Monday, December 31, 2012

12/31/12 Report - Happy New Year!

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

14K Metal Detector Beach Find
The object shown here is 14K.  It is a very small tag with no inscription or any mark on it.  The bale, however, is marked 14K.  Why someone would wear this unmarked tag is beyond me.  Maybe the intent was to have it inscribed.

I looked back through my posts for the year.  There were two topics that really stood out for the  year.

The first was the proposed Florida legislation that posed a huge threat to treasure hunting, metal detecting, and the freedoms of the pubic in general.  Fortunately our community was alerted, came together and lobbied successfully to stop it.  The new and growing St. Lucie Metal Detecting club, along with many other individuals and organizations, effectively mobilized.

One lesson to take away from that is that it is necessary to remain vigilant and active.  Otherwise you will undoubtedly lose your freedoms.  Another lesson to remember is that you can make a difference.

Concerning detecting for old shipwreck items, we started the 2012 coming off of a couple of slow years.  The year started out slow, had a few slightly better periods, and then peaked with Sandy.  Sandy resulted in more cobs being found in a short time period than any other storm for the past three years or so. 

Of those who hunted on the Treasure Coast after Sandy and responded to the blog poll, 16% found a shipwreck cob or treasure coin.  Some of those found more than one.  So that is about what you can expect when I issue a 3 or higher rating on my Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Scale.

There were other lessons to be learned from Sandy.  Some cobs were found a couple of weeks or more after the storm.  Another lesson is that cobs are sometimes found on beaches that are not cut.  And high water should be weighted as well as erosion when estimating detecting conditions.

Overall, I would say Hurricane Sandy was our number 1 topic of the year.

There were a number of really great finds in 2012, including some eight reales that were found at times other than after Sandy.

A number of mystery items were identified, thanks to the knowledge and expertise of the blog's readers, and a number of mystery items were identified and a number of others remained mysteries.

Overall, it was a good year, perhaps slow, but helped significantly by Sandy.
What did you learn this year?  Let me know and I might pass it along to help everyone else.

There isn't much to say about beach detecting conditions today.  No change.  You have to work for it.

I hope you have a blessed New Year.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

12/30/12 Report - Year End Review

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach Metal Detector Find.
Maybe you noticed, not only did the hit counter reach 500,000 yesterday, it blew through the half million mark with two days remaining in 2012.

This is the time of year when people tend to look back and then ahead.  It is good for detectorists to look back.  You can learn some things that way.

What did you find this year?   What did you want to find that you didn't?   What things did you find a lot of, and what things did you surprisingly not find?

There is the matter of luck to be taken into account, but overall and in the long term, it is more a matter of what you did or didn't do.  Take time to stop and consider your goals and what you did and didn't accomplish.  Review what you found.  And what you didn't find.  

Here is a good example.   If you found a good number of big gold rings but no small gold rings, there is probably a reason.   When I first started detecting I found a lot of men's rings but few women's rings.   I thought the reason was that women didn't lose as many rings as men.  I later learned that with my detector and the settings I was using, I was missing a lot of the smaller rings.

That is the type of thing I'm talking about.  Evaluate your finds and see what that might tell you.  Maybe there is something that you might need to change.

Another example would be if you find a lot of shipwreck spikes but no cobs.  Think about why that might be?   I'd say there is a good chance that it is either because of where you are spending your detecting time or how you use your detector.  More often than not they are found in different areas.  Or it could be that you are hunting an area near a shipwreck, but that particular shipwreck might be a shipwreck that had no treasure or that had been thoroughly salvaged.  There could be other reasons too, but the point is to notice what you are or are not finding and think about the possible reasons.

It helps a have good detailed records.   If you can look and see exactly what you found, when and where, that will help.  I still occasionally regret not keeping detailed enough records at times.  Every once in a while I think of a find and wish that I had better records on where it was found.

It also helps if you have a number of finds.  It is hard to draw good conclusions from little data.  The more data you have the more you will be able to learn from it.

Take some time to look back on last year and see what you can learn from it.   And make up your mind to keep good records next year.

Yesterday I showed a photo of some finds that John B. sent in.   Did you figure out if they were real or fake.  They were fake.  I hope you looked them over real good.

If you've dug old shipwreck artifacts containing a black stone, you might not know what the stone is.  It is not always onyx.  I'll tell you more about that in the future.   I'll also go over some of the highlights of this blog for the year 2012.

On the Treasure Coast, the wind was mostly from the north today and the surf was about two feet with a swell up to about 4 or 4.5 feet.

Sand has been accumulating on already sandy beaches.  There are some shells and fossils accumulating in the low tide area on some beaches - mostly small.

Conditions for finding old items on the beach remain poor.

With the chilly air and short days not too many people are lounging on the beaches either.  It isn't easy to be productive out there right now.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12/29/12 Report - Is It Fake or Reale, Blue & White Ceramics and More

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Fake or Real?  Can you tell?
Find and photo by John B.

John B. sent these photos of finds he made on 12/28/12 on Singer Island.  Thanks for the great photos John.

Well, have you made up your mind yet?   See if you can see any tell-tale signs.  It might be a little harder with these photos.  I could see the photos in the email a little larger than is shown here.

One thing to look for and which is often the first sign of a fake is a seam around the edge of the coin indicating that it was cast in a mold. 

You can always test to see if a cob is made of silver or gold or some other base metal, which of course you can't do with a photo.

Also look at the coin details to see if it looks to be made from striking with a die or from a mold.

I still am not good at telling the difference between a fake and a good cob from photos.  I never know if I trust what I see in a photo.  It seems much easier to me when I see an example in person and can touch and feel it.

See if you can tell if it is real or fake.

Are you the 500,000th reader? It probably already happened today, or soon will. 

Who would have believed it? Certainly not I.  Check the blog hit counter.

Samples Picked Up During My Pre Christmas Walk
A few days ago I wrote about taking a little walk and showed some of the junk I picked up.  Among the junk that I didn't show from that walk were these pieces of blue and white ceramics.

