Thursday, August 28, 2014

8/28/14 Report - Million Dollar Eight Reale? Christobal & Three Disturbances. Battle of Blair Mountain. Error State Quarters.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Million Dollar Coin?
Source of photo:
Is this a million dollar coin?  We'll find out this November when it is auctioned by Sedwick Coins in Orlando.

The auction estimate is $500,000 to $1,000,000.

Minted in Mexico in 1538, this 8 reale was found on a shipwreck in the 1990s.  This is one of three known to exist and is considered to be the first dollar-sized coin minted in the New World.  This is the first time it will be offered publicly.

Here is the link for more information.

Three Disturbances and Christobal
We're certainly seeing more activity in the Atlantic.  Christobal is headed towards Iceland.  One disturbance passed over the West Indies and is heading towards the Gulf.  One is sitting over the Southern coast of Texas, and one is just about to leave Africa.

Padre Island is getting four to six foot waves, building to overhead today.

The 2014 Outer Banks Pro (surfing competition) started Wednesday because the waves were coming in at the head high to overhead range.  

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to pop down on any beach at any time you wanted? 

On the Treasure Coast, if that is where you are, this is the last day of 3 - 5 foot surf.  This weekend it will slack off and get back to a 1 - 2 foot surf.  At least that will give you a chance to get out a little farther where the waves were hitting the past few days.

I'm curious about the path of these next two potential storms.

Source: link.

Here is a pistol from the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain. 

Detectorists helped to locate the position of skirmishes by locating concentrations of bullets and shells.  I don't remember that being mentioned in the article, but maybe it was.  It has been a while since I read the article.

The following link provides a good article on the effort to save the mountain as a historic site, ironically, from mining operations.

Coin errors are out there and they can make a big difference in the value of a coin.  I've found a few while detecting.  There are so many possible die errors that it can be difficult to know what to look for.

There are a lot of mint errors on the state quarters.  Here is one article showing a lot of the easily noticed errors as well as a few of the more difficult to detect errors.

Source: link above.

Some of these errors make the quarter worth hundreds of dollars.  That is something you won't want to miss.

For example, this 1999-P Pennsylvania state quarter shows the faint image of the opposite side of the coin on both sides.  This quarter is worth about $700.

It is easy to let some good treasures go simply because you don't know about them. 

It can be worth taking a good look at your coin finds and doing some research.

And here is a another web site showing some more difficult to detect errors found on state quarters.  Some of these you really have to know about or you would never notice them.  For example on one you need to know how many trees there are supposed to be.

Have some fun hunting error coins.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

8/27/14 Report - Vero and Sebastian Beach Conditions. Abandoned Burt Reynolds Property. USS Houston. Flourescent Fossil Shell.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of


Turtle Trail Access Looking North

Sebastian North of McCarty
I took a look at a few beaches this morning.  Here are some of them.  I also looked at Rio Mar.

All of the beaches looked pretty much the same.  They all still have some renourishment sand. 

I didn't see any cuts.  There were a few scallops around Rio Mar. 

Nothing to make me upgrade my beach conditions rating.  They were all pretty mushy.  And all had a some new sea weed - not a good sign.

As it turns out, Christobal didn't do much for us.

The first target I dug produced this very small children's silver ring.

The small items tell you that you probably aren't missing much.

Here is an interesting video.   I thought it was anyhow.   It shows the abandoned and neglected Burt Reynolds property in Jupiter.

There are over grown paths, old docks falling apart, old film sets and all kinds of junk.

I found it interesting.  Think about where you would detect as these two looney guys explore the property.

Navy divers explored the wreck of the USS Houston.

Christobal is up by North Carolina now.  There are two other disturbances that could develop.  One nearing the West Indies and one in the Gulf by Texas.


We still have a 3 to 5 foot surf on the Treasure Coast.  The surf is supposed to decrease a bit after Thursday.   Maybe the next system will kick things up again.

