Wednesday, June 28, 2017

6/29/17 Report - Personal Metal Detecting Firsts. Effigy or Pendant? Big Canoe. Surprising Carving Tools.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Found at Douglas Beach About 15 Years Ago.
Find and photo by Darrel S.

Here is what Darrel said about the above find. At first I thought a pendant with the top part worn from time. A friend, who wrote a book on Taino, thought possibly an effigy, etc.  It is about 2.5 inches. The material is steathite, which was used making celts, etc. Definitely, material not from Florida. I still think it is a pendant and the grooved ring was worn over time. 

I really like that piece, especially how you can see the different layers.

Thanks for sharing Darrel.


BELCHER, LA -- Excavation efforts have unearthed a large, prehistoric Indian canoe along the Red River in north Caddo Parish.

One archaeologist said the almost 34-foot-long dugout canoe, described it in very good condition even though one side is missing. The canoe, weighing an estimated 1,000 pounds, could be the largest ever found intact in North America...

Here is the link for more about that.


11,000 Year-Old Statue
Source: See link below.

New scientific findings suggest that images and hieroglyphics on the wooden statue were carved with the jaw of a beaver, its teeth intact.
Originally dug out of a peat bog by gold miners in the Ural Mountains in 1890, the remarkable seven-faced Idol is now on display in a glass sarcophagus in a museum in Yekaterinburg.
Two years ago German scientists dated the Idol as being 11,000 years old...

Here is the link.

To me, that is absolutely one beautiful statue.  And the idea of using beaver teeth to carve makes so much sense -  I love it!


I was thinking of my personal metal detecting firsts.  Some came readily to mind even though they happened a long time ago.  Some I could remember like it was yesterday, and some are things that I would barely pay attention to if I found them today. Still they made an impression at the time.   I'll try to put them in chronological order as well as I can.

My first ring.  It was a silver skull ring.  Nothing that I consider special in any way today.
My first Rolex watch.
My first multi-carat solitaire diamond ring.
My first national championship sports ring.
My first escudo.
My first piece of shipwreck silver.
My first gold shipwreck artifact.
My first raw gold nugget from a treasure wreck beach.

Looking at the list, there are a couple of things that might seem a little surprising.  For one thing, I found an escudo before I found a reale.

Another thing that seems a little odd to me is that I have no idea which was my first gold ring find.  It doesn't stick out in my memory for some reason.

The diamond solitaire ring find sticks out in my mind because it was such a vivid sensory experience. It was blue sky day with a very calm clear surf.  What I remember is seeing the diamond reflecting the sunlight as soon as it emerged from the sand even though it was under about three feet of water when that happened.

Unlike that one, which made a real impression as soon as I saw it shining under the water, there were other items that I didn't appreciate until after I did the research and found out what they really were. Sometimes that was a long time later.  Those I not sure of when they were found because I didn't appreciate them right away.

It is not surprising that most of the modern finds came first.  I lived in South Florida and was focusing on modern jewelry before moving to the Treasure Coast.


There is no tropical weather to watch right now.

The surf is still calm and we still are having some nice tides.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

6/27/17 Report - Getting To Know Your Detector/Coil Combination. A 250-Year-Old Lock. Surveillance.

Written by the TreaureGuide for the exclusive use of

A few days ago (/10/17) I talked about the cone of sensitivity for different metal detector coils.  I showed that for some coils, the area of sensitivity is more cone shaped.  For a cone-shaped coil, the maximum depth is obtained when a target is under the center of the coil.  You get less depth when a target is out near the edge of the coil.

The illustration above shows the theoretical cone of sensitivity for two different types of coils - a concentric coil and a DD coil.  According to what you will typically read or hear, the area of sensitivity under a DD coil will not be as sharply cone-shaped as it will be for a concentric coil.  When looking at the area of sensitivity from the side you can see that it is more blunt from a side view.  The area of sensitivity is supposed to be narrow for a DD coil when viewed from the front or back.

The depth you will get with a DD coil for a target under the center of the coil will be similar to the depth that you get when the target is near the edge of the coil.  The importance of that is that you will be getting greater depth under a wider span of the coil, making overlapping of sweeps less important because you are getting good depth under the entire area of the coil (front to back).  When using a concentric coil, failure to overlap sweeps would mean missing more deeper targets that fall closer to the front or back edge of the coil where you get less depth.

I am not one to go by theory or what everybody says or even by what the manual says.  I test things out.

