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The Silver Buckle
 

Find made by Craig B.

It was a chilly day with temperature in the low 40's and the wind gusting slightly. The hunting fever struck me early that morning and I gathered my detection equipment and headed out.
Wondering where would be the best place to go, I recalled an old abandoned house near Oklahoma City that a friend had given me permission to hunt some time ago. Not having had a chance to hunt it yet, I said to myself today would be the day. By the time I arrived at the old house it was good and sunny and I was itching to get started. I looked over the site. The old house was still standing yet pretty run down, and the yard was terribly overgrown. It looked like a tough place to hunt.

The badly neglected grass had constantly fallen over through the years and was consequently about three inches thick. The ground was saturated with cockle burrs and stickers. Needless to say, my high hopes for an easy hunting site fell several notches down the scale.

Since the site looked so difficult to hunt, I reasoned to myself that others may have thought the same thing and passed it up as well. Anyway, the matted grass was so thick, any hunter that had previously been there could have easily missed something. I decided to give it a try.

I pulled out my Electroscope Model 20 and began scanning in the front yard. After scoping there for a few minutes, and upon receiving no signals, I moved around to the side yard. Still no signals, so I moved around to the back yard and on my first sweep the scope locked onto something. I moved about 10 feet to one side and scanned again with the same result.

Figuring where my two lines crossed, about 40 feet away near an old tree I moved into the area pinpointed by my Model 20, and boxed out a 4 x 4 square. I ended up with the tree right in my way. Since this was as close as I could get with my Electroscope, I went back to my car and pulled out my conventional metal detector with an eight inch coil.

Returning to my scoped area at the old tree, I began searching with my conventional detector. Nothing but a couple of nails. Since there was three inches of matted grass above the ground, I figured that I wasn't getting much depth and I changed over to a twelve inch searchcoil.

I began operating in the all metals mode at first since I did not want to miss any deep targets. There were a lot of signals in the search area now ( and I do mean a lot) so I dug a couple of sample holes and came up with several more nails.

Seeing the nails as a problem, I turned up the discrimination, I figured that with the combination of a large coil and a little discrimination, I'd get rid of those nails and still have good depth.

This worked great. Now my entire pinpointing area had only two targets. The first one I dug turned out to be a plow point down about seven inches deep. I rechecked the hole after removing it and found nothing below.

I began digging the second target. I was down about eight inches when I hit a large flat piece of steel. I widened the hole and found the edge and pried it up. It was an old wood burning stove lid. Confused, I swept the hole again and still received a slight signal. I continued digging carefully down another two inches or so and hit another object at ten inches deep. I could see a slight glint in the dirt. I uncovered the object and painstakingly dug out around it, gently removing it from the loose soil.

To my surprise and satisfaction, it was an engraved belt buckle which I thought might just be silver. I checked the hole again with my conventional detector and there were no further targets. I also rescoped the area with my Electroscope and received no further signals so this had to be what I had detected earlier.

I scanned the rest of the back yard and around the house but did not pick up any more gold or silver readings. I decided to put my scope up for the day.

I pulled out my conventional detector again and spent a couple of hours searching around the yard for pennies, nickels or any interesting artifacts, which I found a few, but no more gold or silver. I decided to call it a day and headed for the house.

At home, I shined up the belt buckle and inspected the markings. As I had suspected, engraved on the back of the buckle were the two nicest words to any hunter "STERLING SILVER".

The front was ornately engraved and shows someone's initials. It makes a wonderful addition to my collection and marked my whole day as a success.

I have always enjoyed the hobby of metal detecting for its sense of excitement. It's just plain healthy to get out, breathe the fresh air, enjoy time with my son, Corey, and get a little exercise.

Now that silver and gold can no longer hide from me under those big pieces of iron I enjoy more finds than ever before!

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