Thursday, August 9, 2018

A coin spill near the barn, and 22kt gold plated sterling heart

Yesterday, I decided to hunt around the barn on the flea market property because I had already found a few interesting items like the early 1900's safety razor and a lot of coins near it.  The moment I started swinging my detector I got loads of signals - it was a large coin spill totaling $2.41 that included a $1 coin and other modern coins including a thrashed 1941 wheat penny.

Here is the area where most of the coins came from.  I dug maybe a twenty holes in this patch - and I'm proud to say that there is no sign I was ever there.  

Since April I have dug hundreds of holes on this flea market site and the owner and grounds keeper would never know I had been there if they had not seen me digging every few days.  I also do them a favor and pick up loose trash so it does not get hit by the lawn mower.  Can slaw anyone!

The interesting finds include a key ring with 5 keys on it with a leather strap that has a Volunteer Fire Department pendant on it.
I cleaned and waxed it and it looks nice. Made by Keith Smykal Co. NYC.

I also like this lovely bracelet.  It came out of the ground looking very dull, but I soaked it in white vinegar/salt solution and then polished in on my buffing wheel with rouge.  It is made from brass and copper wire.  It looks like a design from the 1970's.

The heart stopper was found in the middle of the grass parking area as I was walking back toward my car.  It came out all shiny and I almost did my gold dance, but people were nearby.
I tested it and it is 22kt gold plated, the loop is stamped 925, identifying it as 92.5% silver.  Before I saw that, I thought I had solid gold there for a while.  It weighs nearly 6oz, and if it was gold it would have a value of over $200.  The sterling value is pretty low and I can't even sell it to smelters because it's too much trouble for them to separate out the 2 metals.

I found that the top screws off and there was some damp gray particulate gunk inside - hope it was not cremains!  Maybe just casting residue. 

Then I found parts of a nice watch scattered about - clearly hit by a lawn mower!  Stainless steel makes for strong signals.  It was a Tudor with a serial number on the back, now it's "watch slaw"!

I clean all my coins with my small National Geographic rock tumbler using N.G. brand aquarium gravel and various chemicals.  I've been using the same gravel for months and it is not wearing down.  I run the copper coins separately and do a batch almost every day if I have a dozen or more of each type of coin or object that needs cleaning.

Since it is designed with a built-in timer that only has increments for DAYS, not HOURS, I built my own timer (shown behind the tumbler) so I can select 1,2,4 or 8 hours of tumbling.  I generally use 1 or 2 hours and go longer as needed.

Modern copper plated zinc pennies don't last long underground, and I have to toss about half of them.  I try cleaning some of them, but it usually reveals pits in the zinc.

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