Thursday, June 21, 2018

Gaudy bling ring and Indian Motorcycle badge

June 20, 2018
It was a slow day digging st the flea market today, lots of scrap and a few pennies until I found all the items above within a few minutes.  I realize that I have been spoiled by having this amazing location just a few miles from my home so I can just pop over there on a whim and dig any day.  I generally dig 5 days a week for an hour or 2 each time and fully expect to find really interesting stuff every time.

The US army unit crest pin is for the 18th support battalion.  I think it's gold plated brass with 2 pins on the back, one is broken off.

Then I hit a really strong signal in the soft dirt under one table where I had seen a guy selling jewelry and pins.  This is a nice vintage brass Indian Motorcycle badge, missing the pin back.  They are selling on eBay for about $7-12 intact.  I cleaned it up in my rock tumbler as it came out dull.

Then I got another really strong signal with a big footprint that I almost wrote off as can slaw or a whole flattened can.  Almost walked off, but went back over it and found this gaudy ring.  It looked like silver at first and is really heavy with a quartz stone, definitely got my pulse racing for a minute there!  I think it is chrome plated pot metal that is corroding in places where the plating has worn through.

After I pulled that out, there was still a strong signal.  Yes, I always check my holes and all around them before moving on.  It was just a dinged up fishing weight!  Gah!  I have pounds of lead scrap in a bucket I'm saving to be recycled.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sterling ring and pirate treasure dug up at the flea market

June 19, 2018

Spent an hour or so digging under the tables at the flea market near me here in Maine.  I have been scouting the booths that have jewelry and small items, so I know where the best tables are.  Among the odd finds are a bent brass drawer pull, a nice brass lamp finial and an old style glass fuse.
On hot days it is nice to dig around in the shade under the tables.  I haven't bumped my head yet!  The dirt is soft and easy to dig down there.

It always seems to happen that when I'm about to give up, I find something really cool.  Today it was a really nice sterling ring marked 925.
This is a beauty in mint condition and weighs in at 0.123oz (3.4g).  I might try selling it on eBay.

Found yet another military button, this one is a U.S.M.A. CADET It is dinged on front with a bent back.

A nice Egyptian motif hat pin with a small blue glass(?) stone in it.  It's brass and may have been gold plated.

Among the pennies I got a thrashed 1957 wheatie and a 1996 Canadian one cent.  The find that capped the day was this cool "treasure" board game piece that Peter Hart in London, England helped me identify via Facebook:
If you look closely (I missed it) it says: "DREAD PIRATE" around the edge in the image on the right.  Peter sent me these pictures.  Thanks Peter! 👍😀

Monday, June 18, 2018

The good dirt is under the flea market tables

June 17, 2018
I'm continuing to explore the "virgin dirt" under the flea market tables.  It's soft and easy to dig and I don't have to be as fussy about putting the dirt back as no-one ever goes down there.  There seems to be a lot of dropped items buried under them.  Definitely some cool finds today.  I'm not showing all the modern coins, but I usually get about $1.00 or so a day that I clean up enough to go through the Coinstar machine.

First is this chunky sterling silver ID bracelet with a barely readable name and the other info is worn off completely.  It weighs in at 0.656oz (18.62 grams) and will go in my silver recycling bin.

I like this tie pin.  It took me a while to remember how these were used.  The T-bar goes through a button hole in your shirt and the pin goes through the tie to secure it via the chain.  It may have been gold plated, and the stone looks like malachite.

This charming brooch might have been to honor a deceased child.

This "Soccer'd out" pin has lost the pin-back.  The back says "SPORT PINS" a phone number and "made in Taiwan".  Not sure if it is brass or maybe gold plated.

I got my first Buffalo nickel with the date worn off - as often happens with these.

A wheat penny from 1913.

And finally this neat aluminum token.  It says: "CHICKEN FEED PLAY COIN" on one side and: "ONE HENNY PENNY" on the other.  It might have been a cereal box give-away or something? 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Cartridge spill dug up at the flea market

June 15, 2018
I was focusing on digging UNDER the tables at the flea market this evening.  The ground there has not been walked on in over 30 years so it is soft and easy to dig.  I find a lot of objects dropped from the tables including coins.  Recently I have found several cartridges, including a spill of 6 .22 cartridges shown standing up below:
I'll be taking these to the local county sherriff's office for safe disposal next week.  I cleaned them up a bit in my rock tumbler since I was running a batch of clad pennies anyway.

I also came across a novelty this week - a 1940 Canadian cent stamped to form a keepsake.  A Facebook friend said these were made at county fairs quite often.  Clearly 40's vintage pennies were solid copper back then.

I often hunt the flea market in the late afternoon and there is always an old guy with a full white beard there who takes hours to pack up.  The market is open from 8 to noon and he can still be there after 5:00pm.  He takes up 3 or 4 tables and as I watch him, he slowly crams all of it into his already filled vehicle for the 1 hour drive back to Augusta.  He does this 3 days a week and clearly loves every piece of junk as he fondles it and carefully packs each piece.  There are 2 tires strapped to the roof of his vehicle that have been there for years according to Randy the grounds keeper.

The flea market world is interesting to say the least.  I have found an old dear who makes great pies for $7 each.  I'm getting a blueberry pie almost every week now.  It's great to support my local economy.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

My first crotal bell find

June 9, 2018
I had a great day detecting the flea market.  By 2:30 there were still some stragglers packing up their tables, and Randy who maintains the property was going round picking up trash and recyclables.  We talked a bit and guessed that they get around $100 a year in redeemable bottles and cans.  (Maine has a 5 cent per bottle redemption system).  

While we were chatting he pulled this vase out of the trash and offered it to me.  Nice! It does not have any makers marks, so it's probably not at all valuable, but I like it. It shows 2 peacocks in gold and colors on one side only:

So then I showed him my favorite find of the day, the crotal bell.  I have seen Facebook detectorists showing many crotal bells that have been found in England and down the East Coast but I never expected to find one myself.  They stopped making them and using them in the late 1800s.  It is bronze and cleaned up nicely in my rock tumbler in about 1.5 hours.  For those that don't know what a crotal bell is, here's a link to the Wikipedia entry.

The other cool finds include this nice pewter(?) heart pendant:

A small sterling ring:

And a sterling holly/bell pendant:

I'm told this is a mid 1800s (?) #3 Elgin pocket watch winder.

Other bits (literally!) and pieces include the dual Phillips screw driver bit that I can really use, and some brass screws and bits that go in my brass recycling bin.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Bits and bobs found at the Flea Market site

June 8, 2018

We have had several days of cold gloomy weather here in Maine.  Lows in the 40s and highs in the 50s.  Brr! I had to turn the heating back on!  This is almost summer and we are all complaining.  But today the sun finally came out and it got up to 72F with a nice breeze so I dug the flea market site for an hour or so and came back with lots of bits of jewelry.

The nicest find is this sterling rifle brooch. 3 words that don't come together often!
It's a bit dinged up and the clasp pin broke off, but I'll take it!

A few nice mounted stones.  The clear one is housed in sterling:

This piece of junk jewelry came out in 3 pieces:

And my first thimble.  I was hoping it would be a silver one from the civil war, but it's aluminum and pretty thrashed:

It's always fun seeing what comes out of the dirt!  

That reminds me, I have an idea for a detectorist bumper sticker:

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