Friday, January 30, 2015

1/30/15 Report - V Nickle Find. Copper 1943 S Penny. Some More Observations On Learning To Use A Detector.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

V Nickle Find
Photo by Dan B.

Here is Dan's first V Nickel find.

Congratulations Dan.


Have you ever found a copper 1943 S penny?  I really doubt it.  If you have you are very lucky.

Here is how one such penny was found.  Kenneth Wing was 14 years old in 1944 when he made his rarest penny find. The penny was dated 1943-S, but it was made of copper, rather than the expected zinc-coated steel. Wing took the coin to his local coin dealer who made him a very generous offer for the time, $500, but Wing said he didn't want to sell the coin...

Kenneth tried to have the coin authenticated, obtaining the opinion of experts from the Smithsonian as well as coin grading services and other experts.  Some thought it was not authentic, but eventually it was accepted as authentic. 

The coin was put in a safe deposit box and forgotten until Kenneth passed away.  The heirs were able to sell the coin with documentation for $72,500.

Click here to see the entire story about this copper 1943 S penny.


According to Kovels Komments,  New York State now includes mammoth ivory in its ivory ban. The state decided the federal ban wasn’t strong enough. Jewelers have been making expensive jewelry with mammoth ivory legally found on private property. This means antique scrimshaw and jewelry with mammoth ivory can’t be sold or exported. Jewelers say it is possible to tell ancient mammoth ivory from new ivory. But the New York State conservation office says it is difficult and that new ivory may be altered to look like old, so the ban is needed. New Jersey has also banned mammoth ivory and California has a bill in the works.


Some detectors can be mastered relatively quickly, but others can take much more time.

Recently I saw a fellow at a beach using a cheap detector.  I felt a little sorry for the fellow.  I doubt that he knew what his detector would or wouldn't do.  He was swinging the coil about a foot off of the ground.  If I wasn't in such a hurry I would have stopped and had a talk with him.  I seriously doubt that he could have detected a coin on the surface with that detector, certainly not while his coil was so high off the ground. 

Something like that is easy to demonstrate.  I've said it before.  Do some tests.  I bet that fellow would have been shocked and disappointed to learn that he couldn't detect a single coin the way he was going.

The longer I detect the more use I find for test objects.  I almost always have a few test objects with me when I'm in the field now, most especially when I'm using a detector that I haven't thoroughly mastered.  I'm also thinking that a lot of the time people have not thoroughly mastered their detector, even sometimes when the think they have.

As you move from one environment to another, performance will change.  As you move from dry sand to wet sand to moving water, performance will change.  Lately I've been testing a new detector and using test objects to see how the detector responds to different types of objects under different circumstances.   I've learned how some settings will change performance in some environments, but not all of them.  I pretty much know how many inches I'll lose in a high EMI environment as compared to a low EMI environment, for example.  I also pretty much know about how many inches I gain or lose on different types of targets as I move from one environment to another.

Maybe I'm slow, but it is taking me quite a while to really get it all down.  You can learn a lot by using different test objects in different environments with different settings.  I'm continuing to learn and know that I have a lot more tests to do before I can be satisfied that I really know as much as I want to know about using this new detector.


On the Treasure Coast expect more of the same with maybe a slight increase in the surf this weekend. 

If you look at the surfing web site, they are predicting a big surf (something like 10 feet) for next weekend.  As I've commented before, those big predictions that are a week out are seldom correct.  My bet would be that the big surf predicted for next weekend will change in a couple days.  Nine out of ten times it does.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, January 29, 2015

1/29/15 Report - Closed Beaches. TreasureGuide Beach Cam. Tommy Thompson Found in West Boca. Odyssey Marine Working S. S. Central America.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Wabasso Beach Access Closed This Morning.
Both the Wabasso Beach Access and the Turtle Trail access were closed this morning.  I know the Turtle Trail access has been closed for a while.  I'd guess that another big sand dump is coming.  I saw survey markers above Seagreape Trail too.

Vero Looking Towards Rio Mar Near Low Tide This Morning.
As you can see, no cuts here.  There were a few barely noticeable scallops.  Not many people out either. 

Early this morning it was pretty windy and cloudy.

Seagrape Trail Access Looking North This Morning.
Not much in the way of cuts here either.  The water did hit the cliff and there were some cuts that were only a few inches high out in front of the cliffs part of the way.

From about where the steps are in this picture to the next set of steps in the distance, there were a number of targets in the wet sand and near the water - mostly junk.

Couple Detectorist Caught By The TreasureGuide Beach Cam This Morning.
These detectorists were working along  near the foot of the cliff.  One other detectorist left a little earlier. 


