The Best Thing You’ve Ever Found…

You have to love this question. It goes along with “what is the most valuable thing you’ve found“.  They are only often asked together and not totally unexpected.  You would also think that the answer to both questions would be the same, but I would beg to differ.  In fact I think there should actually be four totally different questions. I would prefer….

  1. What is the BEST thing you’ve ever found?
  2. What is the MOST VALUABLE thing you’ve ever found?
  3. What is the OLDEST thing you’ve ever found?
  4. What is the MOST MEMORABLE thing you’ve ever found?

I throw these four questions out there, and would love to hear your answers.  I will share mine in a follow-up post, and in case you are wondering,  the most valuable US  coin ever found with a metal detector was sold in November of 2012 for $430,000.



I found this article on Facebook and then Googled the topic to see if I could gather more information.  I could only find more of the same. In fact a lot more of  the same.   Apparently someone wanted to make sure the information got  disseminated….

Damage to Oregon Trail

While it may well be true that detectorists were responsible for this damage, my question is WHO made this determination, and how can they know that “hundreds” of artifacts were taken?  Trust me I don’t condone this type of illegal trespassing and damage, but could we at least wait and see how all this shakes out?  Call me a “doubting Thomas” but I am just a little suspicious of how the original  AP article is worded, and how it gained so much traction.  Maybe it’s because I’ve seen this type of thing so many times in the past.

And the comment “Whatever they got will probably end up in a shoebox in their basement .  I have a feeling they know all about this sort of thing….you think?

(Last minute update!   No sooner put up this post and “five” visits from Poland…look for Warsaw Wally to have a field day with this one.  Another “negative” for his files.  And he wonders why the British Museum has labeled him a troll…..)






Filed under Metal Detecting

27 responses to “The Best Thing You’ve Ever Found…

  1. I always answer the “what’s the best thing you’ve ever found” with “peace of mind”

    • I like that Scott. Have to agree too…nothing like putting on the headphones and escaping. Remember well many of the old secluded and off-the-beaten path picnic groves and home sites.

  2. Robbie

    I’ll take number 4.
    Searching in a WW1 training camp area along the bayou I got an overload signal next to an oak tree. I raised the coil above the ground about 6 inches and got a half dollar signal. I moved a layer of leaves away, and on top on the ground was a 1875 Seated half dollar. It may have been a soldier’s who had stopped, sat down at the oak tree to rest.

  3. Neat. Those top of the ground finds are few and far between and always baffling.

  4. Easy question for me to answer. The best and most valuable thing I have found because of this hobby are the friends I have made. My detecting friends are not the oldest things I have found……I think, but they are the most memorable.
    You see I am a bit of a loaner. I don’t particularly like large groups of people and prefer to do most things alone. Most of my friends over the years have drifted away due to lack of contact I guess. But since I found this hobby a number of years ago, 7 I think, I have made some very good friends. Two in particular who live 5 or more hours drive south of me but we do manage to meet up several times a year for some detecting and a whole lot of laughs. Being a bit of a loaner I guess the distance between us is not a problem for me, but I value our friendship and look forward to every trip down south to meet my friends for a hunt.
    All the coins, gold, silver, and relics are just things. The real valuable things you will find because of this hobby are the friends you make, the people you meet, and the memories……oh the memories.


    • Very true Dave…in my case I found friends all over the US and Europe, and we still stay in touch. Never would have imagined how things turned out when I started so many years ago.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your comments… hope you will continue to contribute when you can.

    • Big Tony from Bayonne

      Dave, I agree it is more about the folks that you meet along the way!

  5. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Dick, my best find ever is the Tory Belt plate that I found recently. I put a short story on the minelab success story web page.
    Most valuable is probably a gold chain. Oldest coin was a 1762 Reale counter stamped “BOND” – found same day as the Tory Belt plate and those were donated to the museum that day.
    Most memorable – I was detecting and my daughter was riding her bike, it was July 4th and she wanted to go see the fireworks. I stalled her a few more minutes and finally pulled out an 180x Large Cent! I still can’t make out the entire year but I will never forget that day with her or should I say evening. Oh fireworks are fun too! 🙂

    • Thanks Tony…real nice finds for sure. Envious.

