Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2/29/12 Report - More on Recent Florida Legislation Affecting Treasure Hunting

Hey, we have an extra day. Happy Leap Day! It's a good thing too. I need the extra day. Due to the overwhelming interest in the recent Florida state legislation (Bill 868) I'm postponing some other topics that I had planned.

I received a lot of email in response to yesterday's post. It's amazing how much reach and power this little blog has. Hundreds of thousands of hits and growing rapidly. I can't quite grasp it. I sometimes feel like I'm sitting here typing to myself or maybe a few people, but then something happens and I see how much impact it has.

As I said the new Florida bill is the hot hot hot topic today.

The St. Lucie Metal Detecting Club is mobilizing and contacting their representatives.

I got word this morning that Alan Hays has deleted thousands of comments about this issue from his facebook page.

By the way, Debbie Mayfield is the state house representative for Vero.

If you don't know who your representative to the Florida legislature is, you can use this link to find out.

Thanks to Bernie C. for all of the work he did to start and maintain the St. Lucie club. When issues like this come up and require action, you can see how important it is to have clubs and how important it is to be a part of a group. You will be better informed, and just as importantly, better able to represent and stand up for your hobby when you belong to a club.

Among the many emails I received concerning this issue was one from a Miami TV station. That means we are making progress towards bringing the other side of this issue to light. It also provides an opportunity for us to educate the public.

Another person that sent me an email had contacted another TV station concerning the bill.

The businesses that serve the treasure hunting community should be concerned about this too.

Many people travel to the Treasure Coast because of its history. If this bill passes maybe a name change would be in order.

I don't think people realize how many people travel to the Treasure Coast to metal detect. I do because I get a lot of emails from people wondering where to stay to be close to the detecting beaches.

Before I lived on the Treasure Coast I traveled here to detect and stayed at local hotels and eventually bought a house in the area.

I'm a bit surprised that I've never been contacted by any of the local tourist development people. They evidently don't know how many people travel here because of our heritage of treasure hunting.

We have two treasure museums on the Treasure Coast which have been doing business here for years.

From detectors and food to salvage vessels, docking, gas and the treasure that goes into the state collections, there is a lot of economic activity tied to detecting and treasure hunting on the Treasure Coast.

A CNN Travel writer interviewed me for a metal detecting article that was published on the CNN web site, and it brought national attention to the Treasure Coast. The travel writer recognized that many people who travel to beach areas are interested in metal detecting.

When you get down to it, our local representative evidently do not realize the economic impact of treasure hunting on our community. They do not recognize that it is a big part of our history and heritage. Jeeeeez, it's called the "Treasure" Coast, not the "Archaeology" Coast.

And the abuse of terms like "artifact" is getting ridiculous. They include anything over forty years old. Shoot, I've gone to the home where I was raised and dug up some of MY old toys that were older than that. Pretty soon if you have it today, tomorrow it will be considered an artifact. They are going way too far. It gets ridiculous.

A big problem is that the relationship between the archaeological community and the citizenry has broken down. Because of outrageous over-reaching, people don't trust the officials anymore. Look at the bill! Confiscation of equipment, cars, etc. etc. without any reasonable process - its just way too dictatorial and out of balance. And evidently only one side of the argument - that of the radical archaeological community - has had input. And to think, everything they do is done on your tax payer dollars. That is another place you might want to make your voice heard if they are not willing to listen to reason.

I'll wind it down on that issue today. Remember, if you don't participate in your government, you take what you get.

Look at this, particularly the last QA.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions and Forecast.

The wind is from the south and the swells from the east. Seas on the Treasure Coast are running around three feet or less. They'll be decreasing until Saturday.

Detecting conditions are poor and will remain that way for a few days.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2/28/12 Report - Florida Bill 868 & How To Lose Your Freedoms

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Coins From the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes

The edited photo is from the following linked CBS story.

As you might know, coins like these recovered by Odyssey Marine from what appears to be the wreck of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes in 2007 have just arrived in Spain. You might think that is too bad for Odyssey. Truth is, it is too bad for each and every citizen that values freedom. It is just one more sign of Big Government's growing appetite.

I am no conspiracy theorist. I don't belong to any political interest group, but I can't help noticing the growing expanse of government at the expense of individual liberty and freedom.

At nearly the same time that those coins were arriving in Spain, Florida Senate Bill 868, Archaeological Sites and Specimens, sponsored by Senator Alan Hays (R-Umatilla), passed unanimously in the Government Oversight and Accountability Senate Committee and is now waiting to be heard in the Budget Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, Economic Development.

I have not personally studied the Bill sufficiently to give details with a high degree of confidence, but I have received numerous emails (Thanks to many including especially John R.) about the new Florida Bill. Heated discussion of this Bill is currently taking place in the treasure hunting community.

We all need to be informed. Here is a link that will help you learn more about that Bill.

I encourage you to look into the subject and how it will affect you and treasure hunters everywhere.

I hesitate to get into politics here, but considering the hot topics these days I can't totally avoid it.

Here are a few comments about the Odyssey Marine decision.

Some of the discussions of the decision that I've seen have made it about America versus Spain. In my opinion that is a mistake. It appears to me that the real issue is about freedom and Big Government. Citizens of both countries will lose freedoms in the long run.

America and Spain agreed. The governments agreed. Odyssey Marine lost. It was an issue of government versus private concerns - not America versus Spain.

That misdirection appears to me to be something like how class warfare is used by those in government to divide the rich and poor so that the ruling class can feed off of the productive and satisfy the poor with a few benefits, while both the rich and poor lose freedoms and government expands.

The point I want to leave you with is that you need to be informed and active in local and state as well as federal government. I highly recommend that you become familiar with the legislation that will affect you and your interests and contact your representatives. It might be a good project for detecting clubs to organize efforts to contact their Florida State representatives. Make your feelings known before it is too late.

Off my soap box now.

A wallet that a man lost 35 years ago was recently found and returned.

Here is the link to that story.

That story made me think of some of the rewards that I've received after returning lost items. But I was most surprised when I returned valuable items and no gratitude at all was shown - not even a thank you. I could never understand that. Of course there is the other side too. Sometimes just seeing how happy people are to have their item again is reward enough.

Anyhow, I'd like to hear stories of how people responded when you returned an item - either way. I'll do a poll on that someday. Didn't want to start it now because I have another poll planned.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions and Forecast.

The seas have decreased on the Treasure Coast and will continue to decrease until around Saturday. After that there will be a slight increase again.

The swells are hitting pretty much from the east.

I wouldn't expect any improvement until after this weekend.

I'm downgrading my Treasure Coast Beach Conditions Rating to a 1(poor) again.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 27, 2012

2/27/12 Report - Gold Bars, Sand, & Lodging

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Just Something Real Pretty To Look At.

This photo is from the Sotheby's catalog entitled Magnificent Coins of the Spanish World, which is the auction for the The Archer M. Huntington Collection.

Here is the link to a site where you can find the catalog.

I received my invitation to the 4th Annual Treasure Hunters Cookout, which will be held in April at the Pennwood Motor Lodge where some of the early treasure hunters stayed back in the day.

I often get requests for information about lodging on the Treasure Coast from people coming to detect the beaches. I won't make a recommendation, but here is a list of some possibilities.