Right now it will be hard to find anything but modern items. 

There haven't been hardly any shells on the beach lately.  And I haven't seen any fossils for a while.  I did run across my old black light and took a photo of a phosphorescent fossilized shell

I didn't know if I could take a photo of it or not.

Not bad.

The crystals glow yellow.

Haven't posted any fossils lately.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

8/26/14 Report - Rare and Valuable 1725 OMD 8 Reale. Few Small Cuts On Treasure Coast. 3 - 5 Foot Surf Continues. Ace 250 Tested On Beach. New Disturbance in Gulf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

To be auctioned during the upcoming SedwickCoins Nov. 6, 2014 auction.
For more information here is the link.

One Foot Cut On A Treasure Coast Beach.
Above is one of the few scattered cuts that I found on the Treasure Coast.  It is about one foot.

It is actually the front ledge.  Behind is cut is the remains of a cut that was created quite a while ago.

The sand in front of the cut is mushy.  Not very promising at all.  To top it off, the sand that was eroded is newly accumulated sand.   No reason for a beach conditions rating upgrade.


The above video was taken at another beach after yesterday's high tide.  Again no significant improvement in beach conditions.

Christobal has produced a little bigger surf on the Treasure Coast, but so far it hasn't done a lot to improve beach conditions.

Yesterday I gave the Ace 250 its first beach test.  Previously I tested the 250 inland and posted the results.

Once again my expectations were exceeded.  Perhaps it was because my expectations were not very high.  I did not expect it to do well in wet salt sand.

Before I get into that though, it worked fine in the dry sand.  I'm not talking about earth shaking depth, but decent depth and good target ID and discrimination with no other problems.  The light 250 was a joy to swing after swinging a heavy underwater detector with a weighted coil.

After testing in the dry sand, I tested the 250 on the beach front where the water was washing up over the berm.  In fact it was right behind the cut you see at the top of the post, but near high tide when the water was washing up over the berm.   The 250 detected coins easily at decent depth in mushy wet sand.  When the moving water hit the coil or when a hole was dug in the newly wet sand, false signals did occur.  Detecting in the wet sand when the water was not rushing caused no problems.  Basically the same thing happens with more expensive detectors such as the Excalibur are used at the water line with moving salt water.  The difference is that with the Excalibur I would switch modes to deal with that, but there was no good solution with the 250.  What do you expect?  The price is only about 20% as much.

This test was not a highly controlled or very precise test.  It was just my simple first test of the 250 at the beach and in wet sand.   It did better than I expected in the wet sand.   It is fine in the dry sand, and workable in wet sand as long as conditions aren't too rough.


Besides Christobal, which is heading north, we now have two other areas to watch.  Note the new one in the Gulf.

The surf on the Treasure Coast is predicted to be 3 - 5 feet Tuesday and Wednesday.  The wind is blowing this morning and the surf is up. 

Thursday the surf will begin to decrease again.

While Christobal heads north, there is another disturbance that is approaching the West Indies. 

Happy hunting,

Monday, August 25, 2014

8/25/14 Report - Surf Increasing Already This Morning As Christobal Heads North. Some Cuts on Treasure Coast. Reasons and How to Conduct A Pre Hunt Detector Test.


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Tropical Storm Christbal will stay to the East of us and the rest of the United States.  It looks like it will be a fish storm now, but it looks like the Treasure Coast will still get a four or five foot surf by Wednesday.  The surf has begun to increase (Monday morning).

Monday morning there were also some one-foot cuts along the Treasure Coast.  Unfortunately those scattered cuts are in sand that has piled up in the past few weeks.  That will not change my beach conditions rating yet - still poor.  It, however, might cause a change in conditions if things keep going in the same direction.

There is also a second disturbance coming off of Africa.

Source of maps:

Looks like the Atlantic is becoming more lively.

