A metal detecting buddy of mine, Robert Hoard came up from Alabama for a couple
days of metal detecting. I had not seen Rob in 30 years but it was as if we
had just been out hunting last week. Rob had never tried metal detecting
in the woods and I wanted him to have the opportunity of finding something old.
There are not a lot of coins in the woods, but when you do find them they are
usually old coins.
It started out with us finding shotgun shells. They were mostly the type
used in the 1930's. I did find a 10 gauge shell which was very unusual as
the majority of them are 12 gauge with a 20 gauge showing up once in a while.
Within minutes of hunting I received an 83VDI reading on the detector which is
usually a quarter reading. Down about three inches I popped up a silver
colonial shoe buckle from the 1700's. It is marked on the reverse side
with Roman numerals XXVll (27). Not sure what this represents.
Perhaps a buckle size? The shoe buckle weighs in at 20 grams. One
troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams.
Moving on through the woods we reached a logging trail with a small area where I
had found quite a few Indian head cents. I told Rob to check this area out
as he was using a different detector. I started hunting about 10 feet off
the logging trail and received yet another 83VDI reading. Digging down
about three inches I popped up an 1831 large cent (Matron head type). It
was in good enough shape to read the date. BUT, that was not the only coin
in the hole. I ran the coil back over the hole and was still getting the
83VDI. Within seconds I could see a large silver coin. When I picked
it up I knew it did not have the weight of a USA coin and Spanish colonial was
my first instinct. It turned out to be a 1784 2 Reales minted in Mexico
City. The F.F. on the reverse of the coin is the assayers initials who
assayed coins from 1778 to 1786. The date was scratched during the
years in the ground due to a tree that was up-rooted during a storm. The only
evidence left of this was a depression in the ground much like a small crater. I
found the coins at the very top of the crater.
After making these two unbelievable finds in one hole we metal detected our way
up to the top of the mountain where it flattened out. Here Rob found an
old button from the 1800's and an Indian head cent dated 1906. Another old
button was all we found the rest of the day except for at least another 100
The next day was not quite as productive as I found one Indian head cent dated
1886, an old button, a brass reins holder to a wagon, and some type of buckle.
Rob found another button, a 1901 Indian head cent and a 1912 Lincoln wheat
I sent in photos and the story of these finds to White's Electronics and they
sent me a $100 gift certificate. It made the
2012 Stories on
I redeemed the certificate
for a White's/Lesche digger and a carrying case for the V3i.
Read more about the Spanish 8 Reales dollar
and it's role in the U.S. up until 1857.