Thursday, July 2, 2015

7/2/15 Report - Flipped Coins. British Coldstream Guards. 1860 Census Data. Four Feet To Bedrock.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Yesterday I listed how coins move on a beach.  One of the ways I mentioned as one of the most interesting is flipping up, which can be up and over a cut and onto the surface just behind the cut.  Regarding that Bill P., had the following to say.

Just a quick note. I found my first cob on top of a 2' cut. It laying flat and totally uncovered. I am convinced it flipped up and back onto the top. I saw it before running my coil over it. It was a 1/2 reale. -Bill P.

Thanks Bill.  I'll add an observation too.  It seems to me when that is happening, you will often also see shells similar in size to the coins, in this case a half reales, on top of the flat sand just behind the cut.

The first time I saw a coin lip up and onto the flat behind a cut, it was a V nickel, if I correctly recall.


I was about to leave off on GoldNugget's round mystery item, but William M. pointed out something that might be very relevant.  William suggested considering the British Coldstream Guards. Here is why.

GoldNugget's Mystery Item.

Striking similarity, to say the very least.

You can learn about the Coldstream Guards on Wikipedia.

They did fight in the revolutionary war in the Southern States.

Thanks much William.


You've probably read about confederate flags and monuments being defaced lately.  I wonder if this new negative focus on reminders of the Confederacy will cause prices of Confederate artifacts to decrease or increase?

Here is one article about Confederate monuments being defaced.


I came across the 1860 U. S. census the other day.  There is a lot of interesting data in it.  Some of the commentary does not agree well with today's mode of thinking.  In fact some of it might be considered downright offensive.  Nonetheless, the data is interesting and enlightening.

Not long ago I showed some artifacts from the Seminole Wars and the issue of slavery was mentioned as the cause of the Seminole Wars.

Here is a couple paragraphs from the 1860 census that I found that were somewhat relevant to that.

With all the computing power we have today, analyzing tons of data seems like a small task, but think about how big a job it was to collect and tabulate the census data back in 1860 and earlier.

Here is an interesting clip from the same census report reminding us that some parts of the United States did away with slavery much earlier than the Emancipation Proclamation.

Nothing shatters broad sweeping generalizations like information.  If you like history, you'll want to read this and earlier census reports.  Here is the link to the 1860 census report.

I'm sure you will find some interesting surprises and learn a few things.

We talked about the Seminole Wars being about slavery and returning escaped slaves.  Here is something from the census relevant to that.

If you read the report, you'll learn much more.  You'll find out where most of the immigrants were coming from, going to, and many more details about that.

The story is never as simple as it seems.

From Wikipedia, About half of the white immigrants to the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries were indentured. During the late 17th and early 18th centuries poor children from England and France were kidnapped and sold into indentured labor in the Caribbean for a minimum of five years, but most times their contracts were bought and sold repeatedly and some laborers never attained their freedom.

I saw the number of black slave owners somewhere too.  Considerable number.

If you do a little research, there are even sites where you can find your own ancestors.  You can search the census records by name.  If you haven't done much genealogical research and want to get started, you might start with one of the searchable census data sites.

If you like history, I think you'll find the census reports worth reading.


I asked Captain Jonah how deep the sand was where they were blowing holes next to shore.  He said it varies but average was about 4 feet to bedrock.  He also mentioned that a lot of times they find older material in holes and cracks under ledges.

We also previously discussed some large deep targets that have been on the beach for a long time and that nobody has managed to recover due to the depth of sand.  One is said to be a cannon. 

There have been a few times in my detecting when the sand close to shore was down to near bedrock,  One of those times was next to a popular swimming beach and produced a carpet of coins interspersed with jewelry.  There was a steep cliff in the dry sand and then another steep drop off  into the water.  The beach was also back farther than usual.  Those were excellent hunting conditions.


Expect even more days of one foot surf along the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

7/1/15 Report - Five Ways Coins Move On A Beach. Leather Adornment & The Round Mystery Item. Plant Clues. Artifact Database.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

New Picture Of GoldNugget's Mystery Item.
Back Side.

I thought I'd list the ways that I've seen coins move on a beach.

