Saturday, March 26, 2011

3/26/11 Report - Atocha Gold Chain Worth $250,000 Found

Gold Chain Found on Trail of Atocha.

The Magruder recently found this neat religious chain on the trail of the Atocha where silver coins were also recently found. This news and photo was received by email from the Fisher organization.

Notice the links. The links are different than many of the treasure chains. On this one the links are more like the bar and loop links shown on the bracelet shown in my 2/19/11 post.

The cross is a bit different too. Notice the enameling on the cross.

The cross is valued at around $250,000.

I was talking about hunting the dips in the shallow water the other day, but there are also times when a sand bar is productive. The most obvious is when the sand bar has been used by many bathers, especially when the bar has been there for some time in the same relative position and has been heavily populated for some time.

Sand bars, though, often are in the process of moving - sometimes more quickly than others. Sandbars that run parallel to the beach will sometimes be in the process of moving towards the shore. When a sandbar has had a lot of traffic in the past and is moving, the best side to hunt will generally be the back of the bar - the side that is losing sand. The sand will uncover older items on the back of the bar as the bar moves.

One of the keys is to find hot spots rather than detecting all areas the same. Check out different beaches, and check out the dips, and when nothing appears promising keep checking and sampling areas until you find an area that is worth working more slowly and thoroughly. Don't spend your time hunting any and every area as if it were a hot spot. Don't be afraid to miss an item here or there. The most finds will be made the most quickly in the best areas. And there will generally be areas that are better than others whether it is on land or in the water.

Take advantage of what the water is doing for you when it is moving sand and sifting and gathering materials. Learn to read beaches and also learn to read the shallow water areas. Don't be afraid to move on when an area doesn't look promising. Test or sample an area when you are unsure, and then decide.

One thing I often say is, "Follow the sand, but don't catch it." That means when the sand moves, look where the sand has moved from. You'll often find that things have been uncovered by the moving sand and you can find accumulated older targets, whether it is days, months, years or decades of material being uncovered.

X-ray techniques can be used on artifacts to reveal much that is hidden to the eye.
Here is an article about new X-ray techniques being used to study artifacts.

Yesterday there were a lot of shells on the beaches. A lot of loose sand and shells have been washing up onto the front of many of the Treasure Coast beaches. That is not unusual when the wind is coming from the west or south.

The shell pile shown in this photo is a little unusual. It ran right down to the water line where it dropped off steeply. It sloped steeply into the water where there was a dip that held a lot of larger shells. You could see how the water was sorting those materials. The smaller lighter pieces of shell were being washed up onto the beach while the larger pieces were left behind uncovered in the dip.

That is the kind of thing you want to watch for, but in this case it was all relatively light material that was involved. If the seas had been much stronger and more material had been moved, even heavier (and more valuable) materials could have been left behind in the dip.

Present conditions on the Treasure Coast beaches just aren't good at all for finding cobs, coins or rings. You can find some lighter materials such as pottery or even metal relics such as iron, or things that have a large surface area, such as copper sheeting, which might be of some interest.

The wind today is from the northwest and the seas are running at only one to two feet. That means a continuation of recent conditions on the Treasure Coast - very sandy.

The west winds and calm seas do make for easy water hunting.

It looks like current conditions will remain the same for at least a few days.

Happy hunting,