MDAC - Metal Detecting Association of the Carolina's

Member Finds

Lost Wedding Band Found!

On Saturday, May 16, MDAC members Charlie Jones, John Taylor and Russ Gill helped a Monroe, NC resident locate his lost wedding ring. Two years ago, Charles Frech was planting flowers in his front yard and, when he went inside to wash his hands, he noticed that his gold wedding band was missing. He frantically searched the garden area for about an hour but never found the ring.

“I was in a mad panic because I couldn’t find it,” recalled Frech. “It was designed and hand-crafted by a jeweler in Rock Hill and I really hated to lose it. I went back and had him create a similar ring, but I always hoped to find the original.”

A few weeks ago, Russ’ friend sent out an email to her colleagues in the Monroe Rotary saying that MDAC members are available and willing to locate lost jewelry and valuables for area residents. Mr. Frech responded and the three detectorists showed up at his house at 9:00am. After about 15 minutes of searching, Russ and his White’s XLT located the 18kt gold ring about three inches deep near the middle of the garden.

The homeowner was delighted to see his beautiful, custom-made wedding band again and he says the gold ring is worth about $ 600.

“I’m thrilled to have it back,” he said. “And I want to thank the MDAC for finding it!”

New Machine = First Seated Coin!

Spent the day out hitting various spots around Charlotte with the new DFX. This was my first real day out with it, I had only taken it out for a few hours to "test and tune" earlier this week.
The day started a little slow and cold, more trash than coins from around a soccer field, so I moved on to an area that is more like a common area than an actual park. Things were slow going there, too. But after about hour or so I got a decent signal about 6 1/2 inches down. I started digging and hit a pretty good size tree root. The target was under the root. I dug around it and started scooping out the dirt from under it and out popped the 1890 Seated Liberty Dime. What a rush, this is my first silver coin for 2008 and my first Seated coin ever!

At this same location I had a "I wonder what it was" moments. I got a really good dime signal, pinpointed 4 1/2 inches, I started to dig and hit a rotton piece of wood, it broke right apart and the target would be right below. But I stuck my digger down one more time to scoop out a little deeper and the ground under it gave way. There was a hole, who knows how deep. I stuck my pinpointer in the hole and my entire hand and didn't hit bottom! If it was a coin, it will NEVER be found now!
No other targets to be had, so I moved onto another park, this time I switched over to the 4.5x7 EXcelerator coil, WOW I am impressed by this little coil. Not only did I dig a clad quarter an 8 1/2 inches, it was on a 40 degree angle!
I also managed to sqeak a 1936 Wheatie at 5 1/2 inches.
Oh yeah, this EXcelerator is a real Nickel hound. I have a feeling the gold finds will be coming soon!
Happy Hunting!

Lost Class Ring Found - Charles J.

I got a call from my detecting friend Russ. He said a young lady who is a neighbor of his had lost her high school class ring. It seems her boyfriend and she was playing in some rare Charlotte snow when her and her boyfriend’s rings were lost. The boyfriend’s ring was found right away by the street but her ring was no where to be found. Russ had tried twice to recover the ring with his White’s XLT but no success. A few weeks went by and I met Russ and our buddy John T. at her house to look again. We all got out our machines and split up.

I started scanning the yard by the front door along the sidewalk with my XLT and a 5.3 Blue Max coil. On my second pass along the sidewalk I got a loud signal less than an inch deep. I bent down and saw gold in the grass right on top of the ground. I picked it up and asked her “does it look like this?” “Yes”, she yells “that’s it!!” She thanked me many times and asked what she owes me. I told her just a picture. Any one of the three of us could have found it but I was lucky enough to walk over it. So here are the pictures of us with the lost ring.

Class Ring Found Just In Time - Charles J.

I first noticed the property on the way home when I saw it was vacant. It was a plain looking one story brick office building. I drove passed it everyday for years. What caught my eye was that the front sidewalk steps looked older than the modern brick building. This was an older part of town called the Elizabeth Area. There was also a mature Cherry tree in the small front yard and old granite curbing.

