Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26/11 Report - Old Gold Crucifix, and Regla

Part of Gold Crucifix Found on a Treasure Coast Wreck Beach Some Time Ago.

The crucifix was heavily used. The face was rubbed a lot and the nose flattened. It appears to have a lot of copper in the gold, which makes it more brittle. You can see that it is broken. Part of the chain was found as well.

I should have used this photo or a similar one on Good Friday.

The last survey is over and the results are in. These surveys have had some surprising results. I think some of the surprises come from the fact that although most regular readers of the blog live close to the Treasure Coast, many do not. I often hear from people from all around the country. And some of them are regular readers.

That is why I think the survey about favorite detectors turned out as it did. I usually see a large predominance of Minelab detectors on the beach when the snow birds are not in town. I'm still convinced that more people on the Treasure Coast use Minelab's these days than any other brand. And like I said, that is what I most often see on the Treasure Coast beaches - not exclusively of course, but predominantly.

There are trends, many of which are local. Back in the eighties it seemed almost everyone on the Treasure Coast was using Garrett detectors. What detector most people use doesn't tell what detector is best. In fact, I used to take advantage of the fact that most people were using one brand. It left a lot that I could detect with an alternate brand.

On these surveys, though, there are a lot of people from out of the area that vote. In this survey, the results showed that for those who answered the survey (less than a third of the daily readers) the biggest find was a piece of modern jewelry.

Modern jewelry finds can be big. Let's say you found a two carat flawless solitaire diamond, a Rolex watch, or some other high end piece. That is a big find. But not only are modern jewelry items valuable, they also being constantly replaced. Modern jewelry items are lost on the beaches daily. That, of course, is not true of of old shipwreck coins or artifacts. There is no continuous new supply of old cobs or artifacts. That all happened some time ago and even though new items sometimes become accessible because of erosion or whatever, there is no new supply.

For beach hunters, we are very dependent upon the weather. If we could bulldoze the beach, or blow it away there would be a lot of finds, but right now we're waiting for nature to wash up and/or uncover some of those old items.

I'm convinced that a lot of those old things are laying under tons of beach sand. I don't know where the shoreline was when those ships wrecked. I wish I did. It could have been way further to the east than it is now, but I doubt it, or it could have been further to the west, or nearly the same. I think it is nearly the same, but I do believe it has moved more in some places. And that exposes old items. I'll talk about that more some other time.

From where the ballast piles, cannon, etc. are found, I would guess that the shoreline has not changed a great deal in either direction in most places along the Treasure Coast.

Just south of the McClarty Museum, for example, on the site of the presumed Nuestra SeƱora de la Regla, the main pile seems to be about 900 feet off the beach in abut 20 feet of water, but a number of cannon are much closer in. Cannons were found in about 5 to 7 feet of water just north of the wall of rocks. Anchors were also found east of the main pile. And a lot of treasure has been found between the first and second reefs.

Of course at a location like that, where there was a lot of early salvage efforts, you don't know how much was moved by the salvage teams, and of course we can't forget that there is a lot of scatter in a wreck like that anyhow.

I got off on a tangent and need to get back onto my original discussion. I'm not really surprised that modern jewelry is the biggest find for a lot of people. Some modern items are worth tens of thousands of dollars and many of the centuries old items are not worth nearly that much. But I'm only talking about monetary value.

The second greatest number of respondents gave "other" as their biggest find. That could include a lot of things, such as historic items, nuggets, etc. etc. I guess it isn't surprising that such a large undefined category might get so many votes, especially when you consider the number of out-of-area blog readers there are.

About the same number of people selected, silver coins, gold coins and precious metal artifacts as their biggest finds. Caches seem to be rarely found. I would guess that if someone found a large cache that it would likely be their biggest find. It just doesn't happen very often. I do know of people that have found chests of coins, bars, and things, but like I said, it is relatively rare.

I heard on the Swap Shop on WPSL this morning that somebody had a Amphibian (I think that is what they said) under water metal detector for sale for $300.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

We've been having some rain. That can affect beach hunting in a variety of ways.

The wind is from the southeast. The seas are running about two or three feet. I'd expect continued development of near shore bars and dips. I think there are some nice beach fronts where artifacts might be found now. Cob hunting remains a challenge, to say the least.

It would not be a bad time to hunt the low tide areas and the dips in front of the beach.

Happy hunting.