The value of research can be measured by the way you describe your Metal Detecting finds
The value of research can not be overstated. If you are an average Metal Detecting coinshooter, you will agree that, depending on the area, if-you find $5.00 face value in coins, it has been a good day. There are ‘few coinshooters who would mind checking a field, and finding only one Lincoln memorial penny, if all the others were Indian Heads. Just as the thrill of finding the fine old buffalo nickel is completely overshadowed by the V nickel you found the same day; the value of research can be measured by the way you describe your finds. Instead of saying ‘I found $2.13 today’ you’ll find yourself saying ‘I found a Morgan dollar, a Barber half, some V nickels and a few Indian Head pennies!’
In general, almost everyone agrees that the older the coin the better the chance of making money. With adequate research, in any given area, you will increase the number of old coins, thereby increasing the potential profits of your finds.
Did you know that on February 12th, 1825 General William McIntosk signed over all remaining Indian lands in Georgia for an equal amount of land west of the Mississippi and $400,000.00 in gold? Neither did I until I began doing research. Opposing tribal factions ordered his death, and it is believed that he buried the money between his cabin and Indian Springs. A brief check of the coin books allows us to assume that the payment was made in the largest denomination coins then available (the ten dollar gold piece). Simple arithmetic then shows that there are at least 40,000 coins in this cache. Again referring to the coin books. we find that if each coin is in the worst possible condition, and if each is the most common date of all the pre-1825 coins, they would still be worth $400 each; thus making the minimum value of this cache $1,600.000. This is an extreme example of the type of information available through research. The first place to begin your research. is in any of the area libraries. In general you should get excellent leads by reading any non-fictional account of life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Unless you have a photographic memory, you should take notes. There are several ways, any of which could prove to be perfect for your purposes. Several methods are listed below:
- 1. You may wish to keep a small notebook for each state or general area. This method has the disadvantage of requiring a great deal of storage space, and creates problems when you wish to compile everything you know about particular town.
- 2. You may decide to do research only in your area and home state. Although it is highly recommended that you do extensive research, on any area where you are assigned; this method causes you to miss out on some truly excellent opportunities that you might have while driving to a new duty station or while on vacation.
- 3. You may decide to take notes on the entire US. If so you will run into problems regarding storage and filing.
The method that I use is the best that I have found. It is probably not the best possible method; as there is always a better way to do things. This method is presented to show you one workable way that it can be done, and to give you a starting point from which to develop your own method.
When doing treasure hunting research, I keep a spiral notebook handy.
If anything appears to be of potential value. I make a note of it. The note is actually just a brief synopsis of the information provided in the book. After taking notes, I type them on 3 x 5 cards. Each card follows a general format, in that the top contains the state name ( to help in filing), followed by the second line which shows the name of the city or general area which the information pertains to. The information then follows. You may wish to just take your notes on the cards to avoid the intermediate steps and to save time.
In my own research. I limit myself to those places which existed before 1915. I really have no particular reason for doing so. and this is not a hard and fast rule with me.
A very brief listing of some of the things I look for would include: the locations of ghost towns, abandoned farms and ranches. the main thoroughfares of old town, street addresses of saloons, gambling dens, and houses of ill-repute, stage routes and known relay stations, locations of trail camps, old settlers fords and campgrounds, and the former locations of old fairgrounds and circuses which have since been moved. As I mentioned earlier there are many books available to the coinshooter, that go into great depth on this subject: almost all are available al a reasonable cost.
In conclusion I should mention some of the sources of information that are available in the states, visit our map pages its got tons and tons of old and useful historical maps, The following is a list of sources that could prove quite valuable. microfilm records of old newspapers; county and state histories, listing pioneers and where they lived; county genealogies of prominent families, which show ancestral estates, and accounts of when and how these people died; and old maps or atlases. An additional source of information is the local librarian. Such a talk could lead you to research sources that would be worth thousands of dollars over the years