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Coins Sinking

gabbyhayes

Member
Curious about what causes coins to sink? I suspect gravity does play a part, though eventually coins seem to stop sinking.

Here in Canada with our cold winters frost pushes rocks to the surface. Just ask any farmer in my neck of the woods. Every spring the farmer must harvest a fresh crop of stones that mysteriously appeared over the winter.


Some people believe it's the vegetation that builds up and I'm sure that is part of the puzzle.
Anything definitive out there?
 

MarkCZ

Active member
In non plowed areas, like parks and other mowed areas the depth of items like coins will be greater (deeper) according to the amount of top soil!
the more top soil, (top soil growth) the deeper the targets. The wooded area around our city park has coins in around the same time span, there
is less than half the top soil depth!!!! and coins run WAY more shallow in these areas! WAY LESS! and main area of the park is MOWED and the leaves and clippings are NOT COLLECTED!
Coins DO NOT SINK! unless the area is swampy, sloppy enough for them to sink!
I've even heard some claim its rain drops that POUND the coins into the ground! LoL! and that's because they were finding coins in an area that were 6" to 8" and they moved a very old fallen
log and found a coin in the same date range only a couple inches deep, they concluded that the log sheltered the coin from the rain drops!!! (REALLY) they never thought that the log prevent
soil growth above the coin.
They don't sink!
If you take a 55 gallon barrel full of dirt, tamp the dirt down really well, lay a quarter on top of the dirt, water really well weekly and cover it with a lid, that coin will remain within an inch or so
of the top 500 years later!!!!! and if when it gets water the surface doesn't get SLOPPY the coil will remain on top for 10 billion years! they don't SINK!
 

dfmike

Active member
I live in an area with varied types of soil and I've noticed that depending on the amount of sand/black earth/granular vs clay, the old coins will be either higher up or lower. Packed clay = higher up, more granular black earth or sandy soils = further down. This has been a constant for me in the areas near where I live (in Canada as well). Whether the area is maintained (parks, schools, etc,) or not (woodland) does not seem to change that constant for me. I invite you to read the following and make up your own mind.

The rain drop or kinetic energy theory that Mark is referring to can be found here:

https://www.minelab.com/usa/community/treasure-talk/why-do-coins-sink

Here is an interesting thread at treasurenet: It's worth a read just to have a good laugh. Some posts in there really cracked me up.

http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/general-discussion/320935-why-do-coins-sink.html
 

MarkCZ

Active member
They do not sink in any real average soil!
Case in point, here is my front porch/deck!

DSC06794.JPG


I just rebuilt it about two months ago, I first built it around 1984 the step down deck isn't under roof and the old weathered decking boards had pretty large cracks between them and it got WET underneath
it whenever it rained, BUT nothing every grew under it. When I built it the first time I didn't to much to clean out from under it. Well when I tore out the old deck they were dozens of rusty nails & screws, a few pennies, (no zinkers), a couple of dimes, pop cans, square sta-tabs, but none of them had sunk! they were ALL easy pickup from on top of the ground. I used a magnet for the nails.

Here is what the step down deck looked like just before I put down the decking boards. In this picture I still have one section of framing to complete, notice how wet it is under it??

DSC06767.JPG


Here is the rest of the framing.

DSC06779.JPG



Coins don't sink!
This is why I said what I did about the barrel full of dirt and watering it weekly with a coin on top, it will stay on top for a lest a billion years!
In the woods around our city park the coins are ALL within the top soil (above the clay) and all the coins in the maintained area of the park is within the top soil!
BUT!! the top soil in the wooded area is only 4" or so before you get to the clay, the maintained area of the park the top soil is closer to 9" and so in the past 80 years or so there has been over double
the soil growth in the maintained area of the park, so the coins dropped at the same time in 1920 in both area are nowhere close to the same depth now!!
They don't sink!
 

gabbyhayes

Member
Thanx for the two links. Interesting read.
I was sure that this topic has been discussed previously, and there are alot of theories out there for sure.
I'll have to ask my cousin who has a PHd in geology what his theory is.:)
 

GeorgeinSC

Active member
I have seen claims that the reason coins are down in the dirt at depths of as much as a foot is because of grass clippings building up over them If that is so why is the sidewalk that was built 20 years ago still at the same level as it was when built. Yes Coins sink to a depth where the soil supports their weight against the pull of gravity.
 

