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Thread: 1783 Nova Constellatio and Key Date Large Cent!

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  1. #1
    us
    Max

    Aug 2016
    Upstate, NY
    426
    2701 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)

    1783 Nova Constellatio and Key Date Large Cent!

    This yard continues to surprise me! We had two days of warm weather and rain so the ground actually thawed and I was able to squeeze in a hunt on Sunday. I have several permissions from this Fall that I wanted to do mop-up sweeps on, but because of the quick winter I had to choose just one. This is the yard that produced all of the antique keys and KGII coppers so I had a feeling there might have been a few smaller relics I missed and if I was lucky a 1/2 real or something. Conditions were perfect so I did a careful sweep and as expected a number of tiny buttons and smaller metal bits turned up. To my surprise I did in fact miss a bit of silver right in the middle of where I had been digging two weeks before!

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    It looks like it had a pin on the back that broke off and there are no hallmarks, but definitely solid silver. I love the script letter on the front, but it seems a bit minimalist for jewelry. Very interesting whatever it was.

    I finished up that spot and started new ground that was further away from the house. Lower target density, but a few small older pieces here and there until I happened upon a clear coin signal. I was expecting another large cent, but was floored when this fell out of the plug:

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    A gorgeous 1783 Nova Constellatio! It took some work cleaning it since the patina was delicate (I did lose a small chip on the obverse), but the design is very clear on one side and decent on the other. Looks to be a Crosby 2B and not something I expected to turn up so soon after my first this past Summer. This year has been ridiculously productive in terms of early American coppers!

    The finds dried up quickly further away from the house so I went back along the side of the house where the iron noise was the heaviest. I had already determined that the early residents had dumped their stove ash along one side of the house and had largely avoided that spot since it makes a mess digging into. However, this time there was a broken high tone close to the surface so I made a small plug and flipped it over. The signal disappeared (which happens to me all the time in ashy soil), but I spotted the green rim in the dirt and pulled out what may very well be the finest dug large cent I will ever hold in my hands:

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    It required almost no cleaning; just a little tooth picking to get the dirt out of the spots between hair ridges. The reverse didn't even need that! Not only is it a classic head in probably AU condition, but 1814 is a scarce date with only 357,000 minted. That's less than half as many as there are 1877 Indian Head cents! There are certainly a few rarer LC dates, but I doubt I'll pull them out of the ground and definitely not in this shape!

    Aside from those, there were plenty more relics of all different ages scattered about:

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    Of course more antique keys turned up including a barrel tap key. I also dug my first jew's harp. For whatever reason I haven't come across one until now and I see in other areas they're dug with relative frequency. I guess they just weren't that popular around here.

    There was a tiny fragment of what must have been a beautiful tombac buckle:

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    I'll keep looking for more pieces, but I wish I could find a whole one. There was also this interesting silver-washed plate:

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    This has been a fascinating yard and the owners have been very kind and excited to see what has turned up. It really nice when the landowners are interested in the history and even better when I can show them relics with actual history behind them! I have their blessing to keep up the search too which is fantastic. With all the old relics and coppers there has to be some old silver hiding somewhere and I definitely can't stop until I find it!

  2. #2
    us
    Jul 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Fisher F75, Garrett AT Gold, XP Deus, Fisher 1270
    6,530
    5532 times
    Banner Finds (3)
    What a great hunt! The Nova is beautiful, but the 1814 LC is off the charts!
    Spanish Silver Totals
    Cut Pieces = 18
    Half Reals = 29
    1 Reals = 11
    2 Reales = 6
    8 Reales = 1
    2 Reale Cobs = 2
    Other Early Silver Coins
    1797 & 1803 Draped Bust Dimes
    1830 Capped Bust 5 cents
    1827 Capped Bust dime
    1661 Hammered silver King Leopold
    1697 William III 6-pence
    Rev War Buttons
    3rd Battalion PA, Hartley's Regiment, USA, (4) 18th Royal Irish, (2) Rattlesnake & Stars

  3. #3

    Aug 2017
    SW MO
    Garrett AT PRO
    385
    745 times
    Metal Detecting
    Wow, that large cent could be worth some $$$
    paleomaxx, A2coins and Hawks88 like this.

