Monday, October 15, 2012

10/15/12 - Coin Hole Study & Silver Whatzit Again

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of

10 Gram Silver Object
A few days ago I posted a photo of a silver shipwreck spike that is up for auction the most recent Sedwick Coins auction. I mentioned that it was thought the spike was made of silver in order to smuggle the silver. I guess that is a passivity, but there is also another possibility.

One reader of this blog wrote mentioning that Pizarro’s horse was shod with silver horse shoes because of the abundance of silver in the New World and a lack of iron for the job. You can find verification for that on several web sites. They used what they had.
That reminded me of a find that I am not 100% confident about yet even though I have been seeking the answer for a long time. (See photo.)  I’ve posted the photo once before.

The object is silver and weighs ten grams.

One reader suggested that the item is a scale weight. I believe that is a good possibility, but would like to find some more confirming evidence. If it is a weight, surely it is not the only silver weight of it’s kind.  I didn't know why they would make a scale weight out of silver, but I guess it is possible, as one reader suggested to me, because that is what they had available at the time. 

It also has a wreath stamped on the one side, directly under the bold “1.” If it is a weight in the measure of 10 grams, why would it be marked with a one instead of a ten? I guess it could be the smallest weight in the set, if it is a weight.

It could simply be an ingot, or an assay sample, the wreath indicating the customer and the 1 the sample.  I'm not completely sure.
I’m thinking it is possibly British because of the wreath and unit of weight used.

I’m still looking for that last piece of evidence to identify this item without a doubt. Thanks for any help.

I was talking yesterday a bit about coin holes and coin lines and asked for readers to tell about those that they’ve discovered. Well, I heard from a detecting brother and regular reader of this blog from half way around the world - New Zealand.

Here is what he said.

Hi Mate,

Despite being on the other side of the world here in New Zealand, I have been following your blog for a year now. It has been surprising how similar conditions are between the Treasure Coast and the beaches where I was living …

Anyway I thought you might be interested in a "coin hole" I came across last year. Oneroa Beach where it appeared is fairly sheltered compared to your beaches but because there wasn't any sudden changes I managed to track how the spot I nicknamed "The Goldmine" changed over time. I assume that other coin holes would move around in a similar way.

The write up is here:

This spot gave up its treasures for a few months after that post in my blog but the hole was never as obvious again. I have ended up with 15 gold rings from there and I gave up counting the coins.

Thanks for keeping up the blog, I look forward to reading it every day and even though Spanish coins will never be found over here you have taught me a lot over the years.

Grant Glazer

Beaches everywhere work pretty much the same. There are differences in beaches, of course - sometimes big differences. The beach Grant was describing is more protected than our Treasure Coast beaches. The Treasure Coast beaches are high energy beaches. They get a lot of wave action a lot of the time with very little to protect them from the impact. But Treasure Coast beaches are probably as different from some South Florida beaches as they are different from this New Zealand beach. In fact some of the South Florida beaches are more like this particular New Zealand beach than they are like the Treasure Coast beaches. This New Zealand beach is similar to the Crandon Park beach on Key Biscayne in some ways.

The Crandon Park beach has lot of very shallow water in front of it that usually keeps the waves from hitting with a lot of force and usually prevents the sand from moving a lot. Long term coin holes form there in the shallow water, but they form and change relatively slowly.

One feature mentioned by Grant that is found on his New Zealand beach that you will find more often on South Florida beaches than Treasure Coast beaches is a layer of clay near the surface. I have seen that in South Florida more than the on Treasure Coast. If you ever run into a beach where clay is exposed near the water line or in the water, be sure to check it out. Watch for milky water. If it is in an area where many people have been, there is a good chance you will find gold there.

Another feature that Grant mentions is a rock table. I can’t describe the different types of rock structures and how to work them here because they are too varied, but it did remind me of the time when Hurricane Andrew uncovered a rock out cropping that was always previously covered and left a thick blanket of silver on a remote corner of Key Biscayne.

You might remember John L.’s mention of rocks near his coin hole. I’ve talked before about how rocks and other objects can create coin traps.

I do see some differences between what Grant describes concerning his coin hole and what typically happens on the Treasure Coast, but the differences are minimal when compared to the many similarities. It all goes to show that many of the same principles and techniques apply on beaches around the world.

Grant did a good study. You might want to check out the his report.

Thanks Grant!

On the Treasure Coast I’m not expecting any additional improvement in beach detecting conditions. The seas will be decreasing and the wind direction changing. It doesn’t look like Rafael will do much of anything for us.

I’m sticking with a 2 on my Treasure Coast detecting conditions rating scale for now. I’d expect a downgrade before long.

You'll probably want to check the low tide zone after the seas calm down a bit.

Happy hunting,