Sunday, March 31, 2013

3/31/13 Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

I really didn't plan to do a post today, but decided to quickly enter a few things but the above beach find seemed appropriate.

Here is a story about a hidden treasure chest full of gold.   And a man claims that if you follow the clues you might find it.

The weather is beautiful, not for beach detecting but for taking time to soak it in and appreciate life.  The sun came up with a little bit of color.  Just right.

Three Trees

I'll leave it at that today.   Time for a little silent reflection and family.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

3/30/13 Post - Royal Gold Ring Find, Reading Beaches & Tsunamis

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Very Old Gold Ring Found by Detectorist
See link immediately below gor the story.

Here is a gold ring found by a detectorist.  It is thought to be around 1400 years old and is possibly royal. 

It was found in England south of York.

California sewage workers pawned $2500 worth of gold jewelry found while cleaning sewer traps.

Hmmmm.    Lot of interesting questions there.

I always like to look down the sewer grates as I walk over one.  I'm sure that some of them have something good in them.   I guess a fellow could make a little suction dredge and contract with the city or whatever to clean them out.  Make a little extra money from the finds.    

Amber Sands Access Looking North.
Photo by Alan D.

Here is a picture of the beach looking north from the Amber Sands Beach Access.  I hunted there the morning after those cuts were created and showed a 193x coin that was found there.   The erosion occurred about a week ago or so.
If you look at the cut, you'll notice that the cut is old and deteriorating.  You can see that from how the sand has fallen and the cut is no longer as crisp. 
There hasn't been any new erosion there since.  When you see a cut look at it to see if it is new, old, has occurred in steps, or has started to fill again.  You can tell.
Keep watch a place like this and especially watch for any further erosion, especially in front of the cut. 
This cut was producing older coins, so any additional erosion in front of the cut might make the beach productive again.
Thanks to Alan for the great photo.
As, I always say, I can't be everywhere, so it really helps when I receive reports and photos.

On the Treasure Coast we have southeast seas again and a surf that is only 1 - 2 feet.   That makes it easy to work the low tide area and maybe a little shallow water.  I haven't seen too much coming from those areas lately anyhow.

Low tide this afternoon will be a little after five PM.
I recently mentioned a buoy in front of the Ocean Grill in Vero.  Terry H., sent the following information he found on the web site linked below.  Here is what they said.
As the rumor mill continues to stir here in Vero Beach there has been a mysterious ship anchored several mile SE of Vero Beach off the shore. Also ,the rumor mill continues that the off shore monitoring (DART- Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) buoys has been out of commission for over a year and no one knows if or when it will ever be repaired. Again, this information is through the rumor mill.
There are some fairly new tsunami warning signs around the Vero Beach area.  Maybe the buoy has to do with the tsunami monitoring and warning system.
The web site,, which provides information on Vero Beach places and events, also provided the following interesting tid bits. 
...we just shelled out at least $10,000.00 for the erection, planning, labor and installation of these signs.
That is government at work.  A lot of this type of spending is due to the fact that we send our tax dollars to Washington, where they take out their share to pay government workers and give them nice benefits, and then in order to get some of the tax dollars back, the local governments have to come up with projects that they might not do if the local money was still in the local area anyhow.
They same web site also said, ...there was a rouge wave in Daytona Beach on July 3, 1992 with no warning, measuring 18 feet high, 250 feet wide, 27 miles long. This wave smashed hundreds of vehicles parked on the beach and injured 75 people. By the way, this was not a Tsunami.

I thought that was interesting.

Happy Easter,

Friday, March 29, 2013

3/29/13 Report - Good Friday, Grape Shot, Found Gold Ring

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Good Friday

Grape Shot Strand
Found For Sale on eBay
Here is a good picture of a strand of grape shot.  Individual grape shot are about the size of a tennis ball.

I once found some grape shot along with other artifacts on a small island.  I don't remember exactly how many.   They were scattered around.  I later determined that they came from the early 1800s. 

Since I had to take commercial airlines, I was afraid to take them on the plane so I left them on the island.  And even though this was well before 2001, I remember seeing a sign at the airport saying there was a $100,000 fine for taking explosives on the plane.  I don't remember the exact language, but that was enough to keep me from taking any chances of that.

One thing I remember is that I placed one grape shot at the base of a tree between the roots.  I returned to the island two or three years later and walked up to the tree and saw the grape shot exactly where I left it a few years before.  I didn't really expect to see it still laying there is clear sight.

Anyhow, I wonder if it is still there.  It isn't real easy to see since it is all rusted and sort of fades in with the dirt.  Still I would have expected some one to take it.

There are more pictures of the above grape shot strand shown in the eBay listing if you are interested.

When you look at eBay, you'll see that there are thousands of artifacts for sale at a given time.   And that goes on continually.  Most are very common, like the many bullets or musket balls that you'll see for sale at any given time.  And in my opinion those that have been dug are only a very very small fraction of those that remain in the ground and will remain in the ground for a very long time.

