By Request-- a rehash of the "Find of my Life"

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06-06-2013, 05:09 AM
Post: #1
By Request-- a rehash of the "Find of my Life"
(This post was last modified: 06-06-2013 05:14 AM by Ron (CA).)
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In the intro forum, a few of the boys that know me stroked my ego a bit and boasted of a cool find I had a decade ago.

It was a fun find so here it is. And thanks for letting me bask is the thrill of this find again!

Here is the article I wrote for the W&E 2002 Silver & Gold Issue. This has been a fun trip down memory lane to relive my 15 minutes!! Boy did I milk this find for a long time!! Big Grin I may have even extended my 15 minutes to 20!! But it really is the find of my life and a feeling I will never forget!

49’er Cache
By Ron Swenson

Just a week earlier, I had never been “49er Relic Hunting”, but a friend, and fellow member of the Sacramento Valley Detecting Buffs, Ace Smithart invited me to tag along for a day of serious relic hunting. How would I have known that in two days I would experience my BEST FIND EVER!!

Well, Ace and I met at the fork in the road and headed to the old Gold Miner town that Ace knew about along the banks of the American River near Sacramento. We hunted for a few hours and collected a few odds and ends. We gathered a nice collection of fishing gear and lead weights. Near the end of the hunt, Ace and I started talking about “nugget hunting” and the fact that I had owned a gold machine for quite some time but had never used it! We packed up our detectors and Ace drove me down to a spot along the river. He gave me a few pointers on geology and what to look for. He said this would be a good place to try to find a few specks of gold!!

The following day, Gold Fever started to set in. My wife took the kids out to the mall to find her “Treasure” and I suddenly had a couple of free hours to kill. Nugget Hunting sounded pretty good to me, so off I went. Twenty minutes later, I was at the same spot we had talked about. I unloaded the gold detector and fired it up!! Off I went with no particular plan other than to find me a nugget! Well forty–five minutes later and about 100 lead fishing weights I got another smooth faint signal. I brushed some dirt out of a small bowl like depression in the bedrock and there it was “MY FIRST NUGGET!!” Well it is only about 8 grains, but it is my first and it really got me excited about nugget hunting!

Well another day goes by and I think, “Since I’m a professional gold shooter, I better go find another nugget!” So off I go to the same ‘nugget patch” that Ace showed me, as I am sure I can find another. Well an hour or so later with nothing in the vial to brag to my wife about, I decide to try another spot. So I make like a Billy Goat and go climbing and hiking over the bedrock that is usually river bottom.

I decide that this is where I am going to find a few more pieces of COLOR! I set the gold detector up and start finding more lead and rusty nails. Bored with lead fishing weights, I decide to try for some more “49’er Relics”. Well, back to the car for the Minelab Explorer XS.

I started hunting the top of the banks where the miner’s were likely to set up camp. I start noticing little washout areas and poke around in them. Then I notice a little chair like area in the bedrock and I poke the 5x10 Coiltech Joey coil in and it screams at me. Thinking it is another junk aluminum item that I am so good at finding, I slowly bend over to pick it up and put it in my pouch so I won’t have to bother with it again. Then I notice a dark disk just barely visible. It was partly shaded by a rock. I bend over and work it out of the dry clay dirt. I gave it a gently rub with my finger and I see the beautiful Bust of Lady Liberty. I thought, “Cool a large cent!” Then realize that it was no large cent. It was an 1830 Capped Bust Half Dollar!! My oldest silver coin ever was right there in my hands and I was not even coin hunting!!

I took another swing over the area and the machine screamed, not once, not twice but about 5 or 6 times. The ground was hard and I did not want to damage anything, as I knew I was in an “old coin area”. I put down the Explorer and reached for the Sunray X1 probe! I knew I could isolate the signals and prevent any damage with the probe. I fired up the X1 probe and started to isolate the signals.

Next out of the ground was a huge blackened disk. I was sure it was my first silver dollar. Boy o’ boy was I getting excited! Turned out to be an 1848 Mexican 8 Real. I admired it a minute or two and then went back to the probe. Next was a nice US Button. Turns out to be a US Button from the Indian War. As I looked at the button, I noticed another button lying between two rocks about 10 inches away. It was a matching cuff button.

