Monday, September 29, 2014

9/29/14 Report - Things That Can Affect Your Metal Detector ID Readings. Depth Readings. Rare Gold Coins.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Three Dollar Gold Coin
Source: See link below.
I did a little test using the Ace 250 today.  I wanted to see if the depth meter is very accurate.  I used a new dime and quarter and Tungsten ring for the test. 

The depth meter on the Ace is in two inch increments, starting at 2 inches and going to 8.

I placed the items on the ground stuck a yardstick in the ground beside them and moved the coil over the individual objects at various heights.

With these surface objects, the depth meter worked somewhat but was not real accurate.  I can only characterize it as somewhat accurate - not highly accurate.   

This test was a very crude test, so I won't try to draw a lot of conclusions from it.  My general conclusion is that the metal detector's depth readings for items when tested in this manner does give some idea of depth, but may not be real precise.

I don't know if naturally buried items would result in depth readings that are more or less accurate.  There are limits to how precisely you can measure the depth of buried objects when you dig them anyhow.

When you are leisurely detecting, take time to carefully notice the precise signal and readings and try to remember them and relate them to the actual object when it is dug.  That will help you learn to better understand your detector.

In my estimate, this inexpensive little detector works very well considering the low price.  There are times when I would use it instead of detectors that cost ten times more.  It isn't the deepest seeking detector in the world, isn't always totally accurate, and has other limitations.  It is enjoyable and useful though.  I've previously described my multi-detector approach to some sites.

One side note is that the Tungsten ring was identified as a pull tab on the ID scale.  

The Sinker.
Just after conducting the above test, I spent a few minutes detecting in a yard that had been detected probably twenty times before with different detectors.  In those few minutes I found a couple of interesting things.  First dug was a zinc penny that had obviously been missed before.  It was right beside a lead sinker (see picture), which might be why it was passed over.  The sinker jumped back and forth between penny and dime on the ID meter.  Actual coins read more consistently. 

Also found in those few minutes in the seemingly over-hunted yard was the following Alabama tag which reads 2.5 Alabama.  The tag is 1.25 by 1.5 inches.

It produced a less consistent ID reading than a coin.  When flat on the surface, it was identified as a quarter and half, jumping back and forth.  It also occasionally gave an iron reading.

After digging it up I did a little test to see if I could find out what caused the mixed ID.  When the object was flat on the ground, it read as a coin (jumping between quarter and half), but when I stuck it in the ground so it stood on end and detected over the edge, the ID was iron.

The Alabama Tag.
My most general conclusion is that the position of an object in the ground can affect the ID reading.  Second, an object buried at an angle will give a variable signal as the coil goes over it at different angles and positions.  Sometimes the coil will be more parallel to a slanted object and at other times moving so as to detect more of the edge.  That will result in different types of signals and different IDs.

I decided to try to replicate the experiment with a quarter.  Of course I got a good consistent ID when the quarter was flat.  When I placed it on edge, I got a good reading most of the time, but also, but also now occasionally got the iron ID.  The iron reading with the coin on edge was rare though, unlike with the tag.  The iron reading obtained by detecting the edge of the tag was pretty consistent.

I'm assuming that the more accurate and more consistent ID on the standing quarter was due at least in part to its additional thickness. 

I'm guessing the tag is tin, but don't know that for sure.

I continue to learn more about my detectors and how they respond to various objects. 

Anyone know what that tag is?  Please let me know.  I don't think dog tag, but maybe.

In a nice series of articles on rare coins that can be bought for under $5000.  This one (part 6) is on hree dollar gold coins.

Close Up View Of William M's Found Locket.
A day or two ago I mentioned GoPro.  They make the action cameras that are often used on TV detector and diving shows.  The stock went up another ten dollars, hitting 90 at one point today.

I posted some items found by William M. the other day.  One was a runner medallion.  Bruce B. sent me the following information about that.

