Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7/31/12 Report - What To Do If You Find an Artifact & Tropical Storm Season

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Tropical Disturbance in the Atlantic (NOAA)
I receive a lot of questions about rules and regulations pertaining to metal detecting.  I couldn't begin to do that topic justice and won't attempt to.  There are so many different levels of government that get involved, it can be confusing and unclear.  That said, if you try to do the right thing and use common sense, you'll generally be OK.

Detecting on most Florida beaches is permitted.  There are some exceptions. 

You will need to stay out of the dunes, which are usually either private property or covered by protected Sea Oats or something.

Also, don't detect in the water in leased search or salvage areas.

In the past I've posted maps of some of the leased areas where you are not permitted to metal detect in the water.  You can find those that I posted by going back through old posts in this blog.   The search box can be a big help.

I have commented on some situations, but  advise doing your research concerning specific locations.  If you have any questions, it is easy enough to ask a life guard or call the applicable county parks department or other governmental office or agency. 

Asking is always a good policy.

I decided to post the following question and answer that can be found on the Florida Public Archaeology Network web site.  Here it is.

If I find an artifact, can I keep it?

On State or Federal lands, it is not lawful to collect or remove artifacts. The Isolated Finds Policy in Florida has been discontinued and does not allow individuals to keep artifacts discovered in Florida’s rivers. If you do find an artifact, the best thing to do is leave it in place, record the approximate location on a map, take a photo with a well-known object (like a coin) as a scale, and contact your regional FPAN office which can help you properly report the find.

If you happen to find an artifact while metal detecting, don't be afraid to report it.   Despite the horror stories you might hear about confiscated cars and all of that, they aren't out to punish good law-abiding citizens who are trying to do the right thing..  The people from the State of Florida that I've contacted in the past have all been consistently friendly and helpful.  You won't get in trouble if you report something you see that might be of historic or archaeological significance.

You can also volunteer to work with FPAN. 

The St. Lucie Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution are planning on having a memorial plaque honoring veterans of the American Revolution placed in Memorial Park in Stuart.   Contributions for the memorial may be made payable to the St. Lucie River Chapter, SARS and marked as Vets Memorial, and can be sent to Hall Riediger 1702 SW Nantucket Ave, Port St. Lucie, Florida 34953-2425.

If you are descended from a soldier of the American Revolution you might want to join SARS.  Visitors are also welcome to their meetings.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

As you know it has been hot and it is the time of year to expect tropical storms.  When summer conditions prevail on the beaches, as has been the case lately, not much changes unless we do have a storm. 

There is a tropical disturbance in the Atlantic now, but it is still far away from Florida and has only a 20% chance of developing into a cyclone in the next 48 hours.  (See map at top of blog.   Thanks to all of you tax payers.)

It will take days for that storm to reach Florida, if it ever does.  It is too far away to predict now.

Otherwise not much has changed on our local Treasure Coast beaches and probably won't real soon.

Happy hunting,

Monday, July 30, 2012

7/30/12 Report - Lead and Pewter Seals & Book Treasures

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com

Selection of Lead and Pewter Seals
Here are a few dug lead and pewter seals listed for sale on eBay.  They include some different styles and ages.  I hadn't seen the one type before.  It always helps to be familiar with things like this so you'll recognize them if you see one in the field.

And below is another find by Bill M.   Interesting looking cup.  Could it be an oil lamp?  The shape seems like it could be made to swirl and separate melted materials.

Not long ago I mentioned the Dixie Gun Works catalog that I picked up in a thrift store for $1.   It is a handy reference for looking at old gun and weapon parts, but you can also find books that are real treasures worth hundreds of times the purchase price.  Accomplish two things at once: while hunting books about treasure and treasure hunting, maybe you can find a book that is a treasure.

I've sold a few books for hundreds of times the purchase price.  One that I found in a thrift store was a book on fly fishing that was signed by a famous person that collaborated on the book and one of his business cards was found inside the book.

One of my best books on Spanish colonial money was found at a thrift store for a dollar.  The same book would be hard to find anywhere today, even on the internet, for any price.

The antique and collectible book market has changed dramatically in the last ten years.  There was a time when any old book would easily sell for a few dollars, now that isn't the case.

Find and Photo by Bill M.

Old fiction books generally aren't worth anything unless they are by a very famous author, are in good condition, and there is something special about them.   Special attributes can include fancy bindings or signatures by famous people. 

You can sometimes find treasures of various types between the pages of old books - sometimes old letters, photos or even money.

You can find books at thrift stores that you can buy for a dollar and resell for hundreds of dollars, although that isn't as easy to do today as it was years ago.  Such books seem to disappear from the shelves more quickly now than in the past.   More people are aware of the possible value of old books, I guess.

