Sunday, September 30, 2012

9/30/12 Report - Million Dollar Penny, Indian Head & Mystery Item Identified

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is a 1903 Indian Head penny that was recently dug at the same mainland site that I've been talking about.  It seems it was almost new when lost.  You can see the detail in the feathers and even read the word Liberty on the head band.


Coins dug on the mainland are often in much better condition than those dug on a beach or in the ocean.  The salt water can cause a lot of corrosion.

How much is a penny worth?  It seems like there are a hundred ways to turn that into a trick question, but there is one penny that sold for a million dollars.

So what is so special about that penny?  It is a 1943 brass penny, one of only a few that got into circulation.

Here is the link to the story on the million dollar penny.

Do you think one of these could have slipped through your fingers? Another good reason to inspect all of your finds.

Thanks to Trez and Robert K., both of  whom gave me a link that led to a good web site showing what the mystery items I posted yesterday are and how they were used.  

You can go to that web site by using the following link.

Here is one paragraph from that web site that tells how the lead seals were used.

Among the more more interesting and unusual pieces of railroad hardware that can show up in the collectors market is the sealing tool or "sealer". This was a device that was used to produce an embossed, lead seal that secured boxes, pouches, and doors of various kinds. Since the seal had to be broken to open the container or door, it was a means of both preventing tampering and demonstrating that none had occurred. Being made of lead, seals were very durable and can still be found along railroad rights of way. There are even reports that some have been recycled as fishing sinkers!

I thought it looked like a seal and surprised myself by being right.  I'm pretty confident now that is what it is and have seen other examples dug by other people, including some bearing exactly the same numbers and letters.   I've seen other dug examples from various railroads, including Canadian and Russian as well as other US railroads, and even a Civil War period example.

Other people commented that the items might be tie markers.  Although I've read a little about tie markers, I haven't seen photos of examples yet.  

I've always like trains and railroads and can see how this would be a nice area to collect.

As far as time period for the boxcar seals, which is what I'll call them for now, I would guess early 1900s.  They have to be after 1895, but I don't know how much later.  I have seen newer boxcar seals, and they are different.  The ones I posted are more like the Civil War ones than they are like the newer ones that I saw.

I would also like to determine the significance of the number "182."  I know that the FEC Railroad had a train numbered 182, but don't know if that is what the number on the seal stands for.  I have also seen a photo of a FEC seal with the number "140" on it.

You can see how I like the research process and figuring out things as much as I like digging things.  It is a process, and you learn a lot in the process.

Another thing I wonder about is the various conditions of the examples.  Three were cut.  Two appear to be blank.  And one was flattened out. 

I wonder if the flattened one was ruined in the process of stamping, flattened when it was removed, or flattened by some kid that found it, or what.  Maybe I'll learn enough in the future to flesh out some more of the history.  That is fun to me.

These boxcar seals were made by punching with a die, similar in a way to how the shipwreck bale seals were made, and also similar to how cobs were produced.  You learn about one thing, and you can often apply something from it to something distantly connected.  That is why I recommend doing a lot of different types of hunting.  You'll learn new things that you can apply elsewhere.

If I didn't know about bale seals, I doubt that I would have guessed that these items were seals.  It always helps to recognize finds in the field.  I've missed my share of clues in the field and thrown away things I wish I would have kept.

If you read yesterday's post early, I need to let you know that the date of the upcoming fundraising cookout will be November 3 instead of November 10 at the Pennwood Motor Lodge in Wabasso.

The wind is primarily from the south/southwest today, and the seas are down around 2 - 3 feet.  That will  remain unchanged for a few days, and the wind will shift from the south to east about Wednesday. 

The beaches are pretty sloppy, some are accumulating sea weed.

Low tide today will be around 3 PM.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 29, 2012

9/29/12 Report - Florida East Coast Railroad Artifacts Found

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

F. E. C. Mystery Find for ID

I’ve been showing some items found at a Treasure Coast mainland site lately. There was a lot of variety. Finds covered a period of slightly over one hundred years. Most items came from the 1970s it seemed, but a 1902 nickel and a 1903 Indian head penny were among the finds. Today, though, I want to focus on a mystery item that came from the site - actually four of them.

I often say to be careful about throwing things away too quickly. You can easily regret throwing something away, but there is little risk in keeping an item until you know you know what it is.

I often discover something revealing about an item after I have had it for a long time, and I sometimes learn something that gives me some new insight or an entirely different idea about the item even after it has been sitting around for a very long time.

The first item in the group shown in the photo below was found first. It doesn’t have any apparent markings on it, but the edge, where it is jagged, looks something like how a pop bottle cap looks.

