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Relic or Junk ?

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Did a little hunt yesterday at a park a few towns over, where there was another hunter also working the park...being a good social distancer, I kept to myself....after I filled my trash bag I went to the closest trash can to empty it....the other hunter met me there asking if I was having any luck...a little friendly banter about our finds, as I emptied my bag....when he said, "why are you throwing that out....that's a nice relic"...it was a baseplate to a pocket watch, I had dug two of them in different areas....I asked him if he wanted them and he took them and thanked me for them....to me they were junk....there could be almost no value to them....to him they were worth keeping, even though he didn't dig them.

When I got home, I had dug and kept an old broach, made of brass with a little design around it....another item I dug that like the watch innards had almost no value...something that will never fill the need it was intended for....I looked at it for a bit and thought ot myself, 'is this just junk'...but what ever the answer to that was, the broach went into the 'relic' jar. The last thing I put into that jar, before the broach was a nail...a nail...yea, it was a square nail....but I have dug hundreds of square nails that went into the trash...but this one came from deep in the ground and had no rust...it shined in places....but it was a nail, none the less...never to be used as a nail again...and for some reason I decided this nail was worthy of being a treasure.

So where on this piece of history is your junk or relic line? Do you keep a box of old stuff, just because it is old? Do you throw it all away? or Do you display it, giving it a new lease on life?

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I personally find little to no value with most "relic" items past year one. I've kept my first bullet - first Ford emblem - first relic this and that. However, past year one, most have gone to the bin...or been given away to people who find value in them like the guy you met.

Lantern parts - old axe heads - 1800's tools - 1800's bullets, buttons, and canon primers...found them all, and they just don't do it for me on a personal level. I enjoy the hunt much more than the finds when relic hunting.

I do keep glass - coins - rings though - especially if old.


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  • 3 weeks later...
For me, if a coin is fried or chopped, it's gone ( Au apart, and I've yet to find an Au coin! ). Shards of bronze; bin. Old axe-heads, horse-shoes, flat irons, old farm odds and sods/ bust-up metal appliances;ditch. Watch/clock workings;bin/ditch... Weirdly, I have a penchant for keeping good examples of old square nails, be they bronze, copper, or iron, the bigger the better!. Roman bronze alloy boot hobs are, "Nace to hev tooo".
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