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Author: Sandi Gilardi

May 23 Meeting Notes

Recorded by Stepper Camilleis

Scott discussed the possibility of hosting live meetings at our original site in Newton Highlands beginning in September. However, there were some logistical issues addressed, so the MTHA may be considering alternative venues. We discussed the feasibility of hosting the meetings at locales quite far from the greater Boston area. We spoke about the possibility of reinstating a schedule and programs similar to what we had pre-COVID. Currently, a “work in progress.”

We are planning to hold a club hunt soon. One idea was having a cookout in Braintree that day. Details forthcoming on this event, which falls on Father’s Day.

Judi Batchelder gave a recap of the fabulous hunt she sponsored for her second grade class. All the children had a great time too, and maybe some of them nowgot “hooked” on metal detecting! Lots of kids detected quite a few foreign coins that Judi had buried. Glenn, Stepper, and Bob O. attended the hunt and helped out quite a bit as well. Thank you so much for organizing such a great program, and for your support to the community, Judi!

Scott told an interesting story of how he met a schoolgirl and 25 years later she remembered his exciting discussion on gold panning.

Congrats to Bob Denault on his discovery of a stupendous set of platinum earrings!  This of course took top billing for this period.

Two-week Finds Contest winners:

1st – Bob Denault – set of 2 platinum earrings

2nd – Judi Batchelder – Silver butter knife circa early 1900s

3rd – Stepper Camilleis – 1787 “Fugio” cent

Barber half draw – Joe Mishley – didn’t win

Standard raffles:

1883 Morgan dollar – Paulo Adams

1936 Walking Liberty half – Dave Rockwell

1962 Franklin half – Stepper Camilleis

50/50 – Rick Smith (twice in a row!)

May 9 2021 Meeting Notes

Recorded by Stepper Camilleis

The highlight of this meeting was the El Cazador prize raffle. Paulo Adams held up a jar filled with 980 raffle tickets for the certified 1780 Spanish silver coin that was recovered from the wreck of the El Cazador. This spectacular coin was won by Dave Rockwell.


Scott Ferguson came up with the excellent idea of hosting a similar contest, perhaps quarterly rather than annually. One suggestion for a prize is a gold nugget recovered from the SS Central America that sank in 1857. There will be further discussions regarding what works best in terms of shipwreck recoveries.

There was a preliminary discussion about reopening live club meetings starting in September or October. A temporary meeting site was suggested, at the former site of Fort Devens in Ayer. Paulo and Scott aired this proposal out to the attendees of the meeting. Further details will be forthcoming regarding this or any other potential meeting sites.

Regarding the COVID scourge and everyone’s health, we got updates from Rick and Bobby and Sue.

Victor Ausilio discussed how he has observed that so many grandparents are raising children, especially since last year. Judi Batchelder also observed that children are losing their parents and that it’s sometimes tough these days for children to get a decent education, especially in a virtual setting.

Kudos to Judy for sponsoring a program about metal detecting program at the elementary school in Pembroke where she teaches second grade. This is taking place Friday afternoon, May 14. Foreign coins will be strewn over the schoolyard in ample quantity so that each of 16 kids can detect about 20 coins. Thank you so much for your support to the community, Judi!

Paulo mentioned that Rita Colella, a longtime MTHA member and former resident of Watertown, is interested in coming back and joining us on the Zoom meetings soon. It was unanimously voted that Rita would be reinstated as a lifetime member. Welcome back, Rita!

As for exciting detecting stories, Kent Blethen came back and found a beautiful 1747 Mexican 1-reale. Dan Schwartz displayed a 1630s King Charles I British silver twopence a friend of his found. Dan also spoke of a hunt at a park in 2006 in Somerville, near where he used to live, where his detecting buddy found a 1569 Elizabeth I silver coin … this may have come over on the Mayflower or even earlier! Dan also discussed his adventures at Plum Island where he detected lots of old silver coins, and his friend found a Spanish 2-reales and a Revolutionary War button of the Massachusetts 11th Regiment, which is apparently quite rare.

There was also a discussion of an abundance of 17th-century Islamic coins found on the Cape, and debate as to whether these coins were tied to activity of one particular pirate. The general consensus is that the coins and the pirate are not related. Last September, Stepper Camilleis detected a Spanish copper maravedi from 1651 that was in fact determined to be a pirate coin. Stepper lives on the Cape and wasn’t aware of any Islamic coin circulation.

Two-week Finds Contest winners:

1747 Reale

1st – Kent Blethen – 1747 Mexican 1-reale

2nd – Aidan Shea – gold ring with onyx stone

3rd – Stepper Camilleis – Coin spill of 3 Barber quarters and a “V” nickel

Barber half draw – Christina Lamkin – didn’t win (180 tickets sold for this)

Standard raffles:

1902 Morgan dollar – Bob Denault

1960 Franklin half – Sue Rockwell

1941 Walking Liberty half – Aidan Shea

50/50 – Rick Smith

El Cazador ticket raffles:

Grand prize – 1780 Spanish 2-reales – Dave Rockwell

2nd place – 1921 Morgan dollar – Bob O’Neill

3rd place – 1934 Peace dollar – Judi Batchelder

4th, 5th and 6th place – SLQs – Bob Denault, Scott Ferguson and Stepper Camilleis

Special Prize – El Cazador comic book – Sue Rockwell

April 25 Meeting Notes

April 25 minutes by Stepper

Scott spoke of his scuba diving adventures where he has found lots of good stuff in lakes and ponds.

