Wednesday, May 4, 2016

5/4/16 Report - 300-Year-Old Intact Pot Uncovered. Evolving As A Treasure Hunter. Mound Key Archaeology.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

300-Year-Old Intact Bowl Uncovered In St. Augustine.
This rare 300-year-old intact bowl was recently uncovered by archaeologists in St. Augustine.

Here is the link to the video.


If you don't evolve as a treasure hunter, you probably won't be a treasure hunter very long.  If you don't evolve, you'll probably quit.

I see some people who believe all they have to do is get a detector and swing it around, and the detector will find treasure.  That won't get you very far.  You won't find much, and you'll probably quit before long.

Learning is necessary if you want to find much, but it is also a lot of the fun of metal detecting.  If you are not learning, you're missing out in both ways.

To be most effective, you have to learn to use your detector.  You have to learn about different areas and how to read the environment so yo will see the clues that will lead you to good finds.  You have to learn techniques and strategies.  

You'll also change what you want to find.  Your goals will change.  You'll expect to find more, and you'll target higher quality finds.  

That is why I say, "If you don't evolve, you are not a treasure hunter."  It might be slightly more accurate to say, "If you don't evolve, you won't be a treasure hunter very long."

I think it is good to ask yourself every once in a while if you've been evolving.  If so, how, and if not, why not.  


Here is an academic publication in which the formation of Mound Key, the capital of the Calusa kingdom at the time of European contact in the sixteenth century was studied.

Here are some of the key observations from the study.

First, it appears that the island was occupied early in its existence, abandoned, and then reoccupied. During Mound Key’s second occupation, its inhabitants substantially altered the landscape by redepositing old midden to form at least the upper portions of the two largest midden-mounds. We argue that this reoccupation and the associated large-scale labor projects are part of a deep history of human-environmental interactions tied to the production of aquatic surpluses.

Here is the link if you want to read the entire article.


It seems the crew of the Dare has identified a new target that has them excited on the site of the Atocha.  It is a new EM target that the magnetometer did not show. 


We got some much-needed rain. I'd rather have that than the hot sun.

The surf is smooth today, but there is a bigger tide.   I've been waiting for a negative tide, but won't get a chance to get out today.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5/3/16 Report - 1715 Fleet Gold Royal and Disc Displayed in 1968. Commerce in Havana and Atlantic in 16th and 17th Century.

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1702 8-Escudo Royal Displayed At Wakeman House in 1968

1715 Fleet Gold Disc Displayed at Wakeman House in 1968

The Wakeman House is a reconstructed historic house in St. Augustine that housed displays including the above, which were said to be displayed in 1968.

These photos were found on a searchable web site that you can access using the following link.

Scroll down to the digital collection and use the search box.


As a result of some recent discussions and the research I was doing, I came across some interesting things. One thing I found was the book, Havana and the Atlantic in the 16th Century.  It discusses the history of Havana and the central roll it played in commerce and transportation.  You can read some of that book online by clicking the above link.

Here is just one sample table.  It shows that Havana imported a lot of wine, textiles and slaves from across the ocean.  That was in the time period 1578 - 1610.

Transoceanic exports (items exported to the Old World) included primarily bullion or specie.  That isn't surprising.  Another big export was hides.  They raised oxen.  That to me was entirely new information. They also exported a lot of dye (such as cochineal) and ships from Havana.  

Havana imported from other colonies a lot of bullion/specie (again not surprising), but also a lot foodstuff.  (Specie is money in the form of coins.)

Bullion/specie was being shipped around a lot.  One interesting figure is the relatively large amount of bullion/specie imported into Havana from across the ocean.

Florida was in the same region and controlled by the same governor that controlled Havana.  Money sent for the maintenance and defense of St. Augustine went to Havana before going to St. Augustine. St. Augustine bought a lot of supplies from Havana, so some of the money sent to Havana never got to St. Augustine, but stayed in Havana to pay for those supplies.

