Thursday, July 18, 2013

7/18/13 Finds, Metal Detecting Laws & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Musket Ball Found by Rich R.
Photo by Rich.
First I'll show a couple of nice finds by Rich R.  I showed some of his other finds the other day.

Above is a musket ball from Fort Pierce beach.  Notice the patina on this one.  I discussed how sand buried musket balls tend to have a whitish patina, while, as William M. said, those found in oxygen-scarce water environments do not.

Gold Medallion Found by Rich R.
Photo submitted by Rich
By the image I would guess this gold medallion one to be early 1900s.

Thanks for the photos Rich.  Nice finds!

Not too long ago I posted a series of posts giving statements and summaries on the rules and regulations concerning detecting in Florida.  I posted information from at least three different Florida State agencies or organizations.  This is an important topic and one that I hope to keep you somewhat informed about, and one which even the officials agree is confusing.  I do receive a lot of questions about metal detecting laws.

Jon Morgan forwarded to me a statement he received from Daniel McClarnon, Underwater Archaeologist for the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, who said, We are in the process of updating our webpage to help clarify the confusing issue of metal detecting on public lands.  Metal detecting is generally prohibited on public lands with the exception of some beaches between the high water mark and the toe of the dune; you can keep what is found on the beach.  Collecting historic artifacts (older than 50 years) in state waters is prohibited, and metal detecting in state waters within areas of the contracts and permits will likely draw more attention for someone to check in on you to make sure you are not collecting artifacts.

Mr. McClarnon went on to say, If you are out in the surf metal detecting (other than in the admiralty areas mentioned), and find modern items, no one will bother you, including law enforcement.  If any questions arise, even concerning complaints or law enforcement, feel free to contact me.

I'm pleased with the statements and attitudes expressed by Mr. McClarnon, who expresses a very productive and enlightened attitude that recognizes the detecting public of Florida.  I've said before that the Florida officials that I've had contact with have been friendly and helpful.

I've argued repeatedly in the past that the metal detecting and treasure hunting communities are some of the strongest supporters and allies of historians and archaeologists.

Jon also sent me a copy of a briefing that he received from the  Ken Detzner, Secretary of State,  for Florida.  I'll have that for you tomorrow.

I continue to hear how the guys of the Capitana "earned, and deserved" their most recent success.  One more Treasure Coast salvage contractor, who happened to be helping on the Capitana the day they discovered the gold coins, reiterated how happy they were for the crew of the Capitana.  

Once more, congratulations guys!

Elle R couldn't find Bill P's coin cleaning instructions that was listed in my link reference list.  I had deleted some of the oldest posts.  As a result the link didn't work so I sent Elle Bill's instructions by email, and she said they worked fine.

One reason I bring this up is that I deleted some of my oldest posts, so you might find some links that don't work.  I'll try to get that fixed some day.  Sorry if you've run into that.

I mentioned that I put a new wood handle on my scoop after the aluminum handle broke.  All it took was two one-inch U bolts with the bar that comes with them, and one 1 x 1 x 60 in. piece of wood, a wrench and a drill.  I might make a video to show how easy that conversion is.

I also have some other things I haven't gotten around to showing yet.

On the Treasure Coast today the surf is 1 - 2 feet.  The prediction is for that to stay the same for about a week.  That means you'll have plenty of good low tide and water detecting time.

Low tide today is about 10:30 AM.

Happy hunting,