Sunday, June 30, 2013

6/30/13 - Low Tide Scattered Shells and Things & Florida Archaeology Network Concerning Laws on Metal Detecting

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Stretch of Beach Shown Yesterday Morning. 

This beach doesn't look much good for metal detecting, and it wasn't much good.  There isn't any erosion and there weren't any good metal targets to detect.  There were a few old pieces of iron, copper, titanium and the ever present aluminum.  It was more of an eye-balling beach.

You can see at the bottom right corner a little line showing where a thin top layer of sand was being removed, exposing a fresh layer.

The shell piles were not big,  Shells were scattered as you see in the photo.  Sea glass and pieces of fossils were seen in between.

One lady hunting shells (you can barely see her up ahead as a dot in the photo) actually found a couple of very old shell artifacts.  She was just collecting shells and things she thought looked interesting for crafts.   She didn't know what they were.  Fortunately  I had my camera and took a picture of them and asked some people that know a lot about artifacts.  They said they were indeed artifacts.   

I'm in the process of trying to find who in the state I should contact about artifact finds these days.  Regarding fossils, Richard Hulbert at the Florida Museum of Natural History has always been helpful, and it is much appreciated.  He has helped people who send him photos to identify fossils.    Back a few years ago when they had the Vero Man conference in Vero, people brought in boxes of fossils and he identified them.

By the way, fossils are different from artifacts.  Artifacts are human formed.

You do need a permit to collect fossils on state lands or in state waterways.

If you do hunt fossils much, you can't help but come across artifacts from time to time.

Of the hundreds of fossils he identified that day, there was only one that he was interested in having for the museum.   That is what you would expect.  By definition, most things are common.  Few are rare.

Yesterday I was reminded of the time quite a few years ago when I was at Wabasso Beach after some erosion.  A tourist staying at the Disney resort came up to me and showed me a fossilized mammal bone and an arrowhead she found on the beach there after some erosion.  She said I looked like I might know what they were.   I don't have the slightest idea why she picked me out other than maybe it looked like I had spent a lot of time on the beach.  Anyhow, I knew what those ones were in the most general sense, and gave her the name of the local museum to contact if she wanted to find out more about them.

I am in the process of trying to get a good contact telephone number and email address to use when you want to report an artifact that has been found on the beach.  I've contacted people at the Florida Museum of Natural History about artifacts in the past.  It usually took a while to get the right person to talk to, but you can get someone.  When I get good contact information, I'll post it for you all.

FPAN, the Florida Public Archaeology Network,  has the purpose of public outreach.  They have regional offices.
Here is the link for their FAQs.

I get a lot of questions about the laws concerning metal detecting in Florida.

Here is their FAQ on Florida metal detecting laws.

  1. Can I metal detect in Florida?
    Laws regarding metal detecting in Florida are rather confusing —we always encourage anyone interested in metal detecting to always get the permission of the land owner or manager before detecting - that will prevent misunderstandings about what is permitted, trespassing, etc. Most cities and counties have their own ordinances regarding metal detecting - the City Manager, County Commission, or the Parks/Recreation Department can probably tell you. Most coastal cities and counties in Florida do allow metal detecting on their beaches, although some, like St. Johns County, have ordinances that prohibit the removal of historical objects from county lands. They’re all a little different, so that’s why we suggest contacting them directly.
    Detecting on state lands is different and the removal of historical objects from state lands is prohibited. Some coastal state parks do not allow metal detecting at all, some will allow it between the shoreward toe of the dunes and the mean high water line, but only for modern objects. Some state parks will only allow detecting for personal items that are specified as lost in a particular area. If counties or cities lease coastal lands from the state, they are required to abide by state laws. Every state park will have an entry station with a ranger on duty, so always ask first. 
    As for metal detecting in the water, all lands that are below the mean high water line are considered state sovereignty submerged lands and, while it is not against the law to possess a metal detector in the water, it IS against the law to disturb the bottom sediments. So, if something is detected, it would be illegal to dig for it.
They are certainly right about it being confusing.

If you wade out into the water, are you disturbing the bottom?   I know, that is a crazy question.  

That reminds me of those little fish that you can see when you wade when the visibility is very good that will follow you around and eat little things that you stir up when you walk in the sand.

Photo Showing Low Rocks at Low Tide Yesterday.

One thing I like about the British system that I talked about yesterday is that it seems it is easy to contact someone to report finds and what the public is to do is well publicized.  At least it is explained well on the internet.  Maybe in practice if you are actually trying to work with the system, it might not be so easy.

Neives Site and Salvage Vessel at Work Yesterday Morning.

I didn't have the right camera for this yesterday morning.  You can barely see the boat on what looks like the horizon near the center of the photo.

Actually the boat was only about 200 yards out.  Looks much farther in this photo.

On the Treasure Coast conditions are about the same today as yesterday.  Very little surf.  Nice low tide.  Some shelling to be found, with other items in between.

As I said, I'll be trying to get a good number or email address for you to report artifacts that are seen on the beach.

I'm going to continue taking a camera so I take photograph artifacts that I see on the beach.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, June 29, 2013

6/29/13 - Antiquities Scheme & Treasure Act & Beach Find

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is a 14K and ruby or garnet ring recently found on a Treasure Coast beach.

A lot of different kinds of things are being found now - old and new.

The hot weather is bringing out the swimmers and boaters.

I'm informed that it is no longer permissible to pick up Native American artifacts on the beach.  One lady picked up a couple of  artifacts recently while collecting shells and materials for crafts not knowing that they were artifacts.   I didn't know either until she showed me and I did some research, mostly asking people that are smarter about such things than I.  

People don't know what to do when they see them.  I have not yet been able to find out where you are supposed to report beach artifacts like that these days.   I'll tell you when I find out.  I guess you take a camera, and take a picture, but leave them where they are.  I hope to have a more intelligent answer for you in the future.

The low tide was good and low this morning.  I was surprised by how low it was. 

One beach I saw was puffed up and mushy out front.  The beach where iron  copper and other objects were found was firm.  There was a thin layer of sand over a layer of shells.  The top layer of sand was being removed.

I saw a salvage boat working on the Nieves site this morning.

The surf was about as smooth as it gets.

One of the reader's of this blog, Russ P., while vacationing in London went into a museum and saw a display detailing how finds of possible archaeological significance are handled in England.  Russ sent a picture of the display to me, so I did a little additional research and will present some of that today.

Before I start, I want to say that I have not spent a great deal of time studying the details and will gladly accept correction where it is needed.  I'll describe what I think are some of the most significant features of the British system below. 

I know that some of this blog's readers are like Russ and travel and might want to know about this too.

First of all, they provide a network of reporting centers, many of which are in museums.  The reporting centers provide assistance in helping finders identify their finds and then log data into a database for all finds that meet the criteria.  They widely publish procedures so people know what to do and where to go when they find something that might be of significance.