There are other good books online that you can view partly or completely that give information on commerce and transportation during the days of Spanish colonization.

From what I've been reading of Spanish colonial history, it seems that the government regulations provided a lot of opportunities to make money for those who were well connected and were in position to take advantage of the regulations and also those who found ways to circumvent the regulations.



Yesterday I mistakenly labeled the pictures as if all eight rings were from the same cut.  I corrected that.  The coins and two rings shown in the first picture came from the same cut, but the six rings shown in the second picture were found at other times.


We're having a nice small surf.  It is getting hot though.  The tides are getting bigger.

Happy hunting,

Monday, May 2, 2016

5/2/16 Report - Old Beach Ring Finds and More On The Apparent Lack Of Silver 1715 Wreck Rings.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Two Rings and Cobs Found in One Beach Cut Back Years Ago.
Finds and photo by John C.
Back a few days ago I was discussing the observation that no silver rings have been found on 1715 Fleet wrecks.  Concerning that, I received the above and following photos and an email from John C. Here is what John said.

So here's some pictures that may, or may not,shed some light on the controversy. The coins and rings in the picture were found over 20 years ago, and all came out of the same cut, maybe fifty yards long, But I think the Rings in the photo, are a perfect example of the different classes of people that may have been on these ships, at the time, the top ring in the picture is obviously crudely made hand carved notice the file marks on the inside of the Ring where it was tapered, I would say copper or bronze or maybe even very low kt gold, there has been quite a few rings as low as 8 kt,found off these wrecks. The ring , Possibly belonging to a common sailor or crew member, with some extra time on his hands as they sailed across the ocean.  The bottom ring is beautifully crafted, very high kt possibly 22,... So is the ring personal , possibly belonging to a higher class passenger on the ship ? Or is it just cargo, maybe originally crafted in China then brought over on the trade routes from Manila ? Who really knows...

More Rings Accumulated Over Years
Finds and photo by John C.
So now on the topic of silver rings.. the next photo shows 6 Rings with no markings on the inside. 4 out of the 6 Rings show evidence of gold. The two plain rings in the middle are huge one is bigger than a quarter, 4 out of the 6 Rings also have a design or pattern on the outside, one ring I partially cleaned years ago to try to find some markings. Some of the designs on these rings are very similar to rings found off these wrecks over the years.. the broken ring in the photo is very fragile almost paper thin, there's no evidence of gold on this ring, but I think it was gold plated at one time, just like the other rings in the picture. But notice the diamond pattern on the outside the same pattern that's on the 22 karat gold ring in the previous photo.. just a coincidence" could be,, but I don't think so I know where I found it,... the 4th photo also shows a ring with a pretty common shipwreck pattern. There was one found years ago I think it was 1989 by one of the salvers. it was High kt. and had the same Arrow design on the outside. But the inside had those strange abbreviations and Crosses Zachariah blessings !, or what we used to refer to as a nun's ring....

Another important factor to consider is Beach finds,, and water finds,, have two completely different environments. If you think about what these coins and artifacts had to endure to finally end up in the dry sand. These items are in a very high energy environment being pounded by waves and tidal currents for hundreds of years.. most of us treasure Hunters have been on the beach during a strong Nor'easter and remember how fast the current is moving from north to south many of these items may have originated hundreds of yards or more further north up the beach.. I'm not saying that the items found in the water,, especially being relatively shallow water don't get banged around. They do,, But in many cases they're protected by rocks or Ledges or pockets in The Reef , in some cases even Coral growth protects these items,

So did we get any closer in answering question ,, has there ever been silver rings found off the 1715 Fleet ? Probably not ' I just think that many more of these silver artifact and rings were gold plated then we thought,, but by no means do I consider myself an expert,, and I'm not saying that those six rings I showed you are shipwreck rings. I don't really do a lot of research,, I just try my best to find the stuff.

Great photos and email John!  Thanks for sharing.  I think we all benefit from sharing our experiences and observations.