I just looked back through a few posts and noticed the wide variety of items that I showed.

Everything from grape shot, to diamond rings, to rocket engines, to ceramic peeing dolls.  And that is just a few.  There is quite a variety.

18K Ring Found
When you target a specific type of treasure you should adjust your techniques and strategies to what you are hunting. 

If you have more than one type of detector, select the right one for the job. 

All detectors have strengths and weaknesses and one will be better for one job and another for another job.

And where you want to hunt makes a difference too.  Some detectors that are very good in the dry sand are poor in the wet sand, for example.

While I like Tesoro detectors for some situations, those that I have used were very poor at ground adjusting in wet salt water sand.  And they might not be the deepest seeking, but I've found them very good at detecting small gold.

Of course the differences between detectors can be mediated to some extent by learning to adjust and use your detector better.  That can take some time.  Experiment with the different operation modes and settings.  That will help you get better results under different situations.

There are some detectors that I would not use very often, but there are specific situations when those detectors would be a good choice.

I haven't mentioned this for a while so this might be a good time.  Practice, practice, practice. 

Take your detector out with a variety of types of targets, throw the targets on the ground and change the settings and observe the results.  You might very well learn something about how to use your detector more effectively.

Try the same thing in the dry sand and in the wet sand.  You might learn that there are some adjustments to make.

Another thing you can do in the field to learn to use your detector more effectively is when you get a signal, sweep your coil over it repeatedly so that you remember the sound you are getting.  Sweep one speed and then another.  Sweep in one direction and then another.  Then try to guess what the object is before you dig it.   That will help you learn to better understand what your detector is telling you.

While a lot of  NASA engineers a little way up the coast have been laid off, we paid $64 million to the Russians to give a US astronaut a round trip to the space station, and $740 to the Soviets for 12 trips total.   That bothers me in more ways than one.  They keep talking about the need for importing technical workers while thousands of experienced skilled people remain unemployed.  Our leaders don't understand transfer of training.  And our companies don't want to pay older experienced workers when they can get less expensive workers.  And a lot of people in business are afraid to hire people that have done more than them.  It is too threatening.  We need to make better use of our people resources.  A bit off topic, but not much.

On the Treasure Coast the wind is coming from the northeast now, and as a result the surf is picking up a little, but only to about three feet.  The surf won't increase enough to do much good.

Low tide this afternoon will be a little after four.  The tides are a little bigger than normal, but again, there isn't much surf, so there won't be much effect.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

3/28/13 Report - North Winds Continue & Dutch Shipwreck

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Typical Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Yesterday

There are actually some small cuts on a few beaches right now.  There aren't many and they aren't big (one foot and less), but there are a few out there.

The surf has been running only around 2 feet, so why are there any cuts at all?   That is a good question, but there is a good answer.

Have you noticed the wind lately.  It has been from the north/northwest for a few days pretty continuously.  Normally with little surf you wouldn't expect any cuts, but north winds are important.

You probably remember many times when the surf is up around 8 or more feet and there were no cuts.  Remember the big waves we had with Sandy, but a lot of the beaches didn't even cut then.  So what is the difference?

The north winds often give an angle to the waves as they hit the beach.  That slices away at the sand and creates cuts, unlike water that hits directly at a ninety degree angle and washes straight up the face of the beach and then back down again.

Even though most people look for big waves, the wind and wave direction is every bit as important.  Like I said, big waves don't necessarily create erosion.  The best chance for cuts occurs when the wind is from the north, even though waves hitting from the south can create erosion too. 

You hear about Nor'easters, and they do tend to create the most productive cuts and conditions for finding old shipwreck items.  The only thing that comes close is when the water hits and washes stuff out of the dunes, which doesn't happen real often.

So my main point today is to not underestimate the importance of wind and wave direction. 
The cuts that I saw yesterday were small and were only seen at a few spots.  Those cuts were near the high tide line but not very high on the beach, and even though the tides have been bigger lately, they weren't that big, especially considering the small surf.

Most of the beaches are like the one shown in the photo above - no cuts, but maybe a little sand loss in the past day or two.  Some are still building.

The beaches that I looked at were fairly packed.  Not mushy like you might expect.  

There is a lot of old piled up sand still out there, both on the beach and in front of the beaches.  That protects the beach and things buried under all that sand.

Unfortunately when I was at the beach with cuts, I didn't have my camera card in and didn't get a photo of the cuts.

Another Beach Yesterday Near Low Tide.
The tide was down a little more than has usually been the case lately at low tide, but the beach fronts weren't very productive.  Very few targets there.

The beach shown to the right is pretty much like the one shown above - no cuts.

We are near the full moon and Spring equinox.

If you didn't know, Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox.  That also explains some of the tidal variation.

