Friday, December 19, 2014

12/19/14 Report - Buying A New Detector. Cheap Batteries. Viking Find In Canada. Deadly Shipwreck.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Two Nice Railroad Tags Dug by Michael E.
Great photo Michael! Thanks.
I've been thinking of buying a new detector, but haven't made the decision yet.  I have one in mind and pretty much decided on that, it is just a matter of pulling the string and spending the money - something I am always slow to do. 

In this case I seriously doubt if it would be cost justified.  What detector would be best is always a complex matter that depends upon a lot of things.  One thing to consider is your reason for detecting.  That is what my blog poll is about. 

One way to make the decision is a cost/benefit analysis.  It is really difficult to figure out how much you would find if you had one particular detector over another.  I suspect that in most cases the actual benefit of a new detector is over rated, yet a few additional quality finds is all it takes.

A cost/benefit analysis is most relevant if you are one of those people who detect primarily to improve your financial situation.  If you detect mostly for fun or some other reason, a cost/benefit analysis would be less relevant.

There are many factors in choosing a detector, and where you live and detect is one of the more important factors.  Having detected in different areas of the country, I've been very impressed by the importance of location.  It makes a big difference where you are.  One area might offer ten times the amount of quality finds as another area. As one example, South Florida is hugely different from the Treasure Coast in both the number and type of finds


You can get an eight pack of AA batteries at Dollar Tree for one dollar.  I'll be testing those cheap batteries to see how they perform.


Can you believe we are less than a week from Christmas 2014?  It seem like it wasn't but a few weeks ago that I was sitting here doing the first post of the year, and now the year is almost gone.

Christmas can be stressful.  With all the shopping and trying to find the perfect gift for everyone and trying to get family together, it is easy to get stressed or disappointed.  Instead of getting stressed, remember what is important.  It is more important to celebrate the day and enjoy the time and people.  Don't let all the expectations turn into disappointments.  Forgive, forget when it is generous to do so, remember the blessings, and keep joy in your heart so you can give it to others.  Joy, love and peace are among the best gifts.

I've been blessed in life.  I can look back on those who cared for me knowing they did the best they could.  I'm grateful for that.  Maybe they made some mistakes along the way.  How can I say?  I'm sure I did.  They were just people too.   I couldn't want any more.


A small stone artifact recovered from a Paleo-Eskimo site on Baffin Island is important evidence of a Viking presence in Arctic Canada around 1000 CE, says a team of scientists led by Dr Patricia Sutherland of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Here is the link for more.


A man was stranded on a small island for five days before being rescued.  Here is that link.


Here is the story of the Golden Gate's deadliest shipwreck.


On the Treasure Coast we'll have a very calm surf through Christmas if the predictions are correct.  That means poor beach detecting conditions but easy water hunting.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

12/18/14 Report - Another Type of Once-In-A-Lifetime Find. Calm Surf and Poor Beach Detecting Conditions.

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There are once-in-a-lifetime finds.  They aren't always big things like the Atocha or Queen's Jewels.  Sometimes they are little things, but you just don't expect to ever find another one.

Here is one of those for me.  It isn't a gold coin.  I don't really consider them once-in-a-life time.  I've found two of them in one weekend.  One was from the 1900s and one from the 1700s.   I don't ever expect to find two from two different centuries in one weekend again.  But what I'm talking about today is something different.

You can see it here.  You probably can't tell what it is.  It isn't the best picture.  I haven't been able to get a really good picture of it. 

It is a wax seal.  I'll try to point out some of the detail in another picture. 

When you look up wax seals you'll mostly find the lead or carved stones that are used to make an impression in the wax.  This is the wax with the impression on it.

I don't ever expect to find another.  I find it hard to believe that I even found one.  It was eye-balled  at the edge of the water on a calm surf day, very much like today.  The sky was blue and the water was calm. 

It was found at Turtle Trail.

But the thing that amazes me is that the wax lasted so long.  It was evidently covered by sand and protected.  I don't think it could ever have survived very long in rough surf.

I tried to highlight some of the details in this picture.

The shape seems to be four double lobes. See the red outline.

Inside is an eagle.  To the right, I drew a red line around the one wing.  You can see it best in the picture.  I outlined the head of the eagle, some of the body and the leg feathers.

