Tuesday, December 31, 2013

12/31/13 New Years Eve Top TBR Posts of 2013 & Potosi Cob Close-up

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

As you might know I have some new equipment that I'm working with that allows me to produce better close-up views of coins and things.

Half Reale From Jupiter Beach Years Ago.

I was looking through some cobs online that were described as having sharp details.  I couldn't believe what they were describing as being "sharp."  They were poor.

Here is one that has what I would think are sharp details.  And it is a beach find.  Many beach finds, as I've shown, are very corroded.

This one was found years ago at Jupiter Beach.  I've shown it before, but I was able to get a better photo with my new equipment.

When found, the side with the monogram was covered with a thick sand conglomerate.  That turns out to be a blessing.  The conglomerate actually protected the cob and when the sand crust was removed, it turned out beautiful.

Unlike the half reals that I most recently posted, this one is not from the Mexico mint.  I've had a hard time deciding if it is from Lima or Potosi.  I'm leaning towards Potosi even though I've been told by a very knowledgeable person otherwise.

If you look at the horizontal bar between the P and S, it looks to me like the die was recut.  When a die would wear out, they would sharpen up the details.

Also, you can see what appears like a double eight at the bottom of the cob.  That is actually the ending S in Phillipus.  And you can see the Roman number III right after it.  So this one is from the era of Philip III.

The S appear to have been recut, but not in the right location so that when the die was used it appears like a double imprint.

My guess on this one is 1621 or 1622.  Can't tell for sure.

If you can add anything or straighten me out on this, please do.

Everybody does a top ten list for the end of the year.  I won't do a top ten list, but I'll do a top eight list. 

I took a look through this years posts to see which ones were the most viewed.  According to the Google statistics, some had many times the number of views than others.

Here are the eight most viewed TBR posts of 2013.

1.  9/13/1.  This post had thousands of views by itself and stood out as the most viewed post by far.  It was posted when there were two hurricanes in the Atlantic simultaneously.  It also presented the Kovel's list of most searched collectibles.

2.  10/24/13.  This post also had thousands of views.  It featured a 1715 gold rosary found years ago by the crew of the Virgalona.

3.  9/28/13.  This post featured beach conditions and a gold medallion.

4. 1/2/13.  Beginning the year of 2013 was this post about clues that would help a person identify the date of religious medallions.

5. 11/28/13.  You might remember this one.  It was done not long ago.   It was my Thanksgiving post about being thankful.

6.  11/27/13.  This post announced a beach conditions downgrade and had a photo of an old trian going through Fort Pierce.

7.  11/18/13.  This one featured Michael E.'s gold chain and medallion find as well as beach conditions predictions.

8.  10/20/13.   This one featured an over-dated eight escudo and discussed the value of genealogical research for detectorists.

As you can see most of the most viewed posts of 2013 were posted in the fall when the weather changed and beach conditions improved and more finds were being made.

One of the common topics of the most viewed posts were gold chains and medallions.

The post that was not posted this fall was the one that was posted last January and was also about medallions.

It is no surprise that more people read the posts when conditions are improving and when more finds are being made.  I was surprised that the post about "thankfulness" was in the top eight.  Maybe I should do more of that kind of thing.

The end of the year is a good time to look back at what you accomplished and didn't accomplish and adjust your methods and goals for the coming year.

Happy New Year,

Monday, December 30, 2013

12/30/13 Report - Search for Two People - Class Ring & Dog Tag Owners & Diamond Ring Found in Car

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

Photos of Finds by Dan B.
Yesterday I suggested going off-beach while waiting for beach conditions to improve.  Dan B. did that, and in the process he found a silver half and a dog tag.  He is searching for the owner of the dog tag.  Dan's finds were from two different sites.

The Franklin half is 90% silver.  In poor condition it might bring around $12 and in perfect condition, around $35.

Nice coin.


The dog tag is being researched.  If you can locate the owner, let Dan know.  Dan is researching it right now.

Michael E., as I explained the other day, has been detecting less than a year and so a lot of his finds are his first of a particular type.

Now he has found his first class ring.

If you've been reading this blog you might know of a couple of finds Michael has been able to return to the original owner.  One was a diamond ring.  That was covered by the news, and I also posted about a St. Christopher medal that Michael returned.  That post was just a couple of days ago.

Michael E.'s First Class Ring Find.

Michael E. is now searching for the owner of this class ring.

Only the initials are inscribed inside the ring.

I suspect he'll be able to return this one too.  He has been in contact with the school, but the staff is on holiday right now.

One resource, and I doubt that it is the most expeditious but it is worth mentioning, is the following web site.


These days it is not difficult to contact the school itself,   Most have facebook pages or web sites.

As I've explained before, make sure you find the right person.  There are people who will attempt to claim items that do not belong to them.  Use some judgement in the process to ensure that you don't get scammed.

Hold some information back that you can use to ensure you have the right person.

I would be very surprised if this owner of this one is not found before long.

I was thinking that local reporters might run down the owner.  It would make a good local news story.

Michael made this find off-beach.  He has been hunting the soccer field that he had hunted before.

Here is what Michael said.

... same soccer fields I've been working since I mailed you about that few months back. In total so far from these fields has been 3 10k rings including the class, 2 925 rings and 2 925 chains and pendants, over $50 in clad. But that doesn't matter I am hoping to return this class ring.

A Midas service technician found a diamond engagement ring in the car he was working on.  The ring was lost for six years before being found and returned.

Here is the link to that story.


On the Treasure Coast we have north winds today, but the surf is only around three feet.  In a few days we'll be getting a little more surf, but probably not enough to help beach conditions much.

Low tide today will be around noon.

I've really been enjoying my new photo equipment and am learning a lot from getting better close up views of things.  

A lot of times you will discover something about a find many months or years after it was found.  Some very important discoveries have been made that way.

As I've said in the past, the find is only the beginning.  

Happy Hunting,

Sunday, December 29, 2013

12/29/13 Report 1715 Fleet Kang Hsi Porcelain, European Pot Shard & Native American Shard

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

Tip of Kang Hsi Shard.
Yesterday I scouted three Treasure Coast beaches.  All three looked pretty much the same.  Poor!

All three were sandy and sloped up to the old berm.  I didn't manage to find any shell piles either.

While treasure beach conditions remain poor, three things I'd consider is looking for non-metallic items in shell piles, if you can find any good shell piles, hunting modern jewelry or going off-beach.

A couple photos of the beaches I saw are posted below.

I thought I'd take a close-up look at some non-metallic finds today, such as shards.

I've talked about Kang Hsi porcelain in the past.  And I've shown some pieces.

Kang Hsi Shard
Second View.
You might know that valuable Kang Hsi porcelain was carried on 1715 Plate Fleet ships as they carried their treasures back to Europe.

Most often, the Kang Hsi porcelain you might see on the Treasure Coast beaches is blue on white, although there are a few other colors that you might find.

Kang Hsi porcelain is good porcelain.  You can learn to identify it, even though much European pottery was later produced to mimic Kang Hsi.

I decided to take a good look at a Kang Hsi shard and discovered one thing that could help you identify Kang Hsi.

First the porcelain is white and fine grained and the items are thin.   That contrast sharply with much European and American blue on white ceramics.

Above is a close-up photo of a Kang Hsi shard.  And below is another shot of the same piece from another angle.

European Pottery Shard - Probably British
Circa 1800.
Look at the broken edge on the right where the blue strokes end.  Notice that the blue has depth.  You can see that it goes through the layer of glaze.

Kang Hsi, unlike the typical European and American blue on white pottery, has that kind of depth.

Here is common shard of European blue on white pottery.

Notice the course darker clay on the European shard.  Also notice how much thicker it is.

You can also see that the surface blue does not penetrate the clay but lays on the surface of the glazing.

I think the differences are clear.  The European shard came from a Caribbean fort and battle area.  It was all over the ground there.

Here is a second view of another part of the same shard.

View of the Clay Where the Surface Glaze Has Been Chipped Off.
One other difference between Kang Hsi porcelain and common European pottery is the blue on the European, and American, pottery will be the same shade.  The blue on Kang Hsi will show various shades and appears to have been applied by a skilled artistic hand.

There are a number of very good books on Kang Hsi porcelain if you want to know more.

You should keep your eyes open for it when on shipwreck beaches.

Entire dishes have been found on the beach in years past.  It is difficult to find an unbroken item on the beach, though, but even the shards are sometimes mounted and sold in jewelry.

Below is another type of pottery.  It is native American and came from South Florida.  Instead of painted, this shard is incised.

Incised Native American Pot Shard

I don't have any idea how old this one is.

After the hurricanes I spotted a stamp checked piece of pottery laying right on the surface beside the road.

You never know what you might see, but the more you know about various things the more likely it is that you will see something.

As I always say, keep your eyes open while detecting.

Beach detecting conditions are poor on the Treasure Coast.

Below are a couple of beach photos from yesterday.

Two Different Treasure Coast Beaches Yesterday.
Same Conditions - Poor.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, December 28, 2013

12/28/13 Report - Medallion Returned, Values of Shipwreck Coins and Lost City Exposed

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

I have a great true real-life Christmas story to tell today.  It is the kind of thing I really like to be able to post.

Michael E., who I'm able to mention in this blog every once in a while, has not been detecting very long - less than a year, but he has accomplished a lot.

In my 8/9/13 post I told about a diamond wedding ring set that he found and returned to the original owner after digging it up on the beach.  The news covered that story.

Here is how Michael recently played Santa's helper.

When I was in Tampa I also found this St. Christopher charm, I didn't mention it in my last (e)mail, due to the fact it was engraved and (I) was in process of finding the owner. Ended up finding the parents of the 11 year old that lost this charm back in 2009, so his father and I agreed that this would be gift wrapped and placed under the tree for Xmas. Also included is the email I received from the now 16 yr old who lost this charm near 6 yrs ago. Love this part of the hobby.

Here is the note that Michael received from the surprised owner who got his lost medallion back.

Thanks for the story Michael and for being such a good ambassador for the hobby!

I appreciate receiving reports of finds and especially reports of returned finds.

I wish you all, many happy returns.

Always check found items for inscriptions that will help you find the owners.  Many wedding bands, class rings, and other gifted items of sentimental value will be inscribed.

If you find an odd looking date such as 30/12/13 inscribed on an item you might wonder about it, but in Europe the day is written before the month, unlike most of the U. S. where the typical order is month, day, year.

I just read this article in which a very knowledgeable coin dealer discusses investing in shipwreck coins, specifically S.S. Central America Double Eagle gold coins, but the same principles apply to any shipwreck coins.

Even though the article is a few years old, which means you have to adjust the prices, it provides a lot of good insight on factors that determine the desirability and price of shipwreck gold coins.  Very worth reading.


Always watch for newly exposed earth.  Here is a story of falling lake levels exposing the remains of an old city where detectorists are having a lot of fun exploring.


I've had a lot of good stories, news articles and historical pieces to report lately.  I thought you would really enjoy the one on the army removing ordnance from the Treasure Coast beaches.

I'll soon be conducting another blog poll but have been waiting for the holiday season to be over before I do that.  The readership might be a bit different than usual during the holidays.

I also hope you like the better coin photos now that I have some good equipment for that.

On the Treasure Coast there isn't much good predicted for this week, but next Saturday a seven foot surf is predicted.  If that prediction holds, local beach detecting conditions could improve again.

Happy hunting

Friday, December 27, 2013

12/27/13 Report - Microscopic Inspection of Dug Coins and Cobs and Comparison of Two Half Reales

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

I got some new equipment that can be used to take good photos of coins and other small objects.

Here is an example of one of the first photos that I took of a coin using the Celestron microscope.

I plan to use the microscope to study and photograph beach cobs as well as other things.

If you look at the penny shown here you can see the steps, you can see the figure of Lincoln between the two center columns, and you can see the surface of the coin pretty well.  There is some glare that obscures some of the details.

What I found is that the resolution of the microscope far exceeds that of my computer monitor so if I want to see more detail, I'm going to have to get a higher resolution screen.  Some of the lack in detail in this photo is due to lighting too.

Nonetheless, as is, I expect the microscope to be useful and I expect you'll see the results in future posts.

Here are a couple more of my first attempts with the new device.

Here is a photo of a half reale that was recovered from a Treasure Coast beach in November of 2013.  I posted a photo of it before, but that photo wasn't nearly this good.

In this photo you can see the P assayer mark more clearly (to the left of the bottom of the large P).

You can also clearly see the M mint mark above that, indicating the Mexico mint.

Notice other details, such as the circles and the figure below and between the big P and S.

I think it makes a nice photo even with the limitations in computer screen resolution.

You can also see a few grains of sand still attached to the surface of the cob.

Below is a photo of another half reale found in November of 2013 at the same beach.  I think you can clearly see that this cob was made by another die.

Not only were there many different dies, but dies also were reworked as they wore out and needed to be sharpened up.

Unfortunately this cob does not show the assayer mark.  It does however show part of the M mint mark.

Look just to the left of the big P about half way down the P.  You can see the right side of the M.

So this cob is also a Mexico minted cob.  You could also tell that by looking at the style of cross on the other side of the cob.

You can see the part of the figure below and between the P and S on both cobs - representing a pomegranate, I believe.

One of the big differences I see between the two cobs is the V above and between the P and S.

On the top cob it is complete and entirely between the P and S.  On the bottom cob, it appears to overlap with the S.

I will be using this microscope to make good photos of coins and finds.  Too bad screen resolution is such a limiting factor.  I think the photos look good nonetheless.

Today on the Treasure Coast the surf is around five feet today, but will be diminishing over the next week or so, so don't expect any improvement in beach detecting conditions real soon.

Thats all for now.
Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 26, 2013

12/25/13 Report - The Night After Christmas and The Next Day on the Beach

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

Flagler Beach Yesterday.

Since I was derelict in my duties yesterday, I'll post this incomplete post just to get you started today.  I'll be back a bit later with more up-to-date info on the Treasure Coast beaches in just a little while.

First, here is a photo of Flagler beach from yesterday.

Now that Santa's big red bag is empty and the colorful wrapping paper, now crumpled and torn, waits for Waste Management's big green truck, Silent Night has become dead silence in the middle of the night, Father Time waits in the wings, and Baby New Year too. The beat goes on like the endless tides.

That is the kind of writing you get from someone who just woke up in the middle of the night not being able to remember what he dreamed two seconds ago.  Another mixed bag.  Right now, I like it - whatever It is.

I want to thank those of you who wrote to say Merry Christmas or Thank You or who had other witty comments.  You put a smile on my face.

I couldn't believe how many people saw the video I posted showing a childhood Christmas back in the day.  Even people that don't metal detect or read this blog found it without me mentioning it or saying anything about it.  My nephew from New York saw it on Facebook where it was reposted by some of the other kids in the video.  That amazed me.  The internet is pervasive.  What will they think of next?

The video was made in the mid-fifties on 8 mm film and then more recently converted to DVD.  There are companies that make a business of converting film to DVD.   You might consider doing that if you have any old home movies around.

I've been hearing from a lot of people from other areas lately.  Its the time of year when snowbirds start  dreaming of Florida beaches while pieces of eight dance in their heads.

I received a couple of books that I'm sure will get quoted in this blog in the future.  And some other things that will contribute to my posts. 

I don't know if you've seen Prospectors on the Weather Channel.  It is now one of my favorite shows.

A prehistoric burial gound known as The Windover Archaeological Site, which was discovered in 1982 near Titusville, has been purchased by The Archaeological Conservancy, to conserve the site.  The site contains some very rare treasures, including 168 well preserved skeletons going back to the Early Archaic period.

Here is the link for more on that story.


A day late, but you might enjoy this history of the Christmas tree.


I got out to take a look at the beach this morning.  I only looked at a couple of Treasure Coast beaches, but was disappointed what I saw.

One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.
Christmas Eve I mentioned that the wind was blowing strong out of the North, but it seems it didn't help.  I looked at a couple of beaches this morning and the most erosion I saw was a maximum of six inches in some spots.  Although I only saw a couple of beaches, I didn't see anything very promising.  Conditions remain poor.

Here is one photo showing the type of thing I saw this morning.

Maybe there are better beaches somewhere.  You would hope.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

12/24/13 Report - Night Before Christmas Edition PLUS Afternoon Update

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

UPDATE:  This afternoon evidently a front came through.  The wind picked up and was coming strongly from the North.  There is a very good chance that there will be some action at the beach today and/or tomorrow.  I probably won't do a post tomorrow, so wanted to alert you to the possibility of some erosion.  TG.

Child's Book That Survived
From the 1930s.

Did you ever give any thought to what treasure is and what makes it treasure?   What are the most important things to you?