Back to the X1 probe. Penny like signal and I finally find the quarter sized coin. I give it a little wipe and WOW!!! I just sat there looking and thinking this in not happening! I was holding an 1844 O Half Eagle $5 GOLD Piece. Every coin shooter’s dream “To find a Gold Coin” and I had mine!! I am glad no one had a video camera because all of a sudden I was talking, maybe yelling to myself and I probably scared every animal within 10 miles! Let’s just say I was a little excited. Oh yeah, I knew there was no one else around!!

Well about 5 minutes later I got back to my searching. Next was an 1845 HALF DIME, then another, then a 1841 Seated Qtr, then a 1833 Bust Dime, another Bust dime, and two seated dimes. I could get no more signals with the X1 probe so I went back to the Explorer and Joey coil. About 8 inches away I found the top metal part of an old coin purse. Still clamped closed. Then I got another sweet silver signal. Back to the probe. Two more Half Dimes. No more signals. Still in shock and wanting more, I went back to the car for the gold detector. I cranked the sensitivity and moved nice and slow all around that area. I got another faint signal about 6 inches from the last Half Dime. Rooting around for about two minutes I finally see the soft yellow glow of a little nugget. Into the vial she went. Not very big, but about 8-10 grains.

Finally, I step back and take a look at the position of the cache and where things might have washed out, I start checking down the hill. No more coin signals, but I then another faint signal. Two or three minutes later, I see a little 5-grain nugget. I hunted that little area for another 10 minutes before I was finally convinced that there simply was nothing left!!

I was not really sure what I had in the pouch, so I headed for the car to admire my “49’er Cache.” I packed everything up and just sat in the car with “American Pie” playing on the CD, looking at one coin after another.

In total, 1844 O Half Eagle $5 Gold Piece, 1848 Mexican 8 Real, 1830 Bust Half Dollar, 1841 O Seated Quarter, 1831 and 1833 Bust Dimes, 1842 and 1848 Seated Dimes, 1838, 39, 42 and three 45 Half Dimes and two US Indian War buttons.

1 GOLD Coin, thirteen old silver coins, two buttons and two nuggets that have been lying there waiting for me to find them for over 150 years.

I just had to tell someone, so I called my wife, Christi. Yeah, she thought it was neat and was happy for me but I knew that I had to tell a fellow detectorist, so I called Ace!!
He was as excited as I was and really appreciated the find and the history of the find. Also told me to drive directly to the Gold Mine and show him everything. Which I did, and we admired the “49’er Cache” for about an hour. We sat around and speculated who buried their “49’er Cache” and why they did not return.

I thanked Ace several times for showing me that “nugget patch.” He keeps telling me that I owe him the next good spot!! That’s all right because I know there is one waiting. So off we will go, once again, in search of our Treasure.


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06-06-2013, 06:29 AM
Post: #2
RE: By Request-- a rehash of the "Find of my Life"
(This post was last modified: 06-06-2013 06:31 AM by NjNyDigger.)
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(06-06-2013 05:09 AM)Ron (CA) Wrote:  In the intro forum, a few of the boys that know me stroked my ego a bit and boasted of a cool find I had a decade ago.

It was a fun find so here it is. And thanks for letting me bask is the thrill of this find again!

Here is the article I wrote for the W&E 2002 Silver & Gold Issue. This has been a fun trip down memory lane to relive my 15 minutes!! Boy did I milk this find for a long time!! Big Grin I may have even extended my 15 minutes to 20!! But it really is the find of my life and a feeling I will never forget!

49’er Cache
By Ron Swenson

Just a week earlier, I had never been “49er Relic Hunting”, but a friend, and fellow member of the Sacramento Valley Detecting Buffs, Ace Smithart invited me to tag along for a day of serious relic hunting. How would I have known that in two days I would experience my BEST FIND EVER!!

Well, Ace and I met at the fork in the road and headed to the old Gold Miner town that Ace knew about along the banks of the American River near Sacramento. We hunted for a few hours and collected a few odds and ends. We gathered a nice collection of fishing gear and lead weights. Near the end of the hunt, Ace and I started talking about “nugget hunting” and the fact that I had owned a gold machine for quite some time but had never used it! We packed up our detectors and Ace drove me down to a spot along the river. He gave me a few pointers on geology and what to look for. He said this would be a good place to try to find a few specks of gold!!

