Can't find Silver


Senior Member
Dec 17, 2017
Cherokee Village AR
I have got to be doing something wrong. I've been at this for about 5 years and have yet to find a single silver coin. Now I know alot has to do with where I hunt and alot of the places I go there isn't a high probability of a silver coin being there . I have been to a few places where I have found a few wheaties and a nickel here and there in the mid to low 50's . One place was an old Boycott camp that's been there since early 1900's and didn't find a single silver but I do know that place has been hunted alot. Yesterday I went to a huge Boycott camp that's been there since Mid 50's or possibly before. I spent all day from about 9:00am to nearly 6:00pm pretty much non stop. I pulled almost 100 pieces of clad mostly from the 70's some late 60's and a bit of 80's and newer. I pulled 3 nickels from the early 50's about 6" deep. Where I found the 50's nickels I hunted for quite some time on each spot and dug everything that rang up 50 and above on my AT Pro and obviously pulled several pull tabs and can slaw and foil. No matter what I have tried I just can't find a silver coil I mean even a blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally but dang what am I doing wrong. I found a pocket knife, putt putt token and camp pin on this hunt. The day before at a different site I found a 50's nickel and tried the same approach dig it all and just wondering up with alot of trash. I lost count of how many pennies and dimes I've gotten in the last two days but yesterday was almost 6.00 worth and nearly 4.00 the day before. I am resetting my detector and ground balancing both auto and manual and trying many different setting usually Pro Zero but I've tried coin mode etc etc. Any ideas? I'm stumped.
First thing you can do is this. Take a tape measure, go dig a hole somewhere and bury a regular dime at 8” deep. Fill it in, pack it down and swing your coil over it in the way you would hunt. What happens?
Sometimes the silver is just not there. I've been to multiple places with my AT Pro and dug many wheats without getting silver. Over the years I went back over these spots with a Deus and CTX and still never got a silver at those spots. If you're digging nickels at 6" I'd say your AT Pro is fine. Its all about location. If these camps aren't producing, I'd move on. The AT Pro is a good machine and it will let you know when the coil is over silver. Good luck!
I hear your pain. Many days I will dig 100+ coins and NO silver. If it's not there, it's not there. Stick with it and visit other locations outside of your general area. Eventually it will happen. Best of luck!
This is the cut & paste of the input I just gave to Mark in Michigan's post :

Here's my .02c on this, using my own locale as an example :

There was a time here, back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, that anyone (beginner or otherwise) could take his detector out to the old parks, and the schools here built in the 1920s, and : Get silver on his first day out. Yup, we would even take first-timers, on their first day, out to the center-of-town park here, and it wasn't unusual for them to get silver coins and/or wheaties, on his first trek.

I can think of another park in a nearby town, blt. 1880s, where we'd get barbers and early mercs on every try. And this was with crappy older machines like Garrett Groundhog, Garrett ADS III, and the first generation 6000D.

But here's the rub : Now, 40-ish years later, I would not touch these same places with a 10-foot pole. Not only were they worked hard back then, but now, 40 yrs. later, they are a sea of zinc pennies, foil, tabs, etc.... So it's not a matter of "deeper" It's simply wasted time now. So for example, I know some cities I can travel to , an hour or two drive, and still reliably get silver from the parks. Since those locations were not worked as hard "back in the day", nor did they become blighted since then.

There are DEFINITELY parks and schools where you can load up on clad to your heart's content. But will be pulling teeth to try to get more silver out of them. I'm just sayin'. And sure, you can be a "hero" and try to "strip-mine" and get the nickels and gold rings those yesteryear guys passed. SURE ! And when you discover 1000 to 1 ratio, you will quickly re-think this :roll:

Your best bet, if you want old coins, is to do research, and hit spots that no one in your area has thought of . Eg.: Defunct country picnic sites that ceased all usage after the 1920s. Or a stage stop that no one's sleuthed out, etc.... If you have a long history of md'ing pressure in your area (of guys that have "done their homework"), then : you might be screwed. You might have to travel.

