Saturday, July 21, 2018

7/21/18 Report - Exploring Sunken Swedish Warship. Hundreds of Years of Artifacts From Canals. H L Hunley.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: See ScienceNordic link below.

Cannons, hand grenades, and up to a thousand soldiers were on board the large Swedish warship when it exploded in the Baltic Sea, 454years ago.
The ship, known as Mars, belonged to the Swedish navy and was one of Northern Europe’s largest and most feared naval vessels used in the Northern Seven Years’ War.
The remains were discovered at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in 2011, near to the Swedish island of Ă–land.,,
“This year, we have come closer to the people aboard. We found more skeletal parts, including a femur with trauma around the knee which we believe to stem  from a sharp-edged weapon,” says maritime archaeologist Rolf Fabricius Warming, who is one of the researchers involved in the investigation.
“We also found large guns and a hand grenade. We can see from the wreckage that it was a very intense and tough battle. Between 800 and 1,000 men were on board. That is comparable to the population of an entire medium-sized town at the time. Most of them died in the explosion or when the ship sank into the watery depths,” he says.
Researchers had previously discovered silver treasure among the Mars wreckage...

This shipwreck is nicely preservered in the cold Baltic Sea.
Here is the link for more information and pictures.


Coins, bones, toys and weapons are among the hundreds of thousands of artifacts recently surfaced from the canals of Amsterdam. Meticulously catalogued by location and organized by age, these finds span the Dutch capital’s 800-year history. Their rediscovery and display was made possible by a massive excavation project being undertaken to create a new metro line through the city, carefully orchestrated to operate alongside an unprecedented archeological dig.

The associated website, book and documentary set titled Below the Surface has been years in the making. This project catalogues everything from bits of ceramic, metal and glass to fully intact artifacts. Some finds predate the city’s founding — there are medieval coins and even pieces of sharpened stone from as far back as 4,300 BCE.

“Rivers in cities are unlikely archaeological sites,” explain the organizers and curators of the project. “It is not often that a riverbed, let alone one in the middle of a city, is pumped dry and can be systematically examined. The excavations in the Amstel yielded a deluge of finds.” The resulting website is an amazing interactive museum, allowing visitors to dynamically connect various artifacts by type, material and time period...

Here is the link to read more about that project.

Thanks to GoldNugget for sending me that link.

Here is the link to the searchable database.

This is a great project with a database of easily searchable artifact photos.  The best I've seen.  Take a look.  I think you'll be amazed.


H L Hunley in Conservation.
Source: See SavannahNow link below.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Scientists studying the world’s first submarine to sink an enemy ship said Wednesday that the doomed Confederate crew did not release an emergency mechanism that could have helped the vessel surface quickly.

The 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms) of what are called keel blocks would typically keep the H.L. Hunley upright, but also could be released with three levers, allowing the sub to surface quickly in an emergency, said archaeologist Michael Scafuri, who has worked on the submarine for 18 years.

Scientists who removed the century of corrosion, silt and shells from the submarine found the levers all locked in their regular position, Scafuri said...

Here is that link.


There are no tropical storms to watch right now.  The surf is running around two feet and will increase about a foot in a couple of days.  The tides have moderated.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 20, 2018

7/20/18 Report - 13 Year-Old Detectorist Finds Danish King's Hoard. Shipwreck Containing 200 Tons of Gold Found. Roman Hoard Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: See link below.

BERLIN — Hundreds of 1,000-year-old silver coins, rings, pearls and bracelets linked to the era of Danish King Harald Gormsson have been found on the eastern German island of Ruegen in the Baltic Sea.

A single silver coin was first found in January by two amateur archaeologists, one of them a 13-year-old boy, in a field near the village of Schaprode. The state archaeology office then became involved and the entire treasure was uncovered by experts over the weekend, the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania state archaeology office said Monday...

Schoen said he and 13-year-old Luca Malaschnitschenko were using metal detectors on the field near Schaprode when Luca found a little piece that he initially thought was only aluminum garbage. But when they cleaned it, they understood it was more precious...

Here is the link for more about that.

Did you notice the holded coins in the picture?


