Metal Detecting Old Farm Land for Lost Treasure

Bruce Lilienthal, hit the jackpot. He found a large, unusual rock on his Minnesota farmland.

Bruce Lilienthal, hit the jackpot. He found a large, unusual rock on his Minnesota farmland.

Metal detecting at pre-existing homesteads and old farmhouses is a GREAT tactic because old relics and coins lie here. What can you expect to find when you detect and dig an old farmland? Arrowheads, pottery shards, buttons, porcelain and metal thimbles, bits of colored glass and old ammunition or bullets. In 2013, amateur detectorist and producer, Bruce Lilienthal, hit the jackpot when he found a large, unusual rock on his Minnesota farmland. After testing and researching, he and his wife learned that it was a meteorite. They sold the rock for a modest $10.5 million!  It pays to search farmland, for MANY different reasons.

Scout Out Large Trees around a Homestead’s Foundation

Farm “markers” are indicators that a farm pre-existed; they often include large trees. These trees have grown very large because nobody has cut them  down. Always watch out for these markers because a favorable hunt site exists nearby. When you do find a “marker tree,” detect the area that immediately surrounds it. There are likely buried coins and relics hidden in the dirt! It was a common practice for people of past centuries to bury hoards of coins and valuables near marker trees. People intended to reclaim their possessions, but it often never happened. Now’s your chance to recover these precious items with your metal detector!

Sell Your Finds! Know the Value of Your Treasure

Sell Your Treasure Finds for Top Dollar! Learn How Now.

Sell Your Treasure Finds for Top Dollar! Learn How Now.

The amazing thing about metal detecting is that you can take this hobby into so many different directions. Whether you’re a land or water hunter, your treasure finds are all valuable. What you do with your treasure finds is entirely up to YOU. Some hobbyists drop all of their coins into a big jug to save for their next vacation. Others display collections of old coins, jewelry and relics in their home. Relic hunters are known to loan items to local museums. And lots of detectorists sell valuable finds for a profit! You can earn extra income—all while participating in a hobby you love! If you are looking to make some money on your finds, there’s a few things you need to know before you sell:

  1. Correctly identify your find
  2. Get an estimate of its value
  3. Decide where to sell the item

Identify What You have Found!

This can be the tricky part. Let’s say you’ve found an old belt buckle. Is it just an ordinary men’s buckle or is it from a Revelutionary or Civil War soldier’s uniform? And what condition is it in? These are big factors in determining the buckle’s value. Our suggestion is to research your object before getting an estimate to sell. For example, if you have uncovered a piece of silver with markings, try to identify the manufacturer. Then, you can determine its age and value. Contact a local appraiser to ballpark your object’s worth. You can also post a photo of your find in a metal detecting community forum. Members are happy to help you identify your find.

Get an Estimate of Your Treasures’ Value

With 14- and 18-karat jewelry, you will see markings on the pieces of jewelry. You can look up these markings on the internet to see what it’s worth. To determine a coin’s worth, check popular websites such as NGC from the American Numismatic Association.

Where to Sell Your Treasure  

It’s easy to find a buyer online. Research high-quality coin and relics dealers that operate on the internet. There are online dealers that have been buying and selling coins, gold and silver through the mail for decades. If you want to sell gold/platinum/silver for melt, it is best to do it locally in person. Tip: Take the same item to several different jewelers and see who offers the best price.

 

Related Articles:

What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Coins?

What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Relics?

Old Coins are Hiding, and YOU Can Find Them!

1921 Silver Dollar found with a metal detector.

1921 Silver Dollar found with a metal detector.

Detectorists who focus on hunting coins (“coin shooters”) are on a quest for older, more valuable coins. Some hobbyists display their own collection and others sell coins for a profit. What distinguishes an “old” coin from a newer clad coin? It’s their silver content. According to the American Rare Coin website, “Roosevelt and Mercury Dimes, Washington Quarters, and Walking Liberty Franklin and Kennedy Half-Dollars minted in 1964 and earlier are 90% silver.”  All dimes and quarters minted after 1964 are not made with silver. Newer coins are made of an alloy, or a mixture of metals.

Experts say that success in finding older coins depends on your creativity in finding the right hunting spots. Scouting out a unique location is very significant. For example, parks, beaches and music venues will often yield new coins, but if you are searching for Mercury dimes, Morgan silver dollars or centuries-old $5 gold pieces, you’ll need a great spot! Researching historical records will give you clues about past locations that are worth exploring.