When I saw that item, I wondered what it was, and didn’t really have any idea. That is the type of item that could easily be thrown in the trash. It doesn’t look like much of anything and I did consider throwing it away, but past experience told me to hold on to it.

Four F. E. C. Railway Mystery Items

A little while later another item was found that had a similar edge, but was of a different size and about four times the thickness of the first..  The second was also symmetrical - not looking like it was ripped from a flat piece of metal, but rather, well formed.

Like the first item, it doesn‘t appear to have any markings on it. Just a similar jagged edge.

It looks like the first could possibly be made by taking one like the second example and flattening it.

The first one looked like it could have been cut out of something, maybe just a piece of scrap, but the second one is much better formed and doesn’t look like scrap at all.

The first is nearly the thickness of a quarter, while the second is the thickness of three or four coins, and is symmetrical top to bottom - looking something like two small soda bottle caps fit together, but not hollow like soda bottle caps. They are made of a heavy metal such as lead.

Then the third pops up. Now that is three items with the same jagged edge, but all three are different in size and shape.  And it looks like all three have had a piece cut off.

Then the forth comes out of the ground (also shown  in photo at top of page). The forth one, though, is complete, well-formed and clearly marked “F. E. C.” on one side and “182” on the other.

Not only is this one clearly marked, but it appears to have a stub of a wire connected to it, that might have been cut off close to the body of the item. You might be able to see the stub of that wire if you look closely above the “2.”

The third is just a little thicker than the first.

OK, the story is developing. Now having seen a very good marked example and knowing what to look for, in good lighting, ever so barely ‘F. E. C.’  can be seen on the third item.

But that is about as far as the story goes at this point. I don’t know exactly what they are. I’m confident that they have to do with the Florida East Coast Railroad now.  I think they might be some type of tag or seal that secured something, sort of like the lead bale seals that are found associated with some old shipwrecks or other historic sites.

I think the unmarked ones may have been attached to marked ones by a wire. The wire and/or the one part of the seal was cut when the item (maybe mail bag or something) was unsealed. That is my theory at this point.

I am confident that they are not buttons or tops to containers. 

Three things that could be important clues are the wire stub found on one, the fact that some are flattened, and that three have pieces cut off.

I showed these items for a couple of reasons. First is to remind you to not throw things away too soon because clues can come together over time. In this case I think you can see how the clues were adding up in the field even during the hunt, but sometimes it takes years for the clues to add up.

Second, I would like to know if any of you recognize these items and know what they were used for. I have contacted the Florida East Coast Railroad Society, and although they think the items were used by the F. E. C., they don’t know what for or when.

I am hoping that someone might be able to tell me a little more about these finds.

Added 3:16 PM:  The function of the mystery items above has now been determined with a high degree of confidence.  Now I would like to define the time period the items were used and the meaning of the number "182" as well as any other more specific details.

Thanks to Trez and Robert K. for information leading to the answer.   I'll have more on that tomorrow.

The fundraising cookout for Tom G. will be held on Nov 3 on the grounds of the Pennwood Motor Lodge in Wabasso.  This is a correction.  I previously stated it was Nov. 10, but there was a conflict and it will actually be on the 3rd at the Pennwood.  There will be a small charge and donations accepted for Tom's medical treatments.   I also hear there might be some really cool raffle items.

I've spent a couple of days talking about mainland finds, but will soon get back to beach finds.  As I often say, be flexible.  Adapt to situations and circumstances.

Not much to say about the beach.  No changes.   Still 2 - 3 foot seas and sandy conditions.  That will be the case for a while.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 28, 2012

9/28/12 Report - Mixed Metal Detector Finds From One Mainland Site

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Today I’ve decided to show some more finds from a mainland hunt for a variety of reasons. One is to further illustrate the point that just because a site is old, not all finds at the site will be old.

Most spots that were used years ago have been used since, sometimes nearly continuously. Therefore, very often you’ll find more recent finds and have to remove a lot of more recent stuff before you get to the older finds, which tend to be deeper and give softer signals.

The weights found vary from 2.5 pounds to 8 pounds.  Most had the weight marked.

Most also showed a patent date.  The date on the bottom weight in the photo above is the clearest and seems to read July 3, 84.  That weight is a six pound weight. 

A well-used and heavily corroded chisel is shown below that weight.

Dug Toy Tractor
Most of the first finds made at this site appeared to be from the 1970s. Not very old at all, but then there were the older finds, such as the 1902 nickel.

A number of coins from the seventies were found, along with some other things that are easy to date, such as the nice metal tractor shown here.

And below is a vintage item. I take it to be a hook for hanging coats and hats or something.

Vintage Dug Hook.

Just a few examples today.  I’ll show a few of the more interesting finds in the future. I want to do some more research first, and I still need to take some good photos.

