Day 2 of 12 Days of Christmas.
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More to Detecting Than the Find

By: Les H.


About a year ago, I obtained permission to detect in a public recreation area close to my home. It is a level, fairly open area with many large trees scattered around. On my first trip there, I was finding the usual items expected in a public area - nails, pull tabs, can slaw, etc. Then I found a few pennies under a couple of huge trees. In a short time, I found 14 more. On later trips to the same location, I found 4, 14, 34, and 6 and a half pennies (yes, one had been sliced in two, probably by a mower). On my most recent trip (August 2021), I hit a pocket that held 177 pennies, one dime, and two nickels! There was evidence that they had been in a tin can that had totally corroded away leaving only a small piece of rusty metal. I addition to that cache, I found 63 more scattered pennies and a Texas statehood quarter for a total of 244 coins. That was my largest one-day find so far. Some of the coins were exposed on top of the ground; I could see them as I moved around the site. Others were close enough to the surface I could sweep with my pinpointer and find them. The bulk of them were 2"-4" down in the packed dirt. My detector is a Garrett Ace 250 with an 11” coil. I was running mostly in coin mode at 60-70% sensitivity. My pinpointer is a Vulcan 360. These were purchased from KellyCo about five years ago and have performed very well in all kinds of weather conditions and soil conditions. To date, I have retrieved 318.5 coins from this site. While not of much intrinsic or historical value, these finds raise a lot of questions. Who put them there? Was it some kids hiding their "treasure trove"? When? (Probably about fifteen years ago because the latest date I've made out is 2004). Why were so many of them strewn about on or near the surface? Why were they not all buried in containers? For me, there’s more to metal detecting than the objects of the find. There's the “thrill of the hunt” and the mystery of who, when, and why of a find that makes it more interesting and keeps me searching

Piles of Pennies in a Dirty Colander with Stack of Coins Resting in Trowel Above Colander Piles of Dirty Pennies on Blue Cloth Pennies Arranged in a Grid with Dirt and Oxidation Resting on Yellow Cloth Pennies Arranged in a Grid with Dirt and Oxidation Resting on Blue Cloth Pennies Arranged on Blue Cloth with Half Penny on Right Side