It is important to note that these rings were found in a cut along with shipwreck coins.  That suggests that the rings are shipwreck rings too.

I've heard it said that the huge rings were sometimes made to be worn over a glove.  I'll have to see if I can find a picture of something like that sometime, maybe in an 18th century painting.

My conclusion so far is that silver rings on the 1715 Fleet are very rare, but there must have been a few - perhaps only personal belongings and very possibly worn by missionaries.  We know that silver rings have been documented from Spanish colonial land sites, although the majority were copper alloy or gold.

It seems to me, that you would have the cargo, and then personal belongings, with the personal belongings being predominately those of the rich, and then the meager belongings of the lower class, with few middle class passengers at all.  Maybe someone can provide real data about the people that were on board some of these vessels.

There is also the matter of non-metallic rings such as those made out of jet or glass.  It is documented that a lot of those were brought in as cargo on ships coming from the Old World, but they, as far as I know, have not been found on the wrecks, at least not in numbers - perhaps because they broke up and disintegrated and partly because they would not be detected by a metal detector.  It must also be remembered that some of those would have been trade goods, or for use by colonists and would not be returning to the Old World.

I still hope to photo some other old beach rings.  Hope to get around to that some day soon.

It is good to have some good ideas to research.  One thing leads to another and in the process we learn a lot.

You probably don't remember but this all started with a mystery silver ring and wondering if it might be from a shipwreck.  And then there was the comment that no silver rings have been found on 1715 wrecks.  As I said, one thing leads to another.


We have a two to three foot surf, decreasing even more for a couple of days.  Not much to comment on there.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, May 1, 2016

5/1/16 Report - Lot of Mushy Sand On Beach Fronts. Non-metallic Finds Returned. Thousands of Bronze and Silver Plated Coins Found in Spain.

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A Lot of Mushy New Sand In Front of an Old Cut.
Add caption
 All of the beaches have a lot of new sand on the front of the beach because of the mild surf and south winds.

We have summer beach conditions.  We've had a lot of south winds.  There will be two or more weeks of almost no surf.

The front beach will be poor.  With the smooth surf the water will be easy to hunt, but conditions there will be sandy too.

I found the following items at the water line.  First was the fish grabber.

Fish Grabber Find

Then I found the waterproof container shown below.  Very nice.

It was full.  I suspect that it held a wallet or whatever.

I saw a fellow down the beach looking around like he lost something, so I went down and asked him what he lost.  When he told me, I returned the following items.  Needless to say, he was very happy.

Watch the water line for things like this.  Some of my favorite finds are no metallic and were found near the water line during a mild surf.  I've mentioned some.  One was a wax seal that I found.  I wonder how it survived all of those years.

Can you believe we are into may already.  It seems to me like New Years was just a few weeks ago. This has been one of my most hectic years.

I have a lot to talk about and show but won't get around to some of it for at least a few days.


MADRID — Workers laying pipes in a southern Spanish park have unearthed a 600-kilogram (1,300-pound) trove of Roman coins in what culture officials say is a unique historic discovery.

The Seville Archaeological Museum said the construction workers came across 19 amphoras containing thousands of bronze and silver-coated coins dating from the end of the fourth century. The coins are believed to have been recently minted at the time and had probably been stored away to pay soldiers or civil servants...

Here is that link.  Thanks to Dean R. 

That's it for now.

Happy hunting,
TreasureGuide@comcast.netn Coins Dis

Friday, April 29, 2016

4/29/16 Report - Humanoid Robotic Diver On Flagship of King Louis XIV. Mourning Jewelry. Jamestown Mystery Object Identified.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Looks like something out of a comic book.

The maiden voyage of a humanoid robotic diver has gone swimmingly, concluding with the successful recovery of an antique vase from La Lune, King Louis XIV’s flagship, which sank in the Mediterranean in 1664.

