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Coins/ age and depth; some observations...
Date: May 14, 2004 03:17PM
I know that there are no hard and fast rules to how far a coin will sink into the soil over a given time, too many variables.
In a nearby park where I hunt, that you could typify as Cen. Texas former blackland prairie, I am finding coins from the late 30's and 40's about 3" deep. Now these coins have a fair amount of wear, so I figure that they have been in the ground about 50 yrs.
In the same park, I also recovered an '04 Barber dime with virtually NO wear from 5.5" down... been down about 100 yrs.
This equates neatly to about 3" per 50 yrs in ground that virtually never freezes and gets a fair amount of rainfall. Not alot of gravel or rocks either to impede a coins gradual descent deep into the turf.
This is also in ground which I am pretty sure has never been disturbed/filled.

Re: Coins/ age and depth; some observations...
Date: May 14, 2004 10:58PM
You can't out figure Mother Nature. I found a coin from the 1700's in an old park in California many years ago that was only two inches under the surface. In the same park I found newer coins at greater depths, including a roll of Buffalo nickels that was down about eight inches.

Re: Coins/ age and depth; some observations...
Date: May 14, 2004 11:02PM
Skillet, I don't have all the answers to the mystery of coin sinkage, and like you say, there are so many variables. Most often, I think coins get deeper not because they sink, they just get buried. In sand, there is no doubt that coins can actually sink. They will drop a little deeper after every heavy rainfall, and also slowly settle with each freeze/thaw cycle. In stable soil that doesn't freeze, coins get deeper not because they sink, but because they lie where they are naturally filled in. In my own yard, I have a sidewalk that when it was laid 25 years ago, it was above the surrounding turf. Now however, the sidewalk is a good 2-3 inches below the turf. I observe the same thing on city sidewalks, especially older ones. They are almost always below the level of the surrounding ground. They weren't built that way. I think this is why a lot of coins appear to sink. The simple accumulation of turf, dust, and organic matter simply buries them, they don't actually sink. The same thing occurs in the woods, sometimes more so. The accumulation of soil from rotted leaves and other organic matter can build up at an amazing rate. In either turf or forest, coins get buried faster in low spots and slower on the high ground. On high ground that also has such poor soil that hardly anything grows, the sink/bury rate is very slow. Just my own unscientific observations, but I would welcome any contrary opinions or further thoughts. HB

Very Interesting People..
Date: May 15, 2004 06:11PM
You do bring up good points.I would not put any money on either point.Sure do give you something to think about.
Ya'll have fun now

Re: Coins/ age and depth; some observations...
Rich (MA)
Date: May 16, 2004 12:43PM
Just last week on a path in the woods I found an 1886 IH barely buried and the day after on the same path a 1925 Merc at 5 inches. Could be the way the rain water runs down the path. On the other hand several weeks ago I found approx. 30 pennies. Pretty much split between wheats and memorials.....Every memorial was 0 - 3" down, every Wheatie was 4" or greater.....

Re: Coins/ age and depth; some observations...
Date: May 16, 2004 04:41PM
There is also dust constantly settling to the ground. When Mt. St. Helens blew up here in 1980 it blew one cubic mile of earth, rock, and debris up into the jet streams. That is still circling the earth to this day.

Re: Coins/ age and depth; some observations...
Date: May 18, 2004 08:35AM
Skillet, where in Texas are you?

Williamson Co. Round Rock/Austin area....
Date: May 18, 2004 09:20AM

Re: Williamson Co. Round Rock/Austin area....
Date: May 18, 2004 09:36PM
Van, Texas, up close to canton, Tyler area.
Thanks Cole

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