Friday, September 30, 2011

9/30/11 Report - 7 Foot Seas Predicted!!! & Treasure Coast Vintage Bottles

Written by the TreaureGuide for the exclusive use of

Vintage Soda Bottles Found Along the Banks of Treasure Coast Waterways.

Something a little different today while we're waiting for the beaches to improve.

I'll go left to right.

First a Pepsi bottle embossed Pepsi Cola. This one doesn't show where it was bottled. The bottles that are found on the Treasure Coast come from all around Florida and all around the world.

Second, a soda bottle embossed Red Rock Co. Jacksonville FL. Its nice when the bottle tells you where it came from.

Third, as you can see a vintage 7-UP bottle. No location.

Fourth,a bottle embossed Stuart Bottling Works. I don't know what the bottle contained. It looks like a soda bottle to me, but I don't know. I'll have to find out where the Stuart Bottling Works was and what they did. Maybe someone out there can help with that. I sold another one like this before.

I especially like the local bottles.

Fifth, a Coca Cola soda water bottle. On the bottom it is embossed Fort Pierce Fla. Another local bottle telling a little about our local history. I've sold one or two of these before. Vintage Coca Cola items are usually easy to sell.

These are just a few examples that have been eye-balled along the Treasure Coast.

As I've said before, items like these, while having some value of their own, give you information about people and locations of the past.

One Treasure Coast bottle was sold to someone in Australia. Another was sold to a guy that was writing a book on Florida pharmacy bottles

There are all kinds of things to be found. When you are looking for cobs keep your eyes open for other things.

I've mentioned before that my introduction to bottle hunting came after Hurricane Andrew. I was detecting for coins and found some old bottles washing up on the beach. I found some bags and started picking up the bottles, which turned out to be worth more than the old coins I found that day.

I think about starting a site just to display various types of Treasure Coast finds but never got around to it.

Dropping lake levels in Texas exposed native American archaeological sites. Many looters have been arrested.

I'm not aware of Native Americans using concrete thousands of years ago. If looters were digging under concrete, it would seem that the site had already been disturbed, so any disturbance done by the so-called looters would be secondary at best.

Here is a nice article about recent archaeological discoveries in the historic Hudson River Valley.

As you know, both gold and silver prices have dropped significantly lately. Gold has gone from around $1900 to around $1600, and silver from around $40 an ounce to around $30. It's any body's guess where they'll go next.

After a big drop and bounce, OMEX stock seems to be dropping too.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Philippe seems headed west. It might be coming our way.

And the surf web sites are now predicting 7.5 foot seas for next Thursday. That is the big news today. Seas that high could really improve conditions for us. As you probably know, it depends upon other factors as well, but seas that high give us a good chance for something good to finally happen.

Today the wind is out of the north/northwest. Seas are relatively calm, and the surf web sites have decreased the level of the seas expected this weekend.

We do finally have something hopeful to look forward to.

Happy Hunting,

Thursday, September 29, 2011

9/29/11 Report - Phillipe, Where Is He Going?

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Phillipe Heading West.

A 12 year old boy put a note in a bottle in 1961 and set it out to sea. The bottle and message was found this year after hurricane Irene by two ladies who are now trying to locate Jeffrey Vickers who wrote that note.

Here is the link to that story.

There are always some things in the world of collecting that become popular and bring high prices for a time before eventually losing favor. Kovels Komments reports that right now antique firearms are particularly popular and are bringing high prices.

3-D laser scanning of artifacts is now being used to develop 3-D computer images that can be used in museum displays and to further study the artifact.

Here is a link to an article about using 3-D laser scanning on artifacts from George Washington's estate.

A few days ago I provided a sketch of a theoretical beach and began a series of posts on treasure beach dynamics.

I think everybody accepts the idea that heavy items over time sink on a beach. It isn't all that simple though. Obviously for an item to sink, movement is necessary. But not only does the sinking item move, the materials immediately under the item must move. A coin or ring can not sink through sand without the sand moving enough to permit the ring to move down through it. Sand is not solid or stationary like concrete. That might sound obvious enough, but it seems to be overlooked sometimes.

How fast and how persistently an item sinks on a beach will be determined by a number of factors. The object's density, size and shape, and composition will all affect how fast or how much an item sinks. Also, the materials that the item is in will determine how fast it will sink.

Sometimes the sand is loosely packed and sometimes densely packed. Sometimes the sand is fine grain and sometimes course. Sometimes there are layers of other materials such as shells, rocks, or clay. Some sand is saturated with water. That all makes a difference in how an item will sink.

Generally speaking gold and similarly dense objects such as lead will be found at deeper levels. However dense materials in the shape of a thin sheet will not sink very much. A lead musket ball will more often be found at deeper levels than a thin lead sheet, for example. The sheet will present more surface area, and moving water will move it more. A thin plain gold band presents little surface area to the sand and also to the force of moving water.

The shape of a coin when laying on the surface of well packed sand will tend to hug the sand and will not present much surface area to water moving over it, and so will not tend to move much unless there is a good bit of force applied by the water. Of course the coin it will move if the surface that is is resting on is being moved.

Often the sand is moved away, the object settles on the new lower base, and then new sand covers the object again. That is why it helps to know where different layers are.

One of the missing pieces to the puzzle for me is that I don't know where the beach was back in the 18th century. I suspect that it was signicantly different than it is now.

Back to the sinking objects. I do know how far some beaches were eroded back after the 2004 storms. One beach that I'll use as an example was eroded down several feet all the way back to the walkover.

Now here is an important point. Everything in that area, all of the sand and other objects in that area was gone. Material had to wash in and up to fill that vaated area again. On other beaches it could possibly be that some of the fill material washed down from the dunes, but on my sample beach, that didn't happen. Therefore, I know that cobs and other objects wash up. On some beaches there is simply no other way for those objects to end up in previously vacated areas. The conclusion is that coins wash in as well as out, and up in addition to sinking.

That seems like a good place to stop for now.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

No change in the long standing poor conditions yet.

As you can see from the illustration at the top of the post today, Philippe looks like he might head west.

Today and tomorrow we'll have relatively calm seas, but this weekend and maybe for a few days after that it looks like the seas will increase, maybe up to about four feet. That is what the surf web sites are predicting now.

That could help a little.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

9/28/11 Report - Still Summer Weather Conditions

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Salvage Vessel Working at Nieves Site This Morning.

It is kind of late in the year for the salvage season. We are still getting those southeast winds that bring hot humid air and relatively calm seas. Conditions should be improving as the seasons change and we get out of the summer weather patterns.

Oct. 8 is the first club meeting for the new St. Lucie Metal Detecting Club, and Oct. 15th they'll have a club hunt. The club hunt is really creative and very appropriate for October. You can also join the guys for a hunt this Saturday.

For information on any of that call Bernie C. at 786-246-9335.

There are a lot of places that you can get good leads on interesting places to detect. You'd never think of some of the places where you will get good leads. I just stumbled onto a good resource that I'll talk about sometime in the future.

I guess if you read a lot and are well informed you'll run into good leads.

Green Turtle Beach This Morning After High Tide.

Pretty mushy. Didn't look any good at all.

The water had been getting up pretty high at high tide but not high enough to do much good.

There are two named tropical storms in the Atlantic now, Ophelia and Philippe. Ophelia is the closer of the two, but will stay far out to sea and go into the mid Atlantic. Philippe is still very far away.

Normally in October of November we get a nice Northeaster that improves the local hunting conditions. I don't remember that happening last year. In fact, 2010 and 2011 have been the worst years for hunting cobs on the Treasure Coast that I can remember. I'm sure there must have been another bad year or two like this, but I don't remember them. It has been very poor for such a long time, with very few and only very small breaks.

As I've said before, November through February have been my best hunting months for finding shipwreck cobs over a period of about twenty years. This summer was poor, as summers usually are, except for the occasional storms and hurricanes.

Things should start to improve soon.

Here is one place where I saw a little erosion begin. This spot was starting to peal. I don't know if it continued. The tide was on the way down so I suspect that it didn't do much.

