November 28, 2012


There's been a lot of discussion of late about the validty of the finds uncovered when those of us from the US travel to the UK. I say a lot of discussion, but I really mean one discussion by my good friend in Warsaw, and we all know we can take what he says with a grain of salt. He again was trolling the websites and forums, looking for something, anything, and decided maybe he would try to divide and conquer, pitting the British hunter against his US counterpart, by accusing anyone sponsoring trips to the UK of "planting" finds to keep the hunters happy.

In one of his recent blog posts he targets Ron Guinazzo, a.k.a. Chicago Ron, a good friend, and an avid treasure hunter. Not sure why Ron was targeted, but I suspect it was because he is high profile, and very successful. I know Ron, and any attempts at trying to discredit him is a waste of time. Then again some people apparently have lots of time on their hands, and feel the need to discredit anyone who has more "skins on the wall".

Way back when the FMDAC first ventured overseas it was thanks to Leisure Promotions, Ltd., and Mick Turrell. Leisure Promotions was at the forefront of putting together treasure hunting trips and rallies, and is still going strong today. Mick is also one of the founders of the famed Newbury Rally, and is highly regarded by most every detectorist in the UK. I decided to ask Mick about the potential for seeding sites to induce hunters and to keep them coming back.

He replied...

"Back in the 80's we were copying our American counterparts and burying tokens and modern coins for the British detector users to find. This quickly changed as the Brits would rather find nothing at all than to find a planted coin. It was easy to spot, as you cannot bury a coin today and make it look like it has been in the ground for hundreds of years. No rally organiser would do this, as it would be quickly spotted and he would be shown the error of his/her ways. We occasionally mark off an area where we bury small coins and artefacts so that beginners to the hobby can try out their new detectors to insure they work correctly. If they do not already do so, I would recommend that archaeologists do the same in test conditions so that students can practice their skills to ensure that nothing is missed. We find loads of items in their spoil heaps so the practice would do them good."

So, take what you want from this discussion, and make your own decisions. I will personally stand behind Chicago Ron, and state that he is an honest man, and is a hero of mine as well....



I just finished chatting with Ron, and he forwarded the following videos and photos from 2012. Keep in mind too that when Ron's group travels to the UK they spend a full day detecting, often from dawn to dusk. With that kind of effort and concentration anythng is possible.

The following 5 Roman Silver coins (Honorius from 395 to 423 A.D.) were found on one field, and were considered a hoard...

The following Saxon gold coins were found on a three week trip to the UK, and they are with the British Museum, awaiting inquest, and will probably be purchased by the museum. Early estimates of value are 3 to 8 thousand pounds each. The finder and landowner will split the procedes (there are now 5 saxon gold coins in the hoard).

Two coins from the hoard.....


I feel very privileged to be the guest on the American Digger Magazine's Relic Roundup this coming Monday, December 3rd. Hope you will tune in and phone in. Ask me all those questions you have had over the years....I probably won't answer them, but will sure as hell give you a response of some sort (All kidding aside, hope you will tune in and participate). Looking forward to it....

Once you click on the American Digger link above, scroll down to Relic Roundup, hit the green arrow, and give yourself a name, real or otherwise. That's all there is to it, and there's a phone number to call in and ask questions. I have instructed Butch not to accept any phone calls from Warsaw, Poland or from any pregnant women. Other than that I am good to go.....



November 27, 2012


When I posted the photo of the dime with the altered reverse, little did I know it was a "love token". I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that since I have been coin collecting for years and years. It was a term I had heard, just not one that prompted more investigation (sometimes I am a slow learner). When my friend Ray Salmons identified it as such I did a quick Google, and now feel more enlightened.

In the late 18th Century and through the 19th century, engraved coins were widely given as an expression of love. Usually men could not afford to buy their gal or sweetheart a ring, so instead they would personalize a coin, and give to her. and ask for her hand in marriage.

The initials are most commonly that of the name of the giver. Names and dates were also popular, and scarcer examples sometimes had sayings and pictures. The Love Token Society states that there are two requirements for a love token: First, the engraving must be on a legitimate coin. Second, the engraving must be done by hand.

Examples of more detailed Love tokens....

While Engravings were done on all denomination of coins, the most popular was the Liberty Seated dime. The reason? The silver was softer and easier to engrave than the nickel, and were considered a more precious gift than a nickel or copper cent....

As John Howland also commented on the blog, "Call me an old cynic, but in most bloke’s experience a Love Token today is normally anything above a $100 Bill! Try giving a gal a dime these days!"

Typical Howland, but in this case I have to agree (diamonds are a girls best friend).


Just received the following from Dan Hamilton, my old detecting buddy from New Jersey, and thought it appropriate here.....

"Here is a heart warming story for you.........."

A couple was Christmas shopping at the mall on Christmas Eve and the mall was packed. Walking through the mall the surprised wife look up and noticed her husband was no where around and she was very upset because they had a lot to do.

She used her cell phone to call her husband because she was so upset, to ask him where he was. The husband in a calm voice said, "honey remember the jewelry store we went into 5 years ago where you fell in love with that diamond necklace that we could not afford and I told you that I would get it for you one day?"

His wife said crying, "yes I remember that jewelry store".

He said, "Well I'm in the bar next to it..."



Had a thought to share a few of my old coin hunting hot spots back East, but after doing a little research I have changed my mind. One of the best areas I hunted was Cadwalader Park, in Trenton, New Jersey. A city park since 1888, it was a coin hunter's paradise. There were ballfieds, picnic areas, a monkey house, and bear cage, and it was home to a lot of events. On a typical Sunday in the summer hundreds of people would be there relaxing, playing bocci, horseshoes, picnicking, and in the winter there was ice skating on the ponds. Later on there was "Theater in the Park" where broadway shows were offered by local acting groups (yours truly played in the orchestra from time to time).

That was Cadwalader Park then, and while it's still there, and still used, I discovered that it's now a place to avoid. I emailed a few of my friends back in New Jersey, and was told "forget it, it's a bad area" or "don't go there alone, especially at night"...... It breaks my heart to hear things like this, because I have fond memories of this park, and the many hours spent there, both detecting, and picnicking with my dad's family, who lived near there. He came from a large family, and I can remember the Sunday's when there would be close to 40 to 50 "Stouts" of all ages having a helluva lot of fun, all day long...

History of the Park

I will be checking on a few other places that I used to coinhunt, and will share what I can, but apprently time changes many things.....


November 24, 2012


The Lordship decided to grace Stout Standards with a smattering of thoughts, opinions, and the usual pissing and moaning (so what else is new?). John usually writes when the spirit moves him, and the spirits seem to be in abundance this time of the year, especially those wondrous single malts.

If you are up to it you can read his latest by clicking here.



Given a beautiful Fall day, and knowing that the masses of crazies would be out shopping, I decided to take a short drive over the lake and give my "standby" school yard a usually gives up a silver coin or two, and today was no exception. Using my MXT Pro and the 5 inch Eclipse coil, I came home with a few coins, two of which were silver. A 1943 quarter, and a 1943D Merc.....

I have always been amazed at how Mercury dimes seem to keep their detail, and the one today was no exception. The bands on the reverse were complete, and all the other prerequisites made this one grade at least XF. Nice coin.....

Must admit that after about 30 minutes it was becoming more difficult to get down and up, and the back was killing me. Today there was a sharp breeze, and while I am reluctant to share this, at one point when I was trying to get back up, I was blown over by a gust of wind. So glad there was no one around to see this..... I was actually laughing and cursing at the same time.



Was going through a few of my coins last week, looking for semi-key's and errors, all of which have shot up in price since last I looked. In any case I came across an old Liberty Seated dime that I found years ago, and decided to share it here. It's an 1876 Seated dime, and the reverse was altered to accomodate someone's whimsy....

Altered Reverse

The reverse appears to be initials, and perhaps those of the one altering the coin, or maybe a girlfriend? Just another one of those mysteries that come from playing in the dirt.


