Friday, March 27, 2015

3/27/15 Report - Custer's Last Stand Gun Parts. 2015 Santa Margarita Treasures. Treasure Coast Inland Finds/

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Kovels Komments reports that these gun parts sold for $31,050 at auction.

The parts were found back in the 1990s by using a metal detector on the Reno Battlefield, which is the site of Custer's last stand.  Kovels  said, But it's the name Custer that made them so valuable. The James Julia auction proved that great record keeping makes a collection more valuable.

Keeping good records is always a good idea.


We've had a long period of poor beach conditions on the Treasure Coast, but as I always say, there is always someplace to hunt and something to find.  What makes poor conditions one place makes good conditions some place else.

The Mel Fisher organization said, The Dare and the Magruder will remain on site for the last few days of this incredibly long window of good weather. It is rare to see so many days at sea this early in the year and this trip is hopefully a sign of good things to come...

They recently found a heart shaped gold ring on the Santa margarita wreck site along with five silver coins, some encrusted objects and a piece of wood from the wreck.

As I previously reported, the ring is the first gold of the year from the Margarita wreck site.


Despite the poor Treasure Coast beach conditions some of our Treasure Coast guys have been doing very well inland.

Below are some great finds made by William M.

William said, I'm honestly getting kind of burnt out on land hunting really wish the beach would do something drastic.  I dug a lot of targets today definitely gotta work out doing squats.

That is a nice early coin for the Treasure Coast area.

Way to go William!

William says, the old bullet is a .44 long DA.. that stands for double action it was fired from Smith and Wesson's first double action revolver called the Frontier manufactured between 1881 and 1913.

That is really neat.  Good research too, which makes it all the more interesting.

Thanks for sharing the great photos William.



Dan B. has also been doing well inland.  Below are some of Dan's recent inland finds.

Finds and photos by Dan B.



Yesterday we had some heavy rain and wind.  I lost power a few times when I was trying to do this post or it would have been posted sooner.   I was also out on a little expedition.

We'll have about a two to three foot surf today.  Not so much wind, and not good wind direction.

The tides have flattened out too.

Happy hunting,


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3/24/13 Report - Time To Analyze Your Find Records? It Might Tell You Something. What you do has a lot to do with what you find.

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of

Fossils And Sea Glass Recently Found In A Shell Piles
On A Treasure Coast Beach.

I got some email concerning the signal or ID you'll get from a Rolex watch.  As I said, using an Ace 250, if you are in coin mode, the test Rolex gave no signal, however in the Jewelry and All-Metals mode, you get an ID that shows up in the nickel to penny range, which also includes the pull-tab and gold/bronze range.  

The ID was different when the coil was swept over different parts of the watch.  If the coil was mostly over the band that produced a different ID than when the coil was more directly over the watch case. 

Robert H. said he got a good coin signal on a Rolex when using an Excal II in discrimination mode.  I don't know how much discrimination he was using.   He also said he almost gave up digging after a number of scoops because he thought it might be a can. Good thing he went for that last scoop.

Robert's observation is consistent with the ID I got when using the Ace in the Jewelry and All-Metals modes, but don't forget, the Rolex produced no audio signal in the Coins mode.  That is the critical point.  I don't know about you, but I don't want that to happen.  I'd gladly give up hundreds of clad coins for one good Rolex.  What I am talking about is making informed intentional strategic decisions that will maximize success however you may define success.  If success to you is a pile of clad coins, then  use the techniques and strategies that will accomplish that.  However if your goal is to find other types of targets, perhaps targets that are of a less determinate size or composition, you might choose to operate otherwise.

As I mentioned yesterday, one person said that the thing that motivates him is the possible big find that might come at any time.  In that case you want to be ready for the unexpected, not eliminating everything but the common.

I'm not trying to suggest that a Rolex will give one type of signal no matter what.  Just the opposite.  There are many types of Rolex watches.  They come in different sizes and are made of different materials.  Some are gold and others stainless steel.  And of course there are a variety of different types of bands too, which can affect your signal or ID.

There are also many types of detectors and different modes and settings you can select on each detector.  I've mentioned some of those differences.

The point is that you need to know the detector you are using because there is the distinct possibility that you could misidentify or entirely miss a very good target - perhaps repeatedly and consistently because of the way you hunt.  That is especially more likely if you always hunt the same way using the same settings.  You might habitually eliminate a specific set of good targets. 

