Monday, April 30, 2012

4/30/12 Report - Some Erosion on the Treasure Coast Last Night

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

This morning I found a few hundred yards of one to two foot cuts.  I was surprised.  I saw more erosion than I expected.  I think it occurred last night.

I somehow lost the photo that I took.  I think my camera battery ran down.

It was almost enough erosion to upgrade my beach detecting conditions rating.

There was too much sand on the front beaches to make them productive though.

You might want to check around for other spots.  As you know, different beaches react differently.  While one beach erodes another may build.  In fact I saw that this morning.  I did visit a second beach and it was covered with sea weed and had accumulated new sand.

The seas will peak tonight.  I think we won't get much more than 5 or 6 foot seas.  And the wind is almost directly from the east.  That isn't good. 

I won't upgrade my beach conditions yet, and don't expect to this week.  Maybe there will be a surprise though.

More than coins can be found with a metal detector.  A lot more.  

A camera memory card was found by one detectorist.  Not just any memory card, but one containing cherished memories that were lost by a family.  And then returned by the detectorist.

Here is the link.

Don't focus your detecting too narrowly.  Appreciate all of the different kinds of finds that can be made.  And their value - not only monetary but sentimental value as well.

As digital media become increasingly prominent, don't overlook finds like this.

If detecting is banned, a lot of cherished items and memories like these will be lost for good.

After a metal detector survey at the supposed site of Fort Ann's Battle, instead of reevaluating in light of the new evidence, archaeologists concluded that the failure to find any signs of the battle was simply because looters had removed all artifacts.  Others say that the battle took place elsewhere.

Here is the link to that article.

Interesting article.

Take an archaeologist detecting for a day.   They could learn something about who detectorists actually are, what they actually do, and how hard it can be to find artifacts.

Above I was talking about different kinds of finds.  Did you ever think that some of the wood that you find on the beach could be valuable?   Wood can be repurposed and reused.  And driftwood can be used for all kinds of crafts and things.

Here is a good article about how quality wood can be salvaged.

I always like to find some nice logs or beams.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, April 29, 2012

4/29/12 Report - Historical Resource, Disappearing Signals & Increasing Seas

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Three Ounces of Panned Alaska Gold.
First, the big news.  Sunday the seas on the Treasure Coast will be increasing from about three to five feet, reaching a peak of around six feet later Monday.  That isn't quite as much as initially predicted.  The wind will be mostly from the east.  I therefore suspect very little in the way of erosion or improvement in beach conditions.  Certainly not enough to result in an upgrade on my beach conditions rating scale.  It will, however, probably result in enough churning on the front beach to freshen up a few beaches and produce some additional finds, but don't expect old shipwreck cobs.  It just isn't going to do enough for that - just some additional modern era stuff or a few iron or other items.

Seas will remain a little rougher than has been the case for the past few days for about a week.

This is way off of the Treasure Coast, but as I often say, it is good to try different types of hunting because it seems you always learn something that you can use. 

Bob K. sent in the above photo of gold he found in Alaska.  There are places you can go around the country to pan for gold or nugget shoot with your detector.

Bob worked at Chicken Gold Camp in Alaska.

Here is a link that will give you information about Chicken Gold Camp.

Of course there are other similar places.  You might be surprised to learn that you can pan gold in places as close as Alabama or Georgia.   Look into it if you want to try something a bit different this summer.

Clipped Illustration From 1896 Book Showing Scene From a Seminole War Battle.   (See link below.)

The book is now out of copyright.

A couple of days ago I talked a bit about Micanopy and the history of that area.  James F. sent me a link to a google ebook that was written in 1896 that tells a lot of that history.   I think you'll enjoy reading it.   There is a lot of fascinating Florida history to be found in this book.
Here is that link.,+A+Tale+of+the+Seminole+War&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tCqYT8yDBYm00AGt3MCMBw&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Through%20Swamp%20and%20Glade%2C%20A%20Tale%20of%20the%20Seminole%20War&f=false

The Maryland Historical Trust and the Navy plan to excavate what they believe to be the wreck of the U.S.S. Scorpion, which was scuttled during the War of 1812.  They plan to use a coffer dam rather than a more traditional approach to create a tourist destination of the wreck.

Here is the link.

I was reading where one detectorist was telling about digging deep coins.  He mentioned that sometimes silver coins would seem to disappear after he dug the hole.  He speculated about the cause of that.  I think he was wrong.

Two of the most likely causes of disappearing signals when digging a deep coin are the following. 

One is that the coin that was originally laying flat and presenting a relatively large surface area to the detector coil, was moved so that it is then standing on edge.   A coin standing on edge will give a much less pronounced signal than a coin laying flat.  Sometimes you will find a coin like that sticking against the side of the hole.

