My Mini Field of Dreams By Grant Hansen

  I was never a huge fan of metal detecting on fields. I like home sites where there’s a lot of noise, a lot of digging, and the comfort of knowing I scoured every inch of the property to leave nothing behind. Fields, by contrast, are vast; sometimes overwhelming, especially if you don’t have the opportunity to keep going back to try new areas. Fields can also be quiet, unlike home sites which often produce a good signal every twelve to twenty-four inches. Home sites can mean back-breaking work from all the shoveling, but I absolutely love it.                                                                         

  The other reason I preferred home sites was because I hadn’t been on a field that produced a lot of good finds. Of course, I hadn’t put in the historic research that has resulted in others having “fields of dreams” chock full of old coins and relics, but I thought, “Geez, I’ve detected enough fields that I should at some point get on one that produces more than one or two good finds!”

  Flashback to about two years ago. Two friends of mine and I were detecting on an 18th-century church property that the owners were converting into what would be their new home. While on paper it had a lot of promise, we found nothing but modern junk. Adding to our disappointment was their neighbor telling us that over the years he had seen numerous people detecting the once abandoned property.

  Luckily for us, the property owners got us permission to detect a very small field that was owned by a friend. By small, I mean one acre, tops. We knew nothing of the property, its history, or what to expect – but anything is worth investigating. So, we packed up our gear and drove a few blocks to our new spot.

  Right off the bat I found a flat button, as did my friend. This was a great sign! We each wandered off in different directions, finding more 18th– and 19th-century relics. I got a beautiful high tone on my XP Deus and started to dig. After not much effort I saw a nice round copper coin. Yes! I was on the board with a King George II half penny. I focused on a small area and my Deus was singing to me. I found another King George II half penny that someone had flattened the edges to form a octagon. Perhaps it was meant to be a toy; not far from it I found a hand-made lead whizzer.

Dandy button.

King George II half penny.

King George II half penny, shaped into an octagon.

 

Whizzer toy.

 

  My next find was something that had me buzzing with happiness for a long time. We all have our metal detecting bucket lists. My list is pretty long, and I’m not sure a bucket would fit everything I want to someday dig up. And on our bucket lists, many of us have a rank order. A top ten, or top five, etc. Number one on my list wasn’t the most valuable, the rarest, or the most sought after by others.

  My XP Deus was screaming at me to dig a solid high tone, and of course, I listened. Out of the hole came another colonial-era copper coin. But as I gently cleaned it and revealed the tell-tale shield on the reverse, I celebrated with a little dance. A New Jersey copper! I did it! I found the number-one item on my bucket list.

New Jersey copper.

  A New Jersey copper had eluded me for a long time. Friends have dug them and I have seen others online showcasing their awesome early US coinage. But for me, I found so many other types of copper coins in circulation at the time except the one I sought most.

  My friends, having found some great things of their own, decided to call it a day. I was about to do the same and had driven off, but something called me back to the field. I parked my car and started swinging. Immediately I found a beautiful 1742 half real. I was shocked, and so happy I came back!

1742 half real. I love the scalloped edge!

  As you can imagine, I couldn’t stop thinking about this field. As soon as we got the opportunity, we returned to see what else we could find. The little small field continued to produce! In addition to more flat buttons, a blow-hole button, and another King George II half penny, I found a copper coin that I couldn’t immediately identify. With the help of some Facebook groups, I was able to ID it as a 17th-century Scottish Bawbee half penny. This was my first (and to date only) 17th-century coin found on US soil. I also found a nice buckle from the same era.

Mid-18th-century German states Cologne ¼ Stüber.

  I hope to return to this field again soon. Although I’m confident we searched it well, I’m sure it’s holding more treasures. Although we could find nothing on the property’s history, we suspect there was a starter home or similar dwelling prior to more widespread settlement. It’s good to revisit sites after a while; you come with a new perspective and a new level of patience. This can often lead to good things. If I do return, I’ll let you know!

Group finds. (The Native American point and infantry button were found at nearby properties.)

 

The Junk Man Ohio Civil War Medal, Deus Dreaming.

