Category: Sterling Silver Jewelry


But I didn’t get any.  Not that I wasn’t trying …

You can tell that by my nickel total.

I tool my E-Trac to a site that I last hunted back in May 2011.   It is an old church yard.  The church has been sold and the yard is about to be paved.  So I thought that I would take the E-Trac to the spot and see if I missed anything.  I especially wanted to dig the deep, low tones.  I’m convinced that there has to be a piece of gold there somewhere!  Here is a big pic of my finds.

12.14.12 Finds

I only dug 15 coins total.  Seven of those were deep nickels.  Besides a little clad, I also dug one deep, green Wheat penny.  I also dug a junk WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) pin …  (I’m not always sure what Jesus would do, but I’m reasonably certain his pin would be gold.)  😉

My most interesting finds were the three tiny sterling silver balls.  I found them in about a five square foot area, all three in different holes.  None were closer than 18 inches from one another.  But my beastly E-Trac sniffed them right out … gave me an awesome high tone.  They all match a broken ankle bracelet that I dug back in May 2011.  On that day I found the short chain (marked .925) and 5 balls in the hole.  I’m pretty stoked to add another three silver targets to my 2012 total.  Here’s a close-up.

12.14.12 Sterling Balls

As darkness fell I was headed to my truck, swinging all the way … when I hit another awesome high tone.  I was thrilled when I turned over the plug and saw this little baby on the bottom of my plug.  It was shining … even in the dark.  🙂 It’s a 1946-D Rosie.

12.14.12 1946-D Rosie

Maybe I’ll get on the gold tomorrow.  I’ll just keep digging those good, low nickel tones …

Thanks for looking!

Kentucky Shooter

Last Saturday I found a beautiful sterling silver class ring.  It was a 1953 ring from Lacy Junior High School in rural Christian County, Kentucky.  The school is now just an elementary school, but in the 1950’s is was a “full service” school for the families of Lacy.  Kids started school in the first grade and twelve years later graduated from the same building.  How amazing is that?  So I had in my possession a boy’s 8th grade “graduation” ring.  Since the year was 1953, he was most likely born in 1939 and graduated in 1957.  But the biggest piece of information was found on the inside of the ring … the initials “E-W-G.”

So I immediately set out on a mission to try and locate the owner.

I just happen to know a teacher who works at the Lacy Elementary School today.  She’s an old friend named Debbie.  I called her and she put me in touch with a woman who graduated from the school in the 50’s.  When I called her, she immediately responded, “Oh, that’s probably Ed Grace.”  Seriously … it was a shotgun reaction.  Not even a single second transpired after I finished my question.  She knew who the ring belonged to.  Unfortunately, she also knew that Mr. Grace had passed away several years ago.  But she joined me in my quest.  So she promised me she would do a little more checking and try to get me a contact number.  That was Sunday, the day after I found the ring.

Then on Monday I received another hone call.  This time, Debbie (my teacher friend) was calling me back.  After we talked the first time she really got caught up in the quest to find the owner of the ring.  Then, apparently, she and some co-workers at the school spent a good part of the day looking for old yearbooks and making contacts.  They, too, came up with the same name … Ed Grace.  But this time we knew that his first name was actually Edgar.  And though there was no 1953 yearbook available, there was a 1952 edition that did not perish in one of the fires that destroyed the original building many years ago.  Debbie snapped a photo with her iPhone and sent it to me.  Here it is …

Ed’s picture in the 1952 school yearbook.

But Debbie had more … the name and number of a sister who still lived nearby.  They had already contacted her earlier in the day to find some information, so she was expecting my call.  So, immediately after hanging up the phone I called Miss Helen, Ed’s older sister.  I introduced myself and told her the story of finding the ring, then I asked her what her brother’s middle name was.  She replied, “Wayne.”  And so the mission was accomplished … in only 48 hours!  I have since affectionately dubbed all of the ladies who helped me my “Official Research Team.”  🙂

Miss Helen and I had a delightful conversation.  She told me how her brother had died in 1990, at the very young age of 51, of a sudden heart attack.  He was a manager in a high-pressure environment in a well-known department store / retail chain, and that apparently took a great toll on him.  He traveled widely in his work.  She had no immediate recollection of the ring, or him losing it, but stated that she would be thrilled to have it and would see if any of his adult children would be interested in having it some day.

So we made arrangements to exchange the ring.  I discovered that she was still working at the age of 75, so  I made an appointment to visit Miss Helen this morning at her workplace.  She was all smiles when I walked in the door and introduced myself.  And that smile got even bigger when I handed her the ring.

She actually couldn’t quit looking at it …

But we did manage to get her to pose so her co-worker could snap a picture of us with my phone …

Kentucky Shooter and Miss Helen

What an awesome day, and what an awesome turn of events.  I never imagined that I would have a ring this old and in the ground that long (at least 55 years) back in the hands of the original owner or a close family member in such a short amount of time.  I figured that it would take weeks.

Plus … out of the search, I have scored at least one more good place to detect.

It just goes to show you what doing the right thing can do!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Hunting!

Hunting Buddy Whiskey Delta and I spent the day hunting a couple of old school sites near home.

He struck silver first, digging a small, thin, flattened sterling ring out on the old baseball field.

A few minutes later I got a jumpy signal in the silver dime / quarter range on my E-Trac. I cut my plug and out popped this baby!

It is a 1953 sterling class ring from the no-longer-existent Lacey Junior High School. The owner of this ring would now be around 72-73 years old!

The crest was actually off of the ring. I had to search deeper in the hole to find it, then I repaired and reattached it when I got home.

Here is a side view, with a beautiful masted ship or schooner.

Here is a shot of the maker’s stamp. I’ve researched the company and can find no records of it.

Now my research begins. There are initials inside the ring. I know a teacher who works at the school located on this site. I am hoping that they have some old yearbooks in the library. I just might be able to figure out an owner.

How cool would that be? Returning a junior high ring 60 years later …

Whiskey Delta had the find of the day, though. Just as we were getting ready to go he got a “squeaker” of a signal, nice and deep. He pulled a gorgeous, very worn and thin 1907 Barber Dime! He wid the Whiskey Delta ugly version of the happy dance.

What can I say?  It’s just been a rough, busy year.  I tend to take the summers off, anyway (too hot, too dry, too many mosquitoes) and hunt in fall and winter months.  But I have sincerely been on a seven-month detecting fast.

I finally broke the fast yesterday with a brief 1.5 hour hunt at an old park in a nearby town.  I’ve hunted the park several times.  There is a mass of metal trash and Zincolns at shallow depths.  It’s pretty tough ground to hunt.

I decided this time that I was going to shoot for deeper “iffy” signals.  I wanted no less than five inches of depth with a solid VDI signature.  I wasn’t looking for more traditional coin signals.

My different approach paid off.

About ten minutes into the hunt I got my first solid hit at five inches.  And out popped this little jewel …

It is a old, monogrammed child’s hair clip, roughly 1.25 inches in length.  And, of course, it is sterling silver!  Here’s a shot of the back.

About a half-hour later I got another five-inch deep signal.  But this one was kind of bouncy.  But since it seemed to be absent any iron, I went for the dig.  And this one really paid off.  I was thrilled to find a sterling silver Playboy Bunny ankle bracelet with a nice, heavy sterling chain.

Here’s a shot of the sterling mark on the clasp loop.

So … I’m back in the game … and back in the silver!  I hope to be posting a LOT more finds in the weeks to come!