Learn more about this metal detecting find and your own found treasures in this helpful article.
It’s exciting when you actually dig up a metal treasure, but frequently you don’t even know what it is – especially if you’ve found a relic! It probably looks ancient and valuable, but what is it? Experts advise not to tamper with your target too much before you know what it is. For instance, don’t scrub dirt off abrasively or use soap and water right off the bat. There are hundreds of metal detecting experts and communities who can help you identify items.
The Art of Identifying Treasures
When you find your first artifacts, you obviously want to know what they are! Before you know how to clean your find, you need to identify it. Ask a fellow detectorist for help. There are other resources, as well. Many museums have identification facilities. Check to see if any museums in your area offer this service. Another great reason to visit a museum is you will see tons of artifacts and be able to relate items when you make your own discoveries. Antique stores and coin dealers are also very useful to detectorists. They can help you identify finds; dealers often publish coin lists which you will likely reference often. Metal detecting books and magazines are beneficial to most detecting hobbyists. For example, experts recommend the book, “Whitman’s Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins” for identifying coins. MetalDetector.com offers a huge selection of metal detecting books, magazines and videos. You can find a book specifically geared towards Civil War relics, if that is your niche. Treasure Hunting magazines typically publish a monthly “Question & Answer” section in which readers’ finds are identified by experts. By the way, if you do buy metal detecting magazine, save them for your archive. It’s a great way to build up your own reference library.
Ask Mark Parker- Magazine Q & A Example
The metal detecting magazine Western & Eastern Treasures features a monthly column called “Ask Mark Parker.” Relic and coin expert Mark Parker selects photos from hobbyists interested in identifying their finds. He researches each find and provides detailed insight as to what it is, as well as its estimated value. One reader dug up an old brass lock in Colorado engraved “St. Louis” on both sides. He was interested in any information about his find.
Mark Parker’s response, “Your warded padlock dates from the early 1900s, and although there are no maker’s marks, the style is very similar to that of locks made by the E. T. Fraim Co. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As for the “St. Louis” name, it’s been suggested that this is one of a number of locks issued to cash in on the enormous interest and enthusiasm surrounding the St. Louis World’s Fair, or Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held in 1904. It’s a fairly common but collectable little item, usually retailing around $20.”
Identifying your treasure is among the most exciting aspects of metal detecting. For more information, check out MetalDetector.com’s Learning Library. Read about these related topics: