Saturday, November 17, 2018

11/17/18 Report - Remnants of Old Dock Near Fort Anne. Indian River Lagoon History. Trash and Treasure. Lucky Penny.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: See link below.

You've heard it said that one man's trash is another man's treasure.  That is especially true if you hunt old bottles or are an archaeologist, but it is true for many others too.

I was reading a post on an archaeology web site and the author mentioned that it was odd that at one archaeological site the owner of the homestead stored his trash on his land instead of having it hauled away.  I can only assume that that was written by a millennial or younger person who never lived in the country.  Where I grew up we always buried our garbage on our property.  Everybody had a trash pile.  Most dug a hole so that what remained after the trash was burned was buried.  Rural areas didn't have garbage pickup and neither did the Treasure Coast at one time.

I didn't find out when trash pickup began on the Treasure Coast, but from what I've seen along the Indian River lagoon, it wasn't until maybe the fifties or sixties along there.  Maybe someone can tell me when it was.

If you walk along the banks of the Indian River today, you'll find a lot of old bottles (many more than would have simply been thrown away by boaters or travelers).  You will also find the remains of old trash or burn piles.  Some are still very evident and continue to get washed out whenever there is erosion.

I've talked before about the signs of treasure.  Some of the first signs that you'll often see are pot shards, which tend to remain visible on top of the ground for decades or centuries.

Trash can be one very promising sign of the possible presence of treasure.  The treasure we dig today is what was left behind by the peoples of the past.  Discarded or lost bits can tell you a lot.

When people talk about the history of Florida, they usually only go back a few centuries, but Florida has a very ancient and important past.  I found one very good post about the history of the Indian River Lagoon, including the photo above, on the Kayaking the Kennedy Space Center web site.  Here is the link.

Not only does that post show the remnants of a dock near the Seminar War Fort Anne and the old blockhouse, but it also provides information about the even older history of the lagoon.  Here are a few facts from the KayakingKSC post that demonstrate why the ancient history of the lagoon area is so important.

Jaw dropping facts:

**168 individuals recovered from the mortuary pond. Latest dating is between 7,210 years and 7,320 years “before present”

**Woven fabrics- the oldest-known in the world.

**Brain matter in skulls- DNA was extracted

**DNA results: Rare Haplogroup X –

X is one of the five haplogroups found in the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Now that is some pretty impressive history.

Here are a few interesting facts on the history of trash from (full link below).

3000 B.C. – The first landfill is developed when Knossos, Crete digs large holes for refuse. Garbage is dumped and filled with dirt at various levels.

1388 – The English Parliament bans dumping of waste in ditches and public waterways.

1551 – The first recorded use of packaging: German papermaker Andreas Bernhart begins placing his paper in wrappers labeled with his name and address.

Around 1757 Ben Franklin started the first street cleaning service and encouraged the public to dig pits to dispose of their waste. We were even smart enough to melt down a statue of King George III and use it as ammunition against his armies.

In 1885 America built its first incinerator on Governors Island, New York. The Big Apple also developed the nations first comprehensive system for garbage management. We even tried Austria’s waste reduction plants which compress organic grease, oils and by-products from waste. Although, they were quickly vetoed due to nasty odors.

For more about garbage:

Mounted 1958 Wheat Penny Find.

This is not exactly a holed coin, but close to it.  The mounting is minimal, and I couldn't find anything special about the coin.  I looked closely at both sides to find anything special and it just looks like a regular wheat penny.  It is in very nice condition except for the discolouring, but I had to wonder why someone would mount it.  It is nicely, although inexpensively, mounted.  Perhaps the date was significant, or it was a lucky penny, or a gift.


On the Treasure Coast the tides are flat.  From the look of the wind this morning, I would suspect that there are some scallops and perhaps some very small cuts on some of the beaches.

Here are the surf predictions for the next few days.

Happy hunting,

Friday, November 16, 2018

11/16/18 Report - Some Metal Detecting Tips. A Couple More Holed Coin Finds. North Wind But East Primary Swell.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Holed 1858 Flying Eagle Cent.
Photo by William K.
William K. sent this photo of an 1858 Flying Eagle cent.  He said, With the small hole I assume it could have been affixed to a charm bracelet.

Sometimes coins used in jewelry are not real coins.  The photo makes the wear on this one look strange to me.  It might be the focus or glare from the lighting.    

Below is a photo of an 1858 Flying Eagle cent shown on the APMEX web site, where it is listed as VG and has a price of about $50.