Certain categories of books tend to be valuable.   For example, if you found an old original book on Lionel trains, it would certainly have some value, even it was nothing more than an instruction book of a few pages.  Or a book on Coca Cola, John Deere or an old Disney book.   There are a lot of collectors that would pay good money for old books on things like that.   Any detectorist should be aware of the areas of high collector interest.

It's always nice to find a good old local history book.

19th Century and earlier books can be valuable, but are not easy to find in good condition.  Old books on travel and Native Americans are highly collectible.   Most, but not all, have been reprinted, which has reduced the price of those that have been reprinted.

My point today is, you can find good used cheap books that will help you, but you can also find books that are treasures if you know what to look for.   Knowledge is key, and you can get some of that by reading.

Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

This weather pattern has been persistent for quite some time now.  We still have flat seas and South winds.
Conditions just haven't been changing.   Furthermore, it looks like we won't have any real change for over a week.  Maybe something on the horizon, but predicting that far out is difficult.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

7/29/12 Report - Captain Henry Morgan's Fleet & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Here is the same spot that I showed about two weeks ago ( See July 14 post.).  Anyhow, I visited the same spot Saturday morning and once again found it productive.  Once again, there were encrusted modern coins and a few other things down a few inches - not quite as deep as those that I found at the same place on my last visit.

I mentioned last time that coins and other things can get stuck under bushes.  Rocks, bushes, fallen trees and other things can create traps for small objects.   The photo below shows where one target was dug under a bush.

I once dug five mercury dimes in one scoop at the end of a fallen palm tree that was laying on the beach. 

I met a nice fellow on the beach this morning, who told me where I should go detecting.  That was nice of him.  He wasn't detecting, though.

In September 2010 six iron cannons believed to have belonged to one of the most famous privateers of all, Henry Morgan, were discovered off the coast of Panama near the Chagres River.  Last summer, a 17th century wooden shipwreck was found that could be one of the five ships Morgan lost  in 1671 on the shallow Lajas Reef.  Additional excavations are being conducted at the site this summer in the hope of identifying the wreck.                        

Here is a link for more on that story.


And here is one of those stories of a lost wedding ring being found and returned years after being lost.  This one was found by a kayaker on the beach of a  lake without the aid of a metal detector.


Keep your eyes open.

Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions

The wind is from the South and the seas flat.   The seas will remain flat for a few more days at least.

There has been no change in conditions and none expected real soon.
Low tide will be around 11:30 and midnight.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 27, 2012

7/27/12 Report - Star of Mexico, Grading & Mystery Solved

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

1622 -1634 Era Mexico Mint Half Reale Shown an ANS Magazine

  Star of Mexico.   You've probably heard of the Star of Lima cobs, but have you heard of the Star of Mexico cobs?  There isn't such a thing, you say!   Well, maybe not, but I was looking through one of the articles found on my treasure link list, and noticed this half reale with the Florenzada cross use by the Mexico mint on one side and some very nice little starts above the Philip monogram on the other side.  You can see one six pointed star directly above the P and the other above the S of the Philip monogram.

You can see the denomination (1/2) to the right of the monogram, part of the mint mark to the left of  the monogram and the bottom of the crown just above the left star.

This photo was published in the Winter 2006, Volume 5 Number 3 issue of the ANS Magazine in an article by Robert Hoge.  You can find this and other cobs discussed in that article by using the following link or by clicking on the second entry in my treasure link list.


There are so many variations of cobs, that I'm sure we'll always be seeing new ones.  This is the first time I've noticed those neat little stars on a Mexico minted cob.

Grading Cobs?  Somebody asked me if they should get the cob they plan to sell certified.  I think they might have actually meant graded/authenticated.  There are a lot of things to consider, but most cobs are not graded by a grading service.

Here is a link to an article that discusses some general things to be considered when deciding if you should have a particular coin graded.


I can't really answer the question, but it appears to me that it is generally not worth having a cob graded/authenticated.   The market for cobs is different than that for rare US coins, where a small difference in grade makes a big difference in price.  A Certificate of Authenticity, when issued by a well known and reputable source, seems more valuable than grading when it comes to cobs.

If anyone wants to add to this or correct me, I'd like to hear from you.

Lid Like Yesterday's Mystery Item.
Mystery Solved.  The readers of this bog came through again.   Yesterday's mystery item was identified within hours of the picture being posted.

I thought it would be identified quickly because there was a lot of information on the lid.  It gave you something specific to go on.  The more difficult to identify mystery items don't provide much in the way of specific words to search.

Anyway a number of people came up with the same web site where the same lid, along with the bottle, was listed for sale.
Joan T.,  Walter M. and Jorge Y. identified the lid.  Thanks folks!

Here is where you can find a good photo plus more information on Dr. Sayman, the bottle and lid.