Speaking of local hangouts, the Driftwood Resort in Vero Beach is celebrating its 75th anniversary. With the wreck of the Breconshire just off-shore, the driftwood contruction and the artifacts that you will see, beachcombers, detectorists, and treasure hunters of all stripes will find something of interest at the Driftwood.

Cut On Treasure Coast Beach Sunday.

This cut was a few hundred yards long and varied from half a foot to nearly three feet. On Saturday, it was about half that. And on Saturday the sand in front of the cut was very firm and seemed to be composed of brown sand and small pieces of shell, but I didn't find what I would call a layer of shell in the first foot or so. I found that a little surprising considering how firm the surface was.

There was a line of targets running along the cut about three to five yards in front of the cut.

By Sunday the cut was slightly bigger than on Saturday, but the sand in front was more mushy on Sunday. By that time the wind had shifted from the northeast to east.

The initial erosion occured, as you might suspect, during the northeast wind.

Here is another video showing progress of the Fort Pierce Inlet renourishment project. Notice all of the beach beautification for peak tourist season. Nobody seemed to be there to see Saturday afternoon but all of that rusty construction equipment really made for a pretty beach.

Notice Old Faithless was moved down the beach a few yards. Nice to be able to see a geyser without going to Yellowstone.

I want to sign up for one of those construction watcher jobs. Then when that job is over I could sign up to watch the sand go back into the sea.

Speaking of beach renourishment, Bathtub Beach is closed for repairs again. The previous repairs must have lasted all of a few weeks.

The wind is now east/southeast. The typical cycle that you see as these fronts come through is now pretty much complete. I'd rate beach conditions as a minimal two right now. It will undoubtedly be short lived.

The seas will be decreasing today and for a couple of days.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2/25/12 Report - Modern Mexican Silver & Another Front Moving Through

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Mexican Silver Ring.

I mentioned before that marked silver Mexican jewelry is collected. This piece is clearly marked and I managed to get a photo of the marking.

First, you can see the purity of the silver. It is sterling (925) silver. Mexican silver can be found in other purities, such as 800, 880, and 980, for example.

The piece that I showed yesterday, if you take another look, does look like it could be Mexican, but it is not marked.

"TC-21" tells you that the item comes from Taxco, a town in Mexico. If it was made in Mexico city the first letter would be M.

The "C" is the first letter of the artist's last name. And the 21 indicates that this particular artist is the 21st registered in Mexico with a last name that begins with C.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find a list giving the name of C-21. Maybe someone can help me out with that.

This marking system was adopted around 1979, so we know that the ring is not a any older than that.

Here is a link to a site giving more information on the marks found on Mexican silver jewelry.

This reminds me of the bullet that I recently was able to trace back to the date and place of manufacture thanks to the help of one of this blog's readers. It is nice to find such informative markings on finds.

Now that I know the name of the city that the ring came from, here is a little more information about that place.

The old city of Taxco de Alarcon was an important city for the Aztecs. The present day city is 12km from the old Taxco, which was conquered in 1531 by Rodrigo de CastaƱeda and Miguel Diaz de Aux. The silver mines were discovered there by the explorers Juan de la Cabra and Juan de Salcedo in 1534. It was one of the most important mining centers during the reign of Charles V.

There is a good strong north/northeast wind this morning. Yesterday I mentioned the north wind being expected and that is what happened.

I haven't been out to the beach to see what is going on but it is probably way too early anyhow. I'd expect some sand to be moved, but it would be just a start on all of that recently accumulated sand.

Seas are expected at five feet and above later today and for a day or two more. I'd think that tomorrow might be worth checking. I'll check things out later and give a report.

We've had quite a series of cold fronts this winter. This is probably one of the last. We usually have a decent storm in the spring sometime.

Happy hunting,

Friday, February 24, 2012

2/24/12 Report - Gold Coins & Silver

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Silver Ring Find.

Goth? Mexican Silver? Sterling? Coin Silver? Vintage? I'll get into that more some other day real soon.

Personally I like seasoned silver better than brand new as long as it isn't corroded too much. In my opinion, some history and a little oxidation adds character to nice heavy vintage pieces. A little oxidation makes the details really pop. I wouldn't clean anything like this too much.

This is good silver. It looks like Mexican silver to me.

Peru asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the transfer of the half-billion dollar Odyssey Marine treasure from the U.S. to Spain. In my opinion Peru would seem to have a better claim to the treasure than Spain.

While both Spain and Peru want to claim the treasure, neither of those claimants, have presented any hard evidence to prove the source and origin of the treasure. As far as I know, Odyssey Marine is the only party to have first-hand contact and knowledge of the wreck and would seem to me to have the only valid claim on the treasure.

Here is a link to the story detailing Peru's claim.

Thanks to James H. for submitting the link.

There is a lesson that beach hunters can learn from this story too. When there is treasure, there are people who will try to claim it.

There are people who will try to claim the ring that you just dug even though it is not theirs if the opportunity presents itself. I've talked about this before so I won't go into a lot of detail now, but there have been several occasions when people tried to claim a piece of jewelry that I found when they did not have any knowledge of the item before I found it. Be careful about that. You want to be able to return found items to the real owner.

Kovels Komments reports, A family in London was taking some old jewelry to a scrap gold dealer when a young family member thought a coin mounted as a pendant on a chain looked great, so he saved it. A little research showed it was a rare 15th-century coin from Milan, Italy, just estimated at $63,000.

Here is a link to that story.$63,000-nearly-sold-for-scrap/

As I always say, keep your finds until you have a chance to do the research and know for certain what they are.

And here is another story of found gold.

Workers renovating a Champagne producer's building in France hit the rafters and almost 500 gold coins pelted down on them. If no one claims the fortune, estimated at close to $1 million, it will be divided between the building's owner and the workers who discovered the coins.

Here is a link to that story.

Well, it looks like another front will be coming through. The wind is now from the south/southwest, but Saturday it will switch around and come from the north. The seas will also increase up to around five feet on Saturday.

The north wind and the higher seas Saturday will give us some chance for improved conditions by Sunday, although it probably will only create some small unproductive cuts. I'm hopeful enough to remain alert, but am not really expecting much.

Happy Hunting,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2/23/12 Report - Important Coin From Reign of William the Conqueror Found & US Air Force Ships Tons of Coins to Spain

Nice Surfing Waves on the Treasure Coast This Morning

There were a lot of surfers out this morning. Also a lot of snowbirds along A1A.

I put a video of surfing on YouTube this morning. Unfortunately I didn't have my best camera with me. Nonetheless, if you want to see the wave action it is on TheTreasureGuide channel on YouTube.

The surf was up. There were some nice waves, but that was deceiving in a way. The west wind was forming some nice surfing waves at a few spots, but I didn't see any erosion this morning.

The water did get up a little higher on the beach than it has been for a while, but still not high enough to erode the banks.

There might be one or two places on the Treasure Coast that were already badly eroded the past few months where the water was high enough to do some good.

Treasure Coast Beach Showing Newly Accumulated Sand This Morning.

This beach looks really poor in terms of detecting conditions. Tons of new sand. And all of the replenishment was done free by Mother Nature. No dredging, pumping, tractors or any of that waste.

