Metal Detector Used: Other (800-0284-LSP)
On December 30, 2007, I was relic hunting for gold rush era artifacts in the Sierra foothills. I was hunting a remote gold camp I had hunted previously and had recovered a few Chinese coins and an 1812 dated Prussian coin. I had thought I had hunted out this camp so I was just sort of walking through quickly to explore another area. I decided to re-check by the largest tree. I immediately got a very large signal with my White's DFX.
It was so large that I thought someone had dropped an aluminum can since I had been there last. I stuck the shovel in the ground and flipped over the dirt. I could immediately see a tongue portion to a two piece buckle at about 3 inches down. I carefully picked it up to examine the face. When I saw it, I knew I had never seen a face like this one. It was crudely cast and the design included a man holding something with what looked like mountains in the background.
When I went home I did some research and discovered that it was a tongue portion to a very rare 1850's California miner's belt plate. The design has a miner with a shovel in one hand, and holding a gold nugget in the other. The Sierra foothills in the background with a cactus and California fauna on the bottom right, all under a six pointed star. It is an incredibly rare buckle and few are known. It was a great relic find.