Deus Dreaming Army of Angels 13K The Junk Man Tim Glick.

“My best find ever was found on a property that used to have an old school on it. It was a civil war medal of Ohio military veteran volunteers. My favorite part of this find was that it had a name on it, A name that could be traced to the civil war and puts a story to this find. The best kind of find you can have.”

Tim Glick AKA “The Junk Man” had found a great find about 4 years ago on a residence that used to house an old school from the 1800s. The thing that made this find so special was that it had a name John C. Mayfield of Ohio. After doing the research, Tim had found that Mr. Mayfield died in action in Marrietta Ga. on Aug 16, 1864. Tim had found that these medals were made by Tiffany & Company of New York and 20,000 were made and distributed in 1866. Mr. Mayfield had passed before receiving his medal and so the metal was distributed to Mr. Mayfield’s family. Tim Glick had tracked the grave of Mr. Mayfield and his father who also served in the civil war.

Tim had given the medal to the property owner but will never forget the forgotten history of just one of the hero’s that fought in the civil war.

 

Treasure Island By Grant Hansen

 

   Once a year, I trek across the pond to Treasure Island (or as most people call it, England). It’s a long journey comprised of a red-eye flight, a long bus or cab ride, and then miles of walking up and down ancient fields hoping to find medieval, Roman or Saxon artifacts. So far in my detecting career, I’ve found two of the three on the aforementioned list. Will I find something Saxon this year to complete my wish list? Time will tell.

Grant detecting among hundreds of acres of ancient land.

Traveling with the XP Deus is easy. Because it’s so compact and light I have room to cram in other, heavy necessities like a variety of clothing, digging tools and camera equipment. I can easily pack both my stock 11-inch coil and my HF 9-inch coil, without having to worry about weight or space. Because the HF coil offers a different range of frequencies than the stock coil, it’s like I’m able to pack two metal detectors – without having to pack two metal detectors.

In 2016, two friends and I traveled to William Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon. Southern Seekers had organized a weekend rally along Fosse Way – an historic Roman road that runs north and south across England. Rather than camp out at the rally, we stayed at a nearby bed and breakfast, originally built in the 16th century. On the B&B’s property was the foundation of a Norman-era castle! What was even more unbelievable was that the owners gave us permission to detect the property the day before the rally. While the area surrounding the castle foundation was off limits, we still had plenty of lawn to keep us busy. I didn’t find anything of note, but my friend James found a lovely 16th-century dolphin-motif French jetton. So, as you can imagine, we were really excited for the weekend.

It can be rather daunting when you have hundreds of acres to detect over a short timeframe. Where do you start? Where’s the best spot? Finding your way can be a little frantic until the other detectorists slowly disperses out of sight, and the fields have plenty of swinging room. On the first field I detected I was quick to find some buttons and lead, but nothing extraordinary.

The dirt was hard-packed clay – once you got down a few inches it was thick and heavy, making deep targets challenging to retrieve. After putting in a few good efforts and coming up with just small lead fragments, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated. I swung my coil for a while without a solid signal, and then my Deus gave me a high-pitched, deep, repeatable target. I wasn’t sure if it would be something good or just more garbage, and there was only one way to find out. I began to dig, and dig, and dig. The clay was getting more and more difficult the deeper I got, and I was close to giving up. I told myself, “One more spade’s worth and if it’s not there, then I’m filling the hole back in.” After I dug out some more clay, my pin pointer sounded off in the side wall, but then went silent as I went deeper. This was great! I knew I didn’t have to keep digging deeper, and that the target was close in hand.

I carefully dug into the side wall and removed a chunk of clay. Finally! I got it out of the ground. I couldn’t believe my eyes when it revealed itself. Could it be? A hammered coin! And it was bigger than the hammered pennies I usually see. It was a 15th-century King Henry VII silver hammered groat! I was thrilled! I had just found a large, hammered, 500-plus year old silver coin! I honestly believe that many detectors would have missed the signal, or at least, many detectorists would have ignored it because it was so deep.

King Henry VII silver hammered groat from the 15th century.

