Ear: Dirt fishin'

‘OK, it must be a lucky month for me detecting,” Astorian Don Kelly posted on Facebook of his latest “dirt fishin’” adventure with one of his metal detectors.

“Went to a few of my favorite spots, because they said the rains were coming again soon,” he explained. “I was not expecting to find anything at all of value, because I’ve dug this site many many times before. Well I was wrong, and pulled these keepers (pictured) out of the ground.

“Went down an old trail and found an old sterling silver St. Christopher medallion, and a gold-colored piece of jewelry. Also found what I thought was horse tack but it might be an old collar stud. But in my final hole I found this beautiful amethyst 925 Sterling ring under a big old tree on the path. It’s a stunner for sure, and being under that tree, was protected from the elements. I polished her up and she looks like a brand new vintage ring!”

He thinks the ring is from the Edwardian period, 1901-1910, but has no idea what it’s worth — which doesn’t matter to him, anyway. “To me, it’s priceless,” he said.

If you would like to see more of his finds, go to the Northwest Artifact Recovery Team Facebook page. Among his finds are old U.S. and Chinese coins, an Edwardian shoe buckle, railroad spikes, lead weights, bullet casings, and even a cannonball. “Fifty-plus years of digging,” he quipped. “Never gets old, but I do.”

“When you’re swinging the detector, you really have no clue what you’re about to dig up,” he observed. “I listen to the sounds — my detector is telling me constantly if it’s ferrous or nonferrous objects — so once you look in the hole it could be a rusty nail, or it could be an old silver coin or jewelry. The fun is the hunt! Digging these items up is thrilling, but researching the item is even more rewarding. Gotta love dirt fishin’ in Astoria!”

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Daily Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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