1. Fall out of an eroding cliff, cut or dune.
2. Slide down the face of a cliff or dune.
3. Move within a rush of water.
4. Roll down a slope.
5. Flip,

I don't know if that is all the possible ways, but it seems like it must be close to it.

I've seen a cob and other coins fall out of an eroding cliff right in front of me as I detected. They fell out of the cliff and stayed on the flat sand in front of the cut or cliff until a strong enough rush of water came to move them again.

I've also detected cobs and other coins on the face of sloped dunes and cuts,  I've seen them, some times on a slab of sand, sliding down the face of the slope.  They'll often slide a little at a time.

Coins that are moved by a wave or rush of water on the beach are sometimes easy to track and sometimes difficult to track.  Coins that move with a relatively small rush of water and only move a few inches, can be seen as they move.  They remain flat while moving.  However those that are moved by a more forceful rush of water, can't normally be seen as they move point a to point b.   I don't know exactly how they move, but one second they will be at one spot and the next second they will be found again a foot or even several feet away, often getting covered by sand, and not always quickly found again.

The direction of coins moved by rushing water on the beach can be either up the slope, down the slope or sideways or a combination.

I've tracked coins moving with rushing water on a beach many times.  I don't know if they stay flat, flip or what while in the rushing water.   I sometimes throw coins down just to see how the water moves them.

I've also watched coins roll down the slope, sometimes all the way back into the water.  Rings also do that sometimes.

I've also seen coins flip.  To me that is one of the more interesting ways that coins move.

I've seen coins flip up onto the flat berm just behind a cut.  That one is surprising, but I've seen it happen a few times when a wave hits the front of the cut.

I've also seen coins flip down the slope as water rushed over top of the coin.  I don't exactly know what the situation has to be for a coin to flip that way.  I guess I'll have to do some experiments.

Coins might also step down a slope like other larger items.  I've written about that before, but have never seen it in action with coins.

Coins moved in rushing water could possibly be flipping, or maybe just sliding along.  I don't know.

More often than not, coins move down the slope and towards the water, but not always.  I'd say the net effect is down.


The really great thing about having an unsolved puzzle is that the longer it remains unsolved the more you learn.  At least that is the case if it arouses your curiosity enough to stay on the problem.

As a result of looking into  GoldNugget's round mystery item, I've learned a lot and hope you have too.

GoldNugget sent me another email with this additional information.

It is completely flat on the front and back. The back has the same design as the front, On the back each Ray show a pattern of dots from the Cross in the circle to the end of each Ray, On the front I do not see the dots.

I think the small differences in observed pattern on the front and back might be due to corrosion.

As far as the front and back showing the same design and being flat, that completely changes my feelings.

Above is an example of a bridle rosette.  Notice the bar for attachment on the back.  That is lacking on the item under consideration.  There would also be no reason for the same design to be on the back of a rosette.  The new information helps a lot.

One of the things I found out is that at one time bridle rosettes often featured a design that looked like a rose, some very realistic, so the name makes sense.

Even though it now appears the item may not be horse related, I'm glad that I learned more about horse adornment while doing the research.  That information will undoubtedly be useful at some time in the future.

I have found some horse related items, including crotal bells, horse shoes, etc.  That is not uncommon from older sites.  Now I'll be better prepared to identify other items such as those shown immediately below.


Always look for the slightest sign that something might have broken off of a find.  It is not uncommon to eventually discover where a pin, eyelet, or something was at one time attached but broke off.  Corrosion can wear off  remaining stubs or any remaining signs of broken parts, making identification very difficult.  Cleaning and close inspection, including magnification, will sometimes reveal small marks or clues.

While doing the research, I found a really great paper with the title A PRELIMINARY STUDY OF 17TH- AND 18TH-CENTURY LEATHER ORNAMENTS FROM MARYLAND.  

Here is one paragraph from that paper to give you the idea.  

Leather ornaments are decorative metal items with two or more tines on the back that are designed to pierce and then fold around leather to hold the ornaments in place. These artifacts are found on sites across Maryland, but they generally do not occur in large quantities on any one site, and they have received little attention from archeologists. As a result, leather ornaments are often misidentified, and even if they are properly identified, a lack of consistent terminology in catalogs makes it difficult to study them. Leather ornaments might have appeared on personal items such as pouches, belts, firearm slings, and sword straps, but their use on clothing became unpopular by the early 16th century (Egan 2005), so it is likely that most examples found in Maryland represent fittings for riding and harness horses.

Here is the link if you want to read more.

And that paper led me to the Maryland Database of Diagnostic Artifacts, which you might want to look at.

It is a small database, but you might enjoy it or find it useful.

Well, the additional information we obtained helped rule out some ideas and I don't know that I can say what it is with 100% certainty yet, but I learned a lot in the process.  Thanks much to all contributors.  Your contributions help me create better posts.


Native Americans and European settlers planted certain types of plants and removed others.  If you know the plants of an area, that might help you identify old sites.

A new study by University at Buffalo geographers explores how humans altered the arboreal make-up of Western New York forests before European settlers arrived in large numbers.

The research looked at land survey data from around 1799-1814, and used this information to model which tree species were present in different areas of Chautauqua County, New York, at that time.

The analysis placed hickory, chestnut and oak trees in larger-than-expected numbers near the historical sites of Native American villages...

Here is the link to read more of that study.


Happy hunting,

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/30/15 Report - Sea Groins: A Hint For Low Erosion Times. Space Debris. Degaussing. Ivory Finds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

High Carat Gold Ring Groin Find.

Yesterday I mentioned a couple things from an excellent study that looked at erosion of Florida's beaches beginning with 1883 and ending 2011.  I thought I'd take the time today to emphasize and elaborate on one small part of that study.  Here it is.

Dewall and Richter (1977) reported that seasonal beach changes are on the order of two to three times the magnitude of the yearly trend at Jupiter, Boca Raton, and Hollywood beaches at Florida’s SE coast. The storm surge during Hurricane Ivan 2004 was 2.5 m with significant wave heights greater than 12 m at Panama City beaches, Florida west coast. This event caused a landward migration of 16 m, and the shoreline recovered 10 m in a 20-d period following the storm (Robertson, Keqi, and Whitman, 2007).

To put that another way, the seasonal changes that occur to those beaches are two to three times larger than the changes that normally occur at the same beaches from one year to another.  It can look like there is a lot of erosion, but much of it will be seasonal or temporary and reversed in short order.

The example of Panama City shows that a hurricane can cause as much as 16 meters of erosion, but in this case, it only took twenty days to reverse more than half (10 m) of that erosion.

They also mention that there will be even larger variations in the shoreline where there are obstacles to the natural flow of sand, such as inlets, groins, etc.

There is a good hint that you might catch if you think about it.  When beach conditions are poor, there is always a chance of catching some small but beneficial erosion near an obstructions even at times when you will find very little or no erosion elsewhere.  Between obstructions such as groins, the sand will pile up in one corner and then when the waves change direction, pile up in the other corner.  You can take advantage of areas like that and work areas like that when no other areas are eroding.  That can be especially effective in areas where there are a lot of people and therefore a a good number of recent drops.  The increased movement in sand may be smaller than you would like to see but still be enough to make it possible to find items that were lost slightly longer ago than you could find if there were no movement of sand.  Instead of uncovering old items, this smaller and more frequent movement of sand can uncover items that were buried just weeks or even days ago.

I spent a lot of time working old sea groins in the past.  A lot of good finds, including the unmarked 22K gold ring shown above, came from working between sea groins and other structures.  Other obstructions to the flow of sand work about the same as groins.

Here is the link to the study that I was talking about.

And here is the link to the site providing the groin illustration.'sl%20guide%20to%20folly%20beach/guide/process3.htm


An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded a couple of minutes after liftoff Sunday morning. It was the third cargo mission to the space station to be lost in recent months.

I heard on the TV they were telling people not to pick up any debris from that if they saw it.  Seems are space program is not what it once was.  We've talked a good bit about space debris being found on beaches in the past and even how to test titanium.

Here is the link to the story about the recent rocket failure.


Talking about the news, last week I kept hearing the word "degaussing" in relation to the IRS erasing the subpoenaed emails of Lois Lerner.  I don't know how Hillary erased or destroyed hers.

Anyhow, degaussing is a word that is very relevant to both nautical history and computer history.

