Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9/16/14 Report - Couple of TC Beach Finds From Yesterday. How To Identify A Meteorite. 3000-Year-Old Sword Found In River By Teenager Washing Hands.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Here are a couple of items found yesterday on the Treasure Coast. 

First a gold religious pendant, and below a silver ring.  They were found pretty close to each other.

Here is some good news.   A bump up in the Treasure Coast surf is predicted for  tomorrow - four to six feet.

According to the predictions, tonight the wind will shift and will be coming out of the northwest for a while, and tomorrow out of the west. 

As much as I'm eager to see something other than the one or two foot surf that we've had almost all summer, I'm disappointed to see that tomorrow the swell will be out of the east.   That doesn't suggest a lot of erosion.  Anyhow, it should be enough surf to move a little sand around. 

Another unfortunate thing is that the tides are getting flat again.    We just can't seem to get anything going this summer.   Surely Fall will bring some erosion. 

I've been playing around with a Dual Surf PI lately, and I'd say that a lot of people probably swing that one too fast.    If you use a pulse, or any detector for that matter, you might want to try slowing down your swing. You can fall into the pattern of wanting to cover a lot of ground and in the process miss some of the better targets.

Have you ever found what looks like an unusual stone with your metal detector?  I think all of us have.   Chances are that it is simply some sort of junk or melted metal, but there is a slight chance that it could be a meteorite.

Every once in a while I receive an email asking if some found object is a meteorite.  I'm not good at identifying meteorites, and would never attempt to do it form a photo alone, so please don't ask me to do that.

 Florida is not a great place for finding meteorites.  It is too wet, which causes meterorites to corrode.  It is too swampy and mostly covered by vegetation, which makes it difficult to find meteorites.   But they are occasionally found here.  I know of a few meteorites that have been found on Treasure Coast beaches.

They are difficult to identify - at least for anyone that doesn't have that experience or training.  There are, however, some things to look for. 

It should stick to a magnet.  It should be fairly heavy.  It might have a crust that was created by heat.  It should show evidence of melting and pock marks.   It should contain nickel, which is relatively rare on earth.

If you can't identify your possible meterorite, there is a place where you can send them to be tested and identified.

Here is a link to a web site that gives the basics for identifying a meteorite.  The company also provides a meteorite identification service and will buy meteorites.


Like a always say, it is a good idea to keep mystery objects until you get them identified. 

A teenager was washing his hands in a river and hit a pointed object.  It turns out he found a 3000 year old sword.

Here is the link to that story.


Cabo San Lucas got hit by a big hurricane.   Cabo is a high-end resort for celebrities.  That would be a good place for metal detecting this week.   Hope everyone down there is well and they get their lives back in order soon.

That is all for today.

Happy hunting


Monday, September 15, 2014

9/15/14 Report - Treasure Hunter Last Seen in Vero Being Sought By Feds. Edouard Heads North. Solar Storms. Hurricane Hits Cabo. Nice Calm Ocean.

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Predicted Track of Edouard.
Source: www.nhc.noaa.gov
If you noticed more noise in your ear phones than normal lately it could be from the combined effects of two solar storms that hit the earth Saturday.

I have been noticing more noise for at least a couple of weeks now.  I don't know if it is because of the solar storms or not.

Up North the  aurora borealis was brilliant.  (If you've never seen that, it is something to see.)

The following CNN article says, Solar storms can knock out power, interfere with GPS and radio communications -- including those on commercial airliners -- and damage satellites.

Here is the link.


There are places on some beaches where your detector will normally chatter a lot as the result of radio or other electromagnetic interference.  Sometimes it seems to be coming from a particular building or radio tower.   Some of those places I've noticed causing detector noise for decades.

There was a guy that told me he thought his detector worked best on the beach front when he swung the coil parallel to the beach.  He thought it was because of the earth's magnetic field.  It is much more likely that he did better when swinging the coil north to south because the water creates salt lines and sand ripples that run along the beach.  

It wasn't long ago that I posted links to reports published by Odyssey Marine Explorations describing the salvage of the SS Central America.  It appears that the fellow that originally salvaged that wreck has disappeared.  He was last seen at a mansion in Vero Beach, but the feds don't know where he is now.  He took off with millions of dollars of gold coins and treasure and evidently didn't pay his investors.  It reads like a made-for-TV story.  Very interesting read!