One Location Where a Layer of Shells Was Being Uncovered.

As I mentioned yesterday, be aware of the layers. It will help you understand what is going on and where to look.

I saw one spot today where the beach was scalloping and fairly large rocks were being left on the beach. I detected around there a little and found a few things that I need to clean and identify. They were pretty deep in fine sand in the scalloped area. The rocks were the first indicator.

I don't have time to get into a lengthy discussion today, so will keep that for some other time.

The sea will be calm for the next couple of days and then get rougher on the weekend. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the surf web sites have already decreased the predicted seas for the weekend, but not by much.

I'm a little late getting the report in today, so I'll keep some of the other topics for another day.

Happy hunting,

Monday, September 26, 2011

9/27/11 Report - Beach Front Cobs - How They Get There

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Raft Recently Found on Treasure Coast Beach.

I don't know if this is from immigrants floating in or something else. It reminds me of other rafts that I've seen on the beach, although most of them were much more substantial and used by Cubans arriving at South Florida.

Thanks to Bob H. for the photo. He said this raft was found on the beach north of the Island Dunes complex.

A few days ago I mentioned Odyssey Marine and wondered if it would repeat the previous pattern of rebounding sharply after a big drop in the stock price. Well, as I expected, it did - but not as sharply as the last time. The increase has been more gradual, even though yesterday it increased almost eight percent. At times yesterday, it was up nearly 20%. It also increased very nicely the two previous days of trading as well.

I received a link to a story this morning suggesting that the recent share price increase is due to the Gairsoppa project.

The Gairsoppa is believed to hold a cargo of silver worth more than $210 million today. Odyssey's salvage agreement with the United Kingdom will give Odyssey 80 percent of the net salvaged value of the silver recovered.

Thanks to Jim M. for submitting the following link to that story.

The expected value of that silver will be less if the price of silver continues to decrease. The price of silver has gone from over $40 an ounce to around $30 this month.

The spot price of gold is about $1657 this morning. It was up to $1900 not long ago.

Yesterday I talked about analyzing beaches. You might want to refer back to the sketch that I used yesterday. I'll talk a little today about how old treasure coins move on a beach.

First, you might recall that I did a survey once asking where people had found old treasure coins on the beach. The results confirmed what I had personally found. Treasure coins have been found on almost every part of a beach at one time or another - even in places, that according to some theories, would be surprising.

You might also recall that I mentioned yesterday how the sand on the front of a beach is frequently eroded and replaced. On the very front of the beach sand is lost and replaced many times each year, while on the back beach, the sand is not moved nearly as often or as much.

Of the treasure coins found on the front beach, most are washed in at one time or another. It might appear that they were washed out of the beach by recent erosion when they appear below a cut, but in most cases they had to wash in first. That could occur either when the beach was building or when the level of the beach was cut down and the water was high and coming in and dropping coins on the lowered beach. In front of a cut there is some pretty heavy wave action that could bring in coins and drop them at the base of a cut.

I've actually seen cobs fall out of the face of a cut as the beach was cutting, so I know they wash out at times. On the front beach, the question is how those cobs got in the sand that was cutting in the first place. Remember, on the front beach, the sand has been removed many times and then replaced. When the dunes are low and far back, there is no way for the coins to get on the front beach other than washing in at some point.

Between the two methods mentioned above, the most likely is that the cobs are washed in by the rough surf when the front of the beach has been lowered.

I've never found cobs on the surface of a building beach, although I have found them on the surface just above the face of a cut and in the sea weed line on uncut beaches. However, cobs are never, or should I say almost never, found on or near the surface of a beach front that has a lot of newly accumulated sand on it.

I've seen coins flip up over the face of a cliff, so I have some idea how that can happen. It also appears that small cobs can under certain circumstances travel with the shells, and they are sometimes found in the with the shells above the face of a cut.

If you watch items move in the surf on the front of the beach, there is a lot of variation on how they move at different times. Sometimes they'll wash up the slope, sometimes down the slope and sometimes move more sideways. Sometimes they'll flip, sometimes slide, and sometimes roll, and sometimes they'll pretty much stick where they are as they seem to bury themselves. There are many variables to take into account. I definitely can't get into all of that now.

Anyhow, I am sure that cobs wash onto the front beach where they are later uncovered by erosion. It appears to me that they mostly wash in when the surf is rough and the level of sand has been lowered and there is strong wave action all the way back to the face of the cut. After they wash in and are deposited, they are covered as the old cut fills and the beach builds again.

That is my best theory anyhow. I'll have to get around to talking about other situations and other parts of the beach some other time.

I reminded of some other factors that I don't have time to get into today.

I guess I'll stop there today.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions

The surf web sites are now predicting higher seas, up to 6.5 feet by Monday. then Calm seas are expected for a few days and then starting to increase this weekend.

Very often the surf web sites predict higher seas several days in advance but as the time draws nearer the predictions for big seas either disappear or is reduced very significantly. Hopefully will actually get six foot or higher seas.

Philippe seems headed into the mid Atlantic. Opehlia could form again and might be the reason for the predicted higher seas.

Until then, conditions on the Treasure Coast remain poor.

Happy hunting,

9/26/11 Report - Analyzing a Beach

Written by the TreassureGuide exclusively for

House of Refuge This Weekend.

Thanks to Bernie C. for the photo.

What do you do when you first step onto a treasure beach? Your answer to that question will have more to do with your rate of success than what detector you use.

The first thing a lot of people do is turn the detector on and start walking to a favorite spot. Some, who perhaps don't have a favorite spot yet, will start wandering around on the beach without any particular plan or direction. They just go where they feel like going. And others are guided by a general feeling that one area or another might be a good place to look.

What I'd recommend is first finding a good place to view as much of the beach as possible - someplace where you can see the back dunes and down in the water and also north and south as far as possible. Slowly scan the entire beach. Look for any dips and get a general feel for what the beach is doing.

Sketch Showing Cross Section of Theoretical Beach.

A beach has four dimensions that are important to me - length, width, depth, and time.

The area of a beach that changes the most is obviously the front beach because of all the water action there. The middle and back beach changes much less frequently and mostly when the waves and tides are high.

Since the back dunes change less often and the movement of sand is most affected by the water, first check out what the water is doing to the front of the beach.

You can tell a lot just by looking at a beach, but to really know what is going on, it is helpful to have a mental model of the beach as it has changed over time - days, months, and even years.

The sketch above represents a model of a theoretical beach showing a cross section and the different levels.

It is helpful to know where the bedrock is. On the sketch it is shown near the bottom. Often you won't know where the bedrock is.

At different times the beach will be cut back and down, sometimes very deeply exposing layers that have not been exposed for a very long time, and at other times only few inches or feet of sand are moved from the front beach. Those smaller cuts will quickly filled again, usually within a few days.

The result of all of that movement is some layers of sand that are deep and that have been exposed only a few times over the centuries and on top of that are layers of sand that are exposed and moved frequently.

You will seldom see sand on a front beach that has not washed in, and it is rare to see so much erosion that you see layers that have not been exposed for a long time. Usually you will only see sand that was deposited relatively recently.

When the back dunes are low and far back, you will seldom find coins on a front beach that have washed down from the dunes rather than washing in from the ocean. Old coins will occasionally wash out of the dunes and down onto a front beach, but that doesn't happen very often, especially on beaches where the dunes are low and far back from the front beach.

Returning to the layers. The more you know about the various layers of a beach the better off you will be.

The above sketch illustrates how I conceptualize a beach. The layers are shown from layer A, the bedrock, and going up to the top layers of the dunes.

You can learn where the different layers are and can learn to identify some of them by sight.

You can't get a good mental model of a beach unless you carefully inspect it a number of times. Landmarks will help you immensely. It is difficult to simply look and tell how much sand has moved without measuring the change relative to some stationary points.

Those landmarks can be dunes that haven't moved for a long time, trees, rocks or anything that will not move much. Caution: some things, like tree stumps, will move even though you might think they are firmly anchored.