Here is what wikipedia says about degaussing.    Degaussing is the process of decreasing or eliminating a remnant magnetic field. It is named after the gauss, a unit of magnetism, which in turn was named after Carl Friedrich Gauss.  Due to magnetic hysteresis, it is generally not possible to reduce a magnetic field completely to zero, so degaussing typically induces a very small "known" field referred to as bias. Degaussing was originally applied to reduce ships' magnetic signatures during the Second World War.  Degaussing is also used to reduce magnetic fields in CRT monitors and to destroy data held on magnetic data storage.

Here is how it was done in World War II - again according to wikipedia.

The term was first used by then Commander Charles F. Goodeve,RCNVR, during World War II, while trying to counter the German magnetic mines that were playing havoc with the British fleet. The mines detected the increase in magnetic field when the steel in a ship concentrated the Earth's magnetic field over it. Admiralty scientists, including Goodeve, developed a number of systems to induce a small "N-pole up" field into the ship to offset this effect, meaning that the net field was the same as background...

The original method of degaussing was to install electromagnetic coils into the ships, known simply as coiling. In addition to being able to bias the ship continually, coiling also allowed the bias field to be reversed in the southern hemisphere, where the mines were set to detect "S-pole down" fields. British ships, notably cruisers and battleships were well protected by about 1943.

My dad worked on a minesweeper in WW II, but it had a wood hull.

At one time in the early days of personal computing much of the data was stored on tapes that were very much like the audio tapes used on tape decks.  Tapes and also computer discs were erased using degaussers.

Here is a vintage deguasser purchased from Radio Shack with original box.  I would guess that would be a collectible now.

Vintage Magnetic Tape Eraser

Original Box.
I was in on a lot of computing history.  As far as I know I  actually wrote the first computer program to announce "You've got mail."  Actually it said "You have pnotes."  At that time we called email pnotes, which stood for "personal notes," which were exchanged between individuals.  Before that you had to go see if you had new emails.  The program that I wrote watched for new incoming emails and announced their arrival.  Forums were called gnotes, which stood for "group notes."  We worked on international mainframe networks before the internet.  Just an aside on one of those things I did in an anonymous way.


If you find any ivory, such as the ivory higa that I once showed, you should be aware that they are very strict about selling ivory.  Here is something about that from a recent KovelsKomments.

A ton of elephant ivory was crushed in New York City’s Times Square on June 19, 2015. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service co-hosted the event with other conservation groups. Carvings, tusks, jewelry and more were sent into a rock crushing machine to be turned into dust. Much of the ivory came from the shop of an antiques dealer, who was sentenced to 30 months in jail and fined $150,000 for selling poached ivory. Other ivory crushes were held in Denver in 2013, and China this past May. Ivory laws have been passed in many states, but there is concern about antique ivory works of art caught up in the new laws. The law that makes it illegal to import new ivory was passed in 1989. Now some states’ rules confuse or stop sales of things like pianos with ivory keys, vintage ivory jewelry and figurines, even mahjong tiles. Art and antiques dealers want existing laws to apply only to ivory from elephants killed since 1989 so ivory works of art can be saved and displayed in museums.


I have a lot of new stuff in mind to post.  I won't start that now though.  

I'm so tired of reporting no change in beach detecting conditions, but that is what it is.

Happy hunting,

Monday, June 29, 2015

6/29/15 Report - Capitana Working In Close. Thoughts On The Round Mystery Object. Shipwreck Scour.

Capitana Over Hole Near Shore.
Photo by Captain Jonah Martinez

Here is what Captain Jonah said,  We are back further than anyone has got before, we back the boat into 2.6 feet of water blow a hole so we can float then move back another 12 ft and start moving side to side... 
I remember Mo Molinar, on the Virgalona, I think it was, down at Douglass beach backed up close to the beach.  That was back some time in the eighties, about thirty years ago.   Bob Luyendyk was diving on the Virgalona then.

It is hard to know where the beach was back when the shipwreck occurred.  During or immediately after the hurricane it could have been pretty far back.

Even if it wasn't, there have been numerous hurricanes since that time and the beach could have been eroded far back during any of those going back hundreds of years.