I recommend a periodic review.  Analyze your record of finds.  What do you find a lot of?  What do you seldom find?  What have you never found that you would like to find?  The answer to those questions might tell you something about how you are detecting that you might want to change.

I've said this before, but back when I began detecting, I found a lot of men's rings but few women's rings.  I thought that men lost more rings.  That was wrong.  I was using a level of discrimination with my 1280 that made me miss many of the smaller and often more valuable women's rings.  After decreasing the discrimination setting on the 1280 I found out that there were as many women's rings to be found as men's.

Maybe you know everything there is to know, but I don't.  I intend to continue learning.  That is something that makes it all more interesting, and it is also something that helps me do better.

If you haven't made any changes in how you hunt for a long period of time, maybe that is a sign that you should think about that.  It is all too easy to fall into habits and get in a rut. 

I always like learning something new.  Not only does it improve performance but it also keeps it interesting. 


The photo above shows some fossils and sea glass found on a Treasure Coast beach a few days ago.
Nothing great, but I do enjoy finding them.  Some, not these particular ones, can actually be worth some money.

If you keep your eyes open while detecting you can find things like this.  The fossils are much older than the cobs you might find.  And sometimes they can be worth more than a treasure coin. 

Nice pieces of sea glass can also worth something.  Fine examples of the less common colors, such as red or yellow, can be worth more.   They can also provide good clues.  An occasional Native American artifact can also occasionally be seen in shell piles.


Spike Found by Joseph G.
Photo by Joseph G.

I've been thinking of a bunch of things lately, but haven't put them together for a post. 

Did you ever hear of soil liquefaction?

Soil liquefaction is when saturated or partially saturated soil loses strength and stiffness in response to an applied stress, such as the vibrations caused by an earthquake or other  stress conditions, causing the soil to behave like a liquid.

Interesting!  Buildings can collapse etc. 


I've really noticed huge differences in how some detectors eat batteries.  Battery life is much higher in some detectors than others. 


On the Treasure Coast we'll have a three or four foot surf for a couple of days with variable wind direction.  Nothing that will affect us much.

Happy hunting,

Monday, March 23, 2015

3/23/15 Report - Strange Tight Cluster Including Unexpected Coins. How Does A Rolex ID On A Detector Readout.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Strange Cluster.
Aruba 5 Cents.  Mexico 1 Peso,  U. S. Quarter.

The other day I talked about selecting a strategy for a particular hunt.  In order to select an effective strategy, you have to have knowledge of the site.  You also need to know what your detectors do well and what they don't do well.

The other day when I was checking out a hunted out area I did find this strange cluster of coins.  They were the only coins found in the hunted out area.

The were closely clustered together, and on my PI detector gave a huge signal.  It was a confusing signal though.  It didn't sound like anything I recognized.  I scooped the area and found all three coins.  Each and everyone gave a good strong signal on the PI detector.

There is nothing strange about the quarter, of course.  But the other two coins are sort of unusual.

The 2005 Mexican peso is bimetallic.  The center is aluminum-bronze and the ring is stainless steel.  On the Garrett Ace 250, it usually is identified as a quarter, but not totally consistently.  It occasionally shows as iron.

Now the little 5 cent Aruba coin is small.  It weighs only two grams, is 16 mm in diameter and 1.7 mm thick.  It is made of nickel bonded steel.

The PI detector gave a gives a good loud signal on that little coin.   The Ace does not give a signal to that coin in any mode other than the All-Metals mode.   As you probably know I have a preference for working in an all-metals mode anyhow.   The Ace gives a good strong signal on it only in All-Metals mode.

I can see how a detectorist could miss this cluster.  The Aruba coin would definitely not give a good ID, and would not give any signal at all in many cases.  I'm sure you wouldn't hear it with an Excalibur, for example.   The peso could mix things up too, however if you are using a PI detector or All-Metals mode, you are not going to miss targets like that. 

Even with a PI detector I could tell it was something other than the usual.  It confused me at first.  I've learned to identify a variety of trash targets using a PI.  Fish hooks for example, give a signal something like a elongated object such as a nail when you do a criss-cross scan, but it is a little quirky in a way that I can't easily explain.  

I've explained how to identify elongated objects like nails by scanning repeatedly first in one direction and then again at a 90 degree angle.

The point is, know your detector and how it responds to a wide variety of targets.  Try to guess what the target is from the signal before you dig it even if you don't have target ID.   That will help you learn how your detector responds to various types of targets.

