Thursday, February 28, 2013

2/28/13 Report - Coins: First, Biggest, Best

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1794 Silver Dollar
Said to be the Most Valuable Coin
Picture clipped from link cited below.

 I received some email in response to yesterday's post describing a New England sixpence found by a detectorist in a potato field.  Although that coin has been referred to as the most valuable "found" coin, it appears that there is another dug coin that is even more valuable.

 The sixpence might be the most valuable coin dug in the US, but Mitch K. sent a link to an article about an Edward III 1344 Double Leopard, which sold for over $840,000  US.  That coin was dug by a detectorist in England.  There are only three of those known to exist, and two are in the British Museum.

Here is the link if you want to read more about the Double Leopard.

The same article also references an even more valuable coin, which is said to be the world's most expensive, but it was not dug.  That coin is a 1794 Silver Dollar.

Here is the link if you want to learn more about the silver dollar.

Thanks Mitch!

Speaking of the world's most exceptional coins, here is what has been called the "first silver dollar."

First Silver Dollar
1538 8-Reales

(Beverly Hills, CA) - Coin dealer cousins, Ira and Larry Goldberg of Beverly Hills, California, have confirmed the discovery of a centuries' old treasure - a (1538) 8 reales of Spanish rulers Charles and Johanna, the first silver dollar-sized coin minted in the Americas. It is a numismatic missing link, and the first one publicly confirmed.

Although referred to in 16th century Spanish documents, until now researchers had not publicly confirmed or published information about any surviving examples of the coin that links the Old World of Europe and the New World of the Americas. But the Goldbergs have acquired and verified the first one in 464 years.

Here is the link for the rest of that article.

And speaking of the colonial Mexico, if you want to read about the adventures of Cortes in Mexico, here is a complete digital book online containing a lot of interesting detail.;seq=185;view=1up;num=167

Fascinating reading.

I know most of you are history buffs and interested in the Spanish conquest.  You'll love this.  It will keep you busy for a while.

The book also includes a few maps.

I received a lot more email and items of interest but will have to continue with that in the future.

I posted a new poll today and hope you will take time to respond.

On the Treasure Coast is is cooler today.  Another front is moving through.  The wind is from the north/northwest.  That is a good direction for erosion, although I'm not expecting a lot because the surf is only 3 - 4 feet, according to the surfing web sites.  I'll have to get out to take a look to see what is going on.

Low tide this afternoon will be around 4:40 PM.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2/27/13 Report - Most Valuable Dug Coin & 2000 Year Old Gold Artifacts

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Do you know what is the most valuable "found" coin?  There is one coin that has been called that.

It was found by Lillian Rade while metal detecting in an old potato field.

Here it is.  Do you know what it is, and what it is worth?

It is a 1652 New England sixpence.  It sold at auction this past December in a Stack’s Bowers auction for over $431,000.

Nice find.  And in a potato field!

You never know what might pop up.  

Here is the link for more of that story.

There are a lot of places online where you can find the values of coins.  One particularly nice one is the coinworld site.  It gives a lot of good information, including auction results for US coins.

Here is that link.

I used this site to look up Liberty nickels. I've posted a couple of those that were found on the Treasure Coast in recent months.  I once mistakenly referred to a Liberty nickel as a shield nickel.  They are very different.  Anyhow, the search results gave me some interesting information. For example, Liberty nickels were sometimes gold plated and passed off as gold coins for many times the actual value.

If you dig any old US coins you might want to look them up on the coinworld site.  Check it out.

A 2000 year old grave of a warrior was discovered in the mountains of the Caucasus in Russia, With the warrior's remains were found gold jewelry, iron chain mail, swords and other weapons.

The article provides a nice gallery showing some really nice artifacts.

Here is the link.

I've been receiving questions about various rules and regulations relative to detecting.  I won't give technical answers to those questions because, as I've shown before, the actual laws are often confusing to anyone, including the authorities, and sometimes even conflicting.  It can be a real mess.  Anyhow, as a result, I will only give general answers to those types of questions.

Just do your best to do the right thing.  Exercise good common sense and judgement.  And take a good friendly attitude with you. That will generally help a lot.

Along the Treasure Coast, today the surf is around 2 - 3 fee this morning, building through the day to around 3 - 5 feet later this evening.  Tomorrow the surf will decrease a bit again.

Low tide today is around 3 PM.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2/26/13 Report - Ballast Stone Used By Ais, Jupiter Dip & Reward for Stolen Gold

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Yesterday I talked a little about ballast stones.  I'll now show you two photos of a special ballast stone found on the Treasure Coast and submitted by William M.

Ballast Stone Used Ais
William said, This ballast stone was found in the early nineties on the Treasure Coast. It was found with Ais Indian chipped stone artifacts...It apparently was kept by one of the Indian salvage divers and used as a hammer stone for making stone tools.

Notice the size and shape of this stone.  As I mentioned yesterday, it seems to me that the ones that I've seen on the beach are the smaller ones.  That makes sense, especially because they tend to be relatively round and would tend to roll back down the slope after being pushed up onto the beach by waves.

If you watch how things are washed around in the swash, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Notice how the same stone (shown below) fits nicely into the hand and how it could be used for knapping.

Same Ballast Stone 
Ballast Stone and Knapped Stones
Found in Close Proximity.

Thanks for sharing these finds William.  

