Tuesday, July 29, 2014

7/29/14 Report - How Small Silver 1715 Fleet Cobs Identified by Metal Detector Target ID. Cape Verde Storm Season Begins.



Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Snall Mexican Cob Remnant Used In Test
Before I begin today, I need to make something clear.  The tests that I have been doing are not just about a single detector.  These tests, although they use a particular detector, illustrate many of the points that I've made many times in the past, such as the dangers and imperfections of target ID and discrimination.  They are real, and they can be very important.

Another point that I am making with these tests is that you have to know your detector to get the most out of it.  If you don't you could be missing a lot of good targets - perhaps the best targets.

One day, using five different sample gold jewelry items of different sizes, I showed that if you did not dig items identified as  pull tabs, you could be missing something like 40% of the gold items that you put your coil over.

Another Small Half Reale Used In The Test
One more important thing I am illustrating through these tests is a systematic method anyone can use to learn how their detector responds and what it is telling you.  That is perhaps the most important thing to learn from these tests.  These types of tests can be used with any detector and any type of target.

I looked at how gold was identified by one detector a couple of days ago, and a few pieces of silver yesterday.  Overall, I've found coin ID on the Ace 250 to be generally excellent, but gold not as good.  That is to be expected.  Gold items are unique in size and shape and even composition.  Gold items vary in purity and the alloys used.

Today I'm going to look at how the same detector identified three small beach-found silver cobs.  Two of the test cobs for today's test are shown above.

As with the other tests, I tested using four of the detector's modes: All metals, Coin, Jewelry and Relic modes.

For the small cobs I used a badly worn half reales, which, as is true of most cobs found on the beach, were significantly underweight. 

The first weighed 0.015 troy oz,, the next, .07 troy oz., and the third, 0.2 troy oz.

The top picture above shows a small cob remnant, which is so small and worn that it would be underweight for even a quarter-reale, even though it is a half reale.

It measures about 5/8 inch across at its widest and barely over one half inch long.

These test results are easy to summarize.  The ID in all four modes was the same for all three cobs.  In all four modes all three cobs were identified  as a nickel.

That isn't bad.  Yes, you can't tell the difference between a cob and a nickel with the target ID, but at least the cobs didn't ID as a pull tab or something else that you most likely would not dig.

I was surprised that the detector identified the very small reale (0.015 t. oz.) as a nickel.   This inexpensive detector very clearly detected a very small piece of silver.  Not bad!  And it did not ID it as junk.

That is good news if you want to use a detector like this for finding cobs.  I haven't used this detector in the field for that purpose yet, and the one serious deficiency of this test is that it was conducted on dry sand, not mineralized or wet sand.  That will be a test for another day, although I most likely would stick with my much more costly detectors if I were really hunting reales on a beach.  Another test for another day would be to see how much depth effects the results.  These tests were done on surface items.

As it is, I am pleased with the effectiveness of this detector.   My first field tests in an old yard and woods, went well, as did the tests that I conducted since then.

Questions remain to be investigated, but I am getting to know this detector and its strengths and shortcomings.  I learned that if I'm searching for gold, I need to dig items identified as nickels or pull tabs.  If I want to detect small cobs, I need to dig items identified as nickels. 

I haven't test larger reales yet.   The smalls identified as nickels, while the large (0.6 t. oz.) silver bullion coin that I tested yesterday, was identified as a half dollar.  This test did not test reales in between 0.2 t. oz. and 0.6 t. oz.   I'll have to do that some time.  I wouldn't be surprised if there are some in that range that will ID as a pull-tab.  We'll see.  For now, I know that the target ID would not cause me to miss small reales if I dig targets identified as nickels, or larger silver coins.


It is the time of year when the Cape Verde storms start coming across the Atlantic with greater frequency.  August through October are the peak months to watch for those storms.

Here is a link to a good article about the Cape Verde hurricanes

http://blog.chron.com/weather/2014/07/heres-why-the-atlantic-tropics-are-likely-awakening/


Right now there is a tropical disturbance about a 1000 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands that has a 70% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

According to the predictions, the Treasure Coast will be stuck with a one-foot surf through next Monday.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@Comcast.net

Monday, July 28, 2014

7/28/14 Report - Target ID Test On Silver Beach Finds. 13 At Beach Injured By Lightning. Old Bomb Stuck In Tree. New Tropical Wave.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

1715 Shipwreck
Ornamental
Silver Fragment
Silver Bullion Coin.  1966 100 Pesetas.

As I promised, I did additional tests of target ID and discrimination using the Ace 250 for the tests.  This time I used some things that have been found on 1715 Fleet beaches over the years as well as a few other items.