The type of sand or beach material will also provide indications of movement.

When you dig a hole, notice any layers that you see. Notice layers of shell, black sand, clay, or different colors or sand of different textures. When you dig a hole, you'll normally only see some of the top layers that move a lot.

Deeper layers towards the back of the beach will change much less often.

Try to get a fix on which way the sand is moving. Is it building on the beach front? Is the cut moving farther back towards the dunes? Is the sand being washed down the slope and into the surf?

Most people know to look for cuts, but the position of the cut and the depth of the cut are both important. Cuts can be high or low on the beach, deep or shall, long or short, cut into new or old sand or other materials. When cuts occur far back on the beach and are deep, you are getting into layers that probably haven't been exposed for a long time and may contain old objects.

You need to make a number of careful observations before you can construct a useful mental model of a particular beach. After you know a beach well, then you don't need to observe it as frequently to understand what is going on.

It also helps to know where past cuts have been at particular times. How far back and how deep has a particular beach cut at different times? That information will help you a lot.

Lets say that a beach eroded down to very near the water line and back almost all the way to the dunes after a hurricane. That means that that all of the sand there now has accumulated since that time. That's obvious enough, but what are the implications?

That depends to some extent upon how the area filled. Was the new sand washed in from the ocean, dragged down from the dunes, or both, or moved in from the north or south of the cut? Sometimes you'll have a layer that was dragged down from the dunes and then covered by sand that washed in from the ocean.

Were there coins or artifacts at the level of the cut before it was refilled, or in the sand that filled the cut? If so, some might still be waiting there.

These are all important questions.

If you've worked a particular beach a lot, you will be able to identify different levels. You might know what the different layers look like that have accumulated at different times.

Sand will vary is texture, color, and composition. It is sometimes helpful to know where the various layers are and when they were deposited. You might see them appear from time to time and perhaps be move or covered again.

In the back dunes it is a bit easier to identify layers where items of different ages of items are found. Those layers will mix when the dunes erode and the sand falls down or is dragged onto the beach.

One of the most desirable situations is when layers are exposed that haven't been uncovered for a long time. There are levels at some beach locations, particularly back in the dunes, that have probably not been uncovered for a few hundred years. There are probably also layers on the middle beach, although much deeper that probably have not been uncovered for a very long time.

Well, I better wrap that up for today. I could go on for a long time about this stuff. I'll have to continue with this some other time.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

There is one tropical disturbance just north of the leeward islands. It has a chance of developing. And there is Philippe, which is headed into the middle of the Atlantic.

The wind is from the south. There are a lot of rain showers just off shore this morning.

Seas are running less than two feet and will remain relatively calm for the next few days.

Conditions for finding cobs on the Treasure Coast remain poor.

Bernie reports about 4 feet of sand was recently removed down at Bathtub Beach and tree stumps were newly exposed. A good amount of clad coins were found there.

That's it for today.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 23, 2011

9/24/11 Report - Space Junk & Indian River Erosion Control & Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Writeen by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Space Junk on Cocoa Beach.

People often wonder about those small odd pieces of titanium that they find on the beach. As I've mentioned, some have been positively identified as being NASA space debris.

Lately people have been watching for that bus-size satellite to fall somewhere on earth. I heard that the mystery is over. Last night the satellite (pieces of it) fell in the Pacific somewhere.

Being so close to the Cape, we get our fair share of space debris, as illustrated by the photo above. That photo is not very recent, but still illustrative.

Indian River County officials have been discussing erosion and erosion control methods. They seem to realize that dumping more sand on the beach is expensive and ineffective.

You might want to read what they are thinking. Here is the link.

A five year old girl finds a 160 million year old fossil. That is one neat fossil.

One of the recent changes in metal detector technology is the development of wireless headphones. That is just an extension of the same technology that people are using with the computers, cell phones etc. Bluetooth is radio frequency communication that allows doing away with the wires. It is inexpensive and automatic.

Some detectors come with wireless headphones, and you can get wireless headphones to plug into other detectors that have removable headphones.

Here is one site that gives some of the details on wireless Bluetooth headphones.

Theoretically, I would imagine two people could wear headphones at the same time and hear the signal from a single detector. I haven't really looked into matters such as interference and coding or tuning.

In normal use the headphones obviously would be tuned or coded to communicate only with the device that transmits from one specific detector.

A multiple headphone configuration could be used for different applications, such as training. The detector user would wear one set of headphones while the instructor listens in with another set.

Here is a link if you want to look into this a little more.

As an aside, Jackson Hole Wyoming is a long way from the Treasure Coast, but if you remember, I posted a photo of a mule train in the Teton Mountains and wondered what they were carrying. I thought they might be carrying geological samples or artifacts. I don't know if that is right, but I just ran across this article that mentions some new archaeological findings there.

If you want to learn more about that, here is the link.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

There is a trough out in the Bahamas that will probably continue to give us some clouds and showers. Ophelia still seems headed for the open Atlantic. There is however, one new tropical disturbance coming off of Africa that has a good chance of developing soon. More on that later.

The wind is still form the southeast. That normally builds the beaches and brings us hot humid air. I don't like it at all.

The seas are running around two feet and will continue with little change for the next few days. Beach detecting conditions remain poor.

At least we are into fall, which means a long-awaited and much-needed change in conditions should be coming. The wind will eventually be shifting so we are not getting those summer southeast winds all of the time.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

9/23/11 Report - Gold Mickey Mouse Ring Find & Mucking the River Banks

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold and Diamond Mickey Ring Find.

Bill P. sent in the photo of this ring. It is 14kt gold with diamond (tested) eyes.

Bill has been trying to get information on this ring. After a lot of research, he hasn't found out much. My feeling is that it is vintage.

If any of you has any knowledge or ideas about this ring, please let me know.

As you probably know, vintage Disney items are very collectible. Those made before 1967 (Walt died Dec. 15, 1966) are most sought after.

You might occasionally find a Disney item on a beach. I've found a few, although few are as nice as the ring shown above.

I have seen a vintage 18kt gold Jiminey Crickeet pin/brooch with emerald eyes made by a high end jeweler in New York.

Here are a few hints that I found that might help you narrow down the date of Disney items.

"Walt Disney Enterprises" was established to market products based on Disney's movies starting in December of 1929.

"Walt Disney Productions" was first used in April of 1940, when the company Incorporated under that name. Such items are sometimes marked "WDP."

In 1986 "Walt Disney Productions" was renamed "The Walt Disney Company."

Sometime in the early to mid 1990s, merchandise was simply marked "Disney," which continues to this day.

You can sometimes tell the date of Disney items by the design or by looking up when different characters were introduced. For example, Mickey didn't wear gloves at first, but started wearing gloves very early in his life.

Moving on,you'll remember hurricane Irene that passed us by with little effect. Irene did stir up some things up north. One reader of this blog wrote in to tell about how Irene helped him find his first silver dollar up in Connecticut.

I found an article about how tropical storm Irene unearthed some old bones in up there.

Here is that link.

The photo in the article shows what I would call level five conditions. People have asked what the beach would look like when I issue a 5 rating on my Beach Conditions Rating Scale. The photo in that article gives a good example.

Never pass up erosion like that without at least looking to see what might have been exposed.

As you probably know the Indian River was at one time the main highway through this area, and in the early days people used to throw their garbage over the bank. You could therefore find a lot of old bottles and stuff down there. The Indian River, though, is no match for the amount of history accumulated on the river banks of England.

Here is a link to an article about a fellow that mucks around on the banks of the Thames. I love to do that type of hunting. As you've probably know, I call it "mucking around."

Gold and silver prices have really been decreasing lately.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

It looks like Ophelia will stay far out to sea. There is another topical wave coming off of Africa.

The wind is still from the southeast and the seas running around two feet and will continue unchanged for several days. Beach hunting conditions remain poor.

It is about the time of year when conditions begin to change a bit. Very often we have a good storm in October, but sometimes it doesn't happen until November.

