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Spring has finally returned to Minnesota! (:-)

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I wait most of the year for warm weather to return to Minnesota so I can pursue to my favorite hobby; TREASURE HUNTING in and under the water. All Winter long I do research on old beach sites that have been long forgotten and may hold a huge amount of silver coins and valuable jewelry. They are out there! My Buddy got a tip from a farmer about an "Ole Swimmin' Hole" and while the other guys worked the beach from the 1970's he cleaned out the original old location. Over 100 gold rings came out of there and all the coins were silver and wheat cents! Nothing modern. That's what I'm looking for:-) Finder's Fees $$$ paid for locations like that!

So once again this page will be devoted to my activity during the warm Minnesota months and I will try to update it occasionally as "goodies" are found. 

(March 5, 2017) Spent the Winter researching old Minnesota resorts from my 1932 MN Resort Guide. I also bought a vintage V hull bass boat for accessing beaches. Since many resorts are now private homes it isn't easy to get permission to enter the water from their land. The boat will make it possible to hit many locations in one day and find the elusive spots that have never been hit. 

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(December 25, 2016) This year was not very exciting to say the least. Spent too much time at work and not enough time at play. Was still able to recover about 40 rings but none were valued over $1,000. Water was high for most of the year so the areas accessible by wading didn't hold much old stuff. Sad to say that I didn't dive once. I'm working out the details on a new strategy for 2017. It involves working extensively underwater at a very old lake resort location. I'm going to try to stay focused on that one site for the entire season. Reports will be given as progress is made.    

(July 7, 2016) Finally got enough courage to get into the Rum River at a tree swing location north of the cities. The banks were steep and the river drops off into deep water almost immediately. Lots of garbage in the water but I did get a bunch of modern coinage and one sterling ring. Will have to watch the water level regularly and hit this area again when the water is lower.

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  (July 3, 2016) Made a trip north to Mille Lacs Lake on a tip from my Buddy Buck! I'm gonna give this location away because there is WAY too much area for me to cover alone. This area is a popular hangout for boaters to anchor and party together. Sandy beach is only about 10 feet wide but shallow water goes out over 200 feet. Found lots of bottle caps, pull tabs, sinkers, brass bullet casings, about $5 in modern coinage and a very nice old 4" TootsieToy convertible car. No rings today......
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(June 27, 2016) Had some super hot weather for a few days and I expected heavy traffic at the beaches would produce some targets. Detected in B Lake and couldn't find a penny! Another hunter showed up so I left and went to Lake O. Hadn't hit this beach too many times but I was convinced that it wasn't gonna be good. On this day it was colder than heck! The air was so cold that I had to get into neck deep water immediately. Only worked the area for about 10 minutes and I got a very deep faint signal. Took me another 10 minutes to finally get the target in my scoop. Very nice 10K yellow gold ladies ring with 57 channel set round and baguette diamonds. Not big stones (.05ct) but a lot of them. My Nancy will keep this one. 
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(April 21, 2016) I've been running newspaper ads for old bottle dump and early outhouse locations. Getting a few calls but most are modern dumps with machine made screw cap type bottles. No value there. Old sites can be real winners $$$$ when they are early (1870-1900). Would be very interested in talking to anyone with information regarding these types of sites. We could dig together or I'd just pay you a finders fee for permission to get on the property. Call me at 612-598-9031 anytime!

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(March 12, 2016) We've have had some hot weather here in Minnesota and the ice is melting from the lakes. I'll be checking the sand berms along some of the shorelines this weekend.

(December 23, 2015) It feels like I wasted another Summer in Minnesota. Didn't have enough hot days to get large numbers to the beaches. If I could get away I'd hit some Florida beaches right after Spring Break. That would be interesting...................

(November 14, 2015) Went to S Lake to see if anything turned up close to shore after a couple weeks of high winds. I wore chest waders today as the water temp is around 40 degrees. This beach location was hot in the 50's but since a fatal swimming accident it's been closed to the public. The old diving platform location is in 15 feet of water and loaded with coins. I dove there about 7 years ago and the targets were everywhere. The weeds were pretty thick and I ran out of air. Never did go back. Maybe next year.  

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Recovered 65 targets.......only 18 coins and no rings. Two shotgun shells so rings might still be there. 
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(August 10, 2015) Traveled north of Brainerd to attempt a recovery of a large engagement ring. The story came from my buddy Sara who actually witnessed the loss. She took me by boat to the sandbar and and after 4 hours of searching I called it quits. The area had obviously been hit by other detector operators. Some coins were found but there should have been many more targets. Looks like that ring got picked up by the competition!  