Despite all you hear about rising sea levels, beach erosion and the disappearing beaches one good study published in 2011 shows mostly increasing or building beaches along the coastline of Florida from 1970 to 2011, evidently due at least in part to the large number of renourishment programs.  There were more decreasing beaches in the period from 1883 to 1970, although many large sections were increasing or remained stable during that period.

Here is the link.

The natural beaches back years were decreasing more than in more recent periods, but not as much as I would have expected from all the hyped up news.  Actually if you look at the trends, the areas you would expect to erode were eroding, such as the north side of Cape Canaveral, and other areas, nearly as many, were increasing, and many areas have been stable.

You have that North to South long shore current and sand transport along the East Coast of Florida, which explains most of what you see as erosion and accretion.  The long shore current takes sand away from one place and drops it at another pretty much as you would expect.


Round Mystery Object
Photo by Richard O.

William M., of GoldNugget's round mystery object, said, A photo of the other side would definitely help but from just this one view I believe it is a horse bridle rosette.

Thanks William.  I think that is a good possibility.

Alberto S. focused in on the cross and rays on the object and sent the picture below showing similar religious symbolism.

Good observation Alberto.

As a result of Alberto's observation, I then asked Laura Strolia what she thought of the decoration. Laura is the researcher and author who wrote on the gold Pelican of Piety artifact and authored The Marigalera of the 1715 Fleet book.

Picture Submitted by Alberto S.
Here is what she said.   believe the artifact is a pocket token, a metal coin with images and words that reflect one’s faith.  Your picture shows a “Glory Cross,” meaning it is a cross adorned with shining light like the sun.  Many rays emanate from the circular light shown on your artifact. The symbolic image helps Christians to think about Christ’s Crucifixion and His Resurrection through the light.

It has crossed my mind the opposite side was of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the most famous stories related to a sun miracle. This is one of my favorite miracles, actually in essence, two. 
In Portugal, 1917, Mother Mary appeared to three children and gave them messages. To prove her messages were sent by God, the Virgin Mary allowed 70,000 people to witness the sun spin and fall from the sky.

Fast forward to 1945, Hiroshima, when the atomic blast filled the sky with a bright light similar to the sun.  Eight Jesuit priests, living less than a mile away from the explosion, miraculously survived when over 50,000 people died almost instantly.  For miles, ashes were seen, except for the standing building the Jesuits lived in. The priests did not suffer from any radiation sickness, or injuries, and lived on healthy for many years. Why did they survive?  Their answer was that they were living the Message of Fatima, turning to God instead of sin.  The bomb of Hiroshima happened on August 6, the Feast Day of Christ’s Transfiguration.  In Book Matthew 17:2 it reads, “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.”

Please let me know if anything shows up more on the artifact after cleaning.

Laura Strolia

Laura always has some great information to add.  Thanks Laura.

Unfortunately it is more difficult to identify an item from a picture than real life.  In real life you can inspect various views, you know the size and thickness, you can inspect the item for the smallest signs or clues, and you can analyze any patina or wear.  That is not so easy from a picture.

This mystery item shows a lot of corrosion to the front and appears to me to be pretty old.
For now, I'm leaning with William on the rosette, but also think the Glory Cross, pointed to by Alberto and identified by Laura, might be very significant.

Thanks all!


Shipwreck scour is something that affects the bottom sediments around shipwreck sites.  It can often be identified by remote sensing.

Just like any object where there are currents, a shipwreck and associated artifacts will affect the flow of sand creating signature shadows which can also be seen as patterns in the sediment.

This is a good study that provides some useful hints.  The title is  The role of scour in shipwreck site formation processes and the preservation of wreck-associated scour signatures in the sedimentary record - evidence from seabed and sub-surface data.

Here is the link.


I'll pick up with more beach analysis in the near future.


Expect another week or two of exactly the same beach detecting conditions along the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, June 28, 2015

6/28/16 Report - Trigger Points, Drop Points, Water Velocity and How Things Move And Get Sorted On A Beach.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

There is a lot of information available on waves and coastal erosion.  What I do is start with that information and add my own observations and experimentation.  The academic literature is very good but it doesn't cover everything that a detectorist might want to know.

