Friday, December 30, 2011

12/31/11 Report - Happy New Years and Some Past Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Some Metal Detector Finds from the South Florida Area.

Finds and Photo by Lawrence.

These are just a sample of his finds. Lawrence also found the dagger that I mentioned in my 7/25 post.

People don't think of the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas as being a place to relic hunt, but you can find some old stuff own there. Miami has been a place for ships to stop and get fresh water since the very early days.

Lawrence sent photos of other items that I might show from time to time.

It seems that people publish a lot of lists on New Years Eve. Here are a few items that come to mind for me.

My last gold find in 2011 - the band found yesterday.
My oldest find of 2011 - the Giant Sloth Tooth. Maybe it was actually one of the other fossils, but I know the sloth tooth is millions of years old.
My oldest cob find of 2011 - Mexican half reale of the Carlos era.
Most valuable find of 2011 - Rolex watch.
Most regrettable find of 2011 - hash pipe.

Overall 2011 didn't yield many cobs. But I think it is when things are difficult that you probably learn the most.

I don't think I issued a beach conditions rating as high as a four all year. If I did, it was for a very short time.

There were a few cobs dug on the Treasure Coast beaches this year though. More spikes and other artifacts than cobs.

Here is the fossilized peccary tooth that I briefly mentioned yesterday. At least that is what I think it might be. Fred D. will probably be able to tell me for sure.

Did you notice how nice Lawrence's silver looks? One of the bad things about detecting ocean beaches is the damage that the salt water does to silver. Silver found inland, even in lakes and streams, are usually in much nicer condition. I actually like the effect that the northern cold water lakes have on silver.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

Conditions remain essentially unchanged.

The wind is out of the west and the seas are running down around one or two feet. A good time to check the low tide areas.

When the cold front passes through, the seas will get up around five feet again. We'll have to see what that does.

Happy New Year.

12/30/11 Report - A Big Clump, Sunken Plane, Ships Under Sand & Pigs Teeth

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

14K Band Beach Find.

This is the type of thing that is being reported these days from the Treasure Coast. More modern jewelry than older stuff.

I guess we are in the tourist season. And the beaches have been too sandy to find very many old items.

The wrecks of two 19th Century American whaling ships have been discovered below a beach in Western Australia.

Here is the link to the video.

You never know what might be under all that sand.

I thought this was a bit unusual. I never saw a modern bottle in a clump like this before. I'm sure it isn't that unusual, but it was for me.

The bottle is a vintage Royal Crown cola bottle. Other pieces of glass besides the bottle, shells and other things can also be seen sticking out of the clump.

It is always a good idea to thoroughly check out any clumps. You never know what might be in there. I've seen silver cobs stuck to iron spikes, for example.

A WWII era Navy plane was recently discovered by divers about four miles east of Jupiter in a couple hundred feet of water. The Navy says don't touch it.

Here is the link to the story.

Wild Pig Jaw.

Something else a bit unusual. I've never seen one of those on a beach before.

I was interested in it because I recently picked up a fossil tooth that I thought might be a peccary tooth so I figured this gave me a good chance to see what modern pig teeth look like.

I'll post possible peccary tooth someday soon. Fred D. will probably be able to tell me if that is what it is.

The wind is from the northeast and the seas are pretty calm and will remain that way through the weekend.

I'd hunt the beach fronts while the seas are down.

A cold front will be coming through soon and the seas will begin to increase again by Monday.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 29, 2011

12/29/11 Report - J. Bourne Bottle & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is the stoneware bottle that I found yesterday, and below is a better view of the label.

After a little quick research I found that the name "J. Bourne and Son" was used first in 1850. I found that a bottle of this type would probably be from the 1850-1880 period.

It is a master ink bottle. There are many varieties. This one, unlike most that I've seen, has a pouring spout.

They come in different sizes. You saw that if you went to the Odyssey Marine virtual museum. A lot of these bottles were found on the S. S. Republic.

It seems the British ink companies almost ran the American ink companies out of business in those days.

It is a lot easier to learn the history of an item when it is so clearly marked.

I listed a message from a dowser a few days ago, and it seems that it stimulated a lot of interest. Not only did the dowser receive emails almost immediately after the posting, but people have written to me about the subject. One diver said he will be testing it out this summer. I'll have more on this when the poll is complete.

Don't forget that the waterways of Florida are owned by the state of Florida. And there are laws pertaining to items, including fossils, found in the waterways. If you collect fossils, there is a permit that you should obtain. You can find the application for the permit by using the link below.

The officials are pretty understanding and friendly, but they have the right to ask to see your permit if you are collecting fossils. Of course there is the possibility of penalties if you do not comply.

On a more general note, one more quick reminder. The state claims ownership of items found in state waterways, the and the last I read, consider items 40 years old to be of historical interest.

Steve from Iowa, was in the area for the holidays and has been making some good finds, including a nice gold bracelet, toe ring, and a long silver chain. He saw nine people detecting Jensen beach when he was there. Steve also told me, Thanks again for all your hunting tips. They pay off. I'm glad to hear that. Thanks for letting me know that I'm helping.

The wreck of La Salle's Griffin has possibly been located in Lake Michigan. The ship is claimed by France, but according to agreements, will be salvaged and displayed in the U. S.

Here is the link for more of the story.

Treasure Coast Beach Conditions and Forecast.

The seas was a bit calmer today. The beaches haven't changed significantly in the past few days. Most of them are very sandy.

You can still find stuff, as I've shown. I found a few coins and a ring today, and noticed a fossil bone sticking partially out of an old cut. So there are lots of things to be found even though conditions for finding old treasure coins is poor.