In my 6/10 post, I encouraged you to use a test object to map out the area of sensitivity for your coil and detector.  Doing an air test, pass a test object under the center of the coil and see how deep the object can be detected.  (That is how most air tests are conducted.)  Then pass the object out towards the edge of the coil and see how deep the object is detected, and then do the same thing with the object farther out near the edge of the coil.  You will get a good idea of how much depth you will get under the center of the coil and farther away from the edge of the coil.

Mostly we talk about the area of a coil's sensitivity from front to back.  DD coils are often said to have a narrower area of side to side.  That is supposed to result in better target separation.  You should be able to distinguish between two targets that are beside each other.

With my tests I definitely found that one detector/coil combination had a much sharper cone shaped area of sensitivity than another.  As expected the concentric coil had a sharp cone shaped area of sensitivity, and the DD coil had a more blunt shaped area of sensitivity, as shown in the illustration.  I did not, however, find that the side to side area of sensitivity was narrow.  It seemed about as blunt as the front to back sensitivity.  So much for what the manual says.  Although that test did not correspond to what the manualsaid, my tests corresponded very well with what I experienced in the field.  This particular detector/coil combination does not provide good target separation even though it involves a DD coil.  Targets sound big.  And a bunch of small close targets sound very much like one big target.  How much of that is electrical engineering and physics and how much of it is psychosensory, I don't know, but that isn't important to the detectorist.  The important thing is how you perceive it in the field.

My main point is to experiment so that you really get to know your detector and how it responds.  Get to know both its strong points and its weaknesses.  Read the manual, but test everything out for yourself.  You might find that what you have been reading or hearing does not seem to be true for your situation.


Source: See link below.

MACKINAW CITY, MI - A 250-year-old lock was discovered at Colonial Michilimackinac earlier this week.

Staff at the historic fort and trading post in Mackinaw City discovered the intact, 2.75-inch long and 2.25-inch wide brass artifact while excavating a fur trader's home on the site.

Lynn Evans, curator of archaeology at Mackinac State Historic Parks, said the piece was likely used to lock a small trunk or chest sometime between 1760 and 1770. The lock is a rare find, even for a place full of hidden treasures like Fort Michilimackinac...

Here is the link for the original article.


Some of you will consider this off-topic.  Thats ok.

BAE, a British company that has been widely criticized for sharing communications surveillance software to countries with human rights abuses.  The software is capable of tracking virtually ALL computer communications.

I saw a TED talk, which I wish I could find again, on Evident, a software package about which it has been said, "You'd be able to intercept any internet traffic," a former employee told the BBC. "If you wanted to do a whole country, you could. You could pin-point people's locations based on cellular data. You could follow people around. They were quite far ahead with voice recognition. They were capable of decrypting stuff as well."

I just think a computer user should be aware of the digital environment they inhabit and more generally the world they live in.  

Treasure hunters used to be very much interested in treasure maps, codes, covert activities and the like.  Doesn't seem to be the case so much anymore.

Watching the hearings on TV, one thing that impressed me is the number of things that they feel they have to keep secret from the citizens of the country.  Very much like archaeology, but a byproduct of terrorism instead of looting.  

Here is one link if you are interested in this type of thing.


On the Treasure Coast we have more smooth surf for days or weeks.  The tides are pretty good now, with some nice low tides.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, June 25, 2017

6/26/17 Report - Kang Hsi Porcelain. Silver Cleaning Cloth. Fenn Treasure Hunters Die.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Kang Hsi Displayed At St. Lucie County Historical Museum
Photo submitted by Darrel S.

The porcelain shown above was on display at the St. Lucie County Historical Museum that is located near the East side of the big bridge on the south causeway from Fort Pierce to Hutchinson Island.  It is near the aquarium and is easy to miss.  The link below will give you the address and more information about the museum.

I showed a new find of Kang Hsi in my 5/18/17 post. Smaller pieces can be found on the beach at time. Small pieces can have some value and are sometimes mounted in jewelry. I've shown a few pieces that were found on the beach.

A stack of Kang Hsi plates were once seen on South Hutchinson Island newly exposed by erosion. That was back years ago. The detectorist did not bother to collect them. He thought they were from a beach picnic or something and didn't think much more about it. When he learned what they were, he went back and couldn't find them. That is why I talk so much about being able to recognize various types of treasure. Big mistakes can be made when you do not realize what you are looking at. A stack of Kang Hsi plates could be worth quite a bit.

