Monday, March 18, 2019

3/18/19 Report - Some Treasure Coast Beaches Eroding Already.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Few Hundred Yards of Erosion This Morning.
I wanted to see what was happening on the beaches this morning.  I visited a few beaches on Soputh Hutchinson Island and found that there was some erosion.  I went out just after high tide.

The wind was blowing from the north.

Not all of the beaches were eroded, but some were.  The biggest cliff I saw was about four feet,  The stretch above was a few hundred yards long.

Here is the biggest erosion that I saw.

Near Four-Foot Stump in Front of Erosion.
Up at John Brooks there was very little erosion.

John Brooks Beach This Morning Just After High Tide.
There was a little erosion at the bend between John Brooks and Frederick Douglass beach.

Small Erosion Just South of John Brooks Beach Access.

Frederick Douglass Beach was not erosded.

Frederick Douglass Beach This Morning.

I wanted to get this posted.  Maybe I'll be back later.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, March 17, 2019

3/17/19 Report - The Manila Galleons. Big Cash in The Sofa. New TV Treasure Shows. Big Surf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A few days ago I wrote about the Kang His porcelain that you can find on the 1715 Fleet beaches.   Of course that pottery came from China.  The porcelain and other items from Asia and the Phillipines first crossed the Pacific on the Manila galleons before being loaded on the galleons that would cross the Atlantic.

There are wrecks of the Manila galleons that have been investigated.  You can find them described in The Archaeology of the Manila Galleons, by Robert Junco.  Here is the introduction.

This paper presents a brief recount of the Manila Galleon sites investigated to date. It also proposes, some ideas of what the archaeology of Manila Galleons could consider in its research objectives. The Manila Galleons, loaded with their rich cargos of oriental goods are still a great mystery to researchers, especially those belonging to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Furthermore, studies of Asian ceramics and other products of exchange in New Spain and beyond are scarce. While the work of historians and art historians has contributed significantly to the topic, archaeological studies are rare given the few sites located. In this paper, I shall mention the Manila Galleon sites that have come to my attention, and then present some ideas that I deem relevant in the pursuit of what can be termed the archaeology of Manila Galleons.

And here is the link if you want to read the rest of that article.
I think you'll find a lot of interesting information if you read that study.  It summarizes seven different wreck sites and has an extensive bibliography that you might also find useful.

Another study of the Manila Galleons is The Arrival of The Spanish Galleons in Manila from the Pacific Ocean and Their Departure Along the Kuroshio Stream, by Jose Eugenio Borao Mateo.  This one is historical rather than archaeological.

Here is the abstract from that one.

The aim of this paper is to revisit some well-known features of the seasonal conditions and geographical incidences of (1) the yearly arrival in Manila of the galleons coming from Acapulco and (2) the first stage of their return voyage along the Kuroshio stream. It will be based on existing published data, like the well-known Blair&Robertson (BRPI), the less known Navas&Pastells (CDF), the collection of Spanish Documents of Taiwan (SIT) published by the author, and other documents from Spanish Archives. The paper will try to present the routine of these trips, and some of the nautical conditions (specially the monsoons and typhoons contingencies) as explained by sailors like Cevicos, and to revisit some particular well-known cases of shipwrecks like the ones of the Spanish galleons San Felipe (1597) and San Francisco (1609) in Japan, and Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (1638) in Marianas Islands. Finally, some conclusive ideas will focus on Taiwan as one of the last ramifications of the Acapulco-Manila route; and the fact that for the sailors was much more important the winds than the currents, which—as it seems—their knowledge was not yet totally clear.

And here is the link.

Again, you will find a useful biography with references from some unusual sources.

There haven't been many books on the Manila galleons since the one written in the 1930s, but here is one you can preview online.  It is The Manila-Acapulco Galleons: The Treasure Ships of the Pacific, by Shirley Fish.

You might want to get it at your local library.  If they don't have it, ask for an interlibrary loan.

Click here to preview that book.


You might like this story about how three students found $40,000 cash hidden in a sofa they purchased at a thrift store.  Good story how it turned out.