I always say when conditions are not right for one thing they are right for finding other things. If you are interested in only one type of target, you will have some long dry spells, but if you are willing and able to adapt to the current conditions, you'll usually be able to find something.

There are a lot of detectorists out this week, with people getting time off from work and all of the tourists in town, but there have also been a good number of people going to the beach.

It looks like we'll have relatively smooth seas through the weekend, then they'll increase.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12/28/11 Report - Mystery Object and Stoneware Ink Bottle

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Mystery Object for ID.

This was found by one of this blog's readers down in the Dade County area near some of my favorite hunting areas of days gone by. There are shipwrecks in the water down there too. And shipwreck artifacts have been found in the same general area.

Anyhow, the person that found the item says it appears to be made of lead. I won't tell you what I think it is or isn't because I don't want to influence your thinking.

The wide part is flat, the stem round, and the bottom of the stem pointed.

Please let me know what you think it might be.

Interesting! I went out, looked around and decided that I didn't feel like detecting the beach today but decided to take a walk and look around for old bottles and stuff. I didn't take my detector or anything - just went eye-balling.

I decided to go to one spot that I hadn't been to for a couple of years at least. It required a 45 minute or so walk - one way. On the way I didn't see much to encourage me and I almost cut the walk short.

Finally I got there and I saw some vintage bottles laying around. In the middle of them was a nice stoneware bottle.

I had been to this place many times in years gone by, but never saw any stoneware bottles there before.

It was a J. Bourne and Son master ink bottle. When I came home and looked it up on the internet, I learned that many similar bottles were found on the S. S Rebublic by Odyssey Marine. The virtual museum on their web site has photos of bottles like the one I found today.

Here is the link.

I'm sure my bottle didn't come from the Republic.

I'll get photos of the one I found along with some other bottles that I found today.

More on that tomorrow.

Sometimes it seems like you are guided by intuition or something like that. It has happened to me before.

That spot entered by mind today and that is where I was headed. My stoneware bottle was found right where I was headed - within a few feet at most.

And I had been thinking that I would like to find some stoneware. Its no gold bar or anything real valuable, but it seemed like that is what my mind was tunded for today. I guess I should try to tune my mind to bigger things. I like stoneware for some reason and hadn't found much of it. So it was a fun find anyhow.

That is something like dowsing I guess. Funny that it should happen now when I have the survey about dowsing running on this blog.

Another coincidence! Maybe not.

The wind is now out of the north/northwest. The seas are around three feet today, dropping off tomorrow for a few days. That won't change conditions much.

I had some reports of nice finds of modern jewelry lately.

Happy hunting,

Monday, December 26, 2011

12/27/11 Report - The Mantola & Value of Test Targets

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Wreck of the Mantola.

The Mantola was sunk by a German torpedo off Ireland in 1917 with 20 tons of silver valued at more the $18 million today.

Odyssey Marine has been contracted by the British Department of Transport to do the salvage work.

As you may know, they also have a contract with the British to salvage the silver laden Gairsoppa.

It seems they have a lot going on.

Here is the link to the article about the find, which also provides the above photo.

This could in part account for the nice increases in the share price of Odyssey Marine stock (OMEX) over the last week or so.

I was reminded once again how good it is to carry a few test targets. You won't always find the same ground conditions. If you have some good test targets with you, you can always adjust your settings for the conditions you find.

Yesterday I was working a vacant lot. The lot had tons of trash and huge rebars and other iron under much of the lot. The detector I usually use in situations like that had low batteries, so I decided to use a detector that I usually use at the beach. To see how it would react under those conditions, I used a few test targets and quickly found out how those types of targets would sound under those conditions. It really helped and I was glad I had the test targets with me.

It would not be a bad idea to routinely use test targets to adjust your detector to the optimal settings for the conditions where you are hunting.

Speaking of conditions - there was a lot of mushy sand on the beaches that I saw today. And the surf was rougher than I expected. In fact a lot of surfers were out taking advantage of the nicely formed waves.

The beach fronts were steep, but mushy. There was some scalloping,(see photos below) but even there the sand was very mushy.

Tomorrow the seas will be about the same as today. Then Thursday and Friday a bit calmer.

I'm not expecting any real improvement in conditions real soon. You might, though, be able to find some recent drops. A lot of people went to the beach on Sunday and Monday.

I briefly hunted one heavily over-hunted beaches this morning, just to see what it was like, and still managed to find some deep coins that had been missed.

There is a little stirring going on. I'd check the beach fronts when the seas actually calm down.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

12/26/11 Report - One Strange Place to Find Gold & More

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Small 18K Gold Ring With Small Diamonds and Sapphires.

This is the type of beach find that can be easily missed.

There is a fellow that said he once worked in the jewelry business who now mines the streets of New York around the diamond district. He checks holes, cracks and crevices in the pavement and picks up specs of gold or gem stones and also pans the residue.

Take a look at what he finds.

Urban Mining

Gold and other treasure can be found many places, and many sites are in plain view yet remain overlooked.

I've found a good bit of stuff on streets and side walks just eye-balling - gold chain, watches, ear rings, and rings. The point is that you can find stuff a lot of places, especially if you develop your eye-balling skills.

Over $23 thousand found in old house by the new buyers.

Here is the link to a nice story illustrating the spirit of giving.

In one post from more than a year ago I mentioned a couple of maps that I received anonymously from a dowser that pointed to possible treasure sites on the Treasure Coast. You can probably find those posts by using the blog search box.

I received the following email from someone who I don't know but who is evidently a reader of this blog. I don't know Dan and have nor prior knowledge or experience with him or his service, so I am not endorsing or making a recommendation of any sort but am passing along the message he sent for your own consideration.

Here is what Dan said.

