Saturday, July 31, 2010

7/31 Report - Nails as Clues & 18th Century Brigantine

Photo of Square Nails Recently Found on Treasure Coast Beach by Ian A.

The ship discovered at the World Trade Center site appears to be a two-masted Brigantine from the 18th Century that as used as land fill. Nonetheless it seems the ship has added some information since more iron nails were found on it than expected.

Here is the link.

As you might suspect it is difficult enough to identify dug items but even more so from photographs. You lose a lot of information in a photo. You don't get a 3-D view, and don't get the sense of density, texture, etc. You also don't know much about the context, which often provides a variety of useful clues.

If you drop a dime on a ceramic tile, you can tell the difference between a silver dime and a clad dime by sound. The silver dime has more of a tinkling sound.

Try it out and see if you can tell the difference.

Some readers think that yesterday's mystery item is a piece of rebar. That could be. There are a number of spots along the Treasure Coast where WWII structures stood along the beach and some are now very close to the water line.

In my 4/22 post, I posted an illustration showing different types of nails that were used over that last few centuries. Today I have more good web sites that show how to evaluate the age of nails and therefore also the items they were used on. The links were provided by Ian A. as was the photo above of the recently dug nails that came from Treasure Coast beaches.

Here are three web sites that will help you learn to identify the different ages of different types of nails. All three webs sites provide some nice illustrations such as the one to the right which came from the University of Vermont site (third link).

If you read through all three of these web sites I think you'll learn how to use any nails you find to evaluate a detecting site.

Whenever you find an older object on a beach, even if it is only a nail, you should check that area very thoroughly for any additional items. When an older item is found, that is a good sign that beach conditions at that spot are good, and the chances are good that other things might be accumulating there.

Forecast and Conditions. The seas are very calm this weekend with a low tide around six. No change in Treasure Coast beach conditions. There are a few low-tide areas that are still producing coins.

The tropical wave down by Puerto Rico still has only a 10% chance of becoming a cyclone. It seems to be heading west, into the Mexico or the Gulf.

The wave over by Africa is still too far away to predict much.

Happy hunting,