 Just a note, I have a cross-country medal my grandfather won in 1910 or 1915 very similar to the medallion here. My grandfather eventually became a Big Ten cross-country champion, but the medal I have at home is for a much smaller venue—a competition in Evansville, Indiana. The piece in your photograph hence would seem to be typical of the period.

Thanks Bruce.  I'm sure William  will really appreciate that info.

Here is a correction concerning the locket I posted yesterday.  William M. sent me a close-up of the locket I showed yesterday.  He says the picture in it is a print rather than a photo.  Notice the dots. 

Today on the Treasure Coast we have a 2 - 3 foot surf.

The surf will be 1 - 2 feet for the next few days.

There is no tropical activity that will affect us.

There is one day remaining to give your response to the blog poll.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, September 28, 2014

9/28/14 Report - Closer View Of Inland Finds. Formation of the Continental Marines. Recruitment Poster.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Couple More Finds From William M.
Photo by William.
I didn't show all of William M's finds the other day.  Here are close ups of some that I think are particularly nice.

The locket with picture is especially nice.  That probably had a lot of sentimental value to someone.  William said it looked like a photo.  Wouldn't it be nice to find out who it is or who it belonged to?

Those are a couple of very nice finds from an inland site.

Below is another very nice relic found by William.  That is the kind of thing any relic hunter would like to find.

Thanks for sharing William!

Nie Relic Found By William.
Photo by William.

The summer issue of the Sons of the American Revolution Magazine had an interesting article about the origin of the US Marines. 

The Continental Marines was formed in 1775 by resolution of the Continental Congress.

 Here are excerpts from a recruitment poster that was hung in a tavern.  

What a Brilliant Prospect does this Event Present to every Lad of Spirit who is inclined to try his Fortune in this highly renowned Corps.  The Continental Marines.
When every thing that swims the Seas must be a PRIZE!

Thousands are at this moment endeavoring to get on Board Privateers where they will serve without pay or reward of any kind whatsoever, so certain does their chance appear of enriching themselves by PRIZE MONEY!  What enviable Station then must the CONTINENTAL MARINE hold, - who with far superior advantages to these, has the additional benefit of liberal Pay, and plenty of the best Provisions, with a good and well appointed Ship under him, the Pride and Glory of the Continental  Navy; surely every Man of Spirit must blush to remain at Home in Inactivity and Indolence when his Country needs his Assistance.


YOU WILL RECEIVE Seventeen Dollars  Bounty.  And on your Arrival at Head Quarters be comfortably and genteely CLOTHED.  And Spirited young BOYS, of a promising Appearance, who are Five Feet Six Inches High, will receive TEN DOLARS and equal Advantage of PROVISIONS and Clothing with the Men. 


The Daily Allowance of a Marine when embarked is One Pond of BEEF or PORK.  One Pound of BREAD, Flour, Raisins, Butter, Cheese, Oatmeal, Molasses, Tea, Sugar, etc. etc.  And a Pint of the best Wine, or half a Pint of the Best RUM or BRANDY, togehter with a pint of LEMONADE.  ...

Anyone bringing a recruit to Tun Tavern was promised three dollars.  More information could also be obtained at the tavern.

The capitalization is as it appeared on the original poster.  It appears strange to us.

Here is a trivia question.  Where was the first amphibious landing of the Continental Marines on foreign soil?   Hint: it occurred in 1776.

We sure are having a lot of rain. 

The surf on the Treasure Coast is around 2 - 3 feet.  It will be about that on Monday and then decrease just a touch for a couple of days.

There is nothing in the Atlantic that will affect the Treasure Coast beaches significantly.

That is all for today. 

Only two more days remaining to respond to the blog poll. 

Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 27, 2014

9/27/14 Report - Million Dollar Hoard Found By Metal Detector. Success of Portable Antiquities Scheme. Probability.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Seaton Down Hoard
Source: See link.
The Seaton Down Hoard, found by an amateur detectorist, consists of 22,000 coins and is valued at nearly $1.5 million dollars. 