Today I'll show what happened when I used this ornamental piece of silver.  I don't know for certain what this piece of silver was.  It obviously is broken.

 
This item and another very much like it gave an inconsistent pull tab ID in all four modes that I tested (All metals, relic, jewelry, and coin modes.).  It displayed pull tab a good bit of the time but jumped around.
 
You can't really expect a detector to correctly identify an item like this.  Yet you'd probably want to dig it.
 
Another item I used with this test wasn't a 1715 item.  It was the 1966 100 Pesetas bullion silver coin shown above.  It came from a Treasure Coast beach, but not a shipwreck treasure beach.  It weighs 0.6 troy oz.
 
This item was consistently identified by the detector as a 50 cent piece in all four modes.  Not exactly what it is, but not bad at all.  You couldn't expect any more of a detector.
 
Also I tested a silver dime.  Just like clad coins, it was properly identified as a dime 100% of the time.
 
I'll get into cobs on my next report.

If you are going to use target ID or discrimination, you should know how it works.  It is not always as simple as it seems.  You can easily miss some of the best things out there.  As I often say, test your detector on the types of targets you really want to find.
 
 
Here is an important warning!  We've had a lot of thunderstorms. 
 
Lightning killed one person and injured thirteen others when it struck the beach and water at Venice Beach, California.
 
 
Be careful when lightning is anywhere around.  It can come from miles away very unexpectedly.
 
 
Buried million dollar treasure in Yellowstone Park?   That is the rumor, and the rumor has the park service alarmed. 
 
 
I suppose only treasure hunters have been rescued?  Why not the same alarm over climbers and hikers that get in over their heads.   I'm sure a lot more of them have been rescued than the two "treasure hunters."  
 
Don't get me wrong, don't hunt in parks or other places where it is illegal.  Obey the laws.  I just think treasure hunters and detectorists receive disproportionately bad press.  Treasure hunting is a bad word for some.
 
 
There was an clean up of the waterways around Sebastian.
 



An old bomb remained stuck in tree for 75 years.  Interesting picture. 

http://www.thelocal.es/20140711/civil-war-bomb-stuck-in-pine-tree-for-75-years


There is a tropical wave over by the Verde Islands with a 30% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.  It is a long way off, but could develop.

On the Treasure Coast still more of the same.  No change in beach detecting conditions.

Use the g+1 button at the bottom of posts to indicate which posts you particularly like.  That will give me feedback on what you like to see.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@Comcast.net.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

7/27/14 Report - Treasure Beaches Report Readers Make Metal Detecting Finds Around the Country and Around The World


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

I feel like I gave you a lot of very good information in my last two posts.  There is a lot to digest there.  Today I thought I'd give a lot of good finds to look at.  The following were all found by Goldnugget on a North Carolina beach.  Wouldn't you like to have a spot like that?















































All of these finds and photos were by Goldnugget at the same beach location.

He was using an Excal.
























Not only do people from other states read this blog but also some from other countries.

Once I wrote about the floating coil on my Whites Dual Field.

Ron J., from Germany wrote recently to say that you can purchase weights for that  coil when you want to use it underwater.  Whites also has a weighted coil that goes with the detector.  It is your choice at purchase.

Ron also said,  I will return to the Treasure Coast in October.  Thanks to your ideas about research. I found in Stuttgart Germany a  "Schrebergarten" (garden plots rented from the city) that had been removed last year.
Today I hunted there and found a metal badge from the  Deutsche Turn Fest Stuttgart 1933.  I  put that into Google and there are many photos of the of the event in the form of old post cards for sale.
Very interesting photos showing what was going on here with the NS movement.   Also on ebay there is the same badge for sale in good (looks new) for around 11 euros.
 The wife and I had a very pleasant afternoon learning some of our local history.
 All thanks to things I learned from you.
 Can't wait to get back to the BEACH! 
 
 
Metal detecting brings a lot of people to the Treasure Coast, not only domestic but international as well.  It can be a family activity and gets people interested in history and archaeology.  It is a shame that so many government officials that don't understand the many benefits don't support it.


There is nothing significant going on in the Atlantic.   On the Treasure Coast we'll have more smooth seas and no improvement in beach detecting conditions.


I think the two most recent posts were very useful.  If you agree, let me know by using the G+1 button below those posts to Like them.

