said it had a mintmark. I then became a little excited because heck, I know it goes through EVERYONE'S mind, the goofy thought of actually hitting the big one, but still truthfully didn't think much about it.
I yelled at the Yeti and said... "Nick says it's a 1916...and it has a mint mark".
We headed to the car, and I didn't get any false hopes up about the dime. Nick handed me the bug spray and I sprayed some on while he looked at the reverse of the dime through a magnifying loop. He then said "Holy freakin' shi#...I think I see a $%^*ing D" I replied. "Oh bull...don't mess with me bro - seriously...what does it say"? He then blurts out. "Dude, I'm serious, I swear I think that's a #$%^ing D"
I then started to accept the possibility of what I might have. Nick called me over to view it through the magnifier, and I nearly loaded my shorts. There it was, a D mint mark. My hair started tingling, my head started pounding, my stomach started churning, and I seriously had to crouch down and collect myself.
After chucking this Merc 10 feet to the Yeti, carrying it inbetween 2 clad quarters, and banging it off the end of the Predator digger, it turned out to be the coveted 1916D Mercury dime.
Just an incredible moment in time that I will never forget, and it was made so much more special being able to share it with Nick, Dan, and Phil. I can only hope they don't think any less of me after I nearly got overwhelmed with emotion, nearly getting sick. I truthfully don't think they do...especially since Nick yelled out as loud as he could..."That's why they call him the freak"..and Phil promised to entertain us with the "Yeti dance".
After some fist pumping,some high fives, and me nearly passing out. I took Yeti and Dan to the exact spot it came from and planned on asking them to pound the ground with me. Well before I could even get my SE turned on...Dan pretty much knocked Phil and I out of the way getting to my spot. For cryin' out loud...he was on his knees digging a target before I even had a chance to noise cancel. I've never seen anyone move that fast. To make matters worse, right where I had walked over he popped out a SWEET V nickel. So not only did he go "roller derby" on Phil and I trying to root me out of my spot he also found a coin I walked over.
When I have more time, I'd like to go back there and dig some of those lower conductors that I purposely walked over. That would be kind of dumb on my part though ....as I'm sure Dan pitched a tent there after Phil and I left.
Sunday Phil and I went back to St.Louis to hunt with some of the fellers' at our annual Midwest Coinshooters club hunt. There were about 20 of us and we all just spread out at the beat up park chosen for the event. I told the Yeti we would be lucky if we dug one keper from this place..and i wasn't far off for what the day would produce.
Well after nearly 2 hours I finally dug my first coin..an 1881 Injun from 8" down.
I then plugged away for nearly another 2 hours before getting another decent hit. It was another one of those hits that I can't explain the sound on. If it was a normal sound it wouldn't have still been in the ground awaiting someone to pop it out.
As I set the SE down and bent over to dig...I heard this sick slobbering sound off in the distance. It sounded like a bunch of cattle chewing grass...so I glanced over my shoulder to see what it was. I just busted out laughing as I saw none other than the Yeti, his mouth was flapping and slobber was flyin'. He was off in the distance grazing on wild berries. I kid you not...he was seriously picking and eating wild berries from the grass like the Yeti he is.
Meeting friends and hunting...SWEET. Digging a $1000 dime from a pounded park...AWESOME. Seeing the Yeti off in the distance grazing on wild berries...PRICELESS.
I yelled..."Dude...what the freak are you doing"? He responded..."I didn't get no desert at McDonalds...I'm hungry". He then babbled something about warning me not to eat the wild strawberries...as he spit seeds and grass from his mouth.
After collecting myself and coming to the realization of exactly why I gave Phil the nickname of "The Yeti". I started to dig a plug. I got down about 6" and off to the side of the hole was a big rusty bolt. I showed the Yeti how it was lodged in the side of the hole and there were little pieces wedged in there too. The probe then screamed about 3" deeper so I dug out a clod and out popped an 1892O Barber dime that had been masked by the iron all these years.
What a fun couple of days. Yeti got some silver and injuns, Dan got some silver and other stuff, and Nick got some nice goodies too.
All in all, probably the best weekend of metal detecting I've ever had in my life. I was able to road trip, get 2 full days of hunting in...meet up with friends, enjoy this wonderful hobby, and dig every silver coin hunter's ultimate dream the 1916D Merc.
1916D or not though, my favorite and most meaningful Merc is hanging from my neck
Thanks for viewing and sharing this with me.Bryce Brown IL.