The big treasure news of the week is that Tommy Thompson was found.  I did a post back in the summer about him missing.  He was being sued by investors who claim they never got their share.

Tommy found the S. S. Central America and salvaged a reported $50 million worth of treasure.

C Man sent me this link.

L. B. sent me this link on that topic.

This article has some good news too.

Thanks for the links guys.

Odyssey Marine Explorations has been salvaging the S. S. Central America site.

Their third quarter report said, Completed the 2014 season's offshore operations at the SS Central America shipwreck site and recovered more than 15,500 silver and gold coins, 45 gold ingots, gold dust, nuggets, jewelry, and various other artifacts. Odyssey's share of the expected proceeds from the recovered cargo is far in excess of the project costs and is expected to generate a significant profit margin to Odyssey.


On the Treasure Coast expect something like a 2 to 4 foot surf for the next few days.  The primary beaches have been worked hard and targets or any kind are generally scarce.  You'll have to do a little more than go to the same beaches that everyone else is doing.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

1/28/14 Report - Treasure Coast Eight Reale. What Civil War Artifacts Will Be Found On The Bottom of The Congaree River. Tommy Thompson Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Photos by Captain Jonah.

Here is a neat Treasure Coast Potosi Pillar and Waves Eight-Reale.

You can see the Potosi mint mark.  Also a three digit date in the bottom column of the middle row.

The picture below is the other side of the same cob.

I'm not certain I am reading the date correctly, but it looks like (1)715 to me.  What do you think?

It appears to nicely match some examples that are in Menzel's book.  That book shows a 1715 eight-reale that is also chunky and cracked like this one.

Menzel says that mint production for that decade was low and quality control was poor.  The book said that is rare to find a well struck Potosi cob around that time period.

Another excellent Treasure Coast find by a Treasure Coast salvage crew.

You might remember my comment from a recent post indicating that in 1700 and after, Potosi Pillars and Waves cobs had a three digit date while earlier Pillars and Waves cobs had a two digit date.


COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA—A planned environmental clean-up of the Congaree River in South Carolina could recover Confederate munitions that Union troops, under the command of General William T. Sherman, captured in 1865. Sherman’s army burned a third of the city and captured 1.2 million ball cartridges; 100,000 percussion caps; 6,000 unfinished arms; 4,000 bayonet scabbards; and 3,100 sabers. The soldiers reportedly dumped what they couldn’t carry in the river. Since then, fishermen and swimmers have recovered some of the weapons...

Here is the link to read the article.


One thing I continue to be impressed by is the importance of the threshold setting on a pulse induction metal detector.   A threshold that is either too high or too low will cause a loss of depth and signals.  It is so important that I often test my threshold by using a well known gold test target so that I know I have the best threshold setting.  In my opinion, selecting the threshold is too important to do casually.


When learning a new detector learn first in a familiar test garden if that is possible.  Then move to an easy setting such as dry sand.  Then to wet sand, and finally in water.

I think if you become very familiar with a detector in a less challenging environment first, it will make it easier to move to a more challenging environment.


When I was at the beach yesterday, almost all the targets I found were discolored, corroded, and deep.  The recent surface drops had already been picked up, yet there were a good number of deep targets remaining.

It was also my observation that there is less junk out there these days.  I think more people are removing the junk.   There were a good number of bottle caps at some beaches.  There are also some beaches with a lot of small iron.


Just got the news that Tommy Thompson was captured.  I did a post giving a link about him missing a few months ago.  You can find that post by using the blog search box.


On the Treasure Coast, the wind changed direction.  It was coming from the North.  Tomorrow the surf will be a little higher.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1/27/15 Report - Mexican Minted Cob. Embossed Bottle Finds. Lot Of Walking And Digging.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Photos by Leo.

Here is a nice hefty cob that Leo is getting ready to clean.  I have a link to Bill's coin cleaning instructions listed on my reference list but unfortunately that post got deleted when I was deleting some of the oldest posts.

You will find a similar procedure described by using the following link.

I can't see a date on this cob, but you can tell from both the style of the cross and what you can see of the mint mark, "OM," that it is from the Mexico mint.

Very nice cob.  It doesn't need a lot of cleaning, and it won't take long.  Under-clean rather than over-clean.

I'll probably show you a Treasure Coast Potosi eight-reale before long. 

Yesterday after I came home from a little beach detecting, I decided to take a little walk and do some eye-balling.  I found a couple embossed bottles.

Coincidently both bottle were from Baltimore companies and both companies were founded in 1889.