I plan to do more similar tests.  One will be on detecting cobs.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.net

Saturday, July 26, 2014

7/26/2014 Report - How To Learn What You Might Be Missing With Your Metal Detector: Test Results. VLF Lightening. Water Proofing A Low Cost Detector.


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Yesterday I looked at how a relatively inexpensive detector with a target ID display responded to gold items in Coin and Jewelry hunting modes.  Today I'll report on how the same detector (Ace 250) responded to the same gold items in the Relic and All Metals modes.

This picture shows the five sample gold objects that were used in the following tests.


Test Items.  Same As Yesterday.
In the Relic mode the two small rings (1 & 2) showed on the ID display as nickels.   The slightly larger ring (no.3) jumped back and forth between nickel and pull tab.  The largest ring (no. 4) showed up as a pull tab.  The gold bracelet (item 5) showed as a nickel.

So in Relic mode these items showed up very much like they did in the Jewelry Mode.  One difference with this mode as compared to the Jewelry mode is that the jewelry mode would discriminate out lower conductivity targets such as lead and brass that you would actually like to detect in Relic mode.

I'm not going to get into the Custom mode, but will move on to the All Metals mode.

In All Metals mode, the two small rings (numbers 1 and 2) both showed as nickels.  The larger rings (items 3 and 4) both showed as pull tabs.  And the bracelet showed up as a nickel.  

Both of the small gold rings showed up in all four modes as nickels.  The smallest gold ring (item 1) jumped between nickel and foil in Jewelry mode only.  I suspect that if there were even smaller gold rings in the sample, they might have showed up more towards the foil ID.

Coin mode, as useful as it is for finding coins, did not detect the two larger rings at all.  That is a danger with using the Coin mode.  You can miss average size rings.

I thought Coin mode was very seductive.   You could pretty much guarantee you had a coin if it was solid on the coin ID and could avoid digging anything else.  That might be what you want in certain situations.  But the danger is that you could easily get lulled into just picking up coins.   I'm personally not that interested in digging lots of clad coins.  One gold ring can be worth a lot more than hundreds of coins, so I'd rather dig gold.

Coin mode actually did its particular job very well if it wasn't for missing so much gold.  It identified coins very well and eliminated or identified trash.  It was not unusual for trash such as pieces of aluminum cans to cause the ID to jump back and forth between pull tab and dime or whatever. 

The Coin mode would be useful if you are targeting  coins.  It could also be very useful as one step in a Step Search.  I described how to do a Step Search a few days ago.

Using a Step Search, if you don't know what a site holds, you can use coin mode during your first search to get an estimate of the amount of activity at the site and the date of the site from the coins that you find.  At the same time you will also get some sense of the amount and type of junk present even if you don't dig it.   After doing a search in Coin mode, you might then switch to another mode such as Jewelry mode if you suspect the possibility of jewelry, or Relic mode if you suspect the presence of interesting relics or if you decide to clean up the site by removing large iron that might mask other coins or jewelry.  That gives you a few examples about how to use different modes during a Step Search.  It is a very good technique for a site holding a good number of targets.

The three modes other than the Coin mode, identified the larger rings as pull tabs, with the exception of the Relic mode, which showed item 3 as nickel/pull tab.

The gold bracelet was identified by all four modes as being a nickel.

The larger rings were missed completely in the Coin mode and identified as pull tabs by the other three modes.

If you assumed the ID display to be 100% accurate and dug items identified as nickels but not trash such as pull tabs, you would miss about 40% of the gold items in this sample. 

I know this is a small sample of items, but I think the test provides very good information.  Of course there are factors and complexities that I did not take into account here, such as depth and overlapping trash.  That can be for another day.  Of course different detectors will work differently.

You should do these types of tests with your own detector and the types of targets you are most interested in.   I highly recommend testing your detector on a variety of targets.  That is the best way I know of to get to better know your machine.

In the future, I'll post results of similar tests of target ID using other targets, such as treasure cobs.


I've never tried the Ace 250 with the coil in the water but Robb M. has.   It works.  Robb made a YouTube video showing that.  He also made a video showing how to waterproof the 250 control box and ear phones.  Check out Robb's Homemade Life channel on YouTube.  The video he made about an alternative to Disneyworld talks about treasure beach detecting and this blog.

Here is the direct link to the video on water proofing the control box.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9O3k2lLnO4



We've had a lot of thunder storms lately, and you may have heard the crackle of distant lightening in your ear phones.  And maybe your detector seemed to go a little crazy for a brief time.  Here is an article about the sounds of lightening.

