Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 Metal Detecting Finds

Another year is in the history books and I wanted to show off some of my finds of 2013.  As I look through these items I am reminded of the stories that come with them.  Some of these finds came through researching old sites that I thought looked promising.  I do a lot of research online and in the library combing through books and old maps of the locations I want to hunt.  I really like reading any sort of book that record events in towns near me.  One such finding was of Church Camp meetings being conducted at a certain individuals house.  The book mentioned that in the early 1900's families from several towns would meet here because this particular site had a grove of trees and a nice stream that allowed the families to get the water they needed and shade for their meetings.  The account of the meetings mentioned the owner's name and I found a map of the owner's of properties during that time period.  Sure enough I found this individuals name and had another excellent spot to visit.  

After I locate a good spot I head over to the home and ask for permission to hunt the site.  I bring my phone that has pictures of my previous finds to show the home owner.  My advice if you have never done this before is to simply be friendly.  I find another thing that helps is to talk about the history of the place with the owner.  My excitement is often contagious and the owner usually gets interested by stories I share and when I show them my gear.  Be honest with the home owner.  Tell them you'll show them your finds.  Don't lie about what your looking for.  Tell them you are looking for old coins and show them some of your previous finds.  I'm not worried about someone saying no to me because I have other sites to ask permission to hunt.  Besides that I always have a quite a few sites that I have been given permission to hunt.  

This ring was found at a church that was established in the early 1900's.  I had received permission to hunt this location by the pastor of the church and I'm sure glad that I did.  It has been one of my favorite hunting sites in 2013.  I highly recommend getting permission to hunt any site, which is the respectful and legal thing to do.  This ring was found about 7" deep and was the first gold ring of 2013.

 At first I didn't think it was gold because it seemed to be a little darker red than I was used to see in yellow gold.  Something else that puzzled me was the fact that there were no markings that I am used to seeing for gold.  All that was on the inside of the band were the marking xxx and a sideways w.

I am so thankful for the Internet.  With the information that is now available a person can get access to pretty much any information he needs.  I typed in the inscription and quickly found what I was looking for.  According to Dorothy T. Rainwater's book "American Jewelry Manufacturers", the J.R. Wood Company was established in Brooklyn in 1850.  After many years of jewelry making under that name, they merged into Lenox, Inc. [Keepsake Division] Trenton, New Jersey in 1970.  Their wedding rings were sold under the trade name 'Art-Carved'. In 1975, the name of the company was changed from "J.R. Wood" to "Art-Carved Inc."  Marks used by the Wood Company can be seen on page 260 of this reference book.  The xxx indicates the gold quantity.  In this case XXX=3/4 or .750 or 18 kt Rose Gold.

This piece was actually found while I was detecting around a house that was built in 1915.  At first I thought it was trash because or a pop can.  When I pulled it out I was very happy to see this item.  As you can see it is very detailed and I headed to the computer to find out some information about it.  This is a from a metal license plate attachment that says, "Protected by Farmer's Automobile Inter-Insurance Exchange".  It used in the 1920's or 1930's which fits perfectly with the date of the house.  I found this item only about three inches deep in the front yard by the porch of the house.  I also found one of the silver dimes and the lead soldiers pictured below.  I will definitely try this house again because I found items of age there.

I was disappointed that the soldiers had been broken.  I expect after sitting in the ground for so many years, having experienced freezes and thaws, that it is to be expected.  The middle soldier looks to have been previously painted.  You can still see red on his back.