Saturday, July 30, 2016

7/30/16 Report - 12th Century Kite Brooch Eye-Balled On Beach by Student. Two Weather Disturbances. More On 1715 Rings. Tobacco Used in Utah 12,000 Years Ago.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The above kite brooch was found by an American college student walking a beach in Irleand.  Imagine making a nice 12th century find just walking along.

It is called a kit brooch because of its shape.  It held a cloak or shaw together.

The NYU student said she was looking at a rabbit burrow when she noticed the brooch.  I always say,to look anywhere that the earth or sand is being moved.

Here is the link to the rest of the story.

That thing is in surprisingly remarkable condition.


Two Tropical Disturbances.
As of Friday night, the first had a ten percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next forty-eight hours, and the second had a forty percent chance as of Friday evening.

The first looks like it will head towards the Caribbean while the second will probably head north into the Atlantic.


I mentioned yesterday that I've seen the "clasped hands" motif on 1715 Fleet gold rings before. Checking today, I found one, though broken, from the 1715 Fleet in the Mel Fisher artifact database. The Fisher organization also sells replica clasped hand rings.  They call them friendship rings.

I also found one very much like the other ring that I showed yesterday.  I'm talking about the one made of connected circles with etched designs.  Unfortunately I couldn't see if the pictures on each circle were the same as the one recently found and submitted by Captain Jonah. I could only see what one circle had on his, and I couldn't see what was pictured on any of the circles on the one shown in the Mel Fisher artifact database, so I don't have any idea if they were the same or different, other than the fact they were both made of what looks like connected circles. They sell a replica of that type of ring too.


Just a few centimeters below the sun-baked surface, researchers have discovered a campsite used by prehistoric hunter-gatherers 12,300 years ago — when Utah’s West Desert was lush wetland.
Artifacts found at the site include the charred remains of an ancient hearth, a finely crafted spear point, and, most surprising, a collection of tobacco seeds — likely the earliest evidence of tobacco use...

Here is the link.


I'll keep watching for possible storms.  Right now the surfing web sites are not predicting much of any increase in the surf for the next week or two.  We're having some nice negative tides.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 28, 2016

7/28/16 Report - 1715 Fleet Gold Rings Found. Tumbaga and Depletion Gilding. A Diamond Ring, Gold Coins and Stinky Cheese. Two New Tropical Disturbances.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Rings From 1715 Fleet Just Found.
Submitted by Captain Jonah Martinez

I just received this photo of the latest 1715 Fleet gold ring finds. Amazing finds! Great job guys!

The clasped hands motif is very common. I have seen it on a variety of 1715 pieces.

The clasped hands signifies friendship and love. That design motif has been used on antique jewelry since Roman times and continues to this day.

I wonder if the bird shown on the top ring is another reference to the pelican of piety that my friend Laura Strolia wrote about.  It very much looks like it could be.


Yesterday I mentioned tumbaga and how they used a procedure to get a relatively pure gold on the surface of the item.  I didn't remember the exact process at the time, but here is paragraph that describes the details.

The surface color of the objects could be modified by a process called “depletion gilding” (miseen-couleur), a gold surface enrichment. The cast copper-gold alloy figurines were treated chemically to remove the base metal from the surface of the object giving the finished piece the appearance of high purity gold. Either mineral salts or acidic plant extracts could have been used for this procedure. Depletion gilding produces a well bonded but porous and spongy layer only a few microns thick, which was then burnished. A higher copper content would result in a more reddish color and a higher gold content produced a more yellowish color.

That paragraph is from the web site found through the following link.

Here is another web site showing a variety of tumbaga artifacts.


A diamond ring, 14 gold coins, and you guessed it, 340 year-old stinky cheese, was found on an old shipwreck site.

Here is that link.


There is now a tropical disturbance, two in fact, coming off of Africa.  One has a 20% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours and the other has a 30% chance.  When you see them start to line up like that, they sometimes keep coming.

