Monday, October 20, 2014

10/20/14 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Conditions. Another Reason To Not Discriminate. How To Know Where To Detect. Know Your Gem Stones.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I took a look at the beach yesterday near low tide.  Here is the first beach I looked at.  The waves were breaking there right near the foot of the beach.  Course sand was piled up on the front of the beach.

A mile or two away, I saw a beach that was different (Second photo.).  The waves were about the same size, naturally, but they were breaking about 40 yards farther out.

On that beach the sand bar was farther out and there was a dip between the sand bar and the foot of the beach.

On the front of the second beach, the sand was even more course and the slope was covered by very course sand with shells and even small rocks next too the water.  I wish I got a picture of how that course sand transitioned.  There was a sharp division between the course material on the slope and more fine sand in the dip.

Notice the shells in this second picture, and also notice just above the center of the picture and a little to the left, how the water is piled up near the foot of the beach.  Just below that you can see the flat water covering a dip.


The other day when I talked about discrimination, I ended by mentioning that when I talked about what I called "working the washing machine" I dug only one trash item while digging a good number of good targets.

Some beaches are so busy that you can always find some recent drops, no matter how poor the conditions in that area might be.  You can have a spot that is very mushy where anything good will sink quickly, but if the item was just dropped, you can still find it before it disappears.  I don't generally spend my time in areas like that,   though in some situations, if there might be high value targets and I don't have a lot of good alternatives or the time to travel, I might do that.

Normally I am always assessing the situation and trying to find areas where the good to bad target ratio is good, and I don't stick around in areas where I determine from any evidence that I can gather, that the area is not where I want to spend my time.

How do you know which is which?  First you can tell a lot by how it looks..  That is the first level of analysis.  Learn to read the beach, and also the water.

You can also tell a lot by checking.  Do a little sampling.   What are you digging?  Aluminum junk or dense objects?  That will tell you a lot.  Where are the dense items?  Maybe lead or coins?  You won't get all the information if you are discriminating. 

Not only is the type of item important, but also how deep it was found.  What can you tell about layers?

This type of hunting works well in wet sand and shallow water, but is also applicable to other types of areas as well.  What I focus on is finding a well defined area where I can really focus my efforts.  That would be an area where I can quit prospecting and begin mining, as I sometimes put it.  That would be an area where there are few trash items relative to the number of good targets.

There is more than one way that the distribution of items (good and bad) can be changed.  In wet sand and shallow water, the water action and movement of sand and other materials has a lot to do with it.

In the dry sand or even on dry ground there are still many relevant factors that can affect how good an area might be.  Inland, for example, besides the fact that there are still layers and the layers are occasionally changed by water, for example by rain or creeks, or falling leaves, or human events and activities, those areas can also be changed by other detectorists and how they hunt.

What I'm trying to say is that my focus is on learning how items are distributed, and finding those areas with concentrations of high value targets, and that junk as well as good targets provide good information about the area and which direction to go next. 

Things are not distributed randomly, and I want to locate and spend my time working the most productive spots.

Not only does the type of item provide information, but how old it is and how deep it was, also provides good information.   For example, how deep a pull tab was found is important, as is the age of the pull tab.

I'm always considering the type of item, depth, density, age and its history, and any other factors that might shed some light on if I should stay where I am or which direction I should move next.

I'm generally not going to spend my time in an area where the junk to good target ratio is poor.  There are a few exceptions.  For example, if I have reason to believe that a dip filled with course sand and aluminum also might contain a Rolex or other high value target, I might hunt that area.  The point is that there is an analysis of all evidence and an intentional calculated decision about where to go next.   It is not just a process of wondering around and hoping to hit something good.

As I said, when working the washing machine the other day, I was finding almost all coins or better items, and only one junk item.  Under the circumstances I was going to stay in that general area.  I was going to try to find any center point and return towards it if I started wander away from it.   If I started to wander one way or another and started to get into an area where I was only finding aluminum, I would try to find the center of the good area again.  It is better to spend a lot of time in a small area once a good area has been identified.  If the good area was cleaned out, I would move on and try to find another good area.


What is the most expensive gem stone?  Here is a link that will show you several of the most expensive.  I bet you haven't heard of some of them.

Red diamond will bring a million dollars per carat. 

Mistaking your gemstones can cost you a lot of money.   Don't assume or guess.


Tomorrow the surf on the Treasure Coast will be down to one or two feet again.

There is an interesting disturbance down by Central America that might come our way.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, October 18, 2014

10/18/14 Report - 1853 One Dollar Gold Mounted Gold Coin Find. Discrimination For The Discriminating Detectorist. Importance Of Knowing The Range Of Trash At A Site.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Other Side Of The Gold Coin I Showed Yesterday.

