Thursday, July 24, 2014

7/24/14 Report - Carolus III Reale & Other Silver Found. Coin Cleaning Experiment. Tropical Depression 2.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Silver Finds by Ben R.
Photo submitted by Ben
Tropical depression number 2 is now only a tropical disturbance over the Lesser Antilles.

Here are some great finds.  Ben R. sent me this picture of his finds along with the following email message.

I have been reading your blog since this past February when I spent a week in Fort Pierce and spent about 30 hours on the beach detecting hoping to find shipwreck treasure. In those 30 hours I found nothing but clad, and after returning home to Wisconsin I couldn't believe I had been totally skunked! I started reading your blog from the beginning and trying to educate myself about beach hunting. My dad and his brothers are very into detecting up here in the Midwest and I think I finally caught the bug, however there aren't many beaches up here in Wisconsin. In my ignorance, I had been detecting on mostly replenished beaches and I'm certain any treasure that was there was buried under a few feet of sand. I had learned the importance of research and had the sunburn to prove it.

Last weekend, after a few hours of research, I had found a spot that seemed promising up here in Wisconsin. After only an hour I had found 4 silver coins, and then right in the middle of a walking path I heard a solid tone from the DFX. At first I thought it was a half, but as I brushed away the dirt I saw the date. It was a 1781 Carolus iii dei Gratia reale. I found my Spanish treasure in the place I least expected it, out in the woods in Wisconsin. Hopefully this November my father and I can make the trip back to the treasure coast to detect after a big surf.

Thanks for taking the time to share your passion for detecting, your blog is great and is having an impact on the detecting community!
Thanks for sharing Ben.  Those are some great coins!  I hope we get some better beach conditions for detecting here on the Treasure Coast.

I've been talking a lot about off-beach and out-of-area treasure lately.  There are times when you have to adapt, and one of my old sayings is "There is always some place to hunt and something to be found."  I also believe that you usually learn something when you try new places.

Ben reminds us of something important  -  the importance of research.  If you want to find old stuff you have to hunt the right spots.  That goes with something I said yesterday, or was it the day before - a detector is basically a pin-pointing device.  It won't tell you treasure is there until you put the coil over a treasure.   Even when the detector coil is over something good, the item can be missed - thanks in part to the miracle of discrimination.  I'll talk more about that again very soon.

Yesterday I began an experiment on freezing items in water as a method of cleaning dirty items like coins.  I gave you a link to an article about that and wanted to do a test of my own.

You might remember this fire-fighter's prayer token. I posted it shortly after finding it a couple of months ago.

Close-up of part of the token before cleaning.
Here is the item as seen shortly after found, and then the second picture shows it after being frozen in water over night and then thawed out. 
You can see the crust obscuring the words of the prayer in the first close-up.

The second photo shows the token after being frozen and thawing.

The cleaning procedure definitely worked to some extent.  Unfortunately I don't know the metal this token is made of.  It does not appear to be either copper or silver.

Although the procedure worked, some crust remains.  Perhaps another freezing might clean it more.

Same Token After Freezing and Thawing

Wheat Cent Before And After Freezing

I also tried the same treatment with this wheat cent that had been buried in soil (not sand) for many years  The surface showed only faint detail.  It was difficult to read the date even after other attempts at cleaning.  I froze this one and thawed it twice because the first attempt did not accomplish much.

 Here are the before and after photos of the wheat.  You can definitely see some of the details better in the photo of the treated coin.  Notice the layer that appears to be coming off of the lower right edge.  I don't know if that surface dirt or not.

Some of the spotty removal actually made the coin harder to see in some places, such as over the wheat on the left.

Some results this time, but not what you would hope.  Again, this coin was cleaned before without hardly any results, so it represents a really stubborn case.  It was about the worst looking dirt dug coin that I've seen, so maybe not the best test.

Overall, I'd say freezing might be a good treatment in some cases, but don't expect dramatic results on stubborn coins.

