Monday, January 30, 2012

1/31/12 Report - Cleaned Out Sites

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Old Gold Scarf Pin from Lawnwood Park. Submitted anonymously.

I was at the same beach today which was cut and which I showed in yesterday's post. One reason I returned to the same beach is that I detected an item yesterday that I couldn't retrieve and I wanted to bring my shovel so I could find out what it was.

Well, I brought my shovel and quickly located the item in the wet sand. The water was washing over the area but I thought I could get it if I dug hard. I put my detector up on the dunes and went back to the spot that I marked and dug quickly, throwing the sand from the hole up out of the water. After I thought I probably had it, I got my detector and detected that sand. Sure enough, there it was.

It wasn't anything much good, although it is a usable item. It was a Gator Digger. Not treasure, but it could come in handy. And it told me that there was stuff on that heavily detected beach that wasn't being picked up real quickly.

It was down a little over a foot I would say.

Sometimes you can find useful things. All the dive weights that I have were dug up, for example.

Anyhow, as much as the treasure beaches are hunted, there are still things that remain on the beach from day to day. It often surprises me that where there are so many detectorists how many targets are still out there.

That leads to my main topic today.

"Cleaned out" is a phrase that most detectorists don't want to hear. Hearing that phrase is enough to discourage some. I have another reaction. When I hear that phrase my ears perk up. Why?

Here's why.

First, it usually refers to a spot that has been proven to have been very productive at one time.

I remember one of the first times somebody told me a spot was cleaned out. I was on the beach and another detectorist came and told me he just cleaned out a spot. He said he got a bunch of coins and a gold ring. He told me where the "cleaned out" spot was. I got in my car and drove to the spot he told me about. In a short time of detecting I had a few coins and a few pieces of gold.

Most of the time when a site is said to be cleaned out there is something left. What is left might not be the easiest or most obvious targets, but there is usually something left.

There is something about a place with a lot of easy targets. When there are a lot of easy targets littering a site it seems that I don't hear the softer signals until after I've removed most of the louder targets.

I remember one day when I visited a spot where I got over three hundred coins the first day but no gold. I went back the second day and only got a few coins, but then I got some gold.

When you think you've cleaned out a good spot on a beach, go back over it - sometimes again and again. I think you'll find that you hear softer signals and get deeper targets that you missed at first. I don't know if it is a sensory/psychological thing or if it has to do with detector sensitivity, but it really seems to me that when there are a lot of loud signals I don't seem to hear or detect the soft whisper signals.

Another thing to try after "cleaning out" a good spot is using another detector on the same spot. Sometimes one detector will detect things that another won't under certain circumstances. And definitely turn the discrimination off and the sensitivity up as much as possible.

You might also change the direction of your sweeps. Go up and down the slope as opposed to parallel the water's edge, for example.

Here is another good thing about "cleaned out" sites. There are usually some obstacles that guard some targets. It can be bushes, rocks, iron objects, or almost anything that can cause people to miss things.

When visiting a site that has been "cleaned out" notice any obstacles and find a way to take advantage of those obstacles.

Sometimes you'll find that things are left under bushes or close to rocks, etc. Remove junk that could be masking good targets.

I won't give you all the tricks for hunting a cleaned out site, but here is one more thing you should know.

When you find a site that had a lot of targets, there are almost always other sites that are related to that site somehow that might have been missed.

To give a very simple example, I've mentioned before a shallow water swimming area that I visited and found to be very much cleaned out. After scanning the area quickly, I could tell that the "cleaned out" area was a rectangular area that was defined by the shore and two pilings. When I detected just outside the boundaries of the cleaned out area I quickly found a number of pieces of gold.

If there is an area that was at one time visited by numbers of people, there will be other areas nearby to check out. People didn't get to that one spot without going through others. You can usually find areas near a "cleaned out" area which could have been missed.

So the next time you hear someone tell you site has been cleaned out, instead of immediately throwing up you hands and giving up, start thinking about how you might be able to capitalize on the new knowledge.

Treasure Coast Beach Conditions and Forecast.

Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

You can see the sea weed, which indicates that sand was coming in. I would say that about a half foot of sand was added at the foot of the cut.

The wind is more from the east today rather than the northeast. That explains the difference.

Compare this photo with the photo of the cut yesterday.

The seas will be decreasing a little the next couple of days.

Beach conditions are deteriorating just a little. I'm keeping my 2 rating for today though.

Happy hunting,

1/30/12 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Conditions Upgrade

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Two to Three Foot Cut on One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

I saw the northeast wind coming in yesterday afternoon and here is what happened to a few of the Treasure Coast Beaches.

This beach had a cut that ran from two to three feet for several hundred yards.

Of course the cut was in sand that had accumulated recently. The sand in front was a bit mushy and there were very few targets.

I am upgrading my Treasure Coast Beach Conditions Rating to a 2. My scale is a five point scale, with 1 being poor and 5 excellent.

Of course I didn't see all of the beaches, but I saw enough to know that some beaches cut while others did not.

Same Beach As Above.

You can see from this slab how the beach was cutting. I've explained the process before.

I'd say that the waves are hitting this afternoon just like they did yesterday and therefore I would expect a little additional cutting around high tide today. Not a great deal though.

The wind is still coming from the northeast - actually more like the east/northeast now.

Below is one beach that did not cut.

It did, however, have some dips.

A Treasure Coast Beach That Was Not Cut.

I'll get back to my other topics tomorrow or sometime soon.

According to the predictions, we'll have seas at similar levels through tomorrow and maybe Wednesday. I hope the wind stays from a more northerly direction.

Then after a period of smaller seas, maybe picking up again around next weekend.

Things have been so slow that a person starts to expect nothing much to happen, but it looks like there is at least a possibility of improving conditions in the next week or so.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

1/29/12 Report - More On Researching Old Sites.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Old Postcard View of Daytona Beach From the Pier.

I was saying yesterday how old postcards can be good research resources. The above postcard, for example, shows where things were located and where people congregated decades ago on Daytona Beach. Near the middle of the view you can see the clock towers and bandshell, which you can use as a landmark to get an idea about how things have changed around there.

You can also see how wide the beach was and where people were swimming. By comparing the width of the beach back then to the width of the beach today, you can assess the beach conditions for finding old items from that time.

In a recent post I discussed how longer term changes to a beach affects conditions for finding older items.

In the above photo, you can also see that there was a lot of sand out in the water in front of the beach. Some of those dips might have been good hunting spots back then. Of course not many people had detectors back then and much of what was lost could still be there today - probably under a lot of sand and some water.

Besides providing good research resources, some old postcards can have some value of their own. There are a lot of postcard collectors. Common postcards like this from the fifties and sixties would not have much value to a collector.

Here is a method that James F. uses to find sites to hunt.

