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Urban Coin Hunters ought to keep a sharp eye for mounds, piles, or signs of where they were.

August 07, 2018 11:27PM avatar
Today's early morning park adventure was productive for a brief hunt which was mainly done to verify calibration and detector performance of a couple of long-ago detector favorites I enjoyed, and that's dating back 30-34 years ago. Anyway, I posted on Traditional Coin Hunting Forum about an early morning hunt and lack of Pennies, with the exception of only one that I found when heading back to my vehicle. One Penny out of a bunch of coins isn't bad. grinning smiley

This was at my local park and I haven't seen any recent activity there, don't know of any special gathering, and could not see any clue to call my attention to that area. But as I pondered on why I got the results I had this morning, it let me reflect on a number of times I have enjoyed Coin Hunting success at 'special' sites that were visibly identifiable. In this case, I am referring to piles of dirt, sand, wood-chips and straw, or other stuff and being alert to where they recently were.

One example is about twenty years ago I stopped at a city park in Hillsboro, Oregon for a little afternoon search time. There were only about two adults and five kids around and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I was going to hunt across the park to an area where there had been some renovation in hopes of finding something older, but making my way along the large sand box caught my eye. It wasn't actually the sand box itself, but the big pile of sand in the sand box that wasn't there on my visit a week or so prior.

This wasn't close to any recognized holiday of note, so I could only presume it was done by some people for a special event. Perhaps a child's birthday party? For whatever reason, the big pile of sand was there and when I approached it looked like this good-size sand area of about 12' to 15' in diameter could have had two piles at one time, but was now well disturbed but still had the mound shapes quite visible.

So I stepped into the play area and hunted my way to the main sand pile and when I got a couple of feet away I got a solid hit and recovered a Nickel. But I had multiple close signals and I continued to work through the outer rim and in toward the presumed center of the mound, recovering 36 Nickels. No other coins, just a bunch of 5¢ coins in the more disturbed and spread-out sand.

About then kids showed up as if I were Pied Piper fluting away so I headed back to work. Something I used to do a lot of back then, but always found time before, during lunch or after work to get some detecting in. I paid that park sand area a frequent visit during the next few weeks when I got over that way, and each time I could count on upping my 5¢ coin count by a dozen or two for maybe fifteen minutes of hunting.

While I mainly enjoy my searches for older coins and trade tokens, there are times when stuck in a big city that Coin Hunting can be entertaining, especially when you are having a lot of success for the time spent. Such a time was about 1996, give or take a year or two, when I went to search an older park in Portland, Oregon. It was early morning on May 6th, a pleasant weather day and I was trying to beat any crowds at the park. I parked on the street and was headed through the bark-chip filled playground and across the treed grassy area towards an older-use section on the park's west side that was overgrown and brushy.

I worked the good-sized tot-lot and was doing OK until a bunch of day care kids started to swarm in. So I started bunting out across the grassy area. There were a lot of tall, shady trees and picnic tables and the well maintained park was always a pleasure to hunt going back to '71. It was peaceful until all of a sudden ... NOISE! With one side-to-side sweep of about 30" or do, that I normally make, I had numerous signals. When I get any good or questionable hit I often back up a step or two and again walk into a spot being attentive to a slow, methodical, and overlapping sweep. Targets!

The lawn hadn't been mowed too recently so I was dealing with 3" to 4" tall grass and most of the targets, coins, all Nickel coins, were mixed into the grass and out of sight or worked down to the ground level. I stayed busy in that one sport, of about 5' to 6' in diameter, on my knees for a lot of the time, just recovering our (USA) Nickels or 5¢ pieces. A LOT of them.

Finally the hits became less frequent and I could stand while working my detector, and noticed the grassy area had a few piece of straw around. About the time I was finished, up pulls an electric powered cart with a maintenance worker who asked how I was doing and if I was finding anything? I told him I had recovered some change in the tot-lot before the youngsters arrived, and some coins, all Nickels, in a small spot here where there was some straw left.

He said the park crew had just cleaned up a mess of scattered straw that was left from the Cinco de Mayo activities the day before when there was a lot of Hispanic activity at the park and the Nickels (I never told him how many I actually found there) must have worked their way down into the grass.

Then he asked, "So you only found a bunch of Nickels?" And I said yes, to which he then had a wondering look on his face when he said ....
"I wonder what was in those other piles?"


Other piles? .. I asked. He told me the park crew got there early to clean up the mess and rake up and haul off all the straw from three piles and he pointed me in the general direction of where they were. Off I went in search of pile #2 and found the obvious location by the tell-tale sign of remaining pieces of straw. The piles much have been pretty good size, and certainly a good number of kids were actively scrambling around in them trying to find the money.

This was the more productive pile as it had the smaller-size coins and they more easily got lost from view in the grass. Dimes, All Dimes and that spot kept me busy for a while. Today, I always have a Pinpointer on my gear belt but those weren't part of my outfit back then. It sure would have been handy and sped up my recoveries while on my knees in the grass instead of working my detector coil around.

The final 3rd former pile site had a good number of coins in the grass, but not as many as the larger-size and shiny Quarters would have been easier for kids to spot both in the pile and in the grass. Still, it made for a very rewarding day thanks to happen-chance and a helpful tip from the park caretaker.

Just a few thoughts to ponder on should you be stuck in front of an air conditioner during the heat, if you happen to be enjoying a hot summer as we are here in Vale in far eastern Oregon.

Monte

PS: In case you were wondering, Yes, I was also curious where they put the raked-up debris, but was informed that it was hauled off earlier. sad smiley

"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells
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monte@stinkwaterwells.com .. or .. monte@ahrps.org
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Subject Author Views Posted

Urban Coin Hunters ought to keep a sharp eye for mounds, piles, or signs of where they were.

Monte 126 August 07, 2018 11:27PM

Keep a sharp eye out for possibilities . . . .

Rich (Utah) 59 August 08, 2018 02:46PM



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