Monday, December 23, 2013

Every Find Tells A Story

So, I ve been metal detecting now for about 10 years and I always am amazed at the things I dig up and I never take a find for granted because every find is unique. Everything I dig up while metal detecting has a story behind it and I often try to imagine what that story might be. 2 Cent Large Copper

Monday, December 2, 2013

Home Electrolysis of 4 silver rings

Many folks ask me how I clean the crusty silver rings that I find so I made this video when I cleaned my last 4 beach finds. I hope it was helpful.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Metal Detecting Tips and detectors for beginners

So you are interested in taking up metal detecting? You've seen the TV shows, you know friends that are into metal detecting, or you have just always wondered about it (like I did), so you want to give it a try but you are not sure where to begin.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Metal Detecting With Dirtscanner

I am a Metal Detecting Hobbyist from New England. I have been metal detecting for about 10 years. I will be posting researched facts and some of my opinions on all aspects of metal detecting, as well as the different types of detectors.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I am officially freaked out!

The story I am about to tell is true, I did not change anything to increase the drama of it, this is exactly how it happened. It is one of those weird moments that make you scratch your head and ask, what does it mean? Is this simply a coincidence?

It started yesterday when I happened to receive a message from an old and very close friend. He informed me that he had a very serious illness and was going through some difficulty of the life changing kind. The news troubled me and I was saddened by it because we go way back and he was/is like a brother to me.

Fast forward to today, I decide to take on an early morning beach hunt and a friend and I hit one of our local beaches. It's a beautiful morning, a little cool on the beach at 6:00am but very nice.

Well, we decide where we want to detect and split up to go to our spot. I'm about 1 hour into the hunt and not much is happening, just a few coins and foil. I am slowly walking scanning the beach with my metal detector and I start thinking about my friend and what he must be going through.

As I'm walking I'm reminiscing, going over in my mind, about the past and how our family's grew up together, how we used to play guitar together, and the many, many times we just hung out together. I'm deep in thought and I get a signal on my detector. I stop, pinpoint the target and dig it with my sand scoop. I dump the scoop and see the glimmer of gold and low and behold it is a 14k gold signet ring.

Now remember I was deep in thought, reminiscing about my friend, his situation and the times we had when I found this ring. Now this is the weird part for me, and I kid you not, I look at the ring closely and I see that the initials on the ring are W.M.G.!

I start thinking, oh my god, wait my friends initials are W.M.G.? I am officially freaked out!
I'm praying for you brother......................

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How to use your metal detector (proper swing)

The following is a video showing proper metal detecting swing technique. It is not intended to cover all aspects of how to use your metal detector but to help beginners and others understand the importance of proper swing technique.

Notice in the video how the detectorist keeps his coil to the ground, makes a wide sweep covering lots of area and overlaps his swings.

Then notice in the second half of the video the demonstration of improper technique when swinging your metal detector. Many people, especially beginners, will use what is known as the "banana swing" when out detecting. This type of swing only covers a few inches of the ground per sweep, missing all sorts of potential targets.

The proper swing technique will cover the most ground and give you the most depth from your metal detector, therefore providing the most opportunity for good finds. I hope this video on how to use your metal detector with a proper swing is helpful to you.

Happy Hunting!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Acid Test

Anyone that is serious about their metal detecting should have an Acid Test Kit, and I personally can't imaging not having one. I can't tell you how many times I dug a ring or other item and I wasn't absolutely sure of the metal content.

Ever since I purchased one of theses Acid Test Kits that has not been a problem, and I have discovered a number of pieces of jewelry that I had were silver or of a certain karat of gold. You will find that many older pieces of jewelry don't have any markings, or a custom hand made piece might not be marked.

This kit is a must have for anyone swinging a metal detector and they are reasonably priced at Amazon. Here I have posted a nice kit that has the scratching board and a scale for a decent price.

I also am posting an Acid Test Kit without the scale that I think is very reasonably priced that also includes an acid for platinum, and another that includes a diamond tester, scale and jeweler's loop, that is also very reasonably priced.
If you purchase a kit and are new at acid testing be sure to read the directions and the precautions very carefully.

Below is a picture of the results of a silver acid test that I conducted on 4 different items that I found while metal detecting. As you can see I scratched each item on the testing stone and then put a couple of drops of the silver acid on the scratchings.

What you need to look for with silver is that if the scratching of the metal does not dissolve and turns a bright red or magenta color then you have a pretty pure silver. In my test below you can also see the bright reddish color that the acid test produced telling me that all 4 items was silver.
Silver acid test
The gold test is a little different than the silver test so be sure to follow the directions, but a brief description of the process is as follows.

Gently scratch the gold onto the scratch pad and then use the acid that you believe represents the karat of the gold you want to test, so if you think the gold is 14k then start with 14k acid. If there is no effect on the scratch sample then try a higher karat acid like 18k. If the scratch sample dissolves then the gold is 14k, if it doesn't dissolve then try the 24k acid. If the scratch test dissolves with the 24k acid then the gold is 18k.

Now if the initial test with 14k acid dissolves the scratch sample then try the 10k acid and if it doesn't dissolve, it is 10k gold. If the 10k acid dissolves the scratch sample then it is probably not gold.