The lid is tin and actually says DR. SAYMAN'S PRODUCTS ARE SUPREME, DR. SAYMAN, ST. LOUIS.

Dr. Sayman died in 1937.

The Carolina Blue Lady has nice blog where you can find information on vintage collectibles like this lid and bottle.

I have or once had a milk glass bottle like the one that goes with that lid, .  I'm not sure it is the same exact one, but it looked like that.  I didn't have the lid though. 

Thanks to all of you who did the research and sent me the information.  That is a big help to me, those who submit items for ID, and all who read this blog. 

Another mystery solved.

Treasure Coast Detecting Conditions

There has been no change in detecting conditions.   The wind is still from the West, and the seas are running flat.

Low tide in the morning will be just after 9:00 and around 9:45 in the evening.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

7/26/12 Report - Silver Bar, Mystery Item & Joined Copper

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Atocha Silver Bar

This Atocha silver bar with COA was offered for sale on eBay.  Although there was a bid of $35,000, the reserve was not met.   If I remember correctly this bar was about 26 or 28 pounds in weight.

That is about the size of the silver bar that I told you about a week or so ago, that I saw brought into a shop by one hunter a number of years ago.  It was one of several that he found.

Here is another dug item for identification.   It was dug by Bill M.   I've shown some of his other finds in recent posts.

Mystery Lid for ID
I think someone will be able to identify this one.   It appears to be a lid.   He isn't sure of all the words, but believes he can make out " products are supreme" with a name at the bottom, part of the name being "louis."

I always advise holding onto items.  Sometimes they'll sit around for a long time and then you'll look at the item and notice something interesting that you never noticed before.   Sometimes that happens because in the mean time you've learned something that now makes something significant that you never paid any attention to before.

That happened to me just last night when I noticed that a dug piece of copper was actually made of two pieces that had been put together.   I had recently read somewhere about how two pieces of copper were often cut in strips, sometimes from an old item, and then patched together to make a new item.

Joined Copper Pieces

I looked at this piece of copper and noticed what looked very much like the illustration that I had seen.  The piece of copper appeared to show a  zipper-like pattern.  You can see in the photo how the top appears to be patched to the bottom with a zipper pattern in between.   That is is exactly the type of thing I had seen in an illustration.

Detecting is an activity that keeps on giving.  You just keep learning more all the time.  A lot of the fun occurs after you make a find.  Then you often have some research to do.

Archaeologists excavated a skeleton to see if it might be the skeleton of Mona Lisa.

Here is the link.

There is a prop wash deflector now for sale on eBay in case you want one.

We still have that West wind and calm seas.  The seas are running down around one or two feet.   Of course that means no significant change in detecting conditions. 

Low tide will be around 8:00 and 8:30 today.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

7/25/12 Report - Silver Strike Plate & Press Pin

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

First, a little quiz.  Here is a lapel pin beach find that I posted a few days ago.  One reader, Scott B., found the same pin for sale on the internet.  Which of the following do you think is closest to the listed price? 

a. $1
b. $10
c. $50
d. $500

I'll give you the surprising answer below.

Also, I recently posted a photo of a piece of ornate silver that was found on a 1715 Fleet beach.   James F. sent in a photo of an early 18th century gun with an ornate silver strike-plate with a decorative design that is similar to the design on the item that I posted.

Notice the edging and the scroll work.

Thanks for the picture James.

The found item could have come off of a gun, or perhaps it was being made by a silver smith on one of the ships.  Due to a number of found incomplete silver items, it is believed by some that there was a working silver smith on board at least one of the 1715 ships.   That makes sense to me and is certainly possible, if not probable.   In the past, I've shown some silver finds that would appear to be materials used by a silver smith or in an unfinished state.

Back  to the lapel pin.  The listed price on the internet site that sells press pins is $375 for one just like the one that I posted, so if you selected answer "d" you were right.   That is more than a lot of silver cobs or gold rings are worth.  And all for a little unimpressive looking lapel pin!

Here is a link showing press pins for sale, including the same one that I showed.


Thanks for the link Scott.

If you detect beaches, you can find all kinds of things, and it helps to be aware of the values of a wide variety of types of objects.  I'll bet you've thrown away things that are worth more than other things that you were targeting because you didn't know the value other items.

Everybody likes to find some gold, and most everybody likes to find something old, but some things can be worthwhile even when they don't look like it.   It helps to be aware of a broad range of things.  Reading helps.  And that is why I show a broad range of types of treasures in this blog.

Also, don't throw things away to quickly simply because you aren't initially impressed by a find.  It doesn't hurt to hold onto things until you know at least a little about them.   I didn't realize that this unimpressive looking pin could possibly have much value.   Like I said, don't be too quick to toss things in the garbage.  