Thanks William.


Here is another holed find.  This one from Palm Beach.

Holded Olympics Commemorative Coin
Find and photo by Jerry P.

Here is what Jerry had to say.

Here’s a holed coin I recovered on Palm Beach Midtown Beach. It was July last year when I dug it from the wet-sand after some nice erosion during that week.

It is a Commemorative coin from the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona Spain. The value is 25 PTAS, whatever that is. It was corroded to a zinc Penny when recovered.

I also recovered a $1.00 US Statue of Liberty modern coin & a 2003 10 KOIIEEK (Russian coin??) as well as a couple of small jewelry pieces that day.

So even though it was a short hunt (right at LT) it was quite productiveğŸ˜Ž

Note the different dates on the different sides.  It was evidently minted in 1991 for the Summer Games of 1992.

Thanks Jerry!


I like to use different detectors at different times.  The best metal detector for one situation, might not be the best for another situation.

In my yard, the best choice is not the metal detector that I most often use at the beach.  There are several reasons for that.  The biggest reason is the ambient interference from overhead power lines and buried cables.  The metal detector I most often use at the beach is more sensitive to that noise and even though it has a frequency check and tries to find the best frequency, still does not do as well as another much less expensive metal detector.

As I've said in the past, I look at metal detectors very much like golf clubs.  You select the one that best suits the situation.

A change in environments can make a big difference.  It is not only the electrical interference that makes a difference.  While my more inexpensive metal detector usually does a fine job in the dry sand at the beach, it is not nearly as good in the wet salt sand.

Of course there are also different target types.  One of the favorite Treasure Coast beach metal detectors, misses a lot of iron, and people don't realize it.  And you don't have to be running any discrimination.  It simply does not detect iron as well as some other metal detectors.  Whether that is a good or bad thing, depends upon what you are trying to do.

Besides environmental factors and the operating characteristics of your metal detector, there are behavioral factors that are very important.  By that I mean how you use your detector. Many people fail to realize the importance of coil speed, for example.  Moving your coil either too fast or too slow, can cause a big loss in depth.  Your detector's performance can be affected a lot by how you move the coil.  Jerking the coil when you change the sweep direction can cause a lot of false signals under some circumstances and also reduce depth of detection.

You may or may not be fully aware of how sensitivity varies under different parts of your coil.  In the past I've recommended testing to determine the how sensitivity varies under different part of your coil.   My experience is that the cone of sensitivity is not always exactly what the operating manual suggests.  It can be helpful to know where the spot of maximum sensitivity is and how that compares with different areas under the coil.

Those are just a few things that you might want to be aware of.  It is easy to fall into habits.  If you've been using the same metal detector for a while and detect the same types of places, you might not even take the time to adjust settings on different outings, but things change.  There can be a different amount of ambient noise or interference on different days, for example.

On the other hand, absolute best depth or sensitivity might not be that important to you.  Again, it depends upon what you are doing.  You might not think some things are important, but I think it is good to be aware of various factors and be aware of the trade-offs and how your decision making can affect outcomes.

There are times when I don't care about getting maximum performance.  Maybe I'm running a quick check of the area, but if I find there is reason to really tighten up and go for that last smidgeon of performance, I'll do that.

I'm an empiricist by nature.  I don't automatically accept what I hear.  I enjoy experimenting and testing things out for myself.  I hope that you do the same with whatever I say.


The tides are still small.  Today we'll have some north winds, but the primary swell will be east, and the surf will be only about two feet.  I don't expect much.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, November 15, 2018

11/15/18 Report - Holed Coins, Pockets and Pouches. Cold Front. Stone Ax Found at Mount Vernon.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Holed Coins Collected by Mike F.

Another addition to your ongoing “holed” coins stories. This is not so much to show you some holed coins that I collected (not found with my metal detector), but to add another reason for the holes. I left England when I was 22 to ’see the world'. Some five years later, in the mid 1960s, I arrived in Papua New Guinea. I lived in Port Moresby for about six months and was intrigued by the holed shillings which occasionally showed up in my change. I was told that the reason for the wholes in the middle was so that the New Guinea natives, who were not much into wearing western clothing, could hang them on a cord around their necks and take one off whenever they needed to purchase something. I collected as many as I could, but that was very few until I moved up into the highlands for six months. There were a lot more of these coins still in circulation in the remote areas and I collected many more shillings and even two 6 pence and two 3 pence coins, which I had never seen in Port Moresby. I believe these coins were minted in Australia, which was using the English pound, shillings and pence monetary system. They were all minted between 1936 and 1945 (1935-36 King George V, 1938-45 King George VI). Minting of these coins stopped in 1945 and no new coinage was issued until the 1970s when Papua New Guinea started minting its own coins. I’m presuming the coins in the attached photo are 925 silver, like English coins. The shillings are about the same size as a US quarter.