Aquanut, who hosts the annual Treasure Coast Treasure Hunters picnic, sent me the following news.

I thought you might want to know...

Tom Gidus, a friend to many of us has been diagnosed with Colon Cancer. We in the treasure hunting community need to band together to help one of our own. I've proposed a Cure Mad4Wrecks Cancer cookout on Treasurenet because, of course, the many members there that know him personally. I hope you guys here will support the effort also.

Here's what I put on the Shipwrecks forum:

Tom, You've always been a great presence at the Treasure Hunter's Cookouts. I want to do what I can to help. Although this isn't exactly a celebration, a benefit for one of our best might generate some money to keep you treasure hunting with us. With some help from our friends, what say you all to having a cookout and invite all our friends in the Treasure Hunting community to a Cure Mad4Wrecks Cancer cookout! I know most of us TH'rs aren't rich, but we all know someone who is. Get 'em to come! I'll put it together with what little I have and we'll party next month! Nothing we're doing could possibly be more important. Suggestions are welcome!


I’m sorry to hear the sad news but am also optimistic about a complete cure.

I know that notices posted on this blog get a lot of action. 

The seas along the Treasure Coast are down to 2 - 3 feet today, with north winds in the morning, turning more east in the afternoon. Not much change for the next few days.

Conditions remain about the same.

Low tide this afternoon will be just after 1:30.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

9/27/12 Report - Slaying the Junk Dragon

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently did some mainland hunting. It was in a super junky area.

Here is a Liberty Nickel that was found.

My magnet on a pole came in real handy at this site. It saved a lot of time and digging.

You can see a quick demonstration of how the magnet is used on YouTube or by going to a previous post.

The 1902 Liberty nickel shown above was found at the site. Values range from $2.50 in poor condition to around $135 in perfect condition. This one is banged up.

Here is the link to the magnet video.

This was one of the very few times that I actually used some discrimination. I didn’t know how much time I would have and wanted to get the easy targets out quickly. If I have enough time at this site, I’ll eventually remove all the junk.

At first I was getting a lot of junk and modern coins, including a lot of memorial pennies. Things often cluster, and it is not just at the beach. There were areas with many nails, areas where more coins were found, etc. etc.

In very junky areas it seems you have to remove a lot of the junk before you start getting at the better finds. The junk masks other objects, and much junk tends to be light and close to the surface or large and gives loud signals.

When there is a lot of junk, just accept that fact, and go out with the intent of picking up some junk. Don’t get discouraged by the amount of junk. Just pick it up for a while. You will occasionally pick up something nicer, but if you start with the understanding that you will be picking up a lot of junk, you won’t give up too quickly.

Think of it this way - the junk is actually protecting the treasure. Many detectorists will not bother with very junky areas. The result is that the treasure will hide under the junk waiting for you to come and get it.

Most of the best detecting, beach or otherwise,  is protected by some type of obstacle or deterrent. Sometimes it is rocks, weeds, bad weather, long walking distance, junk or whatever, but there is usually something to make it difficult when there is an unusually good spot.

It is like in the movies. There are always traps or dragons or something. It is a little like that in real life although the obstacles aren’t quite as dramatic.

A lot of the time, the big obstacle is junk, and if you have enough patience, you can overcome that.

There are very junky beaches where treasures are protected. Down at Fort Lauderdale, archaeologists discovered the old fort right by a busy picnic area where there were tons of pull tabs. Many detectorists were deterred by the number of pull tabs while a few others picked through the junk and picked up modern jewelry and occasionally discovered a musket ball or some other artifact. That was before the archaeologists discovered the site of the fort.

If you have enough patience, junk can become your friend. Go out to clean up the junk, and eventually you’ll find some interesting things. It is something like unwrapping a present. You might have to remove a healthy layer of junk before you get to the older and better stuff.

Most old sites have been used for years.    You'll likely find the more recent stuff before you get down to the older stuff.

One thing you might consider if you are willing to work very junky areas is a lawn rake or one of those magnetic rakes that roofers use to remove the old roofing nails and things after they finish a job.

Always properly dispense of the junk you pick up.

On eBay there is a Star of Lima cob listed for sale. The listing said it is being sold for the charitable purposes and will be used for medical treatment. Not much time left.

Here is the link.

2 - 4 foot seas along the Treasure Coast today.  Some northeast winds, but not much.  Low tide is around 1PM today.

Still some miscellaneous finds out there, but very hard to find any shipwreck treasure on the beach now.

If you want to find treasure, you'll have to overcome your dragon.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

12/26/12 Report - Olive Jar Study, Weighty Subject & Now Ain't That a Blimp

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exlusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday Near Low Tide
This is what the beaches look like along the Treasure Coast right now.