There is now a new buoy out in front of the Ocean Grill in Vero.  Does anyone know what is going on with that?

Hope you enjoyed the article on the Bethel Creek House of Refuge.   And the locations of all the old houses of refuge posted yesterday.

Here is a BBC story on what appears to be a Dutch shipwreck from around 1700.

And here are more pictures from that wreck including a dead-eye rigging block, cannons, cannon ball, brick, tile, etc.

The surf today on the Treasure Coast is around 2 - 3 feet, increasing tomorrow up to about 4 feet.  And the tidal variation will be just a little more than today.

That won't be enough to significantly improved beach detecting conditions.

Low tide this afternoon is around 3:30 PM.

There are still a lot of snow birds detecting on the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

3/27/13 Report - Houses of Refuge & Dug Iron Objects

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

View of Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge From Vintage Post Card
You probably know about the Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge south of Jensen Beach, but did you know about the House of Refuge in Vero?  It was once known as the Bethel Creek House of Refuge and stood where Jaycee Park in Vero is now.

You can read about the Bethel Creek House of Refuge and the life of some of the families that manned the station by using the following link. 

It will take a few seconds to open, but it is well worth the time.

Thanks to Robert K. for the above link.

And here are the locations of the Florida Houses of Refuge (Found in Wikipedia). 

As you probably know, the Gilbert's Bar station is the only one still standing.  I've posted information on that station in several posts.

I posted pictures of some dug iron objects yesterday and had an idea what they were but wasn't sure.  I'm absolutely sure I know what they are now. 

A number of you got it right off the bat.  And nobody offered any answer other than the correct one.  

If you have any doubts, I think this will put them to rest.  Doug sent in this link that shows some decorative tops for wrought iron fences.   Take a look at DIY-167.   I think that is the exact one.

Thanks to you all.   Pete R., Doug (who sent the above link), Rinkrat, Janine, David J., Robert K. and Russ P., all correctly identified the fence post tops. 

Pete R. added that they are called spearheads or railheads.

In addition a couple of guys also had a story of their own about eye-balling, which I talked about yesterday.

Rinkrat said, and i agree 100% on keeping your eyes open and scanning the ground. my best gold find ever was an eyeball gold chain.

William K. said,  your item about finding bills reminded me of two recent finds, one was a few dollars stuck together in the seaweed left, another was a 5.00 crumpled in the sand and like you, found another 5.00 when heading to the beach next to a puddle......fortunately/or unfortunately that last one was the best find of the day!

On the Treasure Coast we still have a north/northwest wind.  The surf is 1 - 2 feet.  Tomorrow the surf is going to be a little rougher.

The tide is getting a little bigger.  That might help a little.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

3/26/13 Iron Objects Found & Vintage Ceramic

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Three Unidentified Iron Object Dug Yesterday.
Here are three iron objects dug yesterday.

Each one is about 6.5 inches tall and 3.25 inches at the widest.  And front to back, around 1.5 inches at the bottom, and 1.25 inches at middle.

I'm not sure what they are.  What do you think?

I'll tell you what I think after I see what you all think.

Yesterday I was talking about eye-balling.  Well, I eye-balled the little doll shown in the pictures below yesterday after I posted yesterday's post.

It is about 3 inches tall.  It is a little boy, as you can see.  And has a hole where it should be, in addition to the hole in the top of the head. 

It is ceramic.  I don't know if bisque might be the right term.

After a little research, I found a photo of a doll like this that was sold on etsy, and as I guessed, it originally had a rubber hat that you could push down and make water spray out as if the figure was peeing.

This one is marked JAPAN on the back.   If it were marked OCCUPIED JAPAN I would know that it was made somewhere from 1945 to 1952.

Ceramic Doll Eye-Balled

Top of Same Doll

I'll have to do some more research to determine the age of this one.

I've found a number of ceramic dolls in the past.   And I've found doll parts that were porcelain. 

Porcelain doll parts sell quickly.  I think I might have shown one or two of those in this blog before, maybe back some time ago.

After a real quick search of this blog, I see that I posted some doll parts back in my 9/9/11 post.

There is a good bit of collector interest in items labeled OCCUPIED JAPAN.  Besides inexpensive dime store items (if you remember the days of 5 and 10 stores), they include some other nicer items such as painted table sets.  Some of those list for hundreds of dollars.

I don't know how much the little peeing doll sold for on etsy.  After an etsy item sells, they don't leave the price on.

I remember the five and ten or five and dime stores that I knew as a child.  They usually had a few of those mechanical horses or something you cold ride for a nickel out front.

The Japanese products had a poor reputation in those days. 

I thought of the first transistor radio that one of my friends got.  I think it was made in Japan, so I looked that up.

Here is a little of what I found on Wikipedia under "transistor radios."