I've been an avid th'er since 1964. In the 1970's, I developed map dowsing ability and have used it and a detector to find and recover coins, artifacts, and jewelry with great success. On 12-14-2011, I had a heart attack and decided at age 68, I need to abandon my 'lone wolf' th'ing attitude. I'd like to pair up via 'phone or email with th'ers out there who could benefit from my map dowsing to locate cobs and jewelry on your local sites. I propose a 50/50 split of found item value on targets I pinpoint successfully for you from maps. Contact Dan Zehrung at

That makes me think of adding a poll on the subject but I can no longer find the feature that allows me to add new gadgets to the blog.

One common answer I get about my silver ingot mystery item (see the recent post about that) is that it is a balance scale weight with the one indicating ten grams. Like I said, that is a common answer I get, and it is an idea that seems very possible. It does, however, leave me with one big question. Why would it be made of silver. I do not think I have ever seen or heard of balance weights being made of a precious metal.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is from the south. The seas are down around two feet and will decreasing even more over the next week or so. That means that there will be no significant improvement in beach hunting conditions on the Treasure Coast, but it also means that you'll be able to work the low tide zone very easily or get into the water, where that is permissible.

Some of the high tides have been pretty high despite the calm seas.

I hope everybody enjoyed a wonderful Christmas.

Happy hunting,

12/24/11 - 12/25/11 Post - Merry Christmas to All

May you experience the treasure of Christmas all year long!

From the
Treasureguide, Christmas 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

12/23/11 Report - Shipwreck For Sale & Some Precautions

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Artifacts From a 1700 Era British War Ship

For $150,000 you can buy 1000 artifacts, including those shown above, from a 1700s era British warship.  Many of the artifacts are still encrusted.   Included are cannons, lead hull patches, hooks, spikes, cannon balls, and many unidentified pieces. 

I mention this because there are many photos like the one above with the listing.  It is worth taking a look at.   Also, a little of the story behind the salvage operation is also included. 

The eBay item number is 150723042289 if you want to take a look.

33 Carat Diamond Ring.

This is 33 carat diamond ring sold for $8.8 million.  Below is the link to the story.

Big diamonds always look good in a sand scoop.

A few days ago I published a post on diamond rings.

A long time ago I did a post on how some people will try to claim items that they didn't lose and don't belong to them.   I also described precautions to take to avoid that.

Never show found items until you have time to inspect the item for details, including inscriptions or markings. 

If hunting an item for someone, make sure to get a good detailed description including any inscriptions or other less obvious identifying details.  

There are people that will try to claim an item that is not theirs.   There are also times when they might have lost something but not the particular thing you found, and they'll try to claim it.

On the other hand, I also know of cases when a person lost a valuable item but denied it when they were contacted and told the item was found.   That might seem strange, but evidently there were circumstances pertaining to the item or loss that they didn't want revealed.   If you think about it you might be able to come up with a few reasons why that might happen.  I can.

But back to the people who will try to claim items that do not belong to them.   If you are asked to hunt for a lost item, always get a very detailed description before hunting.  And I do mean always, and I do mean detailed.  As I said, people will try to claim other items that you find.  I've seen it more than once.

And do not show found items until you have inspected them for details such as inscriptions or other identifying marks.  You want to be sure to return the item to the rightful owner.

When hunting in the water and there are a lot of people around, once you lift your scoop, shake it vigorously (short quick strokes) before putting your hand in the scoop to remove the item by feel.  Remove the item before lifting the scoop all the way out of the water.  When you shake the scoop full of sand, that will create a cloud of sand that will conceal the item until you can stick your hand in the scoop, remove the item and pocket it until you get a chance to inspect it privately.

If the surf web site predictions are correct, it looks like we'll have calms seas for a week or so.
Of course that means that beach conditions will not improve.  It may however give you a chance to do some water hunting (the first time for a while) if you are in an area where that is allowed.
It will also give you a chance to get out a little further in the low tide zone.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

12/22/21 Report - 7 Million Dollar Brasher Coin & Whatzits Revisited

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1787 Brasher Doubloon.

This beauty sold for 7.4 million dollars.

You can read more about that by using the following link.

Here we are  approaching the end of another year.  It is a good time to evaluate things and make improvements.

In the past I've recommended keeping good detailed records.  Have you done that?  If so, it is a good time to go over your records.  Maybe what you'll find is that you didn't do a very good job of keeping records.

When I was thinking things over, I realized that a good number of my mystery items have been identified to my great satisfaction.   There were some that remained mysterious for a long time, but thanks to my many readers, I've solved some of those.

There are however a few that remain.  One that still puzzles me even though a lot of people have offered various opinions is what I call the silver ingot.

I've posted about it before but despite the good opinions that I've received on it, I still don't feel like the mystery is solved.

Here is a front and side view.

It is silver.  I acid tested it.  It weighs 10 grams.  It appears to show a wreath, which you can see near the top of the heavily stamped "1."

I found it on a beach, but not one of the 1715 Fleet beaches.  I think it is probably not Spanish, but I don't know.  The wreath just doesn't seem Spanish and, the "1" doesn't seem like it to me.

I received thoughts that it might be a button or weight or assay sample.   The last of those seems the most likely to me, but if there are any additional thoughts you might offer about the identity of this item, please let me know. 

If it is an assay sample, the wreath could be the mark that identifies the owner, and the "1" might be the sample number.

Maybe I'll post a couple more of my unsolved mystery items in the next few days.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

I did find one beach yesterday that was eroded down to older layers of sand, but most of the beaches are now big and mushy.

The wind is from the south and the high tide will be pretty high.  We are near a new moon.