Both of the above weather maps are from

Sometimes detectors will fool you.   One will have a grand reputation for depth and excellance but will be outperformed by a cheaper detector or a detector with a poor reputation.   The thing is that there are a lot of factors that will affect the performance and depth that a detector gets on a specific target.  That is a big reason why I explained how to really test a detector yesterday.

You have to be specific about the type of target and the environment.  You also have to be specific about the operating characteristics of the detector.  The detectors performance will also be affected by your settings and how you use it.

One important factor is your sweep speed.  Sweeping either too fast or too slow can cause loss of depth and good targets.  So how do you know how fast to sweep?

I've discussed this in the past but it is worth mentioning again.  Put the type of target on the ground (preferable the type of ground where you expect to hunt) and sweep your coil over the object.  Listen to the signal.   Sweep over it again, this time slower.  Did the signal get louder or less loud?  If it got louder, that tells you that you were sweeping too fast to begin with.  Vary the sweep speed over the object until you get the loudest most distinct signal.  Maintain a constant distance between the coil and object on each attempt.

That is how you can find the near optimal sweep speed for you detector in the environment you plan to work.   The optimal sweep speed can be different for dry land and for wet salt sand, for example.  The best idea is to do your tests where you plan to hunt.

I like the practice of testing my detector each time before I begin a hunt.  It takes only a few seconds to get your sweep speed right.   Try to develop muscle memory for the best sweep speed for each detector.

I think it is natural to get in a hurry and go to fast.

Also test your settings.  Adjust your settings to produce the loudest signal on the type of object you want to find.

Target specificity is important.  Don't test your detector on an object you don't much care about.  Don't use a zinc penny for the test unless that is what you most want to find.

Testing your settings before you get far into your hunt can save a lot of wasted time.  It is easy enough for knobs to get turned between hunts.  It is a big waste of time to spend your first half hour with maximum discrimination simply because you failed to check the settings.  Yes you can simply look at the knobs, but a lot can be accomplished quickly by simply doing a test on an appropriate test object before your hunt.   I can remember times in the distant past when I started my hunt and spent quite a few minutes before discovering an incorrect setting and had to go back and cover the same ground with the corrected settings.  If you have a lot of electromagnetic or radio interference, you might choose to lower the sensitivity setting.

One type of location that can be tough to detect well is around electric lines, underground cables or radio transmissions.  Some detectors will be much more affected by those things than others.  A detector that is not the best in one environment can be the best choice in another.

Coils are different too.  A Dual Surf PI has a larger coil than an Excalibur, but the Excalibur coil gives you more depth under the entire coil than the PI.  The area of maximum depth is only obtained under a relatively small part of the PI coil.  That means that you should overlap sweeps more when using the PI.  You can quickly test coil coverage while doing a sweep speed test.

While doing a sweep speed test, move the coil front to back between sweeps.  You might notice that some parts of the coil give a much louder signal than others.  Check to see where your maximum sensitivity is located under the coil.  You will learn how broad your maximum detection area is and where under the coil it is located.

Just the other day, I tested a Surf PI, Excalibur and ACE 250 on an inland area having a lot of electrical interference.   I used a thin gold ring as my test target.  The Excal gave a good loud signal over the ring.  The 250 did almost as well.  The PI barely gave a signal under those conditions, and only when the ring was located under a small part of the coil and when the coil was moved at a near perfect sweep speed.  The results were remarkable enough that it surprised me.

That is just one example.  Do not over-generalize from that simple test.  In some environments the PI can perform better than the other detectors.  My point is that different detectors will perform differently in different environments, on different types of objects, but the response will also depend upon your settings and sweep speed.

On most tests I will optimize my settings for the loudest and most distinct signal.  In the above test, I  made a variety of adjustments, particularly on the PI to see if I could improve the results.

Once again I want to emphasize the value of testing your detector or detectors properly.  You'll get best results when you spend a lot of time testing so that you really know your detector.

