Favorite Finds - U.S.


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My U.S. Favorite Find for December 2021 is the 22k Gold Chain, discovered by Gary R. from California with his Apex.

Gary’s success story: The karma gods were shining on me this beach hunting evening. I hit a local favorite on the way home from work. With my tried and true Garrett Apex I mostly stuck to the dry sands, as the tides were not in the wet sands favor. I was making my way back to where I was parked after two hours of detecting. A woman and her daughter approached me. I could instantly tell they were going to ask me to find something with that shy, disgruntled look on their faces. So I said “keys, cellphone or wedding ring?” They laughed and said keys. They then showed me where they were sitting and the direction they walked to a restaurant near the beach. I worked the area for about an hour, even at times digging hairpin sounds knowing that modern keys can sound the same. The sun was beginning to set, it was getting cold and I was all about ready to give up. I thought maybe they lost them in the restaurant. Then I recalled the daughter saying they walked down to feed the seagulls near the water. I ran down to the wet sand and got to work.

I detected a few pennies and what I thought was a fake chain. I got down to knee deep water when I heard a faint sound. The key was about 4 inches down into the submerged sand. I returned the key to a very happy family that were 3 hours away from home. I returned home myself and looked closely at my finds. In the clarity of light I realized the chain I had found was not fake at all. It was actually stamped 916, which is 22k! The ability of the Apex to hit a high karat gold chain in black sand ocean water is very impressive.

Gary R. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector. Congratulations!!!
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My second U.S. Favorite Find for December 2021 is both of the Regiment of Riflemen Buttons, discovered by Chip K. from Florida with his AT Pro.

Chip’s success story: In 1808, Congress approved the formation of a specialized infantry unit that became known as THE REGIMENT OF RIFLEMEN. They were issued rifles with greater distance and accuracy. They were involved in a number of engagements but their last fight was on 01/13/1815 during the War of 1812. The British landed a force of 1500 Royal Marines to attack Fort Peter near St Marys, Georgia. The defending officer decided his force of 160 men could not resist and withdrew his force. The British destroyed the fort and headed towards St Marys. However the Americans engaged them in a running battle, suffering light losses while inflicting heavier losses on their foes. The unit was disbanded in 1824.

The area where the fort stood is now part of a huge gated community. When they were clearing the land, thousands of relics were found. A couple of years ago I learned about the history and sought permission to search the area. I was refused because dirt had been hauled in, houses built and sold.

I began playing poker with a group who lived in the complex and I learned there was a waterfront “community park” several miles from where the fighting occurred. I visited the spot and learned the park consisted of a picnic table and a spot to launch kayaks. There were about 10 acres but only 3 acres were cleared. The rest consisted of tall marsh grasses, trees, blackberry vines and thorny brambles along with piles of deadfall. There was also discarded beer cans, shotgun shells and plenty of trash.

I had a theory that even though the park was a distance away from the battlefield, it was possible the defenders visited the area. I again asked for permission to search but also promised to actively clean out the metallic trash. I was given a limited permission as long as nobody complained. I used my ALL TERRAIN PROS (I have 3) all have a 5x8 coil. The advantages of the smaller coils were quite evident as I was able to get close to the ground, the trees and the other obstacles.

And my “park" idea proved to be correct. I found 10 period buttons, including TWO REGIMENT OF RIFLEMEN buttons, a coat button and a smaller cuff button. And since they were found at opposite areas of the park they were not likely from the same uniform. I have been advised by button collectors that because the regiment was only in existence for 16 years and was never at full strength, these buttons are considered to be rare and highly prized. I don’t know about that, but I certainly prize these two.

Chip K. WINS an ACE Apex metal detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Next month Vaughan will give away an ACE Apex metal detector! You could be the next winner! Submit your story and photos

NOVEMBER 2021 has two WINNERS!!!

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My U.S. Favorite Find for November 2021 is the Fisher Body Service Charms 10k, discovered by Tim H. from Michigan with his AT Pro.

Tim’s success story: On November 7, the permission I was detecting was a stone built house, built by the grandfather of the lady living there. I’ve detected her yard 3-4 times finding mostly wheat cents and a lone lead soldier as the only real keepers. I had an hour to spare so I stopped by and continued swinging.

