Friday, July 16, 2010

Plan Your Metal Detecting Trips

When you’re going out metal detecting it’s always a good idea to have a backup site or two just encase your first site is a bust or if your site is unavailable to hunt. Now I’m not saying to just abandon a metal detecting site after 20 minutes, but if you’re not having any luck at your first site it couldn’t hurt to try your luck elsewhere. It doesn't make any since to just quit metal detecting for the day just because one site was a blowout, so be prepared and have a backup plan.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Metal Detecting with a Hunting Buddy

As you all probably already know I do a lot of metal detecting with a few hunting buddies. I’ve metal detected alone and with groups and I have to say I have a lot more fun and usually find more old coins when I’m hunting with others. I find it especially useful as we sweep through an area, when one person finds something then we all slow down and concentrate on that particular area. I have found old coins while metal detecting alone but it’s a slow process as I could walk right next to a hot spot and never even know about it. It’s also good to have at least one other person with you just encase something goes wrong, help is right there when you need it. Lastly, for me it keeps my motivation up when a buddy finds something, then I know I have a shot at going home with an old coin or relic because where there is one there is bound to be another.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Coin Roll Hunting (CRH) Basics

Coin Roll Hunting (CRH) is a hobby where you go through rolls of coins and pick out what coins you want to keep. Most people just look for silver coins but you can also look for other old coins that are still in circulation today, and error coins. The easiest way to get to do this is by going to your local bank (its recommended that you have an account with them) and asking for a box of coins. Then you search through all of them and take them to another bank branch and return them for your money back. This may sound odd but yes old coins are still in circulation, they are rare but the more coins you search through the better your odds at finding them are. Below is the type of coin box, the price, and what you can find in them.

*Penny box = $25, wheaties are a common find in every box, on average I found 12-18 wheaties. Indian Head pennies are more scarce but they are still out there waiting to be found.

*Nickel box = $100, early Jefferson's 1938-1959 are very common and I averaged a Buffalo nickel every 2 boxes. I have never found a V-Nickel but plenty of them have been found.

*Dime box = $250, 1 or 2 silver Roosevelt (1946-1964) can be found in just about every box. Mercury dimes are also common to find, I averaged maybe 1 for every 3 boxes and I have also found a Barber dime.

*Quarter box = $500, I have searched through multiple boxes of quarters and haven't found a single silver coin. Maybe you will have better luck than I did.

*Half Dollar box = $500, usually banks don't have them on hand and you must order them but always ask if they have any half dollars as you may get lucky. Searching half dollars are the most profitable as they usually have more silver coins per box than any other denomination. Also you should know that 1964 was the last year for 90% silver coins then 1965-1970 they were made of 40% silver. The majority of silver coins that you will find will be 40%'rs but its not uncommon to find Franklin's, Walking Liberty's, and the occasional Barber half's in a box.

The best thing about Coin Roll Hunting is that you get all the coins at face value!!! Once your done with your box, just return them and start all over again. Real important though - DO NOT RETURN YOUR COINS TO THE BRANCH THAT YOU BOUGHT THEM FROM!!! The reason is they will quickly cut you off and not let you buy any more coins from them as your just wasting their time. Also if the bank asks if you have a business just say no, your a coin collector. I have been saying that for years and they never gave me any problems at all.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Metal Detecting in the Woods

When I’m out metal detecting in the woods I don’t just randomly walk around, I look for signs that people used to use the place, because let’s face it – you can’t find anything if no body was there to loose it. If I’m in a set of woods that has a creek or a river you better believe that I’m going to metal detect all along the banks and any flat ground where someone may of fished from or picnicked at in the past and left behind some treasure for me. I also keep my eyes peeled for any unusually large trees compared to the rest in the area. With them being larger they are much older and have a better chance that more people sat underneath them years longer then the rest. Also look for any out of place trees like a fruit tree or a lone pine, (for me the woods are filled with maples and oaks so when I walk up on an apple tree you better believe I am gridding all around it) as it may have been close to an old home site or something. The same thing goes for berry bushes and old rose bushes, check all around them and even sweep you coil up underneath them, yes somebody might of metal detected the site years before you but I have found a lot of coins just gridding the area as best I could.