Yesterday someone said they couldn't see the dip in the photo of Jupiter Inlet beach.  Maybe you can see it more clearly in this clip of the same photo.  

Notice the detectorist, which you can see at the bottom left corner of this clip of yesterday's photo by John L.

Also I think you can see the dip clearly in this photo with the small sand bar built up just in front of it.

Clip From Yesterday's Photo Showing Closeup of Dip.

Notice also the seaweed, which defines a previous high tide line - actually two high tides.

When I first look at a beach like this, my eye would first be drawn to the dip, its size, shape and depth, then the sand bar directly in front, and then the sea weed.  

Some of the dip has already been filled in by the sand coming in again after being washed out.

Thanks again to John L. for the original photo.

A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the return of $750,000 in gold stolen from a New Jersey mining museum display in 2011.

Here is the link.

I guess this is a good time to once again remind everyone to not keep valuable finds at home.  A safe deposit box is a good idea.

Does anyone know if they ever found the thieves that stole the gold bar from the Mel Fisher museum in Key West?

On the Treasure Coast we have a gentle breeze from the south and a 3 - 4 foot surf today (Tuesday).  Tomorrow the surf will increase up to possibly 5 feet.

The wind direction combined with surf height will not improve beach detecting conditions.  You might however start to see more shells and lighter materials pile up on the front beach.

Also some movement of sand on the very front beach, especially in areas where obstacles obstruct the natural flow of sand.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 25, 2013

2/25/12 Report - Jupiter Beach, Ballast Rocks & Odyssey Marine

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Great Recent Photo of Jupiter Inlet Beach 
By John L.

There are actually three detectorists in the above photo.  Two working the dip and another within 100 feet.  I doubt if you can find them in this photo, but if you have the ability to magnify this photo you will be able to see them.

Where do you think would be the best place to detect?   Of course something could be dropped anywhere at any time.

The detectorists in the photo are in the best area.  Maybe you can see the dip and shifting bar in front of the dip up towards the jetty, west and just a little south of the boat.

If you know this beach, you've probably seen the salvage boat in the area near the main wreck pile.

This beach had been producing cobs, many Lima ( I showed one Lima half reale cob that was found there to illustrate Bill's coin cleaning instructions.), way back before a cannon of the wreck was discovered by a life guard doing his morning swim.  Since that time many storms have occurred and new sand has been dumped there many times.

Did you ever see a strange looking rock on the beach that just doesn't look like it belongs there?  Occasionally ballast rocks end up on the beach.  They don't generally look like Florida rocks.  They are often rounded egg-shaped rocks like you'll see in mountain streams.   There is one from an 1715 wreck now on sale on eBay.  It is a good example if you want to take a look.

Ballast rocks come in various sizes from very large to small.  The ones that I've seen on the beach are usually on the small side - maybe softball size or smaller.   I've never seen any of the larger ones that made it up onto the beach.

If you want to read about ballast rocks, here is a place you might start.

Odyssey Marine stock is up over 6% his morning.  I don't know if the TV programs that aired last night are responsible for that or not.  I was most impressed by the expenses involved.  I already knew about the amount of silver expected to be recovered.

Today (25th) is the last day you have to consign items for the next Sedwick Coins treasure auction.

On the Treasure Coast there is a mild off-shore wind.  The surf is running around two feet, and will be increasing up to around 4 feet Wednesday and Thursday then decreasing again.

Low tide this afternoon will be around 1:40 PM.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2/24/13 Report - Roxy Soda Bottle, Dug Artifacts & Odyssey

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is a Roxy Soda Bottle from around the forties (I would guess) found on the Treasure Coast.  Unfortunately it is missing a lot of the paint.  I've been trying to find a picture of a green Roxy bottle from the same era so I can see what the label is supposed to look like.  If you can find a good photo of a similar bottle, please let me know.  The clear Roxy bottles seem more common than the green.

Most of these types of soda bottles aren't worth much of anything, especially in poor condition, but there are people that collect them so some are worth a few dollars, especially to local collectors.

I would guess that there were stores that sold Roxy soda on the Treasure Coast, but it could have been brought here by a tourist or something.

If you remember drinking Roxy, let me know.

With the poor detecting conditions we've been having much of this year, bottle collecting is something you  might try for a change when the beaches are not producing much.

I found this one while on a walk.  No digging.  I've found other bottles in the same area in the past.

It can be surprising what you can find while surface hunting.

If you are interested in soda bottles (they are colorful and nostalgic), or any kind of bottle for that matter, Digger Odell Publications has perhaps the largest collection of information on bottles of all kinds.

Here is one link that gives some information on identifing the age of bottles.

I received a report from one reader of this blog who personally saw a very nice large collection of items that were dug back in the 60s.  Included were glass beads believed to have been made in Portugal in the 14 and 15 hundreds, numerous silver and gold beads, and breastplates showing hunting scenes made of hammered coins.  Of course the area where those items were found are now protected.

Robert K. sent in this TV programming reminder.

Just a reminder that on Sunday 2/24 on the Discover channel will be the first airing of a 3 part series on the "Hunt for Gairsoppa's Treasure", "Curse of Mantola", and  "Odyssey's Victory" with Odyssey Marine. The series will air  back to back to back  starting at 8 PM. Don't forget to set your DVR to record.