About the time I’d normally put on a headlamp a better tone came thru the Z-Lynk. A quick flip of the plug and a ball of rusted junk appeared. That didn’t make sense. Got out my light and a brush and found I had some charms on a rusted ID bracelet. A little more cleaning and the charms were getting sparkly. The ID bracelet was all rusted but attached were 3 Fisher Body carriage charms for 10, 15, and 20 years service. They are 10k and are set with rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. The lady had no family she could link to Fisher Body or General Motors so with a little persuasion and my obvious excitement she was fine with allowing me to keep and add to my collection.

Tim H. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
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My second U.S. Favorite Find for November 2021 is the 1859 Federal Officers Spur, discovered by Christopher N. from Maryland with his AT Max.

Christopher’s success story: Well as in life never give up. I always wanted to find a spur, whether it be civilian or military. Me and a good friend of mine had stumbled upon a civil war camp site on a property we’ve been detecting for months now and of course signals started slowing down but I knew there was more to be found. So I slowed my swing down and of course the best machine I've ever used the garrett AT Max sniffed it out. The excitement I felt was overwhelming. It’s honestly the best thing I've ever found! Thank you Garrett.

Christopher N. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Next month Vaughan will give away an ACE Apex! You could be the next winner! Submit your story and photos


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My United States Favorite Find for October 2021 is the Gold Plated Russian Orthodox Cross, found by Bill W. from Washington with his Ace 300.

Bill’s success story: I’ve been metal detecting since early 2021. Covid-19 has made many of us feel isolated with the walls closing in. But just getting outside in the fresh air and seeing other people enjoying the outdoors has really helped. I’ve dug up over a thousand individual items since January but one of my favorites is this gold plated Russian Orthodox cross. The lettering Спаси means save, as well as Сохрани means save. Together this combination of words can mean bless and save (me). Every little child the the Orthodox religion receives such cross right after he or she is baptized with the same hope to be protected and saved by God. Ironically, this cross was dug up in a tiny city park only 200 feet from my back door!

Bill W. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Next month Vaughan will give away an ACE Apex Metal Detector. You could be the next winner. Submit your story with photos!


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My United States Favorite Find for September 2021 is the WWII Soldier’s I.D. Plate, found by Jeffrey L. from Wisconsin with his AT Max.

Jeffrey’s success story: It’s not just a name on a plate, it’s a wonderful story. On Tuesday September 20th I was detecting at a road tear-out just down the road from me. They had just removed a sidewalk and it was pitch black out, 11pm. I found a flat piece of metal, unable to see what it was in the dark. I brought it home and to my surprise it was a 1" by 5" plate that was impressed with the name of a soldier from World War II!! Pvt. Theodore Wietrzykowski. It had his unit, rank, and battalion, and 1945 on it.

I knew I had to at least try to find out more about him and get this to his family. I reached out on a local Facebook city group and with some sleuths on there I was able to find and reach out to his nephew, Kenny. Turns out Theodore had died in 1999 and never married or had kids. His nephew and his sister who is 96 now are his only living close relatives. Kenny was very excited to get the plate and we planned to meet up. He had moved 2 hours away but luck would have it, he was gonna be in town that Wednesday to clean up Teddy’s grave and other family graves. We met at the bar and he bought me some drinks and we talked about Teddy, his time in the war, and what he did afterwards. We talked for 3 hours and it was wonderful, about growing up in my city during that time period, and hopefully showing it to his mother, Teddy’s sister. She would love to see it.

Kenny has a cabinet with Teddy’s uniform and medals, and he put the plate on front of that cabinet. In the end he gave me permission to freely search an 80 acre field he owns in the area. I updated the Facebook group and everyone loved it. To me it was just a name, just a plate. To his nephew and sister, it was a brother, uncle, a friend. I’m so very happy I was able to do this!!! It’s what’s detecting is about.

Inscription on the plate:
Private Theodore Wietrzykowski
Company B 370 Com Engineer Battalion
APO 799 C/O PM New York
13 April 45

Jeffrey L. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector! CONGRATULATIONS!!!
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My second United States Favorite Find for September 2021 is the 1945 Iwo Jima Marine Corp ring, found by Janis P. from Oregon with her AT Pro.