I'm not any real changes to the overall poor conditions real soon.   The surf web sites are predicting five foot and higher seas for week.   That is probably not going to be enough to improve conditions.

Happy hunting.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12/21/11 Report - $33 Million More For Sand

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Small Ladies Ring With Emerald and Diamonds Found on Treasure Coast Beach

One more example of the kind of thing I was talking about the other day - small ladies rings bearing gems.  There is not much metal on this ring.  Use too much discrimination, and you might miss it.

Over $30 million in tax payer dollars will be spent to dump 800,000 tons of sand on nearly 8 miles of Brevard County beaches.

The sand will be coming from east of Port Canaveral.

Here is the link to that story, which was submitted by Rodney K.|topnews|text|Home

They say they are afraid that the condominiums will be washed away if there was a hurricane.  Why did they build there then?

I can't get into trying to make sense of all that nonsense.  I'll just have to let it go at that or I'll spend my whole day on that one topic.

Thanks for the submission Rodney.

A few days ago I showed a photo of a fossil bone that I thought might have been broken and the marrow removed.  I wondered if it might have been done by humans.  

Fred D., who knows a lot about fossils, sent me an email giving some good information about that fossil bone.

Here is what Fred said.

....the bone is a cannon bone (lower leg) either from deer or one of the many species of small horse we had here in Florida. As for the marrow: there are a great number of reasons why it disintegrates from within. 1. a fracture allows bacteria in to hasten the decay of the soft material, 2. already broken and the elements do the job (water action mostly), 3. deliberately hollowed out by a another animal, insects, worms or human. In this case, the human factor might NOT be a factor. It looks extremely mineralized giving a clue to its fossilized state. Perhaps long before human occupation . ALTHOUGH EARLY PALEO CAN NOT BE TOTALLY RULED OUT. There could be an ancient Paleo campsite sitting off the beach in 30 feet of water along with its refuse pile. Remember Florida was much wider than today.

Of that same fossil, Fred went on to say,  It looks to have been recently tossed about and has suffered recent breaks (the gray chipping). As for the cut marks...if I could see them I could get a better shot at identifying them. A cut mark is a cut mark; no two ways about it. However, many rolls and tumbles in a moving body of water can produce scratches and gouges that appear to be cut marks. One must spend time with a microscope or jewelers loop and make comparisons with ancient cutting tools.

I personally enjoy fossils, but have not studied that field.  I really appreciate the knowledge of this blog's readers.  Thanks Fred.

The wind is coming from the south.  The predictions are for seas down around three feet for the next few days, but when I looked at the ocean this morning, it actually looked rougher. also appeared that the surf had been higher on the beach than I would have expected.  Nonetheless, the conditions were poor.  There is a lot of mushy sand out there.   And surprisingly, I didn't see any shell piles yet.

I'm giving a 1 (poor) rating for current beach conditions and am not expecting any real changes for a few days.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12/20/11 Report - More on Bottles & the Viking Hoard

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

A Small Sample of 20th Century Bottles Found on the Treasure Coast.

I recently published a post showing some old bottles.  As a result I received some emails asking more about bottles.  As a result I decided to talk a little more about the type of bottles that are commonly found on the Treasure Coast.
The photo above shows some of the kinds of bottles that might be found on the Treasure Coast.   They are not the oldest bottles and not the most valuable, but they all can be sold for a few bucks.  They are all twentieth century bottles.  The oldest bottles are not always the most valuable.

The 7-UP bottle is not old but is the type of thing many people collect.  Vintage soda bottles are popular, most especially Coca Cola items.  The most valuable bottle that I've sold was a West Palm straight-side Coca Cola bottle. 

A lot of people collect vintage soda bottles from the fifties and sixties rather than the older embossed bottles that do not have the graphics.

The bottle to the right of the 7-UP bottle is a Coca Cola soda water bottle, embossed Fort Pierce on the bottom.  I've found a few of them on the Treasure Coast.

The bottle to the left of the 7-UP bottle is a a "Hutch" or "Hutchinson" bottle, so named because of the stopper, which you can see inside the bottle.  Hutch bottles date to around 1880 to 1910.

To the left of that is a Gordon's Dry Gin bottle.  They are pretty common, yet can be sold for a small price.  One of the first old bottles that I ever found and which got me interested in bottles, was a bottle like this that I found in the mangroves after Hurricane Andrew.

The little greenish bottle in the front is called depression glass or Vaseline glass.  That type of glass was popular in the twenties.  You might be surprised to learn that it contains uranium.  Under a black light it will fluoresce.  Due to the demand for uranium during the cold war, it went out of style.

I included the salt shaker simply because it still has part of the metal top and would therefore be easily detected with a metal detector.

The Hutch bottle of course would also give a signal because of the presence of the iron and rubber stopper.

Another reason for mentioning bottles in a metal detecting blog is that if you know something about bottles, it will help you to identify the date of a site and give you a clue about what else you might expect to find there.

One of the first clues you will often get about a historic site is the glass that you see laying on the ground.

Of course you can occasionally find bottles that are a lot older, but I decided to stick with more common finds today.

There are a lot of bottle collecting sites.   Too many for me to wade through.

Here is one very good site for learning more about bottles.

One archaeologist acknowledges the contributions of detectorists in an article about the Viking Hoard.  The article has a lot of nice photos of the detecting finds too.

The predictions say that the seas will be decreasing for the next few days.  That means a chance to get out a little further in the low tide zone.  Otherwise, not much hope for improvement.

The wind is from the south.  That might mean shells and things piling up.

Happy hunting,

Monday, December 19, 2011

12/19/25 Report - A Few Spots Eroded & Six More Hunting Days Until Christmas

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Typical beach Monday Morning.

