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Extracting Gold on Weekends
Beepin' About With Tom Ivines

Extracting Gold on Weekends

This weekend was looking good for fishing until the wind came up.  Last Saturday the winds got well over twenty miles an hour off shore and enough to tell me the water would be too rough for boating.  Fishing was off.  Instead of fishing I went metal detecting at a small elementary school yard.  I hunted the section of the school yard where the slides and swings are located because it is like a sandy beach.  There's a lot to say for scooping targets with a long-handled scoop rather than leaning over digging them with a trowel. The day was successful with around five dollars in coins and four pieces of jewelry.  The coins were modern clad and nothing special, though, most were quarters.  It seems to me kids these days are carrying the higher denomination coins.  Years ago the majority of all the coins I found in school yards were pennies and dimes. The jewelry I found consisted of three different pieces.  One was a dog and cat stick pin.  One was a medallion type a sheep and scepter stick pin, and one gold heart pendant.  The two stick pins are made of sterling silver and probably are not worth much.  The pendant on the other hand is 14k gold with a white opal on the inside.  I did not have the pendant appraised but it is probably worth over one-hundred dollars.
 It often amazes me why I find so much jewelry in elementary school yards-- and it is not always children's jewelry.  The kids must take "Mom's" jewelry from home and promptly lose it at school.  Among one of my better finds in a school yard was a 14k pendant with a 1/2 carat diamond.  The appraisal was over five-hundred dollars.  Hmmm, hardly something a parent would let an adolescent child wear to school.  Most of the time, though, the school yard finds are similar to what I found this last weekend.  Always, there seems to be one piece of gold in the trinkets which makes hunting the elementary school yards worthwhile.  One good piece like the gold and opal heart pendant, and you have a good day's pay on your hands.
  Now there is a new method of treasure hunting going on.  It is hunting for gold at garage sales and junk shops.  It seems as though many high tech electronics use gold and other valuable metals as contacts in certain circuits, tuners, etc.  Many of these electronic devises are being thrown out.  Thanks to our "Dixie Cup" mentality, folks in this country are throwing out precious metals at the rate of over 200 million dollars a year.  A few alert folks have figured this out and are seeking the discarded electronic devises, recovering the gold and other precious metals.  A well known treasure hunter and fellow magazine columnist is partaking in this lucrative activity.  She told me she is averaging over two-thousand dollars a week, investing roughly twenty dollars an once for gold. She buys used and discarded electronic devises containing the precious metals. Not bad when you consider the going price for gold is roughly three hundred and sixty dollars an once.  I asked her what kind of electronic devises it is that she is seeking. Her answer was,  "Just the normal stuff like TVs, computers, printers, and scanners.  There are also some automotive electronics to watch out for like air bag sensors, etc."
  She told me she is writing a book on the subject of precious metal recovery from discarded electronic devises.  I'll be sure to let you know when her book comes out.

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