November 23, 2012



I was just reading about the Minelab National Metal Detecting Day 2013, and while no one asked, I would like to throw out a few ideas and suggestions.

I first became aware of the 2012 event because I was a big fan of the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights, an organization that Minelab had promoted and supported financially. After I started promoting the Task Force they made me aware of the Minelab Atlantic City event labeled as The East Coast Research and Discovery Association's "4th Time's a Charm Hunt", and my first question was, “will the other manufacturers be participating? I was told yes they would. When the event took place it was just Minelab.....

I then learned that Minelab, through it's distributor, was donating 11 metal detectors to this Atlantic City event, and was also paying for lunch, dinner and other prizes. I was curious about that in that we all know that hunt packages are pretty much the norm anymore, and I understand where they are coming from in doing that. But 11 detectors, plus additional prizes, and meals to boot? There was no way any of the other manufacturers were going to be included.

So ultimately the big national Weekend was strictly a Minelab media event, and in case you didn’t notice it was timed to coincide with their release of their new CTX 3030 metal detector.

From what I heard the event went extremely well, and everyone who participated had a great time. It was certainly a big marketing coup for Minelab, and as someone who was a director of marketing years ago, I admired how they had organized it and made it happen.

Now, having said all this, my hope is that any future “National” metal detecting events become all inclusive. By that I mean why not invite all the manufacturers, make it a truly unified, national promotion for metal detecting, and why not come up with a way that a portion of the money paid in is donated to a worthy charity on behalf of the enitre metal detecting pastime and it’s participants?

I offer all this not because I am anti-Minelab. I am not. They make a fine product, and I love the idea of a “National Metal Detecting Day or Weekend”. I just think the PR that could come from a truly "united effort" would be powerful, and do a lot for our image throughout the world, and most certainly help everyone, not just those detectorists who live on the East and West coasts.

Lastly no matter what happens I still appreciate Minelab getting something like this started and thank them for their support of the pastime.

Okay now, everyone shoot me down.....



As I was putting together the recent slide shows for the Atlantic City events I came across a couple of photos of Ron Womer, and his friend Lucy Mancini. Ron was the only other detectorist I knew way back when I started out. In fact in the 70's it was unusual to see anyone else with a detector in my area.

Ron and Lucy, Atlantic City, mid-80's

I first ran into Ron in Ringoes, New Jersey, at an old school there, and needless to say we struck up a conversation, and agreed to meet again and detect together. You have no idea how much fun it was to share stories with another TH’er during those years. He was indeed my very first detecting buddy and we had a lot of fun over the months ahead. The result of our meeting was the formation of the Mid-Jersey Research and Recovery Club in Trenton, New Jersey, and I am pleased to say they are still going strong today.

I hadn’t heard from Ron in some time, and had learned that he dropped out of the club after Lucy Passed away. The two were inseparable, and I knew for sure it had to be hard on Ron. They were the apparent “match made in heaven”. A couple days ago I decided to call information to see if there was a listing for Ron, and isure enough there was, and I immediately recognized the name of the street he lived on after the operator mentioned it. I called, and I cannot tell how much fun it was to chat with him after so many years...about 25 to be exact.

He is not detecting due to medical issues, but still sounded like the same old Ron, getting out and spending time at the senior center near his home, and helping out others. As we chatted stories and memories were relived, and it seemed time really hadn't passed us by. The sites were ripe, the old silver coins were plentiful and life was good.

I have no particular reason for bringing all this up except I want it noted here on Stout Standards that Ron was a do'er, and did a lot for this pastime volunteering his time over and over again. I will forever be indebted to him, and will never forget our times together. If you have or had a detecting buddy then you know what I am talking about. I was privileged to have a couple more along the way, and each added to the fun and enjoyment of this pastime and to my life as well.

I would gladly share Ron’s email if he had a computer, but he does not. If you are interested in contacting Ron, email me and I will pass along his phone number.....Ron, stay well, thanks for all you've done, and for being my friend.


November 21, 2012


Forgot yesterday to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.....without a doubt my favorite holiday of the year. A time for food, drink, family and friends, so go ahead and stuff yourself and please have one for me. You can feel bad about it Friday. Lastly, be safe traveling!!


November 20, 2012


I first became aware of Paul Barford back in January of this year when someone emailed me to say that I was becoming world famous, referring to the fact that Mr. Barford had found my website, and took exception to a few comments I had made.

After reading his response and perusing his blog, it was apparent that he was a "self annointed" savior of the archaeological community, except that I could find very little to back that up. From what I gathered many archaeologists wanted nothing to do with him, and I suspect that might be because he lacked any credible credentials, at least none that I can find.

His blog states “British archaeologist living and working in Warsaw Poland. Since the early 1990s a primary interest has been research on artefact hunting and collecting and the market in portable antiquities in the international context”. No degrees mentioned, no schools listed, just that he is a British archaeologist (in Poland?).

After doing a little investigating, and after talking to other TH'ers, the lack of definitive information could very be because he has a lot of enemies, and listing such information might be useful to them. He is considered a "full time troll" by the treasure hunting, metal detecting community, and his entire life has been spent cruising the internet, looking for anything and everything he can find to share on his blog. Mind you he will only choose those comments or topics that fit his purpose (that of slandering anyone that uses a metal detector), and rarely, if ever, will he link to the "source" site because then anyone reading his comments might see the entire, unedited story.

When you go to his blog (and I encourage you to do that because it’s an example of what happens when people lose touch with reality), be sure to note the number of posts, the dates and times (3,692 posts since 2008). You will see that he has nothing else to do with his day, or for that matter, his life. You will also note that there are literally no responses to his posts, because he refuses to share opposing views that are contrary to his beliefs.

I once posted a rebuttal to one of his “anti” detectorist outbursts here on Stout Standards and inserted his photo. I very quickly received an email asking that I take it down because he and his family had been threatened. He also claimed that I somehow stole the photo....I did not. It is out there, and in the possession of others Mr. Barford, and will indeed surface eventually. In any case I took pity on his family and removed the photo.

Over time I discovered that Paul Barford has no friends except a one Nigel Swift (whose photo I also have), who like Barford, has a similar blog, aimed again at all things anti-metal detecting. You may occassionally find a comment from Mr. Swift on Barfords blog, and vice know the old adage, birds of a feather, etc... I try to understand why they spend their lives looking for material to discredit what it is we do, and I cannot come up with a suitable reason, other than they are lonley, bitter, vindictive and very jealous individuals.

Mr. Barford’s first response to my website was when he picked up on a photo of my very good friend Archie Ray kneeling proudly behind all his many finds. Barford's response was:

“Recently posted on the Stout Standards anti-preservationist metal detecting blog of US metal detectorist Dick Stout there is a photo of a somewhat dated living room decor and heaps of metal detected artefacts, etc.. Note the need to describe the living room (even though I mentioned if was an older photo). Just one of those subtle and obnoxious ways PB has of insulting others.

Then recently he ran true to form again when he talked about the late Ron Scearce, one of John Howland’s friends. Referring to a photo of Mr. Scearce he stated:

“The funny story is published on a blog accompanied by a vintage-looking photo of an old man in a run down conservatory with a grin on his face, and a spade in his hand, and in front of him on the table a scatter of metal detected items. Where did they come from and where are these objects now?” Here again his use of adjectives is clear.

Again, I urge you all to spend time reading Mr. Barford’s blog. It will make you more aware of the kind of people out there looking to curtail your pastime (be sure as well to visit his bosom buddy Nigel Swift’s Hertiage Journal). The pupose of both sites will be obvious to you, and would be comical, if not that the two gentlemen (and I use that word lightly) are obsessed and serious about their hatred for anyone using a metal detector. Not informed mind you, just obsessed and serious. You can try to respond to their posts. but they will most likely not share your comments unless you agree with their views. Funny how that happens.....