It appears that most of the beaches along the Treasure Coast are pretty mushy right now.  Many are scalloped.  I saw a good number of shells, a good bit of sea glass, and some fossils in addition to metallic targets.  I didn't see any pottery or shipwreck wood though. 

There are some spots that continue to erode.  Those are mostly spots that were eroding a few weeks ago. 

Bathtub Beach is closed again.  Can you believe it.  I made fun of the timing of their last project.  They started it at the very wrong time of the year, and I think I said it will be lucky to last a few weeks.  That turned out to be very true.  Sometimes it seems like they want to spend as much tax payer money as wastefully as possible. 

Another place that is eroding is another place that eroded weeks ago and that they also tried to fill again very recently.   Well, it continues to erode.  That is South Jetty Park in Fort Pierce. 

Both of those places have obstacles to the north that interrupts the natural north to south flow of sand.

The seas have been pretty rough, but not the eight foot or higher seas that provide a good chance for detecting conditions to really improve.  Six feet is what I consider borderline.   Good erosion could happen at that level, but other conditions have to be right, and for the most part, they have not been lately.

Unfortunately the few places that have been cutting are not the primary shipwreck treasure beaches.  They have been pretty mushy.

The predictions are for four to five foot seas for Monday and Tuesday, and after that decreasing seas for a few days.  I'll keep my beach conditions rating at a 1 (poor).

There are a few targets to be found.  Scout around a little and hunt the few better spots.

Fossil Bone Found on a Treasure Coast Beach.

What I find interesting about this is that it appears that the bone was broken open and the marrow removed.  I'm far from an expert on that sort of thing.  Maybe Fred D. or somebody will weight in on that.  It also appears that their might be cut marks on the other side of the bone.  Probably not.   Again, that is one of those things that I know very little about.

Only a few more hunting days until Christmas.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12/17/11 - Some First Observations on the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II & ROV For Sale

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Deep Water ROV For Sale

Have you ever watched the guys from Odyssey Marine on TV and wishing you had an ROV.  Well this one is on sale on eBay, with a starting bid of $6500.   Just in time for Christmas too.   Wouldn't it be fun?  Too bad it won't be showing up under my tree.

Bernie C., who started the St. Lucie metal detecting club, got a chance to try out his new detector.  I asked him if he would send me his observations on the new detector after he had used it.   He did just that after using the new detector yesterday.

Here is what he had to say.

Here's a quick review of the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II. I hit the beach with the Sea Hunter at 7 am today didn't find anything valuable just some clad. I was digging coins at 12 + inches in wet sand with no falsing. I dug with zero discrimination just to test the machine and to see how the different signals sounded, I dug part of a fishing hook at close to 20 inches. The headphones are extremely loud with no volume control and this is great if you are detecting in the surf. The machine is built very well, Heavy Duty. There is a little instability when swinging the coil due to the way the rods connect together but it can be fixed easy, and it doesn't affect the machines operation. I also did some air tests on gold and silver, here are the results: 10kt- 11.5 inches from coil. 14kt 13 inches from coil, 18kt 13.5 inches from coil and silver 12 inches from coil. I did notice I was digging alot more targets with the Sea Hunter than I was with my White"s IDX Pro machine. So it looks like the White's will be the inland unit due to the salt water falsing and the Garrett will be for the beach. I'll be doing some discrimination tests tomorrow.

Thanks Bernie!  Those are two detectors that I have not used.
As you might remember, Hurricane Irene was a disappointment on the Treasure Coast, but she did uncover some things up north.  In New York, for example, Irene uncovered part of an 18th Century fort.

Here is a nice article about that.

If you are around a historic area, always check out any eroded areas.  Even little gullies created by rain run-off can uncover old items.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is from the East, and the seas are down around five feet now.  That isn't enough to improve conditions for finding cobs but it is enough to keep stirring up the front beach.  I would expect some new secondary targets on the beach fronts - mostly iron and other lighter materials.

The seas will be decreasing over the next few days and down around one or two feet near Christmas.  That will make it easy to get out in the low tide zone, further than maybe than has been convenient the past couple of weeks.

I sure wish I had my camera with me one day about a week ago.  I saw some things uncovered at one spot that I haven't seen for years and probably won't for again for another couple of years.  It was one of those things where an isolated area just happened to get hit just right while most of the surrounding areas had no erosion at all.  That kid of thing happens occasionally .

Friday, December 16, 2011

12/16/11 Report - A Bit About Detectors

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Detectorist Finds Viking Hoard

Here is one item of that Viking hoard, which is thought to be worth five figures.  

Thanks to Joan T. for sending the link to that story.  Here it is.

Photo from source story.

I recently received a few emails more or less asking what is the best detector.  I haven't written much about that lately but if you have been reading this blog since it began, you probably know my stance on that.  I guess it might be time to repeat because even if you have been reading this blog for a few years, I don't think most people will remember posts that are more than a year old.  That would really be expecting way too much.

I don't put much emphasis on detectors.  You might have noticed that.  There are some people that will swear that their detector is best, and there are some people that spend a lot of time searching for the best detector, and some that try to squeeze the last ounce of performance out of their detector.  That isn't me.

I've used a good number of detectors but feel that most detectors produced by the major manufacturers will do a good job.  I think detectors are something like golf clubs.  You pick the one wouldn't say that a putter is better than a driver.  There are circumstances when one is better and circumstances when another would be a better choice.

I guess you could also compare detectors to fishing lures.  One might be good for one type of fish and another better for catching another type of fish.

I still use one detector that I've had for 25 years or so.   Obviously it isn't the latest or greatest but it works well and is the best choice under certain circumstances.  It is very good at detecting small gold rings like those I mentioned in my most recent post.