Remember, there are a lot good targets that will not be correctly Identified by a target ID detector.  How will a Rolex watch be identified by your detector?  Not knowing could be an expensive mistake, especially if you don't dig unknown targets.  Cobs won't be identified correctly either. 

As an example, if you use a simple ID detector such as the Ace 250, working in the Coin mode you will not get a signal from a Rolex Yacht-Master watch.

You know that quiet you like so much when you use discrimination - that was your Rolex watch.   Just kidding - sorta.

By the way, the Rolex that I tested was found on the Treasure Coast using an Excalibur in pinpoint mode.

Using the Ace, you will get an inconsistent ID on the Rolex Yacht-Master if you are working in the Jewelry or All-Metals mode.   There is that "All-Metals" word I preach so much.  In those two modes the ID jumps around depending upon what part of the watch your coil is over.  Mostly you will get a reading going between 1 cent and 5 cent, which is also where bronze and gold, and also pull-tab,  is marked on the ID readout display.

You might remember that a few months ago I did a poll to determine the primary motive for most detectorists.  One person added something I didn't have in the poll by sending me an email.  He said that what keeps him going is the possibility of that one big unexpected find that might occur at any time.  I'm sure that motivates a lot of us, never knowing what big find might pop up unexpectedly.  You have a lot better chance of finding that one big find if you know your detector very well and aren't passing over everything that isn't easily identified.


Here is a good video of the surf and beach from a couple of days ago.


On the Treasure Coast today we'll have West winds today, a good smooth surf and some nice big spring tides.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, March 22, 2015

3/22/15 Report - One Hunt: Strategy And Results. Two Gold Rings In Two Hours On A Poor Beach.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Two Gold Bands Found
On The Treasure Coast Yesterday

I often talk about having more than one detector and selecting the one to use based upon your strategy.   Yesterday, like every other day that I hunt, I did that.

First came an assessment of conditions.  Here is what I considered.    On the Treasure Coast beach conditions have been poor lately.  The surf has usually been not big but not smooth either.   There have been many tourists in the area as well as locals enjoying spring break on the beaches.

The day before yesterday I went by some of the beaches but didn't detect.  I had other things to do, but I noticed where the people were.  I noticed one beach that was particularly jammed. 

Even though water hunting generally produces more gold per hour and wet sand can be very productive when conditions are right, I decided to hunt the dry sand where the people were.

My first consideration was beach conditions.  Another consideration was that I didn't have a lot of time and didn't feel like driving to a more promising beach where the conditions might be better and the finds might be higher quality.   So I narrowed it down to a few beaches that were close by, and selected one that I haven't hunted very often but where I saw a lot of beach goers the day before.

Then it was time to decide on a strategy and select a detector.   Just to give a couple of examples, I could select a simple target ID detector or a deeper seeking detector.   Of course you can have various combinations other than these two extremes, but I want to keep it simple here.

So one strategy would be to quickly skim a large area for recent drops.  Another would be to go for deep small gold that might have been missed by others.

Due to the fact that there have been so many detectorists on the popular and easy beaches lately, I didn't expect a large number of good targets.   I expected most targets to be recent drops, but there might also be a few small and deep targets remaining.

I decided to go with the deep-seeking PI detector.   Many people say they would never do that in the dry sand due to the amount of trash you will have to deal with.  Some beaches are pretty clean now.  Not even much trash remaining.

I was right about one thing.  The beach had been heavily worked- even more than I expected.  The area in front of the parking lot was pretty much cleaned out.  Somebody must have been there yesterday evening or early in the morning.   There was little trash, though some, and the surface clad had been removed.

There were however some recently dropped coins to the South of the area in front of the parking lot.

It takes a while to clean out an area of that size and when it is very clean there is usually at least one person that detects the area daily plus a few more detectorists that hit it once in a while.

I did a loose pattern scan to see if the area was clean and to identify how far the cleaned area might extend.  During my analysis, I considered what kinds of things, including trash, remained.  In this case the cleaned out area did have some foil remaining, a few pieces of small iron, and a few bottle caps.

One thing that I especially noticed is that there was foil down several inches.  Most junk foil will be near the surface.  But that also told me there might be deep gold that was missed.

As quickly as possible I did my analysis and identified the boundaries of the area that was cleaned out.   The really clean area, not surprisingly, was the area right in front of the parking lot.  That is very often the case.

