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Went prospectign for gold and found a Penny


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Didn’t find any gold today, but I got an 1876 penny.  The penny is much more worn than the picture makes it show.  Made the trip worth it.


I went prospecting an area, and I found a shaft going straight down into the earth, about shoulder wide, so when the old timers worked it, they must have lowered themselves on a winch and tackle.  I found a tin can marker, so I put the diggings between the 20s and mid 40’s, but could be wrong.  I put a picture of the ore I recovered from the tailings pile.  Some kind of copper ore from the green color I think. 


I can only think what a pain it must have been to dig a tunnel straight down, only about 5’ wide.  I think they put most of the tailings in the wash, because there was no real evidence of diggings.  The wash must have carried most of the tailings away, or the ore was so rich, the whole 3' wide by 50' deep got brought straight to the refinery.


Maybe it was an adit to a mine entrance I didn’t find.


The area, much bigger than where I was at, had been worked to death for a while, but no evidence of anything recently.  Probably for other than gold.  The penny was found in the "headwaters" of a wash that started no more than a half mile from where I found it.  Between the trenches, the mines, and the diggings all around, someone had worked that section to death.




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I like that! To me that would be as good as gold! The first time I went prospecting with my GMT, I found an 1889 V nickel with it.....completely random spot...no evidence of human activity at all. Made my whole day.


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sweet find....kind of dates the site.... I found an 1845 half dime a few weeks back , than a 1836 Providence Rhode Island coal token, and then a few days later a military button. So to me it appears I am hunting a late 1840's early 1850s placer site. Gold's great but once in a  while we get to do a little detective work.  Congrats on your cool penny.


Freds Pictures 095.JPG

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With like 45 some years of detecting I've only ever found one Indian Head Penny.  Good Stuff.  Yep, that would date the site within a few years I would think.  A penny could do stuff back then.  LOL


Don't be giving up finding gold there so fast.  Lot's of Copper bearing seams carry gold.  If it was just a Prospect dig you may find what they were looking for.

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The coin is actually worn so much that when I first pulled it out of the ground, I thought it was a blank, but on closer inspection, I could make out the wreath on one side and the Indian head on the other.  I would rate the coin at fair to almost good.


Every couple hundred meters on the wash, some of the old Saguaros had their tops cut off.  I had suspected that some of the Saguaros with the tops cut off was the sign of an old trail leading for a Spanish mine, but no such luck.  Had heard that the Spanish marked their trails by cutting the tips of the cactus off, and the Saguaros are old enough that some of them remain today marking the trails from when the Spanish had the Southwest.


I followed that dry stream to where it started.  I know the final 200 meters of the wash was not worked because there was no trash in the wash, and prior to that there was a lot of rusted, iron flakes, and bits of wire.  I'm sure that trash that I was finding in the stream started entering from a small dried creek that entered the wash that if you followed it, ended at the mine from the middle of the 20th century.


There's a couple of old mining buildings that are unclaimed that could produce some relics.  Both those buildings are less than 100 years old, so won't fall under the antiquities act.


I wish I'd gotten a picture of the shaft straight down into the ground.  The rock there is soft enough that the tunnel could be dug by hand, but I don't know what would cause a person to dig straight down into the ground, with a block and tackle, and let his buddy raise the buckets he's digging over his head, praying that first his buddy doesn't drop the buckets, and second, the walls don't collapse. 


I want to say most of the small, unmarked mines that don't make it on maps or aren't fenced off I see go straight into the ground.  The ore I found around this shaft was copper, so today would not be worth digging down to get that ore.

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