Happy hunting,

9/22/11 Report - Mystery Object From Jupiter & Odyssey Marine

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Object Found in the Jupiter Beach Area.

Bill T. submitted the photos of this find.

The object is almost the size of a quarter - just a slightest touch smaller. Bill says it looks like yellow brass and thinks it could be a livery button.

Any information, thoughts or opinions about the object would be appreciated. Send your ideas to

Here is a nice web site where you can view a lot of livery buttons. Many do have the lion design.

Back of Same Object.

I don't know if you noticed, but Odyssey Marine stock surged Monday and Tuesday, going from around $2.70 to $3.50 per share in just two days. There was no particular news given to account for the gains. Some articles mentioned some old news as a supposed reason for the sharp increase but there was really nothing that would account for the gains in those articles. Some articles mentioned the SS Gairsoppa, and some mentioned the 17th century wreck found at the mouth of the Thames, and some mentioned the Black Swan and the possibility of a favorable court ruling, but all of that is old news and in my opinion couldn't really account for the sharp price increase.

Well Wednesday the stock price for OMEX dropped like a lead balloon - decreasing about 33% all of a sudden. That confirmed my suspicion that some big investors were manipulating the market. I've seen OMEX stock do something very similar a few times before, and I expect to see it again in a few months. My suspicions were confirmed for my own satisfaction when I learned of some very unusual options trading activity that was taking place - really huge and unusual amounts of puts being sold and bought.

I'm not an expert on all of this, but it looks like you can get caught in some big waves when a few big investors play games with the stock of a small company. If you can figure out what they are doing, you might be able to take advantage of it in the future, but if you don't know what is going on, you can really get hurt.

I wonder if you know what happened right after last time that Odyssey Marine stock took a big nose dive? I won't tell you now, but I'm going to watch and see if it happens again.

Even though I don't think it has much to do with the recent changes in the stock's price, you still might find the following article interesting.

And you might want to read about the 17th Century shipwreck found at the mouth of the Thames. Here is the link to that story.

I also thought it was interesting how some people are tracking the movements of Odyssey Marine's research vessels using online marine tracking tools. For one thing, they noticed that the Russian research vessel that Odyssey is using and another Odyssey vessel, which was working at another site, met at the site of the Gairsoppa and then returned to dock. The conclusion was that something either really bad or something really good happened with the Gairsoppa.


Here is the link to a story that tells about that.

The St. Lucie Metal Detecting Club will hold their first meeting on Saturday, October 8th at Duffy's on US1 in Jensen Beach. The club now has 41 members, 34 local and 7 from out of town.

If any of the other clubs in the area want me to mention meetings or activities, I'll usually be able to do that.

I'm sure that the quick growth of this new club is due largely to the publicity provided by this blog.

Bob H. wrote in and asked if I had any information on what appeared to be an old steamer being towed by a tug off the treasure coast the afternoon/evening?

Unfortunately I didn't see it and don't know anything about it. I wish I had seen it.

If you know have any information on this, let me know and I'll share it.

A satellite about the size of a school bus is about to reenter the earth's atmosphere. Not much chance that any of it will land on a Treasure Coast beach - but some, I guess.

Here is the link.

I really like the animated map that shows all of the space junk floating around. There might be salvage vessels out there picking up that stuff some day.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

It appears that Ophelia is not going to develop into a hurricane anytime soon. She is also going to stay to the East of us and probably won't affect us much.

There were nice heavy rains along much of the Treasure Coast this morning.

The wind is still from the southeast and beach conditions will remain unchanged or the next few days, with the seas running around 2 feet.

Happy hunting

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9/21/11 Report - Puzzle of Medallion Solved & Help from Rain

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I didn't get around to posting yesterday, I was doing some study and digesting all of the email that I received.

I received a lot of email in response to the questions about the religious medallion that I posted the day before yesterday. I guess that other people found the medallion as interesting as I did. The funny thing is, I almost didn't post it because I posted the other side of the medallion a couple of times before and thought people had already seen enough of it and wouldn't be interested. I was evidently wrong about that. Of course this time I did post a good photo of the side with all the writing, and there is the puzzle of figuring out what it says.

This medallion has been a mystery to me that has been unraveling very slowly for a number of years. At the risk of being a repetitive, when I originally found the medallion, I didn't know what it was. In fact, it was heavily encrusted and sat with a bunch of dug beach coins a long time before I ever decided to clean the coins. It wasn't until after I did some cleaning that I found out that this object had a cross shape to it and wasn't a coin at all, but rather a medallion.

After some more time, I eventually cleaned it some more, I could see that it had been gilted. There is some small amount of the gilt remaining.

As you can see, I haven't removed all of the sand yet, and might not. Or I might. It depends.

Anyhow the mystery of the medallion continued to slowly unravel.

I mentioned Laura Strolia's research on the medallion yesterday. Here is some of what she found .

I think I indeed found our answer to the medal picture. These sentences are from a site describing a story of St. Anthony.

St. Anthony of Padua had a beloved Psalter that was lost and that he begged God to be returned to him as it contained notes he'd written to help him instruct his students. In response to his prayers for the return of the book, a novice who'd left the Franciscan Order returned, bringing the Psalter (now kept at the Franciscan Friary in Bologna, Italy) with him and confessing that he'd stolen it and asking to be allowed to return to the religious life (this was granted). Thereafter, St. Anthony became the Patron Saint called on to pray with you to find lost objects.

Concerning the image on the front of the medallion, she says, The man bowing down in front of St. Anthony with head down, must be asking for forgiveness for stealing his book of Psalms (and notes). St. Anthony is forgiving while holding the book.

All of the emails that I received were helpful. I do intend to continue working on the medal.

After looking at the medallion last night with a jewelers loop, I think the photo is as readable as the original object, even with the loop. I'm not sure how much if any more cleaning I might do to it. I will, however, make an image of the medal that is more readable. Some people recommended making a rubbing. I do think I'll do that. I'll also make a drawing or some other type of impression.

Like I said, all of the emails were helpful and very much appreciated.

One email that I just received is from Moe, and seems to solve the puzzle of the words. Here is what Moe said.

The religious medallion shown is a St. Francis of Assisi medal. I believe that the words (Latin) on the back are a blessing that St. Francis wrote to Brother Leo.

"Benedicat tibi Dominus et custodiat te;
ostendat faciem suam tibi et misereatur tui.
Convertat vultum suum ad te et det tibi pacem"

I can see the words: Custodiat ostendat faciem miseratur convertat vultum

This prayer is known as "May the Lord give you peace".
The translation is:
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
may He show His face to you and have mercy.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace."

It is a very beautiful prayer for travelers.
Hope this helps.

Thanks much Moe.

On another subject, heavy rains uncovered evidence of a Myacean cemetery.

This illustrates something that I've said before. While we all wait for beach erosion from high seas, rain can also uncover old things. I was looking through sand washed out of the dunes just yesterday and finding some old stuff.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

I was out yesterday and saw a couple of beaches. One, as I mentioned had some erosion to the back dunes caused by rain.

Another thing about rain that helps, is you can sometimes see which tracks are recent and where people have been on the beach. The older tracks are washed away. You can tell where other people have been recently. That can help in a variety of ways.

I could tell that there was some erosion at one beach that occurred in the past few days, but it was slight and was mostly filled in again. Most beaches were building. There was lots of sea weed.

Coins seemed to be deep - even a modern light-weight Cuban coin was down several inches on the beach front.

We now have a named storm, Ophelia, which is tracking towards Puerto Rico by Sunday. I'll keep an eye on that.

Happy hunting,

Monday, September 19, 2011

9/19/11 Report - Religious Medallion From 1715 Fleet, & Hunt for Super Bowl Ring

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I've shown the front of this medallion before. Laura Strolia, author of the book on the Marigalera of the 1715 Fleet, has done a lot of research on it, and has found that it is Franciscan and shows St. Anthony on the other side. She says there was a Franciscan priest traveling with the 1715 Fleet.