I first learned of this method in the following link, which you might want to read for more detail.

 I have experiments on the effect of using different detector modes to detect gold items.  The results so far didn't surprise me, but they illustrate some very important things that you should know.  I'll post that some time soon.

On the Treasure Coast, as I said above, Tropical Depression 2 died, and there are no significant changes in beach detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

7/23/14 Report - Depression Two Moving West. Emeralds Found. Great Tool To Inspect & Photograph Coins For Errors and Grading.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Projected Track of Tropical Depression Two

What I am most interested in these days is Tropical Depression Two, which is moving towards the west.  It is not expected to become a hurricane in the next few days.  The current track seems to be towards the Gulf of Mexico.

One thing to remember is that it doesn't take a hurricane to really improve beach detecting conditions.   Sometimes a storm that sits off the coast and churns a while can actually do more to create erosion. 

The Mel Fisher organization says,  Our members spent six days sifting through material in search of Atocha Emeralds while enjoying the biggest Mel Fisher Days celebration to date. A total of 18 emeralds were recovered! The emeralds were of varying sizes and shades of green including this beautiful recovery.

I always encourage methods in addition to metal detecting.  Sifting is sometimes a good one. 

In the past I've shown photos of coins and things made with a Celestron Hand Held Microscope.  I really enjoy using the microscope.  Not only does it make good close-up photos, but it is also an easy way to inspect coins and things.

The microscope hooks into your computer using a USB port and the image appears on the computer screen.  You can then capture photos or even videos, if you want to move the object or take videos of a moving object. 

Although it is called a hand-held microscope, it comes with an adjustable stand which can be used to focus the microscope so that you can quickly pass coins and other items under the focused microscope for close inspection.  It makes it easy to see any small markings on rings or other items. And is good enough to make it very quick and easy to detect errors or other small details on coins.

Above is a nice high-relief 1946 Canadian penny at low power.  And here is a photo of the designer's initials found below the leaf on the right using higher power.

The actual computer image is even better than the photos shown here.

The microscope will show very fine details and could definitely help you find errors or grade coins.

I've started a test of the coin cleaning method that I mentioned yesterday and took photos of a coin and medallion before I froze them in water.  I'll take photos of the same objects after they have been thawed and we'll get a good idea of how well freezing worked to clean the coins.

Celestron Hand-Held Microscope Mounted On Stand

Besides inspecting coins you can also inspect other things, of course.  Have you ever had a hard time seeing the marks inside a ring?

You can put a ring under the microscope too.  Move it around so you can see all areas of the inside of the band until you find any marks.

Below is an example showing the marks found inside a silver ring.

I find it much easier to look at items under the focused microscope than trying to look through a loop or magnifying glass.  The microscope has its own variable lighting too. 

If you've tried to use a loop, you know how difficult it can be to stay out of the way of the light while getting a good view.

Marks Found In Silver Ring

One thing I should have added about the Step Search strategy that I described yesterday is that it is very much about identifying and working various layers.  You will often be working through layers.   For example, if there is a layer of surface aluminum, and you are working in a "coin mode" you'll probably being removing items from the second or third layer before the first.  Nonetheless, you should be identifying each layer and the predominate types of items found there and what is likely remaining at each layer.

On the Treasure Coast the wind will be coming from the South for days and we'll be stuck with a one foot surf.  You might like that if you water hunt for recent drops.

The tides are pretty flat now too.

Tropical Depression 2 is still way out there.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7/22/14 Report - Tropical Depression Two Moving West & How To Conduct An Intensive Step Search

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Tropical Depression Two
First, tropical depression 2 has formed east of the Lesser Antiles and is moving west.

I've been talking about the importance of search strategies.  One that I use in certain situations, I call Step Search.   A step search is done in multiple hunts.  The important thing about a step search is not that it is done in steps but that at each and every step an analysis of findings is made and then adjustments are made.