Paul Barford visits my blog and website frequently, and has now taken to "cherry picking" a few of my links and topics to suit his needs without revealing the source. Of course that may be because he doesn’t want anyone reading his blog to know how others view him. Understandable of course....

Initially I found him somewhat amusing, but today I have no fondness for the man nor do I pity him any longer. You reap what you sow! There are ways to fight the battle, and still come off as a respected opponent, but for whatever reason he has chosen not to take that route, and a result is hated and despised by those in metal detecting pastime, along with many in the archeological community. They view him as off-the-wall, fanatical, and over zealous in his ongoing crusade against the detectorist and the treasure hunter.

Paul Barford, I will not post your photo (at least not yet) out of concern for your family (if you indeed have one other than Nigel Swift). I would suggest you think long and hard about why people despise you so much, if not for your own good, then for the good of your family. They deserve better.

Additional references:

Cultural Property Observer

The Gospel According to St.Paul Barfod



My friend Neil Schwartz always seems to piss me off, and I will get even with him somehow, someday. His research efforts are impeccable, and his finds back them up.... here's an example.

Be sure to check out Neils website West Jersey Detecting, it's a great one.


November 18, 2012


Was just reading one of Mr. Barford's recent posts, and see that he found a few "useful items" to support his ongoing efforts to denigrate the metal detecting pastime. Too bad he didn't have the courtesy to share the source, nor the comments associated with them (see my November 15th post). I know when he visits Stout Standards, and he can deny this all he wants. No big deal actually, I will be sharing more about this this seedy individual soon, and I too will not divulge my sources. Stay tuned....


November 17, 2012


From here on the weather is usually not all that bad for detecting here Texas, however right now the ground is still showing cracks and crevices from the past dry spell, and the fall/winter rains have not shown up yet. I just recently learned that our nasty black gumbo dirt is actually called Vertisol. While reading this "Wikopedia" description my favorite, or actually my not-so-favorite paragraph is:

The shrinking and swelling of vertisols can damage buildings and roads, leading to extensive subsidence. Vertisols are generally used for grazing of cattle or sheep. It is not unknown for livestock to be injured through falling into cracks in dry periods. Conversely, any wild and domestic ungulates do not like to move on this soil when inundated. However, the shrink-swell activity allows rapid recovery from compaction.

We have had to have our foundation "lifted" three times over the past six years , costing us thousands of dollars (basements or cellars are non-existent here). Months of hot temperatures and no rain simply make the ground unstable and unusable, not to mention you are crazy to be outside because it's just too damn hot. I also refuse to invest in a jack hammer!

Interestingly enough the soil back home in New Jersey is called Downer, an oxymoron if there ever was one. Recovering items from the soils back there was a breeze, no matter what time of year it was.

Having said all this, I am hoping to get out some this coming week, my lower back willing. Someone on Facebook this morning posted the following, "When I was a kid, I wanted to be older. This crap is not what I expected!!"



The influence of the University of Texas and Texas A& (both well known for their archaeological programs) is evident in the following statement in the Texas Antiquities Code....

"It is the public policy and in the public interest of the State of Texas to locate, protect, and preserve all sites, objects, buildings, pre-twentieth century shipwrecks, and locations of historical, archeological, educational, or scientific interest, including but not limited to prehistoric and historical American Indian or aboriginal campsites, dwellings, and habitation sites, archeological sites of every character, treasure imbedded in the earth, sunken or abandoned ships and wrecks of the sea or any part of their contents, maps, records, documents, books, artifacts, and implements of culture in any way related to the inhabitants, pre-history, history, natural history, government, or culture in, on, or under any of the land in the State of Texas, including the tidelands, submerged land, and the bed of the sea within the jurisdiction of the State of Texas."

That about takes care of everything don't you think? Gotta wonder who wrote this, and how many others reviewed it, and how many times it was tweaked so it left nothing to chance....



Fun video from Brian Mayer (Jersey Shore Beach and Surf Hunters)....recently posted on their Facebook site.....



Know a lot of you are heading out this week to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. Please drive safely and sanely, the life you save might be MINE! Just kidding, I am actually staying home, so those of you in the Dallas area let me know your favorite hunting areas, and I promise to keep any eye on them so no one else hits while you are gone. No big deal....glad to do it.


November15, 2012


I continue to be amazed at how many detectorists think we should continue to bridge the gap, and find a way to work with archaeologists. Not that’s it is not a noble effort, it’s just one that is a waste of time.

Archaeologists have no desire to work with you or me, and only see us as amateurs and impediments to their efforts. You see they have been to universities, have diplomas, and because of that, have more credibility when it comes to "playing in the dirt". All we can boast is years of in-the-field" experience. Likewise we apparently have no morals, or scruples....this from a Texas A&M website:

"Treasure Hunting, always shallow, no matter how low treasure hunters can sink"


"You can say expert-treasure hunter instead of burglar if you like. Some of them do. It’s all the same to us!”

Likewise another page on this site provides a little more insight into their fondness for us.....

When will we wake up and realize that further attempts at being accepted or understood are futile, and frankly they love it when we come groveling, looking for acceptance. Yes I know about the few joint efforts in the past, and frankly each of those was nothing more than token on their part, or to be more to the point, they were throwing us crumbs ("when you receive a signal, call one of us and we will mark the not attempt to remove the object")

Years ago when I started the FMDAC I was intent on becoming friends with the archaeological community. I wrote to the various organizations, subscribed to a couple of their publications, and we even had a couple of archaeologists speak at our Atlantic City events. Their seminars wound up being nothing more than a promotion of their profession, and bored the hell out of everyone. No mention at all about a coming together of parties (despite my request and their acceptance that it be the topic). That was forty years ago, and nothing at all has changed today.

If you feel that continued attempts to work with them will eventually prove fruitful, have at it. If you do be careful what you say, what you agree to or what you sign. I wish you luck, and please let me know how things work out. Just remember I warned you....

After pissing into the wind a few times, you learn quickly to turn around.....



Received an email from Keith Wills, and he states that while he is not 100%, he is feeling better, and thanks all those who sent him cards and emails. He also offered the following:

I am now the vice-president of WWATS as Wayne "NuggetBrain" Peterson has been moved up to President. Because of my illness I have passed on this position to Wayne, and it has been approved by the board. Wayne is very experienced and will lead WWATS to many successes in the future. WWATS is under reconstruction at this time to make the the organization more effective in defending your rights. Please checkout the and become a Charter Member.

I also want to alert you to our biggest outing yet, February 4th-8th 2013, in Congress, Arizona. It's going to be unlike any event you have ever attended. You will come away with a better understanding of where we are today, and you will learn more about our pastime in the process. It will also be an opportunity to see the latest and newest equipment for prospecting and treasure hunting. Yours truly will be there doing seminars.

For more on this big event, click HERE!


Was asked to be a guest on The American Digger's Relic Roundup, December 3rd, and unless they flag me for obscenity or something similiar I will be there. I will do my best to make it a good show, and hope you will all tune in. Ask me anything you like....I probably won't answer, but what the hell, go for it....

Anita and Butch Holcombe

Actually I am very honored that they asked me, and while I don't get out much anymore, I will share my fuzzy thoughts and ideas, and hopefully in the process help you be a better detectorist. Keep in mind however that I am not a technological wizard, but more of an old fart who has been there, done that, and learned the hard way.

Thanks Butch and Anita for the invite....hope I do well by you, you are two terrific individuals....


November13, 2012


I referred you two days ago to John Winter's post which started off with "for many detectorists the act of buying a new machine far outweighs the thrill of actually doing the hobby", and decided to weigh in on this topic as well!

First and foremost I "was" one of those detectorists who had to have the latest, the best, the most expensive detector out there, and I purchased them. I just knew that the one coming in the mail was better than the one I was using. It had to be.... It's newer, it cost more, and according to the the ad it could find a pea sized target at five feet. Had to have it!