Below is another image of a wax seal which is similar but not the same.  It shows about the same type of eagle, with wings spread, leg feathers, turned head, etc.

There are no words that I've been able to see on the wax seal I found.


The surf on the Treasure Coast today was very calm.  It was almost like a summer beach again. 

The cuts that I showed a few days ago are mostly filled again.

The front of the beach shown in the first picture below had a lot of new mush sand on the beach front.

Treasure Coast Beach As Seen Near Low Tide This Morning.


The above video shows the calm surf gently lapping at the beach.

There were some shells and pieces of fossils.   There might be a surprise like my wax seal.  You never know.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12/16/14 Report - Extensive Government Shipwreck Study. 4200 Year-Old Sword. 4000 Year-Old Hopi Items Repatriated.

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Sonar Image of City of Rio De Janeiro
Source: link found in this post.

NOAA and its partners ... released three-dimensional sonar maps and images of an immigrant steamship lost more than 100 years ago in what many consider the worst maritime disaster in San Francisco history..

... California-based salvagers found the wreck in the 1980s, but its exact location was unknown as the coordinates they provided did not coincide with any wreck charted by NOAA through years of sonar work.

Here is the link for more about this shipwreck and an extensive NOAA study of shipwrecks in the San Francisco area.


A sword found by a detectorist in 1989 dates to around 4200 years old and belonged to a warrior now known as Racton Man.   ...Racton Man was probably a tribal leader from the very beginning of the Bronze Age. Their research makes him significant on a national scale. Scientists have determined that he was buried more than 4,000 years ago and was over 45 at the time of his death.

Here is the link for more of the story.


For most people there is something that they in some way consider sacred.  For example, most people show a certain amount of respect for the dead.  They treat bodies and cemeteries with reverence.  That sense of respect is in my opinion natural and occurs even in people that have no particular religious commitment or awareness. 

Very often what looks like reverence is little more than the result of social pressure or political correctness and nothing more. 

Recently a number of four-thousand-year-old artifacts were returned to the Hopi's.  The word "returned" may be misleading.  I doubt if any real connection between modern Hopi's and the original owners of the artifacts 4000 years ago can be demonstrated.  Nonetheless the artifacts were treated as sacred and shipped according to the prescriptions of modern tribal representatives, including no bubble wrap or any other method of packing that would "hinder spirit" or be considered inappropriate treatment.

I know that this brief discussion is vague and maybe somewhat imprecise, but I think you will find the articles located through the following links interesting.  There are a number of issues brought up and a number of areas of conflict.   While archaeologists know they must adhere to laws concerning repatriation, some think those laws do more harm than good. 

I also have to wonder if Christian objects and artifacts would be treated with the same sensitivity and respect as those that were returned to the Hopis.  I somehow doubt it, but that is just my suspicion. 

I found the following articles concerning the repatriation of these objects interesting because of the many seemingly contradictory positions and the many issues brought up.

Take a look.

I hope you read Laura Strolia's article that I posted yesterday.  Take some time to stop and think about it.  How does it apply to you?  Do you pay proper respect to the history and religious items you encounter as a detectorist?


On the Treasure Coast tomorrow the surf will be down to 1 - 2 feet.  The river is also smooth.  We'll be having a calm surf at the beach for several days if the predictions are correct.

Happy hunting,

Monday, December 15, 2014

12/15/14 Report - Proper Respect For History & Religious Artifacts. Deadiest San Fran Shipwreck Found. Barber Dime.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Barber Dime
Find and photo by Dan B.

This is the first Barber found by Dan B.  

Congratulations Dan!


You might know of Laura Strolia, author and researcher.  I've posted some of her articles before and mentioned her book The Marigalera of the 1715 Fleet.  Here is a new article from Laura that addresses the subject of religious artifacts, such as those from the 1715 wreck sites.  I also once posted an article she wrote about the Pelican of Piety.


Around the bend is the 300th year anniversary of the 1715 fleet disaster, a time when people will stop and reflect on the tragic event that took so many lives.  Stimulating thoughts about history requires stories of the past to be presented in truth and with integrity.  Over the decades the 1715 fleet story has been told with little or no corresponding references and sources.  Names and details have been lost or exaggerated, and assumptions have been made with false or incomplete premises, thus creating the framework for pieces of fiction. 