We have nice Spring weather now.  I would say winter is over and we'll quickly move into summer.  We could have a late winter or spring storm yet, but it isn't looking likely at this point.

There is just a gentle off-shore breeze with the surf running 1 - 2 feet.  The surf will slowly build to a peak of about 3 - 4 feet Thursday and then start decreasing again.   Don't expect any real improvement in beach detecting conditions.

Just go out and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Sometimes when you least expect it, smile, there it is.  You never know when you might get a big surprise.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 23, 2013

2/23/13 - Space Debris, Disappearing Sand & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Jupiter Inlet Beach

John L. alerted me to the fact that half of the sand that was dumped on Jupiter Inlet beach not too long ago is almost half gone already.

As John pointed out this huge loss of sand as occurred with very calm seas.  If the seas had been rough at all, it would all be gone by now.

I had meant to point out that almost the same thing has occurred at Fort Pierce Inlet.  Much of the sand from the most recent renourishment project is gone there too.  It lasted longer than that at Jupiter though.

Although this is a colossal waste of tax payer dollars, when there are funds available for these projects the local governments feel they have to bring their share back into their community.  We just keep sending the money to Washington and then try to get some of it back.  The Federal debt seems very much like this sand that keeps getting dumped into the sea - a huge waste, but everyone wants to get their share.

John L. had found some pieces of titanium on a Palm Beach beach.  It isn't unusual to find those melted bits of titanium on the beach.

I've been talking about the research that comes after the find.  John was curious about the source of the titanium that he found and contacted NASA to find out if the source of the titanium he found could be determined.  Here is what NASA told him.

Please accept our apologies for this reply taking so long to get to you.  We’ve been attempting to locate someone who would have an answer to your question.  Unfortunately, there is no way to validate where the nuggets came from.  We appreciate you taking the time to write us about your interesting find.

You are encouraged to frequently visit  for the latest NASA news and information.  In addition, NASA invites you to consider using one or more of the following easy and convenient communications tools for receiving NASA Updates on the exciting work NASA is doing.
• For more information on NASA and Kennedy Space Center please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page at
• Subscribe to E-mail Delivery – Simply go to, enter your e-mail address, set your delivery preferences, and choose your area(s) of interest.
• Receive Updates by RSS (Really Simple Syndication) – NASA Kennedy RSS Feeds are available at
• Like us on Facebook at https://

If you've been reading this blog very long you know that I have talked about the melted bits of titanium that are  found on our beaches.  I've commented that they might be from an exploded space shuttle, but it seems that even NASA can't say exactly where some of those pieces might have come from.  I suppose there could be multiple sources.  I can think of at least a couple of reasons they might not say even if they knew, but don't read too much into that.  I'm not suggesting some big conspiracy.

If the titanium came from a NASA vehicle, it would be considered US government property - not that they would have any interest in most of the small melted pieces that are usually found by detectorists.

There were times when NASA asked people to report and turn in pieces of exploded vehicles so they could gather any evidence that might help them determine what went wrong.  You might remember that in 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded and set off one of the largest search and recovery efforts ever, yet for many years after that parts of the Challenger washed up on Florida beaches.  In 1996, for example, two large pieces washed up on the beach near Cocoa.  If you want to read more about that, here is a link.

At one time in this blog I posted a few tests for identifying titanium.  If interested, you can do a keyword search of this blog for "titanium."  There is a search box on the main page.

Thanks for sending NASA's response John.   Those NASA links could come in handy.

Ancient copper plates and gold coins were discovered in India.

Storms unearthed a 200 year old skeleton.

Thanks to Rink Rat for that link.

Through the weekend on the Treasure Coast, the surf will be down around two feet.  Next Tuesday it will increase a bit, then reach a peak of 3 - 5 feet on Thursday.  That is the prediction, so don't expect much  other than maybe a little stirring next week.

Tomorrow the low tide will be around 12:30.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

2/21/12 Report -

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Treasure Beach Ornate Mystery Silver Find
This silver item was found on a Treasure Coast shipwreck beach.  I haven't researched it yet and don't really have any idea how old it is.

It appears to me to be a frame for a small locket, but that is just a guess at this point.

Any and all ideas are welcome as to age or identity.

You might remember the small shield that I posted for ID not long ago.  I received an opinion on that item.  See below.

If you really want to know where the paramount town of the Ais was located along with other landmarks of the early Spanish period, here is a very detailed article that you might want to take a look at.  It is not something you can lightly browse.  It is full of the type of detail that you have to really study.  It also presents a lot of good information on how to read the changes that have occurred to the barrier islands from Cape Canaveral to Jupiter.

Here is the link.

Don't bother with this unless you are ready for some heavy study.

Concerning the shield that was found near Sanford , one amateur archaeologist who has published on Florida history and contributed to studies published in the Florida Anthropologist, offered this opinion.

Regarding the shield. It appears Spanish, of course. The Roman numeral 5 on the bottom part of the shield I believe represents King Phillip (1700-1724). Hence it is a first spanish occupation artifact. The dot near the top is similar to that used as a signature by an assayer in Mexico who minted cobs. .... My guess it is gun furniture or from the hand guard of a sword. And don't rule out that it could have come from a helmet.

A lot of "fireball" or meteorite sitings were reported across Florida the night of the Feb. 17th ranging from Key West to Jacksonville.