Try this for yourself.  Take a regular coin and lay it flat on the ground and pass your coil over it, and observe the signal.   Then stand the coil on edge and pass your coil over it again.  The standing coin will produce a much reduced signal.  Experiment with that a few times until you become familiar with the signal in each case.

A signal will also disappear sometimes when you don't get the coin in your scoop, and it falls deeper into the hole, sometimes then being deeper than you can detect.  That can be avoided a lot of the time if you pin-point the coin or other object accurately to begin with.

That's all for today.

Happy hunting,

Friday, April 27, 2012

4/27/12 Report - Iron, Copper, Fossils and Ghost Ships(?)

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

 One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

This beach had a fairly steep slope and was mushy.  I saw another beach that had a low flat front beach. 

I wouldn't expect to find cobs on either beach, or anywhere on the Treasure Coast right now for that matter, however there are occasional surprises.

Despite the lack of good shipwreck cobs or coins there were a lot of targets to dig on some of the beaches of the Treasure Coast.

I found a lot of old iron and copper targets on one beach, while another beach offered a lot of aluminum.  

I'm often surprised by how much is left out there, even when conditions are poor.  I would think that a lot of that stuff would be picked up.

Large Iron Target Dug at One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.
This rod was over two feet long.  Just one example.  Like I mentioned, there was also a lot of copper.

Although you might not be interested in an iron rod, I wouldn't pass up all large iron targets.  You never know what kind of artifact might emerge.

I could tell this was a rod from the signal.  I've talked before about how you can often identify the size, approximate shape and depth of targets using pin-point mode.

And there were a good many shells this morning on some of the beaches.  Also some sea glass and some fossils.

Below is a 3 inch length of fossilized bone that was laying on the surface.  There were quite a few larger sized fossil pieces visible in the low tide zone.  This is just one example

There are a lot of ghost hunting and TV shows about the paranormal these days.  It seems to be a very hot topic.  While I won't say that I saw a ghost, I did observe a variety of very strange occurrences at the Stanley Hotel.
The Ghost Hunter TV show did a program at that hotel, and it is supposed to be one of the most haunted hotels in the country.  My personal experiences were enough to cause a person to wonder.

Anyhow, someone once asked me if I ever observed any paranormal activity on a shipwreck beach.  They thought that those shipwreck sites might be a place where there would be paranormal activity because of all of the history of the wrecks etc.   My answer was no, I had never seen any paranormal activity on those beaches.

More recently I was watching one of those TV shows where a ball of light seemed to float over a field on an old plantation in the West Indies, and it reminded me of something I did observe one night on a Treasure Coast shipwreck beach.

It was very dark.  I couldn't see my hand in front of my face.  The wind was blowing and there were ten foot seas. 

I looked out, and not far from shore there was one bright light.  My first thought was that there was a boat out there.  I wondered if there was a drug drop or something going on.  Who else would have been out there that close to shore in pitch dark in stormy 10 foot seas?

I just kept watching for something to happen even though no on could have seen much of anything without night vision equipment.  I as antsy about being there under those conditions, and now realize that I really shouldn't have been.

Slowly the light got smaller and finally disappeared.  I thought the boat had gone.  But thinking back, I didn't hear any motor.  Maybe I didn't hear it because I had ear phones on and the wind was blowing like crazy.  But thinking back, I also realized that the light didn't bob up and down at all.   And I don't think it could have been a large boat.  

So there it is.  I can't explain it.  It doesn't seem to make any sense to me, but it did seem to match the appearance of the floating light that I saw on that TV program. 

I don't know. 

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions Report.

I've described current conditions above.

Tomorrow, seas will increase a little, and then increasing throughout Sunday, and reaching seven feet or more by Monday.

That could definitely be enough to improved detecting conditions,  but it will depend upon other factors such as wind direction and timing.

I'll wait a little longer to make a more detailed forecast.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4/26/12 Report - Banning Metal Detectors on Fort Lauderdale Beach & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Onyx Man's Ring Metal Detector Find.

People don't realize how many rings and items are returned by detectorists.  In one post not too long ago I mentioned how many class rings were returned by one detectorist down in Fort Lauderdale.  A lot of people got their lost class rings back because of this one detectorist.   Of course I don't have any way of knowing how many get returned every year, but I personally know of a lot of rings that have been returned to their happy owners.

Fort Lauderdale is now in the news and the metal detecting communtiy needs to act before it is too late.  Not only could detectorists lose their hobby, but people would have to give up on any chance of their valuables ever being found and returned.

Here we go again.  Every time they make a discovery, they want to ban metal detectors (except the ones they are using, I would guess).   But this time, not only are they talking about banning metal detectors, but they are talking about putting up video surveillance cameras where people for decades have gone to sun-bathe and spend a nice quiet day with the family.  There is so much paranoia and so many control freaks that soon you won't be able to go sun bathing without being on camera. 

