I’m Having a Pity Party!

When I started detecting in the late 70’s the majority of those with detectors were searching for coins.   Yes there were prospectors too, but by and large  the manufacturers were targeting coin hunters, who just wanted to fill in their coin collections.   Detector models like Coinmaster, Coin King, Cash Finder, Coin Hunter  and Coin Magnum were available in the market place.

Today we still have a few models with the word “coin” in their name, but for the most part the industry is more concerned with the relic hunter and the beach hunter.  This, of course, is easy to understand because as I said in yesterday’s post, those of us hunting for coins are losing ground every day, thanks to careless detecting practices.  As the  popularity of our pastime increases, so do the instances of park closings….city, county and state.

On the other hand relic hunters, so far, have it pretty easy in that they typically hunt on private land.  Likewise beach and surf hunters are free to do their thing  with hardly any notice. Those of us in the hinterland however now have to fend for ourselves. Though we try and right the wrongs that others  have done, it’s extremely hard to fight city hall. For whatever reason, those who put these bans in place have no understanding whatsoever of who we are, and how  we go about practicing our sport.

Do they know about the trash we remove from parks? No. Do they know how healthy a hobby this is, especially for seniors? No. Do they know how many rings and other  valuables we return to owners? No. Do they know about the historical items we often share with local historical societies and museums? No. Do they know how much we give  back to the community via donations and charities? No. I could go on, but those of you reading this understand…

So, to sum up, I am having a pity party, and I am hoping that someone out there will feel extremely sorry for me, and send me a tip or two about a few local virgin sites where I can practice my coin  shooting skills (if that’s not possible feel free to send cash).

I am also hoping that somewhere down the road something will happen that rights  all the wrongs, and makes things better for those of us who coinshoot (I am not holding my  breath however).

In the meantime, pity me (sigh..).



Please take a few minutes and check out the artistic talents of Steve Halward by visiting the  John Winter blog.  John has featured Steve’s works in the past and every time they knock me out.  What’s amazing is that he does it with what we call “junk”.  Thanks John for sharing, and my hats off to you Steve. You are one talented individual.



Well this should be an interesting event….Paul Barford, every treasure hunter’s favorite archaeologist, will be the guest speaker for a University Campus Suffolk “Heritage Seminar”,  April 10th, at the Neptune Quay campus, Ipswich, in the UK.  The program will be held in the UCS Waterfront building, and will begin  at 4:30.

As you can see from these early  comments his reputation precedes him.  Needless to say, I would love to be there to hear what Mr. Barford has to say, but I am hoping that a few detectorists will attend and share their views with me afterwards.  I somehow doubt however that there will be a question and answer session involved.

Too all the the caretakers at the Neptune Quay campus…..have shovels at the ready!

Lest there be any bitching or gnashing of teeth from Mr. Barford about me sharing this information…..he was all too willing to promote the event in his April 2nd blog  post.



Filed under Metal Detecting

18 responses to “I’m Having a Pity Party!

  1. Hi Dick, I know what you mean by loosing ground. I started hitting road and sidewalk construction sites. I check with the local Engineer Office and find out what streets and sidewalks are due to be replaced. I then check if these streets and sidewalks have ever been replaced before in my lifetime. If they have then I know there is not much left under them because fresh fill was brought in. If not, then I have a good chance at finding old coins for my collection. I have also found religious items, jewelry, and other relics also adding to my collection that I display at local school, fairs, and other public functions. Hope I have given someone some new hope to and old hobby. Take care.

    • Thanks for the reply Kenny. Road and sidewalk repairs can offer some great detecting… I used to it, and everyone
      once in a while I would hit a really good one.

  2. John H

    It’s certainly good to know that Barford has plucked up the courage to come out into the daylight at last, though I can’t believe he’ll appear without a pillow case over his head. Perhaps he’ll Skype his sermon from the Bat Cave?
    As for the seminar itself, then the prefix ‘kangaroo’ seems about right.

  3. “Coinshoot” is a word alien to most people in the UK … I just “Detect.”

  4. Bob

    Kinda like why we have to wear seatbelts and follow speed limits. A few bad apples ruin it for all. But, keep positive and sometimes a smile and a kind word will get you places that others can’t travel.

    • Hmmm, think I tried that smile and kind word with a few city commisioners, and it didn’t really work out. Will keep it in mind though….. Thanks Bob.

  5. Thank you for speaking up for us coin shooters. I look for coins and I look for them in parks. The only time I get to hunt private property is when one of my friends takes pity on me because of my utter inability to relate to other human beings, and invites me to hunt a site they got permission to hunt.

    And yes, the public perception of our hobby is a problem. I have said that we are gleaners not looters. We do what we do legally and responsibly (most of the time). I return to the same parks over and over and I am always proud to see that there is no evidence anywhere that I ever dug a hole.

  6. Doug Frantz

    I am mainly a “coinshooter”, and was lucky that before I got into the hobby (~7 years ago) the local detector clubs worked with the local government and initiated a permit program for the parks. Only 25 bucks per year. I was too late for the “good old days”, but still find good stuff. I like the permit system, but many on the forums hate the thought of them.

    • Doug, thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it….

      I have mixed feelings about permit programs. I hate the idea of having to pay for something that is totally legal, but misunderstood, yet understand that if it’s all they will agree to, it’s better than nothing. Does that make sense?

  7. Big Tony from Bayonne!

    I’m a little late to this party but that is ok right!

    First off – Coin Shooters are loved by archeologists because they do not go into sensitive areas. This hobby is mere recreation to them.
    That is why sometimes they buy us dinner.

    Second, they have honed their skills so much that they can retrieve a coin at 6 or 7 inches using a screw driver or if you prefer a probe.

    Third they recycle coins for the mint by using them for parking meters and coin toss tool booths. Some they save and do not spend which helps the mint as well. Making money on coin collectors.

    Fourth – these folks recycle their trash for the local government helping that economy in the form of aluminum cans and pull tabs and screw caps and aerating the soil for more grass to grow.

    Fifth – coin shooters get out more often researchers who are busy researching – yuck! Therefore they get more exercise then researchers do.

    Six – coin shooters are confronted by more folks then researchers – they put up with lines like – Hey what are you doing that for? You should go to the beach! Are you going to cut my grass next? And my personal favorite – is that a Geiger Couinter?

    Seven – and last – at the top of your web page there is a heading for Coin Hunting – Dah!

    • Well, you made some good points Tony. Hadn’t thought of it that way, but you are right, except that we are not loved by archaeologists. They hate anyone with a detector….

  8. Big Tony from Bayonne!

    Not true. We are “recreational” detectists. We dont use a bulldozer or dig deeper then 10 inches most times. Hey most coin shooters don’t dig past 4 inches, 5 at most.

    Most relics are a good 15 inches down. In some cases fill has been added on top of that and the archaeolgists know where and how much fill has been deposited right on top of that old site.

    I know of two NYC parks were this is true and they don’t allow detecting at these sensitive places. Who is going to dig down past the fill?
    We coin shooters are not in the building/excavating trades. We don’t own backhoes, and are not looking for treasures down five to thirty feet.

    I can understand the National Battlefield sites and like areas, but come on now, what about all those buildings and houses that they allow contractors to erect? In instances like that they disturb relics so much you couldn’t tell what they are or where they are from. Hey and what about those roads that have been rebuilt since the Revolutionary war? Even the railroads have covered over the plank roads of yesterday.

    I still think they love us! At least they have something to direct attention away from themselves.

  9. Pingback: What kind of treasure hunter? | Wheat State Treasure Hunters

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