  4. #4
    us
    Aug 2007
    Upstate NY
    XP Deus
    1,254
    1211 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Wow!!!

    Nova is incredible. LC is stunning.

    Can only imagine what that buckle would have looked like if it were complete.

    Congrats on some more stellar finds!!
    paleomaxx, A2coins and Hawks88 like this.

  5. #5
    paleomaxx, A2coins and Hawks88 like this.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT,YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'Time isn't money it's finds, unless your finds are money' 08/12/17
    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' 25/06/08
    A real man thinks about detecting every 6 seconds.
    'They look over their shoulder, I look to the ground' 30/09/12
    We can not understand ourselves unless we understand our HISTORY.
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.
    ONE LIFE - DETECT IT

  6. #6
    us
    Oct 2006
    Connecticut
    Excalibur 1000
    41
    74 times
    Beautiful coins! Do you think that that ashes in the soil could have helped protect the coin?

    Congrats!

  7. #7
    us
    Max

    Aug 2016
    Upstate, NY
    426
    2701 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Beautiful coins! Do you think that that ashes in the soil could have helped protect the coin?
    Thank you! The ash was key to how well preserved the large cent is. Wood ash raises the soil pH and the basic soil conditions would inhibit copper corrosion. This spot in the yard is also right next to a gentle slope down a hill so water ran off relatively quickly. That, coupled with how little the coin was circulated before being lost, was just the perfect set of conditions.
    Radon, A2coins and Indiana Mark like this.

  8. #8

    May 2017
    348
    1124 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    That large cent is so clean I could eat off it. Send it on over here. I'll show you.

    Great finds, brother.
    paleomaxx, A2coins and Hawks88 like this.

  9. #9
    us
    Sep 2018
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Max
    205
    444 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Those coins are great finds and the condition is outstanding. Nice work, thanks for the great story!

  10. #10
    us
    Title? old fart

    Jun 2014
    mid western ARK
    XP Deus with 9"LF and 9" HF Coils and 600 Equinox
    7,025
    8241 times
    Relic Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    what a beautiful coin, any Large Cent that I would be fortunate enough to find would be a key date to me LOL. kind of blows you away to see a coin that old in such nice condition. congrats on it and the other great finds
    paleomaxx, A2coins and Hawks88 like this.
    LUKE 15 : 8 "OR WHAT WOMAN, IF SHE HAS TEN SILVER COINS AND LOSES ONE COIN,DOES NOT LIGHT A LAMP AND SWEEP THE HOUSE AND SEARCH CAREFULLY UNTIL SHE FINDS IT?" 15 : 9 "AND WHEN SHE HAS FOUND IT, SHE CALLS TOGETHER HER FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS, SAYING, "REJOICE WITH ME, FOR I HAVE FOUND THE COIN WHICH I HAD LOST!"

  11. #11

    May 2008
    XP Deus
    849
    603 times
    Nice looking Nova! I don't recall ever seeing a nicer Classic Head come out of the ground. Great find.
    paleomaxx, A2coins and Hawks88 like this.

  12. #12
    Charter Member
    us
    Jul 2016
    Central MI
    E-Trac, Equinox 800, Go-Find 66, ACE 250
    738
    1547 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thats some good metal detecting! Congratulations !!!
    A2coins and Hawks88 like this.

  13. #13

    Apr 2016
    South Western PA
    ACE 250 with DD coil Equinox 600
    2,026
    5543 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Congrats on the Nova, significant find, but the LC is crazy perfect. Congrats!!!!
    A2coins and Hawks88 like this.

  14. #14
    us
    May 2018
    Maryland
    Tesoro Cibola Tesoro Golden Sabre Plus Garrett Master Hunter 7
    314
    355 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Congrats on that nice Nova, one of the finest I have seen dug. That coin tends to deteriorate in the soil and chips and flakes easily.

    The large cent is impressive! Nice condition and patina. And I like the idea about the ash raising the pH. Have you tested the soil pH in the yard and around the ash dump area?
    A2coins, Hawks88 and paleomaxx like this.

  15. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    Tommy

    Dec 2015
    Ann Arbor
    AT MAX
    13,164
    14345 times
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    Amazing post I hope once in my lifetime I have a hunt lime that Great jod Thanks for posting all your finds and the good write up Love it
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