This is the other side of the mounted cold coin find that I showed yesterday.

The photo is a little grainy for some reason, but if you look at the coin closely you can see a small mark on the coin made by one of the prongs.  I talked about that as being one reason you might not want to mount some coins.

The 1853 1 Dollar coin was minted in high numbers, and as a result is often found mounted in jewelry.  Another common and frequently mounted gold coin is the Mexican Dos Pesos.  I've mentioned that before.


Occasionally I mention a gadget that I have found very useful.  One of those is an inexpensive battery tester.  I really get a lot of use out of mine.


Yesterday I wrote about using the pulse delay setting to discriminate when using a pulse induction metal detector.  When I publish a post I almost always leave something out.   There are always some ifs, ands, and buts that I don't include.  My posts are too short to include everything.  It would be an endless post if I stated all of the relevant details.

Anyhow, concerning yesterday's post, one thing I might have mentioned is that the exact settings of the pulse delay will depend to some extent upon the specific item and the type of ground you are working. 

The thin gold ring that I talked about as an example was the same gold ring that you saw in my video a few days ago.  And  I was talking about your typical Treasure Coast beach without black sand.

Here is one other thing I'll add to that discussion.   At most sites there are only one or two types of trash that make up the vast majority of trash.

At many old sites the predominate type of trash will be iron and nails.

At other sites it might be aluminum and pull tabs, and at other sites it might be bottle caps.  Of course pull tabs and bottle tops are typical of picnic beaches.

At older sites that have been continuously used over the years you might have layers of all types of trash.

Discrimination can be more effective when one or two types of trash predominate a site.  When that is the case you only have to discriminate a small range of targets to dramatically improve detecting conditions.   If the predominant type of trash is bottle tops, increasing the pulse delay on a pulse induction detector can be fairly effective.

At sites where the predominate trash is iron and nails, a detector such as the Excalibur can discriminate fairly effectively.

In situations like those that I've been talking about, notch discrimination or target ID can be very helpful.  In those cases, you don't need to discriminate out more than a narrow range of trash targets, and that allows the use of discrimination while reducing (not entirely eliminating) the risk of missing good targets.

Before settling on the type of detector and discrimination, you first need to know what type of trash is there and what type is not there.  If you run around using a lot of discrimination right off the bat, you might not even find out what is at the site worth discriminating.

Despite everything I just said, I will still warn you about the dangers of using discrimination and suggest the alternative of simply removing the trash.  I can't get into all of the reasons for that right now.

If you have adequately analyzed a site and determined that the site is worth detecting, it should be worth detecting thoroughly, otherwise consider simply moving on to another site that is worth detecting well.

If  you are just out to pass some time or make a few easy finds, I understand using liberal discrimination, but if you suspect that a site might hold something good or if the site is good enough that you intend to hunt it on a continuing basis, I strongly suggest digging everything.

I just remembered something that I forgot to mention the other day when I talked about working the washing machine.  I used no discrimination and only dug one trash item while digging quite a few good targets.  I'll have to follow up on that another day.


Gonzalo battered Bermuda.  Here is a link.


The weather is beautiful.  The tides are pretty flat.  There is not much of a low tide.

The surf is about the same on the Treasure Coast now, but they are still predicting a 5 - 7 foot surf Sunday the 26th.

Happy hunting,

Friday, October 17, 2014

10/17/14 Report - U.S. One Dollar Gold Coin Find. Pulse Induction Metal Detector Discrimination. Bump In Surf Predicted.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Nicely Mounted One Dollar US Gold Coin Metal Detector Find
I heard some guys discussing discrimination.  That is one of two big obsessions in the metal detecting community.  The other is depth.

Anyhow, the discussion centered on the hope for some type of effective discrimination for pulse induction detectors. 

Pulse induction detectors do have a type of discrimination.  You can discriminate with a pulse induction detector, but the results might not be exactly what you wanted.

What people really want is for the detector to tell them exactly what they are detecting before they dig it up.

One way you can get a type of discrimination with a pulse induction detector is to use "pulse delay." 

If you use the Whites Dual Field PI, for example, you'll find that you can discriminate out beer bottle caps and some other junk by using the pulse delay setting.

Just as an example, if you turn the Whites PI pulse delay setting up about half way, most beer bottle caps will be discriminated out.  As you increase the delay from 0 the signal from the bottle cap will decrease until you get no signal, which happens just before the straight up position.  A dime or other coin will still cause a good strong signal well after the setting which causes the bottle cap to be discriminated.

