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WM6, it was a different era, a younger and healthier me, and our Coin Hunting likely differs from yours.

September 16, 2020 11:32AM avatar
During that era, and putting in all the time I could to hunt, I usually managed 60K to
70K coins per year, and much more when I wasn't working overtime or two jobs.



Even much more than usually 70,000 coins per year?

It is about 200 coins per day and if you hunt 8 hours per day along with your two
( + overtime) jobs it is approx 1 coin dig at about 2.4 minutes. Really WoW!

Assume, that you got permission to hunt coin treasury at your local bank?

WM6, first, I'll point out that I said "During that era" referring to those earlier days of this great hobby sport. Mainly, for me, from the summer of '68 on through the '70s and into the mid-'80s when I noticed the numbers declining because, quite frankly, a lot of the coins had been found or were being found in all the popular urban areas because so many people were ACTIVE in the hobby.

Second, from '71 thru '76 I was working my main job and also putting in some overtime or handled some extra hours for the company's other business. When doing that, which was often more during the winter months when I couldn't hunt as often, my annual coin tally was lower. But, when I wasn't working extra time I had a lot of personal time to get out detecting, and I did so at every opportunity. That included lunch breaks from work.

Third, since I am here in the USA, I had the benefit of urban Coin Hunting at parks and schools, parking strips, sports fields, and other 'common-use' public areas as well as some river beaches. In my earliest days of hunting with a factory produced detector, from July of '68 and on to about '71, many of the playgrounds, also called tot-lots, were simply play structures stuck in the ground. After that there was a big trend to improve them and fill them with some soft material to help cushion the fall someone might have off the equipment. In Oregon, and other western states I hunted, the main material used was bark-chip or wood-chip or shaved wood product. A few used pea gravel, and many used chewed-up tires that were supposed to not be the steel belted type.

Also until the past twenty years most kids were very active, got out and played a lot, and also carried pocket money. Some of the tot-lots I used to hunt were regularly high-producers. Finding a lot of coins at all of the parks that had a lot of use in their earlier life, and on into the mid-to-late '80s, were all around us and that provided easy access. In July of '68 and on into May of '69, my brother Ed & I would go detecting before he went to work and we shared the one detector .... a White's Ghost Towner BFO w/6" wooden search coil, and that was before we had Discrimination.

It was the good ol' Metal / Mineral Locator days. Each of us carried a rounded-off screwdriver to retrieve the coins, and not only were there a lot of them out there to find that were shallow, but many of the early detectors didn't get great depth, anyway. It was easy to find coins from surface to 3" and occasionally we would pop out a 4" deep coin. Between us, we kept the detector working all we could. If a coin was located the other would kneel down to recover it, but quickly another target was located so the operator knelt to find that one. Whoever recovered a target first just grabbed the detector and continued the search. We would continue on that way as we filled a pint jar with coins, and that usually took 2½ to 3 hours. Our best day was filling a pint jar in one hour and fifty-some minutes.thumbs up

Then we'd go to the popular little café, 'Pinky's', and order a lunch. Hamburger and chips or fries, and Ed got coffee and I got a soda, a float or a malt. While the owner was busy cooking it up, we opened a few napkins at the table, emptied the bottle, and sorted out the older coins from the newer coins. We'd use some of the newer change to pay for our lunch. But that was one detector and two busy screwdrivers working constantly to fill a pint jar. From '71 on for the next several years, I had to do the finding and recovering on my own, but I was young and healthy, and the Portland Oregon area had a lot of older parks that were plentiful ... back then.

I could start a day when the sun came up and hunt until lunchtime. That would usually fill a pint jar's worth of coins. Then I'd use that lunch break to rest up and pick a different park for different scenery and start hunting the rest of the day. That's how I spent my day's off, and all the extra time I could work in. In those earliest days, it was non-stop hunting and I could fill a quart jar in a long-day of devoted hunting.

For reference and so nobody has to go do some testing, most of the coins were Small Cents, and there were a lot of Nickels, and a lot of Dimes as they had purchasing power back then. I have a few quarter jars on my shelves of Zinc and Copper Cents, and when I sorted and counted coins out to fill them, each has 900 One Cent coins up to near the top. So that gives you an idea of the coin production I enjoyed early in the hobby, in a well populated city with a lot of parks, and when I hunted for a long day.

After I started dealing in Garrett Electronics' detectors in '77, I still got out often to find stuff, and also to draw attention to the metal detecting hobby, talk shop, and make some sales. Where I lived at the time that also accessed some permissions to hunt a few old hunting and fishing lodges that were popular in the 19-teens, '20s and '30s. That cut in on my quantity, but let me find some older coins and see new territory. I was till finding a lot of coins at the common urban locations, but due to the big surge in the hobby they were thinning out, slow-but-sure, and a decade later, about '81, I could still go out and find 300 or more coins in a day, sometimes still hitting about 400 or so, but there was competition.

