Saturday, January 29, 2011

1/29/2011 Report - Barber Dime & Other Old Coins From the Port Salerno Area

A Few Nice Metal Detector Finds.

Photos submitted by Mike T. who found these items.

Since shipwreck beach conditions haven't been very good lately, a few times I've mentioned the idea of hunting some different places and going after different types of things. Doing some different things every once in a while can improve your chances of success and you'll learn some new things in the process. In sports they call that type of thing cross training.

One of the guys I talked to on the beach a couple of days ago was from Arizona and mostly hunted ghost towns. He said he missed finding silver dollars and things like that.

Everyone, I think, has a special interest in a particular kind of treasure. For some people it is gold and diamond jewelry, for others it is old coins, for others it is gold nuggets, others like fossils or Indian artifacts, and for others it is shipwreck treasures. But for treasure hunter there alwasy seems to be one type of treasure that gets them most excited.

What you hunt to some extent is determined by where you live and what you know about that can be found in the local area. When I was talking to the fellow from Arizona, I pointed out that there were a couple of 17th Century shipwrecks just a short distance from where we were. He thought you would have to get in the water to be able to get anything off of those shipwrecks. You certainly have a better chance at things like that with a salvage boat, blowers, tanks etc., but sometimes things like that do wash up onto the beaches.

But the point I wanted to make is that most people focus on one or two specific types of treasure, and most people know about those types of treasures and how to hunt them, but they don't know as much about how to hunt other types of things.

Hunting coins is definitely much different from hunting fossils or Indian artifacts. You can use a metal detector to find coins but fossils can't be detected with a metal detector. You have to use other techniques to find them. You have to develop a different set of skills and a different knowledge base to do well hunting fossils or Indian artifacts.

You'll probably be best at finding what you hunt the most. But if you hunt other types of things and do other types of hunting, you'll learn things that can help you no matter what you hunt. You can always learn something from one type of hunting that will help you with another type of hunting. That is one reason, I recommend doing something different every once in a while.

Mike said that in South Stuart near Port Salerno ...there is quite a bit of history dating back the early 1900’s due to the railroad, the fishing industry and of course pineapples. Over the last few months Martin County has been making improvements in the downtown and waterfront areas of Port Salerno. This included adding some water lines, drainage and most specifically digging up an old alley between the current Post Office and one of the oldest buildings in town. In the early 1900’s this dirt “alley” was used extensively as a means to get fish from the fish houses down on the Manatee Pocket up to the railroad for shipment. So when the County started digging up this old alley way I just couldn’t believe it! What an opportunity to hunt some well traveled ground that might hold some treasures from long ago.

Fortunately the contractor was slow and made a number of mistakes along the way which gave me ample opportunity to hunt it on a number of occasions at different stages and depths of digging. As you can see from the pictures included there were some treasures there indeed and I'm sure many more which are now covered in concrete for another 100 years. The venture yielded a 1912 Barber Dime in excellent condition, a1902 Indian Head also in excellent condition, a 1945 East Indies Penny and several wheat cents and of course quite a number of modern coins as well. One of the most interesting things was an original COTY lipstick case circa 1920’s. Unfortunately it was a bit damaged but it has a beautiful design etched into the case and it still has lipstick in it! There were also a number of old bottles found too which was really cool to see and of course due to the fact that it is a fishing village we must have dug at least 10lbs of old lead sinkers from all the old fishing nets. There was no shortage of trash either which called for the use of a 6” coil and what a difference that made in picking out the good stuff!

I must say though that one of the best treasures I found in all was meeting a fellow treasure hunter named John who was visiting from the North East. I was a really pleasure meeting someone else with the same enthusiasm for finding “stuff” as me!

Thanks for the story Mike. It should give some people some hints.

Even though Treasure Coast residents hunt the shipwreck beaches a lot, there are other places to detect on the Treasure Coast. In fact I've mentioned the Bulldozer Hoard that was found on the mainland near Sebastian. I'm sure there are other mainland Spanish Colonial coins to be found as well.

Mike noticed the construction that was going on in an area with a lot of historic activity. It is good to take notice whenever old ground is being turned up. That can bring old treasures into detecting range just like erosion can uncover old coins on the beach.

To summarize my two main points today, first is try new things and places occasionally, and second, always watch for newly disturbed earth, no matter what the cause.

Forecast and Conditions.

Not much new to talk about here. The wind is from the northwest and the seas are calm and will remain calm for a few more days. That means no significant change in beach conditions.

The low tide areas are still pretty accessible. I noticed that the second low tide today will be the lowest.

Happy hunting,