I think this one is pretty typical. A lot of sand on the front beach.

I’ve been trying to learn more about Spanish olive jars. I found an excellent study.

Here is the link.

It is a PDF file, so expect to wait while it downloads.

In addition to an analysis of shipwreck olive jars, it also shows how they were stored on board and discusses what they were used for. A large sample from a variety of different Spanish wrecks were analyzed.

Good study.

I once received a question from someone who found what he thought were ceramic olive jar stoppers. I’ve never found any evidence of that. From everything I’ve found, corks were usually used. Many olive jars that survived intact on the ocean floor, have the corks inside. As the jar sank, the water pressure pushed them in. That isn’t to say, there weren’t any ceramic stoppers. I just haven’t found evidence of that. So cork stoppers appear to be most common.

Here is one recent Treasure Coast mainland metal detector find. Note the penny for size.

Also notice the Roman numeral six. That is evidently the weight of the object, since it weighs out at six pounds. It has no other markings.

I think it is probably a weight for an old double hung window. Not an uncommon find.

I saw the Goodyear blimp fly over the beach Monday.  Here is a video of that.

I didn't receive many opinions on the items I posted yesterday yet.

Nothing much going on in the Atlantic. Nadine is still out there, but far away from us.

The seas are running 2 to 3 feet, which according to the surf web sites will continue for several days.

The wind is mostly from the east.

Low tide is around noon today.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

9/25/12 Report - Three Finds for ID & 925 Mark

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

How old do you think this is?
Today I’ll start with a three items that I hope you will help identify and date. They were found together in an area with a lot of history.

John L., who is a good friend of this blog and who has provided answers to other mystery items in the past, found these items. All thoughts as to age and identify are appreciated.

First is a cross made of nails. These are very popular today and have been made for a long time. It has been cleaned by electrolysis. Note the three holes, where I think a figure of Christ was probably once attached. The object does stick to a magnet.

Similar crosses made of nails are still made today. In fact you can find YouTube videos on how to make them. That does not mean this one is not old.

The second object is a two-sided medallion. It is not magnetic, but the specific metal has not yet been identified.

The medallion is a little taller than a penny but not as wide.

One Side of Medallion

Opposite Side.

And a third item found at the same site is the ring below. It is marked silver and marked .925 with the initials JLW.

A couple more rings, including a 14K enameled ring were found at the same location.

Rings found at same site.

JLW .925 Ring

Please send in any and all thoughts on the age and identify of these finds.

Yesterday, I did a post giving some clues on how to identify items. Today I’ll add some more information that will help with identifying silver items.

The 925 mark was used in England and the US in the late 1800s up to the present time. Other counties used other standards and marks.

Here is a web site that will give you more information about that.

Sometimes people ask me if a sterling silver item is from one of our Spanish shipwrecks. That would not be the case.

There is a lot to learn about markings that can help you narrow down the age and identity of items. There is no substitute for handling a lot of different found items and getting a feel for what items of different ages and sources are like.

I recently received another inquiry from a TV production company that wants to do a reality TV pilot. That happens every few months now. It seems that metal detecting is now a popular topic for TV.

I have my own idea of the type of show that I would be interested in. It would be nothing like American Digger. If you have an interesting find, have done some good research on it, with or without a lot of success, and might be interested in presenting how you did it and what you learned, let me know. Put TV first as part of the subject heading.

The kind of thing I’m thinking about is typified by Ian’s coaked sheve. (If you are new to this blog, search “coaked sheave” or "coaked sheve" in the blog search box.)  I’m as interested in the research process and history that is learned as I am in the find.

Florida’s steamboat history would be a great topic too, as well as the more common Treasure stories.

This might not go anywhere. We’ll see.

I took a look at a couple of beaches yesterday. Nothing much has changed. Still poor detecting conditions, but there are still shell piles and miscellaneous items to be found.

The seas will run 2 to 4 feet today. North winds are predicted for early.

That is it for today.

Happy hunting,

Monday, September 24, 2012

9/24/12 Report - Identifying Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

14K Pin Find
This Kappa Delta Pi pin is easy to identify.  Kappa Delta Pi is an international honor society for educators. 

The pin tells you everything you need to know, but not all finds are so easy to identify.

Here are a few quick and easy things you can do to help identify finds.

The first and most obvious is carefully inspect the object for any markings that might provide a clue. The more you know about different types of markings the better off you will be. Markings can be of many types, from the style of cross or monogram on a cob to a hallmark or karat marking on a modern ring.