Another option is to hit yards of older homes in your city. Yes this requires door-knocking or 'catching people out on their front porch'. But most yards were never hit, in my experience. Another frontier is old town urban demolition (sidewalk tearouts, building teardowns, etc....).
Since I have been detecting (2017) in various places I have dug around 75$ or more in clad. Probably 20 or so Nickles in the 55-57 year range Lots of different type places several old houses back to 1901 to 1950's. Places around here aren't that old mostly early 60's so don't expect much there. I'll keep looking. I did manage to find a very small old gold ring so can't complain I guess.
I feel your pain, my back is killing me today, I use the ATPRO and no head phones, do you use the head phones?
I mainly hunt old homes and old home sites. I haven’t found much silver either. I would guess it’s where your hunting not how your hunting? Just because others are finding silver doesn’t mean I have to find silver to have fun doing this. It’s ok to have goals, but don’t let them ruin your fun!
Good luck and keep swinging.
When I first started, I think I found around $300 in clad before I found a single silver coin. Then when I did find my first, I found 7 silvers in one yard. Once you find one you'll won't be concerned with it as much and they'll start to come.
This is the cut & paste of the input I just gave to Mark in Michigan's post :
This is my copy and paste from the same thread :)


Tom nailed it with his comments about city parks and finding gathering sites that haven't been used since the early to mid 1900's. Although those sites can be tough to find.

Other options like Tom said, are home tear outs in the old parts of your city, and any type of construction ground razing also in the old parts of your city.

Those types of sites typically have little to no nonferrous trash, but often have a lot of ferrous trash. It's WAY easier to deal with ferrous trash than nonferrous trash. For ferrous trash sites, use a small coil and lower the iron bias.
I mainly hunt old homes and old home sites. I haven’t found much silver either. I would guess it’s where your hunting not how your hunting? Just because others are finding silver doesn’t mean I have to find silver to have fun doing this. It’s ok to have goals, but don’t let them ruin your fun!
Good luck and keep swinging.
Exactly! Some places just haven’t been hunted as much and silver still remains to be found. Some places that are available to hunt aren’t old enough. But a “true hunter” will hunt regardless of silver or not, the fun is the hunt itself!🤠
I've been detecting for older stuff for the past three years with an Equinox 600. I've mostly just hunted public places, parks and schools, in my City of 700,000 and the surrounding small towns. I've rounded up approximately 75 silvers in that time. 75 isn't a great number if you look at what some of the guys on here are able to do. It's not shabby either. I've gotten to the point where I'm running out of public spots to try. 90% of those public spots I've tried are devoid of anything old/good, especially silver. I've had to think outside the box a bit too and I've hit some curb strips etc that were loaded for being a small area. I'm at the point where, if I want to find silver in my city, it's going to have to be permissions for me.
With the legend,Deus and Equinox out for a while it's getting real tough to find silver.
Probably best place to find it now are pre 1960 house yards.
I find silver at times on the beach.
I know how you feel. Try town histories, old closed schools ask the older folks about what and where they went for fun. I follow small rivers and find boat or canoe landings, a lot of times they have been used for picnics or swimming holes.
Silver finds are getting harder and harder to find every year. I've been in this hobby for 40 years and the silver coins I find nowadays are few and VERY far between. Wasn't always like that though.....silver is no longer minted for circulation and there are a lot more people detecting now than when I started. Don't let the lack of silver keep you from enjoying the hobby because it's a HOBBY, not a competition where the measure of success is how many silver coins you dig up.
Have you been to Thayer or West Plains? That's where I would go, or maybe Alton. I know there are plenty of old enough places all around your area.
In 1955 there looks like a baseball and football field where horse show arena is now at Thayer, besides that big Sherwood Park looks like it had something going on there in the 1955 Aerial. There's still silver to found. I found 40 last year. My buddy found 80 something. Don't give up.
This is what I've learned from hunting a similar site, I live on a 1950s apartment complex and my initial hunts gave me nothing but clad. I gave up for a period of time. I had read that changing the sensitivity on my machine could help me find deeper targets. After doing so I cleaned an area of clad and went back over slowly and carefully this time. I started hearing little deep blips on my machine which sounded good but were not solid like previous signals. Out of curiosity I started digging them and shortly after started finding silver. The reason I was not finding silver before is because silver was just slightly out of range for my machines on a fast swipe, this may be the case for you and I bet there is silver there just go slowly and dig those little blips and whisper signals.

Hope this helps!
You are not alone, have yet to find my first silver too. Work the AT Pro also which I feel is a very good machine as well.
I think it’s only a matter of time and research.
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