Prior to the Regency TR-1, transistors were difficult to produce. Only one in five transistors that were produced worked as expected (only a 20% yield) and as a result the price remained extremely high.[5] When it was released in 1954, the Regency TR-1 cost $49.95 (equivalent to $433 today) and sold about 150,000 units. Raytheon and Zenith Electronics transistor radios soon followed and were priced even higher. In 1955, Raytheon's 8-TR-1 was priced at $80 (equivalent to $694 today).[5] Sony's TR-63, released in December 1957 cost $39.95 (equivalent to $331 today).[5] Following the success of the TR-63 Sony continued to make their transistor radios smaller. Because of the extremely low labor costs in Japan, Japanese transistor radios began selling for as low as $25. In 1962 American manufacturers dropped prices of transistor radios to as low as $15 (equivalent to $115 today).[5]

Well, that was a little walk down memory lane.  But one of the points I wanted to make today is what I said yesterday about keeping your eyes open for items that are made of metal as well as those made of other materials.  Another point today is to be aware of a wide variety of types of objects and their possible value. 

When you are looking for shipwreck treasures, you might as well pick up other things that you see along the way that might be worth a few bucks.  Even if they aren't worth much, they can be interesting in some way.   Some little vintage item like the one I showed today can actually be worth more than an old dug coin.

There are a lot of people that collect vintage things because of nostalgia.  They like things that remind them of an earlier time.  And that creates a market and value.

I know that this isn't the type of treasure that the Treasure Coast is known for, but don't get too narrowly focused or you'll miss a lot.

The wind is out of the north/northwest today.  The surf is around 2 feet.   That will bump up a foot or so later in the week, but the mostly north wind will continue.

I don't expect much improvement in beach detecting conditions for a while.  I'm interested in taking a look at some of those less hunted out-of-the-way spots until beach conditions improve.

Happy hunting,

LiDar used to precisely measure hard to access ancient structures in Mexico.

Monday, March 25, 2013

3/25/13 - Pillar Dollar Found Where??? Keep Your Eyes Open

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of

1754 Coin Found.
See link below to find out how and where.
The 41st Annual Florida Indian Hobbyist Association Powwow was held at the Savannahs Recreation Area this past weekend.  Here is a bit about it from the Denver Post.  Yes, it is a big national affair.

This article says the treasure salvage business must change.

The business will change.  Creative people with passion, knowledge and skill, willing to work and pay the price will adapt.  They always have and always will.

It is sometimes assumed that archaeological items should be left alone if they can't be studied using ideal scientific methods.  That ignores the fact that they continue to deteriorate.  It now appears that some wrecks are being destroyed even more quickly because of the recent spread of shipworms.

Here is the link.

A man in Virginia recently found a 1754 Ferdinand VI pillar dollar while raking gravel in his drive way.  Take a look at the video.

Just goes to show that there is old stuff in the ground everywhere and you never know where or when it might pop up.

Keep your eyes open.  I used to say that all the time.  It is surprising what you can find when not detecting if you are alert.

I've found quite a few thing while not detecting.  Sometimes when just going about my business and sometimes when intentionally going out to eye-ball.

Just this last weekend, I was driving through a parking lot and spotted what looked like a dollar bill.  I stopped the car, opened the door, and it turned out to be a twenty.   After looking around to see if I could see who might have lost it or if there was someone looking for it, I didn't see seeing anyone and eventually moved on.

I've also told how one morning when I was going metal detecting, I parked the car before going to the beach, got out of the car and there laying in a puddle on the street was a gold bracelet. 

I could go on and on about eye-balling, but the point I want to make is that you should use your eyes as much as your detector.   You can scan a lot more area visually than you can cover with a detector coil.

On more than one occasion, I've seen a cob before my detector coil got to it. 

There are places that I like to eye-ball.   Carnival grounds the day after the carnival leaves is a favorite.  Of course, you should use your detector there too.  But check out fence lines down wind of the carnival grounds where bills will get caught. 

Eye-ball after a strong wind.  A good wind will blow the sand and expose things on the beach.

There was one hotel in South Florida where bills would collect in a dip about fifty feet out in the water. 

I also remember one day when a bill came floating by when I was water detecting.

I've found a few bills in the sea weed line too.

So don't forget to keep your eyes open.

On the Treasure Coast we had some good rain lately.   The wind is out of the northwest and the surf is running  1- 2 feet.  That will continue most of the week with bumps up to 3 feet.   That isn't enough to improve beach detecting conditions.

Low tide this afternoon will be around 1:30. 

It looks like the surf might increase a little after this week.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

3/24/13 Report - Pre Columbian Items Sold & Rocket Engines Salvaged

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Rocket Engine Salvaged From Atlantic
Photo by Bezos Expeditions (Link below).
The gold 5.5 inch pectoral that I showed in yesterday's post  sold for $17,865 in the Sotheby's auction.  The realized prices for that auction are now available through the link that I gave in my previous post.