The most erosion I saw this morning was a hundred yards south of where they dumped the new sand south of the Fort Pierce inlet. The new sand was deflecting the wave energy, as it naturally will, down the beach a little ways. Crazy! Of course, then they'll fill that and then the wave energy will be deflected a little farther down the beach. And before you know it, it will be time to redo the futile exercise all over again.

One Leisurely Detectorist This Morning.

Below are two tales:Another of insanity and thankfully, one of sanity.

First the sanity.

A detectorist in England found an important coin from the reign of William the Conqueror. The coin proved, contrary to previous thought, that the Gloucester mint was operating between 1077-1080. No other coin from that mint and date are known to exist.

Too bad the US doesn't learn to handle antiquities found by detectorists the same way they do it in England.

Here is the link to that story.

Now the insanity.

The US Air Force carried tons of coins recovered by Odyssey Marine to Spain as ordered by the courts.

Spain claims the coins are part of their heritage as thieves and plunderers. Actually, they put a period after "heritage."

I won't get into this too much, because if I did, this would turn into a five hundred page rant.

Here is one link to the story submitted by a couple of this blog's readers.

And here is another link for more on the same story.

I wonder how they figure the treasure belongs to Spain rather than the countries it was taken from. Actually they don't care if the reports of political and personal favors involved in the decision are correct. And did you notice, Odyssey isn't even getting paid for their salvage expenses. Fortunately they have a number of good salvage agreements with England.

According to the predictions, the seas will be relatively calm the next couple of days and then increase this weekend up to about four feet.

No change in conditions expected.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2/22/12 Report - Comparing Diggers & Silver Prices

Old Sailing Ships Are Works of Art.

Last week when I was off-beach, I used a digger that I hadn't used before. On the beach I almost always use a stainless steel scoop with a long handle. At the site I was at the other day, I didn't want to use such a big scoop for various reasons. For one thing, I didn't want to make big holes.

I selected the black plastic digger shown in the photo below that day. It had been in my trunk, but I hadn't used it before.

The Gator-Digger (with the orange handle) also in the photo below, is the one I dug up on a treasure beach a couple of weeks ago.

While using the black plastic digger that I received free when I purchased a detector some time ago, I found it had a some very nice features. I was using it primarily in dry and wet fine sand

A Couple Diggers.

One of the things I liked about it was the fact that it is all plastic. You can drop it right by the hole and detect over it if you need to pin-point. Or you can wave it right under or over your coil with the sand still in it to see if the object is in it too. I found the all-plastic construction very handy.

It has inch markings on it so you can see how deep the object or how deep your hole is. I didn't find that very useful.

One thing that I liked about the little black digger is the shape. The sides of the concave scoop held the sand very nicely, particularly wet sand, when you picked up the digger. I liked that a lot. Sometimes it was almost like plugging.

The Gator-Digger is more heavy duty, but I didn't need anything heavy on this occasion.

I always say that detectors are something like golf clubs. You choose the one that will work best for the particular situation. Scoops and diggers are like that too.

The Gator-Digger, being made of heavy duty metal and having serrated edges, might be the better choice when you are in grass or harder earth. The serrated edges allowa you to saw through small roots.

The other day there were times when I found deep targets that I wished that I was using a bigger scoop, but overall I was happy with the little black digger. It worked well in fine sand, and I really appreciated the advantages of the all-plastic construction.

Harry Miller, in Numismatic News, posted the December clcsing prices for silver for the last decade.

Here are the numbers.

2001 – $4.58 no change
2002 – $4.80 + 4.8 %
2003 – $5.95 +24 %
2004 – $6.81 +14.3 %
2005 – $8.82 +29.6 %
2006 – $12.82 +45.3 %
2007 – $14.80 +15.4 %
2008 – $11.27 -26.8 %
2009 – $16.82 +49.3 %
2010 – $30.91 +83.7 %
2011 – $27.88 -9.8 %

And here is the link.

This doesn't include the time period when the Hunt brothers caused the price to go above fifty dollars an ounce. I think that was in the eighties.

And you have to remember that the dollar has become worth much less in the same time period.

Nonetheless, silver prices have risen rather consistently in dollar terms.

Today it is around $34.35.

Today on the Treasure Coast the wind is out of the southwest. Seas are claming down again. They'll be increasing on Friday, but only to recent levels. Not enough to change beach conditions significantly.

I just realized that I didn't talk at all about what I planned to talk about today. Guess I'll get back to that some other day.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2/21/12 Report - Conditions Report & Video

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Old Cut On the Treasure Coast This Morning.

This is the remains of a cut that was made a week or so ago. Since then it has filled in some.

There is a bunch of mushy sand at the bottom of the cut.

The recent high tide was doing nothing other than wetting the front of the old deteriorated cut this morning.

The cut was originally over three feet high.

A New Cut on the Treasure Coast This Morning.

Unlike the one above it is new. Still not worth much.

There is mushy sand in front of this one too.

This cut is a foot or less. It could possibly develop a little more, but not enough to be very interesting.

Here is a good HD video of the renourishment project at the Fort Pierce inlet.

It shows the sand being pumped onto the beach, being spread by a Caterpillar. Also the crane and associated boats.

Use the BACK arrow to return to the blog when done viewing the video.

How many months will this sand remain in place? Probably no more than the few months the last renourishment lasted.

I heard this sand is coming from off-shore about five miles south of the inlet. That could be interesting, but I haven't seen any evidence of exactly where it is being obtained.

They are just at the beginning of this project.

This mornings look at the beach wasn't real promising. I'm sticking with my 1 beach conditions rating.

Well, I'm going to leave it at that for today. Blogger doesn't seem to be working to well today.

I hope you take a look at the video. It was made with a new HD Flip Cam.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 20, 2012

2/20/12 Report - Gold 1715 Fleet Ring & More

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Gold Engraved 1715 Fleet Ring for Sale on eBay.

The asking price is $3000. It has a Fisher certification.

I'm not recommending that you buy this or anything. I just thought you might like to take a look at it.

Always be careful when buying online. There are a lot of fakes and scams out there. I personally don't buy coins or artifacts online unless I know something about the seller or unless the item is inexpensive. Do your research before spending money.

Another cold, or should I say cool front, came through. If you've been watching, you've probably noticed the common pattern. First wind from the west/northwest, shifting to more north and northeast, and then east, and finally from the south.

The north/northeast wind often results in a little erosion, but the cold fronts usually move through so quick and it goes through the progression so quickly that the erosion is usually not much and doesn't last long. It doesn't seem to result in a lot of coins being washed up either. At least not recently.

I think the best production the last couple of years, with the exception of one or two small spots, has resulted from the few times that the water has actually hit the dunes pretty hard. That hasn't been foften, and it has been pretty much limited to small areas.

It seems to me that the succession of cold fronts this year hasn't done much but recycle sand fron the front beach to the shallow water and back again. I don't think the moving sand has been deep enough to free up many new coins, most of which remained buried under the sand on the front beach and in the shallow water. There hasn't been many times when the winds have remained from the north or northeast long enough to move a lot of that sand.

A good sustained northeaster will sit out there in the ocean and churn for days and move enough sand to get down to deeper levels. We haven't had that in the past couple of years.

I don't know what the beaches look like today. I've been off-beach for a few days.