The British system does not claim everything and anything imaginable.  The British want to see found items not considered to be "treasure" so they can log it, but unlike Florida, they make no claim to it unless it meets the criteria to be defined as "treasure."  The staff will determine if the item might be important.  The staff may ask for permission to further study the item.  You would receive a receipt for anything you leave with them and they will not make information about you or your find public if you do not want them to.  They will keep private the exact location of finds, but academic researchers can receive information and detailed grid references.

They cite the purpose of the Portable Antiquities Scheme as making " much of the information as widely available as possible, while protecting archaeological sites from damage."  The Portable Antiquities Recording Scheme is entirely voluntary and encourages people to report their finds.

For more detailed information on the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act (discussed below), here is a link.

(The site also has some other neat information that you might want to look at.)

They define "treasure" to include objects that are at least 10% gold or silver AND are AT LEAST 300 years old when found.  This to me is key.  It does not include everything and anything that might be found up to the present day and does not include items that may belong to or be traced to living persons.  Treasure is also defined to include items associated with the above, for example containers.

Items less than 300 years old are included if they are made substantially of gold or silver, were "buried with the intention of recovery and their owner or their heirs cannot be traced."

Treasure also includes prehistoric objects made of base-metal up to and including the Iron Age.

Single coins found on their own are not considered to be "treasure."  Neither are unworked natural objects or objects when the owner can be traced.

Objects from the foreshore (between the high and low tide line) that come from a wreck, fall under another category and are governed by laws relating to salvage of wrecks.  Objects found on the foreshore that do not come from a wreck may be defined as treasure if they meet the criteria.

Finders are reminded that under section 8 of the Act they are required to report only the objects they believe, or have reasonable grounds for believing; to be treasure. If in any doubt finders are advised to seek expert advice. 

If the find is declared to be Treasure then it will be valued, on behalf of the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), by a committee of independent experts. If there are no objections to this valuation, DCMS will invoice the museum wishing to acquire the object and on receipt of payment will pay the finder a reward. The level of this reward will be set by the coroner, but will not exceed the independent experts' valuation.

If the find is declared not to be Treasure, or if no museum wishes to acquire it, then it will be disclaimed. The coroner will then notify all interested parties, such as the owner of the land where the object was found, of his intention to return the find to the finder. If no objections are raised to this then the find will be returned.

I am no an expert on this and have not described all details fully and accurately. I simply believe that the above presents many good elements.  I think it would result in a good relationship between the public and academics, encourage cooperation, promote the gathering and information.

If you want to correct anything I said, or discuss positive or negative aspects of the British system send me an email.  Let me know what you think is good and bad about this.   

On the Treasure Coast the next low tide will be about 8 PM.  I would suspect it will not be much different than this morning.  With the continuing wind from the southwest, not much will change.

This morning there were a good number of shells, some sea glass, pieces of copper, iron shipwreck spikes and pieces of fossils on the beach.

The surf will pick up a little Monday.  Until then, there is plenty out there.  I didn't even mention the beach goers.

Happy hunting,

Friday, June 28, 2013

6/28/13 - Discussing Poll Results and Getting Your First Treasure Coin

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Recent 14K Ruby or Garnet 
Diamond Ring Find
First things first.  The blog poll has concluded and the results are in.  I was a little surprised.  That is a good thing.  A person learns more that way. 

From previous polls, I've learned that just above 24% of those that read this blog live right here on the Treasure Coast.  The second largest home base was Central Florida, and then South Florida.  That is some background information that will help us interpret the results of this poll.

What surprised me in this poll is that so many people found a treasure coin or cob during their first year of detecting.  Like I've said before, it took me several trips to the Treasure Coast before finding my first. 

A good number of people who read this blog are not from the Treasure Coast.  About 25% live here, and a good number live either in Central Florida or South Florida, an hour or two away.   There are large numbers that only visit once a year or so.  And when they visit, it may or may not be when conditions are good.  I received an email from one reader who is now visiting London, who said he has only been to the Treasure Coast six times so far, but still hopes to get his first treasure coin.  Although those in other parts of Florida can make a two hour drive to get here, others can not plan their vacations around our sudden storms or erosion events.  That makes it tough.  Even if you live within a hour or two hour drive, you probably won't drive to the Treasure Coast on every whim, especially with the price of gas these days.

I'm not always right and sometimes am surprised when I drive out to the beach even though I live right here.  I would have loved to have had something like this blog when I lived a couple of hours away.  The condition reports and photos would have helped a lot.  There are a lot of times when there is very little going on, and a few times when the beach treasure hunting improves.

You might happen to show up at the right beach right after it erodes, which would be fortunate, but that is not easy.  As you probably know by now, one or two beaches can be cut while the others are not cut at all.  Sometimes it is just one beach that produces.  At other times, such as after Sandy, most of the treasure beaches produce to some extent and continue producing for days or weeks.

If you follow the information that I give about the height of the surf, wind direction, approaching storms, etc. you will dramatically increase the chances of going out when things are happening.  And definitely when I give a 3 or higher rating on the beach conditions rating scale, your chances will be many times better at having some good luck than if you come during one of those periods that I don't even bother giving a rating for weeks on end.  Those times you can assume are always rated 1 (poor) on my beach conditions rating scale.

Like I've explained, I can't say that even if conditions are excellent, that you'll walk out there and manage to put our coil over that one square inch where a treasure coin awaits.

When beach detecting conditions do improve, beach conditions might remain good for days or even weeks, and even when conditions change to a lower rating again, there is still a better chance of success right after a time when beaches have been producing than when conditions have been consistently poor.   You might remember how long the beaches produced after Sandy.  Cobs were being found over a week after Sandy was gone.

In any case, 11% of the respondents in this poll, even though many seldom get to the Treasure Coast to detect, have found a treasure coin or cob in their first year of detecting.  That is pretty good considering how difficult it is, and how long it can take people like me to get their first.

I might have found my first cob quicker except that I didn't belong to a club or talk to people that  knew the Treasure Coast.  When I first decided to come to the Treasure Coast to hunt shipwreck treasures, I had never been to any of the Treasure Coast beaches before, did not know which beaches were treasure beaches, and hadn't talked to anyone who had experience on the Treasure Coast, so I did it the way I do most things, on my own.  I had to learn it for myself.   I did know a lot about hunting coins and jewelry on a beach and knew pretty much about how beaches work, and I had a very good detector.

There were no blogs or forums in those days.  Nobody was posting beach pictures, discussing beach detecting conditions, or discussing  their finds and observations online.  The biggest help that I eventually got was a map showing the location of the main shipwreck treasure beaches that was photocopied on two single pages that I ordered from Roy Volker (you should know that name) for a few bucks from an ad that I saw in a treasure magazine.  That told me where the main shipwreck beaches were and gave me some confidence that I knew where to hunt.  I have that little hand-drawn map to this day even though it is not any real help now.  It is more of a keep-sake.  But it did the job of telling me generally where the main shipwreck beaches were and made me a little more confident that I was generally in the right area.

