Monday, October 5, 2015

10/5/15 Report - A Brief History of The 1715 Salvage Camp. Emanuel Point Shipwreck. Treasure Coast Conditions and Finds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Shell Pile Seen On One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.
Most of the beaches weren't like the one shown above.  Most have not changed much over the past few days.  The waves have been hitting straight on for days now.  We didn't get anything to change the angles, and there were very few cuts of any significance.  Like I said the other day, I did find one good cut, but it wasn't on any of the treasure beaches.

The shell pile contained a lot of little aluminum, a few fossil pieces and a few other things.  One fairly large piece of copper sheathing was found.

Part of Copper Sheathing Found by Joan T.
Photo by Joan T.
The waves looked smaller than what was predicted.  They were much smaller than they were a few days ago.

The cut that I spoke of a couple of days ago moved south once again, but this time it started to fill in.  Rocks that were exposed are now buried again.

Rocks Exposed Last Week.
Notice the sand bar on the front of the beach to the east of the rocks.  As I said, the rocks are now covered again.

Joaquin is still a hurricane but far north of us.

There is one other tropical disturbance about half way over towards Africa.

The surf is supposed to increase a bit tomorrow - up to about seven feet - and start decreasing slowly Wednesday.

The wind this morning was off-shore.  It is supposed to switch later Tuesday.  Then it will be northwest and north for the next day or so.

I'm not really expecting much improvement in beach conditions any time this week.  Hopefully I'm wrong.


A 300-foot strip of sandy beach and dunes between Vero Beach and Sebastian Inlet will immortalize forever the story of the Plate Fleet wreck of 1715, thanks to the generosity of Robert McLarty of Vero Beach and Atlanta, Georgia, who has recently deeded a portion of the former campsite of the Spanish survivors and salvors of the Fleet to the State of Florida for a park and museum. Where 250 years ago nearly 1,500 terror-stricken survivors gathered following the destruction of their fleet in a violent hurricane and sought to...

That is the beginning of a good concise history of the Spanish salvage camp site.  It is about 30 pages.  You might want to take a look.

The Spanish Camp Site and the 1715 Plate Fleet Wreck By MARION CLAYTON LINK, as published in Tequesta, 1966, no. 26, p. 21.


Here is another good read.



Happy hunting,

Sunday, October 4, 2015

10/4/15 Report - Beach Emerald Found. Iron Artifacts. Don Diego De Vargas. 7 Foot Surf Predicted For Tuesday.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Emerald Found On A Treasure Coast Treasure Beach

You never know what you might see on a beach.  Here is an emerald found on one of the Treasure Coast beaches.
It was in a shell pile.

It is green, but the light reflecting in the photo doesn't show the color very well.  I tried to get the light to show the facets, which wasn't good for the color.   It is partly encased in matrix.

Others have found emeralds on the beach too.

That is another reminder to keep your eyes open when detecting.


The most read post of September was the  9/7/15 Report - Great Numismatic Study of Dug Pistareens. Tropical Storm Grace Headed This Way. Ring Beach Find.

The most "google plused" posts of September were  the 9/6/15 Report - Bernard Romans And The 1715 Fleet. Tropical Storm Grace, and  the 9/23/15 Report - One Way To Add Value And Interest To Your Treasures. North Carolina Beaches Producing. Sea Glass Web Sites.  They were tied.


You'll find a lot of iron on the treasure beaches.  Most of it is modern, but once in a while you can find an old iron item.  Shipwreck spikes are not real rare.  They are often found heavily encrusted.

If you find a nice old iron item, it has to be treated properly or it could eventually crumble into nothing.  It is a shame to see a nice old piece rust and fall apart.

The first step is to get it into a water bath so the salt will leach out.

I won't get into conservation methods today.  I've done that before, but you can't just leave them sit around.

Here are some nice old iron pieces that have undergone treatment at the conservation lab.

Various Iron Shipwreck Items At The Conservation Lab.
Notice that ax head at the bottom right corner.  Also the bar shot.


Here is an interesting read.