...I found several years ago, that Florida Agricultural concerns had contracted, since the 1920's or 30's, up until the mid-or late 60's, to have aerial photographs taken all over Florida. These are available digitally, for free, from this site: The way I use them, is I pull an old aerial image from the collection, and try to find one with a decent sized landmark on it, say a lake, major highway, towns, bridges or airports. Then I pull open a google maps image, usually I use the satellite images, and screen-print, and copy it, into any decent graphics program, like corel photo or Photoshop (which is what I use) and then put both images on two different layers of the program, make em' both slightly transparent, then line up any major landmarks still here today.

I use lakes a lot, since most of the major ones have been around for many hundreds of years. Using this method, I found many WW2 barracks and buildings on several old airports (Orlando-Sanford originally) that no longer exist, but let you locate their positions, if not by visual means, then by GPS coordinates. Google maps let you move the cursor to ANY place on their maps and will let you get a readout of the GPS coordinates, so once you find a position of a building on the old aerial map, lined it up with google images, you can easily go back to google online and find the coordinates.

Thanks James!

Yesterday I mentioned Lawnwood Park and wondered where it was. Once again the knowledge of this blog's readers was manifested. Concerning the old amusement park, Ken W. wrote the following, It is located in the present day City zoo and botanical gardens in Sanford on the shore of Lake Monroe. The old Woodland Park was located on the western part of the current property. There is a historical marker there.

Thanks Ken!

Here is the address of the zoo: 3755 Nw Us-17-92, Sanford, FL 32771

On the same subject, Tony D. sent an email and said, Woodland park is on private land and was cleaned out years ago. The concession area (ran by Victor Schmelze's) daughter) was located and over 1200 old coins were found in an area the size of 3 parking spaces).

And Thanks Tony!

Those are the types of places I am talking about, and I can guarantee you of two things. First, there are places like that still out there. And second, well maybe I better keep that one to myself for now. I'll address that topic some other time.

As I've been saying for a few days, the seas are expected to increase up to five feet on Monday. The wind seems to be coming in from the northeast already this afternoon. It looks like there could be some small improvement in beach conditions tomorrow - probably not enough for me to change my beach conditions rating though.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

1/28/12 Report - Woodlawn Park & Using Old Postcards for Research

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

St. Pete Pier Postcard.

A couple of days ago I mentioned Tarzan Park, a tourist attraction in Vero back around 1900, and yesterday I suggested maybe trying to find some of the old tourist spots to detect while the local beaches are sanded in.

James F. sent me a link to a 1997 article about Woodland Park, which he has been hoping to locate. Woodland Park is not on the Treasure Coast but is the type of place I was talking about and could be a dream of a detecting site.

From what the article says the amusement park was in operation in 1917, and was a tourist haven. It was on the shores of the St. Johns River and served by paddlewheelers. It was sometimes referred to as "The Gateway to South Florida," or "The City Substantial."

Farmer Schmelz created the amusement park on top of a Timucuan midden mound on several acres of woody swamp land a few hundred yards from Lake Monroe.

It had a dance hall build on stilts over Lake Monroe and a gigantic swimming pool and many rides and attractions.

That would be a great place to research and detect. If you want to go after it, I'd suggest letting James or this blog know what you find. James was generous enough to provide the lead and said I could post what he found.

The site could provide both some good water and dry land hunting. Just finding out where it was would be a fun project and quite an accomplishment.

One reader of this blog took a lead that I provided earlier in this blog and located the site and information about the Walton Hotel and then detected the site.

That is the type of thing you can do if you are tired of detecting the same old beaches that everybody else detects over and over again. Of course you have to do some research, but that can be very worthwhile.

One tool I'd suggest using is a good old USGS topological map.

Another resource that I like to use is old picture postcards.

At the top of this post you see the St. Pete pier. I believe that postcard is from the fifties.

Can you imagine all of the stuff that is in the water below that pier? Of course there would be tons and tons of lead, but also a lot of other things.

When using a postcard like that, notice the background and all of the details such as the boats and where things were back then. It looks like there might have been a ferry or shuttle boat there, but maybe just a fishing or sight-seeing boat.

You can also see where people were gathering on the beach.

Old Postcard Showing Location of a Cabin.

This one isn't of Florida but it is a good example. Somebody marked the location of a cabin on this nice aerial view along with the mileage to the cabin.

Tresure Coast Beach Conditions and Forecast.

The wind has shifted as a front comes through and is now coming from the north/northwest. Seas are still running around two or three feet, so conditions haven't changed yet.

We're still expecting five foot seas on Monday. That will give us some chance of improvement.

Happy hunting,

Friday, January 27, 2012

1/27/12 Report - Old Sites and Silverware

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Old Silverware Found By Metal Detector.

If the poor Treasure Coast beach conditions were not enough, add to that the heavy hunting that seems to be going on at most of the Treasure Coast tourist and bathing beaches. It seems like most of those beaches are being picked clean, and there is little or no erosion to expose older coins. Hopefully conditions will improve before long, but until then you might want to try something else.

Of course water hunting is one option. The water has been calm enough to do some of that. And the proportion of gold to clad is usually much better in the water.

Another option is to do some research and find some areas that were heavily used in the past but are relatively unused or even forgotten today. There are areas where people used to congregate that have become deserted today.

If you travel along much of Federal Highway, you'll notice a variety of old buildings and businesses that are now vacant. Before the Interstate was built Federal Highway was the main strip.

There are a lot of areas like that that were once used but are now deserted. That goes for beaches, highways, rivers and even amusement parks and entire towns.

And many of those older places were built on top of even older sites. The places that were convenient in 1900 were often convenient much earlier. Some were built on elevated areas or areas that provided easy access by water.

Don't forget that our waterways were once the main highways.

If you do some research and find some old abandoned locations to hunt, one thing that you might find is old silverware.

I've mentioned before how people back around 1900 boated across the Indian River Lagoon and picnicked at areas like Walton Rocks.

I've found old silverware on different beaches as well as mainland gathering areas of previous centuries.

Silverware can be a difficult to date by looking at the design. Spoons, forks, and knives have been used for centuries and haven't changed a whole lot.

Silverware from the Atocha does not look a lot different from modern silverware, although there are differences, and you can tell older silverware by the design if you know what to look for.

Silverware is often well marked, which makes it a lot easier. Some of the pieces shown in the photo above are marked with the manufacturer's name. That makes it a lot easier to research. Some, though, do not have any markings and some are so corroded that the markings are unreadable.

Here is a web site that provides some good pictures of 17th and 18th century silverware.

Of course most silverware is not silver at all. Modern silverware is often stainless steel. And then there is silver plated silverware, and some of the older silverware is pewter.

In the photo above, about three items are marked "PLATED." One is pewter.

If you look at enough examples, you can learn to identify some of the indicators of older items.

Here is a quick summary of some of the most common ways to tell if silverware is actually silver.

In my July 10, 2009 post, I showed a silver plate that was found at the site of an old hotel that burned down many years ago. You might want to take a look at that.

If you do some research you can find some detecting sites where you can find old things. When you find one of those sites, you very well might find some old silverware. If it is not silver, it still can provide clues to the age of the site.

Probably tomorrow I'll give you a lead on another old Florida site that you might want to hunt if you can find it.