You will see pieces of blue and white ceramics similar to these at many old sites.  Often it will be your first clue to stop and detect. 

Of course blue and white ceramics span centuries, so you can't tell how old a site might be without further analysis.

You probably know something about the Kang Hsi porcelain carried on some of the Spanish Galleons.  That is not what this is.  These pieces are common and later.

It isn't real difficult to tell the difference between cheap ceramics and fine porcelain.  Check the broken edges to see what the paste looks like.  The good stuff will tend to be thinner, finer grain and often whiter. 

I gave a reference back a couple of years ago that gives the details on how to really tell the difference.  You might want to check the old posts.

Information on the whale that died on Pompano Beach this past Sunday is being sought.

A Gainesville man was recently convicted for illegally importing dinosaur skeletons and bones.

The Treasure Coast beaches are now sandy and sloped.  Conditions for finding old shipwreck items are poor.

I did see one beach with a good number of shells and lot of small pieces of fossils.

Happy hunting,

Friday, December 28, 2012

12/28/12 Report - Damaged Air Force Ring Found & Signs of Gold Holes

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of
 Here is a broken and flattened ring.   It reads "United States Air Force."  In the top photo, the "UNITED" is upside down, going right to left, starting in the middle, and the "AIR FO" can be seen going right to left.

Obviously the stone is gone.  It appears to be a base metal.

No other information is on the ring.

I wonder if someone can provide any information or ideas about it's age or what type of personnel might have owned it.

You can see the wings on this side.

Here is the other side of the same ring.  You can see a star in a circle on this side as well as wings.

Any information on the ring would be appreciated.

This flattened ring also brings up another topic that I don't talk about much.  It was a shallow water find.  Flattened items like this are a good sign.  They are often found in or near shallow water hot spots. 

I've shown bent coins before.  Evidently there are times and places where sunken items undergo a lot of pressure.  I think they must end up under and between rocks but eventually are uncovered.   I think that occurs under the front of the beach and out in the shallow water area where the sand comes and goes and where there is a lot of turmoil from time to time.

Anyhow, damaged items like these are often found in or near shallow water gold holes and are a good sign. 

Sometimes good concentrations of gold are found in the middle of coin holes, but there are times when several items of gold are found without any concentration of coins.  That is what I refer to as a "gold hole."

Older items as well as damage items like this can indicate that you are getting close to a hot spot where items that have been lost for some time are accumulating.  When you find items showing signs of having been lost a good while, slow down and check thoroughly for more items and especially concentrations of items.

One of my Christmas presents was the book Artifacts of  the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean, 1500 - 1800.  In that book is shown a necklace of chevron beads and colored glass rods.

A couple of days ago  I found a blue glass rod that I showed in a post.  I didn't know that it could possibly be that old and still don't think that it is, but it is good to be aware of things like that.  I regret that in the past I thought some finds were modern when they could have been very old.  Sometimes it is very hard to tell. 

It is good to be familiar with a broad range of items of different age periods.  It is awful easy to make a mistake.  And mistakes like that can cause you to miss many good finds.  It is important to be able to accurately assess clues while in the field.  One good clue can lead to many finds.

Here is a video of Dolores, the Fisher's new HAUV, provided by the Mel Fisher organization.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

It is a beautiful day to be out.  Nice blue sky.  Nice temperature.

The ocean is near flat, as is the Indian River.  Nice day for water hunting.  Also getting out in the low tide zone.

Conditions for detecting old stuff on the beach remains poor.

The ocean will be just a touch rougher over the weekend, but very little.

No real change is expected in the immediate forecast.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 27, 2012

12/27/12 Report - 18th Century Coin Legends, Scouting Around

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Two Nearly Identical Finds
The other day I documented a walk that I took and showed some of the variety of things that I eye-balled on the trip.   The short trip turned up a variety of miscellaneous objects, many of which are not metallic.  Finds included objects from various age periods and collectible categories, including old bottles, marbles, and even a fossil.   Nothing valuable was found, if you don't count the clues.  A number of the finds came from different time periods and suggested the strong possibility of other items of similar ages being in the same areas.  That is one good reason to keep your eyes open as you detect.  Objects that are not valuable in an economic sense can point you to good detecting sites.

Just as an example, the round milk bottle and the stopper top bottle, as well as the necks of some old bottles, told me that there were probably numerous items from the early 1900s and perhaps late 1800s in one area.

The marbles told me that there were items from the mid-1900s in another area.

And the fossil bone told me that there were undoubtedly more things from thousands of years ago in another area.  I hadn't previously found any fossils in that area.  Now I know to keep my eyes open for fossils in that area.

Although none of those things would bring much money if sold, they did tell me that there might be some very good treasure hunting sites nearby.

All kinds of things, even junk, can provide good clues about where to spend your time detecting.  That is one reason I don't generally use discrimination.  Even if an item is not valuable, I might want any information it might provide. 

At locations where there is a lot of water movement, items get sifted and sorted according to shape and composition.  Although moving water will definitely disturb the layers that might provide contextual information to the age of items, if you can get a sense of how those items were moved over time, you might be able to find the source. 

There are times when items of various types of objects will be deposited in a relatively small area and brought within detector range.  When the conditions are right, you can quickly detect and recover a lot of good items quickly.  I've talked about coin lines and coin holes a lot in the past and won't go over that again.

One key is to find those areas where certain types of objects are deposited from time to time, and to learn when those items might be brought within detector range. 

If you looked at one of the pictures from my last post, you could see that when I took my walk, a lot of items were densely strewn along the area.   That was a good time for some eye-balling.  There are also similarly good times for detecting. 

There are times when you are likely to find some good detecting and other times when good spots will be very hard to find.  As much as possible, you will want to find when and where those hot spots are likely to be.  

It is impossible to predict them perfectly, and you will undoubtedly miss some or simply stumble onto others, but you can dramatically improve the quantity of quality finds by learning when and where to look.

There is a free PDF download on coin legends of 18th century coins that you can find on the web site.  Your email address is required to receive the download.

Here is the link.

