Friday, June 24, 2016

6/24/16 Report - Raw Beach Emerald Finds and My Most Sentimental Detecting Finds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Couple of Small Poor Quality Beach Emeralds 

Yes Virginia, the Treasure Coast does have emeralds.  Above are two small ones recently found on Treasure Coast shipwreck beaches.  Unfortunately, they are poor - not transparent or "gemmy" at all. I've found larger and nicer ones.  I don't know what could be done with these ones, but I'm going to find out someday.  Maybe they wouldn't look bad if they were polished or cabbed.


I talked a little about this topic before, but felt like revisiting it today.  If you ever get the chance to metal detect around where you grew up and where you played as a young child do it.  I did, and I'm glad I did.

I knew those spots like no other person that ever lived.  There was the bare spot in the shade under the pussy willow tree where me and Bed Bug used our toy trucks and cars and bulldozer to make small dirt roads.

Sixty Some Years Ago

There was a flat rock-paved area in grandma's back yard where we pitched a tent and camped out.

There was the area just outside grandma's back door where the table and lawn chairs were set for family picnics.

There was the area where the old swing stood.  The swing set served as my field goal post as I learned to kick a football, which eventually paid for part of my college education.

There was another small flat area beside a shed that once had a basketball hoop nailed to the side.  It wasn't a very good basketball court, but it is what I had.  If you missed from  the right, you'd never catch up with the ball until it ended up in the creek a few hundred yards down the hill.  That might be why you don't find many country kids in the NBA.

There was another shady flat strip that ran under the clothes line behind grandma's house where she hung a chicken to drain the blood after cutting the head off.

Those are just a few of the areas that I knew so well.  Some didn't look the same at all these many years later, but I knew how they looked back when.

Here are a few of the things I found.

A Few Of My Old Toys Recovered
They aren't very impressive to anyone but me.  You see, I didn't find old beat up toys and junk; What I found was warm memories.

It was a time when my dad and grandpa and grandma were still alive. It was a time when my mother was young.  It brought me back to warm summer days, green grass, blue skies, swaying trees with rustling leaves, giggles and laughing, senseless but joyful running and jumping and old friends, who like me, had no idea what life would bring.  It makes me young again for a while when I look at those finds.  They are more precious than silver or gold - but only to me.

I guess I'm lucky to have been metal detecting so long and been able to do that.  I'm lucky that my childhood was so rich with wonderful memories.  I'm lucky that I can still remember.

For me, the best metal detecting you can ever do is when you recover the artifacts of your own history and touch your youth again.


You might recognize a few good clues in the above that you can use at other metal detecting sites. When you arrive at a site, stand silently and meditate on the site for a while.  I do the same thing at the beach. Imagine what might have taken place there in the past.  Does the ground look natural or was the earth moved for some reason?  What does the lay of the land suggest?  What might have happened there.

You might have noticed that I mentioned flat areas a few times.  I'm talking mostly about land sites here, but flat areas are often made for a specific purpose.  Often they are the result of some type of repeated activity.

In Florida, there are so few hills that it is does not mean as much as it does up north, but there are other types of clues.  You will want to look at the vegetation.  Ornamentals, bare spots or groves can all be good indicators.  That could be a complete post for some other day.


On the Treasure Coast today we have a south wind and one-foot surf.  There is also a small negative tide.  It should be a good day for browsing the water line and in the shallow water.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, June 23, 2016

6/23/16 Report - Testing Metal Detector With Various Small Reales. North Carolina Beach After Nor'easter.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

North Carolina Beach After a Northeaster
Source: Video link submitted by Gosports shown below.
As I showed a day or two ago, the Treasure Coast didn't get much erosion from the higher surf. Gosports1 sent me a link to some YouTube videos he posted showing what happened to a North Carolina beach after a Northeaster back in April.  This shell layer goes for hundreds of yards.  He'll be sending some find photos before long.  Take a look at his short videos on YouTube that show more of this beach. 


I'm never sure which posts people like the most.  The most "google plussed" posts are often not the most read posts.  For example, when CNN Travel interviewed me they posted a link to the blog.  That resulted in tons of readers for the most recent posts at the time.  I don't think those posts were the best, but more people read them.

