Cache Hunting Story
Coin Hoard Discovery in Upstate New York
I found my first coin cache in 1997. Back then, I was still learning my White's Spectrum XLT which replaced the old good Garrett Master Hunter CX-III in my metal detecting arsenal.
I sold my Garrett to my buddy David who turned out to be a very competitive metaldetectorist.
In 1997, David and I were providing our landscaping service to a few customers in Bearsville, Upstate New York.
Because we always did an excellent job, our customers did not mind our metal detecting activities on their old properties and never hesitated to give us their permission for search.
One of those old properties had a huge boarding house that was built by a stage-coach company in 1814 and was used as a hotel until 1880s. In front of the house, there was a driveway of a horseshoe shape. David laid out a flower bed inside the horseshoe and lined its circumference with round rocks which he brought from the creek nearby. If he only knew what was hidden next to the rock line!
We always kept our metal detectors inside David's truck, and we treasure hunted every time we had an opportunity. On one day in July, we finished our work early and decided to do some 'tecting before the sunset. I started searching along the stonewall and got a loud signal. My XLT indicated a large target and went into "Overloaded" mode. "Probably a rusty can," I thought and decided against digging the target. I moved on to another spot and got a solid coin signal. While digging the coin, I noticed that David moved to the spot where I was a moment ago and started digging.
To my joy, I dug up a 1817 Large Cent! I was just about to run to David and brag about my find when I noticed David running towards me. He held something in his closed fist, big smile on his face. I almost had a heart attack when he showed me his find - a 1923 Peace Dollar!
I knew I made a terrible mistake by not digging that "rusty can!" I changed the program setting - lowered the Gain on my XLT and resumed my search. Then it was David's turn to get "electrified" when I showed him my next find - an "eye-opener" of a Dollar size - a very scarce "Piece of Eight"!
1824 8 Reales Coin
David instantly moved to the spot where I had just unearthed my piece of eight, and I moved onto that small lawn inside the horseshoe driveway.
For next 20 minutes, I did not get any good signals and was about to move to a different spot when I accidently hit the coil against one of those round rocks. Instantly, I got a high pitch tone in my headphones. But it did not sound like a false signal resulting from the coil banging. I slowly moved the coil back to the rock and the silver signal came back!
I took my bandana out of my pocket and used it for the soil that I dug out of the hole, not to spoil a nice appearance of the lawn. I got exstatic when I saw an edge of a large silver coin on the hole bottom! It turned out to be a 1942 Walking Liberty Half!
And I was still getting a solid signal from the side of the hole! I looked inside, and that was when my heart stopped for a second again - I saw two stacks of coins in the dirt!
The presence of detiorated light material suggested that the coins were buried inside the stoking! I might have shouted something with excitement as David was already running towards me. When I pointed to the coins, his eyes were bigger than that Piece of Eight I showed him earlier!
There were 17 coins in the cache, including a couple of Half Dollars, a "Hard Times" token, and a variety of Barber and Mercury dimes, along with a few silver quarters. The total number of coins we recovered at that property was over 200, counting all types of coins dated between 1807 and 1964. Also a nice variety of buttons and relics was recovered. I think I could give this story a different name - "Discovery of a Virgin Site," but it was my first cache find, so the name stays.
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