You might have heard about this.  It is circulating in the media.   A man searched until he found a lost wedding band in the snow and is looking for the owner.  I'm sure he'll find the owner and we'll hear about that later.

Cold will make fingers shrink and cause rings to be lost.  From my experience, and I've hunted up north a bit, I'd say that generally speaking the people up north do not tend to wear as much gold as those in Florida.

Treasure Coast Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

The surf is calm, down around one foot.  It will remain calm for a few days. 

As you would suspect that will provide easy access for low tide and shallow water hunting.

The wind has been shifting around, but has generally been from the west.  The low tides have been a bit lower lately, giving access to some areas that have been difficult to access for quite a while.  Take advantage of those off-shore winds.

Don't expect any significant change for a few days.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12/25/12 Report - A Pre Christmas Walk

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas.  I am.

I didn't expect to even do a post today but had a little time while nibbling on some fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies and waiting for some other stuff to cook.  So if the post comes together quickly without much fuss, I'll publish it.

The other day I took a little pre Christmas walk and thought I'd share some of the trip with you today.  It only lasted about an hour but I thought the variety of eye-balled finds was interesting. 

This wasn't a serious hunt.  More of a leisurely scouting expedition without a metal detector.

First, I found these very heavy lead(?) blocks shown below.  They seem to weigh somewhere between 50 and a hundred pounds.  It seems like they must be lead.  They are as heavy as anything that size I've ever seen.  Evidently they are some type of ballast.  Not necessarily boat.  Maybe heavy equipment.   Ideas anyone?

Then I found on old round milk bottle.  You'll see a photo of the milk bottle and small cork top bottle below.

The round bottles like this are older than the more square bottom bottles that came later.

I'll leave out a lot of the miscellaneous pieces of junk I looked at along the way.

Then I came to the remains of one of the older docks on the Indian River.  This one seems like it was about ten feet high.  More of it remained until the year when we had all of those hurricanes.

Around here were a lot of broken old bottles, included tops from old cork top bottles and embossed broken sides from old bottles.  Some showing purple from sunning over the years.  All good signs that it might be worth continuing the walk.

Those are good clues.  That is the type of thing I look for.  It tells you there are probably other old things in the area.  Inspect broken pieces to see what they might tell you.

Moving along, I found a \marble and then the little cork top bottle shown in front of the milk bottle and then a farther along another marble.  

Then some copper tubes.  I posted the value of scrap copper not long ago. 

Then this blue glass rod.  Hard to tell the age of this or what it was for.   Surprisingly, colored glass rods were often used along with glass beads as trade beads. 

This glass rod is rounded (intentionally it seems) on one end and broken off on the other end.  Again, any ideas?  I would guess it was the stem on glassware if the one end wasn't rounded instead of broken. 

Then the oldest find, a fossilized Dugong rib.  That is shown above in the photo with the copper tubes.  Didn't expect to see that where it was found.  I had found a fossil Great White tooth a mile or so north of here, but not many fossils.

Just goes to show that you need to keep your eyes open and that you can find things thousands of years old on a little leisurely walk.

And then the funniest find that I noticed on the way back.  Here it is.

A string of pirate beads.  The plastic labels say "Captain Morgan's Original Spiced Rum."

Notice the plastic pirate at the bottom of the string of beads.

I might comment more on some of these finds some other time.

That was one leisurely little walk.  Thanks for coming with me.  

I'm not going to bother with a conditions report today.   I'm done with my cookies and other good stuff is cooking, and I'll be able to soon see my nephew who is down from New York.

So wishing you a very Merry Christmas.   Make the best of it all no matter how good or bad it seems to be going for you.

Best wishes,

Monday, December 24, 2012

12/24/12 Report - Wishing a Blessed Christmas to All

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Vintage Christmas Card From 1910.

The above card is an actual Christmas card that was sent in 1910.  Unlike most of today's Christmas cards which open, this one, and many like it from the period, are more like a post card even though they were sent in an envelope.  Today it will serve as my Christmas greeting to each and everyone of you who read this blog. 

If people weren't interested in this blog, I would have given up on it some time ago.  I am always glad to hear from any of the many fine readers of this blog. 

Everybody is busy and there are a gazillion things you could look at on the internet.  For anyone to chose to spend their time on this blog as opposed to the millions and millions of other choices is a real compliment.  I notice that the blog will probably reach half a million hits some time in January.

I left yesterday's post on a little longer than usual for a few reasons.  One is that I wanted to make sure that people had a good chance of reading it.   It speaks of one thing that I think is especially important about detecting and that can easily be missed or forgotten.  I also thought it was especially fitting for the Christmas season, which is a good time to reflect on family and some of the more important things in life.

I received some emails in response to that post and was gratified to hear that people appreciated it and got that aspect of the detecting hobby.

Treasures do indeed come in many forms - the best are not physical at all.  Sharing time with friends and making new memories are among the better ones.   Physical objects point to something deeper and more enduring.  Maybe you got that point from my last post.

Like I said, the card above was an actual Christmas card.  It was sent to my grandfather.   I don't know how I acquired it now, but I always had an appreciation for old things and wanted to preserve them.

I often show a variety of types of treasures and discuss how they can be valuable.  This type of treasure (ephemera), like other types of treasures usually provides clues.  On the envelope that this card came in, there is an address, which since I know that the card was sent in 1910, points me to an old home site that might be a good detecting site.  I know that it goes back at least to the early 20th Century and probably earlier.

As I often say, treasures will often provide a clue or point you to other treasures.  Don't neglect ephemera as being potentially worth something economically, but more importantly, as a possible source of clues that can point you to additional treasures.

Here are a couple of Christmas cards from the same time period with their envelopes.  Notice the colorful fancy designs inside the envelopes.  Again, both are addressed and provide clues to an home site that has to have some age to it.

Antique Christmas Cards With Original Envelopes.

Always look for clues to good detecting sites.  Old books, postcards and other old paper products that can provide good clues.  If you don't know where to find good clues like this, keep your eyes open in antique stores, maybe while you are shopping for Christmas gifts.  You can find them in thrift stores too.  You don't have to buy them.  Just browse and take down notes.

