“Now, here’s a little story I gotta tell,”1 about Father’s Day (my first as a father) 2012. James and I started the day off early, really early, in Bradley Beach. I was excited to use my brand new Fisher CZ-21 as it’s a top performer in wet sand and submerged in salt water. High tide, rough waters, and an unseasonably cold day kept me out of the water. Like with any new machine, I wanted to have a good day learning it and getting used to it, so battling strong surf and freezing my butt off doing it would’ve made it a miserable experience. So I stuck strictly to the wet sand. James, with his Garrett AT Pro, took the dry sand.
Overall I think the CZ-21 worked great. While I didn’t find anything other than clad, a Matchbox car (James found one too) and some bottle caps, I enjoyed using the detector. Ground balancing was easy, hip mounting the computer helped lighten my load, and targets sounded pretty much as I hoped they would. I also found pinpointing very accurate.
Later in the afternoon, back in North Jersey, my family was BBQing at my childhood home. This is the same property I found the 1891 silver Queen Victorian half dime. Between dinner and dessert we had a lull, so my 10-year-old nephew and I went prospecting in the front yard. It’s not a large property, so we were able to cover half of the lawn in less than a half hour. And because we were short on time, I discrimmed out iron, so we can just focus on gold and silver (OK, copper and whatever else lurked below, just not iron). Every other dig was either a penny or scrap aluminum, which I continue to hate more and more each day. It gives off the same tone as silver. Grrr…
While I enjoy having my nephew join in on the fun with me, especially when in a front yard so the neighbors will less think I’m a dweeb and instead think I’m entertaining a young child, he is reckless with a shovel. He likes to hack away at the lawn like he’s flailing an ax, which isn’t good for the lawn nor the potential coin, jewel, or relic. But we made it through with good plugs and no damages.
I knew dessert was nearing so I declared, “OK, let’s do one more dig. We’ll wait for a high tone.” So a minute or two later, we got our hit. And I began to dig, and dig. The pinpointer was going crazy, but I was still having a hard time locating it. At long last, I pulled out a … big rusty nail. UG!! Oh well. I tossed it to my nephew as I began to fill the hole.
“Uncle Grant, how come this isn’t going off?” I turned to see my nephew swiping the coil over the nail, and it produced no sound. Then a light bulb hit… “Because I discrimmed out iron!! There’s something else down there!!” I almost broke the cardinal rule of not rechecking my hole! So we got the pinpointer out and found the other target. After a little more digging I saw a silver round edge, and it was bigger than a quarter. Could it be?
I pulled it out and was silver colored and I saw “VER” … Silver!! Yes!! I jumped up and down and I inspected closer. Hmm, wait a minute. Not SILVER, but PAUL REVERE. What is this thing? It was light too. Too light for silver. I was able to see a date: 1968. OK, what is this? Off to Google!
In 1968, Shell Oil had a “Mr. President Coin Game.” From what I could find out, when you filled up, you got a coin, and you could collect them all. The coin says “Famous Facts and Figures,” so it wasn’t just presidents, obviously. I’m still doing some research on the game and will update this article when I unearth more information.
However, I’m still excited to have found my first token. Although not worth much monetarily, it’s still a really cool find.
1Opening verse from Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere”