Tuesday, December 4, 2012

12/4/12 Report - Old Bank Bills, Silver Hoards & Vintage Brass Hotel Keys

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

Bill Found in Old Book
A few days ago I gave you a link to an article about a rare gold coin that was found hidden in an old book and advised looking through old books.  You can often find interesting things in old books, sometimes old post cards or photos, for example.

I recently found this three dollar bill
in an old book.  I didn't get excited about it because I didn't expect it to be anything except maybe play money.  It is dated 1864.

It turns out that there was a time when banks such as Bull's Head Bank did print their own money.  I found a list of such bank bills online.  There are genuine Bull's Head Bank bills like this one, but this one is not real.

There are more reprints and fakes of these bills around than there are genuine originals.  Although this one doesn't look real at first glance, it is actually pretty close to the real thing.  The main distinguising feature is that the genuine article has red threes on it.  Otherwise it is pretty close.

Silver hoards were found by archaeologists wielding metal detectors.  The hoards are thught to have  been  buried between 1676-1679 during the Skanian war.

Here is the link.


If you've been detecting very long you've probably dug a lot of keys.  I like the big old brass hotel keys.  I don't know why more people don't collect them.  People already collect those magnetic key cards that have pretty much replaced the old style hotel keys.  I remember when they first came in to use and I dug a few and didn't even know what they were.

The vintage brass keys were very plentiful on Florida beaches in the past.  The ones you find now have generally been out there a while and aren't in very nice condition.   That is one of the down sides of beach hunting.  The salt water is very hard on metal.

I used to find a lot of hotel keys that were in like new condition.  That was a concern to hotel security, as it should have been.  Not to mention that they had to replace them. 

On many of the old brass hotel keys it was printed right on the key that if you dropped it in a mail box it would be returned postage free.  That tells you that the hotel was willing to pay for their return.

Vintage Brass Hotel Key and Fob Finds
Here is a picture of a brass key and a fob that were found years after they were lost and show the effect of corrosion.

Some of my favorite detecting experiences were finding keys.  I once found the car keys for a family that was on a beach far from anywhere.  That was in the days before cell phones and they would have been stranded if I didn't happen along just as they were ready to leave and discovered they had lost their keys.

On another occasion a beach water sports concession lost all of their keys before they opened in the morning and were out of business but told me they'd give me fifty dollars if I found them.  It didn't take me long to find the keys and they were back in business.

The surf has been running around three to five feet lately, and that is the case today.  It hasn't been changing much.  Detecting conditions haven't changed either - still poor.

Low tide this afternoon will be around 5:45 PM.

Happy hunting,