 The one on the left reads Hynson, Westcott, Dunning.   That bottle is only about two inches tall.  

The company made things such as mercurochrome.  You might remember that as a home antiseptic that was applied with a glass applicator.  They made other things too, though.

The bottle on the right reads McCormick & CO.  BALTIMORE.

Of course, they are known for spices.

Both companies are still in operation today.

I always enjoy a little eye-balling.  It is surprising what you can find on the surface if you look in the right places.


I did a little beach hunting today.  I've been testing a learning a detector that is new to me.  It has been taking me a while to learn to really get it down.

I visited one of the heavily visited beach parks.  It is also heavily hunted.  I took a good long walk and found a coin line right below a small cut of less than six inches in height.  It was the best coin hole I've found on a beach or a while.  Beach conditions have been so poor.

Sand continues to build on the front of the Treasure Coast beaches. 

I detected in the front of one beach hotel or a while and found a good number of coins.  None that were near the surface.  They were all down at least six inches.  It was a good workout with all of the walking and digging. 

I used to detect that hotel beach once in a while but hadn't been there for a year or more.

Most importantly, I'm getting to better understand and use this detector.


On the Treasure Coast, tomorrow is supposed to be pretty much like today.  After that the surf is supposed to increase up to maybe six feet by this weekend.  That might do us some good.  Time will tell.

Happy hunting,

Monday, January 26, 2015

1/26/15 Report - Poor Beach Conditions For Finding Older Items On Treasure Coast Beaches.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday Near Low Tide.
Another Treasure Coast Beach This Morning Just After Low Tide.
Beach conditions were pretty much the same at the different beaches that I saw this morning.
They had small cuts up near the high tide line, while the front beaches were built up.  The front beach continues to accumulate sand.

I got rained on this morning just after my batteries started to get low.

The beach shown in the second photo had a small cut near the high tide line.  If you look at the upper left part of the photo, you can see it in the background.  It was just over a foot high at the highest.

The front beach on this beach was broad and flat this summer.  Now there is a good bit of sand over that.

I did a little (very little) detecting at this beach this morning before the rain came and my batteries ran low.

You can see a nice dip in the water in the second photo.  Notice the deeper water between the white water.  That would be some place to check, although I wouldn't expect much there.

The wet sand did have some targets on this heavily detected beach, but they were deep.  Both junk and good targets were deep.  I have no doubt that this beach has been detected a lot, and mostly only deep targets remained.

The bad thing about having to dig deep targets in the wet sand is that sometimes you can't get to them.  I had to leave some this morning that were too deep to recover down near the water.

Big Lots has some pretty good prices on AA batteries.

K-Mart was charging $14.99 for four rechargeable batteries.  Staples was two dollars cheaper for four rechargeable batteries.

You can get a pack of four "low drain" batteries at Dollar Tree for one dollar, but I haven't tested them well enough to say if you should use them in a detector.  They seem to work OK in the Ace 350, but I haven't really measured performance with those batteries well enough to say if the performance is just as good.  They do work.  I can say that.

On the Treasure Coast we're supposed to have around a two foot surf for the next couple of days.  The wind will be from the West, then it is supposed to turn and come from the North.

I heard that a couple of fronts and cool weather is coming.  That is all for now.  I'll probably add some to this post later today.

For now, Happy Hunting,

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1/24/15 Report - Potosi Pillars and Waves Reales Date Designations. Gusty West Winds Saturday. Coins of the Lost Galleons Book.

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of

1726 Eight Reales Illustration and Photo
Source: Seawall Menzel book Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins
I recently received a picture of a very interesting Treasure Coast Potosi Eight-Reales.  As a result I did a little research to see what I could learn about the cob.  One thing I learned is that before 1700, and back until when the Potosi Pillars and Waves cobs were first produced in 1652, a two digit date was typical, while 1700 and later a three digit date was typical on such cobs.

As you might know, there can be many varieties for a cob made by a specific mint in any given year.  Since different dies were used and the same die reworked and reused over the period of time, the large number of existing varieties can be over-whelming, but each difference can provide an important clue that can be used to help date and identify the cob.

The Potosi Pillars-and-waves eight reale that I recently looked at had some features that were similar in many ways to the one shown at the top of this post, although it was not the same year.

You seldom if ever are able to see all of the design features on a salvaged or dug cob.  They just aren't that perfect.  Even if the strike is near perfect, years in the ocean or sand will take a toll.