It was raining at the beach this morning. The wind is from the south. Seas are still pretty smooth. Higher seas are expected Monday.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

1/26/12 Report - Tarzan Park, Cob ID & Making Important Detector Rod Adjustments

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Detectorist on Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Yesterday Morning.

As you undoubtedly know, local beach conditions have not been good lately.

Today seas are running about three feet and will continue at about that level or less until Monday when the we are expecting an increase to up around five feet. Hopefully that will happen and other factors align well.

If you've been reading this blog very long, you probably know something about the Vero Man site. I've mentioned it a few times over the years.

If you don't know about that, here is an article that will give you the background.

And here is an old (1934) travel article on Tarzan Park. I just found out that it was once called that and was a real tourist attraction back in the day.

Use this link and scroll down to the second page.

That gives some nice history.

If you hunt some of the older tourist spots or picnic locations you'll probably find some old silverware like the following.

I'll show some of that, maybe tomorrow.

Here is the cob picture that I showed a few days ago and asked what you could see on it.

This one isn't difficult. You can clearly see a lot of information on it.

It is a 2-reale. You see the denomination on the first line, center space.
Potosi mint. You can see the "P" indicating that in the upper left space.

The assayer mark is "VR." Lower left space, and partially visible in the upper right space.

That would be Pedro de Villar, who worked at the Potosi mint where you will see that mark 1684 to 1697.

The "86" indicates the year 1686.

That was pretty easy.

Have you adjusted your the rod on your detector? It makes a big difference. If it is too short, you could well lose an inch or two in detecting depth by swinging your coil too high.

I know you can adjust your posture or swing to get your coil at the proper height, but that could put you in a position that will put extra strain on your back or tire you out quickly. And the natural tendency is to eventually get lax and let the coil lift inches off of the surface.

Setting your rod at the proper length could affect you more than you think.

I notice a lot of people running around with their coil a few inches off of the ground. And although I'm not one of the many people who think depth is all that important, it doesn't make sense to diminish what your detector can doing for you.

If you have the rod adjusted to be too long, you'll probably use more energy keeping the coil lifted and out in front of you, and that will add additional strain and more quickly tire you out.

This is probably one of the most overlooked and easiest detector adjustments that you can make, and it could improve your detector's performance and make detecting easier for you.

The next time you go out, why don't you take the time to check the length of your rod and adjust it for optimal use.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1/25/12 Report - Silver Coins and Bars

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Typical Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

I didn't expect much but took a quick look, and this is what I saw. Even worse than I expected.

I looked at a couple other spots, and the same thing. Poor!

Notice the sea weed. That is almost always a sign of accretion. You can see the conves beach front too.

Conditions are currently poor on the Treasure Coast. You'd have to look long and hard to find a decent looking spot.

If you've found some nice old silver US coins over the years and they aren't in good condition, as is often the case for coins found on the beaches or in the water, you might be surprised at how much they are worth for the silver alone.

Here is a web site that gives you the silver melt value of the most common US silver coins in a form that is quick and easy to use.

Prices are adjusted daily for the change in silver spot prices.

Did you notice that there were nickels issued with silver content in the years 1942-1945. Not all nickels minted in those years contained silver though. But if you did find a silver war nickel, the site shows that it is worth $1.81 for the siver alone. That is worth 36 times the face value of a nickel.

It can be both fun and profitable to go through your coin finds when you come home. Look for any rare coins, error coins, or silver coins. I've found some zinc pennies that were error coins. I was glad I inspected them carefully.

On the subject of silver - I just ran across this article. It seems a Utah man remodeling his home dug up $46,000 dollars worth of silver bars in their yard that were buried in a tube. They called the previous owner of the home, who said he buried the silver but the finders could keep it.

Here is the link to the entire story.

The wind is out of the southeast and the seas are running about three feet. If the surf web sites are correct, the seas will increase to about five or six feet Monday. That is a little later than predicted earlier.

I haven't given the ID of the cob I presented a couple of days ago yet. I'll do that soon - probably tomorrow.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1/24/12 Report - HMS General Hunter & Mystery Obect for ID

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The Wreck of the HMS General Hunter.

The General Hunter was a brig launched in 1806 that was involved in the Battle of Lake Erie.

Here is the link to that story.

Do you know happens to United States coins that are no longer fit for circulation? According to the US Mint web site, Those coins are classified as "uncurrent" or mutilated. Mutilated coins are coins that are chipped, fused, and not machine countable. Mutilated coins are only redeemable through the United States Mint.

Uncurrent coins are coins that are worn yet recognizable as to genuineness and denomination, and are machine countable. Uncurrent coins are redeemed by the Federal Reserve Banks, then forwarded to the Mint for disposition.

All uncurrent or mutilated coins received by the Mint are melted, and the metal is shipped to a fabricator to be used in the manufacture of coinage strips.

I'd like to know how many coins detectorists return to circulation.

Whatzit Found by John G. Photo submitted by Bernie C.

Someone should know what this is. I don't, but it looks like something that shouldn't be that hard to ID if you've seen one before.

It is six to seven inches long. The one piece in the middle looks like it is made to rotate.

Email me if you know what it is.

Looking at the Treasure Coast beaches, there are a lot of places where there are hundreds of yards of sand in front of where the beach was a number of years ago. I think that is true in most places, including, of course, some places where new sand was recently dumped.

Beach renourishment affects more than the immediate area where the sand was dumped. Sand travels along the beach for some distance.

From personal observation of the Treasure Coast beaches, long-term periods of accretion or erosion affects detecting conditions for a longer period than you might expect. After a period of years of erosion, a beach will remain more productive for years through various cycles of short term accretion and erosion.

It can take many cycles of short term trends to overcome the affect of the longer-term trends. The productivity of a beach that has hundreds of yards of accumulated sand that piled up over years won't be affected nearly as much by the daily or weekly cycles of accretion and erosion.

The wind is now from the southeast and the seas relatively calm. The surf web sites are predicting around three foot seas for a few days.

It looks like we might get increased seas by the weekend. Until then, conditions will remain poor.

Happy hunting,

Monday, January 23, 2012

1/23/12 Report - Cobs, Defective Planchets & Odyssey Marine Stock Action

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

What can you tell about this cob? There is a lot of information clearly seen on this one.

See if you can tell the date, mint, assayer?

The stock price for Odyssey Marine was up over 12% in early trading this morning. There must be some news. It will probably come out before long. I'll let you know when I find out what it is.

The price of gold is up to about $1675 this morning too. It has been on an upward trend for about three weeks now after dropping way off of earlier highs.

In Alan Criag's book, Spanish Colonial Coins of the Florida Collection, a variety of cobs are shown that have unusual holes in them. Not the type of hole that would be used to suspend a coin on a strap or chain, but larger irregular holes. They are mostly elliptical or tear shaped holes that have sloped sides, vary in size and shape, and appear on cobs dated 1708 through 1715.

Mr. Craig discusses some of the possible causes of these holes. One explanation is that the depressions or holes were caused by removing dross with a scoop from the molten surface of the silver. That appears reasonable to me.