The mermaid-like robot, called OceanOne, consists of a five-foot torso, a head with stereoscopic vision and two fully articulated arms. The torso houses the robot’s batteries, computers and eight multi-directional thrusters...

Here are a couple links for more about that.


Here is a great web site for learning more about the history of jewelry and mourning and much more. There is a great section on rings, and also a lot of information on symbolism seen in jewelry.  There is a lot to be learned from this site and recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about antique jewelry and how it changed during different times in history.


I've been collecting information and have receive emails on the topic of silver rings from the 1715 Fleet.  The topic has been very stimulating and has led to a lot of interesting ideas.  I'll address the topic in the future from time to time.


This was a mystery find at Jamestown.  It was found in a cellar.

This cellar, like other cellars in and around the fort, was filled in with trash by the settlers at the end of its useful life as a structure. In a relatively short period of time, the colonists would have filled it with all kinds of garbage and debris, which is why cellars like this one are so rich in artifacts and so interesting to archaeologists who study the material culture and consumption habits of a particular time period.

Below is what it must have looked like when it was new and complete.

This article has several things that I might comment on when I can give it the time.

I've seen old cellars and how they fill in.  The top layers have a lot of junk.  I know of one that on the top, besides vines and leaves and things like that, had bicycle and car parts.  As you get down you get to smaller and older things, some work down to the bottom because they are small and heavy, and some that are simply older.

Here is another paragraph from the article.

With the purpose of the object [the grill] no longer a mystery, one question remains: If baking grills like this were probably relatively common at the settlement, why have archaeologists found so few of them?

Sounds like a familiar question, doesn't it?  

Here is part of the answer from the same article.

In the rare event that the grill broke, the colonists may have chosen to repurpose the metal rather than discard the entire grill, which may also account for why this was such a rare find.

That is something we might fail to think of in this "disposable" culture.  Years ago things were not thrown away so quickly.  They were often repaired or the materials cannibalized and used for some other purpose.  There was no Walmart or Home Depot to supply whatever parts or objects were needed.

Here is the link.  It provides some good clues for the detectorist.


Saturday we'll have a very small  surf along with small tides.  I'm waiting for some good negative tides to hit one spot that I've been wanting to hunt for some time.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, April 28, 2016

4/28/16 Report - Huge Cross Planted by De Soto. Almiranta de Honduras. Valuable Pearls. Dog Tags Found and Returned.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Archaeologists unearthed what they believe are remains of a large wooden Christian cross Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto placed atop a hill in 1541 at what is now part of Parkin Archeological State Park in Cross County.
Jeffrey Mitchem, the Parkin park site archaeologist for the Arkansas Archeological Survey, said he will send a 2-foot chunk of baldcypress thought to have been used for the cross more than 500 years ago to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville next week for further testing...
Here is the link for the entire article.


The Treasure Coast has shipwrecks other than those of the 1715 Fleet.  Here is a article about one of those - The 1618 Wreck of the San Martín, Almiranta de Honduras by Dave Horner, Edited by Cori Sedwick Downing.


In early April, two brothers-in-law were planting trees in a southeast Portland backyard when they found dog tags.  The tags were returned to the family...

Read more:


Is not unusual to find a ring or ear ring containing a pearl.  Not all pearls are the same.  Like diamonds, there can be huge differences in quality and value.  It isn't easy to judge a pearl by sight though.  Pearls are not very durable, and are easily damaged.

Here are a some tips for caring for pearls.

Pearls are organic gemstones that are vulnerable to acid, alkaline and extremes of humidity. To preserve your pearls' radiance, avoid letting them come into contact with cosmetics, hair spray, or perfume. Always put on your jewelry as a final touch, after applying make-up and styling hair. The pearl's luster can also be harmed by perspiration. To prevent this, before returning your pearls to the jewelry box, wipe them gently with a soft cloth.

