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Yes you can find cool things in the city too. People drop stuff all the time.

A couple of my favorite places I have found for coins are the ball fields (you will hit lots of junk, but I have found little trinkets and some change by the bleachers), and in the city parks. I detect in the sand traps where people play volleyball (have found quite a bit of change in those), and near trees where people lay (change falls out of pockets all the time).

Just make sure you know the local laws and ordinances. In our city it's surface detecting only. No digging in the parks.

This is okay with me though, because there is still plenty to be found

For instance, we have October Fest happening in the main city park this weekend. Lots of beer tents,, music, food, bands and all that jazz.. When that ends I will go in there and detect it,  people who party always drop change, necklaces, rings and all kinds of good stuff.

Next we have the festival of the southwest. Again, people always drop stuff at carnivals, and stuff falls out of pockets in rides too. Ride Jockie's find some of it, but lots is left behind.

The down side is there is a lot of trash left behind, beer can tabs, bottle tops, stuff like that.

Should be interesting, I hope to find some stuff, if I do, I will post pictures. If I get skunked. I will fess up to it too.

D

Edited by AZ Digger
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The cracks in the pavement/sidewalk and the joints of paving bricks have been very good to me. 

If you pick the right spot you can make several hundred dollars a day with nothing but a brush and a wire. 

Techniques for urban prospecting are tricky and a lot of fun. Once you figure it out you can really haul in the goodies.

Hint - Forget the metal detector. Diamonds don't beep.

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1 hour ago, Dakota Slim said:

I remember hearing about some really rare gold coins being found in San Francisco when they tore up some old sidewalks. 

Indeed. It is amazing what falls between paving bricks. 

The coins are what you can readily see and detect. But in the cracks there are lots of little things that you would never imagine. Especially in the sidewalks in front of certain businesses. 

The older the roads and sidewalks are the better. Just like the older geology is better for meteorites. Over time the cracks collect all sorts of good stuff. 

I just found a crack in a busy intersection in Las Cruces that had a coffee can full of coins, jewelry and hardware stuck in it. Nothing old and nothing too valuable but LOTS of good stuff down in there.

I found a cubic zirconia at a mall one day in a concrete joint. It gave me an idea. I asked the custodian driving the electric sweeping car where he emptied the bin. He directed me to a pile of dust at the edge of the parking lot. I got $300 for what I picked out of it in the first hour. 

So walkways and streets are hot. And you can find a real paystreak in any city that is much better than most guys ever find in the desert. You just have to think a little differently.

 

 

 

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Here is an interesting story about those old San Francisco paving blocks. They even tried wood. Obviously other cities and even ghost towns faced the same problems with sidewalks and roads, and they experimented with various paving materials. 
I have doubt many diamonds are out there in ghost towns but you never know. I also heard that some of the gravel and crushed rock used in California contained an amazing amount of gold. 
In coins, older is usually better. 

https://sfocii.org/sites/default/files/FileCenter/Documents/1086-South Beach History of Paving Blocks.pdf

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The best spot I have ever hunted was a home site in Los Alamos New Mexico that had burned in a forest fire. 

The second was a mobile home that burned and had been demolished and hauled away. 

I dug out an old cabin on a friend's ranch many years ago. The roof had obviously burned. Under the dirt and charred juniper posts there was everything. A wood stove, bottles, silverware, old cartridges, shoes, a belt with a buckle, coins. All from the 1870's. The place burned and the roof collapsed and no one bothered to dig it out. There were many valuable artifacts in there.

Disaster claims a lot of wealth. And insurance coverage makes recovery unnecessary. So after a big fire a lot of valuable stuff gets left behind. 

I suppose any disaster creates opportunity. Floods and big storms create treasure that didn't exist. And they uncover treasure as well as bury it too. 

In the wake of a tornado the entire population becomes treasure hunters. They find a lot of their belongings and someone else finds some too. But much of the real valuable stuff remains scattered around the disaster area long after it is rebuilt. 

They are still digging up treasure in Pompeii. 

The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster left a priceless strewn field from New Mexico all the way to Louisiana. Much of it is still out there.

I like the idea of hunting disaster areas. It is a good strategy and easy to document exact locations. A guy could make a lot of money searching in areas like these. There are good disaster spots near every treasure hunter but they are only rarely hunted.

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I recall reading this article years ago.

https://thejewelerblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/urban-miner-scrapes-sidewalks-of-nys-diamond-district-for-gold-and-gemstones/

I live in an old rehabbed 16 floor apartment building that used to have many jewelry stores and manufacturers located in it. I suspect there probably a lot of gold filings and perhaps even small gems in between some of the floorboards in the building. It would take a lot of research to figure out where the best areas might be.