To me metal detecting is the ultimate green activity. I can't imagine how many pull tabs, pieces of aluminium, iron and miscellaneous junk I've picked up over the years. It must be tons. But that isn't the half of it. And a whole lot of coins are returned to circulation by detectorists all over the world every year. I wish I had some idea of how many coins that would be. On top of that is all the lost jewelry and artifacts that are recovered that would otherwise be lost forever.

Dug Button For ID.

I might have shown this button before, but still don't have any information on it.

I was talking a few days ago about cleaning silver. One thing you can do with silver is melt it down and recast it. You can make a mold and create new objects from your old silver.

Here is a video that will give you an idea about how that is done.

You can probably find a class to take if you want. I know they used to have them at some of the community colleges. If you take a class at a school you can use their equipment except for basic supplies such as the wax. You can learn to do it without all the extras, depending upon what you plan to make.

The surf web sites are predicting increasing seas today, up to around four or five feet, slightly increasing more through tomorrow, but not reaching heights that would lead me to expect much improvement in beach conditions.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2/18/12 Report - From Silver to Rust

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Nice Reale.

A lot of us on the Treasure Coast spend most of our time looking for something like this. Everybody in the world would recognize this as treasure, but treasure comes in many forms, and you can't always find one of these. That is why I like to be aware of a broad range of things that can be useful if not valuable.

I enjoy picking up those miscellaneous things like dive watches, spikes, fossils, bottles, or even things like pliers or sinkers. They can be useful. And you can't always find gold coins, so it helps in those times when beach conditions aren't so great.

In the last week or so I've talked about some of the biggest rarest Spanish gold coins, clad coins, modern jewelry, and military artifacts. That is quite a range.
Today I'll stretch that range a little more.

Rusty Old Jack Found.

Old junk! Yep, it is. But you know what - it's useful.

No, it doesn't work anymore - at least not the way it was meant to be used. But it will function very well. I plan to make something out of it.

Work the finish a little and paint it gold, and it looks like a horn. Too big and heavy maybe, but it could serve as an architectural ornament of some sort.

That isn't my present thought though. I'm thinking about making a stand for a bird bath out of it. Or maybe a stand for a sun dial. That could possibly work too.

I have another old find - a heavy cast iron base for a large old industrial fan or something that will work just fine as a base under the jack. Then all I need to add is the bird bath itself. Or I could turn the fan base upside down and with a little effort create the water container out of that.

So who cares? Nobody probably - at least not unless they get the point I am tying to make. The point is that with a little imagination even apparently worthless finds like this rusty jack can become useful.

Did you know theft of manhole covers is becoming a problem because the covers can be sold for a good money as scrap? It's true. Here is a link, if you don't believe me.

I found a manhole cover in a creek bed not long ago. Don't know how it got there.

But getting to my point - it can be both fun and profitable if you realize the possible usefulness and value of a very broad range of objects. This jack is just one example.

Many detectorists pass up perfectly good objects. I've shown in the past how pot shards and various shipwreck artifacts can sometimes be sold for a small profit. Sometimes when people are looking for coins, they walk right past, or worse yet, throw away, objects that could actually be worth a little. I know I've done that.

I've told the story about how I found my first old bottles after a hurricane and later learned that they were worth more than the silver coins that I was looking for.

It happens. When you are not busy digging up gold coins, don't pass up other things that might be interesting, fun or even valuable.

On the Treasure Coast another front will be coming through. The wind is now from the north and the seas very nice and calm. That will be changing a little.

The surf will be increasing about Monday or Tuesday. Unfortunately the surf web sites are now predicting less of an increase than previously. It looks like things might no improve much.

Time will tell.

Happy Hunting,

Friday, February 17, 2012

2/17/12 Report - Bullet Find & Researching Detector Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Variety of Bullets.

I posted this photo a few days ago to show a variety of bullet finds. I thought the one at the bottom might be an "anti-aircraft" bullet. Someone once told me that. I guess that is partly right.

Anyhow, I received a great email from Kevin B. He said it was probably a Browning 50 caliber machine gun shell and added the dimensions for that type of shell in red on my photo.

I measured the shell and found that the measurements were correct. So now I know more about that bullet. It is a Browning 50 caliber machine gun shell.

But that isn't the end of the story.

Kevin also included photos of some similar shells and showed where a lot of additional information could be found on the shell casing.

Here is that illustration.

Information on Shell Casings.

He said, There will be some numbers and letters on the head of the case where the primer is that should give you loads of info, more than likely the year and place where the shell was made at a minimum.

My shell had some crust on the case, so I cleaned it off and found the letters and numbers.

By the way, I found that when there is just a little crust or corrosion left, a touch of 3 in 1 oil will take just enough off to quickly make something like this more readable.

I could easily see the 44 early in the cleaning process, but it took a little oil to make the letters pop out. I didn't get the letters to show in the photo as clear as they are in real life.

Shell Casing Showing Letters L C and 44.

As Kevin explained, the numbers indicate when the shell was loaded (on my shell it would be 1944), and the letters indicate where it was manufactured.

Kevin provided this web site that shows the WWII manufacture codes.

As you can see, LC = Lake City Army Ammunition Plant - Independence, Missouri.

Now I know when the shell was made and where.

My main point today is about more than bullets. It is about how all kinds of finds can become much more interesting if you do the research. Digging something up is just one part of the process. Doing the research and getting to know your find is the next step, and in many cases can be the most worthwhile.

A piece of metal is a piece of metal, but when you get to know more about it's history, it becomes more meaningful and significant. Furthermore, the information you gain can sometimes point you to more treasure.

One reason that I very seldom use discrimination, is that even junk can provide useful or valuable information.

But again, that is not the end of the story. The bullet is not the only thing I learned about. I also learned about the gun. Kevin sent me a link to more information about that.

Here is the link.

As you can see the gun was not only an anti-aircraft gun, but it was also sometimes mounted on planes and tanks. I guess it could have possibly been used to provide fire to make the landing exercises on Hutchinson Island more realistic.

I don't know all of the details, but my appreciation for the bullet is greater, I learned a lot, and my imagination about the military activities that took place on Hutchinson Island was definitely enriched.

But this isn't only about one era. Any artifact you find can become much more interesting and valuable when you learn more about it. If you find a nice spike or shipwreck artifact, you'll learn a lot by doing the research. And you'll be better prepared to interpret the various signs of treasure that you might come across in the field.

Not much to say about the local conditions. Things will remain the same until the next front comes through Sunday.

They are about ready to start dredging the St. Lucie Inlet.

And thanks to Kevin and all of you that contribute from time to time.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2/16/12 Report - A Few Detecting Tips

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

This Mornings Finds.

Nothing exciting. I decided to do a little scouting around and went to a park that I hadn't detected for a number of years. It isn't on the ocean. The ocean beaches that I've seen have been building the past couple of days. They weren't very good looking at all, so I felt like doing something a little different this morning.

The photo shows a few dollars in clad, a ring and what looks like an old bullet (since I've been talking about those).

I got some more good information on the bullets that I showed yesterday. I'll have to get back to that topic in another post.

I could tell that the area I detected today had been detected recently. There were a variety of clues. I could tell by the distribution of targets that part of this area had been detected relatively well. Most targets in the detected area were several inches deep in densely packed sand with a good layer of black sand. There was a disproportionate number of nickles (a common tell-tale sign). And there were the typical areas that most detectorists will skip.