I could give you simple hints and suggestions such as to check dips below cuts, and that might would be good advice, but it won't help you nearly as much as knowing the principles of how beaches work. Situations differ, but if you know the important principles you'll be able to analyze any beach you look at and have a good idea if the beach is improving, and it will also tell you where to detect.  There is a lot to it, and it isn't simple, but if you continue adding to your knowledge base, you'll get it.  I keep learning more and more and understanding more and more.  Keep in mind the principles that you pick up and try to observe and test them in the field.

I'll try to put it in a way that I think is most understandable and applicable to a detectorist.  I'll add a little at a time, repeating some things and slowly adding a little new material to it.

As you would suspect, it takes more water velocity to move larger particles and larger items.  The relationship in "laminar" currents is pretty much a straight line when you are talking about items having the same densities and the same shape.

While particles will be transported by water moving at a given velocity, it takes more velocity to dislodge settled particles (and other objects) than it takes to keep them moving once they are suspended.

The velocity required to dislodge particles and get them moving is what I have often referred to as the "trigger point."  That isn't the scientific term.  It is just the term I use.  If we were to include that on a graph like the one above, there would be a line to the right of the red line, and it would not be a straight line because it takes more force to dislodge certain types of particles.

Clay is a good example.  It consists of very fine particles that transport very easily in water when suspended, but due to what I'll simply call the "stickiness" of clay, it takes a good bit more force to dislodge the particles and get them moving.

Different particles, in addition to having different trigger points, also have different "drop" points. When the water slows, there is a point at which the particle will drop out or settle.  The water has to be very calm before fine clay particles drop out, for example, while sand drops out while the water is moving a little more rapidly and pebbles will stop moving when the water is moving faster than that.

In this graph, the straight red line between the other two red lines shows the increasing velocity required to move larger particles and objects when a laminar current is assumed and other factors are not taken into account.  That line is very much like the graph above.

The curved red line to the right of the straight line shows that pebbles are moved with velocities of just less than 100 cm/s.  The same line curves to the left as particle size decreases because it requires less water velocity to move smaller particles such as sand.  It then curves back to the right again because it requires faster water to get silt and clay moving.

The curved red line to the right of the straight line on the graph shows it takes more water velocity to move clay than pebbles even though pebbles are much larger than particles of clay.

The most important thing to get from that is that objects such as sand, coins and rings and things have different trigger points and require different amounts of water force to get them moving.

There are times when you might have enough force to move sand but not coins.  Therefore, you might have erosion but not enough force to wash coins up onto the beach.  That would not be at all unusual.

The curved red line to the left of the straight line shows the decreased amount of force at which particles will drop out or settle.  Pebbles, for example, will continue to be moved until the flow slows to somewhere around 25 cm/s flow and will settle well before the water flow decreases to 10 cm/s.

Silt and clay, on the other hand, will remain suspended and continue to be transported as long as you have just a very little flow.

That is a good place to stop today.  Get that down and then I'll show you how it applies on a real beach to determine when there is erosion and when coins and things move and how they are deposited differently.  I'll add some additional factors.


Here is a good web site giving terminology and other good basic information about waves.

Knowing how a beach works is one of the most important things you can know for greater success with beach and shallow water metal detecting.


When you submit a photo of an object for ID, include some indication of size.  That can be something simple like a coin for comparison.  Also include a picture of both sides of the object.  You might think there is nothing to see on the other side, but some one who has not seen the item in person might benefit from seeing the other side even if there isn't much to see.  Maybe there is nothing to be seen there, but that is important too.  Sometimes there will be the tinniest of clues, a very small stub where something was attached, the slightest signs of usage, even corrosion, which by itself can tell something about the metal the item is made of.  Green corrosion is sometimes a sign that the object is cuprous, for example.  Even the shape is important.  An object might look flat on the back, but it might be just a touch convex or concave.  All of those are important clues.  I know it takes time.  I'm just saying, for the best chance for an ID, both size and pictures of both sides can make the difference.

An object that isn't easy to identify isn't easy to identify to start with, so any detail might help.


I've received some thoughts on the round mystery object I posted a couple of days ago.  I'll post that before long.


Has this been the longest period of smooth surf or what?  The Treasure Coast hasn't seen good beach detecting conditions for a very long time.