One Side of Medallion from 1715 Fleet Bearing a Prayer.

We are trying to make out the words, which are in Latin. If you can make out any of this, even a single word, please send your thoughts in.

The clearest word that I see, is FACIE, which is Latin for face. Maybe you can pick that out in the photo.

I know its a small photo and difficult enough to make out in person.

Yesterday I mentioned that some people were expecting a drop in gold prices this week. It is certainly starting out that way.

Do you know what the most valuable US coin is? Take a guess.

It is the 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle which sold for $7,590,020 in July of 2002.

Here is an article that argues that rarity is not the only determinant of the price of a rare coin.

If the coin has a publicized history, that often increases its value.

Here is the link to that article.

The other day I mentioned a Super Bowl ring that was lost a number of years ago down in Fort Lauderdale. It turns out the fellow that did some hunting for that ring read the post and sent in his account. The diver was James F. who was contacted by Kevin Reilly, the owner of a metal detector store in Pompano, who was contacted earlier about the ring.

James says he was told that one of the Miami Dolphin's players was celebrating their win against Dallas and had been having a few cold ones aboard somebody's yacht, and when he was trying to get off the boat and onto the dock, his ring came off his finger, rolled along the dock and plunked into the water.

That would give you a sinking feeling, wouldn't it.

James said it was an oily muddy nightmare under the dock. He says, I still remember the weird stares I got as I clomped through the restaurant wearing my scuba tank, BC, mask and my bright orange Whites PI-1000 pulse detector! I didn't think that was any way to keep the operation low-key, but there was no other way to the dock but through the place.

Continuing, James said, It was about fifteen-feet deep below the dock as I descended toward the muddy bottom. I switched on the Whites and scanned the mud. Signals were everywhere. The first one I got, I stuck my arm down into the mud almost up to my armpit and pulled out a broken aluminum flagstaff with a couple of Semaphore flags still attached! Of course this brought the visibility down to absolute zero...literally couldn't see anything at all but brown-black soup. Finally I had to surface, as I had no way to determine where I had searched while in zero visibility...not to mention, I could hear the amplified engines of pleasure boats passing by or above, that scared me half to death.

James said he used a rope with knots in every couple of feet, which I secured on the bottom, and moved along scanning the mud by feeling each knot in the darkness. At any rate, I found a hashish pipe, a women's watch, 200,000 beer cans (well, seemed like it anyway), a pretty nice Zippo lighter, a hair dryer(?), and other metallic junk. The PI-1000 underwater detector had one setting...on or off, and no discrimination settings whatsoever, so you had to sort through every signal you got...try to figure out what it was by feel, or slapping against the Plexiglas on your mask. Two scuba tanks and three hours later, no ring.

James got a few bucks from the shop owner for his efforts and and a day or so later, came down with a raging ear infection that took half a truckload of antibiotics to cure...don't know what was in all the mud, but I'd never go down there again. Maybe somebody younger with newer detector technology might take a crack at it, as I am sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the ring is still down there.

Thanks for the story on that James.

Treasure Coast Beach Conditions and Forecast.

There are two low pressure areas coming off of Africa. The first does not look like it will develop anytime soon, but the second has a 60% chance of developing into a cyclone in the next 48 hours. It is still too far away to say where it will go or what it will do for us.

The wind is from the southeast again, and that means hot humid air again.

The seas are running about 2.5 feet or the next day or two and then will slowly decrease.

That means no real change in conditions real soon.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

9/18/11 Report - Half Reale, Gold Prices & Another Super Bowl Ring Found

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Half Reale Find.

Scott made this find and submitted the photo.

He had previously found some copper sheathing and square nails. Those types of artifacts can be what I sometimes call "signal finds." They are not usually primary targets but can be important because they can be a signal, or indicator, that there might be other things in the area.

Copper sheathing, being found in thin sheets, will often be found before cobs are found. They can be found when conditions are not good enough to find cobs in numbers.

The same goes for spikes and nails. Spikes and nails are often very numerous and also found when conditions are not good enough to find cobs in great numbers. Therefore, they are also good signal finds.

One of the first steps in beach hunting old items is to locate an area that is more promising than most of the beach. Signal finds can help you do that. As I said, signal finds are often found in the same general area as cobs, but often found before cobs are found.

Other Side of Same Cob.

It looks like Scott may have found a Mexican half reale showing a Philip monogram. That is what I would guess from the photos that I received.

Unfortunately he is working the Yucatan, not the Treasure Coast. They had a few storms out in the Gulf not long ago.

The price of gold decreased earlier in the week but regained the $1800 level, closing at $1814 per ounce. Silver has done better than gold for the year, closing at slightly over $40 an ounce.

Many are expecting gold to lose ground next week.

Here is the link if you want to read more about that.

Here is another great lost and found story. A Super Bowl ring was lost in Hawaii about forty years ago and recently returned.

Here is the link.

Talking about Super Bowl rings. One was lost about twenty years ago off of a boat in the Bahia Mar marina down in Fort Lauderdale. Recovery efforts were unsuccessful at the time.

Here is a good web site that will help you quickly and easily determine the melt value of US silver coins. Just select the type of coin and the number of coins, and out comes the melt value.

A Roosevelt dime is worth about $2.87 in silver content and a Morgan Dollar just over $30 at current silver prices, for example.

Here is the link.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

After a lull in the Atlantic, there are now three areas of disturbed weather coming off of Africa. That looks pretty unusual to me. Two have a fairly good chance of developing. Of course it is too early to know what they are going to do.

From Noaa Hurricane Center.

The surf web sites say that we'll have 2.5 or 3 foot seas this weekend and through Tuesday. That's not enough to cause a significant change in conditions and not generally good enough for finding shipwreck cobs, but it could stir up the front beach a little and provide access to a few other things when the seas back off again. Maybe they'll be a few signal finds that will point you to something in the future.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 16, 2011

9/16/11 Report - Bronze Atocha Seal Find, Florida Bison, More on McKee

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Bronze Seal Found on Trail of the Atocha.

This is a well preserved bronze seal. It is, in my limited experience, unusually large.

I'm still watching for a seal featuring an eagle that produced a wax seal that I once found.

Recently I showed a Brazilian gold bar. That bar will be auctioned in the upcoming Sedwick Coins auction, so if you want it, you have a chance to win it.

It will be in the Tenth Sedwick Coins Treasure and World Coin Auction, beginning on Oct. 25, 2011, on

Numerous bison bones were found at an apparent ancient kill site in Lake Victoria in Minnesota. The site was originally discovered when a fisherman reeled in a bison bone while fishing in the lake.

For more of that story, here is the link.

Did you know that you can find fossilized Ice Age bison bones on some Florida Treasure Coast beaches? Its true. You can. Also you can find bison fossils in the Peace River. I've been lucky enough to have found a few of those in the past. Some bison fossils have also been found in the Suwanee River and other places.

And there are now a few bison being raised in Florida today, including some roaming free at Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park.

As expected, I received a variety of emails concerning Art McKee after showing a couple of old photos yesterday.

Jorge Y. said the museum building still stands, and that it was turned into a shopping mall, and then into a Montessori school.

You can see it as you drive down through the Keys. It looks like a castle.

Great View of the Museum From the Early Days.

This picture is from a old slide taken when James F.'s father took him down to see the museum decades ago. Thanks for sharing James.

One person (John) mentioned that Art once gave him directions to a couple of wreck sites to dive on.

Thanks for sharing your personal stories. The mention of Art always results in a lot of correspondence. You can tell he left a mark on a lot of people.

Oh, there were a number of artifacts from the McKee museum that sold in the last Sedwick Coins auction.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

There are no storms in the Atlantic that you need to be concerned with now.

It seems that the temperature is becoming a little more comfortable.

The wind is from the west. You can expect and continuation of those nicely formed surfing waves. The seas are running about three feet and maybe a touch more through the weekend.

It would seem that after the week of waves that we've had, conditions might be decent for non-metallic finds in the wrack line. I've already heard of one nice piece of shipwreck wood with a spike in it being found this week. I have a photo of that, which I'll probably show tomorrow.