I'd love to find some meteorites or even some space junk.  There seems to be some question about what it actually was despite the fact that in most reports they report meteorites.

Here is a video of a fireball that one lady caught on the 17th.

But is there more to the story?

Here is a web site that shows that on the 17th it looks like something was launched from the Key West Naval Air Station and exploded in the sky.   Watch this to the end.   It starts off with some other language stuff for a few seconds and then builds until he eventually shows the radar pictures showing the launch and explosion.

I thought that was interesting.  I'm hoping someone will find a meteorite or some space debris.

Here is one more Treasure Coast treasure beach find.  Another small silver item.  This one with enameling or inlaid stones.  I might need to clean it before being able to tell.  I haven't take the time to really inspect it yet. Obviously a piece of jewelry.  Again, no idea how old.

Today, Thursday, the surf is expected to be around two feet, that is just a touch rougher than Wednesday.  It is expected to stay close to that range for a few days, so don't expect any real changes in beach detecting conditions real soon.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2/20/13 Report - Finds of 2013 and Poll Results & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Clip From 10/01/1908
Ocala Evening Star
Here is a newspaper clip from 1908.  I've been showing these to give some idea of the amount of great reading material and research material that can be found online free from these digitized newspapers.  It is really great.

You don't need to find a local newspaper for local news either.  They seemed to widely pick up news from newspapers in other regions and republish the stories.  You might well find a story about Fort Pierce in a Philadelphia newspaper for example.

So if you like history or want to do some research, don't forget the collections of digitized newspapers.


The most recent blog poll has concluded and the results are in.

29% of the poll respondents indicated that their favorite find of 2013 so far has been a piece of modern jewelry.  That is the most of any category.  And it is not totally unexpected.

Gold and silver prices are still fairly high, and conditions have not been great for finding older items most of the time this year.  There were also periods when the Treasure Coast beaches were populated by good numbers of sunbathers and that results in a good amount of lost modern items.

Modern era coins came in second.  24% of the poll respondents indicated that modern era coins were the favorite find of early 2013.  That means that modern coins or jewelry accounted for over 50% of the favorite finds so far this year.  Again, we generally haven't had good conditions for finding older items so the predominance of modern items is not surprising.

The next most frequently selected category of favorite finds was nonmetallic items, including ceramics, stone, fossils, etc.  That also is not surprising considering the summer like conditions and southeast winds that we had for much of early 2013.  It was more similar to summer conditions much of the time.  Relatively calm seas and south winds tend to pile up lighter materials on the beaches.

The above are things that I've posted a lot in the past month and a half.  Just yesterday we saw a fossil.  It wasn't from the Treasure Coast, but the blog's readers are not all from the Treasure Coast and many of them travel.

One of the fossil spots on the Treasure Coast was recently covered over by a sand renourishment project, so fossil finds might diminish some.

I suppose most lithic artifacts are found inland, although some are found on the beach.

Ceramics tend to stay on the surface and are often found during poor beach detecting conditions.

The next most frequently selected category was "Other."  That is an indication of my inability to come up with better categories.  There were 12% of favorite finds that fell into this category.

Two categories tied for next to last.  Both Shipwreck and Colonial Era Artifacts and Modern Relics and Artifacts were selected 4 time, making 7% of the respondents selecting each.  Here we have both new and old artifacts being found and favored at the same rate.

I suspect that some of the old artifacts came from beach fronts where things such as shipwreck spikes were found and were fairly plentiful at different times.

And last, the big disappointment of early 2013, is that, according to the results of this poll, only two cobs or treasure coins were found and considered favorite finds of the year.

I guess there is something to be said for the fact that there were at least two found.  That is several times less than we know was found during the period of Sandy from late last year.  That makes me feel that my beach detecting conditions rating system is basically on target.  As you know, this year I've seldom been able to rate beach detecting conditions for finding cobs and treasure coins as being any more than poor.

I also say there is always some possibility of finding a cob or treasure coin, and that is why my lowest detecting conditions rating is a 1 rather than a 0.  There is always some chance.  Also, storms like Sandy can stir things up for some finds many weeks after the storm in select locations.  That should give you some hope even though conditions have been mostly poor.  The probabilities aren't high though, and you might need a lot of patience.  Skill and luck won't hurt either.

You can see from this poll that the poll's readers enjoy and find a lot of different types of treasures.  I hope to continue to address a variety of types of treasure because because hunting different kinds of things from time to time is fun, helps you learn, and improves the chances of success.

There are times when one type of treasure will be easier to find and times when another will be easier.  If you are not too narrowly focused, you can adapt and have success under and conditions.


On the Treasure Coast today the surf is down around 1 foot - nice and calm.  That will let you get out to check the low tide or shallow water if you want.

There is no wind to speak of.   Low tide will be after shortly after ten.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2/19/13 Report - The Value of Research After the Find & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Other Side of Same Meg Tooth.

I showed the other side of this tooth that was found by Dan B. a couple of days ago.

Notice the marks and gashes.  I noticed the same type of thing in the previous photo and sent the photo to my fossil expert extraordinaire, Fred D.

Here is what Fred had to say after looking at the photo of the other side.