Watch for the higher surf the next couple of days.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, August 24, 2014

8/24/14 Report - New Tropical Storm Christobal Formed. Predicted Track Better Defined. Detector Reviews & How To Really Evaluate a Detector.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Predicted Track of Christobal
Yesterday I was doing something that I normally don't do.  I was reading reviews of various metal detectors.  I'm not in the habit of doing that because I prefer to do my own tests, which I conduct in my own way.

It is truly remarkable how much people disagree about detectors.  Some people will swear by a particular detector, while others will not have anything good to say about the same detector.  It is really hard to draw any conclusions from the online reviews.

I kept reading things like the Fisher 1280 didn't work in salt water or that it didn't find gold, for example.  Those are things that I know from vast personal  experience are not true.

I could only wonder how people could arrive at a conclusions like that.  It made me think that the reviews were either posted by people having a motive or bias (maybe they worked for a particular company or sold that type of detector), or they did not know how to really conduct a meaningful test.  A third possibility, which I have a hard time accepting, is that quality control is so poor that the detector manufacturers ship detectors that vary a lot in quality and capability.

From what I've seen written, I tend to believe that the second is the most likely.  It seems that people do not know how to conduct meaningful tests or do not know how to evaluate a detector, maybe because they don't really know how to use it well.

The second detector that I ever owned, and the first underwater detector that I owned was a Fisher 1280.  That was over twenty years or more ago, and I dug plenty of gold with that detector on salt water beaches and in the water.  That was an older version.  I can't believe that the ones Fisher makes today are not as good.   That is why I know that some of the reports that I read about that detector are baloney.   My 1280 found big gold and small gold in very good quantities over years of use.

When I first used the 1280 I only found medium to large gold rings with it.  In fact I remember concluding that men must lose a lot more rings than women.   However when I learned to turn down the discrimination, I started to find as many small gold rings as large gold rings.   The incorrect conclusion that I reached earlier was because of how I used the detector, not because of the detector's limitations.

You can not pay too much attention to most of the detector reviews.  I did not find one review that was based upon a really good and thorough test.   Usually people go out and use a detector a while and give their impressions.  Usually their impressions are formed before they have really learned how to use the detector or without a fair comparison with other detectors.

If you really want to compare the performance of two detectors, test them both on the same targets under field conditions.  Don't, however, use valuable test targets under field conditions that are so challenging that you might lose the test target. 

I know you can't carry two detectors around at the same time, but have someone else carry the second one.  You simply can't conduct a fair test without testing two detectors on the same targets under field conditions.

The next best thing is to take the two detectors you want to compare to the beach or wherever you plan to hunt, and also take a variety of test targets.   Test the detectors on the same targets in the same environment. 

Using test targets that you take with you is not the ideal.   Test targets will not be exactly the same as targets that have been buried by nature over time even if you do carefully bury them.  In my opinion you will do just as well to lay the test targets on the ground as to bury them because when you dig a hole and bury a test target, the sand or dirt surrounding the object is not compact like it would be if it was buried by nature and if there was time for leaching and the halo effect to form.

Even though using your own test targets is not the ideal it provides a good first step to begin with.  It provides the advantage of allowing you to select the type of targets that you are most interested in and the type of environment you plan to hunt.

If you want to find gold jewelry, don't test your detector with coins.  Use the types of targets you really want to find.

Here is the ideal.   Take the two detectors to be compared to the type of place you want to hunt.  If you want to compare them on the beach, do that, but it you want to know how they will work in the water or on dry land, test them there.

This will take two detectorists, or at least one detectorist and one person to carry the second detector.  When a signal is received, don't dig the target before switching detectors and testing how the second detector responds to the very same target under exactly the same circumstances.   After carefully listening to the signals produced by both detectors without disturbing the target, adjust the settings on both detectors to maximize the signal on the target.

The detector's settings are very important.  If they aren't maximized, your test will not reveal what the detector could do if it was being operated optimally.  That means you will be comparing how well you are using the detectors, not the detectors' capabilities.

