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New Permission Leads to First 1800s Coin Find

By: Frank M.


My friend and I were always interested in metal detecting and really got into it during the pandemic when we weren't allowed to go out and do our typical social activities, but we didn't have decent gear. So my friend picked up a Minelab equinox 800. As the summer progressed, I started to get a little jealous over his success while I just kept digging phantom signals with my starter kit. So I finally decided to get one myself, and the results were amazing! It was delivered just in time for hunting this new permission we had obtained, a late 18th century home that was first used as an inn. In the first hour while scanning the lower yard, my friend and I both hit signals in the mid 20's not more than 10 feet apart. I popped my plug first and found what I thought was a coin at first. When I flipped it over, I could clearly see a shank on the back, I found a button. A little research showed it to be a Marine Corps button from the mid 1800's. My friends plug reveled a large cent, his first ever. It was unfortunately too degraded to see the date, but based on the face that we could see, it was from the design that was minted between 1816-1839. We were stoked! We definitely had come to the right place! We immediately made plans with the owner to come back. The next week, we decided to try the upper yard, even though the owner said he had moved some dirt around with his renovations. About 30 minutes into our hunt, and several pieces of trash pulled, I got a low 20's hit on my new Minelab Equinox 800 that I was still trying to learn. The last 3 hits I had in this range were garbage, but I know, when the signal is good, you still dig it, even though it was no more than 2 inches down. As I pulled back the plug, I got a little flash of tinted metal. I thought it was the end of a rifle or shotgun shell, until I saw the eagle printed on it. As I flipped it over, I could see it was a dime, but I didn't recognize it. I rubbed the date clean and I couldn't believe what I was seeing, 1802! I had to look 3 times! An 1802 Draped Bust dime less than 2 inches deep! We couldn't believe our luck, best day we ever had. Can't wait to get back out there and find more!

Obverse of 1802 Draped Bust Silver Dime on Textured Dark Gray Background Reverse of 1802 Draped Bust Silver Dime on Textured Gray Background Back of Rusted Button with Bent Shank Front of Rusted Button with Eagle Holding Anchor Visible