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Thread: Attention ! any/all metal detectorists who were hunting circa 1965-1975 !...

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  1. #16

    Feb 2004
    GS5 X-5 GMT
    169 times
    I started in the early 60's in the Midwest. Metal detecting was already a popular hobby in the south(civil war)and in the west with it's old western history.
    Nobody knew what you were doing and I never met any other detectorist for a very long time. Those old BFOs of course had no discrimination but one could tell larger rusted iron. We did not have the pull tab problem as today and the major annoyance was small pieces of tin foil. Everything was untouched and of course silver was everywhere(still in usage). I probably found more silver halves my first day detecting a virgin park then most people today will find in their lifetimes.
    The best place for sheer number of coins I saw was a site at the county fairgrounds. I noticed that they had placed the penny arcade in the same spot year after year. Here you would plunk in your dimes to shoot rifles at ducks and bad guys. The place was basically multiple coin carpets and was detected for months. You could not dig a hole without multiple coins. Most of the coins were silver dimes. Usually before you left you had to walk the area again to pick up the coins which were flipped out but not seen. I found two crushed rolls of silver dimes at the concessioners area which by the dates were dropped in the sawdust quite a few years apart. Most valuable single find there was an old gold pocket watch.

    I honestly thought by the end of the 70's this hobby would disappear. After all who would be thrilled by finding only a couple of dimes after an afternoon hunt.LOL


  2. #17

    Jun 2010
    Wherever there be treasure!
    An older blue Excal with connector, remote, Skullie headphones, and various coils. Got rid of the rest of my machines.
    8591 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Argentium View Post
    "Fantastic pickings for about five years -never saw another hunter " Now that is my dream scenario . I guess once in a while a site
    comes around (permission ,or stumbled onto) that is completely untouched by detectors -
    In my experience, the real metal detecting boom started in the late 80's & early 90's. Like everything else the internet overexposed the hobby and suddenly it wasn't just a quiet little hobby anymore. Even in the early 90's virgin beaches could still be found, the type of place where you could scoop up a dozen coins off the bottom with just one attempt, a pouch holding "several" pieces of gold and silver jewelry in a day, etc. Today you can go to these same beaches, some of them even rather remote, and not find a single coin even though the beach is still used heavily in the summer.

    This is where, I believe anyway, that saltwater beaches have the edge over freshwater beaches simply due to the fact that the sand gets stripped from time to time to allow access to those deeper layers where many items have remained out of reach. Research is the big key to consistent success now and even that task is becoming much easier to perform due to the internet, so good places are even harder to find then before. The internet has had a dramatic effect on everything.
    Last edited by bigscoop; Oct 17, 2014 at 10:56 AM.
    "Treasure is wherever it can be found."

  3. #18
    Feb 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Whites, MXT.
    4246 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Wow ! These are exactly the testimonials I figured would be out there - this is exciting to hear about - It's cool to get a glimpse
    into this time capsule !!! Thanks Y'all (keep em coming !)
    DFX DAVE in M.D. likes this.

  4. #19
    Aug 2007
    Mechanicsville, VA
    AT PRO Sovereign GT WolfPack
    219 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I started in late 1970. These above posts on guys talking about silver everywhere...IT WAS TRUE!!! In the small town in the High Sierras of CA. where I was raised I never saw another single person detecting. At that time there was an old train depot just outside of town that I used to detect. I remember I asked the only resident in the depot area if it was alright if I could detect there. His first response was, "huh"? I had to show him was I wanted to do. My goodness, it was just unreal! The oldest coin I found was an 1864 half dollar, I still have it. But, everywhere I went there were coins. The county fairgrounds, another mother lode. Quite honestly at times it was somewhat boring, (what the H**L was I thinking). Thinking back now, my mind slowly wanders to an almost surreal time of detecting. Sadly, never again.
    Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. Vietnam # 10 G.I Wolfpack

  5. #20
    Aug 2013
    Great Lakes State
    CTX 3030, Whites GMT, BH Platinum w/ Fisher F5, 11" DD coil
    108 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I started in the late 60's, going with my father. I was in the 10 to 12 yr old range. He was a coin collector and used it to find collectable coins, with pretty good success. Way more silver in those days! I remember keeping the found coins with no special collector value in mayo jars. A good portion of my first new bicycle was paid for with those coins. There was less junk in the parks in those days, but the machines were primitive, by todays standards. Still dug a lot of trash, just not as deep! Great memories! My only regret, is not sticking with it back then, the teen years took over.
    I got back into it about 5-6 yrs ago. BIG DIFFERENCE NOW!! Much better equipment, MANY more people detecting, really have to work hard for quality finds. STILL ENJOYABLE!
    Last edited by locater; Oct 17, 2014 at 03:36 PM.