Of the poll respondents that have found treasure coins or cobs, more of those people found their first one after their first year of detecting (56%).  I really thought that a smaller percentage would not have success the first year.  I didn't even come to the Treasure Coast during my first year, so that might have influenced my expectations.

This poll reflected and validated a previous poll that I did in this blog.  The previous poll did not ask the same questions, but it found that a similar, but slightly higher number, had not yet found their first cob.  In both of those polls, it was found that over 70% have not yet found there first.  So if you haven't hit one yet, you are in good company.  It seems that once you finally get your first, the others come more quickly.

Confidence is very important.  If you doubt your detector or your skills, or maybe even doubt if there are any more treasure coins left, it will sap your motivation.  Many people give up simply because they don't have a lot of success right away.  Unless you are very lucky to live in an area where there are tons of good targets that can be discovered by going out and waving your detector around, or unless you just are very lucky, like the lady who found a gold escudo on her first outing, you will need patience.  If you are an optimist and expect to have success, sooner or later you will eventually have success.

Time on task is one of the most important things.  Nobody who finds a lot is putting in just a little time in the field. You will not find much unless you are putting in a good amount of time.  Some of that time will be much more productive than other times.   There will be times when you are hot, and there will be times when things are slower.  If you are out there a lot, you will eventually learn a lot, and that will eventually bring a lot of success.

They are now displaying the shuttle Atlantis up at Kennedy Space Center.  The exhibit opened today.  Might be an interesting day trip.

It has been hot enough lately that a lot of people are out there swimming and boating.  That means a lot of new losses.

If you want to find jewelry while you wait for the treasure beaches to improve, and you want to find high quality jewelry, you'll need to go where people wear a lot of high quality jewelry at the beach.  Some beaches have more jewelry and some have more high quality jewelry.  One good piece can be worth several smaller less valuable pieces.

On the Treasure Coast today, the surf is only around 1 - 2 feet.  That will remain the same for a few days.

The wind is out of the southwest.  The low tide will be around 7 PM, but it won't be down a lot.

Not much has changed in the last week or two.  Detecting conditions remain poor.

For those of you who have to drive to get to the Treasure Coast, knowing when not to come will save you some unnecessary trips.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, June 27, 2013

6/27/13 Report - Alternative Treasure Hunting Strategies, Gold and Silver Prices Drop Like a Rock & Hidden Caches

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Most people do the same types of things.  They do what they see other people do.  There are , however, some very creative, intelligent and effective metal detecting and treasure hunting techniques that are little known and little used.  I'm toying with the idea of revealing some of those. 

If you saw the monster scoop that I posted yesterday, you might have wondered what use it could possibly have.  Certainly you are not going to carry something like that around on the beach unless you are Paul Bunyon.

That scoop might have given you an idea to an alternate approach.  Where would that scoop be used?  That type of scoop is used in high density target areas, such as around docks, and most often where there is also a high density of trash on muddy or gravel bottoms.  Often the high density of trash makes detecting nearly impossible.  That is no problem since it is easy to separate the trash from good targets visibly once they've been scooped up.

That is just one approach that is a little different from what is more commonly done.  There are other and more extreme alternate approaches..  Some of those approaches involve some pretty sophisticated equipment.  Others do not employ unusual equipment, just different strategies or techniques.

People have intentionally buried valuables as long as there have been valuables to bury.  They were hidden during both war and peace. 

People still hide things today, especially the elderly. A surprising number of the elderly do not have a safe, do not totally trust banks, and do not get hardly any interest on their hard earned nest eggs.  Some don't think safes are necessary, and others don't feel they can afford them.  Some don't want to pay for a safe deposit box and find having to go to a bank difficult or inconvenient.   And although it is still common for people to bury things, many elderly people today keep cash or bullion coins hidden at home.  I know one elderly lady up north who has hidden a large amount of cash at home.  I wouldn't advise anyone to do that.  She also has a good number of gold coins.

While in the past many people buried caches, today just as commonly the elderly hides things in the house, sometimes in places where they are forgotten or left behind and sometimes unknowingly sold hidden in estate sale items.  Many times items are found in the pockets or clothing.  I know too well about cleaning up the estate of a deceased loved one.

Here is a related item from (4/3/13).

When downsizing or closing an estate, people often give many things to charity. But before you donate, be sure to search every pocket in clothing, inside and under every drawer, behind framed pictures, and inside purses. A Pennsylvania woman found $30,000 in the pockets of clothes that were given away. She said she was brought up in an honest family and she believes in karma--so what you do, good or bad, comes back to you. She returned the money and was given a $1,000 reward.

There are still good people around.

And here is another related story from (6/6/13).

K.A., sent this email: "I worked for an auction house and we were called to the estate of a man with a Coca-Cola memorabilia collection…. It didn't take me long to find he had built a little drawer under a piece of furniture that had a $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coin in it. I recovered 17 of them, an extra $14,000 for the estate." [Augustus Saint-Gaudens designed the U.S. double-eagle gold coin, produced from 1907 to 1933; their current values vary depending on issue year and condition.]

People hide things at the beaches too.  I've found US bills and other valuables hidden in cigarette wrappers.  That is becoming less common since not so many people smoke any more.  And I've also found things that people have buried on the beach probably before they went in swimming.  It appears that they then either forgot them or couldn't find them again.   One was wrapped in a napkin, and a couple of times, a ring was found on a buried key chain with the keys, and one time a gold ring was found in an aluminum soda can.

Both silver and gold prices dropped like a rock yesterday.  Gold was down $50 at one point.  If you have a gold collection or just want to protect the value of the gold that you dug up for the future, it is actually possible to make money off of any decrease in the price of gold.  It was possible in the past, but there are  now newer financial tools that you might want to know about.  For example, there are ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) that increase in value as the price of gold or other metals or commodities decrease.   If you owned shares of what is called an inverse ETF in gold yesterday, it increased in value and you could have made money as the price of gold dropped.  

I want to make this clear.  I am not recommending that you buy an inverse ETF  in gold or any other type of ETF.  You can lose money very quickly with ETFs and you need to know what you are doing.   I just thought you might want to look into it if you are an informed investor and want to protect the value or any gold or other metals or commoditities that you might have.  Some detectorists sell their gold finds right away, but others keep their finds to enjoy and wear, other put them away hoping for long term price appreciation.   (As I've said before, don't keep valuables at home.  I highly recommend a bank safe deposit box.)

