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,