I think it would be a good time to walk some out-of-the-way places to do a little scouting. Then when the seas calm down a little, hit the most promising looking low tide areas.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 15, 2011

9/15/11 Report - Old Metal Detectors and Some Florida History

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Couple Young Fellows Using an Early Detector on the West Coast of Florida.
(At Left.)

It appears to be one of those old military detectors. I don't know who the guys are. I would guess the photo to be from back around the fifties or sixties.

Notice the flash lights.

Think of using that. Its not exactly light weight.

And could you believe they had underwater detectors decades ago. Below is a photo showing an old detector being used underwater.

Doesn't look like the most ergonomic design.

I thought these photos were neat. They show a little metal detector and treasure hunting history.

Art McKee Using Underwater Detector. (To right.)

These photos are in the Florida Memory photo archives, Division of Library and Information Services.

One reader sent me an email with some old photos and I decided to look for more. These are a few that I found.

Before I continue, I want to comment on Art McKee for those of you who don't know who he is. Art was one of the well known treasure hunters that operated in the Keys back a few decades ago. He had a museum on Plantation Key. I think the building is still there even though I haven't been down there for a number of years and so am not entirely sure.

Art was a friendly guy that would talk to anyone, personally lead you through his museum, or even take you out to dive with him. He wasn't like the guys that try to keep everything secret and guarded. He freely shared his experiences, and would even take you out and show you where he was finding things.

The last time I talked to him, I was down in the Keys and stopped by his museum, which wasn't' open at the time, but he happened to be there and came out and talked for a while.

I liked his style. He tried out a lot of new and different approaches and was really a pioneer.

Since I'm talking about Art, I guess I'll add one more photo that shows the old helmet.

Art Being Suited.

Switching topics, the St. Luci Metal Detecting club is having a club hunt on Saturday. For more information contact Bernie C. via email at

Do you know about the dollar coins that the US is minting. Well, not only is the US printing money, it is also producing tons of one-dollar coins, each of which costs 30 cents to make, and has a face value of $1.

A 2005 law requires the reserve bank to keep ordering the coins even though the vaults are over flowing. No one seems to want to use these new coins and the reserve banks are just storing them. My local bank didn't even seem to know about them.

It is another way to devalue the dollar, reduce the deficit and redistribute the wealth. Simply minting money in addition to printing it.

Here is the link if you want to read more about those one-dollar coins.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Maria is headed into the North Atlantic. There is one new tropical wave coming off of Africa. It is too soon to say much about that.

There is a full moon and the water is still getting pretty high up on the beach.

The swells are running around 2 to 2.5 feet for the next few days. There are still some nice surfing waves. With the west winds and the sand piled up in front of the beaches, the waves are breaking real nice in some spots.

The waves looked higher than what I expected to see this morning. They aren't causing any erosion though. I do think there is enough force hitting the front beaches to freshen them up some. The same for the shallow water areas.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9/14/11 Report - More on the Gold Bar, A First Silver Dollar Find, and a Diamond Ring Returned

Written by TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Front and Back of the $100,000 Gold Bar To Be Auctioned in the Upcoming Sedwick Coins Auction.

Photo and information on the bar was submitted via email by A. G. of Sedwick Coins.

I showed the front of this bar yesterday and gave you some clues about its identity. One reader sent an email correctly identifying the seal.

I'll give you more about the bar below.

James F. sent in this story telling about how he responded to a request to find a lost ring.

My detecting club sends out emergency e-mails reporting any lost item, usually rings, reported to the club by normal, everyday people who don't know where else to turn for help in finding that lost wedding band or heirloom lost somewhere in the ocean of sand, or just the ocean, period. Once such call came in this last Wednesday, from a frantic husband...his wife, relaxing on a beach chair as the surf splashed past her, seems to have relieved her of her VERY expensive ring. This piece of jewelry was 18kt white-gold encrusted with diamonds encrusting 360 degrees of the ring's circumference...if you ran it along the sand, it would have left something that looked like the tread of a miniature truck tire. Serious piece of bling.
His wife was crying and frantic, as well as anyone would be, who had lost her first wedding ring after being married a little over a year. It had been lost last Saturday, the 3rd, and his e-mail to the club was pretty sad...

(I omitted some of the story here to save space. TreasureGuide)

I sent him an immediate e-mail and told him we may be able to recover it, if he remembered where they had sat. I met him there with my Minelab SE Pro with a 16" coil, and within 45 minutes had recovered his wifes ring. I told him I thought I had something, he came over, I dug up a mound of sand (about 8" deep), pulled out my pinpointer, wiped away clumps of sand with it to reveal his lost ring. He couldn't believe it...a tiny ring had been gone more than a week, both him and his wife thought they would literally NEVER see this important piece of their married life again. He had told me on the side he would not be able to afford another ring for her, and I felt so cannot imagine seeing someone so resigned to the loss. When he first saw it in the wet sand, he grabbed me and hugged me like a long lost friend...almost busted my detector stem. We walked back up to the beach pavillion, and there was his wife in her bathing suit. He showed the ring to her and SHE started crying, also hugging me (I had the detection gear out of the way this time), which I didn't mind all that much. Long story, short, two very happy people were walking on a cloud, still expressing disbelief that I had found such a tiny thing on such a big beach. These folks were totally alien to the sport of metal detecting, but can now be counted on to be another positive voice in the general public concerning the sport.

This taught me a lesson about the here-and-now of detecting; if anyone is distraught over losing a valuable item, and you have some time to lend a hand, do it! The good will that your assistance will generate for the hobby is worth much much more than the gold value of the ring. Just saying, I'm proud of what we do, cause nobody does it better!

Good thoughts. Thanks James.

John benefited from Irene going to Connecticut. He had some good luck. Here is what he said.

I hunted up here in Ct. after the storm (not a hurricane anymore) hit us. I found my first Silver Dollar in over 40 years of beach hunting, a 1897s. It was washed out of the upper beach that hardly anyone ever does. Also in the same 20 ft. area I found a 57 quarter, 2 buffalo nickels, 44 merc dime, and several wheats. In the water at low tide, I hit a 14K gold buckle ring with small diamond. Lots of modern coins were in the cuts in the beaches. Tide was at high when the storm hit so it came in flooding and churned up the beaches quite a bit.

Glad to know someone benefited from Irene. And congratulations on your first silver dollar!

Back to the gold bar.

Minted in Brazil, this gold bar is an example of pseudo-monetary gold that is somewhat comparable to the U.S. pioneer gold issues of the California Gold Rush.

The particular ingot shown above is from the foundry of Serro Frio and is very rare. Even more rare, the original guia (documentation) is available and in remarkable conditoin.

If you want to learn more about this gold bar and the history of similar bars, here is a link to all of the information provided by Sedwick Coins.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Maria is now a tropical storm and is east o the Bahamas and headed towards the North Atlantic. There are no other storms or hurricanes to watch right now.

The wind is from the north/northwest. The seas are around two feet and will not change much, only increasing slightly to about three of four feet on Sunday.

Obviously, that means no significant change in detecting conditions on the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9/13/11 Report - $100,000 Gold Bar

Written by TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Very Rare and Valuable
Gold Bar.

Do you recognize this? I don't think many will.

See what you can figure out. I'll give you some more clues below.

The HMS DeBraak was a 14 gun brig-sloop captured and used by the Royal Navy before sinking in Delaware Bay in 1798 with a rumored huge treasure. Much controversy surrounds the treasure. Some say it has been recovered, while other say it is still to be found.

Whatever happened to the treasure, the wreck has produced many interesting artifacts. In the following article you can view a pair of woven socks that was recovered and conserved. That is pretty unusual.

Here is the link to that story if you want to read more.|topnews|text|Home

Markings on the Gold Bar.

On the left is a seal, then next to that is a serial number, then the numbers 1 - 3 - 06, which indicates 1 ounce, 3 eighths, 6 grains, followed by "23 TOQUE", meaning 23 karat, and the AAB, which is the assayers initials.