Another dead giveaway to an old site is old foundations, wells, old roads, paths. Now we all know to keep an eye out for foundations and wells but I have walked right up on old paths that I knew had to have old coins on it. When walking along and you see large trees then a sunken down trail then on the other side more old trees you better fire up your metal detector quick!!! I have hunted some super obvious old abandoned paths that were like silver mines, I couldn’t believe that no one beat me to it years before. Sometimes the path isn’t that sunk in but you can still see older trees on either side and much younger tree in the middle. I also will walk along metal detecting and look up into the trees as I have also found old trail signs from way back in the day that were possibly at eyelevel but are now 20-30 feet up in the air. It doesn’t get any easier than that to identify an old forgotten trail.

Lastly one of the easiest tell-tell signs that your site has had old traffic in it is finding old glass just lying on the forest floor. Now I’m not talking about old beer bottles from 30 years ago, I’m talking about old bottles and glass pieces from 80-100+ years ago. When you see busted Hutchinson’s, embossed bottles, blue or amber, or even the old embossed Coke bottles peeking through the ground, you know you’re in the right place to find old coins. These are what I have discovered from countless hours traipsing through the woods swinging a metal detector, and they have worked very well for me over the past few years. Well I hope that this can help someone out in trying to determine where to look for old coins and relics while out metal detecting in the woods. Happy Hunting everyone…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Metal Detecting in Trashy Areas

After years and years of people pounding all the easy sites to death, good solid signals are getting harder and harder to come by. Does this mean that all the good finds are all gone? HECK NO!!!! It just means that you have to slow way down almost to a snails pace in order to metal detect. I’ve found most of my old coins in super trashy areas, you know those places where you just picked up your detector and walked right on past. Well you weren’t the only one, I am guilty of doing this too as I tried my luck trying to find easier targets. Well now I know better, the trashy spots are loaded with old coins, the trick is you simply have to slow way down with your swing so you can listen for any good hits.

The problem is that your metal detector doesn’t have enough time to relay the message to you that there’s a good signal right under your feet when it’s catching 10 different targets every sweep. Now if some trash is too close to the coin target you’ll probably get what’s called an “iffy signal”, which is just your display bouncing around and the sound will go from coin to garbage. No 2 iffy signals sound or display alike but after awhile you will be able to tell the difference between a good and bad iffy signal. When you get a one of these signals what you have to do is try to isolate the good signal from the bad. To do this, try detecting in a circle all the way around the target. If you can lock onto the coin signal great!!! If not then there are a few more tricks that you can try.

First what you can do is a technique called “twitching”, that is when you move from a snail’s pace swing to a super short fast swing (swing your coil over the target in short 3-5 inch swings super fast). A lot of times using this technique will either clear up my signal and let me know if it’s good or bad. But if your still in doubt take your foot and stomp 2 or 3 times on the target (I was told this a few years ago and I thought it was a joke but sometimes it really works). And finally if all else fails just dig the target to see what was giving your metal detector such a weird reading.

Now if you metal detect in trashy areas you will dig a good amount of garbage but usually it pays off in the end. I hope this can help anybody that might be having trouble finding old coins due to “hunted out” sites. If you have any other tips or tricks that you would like to add please feel free to add them as a comment below. Thanks for reading and happy hunting…

How the treasure hunting bug bit me...

Ever since I was little I've always wanted to hunt for and dig buried treasure. I remember asking my parents to get me a metal detector for x-mas but they never did. So the years passed by and the thought of metal detecting slipped from my mind. The 1st time that I actually held a detector was back in 1999 when I was in the USMC as a 1371 Combat Engineer. It was just a basic detector that just had a needle gauge that would peg when the coil was passed over a metal object. I thought it was the coolest thing ever!!!

A few years after I got out of the Marines the thought of treasure hunting crept back into my mind so I did a quick search on YouTube to see if anybody posted any videos. Man I was blown away at all the great videos and finds that people were making!!! I swear the thought of metal detecting for old coins never crossed my mind, I thought people were just using them to find jewelry and modern clad coins, DUH... That very day I ordered my Garrett Ace 250 and joined a detecting forum. I got my big jolt when on my 2nd hunt ever I found my 1st gold ring, it was a men's 18k wedding band and I found it while looking for surface finds on a frozen sledding hill, I knew I was hooked for life!!! Here I am almost 3 years later and I still get stoked when I unearth an old coin or relic that was lost who know how many years ago.