Article submitted by Yukon Buck @ The Ready Center
One thing that I have been doing for years is hunting for old silver and gold. Not at pawn shops or coin shops, but deep in the fertile grounds of the beautiful USA. As the years go by and the country falls deeper and deeper into hard financial times, the price of precious metals goes up and up. The price of a 1940’s Liberty dime is about 2 dollars today simply due to the silver content. The price of a man’s gold ring ranges from 400 to 700 or more dollars. My tool of choice to find old precious metals? That’s right…the metal detector.
My passion for this hobby started off as a pure fascination for antiquity. When I was a child, my mom bought me a cheap Relco metal detector. Thinking back, it was a hideous machine, but I found strange pennies with pictures of wheat on the back at our old farmhouse and a necklace or two at the park and strange dimes that never got dull and shined right out of the ground. I was encapsulated with this metal finding machine that seemed to teleport me back in time. I have been passionate about the hobby ever since. Some of my finds are very interesting, but better yet, they are sitting in a mason jar collecting interest as the price of silver and gold skyrockets.
In one yard, I recovered 3 walking liberty half-dollars, several mercury dimes, 3 buffalo nickels, a large gold ring, and multiple wheat cents. That was a big haul and not uncommon if you search the right place, and I know there are many other places just waiting for someone to come along and recover that sweet silver shining even now under a mere 6 inches of soil.
As for some of the other good finds I’ve had the fortune of discovering, in Hawaii, I went to a carnival ground after it had long ended and left with both pockets bulging full of clad (newer non-silver) coins. At a beach in Hawaii, I acquired yet another large gold wedding ring, a 1911 V nickel at an old farmstead in Ohio, an 1868 Indian head penny at an old school yard, an 1840’s large cent at my uncles 1700’s farm house, and the list could go on but those are by far, the most memorable.
While I was quenching my passion for the hobby, I realized that I was getting quite the cache of silver and gold, and soon I had a mason jar full of silver coins that I know have tripled in value since the 90’s. The thing to remember with silver coins is that the last year silver was minted was in 1964. It is also worth mentioning that some coins are worth much, much more due to rarity and errors in the minting process.
Even though I was having a hoot engulfed in my little world of relic hunting, little did I realize that I was investing and didn’t even know it… which is the best way to invest if you ask me.
I also keep in the back of my mind that if I have to bury some of my choice items that the government may not appreciate so much, I will be able to find them again in a few months or years. I can also find my neighbor’s misplaced keys or my forgetful friend’s wedding ring or a thousand other things if I truly desired. Plus during a zombie apocalypse, think of all the old yards you could hunt without permission! You get the idea. 🙂
Now imagine going to a crowded beach in the early morning and finding all the gold and silver that slipped off the wet, wrinkled fingers the day before! Or possibly a piece of Spanish silver or gold from a sunken galleon off the coast!
Now, the money isn’t just gonna jump out of the ground and into your pocket, it takes a lot of work. For every gold ring I’ve found I’ve probably dug 100 pieces of trash or more. For every piece of silver a dozen or more clad coins. Now if I’ve sparked your interest in this hobby, then fantastic, and welcome to a life long hobby full of excitement. Will you get rich? Maybe, but probably not. Will you make some money? Yea, but how much depends on you.
How much time will you spend hunting the right places is the key. A cheap detector can be had on ebay, or maybe you could borrow one from a friend to see if you like it. If you’re like me, you’ll never make your money back because you will keep buying newer and more super awesometastic detectors just for the thrill of the hobby. But isn’t that what most of us do with guns too?
Whatever you do, make sure you do your research when spending money on a detector. There are many different brands out there. Some are good, some are not so good, and some are downright horrible. There are many forums about metal detecting and it would be a good idea to browse and read about others experiences.
While I’m not God’s gift to the hobby, I would be happy to give advice if you like. The biggest thing to remember is that patience is the key when learning any new detector. Detectors these days can discriminate between trash and coins, but as with anything that sounds to good to be true, no detector can do this with 100% accuracy and learning your detectors language is paramount to successful hunting.
Thanks for reading and happy hunting!
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