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(July 14, 2015) Hit Lake P on Sunday morning and started finding coins right away. Had a SSE wind from 9 to 16 mph that was eroding the beach nicely. It's always good when Mother Nature is on your side. The shoreline had gravel exposed and the light sand had been pulled out into the swimming area. Found coins from the 70's and 80's that should have been found by other hunters.

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Was running in all metal mode and digging from 12" to 18" deep. Ended up recovering 69 targets of which 29 were junk, 36 were coins and 4 were pieces of jewelry including a nice 10K gold band that weighed 6 grams. Nice score! As you can see in the upper photo, this location has some large very old tin and iron trash items. The barb wire, beer cans, nails and shotgun shell casings were masking the good targets. Amazing what you can find under garbage if you take the time to extract it!
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(July 11, 2015) It's been quite a while since I gave any attention to this page. Spring came and went and I was too busy with the auction business to do what I really love to do.....dig up gold jewelry! Going to try a couple beaches early tomorrow. It's been hot and suppose to be hotter in the coming days. Let you know how it goes............
 (December 6, 2014) Winter has arrived in Minnesota and as usual I wasn't able to spend the amount of time under water as I wanted. Now it's research time or get enough guts to go under the ice......................  

(September 29, 2014) Went north 130 miles to make another attempt to recover a huge diamond ring that had been lost 15 years ago. This was the second time I looked for this whopper and I thought I might have a better chance with the new 15" WOT coil. I arrived to find the weeds were so thick I couldn't even walk into the area where the client said the ring fell off. I had to chop out and pulled away literally hundreds of pounds of weeds in order to swing the detector wand. After 2 hours of clearing the search area in cold water and high winds I was able to scan the location but still didn't locate the $10,000 prize. I'm not giving up on this one completely but the next attempt will have to be done as soon as ice is out and no vegatation has had a chance to come up.

(August 17, 2014) Finally broke the losing streak at Lake L. This location has a resident detector operator who watches the beach every day and hunts the water regularly! He probably has a time lapse camera set up so he can count the number of people in the water and the primary locations where they congregate. Anyway, whenever I go there I know it's gonna be slim pickins but I enjoy diggin' in other people's back yards.

So I got started at 5am and scanned slowly in "all metal" mode for about 3 hours. No kidding, only found one cent. Completed the entire roped off swimming area and then I remembered something. The resident detector dude is only about 5' 6" (short man complex). At the outside ropes he would be just about neck deep. I was able to get out about 5 feet further into the lake than my "Mini-Me" and I got a very faint indication of a deep good target. It took me about 10 minutes and I dug down almost 2 feet but recovered a very nice 14K gold wedding band. Based on the depth and the copper toning of the gold I'm guessing it had been buried for 25 years. It is a size 5 1/2 and weighs 5.3 grams. Hefty for a small ring. Not a huge score but I broke my dry run and even Todd Hoffman would be happy with 5.3 grams. Need to think outside the box! Coup de maitre....the master stroke.

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I'll tell the story on this location when I have more time.....it's a goodie! 
(Got time now) So my buddy was swimming here about 50 years ago when he was a young man. Him and some friends were out in the middle of "The Clay Pool" and he thought he would try to touch bottom with his feet. He said he pushed himself down, down, down toward the bottom and finally touched the mucky bottom. It was dark and cold and the mud was deep. He hurried to the surface and swam to shore. When he was on dry land he felt something on one of his toes and was surprised to see a gold wedding band on a toe. Bull's Eye! Now what would be the chances of something like that happening? I know this guy pretty well and this story is No Bull. If he got a ring by accident there has got to be many other good targets in that mucky bottom. If they ever drain that place someone will score Big Time!
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This sterling Native American Chief motif ring will need to soak for about 30 days. It was buried about 18 inches under a mass of tin cans. Again, gotta get the trash out to expose the goodies underneath.
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It took 60 days but it looks a lot better now!
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(August 15, 2014) The last month has been a real drag. Hit about 8 locations and only found a few sterling rings and modern coins. Spent 20 hours in the water and drove about 600 miles. Either I'm following a more advanced detector operator or people are just not getting in the water. Have to be getting close to hitting some gold. It's also interesting that I haven't had any calls to recover lost jewelry this year either???

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Was able to get permission to enter 3 private locations where I previously hunted 15 years ago. These were old beaches that closed over 50 years ago. They had produced a couple dozen gold rings in the past and I thought I might have missed a couple. All 3 locations still had many deep targets and a large amount of trash metal that needs to be removed. Recovered some wheat cents and lots of coins from the 1960's. No other gold rings........ 