You might think about your finds and consider how they might fit into a long term plan.  Maybe consult a financial advisor.  I am definitely not one of those.  One of this blog's readers does a blog on financial matters.  Here it is.   (This is not an advertisement of any type.  I just know John from his emails to me about metal detecting.  He didn't ask me to do this.  His blog will give you some good things to consider.)

On the Treasure Coast today there isn't much change.  Still hot.  1 - 2 foot surf today. 

The tides have moderated some, and the low tide will not be as low as it has been in recent days.

The wind is from the south.  The swell is from the east.

No significant storms out there yet.

I had some photos for today but my wife is using the camera and SD card, so I'll just save them for another day.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

6/26/13 Report - It's not over til the Fat Lady sings. Producing Beaches & Big Scoop.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Scoop Swallowing Shovel
It,s too late!   It's all gone!   I've heard people say that.  And sometimes it is true.  But very often it isn't.

Where do you want to look for cobs?  On a beach where they have been found, or where they've never been found?    On a beach where they were recently found, or on a beach where they haven't been found for a very long time?

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  Everybody in psychology knows and says that, and the other sciences observe the basically the same thing in a slightly different way.  In science, why observe anything unless you think there is something repeatable about it, or that it gives a clue to something that will happen in the future.

If you find a cob on a beach, there is a very good possibility that more will be found on the same beach.  Maybe not quickly, maybe not the same day, and maybe not by the same person.   But if I had a choice of going to a beach where a cob has been recently found versus a beach where none has been found for a good while, most of the time I would choose the beach where a cob has recently been found.

Now I know that people want me to tell them where a cob will appear before it happens, but frankly I can't do that with a high degree of accuracy and you'd be better off taking the information I give, combine it with your own observations and make some good decisions of your own.  I do offer information to help you make good decisions, but I can't do it all for you.   And if anyone else is telling you where things are popping up before it really happens, ask them where to go, you don't have to rely upon me.

When I first started this blog I was criticized by a number of the old timers who said I shouldn't tell as much as I do because everyone should have to pay their dues just like they did.  I agree with that to some extent, but I also know that people will only benefit so much from what they are told, then they have to go out and prove it and see it for themselves anyhow.

If I could say just go to X and dig there at time Y and you'll find a treasure, and you did that, that would no longer be treasure hunting.  The hunting would no longer be a part of it.

I'm tempted to get into all of the details of when a beach will gnerally continue to produce after it has been proven to produce and how long, when not, and all the exceptions, but on second thought, that probably wouldn't be a good idea because it would get confusing.  I don't think I could make it all clear without spending tons of time.  And the fact is that I'm just establishing the background for a key point that I want to make.

Here it is.  When a beach produces old shipwreck coins, generally (but not always) it will produce for a good while - sometimes days and sometimes even weeks.  Of course after a while finds diminish.    But the chance is better if coins have been recently found on that beach than on a beach where they haven't been found. 

When there has been a hurricane or anything that creates good beach detecting conditions, cobs will often be picked up on the same beach for days, or even weeks later.

I've been told many times by detectorists that they found a treasure coin or cob weeks after they thought it was all gone and the good hunting was all over on that particular beach.

A lot of people give up on a beach way too early.  I understand that.  It isn't easy, and it takes a lot of time to find a cob under very good circumstances, so when you haven't been real lucky, and it is getting long, there is a temptation to give up.  You can easily start thinking it is too late for that beach.

I was told by the person that found one of the best Treasure Coast beach finds after the hurricanes of 2004, that it was days later and they thought it was all gone and it was too late when they made their big find.

If I find a beach that is producing, I'll often revisit it day after day.  Other good detectorists do that as well. They'll even visit spots that other people think have been cleaned out.

Don't give up on a good spot too soon.  Even if you did a good job of cleaning it out the first day, you will often find it refreshed another day.

On an unrelated topic, have you ever wondered why old people are cranky?   Maybe it is because they've lost their parents, maybe the spouse they loved and lived with for almost their entire life and now are trying to learn how to live alone, maybe they even lost some children.  They might have lost some of their hearing and eye sight, strength and endurance, good health, and the job they did, and maybe even much of their memory and independence.  Maybe some of that is why.  So maybe you should give them a break.

Above is a picture of a large scoop.  A picture of this scoop appeared in a 2009 post in this blog along with another standard size scoop.  I referred to this one as T-Rex and the other as Mini-Mouse.

I think you can see why I called this one T-Rex.  The teeth are 1.25 inches long, each.  In the photo it is swallowing a standard shovel to give you size comparison.

The large scoop is for working muddy bottoms.  The teeth in front help scoop up loads of material as the scoop is dragged across the bottom.  It is obviously a special purpose scoop.  There are also extension handles for it that will extend the handle easily up to 30 feet.

This scoop isn't for the faint of heart, and will quickly wear out any but the most fit and energetic treasure hunter.

I'm told that recently Captain Papo and the crew of the Dare headed north to the site of the Lost Merchant.   They will use Dolores, the underwater remotely operated vehicle, to help locate and identify the wreck.  

There is only one day remaining to respond to the blog poll.  We're getting a good number of responses and this poll will give some good information.

On the Treasure Coast Wednesday we're expecting 2 - 3 foot surf again.  That will decrease to down around 1 - 2 feet during the weekend.

The low tides are still nice and low but are getting little less extreme.  They will be more moderate as we move away from the period of the Super Moon.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

6/25/13 Report - Indian Artifact, Token, Gold Ring, and Lead Sinker Finds & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I thought I'd post a variety of different types of finds today.  Indian artifacts,a trade token, hand-made lead sinker, and finally an older gold ring.  All are things that I'd like to receive more information about.  Let me know if you have any additional ideas about any of them.

Here is the first.

Couple of Nice Found Artifacts

These two are from up North.  I told you that I took a little trip up north.  Larry P. lives up there and really knows his Indian artifacts and has found some real nice examples, including the copper point and necklace that I once showed.  These are a couple more of his finds.  I don't know a great deal about them.  Maybe you can add some details.  I do know just by looking at them that they are very nice examples.

Lead Sinker.

The lead sinker is obviously hand made.  The only thing that makes it interesting is that I have no idea how old it might be.  Everything about it is crude.

It was found yesterday.

Tivoli Trade Token
The trade token was found on a Florida beach back some time ago.  It is a trade token from Tivoli, I guess Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park in Denmark, which was started in 1843.   That means it could possibly be old, but my impression of the base metal is that it is not real old.

The other side is the same.

We have so many tourists in Florida that finds from over seas are not uncommon.

If you can narrow down the age or anything, let me know.  I think the 25 might be a unit of value, and Hemminsen might be a street or area.

Recent 14K Find.

The above ring is not marked but was acid tested as being 14K.  It is very much in the style of a class ring of the early 20th Century.  I'd say 1940s or earlier.

