Dig it up!

Relic Hunting

    Discover Historic Metal Detecting Sites!


    Learn powerful, deep research methods. Do it and use it!

    This Book Will Help You Become a Top Notch Researcher!

    Finding good sites to metal detect is hard work. Finding them without research is near impossible. In this comprehensive book, we’ll guide you to wonderful resources and show you useful skills to aid you in your quest. Research isn’t easy, often confusing. You will have to work to get excellent results, but if you’ve found this site, you clearly are working to improve your skills.

    If you are like me, you want to find good sites to hunt, and rule out crappy ones. Not only will you learn how to find good leads, you will develop skill to throw some of those leads out based on primary and secondary source criteria. You’ll learn how to spot “iffy” sources and recognize author bias. Best of all, you will develop critical thinking skills.

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    Old locks are common metal detector finds. They are also valuable and selling them can help the coin collectors build their collections. Learn some keys to these marvelous relics.

    Over my 39 years of metal detecting to build coin collections, locks have been one of my top relic categories for trading or for selling. In this article I want to tell you about five of my favorite locks. Four of these locks are railroad locks and could tell some wonderful stories about the events and happennings that shaped west Florida in the late 1800's and the early 1900's.

    Locate Hot Spots For Metal Detecting

    Try something new in metal detecting.

    Most parks, schools and known spots are picked over. You need to find some new spots to use your metal detector. There are many out of the way spots that have been hidden throughout the years that have the potential to give up some mighty nice finds. There are many ways of going about finding these metal detecting sites.

    In the Southwest we have many species of Rattlesnakes. They are very abundant. When you're searching old buildings, desert areas, be alert to the fact you may come upon a snake.

    When metal detecting around old buildings, trees or brush be careful when you go to pick up something or dig for a hit from your metal detector. Snakes like cool shade, especially in the summer.

    Lyme Disease and How to Keep it Away


    We all know how much fun and how addictive it is to take our metal detectors out on the warm sunny weekends and spend the days looking for relics and artifacts. However most of the time the old sites tend to have grown up over the years with dense foliage of brush and trees. It is very easy to let the lure and excitement of the hunt overtake us and we tend to forget some of the potential hazards that lurk in the beauty of nature. This time of year it is easy to be overcome by the heat. We are often taken away by our intense focus on the hunt and forget that we need to drink plenty of water even when we think we do not need water. Snakes are a constant en guard. There is another little creature that we sometimes forget about until we later find one crawling on or attached to our skin. The tick. While most ticks are harmless there are those that carry Lyme Disease or Spotted Fever which can make us very sick and can be fatal.
    As a reminder please be aware of the potential of these tiny parasites and be vigilant and educate yourselves to the preventions and symptoms of  Lyme Disease and hopefully the article concerning this tick transmitted illness provided by Stacy Brown will be of some help.
    Be safe and good hunting!!


    Fake or Fantasy Slave Tags, Slave Hire Badges,

    Slavery Tokens, Etc.

    If YOU are interested in collecting original SLAVERY tokens, Slave Tags, Slave Badges or Slave Hire Badges, Anti-Slavery Tokens or medals, etc., please let me know YOUR interests via e-mail at hartzog@exonumia.com. We stock a wide variety of genuine Slavery medallic items.

    Our Mail Bid Sale #10 featured FIVE Charleston Slave Tags, plus other Slavery and Anti-Slavery tokens and medals.


    Unfortunately, with the increase in popularity and price of genuine slave tags, the crooks and con-artists have moved in. In the past several years a number of counterfeit Slave Tags and fantasy tags have appeared, as well as a very few cast counterfeit "Am I Not a Woman and Sister" tokens. Some of these are obvious, others exceedingly deceptive. The general types are:

    High Quality Counterfeit Charleston Slave Tags:

    These are exact reproductions of genuine tags, made with bar-punches so the letters are raised. Most GENUINE Slave Tags have the city "Charleston", the occupation, such as "Servant" and the year, such as "1860" all struck on a tag from bar-punches, with raised letters. Additionally a serial number is incused punched. Some early genuine tags also have a silversmith bar-punch mark. Several years ago a crook had some bar-punch dies made up, to closely duplicate genuine tags. While there are many identifying characteristics of these fakes, the novice collector can easily be duped. Some of these modern fakes have been struck in lead, or on sheets of lead with multiple strikes. If you have purchased a slave tag from ANYONE without a guarantee of authenticity and a 100% money back guarantee, IN WRITING, you can probably kiss your money goodbye. Sorry to be so negative, and yes, it is possible to get genuine tags for nominal sums, but there are a lot of fakes out there. If you want a genuine Slave Tag, buy the book first! Only $25 (see below).