To the Royal Crown Restored: The Journals of Don Diego de Vargas, New Mexico, 1692 - 1694.

Click here to read.

It is about the restoration of the government after a revolt by the natives.


They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I think it is just as true to say that treasure is where you see it.  It seems that some can see treasure where others can't.  I wonder if there aren't some people who can't see treasure at all.

As I grow older my idea of treasure changes.  Last night I was reminded of one treasure that I hadn't appreciated enough.

My dad wasn't the warm fuzzy type.  He didn't give out praise and encouragement.  I don't think he knew how because he never got it himself, not having a father around and being on his own from the time he was very young.

Every Saturday evening he drove me several miles to where the newspapers were dropped off at a gas station on old U.S. 40.  We'd assemble them in the truck, then he'd drive me back to our neighborhood where I'd deliver the papers door to door.

It was a rural area where there were farms with homes scattered between the old farms, so the paper route spread out over I don't know how many miles.

I remember the old farm houses. At the first old farm house on top of a hill where my grandfather was raised in the early 1900s, the dogs were always sleeping on the front porch steps, and I'd step over them to get to the screen door.  The chickens were pecking around in the yard.  It looked just like the house on The Waltons except it was on top of a big hill on a winding unpaved road.

At the next farm there was often a bull right next to the road in front of the house.  I was afraid of that big old bull, and wondered how a little stake in the ground and a chain attached to a ring in his nose was to hold supposed to hold him.  I never trusted it, but I guess it worked.

Then on through the route.  I think I made $2.50 a week.  I don't know how many houses there were.  I'd guess maybe fifty.  And that about works out since I got a nickle a paper.

I had appreciated it before to some extent, but it really hit me today, about how dad spent his time and gas money every Saturday evening to give me the lessons that I learned on my paper route.  Maybe it was as much about spending time together.  Now he is gone.  And now, sixty some years later, I'm old enough to see how much of a treasure it was.  Thanks dad.  It means more than anything I could ever dig up.


The surf web sites haven't changed much.  The prediction for Tuesday is now for a surf of around 7 feet.  I think it will come down to the wind, and I don't think it is going to do the trick.  We will get some winds from the north on Tuesday, but it doesn't look very strong.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, October 3, 2015

10/3/2015 Report - One Reason I Dig So Much Junk. CSS Pee Dee. Dare Back South. Remembering Dave. Better Beach Conditions Possible Next Week.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is one reason I dig junk.  This morning I was digging a big signal. The first thing that came up was a rusty big bolt or something.  It was nearly a foot long and completely covered by rust.  That object had a fishing line tangled around it, which was tied to a one ounce sinker. There was still a signal.  The next thing that came up was an encrusted nail.  There was still a signal.  It wasn't easy digging at this point.   I was trying to dig into shells and rock.  Finally out came this .75 troy oz. 14K ring.

The spot where I was working had a dip and some rocks.  As I said yesterday, it is one of the very few spots that I've been able to find lately where the sand has washed down to some older sand.

The eroded area moved farther south since yesterday.  I could tell that from the rocks and a couple of partly uncovered limbs or stumps.  Those things provide important markers.

While the north end of the dip that was there yesterday filled again, the south end extended farther to the south today.

Coins were found higher up on the beach near the foot of the cut.  Lower on the beach and down around the exposed rocks were a lot of corroded iron and junk.  I thought I might find a shipwreck spike, but failed at that.  A broken bronze spike was found right around there a year or two ago.

There was a lot of junk, it would have been an OK strategy to use discrimination if you just wanted to dig coins.  You would have got some coins and missed a lot of junk, but you probably would have missed the ring.

Strategic decisions always involve an associated risk.  If you want to discriminate, that can be a good strategy, but there is a definite risk.  You should be aware of the risks as well as the benefits when you make those kinds of decisions.

You never know what you missed unless you go back and check, but one thing you can do is keep good records and see if there is something missing.