I've owned and used Whites, Garrett, Fisher, Tesoro, Minelab and a variety of custom made detectors.

Despite the advances in technology, it doesn't seem to me that detectors have improved much in the past twenty or thirty years.  Most of the changes that have been made are not that important to me.  I don't need or use much discrimination or target ID or things like that.

There are improvements that I'd like to see, but the manufacturers don't seem interested in doing the things that I'd like to see.
Different detectors do have different operating characteristics.   As do detectorists.  Some detectorists go out and wander around, some are very methodical, some are interested in finding one type of obect and others want to find something else.   Some have patience and some don't.   There are a lot of ways that detectorists are different, and those differences will have more to do with what you find than the detector you use.

In order to recommend a detector for one person, you have to know where they are going to hunt, what they want to find, and something about the detectorists operating characteristics.

I often recommend using no discrimination -  especially when hunting on a beach.  But there are some people that simply have no tolerance for trash.   They might need some discrimination just to keep going.  Or if you hunt vacant urban lots, discrimination is more important.  Those are examples of how the detectorists' personality and the situation can affect the detector that you use.

Since the blog is mostly about beach and shallow water hunting rather than hunting more trashy sites, that is part of the reason I recommend using no discrimination.   In my opinion, using the least discrimination possible, is always best unless you simply don't have the enough time to remove all the targets and are willing to miss a few good items.

Despite the advances in detector technology, in my opinion detectors have not improved much in the last 30 years.  As I said, I still use an old detector from time to time.   It has a lot of features that make it good for certain situations.  That particular detector does not, however, ground balance well in wet salt water sand.  But for dry sand and inland hunting, it is often my choice.

I won't go on with that any more today except to say that it is good to learn how to use your detector.  I don't think mot detectorists experiment with their detector enough.  I recommend using a variety of test targets to practice with whether it is on the beach or in your back yard. 

Take out some objects and see what your detector sounds like when passing the coil over thma at different depths and speeds.  Learn your optimal sweep speed.  Learn to know what your detector is telling you.   See what happens when you change the detector settings.  Practice, practice, practice.

I haven't been on the beach much this week.  I've been inland for a few days, but it looks like the beach remains in poor condition.

It looks like conditions will not improve over the next week or so.  

The wind is from the east and the swells coming from the east/southeast.   That is not very promsing.

Use your time well.   When conditions are poor, do a little exploring.  Try some new places and new things.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12/14/11 Report - Diamonds in the Sand

A Couple Beach Finds.

These aren't the biggest or fanciest looking rings in the world, but they hold good diamonds.

The one on the right has a very small band.  Not a lot of gold there.  But the diamond is a good one.

When I first started detecting, it seemed to me that women didn't lose as many rings as men.  I was finding a lot more men's rings.  I later learned that I was missing the smaller rings, and that was why I was finding more men's rings.  As my detecting improved I found more small rings, and more good diamonds.

One thing that is better than a gold ring is a diamond ring, but remember, it is only the gold that you will be detecting.

Not too long ago I talked about the markings that you might find on gold rings.  Today I'll talk about some things you'll want to know about diamond rings.

First, they are measured in carats.  The weight of a carat is 200 milligrams.

The abbreviation "ct" is a shortened way to write carat, and refers to the weight of a single diamond.  The abbreviation "ct TW" means carat total weight, and is used to express the total weight of multiple diamonds used in a piece of jewelry.

Carat weight is used as a measure for other gemstones as well as diamonds.
The weight of smaller diamonds is often expressed as points, not carats. There are 100 points in a carat.
On good jewelry you'll often find the weight of any gemstones inscribed inside the band along with the karat of the gold.
Quality diamonds are now often marked by a laser on the diamond itself.   You can not see the laser marking unless you use 10X magnification.
Diamonds are often laser marked with a certificate number or a brief message such as "Marry me."
It is a good idea to get a jewelers loop with at least ten power magnification.
Not all rings or diamonds will be clearly marked, especially vintage or older items.
Using a jewelers loop, you can often tell the difference between a zircon and a real diamond.  I think it takes a little training or experience though.
Zircons will often appear too perfect at first glance.  It is harder to tell the difference between a zircon and a high quality diamond than between a zircon and a lower quality diamond.
When viewed  with a loop, lower quality diamonds will show inclusions - little black spots.
Higher quality diamonds will be flawless, or nearly so.
A diamonds value will be heavily determined by the quality of the diamond, much like a coin's value is determined by it's condition.
If you lower your discrimination, you have a better chance of finding small ladies bands with good diamonds.
I recommend getting a jewelers loop.  You'll find it useful for inspecting coins and jewelry.
Another little tip - a broken gold band might only give a little whisper or a signal.
And platinum rings will often give a nice soft but steady signal. 
When targeting small gold or platinum rings with good stones, I'd recommend a something like a seven or eight inch coil at most.

Beach conditions pretty much unchanged.  There are a few cuts around, but they are scattered and minimal. 

The seas continue to hit from the east and not much is happening.

After today, the seas will start to decrease a little.   That will be a goo time to check a little further ut during low tide.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12/13/11 Report - Gold Ring Symbols, CT Scanning & Teething Dollars

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach Find.

The gold ring shown above appears to have some interesting symbols on it.  At the base of the heart inside the intersection of the two circles is a cross.  If anyone recognizes the design, I'd like to hear from you.

Wouldn't it be nice to take a good look inside all of the conglomerates and other mystery objects that you find?   The scan man at the Smithsonian has a job that allows him to do just that.
He's scanned many of the Smithsonian's holdings.  

I'd love to have either an x-ray machine or a CT scanner.   Looking into old finds could keep a person busy for a long time.

