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  #1  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:55 PM
SpringfieldXD SpringfieldXD is offline
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Default Back in the day metal detecting question...

I just got into this hobby within the last year. I have a question for those of you who have been doing this since the late 70s (or whenever the technology allowed hobbyist hunting to really take off).

As far as non beach detecting goes, in the beginning were you finding the old silver coins and other interesting things pretty regularly in public parks? There are some parks in my town that are well over a hundred years old so they must have had some cool things iin them at the beginning of the hobby but now they have very little left.

It's obvious that the best chance you have now of finding anything intersting is by doing research and getting permission to hunt areas that have never (or rarely) been hunted before...

This is your chance to regale me with stories of the "good old days" of metal detecting - I can guarantee you that nobody else will EVER give you this chance!
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2018, 05:19 PM
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I remember as a little kid.....mid to late 80s, my dad used to go out pretty regularly and would bring back lots of silver coins, had several mason jars full of them. I think that’s why I have so much trouble finding silver around here.

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  #3  
Old 08-09-2018, 07:24 PM
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You pretty much have a grasp on it. Is there "more out there"? Sure, but much of the "obvious" stuff was picked-over long before Al Gore invented the interwebs.

This is a dying hobby, regardless of what anyone says. Limited access, sites being built-over, etc. Like you said, finding an older home someone will grant you permission is a large portion of the available options.

Why do you think it is so important to hype the release of new detectors? Because there's always been a large percentage of consumers who ignore the obvious, and will fall for anything they think can give them an edge.

Look at "fat loss pills", and then actually go find out what it takes to lose weight (hint, eating less calories than you burn). Same principal.....looking for the easy solution, other than work and determination.

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  #4  
Old 08-09-2018, 07:31 PM
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No. I was swinging a Whites Coinmaster 2 at 15 y.o. New discrimination technology. Horrifying! No depth.

I went back to White’s 30 years later. This is a family friendly forum, so..I will end it here.

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Old 08-09-2018, 07:32 PM
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When I started in 1976 there was way more silver in the ground than clad. Clad had only been made for 11 years at that point. It was almost always silver if it was a dime, Quarter or half. I converted a lot of silver coins at that time into wax packs of baseball cards. I was 12 years old.

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  #6  
Old 08-09-2018, 07:40 PM
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Default research, research , research & some times dumb luck

Lots of prime spots are over looked because people don't know what was in a area 100 years ago. Make use of any historical societies in your area and research your areas history on the internet , old pictures can be a lot of help. When I first started I thought there can't be much interesting finds around here ,after some research I found lots of history in our city and surrounding cities. Now that I am retired I plan on doing lots more research and exploring more places and hopefully find some older silver and coins.

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  #7  
Old 08-09-2018, 07:41 PM
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I was roll hunting at 15 y.o. In ‘77.
Do you think I did better on the silver?

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  #8  
Old 08-10-2018, 01:06 AM
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I hunt fields. Last year i dug 25 large cents and 69 indianhead pennies. I have no idea how much silver but mostly seated. Hit the fields. Its still out there if you look

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  #9  
Old 08-10-2018, 01:48 AM
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Great subject. Md'ing technology has been out for a long long time. WWII mine detectors, fisher 2-box machines in the 1930s, etc... Yet the truth is: Detecting for individual coins has only been around .... since ... at the earlist, the early 1960s. Prior to that, detectors were only capable of finding jar and hubcap sized items at the smallest . And even then-so, quite clumsy.

Starting in the early 1960s, some guys became wise to the potential . Ie.: some CW hunters, some beach hunters, etc... That spread to turf hunting and so forth. Even by the early 1970s, there were still vast areas of the USA that had never seen a detector on their parks, schools, etc...

But you're right: By the mid to late 1970s there was a "silver rush" of sorts. Companies like Whites and Garrett could barely keep up with the demand. And technology was going lightening fast in those years. Such that if you had a machine that was a mere 3 yrs. old, you had a dinosaur. Discrimination, ground balancing, TID, added depth, etc.....