The hoard has the distinction of including the one millionth object reported as a part of England's very successful Portable Antiquities Scheme, which, unlike the American system, rewards those who find and report antiquities.  The PAS has been hugely successful.  Too bad we don't have something similar.

The Seton Down Hoard was located by amateur detectorist, Laurence Egerton.

The Independent reports, Laurence Egerton, 51, a semi-retired builder from East Devon, discovered two ancient coins “the size of a thumbnail” buried near the surface of a field with his metal detector in November last year.

After digging deeper, his shovel came up full of the copper-alloy coins. “They just spilled out all over the field,” he said. “It was an exciting moment. I had found one or two Roman coins before but never so many together.”

 Coin From Seaton Down Hoard
Source: Same link.

This is an interesting article that you'll want to read.

Probability is an interesting subject and very relevant to anyone that takes detecting seriously. 

Skill might be defined as anything you intentionally do in such a way that it increases the probability of success.

Different people will define success differently.  For some it might be finding a valuable object.  For others it might be finding something old.  For others it might be finding a personal item of sentimental value and returning it to the owner.

There are many metal detecting skills.  You can skillfully use a detector, read a beach, or conduct research, to name just a few.

A good knowledge of probability will help you.   It is not something you can be totally precise about, but by deriving a good estimate of the probability of success at different sites or under different circumstances, you can increase your rate of success over the long run.

Just a few basics.  One site can produce a lot of coins but little of much economic value.  Lets say the average gold find at that site is worth $50.  And you make a gold find at that site once every five hunts on average.   That means the average gold find would be  1/5 X 50, or $10.

At another site, the gold is of higher value but you find it less often.  Let;s say the average gold find there is worth $200, but you only make a gold find at that site once every ten trips.   That means your average expected gold find per hunt would be 1/10 X 200 or $20. 

That means that the second site produces more value on average even though you find gold at that site less often. 

There are other things that should be taken into account.  One of those is personal preferences.  

Some people get discouraged easily and like to find something nearly every hunt even if it isn't very valuable, for example.  They might stick to high-probability but low-value sites just because of personal preferences.  Those people are not suited for something like the search for the Atocha.  They would get discouraged and give up way before finding that kind of high-value target.

There is always the element of chance involved in metal detecting.  There are factors which you have no control over, or at least which you did not take into account, that will affect the probability of success.  The element of chance provides a good bit of the excitement of metal detecting.

The history-buff that owns President Eisenhower's Rolex did not accept an auction bid of $475,000.

The other day I was talking about lightning.  You can check for lightning in your area at various web sites.  One is

Speaking of probability, what is the probability of being killed by lightning?

The National Safety Council says 1 in 136,011.   That is hugely better than the odds of winning PowerBall.

Here is a link to that site which presents a list of causes of death and the associated probabilities.

If you go back to your car to avoid lightning, there is a good chance that you will be killed as a pedestrian.   1 in 723.

And if you then drive home, you might consdier that the chance of being killed in a motor vehicle incident (in your lifetime) is 1 in 112.

I know there are a lot of qualifications and ifs, ands and buts.   I'm just having some fun with the numbers. 

I do find it interesting how fears and behavior are so often proved to be irrational when you really get down to the numbers.  

Nobody wants to ban cars even though they kill way more people than guns.  They are just too convenient and too much a part of daily life.

I have more Treasure Coast find photos to show but that is all for today.

There is no weather in the Atlantic to watch now, and the surf on the Treasure Coast remains in the two to three foot range.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 26, 2014

9/2614 Report - Many Nice Old Metal Detector Finds From Treasure Coast Off-Beach Sites. Lightning Noise In Detectors Lately. GoPro Cameras.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Finds by William M.
Photo submitted by William

If you've been having trouble finding much due to poor detecting conditions lately, there are alternatives to hitting the same over hunted beaches. 

I've noticed more than a few opportunities lately.  On the Treasure Coast it seems there has been a lot of construction and quite a few newly demolished buildings.

Bill M. has been finding a lot of really cool stuff.  He has been getting permission to work on private property.