I just realized that I didn't follow up on my previously mentioned topic of visualizing the past.  I'll have to get back to that some other time.

On the Treasure Coast the surf is back down to around 2 - 4 feet, and will be decreasing a little again.  I haven't been out to the beach much for personal observations.  I've been busy but will try to get some beach photos soon.

Low tide will be a little after 11:15 AM on Christmas Eve.

Have a blessed Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12/22/12 Report - Digging Up Memories

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

As We Were.
I had a dream last night in which I visited the town where I grew up.  In the dream I saw places where there were once old buildings that are now gone.  The dream reminded me of when I visited the home site where I was raised and my elementary school.   I was fortunate to be able to detect at my childhood home and school a number of years ago.

When I visited those places I could remember what went on at various specific spots in the past.  When I visited the school, I knew exactly where there was once a Little League baseball ballfield even though there was no longer any sign of it.  It was pretty amazing how precisely I could identify where things once were.  I knew exactly where the backstop was even though it was no longer there, where the team benches were even though there was no longer any sign of them, and where the cooler was where they sold softdrinks (what we called pop).  And where my parents stood when they were young enough to be my grandchildren.  I guess I spent enough time on that field to see all of those things like they were still there.

And then I detected the area.  Sure enough, there were some coins from the fifties where people stood along the sidelines to watch the games.  And where the cooler was, I dug a lot of pop bottle caps.  I was digging up my personal past. 

We didn't have anything worth anything, and I wasn't' going to find anything valuable there, but it was worth a lot to me to revive those memories and touch a part of my past again.

The pennies and dimes and bottle caps proved that my memories were accurate and it made them come to life once again.

I guess that is about as personal as it gets.

So what does that have to do with treasure?  I really don't have to spell it out.  I'm sure you will get it.

When we dig up something, we are digging up a part of someone's life.  Sometimes from very long ago and sometimes not so old.  Sometimes the people are not around anymore and sometimes they are.  In either case, it is part of someone's past.

I did a post before about some of my childhood toys that I dug up at my old home.  So I won't show those again.  This post is about putting finds into perspective.  

Even the pop bottle tops brought back memories - brought back an earlier part of life.  It was the closest thing to time travel that I can imagine.

Don't take it too lightly when you dig up a part of someone's life.   Remember that.   What you dig up was once a part of someone's life.   Try to fully appreciate that.  Not only will that help you appreciate what you found, but it will also help you to find more things.  The more completely you can put things into a real life context, the better you will understand the circumstances of how it got there and what was going on, and that will give you a better idea of where to look next.

In a coming post, I plan to pick up from here and talk about visualizing the past and how that can help you find more.

Well, it is chilly this morning.  The wind is coming in from the northwest and the seas will continue to increase today - I'm expecting 4 - 6 foot surf later today.  

I'll try to get out later to get a first hand beach report for you.

Happy hunting,

Friday, December 21, 2012

12/21/12 Report - Testing Silver and Gold & More

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

I'm a little late today.  Was waiting to see if the world came to an end.  If it did, I missed it.

Anyhow, on with today's post.

Well, well, well.   I just learned something new a little while ago.  

You probably know how to use an acid test kit to test gold and silver.  I've covered that in this blog before.  There are also some other methods you can use to identify precious metals.  Some methods are more formal and precise than others.  For example, I can usually tell the difference between a silver dime and a clad simply by the sound when they are dropped on ceramic tile.

But what I just learned is that you can use neodymium magnets to help identify silver and gold.  Not only that, but you can get an idea of how pure the silver and gold is in some cases if you have different samples to compare.

I just stumbed across this ad for neodymium magnets.  The ad said that you could use the magnets to test for fake silver and gold coins.   And there was a video explaining how and why it worked.

Here is the link to the video.

While this seems to generally work and looks like it could be a useful test, some say that it is not definitive and should be used with other tests, such as acid, to verify.   

Gold hit a four month low yesterday even though on the year it is still up around five percent.  Silver is down to $29 per ounze and change.  Unlike the more normal case, the dollar is falling too.  Usually gold goes up as the value of the dollar decreases.  The news on the policitical scene seems to be much of the cause.

I showed a chain yesterday that I thought might be a chain for a pocket watch.  I received an email from John who said it was definitely a watch chain.  Unfortunately I lost the email somehow as I started to read it, so if there is more detail in the body, I'd appreciate it if you could resend the email John.  Thanks much.

It is chilly out there this morning on the Treasure Coast.  The wind picked up last night and is coming from the north as a cold front moves through.  I saw white caps on the Intracoastal rolling in from the northeast.   I haven't been out to see the beach yet.  I don't suspect much of anything has happened yet.

I see that the most recent prediction from the surf web sites says that the surf will be up to around 4 - 6 foot seas tomorrow.  That usually isn't enough to improve conditions, and it won't be anything like Sandy where we got some real high tides, but it could do a little cutting and if all things come together just right, could bring a few cobs within range, but at this point, I would say that is a very long shot.  We'll have to wait and see.

The high surf is predicted to peak on Saturday.   Low tide is around 8:30 AM.   The low tides are getting a little lower now.  They had been relatively high for a real long time.   That in itself will produce some opportunities.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12/20/12 - Mystery Chain, Colonial Mission Life & Old Bottles

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Found Chain.
Here is a chain that seems to be gold-filled.  I think it might it might be a pocket-watch chain.  What do you think?

Here is a web site that gives a picture of life at a colonial mission -  Mission Dolores to be specific.  It talks about the Ais and shows some nice colonial artifacts.   A good site to browse.

Did you notice the higas?  I once showed a photo of a higa that was found on a Florida beach.

I've received some emails asking about the flakes of iron that are found on many of our treasure beaches.   Some didn't know for sure that they were iron.  They can look similar to cobs at first glance.  Unfortunately there are a lot of iron flakes or chips because many of our beaches have been replenished in recent years and the pipes and equipment used to replenish the beaches leave a lot of those flakes of iron.  