They are too far away now to have any idea where they might go or what they might do, but keep watching.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

7/27/16 Report - Treasure Hunting Vacation Hot Spots. Treasure Hunter Perishes While Hunting Fenn Treasure. Alamo Discoveries. Benny Bills.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Summer is a time when lot of people travel.  I always like to detect new locations.  You won't know the new locations like the locals, but you can do well anyhow

I've done very well when trying out new locations.  I was often surprised by what the locals missed and wondered how it could happen.

I liked detecting the lakes of Minnesota, the beaches of Pensacola, backwaters of Milton Alabama, as well as the Caribbean Islands, to name a few.

The locals don't always get everything.  In fact sometimes they leave some very good hunting.  That has been my experience.

Dean sent me the following link to an article on vacation treasure hunting hot spots.

Thanks Dean.


A treasure hunter who disappeared this year while searching for an author's cache of gold and jewels in the New Mexico wilderness was confirmed dead by authorities Tuesday after his remains were discovered west of Santa Fe...
Bilyeu disappeared in early January while searching for antiquities dealer and writer Forrest Fenn's $2 million trove in northern New Mexico.

Here is the link to that story.

New locations can be a lot of fun, but they can also present dangers that you aren't aware of or aren't prepared for.

Be cautious when you are working new and different kinds of locations.

Thanks to Dean and C Man for sending this link.


I don't like taking metal detectors as carry-on anymore.  I used to do that a lot, and I don't know of anyone having a lot of trouble with that, but when flying, I prefer to send my equipment ahead by mail so that it is waiting when I arrive.


Texas archaeologists may have found more of the Alamo. 
Spanish colonial adobe bricks discovered at a dig site in downtown San Antonio's Alamo Plaza may have made up part of the mission's original western wall, researchers announced Monday, although more analysis is needed to verify the architectural function of the centuries-old bricks.
The dig, the first of its kind at the Alamo, is the first phase in a larger effort by state and local officials to renovate the historical landmark.
Here is the link fo r more of that article.


Have you heard about "Benny bills?"  There is a philanthropist that anonymously leaves one hundred dollar bills.

Here is how the article begins.

A mystery philanthropist has been spreading cheer one $100 bill at a time for more than three years in and around Salem Oregon.

He randomly hides the bills to be found at stores, markets, fairs and festivals, surprising and delighting unsuspecting shoppers and patrons.

When the first reports surfaced in May 2013, I christened him with the nickname Benny because Benjamin Franklin is on the $100 bill. Not long after, when it appeared others might be trying to steal his thunder, he began signing his bills...

Here is the link for the rest of the article.


Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

7/26/16 Report - Ring Find. Martin County History. Fort San Marcos Boundaries Discovered.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beautiful Sunrise by Tony (Penzfan)
Ring Found by Tony

Yesterday I showed a couple of newly found local dairy bottles and talked a little about local dairy history.  Here is an article on dairy history related to Martin County.


The boundaries of Fort Sand Marcos have been identified after several unsuccessful digs.  Ground penetrating radar and magnetometers did the job.

Here is a bit of the background.

Fort San Marcos was built in 1577. Menendez’ crews got it up in six days because of the threat that a Native American tribe would attack. It allowed the Spanish to restore Santa Elena, which settlers had abandoned the year before when it was attacked.

The fort was a large bunkhouse of barracks and storerooms with cannon platform on one end, according to the release. It had 11 mounted cannons, the largest weighing more than 5,400 pounds.

After five years, the wooden posts surrounding the fort rotted, and a new fort, also called San Marcos was built on the nearby shoreline.

The restored Santa Elena grew to nearly 400 residents, impressive enough to be named the capital of Spanish Florida in 1571.

But after English privateer Sir Francis Drake began attacking Spanish settlements, the settlement was abandoned in 1587 for Fort Augustine in today’s Florida.

Here is the link for the rest of the article.

Happy hunting,

Monday, July 25, 2016

7/25/16 Report - Vero Beach History. Paintings As Research Resources. Treasure Coast Dairy Bottles.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Painting of Horse Shoe and Snaffle Bit.
This painting shown above is offered in a Southeby's auction.  It is a 20th century painting.