Every square inch of that beach around old Fort Lauderdale has been gone over by a detector thousands of times over, but guess what, all of those detectorists did not remove any of the artifacts that were recently discovered when the area was recently excavated.   So what is the reason for all of the sudden hysteria about someone rumored to have picked up some out-of-context musket ball that somehow recently happened to find it's way to the top few inches of sand?

Did you notice that in the photo, the archaeologist using a detector was down a few feet in an excavation?   Why do they think that after all of the years that those artifacts remained safely buried in the ground despite the fact that the area is one of  the most heavily detected areas on the face of the earth, that all of those artifacts are suddenly going to disappear?  The detectorists that detect that area are not digging six foot trenches and  that is one reason those artifacts have remained safely buried even though detectorists have been covering that same sand for decades.
When there is a construction project that disturbs the sand, or a big storm that moves a lot of sand, items will be unearthed and some will be found within a few inches of the surface or actually on the surface in plain sight.   Not all artifacts are found by detectorists.  Some are found in plain sight.  So shall we make everybody walk around blind folded?

And not all old items found in the area will be associated with the fort or even the same time period.   Every beach was visited by variety of people throughout history.   Does that mean that every beach  should be designated as an archaeological site?   I'm sure there are some extremists that would go for that.

Detectorists only dig a few inches.   They carry those little sifters or sieves.  They don't ride back-hoes.  When artifacts that are centuries old appear within the top few inches of sand, which is where detectorists detect, those items have already been disturbed and are no longer in context, and according to what I've read from archaeologists,  those out-of-context items no longer have any archaeological value because they are no longer in context.  Those items were removed from their context by the digging that took place or possibly an unusually strong storm.   As such, they are no longer in context and have no archaeological value.  I've previously referred to articles in this blog that were written by archaeologists that state just that.
This hysteria needs to stop.   Detectorists are not digging big holes and detecting the deep old layers where archaeological sites remain in context.  The fact that this site was so recently discovered even though it is on one of the most heavily detected beaches on the face of the earth proves that is true.

Here is the link to one story on this.

And here is the Sun-Sentinel article with comments plus the names of those who you might want to contact.

Metal detecting community, make your voices heard before it is too late.

Gold and metals mining from the ocean floor to outer space.  Interesting!

It is always good to keep your mind active.  You never know when something might give you a good new idea.
Here is a heavy article on obtaining gold from the sea.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions and Forecast

It is not that often that you get good smooth seas on the Treasure Coast.  Today the wind is from the west and the swells are only around 1 foot.  That is about as small as it gets.

Tomorrow the swells will increase to about two feet, and then by Tuesday we're still seeing predictions of six foot or so.   That means this is a good time to do some water hunting and the low tide zone,   If the predictions are correct, you'll lose some accessible area next week.  Of course that could also mean a little stirring on the beach front.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4/25/12 Report - Micanopy & Seminole Wars and Gold Nugget Jewelry

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Colorado.

If you are thinking of taking a break from the beach for the summer, there are a lot of interesting historic places to go like this.  Up in the hills behind the hotel old glass shards littered the ground.  You'll find the same thing on the grounds of many old hotels.

But you don't have to  leave Florida to find old historic places to visit.

I'm going off-beach today for just a little while.  There are a lot of interesting inland sites in Florida that receive little attention. 

One inland Florida area with a very long and interesting history is Micanopy, which was visited by some of the earliest Spanish explorers, was the site of an Indian village, and later, was central to a lot of Seminole War battlefields.

It seems the site of Fort Micanopy has been identified.

Alachua County is said to have been one of  the bloodiest places in Florida during the Seminole Wars.  Many battles were fought in that area.

Here is a good web site that gives a lot of informtion about that.

I first visited Alachua back in the early eighties when IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) was having a large mainframe computer put into a converted sausage plant that was to become a science and technology center.

Anyhow, it is a nice old area with a lot of history.

And here is more information on the history of the area.

There are plenty of places to detect in Florida besides the beaches.

Aquanaut John says there will be a test of dowsing at the upcoming Annual Treasure Hunter's Cookout this weekend.  They have a real project planned. Sounds really interesting.

Gold Nugget Pendant Florida Beach Metal Detector Find.

Nugget jewelry was popular back in the seventies or eighties but is still being found today.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

It looks like the wind and swells are from the north today while the seas are calm. 

The seas will remain at about one or two feet until this weekend when they will start to increase, reaching up around six feet by next week, if the predictions are correct.   That might stir things up.  But too often the predictions of increasing seas end up being much more moderate than predicted.

We'll have to wait and see.  But if you want to do the low tide zone or water, best get it done in the next couple of days.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

4/24/12 Report - Moles Digging History & Cleopatra in Gold

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Large 14K Medallion.