You can almost always tell the mint on 1715 cobs from the style of cross. Only the most corroded cobs do not show enough of the cross to tell you the likely mint when you first pick them up. Sometimes the details are not easy to see, but rubbing the cob with a little moisture on the surface of a new found cob is usually enough to bring out sufficient detail, even on corroded cobs. You will find a few that are simply too encrusted or corroded, but most cobs will show enough detail to give you a good bit of information when you first pick them up.

Sometimes finds will have markings that are not apparent until you clean the object or put the object under good lighting or magnification. Clean, light, magnify, and photograph objects and then manipulate the digital images. Some markings might be difficult to find or difficult to read. And many will require some knowledge or research to interpret.

If you send in a photo of an object asking for help with identification, please carefully inspect the object first and mention any relevant markings that you might find. Photos are never as good as personally inspecting an item, and a mark can help identify an object even if you are not aware of the significance of the marking.

Again, you might not see all of the relevant details until you clean, light and carefully inspect an object under magnification.

Determining the type of material can help a lot. One little trick that might seem obvious but that people often forget, is to use a magnet. Iron, steel, and nickel will stick to a magnet. Most other metals will not.

I’ve done posts before on using acid test kits and equipment, so I won’t go over that again, but also remember that you can often get a jeweler or pawn shop to test your object for precious metals.

And don’t forget that your detector might tell you something about the type of metal.

I know some of these tips might sound obvious, but there are times when you might forget to apply what you know. I have.

Become familiar with various web sites and other references for matching the item with other similar items of the same age. If you are most interested in cobs or historic items, read broadly and know where to look to find information on items of the same type.

If you don’t get an answer to your mystery item, write down what you have found, put the item away, and go back to it from time to time over the years. You might be surprised to find that you notice something about the item that you never noticed before. And sometimes you will find that you’ve learned something that now helps you to solve the problem.

And don’t forget, when you send in a photo, mention the material the item is made of and any markings that are not apparent in the photo, and any other relevant information you have. Multiple views are often helpful as well as a comparison object for size.

Unlike the pin above, here is an find that I couldn't identify without the help of an expert - Fred D.  

I'll give you a second to see if you know what it is.

It is about three inches by three inches by 1.5 inches.  If you know what it is, you know a lot more than I did.

It is a piece of an ivory Pleistocene mastodon or mammoth tusk. 

Much thanks to Fred D. for the identification.

Monday the seas will run 3 to 4 feet, with north winds.  I prefer to see the wind from the north, but it generally takes at least 6 or 8 foot seas to greatly improve detecting conditions.  The seas will run at roughly the same level for a few days.

Low tide will be about 10 AM.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 22, 2012

9/22/12 Report - $3.5 Million Detector Find, Ice Age Beaches & Upcoming Sedwick Auction

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

In the following video, David Lisot of interviewed Dan Sedwick about the upcoming Sedwick Coin auction. 

Here is the link.

The photo shows some of the items that will be sold in that auction.

A Roman cavalry helmet unearthed by a detectorist in 2010 sold at auction for £2.2 million (more than 3.5 million dollars at today's exchange rate).    The helmet will go on public display at a museum.

Here is that link.

In August scientists used ROVs to find the submerged remains of ancient settlements 100 to 200 miles off of Florida's west coast in 300 feet of water.  The settlements were expected to be along the Ice Age coastline near the mouth of ancient rivers and streams.  Artifacts have been found in dredged material from similar submerged areas.   I guess that dredging has destroyed those archaeological sites. 

Here is a link to that story.

Expect southeast winds and 1 - 2 foot seas on the Treasure Coast today.  Sunday the seas will increase a bit, reaching 4 - 5 feet Monday through Wednesday.

With the return of the southeast winds and calm seas, expect building beaches and poor detecting conditions on the Treasure Coast beaches.

Low tide will be about 8 PM this evening.
The low pressure area up by Bermuda seems to be weakening and now has only a 10% chance of becoming a cyclone.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 21, 2012

9/21/12 Report - Treasure Coast Emerald & West Coast Shell

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Emerald Found on Treasure Coast Beach
I've previously reported on raw emeralds being found on some of the Treasure Coast beaches.  It appears that one example is now for sale on eBay.

The listing says, Up for auction is this rare 1.45 carat (5x6x8mm) rough (uncut) Colombian Muzo Mine Emerald which was recovered from the beach just inshore from the 1715 Fleet shipwreck called the "Cannon Pile Wreck" which lies in the near shore waters off of Treasure Shores Park, Vero Beach, Florida.

Here is the link.

The listing says that the emerald was discovered while someone was looking for sharks teeth.  There is another good reason to keep your eyes peeled while detecting.

