Friday, April 29, 2011

5/1/11 Report - 1715 Fleet Gold Escudos Bring Good Prices

1714 Mexican 8 Escudo From the 1715 Fleet

This gold escudo was one of two in the recent SedwickCoins auction that brought in bids of $13,000. The other was a Lima 8 escudo. Both of these high-priced cobs were 1715 Fleet coins from the Treasure Coast.

Nice finds if you are lucky enough to come across one during a day at the beach. It does happen once in a while.

On the low end of the spectrum for the same session were a couple of 2 escudos minted in Seville that brought in around $630. That is a big difference for gold escudos. The two lower priced cobs were minted in Seville. And as you would guess, they weren't as nice, but shipwreck cobs from the New World generally bring higher prices than those minted at Old World mints.

There were a few gold coins that brought in more than the high-priced 1715 Fleet gold cobs. One gold coin that brought a very high price in the auction was described as a Medellin, Colombia, 10 pesos, 1886/74, encapsulated NGC AU-53, extremely rare, finest known., which brought in a winning bid of $35,000.

We talk about the 1715 Fleet a lot, but there are other wrecks along the Treasure Coast that you should know about. One beach area known for the Pillar Dollars that occasionally appear on the beach is north of 510 about one third of a mile. It is a good long walk from the Wabasso beach access. The Spring of Whitby wreck is in that area, but it seems there are other intermingled wrecks in that area as well, including the Roberts, which sunk in 1810.

On another topic, a corroded sword was found south of Turtle Trail probably thirty or more years ago - I don't remember how long ago it was, but the vast majority of people that detect at Turtle Trail seem to go north. Nothing wrong with that, but a lot of good things have been found to the south as well.

The blog survey is accumulating more data. Don't forget to vote. It looks like the results could provide some interesting information.

Occasionally test your theories. A lot of people derive theories and end up incorrectly excluding a lot of good hunting area. For example, lets say your first few good finds were at one particular beach while you struck out a few times at another beach. You might start hunting only the beach where you found things in the past. That could be a big mistake. Beaches change. There are times when one beach produces and times when another will produce. Don't fall into the trap of too quickly jumping to conclusions based upon a few finds or a few failures. I believe that happens a lot.

Just the other day I spent some time checking a beach where I really didn't expect to find a thing, just to make sure my thinking was right. It was. But I have been surprised many times in the past and revised my thinking as a result. What you learn is often more important than any single find, because your knowledge can pay off over and over again.

When detecting in a trashy area, it is best to dig up everything. And I do mean everything. I've said this before, but a piece of trash can shield a good item.

If you depend upon discrimination, you could also miss important finds. Not all iron objects are trash. And any real trash can cause bad signals or confusing signals that can mask good signals. I've done tests on this before, and a detector, such as the Excalibur that I used for the test, will mask small cobs when iron objects are either near small cobs or directly over cobs, especially in discrimination mode.

One thing that I often recommend is experimenting with your detector. At first that might mean placing objects on the ground or burying objects different depths at home or on the beach and seeing how the detector reacts using various settings. More advanced testing would involve multiple targets closely spaced or even on top of each other. Some detectors will give you mixed signals when items of two different types are very close to each other, and with experience you can learn to identify both types of object from the signals. But that can take some experience.

The better you know your detector, the better off you will be. Experiment with it.

Always thoroughly clean out the test area first, whether you are at home, the beach or anywhere.

Also, the better you know a beach, the better off you will be. The main reason that I've been so slow to more thoroughly address the question of what criteria to use when sampling a beach, is that when I think of giving those criteria it becomes more complex than I can easily explain due to the fact that knowledge of the particular beach is often involved. For example, if I know a particular beach quickly accumulates certain types of targets under certain circumstances, when I sample that beach, the presence or absence of that type of target would be a single important sign that would quickly help me to make a decision about staying or moving on. Even in trying to explain that, I find myself starting to get into many different variables. That is the problem. I will however try to give the distilled basics someday soon though.

Treasure Coast Beach Conditions and Forecast.

One Typical Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday Afternoon.

Note the sand and shells pile up out front.

The wind is coming pretty much from the east now. The surf is actually a little rough in close to the shore. It looked like some sand was getting churned up. Loose sand and shells were still getting pushed up onto the beach everywhere I looked Saturday.

The ocean will remain at about four feet for until about Tuesday when it starts to slacken off. Conditions remain poor. I think there might still be the possibility of some artifacts and other old items being found in the low tide zone when the surf calms a bit. The low tides have been pretty low lately.

While it appears that many of the snow birds have gone home, there are still a good number of people visiting the Treasure Coast beaches right now.

Happy hunting,