This article tells how one man's treasures were stolen and returned after they were found in a recycling plant.


It seems to me there are magic moments in life.  They are times when it seems something special happens.  You might call it magical.   Those times stand out.  They make you feel more alive somehow.  They are intense and memorable.  They are different for different people.  For some it might be when their first child was born, or it might be a special childhood Christmas, or it might be when a loved one recovered from a critical injury or disease.   Or it might happen when you gaze upon a marvelous scene of creation.

Those special moments are experienced more intensely than others and are remembered unlike any others.  Those special moments change lives.   They are more felt than understood.  

I hope you can think back and identify some special moments in your life.  I can.  And strangely enough they aren't always the kind that can be described in a way that makes them sound special to anyone else.  In fact some of them are times when nothing much happened at all.  They were times when there was no big event - no accomplishment or unusual happening - nothing much at all to really separate them from any of the more common moments in life.

Those uneventful magic moments seem to come from within rather than from any thing that happened.

Too often those moments aren't really acknowledged at the time and you only realize how special they were when you look back in time.  Maybe to Christmases past or something like that.

Maybe you can recall the magic of one or more Christmases past.  Maybe you can recall being so excited to see what Santa might bring that you couldn't go to sleep.  That kind of magic seems to get lost with age, and maybe it should, but maybe not.

I think magical moments should be fostered.  They should be planted, fertilized, and most carefully  encouraged and maintained.  They are far too rare.

I don't think those moments come from events even though they might be associated with events.  They come more from  inside.  For me, and I don't mean to offend anyone that doesn't believe similarly, they come more from spirit than flesh.  You could call them supernatural, but to me there is nothing more natural than spirit, and so there is nothing supernatural about the supernatural, as contradictory as that might sound.

\I believe those special moments have very much to do with the spirit of man being revived and refreshed by a fresh breath of Spirit, as quick and fleeting as it may be.

I believe it is not so much what happens as what you bring to it.  You can only find the magic in life to the extent you are able and willing.  A lively spirit and soul will find much more magic in life.

What is more magical than life itself?  The fact that you get to open your eyes and look around.  The fact that you can make decisions and take action.  The fact that you are here, alive and aware at this time and place in history.  The fact that you can interact with and influence the lives of others.  The fact that you can interact with, know, support and encourage others.

There are many who won't feel those magic moments this Christmas, or much of any other time either.  I don't condemn them.  There might be very big reasons for that.  Hurt, loss or sorrows.  Heaven knows we've all lost too much of life.  It seems that magic is a real rarity these days in most lives.  Crudeness is the norm.   Something has been lost that needs to be found and returned.

What I hope you find this Christmas, or anytime you can, is that deep appreciation for the magic of life.  And when you are touched by it, try to spread it around.  I can use all of it I can get. That is real treasure to me.

And now, here is a picture of the TreasureGuide and some of his family and friends.


May you have the true spirit of Christmas everyday.

Monday, December 23, 2013

12/23/13 Report - Three Thoughts on a Mystery Object, Two Gold Rings, One Old Key and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

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

Here are a couple of old finds.

The old corroded key was dug in the same area as the vert, which has a small hole in the middle.

Down below I posted some more modern finds.

I posted a photo of a mystery object in my 12/20/13 post and got a few new ideas on what it might be.

Chris V. said, I was reading you post this morning and I think, and it looks like a,  brass, choke plate for a carburetor,  maybe motorcycle or small engine, they usually have 2 screw holes but i am sure some could have 3,,  it really looks like it,, the cut out it to let some air pass, down the throat. very common. especially on jet ski carbs.

There is always the possibility that somehow new stuff got mixed in with the old.

Carter M. offered this idea.  I live in Virginia and mostly hunt Civil War camps and Colonial house sites.  Your whatsit could be a piece (scale) off an epaulet, I don't know for sure though.  We do find reales here once in a while, mostly halfs or one reales from Mexico w/ 1732 the oldest I have seen dug here in Northern Va.! ( A 176? is my oldest).

Thanks for the idea Carter and congratulations on the finds.

Tom B. wrote in with another good idea.  Here is what he said.

Recently my kids bought me a metal detector for my retirement and I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for just a few months now.  I grew up on the treasure coast and have always enjoyed its beaches.

Regarding your post on 12/20 the odd crescent shaped piece of metal.  This is truly a ‘wild guess’ but were there any Scotsmen in this British Regiment.  The piece might be part of a Scottish Sporran pouch typically made of leather or fur to hold money and military men used them to hold their musket balls.  Most have three bangles that hang down from the front which would account for the three holes.  The ones that you see now are quite ornate but a soldier might have a very simple one.

Thanks for writing and all of the ideas.  I'll have to do some more research.

Sometimes a ring looks like it is heavier or lighter than it actually is.  The weight will depend in part upon the purity of the gold and the alloys.

Below are two recent dug rings, both 18K.

First is this 0.2 oz. multicolor ring of 18K.

I thought it was interesting.  It looked to me like it would weight more than that but it is thin.

And here is another 18K ring.  It is small and I thought it would weight even less than it does - 0.05 oz.

The leaves look like they were attached as separate parts.  The hollow middle looks a little odd to me, almost like it was meant to hold something, but I don't think it did.

Below is a shell item that looks like it was worked, maybe to be a punch.

It was found in the same area as the vert shown above.

We finally got some lower low tides lately on the Treasure Coast.

Still expecting a six foot surf for the 25th.   About four feet until then.

That is all for now.  Have been quite busy lately.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, December 22, 2013

12/22/13 Report - Strange Helicopter, Large Treasure Coast Ordnance Removal Project and WWII History

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

Figure From 1998 NRL Project Report.
See link below for link to the report.
Have you seen the strangely equipped helicopter flying up and down the coast off of Hutchinson Island?

There have been many rumors recently about the helicopter with a strange contraption attached.  Some said it could be a government agency doing a study of the sand.  They can actually measure the amount of sand deposits in the water from the air.  Others thought it could be a magnetometer survey or photographic mapping.

One resident who spoke to the helicopter crew thinks they got the answer.  They say the helicopter is conducing a magnetometer survey for WWII items.

As you probably know a magnetometer by detecting differences in the magnetic fields can detect iron objects.

It has been determined that a Canadian company is performing the survey to locate the WWII items for a future reality TV program.

That reminded me of a large project to remove WWII items from the Treasure Coast beaches back in the 1990s.

I've talked about that a little in the past but you might be surprised by the extent and type of artifacts that were removed.

Figure From Same NRL Report.

Beginning in 1993, the project conducted by the Naval Research Laboratory removed everything from sculleys, to live bombs, "tiny tom" missiles, to railroad rails.  The 1990s project employed a magnetometer survey with a magnetometer array pulled by the vehicle shown here.

The strangest contraption though was a large barge-like amphibious vehicle on tracks like those used on tanks or other heavy equipment and equipped with a large crane that was used to remove large sculleys from the water.  That thing was huge.  I wish I got a photo of it at the time. I hoped they would show it in the report, but they didn't.

The fellows working the project were dressed like those shown below in black shorts and white Ts.

If you want to learn more about the project, what was detected, how the project was conducted, and what went on at our Treasure Coast beaches during WWII, below is a link to a report on the project.

Not a Cannon But a Rocket Being Removed From
a Treasure Coast Beach.

Anti-Tank Mines Removed From Beach.

Here is the link for the Navy report.  It is a PDF file.


You'll find a lot of information in the report and some useful hints.

Most of the items removed were larger - at least a half meter or more.  And as you'll read, there was a lot of "live" ordnance.

Many obstacles thought to be a danger to swimmers and
boaters like this Hedgehog were removed from the
water along the Treasure Coast.

Did you know, that Normandy Beach on South Hutchinson Island was named that because it was used to conduct training exercises for the invasion of Normandy?   The report says that area was used for bombing raid exercises.

I've been receiving a lot of email from readers from other states lately.  I'll post some of those and some ideas on the mystery item I posted yesterday.

I got one report of good erosion on the Alabama Coast lately.

On the Treasure Coast a lot of surfers were enjoying the Christmas break yesterday.  The surf was up to about four feet.

On Christmas the predictions are for a six foot surf.

Happy Hunting,

Friday, December 20, 2013

12/20/13 Report - Gold Prices Fall, Whatzit, Jewelers Loupe and Old Straten Bottle

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

I've shown this find before but have never figured out what it is.  I decided to show it once again.

It was found at a circa late 1700s or early 1800s site along with musket balls, grapeshot, and British military buttons.

I don't know what metal it is.  It is fairly thin, something like a heal or toe plate, but does not show the slightest wear and does not seem to be the right size for that.  Also the holes and shape don't seem exactly right for that.

If you have any ideas what it is let me know.  A few people have offered ideas, but I don't feel like I have a positive ID yet.

Gold hit a new 3 year low at around $1200 per ounce yesterday.  Here is a nice long term chart of gold prices.


And here less detailed chart, which shows how much in dollars gold has increased over the decades.

The source of this chart is

You have to remember that a great deal of the increase in the price of gold can be explained in the decrease of the value of the dollar.

To oversimply, what you could buy in 1900 for $3.48 would have cost $100 in 2012.  So if I figure it right, close to half the change in the price of gold is due to the decrease in the value of the dollar.

Silver, of course, has been dropping as well and was down to $19.19 per ounce yesterday.

For inspecting finds, especially jewelry, I recommend using a jewelers loupe.   10X magnification is best.   Anything not seen with 10X is not used in grading diamonds.

Here are a few tips for buying and using a jewelers loupe.


I have some interesting experiments planned that I'll probably do after the holidays.  Also I'll be doing a few more polls in the near future.

Don't forget if you want a little variety and you feel like trying something other than the beaches, the Treasure Coast has a lot of places you can find old bottles.

I heard from one reader recently who is a bottle digger and he mentioned he was looking for some places to dig bottles.

Along waterways or at old sites you can find old bottles that you don't have to dig, such as the one shown here.

This small bottle is embossed Vanstan's Stratena.  It is from the 1890s and is a glue bottle.  2.5 inches tall and nice aqua.

On the Treasure Coast today we have about a three foot surf, which is expected to increase gradually up to about six feet by Christmas.  Six feet is getting close to the level where if everything else is right, we could get some improvement in beach detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,


Thursday, December 19, 2013

12/19/13 Report - Big New Excavation of Vero Man Site to Begin in January, Lead Ingots From Roman Shipwrecks, and Tlingit Helmet

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

Did you know that the Treasure Coast has one of the most important Ice Age sites in North America?  We do.   It is known as the Old Vero Man site in Vero Beach.

Famous Mammoth Bone Carving
Found by James Kennedy
Photo from Palm Beach Post link below.
 A new excavation by the Mercyhurst Archaeologica Institute will begin at the Vero Man site in January of 2014.  The site was discovered nearly 100 years ago.

I've mentioned this site before in this blog and once attended a conference in Vero about the world-famous mammoth carving that showed that men lived along with mammoths in Florida during the Ice Age.

Artifacts from the dig will be analysed and then returned to Vero Beach for display.

Here is the source of that story.