A Good Spot.

I always like to see spots like this. There is a little erosion and some roots and things to add protection. Many detectorists will miss targets in an area like this.

There were three targets (within a half inch of the surface) in the small area shown in this photo.

I'll never pass an area like that without checking.

I also like to stick my coil back under limbs and bushes. Again, many detectorists will miss targets in areas like that.

That is where I got the old bullet today - back under some bushes.

And here is another type of thing that I will never pass up.

It doesn't look like much and it isn't easy to detect, but people will be drawn to these blocks. Sometimes they'll sit on them and sometimes lay things on them or by them. And sometimes people will stumble over them.

Things will slip down beside the blocks and quickly sink beside them when the water rushes around.

Old Concrete Blocks.

The iron in the blocks makes it difficult to detect around them. This is one time that I used discrimination. I could hear the iron but I could also pick out the other targets in and around the blocks. That might take a little practice, but you can learn to do it.

There was a lot of black sand around here too.

I seldom use anything but all metals or pin-point mode, but I was constantly switching back and forth today.

The dimes were coming up rusty looking and many of the pennies were heavily caked.

There were a lot of obstacles at this site, but I like obstacles. Obstacles protect targets.

I like to try different spots like this once in a while for a change.

There are a lot of snowbirds in in the area detecting now.

The wind is out of the south and the seas calm. Expect increasing sand on the ocean beaches.

Monday the seas will increase. I'd say no change in conditions until then.

I received some good information on bullets. I'll get back to that topic soon. maybe tomorrow.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2/16/12 Report - WWII & Nature's Beach Renourishment

Written by the TreasureGuide exclusively for

Tons of Sand Dumped on the Beach by Mother Nature.

As usual, the front passed through a few days ago and now the wind has shifted and is coming from the southeast. And as is often the case, that means the sand is being washed up onto the beaches.

Two or three days ago I was showing you a three foot cut that ran over a mile. Now it is a six inch cut. Sand has piled up two feet and more along that same beach.

Before that sand was washed up onto the beach, it was out in front of the beach in very shallow water. I told you when the bar started to wash in and yesterday it pretty much filled the cuts.

The seas are very calm.

Another View of Tons of Sand.

Beach conditions on the Treasure Coast are now very poor, but the weather and water is wonderful. You couldn't ask for nicer water conditions. Too bad there is so much sand in the shallow water.

The seas will remain very calm until Monday or so.

I recently received some questions about bullets being retrieved from newly dredged sand. One such email concerned the Fort Myers region where a renourishment project has been going on.

As you probably know bullets and shell casings are common detector finds, especially on the Treasure Coast and many of the other beaches of Florida where military exercises were conducted.

I don't think many younger people realize how pervasive the military was in Florida during WWII. Some might know of the Seals Museum on Hutchinson Island and some of the WWII activities around there, but there was a lot of military activity all around Florida.

Since I received a question concerning the Fort Myers area, here is a nice web site that gives a lot of good history on a large military air field near there, Buckingham Field.

I think anyone interested in history will like this site. It presents a lot of photos and illustrations of the largely abandoned air field, both from the WWII era and much more recent, showing where buildings and structures were and where the remains are today. Take a look.

Anyhow, back to the question of where the bullets on our beaches come from. Even though WWII is one source, there are many other possible sources as well.

Of course musket balls etc. can be found that go back to the earliest explorers. In the 19th century bird plumes were highly sought after, and hunters came through and shot birds and other wildlife.

So there are really a lot of possible sources for the bullets that are found on the beaches. Too many to answer any general questions about where the bullets might have come from.

We also have our fair share of criminals in the state.

I once found a cylinder from some sort of six shooter in the surf. It was cut in half. I was told that where I found it is where the police used to dump illegal weapons after they were destroyed.

I've also found a good selection of brass knuckles and switch blade knives in the ocean, both of which I believe are illegal.

Here are some bullets and shell casings that have been found more recently while metal detecting Treasure Coast beaches.

Small Caliber Bullets.\

I believe these might have been used to shoot birds or other small game. I don't know.

It appears that they were shot into sand. Maybe recreational shooting.

Another Group of Found Bullets and Shell Casings.

Some of these appear to me to be military WWII. The big one I would think is maybe anti-aircraft. Maybe someone can tell me for sure.

The one in the upper right was found just the other day.

You might want to research some of the local military sites for possible metal detecting. Some are abandoned.

Did you know that many of the original buildings on the IRSC campus in Fort Pierce were military buildings?

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2/14/12 Report - Valentines Day - Some Common Gold Detector Finds

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Couple of Gold Religious Medallions Found With Metal Detector.

Well this is your last chance to detect for Valentine's Day.

Here are photos of some common types of finds.

Religious medallions are common finds. Often when a chain breaks, the medallion goes flying and gets buried in the sand a distance from the chain.

Chains will often remain partly sticking out of the sand, but can be difficult to detect without a medallion.

In the water, chains can be a little difficult to retrieve. They'll often slip off the front of your scoop. You don't want to dig through them either. That is why it can be good to stick your face in the water to see what you are trying to recover.

Chains will often get caught in sea grass.

Broken Ring.

You'll often find broken gold rings. Broken rings give a much quieter signal then intact rings. I suppose they break around where they have been soldered or resized.

IF you have a broken ring and a similar whole ring, use your detector and note the very significant difference in the signal.

One Common Type of Ring.

I've shown photos of some very common ring styles in the past. This is a common style.

Snake rings, lions heads, pearl rings, signet rings, nugget rings and Claddagh rings are some other very common styles that might be found.

I often mention the St. Lucie Metal Detecting Club. For information about the St. Lucie Metal Detecting Club or to contact the club use the following link to go to their site.

One Nice Treasure Coast Cut Yesterday.

This is how one beach looked yesterday.

The wind is now out of the South and the seas are relatively calm again. That means that cuts like the above will not be improving any. In fact, they'll deteriorate.

You can expect filling on the front beach.

With the lower seas, you'll be able to get out in the low tide zone to see if anything was stirred up lately.

The surf web sites are saying that the seas will be calm for the most of the week.

It is pleasant weather now.

I'll drop my beach conditions rating back to a one (poor) now. There still might be something left to be found though.

Some people have been checking out the newly dredged sand at the renourishment project beaches. I haven't heard of anything real good being found there yet.

Happy Valentine's Day,

Monday, February 13, 2012

2/13/12 - 50 Excellentes Gold Coin

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

50 Excellentes.

Now that is a coin that would look very nice in a sand scoop, and that is the way it should be displayed.

It is one of the more impressive coins from the Archer M. Huntington Collection that I've been talking about. It weighs almost five ounces and was minted in the 15th Century during the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Quite a presentation piece.

The photo comes from the Sotheby's catalog that can be found using the following link.

This photo shows some of the equipment for the renourishment project at the Fort Pierce inlet.

Fort Pierce Inlet Friday.

They intend to get the sand placed before the turtle nesting season. As a result the turtles will make their nests in the newly dumped snad which will be washed into the ocean before the eggs hatch. Great!

The renourishment project at the Sebastian Inlet is farther along at this point.