Even when an item doesn't have any economic value, you might learn something valuable from it, maybe related to the object itself, or in the process maybe you'll stumble onto some other unrelated but interesting fact or lead.

The wind is from the west today.  Seas are down around one or two feet, and the tide is around 7:00 and 7:30.

No significant change in conditions.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

7/24/12 Report - Carlos II Cobs From 1715 Fleet Beaches

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

According to Wikipedia, Charles II (or perhaps more correctly, Carlos II) ruled Spain from November 1661 through November 1700.  His name appeared on New World coinage during much of that period, while immediately before and after that, you'll see King Philip indicated on the cobs.  The transition was not always precise.  I know of at least one cob with the name of Carlos on one side of a cob and Philip on the other side of the same cob. 

I'm certainly not an expert on cobs or coinage of any type, but I do like to discuss what I have observed and am learning about these subjects. 

I said the other day that I would be discussing cobs from the reign of Charles II.   I especially like half reales and the monograms that they display.   From my personal experience, I think you can expect to find more Philip than Carlos half reales on 1715 Fleet beaches, but there are a good number of Carlos half reales to be found.

One of the things that I like about half reales is that they are all different, and there are so many variations on the monograms which can provide clues about the source and date of the cobs.

Here is one half reale that was found on a 1715 Fleet beach that bears the Carlos monogram.  Carlos reales would be in the range of somewhere around the 1660s up to about 1700, a time period that would not be uncommon for cobs transported by the 1715 Fleet. 

As you know, half reales usually don't show much of the cobs design due to being poorly centered, shaped or corroded.  This one shows a good bit of the monogram, but not all of it.  Certainly there is enough to clearly identify the Carlos monogram.

Carlos II Half  Real

You can see almost all of the "A" with part of the "C" to the left and coming up and ending near the middle of the horizontal bar of the "A".  You can't see any of the "S," which would be to the right.

You can often make out the Carlos monogram when there is only a small part of it showing on the cob.  Sometimes you can see what I refer to as the fish hook at the end of the C.  Sometimes you can tell by the 45 degree angles, or the big curve of the C.  Anyhow, it doesn't take much when you know what the monogram should look like.  There are however a lot of little variations, and some of them are diagnostic.

The half real shown above is from the Mexican mint.  You could easily tell that if I showed the style of cross seen on the other side of the cob. 

Here is a stylized Carlos monogram.  As I said you will find a lot of variations.
Stylized Carlos II Monogram

I don't know how it got rotated.

The illustration is from the Sewall Menzell book, Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins.

On the Carlos half real shown below there are additional clues to the mint that can be seen even though much of the monogram is missing.

You can see two important clues on this monogram that verify the Mexican mint.  Neither of those features are seen on any Potosi or Lima Carlos half real that I have been able to find in the reference books.

First, is the assayer mark, just to the left of the lower part of the C, but above the end of the left leg of the A.  In the photo it looks like a "C" but it is actually a "G."   That would be for assayer Geronimo Bercerra, and would place the cob in the range of 1666 to 1677.

Potosi did have an assayer "C" during the period of Carlos II, but Potosi did not typically place the assayer mark at that position, and did not have another important clue that we can see on this cob.

Another Carlos II Half Real

If you look just to the right of the C, and just above the left leg of the A, you will be able to see what you might be able to make out as the bottom of a very small R.  The "R" of Carlos.   You do not see that on Potosi or Lima cobs.  Even if I couldn't see the cross on the other side, these two clues would make me very confident that this is a cob from Mexico.

I added Clausen's 1970 report on the Fort Pierce Collection in my reference link list.  You might want to check out some of the links there. 

Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

The seas are running about three feet today, and the beaches still are very sandy.   Low tide is around 6:15 today.  No significant change in conditions yet.

The water will be calming down gradually the next couple of days.

Happy hunting,

Monday, July 23, 2012

7/23/12 Report - 1715 Fleet Ornate Silver Piece

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Treasure Coast Dug Silver
This ornate silver piece was found on one of the 1715 Fleet beaches.  I don't know what it might be from, but it looks like it would have simply been attached to something else for ornamental purposes.  I haven't been able to figure out what it is from but have one idea.

The irregular shape might help narrow it down some.   What do you think?   Have you seen one like it?

Below I'll post a picture of something that I think it could be.

Yesterday it was rainy on the beach and the sea was kicking up a bit.   The beach was still very sandy and extends well out into the water. 

While some beaches show absolutely no targets, a few beaches do have miscellaneous targets out in the wet sand where the waves have kicked up things lately.

Conditions remain poor for finding old shipwreck cobs or coins.  The water hasn't been getting very high on the beach, and the frequent south winds have been washing sand in.

Here is a photo of the one Treasure Coast beach yesterday afternoon near low tide.  It is pretty typical.

