On Logan’s 200 East in Utah, treasure hunters gather with their shovels and metal detectors in hand to search for great finds. The 200 East project is a street expansion project in one of the city’s older neighborhoods. As the layers are peeled away, urban treasure hunters scan the debris for coins and other tokens left behind and buried for decades. Shane West of Ogden heard about the 200 East project and came to Logan equipped with a high-end metal detector and hand shovel to see what he could find beneath the old sidewalk. He states, “Some of Utah’s older neighborhoods can be treasure troves of old silver coins and other relics.”
On Wednesday night, three people with detectors walked up and down the dirt paths that had been covered with sidewalks just a few days before. West found an 1907 Barber quarter and a 1913 Barber dime, while some of his friends have found about five other silver coins. West dug up an old brass bell and a small 1920s era tin of Colgate rouge with the rouge still inside. West states, “Most of the treasure hunters that metal detect are looking for those illusive silver coins or those illusive gold dollars or the almighty Mormon gold coin.” According to the article, there was such thing and it is estimated that around 7,500 of the coins were minted.
West argues, “They are hard to find because they made certain denominations of gold coin that Brigham Young had minted so that the LDS that were established here would not go into the mountains and dig for gold, so finding those is rare. The gold Mormon coin is one of the most unusual, non-government issued coins out there, and collectors will pay big money to get one. West believes that the fun of metal detecting is the thrill of the hunt. He says, “This is a fun hobby. You can get into it relatively inexpensively. I just bought my daughter a Bounty Hunter Jr-about $60 for a metal detector.”