My Best Metal-Detecting Finds so Far

Updated on December 21, 2018
Matt G. profile image

Matt is a professional painter and entrepreneur who enjoys metal detecting historic homes for old coins in his spare time.

Two Old Metal-Detecting Finds From My Yard

The first day of unboxing my new Garrett AT Pro metal detector, I spent a lot of time metal detecting my front and back yard, getting a feel for the machine and its settings. My house is newer than 1970, so I was surprised to find some older stuff in my yard the first time using my detector.

The first older find was a Great Seal military button, likely dating back to WWII, possibly WWI. I've since found another one of these buttons in an old park, but the one from my yard still has the shank attached on the reverse side.

My second unexpected find was a silver Standing Liberty quarter, badly tarnished, but still readable. The date is worn off, indicating it's likely one of the older ones. I actually don't find many of this particular coin. I've gone metal detecting at many different places and only found maybe two or three of these coins.

A Great Seal military button I found in my yard with my metal detector.
A Great Seal military button I found in my yard with my metal detector.
A silver Standing Liberty quarter I found in my yard metal detecting.
A silver Standing Liberty quarter I found in my yard metal detecting.
The date is worn off of the front side of the quarter. The coin is 90% silver.
The date is worn off of the front side of the quarter. The coin is 90% silver.

The Oldest Coin Found With My Metal Detector

Some of my best metal detecting sites have been permissions at older homes, many of which I have returned to more than once. One of those properties is a house from the 1880s that I've gone treasure hunting at a few times. The last time I went metal detecting at this property, I found a 4 pfennig coin from 1795 about four inches underground, not far from an old well in the backyard. This is my oldest coin I've ever found, as of this writing.

Here in the Midwest, most of the older coins I unearth are usually from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. Finding a European coin from 1795 was pretty cool. On that same property, I have also found other older coins, but mostly from the late 1800s.

The 4 pfennig coin I found while metal detecting an old house. The coin is from 1795.
The 4 pfennig coin I found while metal detecting an old house. The coin is from 1795.
The other side of the 1795 4 pfennig coin I found.
The other side of the 1795 4 pfennig coin I found.

Silver Coins and Rings I Found Metal Detecting

I have found many silver rings and coins metal detecting old house sites, parks, and curb grass, but the grounds around old homes have produced the most silver for me. I also once found a gold class ring from the yard of an abandoned home.

I haven't found a diamond ring yet, but only time will tell. I found a ring that looked like diamonds, but the stones turned out to be marcasite. Rings are by far the most exciting items to find metal detecting, and you can find them almost anywhere.

The best silver coin I've found so far is a Barber half dollar from 1902, found about three inches underground in the front yard of an 1895 house.

A marcasite ring found while metal detecting a curb strip.
A marcasite ring found while metal detecting a curb strip.
A silver ring I found in a curb strip in front of an old house.
A silver ring I found in a curb strip in front of an old house.
A silver initial ring I found near an old half dollar.
A silver initial ring I found near an old half dollar.
A 1902 Barber half dollar I found while treasure hunting an 1895 house.
A 1902 Barber half dollar I found while treasure hunting an 1895 house.

Antique IMCO Lighter

My coolest relic find is an antique lighter that I found in the backyard of a historic office building that was once a school house in the 1800s. These lighters were first made in 1920, but I'm not sure exactly how old this one is.

The lighter was in shallow ground, maybe three inches below the surface. I also found an Indian Head cent not far from the lighter.

IMCO lighter I found with my metal detector.
IMCO lighter I found with my metal detector.

My Metal-Detecting Gear

I don't use overly expensive metal detecting gear. I plan to eventually upgrade my gear, but for now, I currently use the Garrett AT Pro metal detector, along with the Garrett AT pinpointer, to locate my targets in the hole.

The AT Pro has worked great for me underwater and on land. This detector is good for anyone new to the hobby who wants a waterproof machine, but if the all-terrain advantage isn't important, the Garrett Ace 250 is a cheaper alternative that's great for coin hunting. The search coil on that detector can still be submerged, but not the control box.

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    © 2018 Matt G.

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