There was discussion about the current and changing parking situation at Revere Beach. Parking meters were installed, and special permits for seniors will be effective      May 1. We are also clarifying whether the street (Revere Beach Road) is DCR or municipal property.
Four members were back after health concerns.
Phil is back on his feet now and able to go detecting.

Speaking of “Tree” coins, Scott spoke of a recent acquaintance, a lady who just started detecting a year ago, who recently found a 1662 Pine Tree twopence … beginners luck?!
Sandi told us an interesting story about an event just a few days preceding her stupendous find of a 1652 Pine Tree shilling over a year ago. She explained that good acts earlier in the week resulted in the rare coin she detected!
Bob was logged in to our meeting from Tampa where he was paying respects to his family. Bob told us a story of how his brother would give a gift to his sister, such as a two-headed silver dollar or a colorized $2 bill, on her birthday which is April 15. Then on Richard’s birthday, April 23, she’d give it back to him. This family tradition went on for 55 years!

So many great finds this month! Broderick took his toddler son to the beach, and Broderick found a Civil War Union artillery button. Glenn , on
another detecting trip, to New Jersey this time, found an 1807 Mexican half-reale and lots of other goodies. Judi found an amazing 1924 high school class ring made of 10k gold. She also found other great stuff, including an 1855large cent in incredibly preserved condition at an old yard.
Congrats to Joe Mishley for winning the Diorama lead soldier contest.  Joe presented an array of dug toy soldiers, 3-ringer bullets
and other cool items.
Paulo Adams mentioned that he’s already collected $511 in ticket sales for the El Cazador 1780 Mexican 2-reale coin that had been donated by Jack Beth, one of the MTHA’s “Founding Fathers.” Jack has since retired and moved to Arizona. Paulo has sent out an email to all members about the deadline for purchasing tickets for the raffle of this historical coin salvaged from the El Cazador, which had sank in 1784.
The April item for the end of year raffle is a 1935-D Arkansas Centennial commemorative half dollar, of which only 5,505 were struck. This is a beautiful coin and appears to be in nearly mint condition.

Two-week Finds Contest winners:

1st – Judi Batchelder – 1924 10k gold class ring

2nd – Glenn Godwin – 1807 Mexican ½-reale
3rd – Stepper Camilleis – Sterling silver thimble
Buffalo nickel draw – Rick Smith – he won the pot of 4 Standing Liberty quarters!  Congrats, Rick!
1921 Morgan dollar – Paulo Adams
1963 Franklin half – John McGillicuddy
1942 Walking Liberty half – Dave Rockwell

50/50 – Rick Smith ($71) – Bob Denault

April 11 Meeting Notes

Notes from Stepper

Scott Ferguson Spoke about the possibility of resuming Club meetings perhaps in September or thereabouts. It will involve a tactical situation regarding availability and opportunity for nearly everyone to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by  the time the doors reopen.

Scott gave a recap of the Easter Egg hunt that took place on Wollaston Beach on Saturday, April 3. Everyone had a great time, and found lots of Easter eggs filled with silver coins.

Mary McCue told her story about Scott finding multitudes of gold rings, and when she found her first ring she also got “hooked” on metal detecting!

Christina is getting a new Minelab detector soon. She showed us some old (late1800s / early 1900s) bottles she found in her backyard. She also plans to get a

fine sifting screen, perhaps ¼” hardware mesh. Christina suggested that the Diorama contest is a good place to post dug lead soldiers. Thanks for sharing, Christina, and best of luck with your new detector!

Rick told an interesting story of how he set a goal to always find at least $3 in clad coins at each round of detecting. One of these ventures led him to a site where he found lots of obsolete coins including a Barber half, a Spanish reale and a large cent!

Dan Schwartz spoke about how he got permission to detect a 1600s house yard that had been dug up, but was disappointed in not finding anything of interest.  Mark Roberts mentioned that his Equinox 600 screen cracked and he sent it in, and will have it back in time for his upcoming trip to Texas to visit family. Mark also recapped the status of the El Cazador contest, indicating that $531 has been collected for the drawing next month.

18K Gold Ring

Two-Two-week Finds Contest winners:

1st – Glenn Godwin – 18K gold ring with precious stone

2nd – Kent Blethen – Victorian silver cufflink

3rd – Judi Batchelder – 1925 Charlie Chaplin movie token (“The Gold Rush”)

Buffalo nickel draw – Judi Batchelder – didn’t win so there are now 4 Standing

Liberty quarters in the pot


1897 Morgan dollar – Judi Batchelder

1962 Franklin half – Mary Jane Tsiakalis

1943 Walking Liberty half – Paulo Adams

50/50 – Rick Smith ($55)

“Captain Morgan” Albert Einstein silver round – Stepper Camilleis