I look at old paintings a lot.  You can learn about old areas and artifacts that way.  You can find pictures of all kinds of old things in paintings.

I dug the bit shown below.  I never knew that it would be called a snaffle bit.  I learned that from the title of the painting.

Photo of Dug Snaffle Bit.
By the way, a snaffle bit is a simple bit.  It is jointed, and used with a single set of reins.

It is difficult to narrow down the date of a basic bit like this, which, I think, spans centuries.


Here is a history timeline for Vero Beach.  I know the type is small, but if you have trouble reading it, you can go to the original source.

The timeline comes from a Historic Properties Survey of the City of Vero Beach.

Here is the link.

You'll especially like to browse this if you are a land hunter looking for sites to detect.  There is a list of historic properties at the end with addresses of each.  You won't be able to detect the historic properties, but they'll point you to historic areas.

You'll find other things of interest in the survey as well.  At the end is a list of laws relevant to metal detecting and historic properties and archaeological sites.


Here is a nice web site that sells items from Florida's past.  One category that is represented is milk bottles and associated items such as dairy bottle caps.

Here is the link.

I've found a variety of Florida milk bottles.  Some of the most common are Vero Beach Dairy, Boutwell and Alfar-Boutwell Dairy.  Both embossed and painted dairy bottles are common.  The paint on the painted bottles is usually faded or partly missing.

Below are a couple very recent dairy bottle finds.

No Deposit Dairy Bottle

Boutwell Dairy Milk Bottle
Dairy bottles were a part of normal life a few decades ago.  Now they are fading into history.  It is a part of history that should be preserved.  I'm glad I was able to save these artifacts and the story they tell.


There is no cyclone activity, and the surf will be about one foot through the week.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 24, 2016

7/24/16 Report - Found On Treasure Coast: Gold Finger Bar? Ivanka Trump's Earring Found and Returned. Creative Problem Solving For Treasure Hunting.

Written by the TreassureGuide for the exclusive use of

Unidentified Treasure Coast Find.
Submitted by Bernie C.
Bernie says it looks like it could possibly be gold, and he is going to have it tested to determine the metal content.

Gold usually does not have a crust like that, but I have found tumbaga items that did have some very similar darkening on parts of the surface.

Tumbaga is an alloy of copper and gold, and sometimes with significant amounts of other metals. The amount of gold can be fairly small in tumbaga. If I correctly recall, the Inca had a method that drew more pure gold to the surface of alloyed items.

Many of the gold items found by the early conquistadors in South America was tumbaga.


College Student Returned Ivanka Trump's  Earring.
The earring shown above was found at the convention center after the convention.  The college student used twitter to arrange for the earring's return.

Here is the link.


I often try to encourage creative thinking and creative solutions for treasure hunting.

While enjoyable, the purpose of metal detecting is to find things  The goal for most people is not metal detecting.

There are some characteristics of metal detecting that make it addicting.  I believe the rhythmic repetitive action, active awareness, curiosity and element of mystery or surprise of every dug target all adds to the addictive nature.

Did you ever hear of the nine dots puzzle?   The puzzle involves nine dots arranged in the shape of a box.  You are supposed to connect the nine dots with the smallest number of lines.

Here is what the puzzle looks like before it is solved.

How many lines does it take to connect the dots?

Probably fewer than you might have thought at first.

Here is one solution.

That required four lines.  Did you think of that?

Most people do not come up with that solution.  Why?

They work inside the area defined by the dots.   That is not necessary.

To say it very uncreatively, they did not think outside the box.

There is actually a much more simple solution.  You can connect all of the dots with one line.  Who said the lines have to be straight? You can connect the dots with one curved line.

That is just one way of showing how people accept unnecessary limitations, and work inside the box.

One of the biggest obstacles to finding really creative solutions is being overly influenced by what everybody else is doing.