The Step Search strategy can be conducted over a longer time period when it is inland.   The same strategy can be also be used on the beach or in the water, but since conditions change more frequently there, you never know when how much time you will have.   In the water and on beach front, conditions at a particular spot can change very suddenly and quickly.  On the other hand, you might be able to return several times without an appreciable change in conditions.

One of the important things about the Step Search strategy is that you gather data during each step or hunt.  During each step you analyze the finds, or the lack of finds, and come up with your best estimate of what you think might be there.  You might decide after any one of the steps that there is not enough there to warrant additional time at that location.  Analyze all finds and signals, both junk and good, to get an estimate of the likely value or probability of good targets.

After each step make adjustments select the best detector for the next step.  Select settings and search modes for the next step.  And decide which  areas of the overall area to focus on.

Switching detectors is often a good idea.  If the area is very junky, for example, but you suspect there might be good targets mixed in with the junk, a good discriminating detector might allow you to test the area to see if there are good targets in with the junk.  If you fail to find many good shallow targets during the first step, you can then switch to a deeper seeking detector to see if there are any deep targets below the junk.  If you find evidence of enough good things to continue the hunt, then you can make additional adjustments by selecting different settings and/or adjust your search method.

Remember, in the water or on the beach front, a productive area might remain productive for only one day or a few days and then suddenly disappear at any time.  A step search should be completed in those areas as quickly as possible.  You will probably not be quite as hurried at an inland site.

Switching settings between sessions allows you to test or sample different kinds of targets.  You might focus on relics one time, coins another, and gold other precious items on another. 

I'll usually do a very general sampling on the first session, evaluating how much junk there is and what kind of items might be spread around and how deep.   I'll often use all metals mode during the first session.  It is not necessary to dig everything during the first session, but you do want to get a good sample of what the area might hold. Then depending upon the analysis you might switch your detector and/or settings to focus on coins next.  That would be if you were interested in coins and if the area showed promise of the types of coins that you might be interested in.  An alternative approach at this stage would be to remove any large items such as iron, for example, if it might be masking good targets.  After each step or stage, your analysis determines what you do next. 

The ultimate goal at a good promising site would be to completely clean out the site, but you might decide to stop at any stage, depending upon your analysis.  Doing a complete clean out is especially warranted if it seems there is a good chance of ANY high value targets.

As I showed in my Math for Metal Detecting post, one high-value target can be worth more than a lot of low value targets and can make cleaning out an area very worthwhile.

I think you'll find that as the area gets cleaner and cleaner, you'll hear smaller and deeper targets that you didn't hear when there was more junk and more large and shallow targets remaining.  Adjust your detector settings and do a very tight grid wherever warranted.  Don't be afraid to go over the same ground very slowly. 

You might be surprised how many new good but subtle signals seem to appear as you thin out both the junk and good targets.  When an area has been fairly well cleaned out, select your most deep seeking detector and go slow to finish up. 

Here are some coin cleaning methods you may not know.  One particularly interesting one that I have not yet tried involves freezing a dirty coin in water and then thawing it out.  The water mixes with the dirt in cracks etc., and then when thawed the dirt comes off with the water.

Here is the link for detailed instructions.

I found this mounted wheat with bale and loop in a pile of found coins that I hadn't inspected yet.  I must have picked it up not noticing that it was mounted.

I don't know exactly where it came from now.

On the Treasure Coast we still have the one to two foot surf.  The tides are getting pretty flat.

Happy hunting,

Monday, July 21, 2014

7/21/14 Report - First US Mint Coins. Why Such Different Views On Same Detector & Chikungunya Virus in Florida Mosquitos

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1792 Half Disme
Photo source: American Heritage Auctions Site.

 Here is a trivia question.  In what year did the US Mint deliver its first coins?  Find answer at end of post.