If you know your detector and how it responds to various metals you can easily identify iron flakes from the signal.   If you don't know how to do that yet, practice some.  Take the iron flakes or other items you might find and compare the signals to the signals you get from coins. 

If you have been reading this blog very long, you know that I advise experimenting with your detector and objects similar to those you are targeting.   If you want to know how your detector will sound over a silver cob, for example, cut a silver dime in half or quarters to simulate a small cob, then run your coil over it at various distances, listening carefully to the signal.   Try to remember how that and other possible good and junk targets sound.

As I've said before, that is one thing many new detectorists don't do enough.  Practice with your detector and different targets and different types of ground to get to know it better.  

Some nice old bottles have been popping up on the Treasure Coast lately.   Here are a few.

I like old bottles.  Unfortunately over the past ten or twenty years, old bottles like this have not held their value.   The market for common bottles like this has really dropped due to the internet.

I was really right when I said that people would be going out and purchasing guns since gun regulation is being talked about so much.  I've heard of record breaking orders.

Southeast breeze on the Treasure Caost this morning and 1 -2 foot surf.   The surf is expected to increase to 3 - 5 feet this weekend, and then next week we'll get flat seas.  That will open up a few opportunities.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12/19/12 Report - Worm Reef at Bathtub Beach & Some Big Gold Discoveries

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Ancient Gold Necklace
Photo from See link below.
I often mention Bathtub Beach and often receive questions about detecting there.  One thing you should know about if do detect there is the Sabellariid Worm reef.  Be very careful not to destroy the reef.

Here is an article about that.

Bathtub Beach isn't the only place you will find these worm reefs.  They exist from Miami to Cape Kennedy.

Here is a web site proclaiming ten of the biggest gold treasure discoveries ever worldwide.

None of those listed are shipwreck discoveries.

90 more  items that could be part of the Staffordshire Hoard were discovered recently. The original hoard, discovered in 2009, was found in the same field. The new items were discovered by detectorists after the field was plowed.

Here is that link.

Here is an article about some old coins found in a lawn during landscaping.

The surf on the Treasure Coast is calm this morning, down around 1 - 2 feet.  Not much wind either.  Just a very light breeze.   Beautiful weather again.   Unfortunately beach detecting conditions for anything but modern items remains poor.  At least you can detect the low tide zone and shallow water fairly easily.

Remember to stay out of the water in leased areas.

We're still expecting a higher surf this weekend, but not enough to do much good -  probably something like 3 - 5 feet, at best.

Only a few more detecting days until Christmas.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12/18/12 Report - Gold Medallion, Shipwreck Pottery, New Scanable Coins

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

High Carat Medallion
The religious medallion shown here is a Treasure Coast beach find and tests over 18K.   It is surprisingly heavy, being about three times the thickness of similar medallions.  It isn't marked at all. 

There is one book on Spanish Colonial Shipwreck Pottery that sells for over $150 used and $475 new.  That seems to me to be way too much and violates the spirit of archaeology, which, if I correctly interpret what I read, is to save the knowledge of the past for the "people."  What people are going to be able to pay $150 or more for a book containing that knowledge which was undoubtedly obtained at least in part at taxpayer expense or with taxpayer support to begin with.  As far as I'm concerned, knowledge like this obtained through sources supported to some degree by taxpayer funding or under the guise of being for the "people" should be made available to the citizens at little or no additional cost.  I can see the need to charge for books like this because printing books is expensive, but the knowledge, in my opinion, should be published on the Information Super Highway.  If entrepreneurs didn't do anything by themselves, as our President proclaims, certainly the academicians didn't either.

Anyhow, the first eighty or so pages are available online as a sample.  Here is the link.

In those first eighty pages you will find a lot of good introductory information including information about the wrecks the studied samples of pottery came from.

The Dutch mint produced a scanable silver 5-euro coin.   What does scanable mean?  It means that it has a code on it which can be read by a scanner.

The purpose seems to be to keep the coin's value steady.  For example if there was a three percent inflation one year, a one dollar coin would actually be adjusted up to $1.03.  

That doesn't really make a great deal of sense to me.  It seems something like the Forever stamps. 

Here is the link.  Read it for yourself.

If they are writable as well as readable, the possibilities seem endless.

The surf on the Treasure Coast is down around 1 - 2 feet this morning and is expected to remain that way for the next couple of days before increasing on Saturday.  Saturday's increase looks like it might not be as much as expected earlier.  They are saying maybe  3- 5 feet now, which I wouldn't expect to improve conditions much.

Low tide this afternoon will be a little after 6 PM.

It looks like things have been pretty slow.  I haven't heard of many finds and haven't seen many people on the beaches. 

I would think we would have at least one more good storm before long.  

Happy hunting,

Monday, December 17, 2012

12/17/12 Report - Gold Ring Finds & Research

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Couple 14K Beach Finds.
Beach detecting conditions haven't been good for finding old things lately, so there are a few things you can do until conditions improve.   One is scout out the few more promising areas that do exist and hunt them well.   Another is try a different type of hunting or take a little day trip to scout out an area you've been thinking about but never tried before.  Or, you can experiment and get to know your detector a little better. 

One thing I'll suggest today is doing some site research.

A little research can provide some good clues to some good hunting.   One resource I found on the internet is The Marker, which provides information on the Indian River Lagoon and also some history.  

The following referenced issue for example mentions a community picnic that was held in the early days.  Here is what it says.

The picnic had begun in 1868 when settlers first gathered at Oleander Point just north of Rockledge. Everyone along the river-from Jupiter Inlet on the south to Titusville on the north attended. Families prepared for weeks and sailed to the point.

That could be worth looking into. 

It also mentions Captain Land's small steamer, the Pioneer.  That also provides a good starting place for some good research.

Here is the link to one issue of The Marker.

And here is another resource, The Journal of the Brevard County Historical Commission.

The particular issue linked below tells some interesting stories of early residents, shipping, and Fort Ann, to name a few items of possible interest.

