Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Posts Tagged ‘Metal Detecting’

Metal detecting – first trip of season yields a ring

Posted by bunchgrasser on June 26, 2009

I was cleaning out my closet this past weekend when I spied my trusty White’s MXT metal detector propped up in the corner. Normally I would have been out detecting much earlier in the spring, but a plethora of soccer tournaments have prevented me from doing it this year. With both kids playing club soccer for THUSC, and my daughter also playing on the Oregon State ODP team – it leaves little time for anything else.

Anyway, after finishing my household jobs I decided to “take my detector for a walk” across the street to the middle school field. Although I had previously spent a small amount of time detecting one of the small fields, the larger soccer field had never been detected that I know of.

I spent about 20-30 minutes warming up in an area next to the baseball field, then switched over to the soccer field. I spent about 40 minutes gridding back & forth from side to side near the midline. I managed to recover quite a few coins, a few pulltabs & various pieces of trash. I saved my favorite area for last – the sideline area where parents & siblings usually watch the game from. I’ve consistently done well in these areas on soccer fields so I was hoping for a nice score.

Within a few minutes I had dug several more coins and then got a VDI signal that bounced around in the low 20’s. I thought it might be a nickel – but when I lifted the small flap of turf I found a small ring with a nice tourqoise stone in the center. After some cleaning it appears the ring is not valuable as the metal shows some discoloration and some peeling of the silvery plating. Oh well, I’ll add it to my growing collection of rings, and I always say…any ring is a good ring!


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Scored my first ring in the water

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 23, 2008

Sunday morning I got up before daylight and took my new White’s Beach Hunter ID 300 to the river. I wanted to spend another day in the sand/water and also needed to put in some hours learning this new detector.

I arrived at the river just at daylight and it was a beautiful sight. A layer of fog blanketed the area and the sun was trying to push through. It was awfully cold so I spent the first couple of hours in the sand trying to find some coins & jewelry. Unfortunately all I got for my trouble was a massive number of bottle caps and a few clad coins.

Later when the sun came out I put on my water shoes and began to cover the sandy shallows. I didn’t want to get out too far because this river is deep, swift and known to claim swimmers every year. This particular beach is one of the few that has a flat beach before it drops off.

The BH was working great and I found it easier to run in all-metal mode and then just watch the indicator lights. I skipped the red light signals (iron) but dug everything else. As you can imagine, I dug lots of bottle caps and pulltabs with my sand scoop.

I was standing in thigh deep water and one particular signal was strong and loud (just like bottle caps) so I didn’t think much of it. I dug it, shook the scoop underwater to clear the sand and found this large gold ring waiting for me. To say that I was excited might be putting it mildly and I think I did do the happy dance. I’m sure the people on the beach thought I was crazy to be out in the river in the first place (no wetsuit and it was cold).

I’m stumped on this ring because there is no visible stamp. It looks and feels like gold but without a gold tester I have no way of knowing. Looks like I might need to buy a tester. My wife looked at it and she thinks there is a rectangular stamp on the inside of the band but it has worn off.

Anyway – I’m extremely excited to have found my first ring in the water. This is really, really fun!

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Small park gives up another ring and bracelet

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 22, 2008

I went out for a 3 hour hunt Saturday morning at my favorite “small” park. I took my camera (with a full battery) this time. The first pic shows the grassy area that I’ve been covering. I was taking it real slow and digging pretty much everything.

I managed to recover a handful of clad coins, several miscellaneous items, a mood ring (my 3rd one of these) and a 92.5 stamped silver charm bracelet. I also recovered and disposed of another handful of pulltabs and screw caps. I sometimes imagine what this earth would look like if the top 6 inches of soil were transparent.

When I was almost done detecting, a lady that works at the community center at this park came over to me and tapped me on the shoulder. As I took my headphones off I was expecting her to ask me to leave. As it turns out, she had been watching me for awhile from inside the office. She told me she was very impressed with my target recovery speed and how I left no trace in the grass. She said other detectorists had been to this park and were very sloppy. I thanked her for the compliment and asked that she not judge all of us by the unfortunate behavior of certain individuals.

