Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8/20/13 Report - Erin, 17th Century Shipwreck, Erosion, Gold & More on Beach Site Selection.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

It looks like Erin disappeared.  There are now no tropical storms or weather systems to watch.

The surf on the Treasure Coast has increased up to around three or four feet for a day or so.  That might help refresh some of the beach fronts a little.  Otherwise no significant change in beach detecting conditions.

Flooding is causing erosion along the Missouri River and exposing artifacts from ancient Native American artifacts to 19th Century pewter toys.


As I always say, be alert to erosion where ever it is.  Erosion can provide a nice window into the past.

Secondly, as the article points out, the same places drew people over the centuries.  People find the same things attractive now as they did in the past.  Whenever you see a particularly nice location, even if it doesn't show any signs of being used in years past, there is a good chance that it was.

An unidentified 17th Century Dutch trading ship is being excavated.

Here is the link to that story.


And here is a great story on changing gold prices, its impact on individuals to international banks and indifidual miners to investment companies.


A few days ago I talked about how different beaches vary in the quality of finds they produce.  Some beaches produce a higher average value find.  And of course some beaches produce more good targets than others.  My previous illustration proposed a hypothetical beach that produced finds averaging $500 and another lower quality beach that produced finds that average $50.

I discussed how you would have to dig ten times as many good targets at the lower quality beach to equal the value of finds that you might expect from the high quality beach.  Looking at it the other way around, you only have to find one tenth the number of finds at the high quality beach to equal the value of finds that you might expect from the lower quality beach.  One additional consideration is the changing beach conditions that I want to talk about now.

For illustration purposes, let's say it normally takes ten  hours to make a  find at the beach that produces high quality finds.    Maybe there are fewer people that visit that beach and they might be more careful with their jewelry.  And if you average one find per hour of hunting at the lower quality beach, that means that the two beaches are equal in expected value.   10 finds of $50 average value = $500 total at the low quality beach, as compared to 1 find of $500 at the high quality beach.

Those numbers might not be realistic for the particular beaches you work, but they are easy numbers for illustration purposes.

You also need to take changing beach conditions into account and adjust your expected value of finds for each beach. If beach conditions really improve at the high quality beach so that you estimate that your chance of making a find at the quality beach doubles, that makes your expected value of finds for the high quality beach twice as great as for the low quality beach ($1000 compared to $500).

I know that it is difficult to precisely estimate the change in probability of finds as a result of changing beach conditions, and you don't really need to be that precise, but by looking at it in this way think you will be more clear about your decision making processes and make better decisions concerning site selection.

It also takes a good amount of time to get good records so that you can get a good average of the value of finds for different beaches.  That brings me to another consideration.   Here it is.  High quality beaches are much more likely to produce individual finds that can dramatically change your average value of finds.  One Rolex watch or one $50,000 diamond ring might not be found very often, but when it does happen, it will dramatically change your average expected value for that beach.  That is something that is difficult to factor into your decision making precisely.   If an extremely good find like that occurs at a high quality beach it might correctly affect your expectations because there is some chance it will happen from time to time, though rarely.

If on the other hand, something like that pops up on a lower quality beach, you never expect it to happen there again.  That means that you might factor it in to your decision making differently.

I won't make it any more complex.  I do recommend keeping very good and detailed records so you know the average value of finds at a beach.  When making decisions you don't have to use a formula and do the calculations.   Thinking of it in terms of a formula will help to make your decision making more clear though and help you to consider the relevant factors and how they enter into site selection.

Happy hunting,