I stopped at three beaches yesterday to see what was going on and didn't see a single person or foot print in the sand.

You can still find some miscellaneous junk to sift through, with an occasional but rare old item of possible interest showing up if you are willing to dig a bunch of junk.

On the few shipwreck beaches with variety of  targets, expect lead sinkers, lures, hooks, iron, copper, etc. with an occasional spike or other item of interest.  Patience can pay off.

Gun Showing Side Ornamentation.
Back to the silver item.   Here is a photo from an old Dixie Gun Works catalog.

Notice the ornamentation on the side of the pistol.   The gun shown here is a Deringer, and so would not be the type of gun that the silver came from (if it did come from a gun) but it shows what I am thinking it might be.  

Below are some other sideplates from the same old catalog.

Old catalogs like this can be helpful if you are trying to identify or restore an old item.  This particular catalog has everything from entire reproduction cannons, to matchlocks, to swords and percussion caps and all kinds of springs, bolts, hammers, or anything you might need to repair or build a reproduction of an old weapon.

A Few Example Sideplates For Old Guns.

The silver I'm showing might not be from a gun, but that is my best guess at this point.  If you have an ideas what it might be from , please let me know.

The style of ornamentation shown on the silver is similar to some that I have seen on gun side plates.

I think you can see how a catalog like this might help you identify mystery items.

From an email from the Fisher organization:  A total of 26 emeralds were found during the 5 days on the site last week. Add to that the 58 emeralds found by investors during Division Week, that brings the total for the year to 84 beautiful Atocha emeralds!!

Some time in the next few days, I'll be showing and talking about cobs from the Charles II period.

Expect continued south/southeast winds today, with up to four foot seas.  On the Treasure Coast it will probably be too rough for any but the most experienced shallow water hunters.   Watch out for lightening.

Low tide will be around 5:30.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

7/21/12 Report - St. Marks River & Heisman Club & Fish Teeth

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

First, I'll let you try to figure out what this is.  I found it in the ocean when I dug up a ring.  There it was in the scoop with the sand and ring.  I didn't know what it was but thought it was unusual enough to keep until I found out what it was.  I'll give you the answer below.

I've received comments concerning the excellent resources that I've been posting lately.   I think they are very useful myself.   It always helps to have a broad awareness of the different types of old objects that you might dig up or just see while out there on the beach.

As you may know, the St. Marks River was an important highway in the early days of Florida, all the way back to the early 18th Century and even earlier than that.  The Florida Anthropologist printed a nice, but short, paper on an exploration of the St. Marks.   A swivel cannon, pistol, bayonet, and artifacts of various periods were found.  

They may have found the remains of an old fort as well as docks.  This is a not a new article, but still interesting. 

Here is the link.


The particular article I am talking about is on page 44-49 (by Fairbanks).

I always like looking at artifacts, especially those which have been identified to a particular time period.

The water level of the Mississippi River is dropping.

That will undoubtedly lead to a few new archaeological discoveries, as things become exposed.

The point for us is to remain aware not only of any erosion, but also of lowered water levels.  Both can expose interesting things.

OK.  It's time for the answer to the mystery object above.  It is a fish tooth plate that would be used to grind shellfish or other prey, possibly from a fish such as a Redfish.

Here is a very different kind of  beach find.  It is a small lapel pin, obviously of modern origin.  I haven't yet found out what the Heisman Club is.   I don't think it would be worn by Heisman candidates, or winners, but I guess that is remotely possible.  I'd certainly like to hear from anyone that knows.

Well I've covered a lot of ground today - from fish teeth to 18th century artifacts to football memorabilia.

We just aren't getting any changes in detecting conditions.  The wind is still mostly from the south, and the seas smooth.

Low tide is a little after 4:00.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 20, 2012

7/20/12 Report - US Military Uniforms, Accoutrements and Weapons & Great White Sharks

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreporort.blogspot.com.

Large Fossil Great White Tooth
I hope you liked Clausen's report on the Fort Pierce collection that I posted yesterday as much as I did.  It should be especially helpful when researching local military finds of that period.  The button collection is really great.

I've seen  a pewter feather holder for a Seminole head dress that was once dug in the Fort Pierce area.

Here is a great source of information.   It is a survey of US military uniforms, weapons and accoutrements, beginning in the early 1800s and continuing up through the modern day.

You can check out the change in uniforms, buttons, swords, insignia and all kinds of things.  It should be helpful in identifying the age of finds as well as the identity.


It is a large PDF file, so will take a while to load.

A Great White shark was sighted by divers near Fort Pierce.  They say it is not common to see Great Whites around here.

Here is that link submitted by Jim M.    Thanks Jim.


I saw a whale breaching in the ocean a couple of months ago.

