Wednesday, May 15, 2013

5/16/13 Report - More Shipwreck Spikes, Staples, High K Gold & Coins

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Nice Bronze Spikes
Finds by William M.
I received this photo from William M. who said the following.

I would like a little help with dating these if possible.

From what I know..round bronze is likely very old ship related...

 they were all in one hole with some deeper targets I couldn't get yet because of the tide..

These were in black crust that cracked completely off without electrolysis.

As you probably know I posted an illustration recently showing the beach and where you could find things on the typical beach under the present circumstances.   I pointed out that the front of the beach was a place where you can find things like spikes.  You might want to go back a week or so and look at that.

Also I recently mentioned that bronze spikes do not corrode as badly as iron.  You might also recall the example I showed of a silver dime that was covered by a hard black clay or something that resisted muriatic acid but that I broke off revealing the mercury dime.

Anyhow, if you have an idea of the age of these or any other thoughts or ideas about these spikes, let me know.

Some people don't pay any attention to things like spikes.  Some don't even keep them and might wonder why I pay so much attention to things like that, but spikes are not only interesting historical relics and can provide important information about any possible nearby shipwrecks, but they also can have a greater economic value than some treasure coins.  So there are two good reasons.

I noticed a group of shipwreck spikes for sale on eBay the other day.  I thought it was especially interesting because along with the spikes there was also what you might call a staple or cleat.

Here is a photo of that.

Photo From eBay Listing.
You can find it by using keywords "shipwreck spike."
Notice the marks on the parts of the staple pointing to the right.  They look a little like tread marks.

That is the kind of thing that can help you narrow down the age or source of an item.  Always carefully inspect finds for any marks or unusual features.

You see a lot of spikes but not many of these staple things.

When evaluating a beach that might provide some modern jewelry finds, you should find out what type of people go there.  Some cultures wear a lot more gold than others, and some cultures use more high purity gold.  Some use 20K and even 22K gold. .

Here is an article about the current gold demand and how gold is viewed in the largest market for gold.  Can you guess what country that is?  

 If you find gold jewelry that is 20K or above, there is a good chance it is either from India or China.  I've shown one or two items like that before

Here is one paragraph from the above linked article a couple of days ago.

Bullion for immediate delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,428.76 an ounce. While gold has rebounded from a two-year low of $1,321.95 on April 16, it is 26 percent below the record $1,921.15 reached in 2011.

And here is a May 10 AP article about a coin show in New Orleans that displayed $100 million in rare coins including the crown jewels of coin collecting.

The following three collecting rarities are briefly described in this article.

The Liberty Head nickel, first minted in 1883, was replaced with a design featuring an American Indian and a buffalo in 1913. No 1913 Liberty Heads are known to have been released for circulation, so the five known to exist have been shrouded in mystery in numismatic circles.

Other highlights include an 1804 silver dollar valued at more than $3 million and an example of the first coin federally authorized by President George Washington — a 1792 half disme, an early spelling of the word dime.

The 1804 dollar is known among collectors as the "king" of collecting, and it also has a mysterious history.

On the Treasure Coast today the surf will be around 2 - 3 feet, with the wind from the east/southeast. The surf will remain in that range for a few days, at least.

Beach detecting conditions remain poor but as I've shown, you can still come up with some finds.  Cobs or treasure coins will be very rare though.

Happy hunting,