Janis’s success story: We were hunting in one of our local favorite areas just after Christmas, I was using one of my Garrett AT Pro detectors with the stock coil when I got a hit about 8” deep, I dug down and found a 1945 Iwo Jima ring, we cleaned it up and researched Iwo Jima and found that there was thousands of Marines that landed on Iwo Jima so finding the owner would be near impossible. We contacted our local VA museum and show them the ring, they said that they would love to have it for their display so I donated it to them. They sent me a very nice thank you letter.

Sincerely, Janis

Janis P. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector! CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Next month Vaughan will give away an ACE Apex Metal Detector! You could be the next winner. Submit your story!


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My United States Favorite Find for August 2021 is the Love Story Diamond Wedding Set, found by Shawn J. from Nevada, with his Apex.

Shawn’s Success Story: I was meeting family for breakfast on my birthday and decided to arrive early so I could hunt a park next to the restaurant. I had never hunted this place before as it’s a newer park and I figured finds would be sparse. After 2 hours of digging the usual stuff, I was working on the last signal before leaving (family had arrived). At first glimpse, I thought it was just another pull ring. After further examination of the hole though, I realized it was a ring... but not just any ring. Pulling it out, I knew I had a monster in my hands! The wedding and engagement rings were melded together and covered in diamonds. It was stamped 14k with the name “Love Story”. I found the set online, its approx retail value was $3,300. Though I’d need to get it appraised to be certain, either way... some birthday luck was with me this year!

Shawn J. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Next month Vaughan will give away an ACE Apex Metal Detector! You could be the next winner. Submit your store.


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My United States Favorite Find for July 2021 is the Extremely Rare Connecticut Copper Miller 6.4-K, discovered by Wil C. from New York with his Ace 400.

Wil’s success story: It was a nice spring day and a good one for metal detecting. I took out my Ace 400 and went to see what I could find. Now I have never been a believer in the idea that trees are treasure troves, but I really had never searched around them. I poked around the base of an old tree and right by the roots I got a solid hit. About 8" down I pulled out this beauty of a copper coin. As if the condition wasn't enough, this variety is the Miller 6.4-K, which, according to PCGS, there are about 20 known to exist and there is a pretty good chance this is the only one that has ever been found metal detecting. So now every time I tell someone that there are only 20 known of my coin, their eyes bug out and they ask, "what metal detector did you find it with?", I reply "with my trusty Garrett."

Wil C. WINS an ACE Apex metal detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
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My second United States Favorite Find for July 2021 is the pair of George Washington Inaugural Buttons, discovered by Jacob S. from Maine with his AT Max.

Jacob’s success story: It was July 27th and it was a very humid day here on the coast of Maine. I had just received a new permission to a large 100 acre property that I assumed had at least 1 colonial area cellar hole. Since it was so humid, I figured I would do a “test dig” for a short time just to get an idea on what the permission had to offer.. The property was mostly tall hay, and thick stubby blueberry bushes that make it tough to detect, but with my AT Max, I knew I could manage a few signals.

I walked around to where I suspected the first cellar hole was and found it fairly easily. I turned on my trusty AT Max and started to detect. It was quiet at first, but I then swung over a loud 60 signal. I cut the plug and used my Garrett pin pointer to find the target. It was a big dandy button, and as every detectorist that hunts for colonial relics does, I immediately looked to see if it had a design. The button did, and after a quick brushing, to my amazement it was a George Washington Inaugural button. I had found the holy grail of colonial buttons in my first plug at this new permission!

After doing some celebrating and calling a friend and my dad to tell them what I had found, I knew I was going to spend a few more minutes detecting in that immediate area that evening. I walked about 20 to 30 feet and my very next target I got a crisp 80-81 signal and thought for sure I was going to pull out a colonial copper coin. When I flipped this next plug, another big button was staring back at me. I was almost scared to look at it, no way it could be another GW... I turned it over and immediately saw another “GW” in the middle of the button. I was in shock! I couldn’t believe I had just found 2 GW buttons in back to back plugs! What are the chances?! I never dreamed that I would find just 1 GW button...