Keep up the good work. I never miss reading your reports.

Mike in NJ


Back a few days ago I showed a beach-dug coin from Denmark that had a hole in the middle.  Denmark says the holes in their coins are simply to make them different and therefore more identifiable.

I also once mentioned how holed coins could be sewed into garments for safe keeping during transportation.  That led me to wonder about pockets, and when they came into common use.  Below is what I found in one article.

… This is because the original pockets weren’t like the sewn-in pockets we know today, but rather separate bags detached from clothing. From the 15th until the mid-16th century, men and women carried essential items and currency in a pouch that was typically tied around the waist or hung from a belt. As thieves and “cutpurses” became more of a problem in the 17th century, people began to cut slits in their shirts, skirts, and pants, and tuck their pouches inside their clothing for safekeeping. This practice necessitated making the bags flatter and easier to reach into, so they would be more accessible and not create a significant bulge....

And here is that link.

So by the 17th century purses or pouches were inserted into clothes more like the pockets we have today.

I'm sure some items were still sewed into clothing.  I've read about that being done during WW II also.

Speaking of bulges, there was one time I was returning to the car after a good hunt.  As I was walking down the steps to the parking lot with a pocket full of coins, a young lady walking up the steps fixed her eyes on the area just below my belt buckle.  I wondered why she was staring.  When I looked down, the coins in my pocket were lined up to look something like two rolls of quarters.  That is all I'll say.  As much as I tried to avoid people on my detecting outings, there were a lot of memorable encounters and funny experiences.

Another thing about pockets - make absolutely sure your pockets have no holes.  I had to find a gold chain twice because one very small hole.  After I dug the gold chain I put it in my shirt pocket before the long walk back to the car.  When I got there I noticed the chain was gone and then noticed the small hole.  I had to walk back a long distance and was lucky to find the chain again right at the water's edge.

And there was the time I was detecting with my wife.  It seemed like she found a real hot spot.  She kept finding more and more coins in the same spot.  Turned out she had a hole in her goodie bag.  That was something I never let her forget.

Years ago I often used a small leather bag with a pull-string .   It was like the bag I used to keep my change when I delivered newspapers as a child.  Same kind of bag that was used to keep my marbles.  I might still have it around somewhere.


About 6,000 years ago, a precious stone ax that had been skillfully carved and shaped by Native Americans was lost on a ridge overlooking the Potomac River in Virginia. The ax, about seven inches long, had been hewed and smoothed and was narrowed at one end where a wooden handle was attached. Its loss must have been keenly felt.
Six millennia later, on Oct. 12, 2018, Dominic Anderson and Jared Phillips, 17-year-old high school seniors from Ohio, were on an archaeological dig at George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon, when a stone that looked like a big potato turned up in their sifting screen. Not sure what it was, they asked the Mount Vernon archaeologists working nearby...

Here is the link for more about that.


On the Treasure Coast the tides are pretty flat.  The surf will be small too.  According to MagicSeaWeed, the surf is supposed to be around two or three feet for several days despite a cold front coming through.

Friday the high temperature is supposed to be 69.  I'll be happy to see that.  It has been too hot for this time of year.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

11/13/18 Report - 1895 Repaired Gold Coin. Knight's Gold and President Lincoln. Timing Your Beach Hunts.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1895 2.5 Dollar Gold Piece
Photo by Brian M.
See anything wrong with the coin shown above?  There is something that you might be able to see.

Here is the other side.  Maybe you can see it now.

Other Side of Same 2.5 Dollar Gold Piece.
Photo by Brian M.
Look at the top center part of the coin above Liberty's head.  On the obverse you'll see an odd spot just to the left of the center star.  And on the reverse, you'll see that part of the denomination is missing.