There are some new treasure hunting TV shows this season.  I ran into one the other day.  It is Lost Gold.  I think it was on the Discovery channel.   I didn't find it very exciting.  The best thing about it for me, in the short time I saw it, is that they talked about some famous treasures and early treasure hunters and detectorists, such as Frank Fish.

You can read more about Frank Fish in this issue of The Tombstone News.

It begins...

In April 1963 death came to one of the most famous and successful of the treasure hunters, Frank Fish. To all appearances and evidence he died by his own hand. But did he? Frank was my close and personal friend; my family and I spent many hours in his Gold Rush Museum listening to him spin yarns of lost and buried treasures. To say the least, it is my honest opinion that Frank Fish was not the suicidal type. He loved his museum and its thousands of relics too well. In addition he was close on the track of a large treasure cache for which he had searched many years...

I also saw advertisements to a program on Civil War gold and a Japanese treasure in the Philippines.

I'm a little over most of the TV treasure shows.  They have generally been disappointing.  Too much foolish hype and showmanship, and not totally trustworthy.  It is better to go out and do it for yourself anyhow.  Still, we all have a little downtime for foolishness.


The Treasure Coast surf forecast has changed a little.

It looks like the peak of about seven feet will be Tuesday.  It doesn't look like it will be as sustained as forecast earlier.   Still a pretty good size, along with some good tides.  And still a couple days for things to shape up.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, March 16, 2019

3/16/19 Report - Eight Foot Surf Possible Soon. Tips for Detectorists. Who Moved My Cheese. Wood Find.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The big news for me today is the forecast.  MagicSeaWeed is predicting up to an eight foot surf for next Tuesday.  The wind will be mostly northeast and the tides are increasing too.  If that holds or gets even better we might be in for some good beach hunting conditions.

Keep watching.


A couple decades ago, a book entitled Who Moved My Cheese was very popular in the field of business motivation.  Despite the title, the book isn't about cheese at all, but uses two mice and two miniature people as characters in a parable to illustrate some important lessons.  Every detectorist should read that book, or at least learn the lessons the book teaches.

Doing the book a gross injustice, I'll boil it down to this - the mice lived in a maze and were accustomed to  always finding abundant cheese in a particular location, but one day when they went out to get their daily fill, they find no cheese where they always found it in the past.  They fear there will be no more cheese and blame everybody else for their failure  (thus the title Who Moved My Cheese) instead of moving on and finding a new cache.

Here are some of the main lessons from the book.  Things will change.  Change is inevitable.  Don't be afraid of change.  If you don't change you will become extinct.  Be ready to change quickly, and enjoy it again and again.

The book applies to metal detecting as well or better than it applies to business.  Things will change.  Some day you'll find that doing the same thing that was always successful in the past will no longer  work as well.  And people will think that there is no more treasure or that the beach or detecting site no longer produces.  To continue to be successful, you will have to change.  You can not keep hunting the same site, or the same kind of sites, using the same techniques and expect to continue being successful.  Be among the first to change.  Take the challenge and enjoy it.  Progressing is necessary just to stay even.

There are plenty of obstacles for detectorists, but they can and should be overcome.  Here are my four big Os - Overcome Obstacles to Open Opportunities.

An obstacle is often a sign of a new opportunities.  The obstacles don't have to be big - just big enough.  You can do well by working the places with small obstacles that no one else wants to bother with or perhaps does not know how to work.  Some that I've worked were just a little farther out of the way or covered with trash or mud or weeds or somehow not as accessible.

A lack of creativity or willingness to change can be a different type of obstacle.

If it was really easy, everybody else would do it, and sometimes it seems like they are.  If you are just doing he easy stuff, there will be plenty of others that are doing it too. If you are doing what is easy, that is one sign that it is time to start thinking about how you can take the next step.

There are always new frontiers.   And you might be surprised how much is out there to be found.  That is one reason I tell you day after day about what is being found.

I'll never forget the first time I went out on a wooded hillside in West Virginia.  Everybody said, "There is nothing there. You won't find anything."  On my first outing, I found a gold 1940 something high school class ring.  On subsequent outings, I found old coins and relics from previous centuries.