I don't know what either the B or the background for the B signifies.  It looks like it is on a scroll, and I don't know what the other thing is.  It is a recent beach find.

Again, if you have ideas or information, let me know.

One of my main points today is that there are quite a variety of types of things you can hunt.  The research after the find can be informative and a lot of fun.

Different areas provide different opportunities.  It helps to specialize in hunting the type of thing that you can find not too far from your home.

You can find different types of things anywhere, especially near beaches.  It therefore is a good idea to have some familiarity with a variety of types of treasure.  Not all of them are metallic, so keep your eyes open while you detect.

On the Treasure Coast we're expected to have a 2 - 3 foot surf again.  The low tides were very nice and low yesterday.  It was -.9, which is pretty good.  Expect about the same today.  These low tides around the time of the Super Moon provide unusually good low tide zone and water hunting opportunities.

With the current Treasure Coast conditions, there are plenty of shells, a good chance to see some fossils, sea glass and other lighter materials.

The surf will be decreasing just a touch the next few days.

The wind continues out of the southeast.  Don't expect much of any change in beach conditions real soon.

Happy hunting,

Monday, June 24, 2013

6/23/13 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Conditions, Gold Found, Letter in a Bottle & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is the beach at John Brooks early Sunday afternoon.  It is pretty typical to what you will find on the Treasure Coast despite the fact that it eroded pretty well some weeks ago.

To the south, where I marked in black, were sand bars where the waves were breaking near low tide.  That sand was washed out when the beach did erode a couple of weeks or so ago.  You can still see where the erosion occured even though most of it has filled again.   That is where the sand bar came from.

Even though the surf was 2 - 3 feet along the Treasure Coast Sunday, shallow water detecting was possible in those areas where there are no salvage leases.  The sand bars also protected the dips and made it easy to work the water inside the dips.

I checked out one water area that had a lot of targets.  Photos of finds before long maybe.  Here is one.

Modern jewelry is OK, but for me it is not the most interesting thing.  It is easy though, especially when you are at a beach that has a lot of swimmers.

Recent 14K Gold Find

A diver found an old bottle with a 100 year-old note in it.  The note was found on the silt on the bottom of Lake Michigan and had been sent from somebody enjoying a day at an amusement park.  When the letter was published, a grand child of one of the authors of the letter saw it.

Here is the link.

I received some emails that brought to my attention that another blog posted similar information to what I posted recently.  People asked if I was providing information for that blog or what.  I had never looked at the other blog before, but went there to see.  I could definitely see why someone would think I provided the information for that blog.  It was much of the same information I posted.  I wasn't surprised that I was being copied.  After all, this blog has been running for about five years or so and has nearly 600,000 hits, and since I began this blog several others have started.  The surprising thing was that they are so lacking in original ideas that the other blog used the same specific nickname that I used for a piece of equipment that I posted back in 2009.  That was the clincher.  There is no doubt.  It is one thing to pick up and use ideas somewhere else, but when you can't even come up with an original nickname for your own equipment, that is the proof.

I do not follow other metal detecting blogs or forums.  I hardly ever look at another detecting blog or forum.   I will occasionally look at something on another blog or forum if someone sends me an email or link saying that I should look at something, like happened here.  But except for the news, archaeology and historical reference links that I post, everything I post is from my own experience, fresh and original.   When I get information from somewhere else, I give credit.  Others evidently don't do that, even when they have received kind consideration and mention in this blog, they do not return the consideration.  Some people have no class or integrity.  Of people like that, you can't believe everything they say.

The thoughts that I post here come from my own experience or are sent to me from my readers.  If I don't give credit, it is from my own observations and experience.   Rarely someone tells me they don't want their name or other details mentioned.  Then I will still say the source was an email or whatever.

Like I said, I'm not surprised that others copy what I do here, but I was a little surprised by the extent to which some have do it.

I had to take the time to respond to my long time readers who noticed this and asked if I was providing information for another blog or what.

Yesterday when I got in the water, I was working one area that was very difficult to work.  The bottom had a light layer of sand over a lot of big immovable rock.  It was impossible to use a scoop of any kind there.  I had to fan to recover all targets, and it still wasn't easy.

I was also picking up pieces of fossils along the beach.  There were good numbers of shells too, and a little sea glass.

The surf today (Monday) will be running about 2 - 3 feet, not much different from yesterday and about the same as tomorrow.

Conditions for finding shipwreck cobs on the beach remains poor.

The wind is from the southeast.  I wouldn't expect any change in conditions any time soon.

You should be able to get in the water some places.

As you know, much of the water along the Treasure Coast is protected by salvage leases.  And the bottom conditions at many of our beaches are much more challenging than those in South Florida.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, June 23, 2013

6/23/13 Report - The Scoop on Metal Detecting Scoops & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The type of digging/recovery tool you use is important and can save a lot of time.  Having the right recover tool for the job can save a lot of time, let you cover more ground and increase your finds.  The more finds you make, the better chance you have of making a great find.  Sometimes it is better to go for quality rather than quantity though.  I'll talk more about that in my next post.

The selection of a digging tool can be very important because you want to spend your time on the beach as efficiently as possible, and there is always more beach than you can cover well.

No one tool scoop or tool is best for every location or situation.   The best tool might even change from day to day at the same location.  One day you might choose a shovel, another day a trowel, another day a small sand scoop, and another day a huge long handled scoop.

The best all-around recovery tool that will serve relatively well for most beach situations would be a long handled extra heavy-duty scoop, preferably with a wood or very heavy-duty handle.  Heavy PVC can work.  IT is generally better to have something more than you need rather than less capable than what you need.   The "don't take a knife to a gun fight" argument applies here.

On the other hand, when you don't need something big or heavy duty, a small recovery tool can be better.  It is easier to transport, carry around, easier to keep away from your detector coil, and does not draw as much attention - a factor that is sometimes important to me. 

You want something that can dig through whatever you are likely to encounter, but will sift sand quickly.

When selecting (or making) a long handled scoop, the shape of the handle is important in more ways than one.  The handle should be shaped for a good grip.  PVC and other materials can be slippery and difficult to easily manipulate with one hand.  A square handle is easier to manipulate than a tubular handle.  

An attached bungy cord on the end of the handle can also be very handy allowing you to easily drag the scoop around, and maintain control of it if you lose your grip or want to put the scoop down at times when you want another free hand. 

If working in or near rough water, attaching the scoop to yourself can prevent the loss of an expensive scoop.  I know of a couple of cases where people lost an expensive scoop to the ocean.

I've used mostly wood for a long time and prefer it for more than one reason.  I like how a wood handle floats, although other handles will float, of course, if they are hollow and capped or filled with a light material such as Styrofoam.

