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Searching for Early American Relics

Posted by on June 2, 2014
Jersey City Police button

Jersey City Police button

The title of this story can easily be the title of 99% of our stories — we’re always on the hunt for Colonial-era and early American relics and coins. We’re also happy with Civil War era and late 19th Century stuff too, so any property that is pre-1900 is a property we like. James and I had permission on some very old properties dating back to the Revolutionary War, so we planned a couple days to take our detectors out to see what we could find. With optimistic smiles we packed our gear and hit the road.

Our first stop was once used as a blacksmith shop in the 1800s, close to other properties that had seen some Revolutionary War activity. Can’t really ask for much more! We had access to a large area of land that was bordered by a beautiful creek. We expected to have to battle a lot of iron and listen hard for the “good stuff,” but we’re patient and determined men, so it would be no obstacle to us. We made our way down a short, but steep and treacherous hill and started swinging our machines. But all was quiet. No good signals, and not a whole lot of junky iron sounds either. We persisted on, but after a few hours we found ourselves with nothing to write home about (and certainly nothing to blog about). So we packed our gear back into the car and drove over to another property close by.

Not too far away was a property built in the mid-1800s, where I’ve been before, but was anxious to give James a go. Again, finds were scarce. After a couple hours I decided to detect near the main road and battle with the inevitable roadway garbage and debris. It didn’t take long for me to get a good signal, so I dug. I soon discovered that I had found half of an ornate silver bracelet. Cool! I plugged the hole but scanned it again to ensure I hadn’t left anything behind. Lo and behold, I got another signal! So again I dug and was able to retrieve the other half of the bracelet! It’s missing a couple of the turquoise stones, but I think it’s quite beautiful. The design makes me believe it’s Victorian Era, which would make sense given the age of the property.

Victorian Era Silver and Turquois Bracelet

Victorian Era Silver and Turquoise Bracelet

Our second day out was a complete wash — literally. It poured down rain all day and we did our best to make the most of it, but the rain was doing a pretty good job at washing away our optimistic smiles. We called it off early and licked our wounds, hoping tomorrow would bring sunshine and good finds.

But as the sun came up, we didn’t have a location to search. We had exhausted our previous properties and weren’t sure where to go. After making a few phone calls, we were able to secure an abandoned home alongside a beautiful stream. But once again, luck wasn’t with us. After a few hours of unsuccessful digging, I turned to door knocking and we got lucky. The neighbor of the 1800s property we were at the first day granted us permission. One of my first finds was a great looking Jersey City NJ Police button (if anyone knows a date range on this I’d appreciate it). And more finds followed! A Boy Scouts medal, a beautiful H.L. Webster spoon made of pure coin silver, and a copper wedding band with “14K” stamped on the inside. It wasn’t uncommon in the 1800s/early 1900s for wedding bands to be made of copper, and to also be falsely stamped with “14K” or “18k,” so this was a cool find. See gallery below for pics and captions.

It was a long 3 days and while we didn’t have a tons to write home about, we ended on a high note and met some great people along the way. As always, we enjoyed pursuing our passion together. Stay tuned for the next journey!



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