The Earth sings every day, with an electric chorus. With the right tuning, radios can eavesdrop on this sizzling symphony of crackles, pops and whistles — the melody of millions of lightning bolts. ...

With a VLF receiver, anyone can listen to the constant chatter of Earth's lightning, estimated at 8 million strikes every day. (Not every lightning bolt becomes a whistler.)

A worldwide listening network is tuned to one particular lightning sound, called whistlers.

Here is the link for the rest of that article.

http://www.livescience.com/46995-volcano-lighting-whistlers-earth-chorus.html


Absolutely no significant change in beach detecting conditions on the Treasure Coast again.

This is the season to watch for storms and I will be doing that.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@Comcast.net

Friday, July 25, 2014

9/25/14 How Not To Miss Gold: Detector Mode Test Results. Saga of the Central America.


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Sample Gold Items For Detector Test
There is no detector that can identify any and every type of relic, watch, ring, or whatever with 100% accuracy. I am certain that you will miss some very good things if you simply pass over items because of how they display on an ID screen or because of the audio tone. You have to make a calculated decision concerning how much of what you are willing to miss. 

It is relatively easy for a detector to correctly identify modern US coins.  They can do that well, but the question is, is that what you really most want to find.

Not very long ago I talked about making those decisions in my post on Math for Metal Detecting.  I pointed out how a single good find can be worth more than hundreds or even thousands of coins.

Whatever your decision making process, there is little that is more important than actually knowing your detector, especially how it reacts to high value targets such as gold.   And there is no better way of getting to know your detector than working with known test targets.  It doesn't matter if you are hunting cobs or modern gold, you absolutely need to know how your detector responds to the items that you really want to find.

I did a field test of the ACE 250 not long ago.  It is a low-cost discriminating detector, that in my opinion is a very good detector for the price.  I used it for the following test.  I wanted to see how well it identified various samples of gold jewelry.   For me, these types of tests are mandatory for any detector that you want to use.

I got a sample of gold items that varied in size and weight for the test.  They are pictured above.  I labeled them 1 - 5 going from left to right in the picture.

The first thin ring weighs .04 troy oz.   The second weighs .09 troy oz.  The second is smaller but wider than the first.  The third weighs .23 troy oz., and the forth, .27.   The fifth is a bracelet weighting .67 oz.

The ACE 250 has five hunting modes;  coin, relic, custom, jewelry and all metals.  I tested the Coin and Jewelry modes first.

I put the targets on ground that I have used many times in the past (so I know it is clean) for such tests and ran my coil over the test targets.

In Coin mode the small rings labeled 1 and 2 were identified as nickels.  Fine!  You might think you are digging a nickel and be surprised to find a small gold ring.  No big problem.

Still in Coin mode, items 3 and 4, were not detected at all.  By that I mean there was no audio tone.  

I ask you, would you rather detect a clad coin or the average size gold ring?   If you don't want to dig anything but coins, that is fine, but realize what you might be giving up.

Still in Coin mode, the bracelet (item 5) was identified as a nickel.   Hope you are digging nickels if you go over a bracelet like that.

In Coin mode, you will dig smaller gold items that display as nickels.  You will, however, miss larger gold that falls in the pulltab range.

In Jewelry mode item 1 jumped back and forth between nickel and foil on the ID display screen.  Item 2 was identified as a nickel again.   Items 3 and 4 were identified as pull tabs.  And item 5 was identified as a nickel again.

If you want to find gold in Jewelry mode, you should be digging nickels, foil and pull tabs. 

This test was done using one particular detector.  Results with other detectors can vary, but these test results should show you how important it is to know your detector.

To summarize, if you were using either the Coin mode or Jewelry mode, you very well might have missed items 3 and 4.   That is two out of five gold items.   And they are pretty typical rings, which makes it even more important.

In Coin mode, you would not have detected them, and in Jewelry mode you would have misidentified them.

A lot of guys use Jewelry mode rather than Coin mode when hunting and say they find more coins in the Jewelry mode.  The Jewelry mode does not discriminate (eliminate the audio tone) for as many non-coin items. 

In this test it should be noted that I'm using a best-case scenario.  Items were on the surface and not near other items or junk which could have added additional mistakes.  Also deep items in the field may not be identified exactly the same as shallow items.

