MINELAB Vanquish 340 An Excellent Machine for Experienced and Unexperienced
Metal detecting and treasure finding is something I always wanted to do. Years ago, I was involved in finding coins, artifacts and lots of aluminum pull-tabs. Lots of pull-tabs. I bought my metal detector from Jim and older man who was a hardcore treasure hunter. He also was a dealer for the brand of detector I bought. Compared to MINELAB Vanquish 340, this one was a very basic stone age model with a dial.
I drove to Jim’s house to pick up my machine. He had me come in to complete the purchase. Cash ruled back then so I paid Jim. As I was there standing in Jim’s front room, I noticed a long “S” shape heavy copper wire hanging from his fireplace. On this fully consumed with no room copper wire were gold and silver rings he had found. The wire was about two feet long. I made a remark about all of the rings. Jim just said he found them with his machine over about a two-year period. On the hearth of the fireplace were three five-gallon metal buckets. One was full to the brim with silver dimes with the other full to the brim with silver quarters. The last five-gallon bucket was full to the top with silver half-dollars. To say the least I was stunned.
Jim told me he had found lots of silver dollars too. Many were in smaller containers on the floor in front of the hearth. I asked about gold coins and his experience with finding them. He said the gold coins were much harder to find as most people in the time period they were used were getting paid about 20 dollars a month. They needed the diversity of silver coins to buy food and essentials to run a home. Carrying around a gold Double-Eagle is like one of us carrying around a 1,000 dollar bill….back when we had them. No merchant would take them as making change would clean them out.
Jim told me he had taken an Oklahoma City map, and identified the section of the city which was first settled. He then systematically contacted each owner or resident and searched every front yard in about a two square mile area. Jim showed me his map which noted each property to search and an “X” to show where he had searched. Jim told me back in the early 1900’s prior to the invention of sealing fans and water coolers, in hot weather people would go outside and set on their front lawns under a tree to keep cooler. As they set there they visited with neighbors and friends who walked by. He told me he had learned to only hunt the front yards as hunting the other areas was a waste of time.
That week I took out my metal detector and started searching areas Jim suggested. I was working an active play ground near the slipper slide. As I was sweeping back and forth, I noticed a young boy coming down the slipper slide right next to me. All of a sudden something hit me in the forehead. I saw this object bounce on the ground. It was a quarter which flew out of the young boy’s pocket. I bent over and picked up the quarter. I looked at his mother who was laughing to the point tears were in her eyes. I handed the quarte to her and kept on searching.
One area I was very successful was at some old farm houses near some small rural communities. I was told by a friend and fellow cop, the previous occupant of the now abandoned house use to come home drunk and throw all of his change into the front yard. I was told this individual did not like change in his pockets. Strange way of thinking but good for me. Through some investigation I located the current owner who gave me written permission to search this property. At this particular property I mostly found coins from half-dollar down to a gazillion pennies. I only uncovered two silver dollars of which I have to this day.
I know the highly experienced treasure hunters do their due diligence and investigations of possible “honey-holes” of coin and treasure. No need for me to go any further other than when visiting with people, I work into the conversation about my treasure hunting. Many times, I get some leads much like when I was investigating a crime.
MINELAB Vanquish 340
When I received my test model of the MINELAB Vanquish 340 I found it to be very professionally packed. To me this is an indication of the level of professionalism a company exerts in providing product. All components were secure and in perfect shape. Removing them from the packaging was very easy. I like this as well as I do not like to hack and cut my way into a package to free up the product. The few parts which needed to be assembled went together very easily. After assembling the MINELAB Vanquish 340 I installed the “AA” batteries, which were included, and pushed the power button. My MINELAB Vanquish 340 fired right up.
My first treasure site was two hundred miles away. Three properties there contain two existing homes built circa 1866. A third property is registered as a Ghost Town with one building still standing on an adjacent property. Around 1873 a tornado struck this town and strewed buildings with contents all over a quarter section of land. I started on the Ghost Town location.
When I exited my truck, I turned on the Vanquish 340. As soon as the coil was within five inches of the ground the auto went berserk. I had sequels and howls continuously as I just stood there. I then set the settings to all metals. My readings were from -7 to 19. I dug a little bit and found the #19 reading to be a nail. I then decided to walk to the 155-year-old well where people would meet and visited. On the way my Vanquish 340 was registering all over the place. I concentrated on those indications of 20 or higher. Still, I was finding old nails and 19th century roofing nails. This location will take some time and lots of effort.
Next, I moved on to the second property which still has the original house. When I was a freshman in high school, I was paid to put up hay in this house. Later, this house was occupied by a hired hand and best friend of the land owner.
I took out the Vanquish 340 and started to scan the area around the house. I could see on the outside of the home entrances had been added and covered up. Five total entrances. There was no way to figure out where the original front of the house was. I scanned around the base of this structure finding screw off beer bottle caps and nails. I found a fluted chunk of aluminum a brass piece which appeared to be a lesser part of a brace. On the east side of the house was an old clothes line. For the young’uns this is where one would hang their washed wet cloths to let them dry in the outdoor air. A time prior to in house dryers.
Under the close line I found an old nail and my prize for the day. I found a blue tiny toy car made from cast aluminum. It appeared to be a “Roadster” with a rumble seat. This treasure was found a little over six inches down. Later I learned some interesting things about my blue Roadster. From research I found out this very small toy car was a Tootsietoy Ford Roadster Blue #2. It is made of diecast aluminum and made in the USA. The date would be circa 1932 to 1936. This car was a prize in Cracker Jacks. Likely a young lad was playing with his toy cars and left the Roadster out. Somehow the Roadster was covered in grass or dirt and remained their where Mother Nature and soil disruption covered it with six inches of dirt.
According to scientist’s research, it takes 200 years for soil to form .39 inches. My Roadster was likely covered with rotting vegetation and dirt displaced by someone digging and depositing soil on top. Or the lad in playing just buried his Roadster and forgot.
Upon my return to this area, I will again search the three properties. I am considering pulling the RV to this location and spending some alone time and treasure hunting. Kathy and I are going up to NE Oklahoma to campout in an Oklahoma State Park. Oklahoma State Parks require a permit to search with a metal detector. The permit is free so it is likely to be sure one learns the rules and a register guest.
To cap off Chapter 1 I wish all of you GOOD HUNTING and be safe out there. Chapter 2 will come to report new adventures of treasure hunting with my Vanquish 340 a mighty fine machine.
MINELAB Vanquish 340