Sunday, August 25, 2013

8/25/13 Report - More On the Old Coin Sites, The Road From St. Augustine, & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I was talking about Hurricane Andrew the other day and just heard that yesterday was the 21st Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.  Doesn't seem all that long.  It was interesting.  Most of the mainland beaches in South Florida were not eroded even though the water got very high.  The other day I did mention a couple of the places were finds were made after Andrew.  Andrew also was responsible for getting me into hunting old bottles as some surfaced on a beach where I was hunting old coins.

The aftermath of Hurricane Andrew was an interesting time for watching the beaches and detecting.

A few days ago I presented a map of an area down south and marked some good detecting spots on the map according to my past experience with those sites.  I did that because I wanted to illustrate some things.  This is a continuation of what I started with that.

As I explained, I selected spots that were relatively close to each other (within just a few minutes of each other) and that produced old coins in good numbers when the conditions were right.  These spots did not produce as continually as some other types of sites. 

Beach sites that produce mostly older targets will only produce when conditions are right.  Besides only producing sporadically, the old U.S. coin sites do not generally produce many high value targets.

The three things that all four of those old coins sites had in common were, (1) that they only produced occasionally, (2) were small but well-defined areas, and (3) predominately produced coins from a relatively well defined time period.

I called those sites "secondary" in part because of those three defining factors.   They might be called "tertiary" rather than secondary depending upon how detailed you get in describing the various sites that you detect and your detecting goals, but they are not what I would call primary sites.

As I've said many times in the past, keep good detailed records of your outings.  That will help you get to know your sites better so they can be classified.

As you gain experience you will get to know more and more about different beaches, what went on at those locations in the past, and what they are likely to produce, and under what conditions they will produce. That means that you should be developing a good list of detecting locations, and learning more about what to expect from each of them.

Other things you might include in your site selection includes how far you have to travel to those locations, how close together different sites are and other things that affect the practicality and probable cost/reward ratio of detecting any one of them on a particular day.

Your primary site locations would undoubtedly include your favorites.   They are those spots that produce on a frequent basis a good number of the targets you most desire and provide few obstacles or little cost.

Your secondary sites would include those that on average produce fewer of the most desired targets and produce them less frequently.  I've previously discussed how to weight beaches or other detecting locations on the basis of the value of expected targets and the expected frequency of finds, also taking into account changing beach conditions at different locations.  

 It is not easy to find beach locations that produce older items such as coins these days, but they are out there.  It is much easier to find detecting sites that produce modern items.

The value of gold is still relatively high and it is difficult to find old coins of very much value, particularly on beaches where coins are often in very poor condition due to corrosion.

Nonetheless, do not completely forget about any locations where old coins have been found in numbers in the past and where they will likely be found in the future when conditions are right.  Those sites will also on occasion produce a few surprises in the form of antique gold jewelry or other old valuable items or perhaps a few modern items.

The gold items associated with old coin sites will most often  not be found mixed in with the old coins.  Remember, as I've shown in the past, over time items on a beach will move and settle according to factors such as density and shape of the targets.

Of course coins and gold at some sites will tend to be lost  differently too.  Often concentrations of coins will be found near places where people spend money and get change, whereas the gold will more often be lost in where people are removing items or frolicking in the water.

Good concentrations of gold will be found in high concentrations of coins in certain situations, such as in low dips that have a rocky or hard bottom.

One location that I marked on the map the other day would produce coins in the dunes and at the foot of the eroded dunes, but the gold items, including some gold that was newer than the coins, were more often found in the shallow water between the groins where there were very few coins.

You might categorize your proven and measured sites as follows.

Primary sites:  High average value of targets, high frequency of targets, often productive, no extreme costs or obstacles.

Secondary:  A mix of the above resulting in a overall lower value of finds (however you estimate that - it can be subjective rather than monetary).

Tertiary:  An even lower reward to cost ratio.

Of course you can use more categories than three if you tend to be more detailed.

I'll pick up here and continue in the future to address how to work secondary and/or tertiary sites into your site selection process.

It is important to remember it can take a while to find these secondary sites, but they are out there to be found if you spend some time prospecting.

Here is a story about the old route between St. Augustine and Pensacola.

I'm hoping to soon get out to do my "how fast do different shaped objects sink" experiment.   I haven't forgotten about it.  Just haven't gotten around to it.

This morning was cloudy and rainy.  The surf on the Treasure Coast was a touch rougher but still only 2 - 3 feet.  That won't change much soon.

Low tide this afternoon will be just before 6 PM.

There is one low pressure area down by the Yucatan but I don't expect it to do anything for us, at least no soon.

Happy hunting,