Experienced Coin Hunters Weigh in on Where to Find Old Coins

Avid coin hunters love to share their success stories. And in detecting forums, they give advice to new hobbyists and coin hunters!

Bob from Illinois offers this BRILLIANT tip:

  • “Talk to anyone over 60 years old. Ask them where they played when they were kids. They were growing up before 1964. Ask where the swimming hole was, the shortcuts to school, and if that school that was torn down? Inquire about older parks and fair grounds. Do they know areas that are overgrown now that were homes in the past? I have gained many silvers this way!”

Marty from Georgia says:

  • “All my old coins have come from private property. When I’m searching, I think of where people would chill scores of years ago. A/C wasn’t affordable “back in the day.” Shade trees and the Southern edges of property lines with trees are the best. Try thinking like a 130 year old!

‘Coin Guy’ has this advice:

  • “Old houses. I knock on the door and ask. 7 out of 10 property owners say yes. Be friendly and you can have old silver coins in your pocket. At one old house that was already searched, I found a 1904 dime and 5 Indian-  plus several Wheaties.”

Interested in a metal detector that will find old coins? Please read our Learning Library article, “What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Coins?” to help you make the best selection!

Relic Hunting: Tips for Detecting at Old Homesteads, Farms and Historical Homes

"The Marshall House" which was used by the British as a field hospital.

“The Marshall House” which was used by the British as a field hospital.

With warmer weather here (and better ground conditions), the thrill of treasure hunting beckons! If you’ve already hunted local parks, beaches and public venues in your neighborhood, it’s probably time for more advanced metal detecting. Over time, many detectorists start to realize that detecting on older private properties is where the REAL ACTION is! More old coins and excellent relics are found in private yards than anywhere else.  This is largely due to the fact that few people (if any) have ever swung a metal detector on this territory. It’s important to know the history of your area before deciding where to hunt and what you’re searching for. Do you live in a region where the Civil War was fought or where the first colonies once were? If so, you’re in ideal relic hunting territory.

Politely Ask Permission to Hunt Someone’s Private Property

There are some favorable tactics for gaining permission to hunt on private property. And in an upcoming article, we will fill you in on some of these “best practices.” But in a nutshell, it helps to explain to the home or landowner something on the order of: “I live here in town and I’m a  history buff. I appreciate older neighborhoods and properties such as this. My hobby is metal detecting, so I search for old relics in fields and old  properties. If something is interesting, I’ll be sure to show you; then offer it to a local historical society.” When you DO obtain permission to hunt, here are some tips for relic hunting success:  

  • Make sure you are good at plug cutting. You don’t want to tear up someone’s yard, field or farm!
  • Front yards were generally used a lot more than backyards. It’s best to detect the front before the backyard—specifically the  paths to and from the doors of the house.
  • Look for locations of the old out buildings. This includes sheds, barns, outhouses and wells. The paths to those areas where high traffic, with great old coin potential.
  • Get under the front porch, if possible. Lots of coins, old toys and other objects have likely slipped through the cracks. This was also a popular place for burying treasure.
  • If there are sidewalks, check along the grass edges. Coins and small objects land next to sidewalks and in the cracks.
  • Search under old trees on the property. People congregated in shady spots, also stashing items near roots.
  • Pay attention to clusters of trees, especially if they are in a row. These were usually intentionally planted years ago; it’s a good hint to check that area.
  • When you are done with the property, be sure to thank the landowner. If you had lots of luck there, consider giving the property owner a token of your appreciation.

Efficient relic hunting requires tools for careful digging and target retrieval. Many relic hunters swear by Lesche digging tools, as well as specialty shovels.

Related Articles:

What are the Best Digging Trowels and Shovels for Metal Detecting?

What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Relics?

Expert Tip: Under-Searched Sites Will Yield Relics

Silver Navajo Indian Bracelet with Coral Inlay found in New Mexico with a metal detector.

Silver Navajo Indian Bracelet with Coral Inlay found in New Mexico with a metal detector.

The BEST places to find relics and old coins are at pre-existing homesteads, old farmhouses and former soldiers’ camps or battle sites. Obviously, there are many more locations that will yield valuables and artifacts, but these are a few good examples. Metal detectorists always face the challenge of choosing sites that are already picked over. Don’t shy away from these locations, because it’s impossible that every relic and coin has already been recovered. However, if you really want to increase your chances of treasure hunting success, it’s a great idea to find virgin sites or those that are under-searched!