Check these out, if you don't find them useful, maybe you'll at least find them interesting.  I did.

The finds shown above include a large man's ring and a smaller initial ring.   The man's ring gave off a much louder signal.   From appearances I would guess the man's ring had been lost for a lot longer than the smaller ring.

The wind is from the southwest today and the surf expected to be around 2 - 4 feet.  It looks like it will be down around that level through the week. 

The surf web sites are now predicting 5 - 7 foot seas on Saturday.  Combined with the relatively high high tides we've been having that could possibly cause a significant change in beach detecting conditions.  It is borderline though.  We'll have to see what actually happens and how it all comes together.

Low tide today will be a little after 5 PM.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

12/16/12 Report - Beach Conditions and Photos

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Jensen Beach From the North End.
It seems action on the beach has been a little slow lately.   It appears that not many people are visiting the beaches on the weekend and not many people detecting.  I would guess that part of that is the time of year.  There are a lot of Christmas activities now and a lot of shopping to do.   And hunting conditions have not been great.  A little bit of a let down after Sandy.  Still there are some nice pieces of modern gold being picked up.

Anyhow, I got out to get some photos with my new camera, which is really made primarily for action videos, but I took some stills.

Here are some photos of South Hutchinson Island beaches.  I used a wide angle lens, so you might notice some curvature in some of the photos.

The first was taken from the north end of Jensen Beach a little before low tide.  The beach there still has a broad flat front beach in the low tide zone.  There was one detectorist there, who you can see near the middle of the photo.

The cuts pretty much remain, but I'm sure that beach has been detected many times.  Still, I'm sure that the low tide zone will produce a few remaining finds.  The flat beach extends out into the shallow water a good piece.   Despite the over-hunting, it still looks like one of the better beaches in that area at this time. 

Walton Rocks Looking South.
The second photo shows Walton Rocks looking south from the beach access. As you know, this beach was closed for quite a while after Sandy as the sand washed down into the parking area. At that time the cliff up to the north of the Power Plant eroded pretty good, revealing a lot of newly uncovered material including fossils, modern coins and construction debris. The tons of sand they dumped in front of the canal to the north also completely washed away. I wonder how many millions of dollars they wasted on that, plus planting all of the sea oats which are now completely gone. 

Anyhow, beach conditions there aren't encouraging.  I did notice though, that the flat area at the top of the beach near the beach access where people often lounged is now narrower than it was before Sandy.

John Brooks Park Looking North From Beach Access
The third photo is of John Brooks Park looking south.  Sandy beach conditions here.

The flat mid-beach isn't as high as it was before Sandy and the high tides are still getting up over the berm a little.

The wind is now from the southeast.  That's not good.  And the surf is running around 3 - 5 feet today, but will decrease down to around 1 - 2 feet through Thursday.

Wednesday and Thursday might be good weather for low tide or shallow water hunting.

Friday the surf is expected to increase back up to around 3 - 5 feet again.

Low tide this afternoon is around 4:20 PM.

A couple of eleven year old boys found a Mastodon bone in a creek bed.

Here is the link for that.

I'll have to get some recent finds photographed for my next posts.  Some modern gold and things have been popping up even though hunting for old treasures has been slow on the Treasure Coast lately.

I also need to make some videos when I get my new camera mastered.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12/15/12 Report - Atocha Finds, Gold Coin Hoard & Large Coil

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Some of the Gold Hoard Mentioned Below.
Photo from 
I know you have all heard about the shooting, but I have to take time to mention it.  A lot of things in life don't really matter much, and you have to stop and put things in perspective once in a while.  While things are going well for you, remember that there is always tragedy somewhere.  Stop and think of those in need from time to time.  Maybe you can do or say something that really makes a difference.  And count your blessings.

I wouldn't be surprised if this tragedy leads to tighter gun regulation.  And I would suspect that threat will lead to higher gun sales in the mean time.  

According to an email  that I received from the Fisher organization that I received, a couple of investors  recently recovered 10 silver coins, an iron spike, an encrusted silver artifact and several barrel hoops when they hunted on the Atocha site with Captain Andy and crew of the JB Magruder crew on the Atocha site.  Investors are allowed to go out and dive with the crews and keep some of their finds.

Millions of dollars worth of gold coins was found in the home of  a deceased hermit in Carson City, Nevada.

As in times past, there have been those who hoard gold and coins and sometimes bury or hide them.

Pulse Star Detector.
Photo from Kellyco Catalog.

A couple of days ago I mentioned the Meteorite Men using Pulse Star detectors.  In case you haven't seen one of those, here is a picture of one being used from the Kellyco catalog.

I have seen these being used on Treasure Coast beaches, both lately and years ago.

The wind is from the east this morning on the Treasure Coast and the surf is around 4 - 6 feet.   Later today expect something more like 3 - 5 feet, then decreasing further down to around `1 -2 feet towards the middle of next week.

A little coolness in the air makes daytime detecting a lot more comfortable than the summer heat that we are used to.

I've been busy and haven't had a chance to check the beaches for a couple of days.  I'll try to take a look sometime soon and get back here with a report.

Low tide this afternoon will be around 3:30 PM.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12/13/12 Report - Lessons From Meterorite Men & $70,000 Diamond Flushed

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Nice Old Button Find.
Find and photo by William M.
Some were saying the world was going to end yesterday.   If you are reading this, it probably didn't.

I mentioned some of the following a couple of days ago but wanted to add some.  Like I said then, I was watching the TV show Meteorite Men this past weekend and they had a couple of shows in which they were getting very frustrated.  I haven't seen that before.  Usually they are walking around and finding things.  Sometimes they don't find things for a while, but I haven't seen them frustrated like I did during the shows I saw this weekend.

You might wonder what hunting meteorites has to do with metal detecting on the Treasure Coast.  It isn't so much the meteorites as the hunting.  A lot of things are the same no matter what you are hunting.

