Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Baker Lake and Mt. Baker
First find at Baker Lake.
Claire and Steve at Pilchuck park in Snohomish (detected $.39).
Total finds with metal detector since December 26, 2009.

It's New Year's Eve and 2009 is almost over. It's been a fun and interesting year with our blog-and we almost hit the $40.00 mark. We started our quest of The Lincoln Penny Project on July 12, 2009 by finding $.38 while we were camping, but didn't even think about it until this one thing happened. It's been a tradition to go up camping with my family on my birthday (July 12th) might be going on 15 years now. This is a place in the Pacific Northwest, an incredible lake and mountain area-which is named Baker Lake or Mt. Baker. I always help haul the boat up, and this year since my dad passed away, my mom had her friends haul up their trailer. When we got up to the lake, we parked the boat and trailer where they needed to be and my mom's friends took a look around campground 36 where we were staying. They were scanning the ground for some reason and all of a sudden picked up a quarter. The couple has been at this for years adding to their pot whenever they go somewhere. I didn't ask them how much they have found....I should have!

How much money have you passed by on the ground over the last six months? Once we saw them pick up the quarter-our hunt was on! We are a competitive family and like to play games-and this one involved exercise and a way to add to the pot. The first day started with one quarter, a dime and three pennies. Since then, our eyes have been on the prize. Everywhere one goes-it's loaded with finds. Just think how much money you have dropped over the years, and how much you have left sitting. The next time you go to a car wash take a walk around the vacuum stations. When you go shopping, park far away from the entrance and do a quick parking lot walk. We have been at this almost 6 months and have averaged $.23 per day-which equals $83.95 in one year. It's not a lot of moiney - and we aren't out looking everyday either. It's just an entertaining, family game for us. We also added to the fun and bought a family gift for Christmas-a metal detector. Now we have above ground and below ground opportunities for finding coins. Enjoy our family fun, and we welcome you to search and find treasures on the ground. We promise that they will be waiting for you.

Happy New Year!

Daily total: $.40
Above ground: $.01
Below ground: $.39

Grand total to date: $39.59

171 finding days averages out to $.23 per day

Above ground finds: $37.45

Below ground finds: $2.14

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

$.46 below ground and $.22 above

Money finds for the day.
Max with big tree where the dime was found.
Max detecting in the back of the university.
Claire in the front of university sporting the dime that was found.

A quick trip from my car to the post office door brought in two dimes and two pennies. Claire, Max and I took a little time metal detecting at an old university that has an incredible park and grounds for hunting. We actually run at this park during the summer-and thought with all of the activity-this would be a good place to visit. The college building's architecture is amazing-it's a wonderful sight.

The adrenaline starts pumping when you hear a nice signal from the machine (metal detector). Your heart races as you think what you might be it an old silver coin that someone dropped, maybe a ring of some kind? We picked a spot by an enormous tree to begin our search. Leaves are all over-and the ground is sloped like ski moguls. The beep of the machine becomes clear that it is something other than aluminum foil. It signals that it might be a dime. I begin to dig a plug in the's not at the surface, so I check the hole again with the detector. The signal continues to be positive. The dull, metallic item surfaces...I'm thinking it has to be old-holding it in my hand-delicately removing some of the dirt-the date appears- it's a 1989 Roosevelt dime. We didn't unearth any silver this trip, but did add a 1988 Washington quarter, another Roosevelt dime and a Lincoln.

Daily total: $.68

Grand total to date: $39.19

170 finding days averages out to $.23 per day

Above ground finds: $37.44

Below ground finds: $1.75

Monday, December 28, 2009

Our third day of detecting

After passing out fliers by one of our job sites, I decided to get in 45 minutes of metal detecting. Before the job site fliers, I went to the store to get a few things. On my way out of the store I spotted a dime and scooped it up. My metal detecting stop took me to the place that Max and I went to on Sunday. It's a dog park in Bothell, but this time it was late afternoon with very few people. I ended up digging up a number of scrap aluminum pieces, rusty nails, a couple of fishing weights and 2 dimes.

So far we are 3-3(coin finds)on metal detecting hunts-which I am happy about.

