I wrote you a email a couple of months ago telling you that you and I had detected the same areas here in Huntsville, Alabama ,that you had, actually about the same time. Since then I have really gotten back into Metal Detecting!! I think maybe your site had something to do with it!!

I have been going to "blanked out" school lately and it is still giving up pretty good stuff so far: 2 Mini Balls,1 Barber Dime 1906, I mercury 1920, several wheaties. I also found a "Pewter Harmonica Reed" I am pretty sure it's from the Federal Occupation during the "Civil War".....Just thought you would like to know it's still fun to go there! Boy, does it get Hammered!!

Haven't found much down at "blanked out" school just a bunch of clad, no silver.
Take Care,

Sometime ago I wrote you I had found the site where an old church stood, in what is a corn field now. Since then I have went back many times and the field has only left me empty handed once. I have found two seated dimes, and Indian head penny, V nickel, buffalo nickel, many wheat's{ not one newer than 1941] and a plated ring. My best find there to date was a 1891-O seated dime that still has luster, amazing.

Last week I decided to visit the site again with my White Classic. I just knew the old church had not given up everything yet, even if I had walked the area in all directions many times. First, I found a 1916 Buffalo, then a 25 Cal. cartridge [very old no jacket on the bullet]. While digging the bullet an arrowhead fell out, believe it or not!

This is the part I need help with. I got a good solid beep on my Classic that fell in the large gold, zinc cent, and pull tab range. Suspecting a pull tab, but not to be one to pass on something large and gold I dug. To my amazement a coin fell out . This coin is a pretty emerald green now and I do not want to clean it to find out what the base metal is, because the detail of the coin is very nice.

You, being a man who has traveled I thought you could help me identify this foreign coin. I will do my best to describe it since I do not have a scanner. It is slightly smaller than a nickel. On the obverse in the center is a crown with a cross affixed to the top and a ribbon that extends from beneath on both sides almost to the outer edge. The legend DEUTSCH OSTAFRICA around the upper part of the coin. The date is 1912. On the reverse is the numeral 1 in the center, and the word HELLER. It has a J mint mark and what look to be an olive wreath around the outer edge.

I would appreciate any information you might be able to send me on this coin. I can't imagine how this coin got to this location! I had better close for now, and I can't wait for them to plow this spring [which should be soon] to see what other treasures and mysteries the old church has to offer.

Thanks for your time, I will be anxiously waiting for your response.

The coin in question is a 1 Heller from the German East Africa Company. The J mintmark is for Hamburg. 2 Heller's equals 1 pfennig (one cent). The coin was probably lost by a German immigrant or returning WW1 soldier- MDITUSA

Enjoyed your website. I try to hunt with an old red baron by bounty hunter. My luck has not been too good. I suspect skullduggery, more specifically a bad mojo put on me. Any suggestions for lifting the mojo?
Best regards,

Dear Ben,
Yes, there is a remedy for removing the mojo that has been put upon you. During the day, go out in your backyard and dig a hole one foot square. Fill it with water and dump half of the dirt back in. At midnight, alone of course, take the Red Baron and stick the housing end down into the mud. The next step is very important. Point the coil toward the big dipper and with your back to the detector raise your arms out horizontally and repeat the following verse:

Oh, Great One in the sky,
Help me find some coins,
Before I die.
Repeat three times.

This has worked for others in the past and their finds increased dramatically. Too make sure the mojo doesn't come back, implement a few changes in your metal detecting techniques.

Maybe it is time for an upgrade. After all, you are using a metal detector with technology from the 1970's. If you can't afford a new detector, check out eBay as they have quite a few detectors that you could upgrade to without spending a lot of cash. Hunt old places! You won't find old coins at new elementary schools and churches. Try hunting the front and back yards of friends houses. These are usually untouched by detectorist. Another good area is under bleachers, the older the better. Sure, they are full of trash. Rake out all of the big stuff, crank up the discriminator and start pulling up silver. Later, recheck the area with less discrimination. If you are hunting in areas that have been hit hard you will have to take a new approach. Turn the discrimination down, cover every inch of ground in small areas. You should not take a step more that eight inches since this is the size of your coil. It is very easy to miss a dime! Get a hunting partner. It is no fun metal detecting by yourself. It creates competition and you learn from each other.
Good luck,

Back in January sometime, I asked you about what type of metal detector I should get and you suggested the White's Spectrum XLT. Well, I got my detector on January 14th and it snowed and stayed cold for almost two months. I didn't get too many chances to use it. I thought I would drop you a line to let you know how it's been going so far. It took a while to learn the detector but patience and practice have started to pay off.