So what was different during these two shows where these guys were obviously so frustrated besides the fact that they were having a lot of trouble finding meteorites?  During two these two shows they were using some new and especially high powered deep-seeking detectors.  The other shows I've seen, they did a lot of eye-balling and using rather standard metal detectors.  In these two shows that I am talking about they were using Pulse Star detectors.  They used a relatively large round coil for a while, which looked like about fourteen inches to me, and they also used the very large coils, which are so large that you actually walk in the middle of them.

By the way, I've seen the same basic types of detectors and coils used on the Treasure Coast beaches several times, going back years.

Anyhow, like I said, they were using these large coils with deep seeking detectors and not finding anything.  They were getting a lot of false signals and junk targets.

The first thing that I'd like to point out is that many targets are near the surface and you don't need the deepest seeking detector in the world, especially when beach detecting conditions are good. How deep your detector will detect a target is a very highly over rated factor, especially when you are talking about beach detecting.   Of course, you should have a detector that works fairly well, especially under the conditions you are working in, but you don't need the most expensive, most deep seeking detector in the world to do well. 

Also take into a account the amount of time spent digging a deep target, either good or junk, compared to detecting more shallow targets.  I saw the meteorite men dig several four foot deep holes only to find out that it was a false signal.  That can take a lot of time.  

Consider which way your time would be better spent.  That is a decision that must be made on a case by case basis.  There are times when there are a lot of good surface targets that need to be recovered as quickly as possible, but you also have to consider the possibility of some very good deep targets.  Again, you have to weight everything and make a decision.

As I've said before, if it were a contest between a wise old Indian with a bow and arrow and a city slicker with the best gun in the world, I'd bet on the old Indian coming home with the deer.  There is more to it than your equipment.

After one show was nearly over, and they hadn't found a thing, they decided to calibrate their super detector.  They wasted a lot of time before they did that.  That was a mistake.

They then experimented with the detector settings and a target until they got the settings adjusted for the best operation.  That was after they had already wasted some very frustrating time.

I always advise, using practice targets in a controlled environment to learn  to adjust your detector's settings to get the best signal for the type of target you are hunting.   There is no reason to spend a lot of field time running around with the wrong settings.

Experiment with your detector until you know the best settings for different targets and different conditions.

These guys know a lot more than me about finding meteorites, but they failed to learn to use this new detector before they wasted a lot of time and frustration out in the field.

Another thing they were frustrated by was the fact that the detector gave false signals in the red clay where they were hunting, and to hot rocks.   Select the best detector for the conditions where you are going to hunt.  I say detectors are something like golf clubs, choose the one that works best for the circumstances.   They all have strengths and weaknesses.

I would bet if they learned to use their detectors better, they could have learned to distinguish some of the false signals they were getting.  You can learn to do that with time.   On the Treasure Coast beaches, some people have trouble using their detector in black sand, others in wet salt sand.   Most of the time you can learn to use your detector more effectively under different conditions like that.  But it takes a little time.

Here are a few tips in summary.   1.  The deepest seeking detector is not always the best.  2.  Spend time experimenting with the adjustments and learning what works well under different circumstances.   3.  Spend enough time experimenting with your detector and different types of targets and conditions so that you learn to understand what your detector is telling you.

It takes some time to learn to learn to use a detector well.  A poor detector used well can be more effective than a super detector used poorly.

A plumber found a diamond ring worth nearly $70,000 that had been accidentally flushed down a toilet in a diner in Phoenix Arizona.

Watch for the bigger swells around the Treasure Coast tomorrow.  Things could improve a little.

Happy hunting,


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 Report - Treasure & Trash.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Gold Treasure Coast Metaa Detector Beach Find.
I showed this find before but wanted to use it to quickly point out a couple of things.

First, you can't see it too well in this photo, but the nose is very worn down.  That probably shows that it was used a lot.

If you look at a lot of the old Jesus figures that were part of a crucifix or rosary or something like that, you will see heavily worn areas - very often the face.  That is because the figures were held and rubbed during prayers.

Also if you look up those made in the New World, they will often show facial features of the Native peoples rather than European features.

And third, they were often made with gold containing a lot of other metals, such as silver and copper.  A lot of copper in the metal will tend to make the figure very brittle and prone to breaking easily.

You've undoubtedly heard it said that one man's trash is another man's treasure.  I guess that might be true, but some trash, even if not treasure, can at least be converted into cash. 

When you are walking along a beach looking for treasure, you might overlook a lot, even things that can easily be converted into cash.  If you pick up some of that trash, you are cleaning up the environment and might make a little money from it.

Among the little treasures that you can find are things like copper, lead and aluminum.  They might be trash, but they can also put some change in your pocket between gold finds.

Below are the current prices of some things you might consider picking up and turning into cash.  Prices are given in US dollars per pound.

You might be surprised how quickly some of the metals add up.  Just keep adding to your supply until you have enough to recycle.

Just yesterday I picked up a couple pounds of copper on a beach.   Most of it was pipe or tube.

And of course you can often pick up a few lead sinkers. 

It might not be the type of treasure you were looking for, but it adds up and makes the beach a little cleaner.

Here is some of the stuff I picked up during a short walk.  Maybe the machete will come in handy once it is cleaned up.   I have plans for the board too.

On the Treasure Coast the wind is out of the south and seas calm - the surf being down around 1 - 2 feet.  The Indian River is flat too.

The surfing web sites say we'll have one more day of 1 - 2 foot surf and then Friday it will increase, going up to around 4 - 6 feet.  Then gradually decreasing for the next few days.

Low tide tomorrow will be around 1 PM.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12/11/12 Report - High Priced Treasures & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Bar Sold in SedwickCoins Auction. 
Photo from SedwickCoins Email.
Here is the link to see more of the top selling items from completed Sedwick Coins auctions.  A really nice group.

You can occasionally learn something by watching TV.  I sometimes watch metal detecting or treasure hunting programs.  One of my favorites is Meteorite Men.  For some strange reason, I can watch those two guys walk around looking for meteors all day.   Sometimes they use detectors and sometimes not.  As I've said before, I like eye-balling probably better than detecting.  I prefer to go low tech.  It takes more knowledge to do well without a detector, and I enjoy the challenge, but the thing is you can find so much more with a detector.   Nonetheless I think eye-balling is a skill that should be practiced.  Too many people miss too much simply because they don't notice the clues.