On my first outing on a Caribbean island, I found 18th century military buttons, ordnance and other relics.

But you don't have to go to distant places.   There is stuff almost everywhere.

I no longer live near the glitzy resorts of Miami where people visited and lost their coins and jewelry for over a hundred years.  I now live in an unremarkable place that has to be maintained continually just to keep it from once again becoming a wooded mass of thorns, vines and trees.  There is nothing that would suggest that anything ever went on there - certainly nothing important.  It is a place no different than millions and millions of other places.  Yet within walking distance, and without any equipment or anything other than the clothes to cover my nakedness, I've found fossils that are millions of years old, Native American artifacts, pioneer relics as well as most of the bottles and glass insulators that I've posted.  I'm just saying there is a lot of stuff out there.  I'm not talking about some world-famous treasure island where you might expect to find buried treasure galleons or the Holy Grail or Ark of the Covenant where people have searched for centuries and turned everything upside down with heavy equipment and scanned with high tech tools.  I'm talking about Anywhere USA.  You don't have to go far unless you have a particular treasure in mind.

I can't tell you all the kinds of places you should look or how you should work them,pl but they don't have to be far away.  In fact, they might be right under your nose.   Believe it or not there are more places that are unhunted than places that are over-hunted.

My main point today is that there is a lot still out there to be found, but like the book says, you might have to make some changes to find it.


Dale J. sent me the following photos of his find.

Find and photo by Dale J.

He said, The red circles show rusted iron, a close up of the one possible spike sticking out, there are oyster shells only on one end. Not sure how long it was washed up it was not moving in today’s small surf. This is north  of Ft. Pierce Inlet.  About 8 feet long and 12x12 inches.

Here is another look.

Find and photo by Dale J.

Interesting!  Thanks Dale.


Keep watching the surf reports.

Friday, March 15, 2019

3/15/19 Report - How A Beautiful Pre-Civil War Artifact Was Recovered From the Depths. Bone Find? Interesting Surf Prediction for T. C.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1852 Tea Pot Recovered From Steamer Wreck On Display.
Find and photo by Sebastian Steve

I just received the following in an email from Sebastian Steve.

IMMIGRANT KETTLE/TEA POT 1852  Recovered by Sebastian Steve.

I saw your 'TEAPOT' photo, so I thought I might share my recovery (from about 30 years ago) of a teapot or kettle and the story that it carries on...hopefully forever...however long that is.

I was salvaging a passenger steamer up in Lake Erie, lost in 1852.  I went down on my morning dive to 160 feet, and worked along the port gunnel.  Sure enough jammed in the passageway on the main deck was an "immigrant crate" as I had named them.  This one the top was missing, evidently blown off from the air pressure trapped inside.  They really were not like an immigrant trunk with a big lid that opens.  Instead these were often just heavily built hardwood boxes nailed shut for the period of the voyage.  

Theft was rampant back in these days, and the only way to keep your goods safe, was to guard them day and night.  Literally sleep with your head resting against your crate.  Nailing your "Crate" shut certainly deterred theft!  The wealthy in first class would consign their luggage and valuables to the ship's purser, who kept all their belongings locked up tight in the purser's cabin for safe keeping. 

And as I began to feel around inside this immigrant crate, I could feel many objects to my delight still remained. Certainly all the contents could have been blown out from the air pressure.  This of course was all by feel, as the second my hand touched the first artifact, the powder silt was up, up, and away!  Totally bringing the visibility of the dive down to near zero at this location.  

But I was used to working in low visibility, or even just by feel, so I continued to investigate the contents of this crate.  A beautiful oval cheese box came out.  Totally hand made and carved with decorations in the wood.  These were often given as wedding gifts to a new young couple.  The crate had preserved the thin wood perfectly, and all the inscriptions and patterns could be seen.  A beautiful piece indeed.