Now that I am older (not wiser), less atheletic, and on a fixed income, having that latest model is pretty much out of the question. Not only do I not get out that much anymore, but I am constantly reading of great finds being made by the novice (see here). You know, the newby with the $200 machine, who just happened to be in the "right spot at the right time" and as a result, never had to work another day in his life.

While much of what I say is tongue in cheek, it's also something "worth" thinking about. I am no different from anyone else when it comes to wanting that advantage, that extra inch or so over the guy who detected the site before me.

In the beginning I always thought it was the detector. In other words the site was not producing anything worthwhile, and it was because the competition had newer, more expensive detectors. Then, as time went on, I became more adept with my machine, experimenting with the various features, and I found that by slowing down, and listening more closely, I begin to find better things in those areas I cursed before.

I also cannot justify expensive sand scoops, pinpointers, nor a camera on you head to record your effort. Add in the pouches, diggers, the new min-spades, and it becomes a very expensive pastime. To be sure, we all hope to find the big one, but we pretty much know it's probably not going to happen. If however "dressing up" for the experience is your thing, and you have money to spare, then by all means go for it. Life is too short.

Today I still look and read about all the new models, their features, and most importantly their prices. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I cannot even think of spending that kind of money, and every time I read about a cache or great find found by a beginner I realize I am really not missing out on a thing.


November11, 2012


It's been a while since I heard from John Repa, but yesterday I received an email from him, and it made my day. John is one of those unsung heroes, who does so much for the cause, but in the process, does not get the recognition he deserves. Let me tell you about John if I may....

I use the term "way back when" a lot, but it somehow defines my situaton today, and it seems appropriate for so many of my postings. Way back when for John is even longer....and there's a lot of stories in John's brain. I hope I can persuade him to share a few someday...

When I started the FMDAC our first meetings were held in Haddon Heights, New Jersey. Representatives from clubs in the Northeast came from all over....many spending hours on the road, because they cared to be part of the effort to unite. One such representative was John, who if I remember correctly, represented the Black Diamond Club in Pennsylvania. I can't remember a meeting he was unable to attend, nor can I ever remember him not volunteering for positions and tasks that helped further our efforts.

(left to right)John Repa, two prize winners, and John Miller...mid 80's

John was the FMDAC ambassador if you will, always representing us at all the many events throughout the country, and I mean "throughout" the country. John would pack up our small organizational backdrop, promotional materials, T-shirts, caps, and drive hundreds of miles so that we were represented at all of the major metal detecting hunts and events, never requesting compensation. He just did it because he believed in our cause and because he cared...

John was a regular at the Treasure Expo's long before me, and was friends with people like Abe Lincoln, Richard Ray, Charles Garrett, Roy Volker, Willy Cook, George Payne, etc... He was also on good terms with all the manufacturers like Ken White Sr., Jack Gifford, and Ron Mack. Frankly, he was he best ambassador we could have ever hoped for....

John continued helping the FMDAC after I left, and as always, did so without fanfare. Within the FMDAC John was in charge of the convention donations/prizes (he had a way of asking, and a way of receiving that was unequalled). He would store and transport all the many prizes to the convention, and made sure they were ready to be handed out.

Just recently John just received his 40 year pin from the VFW, and is now a Life Member and trustee. Unfortunately because of various medical problems, he is unable to get out detecting now, and is in the process of selling his detectors, and treaure related items (John has a large collection of USGS maps for sale, as well as a large book collection). If you know John and want to get in touch with him, or if you are interested in purchasing any of his treasure related items, you can email him at

John, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your time and effort, and for your unwavering support of the treasure hunting pastime. I and many others know of your contributions, and you rank up there among the very best when it comes treasure hunting greats (not sure there are any John Repa's out there today and I mean that).

Good hunting my friend, and stay in touch....



Enjoyed John Winter's most recent post about the latest TH'ing equipment. Check it out here. Couldn't agree more.....


November 9, 2012


I found the most recent submission from John Howland to be quite interesting, and it goes a long way in making the case that we are subject to a different set of laws or values, depending on who is doing the talking.....something we must always keep in mind when defending out right to pursue our pastime without interference from others. I hope you will take the time to read John's latest post by clicking here.


Richard Ray

Hadn't heard from Richard Ray in a while, and decided to send him an email. He replied "I'm here and alive. Just weaker and weaker on the right side.. The doctors can't seem to find anything wrong. Been having computer problems also, so haven't been online as much. God bless, RR"

It was good to know Richard is still alive and kicking, and if any of you oldtimers care to get in touch with him you can email him at Feel certain he'd enjoy hearing from you. He's a human vault of information when it comes to treasure hunting. He's done it all.....



Thanks to Jim Meany for forwarding the following article. Jim is a member of the Massachusetts Treasure Hunting Association, and kindly keeps me up-to-date on what's going on in that part of the country.

Artifacts Found at Air Force Base


November 8, 2012


Amazing Photos Hurricane Sandy

As if the Eastern seaboard hasn't been battered enough, today they are dealing with another Nor'easter, this time bringing snow and high winds. Many in the Northeast are still without power, inlcuding my family in New Jersey. My sister mentioned today that someone said it could be Thanksgiving before power returns to their area. Mother Nature has worn out her stay already, and the winter season has not really gotten underway....

While a lot of detectorists were excited about the possibities of detecting the beaches, not much of anything has turned up yet (many of them are still off limits). Hopefully today's storm will not compound the problem. Brian Mayer, a member of the South Jersey Metal Detecting Club was the exception, finding this beauty Monday. It's 14K, with 4 small diamonds and amethyst centerpiece.

If you are on Facebook be sure to join the Jersey Shore Beach and Surf Hunters. This is Brian's page, and it's filled with lots of tips and ideas for those of you who are avid beach hunters. These guys know their business!



Just another interesting UK article, compliments of Regton, Ltd., Birmingham, England.......

Bishop's Seal an Incredibly Significant Find


November 6, 2012


Years ago I always looked forward to Paul Tainter's "Research Unlimited" catalog of treasure books and publications. It was extensive, and I referred to it often. It was "The" catalog to have if you were into treasure hunting. I once remember checking off titles that I wanted to order, only to find out that when I totalled up the cost, it was in the hundreds. I finally settled for ordering a few at a time....

Jay Foss (the new owner of Research Unlimited) sent me the new 2013 catalog, and I must tell you, nothing has changed. It still has the same look (35 page newspaper), and offers hours of reading. You name it....if it's in print and refers to treasure in any form, Jay has it. Books, maps and videos covering Civil War, Dowsing, Forts, Gems and Minerals, Ghost Towns, History, Indians, Maps, Mining, Mountain Men, the Old West, Pirates, Place Names, Railroads, Research, Shipwrecks, Signs and Symbols, Technical Help(metal detecting how-to), Tools, Trails and Water Hunting. Likewise if it's hard to find, give Jay a call at 1-800-345-8588

All their publications are available online as well at Research Unlimited.



Detectorist Finds Diamond Ring Lost 17 Years Ago



Sure most of you know that today is Election Day. No matter your political leanings, no matter your candidate, please VOTE! It's a right that many in this world do not have.....


November 4, 2012


Butch Holcombe, publisher of The American Digger magazine


I am very pleased to hear that The American Digger magazine has taken this action, and completely understand their reasoning. This show has never been anything more than a joke, and everyone involved in the pastime recognizes it. It has done nothing to further our best interests, and in fact it has hurt us. It needs to go. Butch and Anita Holcombe, you know you have the backing of every detectorist out there, and we hope you are successful in this effort!

Sidenote.... Butch and Anita have talked me into being a guest on Relic Roundup first week in December. They said I was, without a doubt, the oldest relic they could find. I guess that's a compliment, right?



