Lots of Vision But Little Grandeur…

Between the much too early excessive heat and the whole of what’s already happened this year it’s been difficult getting into a daily routine and finding some sense of normal.  Some sense that this is it Dick so get used to it AND it’s okay pal to not really give a rat’s ass once in a while.

I think about detecting every day and have even been in the back yard playing treasure hunter but that is as far as it has gone and as far as I’ve wanted to go. As I said it is stupid hot, I’m still having a few dermatology issues, right knee is starting to pain and I’m not at all interested in visiting the libraries to research. In fact Netflix has become my best friend.

What I’m trying to say is that at the moment I don’t have some magic potion, or should I say fresh bullsh*t, to offer you but I’m also not going to apologize for that. At 81 years of age I’m entitled to sit on my butt, to not give a rat’s ass. Je m’en fous and please, don’t tell me that detecting will solve my problems or that I complain too much. I get it. I’ll keep trying but at my own pace thank you. If I don’t talk enough about digging to suit you Google “metal detecting”.


In the meantime…

let me offer a redux of something I posted here in November 2019 and wish you all a happy and bang up July 4th. Have one or two for me!


We had an unusually warm day yesterday and I decided to take the car to the car wash. Once I got there I realized I didn’t have any small bills and inserted a ten dollar bill into the changer, receiving a lot more quarters than I needed. In fact after putting them in my pocket I tilted to the left.

I started putting the quarters in the coin slot but stopped because they just didn’t feel right. I looked at each one and they were extremely light and felt almost like play money. Now I’m pretty sure our coins have been like this for some time but it took a sh#t load of them in my hand to really make me stop and take notice. So what does this have to do with the price of bananas? Absolutely nothing at all but it did get me thinking about what our money is ‘really’ worth and in particular my what my detecting finds are ‘really’ worth. Have I got a nice little nest egg, a rainy day fund or am I just imagining that?

I think many of us who started detecting years ago assume we have a decent sized cache should we need it but realistically we probably don’t. Why? Well first off we’re subject to the law of supply and demand and that changes daily as in the economy and in particular the precious metal market. Next and most important who are we going to sell our finds to? Most likely a coin dealer and it’s only reasonable that he or she needs to make a profit on what they buy, automatically reducing the value of our collection.

Weighing the options….

Now I’ve always been a coin hunter so I know my finds will always be worth face value but what about all that silver? How much are those Mercury dimes worth and what about the Barbers, Seated and the silver Roosies? What about the Indian heads, wheaties and other coppers? I’m aware of the keys and semi-keys and that certain error coins are worth more but do I need to start looking at and each and every one? Given my fondness for sitting on my ass maybe this is the way to go – invest in a good microscope, spend my days going cross-eyed and come up with a realistic value for my finds.

Of course there’s also the metallic value. With silver currently at around $17 an ounce I should be in pretty good stead. Then again could it go higher? I remember well the silver spike in 1980 when the Hunt brothers manipulated the demand and it rose to almost $50 an ounce. I jumped in, made a killing and a two months later the price fell to around $14 (it also spiked in 2012). Could something similar happen again? Is it time to consider selling? Maybe cull the more valuable dates, cash the rest in and buy gold or a few key coins? I am after all a year and half shy of turning 80?

How high will it go?


Books & boxes

Early on I put all my good finds in 2 x 2’s with a notation of grade, where I found them and stored them in coin boxes and like almost every other collector I tried my best to fill coin albums by date. When I look at the 2 x 2’s I’m often reminded of the sites and in some cases I actually remember the moment I dug the coin. Usually it was because it was a larger denomination coin or one that for all intents and purposes shouldn’t have been at that particular site. These 2 x 2’s are in a way souvenirs and the thought of selling them bothers me. On the other hand storing them in a safe and out of sight is hardly inspiring.

Yup, we all did it…

A dilemma

Putting a price on my finds is somewhat daunting. It means looking at each and every coin, reviewing my original assessment (G, F, VF, XF, etc.) and coming up with a current “dealer” price –  an extremely time consuming endeavor but the alternative is to take it ‘all’ to a dealer, let him or her put a value on it. I’m not at all comfortable with that. Of course I could leave it to my grandkids to deal with but would they make wise decisions? What to do, what to do…..

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore” — Yogi Berra




Filed under Metal Detecting

31 responses to “Lots of Vision But Little Grandeur…

  1. LR

    Dear Sir Richard the Stouthearted, yes you have the right to sit on your booty. You’ve more than earned it, with all that the universe has thrown at you. Please stay safe. Just stay away from anything that will suck out brain cells while you’re chilling with the Netflix.

    • Suck out brain cells? Netflix? Nah you’re thinking of the Duck dudes and their new treasure series.

      • john taylor

        excavators anyone? ehe! heh! he! sucker must be deep all I can say! me thinks the Robertsonsgot into a “bad” batch of mad dog! should stay with the grape, has antioxidants in it!


      • Yeah, saw that. Disappointed that we’re unable to come up with a TV show that’s interesting/fun and given the nature of the pastime, intriguing.