Then I felt something harder near the bottom of the crate.  Harder, yet round with a protrusion.  I pulled this artifact up and out into the clearer water.  And I saw for the first time, that I had a beautiful tea pot or kettle as they are often known by.  Not a bit of damage, no dents, amazing how it survived a collision and foundering into 160 feet of water with no damage!  But wait... the lid was missing.  I think I groaned so hard, I almost spit out my regulator.  My chances of finding that lid was next to zero.  It must have blown out the top of the crate when the lid blew off.  What a royal shame... Still a pretty piece, and I could see some kind of inscription on the handle.  

And so I surfaced after my 11 minutes of decompression.  My total dive was about 50 minutes, but only 20 minutes of that was actually on the wreck.  In the afternoon dive, (after sitting out for 4 hours for residual nitrogen to escape my blood stream) my next dive would have the same profile for decompression, but only 15 minutes of time on the wreck.  So yes...a total working day of only 35 minutes....and a full hour boat ride each way to the wreck.  There was no time for sightseeing, not with the business I was in of making my living from the deep.

It was a beautiful day...and after a nice rest in the warm sun, a sandwich and soft drink, it was time to suit up again.  Down I slid on the descent line, deeper and deeper, and right over I swam to my mystery chest I had just located that very morning.  And I against all odds, felt around in the bottom of the crate for the lid.  I knew exactly what it would feel like, and its size.  My minds eye would identify this lid quite easily "If" it were only still there in the crate.  Blown reality it could be anywhere.  Depending on when the air pressure had her way with the crate.  The lid could be five feet from the crate, or 50 feet away under three feet of silt.  It had to be found in the crate or kiss it goodbye...forever.  

I feel like I almost "willed" this lid into my hand.  Because at about ten minutes into the dive I had her in my hand !!!  I knew it right away, but I still backed up and thrust my arm up and above the silt cloud into clear enough water to see what I had.  And OH-Boy...was I a happy diver.  Far too fine a piece of history to not be complete.  And now she was complete in all her glory.

What makes this kettle so special?  If you study the inscription on the handle... it is "MHD" 1852.  And there is also a maker's mark from when the kettle was made.  This is only speculation...but I would state my reputation on this...Some gifted man for beautiful scroll work, purchased this kettle in N.Y.City after crossing the ocean from the Fatherland.  To commemorate his arrival in the United States, he scribed into the handle his initials, and the date.  Making this a very important --immigrant artifact--- of 1852.  I believe he had the calm and time to do the carving as he went peacefully down the Erie Canal from the Hudson River to Buffalo, N.Y. on a horse drawn canal boat. 

Inscribed Tea Pot Handle.
Photo by Sebastian Steve (clipped by TG)

And so after 30 years it was time....time for a new home that could guarantee its continuity and safety.  I carefully selected a couple who run a maritime museum out of their home in Michigan.  It's first rate in all respects.  And just as important, this Ken has a deep and loving respect for the history of The Great Lakes.  I wish him well with this gorgeous piece of immigrant history.  A piece this fine might bring in the neighborhood of $5,000.

All the Best,
Sebastian Steve 

Very meaningful and beautiful find!  Thanks for sharing Steve.


John L. sent me the following email and photos.

Hello again.
I was wondering if you and/or your readers could tell me anything about this find.
I know very little about fossils, but this sure seems to be one resembling a tooth.
Found it in a line of shells at a local, municipal, tourist beach.
Thank you again for keeping up your terrific blog! 

I don't think this is a tooth, but if you can provide more specific information on the item, please email me.

Find and photos by John L.


Now this is starting to look like it could get interesting.

Three days in a row of 4 - 6 foot surf is predicted for the Treasure Coast.  Of course, it could change for the worse yet.
Keep watching,

Thursday, March 14, 2019

3/14/19 Report - Great Coin Collection Dug Up. Kang Hsi Porcelain. Surf Worth Watching.

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Source: CoinWorld (See link below.)

An eight-coin 1876 Proof set containing silver and minor coinage, buried by its owner in the backyard of his Chicago home more than two decades ago, was brought for authentication and grading April 27 to the Central States Numismatic Society convention in Schaumburg, Illinois, by the late owner’s son...