My best example, and one that I've mentioned before, is from my early days of detecting, I was finding a lot of big men's rings but few small women's rings.  At first I thought women didn't lose as many rings as men.  Later, after I turned my discrimination down, I learned that there were a lot of small rings to be found, and I was missing them before.   Your records can give some indication about what you might be missing.

I have found lots and lots of watches.  I tend to think that a lot of people are discriminating them out.


Before the weather turned bad the Dare surveyed an area 27 nautical miles along the coast and 6.5 miles wide with side scan sonar and magnetometer.  Although a couple of areas were found for further inspection the site of Lost Merchant was not positively identified.  With the weather turning bad the Dare returned to work the Atocha and Margarita sites.


A team of underwater archaeologists from the University of South Carolina raised three Civil War cannons – each weighing upwards of 15,000 pounds – from the silty sediment of South Carolina’s Great Pee Dee River near Florence, S.C., on Tuesday (Sept. 29).

The two Confederate Brooke rifle cannons (11.8 and 12.25 feet each) and one captured Union Dahlgren cannon (8.9 feet) were artillery of the CSS Pee Dee, a 150-foot Confederate gunboat, a Macon-class gunboat built to patrol waterways and protect the coast...
To read more of that story here is the link.


Concerning the memorial brick that I posted yesterday, Al C. sent me this email.

It jumped right out to me but I could be wrong. Dave Rust passed away from cancer several years ago. He was a long time treasure diver spending most of his time in that area. He had a few partners and worked with many of the old timers including Harold Holden. He and Chris Tisak, who is currently diving that area I think, were good friends and worked together for at least a few seasons. They were both good, generous guys and let me work with them when my schedule allowed.

Anyway, that came to my mind immediately.

Thanks for the blog and info and all of your effort. I read most everyday.

Al Coffey


The waves are still hitting the beach straight on.  We have something close to a four or five foot surf.

The surf will be increasing, reaching up to possibly eight feet by Tuesday.  Now that is getting up there where you might expect some improvement in beach conditions.  The wind is also supposed to switch so that it is coming from the North beginning later Tuesday.  If we actually get the higher surf coupled with North winds, there is a very good chance that we'll finally get improved beach conditions.

Happy hunting,

Friday, October 2, 2015

10/2/15 Report - 16th Century Santo Domingo Maravedies Found. Memorial Brick Found. Joaquin To Move North.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Maravedies Photo
Submitted by Jonah Martinez.

Yesterday Jonah M. sent me this photo of a recent land find.

It is a 4-maravedies.  You can see the IIII indicating the denomination.

The big bifurcated Greek Y indicates Johanna.  To the left of that would be the assayer initial.

The other side (second photo) shows the Pillars of Hercules with an S mint mark to the left.  The mint is Santo Domingo.

This coin is copper.

After some study I would say it is of the second series, which was from 1542 - 1556.  That is one old coin.

Sewall Menzel, in his book Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins has a very good section on the Santo Domingo mint and a several full pages on the copper coins of that mint.

Thanks for sharing Jonah.


This brick was found two days ago on Douglas Beach.

Along with the photos I received the email posted below the photos.

I have asked some people who I thought might know more about the brick but was unable to learn more about it.

It appears to be a memorial.  If you know more about the brick or who it refers to, please let me know.

The brisk was not removed but treated with the respect due a memorial.

Below is the email from the person who found it.


I am a huge fan of your blog, and have been for years - even when I was stuck living in South Florida, far from the Treasure Coast beaches.  

I found something at Douglas Beach yesterday that I thought you might be interested in seeing.  Attached are photos of an inscribed memorial brick that was clearly left behind to honor a treasure hunter or detectorist.  The ink is in good condition, so I wouldn't imagine that it's been there too long, but it still makes for an interesting discovery.  The front says "Dave, we love and miss you" and the obverse says "Where's the treasure ?!!?"  I thought you might immediately recognize the name.  If not, I figured you might want to share it on your blog just to let the family know that their memorial is safe, and was admired by at least one passerby.  I once carved a memorial inscription into a boulder to honor a fallen friend, and I always wonder if anyone gives it a second thought as they pass by. 

