Sunday, October 16, 2011

Detecting Report: Saxpahaw October 15th

Friday's outing was full of history and excitement, but the finds came up a bit short.  Thankfully I had a bit more luck yesterday.  I will be carpooling with three of my friends from the Triangle Relic Recovery club to the November "Diggin' in Virginia" relic hunt, so we wanted to get together for some detecting time before we go.  Dwight, Josh, and Jim drove in from the Raleigh/Durham area to detect the Webb farm and several adjoining properties.  Josh and Jim were both testing out new detectors which are meant to help with the highly mineralized Virginia soil, and while the red clay around Saxapahaw isn't quite as bad as Culpepper, it's probably the best local approximation.

We started off on the area of the Webb Farm where most of the Civil War era relics have been found.  The good news is that I was apparently quite thorough in my previous searches here.  The bad news is that even with four of us (including a TDI and a GPX4500) we had trouble finding signals.  It was still fun, though, comparing the signals we did get and finding out all the ways iron can trick your detector!

The next spot was on a cattle farm on Sax Beth Church Rd. where several other friends and I had previously stumbled upon a patch of coins ranging from 1904 to 1920.  The last ones to come out of the area had been quite deep, and almost didn't register on my DFX.  I was curious to see what the other detectors could find, and sure enough Jim's GPX was the only one to snag another coin - his very first "V" or Liberty nickel.  It's also the oldest coin of the day, produced between 1883 and 1913, but 80+ years in the ground rendered the date unreadable.

We then moved over to the spot James and I had discovered on October 8th.  There were considerably more targets in this area, and we all walked away with some misc brass.  Over the course of the day Dwight pulled a very cool pocket knife, and Josh recovered a brass bridle buckle and some other horse tack.  I dug another 19th century brass toe plate near the building spot, my second from this area.

I'm very pleased with my find of the day, though.  As I removed the dirt from within the plug of an iffy signal, I saw a small silvery disc.  Honestly, my first thought was "Dang, just a dog tag!" before I realized what it was.  It's a 1927 Standing Liberty quarter, my first ever recovered with a metal detector.  This is a coin I've been wanting to check off the list for a long time now, and I'm very happy to have found it!  I know there's more good things to find at that spot, and I'm excited to go back once we get some more rain.

Thanks again for Josh, Dwight, and Jim for coming down, I had a great time, and I hope you did too!  We'll have to get out together more often, it was a blast!


  1. That's a very nice SLQ! It's good to be able to read the date on those things. My only SLQ was a dateless one and I put two huge gashes on it while digging it out.
    I wonder how deep that V nickel was. Does your friend have GPX5000 or a GPX4500?

  2. Thanks!
    He's got a 4500. I don't know how deep the nickel was, I was across the field when he found it. I know what you're thinking - you want those deep coins at your park? I'm not convinced it would be the best for your needs though. Better for fields rather than a park where you'll be tearing the whole place up for every little thing. Just my 2 cents, I haven't ever used one, so I could be wrong!

  3. Yeah, you're right. I toyed with the idea of getting a PI machine to get to the deep stuff but I have found rusty iron in that park at over a foot deep I'd be digging deep rusty iron all day long. My quest continues. A V3i maybe...

  4. That coin is sweet! It's awesome to check things off of your wish list. :)

  5. @pulltab, you oughta get an etrac. For a coinshooter like yourslef, it's just what the doctor ordered. Not knocking the v3, I love my DFX, and I'm sure it's a great machine for all around hunting. But if your focus is silver, the etrac's reputation exists for a reason.

    @Rosie, Thanks! Any luck lately?

  6. Jim's detector is the newer GPX-4800. The nickel was about 6" down and Jim said it gave a good loud signal. I checked the target with my AT Pro pror to him digging it and it gave a jumpy signal & ID, reading between nickel and penny, but it did ring in clear, so it wasn't beyond the depth of my machine. As you can see it is very corroded. If I had found the target, I would have considered walking away, but after seeing what came out, I'm becoming a firm believer in DIG EVERYTHING in highly mineraized soil... Come DIV, I will dig it all!!!

  7. Thanks for the clarification, Dwight! Glad you got some new experience from your trip out here :)