I went just south of that and started to find a few scattered bright shiny recently dropped coins.  That area had been hunted some, but not as recently, and it was not completely cleaned out.

After hitting a few shiny clad, a small signal turned out to be a 14K ring down several inches.   I continued hunting south and hit another similar looking band, only this time it was 10K.  I soon called it quits. 

What I wanted to illustrate today is how you might analyze a situation and select a strategy for a particular hunt.  I hope that gives you some ideas about how to approach different situations.  There are a number of factors to take into account. 

In this case, it appeared that most good surface targets had been removed.  My strategy of going deep paid off in this case.


Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday Near Low Tide.
The beach above isn't as bad as many you'll see on the Treasure Coast right now. 

The surf should be small enough to do some water hunting -  only one or two feet Sunday.  The trouble is that in many areas there is too much sand.  It is not easy to find a good water hunting area now with all the sand near shore.

At least one beach had some shells and a good number of fossil pieces recently.  Also a little seas glass.

With the vernal equinox and the negative low tides, you'd think you could find some decent dips in the water somewhere, but the best dips that I've seen are still sandy.

Happy hunting,

Friday, March 20, 2015

3/20/15 Report - Great Colonial & Early American Coins. New Way You Can Find Out More About Your Ancestry Through DNA Testing. My Very First Metal Detecting Outing.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

New England Shilling To Be Sold March 26.

If you like old coins you'll love looking at the article linked below.  On March 26 Stack’s-Bowers, in conjunction with the Whitman Baltimore Expo, will be offering a collection of colonial and early American coins such as those shown here.

Confederate Half Dollar
A Real Rarity

The auction starts with one of just eight Noe 1-A NE Shillings in private hands, graded PCGS EF45. The coin is a high-quality example of the earliest coinage struck on the North-American continent in what today is the United States.

To the left you see another great example - one of just four original 1861 Confederate Half Dollars struck in April of 1861.

The article shows a number of truly great coins like those shown here, but if you'd like to see even more, go to the auction catalog (See link below).

Here is the link or the article.

And here is the auction catalog or some very enjoyable browsing.


In the past I've encouraged researching your family roots.  I've found that by doing that not only did I learn more about who my ancestors were and where I came from, but also in the process learned a lot more about local history and located good new detecting sites, some of which were on my ancestor's properties but also some that were not.

The first place I ever did any metal detecting was at the site of an old house where my grandmother once lived as a child.   There was a standing stone chimney and some other remains of the house, but not much.   I remember seeing the well.  That was over fifty years ago.  I hadn't thought of that much, but it was my very first metal detecting outing.  It was a great site too, even though I didn't fully appreciate it at the time. 

The detector, as I remember it, was maybe a Radio Shack model.  I don't think it would detect much more than iron.  And we did find some iron pieces, but not much else.  I'd love to be able to go back in time and do the same site now as it was then with a good detector and with a lot more knowledge.

Funny that I never thought about it much before, but that was the very beginning of my metal detecting.  I didn't get seriously into detecting until years later.  We didn't use that old detector much after that one outing.  I don't think it would detect coins, and we gave up on it.   But thank you grandma!  She never knew what a journey she started me on.

Anyhow I've encouraged you before to dig into your family tree, and if possible, go hunt some of the sites where you grew up or where your parents or grandparents lived.  Digging up a piece of personal history can be very meaningful.

It is now possible to dig into your roots in another way. offers a DNA testing service.  For $99 you receive a kit in the mail.  Follow the instructions, mail it in and then receive the results back in the mail.

The kit comes with a tube which you fill with spit.  It takes a good bit.  Then you ship it back to be analyzed.

The results include data such as the following example from their online ad.

They will also connect you with others who share your genetic line if you want them to.   You can specify how private you want to be and if your name is to be made know to others or not.

They will, however, if requested by law enforcement, provide your DNA to them.   Even if you haven't committed a crime or anything, you might not want your results out there.  I guess it is also possible that you might learn something that you don't care to know.  Think about it before doing it.  If you do decide to do it, it might be a lot of fun.

Read more about here.  Otherwise browse DNA.


We have a two to three foot surf today but a really nice tide.

Happy Spring,

Thursday, March 19, 2015

3/19/15 Report - First Gold Of The Year From Santa Margarita Site. Nice Treasure Coast Finds. Cave Explorers Find 2400 Year Old Treasure.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here are some great finds and photos from Robert H.