As I explained when I talked about Step Searches, I would not exclusively use a single mode on a promising area, but would switch modes and also detectors and cover the same ground multiple times.   What one detector or search mode misses another might not miss.  That is one big reason for going back over the area after having analyzed the area and likely targets.

This inexpensive detector has already found good numbers of coins missed in areas heavily hunted by much more expensive and powerful detectors.  Each different type of detector has its own specific strengths and weaknesses.  That is another good reason for searching the same area multiple times with different detectors.

Some detectors are very sensitive to electric lines and underground cables, for example.  Some are good at target separation.  There are different things that will allow one detector to find what another, even another more powerful detector, will not find.

I found this test enlightening and hope you did too.

I'll cover the Relic and All Metals modes tomorrow.



The site of the Central America had not been worked since 1991 until a court-appointed receiver awarded a contract to Odyssey Marine Exploration to salvage what remains on the Central America with the hope of obtaining more treasure and paying back investors.  Odyssey Marine has since recovered 43 solid gold bars, 1,300 $20 double eagle gold coins, and thousands more gold and silver coins.

Here is the link to that interesting story.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/ea11e3bb7d9f45c9b6abb503cb9a42b3/US--Treasure-Dispute


On the Treasure Coast we're still stuck with a South wind and East swell and only a one foot surf.  That has been the pattern for a long time now.  Still watching for a change.


I think this was a very useful post.  I hope you think so too.   It explains in an empirical way much of what I talk about.  More tomorrow.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@Comcast.net


Thursday, July 24, 2014

7/24/14 Report - Carolus III Reale & Other Silver Found. Coin Cleaning Experiment. Tropical Depression 2.


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.


Silver Finds by Ben R.
Photo submitted by Ben
Tropical depression number 2 is now only a tropical disturbance over the Lesser Antilles.


Here are some great finds.  Ben R. sent me this picture of his finds along with the following email message.

I have been reading your blog since this past February when I spent a week in Fort Pierce and spent about 30 hours on the beach detecting hoping to find shipwreck treasure. In those 30 hours I found nothing but clad, and after returning home to Wisconsin I couldn't believe I had been totally skunked! I started reading your blog from the beginning and trying to educate myself about beach hunting. My dad and his brothers are very into detecting up here in the Midwest and I think I finally caught the bug, however there aren't many beaches up here in Wisconsin. In my ignorance, I had been detecting on mostly replenished beaches and I'm certain any treasure that was there was buried under a few feet of sand. I had learned the importance of research and had the sunburn to prove it.

Last weekend, after a few hours of research, I had found a spot that seemed promising up here in Wisconsin. After only an hour I had found 4 silver coins, and then right in the middle of a walking path I heard a solid tone from the DFX. At first I thought it was a half, but as I brushed away the dirt I saw the date. It was a 1781 Carolus iii dei Gratia reale. I found my Spanish treasure in the place I least expected it, out in the woods in Wisconsin. Hopefully this November my father and I can make the trip back to the treasure coast to detect after a big surf.

Thanks for taking the time to share your passion for detecting, your blog is great and is having an impact on the detecting community!
 
Thanks for sharing Ben.  Those are some great coins!  I hope we get some better beach conditions for detecting here on the Treasure Coast.

I've been talking a lot about off-beach and out-of-area treasure lately.  There are times when you have to adapt, and one of my old sayings is "There is always some place to hunt and something to be found."  I also believe that you usually learn something when you try new places.

Ben reminds us of something important  -  the importance of research.  If you want to find old stuff you have to hunt the right spots.  That goes with something I said yesterday, or was it the day before - a detector is basically a pin-pointing device.  It won't tell you treasure is there until you put the coil over a treasure.   Even when the detector coil is over something good, the item can be missed - thanks in part to the miracle of discrimination.  I'll talk more about that again very soon.

Yesterday I began an experiment on freezing items in water as a method of cleaning dirty items like coins.  I gave you a link to an article about that and wanted to do a test of my own.

You might remember this fire-fighter's prayer token. I posted it shortly after finding it a couple of months ago.


Close-up of part of the token before cleaning.
Here is the item as seen shortly after found, and then the second picture shows it after being frozen in water over night and then thawed out. 
You can see the crust obscuring the words of the prayer in the first close-up.

The second photo shows the token after being frozen and thawing.

The cleaning procedure definitely worked to some extent.  Unfortunately I don't know the metal this token is made of.  It does not appear to be either copper or silver.


Although the procedure worked, some crust remains.  Perhaps another freezing might clean it more.

