Treasure Finds and Stories
Seated Grand Slam
Recently on a Saturday morning, I had a little time and went to the same field near home I often hunt. The field has been heavily hunted for years. Coins are sparse and I frequently get skunked, but when you find something it is usually pretty old. It, just a couple weeks prior, produced a silver 1831 Capped Bust Half Dime. I hunted about an hour in the same areas I usually hunt, as do many others, before needing to leave, and found nothing.
Late in the afternoon, my son Jim wanted to go for a hunt before dark. To try something different I suggested we go to the field edge near the road that was *known* to hold only cans, tabs, and related litter. I told him that since we both use Minelab detectors, we could work through the trash and I think also get deeper than those other detectors. I think the FBS and ability to hear the targets, as opposed to the VDI numbers, gives us an edge. Honestly, when the others we run into claim their non-ML detectors are “as good” or “the best”, I just listen and smile. For selfish reasons I am perfectly happy for them to think that. My bet was that they would be less likely to make finds there than us, and thus it might have some areas not as heavily hit over the years. It was a good idea.
It was slow at first but as dusk came I got a nice signal. I dug a Seated 1877cc Dime and he dug a Shield Nickel. We decided to come back Sunday and focus on this area.
Sunday morning we had just a couple of hours to hunt. He found an 1877cc Seated Dime and IH penny, and I found a Shield Nickel. At the end of the time we had, I got a solid signal at 6 inches deep. It was an 1875-S Seated *Quarter* (more on this later). I was really ecstatic because I usually find only dimes, and this by far was my oldest quarter found. We finished the morning hunt and put the stuff away quickly because we were running late. We took to doing the errands as quickly as we could so we could hunt some more.
Jim was about 50 yards away and watching. We typically give each other a thumbs-up sign when we dig silver. Now sitting down, I signaled *touchdown* to signify something really remarkable. He started my way to see what was up. He yelled at me to stop when he saw me start removing some of the caked-on dirt. We normally do not clean until we return home to avoid scratching the coin’s patina, which is so easy to do in the field regardless of how careful you are. I could not help myself and removed enough to see a date and enough of the face to see I was holding an 1873 Seated Liberty Half Dollar in superior condition. I took a field picture of it in the shop towel I carry. This was definitely a first, and thrilling beyond description.
After recovering enough to keep hunting, I soon got a nice hit nearby in the field at six inches deep, and dug an 1876 Seated Liberty Quarter. I was again stunned because I now had a seated half dollar and (I thought) two seated quarters in the same day.
Dusk came and we returned home to clean up our finds. I noticed something strange when we had all the coins together because the two quarters were different. Jim looked and in seconds said that was because the 1875s reverse said *twenty cents*, and 1876 reverse said *quar dol*. I was stunned yet again. I think there were some adjectives used that I cannot repeat at this point.
Within ~24 hours of clock time I and my E-TRAC found four different types of Seated Silver, plus a Shield Nickel from same era in a field that has been hunted since detectors were invented. In the combined picture below, I found the 1873 Seated Half, 1876 Seated 25c, 1875-S Seated 20c, and the lower left Seated 1877cc dime.
Jim, hunting with the Minelab Explorer II found two Seated dimes (1874 and 1877cc), two Indian Head pennies (1874 and unknown date), a Shield Nickel, and a 0.2 troy oz. gold men’s ring, (we need to test to verify but after polishing there is little doubt in my mind). The nickels are dated 1867 and 1868 (it is more corroded), but we are not sure who found which one.
One thing to note is the real recent treasure I found that should not be second to this remarkable weekend – it is a renewed closeness with my son. Jim just got the interest to hunt recently. He started initially with an older simpler detector, but quickly saw the benefits of using Minelab. He switched to the Explorer II I had before the E-TRAC. He learned quickly and has been successful to the point of really enjoying the hobby and our companionship. The closeness and joy of hunting, talking, sharing, and planning together cannot have a value placed on it.
Thanks for reading.