Here is what Brian M. said about the coin.

many years ago I was in a coin store and a guy came in wanting to sell his 1895 2 1/2 dollar gold coin. The shop owner did not want it because it had been holed and then repaired.  I thought it was cool and bought it off the guy for  $65. It has been in my wallet since then. The repair is a real nice job.  The hole had been at the top and just nipped the star. On the obverse side you can see the 2 1/2 D is missing the 2 on the lower part of the fraction . I imagine this coin was drilled to put it on a bracelet and make it jewelry to keep it from confiscation* . Whoever fixed it did a great job.  
So there you have it , another holed coin story.
Thanks Brian.  Interesting to see a coin that was "holed" and then filled.

* April 5th, 1933, FDR confiscated every gold coin, bar, or certificate and people had to turn in their gold to the Federal Government or else they would face a fine of $10,000 or 10 years in jail. That is about $179,000 in today’s money. You were able to keep a small amount or some rare coins and those that did give up their gold received about $20/oz.


At a time when it might seem that the political situation in our country couldn't sink any lower, it is little consolation to realize that over-boiling hate and rancor is nothing new in this country.

Abraham Lincoln, after winning the election of 1860, had to avoid Baltimore, or Mobtown as it was called, and sneak into Washington D.C. under disguise to avoid assassination by the pro-slavery secessionists that planned to derail the Lincoln Special and put an end to the Lincoln administration before it began.

Here is a brief excerpt quoting the Baltimore Sun of 1861 as presented in Jack Myers' book, Knight's Gold.

… Had we any respect for Mr. Lincoln, official or personal, as a man or as a President-elect of the United States, his career and speeches on his way to the seat of government would have cruelly impaired it... As it is, no sentiment of respect of whatever sort with regard to the man suffers violence on our part, at anything he may do.  We do not believe the Presidency can ever be more degraded by any of his successors, than it has been by him, even before his inauguration; and so, for aught we care, he may go to the full extent of his wretched comicalities.  We have only too much cause to fear that such a man, and such advisers as he has, may prove more capable of infinitely more mischief than folly when invested with power.  A lunatic is only dangerous when armed and turned loose; but only imagine a lunatic invested with authority over a sane people and armed with weapons of offense and defense...

That sounds a lot like what we hear today from some politicians and urinalists (Did I forget the J?).

I wonder if those who expressed such hateful sentiments towards the Republican President-elect Lincoln would express the same feelings about him if they were alive today.

I'm half way through the book and have found Knights' Gold to be more than an interesting treasure book.  Knights's Gold is a book about a cache of 3508 gold coins discovered by a couple teen-aged boys in a Baltimore basement in the 1930s, but it provides a lot of history and insight into the politics leading up to the Civil War, including secret societies and covert activities of the Confederacy.  It also helps put what is taking place today into perspective.

--- has proved to be a very useful tool.  It can be used to help you time your visits to the beach.  If you watch the wind changes, along with the tides, you'll be able to pick the best time for going.

For the past several months, if not longer, when the fronts have been coming through we've been getting some cutting right after the wind shifts from west to north.

If you check Ventusky, the model shows the wind on Thursday coming from the west.

Ventusky Wind Prediction for 8/15/18 As Shown on Monday Afternoon.
Advancing the model one day, you see the following for Friday 1 PM.

Ventusky Wind Model for 11/16/18 1 PM.
You can see that the wind should be coming out of the north on Friday.

As I said, we've been getting some erosion the first day when the fronts come through and the wind shifts to the north.

You can move the map forward hour by hour, if you want.

I've found Ventusky very accurate and helpful for determining when cuts are most likely.

If you are deciding when to go out, you might also want to take into account the tides.

Happy hunting,

Monday, November 12, 2018

11/12/18 Report - Broken Old Medallion. Repaired Wooden Artifact. Robert Marx Lecture: Archaeology of the Abyss.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Old Broken Praying Hands Medallion.
Find and photo by John C.

Take a close look and you'll see the praying hands on this broken medallion.  Below is what John C. had to say about it.

Well sorry I know I'm a little off topic again, because as you can see from the picture it's not a drilled coin, but a religious medallion that at some point was purposely drilled.

It has to be over 20 years since I found this medallion, but I still remember it clearly, I think mainly because of how disappointed I was that it came out in three pieces. I'm sure there are other Beach Hunters out there that can remember a time when you attempt to dig a target only to find out that your shovel or scoop will only go down two or three inches at a time because of the thick layer of shell that's just below the sand. I hate that when that happens. Fortunately those conditions don't happen too often, so as you can see The Medallion broke at its weakest point where it was drilled,, makes you wonder why someone would drill a hole and ruin a beautiful medallion, but I sure would love to know the history and the story behind this medallion, but it looks like the original bezel ring at the top may have broke off long before it was drilled, so maybe it was lost and found several times,?