My 7/17/14 report included a review of the Garrett Ace 250.   I was up north at the time I received the detector, assembled it, and used it for the first time on three different days.  Not only was it easy to use, but I found a variety of types of targets in a short time, including coins from 1909 and 1829.   I felt that was a decent demonstration of the detector's capability.  I considered the fact that it cost me only $212 including batteries and headphones.  I had no idea how well it would do and was pleased with the results.

Yesterday I read a number of reviews of the ACE 250 and was surprised by some of what I read.  It seemed there were a lot of people who did not like it at all, and there were also a lot of people who were happy with it.  There were very few reviews that fell in the middle.  It seemed that people that wrote reviews  either hated it or liked it.  I would guess that people who are motivated to write a review fall on one side or the other.  People who are middle-of-the-road might not be motivated to waste their time writing a review.

Anyhow, I wondered why so many people were so much against the detector while so many others liked it.  Some called it a toy.   Others complained that it wouldn't find anything.

One possibility could be poor quality control.  There might be some lemons sent out, but  I really doubt that is the reason for the mixed reviews.

Some people might expect a $212 detector to look, feel and work like a $1200 detector.  I don't.

I think the mixed reviews come more from something that was discussed in my 7/12/14 post.  I posted some of views on detectors and detecting that were sent to me by James F.   Commenting upon the suitability of different detectors, James said it depends upon the type a hunting a person is going to do and where they are going to hunt.  I agreed with that.

There are additional considerations that I've discussed since then, such as your specific strategies and techniques.  I have presented some of mine in the past few posts.

I don't doubt at all that some of the poor reviews for the ACE 250 were the result of the fact that some people did not use it well.  Maybe they didn't take time to learn how to use it.  Maybe they didn't watch the instructional video.  Maybe they didn't test it first under controlled conditions to learn more about it.  Or maybe they expected it to perform like a high-end detector that they had more experience using.  Or maybe they were unrealistic about target ID and discrimination.

Some people commented that it did not perform in wet salt sand.  I haven't tested it there yet, but I suspected that would be the case.  The irregular mineralization at the water's edge is difficult to cancel out, especially for a detector that is trying to do a lot of analysis.  Some detectors simply don't handle wet salt sand very well.  I thought that the ACE 250 might be one of those.

In summary, I stand by what I said.  As James F. suggested, no one detector is a good fit for everybody or every detecting need.  The ACE 250 exceeded my expectations, especially when the price is considered.

Many people seem to blame there detector when they don't find much.  There are a lot of things that can be going on, but he skill of the operator is always a big factor. 

Don't expect a detector to find anything for you.  As I've said before, a detector is little more than a pin-pointing tool.  You have to put the coil over good detectable targets.  That is the big factor and the key skill.

Bad news!  Florida mosquitos are not only being their normal pesky selves, but they may be carrying a virus.  The Chikungunya virus has been detected in Florida.

Here is the link for more about that.

Trivia question answer:  The first delivery of coins from the US mint was in 1793, consisting of over 11,000 copper cents.  That is what the US Mint web site says.

The half disme shown above is thought by many to have been a test piece, although there is evidence that some found their way into circulation.

Same old story on the Treasure Coast - a one to two foot surf for the entire week.  Easy water hunting, but sandy conditions.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 20, 2014

7/20/14 Report - Mystery Item, N. C. Beach Hot Spot Still Producing, 1909 VDB Penny & Construction Project Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Part of the old path I detected last week.
Back in my 7/16/14 post I showed a ton of finds including reales and other old coins and relics that were found by our friend GoldNugget on a North Carolina Beach. He made another trip back to the same location and spent 13 hours in the field one day, and he found a lot more. I'll have a report on his new finds in the future.

If you didn't see his finds in the 7/16/14 report, you should go back and take a look at that post.

When I talk about things like this there are always lessons to be learned. What GoldNugget showed us illustrates some things that I've talked about before. One thing that it shows is that some hot spots are not near parking lots or beach walk-overs, and if you can find one of those hot spots, it can be like your personal hot spot which you might be able to mine for a long time. I'm sure some good spots are still out there to be found on the Treasure Coast if you want to invest the time and hard work to check out some of the areas that aren't so easy to get to.

