Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10/10/12 Report - Rare Treasure Coast Find & When Artifacts Blanketed One Beach

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Silver Spike From Most Recent Sedwick Coins Auction.

Here is an interesting and rare Treasure Coast find. It is up for auction in the most recent Sedwick Coins auction.

What is most interesting, is that the spike is not made of iron or one of the metals that spikes are usually made of, but rather silver.

Why do you think a spike would be made of silver? The speculation is that it was made to be hammered into the wood of the vessel where only the smuggler would know and then be retrieved when the voyage was complete.

The spike is about 7.5 inches long and weighs 220 grams. It was found on one of the earliest of the Treasure Coast shipwreck sites.

This is another good reason to have a precious metals test kit. You never know when you might come up with something that might fool you.

Here is a good article describing how thousands of artifacts were dumped on a beach by a beach renourishment project.   Some say over 40,000 artifacts were found, and it is said that the artifacts were so thick on the beach that it was nearly impossible to walk without stepping on one.

The wreck, or wrecks, could be the Severn, lost in 1774, or the Commerce, wrecked in 1771, or both.

After you weed out the misconceptions, there are some interesting and instructive points in this article.

Notice that the context of the shipwreck site was severely damaged by the beach renourishment project, not detectorists.  As is usually the case, the site was actually discovered by beachcombers and that is how the archaeologists found out about it.
Also, as you see in this story, beachcombers assisted with the collection of artifacts when they were properly engaged.  If archaeologists made friends rather than enemies of those of the public that are interested in history, everyone would benefit.

Four years after the dredging project pumped those artifacts onto the beach, TAMU conducted an analysis.

Here is the link to their report.  It is a PDF file, so it might take a little time to download.

It is a good detailed report with some nice pictures of artifacts.  You might want to take a look.

Nothing much new to say about beach conditions.  Here is a photo of a typical Treasure Coast beach from yesterday morning.

One low pressure zone is seems to be moving north and is east of the Bahamas, and the other seems to be heading towards South America.

Seas Wednesday and for the next few days will run around two feet, with mostly north winds.

Happy hunting,