The reason I bring this up though, is I just noticed one possible example like that being sold on ebay. Here is picture of that cob.

Cob Showing Possible Defective Planchet.

This example looks very much like those that Craig presents in his book. Even though the date is not given for this cob, I would guess that it fits in the same date range as those shown by Craig.

The wind is from the south now and the seas are calm and expected to stay that way for several days.

It therefore doesn't look like conditions will be improving any time soon.

There are a lot of snow birds in town and a good many beach goers these days. At least there should be some recent drops to replenish the beaches.

People do carry the strangest things. You never know what you might find.

Happy hunting,

Friday, January 20, 2012

1/22/12 Report - Cobs and Treasure Coins on Display in Vero & Happy Year of the Dragon

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Few of the Cobs at the Vero Coin Show Yesterday.

Yesterday I stopped by the Vero Coin and Currency Show at the Vero Community Center. There were hundreds of cobs and treasure coins on display and for sale. Most were being displayed by local vendors. There were also a couple of salvage divers and treasure hunters that had tables. There were about a half dozen tables displaying treasure coins, many locally found, and many from the 1715 Fleet. There were also a few spikes and other things from treasure wrecks on display, but not many.

Of course there were many more other types of coins and currencies being displayed. You could see anything from 2012 pennies to ancient Chinese or Greek money.

There was a lot of buying going on. People brought bags or cans of coins and vendors were buying.

Some of the vendors asked if I brought anything to sell. I probably should have, but didn't.

I talked to Frank and Augie from Sedwick Coins. They were displaying some of the coins from the upcoming auction as well as a number of other coins.

There were also a couple of clumps of cobs on display. A lot of nice gold coins too.

There is no admission charge, but you can participate in a raffle. The first prize is a four reale in a gold bezel. The drawing will be 2:30 Sunday.

The show will run from 10 to 3 on Sunday - the last day of the show.

The weather has been beautiful for going to the beach. Hunting conditions have not been so hot - at least not looking for cobs on the beach. It is smooth enough to do some water hunting.

The wind is directly out of the west and the seas nice and calm. The surf web sites are predicting calm seas for a few days.

You'll be able to get well out into the low tide zone, but unfortunately the front beaches will undoubtedly be mushy with course sand and shells and a good bit of junk.

I'm looking at some new technologies. Maybe I'll be able to report on that soon. As far as I'm concerned, the major metal detector manufacturers have produced very few significant advances in the past twenty or thirty years. I know there are some that will argue with that, but I really don't see anything new in that period of time that has done anything but add a few inches or a little better discrimination or target ID.

There are a lot of other directions to go, but manufacturers develop and sell what people want. And they don't want what they haven't thought about yet. Therefore innovations come slowly. One foreign manufacturer is coming up with some real innovations.

It is now Chinese New Year. Ring in the year of the dragon.

Happy hunting,

1/20/12 Report - Old Silver Ring

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Crudely Made Silver Ring Find.

This ring has been through the ringer - if you are old enough to know what that means. It has taken a beating.

It looks like it has been under the rocks in front of the beach and got churned and crunched.

I've seen nickles and quarters that were so bent that they were nearly folded in half.

That would seem to take a lot of force, and I don't know but I think it happens to coins caught in those rocks.

This ring got banged up but not squashed like some that I've seen.

I cleaned it up enough to see if I could find any identifying marks, but I couldn't.

It is made of two strips of high grade silver. The thin strip arund the middle was applied over the wide strip.

I acid tested it.

It was black, but, like I said, I cleaned it up a bit.

All of the decorative marks appear to have been made by simply punching the strips one line or dot at a time.

As you can see in this photo, a couple pieces broke off where it was punched. The silver is really beat up and has a lot of marks. Some I think are from the tooling process, but I think many are from the beating it took, possibly while in the rocks.

Too bad I can't tell any more than that about it. I'll clean it up a little more.

I guess another front went through yesterday after I wrote that post. The wind increased and so did the waves for a little while.

Now the wind is coming more from the south, and the seas are down around two feet again.

The surf web sites are predicting calm seas for a few days.

I think there are still some spots where it would be worth checking the beach fronts.

Yesterday I found a sparse coin line. It took me a while to find it, but I finally did. The coins in that line were six inches to a foot deep for the most part, and the line wasn't too far back from the water's edge.

It is easier to miss a coin line when there are relatively few object in the line, and when they are spread farther apart.

When you find one coin on a beach, test to see if there is a coin line or a coin hole. I've described search patterns for that in the past.

One pattern I like to use after finding a coin below a cut or in the a wet sand area, is to use the hole as the center and start a spiral pattern working out from the hole as far as you think necessary for current conditions.

If you find a second coin about the same distance from the waters edge, you might have found a coin line. Check parallel to the water's edge in both directions to see if there is a line of coins.

If the second coin you find is either farther or nearer the water than the first, you might have either a good thick line or a coin hole.

I've also described before how different objects tend to be organized in coin lines and coin holes. Different types of coins will tend to be found together in one part of the line or hole, and gold rings will generally be found in rather predictable locations relative to coin lines and holes. Just where depends upon additional factors.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1/19/12 Report - treasure Coast Beach Conditions Back to Poor

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

As you can see the water was nearly flat. The cuts we had a couple of days ago are now gone - at least those that I've seen.

The new HD flip cam makes some pretty good pictures.

Treasure Coast beach hunting conditions are back to a 1 (poor).

You can still find some things on the beach fronts, especially at low tide, but cob hunting is poor.

As you know if you've followed this blog very long, my beach conditions rating scale is based upon the likelihood of finding cobs.

You still might be able to find a spike or two or some other things and there could be a good spot or two left out there that I don't know about. As I always say, "I can't be everywhere." But it looks to me like most, if not all, of the good spots have filled in some in the past couple of days.

There is always some chance of finding a cob. I've mentioned some ways to do that even when conditions are not good. That is why my 5-point rating scale begins with a 1 instead of a zero. There is always some chance.

The most recent blog poll has concluded. I didn't do a very good job of selecting the categories. I should have thought about so many of the popular water proof detectors being slightly over $1000. It would have been better if I selected something like $1500 instead of $1000 for that one upper limit.

Anyhow, here is what I found. Just under five percent of the respondents wanted to keep their detector expenditure under $250. One way to do that is to purchase a used detector. That is something that I would more recommend for experienced detectorists who know what the want and what to expect from a particular detector.

Nothing wrong with buying a used detector if you can test it out first and know what you expect out of it.

Another 18% of the respondents wanted to stay under $500. You can certainly get some decent new detectors for that. They won't have all the extra features, but they'll work pretty well.

The biggest percentage (63%) would go up to $1000. Like I said, that is getting around the price of many of the more popular detectors that I see being used on the Treasure Coast, even though some go a couple of hundred dollars over that.

There are a lot of detectorists that are willing to pay $5000 or more - almost 15%. That number might be inflated by the fact that some of the popular detectors cost slightly over $1000 and I didn't have another category before $5000. My fault.

