I found my share of flat buttons before, and each one has been a thrill. Generally speaking, they give off a nice upper middle tone and when you see one, you pray it still has the shank attached. Even if the shank is long gone, flat buttons are still a great find.
Labor Day weekend had me running to a number of barbecues and parties, all starting around 1pm. This is a particularly difficult time since it’s the same time my 17-month-old daughter takes her nap. So my plan was to get her to nap early, 11am-ish, and to do so, I’d simply take her for a long ride around town until she passed out in her car seat.
Driving around my home town, I’m always looking for a spot to detect that I may have overlooked. My town is very old… founded by Dutch settlers in the 1600s. But my town is also very paved over. There’s simply not a lot of real estate to dig on. We were driving by the railroad tracks, a major hub back in the day, which is the oldest part of my town. Again, not a blade of grass or spot of dirt to be seen. But lo and behold! What do see?? I sidewalk tear up! New construction meant that old construction was being torn up to make way for new concrete exposing very old dirt.
I had to act fast. I saw a local business’s sign in the window, parked my car in their driveway, and brought my daughter inside to speak to someone. We were greated with a smile by a very nice woman named Stephanie. I explained that I wanted to detect where they had ripped up the sidewalk and she said, “Go for it!” A few hours later I was there, as were construction workers ripping up more sidewalk. I talked to them briefly and told them I’d stay out of their way and they were very cool about it.
I geared up and turned on my Minelab CTX 3030 and all I heard was noise. Lots of noise, and my screen was going berserk. I was baffled and couldn’t get it to stop. I decided to take off the stock coil and throw on my 6-inch one in hopes that a smaller coil would mean less noise. I was wrong. It was just about impossible to get a clean, isolated signal. What the hell was going on?
A police officer walked over and asked if I found anything. I explained the difficulty I was having. He said it was understandable since I was next to two water main lines and over the building’s electrical wiring. OK, well, at least I had an answer to why everything was scrambled.
Near where the building met what was once pavement, I got what I hoped was a solid tone. At least, as solid as I would get that day. So I dug. Much to my surprised I pulled out a late 1700s one-piece button that was only a half inch deep! Finally, I found something from the colonial era in my home town. It’s been a long time coming, and was probably my most challenging find to date. Sweet!