  2. john taylor

    dick! it’s priceless to you because of the effort expended to find the stuff over the yers! I feel exactly the same, I FOUND all of it, and just store it away,(much like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter!),and go find some more! way I am! just sayin’


    • Actually JT it’s not priceless to me. If I needed cash I wouldn’t hesitate to sell it all.

      • john taylor

        in the final analysis, your point is well taken.regardless of sentimental value,it is, after all,spending money, and desirous of being used for it’s original intended purpose.as difficult as it may be, you don’t want to to redeposit it in the ground so only the worms can view it’s magnificent grandeur. I’m just sayin’

        j.( gettin’ ready for number 5) t.

      • I have no idea of the value of my finds and suspect that I will eventually leave them to my grandkids. Hopefully they will appreciate and deal with them wisely….

  3. More rambliings as I wait for my supper to cook:

    As we oldsters die off, the youngsters coming up are not collecting the things we collected. So the market for them disappears.

    If today’s kids collect anything, it’s Star Wars toys and Yugo (or whatever they’re called) cards.

    My mother-in-law had a priceless collection of Hummel figurines. Nobody wants them anymore. Their value has dropped to maybe ten percent of what they were worth 40 years ago. The people who wanted them then are dead.

    When I was a kid, schools had clubs for stamp collectors and coin collectors. I haven’t seen a kid who collects stamps or coins in decades. Plate blocks of four, which sold at premium prices in the middle of the last century, are now sold by the pound.

    My sole heir, my daughter, has no interest in my stamps or my coins. And that’s fine! I probably should try to turn them into cash before I’m gone – she will have no clue what to do with them. (At least I was able to get her interested in old-time radio and those great musicals of the 1930s.)

    Okay, having said all that, I’m ready to go detecting again.
    Go figure.

    • Got to agree with you on all accounts. The times have changed. Have no idea what happened to the stamp books I had when I was in school. I also don’t know of any kids collecting coins. They collect cell phones now. Hope it’s cool there for your detecting. It’s habanero hot here.

  4. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just relaxing and doing what you want. I believe it’s called decompressing.

    At my not so advanced age, I should be out there more than I am, but I have my physical issues that flare up from time to time and need to just not do anything. Doing dumb stuff as a kid years ago have caught up to me. Tylenol and Icy Hot Pro are my best friends. Lol! Then there is the heat. There are days that I wish we could have the option of shutting off the sun, or at least turning that broken thermostat down. Lol!

    Take care sir and let us know what series’ on Netflix you are watching. 👍

  5. Yo! Ricardo:
    Why not get yourself some cammo gear, a backwards-worn Baseball cap, and make outrageous claims about your ‘successes.’ then make videos? Say things like, “This machine found this thin-section ring at 18″ down.” You’ll have subscribers by the zillion. You gotta have a name too….say, ‘Klondike’ Dick, or, ‘Panhandle’ Stout. You gets ma drift?
    Stay cooool.

  6. Tony

    Stay out of the heat and just chill. I do that well. Today my daughter took me to the beach for a day with the grandkids. They had a blast and it was fun to see but all day in the sun I feel like a cooked lobster, all red and drawn out……thanks for the heads up on the treasure show , I’ll check that out

  7. john taylor

    dick! as to your leaving the accumulated “stuff” to your grand kids,iam in complete agreements I intend to leave my stuff to my daughter. knowing your extensive hunting history, i would pay “real” money just to get a glimpse of your most prodigious acummulation..I’m just sayin’

    j (preparing for the big one in the fall!) t

  8. john taylor

    5th shot! damn thing is comin’ back! you can send me a photo anyway, cuz you are a “kind” fellow. besides I spent ‘serious” money already purchasing your outstanding books. I deserve recognition, and credit for that! ..I’m just sayin’


  9. Ed B.

    In your article you mention that selling to a dealer who wants/needs to make a profit reduces the value of your collection. That doesn’t reduce the value of your collection but instead reduces what you thought it was worth. That, in my opinion, is where people go wrong regarding the “value” of their holdings. They think of what their coins are worth in terms of retail when they should put a value on things in terms of wholesale which is what you can “expect” to get for it when you are going to sell. True value is what someone is willing to pay you for something, nothing more, nothing less. As for common silver coins, don’t bother grading them because you won’t get any more for an XF 1944 Merc’ than you would for one that grades only good. As for the scarcer coins, an honest dealer will most likely pay you no more than 50% of true retail and that’s only if he needs what you’re offering for sale. Truly rare coins would get a higher percentage than the ones I just mentioned.

    • Ed, good points and well stated. Indeed it’s whatever someone is willing to pay…. I do think that certain “common date” silver coins might be scarce in higher grades thus making them worth looking at. Especially coins like Liberty seated and Barbers.

      • Ed B

        Even so-called common date Barber and Seated coins all have some collector value, especially in higher grades. When I posted I was referring to the more recent common date coins such as Mercs, Roosevelts, Washingtons etc. being worth no more than melt value.

      • My only hope is that when my grandkids get my collection they will deal with it wisely….

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