I got into it @ about 1976 ish, during Jr. High. But came-to-know guys who had been into it since even the 1960s. And took careful note of their finds, tallies, machines, etc...

And you'd be surprised that : As much as we'd like to believe they were raking in silver hand-over-fist in those virgin days : It wasn't quite so simple. Go figure: The machines in the mid to late '60s lacked any depth or discrimination. So you were cursed with foil, nails, etc.... You were doing good to get a coin-sized item to 3" deep (although, yes, they could find individual coins). Yes it's true there was innate iron-ID ability of BFO and all-metal TR, yet ... foil still drove you crazy.

So for example, a guy in the mid to late 1960s might come in with 5 silver coins. Then fast-forward to discrimination days of the mid 1970s, and .... same results: 5 silver coins. Then fast forward to the late 1970s with motion disc.: 5 silver coins. And so on.

But this assumes the coverage of the SAME EXACT ZONES. Such that each generation is getting the prior generation's "left-overs" . Obviously .... if something was researched (virgin picnic site or whatever) in 1980, then ... of course, you'll hear fabled stories. But if it's a question of the samo-samo- park or ghost town, then .... Each generation simply gets a little deeper, a little smoother, a little better @ separation/see-through, etc.....

There might be stories of persons in the 1960s or 70s who got "handfuls of silver" during a hunt. But those would be exceptions where it's at the foot of beach snackstands, or under the twilt-a-whirl carnival rides, or some such exception. For the most part, they struggled with their machines . And also, go figure, if you're talking the mid 1960s, they probably went out and spent the silver they were finding, because it was still like clad in those days.

To my recollection, the most "ease" (fastest results) was when the 6000D first came out. That was 1978 to 79-ish. The first guys who go those, and wised up to their usage, seemed to rack-up silver counts.
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2018, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Gauntlet View post
This is a dying hobby, regardless of what anyone says. Limited access, sites being built-over, etc. Like you said, finding an older home someone will grant you permission is a large portion of the available options.
Maybe over in the US, but definitely not here in Perth, WA. Metal detecting facebook groups have expanded massively over the past year and have been flooded with new members. Long time members on some of the original Facebook groups says they've never seen such an increase in activity on the groups.

In fact, one of the Facebook groups I'm part of recently hosted its first competition because people were interested, and there are also plans for future ones. There will be a meeting for the group next week, and I've heard that they may want to do collaborations with archeologists to help locate sites in the future...should be interesting.

And a lot of the sites here in Perth prove they've seen very little, if any, detector competition. Playgrounds loaded with clad...parks still full of old coins. My last two relic hunts were at an old park, right in the city. Found 16 old coins (pennies, halfpennies, some silvers too). I'm sure there's still more to be found. Sure, there are heavily hunted sites out there, but a lot of them produce astoundingly well.

Beaches over here do get hunted quite regularly, and some are cleaned by machines, but you can still expect to do well at them.

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  #11  
Old 08-10-2018, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
Great subject. Md'ing technology has been out for a long long time. WWII mine detectors, fisher 2-box machines in the 1930s, etc... Yet the truth is: Detecting for individual coins has only been around .... since ... at the earlist, the early 1960s. Prior to that, detectors were only capable of finding jar and hubcap sized items at the smallest . And even then-so, quite clumsy.

Starting in the early 1960s, some guys became wise to the potential . Ie.: some CW hunters, some beach hunters, etc... That spread to turf hunting and so forth. Even by the early 1970s, there were still vast areas of the USA that had never seen a detector on their parks, schools, etc...

But you're right: By the mid to late 1970s there was a "silver rush" of sorts. Companies like Whites and Garrett could barely keep up with the demand. And technology was going lightening fast in those years. Such that if you had a machine that was a mere 3 yrs. old, you had a dinosaur. Discrimination, ground balancing, TID, added depth, etc.....