Here is a link to read more about the new CT scanner at the Smithsonian.

The price of gold is now in the mid $1600 range.   That is down about $250 per ounce since it's high around $1900. 

I once stumbled onto a bunch of Susan Anthony dollar coins in the shallow surf.  I could never figure out why or how anyone would dump a roll of dollar coins in the ocean, or even on the beach. 

The Anthony dollars still show up once in a while.   Better than a penny, but I don't know that I've ever seen one in circulation.  Some people must hold on to them.

Post offices across the country passed out large quantities of the dollar coins, and the Defense Department tried to force service personnel stationed in Europe to use the coins in place of paper dollars, but the experiment collapsed because most foreign countries will not exchange their currencies for coins.

I just read the following about the frequency of early holed dollars and don't think I buy it.

Here is what an article on a numismatic web site said.  One credible reason given is that the coins were used as “teethers” for babies, since they were too large to be readily swallowed. A rather expensive toy back in the days when a dollar was a dollar. Of course, after the baby had outgrown the need, the string was removed and the dollar went back into circulation, little the worse for wear, other than the hole, which didn’t detract from its face value.

That just doesn't sound believable to me. 

On the way to the beach the other day I noticed a newly cleared lot that I wanted to check out.  As a result I won't be on the beach today to give a report of current beach conditions.
Just watching the weather and looking at the surf web site predictions, I wouldn't expect anything much different from what we've been having for the past few days.

I'll leave it at that for now.

Happy hunting,

And silver is down to around $31 per ounce.  That is down about 25% since hitting it's recent high.

You never know where it will go next, but a lot of people are thinking the down trend will continue for a little while.

Monday, December 12, 2011

12/12/11 Report - Lots of Rain and a Little Scattered Erosion

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Nieves Site Sunday Morning

It has been very rainy on the Treasure Coast the past two days.  I got soaked Sunday.  When I started detecting it wasn't raining, but when I got a good distance from the car, it poured down.

You need to take your rain gear on days like this.   If you don't have a water proof detector, you need to take something to cover it.

It is also a good idea to have a water proof container for your wallet and any small items that might need protection.  Even when it is not raining, water proofing can be helpful.  You never know when you might get hit by a surprise wave.

Did you ever notice how the ocean likes to hit you when you least expect it.  You can turn your back or put your detector down thinking that you are far enough from the water, and then here it comes.  Splash!

And those deep targets near the water's edge.  You can get almost down to it and then the water then the water decides to come up and fill the hole.

Anyway, it has been very wet all weekend.  As you see in the photo above, there were a few breaks, but then it would rain again.

I don't mind the rain.  At least there wasn't any lightening.

The worst part about the rain for me, is the reduction in visibility.  I like to eye-ball.  Yet, at the same time, the rain does uncover things.

I didn't see anyone else detecting where I was yesterday. I guess they picked a dryer time to get out.

I've mentioned before that the waves are not the only cause of erosion. Yesterday there was some nice rain erosion in the dunes too. I watched the front layer of the dunes sink onto the beach when the dunes got soaked.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is from the east today and the seas are expected to be up around seven feet. That is pretty good, yet lately it hasn't been enough. Most of the beaches are not eroded, but there are some scattered spots where you can find some erosion. Most are where it has been eroded before in the last month or so.

I did find one beach that was eroding yesterday morning. The cuts were small though. I don't know if they continued to erode or not. And, like I said, there was some good rain erosion on some of the dunes.

Unfortunately the angle of the waves is not very good. Mostly hitting the beaches at near a ninety degree angle.

Overall I'll keep my beach conditions rating at a 1 (poor) even though there are a few interesting spots to look at. 

As you might know, my beach conditions rating is based upon the likelihood of finding cobs.  It isn't as poor for finding modern items.

High tide is around 9 o'clock.

It is cloudy this morning, and the forecast is for a 40% chance of rain. I'd give it a better chance along the coast. Take your rain gear.

I'll show some found diamonds tomorrow or soon.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

12/10/11 Rain, Gold Ring & Gold Monkey Head

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

It has been raining on the Treasure Coast this morning.  Heavily since the early hours around Fort Pierce.  Not as much Vero and north.

Rain will actually calm the seas a little if there isn't a lot of wind to offset the effect.

I'll always remember the eerie calm one time when I was shallow water detecting on a  morning when the sea was flat and and it was raining so that I couldn't see more than a few feet in any direction around me.   That was beautiful.   It almost seemed like the small bubble that I could see around me was all that existed.  No other sound and nothing to see except the calm water and the rain around me.   I can't explain it any better.  I really wish I had a video of that.

Anyhow, if you are going to detect this morning, rain gear would be a good idea. 

Here is a ring that was found on a beach.  It is rather big and heavy and tests 18K. 

Obviously something is missing from it.  You can see a little extension on both the top and bottom.  It looks like something was attached there.  I think it once had a cover, sort of like a locket.  I would guess it held a picture or some small item.  

Maybe it was a mourning or memorial ring.  But it has no engraving on the inside.

Here is a good site that shows a lot of examples of 18th and 19th century mourning rings.

That is a good web site for reference purposes.

I'm not convinced this was a mourning ring, but that is one possibility. 

If you have seen a ring like the one in my photo, maybe  with the missing part still attached, I would love to know what it was like. 

If you have any ideas about it, please let me know what you think.

A gold monkey head from around 300 AD has been repatriated to Peru.

Here is the link to that story including a photo of the gold head.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

It looks like it might continue raining today.    When you do get out, check for erosion caused by rain, and keep your eyes open for any targets that might have been  uncovered by the rain.