Ted B. sent in a report from the West Coast of Florida - Pinellas County to be more precise.  Ted said, Unfortunately, the county started a beach re-nourishment project that has since covered the beach with about 3 feet of new sand. They feathered it out into the water. To get to any clean areas you can only go at very low tide or hunt in water up to your neck.

Thanks for the report Ted.   Before the beach replenishment there, Ted found the WW II shell pictured here.   You can find them many places in Florida, with heavier concentrations at some beach locations.  

Find and Photo by Ted B.
If you are new to this blog or don't remember, I once posted how you can tell the date and place of manufacture from the letters and numbers on these shells.  You can see that this one is from 1943.

On the Treasure Coast today we have winds from the East and one to two foot seas.  The seas will stay around that for a day or two and then start to increase a bit Sunday and up to about five feet on Monday, decreasing after that again.

Low tide today on the Treasure Coast is around 7 PM.

There is one low pressure area in the Atlantic, east of the Carolinas, just sitting there.  The only change has been an increased probability of it turning into a cyclone (50% now).  

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 20, 2012

9/20/12 Report - XRF, USS Shark Carronade and Some Finds

Written by the treasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here are some finds from William B. from Broward.   First, a reale that he thinks might have been made from recycled shipwreck silver.  The photo shows the item after cleaning.

And second, some rings (below).   Note the copper rings with the colorful applied designs. 

Here is a great account of the conservation of a very nice carronade recovered from the wreck of the USS Shark, a very important historic American vessel which sank in 1846.   Great photos of every step of the cleaning and preservation process are included.

And here is a handy device to help with the scientific analysis of artifacts in the field - hand-held XRF (X-ray fluorescence) for shipwrecks.

I took a look at a couple beaches this morning and saw what I expected to see - building beach fronts.  The South winds have been depositing a lot of sand and shells on the beach fronts around the Treasure Coast. Despite the 1 - 2 foot seas, the surf was breaking nicely in some places to create decent surfing.

Tomorrow the seas will be in that range again, increasing a little early next week - maybe up to five feet later in the week. 

Nothing very interesting going on in the Atlantic.

I hope you didn't annoy too many people on Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

9/19/12 Report - Glass Treasure Clues & Talk Like a Pirate Day

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

This is what you have all been waiting for maties.  Today (Sept. 19) is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

For real.

Here is the link.


I always remind people to be on the lookout for different types of finds.  Some are valuable in one way, and others are valuable in another way.  Some finds are valuable because of what they tell you. 

Old Whiskey Bottle

One of the first signs of an old site is often glass or ceramics.  Those materials tend to stay close to the surface, even over centuries.  And they are often washed up onto a beach when detecting conditions are not real good.

The above bottle is one find that has both kinds of value.  It could be sold for a few dollars, but it also tells you very clearly that it is fairly old.

Bottom of the Same Whiskey Bottle

You can clearly see the date on the bottom of the bottle, but even when a bottle does not have a date on it, you can often get a good idea about how old it is by looking at it.

One of the first things I do, is hold it up to the sun and look for bubbles in the glass.  On this one, you can easily see a obvious bubble right below the "R" in TROY.

That tells you that it is blown rather than machine made, and probably old.

Also check out the seams on a bottle.  I won't go into that in detail now, but generally speaking, the higher the seams go up on the bottle, the newer it

Older glass bottles tend to be thicker too.  And the thickness of the glass is more inconsistent, varying in thickness from one area to another.

Here is a glass stopper stuck in the neck of an old bottle.  That is the kind of thing that gives mixed feelings.  It is too bad the bottle is broken.  It is obvious that it would have been a very nice old bottle, but at least it tells you that there could be more old things in the area.

I won't go into any more detail on that now, but you can research it if you want.

Remember to keep your eyes open as you detect, looking for any clues.

Glass Stopper in Neck of Old Bottle

Here is one good web site for looking up prices of world coins.  I've given others, but you might want t check this one out.

The seas are running about 2 - 3 feet and going down a bit into the weekend.  The wind will be primarily from the south for the next few days.

Nadine is hanging around, but far out in the Atlantic away from us with one other disturbance.  Neither seems to be headed our way.

Happy hunting, and don't forget to talk like a pirate today.

Monday, September 17, 2012

9/17/12 Report - Ecclesiastical Artifacts Found

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Ecclesiastical Artifacts Found.
These 14th or 15th Century ecclesiastical artifacts were recently found under the ruins of an abbey. 

The article, with this photo and others, was published in The Independent.

Now the search is on to figure out who owned these artifacts.

Click here to go to that article.

If you look at eBay, one seller now has listed for sale a couple of olive jar pot shards and a couple ballast stones listed.   You might want to take a look.   They can be easily found by searching, "1715 Fleet."  