The Florida Indian Hobbyists are at the Savannahs Recreation Area on Midway Road today.  You can see the tepees.  Yesterday afternoon there were events including drums and chanting.  I don't know what is on the schedule for today, but you might want to take a look.

Numismatic News asked their readers if they would purchase a coin from a famous hoard.  The answers were split with a majority saying no. Many who would not purchase coins  coming from famous hoards primarily because they thought such coins would likely be over-priced.  However, many readers did say they would buy hoard coins. 

I selected one answer that I felt typified the thinking of those who would purchase coins coming from famous hoards.  Here it is.

Yes.I would buy a coin all the more if it was authenticated as coming from a specific hoard.  I love looking at an old coin and wondering where it’s been or who’s collection has it been in over all the years.  Who would’nt want a coin where the history could be traced back to say the New York City subway hoard or an early half dollar from the Harmony Society hoard. Coin collecting and history go hand in hand and what could be better than having a documented history of where a certain coin has been.

David Tortorice

Here is the link to that piece

It is not unusual to find melted pieces of titanium on the Treasure Coast beaches.  I've commented on that several times before. 

You can find a few pictures of pieces of titanium pieces found on Treasure Coast beaches if you look back through older posts in this blog.  New detectorists wonder what they are, but if you've been reading this blog very long you know that they've been attributed to the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.

One post discussing titanium pieces found on the beaches is my 2/10/11 post, which includes the following link to a site telling how to test titanium.

As always, if you are interested in this topic, you can search old posts by using the search box on the blog.

I've speculated in the past that obsolete space vehicles carrying valuable materials and parts might be salvaged in space someday very much like old shipwrecks are salvaged today. 

On March 20th, the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, successfully salvaged F1 Saturn engines from the Atlantic.

Here is the link to an article about the recovery of the rockets.

I wonder if there will be some type of ownership battle that pops up on this one.   Off hand, I suspect that the US government has clear ownership in this case.

Saturn V moon rockets launched from Cape Canaveral dropped into the Atlantic after the fuel was used.  The salvage project led by Bezos, used flight information and deep sea technology to find and retrieve the engines that remained in the ocean for nearly fifty years.  Some have said this marks the beginning of space archaeology.

I always thought that archaeology dealt with "old" stuff, so I looked up some definitions. gives the following definition.  Archaeology is the study of ancient cultures through remains: the scientific study of ancient cultures through the examination of their material remains such as buildings, graves, tools, and other artifacts usually dug up from the ground.

That is what I thought.  Archaeology studies "ancient cultures."   That is what the definition says, and that is undoubtedly what archaeology text books say, or said up until perhaps recent years.

A Merriam Webster online definition, however, defines archaeology as  the scientific study of material remains (as fossil relics, artifacts, and monuments) opast human life and activities.

Definitions do change.  Often intentionally, and for a reason.

You might remember that I posted a request for help in locating a buried aluminum canoe.  One of this blog's readers, Ed B., went out to help find the canoe.  Unfortunately it was no longer there.  Nonetheless, Ed enjoyed the experience and was able to some one.   Thanks Ed!

On the Treasure Coast today the surf is predicted to be 2 - 3 feet.  The wind is from the South.   Beach detecting conditions remain poor.

The low tide will be just before 1 PM.

Happy hunting,

Friday, March 22, 2013

3/22/13- Pre Columbian Artifacts Claimed by Mexico, Cannon Ball, Small Surf

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Pre Columbian Artifact
From Sothebys Auction Catalog discussed in today's post.
Here we go again.  Mexico wants to claim items that have been in a private collection since the early 1900s.  It would seem that they could spend their time exploring and preserving the millions of artifacts that remain in the ground or studying and displaying some of the artifacts that remain hidden in dusty university basements, but the trend is to see what somebody else has and then claim that. 

I still don't know how Spain was able to claim the Black Swan treasures that originated in South America, was removed by Spanish explorers, then recovered by Odyssey Marine Explorations, and why Peru hasn't been able to get their share. 

I'll take that back.  Yes I do know.  It is all about politics and who has the best connections. 

This must be the decade of "blame and claim."  Blame somebody else for anything that goes wrong and claim anything good that somebody else has worked for.

Mexico claims that of the 130 items advertised as being from Mexico in the current Sothebys auction catalog, 51 are archaeological artifacts that should be returned to Mexico and the rest are fakes or handicrafts.  (We well know the problem with fakes these days.) 

Some of the items in the auction are from other South American countries such as Peru.

The auction was scheduled for March 22 and 23. 

Here is a link to the article about Mexico's claim.

And here is a link to the Sotheby's auction catalog.

Interesting collection of artifacts!  Some are gold.  The most interesting one for me is the carved crystal cat head.

It is always good to be familiar with a broad range of items and artifacts. 