A GW button was on the top of my “bucket list”. But, being from a small town on the coast of Maine, with only a small amount of colonial settlement, I figured I would never get to see one. But somehow, I managed to find them. I can’t thank Garrett enough for making such an amazing machine like the AT Max. My AT Max gives me the most confidence to go to places where other detectors would struggle. The Max gets the job done in those tough spots and hard to reach areas. This was a perfect example, and without it, I more than likely would have never saved those 2 pieces of history. Thank you Garrett and Long Live the President!

Jacob S. WINS an ACE Apex metal detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Next month Vaughan will give away an ACE APEX. You could be the next winner. Submit your story!


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My United States Favorite Find is the Princess Cut Marquis Diamond Ring, found by Susan B. from Illinois with the AT Pro.

Susan’s success story: June 18, 2021. Good Morning! Attached is a pic of the ring I found last week! I found it in Lake Michigan/Chicago with my AT PRO.

It has 40 Princess cut inlay diamonds and the center is a Marquis. My only clue of its value so far is the jeweler said he couldn’t find any “inclusions” in the Marquis. The stone setter said “I’m not a gemologist or appraiser but I think it’s worth $15,000.00 - $20,000.00!!!!”. Can’t wait to see the appraisal!

😃 Beyond addicted to detecting!!!!

Susan B. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Update 7-22-21: Susan got the appraisal back on her ring. $12,500. Wow!
Next month Vaughan will give away an ACE Apex Metal Detector! You could be the next winner! Submit your story.

MAY 2021 WINNER!!!

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My US Favorite Find for May 2021 is the Engagement Ring Recovery, found by Burgess S. from South Carolina with the AT Max, 5x8 coil, and Pro-Pointer AT (Carrot).

Burgess’s success story: Mr. Garrett, I wanted to share my find story, not to the fact that I found the ring but I got to give it back to someone who thought they would never see it again. I was contacted by a woman in her 60s who had lost her engagement ring EIGHT years ago. The woman explained to me how the ring was lost; her dog ate it...no joke.

She said her dog loves to eat shiny objects and the ring was on the coffee table when she went to bed. The next morning she could not find her ring anywhere, throughly checking the house, only then did she suspect the dog might have eaten the ring. The woman and her husband have searched the backyard (for 8 years now), where the dog would have “processed the ring out”, even renting a detector, only to find frustration and disappointment.

This story is more amazing to the fact that the woman and her husband will be moving soon due to selling their house. She said this hunt is her last try before giving up all hope to see the ring again.

When I arrived I found her backyard to be approximately 400' x 600'. I asked her the most probable locations the dogs usually go to the restroom and she pointed out about 8 large, different spots, but these were only guesses. I explained to her that I would give it my best shot. I started working, very diligently, still not knowing exactly where in the vast yard the ring could be. Slowly sweeping an inch above the grass, I walked my lines in overlapping patterns. In the first hour of hunting I dug about 30 holes. Two holes contained personalized pet dogs tags, those dogs long ago deceased. She had not seen those tags in years which brought back to her fond memories.

About the two hour mark I heard a clear but jumpy medium/high tone to which I cut a 6" deep plug and lifted it up, seeing nothing. I stuck my Garrett Pro-Pointer in the hole, and it alerted! I moved some dirt and found a piece of aluminum. I thought to myself, “well that must be it but I’ll re-check the hole/plug”. (Always recheck). The pin-pointer did not signal to anything else in the hole but when I checked the bottom of the plug the pointer alerted to metal. I scratched away the dirt and saw the edge of a white gold ring! How absolutely amazing! I found her ring!

Walking across the yard, I told her that “miracles do happen and that the ring and her were destined to be together!” She was overjoyed, holding her ring after 8 years, something she thought she would never wear on her finger again! Her and her husband thanked me profusely!

There is no doubt this is absolutely my best metal detecting find to date and possibly may be my best find ever! I just wanted to share my story, and to thank you Mr. Garrett for making such awesome detectors.
Warm regards,

Burgess S. WINS an ACE Apex metal detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Next month Vaughan will give away an ACE Apex Metal Detector. You could be the next winner. Submit your story!!!


