15" on a dime! Does it really happen?


Jr. Member
May 2, 2023
Cassopolis, Michigan
Detector(s) used
Whites 6000-D, Garrett GTA-1000, Minelab Sovereign, XP Deus I, Equinox 800, XP Deus II
Only once in 50 years of detecting, and conditions have to be perfect (kind of like shooting a prairie dog at a mile). The machine is not really that important if it is a good one (conditions are MUCH more important). The machine I did it with was a White's 6000-D from the late 1970s. I was in a park bordered by a lake in the early 1980s. The soil on the playground was sand mixed with loam. The ground was always moist because of the lake. If you dug deep enough, you would get water in the bottom of your hole.

As luck would have it, there was another detectorist in the park who was approaching me just as I hit the signal. I was fairly certain from the sound of it that it was a silver coin. The other detectorist asked me if I was having any luck and I told him not too bad and I thought I was working on a silver dime. I turned my machine off and asked him to check it and see what he thought. He could not get a reading on it at all. I continued digging until I was over a foot deep and he questioned me as to if I thought there was really anything there. I unplugged my headphones so he could hear and swept the hole. It was still a faint signal, but unmistakably there. I was in up to my elbow (15") when it came out. It was a Mercury dime from the 40's. I was just as amazed as the other guy was. He muttered something about he could clearly see he was going to have to get a better detector as he walked away.

I got many other silver dimes out of that park, but most were no deeper than 7 - 8". As the years went by, I kept an eye on detector technology, knowing that deeper coins were out there if I could just get to them. I tried a couple that turned out to be no improvement over the 6000-D, and then the Minelab Sovereign came along. It REALLY was a better machine. I revisited spots where I had done well and scrubbed clean with the 6000-D until I could no longer get a coin out of them. I was pulling barber and seated dimes out of areas I KNEW I had been over. I pulled a Barber quarter out of a spot I had been over and over. It was at least 12" deep in good, black loam. The Sovereign served me well for many years and I never saw anything come along that could beat it on depth, and I'm not sure I have even yet. I've been running a Deus 1 and an Equinox 800 side by side, checking targets with both machines and I have yet to get a 10" coin with either of them. I've gotten a few (very few) 8" coins, but that is a far cry from what I was expecting.

I'm not sure I actually went over those few with the Sovereign. Some of them I know were masked, so there is little doubt that the newer machines' faster recovery speeds and other improvements are helping weed signals out of the trash, but as far as increased raw depth, you can't prove it by me. Maybe I just have not hit that spot yet that has coins that were just out of reach of the Sov, but I doubt it.

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