A South Korean salvage team has reportedly discovered the wreck of a Russian warship that is believed to still contain 200 tons of gold bullion and coins worth 150 trillion won ($130 billion).
The Russian Imperial Navy cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi, which was sunk in a naval battle 113 years ago, was discovered at a depth of more than 1,400 feet about one mile off the South Korean island of Ulleungdo, according to the Daily Telegraph...
Thanks to SuperRick for the link.


Bronze and silver Roman coins have been discovered by a Polish-Georgian team of archaeologists conducting excavations in the Roman fort of Apsaros Georgia. According to the discoverers, this could be a small part of a larger treasure.

The oldest coins in the find were minted during the reign of Hadrian (117-138 AD); the youngest come from the last years of the reign of Septimius Severus (beginning of the 3rd century AD).

"All coins were found very close to each other in the Roman fort Apsaros"...

Here is the link for more about that.


Nothing new in the Atlantic and no new beach conditions on the Treasure Coast to report.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 19, 2018

7/19/18 Report - Some Things You Should Know About Coin Collecting.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

2000 D Zinc Penny

You'd think that metal detecting and coin collecting would go hand in hand, but there are reasons that they don't go together as well as you might think.

Here are a few things I've become more aware of in the past month or so since I began looking through modern coins for errors and talking with some serious coin collectors.

1. Coins found in the ocean are very often too corroded or deteriorated to show errors or other important features.  I  knew that before, but after looking through a lot of modern coins I developed a better appreciation for small differences and how easily they can be masked or removed.  Even if a coin is a rare doubled die coin, that might not be visible if the coin has been affected by salt water or otherwise corroded.

2.  Condition is so important to coin collectors, that even if you find a real rarity, poor condition can reduce the value to almost nothing.  Many dug coins are simply not in good enough condition to demand good premiums even if they are rare.

3.  Valuable coins are rare.  That is obvious enough, but it is worth stating.  You can search through many coins and find many interesting things, but real valuable finds are very rare.

4.  Everyone hears about doubled-die coins, but there are many types of doubling on coins and the coin collecting community is not interested in most of them.  It is not easy for a beginner to distinguish between some of the types of doubling that they will see.  I do not find it easy to distinguish between some types of machine doubling and doubled die errors.

5.  Coins that have circulated are similar to coins that are corroded.  Many of the signs that coin collectors look for can be obliterated by the wear and damage.

6.  It is not always easy to distinguish between damage done by individuals after the coin went into circulation and mint errors. For example I ran into one copper penny that evidently was reduced by acid at some time for some unknown reason.  At first it simply looked like a weak strike.  After some detective work, it was concluded that it had been reduced by acid.

7. Many things that a coin collector looks for requires magnification.  There are many small but important features that aren't easily seen by the naked eye.

8.  I would not plan on saving zinc pennies for my children or grandchildren.  Pennies that are almost new and shown little or no wear are corroding.  You know how badly zinc pennies corrode on a beach, but pennies that have scarcely seen the light of day and show signs of beginning zinc rot.

The penny at the top of the post is a 2000 D.  There is very little evidence of wear.  Look at the surfaces.  They aren't smoothed out, and there are few scratches, yet zinc rot is beginning.

Spots of Zinc Rot Beginning On 2000 C penny.
I don't know the history of this coin, but I've seen some that are only one or two years old, and in my opinion were never on a beach or anything. and they are developing zinc rot.

I'll turn this same coin over and you can see how zinc rot develops.

Same 2000 C Coin.
It seems that zinc pennies are going to rot in most cases, even if they have been treated well.  That is why I would never collect zinc coins with any long term expectation.

I've seen newer coins than the one shown above with even worse zinc rot.

9.  There is a lot to learn if you want to become a serious coin collector - especially one that collects errors or varieties.

If you want to collect sets or if you buy coins it should be considerably easier, although it still helps to be informed so you can avoid being misled by unscrupulous dealers.


There is nothing of significance going on in the Atlantic right now.

We have a two foot surf, and will have for a few days.  The tides are more moderate than they were a few days ago.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

7/18/18 Report - Old Silver Ring Stolen. Test of Metal Detector On Silver Coins.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Stolen Ring Thought To Be 1700s Era.

I decided to do a little test using the Garrett Ace 250.  I'll use other detectors in the future, but decided to start with a common and inexpensive model.

