Ear: Coin

Another gem from Don Kelly of the Northwest Artifact Recovery Team (bit.ly/NWDiggers), about a metal detecting find:

"One of the most bizarre items I have ever unearthed, besides a cat in a tin box, was a coin I dug up about eight years ago.

"I was digging in a very old part of Astoria … in an area very seldomly visited anymore. A trail leading into the woods caught my eye as I fired up the detector. Not too far off the path, I got a nice soft high tone that was music to my ears.

"As I dug down about seven inches, I could see a darkened object at the bottom of the hole … The coin (had) an eagle on the back and a 0 mint mark. I knew right away that I had unearthed a silver seated quarter … minted from 1838-1891 …

"As I turned the coin over to check the date … there, staring back at me, were my initials of my name, D.K. I couldn't believe what I was seeing … Needless to say, I said a little prayer at the time and brought it home to do some research.

"Turns out these were called love tokens, which were popular from the 1850s to the 1890s. These coins are smoothed out and decorated and given to loved ones …

"I know you should never clean old coins, but this one was meant to be seen, so I got a coin bezel and cleaned it up and put it on a gold chain."

"I wear it with pride and love, telling the story when people inquire about it," Don added. "I truly in my heart feel like I was meant to find it to wear and remember D.K."

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