      When my kids were small I always drug them along with me when I went detecting (after school) and they’ve never let me forget that.

      • Big Tony from Bayonne

        Thanks Dick, but don’t forget – those two finds are now in a museum showcase. My children are now adults and still waiting for dad to find a cash of gold coins!

  6. Re The Oregon Trail Damage
    Notice how it’s always detectorists in the frame for all the villainy without a shred of evidence. Maybe, it was an arkie doing a little freelancing like the Loyola University Chicago professor who got a year’s probation for plundering and hoiking out priceless artifacts from an archaeological site in New Mexico in 2011.

    • Archaeologists? Hoiking? Surely you jest. Why they don’t do things like that, do they? I thought only thugwits did.

      • Er…Thugwits? Arkies? Same thing innit?
        Anyway, my best find ever came during an early-morning sortie on a local beach when the temperatures were already in the 70’s. With a mouth dryer than Custer’s crotch, I uncovered a six-pack of Guinness buried deep in the sand, presumably the previous day to keep ’em cool. It was the best of beers at the best of times, that I and my surf pirate mate have enjoyed!
        ‘BT from B’ would have enjoyed the moment too I suspect!!!!

  7. Nah, Big Tony is a “Sambuca” guy….

  8. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Hey, a great find for sure! Two of those and some Sambuca will seal the deal anytime!

  9. Robbie

    Dick, We’ve had some rain off and on for the last few days…..I’ll try and send some up your way. ;o)

  10. bill from lachine

    Dick etal,

    I’ve made a few what I consider ok finds over the years….funny thing is most of the ones I like the best have very little monetary value….go figure….

    Regards + HH


  11. Top Cat

    When you have been hunting for several years, such as yourself, you can’t help but find several items that are your best finds, memorable, old and valuable.

    I have several but I do have 2 favorites:

    1. Very Rare Trade Token good for 10 cents in trade from the old coal mining days in Merritt BC (Middleboro Society). There were only 2 other tokens known to be found and I found the 3rd. one. I sold it for $200.00 with documentation.

    2. I found a Token in Kamloops BC, on one side is a picture of the industrial area of Kamloops and the wording 125th Anniversary. On the face of the token is a bust picture of the King Geoge V1 & Queen.Elizabeth with the Date of 1812 -1937
    Here is the Rare Part: When I contacted the city of Kamloops to find out about it, they knew nothing about it. Kamloops was not a 125 years old in 1937. Their Archive records showed there was celebrations for that year and items that were purchased were banners, balloons, etc.but no indication of a coin or token. The celebration was a parade for the First Hudson Bay Trading Post and the arrival of Alexander J. Ross a Fur Trader from the USA,

    The City of Kamloops figure it was given out to Dignitaries and probably only about a 1/2 dozen were given out.

    The Kamloops Museum was also contacted, again they were unaware of its existence.

    In Conclusion:
    I still have the Token which is the size of an American Silver Dollar and is Copper.

    I believe there should be 5 significant questions asked, and would add HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE of an item found to your list.

    For me the follow up research on items found is just as thrilling as the find itself.

    • Nice finds Topcat, and I thought of Historical Importance, but decided against it because it would only provide fodder to those arkies who visit here. They can take the least little thing and blow it out of proportion.

      You are also right about the follow-up research. I found numerous things that baffled me over the years, but unfortunately I didn’t have the internet to assist me. I really need to dig through a few of my junk boxes and look more closely at things.

    • Bob

      I just picked one up today in chilliwack, what do you think it is worth?

  12. Talking of great finds, surely Warsaw Wally and Heritage Harry must be up there somewhere? They have given this hobby more fun and laughter with their antics and comments than anything else I can remember.

  13. Sad indeed! What lives they must lead…

  14. Lisa

    I will have to agree, and mirror, Dave’s response. The best thing I have found is true friends…and I’ve never even held a detector! I have also found compassion, forgiveness, and spirit, all in a world I thought had gone to hell in a hand-basket. The best part is I am finding these things in myself as well. Good people bring out goodness in ourselves. And this is one group of good people!

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