For test objects I decided to use coins that were close in size, weight and composition to Spanish reales.  I used a silver dime, quarter, half dollar and peace dollar - all of 90% silver.

The diameters were 17.91, 24.26, 30.6 and 38.1 millimeters, which is close but not exactly like one, two, four and eight reales.  Just as an example, the silver dollar is 38.1 mm and the eight reales would be about 38 mm.  Pretty close.

The weight of the silver coins is 2.59, 6.259, 12.59 and 26.73 grams.  Again, that is close to the weights of the Spanish colonial one, two, four and eight reales, which varied to some extent for a variety of reasons.

The diameters and weights of the coins used in the test are highly correlated.

The vertical scale is diameter in millimeters and the horizontal scale is weight in grams.

The correlation is naturally high, but as you can see the relationship between diameter and weight is not linear.

The similarity of the modern coins and Spanish colonial coins in both size and weight is not accidental - the American coinage being pretty much based upon the Spanish.

I did what I would call a ground test in an area with virtually no mineralization but some amount of ambient electrical interference.

Coins were placed on the ground and the height of the coil that continued to produce a good steady signal was measured.

The dime was detected at approximately 7.5 inches, the quarter at 8.0 inches, the half dollar at about 8.5 inches and the Peace dollar at 9.5 inches.

Depth approximations were not highly precise.  Results were also specific to the location and environment.

Depth detectected relative to coin weight.

Depth detected relative to coin diameter.
Coin weight and diameter are highly correlated, which makes it difficult to tell which is most important, but I have previously found and stated that surface area is more important than the weight of the object in determining how deeply a coin will be detected.  The surface area of the coin, however, is not as important as the presented surface.  By that I mean a coin with a large diameter, if tilted or on edge will not have as large a surface area relative to the position of the coil and therefore will not be detected as deeply.

Given the number of variables and the lack of precise measurements, the results should be taken as only approximations.

All-Metals mode and maximum sensitivity was used during the entire test.

Spanish cobs are all so different that I thought the silver U.S. coins would be more useful as test objects and allow more comparisons and generalizations.  Beach recovered Spanish cobs are all of different sizes and shapes.  As I've reported, they can be less than half the minted weight and are of different shapes.

It should also be noted that the depth was measured when the object was under the center of the detector coil at near optimal sweep speed.  When the object was closer to the edge of the coil, depth was less.  And if a less optimal sweep speed was used, depth would have been less.

I've commented at length on the limitations of both air and ground tests.

In the future I will be conducting more tests with other metal detectors.


I received an email reporting the above ring stolen during a club meeting.  The owner would like it back.

That, by the way, is another good reason to keep good records on your finds.

Most detectorists go out of their way to return lost items, but like with any group of people, there are some bad apples that spoil it for everybody.


A lot of people are still reading my old Cooper's Treasure posts.  I don't even watch it.

There is no tropical cyclone in the Atlantic.  The surf is up a foot or two.  The tides are still pretty good, but lessening slightly.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

7/17/18 Report - Helpful Information and Web Sites for Modern Coin Die Varieties. Watershed Dates For the U. S. Mint.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Reverse of 1880 Morgan Dollar Find.

Today there are some very helpful web sites.  The token catalog is the type of thing that appeals to me.  It takes a basic database program and seeks to build a comprehensive listing of tokens.  The more complete it is, the more useful it is.  It collects, organizes, and makes all the examples readily available to much of the world, and that shared data expands on the overall knowledge level concerning tokens.  

Coin collecting has been affected  by the internet in the same way.  Databases of examples and numismatic information is made available and widely shared.  The internet has also changed the market for coins, as it has for many collectibles.  Common coins aren't worth as much now because they are easily found and seem much more common than in the days before the internet.  True rarities become more desired and more expensive.  The bar is raised.  With access and knowledge, people want finer and more rare items.

As more is known, people put significance on smaller details.  Now people study not just coins of a particular year and mint, but also the various states of the die.  As a die is used, wears, develops cracks, and eventually is worn out and replaced.  You can tell if a coin is an early or late die state coin by the impression left by the die.

VAM is a Peace, or Morgan silver dollar die variety that has been identified in an all-inclusive book called The Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars by Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis. The term VAM derives from the first initials of Van Allen's and Mallis' last names. These two researchers noticed small differences between coins produced in the same year and at the same mint.