MarkCZ

Active member
Thanx for the two links. Interesting read.
I was sure that this topic has been discussed previously, and there are alot of theories out there for sure.
I'll have to ask my cousin who has a PHd in geology what his theory is.:)
This very topic has been more than "Dicussed" TRUST me! its been part of several HEATED DEBATES!! (yes!I've been in them)
It'll go from ocean beach sand, to the swamps of the Everglades, to the Frozen Tundra!!! to prove their theories!
In what most of us call actual soil they don't sink beyond any super sloppy surface condition.
Rain Drops Are pounding On My Head, They Keep Pounding!
 
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dfmike

Active member
Facts based on scientific research would be better than theories.

I went on a search to see if I could get something from Nasa Tom. I figured that as a scientist and metal detecting guru, he might have known something and posted it. I found this on his site. It's not his theory, it's based on Charles Darwin's findings as reported by a forum user. Tom himself chimes in. It's a fascinating read and I encourage anyone to take a look. If you believe the theory and the research, it would prove that coins and any other man made or organic detritus sink but not by themselves and not by the pull of gravity. So the treasurenet guys that were joking about worms were actually on to something. In fact they probably knew of that article and played dumb. The article makes sense to me and I will bookmark it.

http://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/read.php?2,130741,130849
 
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WV62

Active member
From my 45 years of detecting I am going with coins don't sink they are covered up. If you go to a old park that has both grassy areas and open woods. The old coins in the woods will be for the most part one to three inches, the same old coins in the grassy area will be in the ballpark of 5 to 8 inches.

It would seem that grass clippings build up over top of the coins and make top soil.

So if a coin was dropped in a area that stays somewhat on the wet side, the coins could actually sink or move around.

Ron in WV
 

still looking 52

Active member
I once asked the question which coin would sink the fastest, a dime or a half dollar in the same environment and that opened up a can of worms, still don't know the answer for sure.
 

MarkCZ

Active member
Facts based on scientific research would be better than theories.

I went on a search to see if I could get something from Nasa Tom. I figured that as a scientist and metal detecting guru, he might have known something and posted it. I found this on his site. It's not his theory, it's based on Charles Darwin's findings as reported by a forum user. Tom himself chimes in. It's a fascinating read and I encourage anyone to take a look. If you believe the theory and the research, it would prove that coins and any other man made or organic detritus sink but not by themselves and not by the pull of gravity. So the treasurenet guys that were joking about worms were actually on to something. In fact they probably knew of that article and played dumb. The article makes sense to me and I will bookmark it.

http://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/read.php?2,130741,130849
Well, there must not be any worms in the front area of my house. :rofl:
Of course there are things that COULD cause more settling of the ground beneath the coins,
Worm's LoL! ground hogs, Perrier dogs, ground molds, termite tunnels, earth quakes, sink holes,
ground faults, bulldozers, earth movers, but!
Coins Don't sink in normal conditions, in what we call average soil and soil conditions.
Most of these theories???? are 'what's possible to cause them to sink'
Gravity,
Worms,
ultra sonic vibrations from deep within the surface of the earth,
Kinetic energy from rain drops LoL!
Take a large flour pot, fill the lower half with packed clay making sure the pot has a few small drain holes in its bottom.
then find some ordinary upper yard dirt (top soil) and fill it up to say 2" from the top, maybe spray some soil kill in it to keep
anything from growing. Lay any non zinc coin on top of the dirt, place a lid on it with some small holes in it for water, (maybe even rain)
and come back in a trillion years and check it, the coin will be laying on top of the dirt, IT WILL NOT SINK beyond a extremely sloppy surface.
Its not everything that COULD cause a coin to sink, or rise! its what they normally do, in average conditions.
If we're going to get into what makes them sink, then we need to MAKE sure we cover the why some float!!!
I've just concluded a 36 year experiment with my front deck! everything I left under it in 1984 was still laying on top of the surface of the ground!! its common dirt,
it gets SOAKED every good rain fall, every big large snow melt soaks it, NOTHING sunk! and yes! over the years I have had termite invasions! and worms!