  6. #21
    Feb 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Whites, MXT.
    4246 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    One thing is certain ,unless it gets outlawed nationwide (worldwide -HA !) this will be the most fun hobby ever ! The harder it becomes to
    find a good coin or whatever , the more those finds will mean to us - so perhaps the fact that we're no longer "hoovering" up the goodies
    like that first generation of detectorist , is really not so important ! Love hearing these 40 -50 year old testimonials !!!
    DFX DAVE in M.D. likes this.

  7. #22
    Mar 2009
    United States
    CTX 3030, TDI SL
    1761 times
    thanks for all of the stories! Now, my curiosity is what coins were found together. In my modern detecting time (90s to 2002, then 2009 to date), the majority of silver coins found are dimes. Now this leads to the question...did silver quarters, halves and dollars not really circulate in large quantities? Or, were these simply the first picked off by detectors? I've come to think that halves and silver dollars were rarely carried. BUT, what have you "veterans" of detecting seen in the 60s and 70s? Was it an even distribution of denominations? Also, in coin spills, did you see a lot of mixed designs together like seated mixed with mercs?

    I'd like to think that what we find detecting is a representation of what actually circulated "back in the day", but I don't think it can really be deemed accurate. What do you guys think?
    BARKER likes this.

  8. #23
    Nov 2009
    Riding a unicorn in the Saskatchewan mountains
    Tejon, AT Pro
    341 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Diggin-N-Dumps View Post
    ...and hear I am happy if I find 1 silver per hunt..lol

    I couldnt even imagine how nice it would have been back in the day
    I hear ya. Last week I popped two silver quarters and an 1899 Barber dime. And three silver days are unusual for me around here. I have read accounts of guys coming back with half a cup of silver coins, back in the day. I never knew if that was real or a load of donkey doo. Interestingly though, quite often my silvers are old now, 20's, teens, or older. Maybe the easier shallower silvers have been vacuumed up, so the deeper coins that signal near the edge of our machines capabilities seem more normal to me. But I have only been doing this for about 5 years or so. I have learned a few tricks already though. There is a small park in the middle of a larger city up here that has been spanked six ways to sundown. The main greens give up very little. What I did though was check under a small row of older hedges around the middle of the park. The park staff rake the leaves out from under the hedges every fall which means that the earth under the hedges is about six to eight inches shallower than the surrounding park, maybe ten inches. I worked under those hedges and pulled out old silver, some I.H."s, a ring etc. It only lasted for two visits but the finds were very rewarding.
    DFX DAVE in M.D. likes this.

  9. #24
    May 2014
    Minelab's CTX 3030, E-Trac & EQ800, Fisher F75LTD SE & F44, Whites MXT All PRO, Whites TRX Pointer & Shovel, Predator Tools Raptor hand digger & Ranger shovel. Grey Ghost Ultimate headphones.
    1326 times
    Metal Detecting
    I started in the late 1970's... My friend and I hit every school, church, etc in town in southern Oregon for approx 5 years. Our best school was built in the early 1940's and we found over 100 mercs on one football field. It was not a big deal back then to find silver. The good old days.

  10. #25
    Nov 2012
    Minelab x-Terra 505
    4817 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Great thread! Hope some relic hunters weigh in.
    "What if it's not just another pull tab?" - Lance

    “Fancy some lemonade Lance?” - Sheila

  11. #26
    Mar 2012
    N.mass- S.nh
    942 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    my grandfather was one of the first in Marblehead MA to dirtfish . He tells me stories that he would go to the beach and bring a bag to pick up the coins and jewelry . mostly after storms at 3 or 4 in the morning he would go because people would follow him asking questions about dirt fishing . My mother also told me he had a five gallon bucket where he kept all the silver coins and it was full so my grandfather started filling toolboxes and other containers . luckily he has kept most of it because my family has hoarded silver since the 1800's
    worldtalker and BARKER like this.
    where ever you go their you'll be !

