Overlooked Gems?

If you happen to be a coin hunter and facing a long hard winter, let me offer a suggestion.  Sit down and go through your past finds and look for “semi-key” dates.   In particular, pennies, dimes and quarters.


When I started out in the 70’s I used to put my silver finds in a 2×2 and label it with the date, location and the approximate condition.  After that I filed them away in coin boxes, notebooks, and stored them in a closet.  Every once in a while I would pull them out and look at them, primarily to get a feel for what location I might return to, but that was  pretty much it.  Then a few years ago I looked up a couple in the latest Red Book and was floored how much they had increased in value.

The 1911S Lincoln is valued at $30 in fine condition. The 1910 D Barber Quarter - $70 in fine condition.

The 1911S Lincoln is valued at $30 in fine condition. The 1910 D Barber Quarter – $70 in fine condition.

I started pulling out my books/folders/boxes and discovered I had quite a few coins in the VF to XF grades that were worth a helluva lot more than when they were found. I knew the 1914D penny was a semi-key, but was amazed by how much it had increased in value over the years.  I was also very pleased with some of my Seated and Barber coins in VF to XF condition…

Be sure to check the early wheat cents and Mercury dimes w/mint marks, as well as the Barber & Seated.

A few links to help…


Coin Resource

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation



John Howland shares more on the AEC, sometimes called the “Artifact Erosion Counter”.  Given that Warsaw Wally and Heritage Harry created this fairy tale I prefer to call it the “Automatic Erection Creator”.  If you are interested in knowing more please read John’s “I gotcha” blurb by clicking on the Malamute Saloon link above and scrolling down to today’s date.



My whacked our tekkie friend in Oregon, Neil McElroy, emailed me this listing from Craiglist, and had to share it.  Accurate title or description?  I think so…

Thanks Neil…hi to everyone in the BSC McElroy family. Hope they let you all out for the holidays.



Successful4During the recent ice storm here I found myself reading more, and that included metal detecting books.  I picked up my first copy of “successful Coin Hunting” by Charles Garrett, and amazingly it read as though it was an entirely new tome. It reminded me of my early days detecting and also just how much better all these older texts were. I believe there’s been at least 4 updates of this title, but none of them can hold a candle to the first. The grammar wasn’t always the best nor was the spelling, but the stories, the tips, and the enthusiasm was top notch.

It seems that as time went on ghost writers, color photos and flashy presentations took precedent over content. JMO.



Thanks to all of you who emailed and tried to help me get out of my detecting funk. I’ll get over it. In the meantime I just need to see what else is going on in the world…   


At a Scottish wedding reception the D.J. yelled…”Would all married men please stand next to the one person who has made your life worth living.” The bartender was almost crushed to death.



Filed under Metal Detecting

2 responses to “Overlooked Gems?

  1. Joseph from Oregon

    Deja vu all over again you old coot! I sat down last night after work and fell asleep reading page 19 of the book you wrote back in ’94 . I actually started reading it again for the stories about Jersey.

    • Hi Joe,
      You must really be hard up for reading material…LOL!

      “Coin Hunting in Depth” needs another update, but much of what I said then still applies today. Hope it doesn’t put you asleep again.

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