I once did a post on how to identify fine China like Kang Hsi.  It can easily be distinguished from other blue and white old pottery.

You can sometimes find small pieces in shell piles.

If you do any research on Kang Hsi, you'll find that it is spelled in a variety of ways.


The museum owns some very early Fort Pierce phone books that I found before they were discarded by what was then the Indian River Community College.  


People have died seeking the famous Fenn treasure and the police want people to stop looking for it.

Here is the link for more about that.

Thanks to Dean for submitting the link.


I have a polishing cloth that I used for years.  The bag it came in reads, "Miracle All Purpose Polishing Cloth."  I wouldn't call it a miracle, but it works.  What is most amazing to me, is that the cloth still works after all these years.  I looked it up and found that they still sell them.

It won't take heavy corrosion off things, but it will remove the black patina off oxidized silver.  You might want to look into it.


To everything there is a season.  It is now hurricane season and also salvage season.  For beach hunters, depending upon where you are and what you hunt, it can be either a slow season or productive season.

The Treasure Coast is supposed to have a couple weeks of one-foot surf.  There is no tropical weather on the Atlantic map right now.

The tides are pretty big.  We've been having some nice negative tides.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, June 24, 2017

6/24/17 Report - Taking Another Look At An Old Find. History-Changing Archaeological Discovery. Search for Lost Merchant To Resume.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Old Find
Once in a while I go back and look through old junk finds.  Sometimes I put things aside without paying enough attention to them and I might have missed something interesting.   I'll mention one example of that later in this post.  Anyhow, I decided to look through some old items yesterday, and the item shown above was one of them.

It had some greenish corrosion.  That usually tells you the item is at least partly copper.  I cleaned a little of the corrosion off.

As you can see in the close-up photos above and below, there is some exposed copper.  The item is silver plated.  I probably acid tested the item originally, but I wasn't able to get such good photos back then.

The photo of the other side (below) clearly shows better where the plating wore off.

Other Side Same Medallion

When I put this religious medallion under the Celestron camera to take these photos, I also saw for the first time the word "ITALY."  You can almost see it at the dark spot on the left in the flat space beside the upper arm in this photo.

The ITALY mark is significant.  That tells you the item is not older than 1861 - the year when Italy was founded.

Although in this case, nothing significant showed up, it can be worth going back and looking at old finds.  Sometimes you will find something that you didn't notice before.  Maybe you have newer and better methods or technology or maybe you've learned something that will help you better analyze and appreciate your find.  Keeping good records will help too, although if you are like me, junk find will just be put aside.


...After years of debate over the dating technology used on the mastodon, a group of researchers now believes that they can date it and the human tools to 130,000 years ago—more than 100,000 years earlier than the earliest humans are supposed to have made it to North America....

Interesting article.  Here is the link.

As you probably know, the Treasure Coast produced its own history-changing fossil.  If you aren't aware of that use the following link.

I've found mastodon fossils on a Treasure Coastbeach.  I also found one fossilbone  that appears to have be drilled and cut by man.

I showed that in an old post.  Here is that link.

Like the fellow that found the carved mastodon bone near Vero, I had that bone sitting around a long time before I noticed it was worked by human hands.


Nine coins, a few ballast stones and another piece of silver were recently found on the Margarita site by the crew of the Sea Reaper.

The Dare will soon be replacing her mailboxes with search gear and going north to resume the search for the Lost Merchant.  Lost Merchant is a code name.


There are now no tropical disturbances on the Atlantic map.

We are having a calm surf and some good low tides though.

Happy hunting,

Friday, June 23, 2017

6/23/17 Report - Calusa Artifacts for Reference - Silver, Gold and Copper

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Photo of Calusa Artifacts Displayed in the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Photo by Darrel S.

In order to help you identify finds, yesterday I showed a variety of Seminole artifacts - mostly silver. Today I'm showing Calusa artifacts.  A lot are silver, but there are also copper, gold and even a couple lead items.  All of the Calusa artifact photos were taken by Darrel Strickland at the Gainesville museum.

Just to let you know, Darrel has made some great finds.  He knows more about these things than what he saw at the museum.

What he considers his greatest beach find was "a complete Native American necklace with wrapped shipwreck coins, beads, shells, etc."  The twine was made of horse hair and plant strands.  It has been viewed by experts.  He has also made other great finds.  One, a bison bone, is in the Fountain of Youth collection.

Below is a closer look at some of the artifacts Darrel photographed in the Gainesville museum, including both gold and silver items.

