Saturday Stew…

New Ownership

As if the Tesoro and Lost Treasure stories weren’t enough the following announcement came out yesterday.

Mollenhour Gross acquires Kellyco Metal Detectors

It would appear at least that this is positive news but time will tell….


Okay Already…

For those of you who have taken an interest in my detecting forays or lack thereof…. I appreciate your concern and your encouragement. If and when I get out into the field I will be sure to let you know. Trust me! In the meantime no need to remind me…I’m well aware that my current “musings” aren’t always your cup of tea.

And since I don’t have anything scintillating to share here’s a do over from 2016…


I still get an email or two asking what my best find(s) are, and the following is a repeat of a post I made here three years ago….

Willing to bet that almost every treasure hunter/detectorist has been asked “what is the best thing you’ve ever found”, or “what is the most valuable thing you’ve found?” Also willing to bet that a good majority of you responded with something like “a lot of good friends and acquaintances”. Am I right? Well, that’s not a bad answer at all, and for a lot of reasons…..

First of all because it’s true.

This pastime has a knack for bringing like-minded people together in a big way. There’s a need to learn more from others, a need for partnering in the field, and a great need to band together to ensure our pastime is not legislated out of existence. I think we all know as well that no one else would understand what the hell we are talking about when we mumble things like VDI, mixed mode, RX gain, modulation, ground balance and hot rocks.

Secondly, using the good friends response allows you to not make public what is no one else’s business. Blabbing about your finds can get you into trouble in more ways than one. Not because you found them illegally but because sharing this information leads to further questions like where did you find it, how much is it worth, what did you do with it, and on and on. Information that could be passed on to others, and information that could result in theft, or worse.

I know a couple of treasure hunting friends who have found items that are worth a tidy sum and I appreciate their need for secrecy.  There were found through a lot of hard work, a great deal of research and they were found legally. They are also entitled to sell or dispose of them any way they see fit.

When I look back on all my years of detecting a great many items I dug were my “best” at the time, and as far as value goes, it’s difficult to put a price on them. Follow along and I think you will understand what I am saying….

When it comes to coins nothing can replace the first coin you found when you first started out. I remember mine, and I am sure you remember yours. Didn’t matter if it was a penny, dime or quarter.  It was a coin damn it, and validated your investment in a metal detector (No matter what your wife said). Believe it or not my first coin was a silver Washington quarter……

Next of course nothing can replace the first silver coin you find, especially if it followed nothing but clad, and mounds of trash (that shimmer of silver in the hole still makes my day, even after almost 40 years).

Nothing beats silver in the hole.....

Nothing beats the glint of silver in the hole…..

Next, was my first Barber, my first Seated, my first Bust coin, and I still remember my first Large cent, even though the date was unreadable. At THAT time ALL these were my “best” finds. Today if you try to pin me down, and ask me to name my very best find? It’s the one I am going to dig next time out….

I remember finding that first good ring? It was a small 14k child’s ring, and I found it at a rural school near my house in New Jersey. Over the years I found many rings, some good, some very good, and a few very, very good . Do I still have them? Yes, and I will more than likely pass them on to my grandkids, although they are there for that rainy day should I need them.

Interestingly enough some of the oldest finds I have are not the most valuable. I have ancient coins from the UK and France, a few of which are supposedly from around the birth of Christ, but their monetary value is not necessarily great because they are not all that rare.

Once while hunting near the North Sea I had a Brit TH’er tell me that the coins I had in my pouch from the 1600’s were rubbish, and you know what? He was right. Hardly worth anything. It didn’t matter however. Finding a Roman coin, or relic from hundreds of years ago will always be on my list of better finds. Just thinking about who last touched it, and what life must have been like in 300AD, makes it extra special.

One very special find was a gold locket and chain found in a picnic grove in rural New Jersey. The photo inside was still recognizable. It was of an older lady and there were three initials on the back side of the locket door. I have always wanted to somehow return it to her family, her descendants, but I could not find a way to do that. I still have it, and look at it from time to time….

So there you go….a few of my best finds, and a few of my most memorable. Not what you were hoping for I am sure, and nothing earth shattering, but they were and are very important to me because they all came with a story. One that I will never forget, and oh yeah, the people I met along the way? By far more valuable and they didn’t even beep.





Filed under Metal Detecting

15 responses to “Saturday Stew…

  1. Joe

    The most important words – that stuck out like a sore thumb – in the Kellyco article you linked to, were: “investment firm.” That means the big K will now be run by bean counters, not a treasure hunting aficionado like Auerbach was, before he passed.

    As I’m generally not a fan of bigger box retailers, and almost exclusively give my business to smaller mom & pop dealers whenever possible, it makes no difference to me, but for those who use Kellyco regularly I hope the changing of the guard doesn’t affect pricing, customer service, etc.