GoldNugget says he'll be sending photos of his latest finds from that location.

I've been talking about some experiences and detecting principles that were illustrated to me on my last trip up north. It can be fun to try out another type of environment once in a while, especially when beach conditions are not good here on the Treasure Coast.  I proved on my last trip up north that many of the principles that work on the Treasure Coast also work in very different types of environments.

One of the things I found on the old path shown above was a 1909 VDB penny, which cointrackers says would be worth over $6.00 even in poor condition.  If it had the S mint mark it would be $600 to $1200.

Check your finds, even pennies.

That penny, like the Large Cent that was found on nearby steep hillside, was not deep.  It was found on a down-slope of the old path that erodes a little every year.  Part of that path is shown above.  The 1909 penny was in the top couple inches of packed dirt/clay.   I explained before how I emphasize searching areas where good old things can be found in the top few inches.

I detected that same path briefly back a few years ago and found a 1940s class ring as well as relics from the days of horse travel, including a horse shoe and brass bell.  I don't remember which detector I used then.

Various Types of Finds From Recent Hunts Up North.

Yesterday I showed these items that I found while hunting up north last week. 

I don't know what the one item is?  In the cap at the top it has screw threads, so it was screwed onto something.  Please let me know if you know what it is.

Another thing about that brass item that appears as if it was once gilted and which was found in an old yard, is that it was found in a hole with a nail, bolt, and piece of aluminum.  Three pieces of junk were in the same hole with the item.  The relic was deeper than the old coins I just talked about.

The junk would make it easy to miss an item like that if you are relying on target ID or discrimination.

Someday before long I'll make a video showing how a detector will respond to various targets when using different modes.   I'll show the display screen when different targets are close together or on top of each other.

Artifacts From Construction Project
Photo source:

A lot of artifacts, including those shown here, were recovered from an I-95 construction project in Philadelphia. There are unimaginable numbers of artifacts out there waiting to be discovered.

Below is the link.

On the Treasure Coast you might have seen some of the signs reading Big Choo Choo. It seems that there are plans to drastically increase the number of trains running through the Treasure Coast and a lot of people are against it for various reasons.  There is a petition drive going on . If you've seen those signs and wonder what all of that is about, here is a link to read more about it.

 On the Treasure Coast we're still stuck with a one to two foot surf.  It has to change someday.

Until then beach detecting conditions remain poor.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 19, 2014

7/19/14 Report - Connected! Best Treasure Coast Detecting Months. Finding The Most Promising Areas To Detect.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Various Types of Finds From Recent Hunts Up North.
Many who read this blog are very interested in the beach detecting conditions ratings.  As you probably know, beach conditions have been consistently poor most of this year and last year.  I don't know that I've seen such a long stretch of time with such consistent Southeast winds and small surf in all the time since I've been detecting.

Conditions have been unusually poor for an unusually long time with only a few short improved periods in between.  That happens.  There are long-term cycles and short-term cycles.  We are definitely in a longer term cycle of poor conditions.  there will eventually be a few short periods of short term improvement, and eventually a longer term shift to improved conditions.  We'll just have to wait it out and then someday we'll transition into a much improved long term cycle. 

Beach conditions have not been helped by all of the beach renourishment programs that have been completed on the Treasure Coast over the past couple of years.

One person asked what the best months have been historically.  Since I have been detecting, this is my ranking of the best months.

1. November - February.
2. October.
3. March - April
4. Remaining months.

In my most recent posts I have been trying to explain some of my views on detectors and detecting and the reasoning behind those views.  I found good illustrations while hunting up north recently and noticed how I apply many of the same principles that I use when beach hunting to detecting in a very different environment.