Your articles suggested I started keeping a log and as of March 26th to date I have found a total of 557 coins. I have been mostly hunting an old park of about 53 acres and it has been in use since 1860.

So far I have found:
20 clad quarters
73 clad dimes
11 silver dimes (2 Roosevelt, 4 Mercury, 4 Barber and 1 seated Liberty)
35 nickels
5 V-nickels
1 shield nickel
338 memorial pennies
54 wheat pennies
20 Indian head pennies
1 Korean coin with a square hole in the middle (made prior to 1891)
3 tokens
1 1929 silver class ring
A real nice silver and gold cross (large)
3 pieces of diamond jewelry
Lots of little neat stuff like metal toys.

I have had a ball with this thing and try to go every morning before work. The XLT works great and some of these dimes have been down about 5 to 6" deep. Also, I met a fellow over at this park and he told me he has been hunting it for 30 years and it is pretty much hunted out now. I really didn't have the heart to tell him that I've found all these coins there. The only thing I do is hunt with the coin/jewelry program and up the pre-amp gain to 3 or 4 and use the vco for pinpointing. I probe most every find first and have found most of my coins under the probe. I also bought a good set of headphones and they helped a lot.
Thanks again,

Boy, I finally got my Spectrum last Friday and I don't believe there is any metal left in my 2 acre yard. I never knew a metal detector could work so well. By Monday my legs were killing me from all the squatting that I had been doing, but enjoyed it. I haven't found any good stuff yet, but I do have a couple of old house places lined up.

So far I have found:
Brass money clip at 6"
5 post '64 dimes
10 or 15 shell casings
20 or 30 lead bullets (modern)
Old earring found 13" deep, first 5" were gravel
Back to an old pocket watch with partial chain
100 aluminum pull tabs or so
Pieces of 1/4" iron that looked to be parts of an old push plow.

But I love it. I've got a couple of silver programs off the net that I'm going to try, maybe I'll get lucky.

Did you have any interesting finds while you were stationed in Panama? I just recently returned from there after a three year tour. I had some great finds on Cocoli next to Rodman (A lot of silver). But my best finds came from Fort Sherman next to old Fort San Lorenzo. I found stone Indian hand tools, European trading beads, clay pipe, tiny pieces of gold jewelry, bronze needles, two very rusty rifle barrels, a few cannon balls, tons of broken ceramic pottery and nails but what struck me as odd was I only found two musket balls. I know there were several battles there but it struck me as odd finding more cannon balls than musket balls.

I hit that stadium lot I told you about a couple of days ago. The western side (I have only hit the eastern side previously) didn't give up much, so I went back to where I'd searched last Friday and Sunday. In a little patch of clover, I got a 1954 quarter and, about 10 feet away, a 1937 Mercury dime. I can't tell you how happy I was, because it's been a good 10 years or so since I've found a silver quarter. I knelt on the ground and talked to myself for a couple of minutes, going a little batty.

That site, though in a bad part of town, has possibilities. I'm going to give it a rest for a week because my birthday is next week, and my wife has to have some wisdom teeth removed the day after, so my "birthday" technically will be Sunday (just 2 yrs. away from 30 now!). Also, I need to give my hands some rest, because the ground there is hard as a rock. I guess it must have been good luck to whine to you about not finding a lot of silver! Hope it keeps up.

Thanks for the reply so soon. I was also in the area all weekend at camp. While detecting at a school lawn on Saturday, where I have gone over several times before, I decided to try to change my search pattern. Instead of going in the same direction, I took a 90 degree turn and searched perpendicular to what I had done before.

It didn't take long for a hit. On my first pass over the area - a distance of about 30ft - my detector squealed a high pitch (my favorite sound!) and indicated there was a quarter or half dollar about 6 inches down. The school yard previously yielded 3 or 4 Mercury dimes and a lot of wheat cents, so I was excited about maybe finding a silver quarter or half.

The coin was about 6-8 inches deep and at first I thought it might be just a washer because it was larger than a quarter, but smaller than a half dollar. After rubbing the "washer", I noticed it might be a coin after all, as I could see markings on it. I turned the coin over and noticed a head of someone on it and figured if this was a coin it will have a date at the bottom of the head. Sure enough, after a little gentle rubbing I was astonished to see the date of 1794 under the head! I had to look twice as I have only seen this kind of coin in magazines before and never in my wildest dreams would I ever comprehend finding such an old coin. I thought I would never find another coin older then the 1830 large cent I found at my church, but hey, you never know!