Daily total: $.30
Grand total to date: $38.51
169 finding days averages out to $.23

Above ground finds: $37.22
Below ground finds: $1.29

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2nd day out metal detecting

Max out searching near frozen pond.
Max finds first bottle cap....with many to come. Check out the open field.
Max out detecting.
The big tree in the background is where we found the 1965 quarter.
Max finds our first quarter!
Max and I went out metal detecting for the second day in a row-hitting three different spots. Our first hunt brought in 3 Lincoln pennies from a playground. The second stop gave us a big, fat zero in coins, but a bunch of junk aluminum. The final place we visited was a large dog park in Bothell. The new metal detector takes time to understand and get the feel of. We tried using different settings while we were hunting. Garrett recommends using the "all metal" mode when learning to use the detector at first. Max and I were getting all kinds of nails and rusted spikes in the all metal mode. After an hour of hunting, we switched it to the "coins" mode and Max came up with our first quarter within a few minutes. The next target we hit was a dime. Our final target was a 1965 quarter-one year shy of silver. The cool thing about our finds was that the first quarter was a 1983-the year I graduated...and the final quarter was a 1965-the year I was born.

We didn't do any above ground searching today.

Daily find: $.63
Grand total to date: $38.21
168 finding days averages out to $.23 per day.

Above ground finds: $37.12
Below ground finds: $1.09

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Whidbey Island find

This is our first day out with the new metal detector. Max was so excited he put it all together and was ready to hit the dirt digging. We went over to see Brittany and spend some time with her. She got home from work and we all ended up playing games until midnight.

For over 20 years we have had family picnics on Whidbey Island at my parent's place. We would play all kinds of games-and one in particular was, "Money in the Hay Stack." My dad would lay the tarp on the grass and dump the hay out. All of the adults would contribute to the pot by throwing in loose change and dollar bills for the kids. What a perfect place to try out the metal detector. It actually worked out awesome. The detector was hitting all kinds of signals. Max and I started digging and came up with $.46 in change. We didn't want the yard to look like a mole factory-so we gave it a rest. Of course we did a great job of putting the dirt back in the hole and the grass patch back on. It looks like it was never disturbed.

On our way back home we took the ferry and ended up finding 2 quarters in the coin return of the newspaper and vending machine.

Daily total: $.96

Grand total to date: $37.58
Above ground finds: $37.12
Below ground finds: $.46

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Wow, it's Christmas Eve! Sure is amazing how time flies by....

We spent the morning getting candied yams and desserts ready for the big dinner with Claire's family. After the meals were prepared, we dropped by the post office to check our P.O. Box and found some change in the parking lot. On the way up north, Starbucks called our names. A nickel was spotted near the newspaper rack.

Daily total find: $.43

Grand total to date: $36.62

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last minute Christmas shopping adds to The Lincoln Penny Project!

We doubled our finds from earlier today by adding $1.32 to the pot. Claire and I needed to go to the mall to pick up some photos and get a couple of stocking stuffers. Of course she ends up finding the first few coins of the evening, but I top it off by scoping out the one dollar bill that is sitting under a counter at a cookie stand. The strange thing about the paper currency is that two ladies are standing right over it and completely miss it. With all of the hustle and bustle of people moving about-they obviously were not aware of the bill. Being at the right place and time was in our favor.

Happy Holidays and Happy Hunting!
Earlier day total find: $1.17 + evening tally $1.32 = $2.49
Grand total to date: $36.19

Two new finds for today...What joy!

When I was out and about today working on some repairs, I found a little over a dollar in change. Two of the coins turned out to be firsts for us. One coin was a British 5 Pence dated 2000, and the other was a John Tyler-Presidential $1.00 coin. When I first stumbled upon the Tyler dollar, I thought it was a token coin of some kind. Then I turned it over and saw the Statue of Liberty and the $1....I had to google the coin to check out the mint status. One learns something new everyday. How cool!

Daily total find: $1.17

Grand total to date: $34.87

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Only 4 pennies today

When I think of the number 4, Lou Gehrig comes to mind. The powerhouse, "Iron Horse" Lou, was the clean up hitter for the New York Yankees. He came in when legendary first baseman, Wally Pipp, had a headache one day. Miller Huggins, the Yankees Manager, told Wally to stay out and take a rest for a game. Lou Gehrig ended up playing in 2,130 consecutive games-which allowed Wally a long rest. What happened to Wally Pipp after Lou stepped in? Google it and check it out.

