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,