Smashing Pumpkins: A Coin Bonanza in the Pumpkin Patch!

A good friend and detecting buddy of mine, JoJo, was kind enough to share the story of his most epic detecting day ever. Thank you for sharing JoJo.

By JoJo Lantiegne

I received an invite to go hunt some pumpkin fields from Matt, a fellow member of my metal detecting club, The Yankee Territory Coinshooters out of Wethersfield, CT. I had hunted with him the week prior with much success, but that was nothing compared to what we were to find this time out.

It was Thursday, November 30 and I had spoken to Matt the day before about this field and the great finds he had pulled out of it. I said if he was going to go back soon, I would like to join him. After what I had seen in his  photos I was very eager to hunt there, so when he said “Let’s go”, I promptly took the day off of work.

We arrived at the field about 9am. It’s a permission Matt has had for a while, and it was a pretty good size field with some pumpkins still remaining from the recent harvest. After some strategy talk, off we went.

Me, with my Half Reale

I started down one row while Matt went off down another row about 50 yards to my left. I was about 15 feet into the row when I got a nice strong silver signal on my E-trac. I dug down about 3” and popped out a 1780 Spanish Half Reale! I called out to Matt and he came running over to have a look.  He said he hadn’t found anything like that in this field yet. My first signal, the first hole of the day, and I pulled out a 1/2 Reale!!!! I was blown away.

I would have been happy if that was all I found that day, but the Detecting gods were smiling down on both of us—little did we know what kind of day we were gonna have.

I went back to swinging, and about another 15 feet further, I got another good, strong, repeatable signal, which turned out to be a 1924 Mercury Dime.  Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve never had anything like this happen to me, and again I was blown completely away.  Two holes, and two silver coins in the first 15 minutes Detecting. That seemed to set the pace for the rest of the 6 hours we were there.

I was finding Wheat Cents, Indian Head Pennies, Buffalo and Jefferson Nickels, and running back and forth to Matt checking out all his finds, which included all sorts of silver coins and Large and Half Cents. This field was crazy full of coins, and we had it all to ourselves.

Later on, down toward the other end of the field I got another strong signal, and at about 4” popped out a beautiful 1843 Matron Head Large Cent. I was elated with this find, and speechless, because I had been in a large cent slump for about 11 months, and now I had finally broken the curse. That coin meant more to me than any other coin that day, including the Half Reale, of which I have found 5 this year already, and 3 of them in just one weeks time but that is another story in itself.

We decided to work our way back to our trucks to get a drink, and went swinging in that direction. About half way back there, my machine signaled a nice silver target at about 5”. I dug and pinpointed it, and it wasn’t in the hole. I went over the plug and didn’t get any response? I looked around, and finally found the target, a 1924 Standing Liberty Quarter—My first of the year! Another 20 feet further, and more than 9” deep, I pulled out another Standing Liberty Quarter! Matt came to have a look, and said he hadn’t ever found any Standing Liberty Quarters from this field, so for me to pull 2 out in 15 minutes just goes to show you, you never know what you will find in this hobby.

Back at the truck, we discussed all that had transpired over the past 4 hours, and we were both more than happy with the results. Matt had just as many, if not more coins at this point but who was counting-LOL. We were both having a blast, plus the weather was beautiful too, sunny and almost 50 degrees at the end of November.

I commented that the only thing I hadn’t found so far was any Barber type coin, but we still had another hour and a half left, so after our break we went back at it.

Matt with his Barber Half

The finds started to slow down some. I pulled out another Indian Head, and a couple of wheats, and then suddenly Matt yelled out that he thinks he found a Half Dollar. I asked him what kind, and he said he didn’t know, since it was still in the dirt. I quickly went over to him and saw the size of the coin, and sure enough he pulled out a 1906-O Barber Half Dollar.  The coin was in great shape figuring how many times this field had been plowed.  Now thats one hell of a find in anyone’s book, but this was just the icing on the cake to an unbelievable day.

I went back to where I was detecting, and got another strong silver signal. I carefully dug around it, and out popped the icing on my cake, an 1897 Barber Dime. I had my Barber, woohoo!

At this point, we’d had enough and we called it a day, while walking back to our vehicles laughing, with the memory of this day burned into our minds. We said to each other that “no one is going to believe the kind of day we had”. We made plans to go back there soon, but each of us had other responsibilities this coming weekend, but hopefully, I’ll soon be writing another story about another best day ever. You never know with this hobby, that why I love it so much.

Happy Hunting—JoJo

8 thoughts on “Smashing Pumpkins: A Coin Bonanza in the Pumpkin Patch!

  1. Hi Diva:
    Very interesting post. Over here in the UK we grow a light salad component called Watercress, which only grows in crystal clean streams or specially made cold-water beds. Maybe you have the same in the US?

    It is usually cultivated commercially, either by staff, or on a pick-your-own basis. If you ever get the chance to detect an old dissused Watercress bed, you’ll find rings that have slipped from pickers fingers in the cold water.



    1. I have to look into that idea. Thank you John. I am not sure if I can find crystal clear water on the east coast of NJ.

    2. Thanks for the tip John, not sure if we have watercress beds over here, mostly because I’ve never seen any unpolluted water 🙂 but if I come across any, i’ll Be sure to check it out.

  2. Spectacular day for sure….have a feeling he loves anything pumpkin now.

    As for searching “watercress beds”….poor guy just loses it sometimes. Usually starts at aperitif time and from there on it’s all down hill.

    1. I heard today that Matt went back and found a trime and a couple of large cents in a neighboring field. Such great permissions are few and far between nowadays.
      I’m not really sure about the watercress beds either, but maybe after a few more glasses of wine I’ll start searching.

    2. Diva:
      Pay no attention old ‘disc440’…it’s an age thing! By the way, aperitif time for me is around 5:00pm; G’nT, ice and a slice, as opposed to that fine old US Thunderbird he quaffs.

      Seriously, if you can locate watercress beds, especially those that went out of business years ago because of pollution, you could be in for a great time.

      Gotta go! It’s almost 5!


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