I got into it @ about 1976 ish, during Jr. High. But came-to-know guys who had been into it since even the 1960s. And took careful note of their finds, tallies, machines, etc...

And you'd be surprised that : As much as we'd like to believe they were raking in silver hand-over-fist in those virgin days : It wasn't quite so simple. Go figure: The machines in the mid to late '60s lacked any depth or discrimination. So you were cursed with foil, nails, etc.... You were doing good to get a coin-sized item to 3" deep (although, yes, they could find individual coins). Yes it's true there was innate iron-ID ability of BFO and all-metal TR, yet ... foil still drove you crazy.

So for example, a guy in the mid to late 1960s might come in with 5 silver coins. Then fast-forward to discrimination days of the mid 1970s, and .... same results: 5 silver coins. Then fast forward to the late 1970s with motion disc.: 5 silver coins. And so on.

But this assumes the coverage of the SAME EXACT ZONES. Such that each generation is getting the prior generation's "left-overs" . Obviously .... if something was researched (virgin picnic site or whatever) in 1980, then ... of course, you'll hear fabled stories. But if it's a question of the samo-samo- park or ghost town, then .... Each generation simply gets a little deeper, a little smoother, a little better @ separation/see-through, etc.....

There might be stories of persons in the 1960s or 70s who got "handfuls of silver" during a hunt. But those would be exceptions where it's at the foot of beach snackstands, or under the twilt-a-whirl carnival rides, or some such exception. For the most part, they struggled with their machines . And also, go figure, if you're talking the mid 1960s, they probably went out and spent the silver they were finding, because it was still like clad in those days.

To my recollection, the most "ease" (fastest results) was when the 6000D first came out. That was 1978 to 79-ish. The first guys who go those, and wised up to their usage, seemed to rack-up silver counts.
Thanks for a great post. I remember reading that you're 57 now. I'm 55 and wish I had gotten into MD'ing back when I was a teenager.

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Old 08-10-2018, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by sandgroper View post
Maybe over in the US, but definitely not here in Perth, WA. Metal detecting facebook groups have expanded massively over the past year and have been flooded with new members. Long time members on some of the original Facebook groups says they've never seen such an increase in activity on the groups.

In fact, one of the Facebook groups I'm part of recently hosted its first competition because people were interested, and there are also plans for future ones. There will be a meeting for the group next week, and I've heard that they may want to do collaborations with archeologists to help locate sites in the future...should be interesting.

And a lot of the sites here in Perth prove they've seen very little, if any, detector competition. Playgrounds loaded with clad...parks still full of old coins. My last two relic hunts were at an old park, right in the city. Found 16 old coins (pennies, halfpennies, some silvers too). I'm sure there's still more to be found. Sure, there are heavily hunted sites out there, but a lot of them produce astoundingly well.

Beaches over here do get hunted quite regularly, and some are cleaned by machines, but you can still expect to do well at them.
That's it, I'm moving to OZ!