In July of '83 Tesoro brought out the Inca with slow-sweep and quick-response / fast-recovery and I switched the brands I sold and also switched to more Relic Hunting and cut down on my urban Coin Hunting efforts. Oh, I still hunted in town, just less. I worked more renovation work and more vacant lots where there was once a lot of activity and my coin-count was still holding up well, even though with less park and school hunt time, those recoveries were typically anywhere from 100 to 200 coins per day, but those were shorter days.

So I set some personal goals for myself during the '80s, and that was to try and 'average' 1000 coins per week. If I found 200 coins a day, and only hunted 5 days a week, there was 1,000 and in a year that was 52,000 ... and it was doable ... Then .... I added to that urban coin count the older coins I found from the ghost towns and homesteads and such to up my annual coin tally. And that was a minimum goal to hit 200 coins a day 'average' but I didn't stop if I got to that point early, I kept hunting.

It was from '68 through to about '80 when I had an easier time finding 60K to 70K coins a year, even when working some extra time, and on better years without extra work, and when I lucked upon a new-to-me site that hadn't been detected much, my annual coin take was up around 120K, for a couple of hears during the hey-day. Then everyone was out having fun, finding coins and such, and I continued to enjoy this great sport and have fun, but when the urban coin quantities started to drop off for me around '83, it was a great time to shift to Relic Hunting the old sites. Then it was older coins and not quantity ... most of the time.

But depending on where I lived and what I was doing occupation wise, I couldn't always get away for the longer drives to hunt old town sites and homesteads and such. So, not to get rusty or bored, I still would get out detecting locally all I could, there just wasn't as much to find in the latter '80s and there had been ten-to-twenty years before ... when there were fewer birds and more worms, so to speak. But by the latter '80s and on through the '90s and into this century I started to observe where most people went detecting, and I listened to their discussions when I was in a dealer's store or at one of the club meetings. The main interests I heard for coin, as well as jewelry, hunting were questions about which parks were the oldest, where are some good sports fields, and some were interested in hunting the sandy beaches on the two large rivers that merged near Portland Oregon.

Well, I already knew where older places were from research and was still hunting them as well. And I only worked a river beach a few times in an entire year, but hit the good sports fields during the 'off-season' or on the light rainy days. But where might I get out to find coins where other people weren't? Most of them only talked about old coins and old silver and old this and that. They didn't like the popular park areas with modern Zinc Cents and an increased amount of pull-tabs and other trash, so they asked about 'old' places. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, as I love older-use sites as well.

But when I wanted to up my urban coin count, where could I go? What was out there and not being worked much? TOT-LOTS !!! The high-production days with more older coins and big quantities of any coins in park and school grassy areas was over and I couldn't get into the multiple tens-of-thousands anymore, but I could set my sights on hitting 10k a year. That was the new plan, while still working all the older Relic Hunting sites on my get-away adventures.

As I stated, while I was in Utah a little bit here and there, I lived in the greater Portland Oregon metro area and had ample time to get out and have fun. I used a Thomas Map Guide and went through each page of the entire surrounding region as well as Portland and marked every Elementary School because they had playgrounds, and every park. I then eliminated any park if it didn't have any good playground structures, and as mentioned, most of them had loose wood-chip material. Great for softening a fall, and for hiding anything that fell out of a pocket or off a finger or neck or wrist.smiling smiley

I hunted with a few friends from time-to-time who stayed quiet about where I hunted, but most of the time I hunted alone. I don't like to hunt in the rain, and Portland gets a lot of wet days, but I'd take advantage of all the parks that have a lot of trees and worked them during a light shower when most hobbyists were at home. I would get up very early, as I always did, and head out to get to a playground by the crack-of-light and I wouldn't stay very long before I headed off to another locations. I call these 'Bark-Chip Marathons' as I would set out for a day and do nothing but work one playground after another. if they were a bit thin on coins, I'd know in about 5 minutes and I'd be off to the next site. On the better places with good coin production I might spend 20 to 40 minutes getting all I could, then off to the next place.

People were still active in playgrounds back then and carried more change, and I can guarantee you they also lost a lot of gold and silver jewelry. I would also hit places later in the evening before dark when not as many people were out and about, that way fewer saw me and what I was doing. I very seldom saw people hitting tot-lots, and with less competition and more people playing and losing things, I would work many playgrounds where you could quickly pinpoint, toe-scuff the bark-chip, recover the targets and just keep on-the-move. I had several favorite playgrounds, at parks or schools, that I would hunt once a week, and some were good every two weeks, with the better places kicking out 50 to 80 coins, and sometimes as many as 100 coins if I hung in there for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The 'average' production was 20 to 40 coins or so in a typical 20-40 minute hunt.