The great popularity of noting the many die varieties found, especially on Morgan Dollars, has led to the term VAM being used to describe practically any deviation from a "normal" Morgan or Peace silver dollar for that year and mint. It is now common language among coin collectors that people talk about having found a "VAM" when the variety they are referring to has not been assigned a VAM Number...
They began to photograph and catalog these differences to identify the different die varieties in the Morgan and Peace silver dollar series.

Here a the link to read more about that.

I'm a novice at studying modern coins, but I am enjoying it.

I have been presenting a variety of Philip monogram half reales and comparing them, but that is just a very basic beginning and I will never develop an extensive catalog, yet I find the comparisons interesting and enjoyable.

I found a very good web site on coin varieties.  Here are a few dates to remember.

1909 is the beginning of the modern minting process.  Prior to 1909 a partial hubbing process was utilized by the U.S. Mint. This process left the date and mintmark to be hand punched into each working die. 1909 saw for the first time, the date engraved into the master die, so that every working hub and working die carried the same date positioning. Mintmarks, however, were still applied to the working dies by hand as each branch mint had a need for dies.

1985 is when the mint began punching mintmarks into the master die.

1986 is when the mint began using a single squeeze hubbing process.

In 1990 the mint began punching the mintmark into the master die for cent and nickel coins.

In 1991 they began punching the mintmark into the master die for other denominations.

Here is the link for more about watershed dates.

The same web site provides a long detailed list of specific die varieties.


We're still having some nice big tides on the Treasure Coast.  The surf is still small too, but will pick up just a little tomorrow.

Happy hunting,

Monday, July 16, 2018

7/16/18 Report - More On Tokens. Cape Canaveral Area Shipwreck Awarded to France. Tales and Curses of Northwest Florida.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Token Find.
Can you read what this says.  Take a shot at it. 

I'll get back to that later.

Before I get into that, the mystery token that I posted yesterday has the top of a naked lady on the front, along with the words Complete Reading, and the bottom of a lady is on the back with the words Your Best Source For Supplies.  Has anybody figured out the purpose or meaning of that?

Complete Reading is the name of a comprehensive reading curriculum for first graders, but I don't think it could possibly have anything to do with that.

Could it be referring to a psychic reading?  But why then would it be the best source for supplies.  I think it is a cover for something else, though I am far from sure.  I hope someone can come up with the answer.

What do you think the token shown at the top of the post is about?  Do you think it says RNIES LACE?  If you thought that is what it says, you are not alone.  A lot of people read it that way.   Back up and take another look.  It says Arnies Place.  That is a good illustration of the figure-ground problem in the psychology of perception.  

So what is Arnies Place?  Below is an excerpt from a web site about Arnies Place.

Welcome to Arnie's Place - Where the History is almost as Entertaining as the Games!

If you lived in Fairfield County between 1981 and 1983, you probably remember Arnie's Place more for the battle to open the arcade than for the arcade itself.  Built at 1365 Post Road East, in Westport, Arnie's Place became the premier arcade of Fairfield County, but not before a long battle with the Town of Westport that escalated to the Supreme Court of Connecticut multiple times.   This history is very incomplete, but gives you a taste of Arnie Kaye, the Town of Westport and the background behind one of Arnie's most famous publicity stunts...

Below is a photo of the arcade.
Arnies Place
Arnies was in Westport Connecticut, but the token, like the others I showed, were found in South Florida. There were a lot of tokens found from the northeast in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. That shows how metal detector finds sometimes give evidence of travel patterns. A lot of the snow birds from the northeast visit South Florida, while tourists from the midwest often go to the panhandle instead.

Here is more about Arnies Place.

I think that shows how finding and researching tokens can be both fun and educational.

Here is a great token database.

The search browser is powerful and the database is big.  I put in RNIES LACE and the Arnies Place token was located.  That is a very good browser.


Here is a link to a nice article talking about tales and curses of Northwest Florida.

Fun read.  Take a look.


And here is another article on the Cape Canaveral area shipwreck thought to belong to Ribault and awarded to France.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 15, 2018

7/15/18 Report - A Few Token Finds and A Nice Article About Collecting Tokens. Mystery Token.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Mystery Token.
If you are a detectorist you probably find an occasional token.  Most are modern and come from game rooms like Chuck E. Cheese.  Most common tokens probably get tossed aside, but maybe you should take another look at your token finds.  Many can be interesting, and there are some that can be worth something.  I sold a variety of common tokens back a number of years ago.