(July 5, 2014) Went digging in Lake F and stayed for 5 hours. Lots of trash buried deep. Many of the ice fishermen using this lake have really made a mess of the bottom. Tin cans, aluminum foil and all kinds of metal garbage. Kind of a blessing in disguise. Many detector operators stay clear of this beach because of the trash. They feel it's too hard to locate good targets with a heavy concentration of junk. It's a great opportunity if you want to remove the overburden and see what is UNDER it. I ended up finding a couple bucks in change and 3 rings, two sterling and one heavy 14K white gold band. Good day.

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(July 3, 2014) Was in Iowa for some family business and decided to check out an old location where I've scored in the past. Lake Ahquabi State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's as a way to put depression era unemployed back to work. Great idea..........should do it again.............

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The swimming area had been worked hard by many other detector operators but nobody gets everything. Went into all-metal deep scan and was able to find 2 silver rings and a hand full of modern coins. This location had a diving platform in the 1970's and I dove there in 1981. The area under the platform had a huge rug laid down to keep the weeds from growing. It was crazy! The carpet was peppered with coins, jewelry, sunglasses, cans, bottles and junk. I was dragging and filling a 100 pound onion sack with trash and my goodie pouch with about 10 pounds of coins & jewelry. Got so excited about what I was doing that I accidently ran out of air. Hadn't set the reserve valve so when it was gone it was really gone. That was pretty close call and it took a couple years to get enough guts to dive there again.
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Iowa State Parks 2014 regulations with a detailed chapter on Metal Detecting.
(click the image for an enlarged view)
Very interesting. Can't use a detector anywhere in Minnesota State Parks.
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This ring was found in 2001 at a little swimming beach off Interstate 35. Got 8 rings that day and as I was leaving I hit this one at the water's edge. It is 14K with a .33 carat marquise cut VVSI (very, very, slight inclusions) center diamond and 10 small channel set diamonds. It appraised for $3,000 and my lovely wife Nancy has it in her treasure chest. Best ring I've ever dug up! 
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Now this one has a great story and it also resides in Nancy's stash. It was found in Waterloo, Iowa in the 80's when I hunted ground more than water. I always wanted to search an old historic neighborhood that had been taken over by.........well.....let's say a dangerous concentration of colorful entrepreneurs. Dealers. It was a hot August morning and I was up at 5am driving around looking for a parking strip that looked promising. (I call the areas between sidewalks and the street curb a "parking strip"... get it? ....good)
I was in that dangerous neighborhood and it looked like a war zone. Trash everywhere, junk cars, beer cans covering the yards and people passed out sleeping on porches and in the yards. Wish I would have had a camera. That would have really sweetened this story. So quietly I began detecting and silver coins were popping out of the ground like crazy. Mercury & Barber dimes, Standing quarters, Indianhead pennies and wheat cents. I continued, always keeping an eye on the sleeping guards as I probed for one more goodie. This sterling Art Deco Lady ring came out of the ground as clean as it had gone in. I wiped a little dirt from her shape and at that moment a dog barked. A big dog..... Anyway, I got out of there alive and that's my story.
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  (June 28, 2014) I've been hitting the beaches with the new machine and really getting DEEP! This thing is awesome. Digging a lot but not getting much gold. Plenty of deep coins but have only found one 10K band.

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Found a stainless steel wedding band and was able to return it to the owner. Appears that I'm either following where other operators have already been or large numbers of people just aren't getting in the water. Hit a beach up north yesterday and it was pretty clean. Got a couple bucks in change and a junk ring BUT it has a diving platform. The scuba pros down in Minneapolis have plenty to do on Lake Minnetonka so this one could be a goodie. The lifeguard said the float is anchored with 4 engine blocks and the water is about 20 feet deep. There will be weeds and he said it is "mucky" down there. Whatever..... "No Guts, No Glory". Maybe do a one tank test in August.

NOTE: Still looking for that northern resort location where the tradition had been to throw a silver dollar off the dock for good luck. Evidently this ceremony has been going on since the 1920's. My buddy Brad won't give up the location but a secret like that has to be known by many........call me. There's a finder's fee waiting for you!  

(January 18, 2014) Got a new Minelab Excalibur 1000 machine and can't wait for the ice to start to melt. This machine is different from any of my past Minelab units. It has a 15" WOT coil and should hit a large ring at 2 feet deep! Hope to work the lake shores early this year and if we get some high winds while ice is breaking up there will be large mounds of sand pushed onto the shores. We'll see about that....

(October 19, 2013) For those of you that looked at this page during the Summer months I just want to say..........I'm sorry. Wanted to go.....intended to go.......needed to go.....BUT didn't think I had time.

Actually, based on how much $$$$ I made messing around with junk auctions I would have been further ahead with my head under water. Anyway, this treasure hunting season has slipped away and I'll just have to get back into research and plan to try next spring. Thanks for your comments and the the location leads that came in. See you at the auctions.