It's been almost six days since Hurricane Sandy hit the East coast, and millions are still without power. The devastation was so wide spread that electric companies from all over the United States have sent trucks and workers. My family back in New Jersey is still without power, but otherwise doing okay. Long lines waiting to get gas for generators (if you are lucky enough to have one) and/or your vehicle are causing tempers to flare, and arguments to insue. I spent close to 50 years in New Jersey, and when my relatives say they were scared for their lives I know the storm had to be bad.

Here's hoping that this week will be the one that brings back some normalcy to the Eastern seaboard, and some relief and comfort to those who have suffered and lost so much...



Want to thank all of you who took the time to respond to my question about African Americans and their involvement in our pastime. The responses were interesting, varied and offered additional food for thought. I will admit that I sent out an email to many of my detecting friends, asking them to respond via the blog so the response is probably more than I might have received otherwise. Having said that, I did hear back from a few who were willing to share their thoughts with me, but did not want them posted on my blog. Why? No clue.....

One said he "wouldn't touch the topic with a ten foot pole".....another shared some really good thoughts, but just didn't want them "out there" on the web. Baffles me since there was nothing derogatory in his response. In any case if you care to add your two cents, feel free to do so here. Thanks again to all who did....



£ 9,000 Raised for British Hoard


November 2, 2012


I have thought about bringing up the following topic for sometime now, but always talked myself out of it, thinking I might come off as bigoted or racist. I can assure you, I am not! I want to present it now, and hope that I can do it in a thought provoking way, and that you will consider taking part in the discussion by replying via a response on my blog. It’s a topic I never hear discussed, and I think it’s for no other reason than “It’s just the way it is!”

I have been metal detecting now for almost 40 years, and I have yet to see any reasonable number of African Americans involved. In fact I can remember only two. One in New Jersey and one in Texas. My question to all of you is WHY?

Metal detecting is an inexpensive hobby, not difficult to learn, it's relaxing, often profitable and a great outdoors pastime. It does not demand being physically fit in the sense that youngsters, handicapped and senior citizens participate (okay fellow seniors, blast me on that one). So why has it become a "white man's" pastime?

A few thoughts that come to mind, and I hope I am not being presumptious here....

Black people are not exposed to it early on, and they probably never see anyone with a metal detector in their neighborhood (many live in the inner cities, and often in poorer neighborhoods). They also do not see it advertised on television, and as a result it is not something they think a great deal about.

Next, it’s pretty much a hobby lacking the need for extraordinary physical skills, and when I say that I am comparing it to sports like football, basketball, baseball or soccer. I believe many black children grow up idolizing people like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, or Derek Jeter, and as a result focus on those sports at an early age, whereas metal detecting will never make anyone a "super star", nor will it provide you with enough money to live on (those that tell you otherwise are lying).

So tell me. Are there more black detectorists out there that I am not aware of? Please share your thoughts on this via my blog (under"comments") or email me at, and please no racist comments or jokes. I don't find them funny all, and never have....



It's been three days since Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, but things are still not good. Millions are still without power, and many are without homes. The death toll as of Thursday was 56. While help is on the way the sheer number of those affected means it will take time, and that has to be demoralizing....

My family in New Jersey, while living about 80 miles inland, is still without power, and they have been told it will be another 7 to 10 days from today before they see it. Likewise, those with generators, are having to wait in lines at gas stations to fill their cans, hoping and praying that the station doesn't run out before it's their turn at the pump.

Most of the treasure hunters on the East coast are finding that things were not as they hoped, and many coastal towns are still closed to visitors, and in some instances, to those who live there. Those that have been able to detect are not making finds close to what they anticipated, with a lot of the sand having been pushed inland, and then pushed back out by those repairing the areas. The damage caused by Hurrican Sandy was much more severe than anyone had predicted.

One bright note is this photo from Paul Ribble, South Jersey detectorist, who lives in Ocean City, New Jersey. While Paul's home was damaged by the storm, he still had the levity to share the following photo (and yes, that's sand in his basement).


Here's hoping that the days get better and brighter for all of those affected by this devastating storm.....


October 30, 2012


Have a feeling John Howland's latest update didn't come from home, but from a pub, mainly the Mayfly. Just a guess, but from the tone of the post he was feeling his oats. Then again that's pretty much the norm anymore for him. In this, his latest, he once again has a few words for the Warsaw windbag. To read his latest rant click here.



Well Hurricane Sandy made landfall last night, and from all I've been able to read and see this morning, she beat the hell out of the Eastern coastline. Looks like a long time for anything to get back to normal, even though I suspect a few detectorists are heading in that direction anyway. Power is out for 95% of New Jersey, and apparently New York's Stock Exchange has three feet of water on it it's floor, and it's subways were flooded causing a lot of damage. Here's hoping all my family and friends made it through the night without being injured or displaced...



While typing the above blurb on Hurricane Sandy I glanced up at the bookshelf to the left of my PC and my eyes went directly to a book called "The Mid-Atlantic Treasure Coast". Almost uncanny.... I grabbed it and started leafing through the various chapters, and remember using it quite a lot in my early days. Covered the beaches from Virginia to New York, and offered a lot of tips on where to concentrate your efforts if your main purpose to find gold......old gold. Details all the many wrecks offshore that will sometimes give up a coin or two after a storm, and includes photos as well as newspaper articles detailing when and how these coins were found by the amateur treasure hunter.

"The Mid-Atlantic Treasure Coast", was written by Stephen M. Voynick, and published by The Mid Atlantic Press in 1984. A quick search on the internet indicates that there are still a few copies out there, although most are offered at ridiculous prices (original price was $9.95). Suspect that if you do a more detailed search you can find one at a reasonable price. If you are interested you might want to start here.


October 28, 2012


I received the late summer 2012 issue of the "Treasure Hunter's Express" yesterday, and as usual enjoyed it a great deal. When I finished I started digging out a few of my old research projects from long ago (this newsletter has a way of doing that to me), and since I am pretty much held hostage here in Texas I might just share a few of them with you all in the near future (most all my leads and research in the Northeast).

Paul Tainter's quarterly gets me charged up because I love all those stories of treasure, both lost and found. The kind of stories that got me started years ago, and that still linger in the recesses of my aging brain. Thoughts and dreams that should have never gone away. If any of you remember the old Express, or the Exanimo Press, you know what I am talking about. Paul, who was very close to Karl von Mueller, shared many of his stories over the years, and continues in that same vein today with the Treasure Hunter's Express.

Paul in front of Reasearch Unlimited, mid 80's
Joan and Paul today...

I feel privileged to know Paul, and to have been invited to participate in his Treasue Expos. I also had the ocassion to meet KVM in the late 80's at the Lost Treasure Classic in Tulsa. Prior to that we corresponded frequently, and Karl kindly contributed articles for "The Quest" (the FMDAC newsletter). If any two individuals could inspire more, or make you more enthused about the pastime, I have yet to meet them.

I must also thank Paul for mentioning Stout Standards in his latest issue, and if this seems to be a mutual admiration society, you are right. Paul and I have a lot of respect for each other, and that translates to trust, honesty and a deep interest in all things treasure. Just as I try to keep Stout Standards updated frequently, Paul writes the Express because he loves doing it, and loves sharing his knowledge. Trust me when I say neither of us realizes a penny profit from our efforts....just two old guys (sorry Paul) doing what we love.

Those of you who know Paul (and there are many) understand my praise. Paul Tainter's Treasure Expo's were legend, as were his publications. If you were a treasure hunter in 70's, 80's and later you probably were at one of these events, and got to meet the "Who's Who" of the pastime. As I have gotten older I am keenly aware that the treasure hunting pastime is progessing at a fast pace, and that many of the "legends" have passed on, and that events like Treasure Expo will probably never occur again. I can only hope that there is another Paul Tainter down the line who will emerge and keep it all going with those stories, ideas, and dreams that started it all.

Paul's newsletters are not lengthy. Usually six to ten pages, singled spaced, but they're filled with information, wisdom, and stories to get your juices flowing. If you are interested in knowing more about the "Treasure Hunter's Express" email him at You can also read Paul's story by clicking here, and be sure check out the timeless photos he has shared with me here.