The fields continued to produce. I found three Roman coins, which I’m told are from the second- to third-century AD. Two small ones are very corroded; the large one (pictured below) gave a screaming high tone, even though it was very deep. I was half expecting a large piece of metallic garbage since it sounded too good to be true – but it wasn’t!

Large Roman coin.

I also found a beautiful medieval strap end that still has some its golden gilt. I’m told this strap end was most likely used as a book fastener, and would have been owned by someone of wealth and education. Imagine, over 500 years ago someone lost this – perhaps even the entire book which has since deteriorated completely.

 

Medieval strap end.

In 2017 I found myself in a different area of England with the Medway History Finders in Kent. I met up with a couple old friends, and made some very good new ones – which is the real treasure of our hobby. I love sharing stories of my US finds, and hearing their amazing tales of treasure hunting in England.

The Medway rally produced some great finds for me. I found two 17th-century King Charles I silver hammered pennies, two medieval lead tokens, a very heavy grape shot, and a medieval spindle whorl (among many other cool finds). And I even witnessed two friends each find their own Bronze Age hoards!

 

 

 

King Charles I silver hammered penny.

 

 

King Charles I silver hammered penny.

Medieval lead token.

Medieval lead token with “FH” initials.

Lead spindle whorl.

Huge grapeshot, pictured next to a musket ball for scale.

 

 

 

September 2018 will have me traveling to the UK History Hunters weekender in South Devon. It’s an area steeped in history, and I can’t wait to swing my coil over the ancient dirt. I’m looking forward to some good luck, meeting up with old friends, and meeting new ones. Watch for me to broadcast some live digs and updates from the field!

 

My First Best Find with the XP Deus By Grant Hansen

 

  One of the most common questions any detectorist gets, whether from a fellow treasure hunter or a friend who shows interest in our hobby, is, “What’s your best find?” I always have a difficult time answering this question. Yes, I’ve found some great things that on their own can battle it out for the top spot, but for me, the journey behind the find is equally important.

When I first got the XP Deus a few years ago, I was determined to reach a level of expertise that would allow me to understand how to best maximize what it offered. I don’t dare say I aimed to master it because no matter how good you get at anything, there’s always opportunities to learn new things. During my “break in” period, I experimented quite a bit. I consumed as much knowledge as I could from Gary Blackwell’s XP Deus School videos, Andy Sabich’s book, articles, forums, conversations with experienced Deus users, and executed good ol’ trial and error.

I liken the XP Deus to a Digital SLR camera. Sure, you can put it on auto mode and capture great pictures. But if you want to be an advanced photographer, you learn how to adjust your settings like aperture, F-stop, shutter speed, etc., so that you’ll capture the best photo given the lighting conditions and speed of the subject.

All the hard work allowed me to create a custom program that suited me – and I use it as my base program whether on junk-ridden old home sites or quiet open fields. I find I get great depth, great responsiveness and minimal chatter. Here are my settings. Keep in mind that this is what I start out with; I adjust depending on ground conditions.

 

 

 

   I put this program to the test on a colonial-era church property in my hometown. Built in 1793, this property had me frustrated since I hadn’t found anything older than early 20th century. I decided to give my new program a go and slowly gridded a 50ft x 20ft area that I’ve gone over at least 3 times already. About 20 minutes in, I got a faint, but solid, repeatable target. After peeling back the plug, my pin pointer picked up a signal at the bottom, which was about 7 inches down. After digging a little more and scooping out the dirt, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Silver! And not just any silver – Spanish silver! I had found my first half real, dated 1775. I immediately called my friend to share my elation.

 

 

  While this may not be my absolute BEST find, it was my FIRST best find with the XP Deus. It was made extra gratifying because of my persistence to build a relationship with my detector. Because, ultimately, that’s what it is – a relationship. We have a conversation with a machine that tells us what it detects. It’s our job to listen, and to understand, and to help it communicate in the best possible way depending on environmental conditions. It’s symbiotic.

Since that first best find, I’ve found more best finds that I will share with you in future blog posts – and hopefully new best finds in the coming months and years. I’d love to hear about your best finds, so please share them with us!