The unusual story has a tragic element. The late collector, who died in 1994 at age 84, suffered with Alzheimer’s disease the last five years of his life, according to his son. The son said there’s a possibility that his father may have buried his entire extensive collection of United States coins. The coins, which have been off the market for more than 50 years, were primarily silver and gold issues...
The son said he has purchased a metal detector to help better pinpoint where else on his father’s property other coins may have been buried.

The son said his father told him some time before his death that, if something happened to him, to be sure to look under the home’s front porch. After his father passed, the son said, he did just that, and discovered three metal coffee cans housing Morgan silver dollars that were also wrapped in plastic bags. Although he has never executed a complete inventory of his discoveries to date, he said there are examples of Morgan dollars from the Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans and Carson City Mints...
Here is the link.

When I post stories like this, there is always something to learn from it. These kinds of stories generally tell you where things were discovered and how. That is something to remember for your own hunts.

It seems it is not highly unusual to bury valuables in the back yard or under a porch.

I've seen some porches that I'd love to get under, especially at commercial locations where there have been millions of people and there are spaces for things to fall into.

I still remember the first time I detected under a walkover at Hollywood beach and found a good bunch of coins.  It was exciting.  I hadn't been detecting very long at the time.


Not all treasure is made of silver or gold.  There are treasures that are not even metal.  One thing you can find on the Treasure Coast is fine Chinese porcelain that was being carried on the 1715 Fleet.  I've mentioned it before and you are probably aware of Kang Hsi or Kangxi (spelled various ways) porcelain.  On the beach you will usually find only a small piece but there are cases when intact cups, plates or other porcelain items have been found.  Those can be quite valuable.  The small pieces are often mounted in silver or gold jewelry.  The Kang Hsi item shown immediately below is offered by Sothebys is offered with an estimated price of 6 to 8000 dollars.


Unless you have studied, it can be difficult to identify Kang Hsi porcelain from a lot of other pottery.  Kang Hsi is often blue and white, and that is also a common color of a lot of old but less valuable pottery.  I've done posts on how to tell the difference.


In the past I've also posted photos of pieces that were found on the Treasure Coast.

Here is a link to a Sothebys auction of  Kang Hsi porcelain.

That will give you a good idea of possible values.

And here is a Kang His teapot that was found on a shipwreck, although the site doesn't say which wreck.

They are not always marked, but if you are lucky enough to find a mark, this site that shows the Kang Hsi marks might come in handy.



It looks like we could get some good surf next week.  The forecast surf has increased to 4 - 7 feet now.  It will probably change some in the next few days.  It could get either bigger or smaller.  It is something to watch though.

In the mean time, we're getting some decent southish winds.  There are a few beaches that sometimes improve with south winds.

The tides are pretty flat.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

3/13/19 Report - Farmer Makes Surprising Discovery When The Ground Gives Way. Beach Conditions On the Treasure Coast.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Far and Near.

I have two main topics today.  One is about an amazing treasure find, and the other is the condition of some local beaches.

On the left above, you see what a farmer saw after a hole opened up right beside him.  It is a Minoan tomb.

The farmer was parking his truck under some olive trees on his property when the ground beneath him started to give way. After the farmer moved his vehicle to a safer location, he saw that a four-foot-wide hole had opened up in the ground. When he peered inside, he realised this was no ordinary hole...

The tomb was about 13 feet in length and eight feet deep, divided into three chambers that would have been accessed via a vertical tunnel that was sealed with clay after the tomb’s occupants were laid to rest. One larnax was found in the northernmost chamber, with a number of funerary vessels scattered around it...

He just happened to be at the right place at the right time, et viola, there it was.

Here is closer look at it.

Source:  (See link below)

Here is that link for the rest of the story.


I got a chance to take a look at a few local beaches today around noon.

At the top of this post you will see a photo of Fort Pierce South Jetty Park as it looked around noon

John Brooks Beach Around Noon Wednesday.
John Brooks beach didn't look good at all.  Note the new seaweed on the front of the beach and the old cut behind.

One thing I haven't seen much at all this year is sea shells.  There were more shells here than I've seen all year.  Of course, I could have missed some since I haven't been out much.

It just goes to show how different things appear at different times.  I've written a lot about that in the past.