  12. #27
    Nov 2011
    Whites DFX, Garrett GMH, Toltec 100, Whites PI 3000, Fisher 75, Whites Silver Eagle 2, Whites Beachcomber, and several others from 1968 to Present
    1838 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hi Argentium; I started in Nov. 1968. I was the only guy in my area with one. I had a RadShack BFO type detector. Buzzed like crazy, drove people nuts and good for 4" - 6" max. I loved it. For every pulltab was a silver ring or coin. Watches were everywhere. I averaged 1 - 3 per week. Every week I'd fill up a 5 gallon mayo jar I got from my uncles store with just silver coin. I was priviledged to get to Field Test "EVERY" detector that came out back then. I beat them senseless and if they passed my Tests they would work ANYWHERE. A big problem back then was Radio Interference. A cab would send them haywire. CB's were even worse. Today that problem is gone. I remember the Dawn of Discrimination. Boy it was bad but we put it through its paces. Back then Manufacturers actually listened to us rather than just chasing the dollars. Chances were you knew everyone who owned a detector for 100 miles around. Alliances were formed. !!! I can go on and on about the good old days but I have some business to take care of right now.
    Argentium, Thanks for this thread. I think you opened a Pandora's Box on this one. I have 46 years of SOLID "IN FIELD" detecting and I'm gonna share about them here ok. Thanks.
    worldtalker likes this.

  13. #28
    Feb 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Whites, MXT.
    4246 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I think the picture that is emerging for me from all these stories is- not only that silver was pretty much everywhere , but also what a good
    job y'all first generation detectorists did vacuuming it up - It is a special day for me if I come home with a merc or a rosie (just one ) It
    is much easier for me to pull silver rings than silver coins . By way of explanation most of my detecting years (10 now) have been spent
    in Northern New Mexico - I have found very few silver coins - less than 50 over that time period , whereas I've pulled over 125 silver rings
    in that same period . One way to explain this is that silver rings are being lost repeatedly now , silver coins aren't being lost and haven't
    been for about 40+ years . Thanks everyone for a great bunch of stories (keep em coming !)

  14. #29

    Dec 2006
    2019 times
    started Md in 72, i lived in an old county in ohio lots of history,and it seemed like
    everyone would let you Md their prop, left HS,then i went to university in fla.
    and fla was over run with Mder, from 76 on, i loved the beach and island hunts
    a friend was going to university in Columbus, Ohio,and getting into Md. we looked
    in the stacks and found this,( link below),had a great run,then in the 80s Md really
    caught on it was getting harder to get permissions.
    then i got into cache hunting late 80s, but was living up north again, wish i knew
    then what i know now about the average joe caches during the CW
    then the 90s internet for the average joe, research was a lot easier lol, then the 90s,
    wow great advance in Mds, and the Mds are getting better, but im getting older, and
    harder to get down to dig, so to satisfy my urge to know whats in the ground, i have
    found 2 kids= in their 20s, to teach how to research and Md that research, its been
    fun, im going to dread when im down to just reading about Md, guess thats better
    than nothing though, links to imgs of some of my detectors below
    and like BARKER said, i could tell you some tales too, ill prob share as time allows
    thanks for the thread

    found this in 79/80, and the Photocopiers when they worked they worked LOL
    Archeological Atlas of Ohio

    old map of area, i 1st started Md in
    File:Portage County 1826.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    the Mds i used 72-80s
    cm 5D
    DFX DAVE in M.D. likes this.

  15. #30

    Feb 2013
    Ones I use mostly: CTX 3030, XP Deus, White's M6, AT Propointer, Makro PP
    1333 times
    Metal Detecting
    I was really young in the late 70s, but I do remember detecting an old train depot with my dad. Now it is is a vacant lot with gravel. I have seen in one town where all the old houses are being town down for apartment buildings and parking lots. This has really spiraled out of control in the last 25 years.

    In the mid-late 70s' I found a few pieces of silver just on top of the ground. I remember getting excited when I found a Mercury dime laying flat on top of the ground. My dad gave me $1.00 for it, and it was only worth about .60 at the time. Just about 3 years ago I found a standing liberty quarter on top of the ground at a spot that hasn't seen a detector.
    Last edited by Pointman; Oct 28, 2014 at 11:36 PM.


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