OK!  I finally remembered to include the coin for comparison.  Actually, my first picture didn't include the coin, so i went back and took another photo.

So it's not a nice shiny coin, but it is the cleanest one I could find.

Anyhow, this is a good size for a medallion.  And kinda nice.

It was a beach metal detector find.

I wonder how many target ID detectors would get it right?

Speaking of target ID, I posted a new poll.  I think the most recently concluded poll provided some very good information.

I ran across this great article telling about how people are standing around watching for artifacts that moles (those little burrowing animals) are digging up.   Its a little ironic.

You probably recall some of those articles by archaeologists stating that artifacts have "NO" value when removed from context.   That doesn't seem consistent with this mole hill watching behavior.   The moles moved the artifacts.  Good thing they aren't human, or they would likely have their cars confiscated.

The article says that the moles don't understand the laws.   It fails to mention that many laws relating to artifacts aren't understood by anyone.   If you've been reading the articles referenced in this blog in the recent past, you've read about that too.

Anyhow, I found this article both funny and thought provoking.
Here is the link.

A little off topic, but I received an email about a virus that is circulating.  It seems that some emails are being hacked, or at least used to carry programs that generate spam email.   I just thought I'd warn you about opening emails from people you don't know. 

Not all the emails you receive are from the person or place suggested by the email header.  They can now send email that looks like it came from anyone.   Just because the header says an email is from, that doesn't mean that it really is.   Spammers are counterfeiting (if that is the right word, and it probably isn't) email addresses now.

One trick I've seen recently is email that looks like it is from Joe Smoe being sent to Joe Smoe.  When Joe sees it, he thinks he must have sent himself something, maybe a reminder, and opens it only to find out that is is something he never wrote.  So again,  be careful.

I almost never write to individuals except in response to emails that I received, so if you get an email from me and haven't written to me, I probably didn't send it.  Not that I've heard of that happening, but from what I've seen, it could.

Without promoting this blog, it is absolutely remarkable that the blog has such a large and loyal reader base.
Thanks to you all.

Sorry to be off topic, but with some of the viruses and spam going around, I thought you should be warned.

If anyone wants to submit a review on their detector, maybe experiences with a new detector or new tricks or experiences, email me.

Don't forget the Annual Treasure Hunters Cookout coming up this weekend.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions and Forecast.

Conditions remain poor for finding cobs.  

The wind and swells are now from the north.   Seas are around two feet today, not much more.

In the middle of the week, we'll have real calm seas and very good conditions for hunting the low tide zone and in the water.

Happy hunting,

14K Gold Medallion.

Monday, April 23, 2012

4/23/12 Report - Pile of Coins & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Coins At Ferry Boat Pilings.

There must be a hundred pounds of all kinds of coins around these pilings.   I saw them a couple of days ago.   If you could get access to dive here, imagine all of the coins on the bottom.  You wouldn't have to use a metal detector,  Just scoop them up.

And you know that if people were throwing coins like that, a ring or bracelet would occasionally slip off too.  Keep your eyes open for new fresh bonanza spots.

Keep your eyes open and look for creative bonanzas.   Most people hunt the same old places over and over again and miss out on lot of good spots.

This morning I just did a little hunting close to home in a woods.  That little magnet on a pole that I showed in a YouTube video in a post a few days ago really works well.

You can stick your coil back under bushes or briers and then if you get a signal stick the magnet back there and pull out any iron trash such as nails or rusty fence wire with no trouble.  It is really a time saver.  It saves a lot of time picking rusty items out of dry leaves too.  I think you'll find you won't even have to dig some large percentage of the time if you are working a junky area like that.  Just scoot the surface material aside with one sweep of your foot, and if it moved stick the magnet in, and click, there it is.

You'll be surprised how much is missed by detectorists who don't bother to look under bushes and briers, even in big city parks.

A small pole with a small trowel attached to one side and the magnet on the other worked well.

Ear Ring Beach Metal Detector Find.
This nice 18k ear ring has various colors of gold for the cross bars.  The different colors didn't show up in the photo very well though.

Did you know that different purities and colors of gold have a different specific gravity?   They do because of the alloys used. 

Still the different purities and types of gold are closer to each other in specific gravity than to other metals.

Wayne sent in this link to a web site giving the specific gravity of a variety of metals, including different karat values of gold.   Pure gold is the most dense, with the various other karat values being less dense, such as 18, 14, and 10k.   A lot of other metals and much more detail is included in this chart.

Thanks Wayne.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

Another front passed through.  The air was a little cool this morning.  

The West wind we had with that front has now switched around and is coming from the north, as are the swells.  However, seas are only running about three feet.  That means no real change in conditions.

During the middle of the week, the seas are predicted to be very calm.  Another good time for low tide or water hunting.

Keep your eyes open for fresh new opportunities.  Try something different once in a while. 

