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!