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  #13  
Old 08-10-2018, 10:10 AM
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I don't know anything about the good ole days. I only started six years ago. Local city park that once was a ball field. Now it is mostly tennis courts. First visit it gave me a 42 Washington. Later visits it gave up three silver dimes. Property next door gave up a total of 9 silver coins. Both those properties had been detected previously. Had one gentleman tell me that I was wasting my time as he had dug every coin out of those two properties and that there was nothing left. Had another guy see me detecting and tell me that two or three months before some one had detected every inch of the park.
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by georgeinsc View post
I don't know anything about the good ole days. I only started six years ago. Local city park that once was a ball field. Now it is mostly tennis courts. First visit it gave me a 42 Washington. Later visits it gave up three silver dimes. Property next door gave up a total of 9 silver coins. Both those properties had been detected previously. Had one gentleman tell me that I was wasting my time as he had dug every coin out of those two properties and that there was nothing left. Had another guy see me detecting and tell me that two or three months before some one had detected every inch of the park.
Good point. The old school guys often did well, but one good thing is that many of them actually believe that once they went over a place, it's "hunted out". But then the "whippersnappers" like you, George, come along and prove 'em wrong.
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:40 AM
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Back in the good 'ole days (1972-73), I only hunted CW relics. Only on occasion would I find a coin. I think it was a Fisher 505 or something like that, that was my Detector. My Buddy had a BH, I think.
Marvin
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:45 AM
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It was the "good ol' days" stories of a friend of my Dad's, that really got me interested in MDing in the first place. In the early to maybe mid 70s, I was a boy listening in on the amazing tales of an old scrapper guy with a "modern" White's detector. Besides making a killing on brass, copper, aluminum, etc., he was filling jars with silver coins. I think many of them were coins he sorted out of circulation at the time. He told of finding big silver dollars and half dollars. He told of finding buried jars of old coins. Axe heads and horseshoes too. I remember some mention of pulltabs too, but the treasure hunting fantasies in my mind disregarded the negative details. His treasures were the foundation of my future bucket list. I've dug axe heads and horseshoes. Dug a fair number of silver coins. Last year I was blessed with my #1 on the list, a real silver dollar. Still looking for silver half dollars and jars of coins.
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  #17  
Old 08-10-2018, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Gauntlet View post

This is a dying hobby, regardless of what anyone says. Limited access, sites being built-over, etc.
I agree!...This Sport is under the constraints of exponential Target Decline! Its not like fishing or hunting where theres a replenishment factor..We find 'One Offs', once found, never to be found again....Even clad is not replenishing at any kind of worthwhile rate of a few years ago...Its getting hard to find a penny in a totlot anymore!

So...Understanding this, whats a guy to do?...Modifying target focus and hitting different genres within this Sport, keep at it and get their share!...In this case, theres always something a guy can go out and hunt for, meteorites, nuggets, float copper...tear outs, empty cans, towels, whatever satisfies a guys need to get out and hunt is a worthy target....But yeah...The heyday of massive old amounts of silver coins in easy to access areas is long gone...

So a guy gets sharp, recognizes the situation for what it is and thinks strategically, "if theres no deer around, lets go get us some bunnies"..."If theres no bunnies left, lets go get us some grasshoppers"...This is how coyotes think...its a good style to pattern...

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  #18  
Old 08-10-2018, 11:24 AM
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I Agree that targets are diminishing and as a result the hobby will suffer for "some" and a lot of people will drop out in the coming years.. HOWEVER.. for those that are willing to put in the work and do the research they should be able to sustain a fair amount of good finds.

I am also a firm believer that you have to sometimes go out of your comfort zone and look in places others either can't go or are unwilling to go..

Seek and you shall find !!

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Old 08-10-2018, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mud-puppy View post

So...Understanding this, whats a guy to do?...Modifying target focus and hitting different genres within this Sport, keep at it and get their share!...In this case, theres always something a guy can go out and hunt for, meteorites, nuggets, float copper...tear outs, empty cans, towels, whatever satisfies a guys need to get out and hunt is a worthy target....But yeah...The heyday of massive old amounts of silver coins in easy to access areas is long gone...

Many new to the hobby have tunnel-vision, as I suppose some who aren't so new. Obsessing over anything isn't healthy.

I suggest having more than one hobby, spread the OCD around a bit

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  #20  
Old 08-10-2018, 06:00 PM
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Default Thanks!

Thanks for all the great answers guys! I didn't post this because I'm discouraged, I have a "beginner's machine" and have hunted mostly public places and have found a Spanish real amongst other cool things. I know there's plenty of stuff out there still, you just have to be creative to think of places to go.

While doing that thinking though, I thought about what it must have been like at the beginning of metal detecting and was picturing people hitting silver coins on every outing, etc... The posts have explained well the evolution of machines and more, thanks! Thinking of mason jars full of silver coins though....
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