Happy hunting,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

4/21/12 Report - Small Gold & Spain Still Trying to Get More From Odyssey

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Small Piece of Gold Found on Florida Beach With Metal Detector.

I know.  I should have included an object for comparison.

This piece only weighs .015 oz. or .3 dwt. and is about 1/8 inch across and pretty much flat.

Talking about small pieces of gold, here is an article on the first piece of gold discovered at Sutter's Mill, including a photo of the piece.

Neat story and very historic piece of gold.

Did you ever read the story of E. Gold Buffum, who was one of the early prospectors to join the California gold rush?  One of the newpapers back East published his story in four installments. 

Now Spain wants Odyssey Marine to pay them $4 million for legal fees and costs for the Back Swan case.  Can you believe it?

And from the GLOBE NEWSWIRE, April 12, 2012.

Odyssey Marine Explorations will hold a conference call with management at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT) on May 4, 2012, to discuss operations progress, 2012 recovery operations plans and other corporate developments.

Dial-in (U.S.): 1-480-629-9692 or 1-800-762-8779

Dial-in (International): +1-480-629-9692

Those interested in listening to the conference call live via the Internet may do so by visiting Odyssey's website at To listen to the live call, please go to the website 15 minutes prior to its start to register, download and install the necessary audio software. The conference call will also be archived on Odyssey's website.

Here is some news from Daniel Frank Sedwick.

Additional details can be found by going to

And from the Mel Fisher organization, the salvage vessel Dare has been significantly upgraded and is back in the hunt.

We've had a couple days of thunder storms.  The rain was needed.  I like the rain and wind but can really do without the lightening.   You can often hear the static from it in your ear phones while it is still far away.

Don't take any chances.  Its not worth it.

Thunder storms can create some good local waves, but another good thing about a hard rain is that it will cause some erosion on the back dunes when the conditions are right.  Inland too.  Check out any gulleys for exposed items.

Happy hunting,

Friday, April 20, 2012

4/20/12 Report - Specific Gravity, Magnets & Tigers Eye

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach Metal Detector Find.

Nice heavy 18k gold with Tiger's Eye gem.
I think it is Tiger's Eye anyhow, but am not sure.

Here is a web site that gives the "meaning' of various gem stones if you are interested.

There are times when a detecting site has a lot of iron junk.  I once did a post showing an inexpensive magnet on a handle that you can get to help pick up iron objects.  It can really cut down the time you spend searching for those small screws, nails and small pieces of wire and other things that can be a real pain.
And as I've explained in the past, it is often a good idea to remove trash like that because the junk can mask some very good targets.

Anyhow I made a little video to show how that works.   The magnet on a rod was purchased very inexpensively at a farm supply store.

Here is the video.

If you turn up your sound and listen carefully, you can actually hear when the magnet picks up those screws.  I clearly heard the click on both objects shown in the video.  That is handy.

When targets are very near the surface it is very easy to pick up objects like screws and nails without any digging at all.   The first target shown in the photo was very near the surface, and the second was slightly deeper in the sand.  When I don't get the object after rubbing the magnet over the surface, I work the magnet down into the sand a little, like I did in the video with the second target.

Of course when the target is deeper you'll have to dig a little and then work the magnet through the dug material or down into the hole.

The magnet can be very helpful in recovering small pieces of rusty wire that can be very hard to see, especially when in dry leaves or something like that.

The same technique works just as well on or off the beach.

A couple days ago I did a post about effect of a target's density and shape of an object in determining where it will be found on a beach.  Following up on that, Robert K. sent in links to a couple of web sites that you might want to see.  The first explains density and specific gravity.

Here it is.

And the second gives the specific gravity of a lot of metals. In short, specific gravity is the density of an object in relation to the specific gravity of another object, most usually water.

For example, the specific gravity of gold is 19.3, which means it is 19.3 times more dense than water.

Here is a web site that gives the specific gravity of a variety of metals.

You might want to look through the list and become familiar with the order of common metals.

Treasure Beaches Detecting Conditions and Forecast.

The seas are still calm.  About three foot swells.  The wind is from the south, so you won't see any real changes and certainly no real improvement in conditions.

Tomorrow the seas will be down to about one foot.  That is good for low tide and water hunting.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

4/19/12 Report - Gold Family Crest & Antique Diamond Ring

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Shield Metal Detector Find

This pin was found with a bunch of coins from the early 1900s and late 1800s.  

It is gold and was enameled.  You can see some remaining white enamel around the lower part of the griffin. 

It is about an inch high.

It appears that a pin was once attached to the back of the shield but is not longer there.

A quick look at the crests for the Gentrys name seems to show a different crest than the one on this pin.  The one commonality is the helmet at top center.  The online crests that I've found do not show a griffin.