One day I saw a man with a clipboard making notes in front of the building. I asked him if I could scan the small front yards for odds and ends. He agreed and told me the building was being demolished in a week. I stopped the following night and took out my White’s XLT and the small coil and started scanning the yard in a pattern. I picked up a few wheaties and clad and also a later year silver rosie. I felt that I had done a good job on getting it all. I walked towards my truck and swung the coil one last time before powering off. Right along the three-step front sidewalk stairway I got a penny hit. I thought another clad memorial penny and was going to ignore it. I thought a penny is a penny and pulled out my pin pointer. The target ID showed 3 inches deep. I dug down at least 5 inches and it was still deeper. I thought this had to be a bit of copper pipe or something large. I found it at about 6 inches with my pin pointer and pulled it out. It was a large 1953 Man’s Appalachian State College gold ring. I saw that a Mason’s sign was added to the black stone. It was cracked in the back with no initials inside.

The next day I phoned around and got to the Appalachian State College Alumni office and spoke with De'an McGuire. We emailed back and forth for about 5 weeks, with her giving me updates. Finally she told me that she had found the owner in Winston Salem. I phoned as soon as I got the information and set up a meeting to return the ring. He had described it perfectly and added he had lost it soon after getting it back in 1953. He explained it had been a little loose and as a temp fix until he got it sized was some wax around the band. He also said he had never been to Charlotte and had no idea how it wound up so far away. We met at a local mall in Winston Salem NC and he tearfully accepted his ring back.

I heard he had gotten it back just in time for his 50 year alumni reunion at Appalachian State. I’m sure he wore it there with pride knowing the long trip it had taken for 50 years.

Golden Necklace! - Keith

Ten year old Keith had been waiting for his new Garrett Treasure Ace 300 metal detector. The big day arrived and there it was and he could not wait to try it out. He was already experienced with my Garrett Treasure Ace 100, but now he had one of his own.

We loaded all the gear into the truck, along with his mom (Melody) and sister, headed to the biggest park around. It started as a mild overcast December day and by the time we made the half hour trip it was pouring rain. We stayed for a minute and I said “Aw heck, let's go get the ponchos". We went and picked up the rain gear and returned to the park and by that time it was drizzling. I could see the day was off to a great start..LOL.

We spread out each with our detectors scanning the bark chips. I was getting nothing, no signals. Melody gets a dime and nickel and starts to rub it in. Even Kelsey is finding some change. I looked over at Keith and gave him some pointers like scan under the playground equipment. I think I got a few pennies and Melody was pulling in the big change like another nickel and still rubbing it in.

Then here comes Keith. "Hey, Mr. Charlie look at this!" I took it from him and read 14K on a medium to heavy gold rope chain. I asked, " Where in the world did you find this?" He pointed over to the playground equipment and said. "Where you told me to look." I could not believe I had gotten 17 cents and in his first half hour he gets a gold chain. I praised him and sent him back to see what else he could find. It begins to rain harder. Four minutes later he said again, "Look what I found." Here he comes again – this time with a large gold Claddagh medallion that must have been on the necklace chain. This too is stamped 14K...

”OK, OK WERE DONE, EVERYONE BACK IN THE CAR !!” My total take that day was under thirty cents and Melody was under fifty cents. But young Keith had made out and we had made some great memories to look back on and smile.

I also emailed the pictures with a short story to Mary Penson at Garrett Metal Detectors Customer Service Department. She was so nice and sent Keith a hat and finds apron. I have always had great customer service with Garrett. Charles Garrett would be proud.

Here are some pictures of Keith showing off his finds.