Please let me know if you end up with any information!

Thanks again for an amazing blog.


Zack Jud, Ph.D.

Director of Education and Exhibits
Florida Oceanographic Society


Today the Treasure Coast is having something like a 3 - 5 foot surf.  Tomorrow it is supposed to be up another foot and then another foot Sunday.  That will take it up to around 5 - 7 feet.  That is a pretty big surf.  Yet, as you've seen lately a big surf and big waves are not enough.  It takes some good angles to create cuts.

Most of the Treasure Coast beaches are not cut.  I've looked at most of the main treasure beaches the past couple of days and I only found on stretch of about 100 yards with a significant cut.  I found that this morning.

I dug some modern stuff and a couple old things.  The iron pin below is about a foot and a half in length.

Iron Pin Dug This Morning.

Joaquin seems to be heading north.  Reportedly both North Carolina and Virginia Beach are getting a lot of erosion.

The site is really useful.

I'd really like to hear from you if you have any information on the memorial brick.

That is it for now.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

10/1/15 Report - Beach Conditions Along The Treasure Coast. Artifacts Of A Deep-sea 1622 Navio. Artifacts of The HMS Erebus.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The main thing I want to do today is present a survey of Treasure Coast treasure beaches.

Douglas Beach This Morning.
Douglas was mushy and relatively formless.  Only a few small scallops or dips.

Weed On Douglas Beach
The reason I'm showing the weed is that you can see that there is an inch or so of new sand that recently washed over it.  Just one of those things you can notice that will give you an idea of what has been going on.

Turtle Trail This Morning
There were some scallops that had some depth to them.  There was also a cut, but it was in renourishment sand.  Actually the most promising place I saw this morning, even though it was still poor.

Seagrape Trail This Morning.
Notice the six foot cliff.  It is still renourishment sand.

Amber Sands.
I also looked at Rio Mar.  It wasn't worth taking another photo.  The waves were a good bit smaller this morning than they were a day or two ago.

I think you get the picture.  I might have missed some good spot somewhere, but overall beach conditions are still not good.  Definitely not enough to increase my treasure beach conditions rating.

At this point, I'm betting that we won't get any beach improvement from Joaquin.

The wind was coming from the west this morning and as Joaquin heads north,  As Joaquin moves north, the wind will be pulled over the state from the west.

It looks like North Carolina could get some good conditions as Joaquin heads up past there.

Well, that is disappointing.  As I've been saying for so long, it has been a long time since we have had good beach conditions.  It will change someday.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.


After another season of searching in the cold waters off Nunavut for the ships of the Franklin Expedition, HMS Terror remains elusive, but new photos released today show some of the 39 artifacts recovered during the latest search of the HMS Erebus wreck site...

Here is the link for the rest of that story.


The Deep-Sea Tortugas Shipwreck, Florida: A Spanish-Operated Navio of the 1622 Tierra Firme Fleet. Part 2: the Artifacts by Greg Stemm and Ellen Gerth of Odyssey Marine Exploration, Tampa, Florida, USA.

You might want to take a look at that paper.  The link is below.

It examines a broad range of types of artifacts.  There are a lot of good photos.


Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

9/30/15 Report - Hurricane Joaquin Developing Into Something To Watch. Revolutionary War Battle Site.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of
Joaquin Wind Pattern.
The big news today is that we have a hurricane.  The name is Joaquin.  It has been sitting out east of the Bahamas just meandering around and gaining strength. It is expected to head north instead of hitting Florida.  The cone of uncertainty is wide, but it looks like Joaquin might hit North Carolina.

This site is great.  As I've said, you can use it to check the wind, surf and waves for the present and several days out.

This afternoon the wind on the Treasure Coast was supposed to start coming out of the north.  We should get north/northeast winds for a couple of days.

Today the surf was supposed to be up to around six feet and I suppose it was, though I didn't check today.

It looks like this weekend that we are supposed to get up to an eight foot surf.  Unfortunately, by that time the wind will be blowing out again.  I guess that could be good if cutting occurs first and then it doesn't fill in too soon.