But five percent said they would pay over $5000. Some detectors do cost that much, such as the high-end nugget detectors. Some detectorists will pay whatever it takes to get the best. I can also think of some good detectors that cost that much that are not available from the major manufacturers that are used by some guys, primarily in South Florida.

Even though the wind is from the north, I'm not expecting any improvement in conditions for the next few days.

I have been finding some items on the beach fronts. I guess they are leftovers.

Happy Hunting,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1/18/12 Report - Buttons, Darwin's Lost Fossils, Electroplating, and More

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Old Buttons.

The one closest to the bottom is marked "PLATED." The big one at the upper left of the photo is also silver plated. That is just two examples of older plated items.

I'll talk about that a little more below.

Well, well, well. One place that archaeologists, paleontologist and various academics should be searching is in the basements where they have stored treasures and artifacts for the public.

Hundreds of fossils collected by Charles Darwin and colleagues have been found after going missing more than 150 years ago. A paleontologist recently "stumbled" upon those fossils which had been stored away for the public's benefit.

Research is a lot of fun. I sometimes enjoy researching an item as much as finding the item. Especially when you go from not knowing what it is to getting a good amount of detail. I especially like to follow a trail that continues to reveal new facts and evidence about the item's identity and history.

Ian A.'s "coaked sheave" is one very good example of how research can continue to unfold over time. Ian continued to learn more and more about the sheave as he continued to do the research. If you want to look into that story a bit, just enter "coaked sheave" into the blog search box above.

Just the other day I posted a button for ID. It has not been positively identified yet, but some leads have been received.

Rick A. found a similar looking button on one web site that you might also find useful. As you'll see, people submit photos and ask questions about buttons on that web site.

Here is the link.

Rick pointed out that the button that I posted looks similar to button no. seven on that web site.

There are a lot of good button web sites out there. This is one that I'll probably refer to from time to time.

One common misconception is that if an item is plated, it is recent. I've posted a lot of information on that in this blog in the past.

Some form of plating has been used for hundreds and even thousands of years.

According to one source, "electroplating" has been used on jewelry since 1857. Before that other forms of plating were used.

Here is a link to a brief history on electroplating.

The wind is out of the west again. Seas are down to around two or three feet, and will remain that way for a few days.

I'll probably be downgrading my beach conditions rating very soon. I expect the beaches that were cut to be filling again.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1/17/12 Report - Cuts and Al. Cultural Resources Legislation

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Some Cuts on the Treasure Coast Tuesday Morning.

These were mostly two to three foot cuts.

They weren't as productive as they look like they might be. There is still a lot of mush sand at the base of the cuts and out in the surf. These aren't well positioned either. They are in recently accumulated sand. Nonetheless, you can't pass something like this up without at least taking a look.

On the one photo you can see seaweed at the base of the cut. That tells you the cut isn't fresh. Some filling took place, even if just a little, since the cut originally occurred.

At one location I was finding some deep coins. I think if I was a little earlier, maybe yesterday, they would have been found closer to the surface.

Yesterday I found some older stuff at one beach. That is a good sign. Watch for what I call "signal finds." Signal finds aren't the type of things you are targeting, but they provide information that other things of a similar type or age might be nearby.

Return to areas where you find signal finds. Sometimes you'll see that conditions have improved enough for more things to be found.

It seems that the areas down south around Stuart got cut better than many places. Good things were recently found down around Sailfish Point and Bathtub Beach. I haven't heard of many coming from other locations.

I'll keep my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Conditions Rating at a 2. My scale is a five point scale, with one indicating poor conditions and five indicating excellent conditions.

I expect a downgrade in a day or so. The seas will be calming down, according to the surf web sites.

Alabama is considering a bill to amend its Cultural Resources Act. This relates to what I've been talking about lately and is well worth reading.

Here is the link.

Happy hunting,

Monday, January 16, 2012

1/16/12 Report - Conditions Upgrade and Button for ID

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A One to Two Foot Cut on One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

This cut ran for hundreds of yards. There was still a lot of sand in front of the beach and in front of the cut and a lot behind the cut too. There is a lot of sand out there. The cut is in recently accumulated sand and I don't think will be very productive.

I'll still upgrade my Treasure Coast Beach Conditions Rating to a 2. That probably won't last long though.

Another Treasure Coast Beach.

This one wasn't cut except for some very small scoops. You can see the dip near the top of the photo.

The conditions upgrade is my big news for today.

Below is a photo of a button found on a coin beach that was sent in by one reader asking for an ID.

Three Views of the Same Button.

Top Front, Bottom Front and Back Views.

I can't make out the words, but almost. Maybe if I work on it a little more I'll be able to figure out at least part of what it says.

Please email me if you can provide information on this button.

The wind and swells are coming in from the east. I think the cuts were created last night. I don't expect much more.

The seas are going to remain pretty much the same with just a little variation the next two days.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

1/14/12 Report - When in Doubt, Don't Throw It Out

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Yesterday I mentioned discoveries at Little Salt Spring and gave a link to one story about that. As a result, I got an email from Al C. telling me the following.

There is a book, The man who rode sharks, about a guy named Bill Royal who was probably the first to dive those springs and found lots of human remains there. The story is about how he tried to get the scientific community interested and could not. Several other unrelated stories about cave diving in its beginning and fossil hunting. I think its on Amazon. Good read.

Thanks once again for the contributions of the readers of this blog.

On this side of the peninsula, we have some sites that provide evidence of habitation that predates the pyramids. There is one up in Brevard County. The Brevard County Museum tells the story of the Windover People and an archaeological dig in Titusville.

And, of course, right here in north Vero we have the famous carved Mammoth bone that dates back 12 to possibly 20,000 years. It was found by local collector, James Kennedy. I've written about that in this blog before.

Here is another link to that story.

If you read that article, you'll see that the famous bone with the carving sat in a box under James' sink for a long time before he took it out one day and noticed the carving. That is something that is relevant to any detectorist.

Don't be quick to discard finds. Even if they don't look like anything much interesting at the time.

I know that many good artifacts have been dug and thrown away on the beach, sometimes to be found later by another detectorist. Or sometimes eye-balled by a beach comber.

When an item is dug, it is usually not clean. It can be covered by sand, dirt, conglomerate, corrosion, patina, or whatever. That means that not everything will be obvious.

Other items might not be covered, but might not be correctly identified or thoroughly inspected by the finder while in the field.

I've been on the beach at times when the wind and sand was blowing and the rain coming down so hard that I could barely see anything.

And there have been things that I didn't correctly identify or recognize when I picked them up on the beach.

All of that said, if there is any doubt, keep an item until you can clean it and inspect it properly.

One of my favorite finds sat in a box with a bunch of heavily corroded and encrusted coins long before I found out what it really was.

I only discovered that it was an old medallion when I started to clean those old coins. After some of the encrustation came off, I could see that it wasn't a coin at all. That medallion was found at least a couple of years before I discovered what it really was.