Deus X35 coil – The real deal

How deep will the XP Deus go _ here is a true test

XP metal detectors have just released their new range of search coils called the X35 to compliment the XP Deus, in total you now have the choice of 5 coils ranging in size and frequencies to suit a wide range of hunting requirements.

Many have asked why bring out the new X35 coil when the HF coils have only recently been released.
The HF coils had originally been designed for more specialist applications…Such as finding small targets in highly mineralised soil, fortunately for us they are deadly on a far wider range of search scenarios all over the world based on your excellent feedback and success stories.

XP have a wide range of search coils available to suit every search requirment.
The X35 coils are really just another stage in the ongoing Deus development, these coils have been designed to take over from the original black coils, just like before they are more of an “All Rounder”.

The X35 13 x11” coil really impressed us on our test bed.
We dug 2 channels in the face of the bank at depths we considered to be bordering on “Achievable”.
Using 4Khz in boost mode the Deus managed to get a 30mm copper coin at around 14” underneath un-disturbed soil, even with the coil raised above the ground another 2-3” it still gave a repeatable signal despite some EMI from a nearby train track, when we tried the original 13 x 11” coil the coin could be located but the signal was noticeably weaker.

How deep will the XP Deus go _ here is a true test

As many of you know I am not a massive fan of static tests, but the “channel” method used is far more conclusive than simply digging a hole and throwing a coin into the bottom, just like we see so many times on video reviews.
14″ on a coin and 17″ on a large spoon, perhaps you don’t think that is impressive, trust me it is, considering the ground was quite mineralised and as you can see it was very hard packed.

The XP test bed showing the 2 targets used
Perhaps if your soil is less mineralised with less contamination you will get an even better result, for me this was a confidence booster as I know this land very well and can confirm it’s hard going.
Just as a foot note we tried some other machines on this test bed and the Deus gave the cleanest signal, one machine in particular gave no signal, which surprised us based on the media attention it has been getting.
How would I sum up the x35 coils
If you are buying them expecting the boost mode to take you to depths beyond belief, then you will be wrong.
I noticed stability is better allowing you to hear quieter targets apart from that many will find it is very much like using the older type coils.
Very soon all Deus will be sold with the X35 as standard.
In a word the X35 coils are EVOLUTION rather than REVOLUTION.

Here is the video review of the X35 coil
Thanks to Stuart for doing a great job on the filming and editing.

Dancing With The Deus!

   Written by Tony Mantia.

  I had been a Minelab guy for quite awhile, first E-Trac and then with CTX. While I have had great success with these machines I am not averse to trying out other machines as well. My belief is that most of the major manufacturers can and do make quality products. I had been following my friend Todd Yerks and how he was having great success with his Deus I was quite intrigued on how it may help me find more in my field permissions. After some conversation with him and watching many of Gary Blackwell’s videos I came to believe I wanted to try it, but wanted to have a bit of hands on experience with one before making the plunge. My major concern would be could I learn the tones and what they were telling me. My first experience with a Deus was with a borrowed machine, my friend Tom Johnson let me borrow his detector to try out, I had heard great things about the Deus from my friend Todd (CtTodd), Yerks and with his tips and Tom’s machine I quickly learned the great properties of this wonderful detector. I took it out to a field that had given us many nice finds but like all fields after awhile the finds slow down. I turned it on and was amazed at how light it was and how easy to swing. I encountered my first target it gave a solid tone….but something seemed a bit off as when my coil came off the target I could hear an iron buzz…now was this a good target next to iron, I did not know but my experience told me it was most likely some rusted iron so I dug it and was glad to know I was correct. Now it may sound strange to be happy to dig some iron but I was pleased that I felt I could understand this machine. Next target was a definite high tone and not iron but I sensed that it was not a coin, perhaps a button but did not sound quite “round” a little crackling edge to it made me think a deformed head stamp. Diane was close by so I asked her to check it with her E-Trac and she got a 12-25 – 12-26 signal which could be a button, a Fatty Indian, or a piece of Harmonica reed…I asked her what she thought she replied “I don’t think it is coin or button but I would dig it” which I of course planning on anyway. It turned out to be a Head Stamp. A bit later I got a very nice solid 93-95 TID and a sweet tone…and I thought…Large Cent! I dug the target and using my pinpointer I quickly found it…indeed a Large Cent. A crusty 1845, time was short so we left. What I learned was that without doubt I could understand the Deus, and I knew more was to come!