There you have it.  Discrimination with a PI - at least for some items.

But here is the bad news.  A thin gold ring will normally quit causing a signal at a much lower pulse delay setting.  You only have to turn the delay up about one eight of the way for a thin gold ring to be discriminated out.  And increasing the pulse delay will cause depth to be decreased for the same gold ring even before it is discriminated out.

(In a previous post I told you how important the threshold level is when using a pulse induction detector to detect gold and other items.)

It is easy to tell the difference between the signal from items such as a thin gold ring and a beer bottle cap  with a pulse induction metal detector such as the Whites Dual Field.  To produce a signal like a thin gold ring, the typical bottle cap would have to be buried deeply, and that is seldom the case.

The problem with discrimination with any metal detector, not just pulse induction detectors, is that there is risk involved.  You risk missing good stuff when you use discrimination.  Some detectors reduce that risk more than others, but there is risk.

If you must discriminate, there are things that will help you reduce that risk.  One of those things is knowledge of how your detector responds to different items.  Another is knowledge of how things are distributed in the type of area you are hunting.  For me that is by far the most important and effective.

If you want to find coins with a pulse induction detector and want to avoid the bottle caps, turning the pulse delay up is fine (to a point) but be aware that you will lose depth on the coins too.  For me, I'd rather find the gold rings.

Some other day I'll try to explain why I don't care as much about either discrimination or depth as  much as a lot of people.   That will take a number of posts, and I'd have to write a entire book to explain it well.


Above is another example of a mounted gold coin.  The mounting on this one is very nice.  It has six little diamonds on the pendant. 


Here is a video showing the town that is under Lake Meade.  It makes for some nice diving.


Prehistoric camps have been found in the High Tetons.  I really like Jackson Hole and the Tetons and highly recommend visiting if you get a chance.  Saw my first grizzly bear live in the wilds there.  I was glad he paid me no attention and went on his way.   It is a beautiful place.


Back to the Treasure Coast, I looked at a number of different beaches today.  I didn't see any that looked promising at all.  All those that I visited really looked poor.  I didn't bother to take my detector out until the last one.

I could see some dips in front of the beaches in shallow water.  The waves were hitting hard right at the bottom of the beach on most of the beaches.

Gonzalo is headed towards Bermuda as a strong hurricane.   There is nothing much else out there to watch, however if you look at the surfing web sites you'll see that about a week out they are predicting up to a seven foot surf for the Treasure Coast.  In the past when the predicted a higher surf a week or more in advance, a good percentage of the time it never really happened.  There is a chance though.  It is worth watching.

At least the seasons have changed.  Now we just have to wait a little more.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

10/16/14 Report - Educational Presentations On Treasure & Treasure Coins. Working the Washing Machine - Rough Shallow Water Detecting.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Treasure Coast Beach This Morning Near Low Tide.
The beach has been building. There were almost no targets in the wet sand this morning at this beach.  The dry beach didn't have much either.

I mostly worked in the washing machine.  By that I mean the area right in front of where the waves were crashing.  It isn't easy to work that area when you have decent waves.  The currents are strong there, and it is impossible to sweep a coil normally.  It can also difficult to recover targets there.  

To make things even more difficult, the bottom was very irregular today.  There were big dips and pot holes.  Many pot holes were more than a foot deep, and it was impossible to see the bottom, so occasionally I would get a jolt as I stepped into a hole.

There are several tricks for working in the washing machine.  While I normally don't bother to slip my arm into the band on the arm rest, in these conditions it helps a lot.  If your arm is strapped in tightly, it helps you to control the detector in the currents.

It also helps if you swing the coil so you are going with the current as much as possible.  Try to time your swing so the coil goes with the current one direction and then back the other direction when the current reverses.  It was so tough today that much of the time I was moving my coil more in a tight circle.  It took a good bit of effort.  If I didn't maintain good control both the detector and my scoop would get washed behind me.

Recovery was the hardest thing today.  In those conditions, try to time lifting the scoop so the current is rushing into your scoop rather than from behind your scoop as you lift a scoop from the bottom.   If you lift the scoop while the water is coming from behind, it will wash a lot of the sand, and quite possibly the item, out of the scoop as you lift it.

Before you lift the scoop, jiggle it to sift as much through the scoop as you can before lifting it.  That is if you think the item is in the scoop, of course. 

Don't over-fill the scoop or a lot of the sand, and quite possibly the item, will wash out of the scoop as you lift.

