Flashback 2003 - the next time you dig an unidentified coin
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Thread: Flashback 2003 - the next time you dig an unidentified coin

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  1. #1
    Minelab Minelab Minelab

    Apr 2004
    412 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Flashback 2003 - the next time you dig an unidentified coin

    Flashback 2003 - the next time you dig an unidentified coin be very careful cleaning it!
    This is a story of caution for newbees or anyone who has never thought about what they just dug from the ground.
    It was a nice day on Oct. 19, 2003. I decided to go to my silver field where some of my first silver finds were
    found long ago, but with a new metal detector. The area had been heavily hit with a chemical fertilizer year after year.
    The clad coins I was digging looked like hell and had heavy surface corrosion on them. Some of the coins were very
    deep which made no sense as they were clad coins. I did manage to find two silver quarters and two silver dimes at
    about 8" deep.

    Towards the end of my hunt, I got a strong signal. I keep digging and digging, and rechecking hole. At 12", I
    found this quarter sized object all corroded to hell, and thought to myself 'oh another clad quarter destroyed
    by chemicals' and threw it into my coin pouch. And I wondered how the heck did a clad quarter get that deep
    in such hard packed soil?

    Later after getting home after dark and having dinner - I started cleaning coins. Using a toothbrush, water, and
    dish detergent to remove heavy grime etc. I looked at the mystery coin. Hmmm it's really corroded.
    So I switch to baking soda, water, and toothbrush. I see it's all green and am thinking what the heck - still
    having no idea what the coin actually might be. I'm scrubbing away and see the green is disappearing but not
    paying much attention. I still think it's a shot clad quarter - no big deal.

    I dry it off, get a magnifier and then notice a sunburst design that I can now clearly make out. I get out the Red Book on coins
    and am paging through further and further back into time.

    Oh noooooooooo - it's a Nova Constellatio with no date (1783-1786)! I was dumbfounded - literally blown away!
    And had just scrubbed away the one side until there was no detail left at all. Big mistake.

    Now for the rest of the story on this field. I run into the guy who maintains this property and he asks me,
    'hey do you find many stones in that area?' I said, 'well there's plenty of small stones but nothing very
    large. Why?' He proceeds to tell me that they had one foot of surface dirt hauled away from that area and had new topsoil
    brought in that had been first sifted for rocks. I asked him if he knew where that new dirt came from and he didn't.
    But this explains why clad coins were being found so deep in that area. And my guess is that the Nova Constellatio
    copper coin was hauled in with the new dirt.

    The morale of this story is: 1) be very careful when you find a coin that is unidentified for any reason
    2) topsoil can be hauled in from any place and that can change what you find
    and the depths you are finding it at in that area
    3) Nova Constellatio coins or any other rare coin are where you find them, and that can be almost
    anywhere that has Colonial History in that area

    The undisturbed area right next to this field had most of the silver coins. They were all from the same basic 50
    year period and were for the most part at about the 6-8" depth in soil. Building had date of 1959.

    Nova Constellatio (1783 - 1786) is top coin in 1st photo.

    What a new one looked like:
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    Everybody has an opinion - this is mine. Humor will be part of that opinion. I've found things - some can only dream about. Some was pure luck, some was pure knowledge and skill. After 40 years at MD'ing (off and on), I know a few things about finding treasure lost in the ground. As a retired software engineer, I now have unlimited time on my hands. Life really doesn't matter unless you are true to yourself and in your dealings with other people.

  2. #2
    Electrical Archaeologist

    Jan 2015
    Sonoma County,Ca
    51 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Great find and very great story. Keep getting great finds.
    Ocean7 likes this.

  3. #3
    Charter Member

    May 2020
    San Jose, CA
    Tarsacci MDT 8000, Nokta Makro Simplex, Minelab E-Trac
    501 times
    Metal Detecting
    Great story and great lesson! Thanks for the insight!
    Ocean7 and eyemustdigtreasure like this.
    "The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future." Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
    Jun 2020
    Minelab Equinox 800 Garrett AT Pro
    28 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks for sharing.
    Ocean7 likes this.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    Nov 2012
    XP Deus, Tesoro Cibola, Full sized shovel and a backhoe
    30803 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (8)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I just dug another CW buckle. I overcleaned it. Does that take points away from me?
    eyemustdigtreasure likes this.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    Oct 2014
    Garrett: AT Pro, AT Gold & Infinium; Minelab: Explorer SE, II & X-terra 705; Simplex; Tesoro: Tejon & Outlaw; White's: V3i & DFX
    34089 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Nice finds, congrats! Thank you for sharing!
    Ocean7 likes this.

  7. #7
    Mar 2013
    Fisher Gold Bug Pro Tesoro Cibola Nokta Pointer; Phillips SHS5200 phones
    3724 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    I just dug another CW buckle. I overcleaned it. Does that take points away from me?
    Over-cleaning coins and relics, is an important issue...!
    I over-cleaned my V-nickel find I made recently..., but I won't make a mistake like THAT again...!
    Ocean7 likes this.
    Stick With It - It's not *IF* you'll find the good stuff , but WHEN!



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