A rare item but we occasionally find them. Notice the chip on the tip. That is a compression chip caused by the megalodon biting into a hard bone in his prey. The tip turned to powder. Then, because the tooth was probably in the front row, it broke off and into the shark's mouth. The result was the gashes on the sides. In other words, as he chewed his meat to ready it to gulp down, his tooth kept getting in the way of the other teeth, hence the nasty gashes. A rare prize. Anything with a pathologic nature is truly a great find.

BAM! That is magic.

Fred used his expert knowledge to turn that black triangle into a 4-D thriller movie sequence.  Can't you see it in your mind?

My point is that the best part of a find can be what I call the second find -  which is when you learn more  about the find.  The details about an object and where it came from and how it might have been used and how it was lost can add a lot.  Additional information like that can also add economic value to an item.

As Dan, the person who found the tooth, said when he found out what Fred had to say,  Absolutely amazing. Just goes to show that the circumstances of a find or its history can add to the value of a find exponentially. 

That is why you should carefully inspect your finds.  The marks on the tooth that I saw in the first photo made me think there might be more to the story.  Then Fred spelled out that story after I sent the photo to him.

As you can see from the second photo, which Fred did not see, the marks on the second side verifies what Fred was able to tell form the first view.  He is just that much of an expert, but sometimes one view is not enough, even for the experts.  There can be hidden marks or signs that might provide a critical clue.

Some of my favorite posts are stories like this that develop as additional information is added.

Thanks Fred!  I can count on Fred to answer my fossil questions.  And thanks Dan for sending the photos of your find.

If you heard the rumble in the sky Saturday and wondered what it was, it could have been the F-16s sent to chase the unauthorized planes away from where President Obama was vacationing in Palm City.  I heard it and didn't know what was going on until later.

I mentioned the other day that I heard some cars were broken into at beach accesses.  Jeff H. sent an email to tell what he does.  Here is what Jeff said.

Below is something that I made, laminated and put on all 4 of my windows. You can always change the wording up.  I got this idea after some cars in the neighborhood got broken into or stolen! Just one thing that could save some one the grief and dollar.

All valuables and items of value have been removed from
this car due to recent and past break in’s. If you feel it is
necessary to steal, please choose a more profitable
car to steal from. Parking lot camera watch in effect.

That's an idea.   Thanks Jeff.

My favorite is leaving my pet rattlesnake in the car.

Don't expect any real improvement in beach detecting conditions on the Treasure Coast for the entire week. The surf is predicted to be 2 feet or less most of the week.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 18, 2013

2/18/13 Report - Deteriorating Beach Conditions & Big Tooth

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Cut on Treasure Coast Beach Monday Morning.

First the bad news.  The cuts that I showed yesterday were 75% filled back in this morning.  Instead of continuing to erode, it filled back in again.   Where there were four foot cuts yesterday, today only one foot cuts.  As a result I'm dropping my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting rating back to a 1 (poor).

That was a short upgrade.  The wind switched again.

Above you see another beach were there were still some small cuts this morning.  You can see the two steps.

The sand there is renourishment sand that was trucked in.  I took a quick look to see if I could get an idea of where it came form or what, if anything, might be in it, and I didn't find any indication that it would be very productive.  I didn't spend enough time to say for sure though.

One problem is that sometimes when you find a cob, there won't be one other target on the whole beach.  That makes it difficult to tell from a quick scan.

Besides the filling that I noticed this morning, there didn't seem to be much else out there.  Very few signals and not even much in the way of shells, ceramics or other things.  The beach seemed pretty darn clean.

The poll blog will end before tomorrow, so I am looking forward to looking at the results.

Another piece of bad news.  I was hearing yesterday about some cars that were broken into at some of the beach accesses.  So be careful.

My best advice is drive a junker, don't leave anything in it, and leave the doors open.

The bad thing about locking a car even if there isn't anything in it, the bad guys will still break a lock or window to get in and that will cost you more than replacing a few things that were left in the car.

I don't want to give the impression that things are really bad that way.  It is nothing like around Miami, but you should still be careful because it does happen up here to.

One of the theives is said to be driving a white pick-up truck, but I am sure there are others.

Dan B had quite an adventure over at the Peace River.  Wild pigs, scorpion and sleeping in a kayak.   Lots of fun.

Here is a tooth he found.

That is a good reminder that there are all kinds of treasures out there and when the beaches aren't good, you can always try something else.

I also heard about a lot about some relics dug from Indian mounds back sometime ago (legally of course).  Maybe I'll be able to tell you some more about that.

On the Treasure Coast the surf is around 2 - 4 feet and will decrease a bit for the rest of the week.  I don't expect any immediate improvement in conditions.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

2/17/13 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Conditions Upgrade & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I got a real late start today, or should I say tonight.  Anyhow, Sunday afternoon, I found some decent new cuts on the Treasure Coast.  They weren't everywhere, just a few beaches.  Here are a couple photos of the cuts that I found.

Sunday Afternoon After High Tide.
Sunday Afternoon After High Tide.

These cuts were up to nearly four feet and ran for hundreds of yards.  The wind was pretty much from the north, and the waves were hitting with a slight northeast angle.

Other beaches that I looked at were not cut at all.

I'm upgrading my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions rating to a 2.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that my rating scale is a five point scale with 1 indicating poor detecting conditions and 5 indicating excellent detecting conditions.  The scale provides my estimate of the chances of finding a cob or old treasure coin and does not indicate the probability of finding modern coins or other things.  There is some overlap for those other types of items, but it is not exactly the same.