So far this month the 6/8/16 Report -  Treasure Coast Treasure History: Cobb Coin VS Unidentified Wreck.  2000 Year Old Cache of Hasmonian Coins was by a substantial margin the most read.

Some posts result in more emails.  I take that into account, but sometimes it is just because a particular post connects with certain readers for some reason.

A lot of web sites just want a lot of hits so they can sell things.  It doesn't particularly matter to them how valuable the posts are as long as people visit the site and see the ads.

I have my own favorite posts.  Sometimes they don't get much visibility - not as much as I think they should.  Sometimes they are posted on a holiday or slow time or some big news comes up that overshadows them.

I decided to occasionally post again some of the posts that I really thought were good but that maybe didn't get enough visibility.

Here is the first.  It was originally posted nearly two years ago on 8/30/14.  I'll call it a rewind.

Now I'm going to pick up today where I left off yesterday.  I'm going to show you something new that might surprise you.  It also shows how specific you have to be about detector tests, particularly the types of targets you are interested in and the environments they are used in.  A number of factors have to be considered when selecting a detector for a particular job.

A lot of people seem to accept what they hear or accept the results of simple tests on clad coins that actually leave out a lot of important factors.  They think if detector A is a good detector or has a good reputation it is the detector to use.  The fact is, as I'll show today, it is much more complicated.  And as I showed yesterday, there are situations when an inexpensive detector will actually do a better job than a highly regarded more expensive detector.  The basic questions are, what do you want to find and where are you going to hunt.  I say those are basic questions, but to answer them well involves more factors than you might think.

If you haven't read yesterday's post yet, I recommend that you do that before continuing.

Here are the same small beach cobs that I used for the tests that I reported on yesterday.  The one on the left weighs about 0.4 grams, the next 0.5 grams, the next 0.6 grams, and the next 2.0 grams.  I will refer to these cobs going left to right as 1 - 4.

Four Treasure Coast 1715 Fleet Beach Cobs.  Three Half-Reales and One 1-Reale.

Yesterday I tested these in a high EMI environment using the Ace 250.  Today I'll report on my results using an Excalibur.

I used both discrimination mode and pinpoint mode for all my Excalibur tests.

Which cob do you think consistently produced the best (loudest and clearest) signal?  It was cob 3.  You might expect it to be cob 4.  I did.   But cob three consistently produced a signal that was a loud and distinct, and a slight bit better than cob 4.  That was true on many attempts varying the sweep speed, and sweeping at different directions.

Tests were done with the coil at the approximate same height over the cobs, and also at different heights to give a rough measure of depth.  By varying the height of the coil I essentially did a type of air test but with a sugar sand background and relatively high EMI environment.

In case you wondered, signal loudness and distinctness correlated with air-test depth.  In other words, cobs that produced a fainter signal when the coil was at the same height for all cobs, were detected only at smaller distances from the coil.  Those cobs that produced louder more distinct signals were detected at greater heights when the coil was raised.  So relative signal strength, as you might have suspected, is a decent (not perfect) measure of how deep a target would be detected.  That makes sense, but the test results did strongly support that conclusion.

Now the question is why did cob three, even though smaller by weight and presenting less surface area produce a louder signal.   I do not yet know.   Yesterday I suggested that one possibility could be different alloys or composition of the silver.  We know that the composition of cobs was regulated,  but we also know that there were some differences.

Surprisingly, cob 1 consistently produced a more distinct signal than cob 2 despite its smaller surface area.  It is thicker.  All other cobs produced better signals than cob 2 without exception.

Another reason could possibly be the ground under the cobs, but I changed where I did the tests and the results were the same.

The results did not change when I switched from discrimination to pin point mode.  

I often hunt in pin point or all metals mode.

Ordered by signal strength, it was cob 3, 4, 1 and last, 2.

Being in a high EMI environment, I varied my sensitivity.  I actually got slightly better signals with reduced sensitivity.  

Some people are afraid to reduce sensitivity.  I seldom reduce sensitivity and am accustomed to identifying signals in noise, but there are times to do it.

I always recommend testing your detector and settings with the type of target that you want to find and in the environment that you will be hunting before beginning to hunt.  I think these tests support that recommendation.  Things are not always simple, and if you want to optimize your detector and settings, do it in the environment and with the most desired targets.

