If it was not for metal detectorists....
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  1. #1

    If it was not for metal detectorists....

    well i want to see what everyones opinion is on this -
    If it was not for MD'ers there would not be so many rare coins around,or i should say the coin market is keeping up to todays buyers because of MD'ers...
    Strange question but would like some feedback or opinions.....

  2. #2
    Apr 2005
    land of the free-taxed to death
    Whites M6 Nokta Fors CoRe
    4 times

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    Well, I think a rare coin is always rare i.e. 1916-d Merc dimes only 264,000 minted. You still see people finding them once in a while, but how many are left Its hard to say if MD'ers are really making an impact. This coin was rare to start with so its hard to really say. I'm sure if you found a huge hoard of them you could affect the market some I really don't think us finding a rare coin or two will ever hurt the value of coins, I think they will continue to gain value no matter what!!!!
    Whites Matrix M6-QXT Pro

  3. #3
    Mar 2005
    420 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    It's hard to say this, but numismatists tend to regard MD-ers like they're the black sheep of the coin collecting community, at least that's my perspective. Hardcore collectors have one universal factor in the coins they want --- condition. Many of the coins dug up, even rare ones, wouldn't make it into the dealer's case on a good day. Even third party coin graders (PCGS, NGC, etc.) would return, ungraded, almost all dug coins that were submitted for the same reason, environmental damage. That's a condition tag that seriously drops collector value and appeal, hence most dug coins don't rate on the collectible market.

    The one extreme exception is the 1792 half disme that was recently found in Virginia. Coin World even featured the story in a recent issue. It takes a coin that rare to rate in the numismatic world.

    I'll agree that if it weren't for MD-ers more 1916-D Mercury dimes would remain underground, but that doesn't mean that the ones that are found are desirable to collectors.
    Last appearance in pocket change:

    Wheat penny: 1956-D (7/24/19)
    Silver: 1949-D quarter (8/9/19)

  4. #4
    May 2006
    Mesa, AZ
    296 times

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    It has nothing to do with detectorists like posted above. It's about the mintage of the coin, and it's heritage. Like when CC shut down, the coins value went through the roof because the mint was gone. A lot of the good rare coins have been protected for years by high end collectors, and get sold in auctions for different reasons.

    Most coins that have been dug up by detectorists look like hell.
    Randy Wright
    History Lover

  5. #5

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    Hello Rich,

    Yes, it is true that MDers do find many coins which then do find their way into the market. Not all of those are 'rare', as you well know.

    BTW, I think that you have asked some very good questions, and this is one of those... it really is not a strange question when you think about it. It's something that I think a few of us wonder about at times.

    I'd say that there IS an impact in more coins coming into the coin market. But that impact is suppressed in a number of ways and for a number of reasons. One thing is that many of the copper coins which are found by MDers which have been in the ground for a number of years have corrosion problems. That same can be said to a lesser degree of other coins which contain some amount of copper in them and/or which are silver or which had been lost in water.

    I've been to old beaches which had been popular in the past, then abandoned. I found old coins and other things, but the coins particularly, had been worn by the water and sand action over the years. What I am saying is that many of the coins that are found by MDers a) aren't particularly rare, and b) largely low grade and/or have environmental damage.

    Though, it is true that there have been coins found in hoards which have been discovered sealed up in containers. And those coins would have the best chance of surviving in better grade and with the least damage. Now, so far, what I have been talking about are U.S. coins. But when we are talking about MDers, we are talking about them around the world, not just here in the U.S.

    So, what I have said are just a few things to think about regarding the coins found by MDers and the coin market. Best regards,


  6. #6

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    I personally knew a man who dug up a $10.00 gold piece that was minted in Oregon. It was exceptionally rare (how many people even realize that Oregon had gold?) He also found a rare penny, not to mention all the general circulation silver coins he found. He was using a metal detector in the mid-1970s and was having great success because there were few detectorists around in those days. In those days, it was like a metal detectorist's heaven because there was so little competition. Anyway, his coin undoubtedly added to the serious collectors' bidding war because it was gold and rare and in exquisite shape, if I remember correctly. That is the only person I have personally known whose find affected the coin market. I've known other people who sold coins at coin shows and to local dealers, but they were largely coins needed to fill somebody's Whitmans Book. Or to complete a series. Or sold as buillion. I will go on record as saying this, that if anybody digs up an authentic 1894S Barber Dime it will affect the market, regardless of its condition!!!!!

    All the coins we dig up, even the common ones, are going to be bought or spent by somebody someday (if they don't get lost again). So in that regard I think the US government should respect our endeavors since we put money back into circulation. But we don't get much respect from anybody, so that's why it is so great to have a forum like this one. Here we can rant and rave and be among people with similar interests. What a hoot!

