Monday, April 1, 2013

4/1/13 Report - Jensen Beach Renourishment Project, Beach Sifters & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Jensen Beach
From the Jensen Beach Web Cam

Beautiful, isn't it?   I didn't think I was going to have an April Fool's joke today, but this is it.  I promise you there are no other April Fools jokes in this post.

The picture isn't the joke.- that is perfectly real.  The joke part is saying that it is beautiful.  It is really an ugly eye-sore.   But somebody gets some of our tax dollars out of it and we get new crappy sand filled with iron chips.  And the turtles get a fake beach where they will make nests that will be washed away when we get a few waves.

It seems that there is always one beach renourishment project or another going on somewhere on the Treasure Coast.

I usually get a few notes from new detectorists when there is a beach renourishment project.  One question is if there might be some treasure in the new sand.  My answer, is that it has can and has happened, but usually what you find is a lot of aluminum junk and iron chips from all the pipes and equipment.

I haven't seen where that sand is coming from.  If you go down there and look, you might see the dredging ship some where a mile or so off shore. 

And someone usually asks what those iron chips are.  I already told about that.  They do sometimes visually look very much like cobs at first glance, but your detector will tell you that they are iron.

I recently mentioned the California sewage workers who found $2500 worth of gold jewelry that was pawned.  Here is what one of this blog's readers said.

In Florida, I once worked for several years at environmental firms which designed and water and sewage treatment plants. At the headworks of a sewage treatment plant is a screenings structure that sifts out debris from incoming unprocessed sewage. These screens and rakes must be cleaned periodically. The workers who clean these have found many items--both interesting and strange, and they find jewelry. I imagine the latter can provide them with a good bonus.

There was one beach in South Florida where they used a beach cleaning machine.  It sifted the top layer of sand to pick up the trash.  I suppose they still use that machine.  The machine would occasionally pick up gold chains etc.

That brings up another thing.  You can construct a Merkitch sifter.   Merkitch (if I correctly remember the name) is the last name of a fellow that once published plans for a beach sifter in a small paperback treasure hunting book probably about thirty or forty years ago.

It basically had too big wheels in the back, a frame enclosed in wire mesh except for the leading edge which was open and had a metal lip, and a handle similar to a lawn mower on the front.

Instead of detecting for targets, the idea was to simply pull the sifter through the sand on the beach, stopping occasionally to see what if any items remained in the sifter. 

It actually worked.  I constructed one and used it.  It would pick up coins etc. from the top two or so inches of sand.  It was one heck of a lot of work though, and was not worth the effort on most beaches.  It could be worth the effort on beaches where detecting is not allowed and where there is a high density of targets.

It is also worth-while when a known target that is difficult to detect is in a small well-defined area.

Some thin gold chains are very difficult to detect, but sifter pick them up well.

I've said this before, but for very thin gold chains, a rake properly used can be more effective than a detector.

Back in 2012 a $3 million gold nugget display was stolen from a California court house.

Notice the famous 28 oz. nugget in the photo sometimes called the "shoe" or "slipper."

In yesterday's news, the suspects were identified.  You can probably find that link if you want.

That reminds me, have the thieves who stole a gold bar from the Mel Fisher Museum in Key West been found?

On the Treasure Coast the wind is now coming from the south again.   And for a few days will have a very small surf - down around 1 foot.   Beach conditions for finding old shipwreck items on the beach are poor.

Low tide will be around 6 PM. 

Hope you had a Happy Easter.