Ready For the Flak!


When you visit a website, blog, forum or Facebook page, and see a photo of someone’s fantastic day out detecting, what is your first reaction? Is it one of amazement, like “holy shit, did they really find all that” or does it depress you, as in “damn, I’ve been detecting now for two years and haven’t found one of those yet, let alone four!”

You see it could go either way, and I’m pretty sure the manufacturers are betting on the former, as opposed to the latter. It’s a tough call for sure. Being the cynical bastard I am I sometimes find myself thinking that a particular find or group of finds is not only a great day out, it’s so damn great that I am shaking my head in amazement (alright bewilderment).

I say this reluctantly because I know technology has improved a hundred fold from when I was really active in the field, and surely I have lost more than a step or two thanks to the aging process, but then again….

The hell with the heat...I can handle it

At a few sites I began to see a pattern with postings from certain tekkies, and have a hard time imagining a day of finds like they claim. One in particular posts almost daily on a Facebook page, sharing photos of coins that would usually take the average tekkie at least a few months to find, if ever. The variety, the age of his finds and the quantities just don’t “smell right”, but please, it’s just my opinion and you know what that’s worth.

“The art of pleasing is the art of deception”….Luc de Clapiers

Back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, when I spent every waking hour detecting, and when there was a lot less competition, as well as a greater abundance of old coins, I never found the quantities nor the quality of finds I see some sharing online today. Deeper detectors? Maybe. Better research methods? Maybe. More free time to detect? Maybe. Access to more areas? No. More dedication? Hell no!

I know I am an antique who has a habit of questioning way too things, sometimes to the extreme, and I may indeed be reading too much into all this. I also know it’s your right and my right to post whatever the hell we want. I get that, and trust me there’s no more avid fan of social media and personal rights than I.  Call me a cynic, an old curmudgeon, whatever. I don’t care. I’ll just respond with the photo of the twenty-five silver half dollars I found this afternoon.

There… I feel better. 



What happened to the “old treasures”? Did someone find them all?

I often wonder if we aren’t so hung up on all the technological wants and needs that we’ve forgotten what the hell it is we are looking for.

Does anyone take a map out in the field anymore?

How much more mileage can TV get out of the Oak Island story?



Another “digging in” event….this time near my ole stomping grounds.  Wish I could have made this one…..






Filed under Metal Detecting

18 responses to “Ready For the Flak!

  1. Paul T

    Hello Dick;
    I could not agree with you more on what is being found today. Now, back in the good old days we used to find so many coins the coin apron could not hold them all.Oh, that’s right we had small coin apron’s then.

  2. del

    Dick , there are certainly those that seem like they have no job to support themselves and all the free time in the world to detect . I sure wish i did , but to be truthful , family and work keep it an interesting balancing act and makes me really enjoy the solitude when I am out . Its quite simple really , its not a competition , I post things when I find something and don’t when i get skunked . I feel sorry for those who have to buy finds off the internet and plant them to be popular or feel accepted , they miss the concept of what this hobby is about .


    • I kind of relate this sort of thing to the golfer who would spend an hour in the woods looking for his ball, yet show up on the green and say he wound a birdie or par.

      • Ricardo:
        Eh? You talkin’ some kinda code here? Birdie? Par? Green? You relate to this kinda crap?

        Does the Matron know you is writin’ this stuff? Yo’ is in need in some kinda help my old son, or, take more ****in’ water with it. I always said that Californian Merlot is dangerous stuff.

        Your good friend and Father Confessor
        John H

      • The way I figure this….based on when you sent this, and with the time difference, you are on your 2nd or 3rd scotch.

  3. Hi Dick…yes, I’m an ol’ cootie like you, and get out as much as my job, my energy, my back, and most importantly, my wife allows !
    I try to get out at least one day every weekend, and occasionally play hookie from the office during the summer months to pick up some beach goodies. I’ve never felt the need to claim a “dropped” coin or other object that somehow fell out of my pocket and landed under my loop. That would take the real thrill of finding anything, and stain what we as detectorists are really out there for…the excitement of discovery.
    I wouldn’t be able to face my hunting buddies or fellow club members with a straight face if I were to “lie” about anything I didn’t really find honestly…so I don’t. I wouldn’t call out another detectorist for any unlikely recovery, that’s between them and their conscience, a polite uh-huh is the best I would be able to muster in recognition for any questionable find(s)
    I’m just happy to be out in the fresh air, with my hunting friends, and showing off the assorted junk, hunks of metal, nails, whatevers, and if I’m lucky a few keepers.
    Keep on swinging to your own music…Beep, Beep !

    • Hi Avery. I know this is a touchy subject, and I am probably the least qualified detectorist to even bring it up given I hardly get out anymore. It’s just that when I see someone posting unbelievable finds day after day the term BS starts to enter my mind. JMO.

  4. Bob Ellis

    I’ll just respond with the photo of the twenty-five silver half dollars I found this afternoon…….made me laugh because here is my true story:

    Amazing silver half dollar days

    We each lit up a cigarette as we scoped out the site. The site had been rearrange by a bulldozer. Being mainly a relic hunter I smiled in anticipation of detecting cool colonial relics. The colonial relics were not to be found but we still left the site smiling . I think anyone would be if he and his detecting partner uncovered 40 silver half dollars 6 silver quarter and 4 silver dimes with most of the coins from the 1940’s and 1950’s in one day after detecting less than three hours.