Minimize your starting assumptions.  For example, you might think you need a better metal detector. But is metal detecting the goal?  Finding items is the goal for most of you, not metal detecting.

Once you back up and define the problem better - finding stuff rather than metal detecting - you open up a lot of additional possibilities.

There are times when dredging might be a better approach.  And there are times when sifting might be a better approach.

I've used a Merkitch sifter on a beach and found it to be very effective.  In some situations sifting is more effective than metal detecting.

Pulling a sifter is a lot of work, and somehow not as addictive as metal detecting.  It is also not very good for the deep targets and can be impossible in wet packed sand.  You will find thin chains and non-metallic items that you could very easily miss with a detector.   Here is the fun part.  It can be done on beaches where detecting is not allowed

Is the goal to make a better mouse trap, or to get rid of mice?  How you define the problem has a lot to do with how creative you can be with solutions.

Again, is the goal to metal detect, or is the goal to find stuff?   Is the goal to scoop, or is the goal to recover targets?

Have you ever thought about training an otter or seal to dive and retrieve odd items, especially shiny things?  I have.

The Navy has trained porpoises to assist lost swimmers and locate submerged mines.

It is always easier to fall in line and do what other people are doing.  There is certainly a time for that, but making a creative break-through of your own can be a lot of fun and very profitable.

I enjoy thinking about other ways of doing things. You won't come up with a great idea everyday. Really creative solutions are rare treasures, but don't be afraid to consider wild ideas. Despite the rarity of great new ideas, there are always better ways to do things.  If you don't always follow the pack, you just might be the one to come up with the next great idea.


Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 23, 2016

7/23/16 Report - A Treasure Box in a Treasure Box. A Bit of History Spring Break Detecting In Fort Lauderdale. A Touch of Humor.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Found Under Trap Door In Closet.
Source: ViralNova link below.

First, a touch of humor.  I thought this is the funniest thing I've seen for quite a while.


I post  a lot of stories that I find on the internet.  I post a variety of types of articles and stories.  In my opinion, this one about the box shown above is particularly good for several reasons.  For one thing, it is very well documented with a variety of photos.

It starts when a couple found a trap door in the floor of a closet in a house they bought.  Then when the door was opened they found a locked box.  After they got into the box, they found coins and another box.  Then another cache in the second box.

Here is the link.  Thanks for the link Dean!


A few posts ago I mentioned the movie Where the Boys Are and talked what it was like in Fort Lauderdale back in the day when it was "the" place to be for spring break.   Kenneth H. was there too, and had the following warm memories to share.

I smiled at your notes in the Treasure Coast Beach Report about "Where the Boys Are." That beach and I have a lot of history. Searched there with an old Relco in late 60's; and with my Bounty Hunter 3 BFO in the early 70's. I detected that beach heavily weaving around the Spring Break crowds. Sometimes, will join them and go to the free beach concerts. 

In 1971, the local Sentinel did an article about me detecting the beach and depicted what I was finding. In 1971, they took a photo of me at age 18 standing near to the historic marker of the 1841 site of Fort Lauderdale, a Seminole War fort which was established along the beach. Not far from there and about 5 or 6 years later, while using a Whites Coinmaster VLF, I dug a 1911 $5 gold piece. In 1979, I published an article for Jess Publishing entitled, "Where the Coins Are." 

Of course, the best find I ever discovered on Ft. Lauderdale Beach is my wife now married for 40 years this August. She was on Spring Break from Ohio U.. Eventually, she moved down here to stay with me. I actually met her at the "Button," once a popular beach side hangout with live music. I proposed to her to marry me six months later while we were upstairs in the famous hangout called the Elbo Room. I never put the detector down and still beach or water hunt at Ft. Lauderdale on occasion. My last best find was a Tag Watch, dug off a sandbar in four feet of water--needs repair though.

Thanks for sharing Ken!


We have no changes in weather or beach conditions again.  We'll have something like a two-foot surf for the next week or so.  I sure would like to see things get stirred up a bit.

Happy hunting,