You must know enough about the detectors to use them well for the types of targets that you want to find.  Otherwise the test is meaningless.

I believe that many of the reviews are not worth reading simply because the detectorist has not learned how to use the detector very well. 

When I tested the ACE 250 just out of the box, I was not testing it against another detector to see how it compared.  I was not trying to see if it was the best detector, only if it would work well enough to find things.   It passed that test.  I have not yet tested it on a beach and have not compared it with other detectors in a salt water environment.  Some day I'll do that.

You can't go out one day and compare what you find with one detector one day with what you find with another detector on another.  There are too many factors that are not controlled, including different targets, different ground conditions, etc.

How you use a detector is as important as the detector you use.   A person who knows how to use a lower quality detector can out-perform a person that does not know how to use a better detector.   Let me repeat - how you use your detector is a very big factor.  Don't blame your detector if you aren't using it well.

In the past I've described procedures that will help you learn to use your detector.  Test it on various types of targets.  See how changing the settings affects how it reacts to those targets.  Change your sweep speed and observe the results.  And remember, you have to put your coil over a good target before you can detect it.  Knowing where to search is very important too.

My main point today is that you can't really compare two detectors by reading the reviews that you find online.  If you really want to compare two detectors, you will need a more thorough and meaningful test than what you are likely to find online.

Well, we have a new tropical storm.  It is named Christobal.  With the forming of the storm we also got a better prediction of the track it will take.

As you can see they expect Christobal to remain to the east of the Bahamas.   That means we will not get the full force.  As a result, the surf predictions for the Treasure Coast have been slightly reduced from yesterday.  The peak surf expected for the Treasure Coast Tuesday and Wednesday is now more like four feet.  That is not normally enough to increase my beach conditions rating, but could result in a small rating change if other factors such as the angle of the wind and waves are good.

I'm happy for any increase in surf.  I'd like to see a little sand get stirred up and perhaps even a dip or two created.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, August 23, 2014

8/23/14 Report - Up To Six Foot Surf Predicted For Next Week! Nice Lead Ingot Find. How To Pick Up A Little Extra Cash While Detecting.

Wrutten by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Lead Ingot Found by William M.
Photo by William
Yesterday I showed a number of finds made by William M.

Here is one more.  This lead ingot says at the top, ANCO Lead Co.  It has an A on the second circle and N on the third.

The Anco Lead Corporation is no longer active.  It began on Nov. 2, 1965.  I don't know when it folded.

There were a number of smaller lead objects dug by William at the same location, including some FEC seals.

Lead is selling for around 55 cents per pound at recycling centers.

The ingot is too interesting as an artifact to scrap.

If you pick up a lot of the trash you dig while detecting the scrap value can add up quicker than you might think.

Think of all the lead sinkers you have dug.  I've dug buckets of them.  If you keep them rather than toss them to find again another day, you can turn them into cash.  The same goes for other trash metals such as copper and aluminum.

Those metal finds can often be worth more than the few clad coins that you find.  Not only will you be making a little money, but you'll also be cleaning up the beach, which is good for detectorists and non-detectorists alike.  You'll also be saving energy and resources.  Every little bit helps.

Here is a web site with some fun facts about recycling.

Here is a brief taste of what it offers.

A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That's closed loop recycling at its finest!

Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours -- or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
Those and many many more facts come from the following web site.

And if you want prices for scrap material, here is a good list.

If you have an old computer and don't know what to do with it, you can get money for recycling it.

There a lot of things you can get a little money for if you do not just send it to the landfill.

Check out the site.

Finally!  If the surfing web sites are correct, we'll be getting some nice surf action next week.

A 4 - 7 foot surf is predicted for Tuesday and 5 - 7 is predicted for Wednesday on the Treasure Coast.
That is up where there is a real possibility that we could get some significant improvement in beach detecting conditions.

I generally hope for at least a 6 to 8 foot surf for a very good chance of improved conditions, although it can happen with less.