Thanks to James H. for sending me that link!

This morning the water was calm along the Treasure Coast.  Very pleasant weather!  Visibility in the water was very good.

Here is one local beach near low tide this morning.   Notice the sand bar that formed on the front of the beach.

A few coins were found along the dip.    Nothing in the middle of the bar, as you would expect.

At another beach with a similar bar on the front of the beach, objects were found in the shallow water.  They were mostly recent drops, but did not seem to be sinking rapidly.  The currents there were very gentle, and that is also where the sand that made the bar was coming from.

I always like a beach with some features.   The features help you to see how things are shaping up and that will give you a good idea about where to spend your detecting time.

Some of my finds this morning were obviously very recent drops, while others appeared to have been out there a little longer. 

Take a good look at objects to try to determine how long they might have been there.   That type of information can be a big help.  

Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 13, 2014

9/13/14 Report - Problems With Air Tests. How To Test Your Metal Detector. Buried Objects and Disappearing Signals. Tropical Storm Edouard.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Source: www.nhc.noaa.gov
Not long ago I said the best way to compare detectors is to take the detectors out in the field and compare them on targets that have not yet been dug and compare the signals.  That gives you a comparison in the specific environment.   I'll explain my ideas on testing detectors today and explain some of the problems with some common approaches.

Everybody knows about air tests.  One of the problems that I have with air tests is that the test targets are often not the best.  People tend to use a clad coin of one denomination or another.  As I've explained before, unless you want to find a clad coin, that is not the most relevant test.   Different detectors react to different types of targets differently, therefore you should use test targets that include the types of things you are most interested in finding.  A single test target won't tell the entire story. 

Some people use a nickel because it has a relatively low conductivity, supposedly something like gold, but however true that might be, few gold items are shaped like nickels.   Most gold targets are not solid disks and few are as thick as a nickel.

One big problem with air tests is that they usually aren't done in the type of environment where you will actually use your detector.  They are often done in a house or yard, where there are power lines, underground cables or other sources of electrical interference.  Some detectors react better than others around sources of electrical interference.  That will affect your air test results.  Most beaches are relatively free of electromagnetic interference.

An air test does give you a little information, but it isn't a very good test for comparing detectors or for figuring out how deeply real targets can be detected in the field.

Another approach is to take the detector out and dig a hole and bury a target and then see how deeply the target can be detected.  Of course, for that test to be most accurate, the target should be buried in the type of ground you intend to hunt.   Some detectors will work better in dry ground, others in wet  salt sand, etc. 

Even if you are in the right type of sand or soil, you will not get an extremely good  measure using a newly dug hole.   A target in a newly dug hole will NOT give the same response as a target that has been buried for a good amount of time.

You've probably heard about the "halo effect."  Supposedly a naturally buried object will have a halo effect and therefore give off a stronger signal than a newly buried target.   I won't get into how the halo effect is supposed to work, or even what it is, but I can say that a newly buried target won't give the same signal as a naturally buried target that has been in the ground a while.

Have you ever dug a hole to get a target in the wet salt sand and you couldn't find the target in your scoop or in the hole?   It seemed to disappear.

Here are some things that could have happened.  The object could have slipped down deeper in the hole, or it could now be sticking to the side of the hole and standing on edge, thus presenting less surface area for the detector to detect.  Those are two ways that a target can seem to disappear in a hole, but there is another.

Go to a beach where there is compact wet salt sand.  Dig a hole.  Now run your detector over the hole.  If you are in all-metals mode, you might well get a signal from the hole where you disturbed the sand. 

If you can find some black sand and run your coil over it, you might get some false signals, but if you dig a hole in the black sand, or even disturb the smooth black sand, you'll probably get a bigger signal from that.

If you don't get a signal from the disturbed sand of a new hole or the black sand, your detector is probably canceling that source of noise out and you'll therefore likely be getting less depth.

The thing is, a newly dug hole will change the ground, either causing false signals or changing your ground balance so that your detector is less sensitive.  That is another way an object can get lost in a hole,  The hole itself disturbs the ground, which can cause false signals or a change how your detector is ground balanced.

