Friday, March 27, 2020

Pewter measuring cup found in neighbor's field

Over 100 years ago my small dead-end road with about a dozen houses on it was a family farm.  There are still open fields used for hay, or just kept cut down for open space.  My neighbors Charlie and Jennifer have about 10 acres and the open field in front is 2-3 acres I'd guess.  In the picture of the field above, you can see Charlie's woodworking workshop on the left, and mine is more hidden on the right.

Today I asked if I could detect on their field and I spent an hour or so wandering the perimeter and found a few old square nails and some piece of broken metal that might be from farm equipment.

But the best find was a nice old pewter teaspoon measuring cup.  Here are some close-up pictures:

I plan to spend more time on this field, but I just got a new permission nearby that is promising since there has been a home on the site since 1799 or so, so I'll be practicing "COVID-19 safe distancing" there tomorrow hopefully.  

Update - next day:
When I showed the measuring cup to my neighbor Charlie, he immediately recognized it as one the had been missing from a set for years and was delighted to have it back.  He said it was a wedding gift from 1988.

Here's a lovely note I got from Jennifer:
I AM THRILLED!!!!!!! We got this set of measuring spoons for our wedding in 1988, from my cousin Katie. In 1993, when we moved into the house, Charlie mounted the wooden holder on our cabinet. Shortly after that, we lost the teaspoon. I have spent 25 or so years seeing the empty spot in the set and feeling sad about it and wondering where it went. Many many thanks. Jennifer. 
Here it is back in it's rightful place:

Thursday, March 26, 2020

More jewelry at my local school

It was a lovely warm spring day so I went back to the local school.  There were quite a few families out on the school grounds enjoying the sunny day.  People are tired of being house bound with the COVID-19 pandemic.  We all practiced responsible social distancing and waved or said "HI" from over 20 feet away.  There's a joke that when a Mainer was asked to keep 6 feet apart, her replied: "That's awful close!"

I parked in a small lot off to the side and began detecting around the edges of the asphalt.  Yes, that's my Chevy Volt behind me!  No fossils fuel wasted on this adventure!
I found the usual coins - $1.25 total, and lots of trash that I don't show.  I also found a gardening trowel with a wood handle that I plan on using.

There were a couple of neat rings, this one is gold anodized aluminum:

And this one was lost by "Ella" apparently:

The necklace looks like silver and pearls, but is junk jewelry:

The quarters, dimes and nickles I find get cleaned in my rock tumbler with aquarium gravel and white vinegar for a few hours.  They come out shiny clean!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Another cool ring at the school

What is it with school kids and garish rings?  I found this one out at the edge of the playing field, I think it's nickel plated brass.  I spent a happy hour in social isolation digging in the sun - although it was a cold and windy day.

Yesterday I worked over the playground and found 2 rings, so this adds to my growing collection of junk jewelry.

Here's all the finds for today, 75 cents, the ring and some junk.  Nothing exciting, but a great way to pass the time.  It's so much like fishing, it's more about the experience than what you find/catch.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Local high school rings and coins

My first day out detecting this year!  The ice has not fully melted off the lake nearby and parts of the ground are still frozen in the shade.  But it got up into the 40's (Fahrenheit) so it was nice enough to go dig.  
I went to the town school playground which is covered with nearly a foot of bark chips.  I found a few signals that read as quite deep and when I dug down below about 4" I hit the ice layer as you can see in the image above.  I had to give up on some promising signals because of that ice layer!

One of the annoying things about school grounds is the pencils.  The aluminum that holds the erasers on rings up as precious metal - just like the hated pull-tabs.  I get excited every time - then . . . disappointment.

I got 74 cents in coins which were mostly near the surface.  2 coin spills of many coins included a nice ring shown below.
It's junk jewelry with abalone and some kind of stones mounted in a plated brass ring.

The other ring has a cloisonne unicorn on it.  Very cute!

Then there was this nice surface find - a chunk of quartz crystal.

A very pleasant start to the season!

A week or so ago I went through all my finds and culled out the silver and gold scrap and sent it in to a reclaimer and got $23.89.  Clearly it was mostly silver which is at around $16.oz these days.

I'm looking forward to this excuse to get outside while I'm socially isolating myself during this COVID-19 pandemic which is just beginning to hit Maine.  The cool thing about detecting is that it is inherently social distancing as a hobby!  We rarely detect together.