I haven't been giving my beach conditions rating much lately due to the consistently poor conditions all summer, so I might need to remind you that my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating Scale is a five point scale that goes from 1 to 5.  1 indicates poor conditions such as those we've been having, in which there is very little chance of finding older objects on the beach, to 5 which indicates excellent beach detecting conditions.   Level five conditions mostly happened during or immediately after a big storm or hurricane.

As I always remind, the rating scale starts with a 1 instead of a 0 because there is always some very small chance that something will pop up on a beach, even under the poorest conditions.  We saw an example of that just a few days ago.

We've had a few level three beach conditions ratings during the past couple of years, such as after Sandy, when a good number of silver cobs were found by detectorists on the beach.  I conducted a survey and posted those survey results back then.

I reported on those poll results back in my 11/29/13 post.  Here is a sample of the conclusions, which found that 15 of the 100 poll respondents found a cob back then.'

My highest Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions rating during November was a 3. If you generalize from the results of this poll, your chances of finding a cob or treasure coin is something close to 15% when I issue a 3 rating on the scale.  And of course a 2 rating would indicate your chances are somewhat less -  maybe something more like 1 in 5 or 10 or somewhere in between.  I'll continue to try to better calibrate my scale.  These numbers do help.

You might want to go back and read that post.  The above is only a very small part of it.


This disturbance now has an 80 percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

No telling where it will go at this point, but Florida is one possibility.

A hurricane isn't necessary to improve beach conditions.  As I mentioned above, the surf is expected to increase up to seven feet.  That can certainly stir things up on the beach, depending upon the direction of the wind and waves.

That is the most encouraging thing I've been able to post for a while.

Happy hunting,

Friday, August 22, 2014

8/22/14 Report - Hunted Treasure Coast Inland Site Very Productive. 1924 Quarter. FEC Seals. Possible Storm and Increased Surf Heading Our Way.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of


William M. has been doing a lot of digging at a land site.

Just look at this picture.

Here is what William said.

I put in a very long day at a new to site.

Several people told me it had been hunted many times... I couldn't tell.

Dug ALOT... wound up with a 1942 Washington.. A 1924 SLQ and several F.E.C. bale seals as well as a flat lead piece stamped J on one side and B on the other??

A few wheat pennies ... many many other targets.

Also..a huge lead object under roots of a large tree what I saw the tops of these I thought for sure I had found jars filled with coins boy was that a lot of work.
happy hunting and thank you

1924 Quarter
FEC Seals, Lead Item & Some Coins


Washington Silver Quarter.

These finds and photos are all by William M.

Congrats William!

That is a lot of work.

Don't give up on a site just because you think it has already been detected.

In fact, I recommend covering a site more than once if it is promising at all.

I did a post once of FEC seals.   You can use the search box if you want to go back and see that.

Thanks for sharing William.   I bet a lot of people have been sitting around thinking there is no place worth hunting.  

One factor in William's success is that he obviously didn't use much if any discrimination. 

By the way, I've been seeing some older and very unusual pull tabs this year for some reason.  I didn't know there were so many varieties.  Almost made me think of starting a pull tab collection. 


The tropical disturbance that I've been watching has become a little more promising.  It has not become a storm yet but now has a sixty percent chance in the next 48 hours.

You can see that it has turned to the north.

If it becomes a named storm, it will be Christobal.

If you check the surfing web sites, the surf will begin increasing a little by Sunday and will get up to 3 or 4 feet by Tuesday.

We haven't had that much surf in months.

I've been making needed repairs to some of my equipment.  I wish they would make things more sturdy.

Some new Mayan cities have been discovered.  Good article.

On the Treasure Coast I'm waiting for the sand to get stirred up a little.   I'll be glad to see any movement of sand.  It has been so looong.

I showed the other day that there were a few spots where things were uncovered.  Hard to find them though. 

Happy hunting,