Claire and I ended up making it to Yankee Stadium on the final year that the Yankees played in "The House That Ruth Built." What a treat it was to be in the same stadium that all of the greats of the past once roamed. One could vision Gehrig, Ruth, Mantle and Dimaggio running the bases, hitting home runs and tracking down the ball. It was truly amazing to be at 161st and River Ave where Gehrig and Ruth walked the streets after a game.

This brings us to our big 4 pennies for the day-which adds $.04 to the pot. It's a day for Lou Gehrig, #4.
Daily total find: $.04
Grand total to date: $33.70

Saturday, December 19, 2009

We are building up dollars with fractions

We have been finding an average of a little more than $.20 each day since our initial quest of The Lincoln Penny Project. Some days allow us to be out hunting more than others, but it's still awesome to be able to pick up a coin of any kind that will add to the pot. So far the project has brought in over $33.00, which isn't bad for picking lost money up off the ground over the last few months. It's not that we are going out of our way to locate this lost change either....Well we might park farther away in a parking lot from the grocery store, but this allows us to get in some more exercise while our eyes peek at the pavement.

Look at the portion of a $1.00 bill that we found. This is obviously a fraction of a dollar, but unfortunately can not be used. All of the pennies, dimes, nickels and quarters that we find on the ground soon adds up to the mighty dollar.

What could $33.00 do for a charity? What if 100 other people or families did the same things as we are doing and donated it to a charity. We challenge you to not go out of your way and look on the ground-you will be amazed at the amount of change that you will end up finding. Just think if 10 people found $.05 per day-this would equal $182.50 in one year. What if 1,000 people found a nickel a day? This would calculate out to $18,250.00. One million people that found $.05 each day would bring in $18,250,000.00 in one year. It sure makes our $33.00 look small, but this shows the power of community involvement with small amounts of money from everyone. What if everyone in the United States put $.05 each day into a pot for one year. You work out the math on this one....Incredible! That's what fractions of one dollar do for you. They eventually add up to a big number.

Daily total find: $.27

Grand total to date: $33.66

Friday, December 18, 2009

First Costco parking lot find!

Our Costco in Woodinville, Washington probably has one of the cleanest parking lots around. We typically find several coins inside the store by the hot dog stand/vending machine area, but this time I finally scooped up the first coin outside the box store. Claire said that it's impossible to find money in the lot. I'm thinking with all of the traffic that comes and goes-we are bound to pick up something. Today turned out to be the day that I scored. I was even telling myself, "I'm going to find something before I get in the door," and bam....there it was, albeit - a penny...but a coin indeed!

My truck needed a good washing today, so I hit one of the car wash stations. When I finished washing the truck, I pulled into the first vaccum that was available and a quarter was waiting for me. There also must have been a pocket spill of pennies because I ended up with 12 of them.

Daily total: $.38

Grand total to date: $33.39

New Washington Quarter post!

On October 22, 2009 we posted about our Washington Quarter finds to date, which resulted in 31 quarters. The breakdown of quarters consisted of:

31 total quarters equaled $7.75
Original quarters (13)
New quarter program (16) This breakdown inlcuded 10 state finds.
Canadian quarters (2)
Since that first post of quarters, here is the tally to date: 55 quarters!
55 quarters equals $13.75
Original quarters (23)
New quarters (28) State breakdown has grown from 10 to 19 states
Canadian quarters (4)

State quarter breakdown:

Arizona (3)
Arkansas (1)
Connecticut (1)
Deleware (1)
Georgia (3)
Idaho (1)
Kansas (1)
Missouri (1)
Nebraska (3)
New York (1)
North Carolina (2)
Oregon (1)
Rhode Island (2)
South Carolina (1)
Texas (1)
Utah (1)
Vermont (1)
Washington (2)
West Virginia (1)

Thanks for looking! Good luck and happy hunting!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Look what 2 minutes of my time brought in!

I found $.43 in under two minutes-which calculates out to $12.60 in an hour tax free...not bad. It's not much, but it's better than a hole in the head.

The family hasn't been out hunting lately. It's the hustle and bustle of the season for everyone. Wouldn't this be the best time of year to be out looking? That's what got me to stop by the local car wash to take a gander today. I hit my favorite vacuum stations and scooped up the coins quickly.

Christmas will soon be upon us - and everyone is excited. We have a metal detector picked out-so hopefully Santa will come through!