Detected Ear Ring.
Often foot-fanning will help you remove a lot of sand quickly, but fanning was not working well today because the currents were so strong, and the sand filled the hole as quickly as it could be fanned.  I had to give up on a few targets, which I always hate to do.

I was finding coins and objects mostly in the pot holes, and sometimes in the edge or side of a pot hole. 

Working the washing machine is not for beginners.

You also have to have sturdy equipment.  An extra brace can be used to help keep the coil in position.

The day before floor bidding begins for the current Sedwick Coins Treasure Auction, which will be  at the Doubletree Hotel at Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, there will be a number of educational presentations.  So if you are going to be in the Orlando area, you might want to make arrangements to see those.

Here is the schedule.

Wednesday, Nov. 5

 Lot viewing and educational presentations  

10 AM-6:30 PM EST

Lot viewing in Evergreen Room



2:00-2:45 PM EST

Ben Costello (director of the 1715 Fleet Society), guest Ernie Richards (PLUS ULTRA Newsletter)

"The 1715 Fleet 300th Anniversary"

Buena Vista Ballroom


3:00-3:30 PM EST

Jose Manuel Henriquez (president of Dominican Republic Numismatic Association)

"La Numismatica Dominicana"

Buena Vista Ballroom


3:45-4:30 PM EST

Roberto Mastalir (researcher-writer)

"Potosi Cobs: Transitional period"

Buena Vista Ballroom


4:45-5:30 PM EST

Jorge Emilio Restrepo (researcher-writer)

"Coins Issued during Colombian Independence"

Buena Vista Ballroom


5:45-6:30 PM EST

Cori Sedwick Downing and Jorge Proctor (researchers-writers), guest speaker Angel Valtierra  (Nat. Mexican Numismatic Museum)

"Mexican Charles and Joanna Coinage"

Buena Vista Ballroom


Gonazalo is still out there but the other disturbance has disappeared, so it looks like we won't be getting any real storm action.

Friday and Saturday the Treasure Coast will get a little higher surf but only around four or five feet.

The low tide is not getting very low at all these days.

We had got a bit of a cool front and some very nice weather.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

10/15/14 Report - 300 Year Anniversary of 1715 Fleet. Valuable Coin Found In Roll, 1000 Year Old Coin Detected. Shark Feeding Frenzy

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Coral Beads From Rosary Listed
In Current Sedwick Coins Online Auction.
Notice the barnacles.
Next year marks three hundred years since the 1715 Fleet disaster.  Some one wrote in and asked about any special events for the commemoration.

The first big event that I know of will be at the Florida United Numismatists Convention in Orlando.  The FUN Convention, which will be held at the Orange County Convention Center January 8 through the 11th, will include a display of 1715 Fleet treasures and artifacts from the State of Florida collection.

That will be the biggest display of 1715 Fleet items at the convention but undoubtedly there will be more.  I'd expect Sedwick Coins to be there too, for example.  They usually are at FUN Conventions.

The 1715 Plate Society will present a two-day seiminar July 28 and 29 at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. 

On Aug. 13, Indian River County Main Library will provide lectures and there will be a display or 1715 Fleet artifacts.

The McLarty and Mel Fisher Museums will undoubtedly also host events.

I'll try to provide more details when the time gets nearer.

Here is a link that talks about the anniversary year events.

A man was searching through a roll of Kennedy halves looking for silver and found a coin that might be worth two or three thousand dollars.   He found a very special 1861-O Seated Liberty half-dollar.

Here is the link to that article.

One detectorist was lucky enough to dug up a coin that is over 1000 years old. 

The article says, An extremely rare 1,250 year-old silver coin found by a treasure hunter with a metal detector in a field near Newbury last year, has sold at auction for £336.   [Around $500]

The Anglo-Saxon coin, known as a sceat, was struck between the years 710AD and 760AD and, although it was buried in the ground for more than 1,000 years, it is described as being in “extremely fine/very fine” condition according to London auctioneers Spink.

Here is the link to that article.

Here is a cool video showing a shark feeding frenzy that brought them right up onto the sand.

I've seen sharks in shallow water while detecting, but they never seemed much interested in me, which is good.

There was one barracuda that used to keep an eye on me so continually that it got on my nerves.

He was always around the same area.

Armour Listed In Sedwick Coins Auction.
Notice the dent.  Musket ball maybe.

Back a few days ago I was talking about wear and tear and encrustation and stuff that you'll sometimes find on items.  The pictures that I posed today are two items in the Sedwick Coins auction that show nice marks of character.

Gonzalo turned into a strong hurricane but is staying east of the Bahamas.

On the Treasure Coast it looks like we'll be looking at something like a 3 or 4 foot surf for a few days.