You might want to try to figure out the identify of the bar from those clues.

I'll give you more information on it another day.

Thanks to Sedwick Coins for the photo and information.

You'll be hearing more about the bar in the near future.

Odyssey Marine Explorations.

About a month ago, the Global Newswire reported the following from Odyssey Marine.

The Odyssey Explorer is working on a shipwreck project and the Gairsoppa operation is now underway. Recent developments lead us to believe that we will begin excavation of at least one of our high-value shipwreck targets this working season. We have the cash available on hand to execute the most ambitious marine operations program in the history of our company. Our team aboard the Dorado Discovery is approximately halfway through another successful deep-ocean mineral exploration survey being conducted for Neptune Minerals in the South Pacific. There have already been discoveries of several new SMS deposits with assay results confirming exceptionally high grade gold, silver, zinc and copper ore," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey CEO. "We are looking forward to a number of possible positive developments in the near future including progress on our shipwreck projects and government negotiations, a positive ruling in the "Black Swan" case, and additional positive results from the mineral exploration work being conducted on behalf of Neptune Minerals. ... With gold and silver near all-time highs, and our unprecedented backlog of advanced stage shipwreck projects, I have never been more optimistic about our outlook and near-term value creation opportunities.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Maria is headed towards the North Atlantic and won't affect us very much.

There are no other storms to watch right now.

If the surf web sites are correct, we'll have one foot seas tomorrow, gradually increasing on a daily basis for the next several days, reaching about three feet by the weekend.

It doesn't look like we'll have any real improvement soon.

Happy hunting,

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/12/11 Report - Recent Beach Erosion Caused by Rain

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Rain Erosion on the Face on a Dune Extending Down to the Flat Beach.

A couple of days ago I mentioned that wind and rain can erode the dunes too. I found this example of erosion caused by a recent rain storm yesterday.

Notice the gully at the top of the dune, running down the face of the cliff and onto the beach. Always check gullies, big or small, for items that might have washed out.

Check areas like this very thoroughly visually as well as with your detector. The rain will often move enough sand to expose items even in flat areas.

Detect any eroded area, the gully, and especially the area at the foot of the dune where materials might have fallen or been washed down.

Very carefully look for any and all sign of uncovered or partially uncovered objects.

On a cliff, the dune can get so saturated that the face of the cliff peals off and piles up at the bottom of the dune. That was happening here.

When that happens thing will fall out of the dune and end up at the toe of the dune, sometimes rolling a few feet away from the dune, but there will be other things that then stick out of the dune but do not fall. That means you should carefully inspect the face of the dune too.

Another Areas Where the Rain Washed Off a Layer of Sand.

Notice the newly exposed roots. That indicates that sand that has been in place long enough for the roots to grow has been eroded. Always a good sign.

Here is another shot of a rain-washed area not far from the one above. This area ha smaller gullies and hardly and no cliff to speak of. It is always worth checking any newly washed areas both visually and with a detector anyhow. Besides being exposed, things can get caught in any dips or creases.

I saw detectorists at the beach yesterday, but they didn't even look at these areas. In my opinion the washed dune areas were the most promising places that I saw. Some of the cliffs were higher than the ones in the photo and a good bit of material fell off the face.

The waves were higher than I expected yesterday morning. There were a lot of surfers taking advantage of that.

It was hard to work the low tide zone because of the waves, but it might have stirred some things up for some other time when it is easier to work. It is also a full moon now and the high tides are fairly high.

Here is a link showing the waves and some surfers on the Treasure Coast yesterday.

It looks like Maria will stay pretty far away from us. There are no other major storms to be concerned about now.

The surf web sites are showing one or two foot seas for the next few days.

I don't expect any significant change in conditions.

A couple readers confirmed that the ceramic tube I asked about a few days ago is an insulator. David S. sent me a link to a Wikipedia article on tube and knob wiring which shows the use of those tubes along with other insulators (knobs). The tubes are the ones going through the beams. I've found some of those other insulators as well.

Tube and Knob Wiring in a 1930s House.

Photo From Wikipedia.

Thanks to David S. and John for the information.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/10/11 Report - Dunes & USS Scorpion

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Some Beach Wheaties.

The readers of this blog came through once again. Two days ago I showed a photo of some ceramic items, including a tube. Rich of New York says the tube was used to insulate wiring for the old bare wire electrical systems. When a wire ran through a stud or something like that, the ceramic tube provided the insulation for the wire. Finally I know what those things are. Thanks Rich.

A Revolutionary War US gunboat, possibly the USS Scorpion, is being excavated.

Here is the link to that story.

I recently mentioned complaints about open holes and dug junk being left on our beaches. Be careful who you blame. I heard from one fellow that said he was returning from a distant spot where he was detecting, and as he approached a part of the beach nearer the beach access, he saw some holes someone else had dug up ahead, and another detectorist yelled out telling him to fill his holes. He hadn't detected in that area and wasn't even up to the holes yet.

Just because you see a detectorist and have also seen some holes, don't jump to conclusions too fast. The other guy might not be any more to blame than you.

If you work the wet sand, you probably realize that the water will sometimes fill your holes for you - and sometimes so quickly that you are unable to retrieve the object.

If you are working far away from the beach accesses and the crowds, and the water is getting up to your holes, I see no problem in letting the water refill your holes, but if you are working where there are a lot of people, you still need to fill them.

Take a big heavy bag or container along with you in addition to your goody bag. Not only can you use it for larger finds, but you can also carry out the trash. I really don't understand why anyone would want to detect the same trash over and over again.

Using discrimination leaves a lot of trash that could be removed too. When I find a trashy beach, I know it hasn't been detected well. No discrimination or target ID system is perfect, and trash can mask or hide a lot of good targets until it is removed.

If you use discrimination, you might not dig trash, but you leave it the same as the guy that digs it and leaves it.

Different parts of the beach are very different when it comes to detecting. For general purposes of discussion I often consider the following zones: the dunes, the dry beach, the splash zone, the slope, the wet sand, and shallow water. Some of those zones overlap.

There are different theories about how barrier islands are formed. It seems no one knows for sure how they actually formed. Some theories refer to glacial melt.

If you want to read a little more about the predominant theories, here is a link.

I'm not so much concerned with how the barriers islands formed. My interest is in how they behave, and especially how that affects metal detecting conditions.

I divide the beaches into two types based upon the dune area. Some beaches have a steep cliff at the back of the beach, sometimes several feet high, such as the beach in front of the nuclear power plant on South Hutchinson Island, or the beach at Wabasso, and Corrigans.

Beaches change. Rio Mar for example, maybe 15 or 20 years ago, had a five or six foot cliff in front of the beach club. Now it has a more gradual slop all the way back partly as the result of the renourishment projects. Old US coins, like V nickels used to fall out of the cliff in front of the beach club when the water eroded the cliff.

Anyhow, those beaches with a relatively high cliff cut into the dunes can make for good detecting whenever the cliff erodes, especially if the cliff cuts into sand that has not been disturbed for decades or centuries.

Most of the steep cliffs have been caused at least in part by man. At Wabasso you have the sea wall to the north and all of the other stuff that prevents a more natural beach from forming and causing a cliff there most of the time.

Down at the power plant, the steep cliff is cut into sand that was dumped there when the power plant was constructed.

Similarly, a month or so ago there was an eight foot cliff in the beach renourishment sand immediately south of the Fort Pierce inlet.

You can't just dump sand on a beach and expect it to stay. The fact that it eroded in the first place tells you that the natural forces will continue to move that sand.

Beaches like Corrigans have relatively high dunes behind them that undoubtedly contain decades or even centuries of accumulated old materials. I've personally seen items hundreds of years old fall out of dunes like that when the water gets far enough back to erode the old undisturbed sand. Now there is a bunch of renourishment sand in front of the old dunes there and many of the other places.

Steep cliffs on the face of the back dunes can erode by things other than the waves hitting them. Rain and wind can also erode those cliffs, even if that process is not as quick.