There are a few spots on the Treasure Coast that are still cut. The sand at the cut that I found this morning was very clean though.

Unfortunately, sometimes when the cobs are there you won't find much else. I have found a cob on a beach when I didn't get one other signal all day.

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

It was filling a little since yesterday. In the above photo you might be able to see a sand bar fuilding in front of the beach and a little dip forming. The sand bar seemed to be moving in towards the beach a little.

I'm sticking at my level 2 beach conditions rating for now. I'll prbably be downgrading before long.

The wind is east/northeast now. Seas will be decreasing today and leveling off at a low level Wednesday and for the rest of the week.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2/12/12 Report - Huge Sotheby's Spanish Coin Auction & A Little Beach Experiment

Written by the TreasureGuide of the exclusive use of

Only two more detecting days left before Valentines Day!

Photo Received by Email From Sotheby's.

The Archer M. Huntington Collection of 37,895 coins relating to the history of Spain will be sold as a single lot at auction by Sotheby's ending on 8 March 2012. You can pick up this nice collection if you have enough money. The collection is presently owned by the Hispanic Society of America (HSA) and is expected to bring in $25 to $35 million. There are some really exceptional and rare examples in this collection.

Here is a press release from Sotheby's describing the collection.

Some nice photos too.

And here is a link to an excellent 55 page overview of the collection, including more nice photos and some good history.

I mentioned a little experiment I tried the other day. I wanted to find out how the waves would move a coin from the base of a cut. I placed a penny at the base of a cut where some sand had just slid down and waited for some wave action to move the coin. The first few waves barely reached the coin and didn't move it at all. Then a wave crashed into the base of the cut and the penny quickly disappeared.

I didn't see how it moved. I don't know if it flipped, slid or what. But it appeared to move a good distance quickly.

A few more waves hit the same area in rapid succession and I couldn't find the coin until the waves paused for a minute or so. I then relocated the penny, about two yards away from the base of the cut down the slope and about three yards south of its original location.

That is pretty much what I expected.

You will generally find that coins move south on East Coast beaches. Often you'll find good accumulations of items in dips in the water just south of where most people collect on a beach.

I thought that maybe the coin originally moved farther away from the cut on the first wave and was then moved back up a short distance from subsequent waves, but I don't know that for sure.

My experiment seemed to illustrate to me one way that what I call "coin lines" are created.

When found the coin was still close to the top of the sand even though the sand was mushy. Of course I'm only talking about a few minutes here.

I have some ideas on how to improve the experiment and will look into this more before long.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

It is a little chilly this morning. Especially on the windy beach. It got down into the thirties along the Treasure Coast last night.

We have some good wind out of the North/Northwest this morning. And the seas are up pretty good - over six feet this morning. Overall that should help.

I'm rating beach conditions as a strong 2 now.

The seas will remain fairly steady throughout the day and then start to decrease tomorrow. It would probably be a good idea to hit the low tide zone on Tuesday or so. Tuesday and later in the week will have considerable smaller seas.

I hope to continue some of my experiments under current conditions if I get a chance.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2/11/12 Report - Dollar Coins Possible Boon to Detectorists & Some Fabulous Spanish Coins

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Photo Received In Email From Sotheby's.

I'll have more information on what is probably one of the most impressive collections of Spanish coins in the world along with more photos of some other really exceptional coins from that collection in my next post.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), replacing the dollar bill with a dollar coin would save the US government $5.5 billion over 30 years.

It would also boost the average value of coin finds made by detectorists. Before getting into some more detail about that, if you want to read more on the argument for using dollar coins, here is a link.

I was once told that the average coin find is around 7.5 cents. What I mean by that is if you take all of the clad coins that you find, add up the total face value and divide by the number of coins, you would come out close to around 7.5 cents. Therefore if you count the total number of coins you have found and multiply by 7.5 you should get something close to the face value of the coins you found.

Anyhow, I actually tested that by going back to some good old detailed metal detecting records from years ago. Covering several months, those records recorded 9978 found coins. 4301 pennies, 1092 nickels, 1925 dimes, and 1660 quarters and a few half-dollar and dollar coins. Therefore about 43% were pennies, 11% nickels, 29% dimes, and 17% quarters. Halves and dollar coins were not counted for this experiment since they were so few in comparison.

Most of the dollar coins were Susan Anthony coins. About a half roll of Susan Anthony dollar coins were found in the water one day. I never could figure out why there would be so many dollar coins so close together in the water.

Anyhow, calculating from the above data I learned that the coins that were found during that period of time averaged about 8.1 cents. Of course there are a number of things that can affect the proportion of different denominations that you find. Your detector and settings will affect the results some, as will the locations that you hunt. A park that has a parking fee of $1.25 might have more quarters,for example.

If dollar coins replaced dollar bills, I do imagine that the average face value of coins found by detectorists would go up. It probably wouldn't increase in exact proportion to the number of coins put in circulation though. People would tend to be more careful with dollar coins than pennies, and the size would make dollar coins easier to see when dropped.

Los Angeles County has some new beach rules and regulations. Among the new rules is no digging holes of 18 inches or more. It doesn't say anything about filling holes, just digging them. What will they try to govern next.

Here is the link to that story.

Treasure Coast Beach Conditioins and Forecast.

Here is a cut that I found on one Treasure Coast beach yesterday. Even though the seas hadn't been high the winds were from the north and northeast for a good while, thus the erosion.

Good Two Foot Plus Cut.

The sand in front of the cut was very mushy and there were very few targets of any kind here.

Today the seas will be running around three feet most of the day and winds from the west as the cool front comes through. Tomorrow, though, the seas will be up in the five foot and above range. What is particularly interesting to me about that is that the wind direction will shift and be coming nearly directly from the north for a while and the swells more from the north. That presents possibilities for erosion.

The higher seas are predicted to last only one day before decreasing again.

I'm sticking with my level 2 beach conditions rating even though I would say it is a minimal two.

I have a lot of other stuff to talk about, including more about the Spanish coin collection and a little experiment I conducted on the beach yesterday, but I'll have to get around to talking about that some other time.

Happy hunting,

Friday, February 10, 2012

2/10/12 Report - Favorite Finds & Dredging Projects

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Some Nice Finds by Steve S.

As you might know the Sebastian Inlet is being dredged. One person emailed me asking if there might be something in the dredged sand that is being dumped south of the inlet. That is a distinct possibility and worth checking out.

I do know that Spanish shipwreck coins have been found in dredged sand that was dumped on a beach in the past, but you can also expect a bunch of shredded aluminum cans and junk to be found in that dredged sand. Patience sometimes pays off though.

Here is a link to the story about the dredging.

If they haven't' already started, they will soon start to dump sand on the beach south of Fort Pierce inlet too. I know they were getting ready to do that. Most of the equipment was in place.

And of course they are talking about dredging the St. Lucie Inlet, which was pretty heavily sanded in.

Like I said, sometimes good stuff is found in dredged sand, but usually also a lot of junk.

The most recent blog poll has concluded and the results are in. There were over 100 readers who responded. That is about one out of four daily readers.