The seas are running around five feet.  Expect a little stirring on the beach fronts. 

Conditions for finding cobs remains poor.

The seas will pick up, peaking late Monday or Tuesday up around 7 or more feet.  That is getting close to what it often takes to improve conditions.  It could work if the wind is right. 

High tides have also been relatively high lately, so you might want to recheck those areas where there has been cutting back close to the dunes.

Happy hunting,

Friday, December 9, 2011

12/9/11 Report - Markings on Gold Jewelry Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach Find.

It is nice when a found item is marked.  The clasp on this bracelet is marked  "Italy 14K  .585."

Don't accept markings without verification though.   They are occasionally wrong.

This item tests 14K.

And I'll have to give the Italians credit for making a fine band.

You can be fooled by markings even when they are correct.  Sometimes different conventions are used, and it can get a little confusing.

Often wedding rings will be inscribed with a date.  Did you know that 8-10-11 does not always indicate August 10, 2011?   It sometimes indicates the 8th day of October.  Some countries or regions use a different ordering and/or format.

So if you see something like 20-10-2011 and are wondering how the month can be the twentieth month, it is probably the day rather than the month.

Gold purity is often given in either K (karat) or as a three digit decimal.

Karat purity is measured as 24 times the purity by mass, or in other words 24 times the mass of gold divided by the total mass of the item.     24-Karat gold is fine (99.9% Au w/w), 18-Karat gold is 18 parts gold 6 parts another metal (forming an alloy), 12-Karat gold is 12 parts gold (12 parts another metal), etc.

14k is approximately .5833% gold, but jewelers increase it to .585% for easier mixing.

I used to see KP on some items and thought it meant Karat Plated.  That was wrong.  KP stands for Karat Plumb, where "plumb" indicates "exact."   It is a good thing instead of a bad thing.

Look for and make good use of any markings but don't blindly accept them.

Bernie C. told me that the trucks are bringing the sand for South Jetty Park from an area just down the beach a few miles.  I've observed the trucks coming out of there too.

And I mentioned a barge that I saw bringing sand in from off shore.  Bernie said that sand is coming from three miles off shore and will be used on the beach later after this temporary "fix" is done.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Shipwreck finds have been pretty hard to come by lately.  More than lately actually.  The past couple of years have been among the slowest that I can remember for finding cobs.

We've had a lot of rough seas lately, but it just isn't doing much.   The angles haven't been good - that is for sure, but I'm thinking that part of the reason is all of the sand piled in front of the beaches.   There is a sand bar along most of the coast and it just isn't being moved much.   Yoiu can see where the waves are breaking - generally out there quite a few yards.

I stopped at one beach south of Vero and north of Fort Pierce not long ago and was amazed by how far out the beach was.   I can remember when it was way back near the dunes.

While many beaches have more sand than they've had for many years, the same old beaches that keep getting replenished keep losing their and and are  getting replenished every few months.   Dumping sand on a beach that is eroding doesn't stop the erosion.  In fact, I believe it increases the erosion, because the renourishment and is in an unnatural position, sticking out there with nothing much either to the south or north to protect it from the normal currents and water movement.

I was observing all of the turtle nests that were recently exposed and ruined as the renourishment sand disappeared.   That renourishment sand tricks the turtles into laying their nests where the nests will wash away with all of the new sand.

The surf web sites are predicting gradually increasing seas that will peak around Tuesday when we are scheduled to receive six or seven foot seas.   Hopefully we'll get north/northeast winds for a while during that time.  I'm not real hopeful though.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

12/8/11 Report - Chilly Air, Little Cuts & Big Bling

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Little Cut Found On a Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

I now know that I've turned into a total wimp.   The beach was chilly this morning.  I actually put on an extra shirt that I had in the car.  

I was surprised by how high the water got at some spots this morning.  A one place it actually cut into the foot of the dunes a little. 

Most of the beach was loose sand, I only found this one place that was cut a little by the last high tide.

I did find more green clad coins there, and just a few old things.   I've been finding a lot of green clad coins lately.

Although I only saw this one area that was cut, I would expect at least one more somewhere on the Treasure Coast.

Overall beach conditions remain poor even though there was some sand being moved this morning.

The surf web site predictions for the next week look erratic.   I guess that is what you would call it.  They are predicting the seas to be up a little and then down a little, etc.  On Wed. they still have one short time frame when seven foot seas are predicted.  I don't know if that will hold.  Yesterday's predictions looked different than today's.   I'm not quite sure what to expect, other than nothing greater than seven foot seas.   There very well could be a few cuts popping up here and there.  Not enough to change my beach conditions rating from poor though.

Here is a good article about a field that was covered by silt brought by a flood and then uncovered many years later by another flood that exposed what was covered by the first flood.  It provides a good illustration and a good lesson.

I got an email from  a local person that is selling a little used  Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II with two coils, heavy duty scoop, and all kinds of extra accessories for sale.   For more information contact

There are all kind of treasures, and some of them are especially prominent around Christmas.  Mitch King, Vice President of the Treasure Coast Archaeological Society, puts on a real display at his house.

Here is the link.   Be sure to view the video.

Christie's is presenting an Elizabeth Taylor auction exhibit this December in New York.  The exhibit includes  a 33.19-carat diamond ring she received from Richard Burton and is estimated at $2.5 to $3.5 million.  And a 16th-century La Peregrina pearl set in a necklace with rubies and diamonds. The pearl was part of the crown jewels of Spain and was worn by many Spanish queens. Estimated value: $2 million to $3 million.

These are the kind of sugar plums that dance in detectorist's heads.

Here is the link if you want to see a selection of those jewels.

Now you have some good Christmas ideas for the wife.

Happy hunting,