Friday, May 24, 2013

5/24/13 Report - Another Key Plus Mystery Object, Linked Spirals Search Pattern for Water Hunting & Mound Builders

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

First, here is another key find.  Brent P. found these two objects by the Banana River.

Key and Mystery Object Finds by Brent P.
Photos submitted by Brent.

Brent said,  I, too, made an unexpected find of what appears to be an old key. It is not iron (unknown at this time what metal it's made of). The key was recovered from 10-12 inches beneath the sand in a foot of water.

The paddle-shaped item was found 10 minutes earlier, four feet away from the key, at a depth of 6 inches under the sand. Could it be a butter knife or something similar? Neither the key or the "paddle" have any marking or inscription. Any information or ideas you or your readers might have concerning the key would be greatly appreciated.

He says the key isn't iron, but doesn't know what metal it is.  It looks to me like there is some possibility the other object is silver and maybe had a handle or was the handle.

If you have any ideas about the "paddle" object, send them in.  Brent would really like to know what they are.

Here is one tip I often give when you don't know what type of metal you have.  Try a magnet.  That will tell you real quick and easy if it is ferrous or not.

A precious metals test kit is always a good idea, but if you don't have one, a lot of pawn shops will test metals for you at no cost. 

People are getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend.  Summer gets into full swing as a lot of people will be hitting the beaches.  It is a good time for some beach and water metal detecting.  There will be quite a few things lost and found over the holiday weekend.

If you plan on getting into the water, as always check for any new dips, especially any with a deep hard bottom.

Also check the sand bars outside the dip where many swimmers stand and play.  Try to determine the direction the bar has been moving.  It will probably be losing sand on one side (either the inside or outside).  Especially check the side that is losing sand.  Depending upon how long the bar has been in place and how much it has been used by swimmers, a good accumulation of coins and objects can become available when the sand moves from one side or the other.

You can use some of the same search patterns in the water as you would use on the beach.  There is a difference though.  When in the water, it is harder to maintain a tight grid.  The water will move you a little, you won't be able to see your tracks to make sure you aren't missing any areas, and you won't be able to see the bottom as well.  All of that means it is more difficult to make sure you don't leave gaps in your search grid.    If you do decide it is worth gridding, it might be a good idea to run a tighter pattern and overlap more.

If you haven't found a spot that is worth searching using a tight grid and are still looking for a good area where a grid would be worthwhile, first check different types of areas for individual targets and then check the area where the target was found to see if the target might be part of a spill or an accumulation.

One search pattern I like for use on larger sand bars during the early stages of the hunt, is what I call the linking spirals pattern.  You start with a zigzag pattern and then when a good target is dug, spiral around the dug hole - extending out from the hole in circles

When visibility is not good and maybe the water is rough, you can use a long handled scoop to maintain your position.  Reach the hole with the scoop so you know where the hole is and go around the hole, detecting as you go.  After you go around the hole a time or two, you won't be able to touch the hole any longer, but at least you got started and covered the area immediately next to the hole.

The point of the spiral is to see if there are any more targets close to the one that you dug.  If there is another target within the spiral pattern, notice which direction and how far it was from the first hole.  Repeat the process until you figure the target density is dense enough to grid, otherwise move on.

You might find that you are at one side of any accumulation.  If you find a second target, and maybe a third to the south of the hole, for example, but not in the other direction, then check to the south to see how much of an accumulation there might be.

If you spiral outward from the hole where the first target was found and find no other targets, then return to your zigzag pattern and continue until you find a good area with more targets to search more thoroughly.  Of course it is possible that you won't find any good accumulations in the area.  In that unfortunate case, you are reduced to picking up random drops instead of being able to intensify your search in a "good" spot.  If there are no hot spots detected, another option is to move on to another beach.

I noticed in my old records how often I made a good find at one beach and then moved on to another beach and made another good find.   If I found a good accumulation that I could continue to work profitably for hours or even days, I wouldn't have moved to another beach until the accumulation was worked out.

Sometimes you find what you're not looking for, and it can be better than what you were looking for.

While I was up north not long ago, one fellow digging for bottles found a very unusual object.  It was a Native American pipe made out of petrified wood.  It is a very unusual one-of-a-kind find.  Experts said they had never seen one like it.

Here is a nice web site on the Mound Builders.  It shows a good variety of interesting artifacts including many of copper.

On the Treasure Coast today (Fri.), the surf was pretty smooth.  It will pick up just a touch for the rest of the holiday weekend.  With the full moon, we are getting some lower low tides.

Happy hunting,