 
Same Token After Freezing and Thawing


 
 
Wheat Cent Before And After Freezing
 



I also tried the same treatment with this wheat cent that had been buried in soil (not sand) for many years  The surface showed only faint detail.  It was difficult to read the date even after other attempts at cleaning.  I froze this one and thawed it twice because the first attempt did not accomplish much.

 
 Here are the before and after photos of the wheat.  You can definitely see some of the details better in the photo of the treated coin.  Notice the layer that appears to be coming off of the lower right edge.  I don't know if that surface dirt or not.

Some of the spotty removal actually made the coin harder to see in some places, such as over the wheat on the left.

Some results this time, but not what you would hope.  Again, this coin was cleaned before without hardly any results, so it represents a really stubborn case.  It was about the worst looking dirt dug coin that I've seen, so maybe not the best test.

Overall, I'd say freezing might be a good treatment in some cases, but don't expect dramatic results on stubborn coins.

I first learned of this method in the following link, which you might want to read for more detail.

http://www.thewheatpenny.com/how-to-clean-coins/


 I have experiments on the effect of using different detector modes to detect gold items.  The results so far didn't surprise me, but they illustrate some very important things that you should know.  I'll post that some time soon.

On the Treasure Coast, as I said above, Tropical Depression 2 died, and there are no significant changes in beach detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@Comcast.net

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

7/23/14 Report - Depression Two Moving West. Emeralds Found. Great Tool To Inspect & Photograph Coins For Errors and Grading.


Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Projected Track of Tropical Depression Two
Source:  www.nhc.noaa.gov

What I am most interested in these days is Tropical Depression Two, which is moving towards the west.  It is not expected to become a hurricane in the next few days.  The current track seems to be towards the Gulf of Mexico.

One thing to remember is that it doesn't take a hurricane to really improve beach detecting conditions.   Sometimes a storm that sits off the coast and churns a while can actually do more to create erosion. 


The Mel Fisher organization says,  Our members spent six days sifting through material in search of Atocha Emeralds while enjoying the biggest Mel Fisher Days celebration to date. A total of 18 emeralds were recovered! The emeralds were of varying sizes and shades of green including this beautiful recovery.

I always encourage methods in addition to metal detecting.  Sifting is sometimes a good one. 


In the past I've shown photos of coins and things made with a Celestron Hand Held Microscope.  I really enjoy using the microscope.  Not only does it make good close-up photos, but it is also an easy way to inspect coins and things.

The microscope hooks into your computer using a USB port and the image appears on the computer screen.  You can then capture photos or even videos, if you want to move the object or take videos of a moving object. 

Although it is called a hand-held microscope, it comes with an adjustable stand which can be used to focus the microscope so that you can quickly pass coins and other items under the focused microscope for close inspection.  It makes it easy to see any small markings on rings or other items. And is good enough to make it very quick and easy to detect errors or other small details on coins.

Above is a nice high-relief 1946 Canadian penny at low power.  And here is a photo of the designer's initials found below the leaf on the right using higher power.

The actual computer image is even better than the photos shown here.

The microscope will show very fine details and could definitely help you find errors or grade coins.

I've started a test of the coin cleaning method that I mentioned yesterday and took photos of a coin and medallion before I froze them in water.  I'll take photos of the same objects after they have been thawed and we'll get a good idea of how well freezing worked to clean the coins.

Celestron Hand-Held Microscope Mounted On Stand

Besides inspecting coins you can also inspect other things, of course.  Have you ever had a hard time seeing the marks inside a ring?

You can put a ring under the microscope too.  Move it around so you can see all areas of the inside of the band until you find any marks.

Below is an example showing the marks found inside a silver ring.

I find it much easier to look at items under the focused microscope than trying to look through a loop or magnifying glass.  The microscope has its own variable lighting too. 

If you've tried to use a loop, you know how difficult it can be to stay out of the way of the light while getting a good view.

Marks Found In Silver Ring

One thing I should have added about the Step Search strategy that I described yesterday is that it is very much about identifying and working various layers.  You will often be working through layers.   For example, if there is a layer of surface aluminum, and you are working in a "coin mode" you'll probably being removing items from the second or third layer before the first.  Nonetheless, you should be identifying each layer and the predominate types of items found there and what is likely remaining at each layer.



On the Treasure Coast the wind will be coming from the South for days and we'll be stuck with a one foot surf.  You might like that if you water hunt for recent drops.

The tides are pretty flat now too.

Tropical Depression 2 is still way out there.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@Comcast.net