Below you'll find a short video clip of the ocean.

According to the surf web sites, the surf will be somewhat more smooth tomorrow.

Robert K. asked if anyone knows if any of the treasure of the Knights of the Golden Circle have been found.  The KGC treasures are supposed to be large and buried at many different locations, including some in Florida.

I don't know of any that has been documented as found.  If you can point me to any stories of found K.G.C. treasures, please let me know.

Here is a basic introductory link for the K.G.C.

There are complete books on the K.G.C. and their treasures.

I follow up on these treasure some in the future.

No one offered any ideas on the shield that was found near Sanford Florida yet, if you have any ideas on it, please let me know.

If you are interested in reading about the Indian Wars in Florida, here is a great link to a report of events in Florida from 1836.  Reading the newspaper accounts of the time is more interesting to me than reading more recent texts.

This account tells about the destruction of the Cape Florida light house and mentions that the keeper as away on the Gil Blas when the attack occurred.  I've seen musket balls dug in that area before.  The article also tells a lot more.

Here is the link.

There is only one more day remaining to respond to the blog poll.

Here is the video clip that I mentioned above.

I put this together real quick tonight, so I'm sure there are some mistakes, but I wanted to get it posted.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

2/16/13 Report - Found Gold, Silver, Coins, Pearls & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is an interesting old newspaper clip that I found.  Towards the bottom of this clip you will read that Spanish coins were found in the mound along with the other items.

Treasure Found Article From the
 March 19, 190
5 The Pensacola Times

And from the GLOBE NEWSWIRE -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (OMEX
) , pioneers in the field of deep-ocean exploration, will be featured on Discovery Channel's SILVER RUSH premiering with three back-to-back episodes on February 24 at 8-11 PM ET.

Film crews for the Discovery Channel series were onboard Odyssey's ships during 2012 operations and captured the record-breaking recovery of 48 tons of silver bullion from the Gairsoppa site. JWM Productions, the company that produced Discovery Channel's TREASURE QUEST also featuring Odyssey, produced the three-part series that showcases Odyssey's work on the Gairsoppa, Mantola and Victory during 2012.

Park rangers were recently alerted to the remains of a probable mid-1800s shipwreck when it surfaced on a barrier island off the Georgia coast.  Being afraid someone besides the citizen that alerted them to the wreck would see it, they reburied it.

Here is the link to the rest of that article.

Here is a video showing the power of the sea as a diver gets ripped around by underwater currents.

That is a good reminder for us all to respect the power and danger of the sea.  Be especailly alert to rip currents and rough water.

  I received a nice email from Ed B.  He said, Due to your daily blog, I have joined a MD'ing club up here in Ocala, I am getting out 2 to 3 times per week, and I am hunting with some of the nicest people you will ever meet. ... I guess the the bottom line is this, thanks so much for turning a spark into a fire. I enjoy this more than most any hobby I have done. I have found some relics but nothing remarkable yet, but it's all about the research and hunt to me so far, although I do look forward to sharing some good finds with you and your readers.

That is why I do this.  Thanks Ed.

Only two days remaining in the blog poll.  It helps us get good information.  Please participate.

On the Treasure Coast today, the wind is from the West and the surf down around one to two feet.  That will increase about a foot for tomorrow.

Low tide today will be about 6:30 PM.

Happy hunting,

Friday, February 15, 2013

2/15/13 Report - Seventeen Wagons Full of Lost Treasure, Newspaper Archives & Mystery Shield

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Dug Shield for Identification.
Photo submitted by James F.
See more on this below.
Sherman filled wagons with gold and silver as he swept through the South on his famous march to the sea.  In  1889 a North Carolina newspaper wrote about the quest of a citizen of Charlotte who tried to find that treasure.

If you like history, you'll love this.  The North Carolina archives contain digitized newspapers going back to as early as 1751.   That provides an excellent research tool and it provides hours of entertainment for anyone wanting to read history in the language and style of previous centuries.

Just browsing through those newspapers, I read about the shipwreck of the Albion and the Central America, read about thefts, accidents, gold mining and prospecting, financial transactions and treasure hunts.

As one example, here is the beginning of the article that I found in the June 13, 1889 issue of The Carolina Watchman, page 3.

Excerpt from 1889 newspaper article.

You might want to look up that article and read the entire story.

The articles in the archive can be searched using key words.  The word "gold" is highlighted in this excerpt because that is the keyword I used in my search.

I find it much more interesting to read history as recounted closer to the actual occurrence rather than summarized in some later book or source.

You can also look at the ads etc.  The digitized newspaper archive seems to go back to 1751 so there is a lot to look through.  

I can't promise that you'll find exactly what you are looking for but I can pretty much guarantee you'll find a lot fascinating stories and details.

You can see how this resource can provide a lot of good detecting leads.

Although this particular collection is from North Carolina newspapers, the news covered is global as well as local.

You can also find old local newspapers online.  I was just reading a 1906 Fort Pierce newspaper, for example.  There was a lot of fun too.   Just search digitized newspapers and enter the name of the locality you are interested in (Fort Pierce, for example) and I'm sure you will be able to find it.

Here is a link that will allow you to search the informative North Carolina archives that provided the story on the treasure hunt for Sherman's treasure.

You don't get free information like that everyday.  That will provide you with tons of reading and many detecting clues.  All free.