I'm wandering off point here.  I started to talk about TV.   I don't like the shows where they dramatize everything.  Maybe that is one reason I like the Meteorite Men.  They seem real, unfaked and show it pretty much how it is.   Just this past weekend I saw them get very frustrated in a couple of episodes.  That is the first time I saw them get frustrated to that extent.  And part of the reason was because they were using new very deep-seeking detectors that they obviously hadn't used much before.   I've stated my opinions before about what I believe is an over-emphasis on how deep different detectors will detect.  I've also stated my feelings on the importance of learning to use your equipment well. 

Take the time to practice using your detector on various targets in various types of conditions.  Take a variety of targets out in your backyard or to the beach.  Plant targets and experiment with various detector settings.  Learn to know what your detector is telling you.

I'm getting ahead of myself again.  In a few days I'll have some additional observations on why those fellows failed and got so frustrated.   A lot of it could have been avoided. 

Oh.  Here is a warning.  If you are going to experiment on a beach, make sure you don't lose a valuable test target in the process. It is very easy to do, especially when working in wet sand or moving water. Just a warning.

Here is a web site that gives general information for pricing Spanish Colonial cobs or coins.   It isn't detailed but gives a few very general guidelines.

Famed explorer of the Titanic, Robert Ballard, discusses evidence of Noah's flood in a National Geographic special.

According to the surf web sites, the surf will be around 1 - 2 feet today and until Friday when you can expect an increase to up around 3 - 5 feet.

The wind is from the south/southwest today.   Don't expect any improvement in detecting conditions with that.

Low tide around the Treasure Coast will be close to noon.

Happy hunting,

Monday, December 10, 2012

12/10/12 Report - Gold Shipwreck Box and Way of St. James & Ambergris

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Gold Tobacco Box.
Photo from Dec. 10, MailOnline.
The gold box shown in this photo is part of Odyssey Marine's Black Swan treasure.  It displays a scallop shell, which is a symbol of St. James, and was used as a badge by pilgrims to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela.

Here is one version of the origin of that tradition taken from wikipedia.

After James' death, his disciples shipped his body to the Iberian Peninsula to be buried in what is now Santiago. Off the coast of Spain a heavy storm hit the ship, and the body was lost to the ocean. After some time, however, the body washed ashore undamaged, covered in scallops.

Here is a link for more about that.

It seems wikileaks revealed communications between the US and Spain tilting the case of the Black Swan treasure in Spain's favor in return for a impressionist painting.  I haven't found the wikileaks documents yet, but here is the article referring to it.

A boy found $60,000 worth of what of what on the beach?   Ambergris.  What's that?

Whale vomit or whale poop.  Seems they can't make up there mind exactly what ambergris is.  But who would want to smell that?   It seems a lot of people do.

Just a unusual story about a boy that finds $60,000 worth of the stuff on a beach.

After writing the above, I ran across this article.  Seems they wrote it up something like I did.

The surf is down around 1 - 2 feet where it will stay for a few days.  That should make it easy to o some low tide zone work and even shallow water hunting.

The wind is from the south, so expect some sand accumulation.

Low tide today is around 11 AM

Happy hunting,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

12/9/12 Report - Encrusted Objects Again and More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Musket Parts
Finds and Photo by Will R.
See more about  this below.
I never know what posts are going to be popular.  I somtimes look at the number of hits for dif, but that doesn't tell the entire story and, of course, I pay attention to what people tell me when I receive email about posts, but that doesn't tell the entire story either.  While the blog receives hundreds of hits every day, only a small number of people email me about any one post.  I figure that if some people liked a particular post, others will too, but I don't have a very good idea about which posts were most popular, so I usually just write about whatever I think is interesting at the time.

If there is a post or a few posts from the past that sticks out in your mind, let me know.

Yesterday I wrote about encrusted obects and how you can sometimes use the mold to create a copy of the original object.   I was glad to hear from Will R. who did exactly that.

Here is what Will said. 

I love your last post. I ran into a similar situation last year. I was detecting a private site on the intercoastal when I found a brass butt plate, then the side plate and one of the ramrod tubes. Then it hit me... where's the barrel? Soon I found the barrel because it had one of the ramrod tubes stuck in the EO chunk. I took it home and did as I do with most EO's and put it in a tub of fresh H2O. The next day I noticed the end of the EO was oozing sludge. I figured this was the end of the barrel. I gently flushed the end of the EO with water and then I knew I had rare opportunity. This was a perfect mold of the metal barrel that once was there. I carefuly flushed the rest of the mud and sludge out and made sure it was clear of all metal. Now here's where the fun began. I used fiberglass resin and made a perfect mold of the barrel. Here are some pics of it. You're welcome to use them if you like.

Encrusted Musket Barrel as Found.
By Will R.

Finished Copy Made From Mold.
By Will R.
Congratulations on the find, and thanks much for the story and photos Will!

It is often a good practice to soak many kinds of finds, especially those found in or near salt water, in good fresh water.  Best is distilled water or rain water that does not contain chlorines or other chemicals or pollutants.  

Salt water contains salts that will destroy iron and corrode other metals.  Soaking items in good clean water will leach the salts out of the object.   Sometimes it will take quite a while and many rinses and changes of water.

For more information on that see the following TAMU web site.

Only about 15 more hunting days until Christmas.

I prefer to  do my shopping on the beach, but you can't always be sure you'll find that special gift in time.  You might be able to find it more quickly online.

As you've seen, I follow sme of the online auctions, and some of the auction sites have online stores where unsold auction items are listed along with other consigned shipwreck items.

For example, I'm sure you know about the Sedwick Coins auctions, but they also have an online store where they sell both coins and artifacts.

Here is the link.

Still southeast winds and 2 - 4 foot surf, decreasing through early next week down to 1 - 2 feet.

Nothing much new in terms of beach detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,