But I think what really inspired me to share this photo the most, was not so much the drill hole, but the image itself on The Medallion, "praying hands."

It says in Scripture that we should "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances"

So I think some will agree, that if there has ever been a time in the past say 50 years when our great country and all the movers and shakers of this country need prayers, it's now, but it's always encouraging to remember that God has a plan and a purpose for everything, and no matter how dark things may seem he's still in control.

Thanks again, for all your hard work an effort, that you put into your blog. JC 

Thanks for sharing John.   Fascinating medal.

The hole in the body of the medallion could have been created after the original loop broke.  People were not so quick to throw broken things away in days gone by.  They would often repair or repurpose broken items.  When trying to identify and date an artifact, you have to take into account that the item may have been used over a period of many years and could have been repaired or repurposed.

Hard to tell how old that medallion is but it certainly looks old.  I'd like to see some research and history on the motif of the praying hands.  Maybe someone will be able to provide that.

Back to the subject of repaired items.

Archaeologists found a 2000-year-old wood bowl that had been repaired with rivets and staples.

2000-Year-Old Repaired Wood Bowl.
Source: See link below.

Here is the link to the article.

And here is a wood bowl that is probably a hundred or more years old, but certainly not thousands of years old.  It is 17.5 inches in diameter.

Antique Wood Bowl.
It is badly cracked and was repaired a long time ago.  I added some wood glue to it, but before that it was repaired with wire.

Two Sets of Holes and Wire Used to Repair Cracked Wood Bowl.
Below is the other side.

Wire Used to Repair Crack Exposed.
On this one the wood chipped off exposing the wired used to repair the crack.

It can be difficult to determine the age of old items like this because they can be repaired and used for a very long time, and then repurposed and used for something else yet again.

A piece of an old copper kettle, for example, can be cut and turned into any number of things.

There isn't a huge difference between this wood bowl and the 2000-year-old bowl discussed in the article.


Shipwreck Treasures from the Deep
By Sir Robert Marx
At the bottom of bodies of wa
Shipwreck Treasures from the Deep
By Sir Robert Marx
At the bottom of bodies of wa
Shipwreck Treasures from the Deep
By Sir Robert Marx

In this lecture Sir Robert, a pioneer in deep water archaeology, talks about early robotic
equipment and recoveries he made on deep-water shipwreck sites and submerged
settlements. He will take us around the world, from Singapore to the Azores, to
fascinating sites that he and others have explored.


The surf on the Treasure Coast is supposed to be about four to six feet today, slacking off gradually through the rest of the week.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, November 11, 2018

11/11/18 Report - Thanks Vets! Little Cutting on The Treasure Coast Beaches as Front Passed Through. Hurricane Map Active Again.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

John Brooks Beach Sunday Afternoon.

We had a little front come through yesterday.  It seems like we've had five or six fronts over recent months that have done about the same thing.  When the front comes through and the wind come from the north/northeast and we get a little cutting, but then as the front passes, the wind changes and that is the end to that.  The sand starts filling again.  One or two tidal cycles of north winds and cutting is about all we've been getting.  You check the wind patterns on  It is really helpful.

There was a fellow metal detecting at John Brooks.  You can see him in the wet sand in the above photo.

Here is how it looked yesterday and into this morning when we were getting a northeast wind and when a little new cutting occurred.

Wind Map
If you want to see the progression, check Ventusky.  You can pretty much tell when there is a possibility of cutting.

The sand in front of the cuts is mushy until you get close to the water.

Frederick Douglass Beach Sunday Afternoon.
\The cutting was a bit smaller at Frederick Douglass Beach.  You can see that above.

It was still too warm on the beach for my liking.  The snow birds are arriving.

Up north the leaves change color in the Fall.  In Florida the license plates change color.

Surf At Frederick Douglass Sunday Afternoon.
What I wanted to show with this photo is the brown water where the surf was breaking and picking up the sand.  That doesn't show though.  You could see where it was washing up onto the beach after the cutting occurred.

Although hurricane season is almost over, there is some activity on the National Hurricane Center map.

As you can see, the system is east of the West Indies.  It has a less than 40% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next forty-eight hours.  If it continues to develop, there is a good chance that it comes toward us.  Right now it is too early to tell what will happen.

The surf is not going to get much higher tomorrow - just a touch.


Don't expect the beach detecting conditions to improve much any time real soon.

Once again,
Thanks vets!