From Wikipedia:  The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Greek: γρύφων, grýphōn, or γρύπων, grýpōn, early form γρύψ, grýps; Latin: gryphus) is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of the creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions.[1] Adrienne Mayor, a classical folklorist, proposes that the griffin was an ancient misconception derived from the fossilized remains of the Protoceratops found in gold mines in the Altai mountains of Scythia, in present day southeastern Kazakhstan.[2] In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.[3] Some have suggested that the word griffin is cognate with Cherub.[4]


Yesterday I was talking about weight, density and the shape of various objects.   Those are some of the factors that will determine how an object will move on a beach or in the shallow water.   Knowing how objects move will help you know where to look to find those objects.  The beach is simply too large to cover it all with a metal detector, therefore knowing where to spend your time is one of the biggest factors that will determine your success rate.

Different locations are different.  It helps to know the beach you are hunting.  The South Florida beaches are a lot different than the Treasure Coast beaches, for example.  You might not realize how different they are but if you spend a lot of time on each, you'll learn how different they are.  I think the biggest difference is due to the greater wave energy along the Treasure Coast.  That affects the beaches and how they work, as well as the shallow water areas.

My main point today, though, is that you can improve your success rate by analyzing your finds, not only figuring out how they ended up where they are, but also how long they have been there, and how long it took them to get there.   All of the forces of nature that move objects, work over time, and the longer those objects have been on the beach, the more they will have been exposed to the forces that can separate and move them.  

The above crest looks like it was lost for a while.  It shows a good bit of wear.  It probably took a while for the enamel to come off.  And, it was found close to a number of coins that probably were lost nearly a hundred years ago.  It was not found, however, on a highly dynamic part of the beach, and probably hadn't moved too far from where it was originally lost.  When you find an object, those are some things to consider.

Small Rose Gold Antique Diamond Ring Metal Detector Find.

Here is an antique unmarked gold and diamond ring (tested) that was found in the same general area as the crest above.   I would guess that it was lost in the same general time period.

I'm not sure of all of my conclusions, but the ring shows a lot of wear, a good bit of which appears to have occurred before it was lost and some after.  The designs on the band are worn down where I would expect it to wear from being worn. 

From Wikipedia;  Rose gold is a gold and copper alloy widely used for specialized jewelry. It is also known as pink gold and red gold. As it was popular in Russia at the beginning of the nineteenth century, it is also known as Russian gold, however, this term is now obsolete.

A common alloy for rose gold is 75% gold and 25% copper by mass (18 karat). Since rose gold is an alloy, there is no such thing as "pure rose gold".

As you probably have noticed, white gold has been popular lately.   I don't know why.  I don't like it.  I personally like the rich buttery look of the 22k gold that you see on jewelry from India and China.

Overall, I think this ring probably was lost near the same time period as the above crest.  What I've learned along with the age of the coins found in the same area suggests to me that the ring and crest could well have been lost in the early 19th Century. 

Getting an idea of when items were possibly lost can give you important clues.  If I'm finding older items, I'll search the area more thoroughly than if it appears that I'm simply skimming recent drops.  When you are finding things that have been lost for a good while, there is a better chance that you are getting close to even older finds and possibly a good accumulation of good old targets.

I guess the more general important point today is to get all of the clues you can from any finds.  Don't assume that finds are distributed randomly.  As I've said many times, they cluster.  You can really improve your success rate by figuring out what your finds are telling you and spending your time detecting where the chances of success are greatest.

I don't have much new to say about beach conditions.  Seas are still around three feet with the wind coming from the south. 

It looks like conditions will not change significantly at least through the wekeend.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

4/18/12 Report - Weight, Density or Shape

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Modernistic Crucifix Metal Detector Find

What surprised me most about this dug medallion is that the corpus is attached to the background at the feet and hands with pegs, more like what you would see on a very old crucifix.   This one appears to be very modern though.

It is 18k and about 2.5 inches tall.   Nice heavy bail.

Today I want to correct a statement that I have read  hundreds of times.   The statement is that gold sinks quickly because of its weight or density.   That is true when other things are equal, but they never are.

You can think of the movement of objects on the beach or in the shallow water as being something like the movement of gold flakes or nuggets in a gold pan. Water movement, gravity and the forces of nature move objects around on the beach and in the water separating denser objects from less dense objects.  Again, that assumes other things being equal when they never are.

 Often people say "heavy" objects when they actually mean "dense" objects.   Weight and density are different though.

When an object is on the beach or in the shallow water, there are other factors - the shape of the object being one very important factor.   The shape of the object is a very important factor and can cause very dense objects such as gold to sink more slowly than some objects that are less dense.    Under field conditions, shape is more important than either weight or density.