Here is a photo of some of his finds.  There are a lot of really nice finds there.

Congratulations William!

Notice all of the silver coins in the photo.  Below is an example of one very nice Mercury dime in exceptional dug condition.

If you want to find something old, there is a lot of it out there.  I'd say that only a very tiny portion of the old stuff like this has been found.  Most of it is still out there in the ground deteriorating and waiting to be saved.

Many places have not been worked at all, and many that have been worked still hold many very good targets. 

Very Nice Mercury Dime Found by William
Photo submitted by William

Here is a very nice 1917 dime found by William.  It has about $1.50 worth of silver in it, but it is in very nice condition and therefore worth more than that.

1917 D dimes bring good money.

Very good photo William.

Notice all of the silver coins in the photo above.

You might find the relics even more interesting.

Below is one photo showing some buttons and buckles.

Buckles and Other Items Found by William.
Photo by William.
Charm Found by William
Photo by William.

To the right is a nice charm.  It probably had a personal significance to someone -  maybe a runner.  It would be nice to know more about that.

On the left is also what looks like a hair beret and a thimble.

I've found thimbles on the beach where I'd never expect to find them.  I have a hard time telling how old they might be.  I certainly don't know anyone who uses a thimble. today.   They can be centuries old.

And here are a couple more neat finds by William.

Like I always say, There is always some place to hunt and something to be found.  William did his homework and made a lot of great finds.   Thanks for sharing William.  Way to go!

As I write, it is pouring rain again.  I went outside to play around with a detector last evening and the lightning was causing the detector to beep occasionally, sometimes giving a good "bell" tone, which on that particular detector indicates a good target. 

Lightning can cause noise in a metal detector.  I previously mentioned that one of my detectors had been  noisy lately, and I thought it might be developing problems, but I have now decided that the problem was caused by distant thunderstorms, which have almost always been somewhere around the Treasure Coast lately.   Thunderstorms can cause detector noise even when they are miles away.

Gopro makes a really good waterproof camera.  I use one sometimes, but since it is made primarily for action photography, it isn't what I need most of the time.   It is very good technology though, and I've commented on that.

Gopro went public a few months ago and the stock has gone from 24 to over 80.  That is a nice return.

You'll see Gopro cameras used on some of the detecting, treasure hunting and diving TV programs. 

They claim that they will be making a video channel.  That should be good.

Other than one disturbance out in middle of the Atlantic, there isn't much to watch. 

On the Treasure Coast we are having two to three foot seas for a few days.

I have still have more finds to show and know of one other big project that I can't wait to tell you about.

Thanks for your responses to the blog poll.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

9/25/14 Report - How To Time Your Water and Wet Sand Hunt Based Upon Tides and Waves. Single Ear Rings Being Paired.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Waves Breaking
Can you believe summer is over and we are almost at the end of September?  There is a time for everything.   The Bible says, "There is an appointed time for everything.  And there is a time for every event under heaven."

Anyhow, I've had timing on my mind as it relates to beach detecting.  Whether you hunt in the water or on the beach, timing can be very important.  You will often want to time your hunt according to the tides.

Take a look at the above illustration.   The waves will break where the water gets too shallow for the swells to proceed without being disrupted by bottom features.   (I know that is a gross oversimplification, but it will serve for now.) 

The waves will break where the water gets too shallow relative to the size of the swells  Bigger swells will tend to break in deeper water, while smaller swells will break in more shallow water.  You can therefore get a good idea of how deep the water is from where the waves are breaking and how big they are.

In the illustration above you can see the waves breaking where the water gets more shallow.  

Here is the link that is the source of my illustration.  You can also get more explanation there.

If the swells are small, like they were yesterday, the waves will break right in on the beach front where the water is very shallow.  If the swells are larger, they will break in deeper water where the bottom rises.

I'll call the water area where the waves are breaking zone B.  That zone can be narrow or broad and it can be in deep water or shallow water - again - depending upon the size of the swells and the shape of the bottom.