Any time the cliffs erode into the old sand, regardless of the cause, old things can fall out.

Sometimes you'll see slabs of the dune face fall. Old items will sometimes fall out with those slabs.

The big cliff down at the power plant is artificial, as I mentioned. The natural height and shape of those dunes would be more like what you see down at the Walton Rocks beach access or north at the Blind Creek accesses. But since the sand behind the cliff at the power plant was dumped there during construction, there is no layering according to age. Old things are both above and below modern things there.

If you dig down six or more feet in front of that cliff, you'll find a layer of peat where the old marsh was.

On other beaches where the back beach is relatively flat, such as Green Turtle Beach, you have those rounded smaller dunes. Those dunes are created by wind and migrate relatively rapidly. The wind blows the sand back where it fills the low marsh area. Gradually the beach moves towards the west.

Those small migrating dunes do not contain layers of old accumulated items. Yet the back beach, if you go down far enough very well might. The hurricanes of 2004 cut that beach down several feet all the way back to the walkover, and old items were found there.

I'm not saying there aren't old items on the back beach there - just not in the migrating dunes.

I don't know where that beach was back in the 18th century. I don't know how far east the front of the beach was back then, and I don't know how far west the back beach went.

It takes a lot more erosion to wash old items out of the back beach on a beach like Green Turtle Beach than on a beach that has a steep cliff at the back.

Over the past couple of decades it seems to me that the beach on South Hutchinson Island from the condos south a few hundred yards through the Nieves site, the sand has been accumulating in front of the beach and building the beach further to the east. I believe that is at least in part due to all of the beach renourishment projects that dumped sand to the north of there. If I'm correct, much of that sand has migrated south significantly making the beaches down there much wider.

I can remember when the beach just south of the condos was eroded back near the current tree line. Now there is a few hundred yards of sand in front of that. Several other land marks that were near the water line have disappeared there as well over the past twenty years. There were tree stumps and other things near the water line that are now deeply buried and far back from the water line.

I guess my main point is to be aware of the two different types of beaches. One will produce old shipwreck items from the dunes much more often than the other. You should also be aware of where the sand is old and undisturbed as opposed to newly accumulated, whether it is the result of natural forces or man...

Sorry for the rambling, but I think you get what I'm trying to say.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Katia is gone. Maria, it seems, will stay pretty far to the east of us.

The wind is out of the south and the swells hitting almost directly from the east.

Seas will be two feet or less for the next few days. That means no improvement or change in conditions for a while.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 9, 2011

9/9/11 Report - Big Atocha Finds of the Year & Ceramic Finds & More

Written by TreasureGuide exclusively for

Three Big Atocha Finds For This Year.

Photo and information received from the Mel Fisher organization via email.

Shown in the photo is a gold rosary valued at over $250,000, part of a 2-pound gold bar valued at over $100,000, and high quality 9-carat emerald ring valued at over $1.2 million.

The Pirate Festival will be held in Stuart this weekend.

Anyone wanting to participate in a group hunt in the Port St. Lucie area this weekend, contact Bernie C.

The St. Lucie Metal Detecting club will also hold a hunt in on Sept 17th. Contact Bernie for information. I've listed his email and phone in past blogs. If you don't have it, use the search box on the blog.

The most recent blog survey has concluded and the results are in.

As a result of Hurricane Irene, 22% of the respondents traveled to the Treasure Coast to detect. I met some of those people on the beaches. One came from the West Coast of Florida and one from the Panhandle.

A number of people detected a few more days and visited a few more beaches than usual (17 & 23% respectively).

A good number of people (43%) didn't do anything different. Irene just didn't turn out to be a very big deal after all. The beaches weren't affected that much.

And 5% of the respondents actually detected less than normal. That could have been for a number of reasons - maybe hurricane preparation and other duties, or poor weather, or simply the fact that not much happened to the beaches. Maybe some traveled north to where the hurricane was more of a factor.

I always like to get data.

If you've been watching the track of Maria, she is now a tropical storm again. It looks like she'll track pretty much like Irene.

Some Treasure Coast Ceramic Finds.

Here are some eye-balled ceramic finds. Items like the doll and doll parts sell quickly.

If you keep your eyes open while detecting you can find a few items that will help pay for gas and batteries.

I've found a dozen or two of the long elongated objects that you see on the left. I don't know what they are. I think they might have to do with old gas lighting fixtures.

If you know what they are, please let me know. Thanks.

If you have a high quality camera sometimes you can see things on a large photo of an object that you didn't notice visually. Good photos might help you detect previously undetected markings.

Porcelain doll parts are especially easy to sell.

The small doll in this photo is marked "MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN."

Anyhow, once again, keep your eyes open while detecting.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions.

The highest waves yesterday were at the north end of the Treasure Coast. I heard that Indialantic had huge waves, and Frank G. reported very high waves up at Sebastian, but nothing in the way of cuts.

I really appreciate reports from the various parts of the Treasure Coast because, as you know, I can't be everywhere.

The wind is still form the west. The seas are decreasing. This weekend seas will be two feet or less. That, with the west wind, means you might be able to get out into the low tide zone pretty far to see what if anything got stirred up the last couple of days.

The waves at John Books were breaking close to shore. You could tell there was a lot of sand built up in front of the beach where the waves were crashing.

The water got up pretty high but not high high enough to wash old objects out of the dunes, which, as you know, are protected by renourishment sand at many sites.

I plan to talk more about the dunes some day soon.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

9/8/11 Report - Today's Conditions, Small Cuts, and WTC Shipwreck

Written by TreasureGuide exclusively for

Unidentified Metal Find.

When I first dug this up I thought it might be a meteorite. I don't think so now. It has what looks like "thumb prints." That is what the little dips on a meteorite are called. It isn't' magnetic. Some meteorites aren't attracted to a magnet, but most are. Just a strange looking piece of metal. Sort of unusual to me. Things like this just get my curiosity going. Its not iron or silver. I'm starting to think titanium, maybe.

I found a really interesting article about the shipwreck that was uncovered on the site of the World Trade Center during construction for the new towers. This isn't just more of the same, but a good analysis of the wood and some of the possible history of the vessel.

I thought it was especially appropriate since I've been talking a bit about wood finds lately. They actually did a tree ring analysis to determine the date of the tree that was used for the keel.

Here is the link.

I got some emails about detectorists leaving open holes and junk on the beach. You shouldn't do that. There are too many places that do not permit detecting because of stuff like that. Don't jeopardize the hobby. And if you remove the junk, you wont' have to dig it up the next time out. Our beaches should really be much cleaner than they are.

I received a photo from Bernie C. showing a small cut yesterday. From the photo it looked less than a foot high. I'll have to come up with a good name for small cuts like that.

Not all cuts are equal. Some are big and some are small, but more importantly, some are in productive areas and some aren't.

Small cuts in recently accumulated sand usually aren't worth bothering with. On the other hand, a small cut on a beach that was already eroded or a small cut in sand that hasn't been disturbed for quite a while might be worth checking.

Size isn't everything. Location of the cut and the history and condition of the beach is important. In the right place, a very small cut can be very productive.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions

A Treasure Coast Beach This Morning Near Low Tide.

We had some waves today, but the wind was from the west. Surfers were out. A few detectorists were out too.

The swells were coming almost directly onto the beach. I didn't see any cuts at the spots I looked at today.

There were some very nice shell piles. If you are a shell collector it might be worth taking a look.

I heard the waves were a little bigger at the north end of the Treasure Coast and considerably bigger up at Indialantic.

I didn't see anything that would cause me to change my beach detecting conditions rating for the Treasure Coast from poor.

It has been a really long time since we had good conditions for detecting treasure coins on the Treasure Coast.

I don't think conditions are as good today as they were two days ago. At least not where I was.

The sea will be backing off a bit the next couple of days.

The thing to watch now is Marie, which is projected to track east of us like Irene did. It is too early to say now though. I'd keep an eye on Marie.

Happy hunting,