States Scramble to Prepare for Superstorm


October 26, 2012


The Eastern coast of the United States is currently getting ready for Hurricane Sandy, and what the forecasters are calling one of the biggest storms in years. Because of it's timing it's being call Frankenstorm. If the track of the hurricane coincides with an artic cold front, a lot of areas could be facing heavy rains, high winds and possibly even snow. Some are even saying it could be worse than the Perfect Storm of 1991.

While there are a lot of wary people on the East coast unsure of what to do, I feel certain there are already detectorists getting ready to deal with the many scenarios that might play out. Many Nor'easters over the years have completely turned beaches into "brand new" areas, ripe with a lot of old and gold. When I lived in New Jersey I was about 40 to 60 miles away from most of the beach areas, and whenever a big storm was hitting the coast it never took long for the phone to ring, and a plan laid out. There were times when we hunted in less than desirable weather conditions but the end result was almost always worth it.

Brian Mayer, who started the Jersey Shore Beach and Surf Hunters group has already starting reminding the members of what it's like by sharing this video from a March 2010 Noreaster storm....

If you are on Facebook be sure to check out Brian's page, it's full of great tips, and you will learn a lot from all who post there. Simply type in Jersey Shore Beach and Surf Hunters in the search area at the top. You can also learn a lot by visiting the South Jersey Metal Detecting Club and joining up. Their newsletter is one of the best out there, and it's an old club filled with lots of professionals who are more than willing to help you be successful. Greatest group of TH'ers out there.....then again I am partial.

Lastly, while I have offered a picture of what could be a beach hunter's best days, don't be foolish, and challenge Mother Nature. Be on top of weather conditions, forecasts and be safe. If this storm develops as predicted it could be quite damaging and deadly. No treasure is worth the loss of a life!


October 25, 2012


Got a very brief update from the Malamute Saloon, via the Mayfly Pub, and if you care to keep up with the rants and ramblings of Mr. Howland, you can do so by clicking here.



Have enquired from folks close to the action, and it appears that the Task Force is indeed alive and well, "with a lot going on behind the scenes". Likewise I've heard that big changes in the FMDAC will happen sometime around the first of the year. Actually anthing at all would be a big deal. Neither group has uttered a word for months.



Look for an article from John Punola in a forthcoming issue of Western and Eastern Treasures about my old hometown of Lambertville, New Jersey. He writes about a spot that I had used numerous times as a youngster growing up there, but one I never detected. I promised John I wouldn't say more, but I am definitely looking forward to it.



Scott Mitchen sent along a couple of items that I found interesting, and wanted to share them with you. If you don't know who Scott is please read my recent post of October 21st....

News Clip/Treasures of Lake Superior


October 23, 2012


Finally scanned and put together the photos from Longleat. Once again this slideshow will probably not mean much to anyone in the hobby today. It's from a time when all was well with the pastime, and a time I wish I could return to. It saddens me to think the World Council was left to die a slow death. One can only wonder what things might be like today if it were still alive and well....



While delving through boxes, looking for old photos, I came across a letter that was sent to my Mom and Dad back in1964. It was a standard form letter from Charles W. Whittington, Lt. Colonel, 7th Howitzer Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, welcoming me to the unit for advanced training. It brought back memories, as well as a smile.

The one line that stood out and broke me up was "Your son is currently training as a Field Artilleryman, he will learn the art of delivering a projectile through the earth's atmosphere to a predetermined target." Huh? First, who the hell ever came up with a description like that. It should have went something like "Your son will go deaf, learning the art of delivering a 200 pound round designed to kill people at a range of up to ll miles.

I did indeed go deaf and hated being assigned to an artillery unit, especially one dealing with the 8 inch, the largest howitizer going, and what made the above line even funnier is that our company became famous for accidently sending a few rounds to a local cemetery just outside of Fayetteville, nearly hitting the church itself. The one saving grace? We were not allowed back in the field for about three or four days while they investigated this accident. So much for the ART of delivering a projectile!!


October 21, 2012


Back in the 80's at the FMDAC Atlantic City events, all the manufacturers would give a seminar, and I will never forget Scott Mitchen, who spoke on behalf of Fisher Labs. At that time people were searching the water, but it was nothing like today. The term "waterproof" was tenuous to say the least, and even when I was with Garrett, the AT series, while very good, still had minor deficiencies. In any case Scott came to the podium, armed with a slide show that knocked over everyone. It was the highlight of the day for sure.

Gary Storm, Jim Lewellen and Scott Mitchen, early 80's

Each slide was accompanied by his description, and if I remember right it went something like this.... Dive#1, Five gold rings, four silver rings, one gold chain. Dive#2, three gold rings, five silver rings, and one gold coin, Dive #3, and so on.....When Scott was done he was surrounded by detectorists, wanting to know more, and of course wanting to take a closer look at the items on display. Without a doubt one of the best presentations I have ever witnessed....

It's been almost 30 years since that day, and just a few minutes ago I had the pleasure of chatting with Scott on the phone. Man, was it great to talk to him again. He is of course still going strong, still very much involved in treasure hunting, and I hope you will check out his website International Explorations, Inc. Some of the projects he is now working on will be televised, but because of contractural obligation he didn't want them mentioned quite yet. One particul series that he and his company can comment on is to be called "The American Finder", and the whole pretext of the show is returning treasures to their owners (certainly a breath of fresh air at this moment). Three different channels are currently bidding on the series...

Scott Mitchen today....

Scott is also very involved in education and has presented hundreds of programs at schools across the country He is also the author of a series of books aimed at the younger generation. The first is called "Will of the Pirates", and is readily available online. When you have time just google Scott's name, and you will have lot's to look at....

Also check out....
On the Road


If you ever get up Wisconsin way, be sure to stop in at Scott's shop and tell him Dick Stout said hello.....



Hearing some really good things about this detector, and from people I respect. It's similiar to others in the Coinmaster line, but for whatever reason is getting good depth, and finding things in areas hunted heavily. I know you are aware of my fondness for White's machines, but you also know I talk and share information about many others brands and models here on Stout Standards. All I can tell you is that those who have tested this machine say it's pretty damn good.

Now I have to get my hands on one, and find out for myself. If you are interested in knowing more click on the banner at the top of this page.



Spent two hours yesterday going through my Buffalo nickel rolls, looking for a 1935 double die reverse. After about two hours of going cross-eyed I discovered I didn't have a one. I fell in love with the Buffalo nickel years ago, and started buying rolls of them, knowing of course that they had been culled by the seller. Way back then you could buy a roll for three or four dollars.

As I mentioned in my post of October 17th I was not aware of all the many error coins now out there, and have decided to start the process of checking through my my stash of coins. I have never paid much attention to error coins, other than to keep an eye out for the '55 double die Lincoln, and 42 over 41 Merc, but now I will take the time to dig into the collection and take a closer look. Next on the agenda are the "wheaties" and here again I have rolls and rolls. Given the difficulty I have getting out now it will at least give me something to do, and hey, who knows?


October 19, 2012


One of the best times of the year here in the Dallas area is October. The weather is bearable, and in fact pleasant after the high heat of summer. It's also when the Texas State Fair takes place and it's always an enjoyable event. Lots of good food, music, rides, demonstrations, and it makes for a long but but fun-filled day.

The Texas State Fair has always been known for it's fried food. Every year there's a competition for the best fried concoction, and we have tasted fried twinkies, fried jello, fried beer, fried coke and fried banana split. If it's edible or drinkable, it's probably been fried at the fair.

Well this morning a long standing icon of the fair, Big Tex got fried. Big Tex is situated in the center of the Fair Park, and he talks. Typically it's a very deep "Howdy, welcome to the State Fair of Texas"....

Big Tex, an icon since 1952
Big Tex this morning....