I posted a photo of a dug shield above.  Your probably wondering where it came from.  You are not alone.

It was dug by a member of The Central Florida Metal Detecting Club in a very old park just off a river in Sanford, Florida.

It is about 2" wide by 3" long.  The photo was submitted by James F., who enlarged and filtered it using Photoshop to try and bring out more detail.  Here is that image.
Filtered Image of Mystery Shield.
Let's put our heads together and try to figure out whatever we can about this find.  Notice the arms or legs of the figures standing up facing he triangle figure in the bottom field.  There seems to be something sitting on the triangle, over and under it.

Let me know what you think.  I'll post clues as I get them and we'll try to solve this.  

Besides the rain that lasted most of the day yesterday, in the afternoon the wind switched and started blowing in from the northeast for a while.  Pretty stiff wind.  I suspect there was enough to stir a little sand.

Friday and Saturday the surf is expected to be 1 - 2 feet, and then will pick up to 2 - 4 feet for a day or two.
Of course I don't expect any real improvement in beach detecting conditions from that.

Low tide will be between 5 and 6 o'clock.

One more thing.   Tonight (Fri.) you can watch an unusually close asteroid fly by the earth streamed live from an observatory starting 4 PM.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2/14/13 Report - Heart Finds for Valentine's Day

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Old Heart Ear Ring Found on
T. C. Shipwreck Beach
Heart Pendant With Silver Frame
Metal Detector Find

To the left is a silver heart ear-ring found on a Treasure Coast shipwreck beach.

Unfortunately I have no idea how old it might be or where it came from.

It is just slightly larger than a dime.

And to the right is another metal detector find.  The frame of the pendant is silver.  This find isn't from a shipwreck beach.  It is slightly smaller than a dime.

I think you get the theme today.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Bernie C. kept good records.  That is something I often recommend.  Here are the records of Bernie's modern US coin finds for 2012 with face values.

Quarters rolled...$330.00

Nickles rolled......$ 64.00
Dimes rolled.......$145.00
Pennies rolled....$  31.50

Bernie also said, The month of January 2013 was about half as productive as 2012...$57.00 compared to $18.00.

That would be 1320 quarters, 1280 nickles, 1450 dimes, 3150 pennies.  A little over 7.6 cents per coin on average.

I think I gave figures some time ago saying that the average face value of coin finds was typically around 7.5 cents.  I'm actually surprised how close Bernie's sample came to that.

Anyhow, that is a good amount of money and shows that 7200 coins were returned to circulation by one detectorist alone.  If we figure this is a pretty average for detectorists on the Treasure Coast, that would mean for 300 hundred detectorists (this blog easily gets that many hits per day) that would be over two million coins returned to circulation by detectorists from the Treasure Coast in one year.

A number of the assumptions I made here are wild guesses at this point, but in any case I think you  can see how this quickly adds up and results in some pretty big numbers.

Bernie's records for this January as compared to last January, also supports what I've been saying about detecting conditions this year being particularly poor for this time of year.

Thanks for the report Bernie, and congratulations on the large number of coin finds.  Anytime you find that number of coins, you know there were a good number of other things found as well.

The remains of two Union soldiers discovered in the wreckage of the USS Monitor will be buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Take a look at the following article for more interesting details on the soldiers.

You might or might not be aware of the trend to "repurpose" old items.  Almost any old thing you can think of is being sold and reused by arts and crafts people to create everything from lawn ornamentation, to home decor to jewelry.   Old nails, keys, springs and almost everything else are being sold on ETSY and being used to create new things out of old items.

Here is a sample of some old things that are being sold to be repurposed.

As a born scrounger that is something that I like.

You might think twice before discarding old beat up junk items if you realize you can either reuse them to make some nifty art or craft or sell them to someone else that can.

Thursday on the Treasure Coast we'll have one more day of 1 foot surf before it gets just a touch rougher.  You might want to take advantage of the smooth surf.

When the seas do increase this weekend, it won't be much.  It will only be something like two to three feet.  So the overall poor detecting conditions continue on the Treasure Coast.

Happy Valentine's Day,

Post script:

John R. set me an article full of advice from 90 year old Regina Brett.   I'll post a little bit of it at the end of the post each day for a few days. 

 Thanks John! 

 Here is the first installment.

by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the 
Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio 

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
family will. 

5. Don't buy stuff you don't need

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2/13/13 Report - Barber Dime, Small Medallion & Old Valentines Cards

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Variety of Early Twentieth Century Valentine Cards

People used to make things, and write with pen and ink.   

Time flies.  And so do people - if you get what I mean.

Back before Christmas I posted pictures of old Chrstmas cards from the same time period.  I didn't know if people would be interested, but people were.  Detectorists generally like history and old things.  That is no surprise.  So here are a few things from the past - another time and age.

The brown card is clearly dated in ink, Feb. 14, 1918.  The other cards are of similar dates, but not all the exact same year.  They outlived the people that gave and received them already by many years.  Some things remain pretty much the same while others change.

I like ephemera.  Old photos, post cards, books, and even old envelopes and cards, in addition to providing a picture to the past, can provide clues to detecting sites.  An address on one of these envelopes, for example, would point you to an early 20th century home site and might give you the name of the family that lived there.

Very Nice Dug Barber Dime
Find and Photo by Russ P.

That dime is in really good condition.   Congratulations Russ.