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My U.S. Favorite Find for April 2021 is the 999.9 24k Gold Ring from a Texas River, found by Zola T. from Texas with the AT Max.

Zola’s success story: I found this ring in the Guadalupe River, in the Hill Country of Central Texas, on Easter Sunday 4/4/2021. I was using my AT Max that I very recently purchased, in preparation for summer water hunting season. I stopped at the particular location because it is the pick-up spot for a canoe/kayak rental company in the area, so high traffic area. I was just hoping to find a few coins and maybe some “generic” modern jewelry, or even nothing at all. I really was just hoping to learn the “new sounds” on the Max since I normally swing an Apex, with very different sounds. I had no idea I would find something EPIC, on my 1st water hunt with this machine, on the very 1st signal!!

I believe after some research, the ring has the “Elephant God” (Ganesh) carved in it, and it’s stamped “999.9” inside, which “normally” means 24K gold. However, I was very skeptical about it’s authenticity, mainly because it rang up a screaming solid 87 on the Max (also 87-88 on my Apex in my yard), which is very unheard of for gold I thought. It’s also very rough around the bottom part of the ring, almost appearing plated in that area, even though there is no flaking of the gold at all. I was perplexed.

The following day, I took the ring to a local jeweler who specializes in antique and estate jewelry, as well as coins. After testing with 3-4 different fancy machines, the jeweler confirmed that the ring is indeed 999.9 pure gold. She told me the bottom is rough because 24K is extremely soft and scratches very easily, and who knows how long it was rolling around in the river before I found it.

The jeweler also said it’s most likely Indian in origin in her opinion, since India is well known for wearing only 24K gold up until “recently”, when they also started using 780 (18K). She wasn’t exactly sure of the age of the ring, but her guess was that is was probably more modern (although she didn’t give her definition of “modern”). She said that, in her experience, really old Indian jewelry is always stamped with an animal on the inside (i.e. a sheep, a rabbit, or some other animal). Since they only used 24K in India until recently, it really wasn’t necessary to specify the purity with a number. An animal stamp indicated the jeweler who made the piece (maker's mark), and with an animal stamp, it was automatically assumed to be 24K or 999.9, since there was no other options. It wasn’t until “recent times” that they started using numbers, rather than animals.

This find was not just unexpected and amazing, it is also a valuable educational experience, which I happily shared with the community in a post on the ‘Garrett Metal Detectors’ Facebook page.

1st Lesson: Since (I’ve been told) it’s super rare to ever dig jewelry marked 999.9, maybe we (the metal detecting community) just didn’t know that a fairly large chunk of pure gold WILL actually beep 87. I can confirm now that indeed it does. Now we know.

2nd Lesson: If any of us dig any really old gold jewelry in the future, with an animal stamped on it and no numbers, and it looks a little rough around the edges, we should not throw it out thinking it’s junk. Now we know.

Thank you for considering my entry for the “Favorite Finds”. Even if I don’t win, this will still possibly be the find of MY lifetime, and I’m thrilled I got to share the experience and knowledge gained.

Zola T. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Next month Vaughan will give away an ACE Apex. You could be the next winner. Submit your story.


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My U.S. favorite find for March 2021 is the WWII Purple Heart Medal, found by Matt M. from Michigan with his AT Pro.

Matt’s success story: This has to be my favorite find to date! I found the Purple Heart medal at a home in Michigan. The home site has been in the same family since the early 1800’s and after taking a few photos I returned this honorable war metal back to the family who’s loved one honored and sacrificed for our amazing country. I’ve visited this site several times over the last two years and have recovered many great artifacts with my AT PRO.

On March 19th I had a repeatable tone that sounded larger than a coin. I dug a good size plug and popped it from the yard. As I flipped the plug over I noticed an object slide down and land on the grass. It was the Purple Heart which was at a depth of approximately 8 inches. Believed to be from WWII the family and I are still trying to locate the recipient of the medal after roughly 80 years. I’ve attached another image with the medal and the plug as it was before I touched it. If you look, you can actually see the heart impression on the top (bottom) of the plug. Thank you for your time and God bless.

Matt M. WINS an ACE Apex Metal Detector. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Next month Vaughan will give an ACE Apex Metal Detector. You could be the next winner! Submit your story.