*Update: Claire and I went grocery shopping and to the video store this evening and came up with another 4 pennies for the pot. We both went in separate entrances to Albertsons and met each other with a Lincoln. Her penny was shinier than mine. At the checkout counter she was basically standing on a copper coin-which I gladly picked up (she didn't even see it). My two pennies to her one. The video store was the last stop, and she spotted the final coin of the evening-another Honest Abe. We ended up splitting the evening-a tie for finds.

Total finds for the day: $.47
Grand total to date: $33.01

Good luck and happy hunting!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday Breakdown

It's been a while for the Tuesday breakdown, so here it is!
Check out the photos... The first photo is from our Baker Lake camping trip and our first find on July 12, 2009. We ended scooping up $.38. A couple of weeks later we found our first dollar bill and more coins. Look how the pot has grown since that first day!

Hunts have been limited, but we are still keeping our eyes on the prize. It's amazing where we came from, a whopping $.38 on our first find-to $32.54 today. Remember that these are above ground finds! It's the parking lot at the grocery store, video store, fast food restaurant and baseball stadium. It's the walk that you go on with your family, the hike, the road trip-these are the places that these coins surface-and it's all above ground.

Can you imagine what is waiting beneath the ground? What would enhance our searches? A metal detector of course! That will be one of our family gifts-and we are excited to expand our Lincoln Penny Project's finds.


$5.00 (1)=$5.00

$1.00 (2)=$2.00

$.25 (51) + 4 Canadian = $13.75

$.10 (58) + 2 Canadian = $6.00

$.05 (30) + 1 Canadian + 1 Australian = $1.55

$.01 (409) + 3 Wheaties, 3 Canadian = $4.16

Grand total to date: $32.54

143 finding days averages out to $.24 per day

We are getting an Ace 250 Garrett Metal Detector

Over 35 years ago I had my first metal detector. It was a black, plastic model from Radio Shack. The detector only had an on/off switch, but I felt like a king. I remember only finding a few things that counted, unfortunately most of the items turned out to be trash. Since my family and I have been coin hunting above ground and having success, we could only imagine what kind of finds could be underground.

Our hunting quest started on July 12, 2009, and to date we have recovered over $32.00 in coins and bills. A couple of weeks ago I got the idea of looking at metal detectors, so I started to search for information on the internet. I ran into a great metal detecting forum. Check out the Metal Detecting Forum site. We also recommend checking out Garrett's site.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Check out this Wheat Back Penny!

It was Thanksgiving day and we were on our way to Whidbey Island to spend turkey day with my family. The great thing about going to Whidbey is that you can drive around through Deception Pass or take the Washington State Ferry; both drives provide some awesome scenery. Since we got an early jump, we opted to take the ferry. During holiday weekends-the ferry can be a long wait if one doesn't get moving early. When Claire and I got on the boat, the ferry attendant guided us to our spot. If we would have parked one space away, we would have missed the find. As I opened the car door, I looked down (naturally). To my amazement-Honest Abe was staring up at me from the ferry boat deck. It appeared to be old, but I couldn't make out the date right away. Of course I turned it over to see if it had wheat ears-and indeed it did. It was a 1930 Wheatie! Wow...almost 80 years old, how cool! Earlier finds of the week didn't amount to much, but the wheat back made up for it.

My family will be getting a metal detector for Christmas. I had a couple detectors over 30 years ago, but never kept up with it. Because we have been finding all of these treasures above ground, we started thinking what gems could be under ground. We have decided on getting an Ace 250 Garrett detector.

Recent finds: $.41
Grand total to date: $32.48

Monday, November 23, 2009

First Australian coin found

I walked through a Fred Meyer parking lot back to my truck this afternoon. I noticed two shiny, metallic objects on the pavement and had to stop. When I reached down to scoop up my finds, a lady chuckled. I told her, "I have to pick them up!" She said, "well of course you do!" I noticed that they were Canadian coins; a dime and a nickel. As I put the coins in my camera bag, I found out that the dime was actually a 5 cent Australian coin to my amazement. These two coins were side by side, obviously dropped by someone that didn't want either coin. The Australian five-cent coin is smaller than a nickel, but slightly larger than a dime in case anyone was interested. Queen Elizabeth II is also on both the Canadian coin and Australian coin.

Daily total find: $.20 (doesn't include the Aussie)

Grand total to date: $32.07

134 finding days averages out to $.24 per day

Friday, November 20, 2009

Long time, no post!