For me it is first and foremost a matter of finding and identifying the most productive areas to spend my time detecting.  As on the beach, there are areas where good items can be found and areas where mostly junk will be found.  And there is always more area than can be covered with a detector.  That makes selecting the area very important.

I hope you are beginning to see why discrimination is so unimportant to me.  I seek areas where there is a high percentage of deeper and older targets.  Targets that tend to remain on the surface (mostly junk) are just as important as targets having a higher density.  They both help you analyze the area to determine if that is where you want to spend your time.

An area where there are primarily light items such as pull tabs is not where I'm going to spend most of my time, however I do not mind digging a few of those because they provide good information about the area and help me determine if I should be moving on or not.

Once I find a promising area, I want to clean it out.  Most of the most promising areas will not have many junk targets anyhow.  

Maybe I won't clean an area out all at once.  It might take numerous visits.

For me, if an area is not worth cleaning out, I usually won't spend much time there anyhow, except for the rare times when I resort to what I have in the past called "mucking," which is when I will intentionally dig a bunch of junk in order to get to a few good targets.  That is a strategic decision I will occasionally make based upon a number of factors.

Now, back to my recent hunts up north and how some of the principles I often talk about were illustrated during those hunts.  Here are some pictures of the woods that will help me explain.

Note the steep slopes.


The picture on the right looks down a very steep slope that descends a couple hundred yards to the intersection of a couple of small streams.  The slope is steep enough that it is difficult to walk down without falling.  I still have a scraped arm from one time when I slipped and slid down the hill on my side. 

On that steep slope I found the ring shown above, a wheat penny and the 1829 Large Cent that I showed yesterday.

Now here is the key point that I want to make today.   That steep slope, unlike some of the flat areas or depressions where leaves, dirt and humus accumulated, kept items near the surface.  Rain fell, water ran off, and leaves and dirt were washed down the slope .   Those are the types of areas I seek.  I want to detect areas where light items will be washed away rather than accumulate and where heavier items will stay near the surface and within detecting range.

That 1829 cent was obviously there a long time.  The copper surface of the coin shows the effects of a lot of time in the soil, yet it was found within two inches of the surface.

The wheat penny and ring were also within two inches of the surface on the same slope.

It didn't take a super detector to find those items because my search strategy is first and foremost to find the areas where old items will be near the surface.  The same areas will also have very few junk items like pull tabs.  That is one reason why I don't care much about discrimination.  I don't spend much of my time in areas where junk accumulates and heavy items sink beyond detector range.  And if there are junk items I want to see them in order to help me analyze the area and decide if I should stay or move on.

Finding both the ring and Large Cent in this woods made me wonder how they got there.  This isn't exactly a park, playground or main pathway.  I wish I could go back in time to see how it all happened.  Somebody sometime spent part of their life on that hill.  Different people in different centuries.  We'll never know why they were there, what they did, how they felt, or what happened to them.  They wandered the same woods as I, listened to the leaves rustle and the birds chirp.  Watched the squirrels and maybe tracked a deer.  Maybe even slipped and slid on the same rocky slope.   But I now hold and treasure something that they once held years ago or a century ago.  A piece of their life is now a piece of mine, and in that small way we are connected - probably much more than I know.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 18, 2014

7/18/14 Report - Which Is Most Important: Search Strategy or Detector Capabilities? How Beach Detecting Is Similar To Detecting In The Mountains. Crucifix & Large Cent.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1823 Large Cent Find

A few days ago I did a post about some views concerning metal detecting and metal detectors.  At the time I said I would talk more about strategies in the future.  I'll do that some today.  

Yesterday I told how I used an inexpensive metal detector in an old yard and in a woods and found a few wheat cents, an 1829 Large Cent, a brass relic and a ring in a few hours of detecting with a brand new detector that I had never used before. 

It is important to know your metal detector very well and metal detecting experience can be a big help. My previous experience with other metal detectors helped me quickly learn how to use the new detector fairly effectively.  I am still a relative novice when it comes to knowing this new detector.  It takes a while to learn all the ins and outs of any detector.