Zone A is the deeper water where the waves are not yet breaking.  And zone C is where the water surges in after the waves break. 

Unless the waves are small, it can be very difficult to detect in zone B.  Waves that break over your head can be difficult to deal with.  It can knock your ear phones off and generally make things difficult.

It can also be difficult to detect in the rushing water in the shallows if there are strong currents. 

It is usually easier to detect in zone A if the water is not too deep for you.   Zone A is where you'd find the recovery technique I described in my 9/20/14 post most useful.

Sometimes there will be a dip inside of a sandbar.  After the waves break over the sand bar, the water in the dip can be fairly calm and easy to detect.

The three zones will change as the tide goes in and out depending upon a variety of factors that includes the changing depth of water.

How does that affect how you time your visit to the beach?  Time your visit so that you can detect the zone that you want to detect.  In zone A, for example, you will probably want to detect when the tide is out.   Then you'll have more wet sand, but zone A will also now be where there was deeper water before and perhaps where the breaking waves were earlier.

If the waves are fairly big, you will probably want to detect when the breaking waves are not over the area where you want to detect.  Maybe that will be on the sand bar. 

Remember, as the tides get higher, the waves will tend to break in deeper water, and as the tide gets lower, the waves will tend to break closer to shore.   Remember those three zones and think about how they can move with the changing tides.

One other thing I want to point out while I have this illustration up, is the sand bar can move in or out too.  If you remember the experiment I did not long ago, the crashing waves will stir up the sand, causing the sand to move and causing objects to sink.  Very often the waves will break on the one side of the sand bar, stirring up sand and pushing it in.  In that case, the sand bar can move in towards shore, covering up things as the sand bar moves over them.


You know all of those unmatched ear rings that you've found.   According to Kovels Komments, one high-end jewelry store is matching up vintage ear rings that go together well and selling them as a pair.

One thing I forgot to mention in my 9/20 post is that when you go with the flow, you don't have to hold onto your scoop if you have a scoop that will float upright.  Get a scoop of sand in the bucket, and let the scoop go when you get washed off of the hole.  Under normal circumstances, the scoop will be waiting for you when you get returned to the hole.  You can therefore use it as a marker and not have to take the time to relocate the hole by feel.

It is still a good idea to have the scoop tethered to you in some manner.


As you can see, there is now some weather in the middle of the Atlantic that could develop.  Today on the Treasure Coast the surf will be around two or three feet - a little rougher than it has been.  It might increase a little more in about a week.

The low tides are not getting very low.

Don't forget to respond to the blog poll.

I have a lot of new find photos to show in the near future.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

9/24/14 Report - Reading Trash- Example. Rare Gold Coins Great Investment. Broken Gold Diamond Ring Found. High Value Artifacts.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I posted a new poll on the blog.  The responses will help give us a good idea of what people have been doing during this summer of predominantly poor conditions.

I took a look at the beach this morning.  You can see the two pictures here.

It was near high tide.  The waves were crashing over what at low tide would be the wet sand area.

Sand has been building on this beach for a couple of weeks.

That has been the case on many Treasure Coast beaches.

You can see the sea weed - almost always a bad sign.

People talk about reading the beach, and I do that as much as anyone, but nobody seems to talk about reading the trash.

Trash can tell you a lot.  If you are finding pieces of aluminum, for example, that can be an important sign telling you to look elsewhere for objects made of more dense materials.

The trash on this particular beach is interesting.   In the middle of the beach near the main life guard tower, there is only foil.  South and north of there, there are also bottle caps and pull tabs.

In this case it is obvious that the middle of the beach is heavily hunted and both pull tabs and bottle caps are picked up by detectorists.   The north and south ends are not detected as thoroughly though.  That is useful information.

A study of 2013 investments showed that high-end rare gold coins performed better than most any other type of investment.   High-end rare coins performed much better than more common and lower quality gold coins.

Here is the link.

A prehistoric blade that sold for 276,000 dollars at auction this year was only one of many Native American artifacts that sold for very high prices.