Don't take the time in the field to try to analyze or identify all of your items. Again, if their is any doubt, take the time to properly clean and inspect any objects that might possibly hold a surprise.

I don't know how many times I've been wrong about items like that. Quite a few.

When you have a hot spot, you want to dig as fast as possible. That is not the time to inspect items. You can quickly lose your hot spot in a variety of ways. An incoming tide for example. Or a change in weather.

I've mentioned this before, but I was digging a real hot spot in the water one evening when a weather front came through. I saw the clouds come over. And the wind and waves increased suddenly. It was also getting dark. I then left my hot spot, in which there was a good target on at least every square foot spread over a large area, and I know that I had only covered a small part of the area. I had hunted the same place the previous two days with the same results. I spent about four hours per hunt. I should have hunted longer.

Anyhow, after the evening when the front came through, I returned the next day, and everything was gone. What was an almost an endless hot spot, was now covered by sand. I couldn't find a single target there. That just goes to show how quickly things can disappear on a beach or in the shallow water. And that is why I don't take a lot of time to inspect items in the field.

My main point, is keep items until you can properly clean, inspect and research them. Don't attempt to do that all in the field. Field time is for detecting and digging.

Of course you want to look at what you are digging enough to get some information about what you are digging. But you can't do it all in the field, for the reasons that I've just explained.

You'll also find that over the years you'll learn more and be better able to identify and interpret your finds.

Sometimes it has been years before I learned the true identity of some finds. This past year, I think I have finally correctly identified some things that I've had for years.

Of course not everything turns out to be something significant. Very often you'll learn that an item is nothing worth keeping. But keeping a piece of trash for a while won't hurt anything, but you'll regret throwing something nice away by mistake.

If you've been hunting for any length of time and if you are like me, I'll bet you have already made that mistake at least once. And when you throw something away, you probably will never see it again.

That leads to additional subjects like cleaning items and keeping good records, but I'll quit there for today. I'll just say that if you don't keep good records, and find that you have a really nice find, you'll want to know where it came from. Unless you keep good records that can easily be forgotten.

The wind is still from north/northwest as a new cold front comes through. The seas will pick up a little this weekend. Not enough to do a great deal of good.

From the predictions, I'm expecting three to six foot swells this weekend. And from the current wind direction, there could be some scattered small cuts, but nothing that will change my beach conditions rating from a level 1 (poor).

There might be a few spots worth checking, but they'll probably be scattered, at best.

Happy hunting,

Friday, January 13, 2012

1/13/12 Report - Shield Nickle, Sink Hole, Raised Submarine & Anglo Saxon Hoard

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1906 Nickel Find.

Not too easy to find older American coins like this around the Treasure Coast, but they are occasionally found. The lighting caused the image to come out more deeply colored than the real object.

Archaeologists are diving at Little Salt Spring in North Port Florida in hopes of finding the oldest traces of human activity in the Southeast United States. Burials dating from 5,200 to 6,800 years ago have already been found there.

Here is the link to the story.

Here is an article on the Hunley, a raised Civil War submarine

Nice article with nice photos.

Thanks to James F. for the link.

The following article discusses the fascinating discovery of a unique jade necklace from an ancient Mayan ruler.

I was thinking this morning about how the British seem to do a very good job of working with metal detectorists, who have located a number of amazing finds over there. The Anglo Saxon Gold Hoard featured in the Oct. 28, 2010 National Geographic is just one example.

Detectorists in England have made numerous discoveries that resulted in detailed archaeological study, and the preservation and display of artifacts. That sparks the interest of people, increases awareness of history and archaeology, and promotes support for academic endeavors. On the other hand, the system promoted by many archaeologists and bureaucrats in the U. S. discourages people from becoming interested and involved.

Items From the Anglo Saxon Gold Hoard. Photo National Geographic.

Here is the link to National Geographic gold hoard article.

When you think of it, archaeology would be much the worse if it wasn't for the contributions of amateurs, collectors, and enthusiasts of many types. I know that if it wasn't for people like Mel Fisher, nautical archaeology would be way behind where it is today.

For me, I'd like to say thank you to all the amateur archaeologists, historians, collectors, salvors, etc. who have contributed directly or indirectly to our state and national collections and the knowledge base of our academic disciplines.

Remember, it was a shepherd boy that found the Dead Sea Scrolls. Think about that.

Well, the wind is from the west today. The sand and shells have been building up on many of the beaches. Beach conditions are not good for finding old shipwreck items, but there are still targets out there.

I was out this morning and although I didn't find any objects of much interest, I did find a few things and learned a few things. I was watching how those lazy waves were moving shells and things. You could see very clearly what was going on. Visibility in the water was good. Basically, I enjoyed the beautiful weather and observing nature. And there were enough targets to keep a person busy.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1/12/12 Report - Mantanzas Massacre, Panama & Bronze Dagger

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Bronze Dagger Found With Metal Detector.

I noticed this dagger for sale on eBay some time ago and posted a photo of it then. Since that time I heard from the finder, Lawrence Gladsden, who provided the photo and the following information. I thought the information was interesting and useful.

Here is what Lawrence said about the dagger.

... I checked with several archaeologists, and a guy familiar with forging and welding, and the consensus was that it was not made earlier than the late 19th century. Apparently all antique bronze arms were cast. No one was familiar with an antique edged weapon of any origin made from bar stock and brazed together. My understanding is that Bronze does not weld, though it can be brazed of course, and at a certain temperature it is quite plastic and can be hammered or drawn, and then cold-worked to harden it. Again, though, that was just not done in antiquity to make edged weapons as far as I could find out, probably because it was too much work. This piece appears to have been brazed together from bar stock and then roughly ground to shape. The sort of thing a 20th century amateur with a torch and grinder or belt sander would do in his garage. I also found a piece of clearly modern bar stock, though of a different size and shape than used in the dagger, on the same property. A Nail found in the hole near the dagger was a modern wire nail, though extremely rusted, probably from early 20th century. Also, Bob Carr said the depth it was found,about 4"- indicates it was not Spanish.

A day or two ago I gave you some links to articles and resources related to Precolumbian gold that was found in Panama. In response I got the following email from Steve Small. Here is what he said.

Thanks for the links to Panama. This month's National Geographic's cover
story is about the most recent finds at Sitio Conte. Fascinating stuff.
I couldn't find a link that shows it. Anyway, I grew up in Panama and it
was a wonderful place to grow up in the 60's and early 70's. We ran
around all these old ruins, finding old cannonballs which we tossed into
the ocean. A friend even lent me a Tesoro detector in 1972 or
thereabouts and I went to one of the old Spanish fortresses (Ft. San
Lorenzo) at the mouth of the Chagres River, on a cliff overlooking the
ocean. Of course, I didn't know what I was doing and all I found was
some clad. Can't do that now down there. Only detecting for modern stuff
on the beach. We also used to dig up old bottles left over from the
construction of the Canal. Some of my high school friends have
stupendous bottle collections. I have some great memories. Thanks for
bringing them back to mind.