What I unearthed Saturday was a 1794 large Liberty cent in great shape. Once I got home I started looking in my red book to grade it and through coin magazines to price it. I feel I may have a 1794 cent with a '93 head on the obverse because the flowing hair on the coin I have does not look the same as what is shown in the books. Also the 1793 cent looks more like what I have then the 1794 shown in the books.

I am seriously considering sending the coin into PCGS for grading. I think I have a coin that is VG to fine, but I just may be a little bias. I'm hoping they may also be able to truly identify it properly for me. I will keep you posted on the verdict. I'm glad we made contact with each other. I share my enthusiasm about the find with my wife and kids, but they are much less subdued. It is nice to be able to share this with you.
Talk to you soon!

A few months ago I e-mailed you and told you I was considering getting a metal detector, and I did about a week later. I bought the White Classic IDX. Since then I've spent almost all my spare time (and some of my not so spare time) metal detecting. I must admit this is not a hobby for those who are easily discouraged. I found hundreds of pull tabs and at least as many aluminum cans, and all kinds of scrap items to numerous to mention. I even found an axe head that probably weighs 10 Lbs. I found dog tags and tokens, but my forte must be memorial pennies as it seems I will find 5 or 10 every time I go out. My luck hasn't been all bad as I've found 1918, 1930 ,1941 D and 1954 D wheaties and around $10.00 in clad coins.

Today I went to a location were an old church built in 1883 was bulldozed last fall. The field has been in corn until it was plowed Tuesday. I could hardly wait to get in that field, and I got permission and my first chance today. I almost immediately found a 1910 wheatie, my blood was flowing. Later I found what looked to be a blank planchet, but later when I got home and with the aid of a eye loupe, I saw it was an 1895 Liberty head or V nickel. I know it's numismatic value is little more than face but this has made it all worth while. I have found a piece of history! What will tomorrow bring, my first silver coin, perhaps a Barber half ? For tonight, I can only dream. I think that's what keeps me going.
Forever the Optimist,
Happy Hunting

Just a follow up note to let you know at your suggestion I bought a small tumbler to clean my non-collector coins. It works great. I've been working the beaches of San Juan P.R. for about 3 months now. I go out on weekends for about 2 hrs each day and have hit the $100.00 mark on coins. No real old ones yet, nor any silver coins. I have found 6 silver rings and one silver bracelet. Also, several foreign coins. I'm still trying to learn all the bells and whistles on my Whites XLT. Thanks for the idea on the rock tumbler.

I've wrote you several times for different reasons so I though I would write you today on my first silver find. First of all, I'm from North Carolina and I am a law enforcement officer and have been since 1977. I was introduced to metal detecting by my father in law who lives in Virginia near the York River. I started detecting in March of 2000. My 7 yr. old son goes with me and we both have Garrett detectors. I use a Garrett GTI 1500 and he uses a Garrett GTAX 400. We just get to go on Saturdays and so far we have found about 150 coins. We have hunted schools, old homes and open fields.

The first weekend in October 2000 I took my father in law to a school about 20 miles from where I live. The school was built in the late 1800's and had been sold to an individual when it was closed down several years ago. We arrived at the school around 9 am on Saturday morning. I had hunted this school several times and found nothing but clad coins. There was a lot of land around the school so I figured with my father in law we could cover all of the grounds. We searched all around the school, front, back, and sides and found nothing but clad coins. There was a soccer field behind the school. It looked to have been built in the past 20 years or so by the shape of the bleachers. I decided to go and search the field since it was kept up and I though I might find some jewelry. I made several passes over the field and found a lot of clad coins, most of which were laying just under the ground or on top of the ground. It was getting to be about 3 PM when I though I would make one more trip up the field and we would break for lunch. I had gone about 20 feet when I detected a dime at 6 inches. I started digging. I moved a last pile of dirt and laying at the bottom of the hole was the dime. It was shinning back at me like it was smiling and winking. I pulled it out and cleaned it off and looked at it. It was a silver dime and dated was 1944 and it was in GREAT SHAPE. You would have thought that I had struck gold. Well, to say the least, it made my day.

Now what I wanted to say was this. Let your readers know that although it may look new, it may have some old treasures. My father in law and me talked about it and figured that they had brought fill dirt in to level the field out for soccer and just covered up everything that was on the field from earlier times. Right after I found the dime people started to arrive to play soccer and we had to stop hunting. I never did get over the whole field or the baseball field beside it, but you can bet your bottom dollar I will return and hunt it again.
Cya in the fields,