The proper weight balance is important, especially in the water.  I like for my scoop to float straight up with the handle pointing up and the scoop staying near the bottom.  I also don't want extra metal that can be detected by the coil.  While you might think that is no problem, even a little extra effort caused by carrying the scoop so it is out of the way can get tiring.   And the more sensitive your detector is, the farther you have to keep metal away from it.   You might not even realize when the metal is coming close enough to affect the detector as background just because it is not causing an identifiable signal.

Size and number of holes is important, especially when working in the water.   You want a good flow of sand and water through the scoop, but of course don't want to lose too many small things through the holes.

On land, a real small target can be thrown right onto the coil to make detection easier.

I've shown and mentioned before how a magnet strategically placed in a scoop can catch ferrous junk and speed up recovery.

Water can really help increase the speed of sifting when digging in wet sand.  When in the water, you can use the natural flow and currents to help push the sand through the scoop while minimizing our own effort.  For example when digging in the low tide zone where the water is coming and going, dig with the point of the scoop pointing up the slope and away from the ocean.  With your back to the ocean, the returning water will rush through the scoop washing sand through as you dig.  When that is the case, you might not even have to lift the scoop or shake it to sift the sand out.  The water rushing through will do most of the work for you.

When working in the water, chains can be very difficult to recover with a long handled scoop.  Part of the chain will get in the scoop, but the part hanging out will pull the chain out as you lift the scoop.  When you suspect you might be trying to get a chain in the scoop, it is a good idea if you can stick your face in the water to see the chain.  If you work exclusively in the water on a particular day, there are several advantages to using a snorkel mask and keeping your face in the water.  Keeping your head in the water is one good way to not draw too much attention. 

There are times when you might not want to use a long handled scoop, especially when you want to maintain a low profile. 

If you are working a high crime area, a long handled scoop can make a pretty good weapon.  It can also be used as a barrier to keep people back a little way when curious kids or whoever persist in getting in the way.  I prefer to hunt when there are no many people around but sometimes you might need to hunt in crowds of swimmers.

When curious people are trying to look in your scoop, if you vigorously shake the scoop while it is still under a foot or two of water, the sand will disperse and cloud the water up so no one can see what is in the scoop.  Then stick your hand in the scoop, quickly remove the item by feel and slip it in your pocket before anyone sees what it is.  If people are crowding around, definitely wait until you find a better time to closely inspect your find.

It is not a good idea to make a public show of whatever it is that you find.  I've told before about how some people will try to claim an item that they did not lose if they see what you have found.  Also there are criminals out there.  No need to be paranoid, but do be wise and aware.  The location and density of people is something to consider.

There are times when you will find the digging difficult.   The obstacles can be things like rocks, roots, or clay.  A scoop that can cut roots or work through obstacles can be helpful.  It isn't worth bending the point of a good scoop though.  Once the point is bent, it will be a continuing problem.

And when working a bottom that is densely packed rocks, I usually foot-fan rather than try to dig.  Fanning will lift the sand and small shells out of the crevices and loosen the rocks.  It can be a lot easier and quicker than trying to dig.  When foot fanning do use some type of foot wear to protect our foot.  Fishing lures can come out of the hole and stick right in your foot.

One thing that you can do is learn to pinpoint well.  It can be done quickly and really cut down on the amount of time spent digging.   Learn to assess depth as well as location.  Digging too much sand takes longer to sift through.

If you work dry sand, there is little need for a long handled scoop other than saving your back.

Select your scoop, trowel, shovel or other tools carefully after taking all of these factors in consideration.

Did you see the Supermoon Friday night?  It was bright.  Bright again Saturday night as well.  Really lit things up.   It was at its lunar perigee, and the closest it will get to the Earth this year.

The blog poll seems to be coming along nicely.   It shows a definite trend even if it isn't complete.  Sometimes the polls take a turn and end up differently than they start.  I'd like to get all of you to participate.  The data helps us all.   Thanks for your participation.

My most recent post should be a reminder to all of us that there are more important things in life than most of the things we fret about and pay attention too.  Life on this earth doesn't last forever.  Make the most of the moments, and keep the most important things in their proper place.  Don't make life more difficult than it needs to be for yourself or others.  Don't fret the small stuff.

Robert K. sent me a link to a nice video of a fellow detecting.  He was doing a great job and coming up with some good finds.   I noticed a couple of things in the video that I wanted to comment on.  I mentioned some of those in today's post.  The emails I receive really help me do this blog.  Sometimes all it takes is something that makes me think of something that I think I should talk about.  Thanks for your emails and help.

Two more cannons were raised from the wreck of the Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard's ship.

On the Treasure Coast today the surf is supposed to be a little rougher than it was most of last week, 2 - 3 feet.   That isn't much, but it can make a difference.

The wind is still from the South.  The good thing is that the low tide will be nice and low due in part to the lunar cycle.

There are no cyclones right now.

Be safe and have fun,

Friday, June 21, 2013

6/21/13 Report - Sad Announcment. Also, Gold Coin Hoard, Mayan Gold, Price of Gold Drops & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is some sad news that I received via email.

Hello fellow treasure hunters my name is Jonah Martinez capt. Of the Goldhound on wed. We lost a very good friend aboard the Capitana while diving his last hole blacked out and pass away we will all miss him and he will be in our hearts and I will never forget him R.I.P. Jeff Croy to any treasure hunters that want pay respects there will be a gathering at capt. Hiram's Sebastian 12:00 Sat there will be free food from what I understand and please post if you could ASAP to get the word out he has worked on these wrecks for 11 years and loved every season the true treasure hunter has a unspoken drive to be out looking and hunting and it's a unspoken feeling that's in us. That was Jeff Croy. Sorry if my email is a bit run on but driving out to the site is a lot different now and my brain is confused thank you very much it means a lot to all our crew and fellow salvors.

Condolences are offered to all friends and loved ones.

Flyer received from Maria Martinez who asked me to post it in this blog.

In the news is yesterday's drop in gold prices which took the price of gold down to under $1300 per ounce.  Other metals fell as well.  Silver is now under $20 per ounce.

The price drop is said to be due in part to the increase in interest rates and strength of the dollar.

Some people sell their gold as soon as they get it, others hold for the long term.  If you've held for the long term, I'd guess you've done well even considering the most recent drops.  There was a time that I recall when gold was down around $300 per ounce, but you have to consider that those dollars were worth considerably more than today's dollars.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a quick temporary bounce in gold prices today.

Notice that I've added a new poll for you to answer.  It will give you an idea of how long it usually takes to find a cob or treasure coin.  I know some of you have been at it a long time without hitting one yet, while others had success more quickly.

Your answers to the poll will help us answer the question, so thanks for your participation.

Gold Arm Cuff Embossed With Crocodile God.

Conquistadors found warring chiefdoms in the new world.

Archaeologists found this gold arm cuff in Panama from approximately the 16th Century.  Other gold artifacts were also found in graves.