The results are interesting. There were more cobs found in January of 2012 than I expected. Eleven people, or about 10% of the respondents said that a shipwreck treasure coin or cob was their best find of the month. Like I said, that is more than I expected, but not way out of line with what I expected. I

The poll does not indicate the absolute number of cobs or treasure coins found, but I think it is a decent indicator. Most readers of this blog do like cobs or treasure coins. I know that from previous polls and emails that I received. There is a high probability that if a cob or treasure coin is found, it will be a favorite find. Of course, that is not always the case. Many other types of finds can be more valuable than treasure coins, however a lot of people especially like finding old things.

Considering the far less than optimal conditions on the Treasure Coast in January, the number of cobs found is fairly impressive. January has historically been one of the better months for finding cobs, and there were a few beaches that did open up this January for a while. All in all, not a bad number considering that this wasn't one of the better years.

Even though there were cobs and treasure coins found, three responses in the poll were chosen more often the the cob and treasure coin category. The largest number of respondents (32% of the respondents), said that their favorite find in January was a piece of jewelry. Jewelry finds are often more valuable than cobs or most anything else that is typically found on a beach or in the water even though it might not be old. With the high price of gold these days, jewelry items are even more valuable. I remember when the price of gold was less than three hundred dollars per ounce.

The category chosen second most frequently as the favorite find was US coins (29%). I suspect that most, or at least some of those were older coins - and possibly gold, but the poll did not provide that information. A lot of gold coins are found mounted in jewelry, so that causes overlapping categories.

For many beach and shallow water hunters, most gold coin finds are those mounted in jewelry. In fact, as you probably know, it is not uncommon to find silver reales mounted in ear rings and pendants. Occasionally escudos are found in jewelry too.

The third highest category chosen as a favorite find (12%) was "other." I don't know what that includes. Foreign coins is one good possibility. WWII artifacts is another. And it could include anything from a bowling ball to a surf board.

Then after the fourth highest category (treasure coins and cobs)was shipwreck artifacts (12%). I would expect a lot of spikes and sheeting and perhaps some pot shards to be in that category along with some miscellaneous things. Again, a favorite find doesn't have to be valuable.

Bottles and fossils were both chosen by some as a favorite find, but those categories combined only added up to about 6% of all respondents.

That's it for the most recent poll. I think I'll do a poll like this every month so I can keep track of monthly and seasonal trends in what people are finding. I think this type of poll provides some good information and will tell us more over the coming months. It will also help me to validate my beach conditions ratings.

This morning there was at least one beach with extensive over two-foot cuts. I'll give a Treasure Coast beach conditions rating of a minimal two.

According to the surf web sites, the seas will be decreasing until about noon Saturday and then increasing again, peaking up around six feet on Sunday.

You might want to check the low tide zone around noon Saturday before the seas increase again, and then after the peak, maybe Monday.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2/8/12 Report - The Revenge & Cleaning Silver Finds

Written by the Treasueguide for the exclusive use of

Treasure Coast Beach Being Reshaped This Morning.

This beach is very mushy and has a lot of new sand on it. This morning however there was this one spot where it was being cut a little.

That cut (shown in the photo) is one to two feet. Still, most of the beach was mushy.

Another beach that I looked at briefly this morning near high tide had no cuts at all.

Generally Treasure Coast beach conditions are poor.

Led by a couple of local divers, a navy research vessel went out to explore and map what is thought to be Oliver Hazard Perry's ship, Revenge.

If it is the Revenge, it is Navy property and will be protected.

Here is the link to that story.

As you probably know, silver found on a beach will often be tarnished. If the item has been in salt water and been in the water or on the beach for a long time, it will be heavily tarnished or corroded. You can often get an idea of where how long silver has been on a beach and where it spent most of its time from how corroded it is.

The subject of cleaning dug silver often comes up. There are a variety of methods for cleaning silver but the best one for a particular case will vary depending upon the type of object and how badly it is corroded.

For Spanish shipwreck cobs and or other shipwreck treasure coins, I highly reommend reading Bill's coin cleaning instructions that you will find listed in my treasure links list.

My suggestion is to always be very careful when cleaning silver. Start conservatively and carefully watch how the process is going.

Some items should not be cleaned at all. Some people like some items as they were found. And some items can be reduced in value by any type of cleaning.

Study your item and the various methods of cleaning, and be very careful when cleaning silver finds.

Here is a link to an site that tells about some of the methods of cleaning that you might choose to use on silver finds.

And here is another.

I would advise experimenting with any cleaning method before using it on a valuable or rare item.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

I already talked a bit about current conditions.

It looks like we'll be having seas of about four feet or so for a few days. That is better than nothing.

Early in the weekend the seas will be decreasing some, then Sunday and Monday increasing. It looks like Monday might be a good time to be out. If the predictions are correct and the wind is right, there could be some good opportunities early next week.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2/7/12 Report - Guinea Pigs, Broken Gold Chains, Old Maps and More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Broken Gold Chains.

As you would expect, it is not easy to detect small gold chains, especially broken chains. And many chains that are lost are broken.

In the photo above you can clearly see where the thicker chain is broken near the clasp.

The very thin chain to the right of that is also broken. That one was eye-balled.

You can also see a piece of a broken loop ear-ring to the right of that.

Rain can expose things like the small chains shown in this photo. Keep your eyes open after rainy or windy days.

It seems that along with silver and gold, Guinea Pigs were taken to Europe to become pets after Spain conquered Peru in 1532 . At least that is one thought arrived at by some archaeologist after a Guinea Pig skeleton was found without any evidence of butchery.

I would not be surprised if this furry little nibbler escaped and tunneled into a crook or cranny where he expired either from old age or or misadventure. After all, they are sometimes called "cavies."

I just thought it was interesting to learn that in fifteen-hundred and thirty-two conquistadors sailed with Guinea Pigs too. Nice mnemonic, and a convenient way to keep a supply of fresh protein Happy Meals for the long voyage back to the Old World.

According to the article referenced by the link immediately below, ...the third-ever guinea pig skeleton found in a European archaeological dig confirms that these little squeakers voyaged to the Old World very shortly after Spain conquered Peru in 1532.

I think they may be skating on thin mice (Not a typo for a change.)when it comes to the pet versus food conclusion.

Can you tell I wrote this section late at night?

Here is the link for more on the travels of the 16th Century Guinea Pigs.

And here is an article that suggests that Native Americans are really Native Siberians.

Here is a web site showing a lot of very early maps that you might be interested in.

Thanks to Skip H. for the submission.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast.

It is going to be rainy for a few days yet. The seas will vary but remain fairly low. Next week however, the surf web sites are predicting seas up to around five or six feet again. That can help if the winds are right. Until then I'm not expecting any significant change in conditions.

Here's hoping.

Monday, February 6, 2012

2/6/12 Report - Revolutionary War Naval Battle For Army Payroll Off Cape Canaveral & More

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

New Sand on Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

I was a bit surprised by how much new shelly sand was on this beach front. This beach had three-foot cuts a few days ago. Now, not only are the cuts gone but a lot of new (lighter color shell sand) is on the front of the beach.

You can see that the water came up over the front berm at high tide. I was also surprised by how high the water got at high tide. There might be a spot or two on the treasure coast where it actually did some good. I didn't see any good spots though - just mushy sand.

I'm going to downgrade my beach conditions rating back to a 1 (poor).

