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Jackpot Metal Detecting Find

By: Jesse S.

During the latter months of June 2017 and all through the month of July 2017 Myself, Jesse Smith and Andy Adams found one of the largest Wheat Penny spills in recorded history. I came upon this spill quite by accident. I was going around getting permissions to detect various property's around Belleview, Florida. I had gotten permission from a Baptist Church and while detecting this property I had notice a small Spanish Church right behind the Baptist Church I was detecting. It just so happened that the pastor was there at the Spanish Church, so I went inside and ask him if it would be ok to detect the church property. He said sure, I see no problem with that, So I started out using my Whites DFX 300. I was finding lots of clad, nickels, dimes and zink pennies, can slaw, beer cans, nails and large pieces of metal. No big deal; it comes with the territory. As days went on, I continued to get more and more permissions and realized I needed someone to help. I asked a friend of mine named Andy Adams, he is the owner of a Whites Metal Detecting business at the Marion County Fleas Market. He said, sure he would be glad to. During this time I had decided to purchase a Garrett AT Pro Detector from Kellyco because I felt the technology had fallen behind with my DFX 300 Metal Detector. However I still continued to use it while searching various property's for buried coins while I waited. During the time I was waiting for my AT Pro to arrive Andy called me on my cell to said "you need to come over to the Church right away, I have found a very large Wheat Penny Spill." I went straight over and he had already pulled around 54 wheaties out of the ground in one large hole. I started swinging my coil next to the hole and hit several targets. While digging in this hole I was pulling out gobs of pennies one hand full at a time, some were stuck together. In this one hole I got 36 wheat's arranging in dates from 1909 to 1958. As we continued to search the Church yard we were finding more and more wheat's, other clad coins, tokens and several relics. I had discovered in talking to a man who lived across the street from the church that the Mormon's used to own the Church back in the early 60's. He told me a gas leak had developed in the kitchen and as gas spread thru out the Church it soon came in contact with a pilot light and exploded the entire Church. It was Big News here in small town Belleview Florida. It has rattled windows all around town, shook up neighbors and scattered debris everywhere. So how did those pennies end up in the ground and all over the Church Yard? Well It appears there was a jar of wheat penny's stored somewhere on a shelf in the Church and in the blast those pennies were blown all around the Church yard in the explosion. Many simply fell to the ground and were never recovered. So far we have found a total of 107 wheat's, 90 of them came out of one area hole. Total coins found in this church yard are over 222. Many were not counted because at the time I was doing coin rolling and returning many to the bank using them to replace coins that I had found while search rolls. We believe there are still more Wheaties to be found in this Church yard but due to the heavy trash from the explosion which is everywhere, it is hard to target in on these pennies. I have included a News Paper article from The Voice Of South Marion. along with many pictures which were taken from the dig site. Voice Of South Marion Treasure Hunters Hit The Jackpot