Below is the link to more about that.

The conquistadors didn't get it all.

Also, archeologists discovered a large Mayan city in Campeche, an area in southeastern Mexico where many Mayan sites are found.
The recently discovered city covers close to 54 acres and dates to 600 to 900 AD.
Here is the link to that story.

Still a lot to be found.

A man found a hoard including 158 Roman gold coins in a field.  The first finds of the hoard came after just 20 minutes of hunting with his new metal detector, an Ace 150.  He first found a silver spoon, and then some other things and returned  the next day to find a lot more.

I like how the Brits handle finds like that.  The finder gets fair compensation.

Here is the link to that story.

Coins Found in England.
Reuters photo.

On the Treasure Coast today (Friday), if the tide charts are right, it should be a good day to check the beach.  The tidal coefficient is unusually high, meaning a lot of variation in the tides.

The low tide is expected to be good and low.  The low tide will be after 1:30 PM.

The surf will be only 1 - 2 feet, increasing a foot or so over the weekend.

Happy hunting,


Thursday, June 20, 2013

6/20/13 Report - Pirate Flags, Auto Skeletons & Tropical Storm Barry

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Want to fly a pirate flag?  I found a web site where you might be able to buy the flag of your favorite pirate.  They say they are authentic.  I haven't verified that.

Anyhow, here they are.

It is hard to separate fact from fiction on such a topic, but it is said that Jolly Roger was derived from  the French words Jolie (pretty) and Rouge (red).

The red flag was flown to encourage targeted ships to give up without a fight, and the black raised when the ship did not surrender.

Another possibility is that it is derived from Old Roger, which is what the pirates called the devil.

You'll find more about that on the web site where they sell the flags.

Here is the link.

An entire ghost town emerged from the sea.   Included was one photo showing an old rusted car frame with the motor still in it that had been underwater for a long time.  That reminded me of some of the places where you can see old car skeletons along the Treasure Coast.

There used to be a place just a little south of the Vero Beach Holiday Inn where you could see the remains of several old cars on the beach.  I believe they got washed in during a hurricane.  If my memory serves, it was the hurricane of 1929, or maybe 1919, which washed away a parking lot and a number of cars there.

Also you could see an old car north of John Brooks up by the condos back from the beach a bit.  I think there was also an old tower from the WW II days in that area.  You could see the foundation of the tower remaining some ten years or so ago.

And of course several places along the Indian River you can see the remains of old cars that went into the river.

Here is the link to the ghost town story.

If you have found a nice artifact and have done a lot of research on it and can write it up creatively, you might want to enter the following writing contest for antiques.

And here is a great web site that I found for researching a lot of different types of old objects.  It includes all kinds of categories including nautical, books, Native American, etc. etc.  It is not very good for old coins though.  Very good browsing.  Some have prices.

A little more about the search for the shipwreck of La Salle's Le Griffin.

I thought the Gloria Farley book really provides a lot of fun reading.  Also provides some tips on good  detecting locations, although not Florida specifically.

Tropical depression 2 has developed into Tropical Storm Barry and, as predicted, is now in Mexico.  Not coming this way.

On the Treasure Coast we have another day of 1 - 2 foot surf.   The wind is mostly from the south and the swell from the east.

It looks like the high tide will be a little higher today.

This weekend the surf will be a little bigger.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

6/19/13 Report - More Finds, Ancient Coin Finds in America, Tropical Depression 2

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Great Finds by Ken D.!
Photo by Ken D.
Thanks for sharing your great finds Ken.

Yesterday I wondered how long it would take silver to turn black in salt water and said I always intended to do an experiment to find out but had never done it.  Terry T. wrote and said he put .999 silver in salt water in a fish tank.   He said, It took one year for it to oxidize and turn completely  black.  He also mentioned that the water also had other chemicals in it that might have influenced the results.  Nevertheless, that gives some idea.

Silver found on the beach or in the shallow water can be under water the entire time or on the beach and submerged most of the time or just a small part of the time.  That might affect how long it takes too.

While researching the Bar Kokhba coin I found some other interesting literature that I'll comment on below.

By the way, Chuck G. said. ... I typed "4 column Greek coin" into yahoo search and then searched images. I was thinking Greek or roman as well.

I mentioned that it can be difficult to find foreign coins when the characters used are other than our Latin alphabet.  Anymore it can be worth searching images, as Chuck did, rather than or in addition to the letters or numbers seen on a coin.

Beach Find By Patrick H.
Thanks for the tip Chuck.

Here is a find from Patrick H. He'd like to know if anyone has seen one like it or can provide and thoughts or information on this item.

He hasn't found any markings on it yet.

I don't recognize the design.

Anyone else?

While researching the Bar Kokhba coin, I ran across a very interesting book by Gloria Farley.   You might be familiar with her book if you read a lot of treasure related literature.   The book is In Plain Sight.  The topic is evidence of European visitors to America before Columbus.  It discusses various pieces of evidence such as ancient coins found in America in a context that suggests they were introduced before the time of Columbus.  It also considers other evidence, such as rock carvings etc.

Not only is the topic interesting, but it is plain good reading containing a lot of clues and thought provoking comments.  I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in treasure hunting.  Several chapters can be found online through the following link.

You don't have to accept all of the stories and research or the conclusion to enjoy and benefit from this book.

Here are a few paragraphs from the chapter on ancient coin finds.

In March 1980 Dr. Norman Totten and I presented slide lectures on the same program at Brigham Young University in Utah, at the invitation of our mutual friend, Dr. Paul Cheesman. Both of us happened to show slides of ancient coins. Immediately afterward, a student approached me with this question, "How does one go about finding an ancient coin?"

He was told, "You don't, they find you." With a dissatisfied look, he wandered over to Totten where he asked the same question and received exactly the same answer.

The problem of the provenance of ancient coins can be summarized in one paragraph of a letter I wrote to Tom Lee, an anthropologist in Quebec: "I agree with you that it is too bad that ancient coins are found by treasure hunters and amateurs (and housewives and children and chickens) instead of by scholars, but who else is going to find them? If they are authentic, they just are where they are, and found by accident. It is not at all logical to think that a professional archaeologist or anthropologist or numismatist or historian could set out to find one and succeed. Where in God's millions of square miles would he pick to hunt? And if by chance he did find one, then who would say he did not plant it?"
After this was discussed with friend and colleague Alan Gillespie, he said, "As you well know, you would search first in areas with independent evidence of ancient habitation." That sounds reasonable, and a favorite site in western Oklahoma is replete with ancient inscriptions which translate. However, these inscriptions are scattered within an area of 100 square miles. A coin occupies approximately a square inch of space. And not one of the inscriptions says, "Dig here, at this exact spot I intend to lose a coin."