Dragoon Button - Kelsey

The club had secured permission to hunt an old house in Pineville for that month’s club hunt. The weather was perfect as we spread out to scan the 1 acre parcel. The story was that this was a grove of pine trees close to what was the center of town. Pineville was a small railroad stop that was settled around the 1740s. The pine grove was a stopping spot for folks traveling on the trails. One of these trails ran westward to join the Nation's Ford Road that led to the Catawba Nation. The other trail ran from the Waxhaw Indian Tribe northward. As our hunt progressed, club members started to dig targets, a penny here and a silver dime over there. I was farther away when I heard the kids yelling. I went over to the crowd to see what was going on and they showed me the button that Kelsey had found. I recognized it as a military button similar to an eagle coat button from the Civil War. This one had a large D in the middle. I found out later that the D stood for Dragoons. I did some research and this is what I found:

In 1861, with the coming of the war, the United States Army had several mounted units. The oldest was the First Dragoons, formed in the 1830’s. In the 1840’s, a second regiment of dragoons was formed, followed by the Regiment of Mounted Rifles. In the 1850’s, the 1st US Cavalry was formed, which was followed by the 2nd US Cavalry in 1856. Dragoons combined most aspects of both light cavalry and mounted infantry. They carried a weapon known as a musketoon in the early days, which was a shortened musket. Later, they carried carbines. Dragoons used their horses to move them from place to place, not for fighting. Most, if not all, of their fighting was done dismounted. Light cavalry served an entirely different purpose. It was primarily intended to scout and screen an army’s advance, and do whatever fighting it did do mounted, typically using either the saber or pistols.

One authority said that many Rebels had Dragoon buttons because, as uniform-poor as they were, they wore anything that had any kind of buttons and looked somewhat military. Also, as you can see in the paragraph above, the Dragoons were being replaced before the Civil War and there probably weren’t issued uniforms with “D” buttons at that time. So this was a very good find indeed. Here’s a picture of Kelsey and the button.

One "Heller" of a Coin - Roy H.

I live in a fast growing community in North Carolina. Besides a lot of housing developments going up in the area, a high school was built about 6 blocks from our house. The area was formally a farm with the house sitting in front of the school.

I have detected around the house with some success (mercury dime, buffalo nickel, wheat cents).

One Sunday morning I had a few hours so I decided to search around the house again. When I got there I decided to detect the area on the other side of the school drive from the house location. After a few minutes of typical trash items, I received a hit at 4”. Pulling the object from the hole I rubbed off some dirt and saw some German lettering. Thinking I had found a “token” of some type I put it in my pouch and continued searching.

After cleaning the “token”… WOW!! The date of 1765 jumped out at me and I realized that I had found a German coin. After my heart settled down, I did some research and found that the “XII HELLER” on the face of the coin was the denomination and the coin was minted in the year of 1765. Germany officially stopped making the heller coin in the year 2001.

Doing some research and talking to neighbors about the area revealed that in the mid 1800’s some German immigrants had settled in this area. Although the 1700’s is not “old” by German coin standards and the book listing is only $18.00; to date, this is my oldest and best find.

So remember to keep researching and searching!

$5,200 Bracelet - Charles J.

I found this in a playground under a few inches of bark chips. It came up on the XLT as alum. I kicked the chips and saw it laying there. After a month of looking in the paper no one listed as lost so....yipee!!

I brought it around to several jewelry shops and no one would tell me if it was silver or what. I finally found a jeweler that said right away that it was 28 + grams of platinum and 61 matched princess cut sapphires. I have a written appraisal for $5200. It's in the safe with the rest of it. I have to say that this is my best find to date...

Keep the coil to the soil.

Caching In - Henry H.

Here are a few photos of my last hunt of an old house [directions deleted]. The developer of the property let me in, they were planning to push over the house in the next few days. The coin cache and Emergency Medical Kit were some of the things I found in the void by a doorway. These were the most interesting things I found at this site.

War of 1812 Buttons Found - Steve

In August 2004 I recovered these two Artillery Corps 1-piece cuff buttons at a heavily hunted 1812 era campsite in Southport N.C.

Last Updated: May 10th, 2016