I'll mention this again because I'd like to get responses.   I have the feeling that sharks might sense and be repelled by the electornic pulses being transmitted by metal detectors.  I've seen them heading directly at me and then suddenly turn and quickly head off in another direction.  Of course that might not have anything to do with the metal detector.  Any ideas on that?

Great Whites may have been more common around here in ages past - even in the river. The photo at the top of this post shows a Great White fossil tooth found on the banks of the Indian River.  It is over two inches and has nice serrations.  Keep your eyes open while detecting.

Still no change in detecting conditions.  The seas are flat.  South/southeast winds.  Low tide around 3:30.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

7/19/12 Report - $38 Million of Silver Recovered & The Fort Pierce Collection

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Silver Bars (Odyssey Marine)
 I mentioned Odyssey Marine Explorations yesterday and the big jump in it's stock prices.  It appears that the reason for that increase in stock price was probably the recent recovery of $38 million in silver from the Gairsoppa.

Here is a link to an article about that recovery.


And here is a more detailed article, including a nice slide show.


Thanks to Terry T. for both of those links.

You all probably know about the Indian Mound and site of the 18th Century Seminole War stockade just south of Fort Pierce.  The site, at least part of it, is now a park and you can stop, read the marker and walk up the mound.

This is not the site of Fort Capron, which I've talked about before.  That is north of Fort Pierce.

Below is a link to a report by Carl Clausen (1970) on the Fort Pierce Collection.   The Fort Pierce Collection refers to the artifacts collected from the site of the Second Seminole War Army post by Don Neiman from 1965 to 1967. 

Don donated the collection to the St. Lucie County Historical Society.  I presume the collection is still there.  Maybe I should look into that.


Model of Old Fort Pierce (From the Clausen report.)

The report includes an especially nice collection of pictures of military buttons of the period.  It also shows photos of  bottles, pipes, buckles, nails and spikes and other artifacts.

Thanks to all the hard-working tax-paying citizens who provided funding for Clausen's work.

Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

No change in conditions again.  Seas still running two to three feet.  Wind from the south.  And low tide at about 2:45.

There are still some places where you can find lighter materials accumulating.   And some miscellaneous things in the low tide area.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

7/18/12 Report - Ring Returned, Stock Soared & Shards Studied

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Another engagement ring was found and returned after a couple thought they would never see it again.  After three days of hunting, a volunteer detectorist found the ring under four feet of water in Lake Erie.


As you know, that type of thing happens all of the time.  I've told about items being returned by people that read this blog and I've been able to return quite a few myself.   People generally don't know how  much good detectorists do.

Thanks to Plat2pus for submitting the link.

Odyssey Marine Exploration stock jumped over 17 % yesterday, going from $3.65 to $4.25 a share.   I didn't see any new news that would account for that.   Most of the more recent articles that I've seen on Odyssey lately have to do with the mineral exploration projects.

I was looking for some information on shipwreck ceramics and found the following report of 40 or so pages that you might enjoy (Robert Benson, 2002).   It is a study of the Capitana El Rubi and provides a number of plates showing a nice variety of shards in color.

Here is the link.


You'll occasionally see shards on the beach while detecting.  It can be difficult to identify the age and type of jar or vessel from a shard.   If you study reports like this, you will be better prepared to notice the ceramic clues of possible nearby shipwrecks.

The report also showed a type of miniature pitcher being produced in Mexico in the 1990s that was nearly identical to one found on the 18th Century el Rubi.  It can be very difficult to determine the age of items like that.

One thing in this report that I was surprised by is the flat clear window glass found on the el Rubi site.  I've picked up heavily frosted flat clear glass on shipwreck beaches, but never really thought of it being from an old shipwreck.  I automatically figured it was more modern.  I guess that isn't necessarily the case.

The last color plate in the report shows a variety of glass shards found on the el Rubi site.

Here is a good report on an 18th Century shipwreck.  Lots of good information, plus pictures of artifacts etc.

You'll probably find something of interest in this 140 page study.   (Pdf files take a while to load.)


This wreck contained a number of miniature items that were thought to possibly be toys or also possibly nic nacs - another one of those things that is can be difficult to know hundreds of years later.

Tomorrow you'll want to see some of the things found around the old stockade in Fort Pierce back in the day.

Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions and Forecast.

Conditions for finding shipwreck cobs remains poor.

The wind is from the south and occasionally a bit southwest.

The seas are running around 2 feet.  Calm water with good visibility.

Low tide will be a little after two.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

7/17/12 Report - How To Tell The Denomination of a Worn Cob

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of treasurebeaches report.blogspot.com.

Here are four silver cobs, all minted in Mexico, and all from the same 1715 shipwreck beach. 

The denomination is visible on only one of the four. 

So how do you know the denomination when it is not marked on the cob?

One way that people sometimes use, is the weight of the cob.

