MetalDetector.com customer Rick of Dimondale, MI found not one but two 1942 walking liberty half dollar’s and in the same hole!
For coin-hunting buffs and newer treasure hunters, there is no greater rush than digging up a valuable old coin. Millions of coins worth untold sums are just waiting to be recovered by a hobbyist with a metal detector. So, if you are armed with a metal detector and a bit of enthusiasm, there’s a good chance you’ll unearth a wealth in coins! Some will be clad coins: modern coins with an inner core of copper and outer layers of nickel-copper alloy. But, there are older coins underfoot which are much more valuable and dated. These include: Indianhead and Wheat pennies, Buffalo nickels, Barber dimes, Liberty and Washington quarters, Liberty-walking half dollars and many other types of silver coins. Older silver coins are made of near pure silver, not alloy.
Lost & Buried Gold Coins are a Hot Commodity!
Believe it or not, U.S. gold coins are still found by hobbyists today! The first gold coins issued by the United States Mint started circulating in 1795. From 1838 to 1907, $20 Liberty Head gold coins were minted; followed by $20 Saint Gauden gold coins from 1907 to 1933. These, and other ancient foreign coins are unearthed by coin shooters. Experts say that a dedicated coin hunter can recover from a handful to over a 100 coins on any given weekend. Basic clad coins at “face value” can easily be cashed in at a Coin Star machine. But more importantly, older coins are worth several times their face value. As seasoned hobbyists say, “A single coin can be worth thousands of dollars. But, even a few weekend’s worth of coin shooting can pay for your metal detector.”
Digging Tools Needed for Coin Shooting
When you are setting out to dig up coins, it’s important to figure out which tools you will need. There’s no sense dragging a shovel if you won’t need it. The type of digging tool(s) you’ll need really depends on your soil conditions and the depth of coins. Some areas only require a probe and a screwdriver. But in tough terrain, you may need a small hand shovel or a serrated digger. Serrated diggers, like the Lesche Digging Tool and the Garrett Edge Digger are often a lifesaver when it comes to coin shooting. They are made of high-quality steel for strength and durability; and their serrated edges cut through weeds and brush. Both diggers also come with a sheath that hangs from a belt on your waist.
How to Skillfully Dig Up Coins
When digging up a coin, try not to stick your bare hand into the hole to feel around. Your target may turn out to be a piece of jagged metal. Instead, wear gloves and use your digging tool to bring the soil and target to the surface. Most detectorists like to use the “flap” method to dig up a coin. Using a trowel, cut out three sides of a square into the grass, digging about 3 or 4 inches deep. Then, you use your digging tool to lift the flap up and expose the hole. This leaves one side of the square attached to the rest of the grass, so some of the roots remain intact. This leaves less visible damage and the grass will grow back easily. At this point, you can sift through the soil until you spot your target. Or, as many seasoned hobbyists suggest: a handheld pinpointer makes easy work of finding a coin. Pinpointers, such as the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT and Makro Pointer can be used inside your hole to locate the target or when searching through mounds of dirt you’ve already dug. Upon recovering a coin, do not rub the coin between your fingers. Most soils contain a lot of sand and silica which will scratch the surface. Lastly, be sure to go over the area again with your detector. Some coins are part of a “pocket spill” and it may just be your lucky day!
Got a great “coin find” story to share? Be sure to post your story and a photo of your find on “My Metal Detector Finds.” Here, you can read about amazing finds posted by everyday detectorists. The stories are fascinating and they’ll inspire you to get out treasure hunting!