    FAKE: 1841 Charleston Servant Slave Tag. A SRUCK tag, very deceptive, from modern dies. Very dangerous, looks great. Often offered on eBay by sellers with high feedback, with a warranty. TOTALLY FAKE, and the sellers are crooks! Just try to get your money back!

    FAKE: 1856 Charleston Servant Slave Tag with Bill of Sale: A STRUCK tag, very deceptive, from modern dies. Looks great, on the correct size and shape metal planchet, green patina overall. Often sold with high quality total fantasy Bill of Sale, with serial number of Tag on the Bill of Sale! Paper is 7 1/8 x 9 1/8", "Slave - Charleston - Bill 18 (56)/ No (533) Value $ (800), with handwritten information as to supposed sale of negro, with large eagle lower left, printed info, etc., signed at bottom right twice. On artifically aged course paper, with 1856 wax seal, signed in aged brown ink, with embossed "Charleston" seal bottom left (see eagle image for partial "Charleston"). Some of these have fake damage to edges of the paper. A total fabrication, nicely aged and highly deceptive.

    FAKE: 1862 Charleston Servant Slave Tag - A STRUCK tag, very deceptive, from modern dies. This specimen is on lead, which was never used for original Tags. Very dangerous! Another example, on copper, from a photograph.

    Fake Porter badge.

    COINS; Rare Slave Badges To Be Sold at Auction

    Published: August 15, 1993

    COMING to auction on Sept. 9 is a collection of very rare slave-hiring badges from Charleston, S.C. Slave-hiring badges were issued to the owners of slaves who wished to rent them out for day work. In more rural places such an arrangement would have been a purely private affair, but in Charleston the practice became regulated in the early 18th century, and by 1751, hired-out slaves were required to wear badges.

    Only 100 or so badges are now extant, and Stack's, which is handling the sale for the John J. Ford Jr. Collection, estimates that the 14 being offered will bring anywhere from $200 to $4,000. While thousands of badges are thought to have been issued by Mobile, Ala.; Savannah, Ga., and New Orleans, only badges from Charleston are known to exist. What happened to all the others is a mystery.

    While the badges seem deeply repugnant today -- similar badges were also issued for dogs -- they are illustrative of the culture of slavery. Slaves hired for day work were paid less than whites, and because employers wanted to save money, whites were soon losing business. So Charleston instituted not only the badge system but also a quota system to protect white jobs: fewer badges were issued for occupations in which whites might lose jobs to slaves and more badges were issued for occupations in which nonwhites predominated.

    If you are considering metal detecting in the woods here are some tips you can use to make detecting in the woods is productive. Use this information to get the most out of metal detecting in the woods


    Ghost Towns In The East

    Every state has ghost towns. Eastern and Midwestern States are no exception. At one time or another you may have driven your car right by a ghost town, not aware of it. If you are a hiker, backpacker, or a hunter, you may have walked past or through a ghost town not knowing one was there.

    When people hear the words “ghost town”, they associate the term with the old, abandoned towns of the Western frontier. Many of those settlements are still standing, but in the Eastern states, the majority of old towns from the 1800’s to the early part of the 1900’s are no longer visible. And it is because they are no longer visible, that makes them virtually unknown.

    Charleston's Historic Hire Badges

    During the late 1700s, the city of Charleston faced a growing problem. For over 100 years, the slave trade had flourished in South Carolina, creating an economy that was totally dependent upon such labor. Slaves were used for almost every job description, including the proverbial butcher, baker, and candlestick maker.