Down in the Keys, the crew of the Magruder just found a cannon ball on the northern end of the Atocha trail. (Information received via email.)

One of the things I'll talk about tomorrow is the melted titanium pieces that are found on Treasure Coast beaches and salvaging space debris.

Below is a quick video clip of the surf yesterday on the Treasure Coast around low tide.   Notice the featureless front beach.

The wind is from the southeast, and the beach fronts continue to build.   I found very little metal of any kind on the beach front yesterday.   There are some shell lines on some beaches. 

The surf today is down around one foot, and low tide will be just after 11 AM.

The surf will increase maybe a touch for the next few days, but nothing significant.

No change in beach detecting conditions is expected.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3/21/13 Report - New Sand, Natural and Not

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Renourished Beach at Jupiter Inlet
Well, Spring has sprung.  The seasons and years just fly around.

The beach by Jupiter Inlet now has tons of new sand on it as  you can see in the picture here.

Notice particularly the area just east of the wreck pile where the sand sticks out into the water a little more.

I'm told the renourishment sand came from the inlet.  If that is so, it might have a few interesting things in it.  As you might know, that beach has been producing cobs and old US coins as well as jewelry for a long time.  

People were finding cobs there long before the wreck pile was discovered and the salvage crews started working the wreck.  A lot of the cobs there tend to be more round than those found on the 1715 Fleet sites and are earlier.

It is always a good idea to try to figure out where new sand came from no matter if it is part of a renourishment project or the natural flow of sand.  It is always good to sample various areas and try to determine what kind of stuff might be in it.

Sometimes you can tell a lot about where the sand came from by looking at the texture of the sand and it's color.  Sand varies from very course shell sand to very fine dust or clay and in color from white to black.

Back in the eighties I knew a fellow that worked that beach a lot and found a lot of cobs, then one morning a life guard on his morning exercise swim looked down and saw an exposed cannon.  After that the salvage work started.

When you dig a hole, notice the type of sand on the surface and in the hole.  Often you'll see distinct layers.

Notice the different layers in the dunes that might be exposed. The different layers will indicate different time periods, sometimes large time periods but sometimes only hours apart.  Some layers near the surface are continually shifted while other deep layers may not have been disturbed for centuries.

In the dunes, there will often be a layer where most of the old wreck coins will be found. When that layer it is washed out onto the beach and is a good sign to detect heavily.

If you ever find a newly exposed layer of clay at or below the water line work it heavily.  I always like to see black sand too.

A bowl purchased at a yard sale for $3 sold for over two million.

It is good to learn what you can about what you have, otherwise you could make a big mistake.  Of course that goes for detector finds too.  Knowledge can help a lot.

One of the things I like so much about detecting is that there is almost always a bit of a mystery and always something to learn.  What I don't like, is how many mistakes I made before I learned things.

The other day I mentioned bales of pot being found on Treasure Coast beaches.   One person said that the police told him that if you find a bale, don't fool with it - sometimes bales are booby-trapped to explode.  There are other good reasons to not touch them, but that is a good warning to be especially careful if you do happen to find a bale.  I've seen bales on the beach as have others that I've heard from.

This morning on the Treasure Coast the beaches that I saw are continuing to build.  Some have a foot or more of recent sand accumulation on the front beach, making for poor detecting.

I did find one coin line, that happened to be in a brown course line of sand below the shell line but close to the high tide mark.  The area closest to the water had new sand but very very few targets of any kind.   There might still be some beaches out there that are better, but the ones I saw this morning were very poor.

A cool front came through last night and the wind picked up for a while.  The surf this morning was supposed to be 1 - 2 feet but looked a little higher to me.  The surf tomorrow is supposed to be down around 1 - 2 feet.

It might be a good time to do some research or hunt around for a different kind of spot to hunt.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

3/20/13 Report - Books, Pot, Rings and Things

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Diamond Ring Beach Find
Somebody said that they looked for the book about gold coin hoards that I mentioned the other day  and found that it was selling for $100.   Books on numismatics are often expensive, but what I always recommend is at least finding the book in a library to preview before spending much money on a book. 

Even if your branch doesn't have the book, you can ask them to get it for you through an inter library loan.  They can usually get the book from another library and have it sent to your branch.  I've always been able to get difficult to find books through inter library loans.   

If you can't get somebody in the local public library to do it for you (I think you should), see if you can find someone in a University, either faculty or student, who should be able to get a copy of most books for you to inspect through the university system.  One of the things I always liked about working in a university is that you had very good access to library collections. 

If you do find the book you want to look at in the library, take a digital camera or make a few copies of select pages using the coin operated photo copy machines. 

I wouldn't spend a lot of money on an expensive book without first getting a preview somehow.  And books are generally very expensive these days. 

Don't forget the digitized resources that I've mentioned in the past.