I would also find about 4 gold jewelry items, or more, and 10-20 silver jewelry items a month from the well-used playgrounds. But the number of everyday coin finds were dwindling in popular urban places when the metal detecting industry peaked about '83 to '86, then sort of fluctuated for another decade before we saw the decline. After that, many detector manufactures closed their doors. The popular Treasure Hunting related magazines started to die, and most metal detecting clubs have also vanished.

I was still hitting that 7,500 to 10,000 coins a year during the '90s because much more time was spent out in desert regions poking around for neat old stuff. In 1998 I made a decision to try and hit my 10,000 coin mark as my health and mobility were slowing me down. I was also more active in the Portland detector club at the time and thought I'd have some fun entering the Find-of-the-Month and I could show off the older coins I'd find in the appropriate categories, but it was the Display category I got a kick out of.

In the higher production and better weather months of April thru August, I would have a coupe bottles of coins, or just fill a basket or big container of all the coins I had found ... and cleaned and tumbled the night before each meeting. Most of them, naturally, were the lowly One Cent coins, but I also had a good share on nickels, Dimes and Quarters in the mix. In my display each month I had anywhere from 1600+ coins to 2180+ coins I had found since the last month's meeting. All those cleaned and shiny coins got people's attention and after the June meeting I was letting folks know just where I was hunting to find so many coins .... and in a matter of days, there were two groups of hunting buddies doing what I was doing, and working together to thin out the playgrounds before I got there.eye popping smiley

I ended 1998 finding 12,479 coins and that was the last year I hit or exceeded 10K. People just don't get out to play like they used to and most playgrounds are empty on weekends or in the summer. They also don't carry money like they used to since it isn't needed for milk-money or lunch-money at school anymore. Times have changed, for sure. But there still are a few states or regions where there are more youth and a lot of them are active ... outdoors.. I do know of several very popular playgrounds that can still spit out 30+ coins on a short detecting visit, with several still rewarding me with 50+ coins ... but none of them are close to where I live.

No, the hey-day of metal detecting all the popular urban Coin Hunting sites is over. You have to take what you can get and, sometimes, the picking's are thin, but it's still fun. I still enjoy hunting the older-use and out-of-the-way locations, but they have also been hunted a lot and are not as generous as they once were are surrendering old coins and other keepers.

If I were younger, and healthier, I know I could get out and it the 10K coins-per-year mark, and anyone in the USA who lives in or close to a larger metropolitan area can as well. It just take more commitment to time and effort .... and a willingness to accept the lowly modern coinage and hope for an incidental oldie to pop out now and then. It's been almost half-a-century since the high-production days and they'll never return, but the 'fun' is still around for us to get out and enjoy.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now 'back home' in Farr West Utah
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detector Outfit: A selection of my chosen makes and models, with the best coils mounted for the tasks I'll take on.
F-19 .. Racer .. Vanquish 540 .. FORS Relic .. Silver Sabre µMAX .. Bandido II µMAX .. XLT
Pinpointers: Garrett AT Pro-Pointers .. Headphones: 'Hornet' .. MS-3 Z-Lynk .. ML-80
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

The deep ones

Senior Deacon 696 September 14, 2020 09:31PM

Re: The deep ones

NWCindy 428 September 30, 2020 01:44PM

Some thoughts and history of Finding some Deep Coins.

Monte 568 September 15, 2020 07:31AM

Re: Some thoughts and history of Finding some Deep Coins.

Senior Deacon 446 September 21, 2020 09:26AM

Re: Some thoughts and history of Finding some Deep Coins.

WM6 470 September 15, 2020 02:09PM

Re: Some thoughts and history of Finding some Deep Coins.

SvenS 489 September 21, 2020 05:27AM

One of the downfalls of increased age and decreased mobility.

Monte 451 September 21, 2020 07:53AM

WM6, it was a different era, a younger and healthier me, and our Coin Hunting likely differs from yours.

Monte 463 September 16, 2020 11:32AM

Re: WM6, it was a different era, a younger and healthier me, and our Coin Hunting likely differs from yours.

WM6 428 September 16, 2020 02:32PM

Re: The deep ones

zincoln 520 September 15, 2020 01:03AM

Re: The deep ones...how to get the best out of your 5900White's Electronics

Hombre 477 September 15, 2020 09:36AM

The deep ones...

UtahRich 444 September 15, 2020 02:14PM

Hombre, that was very good help, but a different detector.

Monte 459 September 15, 2020 10:41AM

Re: Hombre, that was very good help, but a different detector. I'm only familiar with my version of the 5900

Hombre 465 September 15, 2020 11:31AM

A nice selection of White's models.thumbs up .. Too bad they went belly-up.sad smiley

Monte 488 September 15, 2020 01:15PM

Re: The deep ones...how to get the best out of your 5900White's Electronics

zincoln 454 September 15, 2020 10:38AM

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