Not surprisingly the article fails to mention the local amateur who found the most famous artifact from that site, James Kennedy.

Here is a link to how James discovered the famous carving on the bone after he had the bone stored under his sink for three years.


Lead ingots from old Roman shipwrecks are used to line modern equipment used in dark matter research creating a controversy between archaeologists and physicists.  The old lead ingots are well suited to the purpose, being less radioactive.

Archaeologists don't think the ingots from the past should be used up for modern scientific research.  The article questions which is the most important, an item form the past or research for the future.


Tlingit War Helmet Discovered in Science Museum.

Where is the best place to search for lost ancient artifacts?   In museum storage vaults.   Of course, in addition to being hidden and forgotten, they also could be misidentified or unidentified.

The helmet shown here was recently discovered after many years of not seeing light of day.

How could something so nice be forgotten for so long?

Below is the link to the story.


The surf on the Treasure Coast is around three feet today.  It will be increasing to about five feet by Christmas.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12/18/13 Report - First Rosie's, Nice 14K Chain, Weather Trends and Most Valuable Coins Lists

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

14K Chain 
Find and photo by Michael E.
I like to celebrate "first" finds.  Today Michael E. reports that he found his first Rosie, actually two, a 47 and 55, along with a bunch of other things.

Michael E. says he has been detecting nearly 9 months now.  For a lot of us that doesn't seem very long, but Michael has been going at it hot and heavy and has made a lot of finds for that amount of time.  He'll be at it for at least another 20 years I'm sure.

He has been doing a little traveling as well as detecting locally.

Here is a nice long 14K chain he found and other finds shown below.

Here is some of what Michael had to say.

I hope this finds you well, going on 9 months detecting, crazy such a short time I know, and not a day goes by which I refer to your blogs insight and daily posts. Thank you again...  Found my first dug Rosie 1947 and a 1955, handful of wheats, 4 .925 rings 2 .925 earrings, 34$ in clad thank you coin star, and a intact 14k chain. I have secured permission from the board of directors at our local boys scout campgrounds to detect...

Congratulations on the nice finds Michael!  Thanks for sharing.

There is plenty to do when the beaches aren't doing too much.  And, as I always say, when you venture out and try new places and things, you'll often learn something new - maybe something about your detector and how to use it more effectively.

There are a lot of places to detect and, believe it or not, some of them haven't been worked yet.  You can expand your horizons if you ask permission to hunt some other areas.

More of Michael's Finds

Check out this site for the lists it provides of the most valuable coins.

At the top of the list is a $4.5 million dollar Liberty nickle.


Go all the way to the bottom to get lists broken up into types of coins and denominations.

This is a good site that you might find interesting and useful.

Weather trends continue.  While November was warm we are now in a cooling trend and ice packs are building up.  It snowed in Jerusalem already this month.


On the Treasure Coast the surf is small today.  The weather has been cool.   Much better detecting weather than the 90 degree 90 percent humidity stuff we get sometimes.

Don't expect anything more than a five foot surf before Christmas.

Conditions remain poor.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

12/17/13 Report - Black Sand and Some Tips for Detecting In It and a Couple of Sunken Ships Discovered

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

You'll occasionally see black sand on our Treasure Coast beaches.  Some black sand is slightly magnetic.  It is ilmenite, an iron titanium oxide.  Florida ilmenite occurs in round sand-size particles.

Closeup of Black Sand
From the site linked below.
Sometimes you'll see very thin layers and other times thick layers of back sand.  It gets concentrated when the other lighter sand particles such as quartz are moved by wind and waves leaving concentrations of the heavier black sand.  When black sand appears, it is sometimes a sign that conditions are better.

Other heavy minerals on Florida beaches include rutile, zircon, and staurolite.

Ilmenite has industrial uses such as being used in the manufacture of titanium.

Some detectorists have a lot of trouble detecting in black sand.  I don't find it particularly problematic.   It will give false signals, but you can learn to distinguish most signals coming from actual targets from the false signals. 

One thing that will help is swinging your coil with the flow of the black sand instead of across it.  Edges will cause more false signals.  So will foot prints or holes.   Foot prints and holes create sharp edges in the black sand which will cause louder false signals.   It can be difficult to determine if you removed the target from a hole dug in black sand or if you didn't get the target.  

Detecting in black sand is a little like detecting in wet salt sand. 

Here is a nice web site that talks about some different kinds of sand and shows some nice photos of different kinds of sand.


If you read that site carefully you'll see a couple of nice useful hints.

A shipwreck was discovered on  a Florida beach back in October.  I think I missed that one then.  This one might be only about a hundred years old or so.


An 1861 steamer possibly containing gold was found in Lake Huron.  Here is the link to learn more about that.


Here are some good prices reported by Kovels Komments.

Jesse Owens' 1936 Olympic gold medal set a record for any piece of Olympic memorabilia. SCP Auctions of Laguna Niguel, Calif., sold it on Dec. 8, 2013, for $1,466,574.
Norman Rockwell's 1951 painting, "Saying Grace," brought $46 million at a Sotheby's auction on Dec. 4, 2013. It's the highest price ever paid at auction for an American painting and is about 1,500 times as much as Rockwell was paid to paint it (he was paid $3,500, which is equivalent to about $30,500 today).

The lead statue of the Maltese Falcon used as a prop in the 1941 movie sold at a Bonhams auction on Nov. 25, 2013, for $4,085,000.

I always find it interesting what people are willing to pay big bucks for.

On the Treasure Coast we only have about a two-foot surf.  That will increase in a couple of days but not nearly enough to improve beach detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,

Monday, December 16, 2013

12/16/13 Report - Florida Fossils and Mountain Treks

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

Peace River Fossil Finds.
Finds and photos by Bill M.