When selecting a test target, Id select a smaller test target.  Generally if you are set for the smalls, you will find the larger targets too, whereas the other way around is not necessarily true.

A lot of people are running around with detector settings that would not detect the smaller cobs shown above if the cobs were laying on the surface with the detector coil right over them.  I know I have met people on the beach who were discriminating out anything that small.

As I showed yesterday using the Ace 250, these test cobs generally were identified as nickels.  That's not bad.

The best way to learn how to better understand and use your detector is to experiment.  What you read may or may not be true, and your detector and your environment might not be the same as those you read about.  


I haven't gotten around to promised post on shells and sand yet.  It is not easy to make it clear, but I will get it done, hopefully before long.

Not much has changed on the Treasure Coast.  We'll have a one to two foot surf for several days.

There is no tropical activity to watch.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

6/22/16 Report - A Find Researched and Transformed. 3-D Printing To Create Scale Models of Shipwreck Sites.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Silver Horse-Lover's Ear Ring.
I found this silver ear ring some time ago.  Nothing special, but it looked a little better than your average mass produced ear ring.

You might find a stray ear ring and if you can't find the owner, you might think it isn't worth anything.  Some people would sell it for the silver value, but a little research might be both fun and profitable.

The other day I looked to see if there were any marks.  Below is what I saw when viewed with my Celestron microscope.

The makers mark, between STERLING and the copyright mark, is SC in what appears to be a cloud shape.

After looking around on the internet a little while, it looked like the maker might be Silver Cloud.

And here is some of what I found about the Silver Cloud company.

Silver Cloud Inc. was founded in 1975 by owner Charles Springer. Charles graduated from the University of New Mexico with a civil engineering degree. He was able to pay for college by designing and making jewelry and selling it on campus as well as local art shows.

There were other companies that used Silver Cloud in their name so I wanted to find out if this was the right one.

Below is an example of some of their products that I found on their web site.

Silver Cloud Product.
The similarities are striking.  I'm pretty sure that I have the right maker now.

So what?  Well, a pair of similar silver ear rings made by Silver Cloud sold for $135.   But I only have one.

Some people sell single ear rings, and some people wear a different type of ear ring in each ear.

Instead of trying to sell it as a unmatched ear ring, I decided to do is turn it into a pendant.  It wasn't difficult. The ear ring post was bent into a ring shape and a bale was attached.

I'm pretty sure it will sell pretty quickly.  There are a lot of people who like horses.

My main point today is that some finds might seem useless, with a little research and sometimes a little ingenuity, they can turn into very worthwhile finds.  Finding something is fun, but so is turning it into something that someone will cherish.

Always check items for any marks.  A makers mark can make a big difference in the value and can give you good information.


I've mentioned 3-D printing a few times lately.  One was in my 5/21/16 post, now in Fox News a month later, is one example of the kind of thing I was suggesting.

Now, archaeologists in the United Kingdom are using 3D printing to bring two historical shipwrecks to life for history enthusiasts and experts alike.

Using data from photogrammetry (measuring the distance between objects from photographs) and sonar imaging, the researchers have produced scale models of a 17th-century shipwreck near Drumbeg, in Scotland, and the remains of the HMHS Anglia, a steamship that was used as a floating hospital during World War I...

"It was a proof of concept for us, trying to establish what could be done using sound and light, but there are so many different applications you could use this for," said maritime archaeologist John McCarthy, a project manager at Wessex Archaeology who carried out dives at the Scottish site and was in charge of producing the 3D models.

Here is the link for the rest of the story.  (Thanks to Dean R. for the link.)


There is no tropical activity to watch.  The surf is decreasing and will be back down to about a foot in a day or so.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

6/21/16 Report - Survey of Various Treasure Coast Beaches After Higher Surf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Detectorist Just South of Sebastian Inlet

Beach Just North of McClarty Museum

Beach at Ambersands Beach Access.

Looking North From Seagrape Trail.
Looking South From Turtle Trail.

John Brooks.
I took a look at some of the beaches yesterday afternoon as low tide approached.  There was almost no erosion.  There was a little more erosion Sunday, but only a very little.  The waves were hitting directly from the east.

When talking about the wreck beaches in years gone by, people talked mostly about big waves.  Now people also frequently talk about the direction of the wind and waves.  That change has taken place in the last few years since I've been doing this blog.

