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Steve Herschbach
01-21-2013, 08:01 AM
I mostly hunt jewelry in parks, beaches, and tot lots. At least when I am not out nugget detecting. The coins are not really what I am after so they tend to get tossed in cans or other containers in my garage, often with a pile of trash

I am cleaning up around the house and made three piles - trash into the garbage, coins, and interesting stuff (cheap jewelry, etc.). The coins ended up weighing in at 38 lbs. Kind of amazing how much stuff we dig up when you put it in piles. I have a small garbage can full of aluminum stuff I dig jewelry hunting I have to take a picture of next, just to illustrate all the trash that gets dug for a ring.

Anyway, figured it was worth a picture before I haul it to a Coinstar machine and dump it.


Jim Hemmingway
01-21-2013, 12:44 PM
Hello Steve... yep it sure was worth a picture!!! Back years ago I used to coin and jewelry hunt a lot. Almost every night after work each autumn... except when north prospecting that is.... you'd find me at one of the parks, picnic groves, ball parks or older school yards with my Spectrum XLT. Normally in September to early October I would be up at Lake Simcoe going for old silver and of course jewelry with my old Aquanaut 1280X. We used to dive old floating rafts and found considerable gold and silver jewelry... but I found that to be an ineffective method overall.

It would have been nice if your coinhunting finds could have been occasionally posted here over the past several years. I'm sure it would have prompted guys like me to get out locally for coins and jewelry more often and share the results here. I don't mind finding modern coins, except the zinc pennies that are badly corroded. At season's end the pennies would be separated from dimes and quarters... and each group would be run separately through my rock tumblers to clean... then wrap and deposit at the bank. That money can be converted into silver bullion bars... "real" treasure to any hobbyist I would think.

Below is a photo of some tokens, coppers and silver finds that are representative of what we find locally. I've found countless silver dimes and half-dimes dating well back over a century but samples of those are not included in the photo. I've even found a few King Edward vintage silver half-dimes and old English coppers while prospecting in the bush. My oldest coin dates back to a 1787 English George copper in reasonably good shape. Never did find a silver dollar "cartwheel", but those were rare in this area, even half-dollars were not abundant in the old silver coin days.


As an incidental to this post, below are some samples of old bottles found while prospecting over the years. I have found many of these, the best place invariably is on hillslopes behind old cabin sites. I use some metal "dowsing" rods to probe the accumulated leaf mould. No I don't dowse, but the rods were a gift from a local civil engineer years ago and I simply put them to a productive use. :)


That's it for now, thought I'd add my two cents worth. It sure is nice to discuss something besides prospecting with you for a change. I'm going to return to coin / jewelry hunting this year... you'd love hunting over this way for the old tokens and silver that are still readily available if one hunts carefully.


Steve Herschbach
01-21-2013, 01:08 PM
Hi Jim,

Outside of things made of metal old bottles are a real favorite of mine. I do not look for them specifically, but like you I have a nice collection I have picked up prospecting over the years. I will post a couple photos later.

I have not done too much coin and jewelry detecting the last few years but enough obviously to get a pile of coins! Anchorage was founded in 1915 and most of it is far to new to have any old coins. 1930s coins are a good find, and anything prior to that quite exceptional. Not quite old enough to get into coins of real value. Jewelry hunting is sparse also. I did however get the passion for both reignited last fall and with my newfound time I will be doing a lot more of both in the future. Coins in particular I look forward to having access to older locations down south. California could finally put a long wished for find in my pocket - a gold coin.

I used to have a 1280x and did a lot of lake work with it. Cold water here so most jewelry is low value but I did well. Like most detecting the easy days are over now with so many people detecting. I wish I had done more back in the day when I really was a rare person out detecting.

Thanks for posting the photos!

01-22-2013, 08:33 AM
you are going to take out the 1982 and older pennies for their copper, right?

01-22-2013, 09:54 AM
Many blessings on your new(renewed) activities Steve. Have you done any research into identifying your bottles or their values? Have you got any pictures to share? Have a great day. awc

Steve Herschbach
01-22-2013, 11:17 AM
I have a few bottles that actually have some real value. Most old bottles are only worth a few bucks though. I will take pictures of a couple this weekend. Most of the bottle I have were found back in the 70s when they were just laying around mining areas I visited. All picked over these days.

No, I am not hoarding copper. You want them, I will sell them all to you, including the wheaties I have, for $0.02 each. $0.0242499 is the melt value for the 1909-1982 copper cent on January 22, 2013 so you will make an instant profit!

01-22-2013, 11:29 AM
Wow... that is a pile of coins!

I think I'd be tempted to stick them in a flat rate box and auction the lot on eBay.
Let soneone else have all the 'fun' of sorting the pile in hopes of a real rare treasure
buried in the lot!

Steve Herschbach
01-22-2013, 11:48 AM
Hi Dick,

Well, I do of course pull silvers and wheats as I go. I do not get those normally unless I am specifically coin hunting though. When jewelry detecting it is 99.9% more recent stuff. But bottom line is I am not likely to let anything of real value pass through my fingers.

I used to obsess over coins, like wheatbacks. And treat every silver coin with kid gloves, afraid to ruin their "value". Bottom line is most anything since the 1930s is not really worth all that much from a coin collecting perspective. Most wheaties that have been in the ground are worth no more than copper value. I give zinc pennies away to the donation jars as fast as they get handed to me so I am not likely to get all that excited over a 2 cent copper.

One thing about getting older. When I dug wheat cents 30 years ago they were in pretty good shape. Now 30 more years of fertilizer and most are getting pretty corroded. I have to soak in vinegar then olive oil and still need a lens to read the date. Not worth the effort really butI do it anyway.

01-22-2013, 04:09 PM
Bottles are just like gold! Still some area's that aren't worked out. I found a one gallon liquer bottle used as a float for a dump gate from the past. I look forward to your photo's and any info you can share. I picked up a box labeled Ester that has about 20 various bottles and one labeled picked up in Nome in the 70's. Have a great day. awc