The following day, Gold Fever started to set in. My wife took the kids out to the mall to find her “Treasure” and I suddenly had a couple of free hours to kill. Nugget Hunting sounded pretty good to me, so off I went. Twenty minutes later, I was at the same spot we had talked about. I unloaded the gold detector and fired it up!! Off I went with no particular plan other than to find me a nugget! Well forty–five minutes later and about 100 lead fishing weights I got another smooth faint signal. I brushed some dirt out of a small bowl like depression in the bedrock and there it was “MY FIRST NUGGET!!” Well it is only about 8 grains, but it is my first and it really got me excited about nugget hunting!

Well another day goes by and I think, “Since I’m a professional gold shooter, I better go find another nugget!” So off I go to the same ‘nugget patch” that Ace showed me, as I am sure I can find another. Well an hour or so later with nothing in the vial to brag to my wife about, I decide to try another spot. So I make like a Billy Goat and go climbing and hiking over the bedrock that is usually river bottom.

I decide that this is where I am going to find a few more pieces of COLOR! I set the gold detector up and start finding more lead and rusty nails. Bored with lead fishing weights, I decide to try for some more “49’er Relics”. Well, back to the car for the Minelab Explorer XS.

I started hunting the top of the banks where the miner’s were likely to set up camp. I start noticing little washout areas and poke around in them. Then I notice a little chair like area in the bedrock and I poke the 5x10 Coiltech Joey coil in and it screams at me. Thinking it is another junk aluminum item that I am so good at finding, I slowly bend over to pick it up and put it in my pouch so I won’t have to bother with it again. Then I notice a dark disk just barely visible. It was partly shaded by a rock. I bend over and work it out of the dry clay dirt. I gave it a gently rub with my finger and I see the beautiful Bust of Lady Liberty. I thought, “Cool a large cent!” Then realize that it was no large cent. It was an 1830 Capped Bust Half Dollar!! My oldest silver coin ever was right there in my hands and I was not even coin hunting!!

I took another swing over the area and the machine screamed, not once, not twice but about 5 or 6 times. The ground was hard and I did not want to damage anything, as I knew I was in an “old coin area”. I put down the Explorer and reached for the Sunray X1 probe! I knew I could isolate the signals and prevent any damage with the probe. I fired up the X1 probe and started to isolate the signals.

Next out of the ground was a huge blackened disk. I was sure it was my first silver dollar. Boy o’ boy was I getting excited! Turned out to be an 1848 Mexican 8 Real. I admired it a minute or two and then went back to the probe. Next was a nice US Button. Turns out to be a US Button from the Indian War. As I looked at the button, I noticed another button lying between two rocks about 10 inches away. It was a matching cuff button.

Back to the X1 probe. Penny like signal and I finally find the quarter sized coin. I give it a little wipe and WOW!!! I just sat there looking and thinking this in not happening! I was holding an 1844 O Half Eagle $5 GOLD Piece. Every coin shooter’s dream “To find a Gold Coin” and I had mine!! I am glad no one had a video camera because all of a sudden I was talking, maybe yelling to myself and I probably scared every animal within 10 miles! Let’s just say I was a little excited. Oh yeah, I knew there was no one else around!!

Well about 5 minutes later I got back to my searching. Next was an 1845 HALF DIME, then another, then a 1841 Seated Qtr, then a 1833 Bust Dime, another Bust dime, and two seated dimes. I could get no more signals with the X1 probe so I went back to the Explorer and Joey coil. About 8 inches away I found the top metal part of an old coin purse. Still clamped closed. Then I got another sweet silver signal. Back to the probe. Two more Half Dimes. No more signals. Still in shock and wanting more, I went back to the car for the gold detector. I cranked the sensitivity and moved nice and slow all around that area. I got another faint signal about 6 inches from the last Half Dime. Rooting around for about two minutes I finally see the soft yellow glow of a little nugget. Into the vial she went. Not very big, but about 8-10 grains.

Finally, I step back and take a look at the position of the cache and where things might have washed out, I start checking down the hill. No more coin signals, but I then another faint signal. Two or three minutes later, I see a little 5-grain nugget. I hunted that little area for another 10 minutes before I was finally convinced that there simply was nothing left!!

