Well, I got the call from my jeweler this morning. He managed to get the back off. It took two days of soaking. The inner workings are, most regrettably, “toast.” The buildup of rust had leeched into the threads, thus the difficulty in removing the back.
The good news is that it is, indeed, an authentic Illinois Watch Works “Santa Fe Special.” Here’s a pic with the back off.
This is what it should look like …
I was able to get the serial number … 2885910,
and based upon pocketwatchsite.com (http://www.pocketwatchsite.com/illinoisserials.html), this number dates the manufacture in the year 1916! I remain amazed that I found a watch in the ground, that old, in such amazing condition.
It sure looks like pure gold. But … the bad news is that is is 10k gold filled. crybaby2
So, there are probably 5 or 6 grams of actual gold in the watch, but that’s about it. And I don’t know if it could be extracted, or if anyone would fool with it.
All that to say … basically, what I have is a really shiny conversation piece.
But I’m still counting it as a “Gold find” for 2012. laughing7
Oh, well. Solid AU was a little too much to hope for, I suppose. Guess I’ll go cry by meself for a while.
Thanks for keeping up with my little saga. notworthy