When the force of water acts upon an object, if the object presents a lot of surface area to be acted upon it will be moved more.  Think in terms of pounds per square inch of water pressure.
As you know lead is a relatively dense material, yet I've found lead sheets in shell piles along with thin pieces of aluminum,, pot shards, and of course, the shells.   The same goes for copper sheets.

A very thin sheet of gold (paper thin, for example), or any material, can be moved by the water more like you would expect a much lighter material to be moved.   The large surface area presents a lot of area for the water to act upon. 

Thin sheets of heavy material will also not sink into the sand so quickly because of the amount of surface area.

Most rings present little surface area to be moved by water and so are not moved by the water a lot, and tend to sink relatively quickly.  A medallion made of the same amount and purity of gold will not sink as quickly as a thin gold band.

Coins tend to lay flat on the sand.  When a coin lays flat on the surface of the sand and perhaps sinks a little, the water will usually rush over the coin as the main force of the water only has the edge of the coin (little surface area) to push against.

I am trying to simplify here without being wildly inaccurate.  I just can't include all the different factors and considerations.
Coins do sometimes flip though.  And also roll.

I think you will most often find that larger coins such as quarters will be closer to the waters edge, with nickels next, then dimes, copper pennies and then zinc pennies.  That is the often the case when there is what I've described as a coin line or coin hole near the water line.   Rings will often be even closer to the water or in the water.

Most rings, because of the shape, will not be easily moved by water easily.  

That is not what I started to talk about, but after I got into it I wanted to correct the notion that weight is why gold objects tend to sink more than many other objects.  Density is more important than weight, but the shape of the object is more important than the object's density.

What I started out to talk about is analyzing your finds to know where to look next.  I'll have to do that some other day.

Concerning that little anchor that I posted a day or so ago, Carl wrote in and said he purchased a key chain with an anchor like that on it back in the eighties at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.  That is a good reminder that all finds have a bit of a  story behind them.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions and Forecast.

Conditions are degrading.  With the wind from the south, some beaches will continue to build and some will have nice shell piles.  

The seas are relatively calm, running three feet  or less.  That makes it easy to detect out in the low tide zone.

There is no change in the predictions for the next week or so.  I'd continue to look for dips and continue to check out the low tide zones that haven't been heavily worked yet.  Or work the water where that is possible.

Happy hunting,

Monday, April 16, 2012

4/16/12 Report - Beaches Good Enough To Be Interesting While Conditions for Finding Cobs Remains Poor

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

As you can see this beach had a lot of seaweed.  There was also a lot of sand piled up here. 

Different beaches were very different this morning.  I found it interesting.  You could look up and down the beach and see spots that were distinctly different.

There were some nice shell piles  containing light materials such as shards, zinc pennies etc.  I always like to look though the shell piles for the variety of items.  Shell piles generally aren't any good for finding old cobs though.  They are often good for finding other types of artifacts though -  shards, wood, copper sheeting and things like that.

I didn't bother detecting the seaweed beach at all.

Another Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

Here is a better looking beach.  Notice the dip near the top of the photo.

I found a silver ring by the dip.  I had to walk a few hundred yards to get there.  I could see the dip that far away and walked down there because it looked promising.  I guess I'll show some finds, maybe tomorrow.

Look for dips that have a steep beach and a cut above the cut.  Items from the cut will be found below the cut near the dip.

A dip was forming here between the sand bar and the beach.

There was enough variety on the beaches to keep it interesting.

And a Third.

Here is a third beach, and it was different too.

There were actully some  two foot cuts here.  They were not the best cuts in the world, but enough to check.

I haven't said this for a while, and there are always new readers to this blog, but my beach conditions rating scale tells the likelihood of finding old ship wreck cobs.  That is the intent of the rating scale.

You can have decent conditions for finding modern era items while conditions for finding old shipwreck items remains poor.   They aren't the same. 

It generally takes a lot more to improve conditions for finding cobs and other heavier old items that aren't often exposed by moderate movements of sand.

Modern era items often are in the surface layers of sand, and it takes them a while to work down into deeper layers.

It is worth taking a look at finds to try to detemine how long they have been on the beach or in the water.  If all you are finding is recent drops that don't show any evidence of having been on the beach for a while, that is not a good sign for finding cobs.

The longer your finds have been on the beach, the better are the chances of finding even older items and possibly some cobs.

Finds by Bernie C. From a Short Hunt Sunday.

He was hunting the low tide zone near a good line of shells.

When you get onto a good line like that, work it thoroughly.  You never know what might pop up.

Among other things, Bernie's finds included four rings (2 silver) and a couple of knives.

Thanks for the report and photo Bernie.

I always like to browse through the shell lines, especially when they are composed of larger and heavier shells and stones.
In response to my question concerning the marks on the silver cross that I showed Saturday, Joan T. sent in this web site link which is very good for researching silver maker marks.

Real interesting and useful site.