An eight reale should weigh about 27.3 grams, a four real about 13.65 grams, a two real about 6.825 grams, a one real about 3.4 grams, a half real about 1.7 grams and a quarter real about .85 grams.

You can't always go by weight though.  Besides the fact that it appears that some cobs were not manufactured at exactly the correct weight, some cobs lost significant amounts of silver while rolling around in the salt water and sand.

Can you tell the denomination of these cobs?

Three of them are near the proper weight for their denomination.   One is way off.

From top to bottom is a 2 real, 1 real, half real and another half real.

The top one is the same two real that I showed a few days ago when I talked about the shields.

The last half real has been severely corroded and has lost nearly half of its original weight.   In addition to loss of weight, I can tell that it corroded by the loss of detail in the design.

When you can't tell by weight, you can often tell the denomination by the design of the cob, when you can see enough of it.

On the undersized cob, you can make out the cross, which is the type used by the Mexico mint. 

There are rare quarter reals that show a cross, but this is not likely one of those.  Most quarter reals show a castle on one side and a lion on the other. 

On the other side, this one shows a bit of a Carlos monogram.  That would indicate that it is an undersized Mexican half real rather than a quarter real.

To sum up the main point, when you don't see a denomination mark on a cob, and can't tell by weight, you can usually tell by any remaining design features.  That might take a lot of research in some cases.

My apologies to those of you who read this blog early in the morning.   I often have a lot of typos and errors that don't get fixed until later in the day.

There are no storms brewing.  The wind is south/southwest.  Seas are running about two feet, decreasing later today.  No change in conditions predicted.

Here is another surf web site that you might check out.


Happy hunting,

Monday, July 16, 2012

7/16/12 Report - Button Find & Reading Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Old Button Found by Bernie C.
Bernie C. found this nice old two-piece button and originally didn't know very much about it.  He submitted the photos, but before I got it posted, did his research and identified the button.

This is an older button that would tell you that you are in a good area.

In the top photo, you can see some of the detail, but not the words around the button.

On the second photo, you can see "WATERBURY" on the back of the button.  Button backmarks can be a huge help in identifying buttons.

Back of Bernie's Button Showing "WATERBURY"
The Waterbury Button Company began operation in 1812 when America needed to find a manufacturer for military buttons.  Previously they got buttons from England. 

The Waterbury Button Company is still in operation in Connecticut and makes quality buttons for companies such as the Disney Cruise Lines.

Bernie has identified his button as a post Civil War Tennessee agriculture button like the one shown below.

You can easily learn more about the Waterbury Button Company online.

Here is a link that you might find helpful for conducting research on buttons.

Picture of Button Like Bernie's Find

As I said in my last post, always try to figure out what your finds might be telling you. That goes for any find. On a beach, a find almost always can tell you something.  It might give you clues to how it got  there? How long has it been there? What  people have done there in the past?  What other detectorists might have done? And very important, the distribution of objects of different materials, size, shape, age, and density?

Below is a photo showing the types of coins that I found at the base of the cut that I showed in my last post.  Notice that they are all encrusted.  None were found real near the surface.  I would say the average depth of these coins was about six to eight inches.

I haven't cleaned them off yet, and haven't determined the exact dates, but I can tell that they aren't very old.

The fact that they are encrusted tells me that they aren't what I would call recent drops.  Not real recent anyhow.  

Encrusted Coins Found in Coin Line Near Base of Cut
I always intended to do some experiments to determine how long it takes modern coins to become encrusted like this.  Maybe some day I'll actually get around to it.

The lack of any recent drops suggested to me that the site had been detected by others in recent days.  

The encrusted coins were either eroded out of the dunes since the previous detectorists were there, or they were missed by the previous detectorists.

Looking at the condition of the cut (obviously not real new) along with the depth of all the encrusted coins, suggested to me that the previous detectorist simply missed them.

They were found in a line (what I call a coin line) within a short distance from the cut.  In the past I've explained how to identify a coin line and how to work it.

I expected to find coins at the foot of this cut, and I did.  That wasn't a surprise.   When I saw evidence of a coin line emerging, it told me the area that I should carefully search.   As one encrusted coin after another emerged, the distribution pattern became more clearly defined, as did the depth of the coins.    After the first few coins, I knew to work slowly and listen carefully for quieter signals.

I think that gives you some idea about some of the things to consider when you make a find, and how the information can influence your search pattern.

Not much new to say about beach conditions.  There is a little stirring going on, but not enough to change my beach conditions rating.

The wind is out of the south with seas reaching around four feet and peaking today.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

7/14/12 Report - More on Working Cuts and Reading Finds - A Recent Example

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Cut Found Yesterday
Here is a nice cut.   It is about three or four feet high, but I wouldn't pass it up if it was only a six inches high.   It is well placed.