There are times when I especially enjoy doing this blog. This was one of them. I was glad that I helped bring back Steve's fond memories, and it was nice to hear his story. That is what it is all about. It is about life, adventure, growing, learning, sharing and enjoying all that life has to offer.

There is something about finding things, especially older things, that somehow seems to enrich the life experience and fires the inner self. I suppose it is a bit different for everybody, but I think that in one form or another it is usually there.

Some archaeologists seem to think that they are the only ones that should be allowed to participate in that basic human drive. Others like Don Powell, mentioned in the following article about the discovery of the site of the Mantanzas massacre, take a more constructive approach rather than the very common archaeologist-versus-the-world attitude.

A couple of TV shows and some articles recently came out about the guys up at St. Augustine who found the Mantanzas massacre site. Here is a link to one of those articles.

Another archaeologist published an article stating something to the effect that artifacts by themselves teach us nothing. She said it is where the artifact is found and its relationship to the various historical layers of earth and other artifacts that provides the information.

Her argument actually explains why detectorists hunting on a beach do not destroy historical or archaeological evidence. When you find an object on the beach, it is not found in a preserved stratigraphic context that could provide any information about when it was used or where it was lost. Detectors only detect inches deep. And those layers of sand have been jostled around many times, as have the other items that are found on the beach. Therefore the contextual information that this archaeologist refers to no longer exists, and as she claims, the artifact itself provides no historical information.

I still recommending contacting the appropriate people if you do find something that might have some historical or archaeological significance.

I posted a lot of reader input today, but no one offered any guesses about my most recent mystery object.

We had a little wind yesterday, but nothing that would stir things up much. Today the wind is from the west and the seas relatively calm. A cold front will be passing through soon and the seas will pick up a touch Friday and through the weekend. Still not enough to improve conditions significantly.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1/11/12 Report - Eight Reale and Another Cool Front

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The Cob for ID Presented Two Days Ago.

I'll give the answers for this one first today. You probably found this one easier to ID than the half reale. More information is visible on this cob.

You can see that the cross is distinctly different from those of the Mexican mint and that of the half reale that I showed from the Mexican mint.

As opposed to the monogram that you'll see on half reales, this cob has a pillar and waves design.

On the pillars side of the cob you see a lot of information.

In the upper left space you see an L, which is the mint mark for the Lima mint.

To the right of that is an eight, indicating the denomination.

To the right of that you see an R, which is the assayer mark. For cobs of this date and mint, it would indicate Leonardo de Rojas.

On the bottom, or third row, you see the mint and assayer marks in reversed position, and in the middle of that "88" , which in this case indicates 1688.

Note that on the cross side of the cob, you can also see the 88 and the L.

A cob very much like this one was dug at Corrigans, I think it was in October of 2008, if I correctly recall.

I heard from some readers who got the answers to this and the earlier half reale. From my email, it seems that some of you like these cob ID exercises, so I'll do one every once in a while.

The deadline to consign to the Sedwick Treasure and World Coin Auction #11, scheduled for April 3-5, has been extended until January 22, 2012.

There is not much time left.

Sewicks is now offering a finders fee for materials that they can use. They say,
We will pay YOU a fee for bringing the deal to us. Some restrictions apply (must be a fresh deal, not from one of our clients, etc).

Sedwick will be at the Treasure Coast Coin Club's 48th Coin and Currency Show, January 21-22 at the Vero Beach Community Center, 2266 14th Ave., Vero Beach, FL.

You won't want to miss that!

For more information visit

The video I mentioned the other day talked about Sitio Conte, the site where gold artifacts were found when a river changed direction.

Always check out new erosion, weather it is on a beach or elsewhere. You never know what might be exposed.

Learn to identify spots that are likely to be losing the top layers over time rather than building up.

Cliffs are one place where older layers are often exposed over time rather than becoming more deeply buried.

It appears a cool front passed through this morning. The wind is from the south. I can see that looking out of my window. I would have expected a little more of a westerly direction. Anyhow, the south wind won't do as any good. Beaches will continue to build in the short term. And the seas are predicted to remain calm for a couple of days. I therefore would expect more beach building, and of course that is all added to the beach renourishment projects that are going on.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1/10/12 Report - Precolumbian Gold & Mystery Object

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Mayan Artifact Found at Sitio Conte.

Below is a link to a video about the discovery of gold and other artifacts at Sitio Conte. When a river changed course, an ancient Mayan site where gold items were manufactured was revealed. The video is a somewhat outdated promotion for a museum showing, but it I think you'll find it interesting. I did.

I stumbled onto that video when researching an old item that I found. In the search I also discovered the following 62-page book extract. It is a great resource. Almost makes me want to make a trip to Panama.

It presents a lot of information, including maps related to Precolumbian sources of gold.

Here is the address.

It is a pdf file, so it is a little slow to load.

Here is a mystery item that was found on a Treasure Coast beach. I haven't been able to determine what it is. I've had some opinions offered on what it is but I want to get your fresh opinions. I certainly haven't come to a postive conclusion on what it is.

The four holes shown on the front do not go all the way through so it does not look like it was attached to the face of anything.

You can see the edge. There is a space through it, left to right if the object is oriented to be taller than wide, but most of the sides are closed. The object is hollow.

It is nearly two inches long.

Please let me know if you have any ideas about what it might be.

The wind is from the south today. Another very nice day. No improvement in conditions though.

And it looks like there will be no significant change for a couple of more days.

Daniel B. sent me some photos showning the renourishment project at Treasure Shores. So that means more sand on the beaches there.

Happy hunting,

Monday, January 9, 2012

1/9/12 Report - A Couple of Cobs & A Couple of Sunken Locomotives

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

See if you can identify this cob.

There is a lot of visible information on this one.

I posted the answers for the one I showed a few days ago below.

Here is a series of videos on the discovery and research of a couple of 18th Century locomotives found in deep water off of New York. Real interesting. Thanks to James F for submitting the link.

Below are the answers for this cob that I showed a couple of days ago.

This cob is a half reale. That could be most easily determined from the monogram.

This one is from the reign of Carlos. You can see part of the C and A of the monogram in the picture.

Judging from those that I've found on Treasure Coast beaches, I'd say you can usually only see part of the Carlos monogram and seldom any of the legend.

It is from the Mexico mint. Even though the mint mark was not visible you could tell that by the style of the cross.

The date is not visible but would be in the area of 1665 to 1700.

You can not see the assayer mark, but on a Mexican coin of this date, it could be "L" for Martin Lopez, who worked at the Mexican mint from 1677 to 1705.

If you like these cob ID posts, I'll keep doing them from time to time.

I was thinking back over the year about some of the mystery objects that I finally feel that I have identified. There are some that I've had for quite a while and finally think I know what they are thanks in no small part to the readers of this blog. There are however still some that I've had a long time and still don't feel like I know what they are. Maybe I'll repost some of those. Some of the others were posted more than once before they were positively identified. And of course, I'll post some new mystery items from time to time.

The wind is from the east/southeast and there isn't much of it. The seas are relatively calm, and that will be the case most of the week.