(Spring 2013) I wait most of the year for warm weather to return to Minnesota so I can pursue to my favorite hobby; TREASURE HUNTING in and under the water. All Winter long I do research on old beach sites that have been long forgotten and may hold a huge amount of silver coins and valuable jewelry. They are out there! My Buddy got a tip from a farmer about an "Ole Swimmin' Hole" and while the other guys worked the beach from the 1970's George cleaned out the original old location. Over 100 gold rings came out of there and all the coins were silver and wheat cents! Nothing modern. That's what I'm looking for.)

So once again this page will be devoted to my activity during the warm Minnesota months and I will try to update it occasionally as "goodies" are found. 

 We will still be conducting a few auctions this Summer, but honestly, I'd rather be diggin'.

Thought I would throw together a few photos of past treasures found and other interesting items for our regular website visitors. Stay safe this Summer and we will see you soon!

RECOVERED in 2012
Hit a couple of my favorite beaches on June 27 & 28, 2012. Up at 4am and in the water by 5am. Decided I was going to operate in medium discrimination mode and cover as much of the swimming area as I could in four hours. Recovered 114 targets. 94 were coins (one was a 1913 Barber dime, VF), 6 rings (one nice 14K with pink coral) and 4 beer bottle caps. Great ratio. 110 good to 4 junk!
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Had to get out of the "Cities" and check some of the smaller beaches out West.
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  Lake P produced a few small lightweight gold rings 
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  This ring might have to soak for a couple months.
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  Dove in Lake C. in July and got under the diving platform. I HATE WEEDS!
Found a 1927 Buffy, 1942 Mercury dime, some rings and modern coins. 
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  This 1913 Barber dime must have been lost about 70 years ago at Lake N.
Soaked it in silver cleaner for 3 weeks. VF condition.
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RECOVERED in  2011
I received a call on Friday, August 5th, from a frantic husband with a distraught wife who had just lost her wedding ring in a lake while swimming. They had gotten my number from Aqua Adventure Scuba in Maple Grove and I told them I would be right there.
They knew the general area where the ring was lost but were concerned that it wouldn't be able to be located. I started a search pattern and within 5 minutes I had it in my scoop. Sure looked sweet mixed in with sand & pebbles. Anyway, "Nicole & Dean" are back to normal. The $3,500 diamond won't be worn swimming again and I've made some new friends.......and a nice piece of cash!   
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http://www.aquaventurescuba.com/index.htm

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http://www.minelab.com/usa/consumer/success-stories/underwater-stories

"Greatest Hobby in the World"
 2001 was a record year for me. 211 rings recovered from the Twin Cities area.
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Whoever digs the most hairpins.......wins.
(that's how you find the very fine gold rings with large stones!)
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Worked an old beach that is full of old shotgun shells last year. Didn't finish it.
After all the shells are extracted the gold rings should be easier to find.
(the ring shown ended up being an early gold-filled ring)
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(These were found in 2011)
10K white gold ring with pink heart stone and baguette diamonds
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10K yellow gold nugget style ring and 14K band
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14K white gold wedding band, 8.6 grams
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Ornate sterling "Snake" ring with marcasites 
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Very old sterling and onyx ring. Probably lost 50 years ago! (before cleaning)
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   Looks like Navajo or Zuni made (after cleaning) 
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Some of these rings were sold at our August 13, 2011 auction in Anoka 
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  The center ring has The Lord's Prayer inscribed in Spanish
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Never know who or what you are going to run into at the beach!
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This mutilated $20 bill was sent into the Treasury Dept. in 2002 and redeemed for $20.
You can send in bills with only one serial number and receive half of face value.
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This article came out of a National Geographic from 1960. Scuba divers working with the Minnesota Historical Society in northern Minnesota located these Hudson Bay copper kettles, ax heads and other French trade goods! Love to dive that river! Get caught....go to jail.
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The ring below is a bloodstone reverse intaglio set in 18K. It has the family motto "Stryke Dakyns" of the Dakyn family. Very interesting story on this family. Evidently the ring was lost by one of the family members in Lake Nokomis in the early 1900's. Ring was sold on E-Bay in 2003 to a German jeweler for an nice chunk of change.
 http://mjdakin.wordpress.com/the-dakin-name/
 
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Old postcards have been a valuable tool in finding really old locations
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Some of the gold & sterling rings recovered in 2003
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Photo on the left, PADI certification dive, May 1979
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Have a lead on a good place to dive? I pay $$$CASH$$$$ for good leads!

Know of any early beaches that have been closed for 50+ years?
Locations where boats have tipped over and motors or guns have been lost?
Call Doug at 612-598-9031 (I'll answer when I come up)


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