Friday, December 9, 2011

12/9/11 Report - Markings on Gold Jewelry Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach Find.

It is nice when a found item is marked.  The clasp on this bracelet is marked  "Italy 14K  .585."

Don't accept markings without verification though.   They are occasionally wrong.

This item tests 14K.

And I'll have to give the Italians credit for making a fine band.

You can be fooled by markings even when they are correct.  Sometimes different conventions are used, and it can get a little confusing.

Often wedding rings will be inscribed with a date.  Did you know that 8-10-11 does not always indicate August 10, 2011?   It sometimes indicates the 8th day of October.  Some countries or regions use a different ordering and/or format.

So if you see something like 20-10-2011 and are wondering how the month can be the twentieth month, it is probably the day rather than the month.

Gold purity is often given in either K (karat) or as a three digit decimal.

Karat purity is measured as 24 times the purity by mass, or in other words 24 times the mass of gold divided by the total mass of the item.     24-Karat gold is fine (99.9% Au w/w), 18-Karat gold is 18 parts gold 6 parts another metal (forming an alloy), 12-Karat gold is 12 parts gold (12 parts another metal), etc.

14k is approximately .5833% gold, but jewelers increase it to .585% for easier mixing.

I used to see KP on some items and thought it meant Karat Plated.  That was wrong.  KP stands for Karat Plumb, where "plumb" indicates "exact."   It is a good thing instead of a bad thing.

Look for and make good use of any markings but don't blindly accept them.

Bernie C. told me that the trucks are bringing the sand for South Jetty Park from an area just down the beach a few miles.  I've observed the trucks coming out of there too.

And I mentioned a barge that I saw bringing sand in from off shore.  Bernie said that sand is coming from three miles off shore and will be used on the beach later after this temporary "fix" is done.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

Shipwreck finds have been pretty hard to come by lately.  More than lately actually.  The past couple of years have been among the slowest that I can remember for finding cobs.

We've had a lot of rough seas lately, but it just isn't doing much.   The angles haven't been good - that is for sure, but I'm thinking that part of the reason is all of the sand piled in front of the beaches.   There is a sand bar along most of the coast and it just isn't being moved much.   Yoiu can see where the waves are breaking - generally out there quite a few yards.

I stopped at one beach south of Vero and north of Fort Pierce not long ago and was amazed by how far out the beach was.   I can remember when it was way back near the dunes.

While many beaches have more sand than they've had for many years, the same old beaches that keep getting replenished keep losing their and and are  getting replenished every few months.   Dumping sand on a beach that is eroding doesn't stop the erosion.  In fact, I believe it increases the erosion, because the renourishment and is in an unnatural position, sticking out there with nothing much either to the south or north to protect it from the normal currents and water movement.

I was observing all of the turtle nests that were recently exposed and ruined as the renourishment sand disappeared.   That renourishment sand tricks the turtles into laying their nests where the nests will wash away with all of the new sand.

The surf web sites are predicting gradually increasing seas that will peak around Tuesday when we are scheduled to receive six or seven foot seas.   Hopefully we'll get north/northeast winds for a while during that time.  I'm not real hopeful though.

Happy hunting,