We used to go curb-en in town in the 80's and then the concrete curbs and concrete sidewalks were ALL above the ground, and the early coins from say 1900 to 1920's
were in the 7" range!, now the same curbs has dirt and grass a couple of inches over top of them, and those OLD coins are out of reach now! So, the question is, did the coins sink another 4"
or is there more top soil above them, with the same distance below them to the clay? In the normal conditions all theories can be put to rest.
 
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laplander

Moderator
Staff member
I don't have any opinions on this topic other than targets are where you find them. I have found 100 plus year old coins laying on top the ground in undisturbed ground and clad deeper than heck. Coins at inland beaches around here seem to settle in the clay. The strangest hunt ever was on a party island on the Missouri river. We hunted it after there had been a 5000 plus crowd and didn't find a single coin/jewelry the river actually caused the island to vibrate. Just a few observations LOL
HH Jeff
 

MarkCZ

Active member
Hills make a difference too, coins at the top of the hill are shallower because the soil washes down the hill.
Just wait a few years and the coins will be at the bottom of the hill ;)

Also another little test I've concluded is in 1976 I had four property stakes driven into the ground to mark my property, they were these 4 foot long pieces
of like 3/4" dia. galvanized piped driven into the ground to only two inches or so above the ground, all of them have sunk out of sight except ONE that I had to find and dig out
and then I screwed a long large bolt into it that stuck up above ground another three inches, it was a marker I needed when I installed a privacy fence across my back yard!
So, all four of them sunk, darn ol' warms and rain drops.
 

chuck ky

Active member
Just wait a few years and the coins will be at the bottom of the hill ;)

Also another little test I've concluded is in 1976 I had four property stakes driven into the ground to mark my property, they were these 4 foot long pieces
of like 3/4" dia. galvanized piped driven into the ground to only two inches or so above the ground, all of them have sunk out of sight except ONE that I had to find and dig out
and then I screwed a long large bolt into it that stuck up above ground another three inches, it was a marker I needed when I installed a privacy fence across my back yard!
So, all four of them sunk, darn ol' warms and rain drops.
2 I looked for were on a hill first one was at the bottom and really deep, the one at the top was barely under the ground.
 
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Nauti

Member
The soil is a "living environment which is constantly on the move.Insects,worms,bacteria and plant life continually churn up the soil over the years.Add to this,rain,heat and cold and it is not hard to see why coins sink and rise in this ever changing environment.
 
They do not sink in any real average soil!
Case in point, here is my front porch/deck!

View attachment 739

I just rebuilt it about two months ago, I first built it around 1984 the step down deck isn't under roof and the old weathered decking boards had pretty large cracks between them and it got WET underneath
it whenever it rained, BUT nothing every grew under it. When I built it the first time I didn't to much to clean out from under it. Well when I tore out the old deck they were dozens of rusty nails & screws, a few pennies, (no zinkers), a couple of dimes, pop cans, square sta-tabs, but none of them had sunk! they were ALL easy pickup from on top of the ground. I used a magnet for the nails.

Here is what the step down deck looked like just before I put down the decking boards. In this picture I still have one section of framing to complete, notice how wet it is under it??

View attachment 740

Here is the rest of the framing.

View attachment 741


Coins don't sink!
This is why I said what I did about the barrel full of dirt and watering it weekly with a coin on top, it will stay on top for a lest a billion years!
In the woods around our city park the coins are ALL within the top soil (above the clay) and all the coins in the maintained area of the park is within the top soil!
BUT!! the top soil in the wooded area is only 4" or so before you get to the clay, the maintained area of the park the top soil is closer to 9" and so in the past 80 years or so there has been over double
the soil growth in the maintained area of the park, so the coins dropped at the same time in 1920 in both area are nowhere close to the same depth now!!
They don't sink!
What about Worms?
 
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