I'll keep an eye on the remaining disturbance in the Atlantic.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

10/14/14 Report - Mounted Eight Escudo. Christopher Columbus. Treasure Coast Beaches Lost Some Sand.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Lot 1 In The Current Sedwick Coins Online Auction.

One day I talked about mounting your coin finds.  In another post I showed some  gold coins that were dug already mounted.

Here is another example of a mounted gold coin.  This one is the first lot in the current SedwickCoins treasure auction.  It is a very nice eight-escudo.  It makes a great pendant, doesn't it?
The picture is from the online auction catalog. 

That also reminded me that if you have an extremely fine coin or maybe a graded coin, you might not want to mount those because mounting can cause damage to coins.  Sometimes you can see marks on coins where they were mounted.

Here is a good article entitled, The Catholic Spirit of Christopher Columbus.  Very good article giving the religious motives for seeking the New World as well as the religious beliefs and practices of the explorers during the voyage.

Be sure to read the list of myths at the bottom of the article.

 Yesterday I went to the beach to see what has been happening.   Here are a couple pictures showing recent sand loss on one Treasure Coast shipwreck beach.

As you know, we've had slightly rougher seas lately.

The shadows make the cuts look better than they actually are.   They were not very big at all, yet there was some loss of sand.

The sand near the water line was relatively firm.

Note the sea weed indicating some fill since the erosion.

Some beaches showed sand loss while others did not.

Hurricane Gonzalo is out there, but I'm more interested in the disturbance following Gonzalo.  Gonzalo is headed north into the Atlantic.

The Treasure Coast is getting around a three foot surf today.  The tides have flattened out again.  There will be a few new shallow dips to be found.  The predicted surf for this week is no higher than around 4 feet now.  That is down a little from earlier predictions.

 I saw this cute little baby gopher turtle today.

I was wondering how many people studied and benefited from the video that I posted the other day. 

People tend to think that a specific item will give a certain signal, and that is often the case, but other things will affect the signal, such as the position of the object and sweep speed.

I didn't go into that at great length the other day, but I think you can see evidence of that in the video. 

Certainly the copper tag and gold ring sounded different when they were not laying flat.  The video shows how you can better learn to understand what you detector is trying to tell you.

That is all for today.   Keep an eye on what is going on in the Atlantic.

Happy hunting,

Monday, October 13, 2014

10/13/14 Report - Hurricane Gonzalo Now. Dumfries Hoard. Largest Ancient Shipwreck. Prime Meridian.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source of photos:  See BBC link.

The Dumfies Hoard consists of around a hundred Viking items from the ninth or tenth century and is worth about six figures.  The hoard was found by a detectorist in Scotland.  

There's material from Ireland, from Scandinavia, from various places in central Europe and perhaps ranging over a couple of centuries.

Shown here are a couple of the items from the hoard, a silver vessel and a ninth or tenth century cross.

The BBC report describing the hoard praises the responsible behavior of the detectorist.

Here is the link.

Thanks to Iowa Steve and Mike F. for submitting the link.

The largest ancient shipwreck ever discovered has produced hundreds of artifacts including a bronze spear.  The deep-water wreck is from around 60 or 70 AD.

Here is the link to the article.

Here is an interesting fact that can be very important if you are doing research to locate old shipwrecks or treasures.

If you are reading an old treasure or shipwreck map, the longitude might not make sense.   Did you know that longitudes were not always based upon the Greenwich prime meridian?

Today maps use the meridian running through Greenwich England as the prime meridian ( 0 degrees longitude).   The Greenwich meridian was adopted as the prime meridian in 1851.  Before that other meridians were used as the prime meridian.  That means if you don't know what prime meridian was being used at the time, longitude readings can be off by thousands of miles.

It seems that the Atlantic has finally come alive.  Now we have two tropical storms, Fay and Gonzalo, and one other disturbance coming.  [Update: Gonzalo is now a hurricane.]

It looks like Gonzalo will skirt the West Indies and head north into the Atlantic.   We'll have to keep an eye on the other disturbance too.

We are supposed to have something like a 3 - 5 foot surf today, then decreasing a foot or so for a few days and then maybe a 4 - 6 foot surf by Friday.

You can see a seasonal change going on.  The surf is picking up.

I'll do a little scouting to see what is happening on the beaches and hope to get some photos.

I hope you studied yesterday's video.  It shows that the sweep angle definitely affects detector signals.  That is one of several reasons why you can go back over well hunted ground and continue to find targets.

A bent or angled buried object will also give various signals depending upon exactly how the coil goes over it.

Happy hunting,