My First Cache
by Allen Morgan
I've always dreamed of finding a cache of coins. I've read many tales of people finding that elusive Mason jar with a zinc lid, partially full of old, silver coins. Or, of some elderly miser's stash of coins that he had been hoarding for years, buried in a jug somewhere on his property. I never thought that I would actually find a stash of coins of my own.
Well, as with most things in our great hobby, finding my first cache took me totally by surprise.
I was checking up on a local elementary school where some construction had been taking place for several months. There was only one way into the fenced-in back schoolyard where the playground equipment was. The construction workers had rigged a fence blocking this entrance, so there was no way to access the playground equipment for many months. Today, however, was to be my day.
It was a Saturday afternoon. I had just gotten out from work, and was on my way home when I decided to check up on this school. Once I realized that the gate was cleared for the back schoolyard, I donned my utility belt, strapped my detector on (I hipmount my CZ-5 when using my 10.5" coil), plugged in, grabbed my sandscoop, and headed out.
My first goal was to sweep the newly built swingset area, which was woodchip. This was built within the last few months, so I really wasn't expecting all that much in the way of targets. I was not surprised when all I managed to find was a dime.
I then went to the large sandpit next to the swingset. I walked into the sand, and since I was moving from woodchips to sand, ground-balanced my detector again. While I was doing that, I realized that my coil was over a metal target in the sand. I moved to the side, completed balancing my detector, then ID'ed the target. It ID'ed as a square tab. I ran a depth reading, and it indicated 4" down. I listened to the target again in All-metal mode. This is where is began to sound odd. The target was definitely down around 4", but sounded a lot bigger than just a square tab.
Now, when I'm in this kind of environment, I always dig tabs and foil readings. Usually they're trash, but I've been surprised. After my third or fourth scoop, I realized the target was out of the hole. I started shaking my scoop to filter out the sand. That's when I realized that yes, this was not a tab, but a larger, heavier object. I looked into the bucket, and found I had recovered an Altoids mint tin.
I pulled the tin out of the scoop. I realized from the sound of things rattling around inside it, that it was full. However, due the heavy "clanking" sound, it did not sound like it was full of mints. Since finds of this nature make me extremely curious , I just had know what was inside it. After a little effort, I managed to force open the lid. There, staring back at me, were lots and LOTS of coins! You can imagine my surprise.
I closed the lid of the tin and slipped the tin into my apron. As I continued searching, it quickly became apparent from the lack of targets, and the heel-to-toe tracks all around the equipment, that someone had searched the sandpit before me. Now, most people will give up in these circumstances, but with a cache in my pouch that this person hadn't recovered, I went about my business. Alas, I only recovered another thin dime.
I went back to my car, and started stowing my gear. It's a ritual that I go through at the end of each detecting trip, to count my finds, log them, then go about my business. I decided to open the tin up and count the amount of coins I had found. I had $2.56 in clad coins. No silver! Oh well, there's always next time.
This just goes to show you, nobody ever gets all
the targets. Also, dig those tabs! Yes, they are usually
just that, a tab, but, then again, they could be something quite different.
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