Another problem with digging a fresh hole in sand, especially wet sand, is that the entire matrix changes.   Just watch a newly dug wet sand hole.  Water will come in and fill it.  Sand and shells will move about and settle,  And if you threw a coin into that hole, you saw where and how it was before you covered it, if that is what you did, but you won't know how or where it settled after that.

Since a target in a newly dug hole will settle, and since a newly dug hole disturbs the sand and creates false signals or changes the detector's ground balance, I do not find newly buried objects a good way to test a detector on a target.   The sand or soil in a newly dug hole is not settled like the sand or soil surrounding a naturally buried object.  And it may have not had time to create a halo effect. 

To me, setting the object on the ground where you intend to detect, and then raising the coil above the object is just as good, or in my opinion, a better way to go.  That way the detector will be responding to the natural undisturbed ground in that area.   It is true that you won't be detecting "through" that type of ground, but if your settings are right, that won't matter much.   I think you will get as good an estimate of depth by raising the coil over an object on the surface as by digging a hole and disturbing the ground. 

Also,if you experiment a little, you'll see that an object in a very well packed area will generally give off a better signal than the same object buried in course material, such as course shell sand.


As you can see there are three areas of weather to watch.  (See map at top of post.) The weather system that has been bringing us wind and rain has now moved into the Gulf.

Edouard is still out in the Atlantic, and there is one more disturbance following Edouard.

On the Treasure Coast we still have a small surf and fairly good tides.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 12, 2014

9/12/14 Report - Tropical Storm Named Edouard. TC Beach Conditions Update. Some Beach Erosion Yesterday. PI Detector Tests.

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Yesterday afternoon and evening we had some wind and rain and a lot of lightening.  The wind was coming out of the northeast long enough and strong enough that I'm sure the waves were hitting the beach from the northeast for a while.  I figured it moved a little sand but probably not much.  I wanted to take a look at the beach to see what if anything really happened, so I went out and took a look at a few beaches this morning.

Here are pictures of three beaches that I saw this morning. 

It was about half way between low and high tide as the tide was coming in.

The first beach (top picture) had an average cut of about one foot or less.

You can see the sea weed.   The cuts evidently occurred yesterday and then the wind and waves switched back.  Today they were coming in almost directly from the East.  As a result the cuts had refilled to some extent.  The cuts shown in the first picture ran for hundreds of yards. 

As you can see the second beach (shown above) was very similar. 

The third(shown below), was also cut, but the cut there was different.

There were a few coins and other targets just below the cuts. 

The sand was still pretty mushy.

The third beach was cut in a continuous line for hundreds of yards.

I would say there is some improvement in beach conditions, but not enough for me to increase my beach conditions rating.

The cut you see in the third picture was only about six inches, however around the bend it was cut up to about a foot and a half, but that was, as you might expect, in renourishment sand.

 There weren't any shell piles or anything like that at any of the beaches I saw this morning.

There can be good things in replenishment sand.  It is good to know where it came from if you can find out.  I don't know where this replenishment sand came from so I checked it out.

The third beach had a lot of very small slivers of iron.  Not a good thing when you are using a pulse detector.

You can learn to identify those small pin-like slivers by the broken double-blip signal. 

There are times and places for a pulse detector and times for a VLF detector. 

I look at detectors very much like gulf clubs.  Ideally I'd like to have a few different types with me, but I don't like to take extras in the summer when the car is so hot.

Back a week or so ago I tested three detectors on a thin gold ring on an inland site with a lot of ambient electrical interference.  The Dual Surf PI would barely detect the gold ring at any depth in that situation, while the other two detectors did much better on the ring. 

I took the ring and PI to the beach to see how the Dual Surf PI did with the same gold ring there.  It did much better on the beach with the same ring.  (I tested it in both the wet and dry sand.  The results it the wet sand seemed very slightly better.) 

Best results were obtained with the gain set slightly above the mark (recommended level) and threshold well above silent but not real loud.

Setting either the gain or threshold too high or two low resulted in not detecting the gold ring.

I used no pulse delay.