  7. #7

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    wow some good opinions out there! thx for answering my question all!..

  8. #8

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    A lot of the "rules" of coin collecting goes out the window once you start talking Colonial Coins. Actually many of the Federal era coins are worth big bucks even in dug, corroded condition, due to true rarity. I have seen worn out dug Chain Cents go for over ten thousand dollars IF it is a rare variety, and that is regardless of the fact it was dug, worn and corroded.

    Actually mintage number is NOT ALWAYS a true indicator of rarity status, the number of collectors in the market and the number of "known" coins/buttons/whatever determine the true rarity and values.

    The Colonial collecting community has been trying to standardize for years their rarity rating system, and if you look at auctions for those coins you will see ratings such as R-1 thru R-9. Those are more or less true rarity ratings based on KNOWN numbers , for example if R-9 is the rarest, it would be Unique, meaning only one known to exist. where as a R-1 would mean common in that maybe thousands exist.

    The 1916D is common by mintage numbers when compared to a lot of the early coins, but there are many more dime collectors in the world than Colonial and even Large Cents, so it is the old rule of Supply and Demand for value.

    I will be writing an article or two hopefully sometime this winter and I will try and include this subject in one of the articles.

    Rarity, value, condition is a very undetermined factor that depends on many things to make something warrant the desirability to be collected in the first place.

    Nice subject, but no simple answers.

    However, when you are talking the Colonials and certain rare early year American coins, the more found and put on the market CAN reduce the Rarity rating and value, so MD'ers can and do have an effect on the coin world market, in a subtle way.

    "The mantra has always been don't clean a (copper) coin or it will lose value.
    For undug coins this is true. For dug coins this is untrue.
    The value will increase with judicious cleaning."

  9. #9

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    Colonial Coins - my fav to collect!....
    coins like these are true history,and thats what is cool,who knows who held that 1795 copper and whatnot,etc etc...

  10. #10

    Sep 2006
    White's M6 & Prizm III
    32 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (4)

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    I don;t think we impact the market much at all...as stated in many of the posts, our finds are considered junk by most collectors due to the enviromental conditions of them. There are a few rare exceptions to this, the 1792 half disme is one example. If someone were to dig up a 1913 Liberty Nickel or a 1933 St. Gaudens, there woudl be an INCREDIBLE impact (and probably would cause a very prompt visit by the Secret Service). Other than that I don't think we make a major impact at all on the market. But market be damned, I'll take ALL I can dig up, don;t sell them but LOVE collecting....
    So many promising sites to detect...so little time....

  11. #11

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainedigger
    But market be damned, I'll take ALL I can dig up, don;t sell them but LOVE collecting....

  12. #12
    Charter Member

    Jun 2006
    Moonlight and Magnolias
    Fisher F75, Whites DualField PI, Fisher 1266-X and Tesoro Silver ÁMax
    6584 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (8)
    Honorable Mentions (2)

    Re: If it was not for metal detectorists....

    I would say in the area of tokens we make much more of an impact. Discovering unknown types. Finding more examples of extremely rare ones. Demand is so small in many of these cases that it wouldn't be the type of thing you'd read about on the front page.

    Just my thoughts,

    2020 CaneField Bandits Totals:
    Republic of Texas Navy Cuff Button
    US Civil War Belt Plate
    Eagle Breastplate
    Louisiana Pelican Cuff Button
    Louisiana Pelican Coat Button
    Corps of Artillerists and Engineers Button 1798-1802
    Two CW eagle coat buttons
    One CW eagle cuff button
    New York Staff Officer Cuff Button
    Monogrammed Silver Love Token
    M1858 Remington Revolver Trigger Guard
    Coin Silver mid-1800s "Fede Ring"
    1820s-30s silver eyeglasses frame fragment
    dateless half real
    1850 20 centimes French silver
    1852 three cent silver
    1839-O, 1840, 1848-O, 1851, 1851-O, 1852-O, two 1853's, 1856-O, 1857, and 1858-O Half Dimes
    1891-O and one dateless Seated Liberty Dime
    1892-O, 1899 and 1906-O Barber Quarters
    1942-P and two 1943-P War Nickels
    shotgun breechblock
    iron prisoner shackles
    picket pin
    Plantation tokens
    Minieballs, Beefaloes, V and Shield Nickels, and some GawGag


    Any relics, coins, or other items appearing in my signatures were found on PRIVATE PROPERTY with total consent and permission from the owners of said property.



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