We might actually get improved conditions on the Treasure Coast beaches.  I'll be checking to see how it goes.

The tides are supposed to be fairly big too.

This is the most promising forecast that I've seen for quite a while.   I hope we actually get the high surf that is predicted for this weekend.  I also hope that any cuts don't fill right away when the wind changes.


I visited the conservation lab in Sebastian today and was reminded of all the other stuff that goes into shipwreck salvage.

If you are working on a salvage lease, it is done according to contract.  You don't just go out and find stuff, put it in your pocket and take it away.  There is a lot of record keeping, cleaning, conservation, and then, of course, the split with the state.  A lot of time is spent on things other than hunting.

I noticed the years and years of salvage logs and records.  Ir you know me, and you probably do to some extent if you've been reading this blog very long like I know some of you have, I could sit down and go through all the records and very much enjoy myself.  I've always been a person that enjoys information and data and trying to learn what I can from it.  I'm not good at remembering details.  I'm more into functional and structural relationships - how things go together and what it means.

Anyhow, I enjoyed the time at the lab this morning.

I also noticed that they are using some of the same techniques in the lab that I use and that I've presented in this blog.    Electrolysis is one.  Also baking soda is used after cleaning silver.  That is a common technique, and it obviously works well for them too.


CONCORD, Mass.Sept. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On April 19, 1775, despite heavy casualties just hours before,Lexington's Captain John Parker made the courageous decision to rally his troops and pursue the British on their march back fromConcord to Boston. More than 240 years later, after this heroic stand by citizen soldiers, an archaeology project using advanced technology has unearthed important details on the little known but noteworthy battle called "Parker's Revenge."
Here is the link for the rest of the article.



Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.


Happy hunting,

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

9/29/15 Report - How The TBR Beach Studies Paid Off. Tropical Storm Joaquin. Ten Top Treasures. Great Research Tip.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Three Rings Found In Coin Line
Finds and Photo by Doug E.
I am glad to know that people are not only reading and using the tips and techniques that I present, but they are being successful with them.

Here is what Doug E. said.

Thanks to your research on coin line formation I was able to determine from the wave direction, tides, and beach cams that a line was likely forming near Cocoa.

On Sunday I quickly found and  followed the line for almost 2 miles. From the condition of the coins and rings one could tell it was all older material. 

Most of the targets were at the same depth. More research is less less hard work digging. 

Please keep on with the study, it really helps in the field.

Doug E,

Thanks for sharing Doug, And congratulations!  

Doug's Finds.
Notice the predominance of discolored coins along with the other varied items, including sinkers and rings.  

You can indeed save time by learning to locate coin lines or coin holes.  Once you locate one, it can be worth working it completely.  

When targets are densely distributed, I'll pick it clean and then go back over it.  It seems that removing the obvious signals, you can then tighten up and focus on the less obvious signals.  That can produce gold that otherwise would be missed if you didn't go back over the area.  

As I've said before the idea of cleaning out a coin line or hole is not to find clad coins, it is to get the better items that might be associated with the line or hole.

Yesterday, I first went north to see what the beach around the bend looked like.  It wasn't any good.  I then turned around and went back south.  After walking a good distance I found a cut that I could not see from where I walked onto the beach.  

Binoculars are a good idea when you want to be able to see a little farther down the beach.


Top ten lost treasures of the world.


Dan B. gave this great tip.  When searching for quality reports and studies include the term pdf with your search terms.  It does help weed out the useless stuff and provides better search results.

Thanks Dan.


We have a new tropical storm, Joaquin.  We also have two disturbances.  

On the Treasure Coast we've had a south wind for what seems like years.  This morning the wind was blowing off-shore.

Despite Joaquin sitting east of the Bahamas, we're still not getting any beneficial changes.  Jaoquin will probably move north instead of closer to us.

Expect a three to five foot surf today and a foot or so higher tomorrow.  That is getting up there.  It will do some good if we can get some decent angles.

Happy hunting,