I was not really sure what I had in the pouch, so I headed for the car to admire my “49’er Cache.” I packed everything up and just sat in the car with “American Pie” playing on the CD, looking at one coin after another.

In total, 1844 O Half Eagle $5 Gold Piece, 1848 Mexican 8 Real, 1830 Bust Half Dollar, 1841 O Seated Quarter, 1831 and 1833 Bust Dimes, 1842 and 1848 Seated Dimes, 1838, 39, 42 and three 45 Half Dimes and two US Indian War buttons.

1 GOLD Coin, thirteen old silver coins, two buttons and two nuggets that have been lying there waiting for me to find them for over 150 years.

I just had to tell someone, so I called my wife, Christi. Yeah, she thought it was neat and was happy for me but I knew that I had to tell a fellow detectorist, so I called Ace!!
He was as excited as I was and really appreciated the find and the history of the find. Also told me to drive directly to the Gold Mine and show him everything. Which I did, and we admired the “49’er Cache” for about an hour. We sat around and speculated who buried their “49’er Cache” and why they did not return.

I thanked Ace several times for showing me that “nugget patch.” He keeps telling me that I owe him the next good spot!! That’s all right because I know there is one waiting. So off we will go, once again, in search of our Treasure.

One word, Ron...WOW!!! That is an amazing story! My mind is racing now thinking about the poor soul left that cache behind. That was an quite a sum amount of money back then. Might've equaled 2 or 3 weeks worth of pay for a miner or prospector! Maybe more. The gold coin alone is something 99% of detectorists go their whole hunting life without finding. I truly believe in 'detectorists premonition', as something led you to that exact spot. One never knows in this pursuit...you weren't even coin hunting! BTW, excellent piece in the W & E Treasure Wink As I was reading, it was almost like I was standing next to you on the hunt! You should absolutely try your hand at more writing, Ron. Then again, if you're busy making finds like THAT all the time, who needs to work :P

You had me rolling with the wife sidebar. My conversation would've been similar if I found something like that; "A buried treasure chest full of gold doubloons? That's great honey. Make sure to bring home milk for the baby. And don't forget the all-spice for the meatloaf I'm cooking tonight. Gotta go, I'm shopping for new heels now". LMAO.

Just curious, Ron, I'm sure you've went back & hit that place hard since...any more notable finds from that area? If indeed that was an old mining camp, there could very well indeed be other 'pockets' of the site that hold more goodies. Wink

Bravo, my friend. That truly is a find of a lifetime Happy

NjNyDigger, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since 2013.

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06-06-2013, 09:13 AM
Post: #3
RE: By Request-- a rehash of the "Find of my Life"
(This post was last modified: 06-06-2013 09:14 AM by deathray.)
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I've read this story at least a dozen times in the last ten years, and it never gets old Ron! Matter of fact, your find often goes through my head when I'm detecting the mining camps, keeps me going when I get tired and start getting lazy on what I dig. Congrats once again Ron, and I'm pretty sure there are more amazing finds in your future. Ray

My empire of dirt.
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06-06-2013, 02:36 PM
Post: #4
RE: By Request-- a rehash of the "Find of my Life"
(This post was last modified: 06-06-2013 02:42 PM by ratman.)
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I was awe struck when I first read this story years back . Thinking of the person that lost or buried this cache of coins and gold back in the day only to never recover it . Try to figure what brought this person to bury it there , was it dropped accidentally or maybe stashed away for safe keepings ? Maybe they died and never told anyone about the treasure ? Gosh we will never know but that's what makes it so exciting . It's an amazing find and my mind still goes hay wire when I think about it . Nice going Ron !

HH
Mike

Minelab Explorer ll
Fisher CZ6A (Los Banos Model)
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06-07-2013, 11:09 AM
Post: #5
RE: By Request-- a rehash of the "Find of my Life"
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Thanks Ron for sharing the Cache find on the forum, Always a joy to read makes me want to go out and hit an old site.

Really good find and encouraging as well, Thanks again for sharing old friend.

Paul (Ca)

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06-07-2013, 12:21 PM
Post: #6
RE: By Request-- a rehash of the "Find of my Life"
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This is one of the best posts I've seen here! You should work on making this into a blog article or something

Cutler4Life, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Jun 2013.
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