First, I am an experienced Whites DFX user for many years but due to time and life the last few years I have been absent from hunting. Let me set this up by telling you my grandfather Bob Russell (who passed a couple years ago), my father Steve Russell and myself have been detecting for many years. Over the years we have hunted together when we can and of course it was always memorable moments. My grandfather Bob passed a couple of years ago and when he did, I was given his brand new V3i. I am ashamed to say I had not been out since that time. Life, work obligations and more just put kept me from going. Then earlier this year, we lost another beloved member of our family, my step mother of 30+ years causing another big gap in my dads life. Losing her has caused my dads life to change drastically and for all of us in our family to realize how valuable quality time together is so important. This past Christmas season as we were remembering our lost loved ones, Dad and I realized it was time to get back to a hobby we really enjoy together…Metal Detecting.
So, I dug out the V3i which I had never used, watched all the Whites tutorial videos and a few others and used some connections to go detect a couple houses. I was used to the language of the DFX so transitioning to the V3i was not a complete foreign language and yet still I could tell I was going to need some field time to really get used to this machine.
The first house we detected was built in the early 1900’s in downtown Nixa, Mo. As usual we split the yard in half with the sidewalk that ran down the center of the yard. Dad started finding targets pretty quick. I was busy just trying to learn the new interface. So I was a bit slow out of the gate. It wasn’t long we both started finding targets. Mainly clad with the occasional wheat penny. Then we swapped sides. All of a sudden, I hit a 80+ VDI at 5+ with the D2 coil. Flipped the switch forward and saw the graph and it was perfect. Started digging and there it was, my first silver with the V3i. 1926 Mercury Dime. WOW! I was just in awe.
The next day we detected another 1900’s house in Nixa and same thing. Several clad coins with the occasional wheat including a 1955 I dug that I was praying for it to be a double die ‘55 however it was not.
So, BOOM, just like that we both have the bug again. So my dad reaches out to a landowner we had not visited in several years who owns a piece of property that one time had a tavern and trading post on the property in the late 1700’s to mid 1800’s.
New Year’s Day, we decided to head out. My grandfather had bought a Detech Double D coil to go with his new V3i and I decided to try it out. I spent some time air testing my machine with that coil and felt confident the Coin and Jewelry mode would allow me to hunt with confidence. Now we had been there before and my dad was lucky enough to find an 1842 Seated Liberty Dime. So we new there was potential targets.
We had been detecting for about an hour and I decided to start playing with some of the other settings on the V3i. Again, still learning this new machine. I had switched to the pre-programmed Deep Silver mode. The audio in my earphones was not new to me because of the DFX and I loved like the mixed mode audio and VCO of this setting.
I literally walked about 3-5 steps and BAM! The tone coming out of my V3i nearly knocked my headphones off. I thought, no way… 87-89 VDI at 3” … no way. So I switched it back to Coin and Jewelry real fast and there it was again. I then moved the trigger forward and graph was perfect. Yet it was showing a bigger coin. I thought, no way…. how can this be true.
So, I pinpointed and began to dig. Then there it was… a round object about 3” deep covered in dirt. I then called over to my dad and said you bette come here. I paused on cleaning the round object (knowing the evidence the V3i had given me thinking this could be something good).
Once he arrived I told him my tones, VDI and graphs and we started thinking what could this be. We have been fooled before with tokens, aluminum and other targets. However, this seemed different. As I began the careful process of cleaning the target our prize began to reveal itself. First, we saw stars, then we we saw the face of what would later be the heads side of a Capped Bust. As we carefully began to clean the coin even further, I first saw the 18 of what would later be the 1834 year.
It was at this moment, our hearts sank together. Then we flipped the coin over and slowly began to clean the back to unveil the 50c and the rest of our treasure.
It was at this moment, we began to realize what we had discovered together. An 1834 Capped Bust 50c Small Stars, Small Date American Coin.
WOW! The very best find to date we have found together. We just sat there and reflected on the moment and the gift we had been given. My dad and I consider every good find we discover together as “our” find.
This was truly a day I will never forget.