The last naval battle of the Revolutionary War, which occurred on March 10, 1783 off of Brevard County, will be celebrated this year on March 4th at 10AM at Cape Canaveral. The Sons of the American Revolution will be a part of the celebration.

Two American ships and three British warships were involved in that battle, including the American frigate, the Alliance that was escorting the French built ship, the Duc de Lauzun, which was transporting $75,000.00 in Spanish silver dollars from Havana Cuba to a reserve in Philadelphia to be used for the continental army payroll. The American ships were intercepted and challenged by three British' ships led by the HMS Sybil.

Here is a link to an article giving more details.

Well that was a good day for the patriots, unlike the Super Bowl.

I've mentioned the Sons of the American Revolution before. It is a great organization for history buffs.

You can become a member of the SAR if you can trace your ancestry to someone who fought in the American Revolution. Meetings and events are open to non-members.

Here is a nice site showing very detailed wind and wave projections.

Thanks to Robert K. for sending me this link.

If you look down the left side of the blog page that you first see when you come to this blog, you'll see a number of things to the left of the posts. Right now, first is the poll, then the followers list, and then the treasure links list, and then under that the tide and surf projections. I just added the above wind and waves link to section on tide and surf projections so you can quickly find it.

I know there are a lot of people who have never looked down through that material. If that is you, you might want to look at some of those things, especially the treasure link list.

I'm expecting two to three foot seas for the next few days and poor conditions.

It was rainy on the beach this morning - even some lightening. More rain expected throughout the day.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2/4/12 Report - Slight Improvement in Treasure Coast Conditions & Miscellaneous Beach News

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Treasure Beach This Morning.

These were three-foot cuts here. I'm increasing my beach conditions rating to a two again.

There was a lot of ankle-deep mushy sand in front of the cut, so conditions here were not as good as it looks from the photo alone. Look for a few scattered spots around where conditions might be a bit better despite the easterly direction of the wind.

Here is a link to a finance article on a couple wrecks and treasure hunting.

Odyssey Marine stock fell back some yesterday as I expected.

James F. reports that the City of Cocoa Beach is now in the process of installing parking meters on what was, for the last 50 years or so, free public access to the beach, north of the Cocoa pier. He also saw where it was reported that Cocoa beach is "gearing up" for spring break with double or triple police patrols and new paint on the pier ...

They are also getting ready to renourish the beach south of the Fort Pierce inlet again. Seems like they just did that.

I heard that the sand is to come from about five miles south of the inlet and well off shore.

Some of the heavy equipment is already arriving.

The blog poll is well underway. If you can send photos of the finds being reported, I would be glad to see them and possibly post them. As always I will credit you however you want. You can remain anonymous or tell me how you want to be credited.

I think I'll run this type of poll every month. That will give me a way to track what is being found over the year.

I'd expect the winter months to be the most productive unless we have a hurricane or good sustained northeaster.

A few more cobs have already been reported in the blog poll than I expected. As expected though, more jewelry and US coins are being reported.

Treasure Coast Beach Conditions Forecast

The seas will remain around the four to six foot level today and then start decreasing tomorrow, going back to around two feet next week.

The wind direction does not look favorable for continued improvement in beach conditions.

It looks like we might be back to level one conditions next week.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2/3/12 Report - Odyssey Marine, A Lake Wreck and Current Conditions

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Divers Inside the Costa Concordia.

That is an amazing photo. I found it on an AP article listed as anonymous. On another web site I found a similar, or maybe the same photo, crediting the Italian Navy, which I think is probably right.

Shares of Odyssey Marine stock were over $3.90 per share for a while yesterday. The price increases seemed to be based largely upon the contract for salvaging the HMS Victory.

It sounds like investors have not heard or have already have taken into account Tuesday's ruling ordering Odyssey to hand over to Spain the 500 million dollars worth of coins they found in 2007 on what is thought to be the wreck of the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes.

They can still appeal to the Supreme Court.

Here is the link to that story.

A large piece of a 140 year old wreck, possibly the schooner Jennie and Annie, recently washed up on the beach of Lake Michigan.

Here is the link.

Nice photos.

Wait until you read the paragraph about why it should be left alone. The convoluted logic is simply amazing!

I wonder if it really washed up or was just uncovered. When things suddenly appear on a beach people often assume that they washed up when that is not always the case.

Beaches always change. A beach can change day to day or hour by hour. Cuts can occur and disappear in less than an hour.

One moment a beach can have all kinds of targets and a few minutes later nothing. That works the other way too.

Treasure Coast beaches have been producing treasure for decades - actually centuries if you go back to the early salvage efforts. But just think, some of those beaches are detected every day by multiple detectorists. And they still produce treasure when conditions are right. That is pretty amazing.

I've heard people talk about the treasure beaches being worked out. And I'll admit that there are times when it seems that way. But then the conditions will change and treasure starts showing up again.

Conditions have been relativey poor on the Treasure Coast beaches a lot lately. Between nature and all of the beach renourishment projects, it has been slow. Yet things are still found occasionally. I have no doubt that things will improve dramatically again. I don't know when, or for how long, but things will get churned up and the treasure will appear again.

For beach and shallow water hunters, the biggest obstacle is the sand. The salvage boats have blowers to move the sand, but on the beaches we have to wait for Mother Nature to do the job.

Anyhow, you have to watch for the opportunties when they do arise. There are times when even the most "cleaned out" sites are refreshed.

It is a little windy today. Unfortunately the wind seems to be coming directly from the east.

Tomorrow we're expecting higher seas - something in the range of five feet or higher. IF we get some better angles that could be good.

I don't have much time today, so that's it for now.

Happy hunting,

2/2/12 Report - Beach Conditions Back to 1 Temporarily

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1879 Penny Found in County Park That Was Dedicated in 1970.

Find and photo submitted by James F.

Just because a site doesn't appear to be old doesn't mean it isn't.

A few days ago I mentioned how sites often have older layers under them. The same things that make them attractive now were also found attractive by people in times past.

The 1879 penny was found in a trench being dug for a drainage pipe. I'll elaborate on that some time.

James wasn't expecting much from this park except maybe some newer items, but he was told by a guy he met in the park that the area was used as a park way back to near the Civil War period.

You can sometimes get some good tips from people you just happen to meet.

The wreck of a British merchant ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Cape Cod during World War II has been found. It is thought to have hold a cargo of platinum bars worth more than $3 billion and other precious items.

Here is the link to that story.

Of course various parties are lining up to claim the

Thanks to Don B. for the link.

Artifacts dealer Christopher Kortlander is trying to regain possession of war bonnets, medicine bags and other items confiscated during government raids on his privately-operated Custer museum. Although the government has failed to prove its case against Kortlander, it has not returned all of the confiscated items and has not made restitution for damages and abuse.

Here is the link to that story.

By the way, the year the penny was minted (1879), is only three years after the battle of Little Big Horn.

I added a new poll to the blog. Take a look. It will give us a good idea about what people have been finding.

Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Conditions and Forecast

Well the front passed through and we're back to southeast winds again.

I'm giving a beach conditions rating of 1 (poor).

That rating could change soon though. Although seas are now down around two feet, it will start building Friday, and, according to current predictions, will get up to around six feet on Saturday. That could result in further erosion to those spots that were eroded a few days ago.

Time will tell.

Happy hunting,