It has to happen.  I'm ready.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, June 27, 2015

6/27/15 Report - 8.5 Karat Diamond Found. Things You Need To Know. Beach Dynamics. How To Find Old Sites.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Above is a great illustration.  It gives more information than it might first appear.  I saved it long ago and can't find the source again right now.

Anyhow, the bottom wave in the illustration shows something similar to what has been happening on the Treasure Coast lately with the calm surf.

I showed quiet a few photos showing the waves breaking in shallow water and rushing over the sand in the shallow water in front of the beach.  The main difference with what is happening on the Treasure Coast and what is shown in the illustration is that many places on the Treasure Coast have a very flat front sand bench instead of the rolling sand bottom shown in the bottom part of the illustration.  The waves are breaking out fifty or so yards and then washing in over the fairly flat sand in the shallow water.  In many places there is almost no sand bar.

Many of the front beaches on the Treasure Coast are nearly flat too, being just a little higher than the sand in the water.  That happens when the surf is calm and fine sand is being moved.  You'll note that those flat front-beaches seem firm since the grains are fine and settle compactly.

Looking at the top part of the illustration, to the left of the sand bar, the water is deep enough that the waves aren't breaking.  The wave breaks as it crosses the sand bar.  The crashing wave picks up particles and moves them in to be deposited on the beach front.  There is, however, and under tow as the water rushes back down the slope.

A certain amount of velocity is required to pick up particles and other items.  If the undertow is strong enough it will carry a lot of sand back down the slope and into the water.

In this illustration we have so far ignored various factors such as the angle of the wave, and also the different densities and shapes of objects, sand and otherwise.

The key thing to know about that is that different size particles, and different objects require a different amount of force to dislodge them and the different particles and different objects will also drop out of the current at different velocities.

In the past I've referred to the point at which an particular particle or object will start to move as the trigger point and the point at which it settles, as the drop point.

I'll pick up there in another post.  I don't want to try to do too much at once because the number of factors multiply and it becomes confusing and difficult to explain.  I'll try to stick to a small number of principles at a time, so if you get them down one by one as we go, you'll be able to put it all together as we proceed.

Another important thing to know is how sand bars move.  You'll get some idea of that from this illustration as well.   That is not so important if you are looking for very old items, but it is important if you are hunting items recently dropped by swimmers.   There are times when the sand bar will move in and times when it will move out.  Check the eroding side of any bar where people have been congregating.


A woman found an 8.5 karat diamond in Crater of Diamonds State Park.  

Park officials said Friday that the gem found by Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, is the fifth largest diamond found since the park was established in 1972...

Here is the link.

You can visit Crater of Diamonds State Park and for a small fee hunt for diamonds.  Maybe a good little vacation trip.


There is no better resource for finding good detecting sites than talking to an old timer who grew up in the area.  I was looking at a satellite view on Google Earth of the area where I grew up.  When I looked at that, I could see clear as day where two old barns were, where old trees were, and a nice spring house where the local farmer kept the milk cool in fresh spring water, a corn crib and other buildings that were no longer there.

There used to be a an old shed that was full of old embossed bottles back when I was a youngster.  I was attracted to those old bottles even then.  I could see the exact spot of three old bottle dumps even though there was no longer any sign of them.  Who knows how old they were when I was young?  They were old even back then.

One of the bottle dumps was on a hill over a creek.  We used to get bottles there, run up creek and throw them in, then run back down to where there was a rock outcropping on a cliff and sit there and shoot the bottles as they came by.  I wonder how many good old bottles got shot that way.

And I knew of even older stuff there.  The older generation told me about things that were before my time, like where the really old school house used to be and where they found arrow heads when planting potatoes when they were young.

When kids play around an area for years, it seems like the area gets permanently stamped in memory.  Not only do I know where things were, but I could walk to those precise spots like they were there today even though not a trace remains.  Most people today would have no idea that those things ever existed and if they did research them somehow, they wouldn't know them in such great detail.  I'll have to make a detecting trip there again someday and dig up some of the past that is most meaningful to me.


A couple Fort Pierce boys found a box of military medals in the trash.  They were dumped after a home burglary.  Leave to young boys to be out exploring.


