Monday, November 29, 2010

11/29 Report - Couple Mystery Finds & Preserving Finds

Spoon Found on the Treasure Coast.

I'm trying to get information to identify this spoon. When I first saw it I thought it could be real old. I think it might be pewter. It doesn't test as high grade silver.

I don't think it is as old as it looks. I found a mark reading "ITALY." I don't know when Italy was first called Italy, but I think it was maybe in the 1860s. I'll have to do some more research on that.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

Below I have another little mystery find for the day that I'd like some help with. It is about 1.25 inches across the top, 1 inch across the bottom, and about one inch tall. It seems to be made out of a fairly rough stone like a grinding wheel, but as you might be able to see, is lop-sided and would wobble all over the place if turned on it's axis. I think that means it is probably not a grinding wheel.

I'm thinking that it might be a stopper similar to what you see on some old beer or soda bottles. What do you think?

Here is a good web site by Captain Dan Berg that gives the basics for preserving shipwreck artifacts including, wood, pottery, iron, tin, lead, glass, etc.

Preserving your artifacts will keep them nice for a long time and make them more presentable and perhaps even more valuable.

I always recommend keeping good notes on when and where items are found. That helps in a variety of ways. Not only does it add information that can actually add to the value of finds, but it also will help you figure out what if any wreck an item might be associated with, and it will help you evaluate different beaches and detecting sites for future detecting.

I recently saw a guy on a beach with a detector and s scoop and a sifter. That is a lot of equipment to carry, but it can be worthwhile.

If you find a good spot, especially one that might contain small non-metallic items, a sift screen can be a good thing to use.

You can use a screen to sift materials in either dry sand or wet. Wave action can be used to more quickly sift wet sand.

Some things are so small that you will have a hard time finding in any case. I once found a very small gold bead. After detecting the bead, it took me a long time to find it in the sand even though I was looking right at it. I finally found it after throwing a handful of sand, bead included, on the coil of my detector and moving it around on the coil with my fingers. Still it didn't really stand out from the sand very much visually.

Of course in the water you can find items that keep going though the holes in your scoop. That can make it really hard to find. A dive mask can help in situations like that sometimes.

Gold chains can be hard to keep in a scoop. At least I've had trouble with them. They tend to want to slip out of the front of the scoop. Thankfully they are usually big enough to see without too much difficulty if you have any visibility in the water.

Forecast and Conditions.

The seas are what I would call moderate this week, predicted to reach 5.5 feet on Tuesday and 6 feet on Thursday. That isn't too bad, and even if it doesn't cause beach erosion, it might move some of the sand in front of the beach.

My theory is that as the winter weather progresses, sand is removed from in front of the beach and makes heaveier items more available so that when we finally do get some good cuts they aren't buried in the shallow water. Just a theory though.

As I've mentioned in the past, my best cob hunting has typically been November through April, and my very best days have been in Decemember and January.

Happy hunting,