Pearls are exceptionally cohesive and shock-resistant, but may be scratched by contact with sharp objects or other gemstones. To prevent tangles and scratches, fasten clasps and pins, then lay each item out separately in a compartmentalized jewelry box. When carrying jewelry, use a protective jewelry pouch. Leaving pearl jewelry in a security box for long periods may cause pearls to dehydrate, so enjoy them frequently. There is a saying that "pearls want to be worn," and it is true!

Here is the link.


This morning we have a 2 - 3 foot surf and a south wind.  Saturday the surf will be down to one foot.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

4/27/16 Report - More On Shipwreck Silver Rings Question. Florida Scenic National Trail. Nazi Treasure.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Couple Old Silver Beach Finds.

If you want to do a little exploring off the beaten path, you might try the Florida National Scenic Trail.

The Florida Trail (FNST) is a congressionally designated National Scenic Trail.  It is approximately 1,300-miles long, and is intended to offer a continuous, permanent non-motorized recreation opportunity for hiking and other compatible activities.  Over its length, it showcases the incredible biodiversity, history, and rich culture of Florida.
The Florida Trail begins on the edge of the everglades ecosystem in Big Cypress National Preserve. It’s end point lies in the white sands of Gulf Islands National Seashore. at historic Fort Pickens. The Florida Trail is one of the United States 11 National Scenic Trails and offers an experience that is unique to Florida. No other trail in the world compares to the Florida Trail...


Some consider it "the world's most valuable piece of lost art," says Reuters and according to a Polish historian, the Russian treasure may have been located. Bartlomiej Plebanczyk on Friday told his country's TVN24 he's "almost certain" the Amber Room, a chamber made of gold leaf and amber panels, lies under an old World War II German bunker in northern Poland. Plebanczyk's theory was born out of his use of ground-penetrating radar at the site, he tells the Mirro, which reports the previously unknown room measures only 65 square feet. "We need to drill into the room in the bunker and lower a camcorder there," says Plebanczyk, who feels confident he'll find the Amber Room, which is valued at around $500 million and was stolen by the Nazis from Russia's Catherine Palace in 1941, the AP reports...

Here is the link for the rest of that article.

Thanks to Dean R. for this link.


The past couple of days I've been talking about silver rings not being found on 1715 wrecks.   I haven't seen much to dispute that and wonder why it would be.  I have been doing some research on that, and am hoping to learn why silver rings are so scarce when gold and copper alloy rings are as scarce.  I haven't concluded that research yet, but have already learned a lot in the process.  I'll be following up with more research and ideas on that topic in the future.

It appears that the finding of few or no silver rings may not be limited to the 1715 Fleet but also to the Atocha and Margarita.  That is what I found when I used the Mel Fisher Artifact Database.  A search for "silver rings" turned up no silver rings for the Atocha, Margarita or the 1715 Fleet.  That seems even more surprising and difficult to account for.

Searching for "gold ring" in the database, I found 37 gold rings listed, but no silver rings.  More than half were from the 1715 Fleet.  Again, no silver rings were listed at all, when the search included both the 1715 Fleet and the Atocha and Margarita.

I'm not sure how complete the database is, and I'm not sure how the filters work.  I assume that the database works fairly well, and it includes over 200,000 artifacts, so that sounds like a very good sample.

I'm going to continue researching this question.  I don't know if it can be answered.  I'm sure that there have been silver ring beach finds that have been attributed to Treasure Coast shipwrecks.  Are those attributions wrong, or are they exceptions.

We know that archaeologists have found some silver rings at Spanish colonial sites.  So far I have not been able to account for the reported total or relative lack of silver ring finds on the 1715 Fleet wrecks.

At the top of this post I'm showing two old silver beach finds.  It is difficult to determine how old they might be or where they came from.  They have no markings other than what you can see in the photo.

By the way, does anyone recognize the symbol on the ring.  If so, please let me know.


The wind and tides are not particularly favorable for beach hunting.  The surf is 2 to 3 feet.  It will be calm this weekend.

Happy hunting,