These days libraries are getting rid of a lot of their books and providing more digital access instead.  You can often pick up free books when libraries thin their holdings.  And you'll find a lot of ex-libris books in thrift stores.

The diamond ring shown above is marked 18K.  Sometimes the diamond size will be marked in the band too.  The diamond hasn't been tested but shows inclusions (sign of a real diamond) when a jewelers loop is used.  Also, fake diamonds are usually not found in higher karat gold.

People come to the Treasure Coast thinking of shipwreck treasures, but of course you can find other types of things as well.  The Treasure Coast isn't great for jewelry hunting.  Not nearly as good as some of the bigger tourist areas.

 I've noticed really a lot of snow bird traffic this year.

$4 million dollars of pot was discovered on a California beach.  That happens on our local beaches too.  I remember one morning when two big bales showed up on a local treasure beach.

You never know what you might find on a beach - and not all of them are good.   Be prepared for anything.

Treasure Detectives is heavily advertised NBC show that might be of some interest.  I found the first couple of programs disappointing but according to their schedule of future programs some may be of more interest to detectorists and treasure hunters.

Here is the link.

I might be mistaken but I think they contacted me back about a year ago or so.  Maybe it was another TV show that I'm thinking of, but I think that was one of them.  There have been a few.

Today we still have a two to three foot surf.  Nothing exciting.  The surf will decrease a little in a day or two.  On top of all that, the tide is changing very little these days.

You can still find a few things, although conditions for finding shipwreck cobs on the beach is very poor right now.  Also most jewelry finds will be recent more recent drops. 

Nonetheless, there are always a few nooks and crannies where it is possible to find some older stuff if you look around enough.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3/19/13 - Gold Coin Hoards

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

The crews of JB Magruder and the Dare are returning to the Atocha site with the return of calmer seas. 

The calm seas that make it possible to get out in the water aren't much good for beach hunters - except for getting out near the water's edge. 

We will have a 2 - 3 foot surf for about three days, and then it is predicted to decrease down to 1 - 2 feet.

Right now the tide isn't varying much either.  Pick and scratch time.


Many gold coin hoards have been discovered over the years.  Hoard discoveries can provide a lot of numismatic information, but unfortunately hoard discoveries are often poorly documented.  One very good book on gold hoards is American Coin Treasures and Hoards, by David Bowers of Bowers Auctions.  I think any treasure hunter would enjoy reading and get some good tips from that book.

One of the gold coin hoard stories in that book, for example, is about a Kellogg & Co. $20 gold coin that was discovered in 1908 in Nebraska.  The $20 gold piece, it seems, was lost by a couple of men named Abernathy and Bennett who had returned to Nebraska from California with a bag of $20 Kellogg gold pieces.  As the story goes, in 1867 Pawnee Indians killed the men and burned the house.

But that is only the beginning of the story.  A $20 Kellogg gold pieces was found years later by two boys while they were swimming.  After searching, they found two more or the gold pieces.  According to the story, eventually a sack containing $1,100 face value of the coins was found and turned into a bank in Nebraska.

While stories like this are difficult to document in an academic way for numismatic purposes, the details of the story make sense and could very likely have happened the way it is told.

If you know about local Treasure Coast treasure hunting history, you might know about the US gold coins found by some young fellows while swimming as they hunted lobster not too far north of Pepper Park near where the old inlet was.  That was part of an army payroll that was lost while trying to enter the old inlet.  I've talked about that before so won't go into it any more now. 

You can search this blog using the keyword search box.  I find myself doing that more and more when I know that I've talked about something but have forgotten some details.

Some US gold coins found in Jupiter are also mentioned in the above referenced book by Bowers in addition to many other hoard stories. 

If you can't run out to the library to get the book today but want to read some of the gold hoard stories, here is a link that you'll find posted various places around the web.  Good reading.

Research helps. 

I'm keeping it short today.  Have to get on with other things.

Happy hunting,

Friday, March 15, 2013

3/15/13 Report - Bullion and Silver Coins

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Have you ever found a bullion coin on the beach?

According to the US Mint, A bullion coin is a coin that is valued by its weight in a specific precious metal. Unlike commemorative or numismatic coins valued by limited mintage, rarity, condition and age, bullion coins are purchased by investors seeking a simple and tangible means to own and invest in the gold, silver, and platinum markets. American Eagle Gold and Platinum Bullion Coins are available in four denominations: one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce while the Silver Bullion Coin is only available in the one ounce size.

Bullion coins aren't often found on the beach.  To begin with, not as many are produced, and bullion coins are generally kept safely.  Nonetheless, I have a found a few while beach detecting.  It is always a bit of a surprise, and I always wonder what a bullion coin would be doing on a beach.

I can think of a few dug bullion coins that I've posted in this blog before.  The most recent was the 1966 silver 100 pesetas coin that was found and posted in January of this year.  Previous to that I remember posting a dug silver 1977 Silver Jubilee One Crown from the Isle of Man, also found on a Florida beach.  I don't remember if I posted a gold American Eagle, but one of those was dug on a Florida beach as well.