However, the real reason that she came over (and why I’m telling you this) is that a lady had reported that she lost an expensive amethyst ring there the previous weekend and it was apparently a significant emotional loss for her. She pointed to where the lady thought she lost it and asked me to try finding it.

Well, I was almost ready to leave but I did spend about 15 minutes searching the expansive area but to no avail. I promised to come back and give it some serious effort as soon as possible.

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Another ring at the small park

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 14, 2008

I had a couple of hours Saturday morning so I headed back over to the small park that I found my last ring at. I was planning to cover more of the grass there that I wasn’t able to finish last time.

However, when I arrived I noticed they had done some excavation at the park. On one end of the grass field they had scraped out a 30×40 foot section and piled the dirt around the perimeter. I know this park is old so I spent most of my two hours covering the scrape and dirt piles pretty thoroughly. I just knew there would be some old silver coins in those piles. Unfortunately all I found was a few clad coins and lots of screw caps. I believe this particular park was the place to drink beer judging by the sheer number of screwcaps I’ve found.

Anyway, I had about 25 minutes left so I walked over to the playground and hit the wood chips for awhile. I wasn’t getting many hits so I think the playground equipment might have been added recently. As I came around the bottom of the slide my MXT got a solid 30 VDI hit. I kicked away the chips with my foot and saw this ring. It is stamped 18k GP (gold plated) – so not valuable, but it was nice to get any ring on that short hunt. The pinkish stone is likely glass and the ring has eagles on each side. I’ll add it to my collection.

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Small park gives up small ring

Posted by bunchgrasser on October 1, 2008

Sunday morning I headed to a small, tree-lined park tucked way back in an older neighborhood. I knew this park has been around for a long time because I looked up historical photos of it dating back to 1913 and earlier.
I was hoping to find some old silver coins but no such luck in the 2 hours that I was there. I did manage to find a handful of clad coins and small ring though.
The ring is bare metal and kind of small, but it has a unique “vintage” design that I’ve never seen before. It looks like it was plated at one time but all the plating is gone, like it has been in the ground for a very long time. There is an empty hole in the middle where it might have had a stone. It was covered in dirt when I retrieved it and I never thought to look around in the hole for a stone.

This is ring number 20 for me and it goes into the box with the others. I’m planning to head back to that park as I never finished it. There is easily 2-3 more trips before I cover it all. It’s always nice to get a ring on a short hunt.

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Metal detecting – Lake hunt with new water detector

Posted by bunchgrasser on September 25, 2008

I received my new detector last week, a White’s Beach Hunter ID 300. It is fully submersible to 25 feet and seems to be quite the machine. I was anxious to take it out for spin, so last saturday I spent most of the day at a local lake with a roped off swimming area.

This was my first time water detecting, so I expected the learning curve to be high…and it was. The pinpointing function works differently than my other detectors, and because the water is a murky brown color you cannot see the coil at all. At first, recovering targets in waist deep water was very challenging, but I eventually started using my foot as a guide for both pinpointing and scooping and it became easier. As the day progressed I got better at it, but I still have a long ways to go before I am proficient.

I managed to find over $3 in clad coins (including a 1964 nickel), an earring, a cheap broken pendant, assorted hair pins, several fishing weights, and a 10 cent Euro coin. Nothing valuable – but not a bad day for my first time in the water.

I did work out the kinks and learned a few things. I would really like to get a larger sand scoop to make recovery go faster. I plan to hit the surf (hopefully in a warm climate) and a larger scoop will be imperative. I also realized that, even wearing a full wetsuit I should expect to be cold. After 2-3 hours I was quite cold and had to take a break out of the water to warm up.