 

    After finding a Large Cent with a borrowed Deus I decided it was time to get my own, it was not until February 2017 that I was able to purchase it. My goal to test it out was to go to fields where we had pounded hard with our other machines and or fields that were typically difficult to hunt. The first field was one that has given us many things and that the signals were getting very scarce. I found a few bits of things including a CW Jay hook missing the button. The next field we went to is one that has given us nice things but one in which you had to work for every signal as the soil is demanding, there I got a super toasted 1863 Fatty Indian. I was now feeling I made a good decision.

The next spot I decided to go dancing with the Deus is one of my favorite fields, we have found so many great items there and I was hoping to find more. I decided I would go back over a portion of the field that was very iron infested, granted we had found things in this section but it was not a fruitful as other portions have been. I was swinging and I heard a small blip of a high tone surrounded by iron, turning 90 degrees I was able to replicate the signal. I decided to dig this target since most everything we have found in this field has been old. I just had a feeling that this would be something good. I dug my plug and swung over it again and the target was still in the hole taking some more dirt out I was now at 4+ inch depth. It took me awhile since the target seemed small…and small it was a small silver disk. I called Doug and Diane over to see it and as of yet I did not know what it was…I said “I don’t know what it is but it sure looks like Silver” Doug replied, “I know what it is…it’s awesome!” When I got it out I knew it was Half Dime size but what kind of Half Dime. Apply some water the sticky clay slowly came off and then I said “It’s a Capped Bust Half Dime!” and indeed it was an 1832! I now knew for sure that this machine is a killer in the iron! 

 

Just a few minutes later I got a nice signal in this same area and out popped a Large Cent!

 

 So I now knew that this machine is a real keeper! I continued to go to fields that we had hunted before trying to squeeze more out of. Now I was still learning the Deus but my confidence grew with each hunt. Another one of our good fields now gave up another good find, another Large Cent and that motivated me all the more to hit other of our permissions. And I stress these were all fields that we had not been finding much at recently. Here are some of the things I found.

 

     Nearing the end of field season I found a new site so I was curious how the Deus would do in this field, I was not to be disappointed as my first hunt was stellar.

What a great hunt! My first target was an Indian Head and the nice thing was I was confident that is what the target was going to be! Just a few minutes later another Indian Head signal and this time I barely looked at the TID as the sound was the same as before. Then the sound of a Big Copper rang in my ears and again I was thinking Large Cent….with every target I dug I was learning more and more what this detector can do! About 10 minutes later I got a sweet sounding target, peeping at the number I saw a 93 staring back at me…my first thought…Silver! And that is what it was a Barber Dime! Not far from that spot bam! I again got that high tone…and I knew it was another Silver…this time it was a Mercury Dime a 1916 alas not the D mint mark but still a welcome sight to see emerge from the ground! Not to neglect relics that the Deus finds for they are always welcome too.

 

 

Here are some of the relics I found and other “treasure” too!

 

A few days later we returned to this site and again I was amply rewarded.

This time it was just two old coins, one an 1880 Indian Head and amazingly another Capped Bust Half Dime! Gosh the Deus loves these little tiny Silver!

 

The Little Half Dime was a bit damaged but who could complain!

 

Field season was coming to a close as more of the fields were being planted I had one more opportunity to get out to a field and again the Deus did not fail me.

   An 1835 Large Cent with the variant of having the 1836 Bust!