If the acid test doesn't resolve the question for you then take it to a reputable jeweler and have them take a closer look. Once you are comfortable with the acid testing process you will using it successfully.

Remember to be careful using the acid test kits and to carefully wipe or rinse the acid off. I also highly recommend wearing some rubber gloves while conducting any acid test.

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Every find tells a story.

So I've been metal detecting now for about 10 years and I always am amazed at the things I dig up and I never take a find for granted because every find is unique. Everything I dig up while metal detecting has a story behind it and I often try to imagine what that story might be.

Like an old coin that I find, or an old piece of jewelry, I often wonder who held it last, why is it here? I once found a beautiful Victorian diamond ring and it was one of the happiest times of my metal detecting experience, but I also realized that losing that ring was probably one of the most "unhappy" experiences of someone else's life, how ironic.

I found a beautiful gold men's wedding band on the beach and did the usual fist pumping and exclaiming yes, as I happily placed it in my finds pouch. Then it dawned on me that someone, a husband or husband and father, was at the beach one day, probably with his wife and possibly children.

I picture them running happily towards the water, hand in hand, then splashing into the waves swinging their arms as people often do when jumping into the water. Next thing you know, the man is looking at his hand realizing his ring is gone and then there is that devastating feeling that comes with knowing that you won't be able to find it.

A ring that may have meant the world to someone, may have been blessed by a priest at a wedding ceremony or handed down in the family. A ring that someone might have saved for to be a gift for that special day or a ring placed on a finger and sealed with a kiss from a loving new bride that now sits somewhere covered in sand, gone forever.

Fast forward, here I come with my detector several years later, a few months later, or maybe the next day, who knows? I hear that tone shouting GOLD into my ears and dig up that beautiful ring and I'm doing the "happy dance."

One of the hard truths about metal detecting is that usually one man's good fortune is a direct result of another man's misfortune.

So whenever I find a piece of jewelry, an old coin, or any other item I dig up, I try to imagine the story behind it and whenever possible, if circumstances allow, I try to locate the owner of a lost piece of jewelry and return it to them. That's just the right thing to do and you know something, I feel good doing it.

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

It’s not just about the Bling!

  With all the recent metal detecting television shows and advertisements for metal detectors it’s no wonder so many new people are getting into the hobby. How can anyone resist with the TV show exclamations of “BOOM BABY!” and the comments like “I’ve found over a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in jewelry” or “I’ve found over a million dollars in artifacts” being made over the airwaves to millions.

  Unfortunately some folks approach metal detecting as a “get rich quick” scheme only to be severely disappointed and quickly give up. What doesn’t come out in the TV shows is the hours upon hours of digging “trash” or items that may have “history” but no “historical value” so to speak.
Part of the reason many of us stick with this hobby is the understanding of that reality, combined with getting satisfaction from digging up something that was dropped or buried years ago, and questioning the story behind it, the mystery of how it got there, who may have held it last, and why it is where it is?

  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t or won’t find valuable stuff, what I am saying is that it won’t come easy for the vast majority of metal detecting enthusiasts. I am able to pay for my hobby by cashing in on some of my finds but the hobby is not making me “rich” in the monetary sense, however it does make me “rich” in other ways.

  For one, I get to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, I love getting up before sunrise and hitting a nice serene & scenic beach in the earliest hour when the tide is going out and especially when there is a nice sea breeze.
I also enjoy a beautiful park late in the day when most folks have left and I can scan the ground without concern or interruption.


  And hey, while pulling hundreds of pull-tabs, rusty nails, bottle-caps, etc. I do find an occasional silver coin or ring, gold jewelry, or an old relic as an added bonus.  

  Just go into this hobby with the understanding that it’s not just about the bling, there is so much more to it. If you can do that, then this hobby is for you!

Happy Hunting

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Going for the Gold!

As a metal detectorist, one of the things we all look for and hope to find is gold. Whether it be a gold coin, nugget, ring, chain, or any other gold jewelry, it is always in the back of your mind while swinging a detector. But, it is elusive, and at least in my experience as a metal detecting enthusiast, not something you find everyday.
I find that here in Massachusetts my best chance for gold is on a beach and that is usually where I find it. The problem with that is a lot of people like to enjoy a beverage or two while at the beach resulting in lots of pull-tabs and bottle-caps, from soda & beer cans, being left behind.

Well, those items just happen to identify on metal detectors the same as gold does, making it frustrating in the search for the elusive gold.

However, if you are patient and persistent enough, you will eventually find the gold. When metal detecting on a beach you must dig everything and I mean everything. If you keep digging those signals and keep getting pull-tabs you can't get frustrated, you can't stop digging those signals because you will find gold.

On one beach hunting trip I dug the 18 pull-tabs in the picture, some bottle-caps and some pieces of small foil, not pictured, before I found this 14k gold turquoise and diamond ring. Guess what it rang up as on my detector?

A pull-tab!

So you see, my patience and persistence paid off in a big way! Keep digging those foil, pull-tab, nickel & zinc targets and you will find your gold.

Happy Hunting!