Friday, May 27, 2011

5/28/11 Report - Squeezing Information Out of Otherwise Insignificant Finds (SIOOIF)

Another Uncleaned Shipwreck Spike Found Yesterday.

I have started cleaning yesterday's spikes and have an older found spike in electrolysis right now.

A couple notes on cleaning things like this. Remove as much of the unwanted crust or corrosion as you safely can mechanically before doing anything else. Be sure to go slow. Safely is a key word. Use a brush, wire or otherwise, depending upon the situation and some water. Impatience kills - at least when it comes to cleaning artifacts.

I also sometimes like using a water hose with a pressure nozzle to wash off some of the surface junk as a first step.

And another approach is to use WD-40 or one of the other types of rust or corrosion removers. Depending upon the situation, this can be very effective.

When trying any cleaning process for the first time, try it out on something you don't care much about before trying it on something more important.

Plastic ice cream containers are good for this, especially some of the larger ones. I like cleaning of finds and the research process involved in trying to identify an item. As I've said before, the find is only the beginning.

Spike Undergoing Electrolysis.

I want to impress one thing on you that I think is very important and very often not appreciated. An item might not have much economic value but can have a lot of value because of the information it provides.

Not toolong ago I mentioned what "signal finds," to coin a phrase. Those are finds that provide information and signal the possible presence of other items that might contain more economic value. Don't underestimate the value of a find that tells you something about where to spend your time in the future.

The two signal finds that I showed a few days ago told me to spend more time in th area where they were found, which led to the shipwreck spikes.

Found objects can and will tell you a lot if you squeeze the information out of them. They will often tell you something about what the beach is doing, where it is building and eroding even when it isn't immediately obvious from just looking. They will also tell you something about where different types of things are being moved by the water action, and something about what has gone on at that beach in the past. For example, a silver dime or two can tell you that people were somewhere around there probably in the early years of the 1900s. They might also tell you some other things.

If you find a lot of dimes and few other denominations, ask yourself why those denominations were there? Was there some activity that required dimes, such as parking fees or whatever?

Just knowing that older things are found in an area is a very important clue that suggests where you might want to spend more time in the future.

Often the information you gain from an item that has no inherent economic value can be more valuable than gold. It can lead you to many future finds.

And don't assume that an item has little or no economic value. Most items that can be documented to an old shipwreck will bring in some money. Just browse eBay or the past Sedwick auctions. You'll see that many items that you might not think have any value can actually bring in a few dollars or even more. I know that some people throw away things that are worth more than the some of the silver reales that they cherish.

I don't want to get deeper into the topic of economic value right now, but I do want to alert you to the economic value of items that might not be realized.

The Fisher organization reports, Our investors found 24 Atocha emeralds at the “Emerald City” site last week, sifting from the back of the salvage vessel JB Magruder. For 7 days, eight investors per day went out to the Atocha wreck site for a day of searching for and finding emeralds. We had one diver at the ocean bottom, operating our “airlift” suction device to bring the sand, shells and emeralds up to the back of the boat. The largest emerald found last week was ¼ karat, worth about $4,500. All the Atocha emeralds are from the Muzo mine in Colombia, South America.

Sounds like fun. One more type of nonmetallic target.

Emeralds have been found on some of the 1715 wreck sites and have been eye-balled a beach. Another good reason to keep your eyes open while you detect.

Speaking of investing: I've mentioned Odyssey Marine a few times lately, and Friday their stock hit a new 52-week high of over $4.00 per share. It would have been a good investment this year. At the beginning of the year I would not have guessed that it would do that well.

And silver is working it's way back to $40 per ounce.

If you haven't noticed, I put a new survey up.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is shifting from the south and is more from the east now. The seas will be building through the weekend, reaching a peak of about five feet on Tuesday or Wednesday. That means you have a little time left to do the low tide zone before it becomes tougher to get that far out.

Here's hoping the higher seas will do some good next week.

It's Memorial Day Weekend. Remember.