Treasure Finds and Stories
11th Hour Find, What A Day!
I had the privilege to attend another back to back DIV this month in Culpeper County, VA. The ground here is highly mineralized and most successful relic hunters swing a PI metal detector at DIV. This year was different for me. After watching the GPX series of detectors out-performing the competitors including mine, I was begging my better half for permission to buy a GPX 4800. The answer was no.
On the second to last day, my wife calls me while I’m resting out in the field. By this time the relics had dried up for me as I had not found anything in 5 hours. So to say the least I was frustrated. After explaining my lack of finds and watching the GPX machines clean up, feeling sorry for me, my wife relented. Without wasting a minute I rushed over to the Minelab dealer that was hunting close me, and put my name on the last GPX 4800 he had.
That night I picked up my new machine and was eager to go. The last morning I hit the field with my shiny new GPX 4800. The morning was very slow as I got use to the machine, it’s tones and what it was trying to tell me. By lunch I had found one cuff button back and a dropped .44 caliber colt pistol. After eating some southern style BBQ and looking over the other attendees finds, we hit the field again.
It was not long before I was in a honey hole. Late that afternoon, my hunting buddy came over and watched me dig another pistol bullet. With a smile on my face I pulled out my pouch filed with the 25 bullets that I had dug after lunch. Wanting to test his VLF machine on a target, he asked me to find another bullet. As he was looking for the signal I just found for him, I picked up another “bullet” target. I noticed this target was in another previously dug hole. This was not the first time this afternoon that I had found a bullet in or next to another dug hole, so I figured this one was the same.
After digging out the hole, my pin pointer continued to sound off. Still thinking that there was a deep bullet, and I was close, I cautiously continued to dig deeper. About 11” down and hitting some ash, I finally saw some green patina peaking out. I called my buddy over to show him. Taking my time to dig around the find, I began to realize it was a plate. I started to get excited and yelled out “It’s a plate!” A crowd gathered to watch me dig it out.
My first plate turns out to be an 1851 model Sword Belt Plate discarded in a Union fire pit. With only 40 minutes left in the hunt, I was excited and shaking. Nothing like finding your first plate and with only 40 minutes left in the hunt makes it even more of a thrill.
We finished digging out the fire pit, recovering an Eagle General Service Button, a dropped sharps bullet, a .44 caliber pistol bullet and another first for me an Indian Head penny. With 10 minutes to spare we filled the now large hole, took one more look at the field and headed to my truck.
Of course I’ve riding a relic high ever since. My club voted the plate the find of the month and relic of the month. I can honestly say that without the new GPX 4800 I would never have found this plate. I really look forward to using the GPX 4800 in the future!