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A lot of new treasure has been created by the drug trade. Billions of dollars in cash have been stashed and hidden all over the place. And millions in gold, jewelry, guns and other expensive items are involved too.

In towns too small to have a gas pump there are people hiding wads of cash. Those people live turbulent lives and often meet with violence or get swept up by the law.

Some time back I did some repair work for a fellow. He had bought a seized property at auction. It was a nice place in the valley with a sprawling home and a horse complex with a little arena. 

They had seized it from the owners in a big drug bust. The law searched it several times and had left some damage where they accessed inside the walls and under the eaves of the home. 

About a week after the auction I went to estimate the damage. A few days later the guy called me and wanted me to schedule the job. It took me a couple days to get started.

The morning I got there the place looked like a disaster area. There were several big holes in the yard and the doors of the barn had been removed. The entire floor had been dug out 2 feet deep with a backhoe. And the kitchen wall behind the stove had been torn up revealing an 18" deep wall where something had obviously been stashed. 

Whoever the treasure hunters were they waited until the property sold to an individual and then went in before they could move in. They knew exactly where to look and when to look for it.

There are hundreds of clever drug stashes in every city. Stashes that are often lost to circumstance. No doubt some of them are still out there after an arrest or some other reason. Most will probably never be found and just rot away buried like the millions Pablo Escobar buried.

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Hey Dakota Slim

 I had a friend ( past away now )that had a family member that was a contractor in S.F.. He had removed a building off this property and planned on putting a new one in its place. They had started removing dirt for the foundation and broke into a wine cellar that had been covered from the day S.F. had its big shake. All the bottles was still in their racks waiting to be discovered.

 Just think how much gold and silver with other valuable items will be found just by digging in the right place unknowingly.

 Chuck 

PS He had taken pictures and in away it looked spooky. I never heard if the wine was still good.

Edited by Ridge Runner
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Hope I don’t sidetrack this post too much. Here’s another!

 In the early 60’s in Hornitos this one building and I can’t remember what they sold but they had a news paper clipping about a coin found. It was a large gold coin with 6are8 sides. The article was in a picture frame and may still be there if the building is still standing.

 The best part was how the coin was found. This person was walking along this old hand stack rock fence and just happened to look down and here was this coin waiting on someone to come along. Even at that time the coin was worth lots of money but my question is it more to be found by a metal detector. I think this discovery was made up behind that old store I was talking about.

 Up around there where I got my taste of prospecting. I was stationed at Castle at the time.

 Chuck 

Edited by Ridge Runner
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  • 3 weeks later...

Oh man, I missed some good opportunities!

I used to live on a property that had several abandoned mines and even had the original miner’s shacks on them. It was funny, each of the shacks had a trap door in the floor leading into the adits. Those guys were really worried about getting robbed while they were in their mines. Some had a wire running along the ceiling leading from the trap door to the back of the adits with bells attached to them for an alarm, and one had a camouflaged  rotating door that was finished with cement and rock to make it  look liked the side of the mine and was big enough to store stuff in maybe hide inside. Anyways I wasn’t into detecting back then but it sure would’ve been interesting to try there.

And then there’s a ranch that the Sheriff’s Department seized that used to belong to a drug dealer.  The department used it for training for a while and then a nonprofit organization obtained ownership of it. They could not use the buildings as they were built without permits, but you would be amazed at what they consisted of. The place was obviously set up for “guests” and lot of entertainment, so you can imagine what kind of parties they had there. I only had access to the place for a day but it sure would’ve been interesting to detect there! Oh well…

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On 9/24/2021 at 7:58 AM, Ridge Runner said:

Hope I don’t sidetrack this post too much. Here’s another!

 In the early 60’s in Hornitos this one building and I can’t remember what they sold but they had a news paper clipping about a coin found. It was a large gold coin with 6are8 sides. The article was in a picture frame and may still be there if the building is still standing.

 The best part was how the coin was found. This person was walking along this old hand stack rock fence and just happened to look down and here was this coin waiting on someone to come along. Even at that time the coin was worth lots of money but my question is it more to be found by a metal detector. I think this discovery was made up behind that old store I was talking about.

 Up around there where I got my taste of prospecting. I was stationed at Castle at the time.

 Chuck 

Hornitos is a cool little town, I like the church building there. Made a film there while I was at Cal State College, Stanislaus (as it was back then).  Also took some classes on the base at Castle through distance-learning.

That area around the town would’ve been interesting to detect as well.

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