It's been quite a while since our last post. Over the last couple of weeks the weather has been terrible, so hunting has been limited....or maybe it's been a lazy spell?
I ended up stopping by the car wash to vaccum out my truck. Someone ended up leaving me 2 Canadian quarters in the coin return plus a few pennies

Finds over the last couple of weeks: $1.33

Grand total to date: $31.87

131 finding days averages out to $.24 per day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New car wash stop brings in $.27

Another job site took me to a different car wash. It's always great to run into a new place for coin hunting-especially when it produces the mighty round object(s). Most stops produce some kind of find-and this one brought in two dimes and seven pennies.

Daily total find: $.27
Grand total to date: $30.54
120 finding days averages out to $.25 per day

High fives for The Lincoln Penny Project!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Bonk on the Head Means A Penny in the Pocket


Last night was our volleyball game to determine wether or not we would go to state. We played the game of our lives, but did not end up winning in the end! It was the best game we have ever played as a High school volleyball team, and a great way to end the season for the seniors!

After the game, we headed off to dinner at Applebees. We had a great dinner, great food with good people, it was a blast! We were on our way back to the bus to embark on our 3 hour bus ride all the way back to Bothell, when I spotted a penny. It was laying right there looking up at me, tails up in front of the bus. Keep in mind, tails up....

I bent down to pick up the very vibrant and shiny penny, and on my way back up I hit my head smack dab on the mirror of the bus....I started laughing sooo hard that I tripped and I could barely get up the stairs into the bus. I think the bus driver thought I was crazy, or something....haha

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Portland, Oregon produces zilch

Saturday morning started early for us. I needed to be at two different job sites to make sure the projects were going smooth. We also needed to be down in Vancouver, Washington by 2:00pm for Andrea's district volleyball finals that could bring her team to state. It's 175 miles to the tournament-and we got on the road at 11:20am. It was a torrential downpour most of the way down south, so we are glad that we took the truck. When we arrived at the match, the score was 4-4. The Greater St. Helens team is fifth in the state, and they beat Drea's team the first two games-which were close. Bothell Cougars beat their opponent the next two games. The best of five came down to one last duel. It was a fight to the end. Both teams played exceptionally well; it could have gone either way. Greater St. Helens came out on top-beathing Bothell 16-14-winning the match 3 games to 2.

As far as the hunt is concerned-we didn't find anything in Vancouver. Claire and I decided to travel a few miles down the highway to hit Portland, Oregon. We ended up buying some tennis shoes and ended up getting stumped on the finds in the state of Oregon. We looked for about 15-20 minutes at a few parking lots where we shopped, but came up empty. Washington State has been a much more coin finding friendly state, and it proved the theory at our first stop back in Washington for fuel at a Tacoma gas station. Claire and I ended up finding 3 pennies right outside of the truck's doors.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Breakdowns of the week.... Topping the $30.00 mark!

Here's another week for The Lincoln Penny Project. Let's see how we did!

Last week's grand total was: $26.92

This week's grand total is: $30.03
$5.00 (1) = $5.00
$1.00 (2) = $2.00
$.25 (49) + 2 Canadian (51) = $12.75
$.10 (52) + 1 Canadian (54) = $5.40
$.05 (25) = $1.35
$.01 (367) 3 wheat backs, 3 Canadian (373) = $3.73

This is an 11% increase from last week.

Finds of the day brings in $1.22. We topped the $30.00 barrier!

Claire, Andrea and I contributed to The Lincoln Penny Project today. It was a day of work for each one of us; teaching, learning and managing projects.

Andrea found $.28 at her school. It was after her German class that she spotted the Washington Quarter and three pennies in the school's hallway. She was pumped! After one of our roofing projects, I needed to vacuum the truck out at a car wash that I have never stopped at. When I pulled into the vacuum station and opened my door, look what was waiting for me....COINS!! The change added up to $.74. A Canadian Penny was also in the coin catch-a 1949 penny-the oldest find to date.

Claire and I attended Andrea's Volleyball district finals during the evening. They played a tough match, but ended up losing 3-1. Andrea's team still has an opportunity to end up 3rd overall...Yeah! After her match, Claire and I did a night time car wash run. She ended up finding $.08 and I found $.12.

Daily total find: $1.22
Grand total to date: $30.03
114 finding days averages out to $.26 per day
This could equate to $94.90 in one year for The Lincoln Penny Project.