How to Scout Out an Untouched Metal Detecting Site

Detecting enthusiast and relic hunter, Brian Palmer, has a clever tip for interested hobbyists. Investigate for signs of old home sites. In colder months (in some states), it’s almost impossible to treasure hunt. But you can do online research and scan old maps. It’s much easier to scout out sites when the grass isn’t high—and you can also see further into the woods. Palmer and his wife scouted around in the winter and found a fallen tree along a stone wall where there were stones in the outline of a home’s foundation. When they came back to search the area, their detectors hit on a jackpot of treasure!

Popular Relic Finds with a Metal Detector

The Palmers’ finds at this former homestead in New York included five Civil War “Eagle buttons,” flat buttons, a knapsack hook and two 1863 Civil War tokens. These tokens were issued because coins were scarce during the Civil War, but they only circulated for one year. They are great pieces of history! On another hunt they scouted ahead of time, the Palmers’ uncovered a World War I German buckle from 1839, an 1840’s Federal Navy cuff button and an Indian Wars 1874 Pattern belt plate. These are all examples of items you can find when relic hunting. Keep looking for new places to search and/or ask for permission if necessary. You, too, will come across some amazing relics!

Recommended Relic Hunting Metal Detectors:

Entry Level Relic Metal Detectors:

Mid Level Relic Metal Detectors:

Premium Relic Metal Detectors:

Resource:   “Western & Eastern Treasures” Magazine

Want the Best Metal Detecting Locations? Check with a Real Estate Agent!

Local experts are able to point you to new sites to go metal detecting.

Local experts are able to point you to new sites to go metal detecting.

We always talk about doing site research before setting out with a metal detector. This is because you will be more informed about the area you’re searching and what you’re searching for. Before devoting time aimlessly swinging your detector, why not check the local library for historical information about your city? The librarian can direct you to the “town room,” or section of the library with historical maps, surveys and deeds. Then you can pinpoint the sites of old homesteads and municipal buildings. Detecting these locations gives you a better chance of finding relics and other treasure.

Get Leads & Detailed Information by Asking Real Estate Agents & Contractors!

Want to get really creative about finding great treasure spots?  Detectorist and author, Phil Goodson, Sr. suggests finding real estate agents in your area. Maybe you know of an agent. If  not, ask your friends and acquaintances for their real estate contacts. They have unlimited access to property information—both past and present—which is why they’re so knowledgeable about neighborhoods. Agents can tell you how old homes are in your area and even a homeowner’s name and address. This will be extremely helpful if you need to get permission to search the property. There’s a TON of detailed information that is open to the public, but most people don’t know how to get it.

Don’t forget contractors for “insider” information. Contractors know when and where digging and construction is happening. They can tell you when businesses and homes were built. And possibly most important, they know if the dirt was brought in from another location. If it’s dirt from an old homestead of farm, there’s your next search location!

MetalDetector.com Spring Sale on Metal Detectors 2017

Interested in getting a metal detector or upgrading to a newer model? Check out our exclusive 2017 Metal Detector Sale Offers!

Whites TM 808 Metal Detector- Find Coin Hoards & Treasure Caches!

Whites TM-808 Deep Seeking Two Box Metal Detector

Whites TM-808 Deep Seeking Two Box Metal Detector

Have you ever gotten a lead about a buried treasure cache’s whereabouts, but didn’t act on it? Perhaps it was hidden on several acres of farmland, and you figured it was an impossible mission. That’s when the Whites TM 808 Metal Detector, a deep-seeking two-box unit, is a priceless commodity! Coin and treasure cache burials were extremely popular in the past, and a large majority are still waiting to be discovered. These caches were buried during an emergency, for safe-keeping and even by outlaws.

Find Large Deeply Buried Treasure’s

Whites TM 808 is specially designed to detect larger objects and deeper metals—up to 20 feet deep! Professional features include: adjustable ground balance, powerful electronics, preset controls and easy tuning. Whites TM 808 is priced right and also detects septic tanks, pipes and relics.