Very nice Robert!  Thanks for sharing.


The weather down in the Keys has been good for hunting lately, and Captain Andy and the crew of the Magruder found the first gold of the year.

They were on the site of the Santa Margarita when they found a ballast stones, a musket ball, a spike and a gold ring with a clear stone.

They were using a GoPro when the ring was found so they have the find recorded.


The Northern lights were seen as far south as West Virginia Tuesday night.  For anyone that hasn't seen them, it is very impressive.  I've seen them a few times.

That could also mean a possible increase in electrical interference in the atmosphere.


A couple spelunkers found 2400-year-old treasures while exploring a cave in Israel.  Included were coins showing Alexander the Great.


Aqua-Cycle Water Trike.
    You've seen these.  I received an advertisement today that reminded me of the time I was metal detecting in front of a hotel that rented these things.   There was a nice couple pedalling along not far out from shore, and a kid, maybe about 12 years old, got on a jet ski, took off like a torpedo on a curved path and hit the back wheel of the water trike, instantly breaking the wheel.  The trike listed to one side and sank.  I thought that was hilarious.  It was even funnier seeing the people involved and the expressions on their faces.

I don't think I'll ever forget that.  That kid on the jet ski looked like a torpedo.


On the Treasure Coast today we had a surf of about three to four feet with the wind coming from the East.  The surf will decrease slightly through the weekend.

Not much very promising on the weather front.  At least we're having some good tidal action.

Happy hunting,            

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3/18/15 Report - Surface Hunting Old Bottles To Locate Old Detecting Sites. Accu-Sound Pinpointer.

Writtten by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Miscellaneous Bottles Found While Surface Hunting On The Treasure Coast Yesterday.
Besides doing good library research, another way to find good detecting sites is to simply go out and scout around.  One of the first signs of an old site will normally be broken pieces of class or pottery on top of the ground.

A lot of people dig for bottles, but they can also be found on the surface on beaches or along waterways.  I found my first old bottles after Hurricane Andrew when I was hunting silver coins with a detector and noticed old bottles floating in the surf.  I started picking up the bottles, and that was the beginning of my bottle collecting.

Below is the type of area where these bottles were found.  Their were many more modern bottles, broken bottles, pieces of glass and other junk.  The few older bottles were partly buried, except for the small ones.

Areas Where Bottles Were Found.
At this particular location I've found mid-19th century bottles and a surprise horse tooth fossil.

If you find a cluster of old bottles, it might be a good sign of a nearby old detecting site.

None of these bottles are very interesting, and they aren't worth much, but if you are in an area like that something more valuable might also be found.   It is worth looking.  You never know what you might find.

Generally there will be so much junk in an area like this that it won't be worth detecting.  You might however detect the original site that is the source of the bottles.

A bottle of wine from a blockade runner that sank in 1864 was opened and drank.   The verdict - yuk!

Here is the link to that video.


An Inexpensive Pin Pointer.
I got this pinpointer free with the purchase of a metal detector.  It is one of the less expensive pinpointers.  It is also not very effective.

I tested it with the four objects shown above and you nearly have to touch the object to get a signal.  It could be of some help I guess.  But if you really want a pinpointer, you probably want something more effective.  I never use a pinpointer myself, and my experience with this one did nothing to convince me that I should.

A pinpointer is not as much help if you beach detect.  You can sift sand fairly quickly.  If you hunt in muddy soil or clay, a pinpointer might be of more use.

I personally pinpoint rather well with my metal detector, being able to determine a lot about the location, size, shape and depth of the object from the detector.  There are also other helpful tricks that you can use instead of a pinpointer.  I've talked about some of those in the past.

Some detectors provide easier pinpointing than others.

I actually made a video showing the use and effectiveness of this particular pinpointer but haven't managed to get it uploaded to the blog yet.


Sotheby is auctioning a large selection of valuable travel and discovery books including some on the Indians of North America and various voyages and wrecks.  If you are looking for good lead information or just like to read history, this auction will give you a good start.  You don't have to buy the books, but when you see one you like, you can do an internet search for digital books, cheaper replications, or other material you might find by the same author.

Here is a link to the auction lots.


There is little hope for improved beach detecting conditions on the Treasure Coast in the near future.  The surf is smooth today.  Tomorrow (Thursday) we're supposed to get something up to about five feet, but the wind will be southerly.  That's too bad.  Maybe we'll get a little stirring.

Happy hunting anyhow,