I talk about all kinds of treasures in this blog, but mostly what can be found on the Treasure Coast or around Florida.  Sometimes, like yesterday, I'll talk about experiences from elsewhere.  I believe that the more experiences you have, the better off you will be.  You can usually learn something from hunting different things or different places that you can apply to somewhere else.

While waiting for beach conditions to improve, Bill M. took a trip to the Peace River and found the fossils you see here.

Nice finds Bill!  That was a good day.

I was thinking just the other day that I hadn't mentioned fossils for quite some time.

You can occasionally find fossils on a number of the Treasure Coast Beaches.  I've seen a few in the River too.  In fact my first Treasure Coast fossil was a Great White tooth that I saw beside the river.

The first fossil I found, I didn't know what it was at the time, but it came up in a scoop of sand when I was digging a target in the water in S. Florida.  I didn't know what it was at the time but held onto it until I eventually found out exactly what it was.

Don't be too quick to throw things away when you don't now what they are.

A Closer View of One of Bill's Finds.

Here is a nice shark tooth that Bill found.

You can see many others in the above photo.

Below is a photo of Bill's equipment.

You can get a permit to hunt fossils from the State of Florida.

I once posted information on how to do that.  The price is nominal.

Fossil hunting can be a lot of fun.  If you think Spanish coins are old, that is nothing compared to fossils, which can be millions of years old.

A sifter can be a handy for a lot of things.  They aren't expensive or difficult to construct.

Thanks for sharing Bill!

Yesterday I mentioned Eldorado Canyon and an old hotel site up the trail.

Well, I'm not the only one that visited that hotel site.

I received an email from Rick A. who said the following.

When I first started reading the story, I thought to myself "this sounds like Eldorado Canyon "

I have not only been there , I have metal detected that hotel site, and although I didn't find much, I did find a spoon from the old hotel. I gave it to the park ranger as part of its history... Sometimes I wonder if we have crossed paths, as I lived in Colorado for 30 years and moved to Florida 4 years ago. Have you ever heard of the old Treasure hunting club in Denver called " Eureka " ? I was once a board member there... 

Small world!

Good to hear from someone else that has made the trek up that trail to the old hotel site.  I guess you didn't get stymied by the fake snake.

Thanks for sharing Rick.

While on the topic of scenic places, snakes and the like, Aquanaut John shared his encounter.  Here is what he had to say.

As far as the snake story goes, I have one similar, albeit with a real encounter. When I was 14 years young, my Grandfather took me out to West Virginia to experience the wonders of his own childhood. One of the these was a climb up Seneca Rocks (pictured). He had told me he did it when he was about my age and was sure I'd enjoy the climb, view the river below with the large schools of huge trout in it's crystal clear waters, and the extraordinary view at the top. While he went fishing I went climbing. My serious trout fishing lessons on native trout streams would come later.
Seneca Rocks.
Submitted by Aquanaut.

About halfway up, I stopped to look around and sure enough I could see the trout, although they looked pretty small from up that high. I resumed my climb anxious to see what the view would be from the top! Not to be! About another 100 feet up, I reached for a handhold above me only to hear a familiar rattle. I jerked my hand back down only to hear a chorus of rattles, RATTLESNAKES! Lots of them! All the snakes had been made aware of my presence! The big trouble was that I didn't know where they ALL were. I had only one recourse, head back down the way I came up.

Although I didn't make it all the way to the top, I was still pretty excited about the adventure. I think my Grandfather was a little disappointed for me, but it got better when we began the fishing and camping part together!

There is another beautiful place visit and to get out and share the sights and sounds of nature.

We do have rattlesnakes here on the Treasure Coast too, so be careful when you are hunting inland.  And coral snakes, which I see every once in a while.

It looks like beach detecting conditions will remain poor for a while now.  I don't see anything in the forecast that will cause an improvement in conditions this week.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

12/15/13 Report - Obstacles. Believing and Eldorado Canyon

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

Eldorado Canyon State Park
Source: See Wikipedia link below.
Falling off into the mountain stream far below, a steep cliff descended just inches from the edge of the road to my right.  It was a road not meant for the faint of heart.  On the other side, a sheer rock cliff rose 850 feet into the sky.  Slowly negotiating the narrow winding road, I strained my neck looking up to see where the rocks met the sky.  As the first rays of the sun found their way into the narrow valley between the towering cliffs of the canyon, a few rock climbers hung near the base of the rock cliff like spiders on a wall.

Parking the car at the next turnoff , my wife and I got out to get a better look at this marvel of nature.  I wondered how anyone could climb a sheer rock wall to such dizzying heights.  And how could anyone put so much trust in mere ropes and pegs.

I wanted to visit the site where an old hotel used to stand and chose one of the marked hiking trails that would eventually get me there.  After going just a few yards on that trail I stopped dead in my tracks.  Coiled on top of a boulder on the side of the hiking trail was a coiled snake.  I didn't what what kind of a snake it was, but it looked to me like a rattlesnake.

The path was narrow and I didn't want to take a chance on an encounter with a rattlesnake, or possibly more.

I started to return to the car.  I really wanted to visit the hotel site, so I went back towards the boulder hoping the snake would be gone.  Unfortunately the snake was still there.

I studied it from a safe distance for a few moments.  Maybe it was some type of harmless snake.  But maybe it wasn't.  I couldn't really tell.

After finding a suitable stone, I threw it towards the snake.  The stone sailed high over the snake's head.  The snake didn't move.  I tried again.  The stone was a little closer this time, but still the snake didn't move.  One more time.  I hit the boulder right beside the snake, but there was still no movement.