Russ and I were wondering how quickly old coins usually disappear from circulation.  We know that some go into collections etc., and some silver US coins still show up on rare occasion in pocket change, but I wonder how long it usually takes for the vast majority to disappear and how that happens.

Below is one very small dug religious medallion.  I wish I could see the details on it more clearly.  Where it was found, it seemed like most items were late 19th and early 20th Century.

Small Dug Religious Medallion on Regular US Quarter

Drug smugglers are supplementing their incomes by smuggling pre Colombian artifacts from Mexico into the US.  Homeland Security has captured and returned many artifacts to Mexico.  Is that what they do?

The surf is down around one foot today on the Treasure Coast.  About the same tomorrow too.

The wind is from the south/southwest.   Low tide will be around 4:15 PM.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2/12/13 Report - US Coins and Lapel Pin.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

This 1792 half disme sold for over 1 million dollars.  It remained in the Rittenhouse family until 1919, when the coin was first sold publicly in a Chapman sale, realizing $56. It was sold again in 1921, after which it disappeared off the market until 1988. It traded hands several times before 2007, when it was placed in the Cardinal Collection by Jay Parrino for the aforementioned $1.5 million.
(See source below.)

Good appreciation!

Million Dollar Plus Half Disme
Photo from CoinUpdate website link found immediately below.

The entire article can be found by using the following link.

While on the CoinUpdate web site you might also want to take a look at another article.  I found an article describing some of the problems of buying coins online when the photos might not be the best.  The article describes one man's hits and misses resulting from buying coins when less than ideal photos were presented.

Here is the link.

I think that is an instructive article.

Here is a lapel pin that was dug yesterday.  Nice and heavy for its size.  Probably hadn't been lost long.

How many of you know the two word motto that you can't quite see on this pin?

As you can see I added a poll to the blog.  We'll see what people have been finding this year.

Sometimes I forget what I've showed.  I start out intending to show something, might have even uploaded a photo into a draft, and then end up not showing it in the finished post either intentionally or unintentionally and forget if I did or didn't.

I don't think I've shown the following heavily worn dug coin but am not sure.

Here it is anyhow.

I still have some greenies that need to be cleaned.  Don't even know what some of them are.

I posted a new poll on the blog so we can see what types of things people have been finding this year.  Your participation helps provide useful information.


Over the years, December and January have been good times for finding cobs.  This year January and the beginning of February has been poor.  Too bad for the snow birds.

The surf on the Treasure Coast today is about two to three feet, decreasing down to around one foot soon.  Smooth seas after a little roughness gives a chance to get out there and see what if anything had been stirred up.

Low tide will be about 3 PM today.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 11, 2013

2/11/13 Report - Surfing Conditions Better Than Detecting Conditions & Bilge Plug

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Old Cut
Beach conditions were poor this morning.  The water was a little rough - even a few surfers were enjoying themselves (See video at end of post).

The water on one beach was coming up over the front berm before high tide at one beach.  I found another spot (shown in the photo to the left) where the water was getting up to the toe of the dune.  It wasn't cutting at all, but just touching the bottom of this cut.

So the water was up higher than has been the case most of the time lately, but nothing that would do much good.

Bill H. wrote and asked if there is any use in searching the area just below the dune on the beachThat is a good question that I haven't addressed for quite some time.

There are old items in some of the dunes, and they will be washed out during high waves and water like we had during Sandy.  At those times it is worth checking, but most of the time it is not one of the high probability spots.

Things will occasionally fall out of the dunes when there is no storm.  The dune fronts can just get dry and fall in.   But finding something old under those conditions is a very long shot.

The sand builds up at the bottom of the dune in two ways.  One is when it falls out of the dune and piles up at the bottom of the dune, and the other is when sand is pushed up to the toe of the dune by the water, like the one spot I showed in the above photo today.

The area just in front of the bottom of the dune is most productive when the water hits the dune face with force and washes away a lot of the sand that falls to the toe of the dune leaving behind more interesting objects.

I received a lot of email about the plug that I posted the other day.   There were several answers offered,
 but one answer was the clear majority opinion.

Some people thought the copper stopper might be a hot water bottle stopper or for an ice box drain or something like that.  All of the answers I received were very plausible, but the majority opinion is that the plug is a drain plug for a boat.  David S. sent of photo of a new boat drain plug that looked very much like the one shown here.

You'll notice that this one, unlike the one I posted the other day, has rubber on it, otherwise it is almost exactly the same as the dug one. 

I'll post here just a couple of the statements that provide some additional detail to the boat drain plug identity.

Here is what Bill P. said.  Your stopper is a transom plug used in most modern boats. By turning the "T" clockwise the plug expands to seal the drain in the boat.

And Eric L. said,  What you have there is an older transom drain plug from a small boat!  

Thanks to everybody who took the time to give their thoughts.  All were appreciated.

Here is what the ocean looked like today before high tide.  If you are able  to increase the size of the video  you might be able to see a surfer up for a short while near the middle of the video.

On the Treasure Coast the surf is around 3 -4 feet today, predicted to decrease to 2 - 3 feet tomorrow.

Detecting conditions are poor.  Sand is accumulating most places, as is typical with southeast winds.

There may be a few spots that have been previously cut that might be better.

Low tide this afternoon is around 2:45 PM.

Happy hunting,