The above token has a picture of a naked lady that I've seen referred to as Busty Betty.  She appears on other tokens (which I've found) exactly as shown on this one, but on one other token her top is shown on one side of the token with the words Heads I Win, and her bottom is shown on the other side with the words Tales You Loose.  That all makes sense to me.

The token shown above (obviously uncleaned) has exactly the same picture of Betty but different words. The words of the first side says, COMPLETE READING, and the other side says, YOUR BEST SOURCE OF SUPPLIES.  There is no company name or anything like that, so what is this token for?  I have an idea, but I want to get your ideas first.  What do you make of this token?

I ran across an excellent article on exonumia in CoinWeek: Exploring Tokens and Medals Through the Eyes of a Longtime Coin Collector, by Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez - January 22, 2018.  You might want to read the entire article (just click on the link above).  Below are a few excerpts.

In the 1980s, gaming chips reigned. So, where are the opportunities today?
“Items they haven’t written books about,” he says. “There are lots of Mardi Gras doubloons that were dumped during the parades in New Orleans, but there isn’t a book about those and you can buy them for perhaps a quarter or so each."...

Many tokens are produced by merchants, and they are frequently used as advertisements, coupons, or for exchange by customers to redeem goods or services. I can personally attest to using countless tokens for playing arcade games, claiming free cookies at restaurants when I was a child, or riding subways during my visits to New York many years ago. I’m sure you’ve probably had similar experiences with many of the tokens you’ve handled, too. Tokens are all too often used and abused, usually ending up on return trips to their places of origin to be discarded or recycled.
And many tokens are simply lost, dissolving to oblivion in the abrasive sands of time.
“Most tokens are rare,” confirms Kiser, a 30-something who started collecting tokens when he was seven years old after discovering an old New Mexico token as a metal-detecting find in an early 1900s-era dump in southern New Mexico. “For example, when it comes to New Mexico, there about 2,000 different tokens known from that state, and about 1,000 of those have only one to three pieces known to exist. This makes most tokens far more rare than even the rarest of coins.”
Kiser understands this firsthand, too. He wrote New Mexico Trade Tokens, a reference book and price guide drawing from his nearly lifelong passion for tokens from the state known as the Land of Enchantment.
“Most of these tokens, speaking again only in reference to New Mexico tokens, are worth anywhere from $100 to $1,000,” he says. “The price would be even higher, but the demand is not there to drive the price up – there are only about six to eight people who collect New Mexico tokens. Compare that to the thousands of people nationwide who collect Mercury dimes and want a 1916-D for their collection.”
He estimates the number of people actively involved in token collecting is approximately 1,000 to 2,000 nationwide...
It seems to me that there are many opportunities for the token collector.  You can inexpensively build a significant collection, and there are good opportunities for price appreciation.  In coin collecting, there isn't much chance that you can be anything other than a very small fish in a very big pond.  That is not the case if you choose to build a nice token collection.

Sonesta Beach Hotel Tokens - One Free Drink.
Two Identical Tokens.
Due to the amount of tourism, you'll find tokens from around the country and around the world in Florida.

Here is transportation token for the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, for example.

Garden State Parkway Token Found in Florida
And here is one of my first with a little history to it.  I distinctly remember where it was found.

Miami Cafeteria Token.
This side reads FINE CAFETERIA FOODS AT 8600 BISCAYNE.  Below is the other side.

Miami Cafeteria Token
So we know the purpose of this one.  It is clear enough.

I found this one not too far from the address on the token.  It was at the site of a trailer park that had been removed.  The site was now in a park close to a historic natural bridge.  There was a banyon tree growing out of a shell midden very close to the natural bridge.  I once saw a photo of Thomas Edison standing below that banyan tree collecting artifacts.

I just showed a few tokens today and hope that you might be a little more interested in those that you find.  There are older ones.  I didn't happen to show my oldest ones today.

Beaches can be tough on tokens.  They are often in poor condition.

Here is the link to the article that I referred to above.

I've been really busy lately looking at a lot of different finds.

Happy hunting,