I began to wonder what was going on with this snake.  Was it fearless or what?  How did it get up on that boulder anyhow?  Not only did I have a conflict - wanting to go on the trail but not wanting to approach the snake - but now there was something of a mystery to it.

As I thought about what I was going to do, across the valley I noticed two of the rock climbers were a little higher up the face of the cliff now.  They were moving slowly and methodically, carefully calculating each and every move.  It was all done with painstaking precision.  Still I hadn't made any progress.

My brief meditation on rock climbing was suddenly interrupted by movement on the trail ahead.  A lady came down the path from the other direction, quickly rounded the bend and passed the boulder and the snake without even breaking stride.  I thought she might not have seen the snake.  When she got closer, I asked her what kind of snake it was.  Her answer was surprising.  She told me, "It's a sculpture."

I could only laugh.  I now realized that it was a stone snake that stopped me.  I was correct that it looked like a rattlesnake, but it was a rattlesnake made of stone.

On the other side of the boulder was a sign explaining that rattlesnakes were sometimes seen on the path.  The statue was part of a warning.  It did its job too well.

This is a true story that I've told before.  It is a true story and makes a handy illustration that can be used for a variety of lessons.

One lesson is that your beliefs can be a big obstacle - as much as any other type of real obstacle.  Your beliefs can limit your success.

If you don't believe anything will be found, it is unlikely that you'll find much.

It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you don't think anything will be found, you'll likely give up quickly, if you try at all.

We all know the Mel Fisher saying, "Today is the day."  That kept him going until it was indeed the day.

If you are not optimistic - if you don't believe in the possibility of success, you probably won't find it.

I've heard it said that a person who never changed their mind never learned anything.

There are things that I've believed that were simply wrong.  That is true for anybody.

I once believed that beach cobs were not washed up onto the beach.  I believed that they were simply uncovered from time to time.  I believed that for quite a while.  Even after I had found a number.  But I don't believe that anymore.  It doesn't explain some things I've observed.  Now I believe that sometimes they are uncovered, but sometimes they are washed up.

I've seen cobs laying on top of the flat dry sand as high as that part of the beach has ever been.  And not just once or twice.  There is no way I can explain cobs being in such a place and believe that they were just uncovered.

I've seen cobs where there was no sand before the sand refilled the area.  They had to be washed up with the fill sand.  Although I can think of a few other possible explanations, such as someone going around throwing three hundred year-old cobs on the beach, that doesn't seem very likely.

Some people discard data that does not conform to their beliefs instead of changing their beliefs to conform to the data.  Actually that is probably true of all of us at different times.   Sometimes we discard good data because it doesn't fit what we believe or want to believe even when we would be better off changing our beliefs to take into account the new data.

Most incorrect beliefs aren't as dangerous as rattlesnakes, but they can be bigger obstacles because you continue to live with them until you finally decide you have to change your mind.

A 250 year-old cannon emerges from the sand.  Here is the link for that story and the source of the photo.


I got way off-beach today, but I wanted to put a few ideas out there.   Eldorado Canyon is a world-class cliff climbing destination with amazing scenery and some nice history to explore.  I recommend visiting it if you are ever in the Boulder area.

Here is more about it.


On the Treasure Coast conditions beach detecting conditions remain poor.  There will be nothing more than about a two-foot surf for a few days and then nothing more than a four-foot surf for a few days after that.  That means continuing poor conditions will remain for a while.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

12/14/13 Report - Design Features of 1711 - 1713 Mexican Escudos and Beach Conditions

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

Type of Cross Shown on 1711 - 1713 Mexican Escudos.
Illustration from Cobs, Treasure Coins and Pieces of Eight
 \\\by Sewall Menzel.

Yesterday I showed a photo of a one-escudo found by one of this blog's readers.  Today I'll examine some of the features of cobs like that.

First, 1711 - 1713 Mexico escudos displayed a cross with "crosslets" at right angles to each arm, as opposed to the box-ended cross of immediately preceding years.  See the illustration here as compared to the photo of the one-escudo that was submitted.


One-Escudo from Yesterday's Post.

The date of this cob, partially shown on the other side of the cob, is 1711.

The design of the cross we see here seems to match that date period.

I'm certainly not a cob expert.  I just pass along what little I've learned from good resources and experience.

If I got any of this wrong, feel free to correct me.

Shield Design For 1711 - 1713 Mexican Escudos.
Same Menzel Source.

Escudos of this date and mint show the OXMJ mint mark and assayers initials, and the Bourbon arms covers most of the lower-right castle.

The date, as you can see, is displayed at the upper left corner of the shield.  And the denomination to the right of the shield.  This particular illustration shows VIII, indicating the illustration is for an eight-escudo rather than a one-escudo.

Here is the photo of the one-real that I showed yesterday.  The shield matches up well.

You can not see the denomination to the right of the shield on the one-escudo, but you can see the partial date at the upper left corner of the shield.

I got out to the beach this morning finally.  The wind was blowing out of the South.  Here is one of the better looking spots that I saw.  The cut in front was about two feet at the highest.

I stopped at another beach, which had no cuts at all.

The front of the beach had a lot of shells that were covered by sand a little sand.  That hasn't changed much for a few weeks.

I'm sticking with my 1 (poor) beach conditions rating.  I think that is what it has been since December and maybe the last week or so of November.

Conditions are poor, but still better than summer conditions.

Here is the fascinating account of a fellow that was saved after spending 60 hours 100 feet underwater in a sunken tug boat.   Amazing!

I think I would have died.  The survivor found the Psalms to be a very present help in a time of trouble.


Unlike most big web sites, I'm not selling, advertising or promoting anything here.  Just a reminder.

Happy hunting,