What helped me most, I believe, is my search strategy.  You might find it surprising that there is a lot about hunting a beach that can be directly applied to detecting a heavily wooded mountain.  Those two types of environments are very different, yet there are some commonalities when it comes to search strategies.

As you might know if you've been reading this blog very long, I do not put much emphasis on the detector I use.  I put more emphasis on search strategies than any thing else.  If you are in the wrong spot, your detector, no matter how good it is, can't do much for you.  I believe that the most important thing is to find the right spot to spend your time and avoid spending a lot of time in the wrong spots.  You can not do that with 100% accuracy, but it really makes a big difference if you spend your time in the most promising spots whether it is on a beach or a wooded wilderness.  Both present huge expanses that will be highly unproductive.

On a beach there is the wet sand area where the water comes and goes and sifts and sorts things.  On a beach, heavier items tend to get buried deeper in some areas and get uncovered in others.  There are also areas where things get covered or uncovered on a wooded hillside.

I like to eye-ball.  I've talked about that before.  To find old things by eye-balling, you have to find things that have been completely uncovered.  You have to find those areas where old things, instead of sinking, either remain on the surface or have been uncovered. 

Of course eye-balling is more difficult, because even if you find an area where things are being uncovered, a lot of items will still be under a layer of dust or under a little earth.   But if you do enough eye-balling to learn to find old things that way, you have probably learned to find and identify those good areas.  Eye-balling provides a good test of your ability to identify the most promising detecting spots.

On a beach, there are areas where the sand accumulates and older and heavier items are too deep to be detected.  In a woods, there isn't sand, but there are areas, usually flat areas or slight depressions, where leaves accumulate and the cover items quickly.  The soil quickly builds in those areas and old items are quickly buried.  Pull tabs and other similar light junk will stay in the top layers of humus or leaves just like light junk is often found in the top layers of accumulated sand.  There are a lot of similarities.

On the other hand, in the mountains there are streams and run-off areas on the hills where erosion occurs and where old items remain near the surface or are uncovered.  In the future I'll show you a very steep hillside where old things were found near the surface.  I'll do that as soon as I can ge my pictures transferred to this computer.  Right now the devices are not working.

I've given this analogy before.   I'd bet on an old Indian with a bow and arrow who knows how to track game and knows where game can be found over a city slicker with the best gun ever made.  Metal detecting is much like that.  I believe search skills are more important than detector capabilities.  That is one reason I showed what could be done with a relatively inexpensive detector.  It seems people tend to think they need a better detector if they aren't finding much.  In my opinion, that is seldom the biggest part of the problem.

Whether you are hunting a beach or a wooded mountain, there are good areas and poor areas for hunting and you can learn to find the good areas where old items will be near the surface.  I'll give more tips on that in the future.

If you learn to identify those good areas, you'll be able to find old things that do not require you to detect real deep and you won't have to dig big deep holes.  Talk about a time saver!

Here are two views of a broken crucifix from 17th Century Newfoundland believed to be a part of a rosary.  You can see extensive wear from rubbing, which suggests that it could be from a rosary.

Here is the link for more of that story and the source of the photos.

The Large Cent has a diameter of between 27mm and 29mm. The first official mintage of the large cent was in 1793.  Production continued until 1857, when it was replaced by the much smaller penny.

When I dug the one shown above it was covered with mud and when I first saw it, from the size I thought it might be a half dollar.  After rubbing off some mud, I saw the faint image on the front of the coin and knew it was from an older era.  I was eventually surprised to see One Cent shown on the other side.

All Large Cents were minted in Philadelphia.

People complained that they were too big for pocket change.

While Spanish shipwreck cobs will be much older than a Large Cent, for a US coin, it is one of the oldest US coins that you will find.

Treasure Coast beach conditions haven't changed yet.

Hopefully I'll get more find pictures uploaded soon.

Happy hunting,