Not long ago I discussed the subject of Royals and some questions regarding their true purpose.  Royals are cobs that are produced in exceptional quality and are often considered to be presentation pieces for the king, thus the name, however their true purpose is not so certain.  (See the previous post discussing the Sedwick article on that topic.)

The above illustration from the Menzel book shows a three digit date displayed on the bottom row between the pillars, in this case "726" indicating the year 1726.   Of course that date is later than 1715 and would not normally be found on 1715 Fleet wrecks or beaches, however it does illustrate one thing that I was interested in, and that is how the dates were displayed on Potosi Pillars and Waves eight-reales beginning in 1700.

As I said above, Pillars and Waves cobs manufactured in Potosi prior to 1700 showed a two-digit date between the pillars.  "52," for example, would indicate 1652. 

On the top row between the pillars in the example shown above, you see the mint mark "P," followed by the denomination, "8," followed by the assayer intial "Y." 

In the second row, "PLVSVLTR."  Plus Ultra can be interpreted as "more beyond," referring to the New World. 

In the example above, in the third row you have the assayer initial and mint mark plus a three digit date between the columns, as is typical of Potosi eight reales produced from 1700 on.

Just one additional note: Lima also produced Pillars and Waves cobs. 


While on the subject of cobs, I just came across a book that I evidently forgot that I had.  It is a small paperback by Kathryn Budde-Jones entitled Coins of the Lost Galleons, second edition published 1993.


On the Treasure Coast the wind was coming from the South and West early in the day.   According to the buoy data, the waves didn't get much over three feet.  Later in the day the wind was more out of the West and North.

It doesn't look like we'll get much more than a two or three foot surf for a few days.  We do have a negative tide now.  That is one good thing.


I've had a chance to give an ATX a few tests and one thing that I've seen that I like a lot compared to some other pulse detectors that I've used or tested is that a small thin gold ring gave a better signal than a clad dime.  That was observed under various conditions.


Happy hunting,

Friday, January 23, 2015

1/23/14 Report - Six Pound California Gold Nugget For Sale. New Sedwick Blog.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Six Pound California Gold Nugget

A six pound gold nugget found in Northern California is up for sale.  The nugget is expected to bring around $450,000.

The photo shown here was published in Kovels Komments but original source of the photo is uncertain.

Below is the link to an article about the nugget.


In 2008 I started this blog.  Over the years it has changed, as have I.  The hobby has changed too, of course.

New detectors have come to market.  New finds have been made.  And we all got a little older and hopefully wiser.

Since I began this blog a variety of other blogs have been started.  Many started and ended almost as quickly.  

Some of the ideas that I expressed in the early years now show up everywhere and some of those new ideas have become common knowledge. 

It is hard to trace the dissemination and evolution of knowledge, and I can't prove it, but I'm pretty certain that I've made a contribution.

Pulling out just one example, back around 2008 it used to be near universal practice to post finds along with a coin for size comparison.  I used to receive comments reminding me to do that.  Now, however, it seems to me to be nearly as common to see finds displayed on a hand or finger.  Notice the picture of the nugget above. 

Can I attribute that change to this blog?  Not entirely. 

Another thing that has happened during the same time is the proliferation of "selfies."  I would call that a cultural thing.  It happened as trends in technology and society collided.  The younger generation, which seems to me to be very self-centered, are obsessed with social media. 

Picturing an object in your own hand could be seen as an off-shoot of the selfie obsession or as the result of technology change, or a combination of both.

On the technology side, people have digital cameras, iPhones, etc. that make good close-up photos.

Some commercial sites tried to post articles or create blogs to draw attention to their commercial activities.  Many of those have not been successful and quickly died.  They found out how difficult it is to continually produce new posts with new information.  It isn't easy.

One new blog associated with a commercial site that I'll point out today is a new blog by Sedwick Coins.  They have knowledge and they have something to say.  I expect them to present a series of quality articles.

The first post I saw from their new blog is entitled Assayer P Coins Minted Under Charles and Joanna From The Mexico City Mint.  You might have read some of the Sedwick articles before, but I expect their blog posts to include some fresh information. 

That blog might be a little specialized for the average detectorist, but I am sure it will be very interesting to those who study or collect cobs. The posts will undoubtedly authoritative.

Concerning the subject of the first post that I saw in the new Sedwick blog, and as you might already know, cobs produced during the reign of Charles and Joanna were the earliest produced in the New World. 

Here is the link for that blog and post.

I'll see how frequently they post new articles and keep you up on the topics, and if it goes well, I'll list the blog in my reference link list.


Tomorrow (Saturday) morning we'll have another cold front come through the Treasure Coast.  Expect a little rain in the morning.

Happy hunting,