Photo by Darrel S.
Next are some made of copper.

Photo by Darrel S.

And below are some cone shape silver items.

Photo by Darrel S.

Beads on the Left, Tablets Center, and Other Items on the Right.
Photo by Darrel S.

Here is a closer view of some of the above, especially tablets.

Photo by Darrel S.

Below are close-up views of some beads and tinklers.

Photo by Darrel S.

Below are a few more unique Calusa items. 

Photo by Darrel S.

This post should provide a good reference for identifying old Calusa artifacts.


On the Treasure Coast we are had some big low tides today.  Combined with the small surf that should give you good access to some beach areas that might be hard to get to at other times.

That is all for today.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, June 22, 2017

6/22/17 Report - Silver Seminole Artifacts. Mining and Science History. Gold Chalices.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Seminole Silver Objects.
Photo submitted by Darrel S.
I started a conversation one day not too long ago about Seminole silver.  It is something that might be found metal detecting in Florida.  You should therefore know what it looks like.  Thanks to Darrel Strickland, who visited the museum in Gainesville, I'm going to post some images of Seminole silver objects.

Above you will see a set of what appears to be pendants.  They are made from silver pounded flat and then cut out.  A simple hole is made for attachment.

Below is an image of more Seminole silver objects, including pendants bracelets and rings.

Seminole Silver
Photo by Darrel S.
Thanks much Darrel!


I enjoyed browsing the Mining and Scientific Press issues for the years 1899 and 1900.  There is a lot of interest,  The range of topics is very broad.  You'll find everything having to do with mining.  The pictures and history are interesting too.

Below is one illustration from one of those issues.  I think maybe I've been on those rails.  The Durango to Silverton line goes through an area that looks very much like that.  That is a ride I would recommend to anyone.

Illustration in Mining and Scientific Press.
Link provided below.

This one shows hydraulic mining in Dahlonega Georgia.

It is a online as a free ebook in   I could spend months looking through that one.


Some of the most fantastic 1715 Fleet finds are religious artifacts.  Here is a web site that explains the spiritual reason chalices are made of gold.


Tropical Storm Cindy is inland now and dropping rain on Louisiana and other states to the west of us. There is no other storms on the Atlantic map at this time.

The surf is still small, but we are having some nice tides now.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

6/21/17 Report - Tropical Storm Cindy To Make Landfall. Laws For Turtle Season. Sword Found. Old Jewelry Find.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Turtle Nesting On Treasure Coast.
The turtles are nesting.  I took this photo a few days ago and forgot about it until someone wrote and asked me about turtle nesting season.  I don't think it is too complicated.  Just don't dig in the nests or disturb the turtles.

Most of the nests are marked, so if you are a snowbird or don't know about that, there are stakes that mark many of the turtle nests.  New nests you can clearly see.  Penalties can be serious.

Florida state law provides protection against taking, possessing, disturbing, mutilating, destroying or causing to be destroyed, selling or offering for sale, transferring, molesting, or harassing any marine turtle or its nest or eggs at any time.
Federal law provides even greater protection (and criminal penalties as severe as $100,000 and a year in prison) if you “take, harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, or capture any marine turtle, turtle nest, and/or eggs, or attempt to engage in any such conduct.”

Here is a link.


Medieval Sword Discovered in Peat Bog.
Source: See ScienceInPoland link below.

Completely preserved medieval sword from the 14th century has been discovered at a peat bog near Hrubieszów. The finder donated the artefact to the local Fr. Stanisław Staszic Museum. "This is a unique find in the region" - said Bartłomiej Bartecki, director of the museum...,414626,lubelskie-medieval-sword-discovered-at-a-peat-bog.html

That would be a fun find.


Some 2,500 Israeli pupils and volunteers from Modiin-Maccabim-Re’ut participated in an archaeological excavation in their own community, coming away with a new sense of history — and a treasure trove of 900-year-old Crusader-period jewelry...

Source: See TimesofIsrael link below.
I've been talking about jewelry and some ways to identify the date for them.  Here is some old jewelry.  Some of it is not very different from what you might find on a Treasure Coast beach.

Here is the link for more about that story.


I have a lot more to post, but I'll wind it up for today.

With the hurricane season becoming active already, you'll want to keep up on the latest tropical weather activity.

Tropical Storm Cindy is about to make landfall near the Louisiana/Texas border.

It looks like Bret has disappeared.

That's all for now.

Happy hunting,