Another change I've noticed in recent years is that people always took photos along with a coin for size comparison.  When I started this blog I got a good number of emails asking me to do that whenever I failed to.  Now it seems that people more often than not just take a photo with the object in their hand.

The surf will be about three to five feet today, continuing from the east.  I don't expect any improvement in beach detecting conditions.

I saw about six other detectorists yesterday, including the woman shown in the first picture.

At one location, there were a good number of rusty bits of iron around the water line at low tide.  I'm glad I didn't discriminate them out.  It gave me some good information.  When scouting around, there are a lot of things that can contribute to getting a good total picture of the situation.

There are a lot of factors.  Most I've discussed before, but I haven't put it all together for you at one time.

On the best beach-cob days, there isn't much iron mixed in with the cobs.  They tend to appear at different times.

Time is an important factor.  To some extent items will tend to show up by age.  It generally takes better conditions for older items to show up. I'm not talking about recent drops.

Time on the beach is more important for newer items.   That is hard to explain, but I'll try to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.  Items that are 100 years old will not be that different from items that have been lost for another 100 or 200 years.  I'll have to leave it at that for now.

There will be a definite relationship between items of different densities and shapes, but time has a big effect.  Time is a multiplier.

I plan to explain some day soon, how and why sand piles up on shells sometimes, and why shells pile up on sand at other times.  If you understand that, you'll also understand how coins was up onto the beach at some times and wash away at other times.

Happy hunting,

Monday, June 20, 2016

6/20/16 Report - Four Gold Escudos Found. Some Beaches Cut A Little. Summer Solstice and Strawberry Moon.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Four Bogota 2-escudos Found by Capitana Guys Sunday.
Photo submitted by Captain Jonah Martinez
These two-escudos were found Sunday by the crew of the Capitana.  Congratulations guys!

Not long ago I looked at the realized prices of a group of Bogota two-escudos sold in the most recent Sedwick Coins auction.  These look like some really nice examples.


I took a look at a few beaches Sunday night to see if anything was going on.  One wreck beach had some cutting.  The largest cut that I saw there was about two feet, however one foot was more typical of most of the beach.  A couple other beaches showed almost no movement of sand.

I'll see what happens today.  Unfortunately it looks like the wind is almost directly from the east now.

Tropical Depression Four has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is not expected to affect the United States.


Today is the summer solstice. The name derives from the Latin solstitium meaning “sun stands still”. It happens because the sun stops heading north at the Tropic of Cancer and then returns back southwards.

In 2016 the solstice coincides with the Strawberry Moon, which only happens about every 70 years. A "strawberry moon" is a full moon which occurs in June and marks the beginning of the strawberry season.

Do you remember a Bible story in which the "sun stood still?" It is in the Old Testament Book of Joshua. Few who criticize the Bible have bothered to read it through, let alone study the original languages.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, June 19, 2016

6/19/16 Report - Cyclone Forming in the Gulf. Higher Surf. Milagros and Spanish Colonial Artifact Web Sites

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Disturbance With 70 Percent Chance of Becoming Cyclone in Next 48 Hours.
Right now we have a disturbance in the Gulf that will likely form into a hurricane in the next 48 hours.

One organization predicts an 80 percent chance that 2016 will be the most active hurricane season since 2012.

Two others predict an average to slightly above average hurricane season, 30 or 40 percent above the 2006-2015 norm.

Here is the link.


I've talked about milagros before.  Those are items, mostly silver, shaped like body parts, animals or a few other things. 

In the classical sense, milagros (also known as ex-votos or dijes) are offered to a favorite saint as a reminder of the petitioner's particular need, or they are offered to the saint in thanks for a prayer answered.

Apart from the contemporary use of milagros as decorative elements, milagros as symbols have new uses and meanings in New Mexico these days. If a friend is about to have an eye operation, the gift of a eyemilagro helps to say, "I wish you well." A pair of lungs can say, "I hope your cold gets better." An arm and a leg given to a couple trying to buy a house can wish them good luck obtaining financing. An ear milagro can suggest that someone be a better listener. An axe milagro might suggest that a relationship should end.