         I was looking forward to the start of field season but fate intervened, a reaction to some prescription medicine cause me to end up in the Hospital for over two day and when I was finally discharged I was as weak as a kitten. So I got a late start on the fields I got out one time and did find on my first hunt a Gold Class Ring…normally don’t find gold rings in farm fields so I was very pleased of course! So I was very eager to see what I could do with the Deus when more of my permission fields were harvested. Again life had something else in store for me, our club put on a demo and display for the local park district and I had brought many of my frames with relics to show. The demo where we helped kids to learn about detecting and the ethics involved went very well and there was much interest in my displays and I answered many questions about what things were and how to find and get permission to detect. When the event was over I packed up my displays and made two trips to the car carrying the heavy bags of them. It was a short drive home and when I got there I could barely get out of the car and walk, somehow I aggravated the Sciatic nerve in my right leg. It was a painful six weeks of treatment and rehab before I could even walk for an hour. The weather was beautiful and it was killing to be stuck at home. At last I felt good enough to try to detect, I had secured a new permission that had three sites on it and fortunately one of the sites was very near the road so I could park and be right on site. I was very thankful for the lightness of the Deus as it was taking all my energy just to walk. We got to the field and under the watchful eye of my wife Diane we started detecting. I had been there about five minutes when I got a nice signal and was extremely pleased to dig a big Copper, it was very toasty and only later was I able to tell that it was a 1844 Bank of Montreal Half Penny Token! A few minutes later I got another signal and dug a 1904 Indian Head Cent. I had to quit then my leg was aching so bad but my spirit was feeling so good! I was looking forward to the next time I could get out again.

 

 

   Each time we went out I could stay a bit longer, so we hit the sites in this field since it didn’t require a lot of walking to get to the sites in it. I really would not have been able to detect as long as I did if I had one of my heavier machines so that was a blessing.

I was able to make some good finds in this field including relics, tokens and buttons etc. here are examples of some of the finds.

 

    As the crops were quickly being planted I was eager to get out one more time we went out and found one of our fields still available and I was hoping to end the season with one more good find. And I was not disappointed!

We had been at this field for about an hour and while Diane was doing well, with an Indian Head and a 1857 Flying Eagle I was just digging odd bits of brass and copper I heard a small high tone amongst the iron and narrowing my swing I was able to pinpoint the spot. I dug my plug and when I stuck the pinpointer in the hole I could hear just a small beeping, I could tell it was a small target and at first I was afraid it might just be a small piece of brass or copper. I pulled a small clod out and the pinpointer told me it was in this clod I popped it and I saw a Silver edge…a very small Silver edge another pop and I could tell this was a coin! I saw the III on it and I knew I had dug a long desired coin, a Trime! A Silver Three Cent Piece….a coin that had eluded me for all these years…so last hunt for this season…but a great motivator for this fall. Can’t wait to see what is to come!

 

So as you can tell I am getting along quite well “Dancing with my Deus!”

Written by Tony Mantia.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk ghost towns! By Sonya Harshman

 

 

     Ghost towns are my most favorite sites to hunt. They are usually loaded with a large variety of relics and coins. And to top it off…its pretty easy to find out where they were. There are huge selections of ghost town books at your local library, historical museum, and online to help you locate exactly where they were. They almost always have old pictures of the towns too. All you have to do is take the time to do some research. These long lost towns are EVERYWHERE and worth the time to find out where they are. I have found quite a bit at my ghost towns, including numerous Indian Heads, large cents, shield and V nickels, but here are my favorites. So go find your closest ghost towns. You’ll be glad that you did. 

 

 


 

Allens XP Deus first finds

Had a awesome day Won the equinox on a razz sold to John for 450$. He had been dreaming about that machine.
Big upgrade from at pro.
Anyways. Second hole. 4 reale. Then John scored token. Anytime permission 500 acres I Loves thy Deus.

Early Success for Ray

Had my second outing with my Deus, finds where a few coins , 1 ring , and some bling.

This is a awesome machine , I can tell already !

Second time out with my Deus -Gold

Only my second time using my new XP DEUS I went to an old ghost town. This spot had given me troubles with two other high end machines. Thinking that I was really gonna put this new XP machine to the test, I basically took the DEUS fast program and turned it down a bit to compensate for all the iron. I set the frequency to 12. I have been detecting for a few years now and this was, by far, my best day detecting!

Written by
Joel Leibelt
Article courtesy of XP Americas
Read more XP Deus real find articles over on the XP Americas page