Setting either the gain or threshold farther from what appeared to be the optimal setting for a clear loud signal decreased the quality of the signal until the signal was no longer discernable.  That makes sense, but is important enough to mention.

Just goes to show once again,  the best detector for one situation might not be the best for another.   That is why I recommend doing a lot of testing so that you know how your detector will do with specific targets in different environments. 

There is a named tropical storm out in the middle of the Atlantic right now named Edouard.  It probably won't affect us much.

We're supposed to have a one to two foot surf through Tuesday.

The weather system that caused our rain yesterday is still in Florida.  Maybe we'll get some more wind and rain from it.

There is another area of disturbed weather East of Edouard over by Africa.  It will probably follow Edouard.

That's it for today.  I wanted to get this posted so you would know what happened to the Treasure Coast beaches.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11/14 Report - Big Auction With Cannons and All Types of Guns. Al Capones Pocket Watch. Solar Storms. JW Fishers ROV Towable Metal Detector

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Cannon Offered in James D. Julia Auction.
Source: Link below.
If you are interested in Revolutionary War cannons, machine guns, Winchester lever action rifles, or Colt army revolvers, you'll find plenty to look at in this Oct. 2014 James D. Julia auction catalog.  There are thousands of lots, including a few items other than guns, such as Al Capone's pocket watch.  The catalog is  huge and is a great resource for research.

Here is the link to the first session.  


Al Capone's Pocket Watch
Source: James D. Julia Auction Catalog
Session 3.

The cannon shown above has an auction estimate of 8 to 12 thousand dollars.

Al Capones pocket watch is estimated at 35 to 55 thousand dollars.  The pocket watch is one of very few items listed other than guns.

You'll find the links to the other two sessions at that site.

We have two weather systems to watch.  The one out in the middle of the Atlantic has a 70 percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours, while the one just off of our coast only has a 10 percent chance of forming.  We're getting a little rain off of that one.

The second is close but not doing much.  We still have only a 1 - 2 foot surf, and nothing bigger is predicted for the next few days.

Two-Coil JW Fishers Metal Detector Attached to ROV

JW Fishers makes a metal detector that can be attached to the front of one of their ROVs.

You can tow it or whatever. 

The prices is around $12,500.

I don't know how good it is.

I haven't seen any reviews.

Here is a picture of the detector attached to an ROV.

A strong solar storm is heading towards the earth, but we won't get a direct hit.   No disruption to electric grids is expected.  Solar storms are said to disrupt the Earth's magnetic field.


I have been getting an unusual amount of what appears to be EMI in my ear phones on some detectors lately, and have dialed back my sensitivity some, which I almost never do.   Could it be the solar storm?

Anybody else notice that?

That is it for today.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

9/10/14 Report - Emerald City, Battle of Blair Mountain, Gem Stones, Vintage Costume Jewelry & Bigger Tides Today

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Artifact From Battle of Blair Mountain
Source: See link below.
As you might know, investors in the Mel Fisher operations down in the Keys are allowed to go out and dive with the salvage crews.   Investors that were diving with the crew of the JB Magruder in an area called Emerald City recently found 8 emeralds. 

You might remember the emerald from the Treasure Coast that Captain Jonah recently showed us.

 Here is a good article about gem stones.  It talks about which gems are popular and how prices are determined.


Vintage costume jewelry can bring surprisingly high prices, sometimes hundreds of dollars.  Unfortunately, like coins, vintage costume jewelry found on a beach  has often been there a while and is probably in poor condition.  

Here is a great web site for researching old costume jewelry.  It gives information on designers, makers marks, patents, etc.


Here is an article on a dig at a Revolutionary War prison camp site. 


Some of you will consider this off-topic, however I thought it was interesting.  It seems that mysterious cell phone towers have been appearing and no one seems to know who they belong to.  Are they being built by criminal organizations to hack or obtain information or is a covert government operation?  No one seems to know.


Unless you are from West Virginia or are familiar with the history of labor relations, you might not know about the the Battle of Blair Mountain, which occurred near Charleston WV in 1921.   The Battle of Blair Mountain involved more than 10,000 men and was the country’s largest civil conflict besides the Civil War. Though the battle is little known outside of union and historian circles, it was a key moment for the American labor movement.