Here are some others.

Did you notice the discoidals that sold for over $30,000?   I know of a couple discoidals that were found by shell collectors on Treasure Coast beaches in recent years.

Broken Diamond Ring Found on TC Beach.

Here is a broken diamond ring that was found on a Treasure Coast beach.

It is more common to find gold rings that have a thin break in the band.  This band is broke about in half.

It appears to be a vintage ring.  Notice the setting and diamond cut.

A ring with a break in it will produce a much less loud signal than an unbroken ring.

This one produced a small signal, of course.  It is not a heavy band to begin with.

The surf was only about two feet this morning.  It looked like more, but that is because it was breaking right at the base of the beach.  The period was short too - about 4 seconds.

I discussed the importance of the wave periods a day or two ago.

There is nothing at all in the way of tropical storms out there right now.  

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

9/22/14 Report - Gold Coin Found Nearly 3000 Years Old. Identifying Treasure Traps. Greatest U.S. Buried Treasure Ever Found. Joy of Problem-Solving.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Very Old Gold Coin Found by Diver.
Source: See link.

A diver saw a flash of a gold coin on the bottom while diving in shallow water.  The flash came from this coin, thought to be nearly 3000 years old.  It weighs only .63 grams.

Here is the link.

Keep your eyes open.

Always be on he lookout for treasure traps too.  They can be found in a lot of different kinds of places and can collect items over long periods of time.   Not only can they collect items, but they often protect items from being found by other detectorists.

Lets start with sidewalks and roadways.   If there is a concrete walk leading up to your house, go out and drop a coin on the walk and see where it goes.   If it rolls, it might end up in the crack beside the walk.   Not only will things collect in the crack beside the walk, but they will likely not be found there.  For one thing, there is a good chance they will stand on end, and that makes it difficult to detect.   If the walk or driveway is concrete, it will likely have iron rebar in it that will keep many detectorists from detecting close to it.  So even if the site has been heavily detected, there is still a good chance that anything lost right beside the walk or driveway will still be there.

Some detectors can be operated closer to things like that than others.   With experience you can learn to detect around traps like that, getting at least some of those items.  Play around with your detector settings.   Also the sweep angle.  Maybe switch to a small coil. 

It could be an area where you can't use a detector very well but where you can dig and use a sifter.  Think of alternative methods for getting items out of spots that are difficult to detect.  

The key is to keep thinking about where there might be traps that will collect items and how you can detect or retrieve them.   A lot of detectorists will simply miss some of the best areas simply because an area is not well suited to their hunting style or techniques.

Tree roots can also trap items.   Not only can they trap items, but they will also protect items from other detectorists.  Some detectorists won't detect closely around obstacles or will give up digging when they hit a stubborn root.

Rocks can trap things too.  I've found gold rings under rocks on the beach. 

The currents will speed around rocks that are too big to be moved by the water, and that will move the sand and items will slip into the deepening depression.

I do not intend to give you an exhaustive list here, just a few examples to get you thinking.  I won't spoil all the fun of problem-solving for you, but as you scan a site always be alert to possible treasure traps and think about where things might be protected from other detectorists.

On a beach and in the water there various types of natural and man-made traps.

When I take a vacation or visit a new location, it seems that alarms are always going off in my head as I notice treasure traps and begin to drool over how much treasure has probably accumulated, and then my mind switches to thinking of different techniques for getting it out.  A whole lot of the fun for me is in the problem-solving process.

Coins from the famed Saddle Ridge Hoard, said to be the greatest buried treasure ever found in the United States, will be on display Oct. 9 - 11 at the PNG show in New York.  The display will include 50 of the found coins along with the rusty containers. 

One of the coins on display will be the finest known surviving example of a 1866-S Double Eagle without the motto.

Here is the link for more information on that.

There are no storms brewing in the Atlantic or Gulf.

The surf along the Treasure Coast today will be around one foot.  It won't be much bigger than that for a week or two. 

Happy hunting,