It is almost like summer again even though temperatures are a little cooler. There will surely be some more cold fronts in the next couple of months.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1/8/12 Report - Using Probes for Scouting Around

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Bottle Found by Daniel B.

Daniel says, I have always liked finding old bottles. This one I found in an old grove today, wrapped up with a bunch of oyster shells with what looked like carpet. The rim of the bottle looks to be hand blown and one of the oysters broke off in transportation. A good hint is, if hunting with your detector is bad, use your eyes and just walk.

You might find something interesting in a bottle like that.

I chose Daniel's submission today because it goes right along with what I was going to talk about anyhow.

I often mention scouting around, especially when conditions aren't very good. You can check out some new areas and maybe find some good new spots to hunt when doing that.

You don't always have to swing your detector. There are times when you might just want to check out a lot of area. You can always come back with your detector when you find a promising spot.

When hunting dry land, one of the first clues you'll usually see on the surface is broken glass or rusty junk. The glass might help you get an idea of when the area was in use.

But not everything will be on top of the ground. A probe can help.

Probes can vary widely. Bottle hunters often use probes, but they can be used by detectorists too when looking for new sites to hunt.

Probes come in many forms but usually are composed of a steel rod with a wood handle for pushing the rod into the ground. It is also nice to have a little cone shaped device hooked to the rod that will show some of the lower layers of earth or sand when it is withdrawn.

Some people used to use probes a lot in the Indian River around historic areas like the old forts to locate buried bottles.

Not only can you use probes to locate buried bottles, wood, tin etc, but you can also use a probe to identify areas where the earth or sand has been disturbed. Areas like that will often be less compact. You can feel that when using a probe.

You can also use a probe on the beach or in the water to locate layers of shell or rock.

When you find an area with items on the surface a probe can help you determine how far out and how deep other buried items might be.

I use different types of probes depending upon the situation and what I am tyring to do. Sometimes nothing more than a light aluminum rod is needed. At other times you might want a steel rod with a lip attached that will pull up some of the subsurface material so you can see what might be down there. Rust, black or different types of sand or other material might be revealed that way.

The monthly meeting of the St. Lucie Metal Detecting Club will be January 14th at Duffy's Sports Grill in Jensen Beach @ 6pm and the monthly hunt will be at Bathtub Beach to the St Lucie inlet on January 21st. Contact Bernie at for more information.

Probably tomorrow I'll give you the answer to the cob that I showed yesterday. At least one person already got the answers.

The wind is from the northeast this morning. Seas are down around two feet and the waves are rolling in slow.

It is not bad for water hunting. Don't fight the waves. I've gone over this before, but it is a lot easier if you just learn to go with them.

I'm not expecting any change in conditions for the next few days.

Check out the low tide areas, or maybe do some scouting around.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

1/7/12 Report - Guess the Cob & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

See what you can tell about this treasure cob.

Try to get the denomination, mint, assayer, and period.

We'll have a little contest.

I know it isn't real clear. That is the way it usually is with cobs found on the beach.

I'll give the answers in a day or two.

A Treasure Coast Beach This Morning

Some slow lazy waves this morning... pretty calm.

There is a dip in front of the beach here.

There were a lot of shell piles.

And some copper sheets and things.

I've mentioned before that it isn't so much the weight of things that determines where it will be on a beach. It is more the density than the weight. And the shape is very important. Sheets of copper, silver or gold can end up with lighter materials if it is in the form of a thin sheet.

Sheets present a lot of surface area to be affected by the force of the water.

Coins don't move so much. They tend to hug the surface. Sometimes they will flip though, and even sometimes roll.

Here is a sheet of copper I found today in a shell pile. It provides a good illustration. Of course gold is more dense than silver, which is more dense than copper, which is more dense than aluminum.

It has some square holes.

I was finding a variety of things in the shell piles and in front of the shell piles.

It was near high tide so I didn't get down close to the dip.

Today the wind is coming from the southwest.

It looks like conditions won't change in the next few days. We'll have somewhere around two foot seas.

It sure is nice now. Not too hot. Not too cold. And the water relatively calm.

Happy hunting,

Friday, January 6, 2012

1/6/2012 Report - Conditions Downgrade

Written by the TreasureGuide for

Gold Coins Found in Clay Pot.

Photo from the BBC story linked below.

$140,000 worth of gold coins from 1595 to 1798 were discovered in a clay pot in a cellar when the residents were working on their drains.

Here is the link to that story.

A cardboard box holding six pieces of antique Chinese jade was stored in a Florida home's closet for over 30 years. The owners were offered $2,000 but instead had it auctioned. The censer, used to burn incense, auctioned for $18,000, a jade teapot for $12,420, a ram for $6,210, and a white jade ship for $57,500. Chinese buyers paid almost $100,000 for the family treasures. See March 9, 2011, Kovels Komments.

A skull uncovered by recent erosion was originally found by archaeologists, repatriated to a tribe, reburied,and then surfaced again.

Here is the link to the story.

I have another topic but don't have time to get to it today. I'll have to keep it short today. I'll talk about probes some other time.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

I'll drop my beach conditions rating back to a 1 today. There is still some chance of picking up a cob or two that got dragged down when there was some erosion a couple of days ago.

The wind is from the northwest this morning, but there isn't much wind. The seas are down around two feet.

You might check the low tide zones for anything that might have been stirred up recently.

It looks like there won't be any improvement in conditions for a few days.

Happy hunting.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1/4/12 Report - Conditions Upgrade & New Florida Underwater Preserve

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Three Foot Cut on a Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

This is the same cut that I showed yesterday. It was only one foot high then.

I'm issuing a level 2 rating on my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Conditions Rating Scale. That is an upgrade from level 1 (poor)conditions. As you might know if you've been following this blog for some time, my rating scale is a five point scale.

It is a good two in my opinion, although I don't expect conditions to improve much more, and the new rating might be short lived.

That is my big news for today.

People often ask me where to buy a new detector if they don't want to do it over the internet or by phone. I don't know about most of the local detector shops in the state, so here is a one time chance. If you operate a detector shop in the state of Florida, send me the shop name, address, phone number, and short simple statement of types of detectors sold, and I may list the information that I receive some time in the future. You probably won't get this chance again, so don't miss it.

If you want me to list your shop, just submit that info in a form that will make it easy for me to cut and paste. Don't use all caps. Don't include extra information.

I reserve the right to edit the information submitted in any way I see fit and to post or repost that information in any form and at any time I so desire but will not gaurantee anything, including inclusion in any post at all.

This offer is not for the detector super stores of the world.

USS Narcissus, a civil war era ship which sank near the mouth of Tampa Bay, will become a new archaeological preserve. Once covered by sand, the wreck is now much exposed.

It is still pretty cold out. This morning when it was about 40 degrees on the beach.

I suspect you'll be able to find a few cuts in addition to the one that I'm showing today.

The wind is from the north/northwest. The seas seem to be calming down. The high tides aren't very high.

As I said, I'm not expecting much more improvement to the Treasure Coast beaches.

Happy hunting,