That gives an bit of the flavor of the book.  You'll find information, clues, thought provoking statements and  humor.

Most of the found ancient coins referred to in the book, and there are quite a few, were indeed found by regular people going about their daily business.  A good number were found by creeks or rivers.  Locations of finds were sometimes given in the book in good detail.  A few were found by detectorists. Some by farmers plowing, and one by a chicken scratching.

The statement about coins finding you rings a bell with me.  There are indeed some finds that I felt did find me.  And I've commented before that a coin occupies something like one square inch of space on a beach.

Most of the ancient coins referred to in the book were found up to fourteen inches deep or else were uncovered by the actions of man, such as plowing or construction, or running water.

And I've commented many times on the importance of archaeology developing good relationships with detectorists and the public at large.  As the book points out, they are the ones most likely to make important finds like those referred to in the book.   There is simply too much world to cover and too many artifacts and coins to find.

Here is the link to the site that presents several chapters of the book.

I highly recommend the following chapter about ancient coins in particular.

Tropical Depression 2 is over the Bay of Campeche but headed west into Mexico.  Not much chance of affecting us significantly.

On the Treasure Coast another day or two of south winds and 1 - 2 foot surf is expected.  That means more of the same.  No improvement in beach detecting conditions.

As I've been showing, people are finding some fun and interesting things.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

6/18/13 Report - Handmade Boat, Silver Find, Bar Kokhba Coin & Tropical Depression 2

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Photo by Warren D.
Warren D. recently saw this small boat that I mentioned in the blog about a couple of weeks ago.  I'm a little surprised it is still on the beach although it looks up higher on the beach than it was when I saw it. 

Here is what Warren said about the boat.

I spotted the small boat that you commented on a couple of weeks ago. An interesting point is that it is handmade. It appears to have washed ashore. It is about 10 feet long. Made out of rough timber, the bow beam seems to be a rough cut beam shaped to a point. The small bow cover is hand fitted wood with a hole for a mast. The seams are covered with hand nailed metal flashing. It is hand tarred all over and the only thing in the boat is a long handled paint brush with the bristles mostly worn down and covered in tar. There is no apparent rudder. Maybe an oar was used as a rudder? It makes you stop and think. Was it built in the islands? How desperate does someone have to be to get into it? Should be in a museum of some kind.

Warrem obviously knows a lot more about boats than I. 

Isn't it remarkable how knowledge makes everything in the world more interesting.

Thanks for your observations Warren.

I must have seen the boat on the morning after it landed.  A police officer came down on the beach to inspect it and asked if I had seen anyone with it.

It reminded me of the days when I would often see rafts that washed up on Key Biscayne over night.

Here is a silver bracelet that I dug in shallow water yesterday.  Not an exciting find, but there are few things about it that I wanted to point out.

First, the color.  It is typical of silver that has been in salt water for a good while.

Silver Shallow Water Find.
Second, check out items for any markings.  This one is marked on the flat pieces at both ends of the chain.  ITALY on one side (you can almost see that in the photo if you look close), and 925 on the other side of both of those end pieces.

Third, notice the claw clasp.  On about 20% of the chains that I find (both silver and gold) with a claw clasp, the clasp is broken.  That is probably the reason the chain was lost.

Inspection of the silver with magnification shows the extent to which the silver is corroded and pitted, again, in this case supporting the idea that it has been lost for quite some time.

Knowing if an item has been recently lost or was lost a long time will help tell you something about the movement of sand and other items.  It can be useful information.

It looked to me that the sand where this bracelet was found had been recently moved, and it was found very near the surface.  I think I know how it ended up there.  I think the sand and bracelet was recently dragged from the beach and into the shallow water.

I've always threatened to do a test to see how quickly silver tarnishes in salt water but haven't done it yet.

Yesterday and the day before my main topic was the mystery coin found by Michael E.   That was a fun and interesting find. 

If you followed that story both days, you undoubtedly learned a few things.  I certainly did.

One thing you might have learned is something about second century Israel, the second temple and the Bar Jojoba revolt.

Another thing you might have learned about are the artifacts such as the Bar Kokhbah coins found in Kentucky that some people point to as evidence that others Europeans visited America before well before Columbus.

I'll follow up on some of that later.  I found some neat information on that which I'm eager to share in the blog.

In treasure hunting one thing leads to another.  That is a lot of the fun of it and a lot of what makes it so interesting.  You'll miss that, though, if you don't research finds.  It was the research done on Michael's coin that brought all of this to my attention.

You probably read yesterday that I said there was more research for Michael to do.  I was not sure the coin was genuine.   It didn't look to me like it had been in the ground very long.  There was no sand attached to it and no indication of corrosion.   You usually see that on old coins that have been buried for a while in Florida.

Well, Michael took the coin to a jewelry dealer who identified the coin as a reproduction.   Too bad!   All is not lost though.  We learned a lot.   And that shows once again that the real benefit in treasure hunting does not end at the find.  And it is not all about the economic value of a find.  There is much more to it.

Here is what Michael said.

Thank you for the focus on the coin, I took it to a coin and jewelry dealer and was told the coin is made to look old, more of a souvenir type of reproduction. Still an educational and exciting find. Not interested in the financial value as much as the history and excitement of uncovering something below the feet. Even as a fake I learn a lot in just one day. Thank you and your readers again.

I want to thank my readers too.  It is always fun to solve a mystery.   I would never have found the identity of the coin myself - certainly not that quickly.   I heavily depend upon my readers to submit information, questions, photos, etc.  The blog is more valuable to us all when people participate.  Even a question makes it much easier for me to construct a useful post.

Before I leave that topic tecklorddoug sent in the following pictures of a similar Bar Kokhba coin along with the description.

Coin of the Second Jewish Revolt or the Bar Kokhba War, large silver coin known as a Sela, 134 –135 CE.  Left: "Simon,"  facade of Temple in Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant within and star above.   Center: "For the freedom of Jerusalem", lulav and etrog. Legends in paleo-Hebrew.  Over struck on a Vespasian tetradrachm with portrait still faintly visible. Right: composite image showing orientation of Roman Tetradrachm depicting Emperor Vespasian used as blank for the Sela.

They say the object in the center is the Ark of he Covenant instead of the Table of Shewbread, which was my thought.

For more on the Table of Shewbread, here is a link.

But what I really wanted to point out with these pictures is how the portrait of the emperor on the coin on the far right was filed down or otherwise removed and replaced with a new image, as shown on the revised coin shown in the center.  You can see some of the outline of the emperor's protrait remaining on that coin.

On the Treasure Coast the surf is 1 - 2 fee today and will be about the same the next two or three days.

The wind will be from the southeast.  And the low tide tomorrow will be later in the morning.

Tropical depression two has formed down by Yucatan.  It is that time a year to start watching for tropical activity.

Happy hunting,