The predictions are for another week of small surf on the Treasure Coast.  More of the same.  It will change some day.  Be ready.

Happy hunting,

Friday, June 26, 2015

6/26/15 Report - Mystery Find For ID. Other June 2015 Finds. Anheuser-Busch Sea Glass. Pet Burial Urn Find.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

June 2015 Finds by Richard O. AKA GoldNugget Including 1800s Buttons and Coins.
First off today, I'd like to thank the people who expressed their kind get well wishes.  The readers of this blog are quality people.  I really feel that when I get such kind emails from people that I have never met.

I haven't got the stitches out yet but made some adjustments to my detector's arm cuff and took some other precautions, so was able to detect.  It was a little more awkward than usual, but OK.

Thanks for your thoughts!  It makes a difference.


Concerning the email I receive, I get a lot of response to my posts on beach dynamics.  If you go back through this blog you'll see that I discuss that from time to time.  Some of that material comes from the literature on beach dynamics that I then take and apply to the subject of metal detecting, and some of it comes from my own experimentation and observations.

Richard O., also known as GoldNugget, sent the following email along with some pictures.

I got to read the Post from June 23 , 2015 about Beach Sand.  Nothing is more true on the light sand. Since I have  been submitting  some of my Monthly Beach Finds for about 2 years I notice a lot of the light sand hitting the top of the ( Flat ) Dunes where I detect ( Overwash ), Also if the waves move about 4 more inches it takes and moves the Small Button and Real (Reales) I find along with some of the Coins that have been buried for about 175 years. If someone can Identify the Item that is in the Red Circle it would be appreciated...

...I am trying to get a Better Date on the Budweiser Bottle, currently 1940-1950's,  It's Beach Glass found also this month of June.

Below is a closer view of the mystery object for ID.  You can get an idea of size by looking at the picture at the top of this post.

 Richard has done a good bit of research on this but hasn't been able to ID the object yet.  Any help on ID would be appreciated.

Mystery Object For ID.
Cross In Circle Surrounded By Rays.

Below are more find photos from Richard.

 Below is a picture of a piece of Budweiser sea glass that Richard wanted to date.

Source: web site at right.

The piece of sea glass (above) shows one eagle wing behind the A and one in front like the post-1933 examples shown in the third row down.

The eagle also appears to have an open mouth more like the eagle in the 1940s - 1950s example.

I think that narrows it down pretty well.

The A & Eagle trademark is the most widely recognized symbol of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. and Anheuser-Busch, Inc. First used on the company’s beer products in 1872, the symbol was not registered with U.S. Patent Office until 1877. The trademark (No. 4623) soon became widely recognized as a symbol of quality throughout the world.

According to the company’s statements at the time, the essential elements of the design were “…the capital letter A and the figure of an eagle standing on the American shield…” The original eagle had its wings folded back into the “A.” Around the turn of the century, one or both of the eagle’s wings were spread outside of the “A” in an uplifted, flying motion. In 1939, the Union shield of stars and stripes was replaced with a horizontal striped shield...

Here is the link for more from that web site.

Great finds Richard.  Congratulations!

I like old sea glass with names and logos.  I'll show some more of those in the future.


Pet Burial Urn
Find and photo by Mitch King.

Mitch King identified the "heart art" object I posted yesterday as a pet burial urn.  Here is a photo he sent showing one that he found.

Thanks much Mitch.

The one I showed yesterday isn't quite that big, but they seem to come in a variety of sizes.  If you search the internet you'll find a variety of pictures of pet urns in various sizes, many are in the shape of small hearts.  One I saw on the internet also had a black bag like the bag I showed yesterday.

Surprising to me is the fact that there is no evident way for opening the urn.  I guess the ashes are sealed in the object.

My object is much smaller than the one Mitch showed, both in diameter and depth.

My Heart Art With Quarter.
The back seems very unfinished.

Signature On My Heart Object Find.
Could the signature be the name or the artist, owner, or pet?  Doesn't really seem like a pet's name.

Can you make out the name?

Unlike Mitch, I failed to provide a size comparison in my photo yesterday.  Sometimes that is most helpful.  Try to remember that when you send photos.  Thanks.


Again, no change in Treasure Coast beach conditions.

Happy hunting,