A few years ago, a stranger stumbled into the Usenet discussion group to ask where people liked to prospect for spent ACW bullets. The uproar was memorable, even by Usenet standards.
Since moving to Virginia, I have actually met two fellows who occasionally search our property, near the Potomac, for fallen rounds. Can this be a better use of time than searching the surrounding streams for gold? (Gold was mined commercially farther downriver until about 1948. Weekend searchers still collect gold flakes hereabouts.)
Here's a searcher who sells ACW bullets for $12 or more in cases.
Here's another fellow who has found so many bullets, he can only stow them in buckets and give them away.
The dynamic between searchers one and two, above, reminds me of an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Some sort of economic council met to deal with the problem of saved cereal boxtops. They worried that Bullwinkle's huge collection could flood the world economy all at once pre-empting all other forms of economic production. Firms would compete to book factories to make all the trinkets that would be needed to honor unredeemed boxtops.
Far-fetched? Look at unredeemed frequent flyer miles.
Searcher one had better hope searcher two loses those buckets.