Since bullion coins aren't made for circulation, it is interesting to speculate on why they were lost on a beach.  They aren't pocket change.  Or did someone not know that and simply pick one up with out noticing that it wasn't just a regular coin.  Maybe a child got into dad's collection.  Or maybe a thief,  or someone simply showing their coins off, or intending to make an exchange - maybe at night.   I don't know.  But that is what makes it an interesting surprise when one is found.   And when the bullion coin is from another country, it only adds to the intrigue.

I'm curious, what would you think the most likely reason for a bullion coin being lost on a beach?

Of course it is more likely that you will find "junk" silver rather than bullion silver coins.  Here are junk silver coins to look for.

CoinSilver ContentSilver WeightFace ValueSilver Value
1942-1945 War Nickels35%0.05626 oz.$0.05 $1.69

1916-1945 Mercury Dimes
90%0.07234 oz.0.10 2.17

1946-1964 Roosevelt
90%0.07234 oz.0.10 2.17

Washington Quarters
90%0.18084 oz.0.25 5.43

Walking Liberty Half
90%0.36169 oz.0.50 10.85

Franklin Half
90%0.36169 oz.0.50 10.85

1964 Kennedy Half
90%0.36169 oz.0.50 10.85

1965-1970 Kennedy Half
40%0.1479 oz.0.50 4.44

1878-1921 Morgan Dollar
90%0.77344 oz.1.00 23.20

1921-1935 Peace Dollar
90%0.77344 oz.1.00 23.20

1971-1976-S Eisenhower Dollar
40%0.3161 oz.1.00 9.48

As I recall, the average face value of coins dug will be just over seven cents.  That will be increased if dollar coins become more common in circulation.

Here is more talk about doing away with US one-dollar bills and why it might be a good thing.

Silver and gold prices have been strong lately and bullion coin sales have been strong as well.

On the Treasure Coast the wind is from the northeast.  The surf is around 3 - 5 feet, decreasing slightly through the day.

It looks like the surf won't get as calm this weekend as we've been expecting.  I've actually been hoping for a short period of calm surf so I could work easily in the low tide zone.

I'm back to a 1 (poor) rating on my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Scale.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

3/14/13 Report - Winds Changed Direction But Not Swells and Jesuit History in Florida

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Typical Beach This Morning

Yesterday afternoon the wind picked up and was coming from the north.  The surf, though is expected to be around 3 - 5 feet today and tomorrow.

Despite the change in wind direction, the swells are still coming in almost directly from the east and not creating cuts.  The photo shows the typical beach on the Treasure Coast today.  I checked about five spots and saw about the same thing everywhere.

Even though the wind changed direction, the swells are still hitting the beach from the east.  That would suggest, and correctly in this case, no cuts.

The prediction is still for a 1 - 2 foot surf on Sunday, then increasing a bit again.

I'm sticking with my 2 rating on my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Scale for now.  Finds are often made days and sometimes even weeks after an event. 

Like I was saying yesterday, timing is important.  

With the selection of the new Pope yesterday, you might be interested in reading about the Jesuits in Colonial America.  One good resource, completely available and free online as a PDF file, has an entire chapter on the Jesuits in Florida from the 1500s up to the mid 1700s.

Here is the link.

I often receive email asking about other places that you can find shipwreck treasures.  There is one beach that I seldom mention simply because I seldom visit it myself -  not because it isn't any good but there are simply too many other shipwreck beaches closer to my home.  (I don't travel as much since the price of gas is so high.)  Some of this blog's readers do detect this beach.  The beach I am talking about is Aquarina Beach.  1715 Fleet coins can sometimes be  found there.

You can find Aquarina Beach by going south on A1A about 10.8 miles from Route 192.  You'll see the Aquarina community and club complex.

Parking is not easy there.   If you are not careful you can easily get ticketed or towed.   When you find your way to the beach,  detect in front of the Aquarina complex.

You might have already read about this Atocha gold chain.  This isn't a new find but I thought it was worth posting because it shows some good pictures of the construction of the chain and cross.  I think you'll find it worth at least a quick look.and

I saw that I posted the wrong link to one story yesterday.  Here is the link that I posted.  It is actually about a rare half cent found in an attic instead of the treasure hunter that got lost.

They keep printing money, devaluing your money and artificially pumping up the stock market while telling us there isn't inflation, yet every item a normal person buys on a regular basis is getting more and more expensive.  And while they tell us there is no effect of the deficit, the dollar in your pocket shrinks and people that have saved can't make a cent on savings or CDs.

Here is a quick video showing one beach and the surf this afternoon.  I tend to put videos towards the bottom of the post because they can take a little while to load.

That is it for today.

Happy hunting,