John Brooks Looking South Around Noon Wednesday.

Frederick Douglass beach looked very similar.

Notice the waves hitting the beach straight on.

Frederick Douglass Beach Around Noon Wednesday.
Those are the only beaches I visited, so I don't know what happened up in Indian River County and to the north.

It looks like we could have a bigger surf in another week or so.

Here is the MagicSeaWeed surf chart.

We'll see how that works out.


A poll found that 6% of the people questioned thought that socialism had to do with being social.  No wonder it is so popular.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

3/12/19 Report - Internet Tool For Identifying Civil War Soldiers From Old Photos. Genealogical Research. Slightly Increasing Surf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

 Source:  PopularMechanics link shown below.

A computer science professor has built a tool that could allow people to identify Civil War veterans in their families with the help of artificial intelligence.

Kurt Luther, an assistant professor at Virginia Tech, developed a platform called Photo Sleuth after he discovered a picture of a distant relative who had fought in the Civil War...

The Civil War Photo Sleuth project launched in August 2018 as a web-based platform at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Users can upload photos, tag them with visual clues – such as the color of a coat, shoulder straps, collar insignia, or inscriptions – and connect them to profiles of Civil War soldiers with more detailed records of military service...

Here is the link for that article sent to me by William K.  Thanks William!

A Popular Mechanics article on the subject describes how it works.

The Photo Sleuth works like this. First, a user signs up for free. Then they upload Civil War-era photos, front and back to discourage the use of mere printouts. Then they tag the photo with visual cues: What is their collar insignia? How many chevrons does their uniform have? And, perhaps the most important, North or South?

Here is that link.

In the past I've encouraged you to research your own family history, and when possible visit the locations that were occupied by you or your ancestors in the past and dig up some pieces that you or your family lost.  I was able to dig up some of my toys from the 1950s, for example, and a few rings and other things belonging to me and my family.

I've also been able to detect the house where a couple generations of my wife's family lived and found some nice old things.

It is now possible to learn a lot about your family and your ancestors by using tools that are freely available on the internet.

My wife has become skilled at genealogical research.  Her family goes back to Europe and she is now in communication of extended family overseas.  She has discovered some very interesting stories too, involving wars and family members who died in Nazi concentration camps.

When my grandmother got the documentation she needed to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she was able to document one ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War.  Since my wife has been doing genealogical research on the internet, she has run across about a half dozen of my ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War.  Some were more direct lines than the one my grandmother was able to find.

The same tools that can be used for genealogical research can also be used to find clues to good metal detecting sites.  I've heard some say how difficult it is to get permission to detect on land sites.  When you have a family connection, that might be a bit easier.  I know when I visited the place that I grew up after it was sold, the new owner knowing that I grew up there was very hospitable.

My wife highly recommends the following internet sites.

The best one is  It is run by the Later Day Saints and is free.  You will have to create an account.  And of course, like anything, you might have to spend a little time learning to use it.

Another one she uses a lot is  It is also free.  When you look up grave, you will also find helpful additional information about the person. is not free, but they do permit a free preview period.  If you know what you are after you can sign up for the preview period and do your research, and then continue with a paid subscription if you like.  You can save the family trees and stuff that you develop during the free preview.

While I have a lot of old photos, I do not have showing Civil War soldiers.  Too bad.  I know some of my ancestors were in the Civil War and one was injured at Gettysburg.

Very often you'll be able to find the pension applications filed by the widow.

Here is an old photo that shows my grandfather (middle) and his sister and brother.  That was when taking a photo was a big deal.

No particular reason other than I think it is very cute.


Anyone want to send me a personal story or comments on the recently completed TCAS hunt?  I'd like to hear from you.


So now the FBI now saving us from college admissions cheating.  Now I feel safe and am so relieved that that the college admissions process is totally fair for the first time in the last hundred years. No more legacy admissions, preferences for wealthy donors, college prep schools or SAT prep programs.


We are expecting a three to five foot surf on the Treasure Coast.  Also moderate tides.  The wind is now coming from the north and some cooler air is moving in.

I don't expect to be able to take a look for a couple of days.

Happy hunting,