The Ruptured Duck

The Ruptured Duck

Every now and then we find an item that we know nothing about that turns out to actually be a good find.

Recently, I had the chance to go detecting at an old home site that I have hit before with not much luck besides a few clad coins here and there. From my research, this cabin was there into the late 1960’s and more than likely into the early 1970’s.

To get to this particular site is no easy task as I have to cross a creek and climb a very steep hillside to get up there. Last weekend we had some beautiful weather and it was around 69 degrees and sunny, so I decided to make a return trip to this old home site in the woods. The only thing that remains today is the natural stone steps and parts of a foundation.

I decided to detect where I believe the driveway used to be since I usually have luck finding old coins near old driveways. I got into an area that was producing wheat pennies and clad dimes, so I decided to slow down and focus more on that area in hopes of finding silver coins.

After about 5 minutes in that area, I got a mid tone on my AT Pro metal detector and decided to dig the target. It was fairly shallow at around 4 inches deep. At first I thought I had a brass rivet with a duck on it and put it in my pouch with everything else.

When I got home I cleaned my finds and found the brass rivet and began gently cleaning it. That’s when I realized that it wasn’t a duck, but rather an eagle. I thought then that it might be a gold plated cuff link and started cleaning the back of it.


What I thought was chipped away gold plating… wasn’t. The more I cleaned it the cleaner it became! I thought to myself “Wait a minute, this thing might actually be gold.” I snapped a couple of pictures of it and then put it up with the rest of my relics.

Later I was in chat with a few detecting buddies and I posted a picture of my find and that’s when one of the guys said “Hey man, I think I’ve seen that before, hold on a minute.” He left and came back later with a link to some information on this find.

What we found out was that this Gilted Brass lapel pin is called the “Ruptured Duck” and has some interesting history and significance to it!


The War Department adopted this honorable discharge emblem for wear on the uniform of all military personnel who are discharged or separated from the service under honorable conditions. The emblem will supercede all previously authorized Honorable Discharge emblems and devices. This pin will be worn as a badge of honor indicative of honest and faithful service while a member of the Armed Forces.


The ‘ruptured duck’ honorable discharge emblem, as seen on a post-World War II postage stamp.


You can read the full story of the Ruptured Duck here: and check out the ‘myth’ link at the top for some great background info!



This little find goes to show that you never know what you may find out there. I had no idea that these even existed, much less what they symbolize.

That’s what makes this hobby so great, the research and history attached to our finds can teach us many things about our past and those who came before us. This lapel pin will be proudly displayed in honor of the serviceman who served honorably in our U.S. Military.


Identifying Your Unknown Finds

WIKI Article on Ruptured Duck


Please discuss this article below!!! We want to hear from you. If you like this article, please reward us by liking D365 or this article on Facebook or Twitter.


Rob Williams – Found November 2014

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Clark D at 6:11 pm

    Killer find! Definitely looks gold. I love trying to find the “driveway” at old homesites. If they used gravel there, often some great finds will be much shallower than the rest of the site. I found an 1890 seated dime recently on the edge of such an old driveway.

  2. WeDetect at 10:39 pm

    Great idea to detect the gravel, as you stated the targets can’t sink as deep or as fast. There’s goodies in that gravel!

Discuss This Article