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Metal detecting – My new favorite park produces another ring

Posted by bunchgrasser on September 4, 2008

On Friday our office let out a couple of hours early going into the long holiday weekend. Naturally I had my detector and gear in my truck (since I went detecting before work), so I headed back to the park that produced 3 rings last week. My wife thinks I’m obsessed with this hobby. I wonder why she thinks that?

Anyway, I meandered around in the center of the field for while and found the usual pulltabs and clad coins. I got a strong signal on my MXT and dug this ring. It was really dirty so it took a few seconds to see what it was. As soon as I saw the silverish color and multiple clear stones I was ready to do the happy dance. I was thinking either white gold or platinum, but then I noticed the plating coming off on one side of the ring. The stamp is unreadable (maybe intentially so).

I really thought this was a good one, but it looks like I’ll need to wait a little longer. This makes ring number 19 for me. I’ve got a few 10k and 14k gold rings, even more 92.5 silver rings, and lots of junk rings.

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Metal detecting – found a musket ball

Posted by bunchgrasser on September 4, 2008

I was detecting at my parent’s farm awhile back and recovered what appears to be an unfired musket ball.

I’ve found a number of lead slugs and other relics of yesteryear on their farm, but this is the first musket ball that I’ve found. I don’t have a caliper, but it measures about 9/16″ across. I think that equates to roughly .56 caliber.

It would be difficult to date a musket ball, but generally the industry stopped making round-shaped ammunition in the mid 1800’s when the minie ball (invented in the 1840’s) and other conical-shaped lead rounds became favored.

I’ve also heard that lead musket balls develop a white patina after being in the earth for, say a 100 years or so. This musket ball does have a nice white patina.

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Metal detecting – One park, three rings

Posted by bunchgrasser on August 28, 2008

My brother-in-law Dave and I hit a couple of parks early in the morning this past Sunday. The first park didn’t give up more than a few clad coins and had lots of trash, so we headed to another park that I found using Google maps.

We spent a few minutes in the tot lot and then moved on to the open grass field. I recovered what appeared to be a silver ring about 3-4 inches down under a tree along the fence row. It’s the ring on the right in the first pic. I cleaned it up but couldn’t find a stamp on it. It could be a mood ring as it has some kind of greenish-gray, opaque material around the outside.

While I continued to work my way down the fence row digging lots and lots of pulltabs, David meandered around the field. Awhile later he came over and asked if I found anything good – and then showed me a big 10k gold mens ring with a dark red stone in it (second pic). My mouth dropped open when I saw it because it is a really cool looking ring. And as luck would have it – the ring fits him perfectly!

Needless to say I was jealous, so I furiously went back to swinging and dug a bunch more pulltabs and a few coins. As I was slowly making my way back to the truck I got another hit and recovered my second ring for the day. Unfortunately it wasn’t stamped either and apparently lost a fight with a lawn mower because it was creased on one side.

All in all it was a great day of detecting and I’m happy that Dave took a gold ring home. It was my first trip out with my new Super 12″ Spider coil on the MXT. I’m pleased to say that it worked very well, especially at the second park which had a lot less trash than the first one we hit.


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Metal Detecting – River beach hunt produces 2 rings and more

Posted by bunchgrasser on August 22, 2008

I had a day off last week during our heat spell and decided to try my luck at a local river beach. The temp was expected to rise well over 100 degrees so I figured being near the water would be a little cooler.

I arrived early in the morning at a beach that I had detected last summer. After an hour or so I hadn’t found much so I decided to move to another beach further down the river. Over the next 3-4 hours I covered a large section of the beach pretty hard with my White’s MXT  and my long handled sand scoop. It was clear that no one had detected this section of the beach recently.

I found the necklace and bracelet in the wet sand area near the river. However, both rings were found up high on the beach in the dry sand near trees and bushes. None of the jewelry is valuable, but my treasure box keeps filling up and I know that I’m 2 rings closer to the finding the “big one”.


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