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My 9-11 events were surprising and frustrating.

August 12, 2019 12:07PM avatar
Naturally I am referring to my two metal detecting jaunts on Friday, August 9th and Sunday afternoon, August 11th.Both days I met some really nice people, several who use detectors, and on yesterday's adventure I also encountered tot-lots and playgrounds in an Idaho town were folks make use of Notch Disc or pay very close attention to the visual display and simply ignore targets that have a signature similar to modern Zinc Cents.

I guess I set too steep a goal for my Annual Coin Count Goal and it's been a struggle for me to get out detecting much this year. With more limiting health issues coupled with a long and wet spring, it left me a long way off from reaching that 5,000 coil mark. I did have a much better July with 604 coins, and what especially helped was the detecting drive I took on Monday, July 29th, when I had a 261 Coin Day.

I often tally the percentages I get of the different coin denominations just to monitor my successes at different sites or over a dedicated period of time, and I especially note the 'average' range of percentage for the US 1¢ coins. For a couple of decades now, starting in 1999, my 1¢ coin averages have typically been somewhere in the 53% to 56% range, with the higher percentages representing a more frustrating amount of pennies to recover.

And to be clear, when I am Coin Hunting I do just that and hunt for coins, of all varieties and alloy content. That includes modern Zinc Cents because most of the "flash money" I recover is more recent drops and/or they are located in some type of tot-lot material and not buried in packed ground. Thus, I have very little mineralization to deal with, leaving most of the pennies in very clean and decent condition. They are seldom eaten-up or pitted badly.

As for my recent percentage results, my July 29th recoveries totaled 261 coins, and 140 of them were a mix of Zinc and Copper 1¢ coins so I 'averaged' 53.6% Pennies. On the lower-end of my typical 'average' range. For the Month of July, my 1¢ coin mix came to 335, so of the 604 coins I found last month, Pennies 'averaged' 55.5%, so I was in that comfortable 'average' range.

Well, I set out on a detecting jaunt on Friday the 9th and for that trip I planned a different route than I used in July. On Friday the 9th I hit three usually productive towns, followed by five others as I veered south, and 2 of-those 5 were simply terrible. Very tiny towns that were a real let-down, and two of the better places have been seeing more frequent 'local' detecting activity (or by travelers and vacationers like me) which resulted in skimpy recoveries. I was going to hunt a while on Saturday, the 10th, but had to re-route my trip and had a lot of high wind, rain and thunderstorms that day. Too wet and stormy to do any detecting.

Still, on the 9th, I had a 193 coin day, and rain that evening prevented me hitting the 200 coin mark, but at least I came close. And as far as 'Averages' go, it wasn't a bad day, either. Of the 193 coins recovered the lowly 1¢ coins totaled 99 which made my 'average' for them only 51.3%. When it's below 'normal' I consider that a very good day, plus it leaves more room for an increased percentage of the higher-value coins.

And then there was yesterday, the 11th.sad smileyangry smiley I made a drive over into Idaho to check a few things at a little more distant town. Two, three and four years ago I made productive finds when I detoured there on some trips that I made and was hoping for repeated success. The detecting hobby has been on a slow but steady decline really since about 1990, and it's been obvious most everywhere. It looks like there has been an increase in activity, at least in some areas.

On the 9th, in one of those towns that used be very good, there was hardly a coin to be found in 10-15 minutes. I think I only found 5, but I did luck upon a hardly used 3-blade Old Timer pocket knife. And at the better of the five towns before that, I did do better, but nothing like I used to at the two most productive places there. I got an early start, just before sunrise, and soon a couple of park maintenance workers showed up to clean the park. One has had a detector for quite a while and he lives there. I told him there are some folks hunting there more than I had noticed in previous years. he said there's a older gal who hit the park pretty regular, and two guys who he sees from time-to-time, about every-other week. Then, naturally, there are 'visitors' like me who he sees.

I heard the same report from several people I spoke with yesterday who said there are a few (not sure of their definition of 'few') who they see using a metal detector quite regularly around that town. I think they use similar techniques because I found far more low-conductive pieces of foil there than I did on the detecting jaunts I took on the 29th and 9th. The bottle cap count was also significantly higher as well as bothersome numbers of modern, rectangular pry-tabs. They are not just rejecting or ignoring the common trash, but they are also ignoring a lot of the Zinc Cents. That resulted in only finding 60 coins on the 11th, but of those, 38 were Pennies for an 'average' of 63.33%! A much higher than normal 'average.'

I enjoyed my 2nd day this year with over 100 coins for a day, and combined with my meager success yesterday that brings me up to 253 coins for two days of detecting so far this month. If all goes well, I am going to plan a 2 to 5 day trip over to Portland and other parts in Western Oregon to work on my coin recoveries. It will totally wear me out but I should put a significant dent in that remaining coin amount needed to reach my annual goal. I hope to fit it in before month's end.

I trust everyone else is getting out, finding some success, and staying alert for potential new sites to search.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now located in Clyde, Texas
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
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Subject Author Views Posted

My 9-11 events were surprising and frustrating.

Monte 538 August 12, 2019 12:07PM

Re: My 9-11 events were surprising and frustrating.

exploregon 362 August 15, 2019 09:13AM

You're correct, and so was my reference. Oh, I meant to send you a message about the 11th

Monte 326 August 15, 2019 09:50AM

Re: You're correct, and so was my reference. Oh, I meant to send you a message about the 11th

exploregon 362 August 15, 2019 12:55PM

My memory of those recoveries you made:

Monte 347 August 16, 2019 08:49AM

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