As you may have heard me mention (OK whine) in previous articles, I don’t often have the luxury to detect all day long. Usually I can slip away for an hour or two and hit a local spot and hope my short excursion is fruitful. And I must say, 2013 has been pretty darn good.
The past two weekends I spent the twilight hours back at the castle house, and both times I utilized a new strategy: go slow and dig just about everything. The reason we detectorists don’t usually dig everything is because most everything out there is junk – aluminum foil, unknown shards of metal, nails and screws, pull tabs and bottle caps. But there are many GOOD relics hiding amongst the junky signals; needles in the haystack. And to get to them, you simply have to dig, and dig a lot.
March 23, 2013 was my first of two consecutive weekends at the castle house. I’d hunted this property about 5 times already so I didn’t show up brewing with optimism. I set up my gear, put on my new POV hi-def video camera sunglasses and got swinging. After the first few swipes I got what I generally consider to be a junky signal on the Minelab CTX 3030. I carefully carved out my plug and removed it from the ground. I quickly got a signal with my Garrett Pro Pointer and picked up the object. A rock? Hmm, must be a hot rock. But was the rock the target I was after? I swiped it over my detector’s coil but it didn’t make a sound. Then when I tried with my Pro Pointer it too didn’t make a sound. What evil sorcery was this?
I rechecked the hole and again all was silent. I was very confused and then suddenly saw something round out of the corner of my eye! A coin! But what coin? I guessed by the size that it was a Liberty Head “V” nickel, and after a quick rinse with water my suspicion was confirmed. A great find on my very first dig! Watch the video below to relive the experience with me and you’ll hear how stoked I was.
Could this slow and steady strategy of digging seemingly junk signals pay off? Yes! I continued to find a lot of cool items that I had previously ignored. See the gallery at the end of this article for all the pics.
As the sun began to descend (yes, I know that’s not scientifically accurate) I took off my POV camera as the shaded sunglasses were not helping me. Of course, with my camera now packed away, I went on to find really cool items.
I got a nice silver tone and as I went to dig I noticed the hole had been dug before, obviously by me. Probably something I bailed on for being filled with too much garbage. Yep. I pulled out rusty nail after rusty nail and then got something thin and shiny. A pull tab? No… A ring! A sterling silver ring! This was a first for me as I don’t find much jewelry. It has a nice antique look to it and s <-MH-> hallmark which was used by
A few feet away I got another nice solid silver tone, so I dug. After ridding Mother Earth of some more garbage I revealed a small shiny object that was hand engraved on one side. I was stumped and had no idea what it could be, but I put it in my good finds pile and decided it was time to call it a day.
After posting my finds to the TreasureNet.com forum, a member suggested that the item may be Indian trade silver, but others disagreed. After about a week’s worth of research and having a jeweler test the metal, I sadly learned that it is not Indian trade silver. In fact, it’s not even silver.
Regardless, it was an amazing couple hours of detecting and I left with some great items. A week later I’d go back to the property to find more hidden history, which you can read about in part two of this saga.