Apparently an electrical short started the fire, and all that's left is Big Tex's wire frame. With only three days left in the fair it's a sad time here in the Dallas area. Fay and I took the grandkids a couple of weeks ago, and I know they will be sad to hear of his demise. I feel certain however that Big Tex will be back next year....bigger and better. That's just the way they do things here in the Lone Star....



You all know how much I enjoy John Winter's blog, and I know I keep referring you all to it. His latest post is another example of why I do that. Be sure to check out the German POW camp. Do yourself a favor and sign up for his updates. Never a bad one.

John Winter


October 18, 2012


As you all know by now I am a die hard Yankee, and miss the Northeast a great deal. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my friends and family back there, not to mention all the great detecting sites I had, many of them still available and a few known only to me. Having said that I will admit that Texas has one thing going for it. Barbeque (or BBQ if you care).

Back home BBQ was something like "Sloppy Joe's", ground beef with tomato sauce on a bun, although that was over twenty four years ago. I have since learned that real BBQ means brisket, ribs and sausage. Add in cole slaw, beans or potato salad on the side, and you are in heaven. Slow smoking of the meat is the secret, and I had a helluva lot of fun with my smoker when I first moved here, trying to match the flavors and tastes of those places I had visited. Never came close!

Yesterday, Fay asked if I wanted to try out a place called "Meshacks" in Garland, about six miles from home. We has passed it many times over the years, and it appeared to be nothing more than a hole in the wall. A little building with a "walk up" window (no drive thru), and not a lot of room to park. Always noticed people waiting there, but never gave it a second thought. After "Dallas" magazine rated it the best BBQ in Dallas we decided to give a try.

The easy to miss small sign
The pit master taking our order through the screened opening

I am not an authority on BBQ but I can say that Meshacks was on the mark yesterday. We ordered a combo dinner (ribs, brisket, sausage, potato salad and beans) for $13, and they added bread, and two containers of their BBQ sauce (regular and spicy). There are no sit down places at Meshacks so you either need to eat it in your car, or take it home. We elected to do the latter.

The huge pile of hickory
Combo platter was a bargain at $13

All the way home the smokey smell of the meat was driving me nuts....just heaven! When we got home we realized the combo platter was more than enough for two people, and we ate until we couldn't move. The brisket was tender, and made a great sandwich when matched with the bread, and the ribs were "fall off the bones" tender. The sides of beans and potato salad were also very good and complimented the three meats nicely.

What does this have to do with metal detecting? Not a damn thing, but it was the highlight of my day, and if you ever get to Texas be sure to have some "real" barbecue (although I am sure Memphis and Kansas City will argue with that comment). It's a treasure you don't need a detector to find. When you smell hickory or mesquite in the air, just follow your nose.



Rumour has it that this hoard was found with a Garrett Ace, and that it was the user's first day out with it. Sure the arkies will get pissed at that.....

Roman Coins Found in St. Alban's Field


October 17, 2012


My inability to get out and detect at this time led me look for other avenues of escape. As a result I have started going through old photo albums, looking for early photos that I need to scan for use here and for posterity. I have also started to pour through a lot of my old treasure hunting books....something I should do on a regular basis. They certainy can inspire, and at times remind me that there are things I have forgotten.

Anyway, for whatever reason I started looking through my 2013 Red Book. I had gotten it about a month ago, but never took the time to flip through the pages. What jumped out at me where the number of error coins, and their estimated values. Over the years I had become familiar witht he plain 1922 Lincoln, the double die '55 cent, the 1942 over 1 Merc, and the three legged Buffalo. Apparently I have been asleep at the wheel....the number of error coins out there is staggering.

In just the Lincoln cent category, the 1946S over D, 1944D over S, and the 1984 "doubled ear". In the typically lowly Jefferson nickel series, the 1939 "doubled Monticello", the 1942D over "horizontal D". Likewise in the Washington quarter series there's the 1942D "double die" obverse, and the 1950D over S.

These are just a few of those listed in the latest Red Book, and I now need to get busy, going through my coins, especially the Lincolns (I have rolls and rolls of wheats). I also have hundreds of Buffalo Nickels and need to keep an eye out for a 1935 "double die" reverse.

I can't think of too many other areas where less than perfect work results in higher prices, but coin collecting is obviously one. Even recent Roosevelt error coins can bring a few extra dollars, so take a few minutes to get your Red Book out, and make a list of what to be on the lookout for. Then think about all that change that's been accumulating on your dresser or in that jar....might be worth sorting through before you take them to the local CoinStar machine.

A few related sites.....

Coin News Net

Top 10 Most Valuable U.S. Coins Found in Pocket Change

Wheat Penny Error Coins and Values


Thanks to Regton, Ltd. for the following article....

St. Albans Coin Hoard "Nationally Significant"


October 14, 2012


I find it amusing how my friend in Warsaw trolls the various metal detecting sites, and cherry picks those things that he can use to put the metal detecting fraternity in a bad light. In one of his recent posts he chose one particular story (A Tale from the Crypt) that John shared in his Malamute Saloon, but declined to comment on the one titled "Sound of Silence", a story about Marino Massimo De Caro, who was accused of stealing rare and precious books and manuscripts. Apparently that sort of thing just doesn't do his blog justice

Instead he likes the story John tells about a practical joke on an arkie, and more important he takes to task the photo showing John's friend Ron Searce, saying...

"The "funny story" is published on a blog accompanied by a vintage-looking photo of an old man in a run-down conservatory with a grin on his face and a spade in his hand, and in front of him on the table a scatter of metal-detected items. Where did they come from and where are these objects now?"

He could have used the term man or gentleman, or "just" conservatory, but that wouldn't have been ugly enough, nor suited his need to degrade another individual. And of course he had to mention the "scatter of metal detected items" as though they are rare and valuable artifacts, removed under the darkness of night ("where did they come from and where are these items now?"), but that was of course his purpose.

Paul Barford, it's none of your business what Mr. Searce's finds are, nor where they came from, and frankly, who the hell are you to even ask the question? It's just another episode in your attempt to be the archaeological "knight in shining armor", when in fact, no one in our pastime, and for that matter, no one in the recognized archaeological community, really gives a crap. You are an "uppity" figment of your own imagination....

I appreciate your four and five daily visits to my site, but keep in mind I can also cherry pick and choose what I write, and what photos I post.....



Check out these articles Barford.... I am sure you can find something evil in them, and they just might give you something to do today....

Coins Found by Weymouth Man Considered Treasure

Bronze Age Pottery Find in Jersey

Amazing what these "gentlemen" using metal detectors are able to bring forth and share with the world......


October 12, 2012


Received an update from the big guy across the pond, and he never fails to amaze me with the things he writes. I am so damn thankful that he doesn't live near to me. The escapades from long ago are still fresh in my mind, and I worry that one day he will sober up and share them, however there are two sides to every story. Therein lies my crutch (or ammunition if you will).

John used to talk fishing all the time. Fly fishing in particular. As most fishermen do he had a zillion stories about the big one that got away, and so I decided one time to see if he could really walk the talk. A great day, a great location, and this is what took place.....

The "take my photo" (so I look the part)
Once out on the water

After stepping back on shore (without said whopper)

And I kid you not, ten minutes later, he had the balls to talk about writing a fishing book (You can't make this stuff up! What a guy)....

So with that I leave you with his latest contibution to the Malamute Saloon. Just click HERE


October 10, 2012


Thanks to all who took the time to email me about the Atlantic City slideshow. Didn't think many would really enjoy it but I guess I was wrong. I received one email from Jerry Lenk, the first secretary of the FMDAC, and a terrific guy. I hadn't been in touch with Jerry in years, and it was great to hear from him. Looking forward to staying in touch over the long haul now. He also mentioned that he had some old photos in the basement, and promised to send them to me soon. Looking forward to that for sure.

