Wednesday, March 30, 2011

3/30/11 Report - Silver Finger Bar

Silver Finger Bar with Markings.

This finger bar sold for $213 on eBay yesterday (Item no. 200590613134). It is 106 grams and was dug on the West Coast of Florida. I thought the story with the item description and the markings on the bar were interesting even if it did come from the other coast.

You might want to take a look.

Today I added a new poll to the blog asking what is the biggest silver real you have found on the beach. I hope you will take a minute to answer the question.

I was once again looking through Laura Stolia's book, The Marigalera of the 1715 Fleet. Very informative! I hope she soon gets some more chapters published as small books.

One day I talked about some factors that can be used to evaluate a beach. There are quite a few factors to take into account. If you have enough experience you can pretty much tell whether a beach will be good from just looking at it. But it also helps to do a little sampling. By sampling I mean running a loose pattern in different areas just to see what kinds of things are there. If the sample looks promising then tighten up your scan pattern and spend more time in the area.

Visual inspection isn't perfect, and neither is sampling, but both will help you to get a better idea about where to spend your time.

The more you get to know a particular beach, the better off you will be. And when I say know, I mean know in depth. To really know a beach, you should know where it is in comparison to where it was a year, two years or even ten years ago. The long term changes can sometimes be nearly as important as shorter term changes.

As I've mentioned, if a beach has a six foot cut, conditions would be very different if it was in a ten year accretion cycle instead of a ten year sand loss cycle. If a beach that was loosing a lot of sand over the years cuts, it will probably be much more productive. If the beach has been building over the years, a six foot cut is only cutting into relatively recent sand. That beach will not be nearly as productive.

I received this email a day or two ago from Victoria Smith from Ohio and obtained permission to post it. I only edited out a few questions that the writer asked me at the end of the email.

Here it is.

I wanted to share my story because it touches on your hometown coast. Mine is a love story grown through many years and a couple generations of treasure hunters. As a young girl my father encouraged my sense of adventure, and passed down his love of a good hunt. It was rare we could get a day to go detecting on an old farm or the city park, but those precious hours were some of the best memories of my childhood. I grew up and found myself separated by many states and many years when Dad moved to Florida in the 80’s and I raised my own family in Ohio, sharing the fun of detecting with the kids. But never did we lose the thrill or yearning for detecting together. Dad and I would trade stories, ideas and plan the ultimate challenge to one day go to the “Treasure Coast” and do a real hunt. Now mind you even with the research and reading we have done over the years, we are both realists and know its not laying on the beach in the sun. But still the idea has beckoned to us over the many years and has haunted our dreams like an undone promise….. And so we planned.

About six years ago I was struggling through the remains of a blustery Ohio winter with thoughts of sunshine and sand between my toes helping me pass the last days before travel. As the week drew to a close and I counted the hours until Dad and I could escape and hit some elusive spots to detect, a phone call came in the night. My much beloved Aunt who was here in Ohio had passed away. Suddenly everyone with whom I was to stay and enjoy the lovely warm weather with, would now be in Ohio in a matter of days. This visit and these days for treasure hunting were not to be this time around…. And so we planned.

Getting away to visit Florida is not always easy or economically feasible, but I had hopes and really wanted to find the time for Dad and I to hunt together. But as I contemplated a getaway, life threw it right out there, but not so much in a good way. Three years ago Dad had emergency heart surgery and a quick trip down left only a week of bedside waiting and only talks of the best beaches we would someday walk together. My prayers were only for his health. Not to be beaten, he made his way back and up and out in a matter of months and soon wrote he had constructed his own scoop to try out in the sands on my next visit….. And so we planned.

Last year on the week I planned to arrive I found my Grandmother was spending her last days in a comma, in Florida. I assured Dad I would certainly come even if we would not be able to travel across to the east coast, as that was too far from her. As we spent the precious hours that were hers, we sat sharing and remembering her wonderful life and took a few hours away each morning to walk the neighborhood beach. The ocean helped set aside our grief for a little while. At the end of my stay I quietly boarded a plan for Ohio knowing one of my greatest treasures had silently left my life. As I hugged Dad at the airport I promised that no matter what, next year, I would be back and we would really walk the treasure coast and hunt together…. And so we planned….

And with a much happier note and fingers crossed against fate, I can tell you that over Memorial Day very soon we are planning to make our dream finally come true and head your way. My Dad is a serious sort and has read about the wrecks, knows about leased areas and not detecting in water. He has spent his years in Florida reading up on the coast and tips for searching the sands. I have made reservations for us to stay in Sebastian and hunt the beaches in that area. I sent him to find your pages with maps so he can plan. With only two days we want to make the most of our time. I don’t get the chance to come down often and Dad is in his late 70’s. But for a woman who grew up making her sandbox a pirate boat and detecting the farm land around the backyard, two days on the treasure coast might as well be two in heaven.

Thanks for sharing Vickie!

While many of the readers of this blog are local, there are many from around the country and some from overseas. I decided to post this story for several reasons. One is that it speaks of more than one type of treasure. I started to sum up some of the important lessons you can get from this story, but I decided to let the story stand to speak for itself.

Maybe I will add one thing - "treasure hunting" is a great activity for parents and children to share.

Best wishes to you and your father Vickie. And the same to all of the individuals and families that pursue treasure in their own way.

Forecast and Conditions.

On the Treasure Coast conditions remain poor for finding shipwreck cobs. Not only have the beaches been building lately, but there has been a lot of building every since the 2004 hurricanes, both natural and unnatural. Of course, where the beach is not wide, it wouldn't take too much to change conditions there - especially if the water hits the back dunes.

Although, conditions for finding cobs are not bad, there is however still the possibility of finding some artifacts. I've seen evidence of artifacts on some of the beach fronts lately.

The water is going to be calm for the remaining week and into the weekend. That makes for easy water hunting (where allowed) and it also makes the low tide areas easily accessible.

Non-metallic items such as pot shards or fossils are also relatively easy to find when the shells get piled up on the beach.

And I should mention that there are a lot of tourists now, so some of the better tourist beaches should provide some fun.

Just a hunch, but I have a feeling we're going to get some good beach conditions before long.

Happy hunting,