Thursday, March 29, 2012

3/29/12 Report - Gold Chain Bringing Big Bids & Seal Identified

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Olive Blossom Chain from 1715 Fleet.

One item up for sale in the current Sedwick Coins auction already has a bid well over the auction estimate. I can see why. It is one of my favorites of the auction.

The item I am talking about is the long length of the gold "olive blossom" or "dragon whistle" chain from the 1715 Fleet.

The intricate links are obviously handmade because they are all slightly different. The 2-sided links each show 6-petal flowers, and are made of a high-grade gold.

If you've read much about the 1715 Fleet you probably know about the find of the "dragon-whistle" and 11' chain made by Kip Wagner and Rex Stocker in 1962.

Back a few months ago I reported on the September 10, 2011, find of a bronze seal by the the crew of the Magruder on the debris trail of the Atocha. It has been determined that the seal belonged to the most senior military official in the entire fleet, Don Pedro Pasquier y de Esparza.

Seal of Don Pedro Pasquier y de Esparza Found on Trail of Atocha.

Information and photo of the seal was received via email from the Mel Fisher organization.

Here is the story of Black Jack - the pirate, not the card game.

I just received an email concerning the possible use of a photo posted in this blog from a curriculum developer working with FPAN (Florida Public Archaeology Network). You might find the author's work of interest.

Here is the link.

My most recent poll has concluded and the results are in.

Fewer people responded to this poll than the others. The reason is obvious. I didn't have a choice for those who have not found or have not bought or sold treasure coins or artifacts. And that is a very significant number of this blog's readers.

Coins and artifacts are not easy to find, many people have not found their first yet and some never will before giving up. And despite popular characterizations, many that find such items do not buy or sell them. On top of that, beach conditions have more often than not been poor for the last year or two. All of that combined, decreases the number of people that qualify to respond to this poll.

Of the small number that have bought such items, the largest number made their purchase through eBay. Sedwick was close behind, and there were a few purchases from other auction sites.

One thing that should be made clear, that of the purchases reported in the poll, I sincerely doubt that many were rare historically significant high-priced items. It makes much more sense to buy an item like a shipwreck spike from eBay than it does to buy a gold coin from an unknown buyer in China.

I suspect the more valuable items were purchased through Sedwick rather than eBay, since you know Sedwick and their reputation. The poll didn't determine that though.

More people bought items at online auctions than sold these types of items online or offline combined. It is not common for detectorists to hunt these types of items for profit. It is much too difficult, and despite the mischaracterizations you might read, detectorists are not detecting for the profit of it. If it were, most would be found deep in debt and sadly disappointed.

Beach detecting conditions remain poor. The good news is that the seas are low and by Sunday will be nearly flat. That means easy water detecting, even if it isn't real productive.

As I've pointed out, there is a lot of sand on the beach fronts and in the shallow water. You can almost always find a bit of a dip some where though, and there are the modern drops.

Happy hunting,