I am working now on a slide show about the FMDAC trip to the Longleat Rally back in 1987. A trip that I believe was the forerunner of all the many excursions there today. I may be wrong, but I don't remember anyone offering detecting in the UK (as a group) before that. So, if you are reading this, and went on that FMDAC trip, please let me know. Would love to hear from you, and would love to share your photos.



I graduated Lambertville High School in 1959. It closed the same year, with a new regional High School opening. The school was quite old (opened in 1854), and I had always intended to detect there, but never did. A lot of things happened since then, and I share them here, only to remind you that putting off a search is something you may live to regret

Road Trip Back to School

From Weird USA

And just yesterday I received the following article from my friend Tony Conti in Jersey (Tony from Bayonne!).

"Haunted" High School Reduced to Rubble

I will probably never get the opportunity to search my old high school, and wonder what the demolition did to the surrounding grounds. Just a few steps up from the school was a playing field, were lot of sports were played, not to mention it was where you hung out waiting for the bell to call you to class in the morning and at lunch time. Last time I was there it was knee high weeds and vines.

I hope my sharing this doesn't result in a massive assault by detectorists. I have no idea who owns the property, and what it is like now, and whether or not it is even accessible. I will be interested to see what happens to this site over the long haul. Is it haunted? Nah, just a lot of made up, off the wall stories. Personally I feel honored to have been part of the last class graduating there, and will always remember the four years I spent there. Good times indeed..... RIP LHS.



You've heard me mention this group before, and I highly recommend visiting their Facebook page if you are into beach hunting. Started by Brian Mayer, the club consists of detectorists from all over. The group welcomes everyone, and the information provided there is top notch. Brian recently hosted a get together, resulting in the following article

New Jersey Hunters Come to Ocean City to Trade Treasure Hunting Tales

Again, if you are into beach hunting or even just thinking about it, be sure visit their facebook page. If you are not on Facebook, being part of this group is a great reason to change your mind.


October 8, 2012


Not a whole lot to report this time around. Dealing with a few personal problems, and just need a break from things.... Did manage to finally put together a slide show from many of the slides and photos I have accumulated over the years. Thanks to all of you who contributed. If you are under 50 years of age you probably won't enjoy it. As they say "you had to be there".....


October 5, 2012


Received another update from Mr. Howland, via the Mayfly Pub, and passing it along here. Nice to see that Bubba is again thinking in terms of good food and wine. The two undoubtedly go hand in hand with worthwile conversation, leading to a solution to every problem that exists in the world. John and I have found that out many times...

John also shares some information about interchanging searchcoils on the ATPro. To read more click on the pub sign below.....


October 3, 2012


Fay and I took the grandkids to the Texas State fair Monday, and came home beat up, beat down, tired and wiped out....The State fair is really one of the best, if not the best (though costly for sure if you have children). Aside from that, one must walk great distances to get from one show or venue to another, and that took a toll on both of us. We were glad to get home, and needless to say, we slept like logs.

Yesterday my plan was to have a liesurely breakfast, and then head out with the MXT Pro and the 4x6 coil. Impressed with it's depth in my test garden I wanted to take it somewhere where to see how it would perform in a heavily trashy area. I immediately thought of a small park in Rockwall. The park itself doesn't really date back that far, but it's one of those places where you can always find a few coins, maybe a ring or two, and have it all to yourself, esepcially when school is in session.

The park offers two pavillions with barbecue grills adjacent, and on the weekends they are generally always in use. It is around these two structures that I wanted to see what the Eclipse shooter could do. I had tried many times in the past to work the area but was always turned off by an excessive amount of pulltabs and bottlecaps. Even with the 5.3 Eclipse, which I consider my standard coil, I was unable to see through the trash or get in-between it.

On with the story......

After breakfast I grabbed my detector, coils and accessories and headed to the park. When I got there, I noticed a couple of ladies with young children, but they were quite young, and wouldn't be a problem. Plus they were in the tot lot area (woodchips) and I would be about fifty yards away. Got out of the car, put my apron on, tied my drop cloth to my belt, grabbed the detector, and realized I had forgotten to bring my headphones.

While home was only about four miles away I decided to go ahead and hunt, utilizing just audio (forgetting again that I was half deaf). With detector in hand I turned the on-off knob (gain) on, and nada. No hum, nothing. First thought? Dead batteries, and I didn't bring the rechargeable pack. I opended up the battery door, and found the cause. I didn't have a battery pack in the detector period!

After a few choice words (none of which I can repeat here), I decided I was not going to be stopped from doing what it was I had planned. I drove home, grabbed my headphones, both battery packs and headed back to the park. When I arrived, no more than twenty minutes later, there wasn't a place to park. Apparently it was a mother's day out with their kids, or something of the sort. There were mom's and kiddies all over the place, and I wasn't a happy camper (as in extremely pissed). Drove home, and decided I would try again after lunch.

Did you ever feel like a nap after lunch? Well, when you hit my age you feel like a nap 24/7. Fighting off the urge I once again headed to the park, and thankfully not a soul was around. To quote Emeril, happy, happy, happy.....


I once again, grabbed the MXT, loaded the battery pack, and everything was a go... After ground balancing, I went to the pavillion area, and started detecting right at the edge of the concrete slab. I purposely moved very slow and overlapped my swings by about two inches (Not hard to to do when your coil is only 4x6). I had to back off the gain some, but very quickly heard the high pitched sound of a coin. The meter read 77....a penny. Depth was one inch, and I quickly had it in my apron...not a wheatie of course, but older coins were always few and far between at this park.

I continued to scan around the one pavillion, and loved the feel of this little coil. I began finding coins in an area that used to drive me nuts. I also was able to isolate good from bad by checking both north and south, east and west. Something the 5.3 just couldn't do.

To make a short story even longer, I lasted only an hour (all that my back can handle anymore), and returned home with one Merc, 4 clad dimes, one wheat, and 8 clad pennies. Yeah I know, about $3.49 for my hour (not counting the three trips). I was not disappointed however, and will return soon to see what else I can pull out of the other pavillion area. The little Eclipse shooter coil worked so well there, it had me tyring to remember whether or not I had used it there before with the V3i....?

Thanks again to Steve Howard from Whites for suggesting I give it a try with the MXT Pro. Apparently he knew something I didn't...... Looks like the 5.3 coil will have some company from now on.

I wish the manufacturers would offer all their models with the a standard 7 to 8 inch coil, as was the case years ago. The trend toward "bigger is better" is not always the case, especially for those of us who coinshoot. The stock seven inch coil was all I needed years ago, and while the larger coils go deeper, they also see more, and that, in my opinion, makes the ID process more difficult....

Then again, what the hell do I know. Just ask my wife....she will tell you.


As you know we have two pugs, Barnum and Mollie. Barnum will be 11 in November, and he is my best buddy. My only real true friend. Deaf and almost blind, he still follows me around the house, and instinctively knows when I come home. He has a bed in my office, and sleeps while I work. If I should happen to get up and go downstairs, I hear his thump, thump, thump down the stairs looking for me, and he has to literally be about three feet from me to see me. I do talk to him, knowing he can't hear a thing, but somehow I think he understands.....

I have to pick him up on the bed at night, and lift him down in the morning. He's also a Yankee fan, and we both enjoy watching the ball games on TV (even though he probably can't see a thing he enjoys sitting on his pillow staring at the screen). His ailments are all part of getting old, and something I can very much relate to, but I worry about the day when he might not be at my side. No one lives forever, but it just doesn't seem fair that my only true friend gets the shorter end of the stick....

Watching the ballgame...

I am not really sure why I shared this here.....just wanted to. If you have a dog, or other pet, I know you will understand. Barnum is one of a kind, and a treasure that I tend to take for granted. I must stop doing that, and spend more time with him. Here's hoping the Yankee season will continue on. He will like that.....


Understand I love Mollie too. She is a rescue pug, and a very lovable little gal. She is pretty much Fay's tag along friend, just as Barnum is to me..... We are both very lucky to have such loyal and loving family members.


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