Detectorists helped to determine where the skirmishes actually took place by scanning the area for gun shells and artifacts.  Now the historic site is in danger of being destroyed by mining operations.

Here is an article about the second largest civil conflict in US history.


If you ever had the opportunity of detecting a battle site, you might have found that the artifacts really speak to you.  Things like buttons, bullets, or gun parts all seem to make you wonder how they got lost and what happened to the person that once used them.

The first time I had a chance to hunt a battle site it was like that.  I found my first military button there, my first gun flint, my first musket part, my first grape shot, and a few other firsts, however, each and everyone of them seemed to be accompanied by an image.  I thought about sailing ships, soldiers and sailors hundreds of miles from home landing on a strange island, and attempting to climb up a very steep embankment to reach the fortified canon emplacements while being shot at.  There was evidence of hand to hand combat on that steep cliff.   I thought those images were nothing more than my imagination, but could they have been something more.  I doubt it, but it sometimes felt like a faint ghostly reenactment materialized in the air.

Seems the weather is finally getting a little cooler.  It has been one hot and rainy summer on the Treasure Coast..

There is a little weather system over the Bahamas that is headed our way.  Doesn't look like it will cause the surf to increase much though.  Also a system crossing the Atlantic headed towards the West Indies.  That won't affect us this week.

The tides are nice a big now.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

9/9/14 Report - 122-Year-Old Gravestone Found on Beach. Hoard Found by Detectorist. Tungsten Ring Markings. Laser Inscribed Diamonds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

This 122-year-old gravestone appeared on Ocean .  A headline or an article about that claimed the the gravestone "washed up" on the beach.

Some of those who read the article wondered how something like that could wash up on a beach, especially considering that there hadn't been any recent storms.

As we know, when things suddenly appear on a beach, it might not be because the object washed up.  It can just as well be that the item got uncovered.

An observer might notice the depressions in the sand around the corners of the stone.  The water obviously rushed around the corners, where the sand was suspended and washed away.

One thing I found most interesting about the article is the number of comments.  The discussion was pretty much what you would expect.  Some accepted the author's conclusion that it washed up while others realized that it might have been uncovered.

One person wondered why the inscription had not worn more on that beach gravestone when they commonly wear down while still in the cemetery exposed only to air.  One person found the obituary in the paper that gave details of the deceased and another located the a picture of the residence of the deceased.

The readers discovered that an old cemetery was moved and the old tombstones were used for breakwaters or sea walls and many are now buried under the sand of that beach.

It was interesting to follow the story from the misconception of the stone having washed ashore, to the discovery of the details of the deceased and to the source of the stone.

Here is the link.


And here is the article about the stones being removed and used to support a sea wall.


You never know what will be found on a beach, and the unraveling the mystery of how it got there can be a lot of fun.

You might get more good information from comments than from an article anymore.  That is something to remember when doing research.

Here is a picture of a hoard discovered during an excavation that was being conducted on the site of an old department store.

The picture reminded me of the photo of the artifact cluster that Captain Jonah sent us a few days ago.  About the same size.

Anyhow, for more of the story about these Roman artifacts, below is the link.


Bottle collecting got popular in United States back in the 1970s.  Then a chip didn't matter if the bottle was rare. Today condition is very important and a rare bottle with a chip will auction for half what a perfect bottle brings, according to Jeff Wichmann, the founder and owner of American Bottle Auctions of Sacramento, Calif.

Concerning toys, it seems like it is the 70s and 80s stuff that is popular now.  The boomers are down sizing while the children of the 70s and 80s are now collecting.

Markings Inside Tungsten Carbide Wedding Band.
Here are the markings I found inside the tungsten wedding band.  Triton on the left.

These markings aren't like the stamps you usually find in gold.

Did you know that some diamonds are microscopically inscribed with a certification number of personal message?   You can sometimes read them with a 10X jewelers loop.  Sometimes they are covered by the setting. 

The best diamonds do not always have a certification number.  They can be buffed off.

For identification purposes, a carbon pattern is better than an inscription.

The only thing worth watching in the Atlantic is way over by Africa and still days away.

Right now we only have about a one foot surf on the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,