I've been asked what ballast stones look like, so if you want to see a couple, there they are.  Of course, ballast comes in a large number or varieties.

People occasionally ask where they can rent metal detectors in the Treasure Coast area.   I give the one place that I know about, but if you know where detectors can be rented, let me know and I can post those.

I've also had people ask about where they can get detectors repaired other than the manufacturer.   I never found any detector repair repair shops.  If you know of any, let me know and I can post them too.

Turtle Trail Looking South.
Mike H. sent in the following photo near Turtle Trail looking south.  It was taken this weekend near low tide.

Mike reported just the small cut towards the back of the beach, and said the mushy sand was gone. 

I think what you see is the trucked-in sand.  It is a white fine powdery sand.  It will pack relatively hard.

Mike said there were junk targets and noticed the sea weed starting to come in.

Thanks Mike.  I appreciate receiving photos and reports from around the Treasure Coast.  I can't be everywhere.

I don't publish all the photos that I receive - not because they aren't good or anything like that, but sometimes I can't fit it in with what I have or for one reason or another just can't use it.   Sometimes I even have technical difficulties.  Sometimes I forget, and sometimes things just don't work.   But I always appreciate submissions.

Nothing interesting going on in the tropics.

On the Treasure Coast, the wind is from the southeast again.  That's not good.

The seas are down a little to around 3 to 4 feet today, and will continue to decrease for a few days.

The high tides have been fairly high lately.  Los tide this afternoon is around 3:30 PM.

That's it for today.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

9/16/12 Report - Beach Detecting Conditions Downgrade

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

An 89 year-old Vero Beach WW II fighter pilot was recently reunited with the foot locker he lost back in the 1940s.   The trunk full of belongings from the past arrived at his door last week, thanks to a fellow who tracked him down and sent the trunk.

Cool story.  Here is the link.

Seas are predicted to be 4 to 6 feet today on the Treasure Coast. The seas will decrease daily until next weekend when they will be down around 1 to 3 feet.

Most of the cuts that existed yesterday and the day before have disappeared. I’m dropping my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating back to a 1.

Yesterday I mentioned that rain can cause erosion too. And yesterday, the most interesting hunting that I did was on the face of rain soaked dune cliffs and in gullies where the previous nights rain ran off. There were places were the dune faces were falling off and exposing old items. Don’t underestimate the value of erosion from rain.

The tropical scene remains unchanged. There still is that one area down by the West Indies that could develop, but it is only a 10% chance right now. Still don’t know which direction it will go.

Above is a photo that shows where there was a nice three foot cut the day before yesterday. It is now sloped. You can see where the sand went. The sand that was piled in front of this beach is now out in thshallow water, making a low flat beach at low tide, as shown.

The sand has been coming and going here for a couple of months now. Just the same old sand being pulled down and then piled up again when the wind shifts.

Some modern finds were being made in the low flat area that came from recent drops in the sand that was pulled down. Also junk.

Below is photo of another beach yesterday near low tide. This beach did not erode at all in the past few days. That is the way it is. Erosion is often very spotty.

And below is a picture of a recent find. Just a small modern gold and emerald ring. One of the emeralds is missing. Remember what I told you about having a small plastic bag to store items like this. The stones can fall out at any time. If you don’t have them in a bag, you can easily lose the stones. Of course some stones are already gone, but you don’t want to lose those that remain.

This is such a small ring, that it could very easily get missed if you are using too much discrimination, or just not detecting very well.

Keep your coil close to the ground and move slowly.
I haven’t talked lately about checking for your optimal sweep speed. Take a small gold object like this, or whatever type of object you are targeting, and put it on the ground. Sweep your coil over the object at various speeds, fast, slow and in between, and notice when you get the best signal. That is probably your best sweep speed. Practice sweeping at that speed until you have it down.

14K Emerald Ring
It is not a bad idea to do that every once in a while to make sure you are using something close to the best sweep speed. It does make a difference. Some people want the absolute best depth out of their detector, buy a great detector, spend all kinds of time no the settings, and then sweep way to fast or slow.

I'm glad we're moving out of summer conditons.   We usually get a good productive Northeaster in October or November.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 15, 2012

9/15/12 Report - Seas 4 to 6 Feet and Detecting Conditions Rating Unchanged

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Ear Ring
It rained heavily some places on the Treasure Coast in the AM hours up until about 6:45.   Rain can cause erosion too, especially to the dunes and to some inland locations. Check out any erosion for newly exposed old items.

Rain also tends to smooth the seas a bit.

We have a hurricane, Nadine, and a tropical wave about eight hundred miles east of the Windward Isles. Nadine is headed away from us, but I have no idea where the tropical wave will go at this point. It is worth watching.