Recently, a published article about the 1715 fleet named a certain passenger who was on one of the ships, Pedro Colarte y Dowers, the first Marqués del Pedroso.  This nobleman was indeed a successful Flemish merchant and art collector, as stated in this magazine account.  There is, however, a major problem to bring to light.   Pedro Colarte was never on the 1715 fleet because he died in 1701.  The young Colarte moved to the city of Cádiz, Spain, in 1649.  He then married, started a family, and his son, Carlos Francisco, was born in 1654.  He was made a knight of the Spanish Orden de Santiago in 1663, and passed away around the age of 70. 

In another section of this publication, it was said a recently discovered religious reliquary pendant, mistakenly identified as a pyx, was going to the Vatican in 1715.  To make an assumption as this, especially when dealing with religious artifacts that represent the very heart of the Holy Faith, shows a lack of respect and an absence of valid research.  To some it may even reflect ulterior motives associated with dollar signs.

It is worth noting that objects of devotion that have been “blessed” should never be sold, improperly used, or “thrown out.”  They have been solely dedicated for divine veneration or worship to God.  Father William Saunders of Our Lady of Hope Church, Potomac Falls, VA, makes some good points.  “Living in a society where things have become so disposable, we must differentiate from trash those religious objects that have been blessed and dedicated to God for sacred use.  My heart breaks every time I enter an antique store or look on EBay or another website and find a chalice, a reliquary (sometimes still containing a relic), vestments, and other objects that were once used for the holy Mass. …The owners should have tried to find these religious objects a new home in a mission church or disposed of them in the proper way.”

To conclude, written history is not about random words found on paper.  The content should reflect a certain culture while revealing the many material objects of earlier days, thus touching the reader on an intellectual, emotional, or spiritual level.  Our passion should lie in getting the history right for future generations.  Concerning those people who traveled on the fleet, or had any connection or ties to it, shouldn’t we make a conscious effort to keep their memories true to their past existence? – Laura Strolia

Sources:  Brown, Jonathan. Painting in Spain: 1500-1700. New Haven: Yale UP,    1998.
              Moreri, Louis. El gran diccionario historic, o Miscellanea curiosa de la  Historia Sagrada y profana… Paris, 1753.


Here is a Yahoo News article about what has been called the deadliest shipwreck of San Francisco.

In dark waters just outside the Golden Gate Bridge, archaeologists have pinpointed the final resting place of the worst shipwreck in San Francisco's history. 

New sonar maps show for the first time the mud-covered grave of the SS City of Rio de Janeiro, nearly 300 feet (91 meters) below the surface. The steamer sank on Feb. 22, 1901, just before reaching its destination, with 210 people on board, most of them Chinese and Japanese immigrants...

Here is the link for the rest of the article.


On the Treasure Coast we have something like a 2 - 3 foot surf now.  Towards the end of the week it will down around one foot.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, December 14, 2014

12/14/14 Report - Our Lady of Guadalupe Imagery and St. Juan Diego. New Poll. November Favorites. Token Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeaches


I believe I at least did one post on Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I found a medallion with the image on it and gave the history, however as long as I searched I could not come up with that old post or the picture of the medallion.  I gave up on finding the photo and didn't want to make a new photo so I'll take the easy way out and use the picture from wikipedia.

I think I probably found more than one of those medallions but don't remember for sure.  I do make mistakes.  I'm sure you are all aware of that.

While going through the search for that old post, I noticed that I posted the photo of the wrong object a couple of times.  It happens.

Anyway, I found this interesting article about Our Lady of Guadalupe and wanted to post a good picture to go with the article, so I used the picture from wikipedia.

To give just a little background, below is the first paragraph from the article that gets into the symbolism of the image and how the imagery communicated to and helped evangelize the Aztecs.

Mary appeared on Tepeyac Hill in 1531 to a new convert to Christianity, St. Juan Diego.  This was the site of the temple of the pagan mother-goddess Tonantzin. The fact that the Mother of the true God appeared on Tepeyac Hill told the people that Mary was to replace Tonantzin and that Christianity was to replace the Aztec religion.