By the way, the photo of that cross was as detailed as it can be.  It shows as much detail as I can see under any lighting conditions in person.   Many of the letters are just barely legible.   Did you notice the strange little symbol beside the diamond shaped one and the line of letters?  

And the little anchor I showed yesterday, James F. says is from a key chain.   He sent me a photo of a very similar one.   Thanks James.

The wind and swells are out of the southeast.  The seas will slowly decrease daily into next weekend.

I'd continue to check the low tide zone.  Conditions remain poor for finding cobs, but good enough to be interesting for modern items.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

4/15/12 Report - Couple Mystery Objects, $100,000 Coin & More

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Small Brass Anchor Water Detector Find.

I never knew what this was other than a miniature anchor and I still don't know what it is for. It seems to well made to simply be a toy.

It's about two inches high. The black could be easily cleaned off, I think.

I think I saw a photo of a similar one one time but lost it and couldn't find it again. I think it was in an auction that I was quickly browsing through.

I was told that people who use Androids to access my posts have trouble using my links. I have trouble posting active links in the old editor, which I use because I simpy haven't taken the time to find my way around the newer editor, which seems more difficult to me. Today though, I'll try to take the time to use the new blogger editor and maybe I'll find it easier to post active links.

The newer editor seems very slow to me right now. I don't know if I'll stick with it, but I'll try to provide active links in my posts. I'll give it a try.

A bronze Viking-era bucket containing thousands of silver coins dating from the 11th century was found on the Baltic island of Gotland.

Here is the link.

Small Silver Cross.

It is about two inches long and unusally thick (both width and depth).

I am trying to make out the marks. The long word appears to be begin A_B. After that I'm not so sure. I also don't know if the diamond symbol and other symbol are right side up or not. Any help would be appreciated. There is enough information there to get a good ID if someone can make out the word or symbols.

It appears that my hit counter wasn't working most of yesterday for some reason.

One man purchased a coin at a flea market for $1 and carried it around in his pocket as his lucky coin for a numbr of years. 43 years after the purchase, he learned the rare coin was worth over $100,000.

I often tell you to keep things until you know for sure what they are. It is a good thing that this fellow didn't lose track of his coin.

Here is the link.

Did you notice that he was told that the coin was fake? Beware. And don't give up on things until you know for sure.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions and Forecast.

Saturday was blustery. A nice breeze from the southeast was blowing all of Saturday.

Some of the beach showed some improvement, though not enough for an upgrade on my beach conditions rating scale.

I did see some new scallops and small, very small, cuts. I thought the front beaches looked interesting in a few spots - those low long front beaches. When I say interesting, I mean more interesting than those puffed up steep summer-like beaches.

There were some good shelling beaches to browse too.

The seas will be decreasing slowly over the next few days, so no additional improvement is expected in that time period.

Pay special attention to those few beaches that are vulnerable to erodion during south and southeast winds.

Happy hunting,

Friday, April 13, 2012

4/13/12 Report - Native American Canals of Florida, Miraculous Medallions & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

Notice the flat front beach that extends well out towards sea. All of that sand out in front of the beach will protect the beach against erosion and can prevent cobs and other materials from washing up onto the beach. It both absorbs the wave energy and keeps object covered.

What we need is for that sand to be moved away from the beach. We've not had anything to do that for quite a while.

A couple of days ago I mentioned the story about the fellow from Sebastian that had a miraculous medallion.

Here is a web site about such miraculous medallions.

And here are photos of one found in the water with a metal detector. This one, unlike the one in the story the other day, is silver, but needs polishing even though it has been cleaned a little already.

They are common finds.

Notice the 1830. That is not the date of manufacture. It is the date of the vision, as explained in the article.

If you need a new mailbox (prop wash deflector), there is one now for sale on eBay.

A canal built by Native Americans hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived in Florida has been discovered in Naples.

They also mention other more important old Native American canals in Florida.

Here is the link to that story.

They said it was fifteen to twenty feet deep. For canoes? I don't understand that.

While on the topic of early Native American canals, another example is Walker's Canal up in the Panhandle.

Here is an academic study on that canal.

On page sixteen there is an interesting mention of Spanish coins being found in the area. It also gives some interesting information about shoreline formation and related archaeological sites.

Always keep your eyes open for new clues when reading anything.

Treasure Coast Beach Conditions Forecast.

The wind is now from the east, as are the swells. Seas are around four feet today, but higher seas, maybe up around six or seven feet, are predicted for Saturday. Unfortunately the wind is predicted to be coming from the east/southeast tomorrow. I would therefore not expect any improvement in conditions.

At least the front beach sand will get stirred up a little, but that isn't enough to really improve conditions.

Even though conditions remain poor, there is always the chance of finding something interesting even if it isn't a treasure coin.

Happy hunting,