The seas today will be four to six feet along the Treasure Coast today and tomorrow and then decreasing for a few days.

I’ll stick with my level 2 Treasure coast beach detecting conditions rating for today.

Low tide will be about 2 or 2:30 PM today.

Back a few days ago I posted a photo of a tapered iron object that was about seven inches long. Bill P., who wrote the coin cleaning instructions posted in my treasure links list, thought it might it might be a fid.

In case you don’t know, and I didn’t, a fid is used to splice rope. It is typically tapered and has a point at one end to insert in the rope and force the strands of a rope apart. The object does appear to be about the right shape. That is the best idea I’ve received on that object.  Thanks Bill.
Above is a photo of an ear ring that was detected on a Treasure Coast beach.  It tests above 18K.  The type of clasp is typical of some old ear rings, yet it just looks too nice to be very old.  Of course gold will stay nice under the right conditions.

Note the clasp, which appears to be unlike most modern ear ring clasps. The ear ring has no markings. The design looks like it might be identifiable. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know what it represents. The front appears to be a flame.

The price of gold and other commodities is going up again. The Fed is printing more money to disguise the poor economy before the elections. That devalues the dollar and makes everything, including food and gasoline more expensive. The old virtues of work and save are being punished while borrow and spend appear to be the new virtues. That dollar you worked to put in your pocket is now worth less, and if you saved anything, you’ll get practically no interest at all on that money. That really hurts anyone who saved for their retirement.

Gold is now up to $1770 per ounce, and silver $34.68.

As I said yesterday, there was a lot of sand moved the past few days. Check out areas that were eroded by Isaac and don’t forget to check out newly rain eroded areas.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 14, 2012

9/14/12 Report - Beach Conditions Upgrade Issued

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

I didn't get a chance to go out to the beach since the wind changed direction until this morning.  A lot of sand had been moved.  Most of the sand that had accumulated in the past couple of weeks on the front of the beach was now out in the water, but most of the beach had a slope to the berm.   There were however a few places where there were cuts - up to three or four foot cuts.   Where the beach sloped, the slope was mushy.

There was enough sand moved for me to upgrade my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating from a 1 to a 2.   My scale is a five point scale, with 1 indicating poor, and a 5, excellent detecting conditions.  While conditions are not great, I would expect a few  (very few) cobs to be found.  You might have to look at a lot of beaches to find the good spots.

It is raining on the beach this morning.  I took some good beach photos this morning, but can't get my camera to download them right now.

I wanted to get this posted since I am probably a little late on my upgrade anyway.  Maybe I'll get the photos posted later.

41 emeralds were found by investors diving with a Mel Fisher crew last week.  The Atocha emeralds were mined in Muzo, Colombia.  

The records of a trial of a rogue priest in 16th Century Mexico who is said to have conducted all types of black magic have been translated and published in a new book that presents another side of life in the New World.  Sounds like interesting reading.

Here is the link.

That is it for now.  Maybe I'll have the photos later.


Added this afternoon.

Here is one photo of a cut that I found this morning.  At the base of the three foot cut was a steep slope.  Quite a bit of sand was recently removed from in front of this cut.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

9/12/12 Report - Wreck of the USS Hatteras, Old Button & Gold Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Typical Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday

After I had been to the beach yesterday, I came home and the wind really picked up and came in from the Northeast.   That was a dirty trick.  I was there too early.  I doubt that it was enough to move all of that built up sand anyhow, but I would have liked to have been there after the wind instead of before. 

Here is what one beach looked like yesterday before the wind picked up.   There is a lot of sand on the front beach and I suspect that it would take more than what happened yesterday to move it significantly.  Nonetheless, there may be some new spots worth detecting today.  I've been showing that finds of various kinds have been coming from the Treasure Coast beaches even if there haven't been any treasure coins recently that I know about.

The remains of an iron-hulled Union gunboat, the USS Hatteras, was recently uncovered in the Gulf near Galveston after a storm and was discovered by an underwater photographer.  The hatteras was sunk by the Confederate CSS Alabama on Jan. 11, 1863.

Archaeologists are attempting to map the wreck site before the wreck disappears again.

Here is the link for more on that story.

William M. found another nice early 19th Century button.   It looks like it could be a Dragoon button. 

He used white powder to better show the details for the photo.  I think you can see the eagle.

Nice find William.

The other day I dug what looked like part of the metal part of a shotgun shell.  Embossed on it was Orton Red Meteor.   A little research quickly revealed that it was from a flare, not a shotgun shell.

14K Ear Ring
And here is another gold find from the Treasure Coast.  This is a nice heavy ear ring.  High quality I would say.   

Some ear rings are as heavy as some finger rings.       

Happy hunting,