This is the type of cut that I would never pass up without checking.   You can see the vegetation on top of the dune.  That means the sand hasn't been eroded back that far for at least as long as it took that vegetation to grow.

There will almost always be coins in front of a cut like this.  And very often those coins will be older.   A few new drops might get mixed in, but coins in a place like this will be encrusted.  Some of my best silver US coin spots have looked just like this.

Even if someone beats you to a spot like this, they usually won't get all of the coins.  So if you see a spot like this, and you can see someone has already detected there, go ahead and detect it anyhow to see what they might have missed.

When a place like this cuts, there will usually be spots where the vegetation protects part of the cut.  Most detectorists, for some reason, don't detect well around vegetation.   Stick your coil back under any limbs.    Detect those spots that others almost always miss.   Vines and limbs will catch and hold coins and other things.  They will also create eddy currents where coins and things will settle.

A small coil will help you get back in between limbs.  Also a detector with a slow sweep speed will work well in situations like this.   You can't whip your coil in close around limbs and obstructions.

Very often the coins in front of a cut like this will be very near the surface.  Occasionally there will be deeper coins, but most often they won't be deep even though they show evidence of having been lost a while.
Limbs Protecting Part of Cut

I've recovered a lot of silver US coins from eroding dunes that look just like this.  You might not be interested in US coins, but anytime you find a concentration of older coins it is worth looking, because there can be something else interesting with them.

I've talked about signal finds in the past.  Coins can be "signal finds."  That means that they provide information that can lead to other finds.  

Always try to figure out what your finds might be telling you.   That goes for any find.  On a beach, a find almost always tells you something.  How did it get there?   How long has it been there?  What does it tell you about the people that have been there in the past and what they were doing?  What does it tell you about other detectorists - how they hunted, where they hunted or didn't hunt, what they discriminated out, what they missed?   The distribution of objects of different materials, size, shape, age, and density?

That type of information can be provided by finds - both junk finds and otherwise.   Again, that is why I seldom discriminate.  Even junk can tell you something important.   Junk can tell you where to better spend your time and where not to spend your time.  Who doesn't want to know that.  There is simply too much beach to cover it all, so you want to know where to concentrate your efforts.

The coins that I found in front of this cut were all heavily encrusted.  Not a single new shiny coin in the bunch.   I'll get into what that says some other time, maybe tomorrow.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

Not much has changed.  Seas are around two to three feet, peaking later today and tomorrow at around four feet.   That's not enough to change conditions much.

Low tide is around mid-day.

The wind is now more easterly.  That probably means less accumulation of shells and light materials.  They seem to accumulate more during more southerly winds.

Anyhow, not much change that you will notice.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 13, 2012

7/13/12 Report. - Storm Shipwreck & New Technologies Paying Off

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Not Exciting Treasure, But Useful Stuff.
Some of you are probably wondering why I'm showing you a flashlight and the other thingy.  Well, they were among my finds this morning, and the funny thing is that I was going to buy one of those thingies, whatever it is called, because I had a couple of nice drills without the keys.   But there it was.  And it fits my drills.   That saves me a few pennies and a shopping trip.

Like I always say, you can find almost anything on a beach.  This find was well-timed pleasant surprise for me.

I don't mind having the flash light either.  Despite being dug from down about a foot in wet sand, it still works fine.  I was surprised to see that it still works.

I'll talk more about some other things I found this morning some other time.

A conglomerate containing a musket, sword and neck of a wine bottle was recovered from the Storm Wreck near the St. Augustine lighthouse.  It is thought to be a late 1700s wreck.

Here is the link to that article.

Computer tomography has been used to examine coins while still concealed inside pots or  other archaeological artifacts. 

Here is the link if you want to learn more about that.


Some think that a LiDAR survey  has identified the location of the fabled White City of Gold in an overgrown and remote Honduran jungle.


Yesterday I posted a link to an article about a gold cache found in an air conditioning unit.  Here is a link to a story about a man who found a baseball card collection possibly worth $3 million in the antic of his grandfather's house.


Here is a tip for mothers who have boys who have sports memorabilia collections.   Don't throw the collection away when the boys go away to college or whatever.   Boys with sports memorabilia collections probably hope to become men with sports memorabilia collections.   Sports collections are not considered to be  toys and, despite what you might think, the boys probably won't grow out of it.

One of the things I like about doing this blog is hearing from a lot of very nice people.  There are a lot of kind considerate helpful people involved in treasure hunting. 

I feel like I know some of you very well even though we've only exchanged emails and we've never met.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions and Forecast.

Conditions haven't changed much.  The beaches and shallow water are mostly still very sandy.

The seas are a little rough today.   The wind is from the east/southeast.  

The seas  will be a little rougher, reaching a peak of about four feet on Sunday and Monday.

Happy hunting,