Milagros then, are not solely religious items, nor are they only for collecting. They are part of the magical and symbolic past common to all cultures which continues to influence our lives today. Whether used traditionally or in modern ways, milagros are an ongoing part of a fascinating folk culture in New Mexico and elsewhere.

Here is a good site about milagros.


I want to point out a great web site that should serve as an example for collectors and museums.  It was created by John Powell of St. Augustine.

The site iteself says, This site is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of Spanish colonial military artifacts from that vast region of southeastern North America which once comprised the Spanish Floridas and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Spanish Guale, Luisiana, and Tejas. While other materials are included in the illustrative displays, the interpretive emphasis of this site has been placed upon military clothing and, as they evolved, uniform-related artifacts: the buttons, strap and accoutrement buckles, and insignia worn by Spain's regular, provincial, and urban militia forces in the study region.  The period of interpretation is from ca. 1539—when Hernando de Soto began his epic journey of exploration in what is now the southeastern region of the United States—to the conclusion of Spain's colonial tenure in North America in 1821.

Here is the link.

A day or so ago I mentioned the Oxford Celtic Coin Index, which was put online by an coin collector.  That was excellent example created by a coin collector.


The wind has increased and the surf is increasing today.  The peak for Sunday will be 4 to 6 feet.  Tomorrow we are supposed to have a higher surf.

I'll go out and check around a little.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, June 18, 2016

6/18/16 Report - Lost and Returned Times Two: Class Ring and Keys. Lightning Danger Along Treasure Coast Lately. Increasing Surf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Facebook Post Thanking Warren D. for Finding Matthew's Class Ring.

Here is what Warren told me in an email yesterday.

I went back to the beach today and recovered a set of keys that I was looking for yesterday when I got sidetracked to recover a lost school ring.

I didn't know the losses were connected. I found the ring yesterday when the mother and son were on the beach. I found the keys today and returned them to the other mother. Turns out the boys and their mothers all knew each other. The boys were at a big beach beer pong party.

Now they're BUSTED. 

Thanks much Warren!  We need to share good deeds like this.

Keys Returned by WarrenPhoto submitted by Warren D.

In the past I've talked a lot about what types of events lead to things being lost on the beach.  Beer parties, of course, are one of those things.  They involve relatively young active people getting drunk. That is the type of thing that leads to things getting lost.

When you hear of a loss, pay attention to how it occurred.


Lightning Hitting Water At Beach.
Source: Weather Channel

I saw a lot of lightning yesterday. Below is what the National Weather service says about lightning striking the water.

If you are in the sea and a thunderstorm looks likely in the area, there are two ways to cut the risk of getting hit - get out and find some shelter, or swim deeper...

Most of the electrical discharge spreads horizontally rather than vertically. This is bad news for people, who tend to float or swim on or near the surface.
... "If you get out of the water and can't find shelter, it's best to crouch into a ball, rather than lay flat on the floor, as this also raises risks. If you stay in the water, you could try to go deep, but it's unlikely you can hold your breath for long enough to avoid the danger."

Metal detectors can provide early warning.  You can often hear static caused by lightning while it is still a good distance away.

Sudden rain storms also lead to things being lost at the beach, as people hurriedly get up, shake off their blanket, gather their goods and run for cover.


Getting old is a pain in the neck...and the back... and the knee and elbow, and almost everyplace you can think of from time to time.  I've said that the only good thing about getting old is that it is better than the alternative, but there are some other things. 

There are physical challenges, but there is also an accumulation of experience, memories and a certain appreciation for things like youth and family and precious moments, both past and present.


“I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens who meet one or more of the criteria in section 1 of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons.” 

Guess who said that?  The current president of the U. S.
Many claim that a ban on a class of immigrants would be unconsitutional, but it has been done dozens of times in modern history, including by the current president who issued the above ban on April 23, 2012 to exclude people from Iran and Syria who use computer technology to commit human rights abuses or threaten U.S. national security interests.



The recent shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando has deep roots in Fort Pierce and White City.  There have been news agencies from around the country and around the world in Fort Pierce lately.  They've been lined up along Midway road in White City and doing interviews with residents down by the inlet and other places in the area.


There is a disturbance over Yucatan that has a 40 percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

The surf will increase on Sunday up to as much as five feet and as much as seven on Monday.

Happy hunting,