A Potpourri of Treasure Hunting News…


I recently mentioned the passing of Derek Ingram, and wanted to share a eulogy written by his family and friends at Regton, Ltd..


(Derek was a fascinating, talented man and  a major player in the early, formative years of treasure hunting, both in the UK  as well as here.  It was indeed a privilege to have known him and he will me missed… D.S.)



I received an email from Todd Hiltz the other day, sharing with me his rarest find to date.  A George Washington Success Token!  He added, “one theory is that it could have been a “game token” in the mid 19th century, but the more reliable sources indicate it was probably made between 1792-1795 for Washington’s 2nd inauguration.  The token has 15 stars and the words “success to the United States”…toddcollage2

Todd, congratulations, a really nice find. You continue to amaze me, but hey, should you ever be in need of money or face tough times, give me a call.  I will give you 20 bucks for this item, no questions asked!


  Holiday Instant Savings



Across the pond the BBC has a show called “Fake Britain”, and its purpose is to make viewers aware of the many pirated products now in the marketplace.  Nigel Ingram from Regton was just featured and the topic? Garrett Pro-Pointers.

(Nigel you never seem to age, and that baffles me given your years of over-indulgence in evil things.  What’s the secret?)



One of the buzz words we continue to hear from archaeologists is “provenance”. Its become a rallying cry of late, intended I suspect, to impress us with their knowledge of words other than ‘hoik’. If we are lucky maybe they will also work on ‘self-serving’ and ‘righteous’. So what about this word provenance?  If you look up the definition you might see the the following:

  • Place of origin; derivation
  • History of ownership of a valuable object or work of art
  • Records of documents authenticating such an object of the history of ownership
  • Earliest known history of something
  • The beginning of somethings existence

As I pondered all these, the first thing that came to mind is that detectorists would not have to deal with provenance, if not for the fact that we actually find things that are important and of interest to others. That in itself is a good thing, no matter how you look at it. The alternative would be for those items to remain buried and in all likelihood, lost forever.  Of course the archaeological community would prefer that, because it’s better they never see the light of day, than for a lowly hobbyist to find them.

I wonder too what archaeologists would do if there were no metal detectors, no hobbyists or collectors looking for treasure (holy sh*t, no one to piss and moan about).  What would happen to the millions of items buried throughout the world?  Would they ever be found and shared, or would they be lost forever?  Would ‘all’ the items they say we “hoik” or collect be better off plowed under or concreted over?  Would they ever have the resources, the manpower and the time to find them?  Remember all the stockpiled artifacts now waiting to be catalogued…

Okay, back to the word provenance!  For me, and I think for most detectorists, we do care about the origin and history of what we find, and in fact even more so now with all the information available to us on the internet. We certainly know where an item was found and we can approximate the date of its origin.  At times we can determine who lost or owned an item because we might know the owner and/or the history of the property we are searching.  Most of the time however we can only guess….just like archaeologists do.

Speaking for myself, if I am on public property, I am the owner of the items I find.  Yes, certainly I think about who the last person was to have held it and if possible I will return it to them, but all things considered, I will probably never know the answer to that, nor would an archaeologist.  You see to me, archaeology is nothing more than  an imperfect science based on guess-work and speculation.

Other than a few days of detecting a farm in Gettysburg, I have done very little relic hunting, but I do know relic hunters who can talk at great lengths about their finds and run circles around most archaeologists. They do due diligence, they document their finds, know it’s place of origin and it’s historical importance. A great many report and/or donate their finds to museums, historical societies, and quite often share their finds at community events and celebrations.  Do they document every single item they find?  Probably not, but as long as they are not breaking the law they are not beholding to anyone!

Finally, as a law-abiding hobbyist/detectorist I will continue to enjoy my pastime as I have for many, many years. To those of you who keep trying to stop me or make me feel like a second class citizen,  I’ve got your provenance, right here!





Just wanted again to share Ron Guinazzo’s latest project and ask you all to help by digging deep into your pockets and by passing the effort along to your friends. It’s a chance to help a family facing a very difficult time and a great way to show them just how much detectorists care about friends and family… Likewise, the more you spend, the better your chances to win a few really great prizes.

Jolie’s Fund Raiser



Filed under Metal Detecting

12 responses to “A Potpourri of Treasure Hunting News…

  1. Big Tony From Bayonne

    Sorry to hear about Derek’s passing, I did not know the man but that is one hell of a mustache!
    Terrific find Todd, congratulations!

  2. I had the pleasure of meeting Derek Ingram at a rally many years ago. A real gentleman. RIP.

    As for youthful looks Ricardo, take a leaf out of mine and Big Tony’s book. The secret is clean living and forsaking; alcohol, gambling, fast cars, faster women, and late nights in downtown Speakeasies.

    The downside is that it won’t make you live longer, it’ll just seem longer.

    Happy hunting

  3. supernova1c

    Hi Dick, I think the new look of the blog is great and I particularly enjoyed the piece on “Provenance”, it had some really good points. Thanks for the info on the Garrett Pro Pointer, it’s good to know and I appreciate it.
    Hope your OK, best wishes my friend and take care 🙂

    • So James, you prefer the new banner header to the old photo of me huh…. Here I thought you were my friend. Damn.

      For the record my old friend Bob Sicker designed that for me. Apparently he too was sick of looking at my ugly mug.

      Thanks James, have a great weekend

  4. Big Tony From Bayonne

    Dick, I thought that was just your Christmas spirit coming through, and the closer we get to the holiday you were going to add blinking lights!
    Anyway, John is right – you have to get out and party hardy….a doctor I went to before he retired gave me that advice….he said it was the best advice to put some giddy up in your step

  5. Tony, I did put it up for the holidays. Ho,Ho,Ho and all that crap…..

    As for that doc, my giddy up got up and done gone!

  6. Big Tony From Bayonne

    You should consider an office worker to help you with stuff and things! You can get a wanna be journalist at the local college….hey you never know!

    • Tony, I have no idea what the hell you are talking about with this “office worker” response? Then again, it’s Saturday night in Jersey and it’s anyone’s guess what you’ve been imbibing!

  7. Big Tony From Bayonne

    Wow! Saturday night? As John would say it doesn’t have to be Saturday night to see you in the bar!

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