 

See all models of Whites Metal Detectors

Beginners Metal Detectors Make Great Spring Gifts

Bounty Hunter Platinum Metal Detector

Bounty Hunter Platinum Metal Detector

With winter winding down, beginners metal detectors make great Spring gifts for a variety of people. Children, teens, adults, parents, grandparents and everyone else who tries it simply has a great time treasure hunting with a metal detector. It’s inherently exciting, takes you amazing places, teaches you new things, and introduces you to interesting people. In fact, what’s not to like about metal detecting?

Given this, even those you think wouldn’t ask for a metal detector, would actually enjoy receiving one as a gift this year. To help you find the best machine for the lucky folks on your shopping list, here are our top 6 picks for the best beginners detectors.

These beginners detectors mean you don’t have to worry about turning your friends or family members off to the hobby because the machine is too complex for them to enjoy, or they feel unsuccessful because the quality is poor and they never find any treasure. Instead, with these beginners detectors, you can give them all of the benefits of a high end, quality metal detector with “turn on and go” controls. Now you can choose the right beginners metal detector easily and give your loved one all the benefits of metal detecting in an easy to use package they’re sure to enjoy.

More Than One Search Coil Will Help with Your Success!

Adding a larger or smaller search coil can lead to increased finds.

Adding a larger or smaller search coil can lead to increased finds.

As a beginner, your first metal detector comes with a “standard” sized search coil—and that seems perfect. It signals metal objects, and it’s very exciting to hear beeps while checking out your LCD display for depth and ID. But did you know that search coils are interchangeable for different detecting purposes? As you grow into the hobby, you will learn that one size search coil doesn’t “fit all”- they come in several shapes and sizes. The standard search coil is typically 7-11″ with a sufficient scanning width—sensitive to a wide range of targets. Great for beginners, these medium-sized search coils are usually the best for coin hunting and general purpose treasure hunting.

Benefits of Smaller & Larger Search Coils

If you hunt trashier areas, however, a smaller search coil will help you find valuables. Junk-filled areas are easier to work with a smaller coil, which will separate responses from undesirable targets. Smaller search coils usually range from 3-6″ in diameter. Larger search coils (12″ diameter and larger) are designed to detect deeper targets—including treasure caches. Offering much more ground coverage, you can hit targets more quickly and deeply than other search coils. Among the larger coils are “DD” coils, which cover more ground and detect less mineralization in one sweep.

In summary, most manufacturers allow you to attach search coils of different sizes and shapes to your detector. As you grow into the hobby, you may decide to equip your detector with a different sized search coil based on your hunting preference. To find interchangeable search coils for your detector, see the “Related Products” information for your detector model or check out MetalDetector.com’s Search Coil Options.

Detectorists’ Dreams DO Come True! Silver Coin Hoard Found with the Garrett AT Pro

One lucky detectorist is keeping the dream alive for all of us who hope to find a coin hoard! Known as “Aquachigger” in his videos and metal detecting forums, this avid treasure hunter often searches rivers and streams. He spotted a river where he believed war relics would turn up, and started his shallow-water hunt. Aquachigger quickly hit on several silver coins in one concentrated area. Because the river floor here is bedrock, metals cannot sink any lower. This is perfect for uncovering coins, relics and gold. In his You Tube video that you can watch below: “OMG! I Found A Huge Silver Treasure Hoard Metal Detecting!” Aquachigger credits his Garrett AT Pro detector and Garrett Pro-Pointer for quickly signaling the silver coins. There was so much fence wire and lots of nails, he figures another detector may have passed right over the silver.

178 Silver Coins Found with the Garrett AT Pro!

Aquachigger’s Garrett AT Pro emitted a high pitch—with target ID reads from 89-90’s for silver. The AT Pro displayed 30’s when it passed over iron, making it easy to pinpoint the silver coins. After 5 or 6 trips to this riverbed hot spot, his total haul was 178 silver coins! The video is a worthwhile watch, as Aquachigger lays out all of his coins and explains what they are. A majority of the silver coin hoard includes U.S. halves, with the remaining pieces being Spanish 8 Reales, 5 franc coins and foreign (Brazil and Peru coins). It’s also interesting to read the comments about where this detectorist searched, how to find coins and how much the coins are worth. You can be next in a successful treasure quest!

MetalDetector.com’s 2017 Winter Sale

Start your OWN treasure hunting adventures with a metal detector of your own! During MetalDetector.com’s 2017 Winter Sale, you’ll find the lowest prices of the year on the most popular metal detectors and accessories. This includes the Garrett AT Pro!