    The Lucky Silver Days all started while we were just looking around. A silver 1961 quarter just laying on the ground stopped me in my tracks. My detecting partner Mike C was thrilled with my first find of the day. “ Man, you are lucky “, he said as I pointed to a silver quarter. Mike C decided to take his DFX to an undisturbed area but the disturbed area called me to action. Within a few minutes I uncovered two half dollars and immediately suspected a coin spill. I called Mike C over and suggested he join me checking out the 30 foot by 20 foot area. He agreed and soon he had a big grin on his face as he recovered his first Walking Liberty half dollar. Shortly after we both had another silver half dollar each.

    I don’t think the grin left Mike C’s face the whole time we detected the first day. By the end of the hunt he has detected his first Walking Liberty Half, his first Franklin Half and his first silver Kennedy Half. Even though we were having a magical time, our detecting adventure was limited by the heat and humidity of the middle of July in Connecticut. We made plans to return the next day in hopes of finding 5 more half apiece. As we drove home we could not believe our luck: 40 silver half dollars, 6 silver quarters and 4 silver dimes, most from the 1940’s and 1950’s, in one day after detecting less than three hours. Wow!

    I felt good that we had both detected about an equal amounts of coins but still a little disappointed we didn’t find any relics. I guess some people are never completely satisfied, but by the end of our second Lucky Silver Days the lack of relics detected didn’t matter much. Detecting Day Two could not come soon enough for us; we were anxious to see what awaited us. As we drove to the site we congratulated ourselves on our good fortune the previous day, and our conversation rambled on about the possibilities of the day. Our attitude vacillated between the extreme negative to the extreme positive: maybe we hit the area so hard that nothing would be found or maybe we will find the source with hundreds of half dollars awaiting us. But we did agreed to share equally any finds from Day Two.
    After ten minutes of detecting and still no silver half dollars, pessimism started to set in. Maybe we could find a few more but nothing like the day before.

    Soon after, Mike C detected a Walking Liberty Half Dollar and I uncovered a Franklin Half. Mike C found two more near a pile of rocks. He decided to probe under the rocks and to his surprise he pulled out two more halves that had been sitting on top of each other. While he probed for more, I expanded the visual searching of the site. The glint of silver caught my eyes as I looked down and focusing in I spotted a Walking Liberty Half Dollar sitting next to a Mercury Dime in plain view, no detector needed. I called Mike C over to see this rare situation. We each smiled and wowed but things got better. The half and dime were laying on what looked like a half a sheet of plywood . Next to the half, a beat up 12 inch by 12 inch pillow was deteriorating. I lifted the pillow and we both became bug eyed; seven more half dollars now in plain view. We laughed out loud in response to our unbelievable luck.

    After we detected a few more half dollars in that area, Mike C went back to probing underneath the rock pile. At this point I retrieved the video camera I has tucked behind the passenger seat in the car, and recorded as Mike C repeatedly recovered silver coins from under the rock pile. The probed hole ended up being two foot in length and two feet wide, and maybe a foot deep after about two hours of probe detecting. The total results of this effort was 28 silver half dollar, a few quarters, a few dimes and a 1863 Indian Head Penny.

    The July high heat and humidity forced us to stop but what a day ! Day two of our Lucky Silver Days surpassed Day One by 25 half dollars. Day Two we recovered a total of 65 silver half dollars plus some quarters and dimes. On any given detecting day we would be happy to find just one silver half dollar. But two detectorists recovering 105 silver half dollars seems like something that you read about in the Treasure magazines, and you dream that some day it may happen to you. We know that a great find is possible. Maybe that’s what keeps us going on days that finds are scarce.

    Attached are pictures of Day Two finds. If we had pictures of Day One finds they would be similar but less 25 silver half dollars.
    We are going back to try to find some relics when the weather gets cooler.Happy Hunting

    Bob E at
    written Sept 2 , 2012

    sorry about the format, copied from my email

  5. Ah Ricardo:

    You say, “Call me a cynic, an old curmudgeon, whatever.” OK…you’re and old cynic an old curmudgeon!

    What sets you apart from many detecting journos and commentators is that you ARE a cynic and a skeptic; crucial qualities in any journalist. Keep doing what you do you “cynical bastard.” Don’t bend to the breeze that blows strongest.

    Oh yeah, so you HAVE got twenty dollars then!

    John H

  6. Coin25

    Dick, I cut out looking at internet sites except yours and two others. I understand about what you are saying, and I spend my extra time where I enjoy the moments like I enjoy just coin shooting….no bull, just a crazy hobby to help take away the BS in life….wishing you can get out there soon…Tony

  7. Wish I were physically able to get out. Would give anything to turn it around, but it’s not looking good.

    Right now I am worrying about what looks like a very bad weather outbreak for tomorrow.

  8. Coin25

    Sorry to hear about the continued bad weather you are getting. Stay safe my friend

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