    • Joe Stu was very much a bean saver trust me. He was a shrewd businessman who knew how to promote his brand. While I don’t know for sure it could be that the family was not primed or ready to take over. Have seen similar situations before. It will be interesting to see what happens. I’ve seen a mention they may close the main store….


    Hi Dick, I’ve got to agree with you on your so called rubbish find. Whilst it would be nice to have a great find that’s also very valuable is not really the point. My oldest find that I could verify by the date imprinted on it is an Elizabeth 1 shilling from 1585. It was a wow moment for me being new to the hobby. It’s valued at around £80 so it’s not going to increase my pension pot, so who cares. Touching history is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

    • John detecting in the UK makes it difficult to search here given our very brief history but it’s still pretty cool to find a few from the 1700’s, 1800’s….

      What’s a pension pot, LOL….


        The grass is always greener…..I’d like to detect the Florida beaches due the amount of gold trinkets reportedly found there. We get nothing like the amount over here. :):)

  3. Frank Blazi

    I HATE that question because I haven’t found any $10,000 find or anything close,that I may offer as an example. I hunt colonial, so the items I find are cool,environmentally damaged items. I truly love metal detecting and when I’m not metal detecting, I’m thinking about metal detecting. I guess the real treasure I have found are The Rebel, Heavymetalnut, Thiltzy,Del and Dick Stout(to name a few).

  4. john taylor

    sounds to me like a “dump”..they have had enough and want out!..this is out!
    they “sucked” it dry!..time to leave!


    • The times they are a changing…

      • john taylor

        This is true dick! I did enjoy kellyco’s catalogs years ago! always seemed to have a mass mailing every year! Just chock full of treasure related information and deals,deals,deals…always remember kellyco’s famous “package” deals! bought the detector,and got half of “china” with it! he! he! he! stuff would come in at 144 to a box (gross),and ya thought ya got most of it with the deal! (lol)..gotta tell ya, it was a shrewd move,cuz they moved a ton of product…time to retire!


      • John wish I had saved a few of those catalogs. I always had the latest in the john and read every page…again, again and again.

  5. john taylor

    yup! same here!..great read to eliminate waste by! ..(lol!)


  6. Well, I spend more time in Kellyco’s showroom than at home, since I’m about 20-minutes away from them in Winter Springs. Stu was actually one of the founders of our club “The Central Florida Metal Detecting Club” and was truly a detecting nut himself, and I spent many hours talking with him about his exploits…he was truly a force in treasure hunting. Several members of our CFMDC work there. Kellyco was/is located in a large warehouse in Winter Springs, Florida, half of which was taken up with Stu’s OTHER business, which was garden fountains and small garden waterfalls. That business went belly up a while back, and half the warehouse was going unused. Oddly enough, one of their biggest problems was keeping anything in stock, with everything being shipped from a warehouse in Tennessee, or NOT being shipped from said warehouse in Tennessee. The investment firm is FROM Tennessee, but the people running the show are experienced Kellyco employees, not the investment firm. Though they purchased the business, the actual building and property still belongs to Stu’s family, so they are selling the property…and the new Kellyco is moving to a new nest. Everyone there seems enthusiastic, but as, you said,, time will tell.

    John Devereux, the jewelry found on Florida beaches, after you stand in line with 14,000 other beach hunters waiting to hunt the beach (about 15 to 20 detectorists per quarter-mile) what there is left, is mostly tungsten, stainless steel, silver-plated copper or just plain junk. Florida beaches USED to give up a good deal of gold and silver, but since 2008, the quality of finds has dropped along with the fortunes of those losing them here in the United States.So if you are looking for gold and silver, you probably still have a better shot looking for a Roman hoard, than spending all the dough coming to Florida.

    I also agree,” Loose lips lose treasure!” and maybe your freedom. Here in Florida, our social media sites are rife with people displaying their Indian arrowheads, the river they found them in, broken Indian pottery shards and even pictures of a “shaker box” someone is using on a lake site looking for pottery and clay pipe stems. I’ve warned a few excessively socially mouthy folks that we do not condone illegal activity, which means looting archaeological sites, showing fresh dug archaeological artifacts, as it is illegal in Florida to dig for,or possess them, unless you notify the state where you found them and turn over you finds to them, To do otherwise is risking a swat team outside your door, and forfeiture of your automobile, boat, metal detectors, and maybe even your house. And I actually have a Florida friend this has happened to. And questions, as you say, ARE asked with some of the verbal diarrhea clan that having no problem answering. They may be surprised to hear a sharp knock on their door some early morning.

  7. john taylor

    Yes! of course! Even “tesoro” succumbed to the marketing appeal of Kellyco. Jack gifford is turning in his grave! They have kept the cash register ringing for a lot of top tier players over the years!


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