Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2/2/2011 Barrel Hoop, Fisher Finds & Coin Lines and Holes

Barrel Hoop Remnant From the Santa Margarita.

I noticed this barrel hoop from the Atocha for sale on eBay. A lot of people pass up rusty looking items like this, but they can be worth something. This particular barrel hoop already was bid up over $250 and will probably go up much more.

Part of the value comes from the fact that it is known (as well as can be) to come from the Santa Margarita. Another part of its value undoubtedly comes from the certification of authenticity and Mel Fisher's autograph.

A few days ago I wrote about keeping good records on your finds. Even rusty old things can sometimes have value when you are able to establish where they came from, especially if the source happens to be an old shipwreck.

The barrel hoop also was attractively displayed in a framed case. That helps.

Someone wrote in asking what are the characteristics of the coin lines and coin holes that I have been talking about.

Both coin lines and coin holes are concentrations of coins that have either been washed up onto the wet sand or washed down to the wet sand from high dry sand. They occur when the wave action washes away sand and sifts and deposits the coins in the wet sand area. Other items besides coins are often found in coin lines and coin holes, but there are more coins.

A coin line is formed when the coins are deposited in a long line which runs roughly parallel to the waterline. I've seen coin lines up to over one hundred yards long although they are more typically closer to 10 or 20 yards long.

Coin lines can be either narrow or wide. When wide, the lighter coins like zinc pennies are most often higher on the bank. That is especially true when the erosion is near the water and the coins come from the water rather than the higher sand. Quarters and heavier items, such as gold are more often lower on the bank.

The coins in long coin lines are usually not as close together as those in shorter lines.

Coin holes, rather than being shaped like a line or band, are oval shaped distributions of coins. Lighter objects in coin holes usually are found more at the upper edge and ends with the heavier objects found closer to the middle of the hole.

Of course, coin holes also vary in density.

I've talked before about how you can scan a beach to find any possible coin lines and holes, and I've also done posts on to work each.

A nice densely packed coin hole is a good place to find gold objects.

Coin holes are also found in the water. When that is the case, the target of primary interest will be gold objects.

When there is a good sifting due to the wave action, gold will generally be found lower and deeper than coins whether it is in the water or in the wet sand.

Often there will be a deep layer of dense material such as clay or rocks that traps the gold and keeps it from sinking deeper.

A rock bottom can be very hard to work and almost impossible to use a regular scoop.

A good hole over a densely packed rock bottom can be a very productive place to work. A clay bottom is about as good.

I've talked about how to work a water site having a packed rock bottom before too.

News from the Mel Fisher Group.

This week the crew of the Magruder found a rare early 1600 2-reale and 3 eight-reales while working on the Atocha.

Three iron spikes, 4 iron nails and a variety of unidentified encrusted objects were also found on the trail of the Atocha.

People have been sending me pictures of a bunch of mystery objects. I have a few more to show too in the future.

I've been told that other people enjoy them as much as I do.

Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is from the south. The beaches aren't very good for finding shipwreck treasure.

With the calm seas and low tides it wouldn't be a bad time to be in the water. I know someone will ask where they can and can't hunt in the water along the Treasure Coast. I've posted photos of the leased shipwreck sites along the treasure coast and also posted the applicable rules and regulations, so if that is what you are wondering about, you can use the search box for this blog and you will find most of that information.

In the most general terms, anywhere there is a leased treasure ship salvage site, you can't detect in the water. That is the most detail I can give on that right now.

Happy hunting,