Here is the link to an article about the imagery of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It tells what the imagery meant to the Aztecs, how it was used to communicate Christianity and some other good history.

It is very possible that you've found a medallion bearing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe so you might want to understand the significance of the image.

The feast day of Our Lady of Gaudalupe was held on Dec. 12 this year.


I posted a new poll.  You might find it difficult to give one answer since there is probably more than one reason that you like metal detecting, but try to decide which is the biggest or best reason for you.  If you've been metal detecting for a long time, maybe the main attraction for you has changed over time.  It has for me.


The most read post of November was the 11/11/14 Report - Detecting Up North On A Quick Trip. Decoder Mystery Solved. Orphan Annie Radio Program. Fort Pierce Shark Attack,  while the most Google Plused post of November was the 11/25/14 Report -  Metal Detecting Target Distribution Patterns and Search Strategies - One Excellent Example.   Sedwick Auction Results Online.


Nice Token Found by Dan B.
Photo by Dan B.

On the Treasure Coast we have a 2 -3 foot surf today and tomorrow.  It looks like it will be less than that for the next few days.  There are a few select spots where it might be worth checking the low tide zone after the high water and waves we had.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, December 13, 2014

12/13/14 Report - Beach Detecting Conditions Rating Back To Poor. Atocha Dive Adventure For Christmas. 18th Century Cannon Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning
The seas have calmed down.  The waves are smaller and the water is not getting up as high as it did a few days ago.  I'm reducing my Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions Rating back to a 1 (poor).

Small Scallop On Front Beach.
There were some scallops on the front beach and a few tiny cuts.  See above.

It was pretty mushy except down near the water line.


Looking for a very special gift.  The Mel Fisher organization is offering a dive adventure which includes a week in Key West.  You can learn treasure hunting from the pros as you dive on the wreck site of the Atocha.  The cost is  $3,000 and includes... luxury accommodations, welcome BBQ hosted by the Fishers, a VIP tour of the museum and the Fisher's conservation lab, 3 days of diving and a beautiful wind and wine sunset sail. The best part? You get to keep up to $3,000 in authentic treasure.

Use this link to learn more.

Since the wind has calmed down, the Magruder and Dare crews will be working on the Atocha wreck site.


An eighteenth century cannon was found in a turning basin at Miami.   In 1919 a number of cannons were found in the same area.

Here is the link.

Thanks to Jorge Y. for the link.


The swells are back down to around two or three feet and are predicted to stay that way for a week or so, so don't be expecting any significant change in beach conditions for a while.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 11, 2014

12/11/14 Report - A Variety of Really Nice Recent Land Finds. Take A Look.

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Find and Photo by Dan B.
Here is a cool find by Dan B.  It is an antique toy Texaco railroad tank car. 

It has several things going for it as a collectible.  It would be of interest to old toy collectors, railroad enthusiasts and those interested in petroliana. 

That wasn't all Dan found, but it is one of my favorites.

Here are some more of Dan's finds at the site.

Miscellaneous Finds by Dan B.

Here is a photo of some of Dan's finds.  Notice the toy tank car near the brown bottle at the top left.

Also, there are a couple of embossed pepsin syrup bottles.

Some of the small metal objects look interesting too.

Here is one of those.   

Find and Photo by Michael E.
Michael E. has been doing a lot of land hunting around the Treasure Coast area and making a lot  lot of interesting finds.   Here are some that he listed -  1909 wheat non Vdb, 1905 Indian, a dozen smaller buckles and suspender clips, shield fob with the outline of where a swastika was attached. 1932 Washington hatchet stick pin, amid some other brooch and hat decor.  Concerning a backyard hunt by he and William M., Micheal said, it seems like we dug hundreds of bullets. William recovered a 1902 Indian, and I recovered a version 2, currently unable to see date shield nickel.

To the left is one of those finds.  Very nice.  Congratulations Michael!

And below is a FOB with the imprint of a swastika.  Again, very nice find Michael.  Congratulations! 

I wanted to show some of the older things that people have been digging around the Treasure Coast.  I planned on posting some of these earlier but had to show the big waves yesterday.

Find and Photo by Michael E.
Happy hunting,