Monday, September 30, 2013

9/30/13 Report - 450-Year-Old Shipwreck Being Salvaged, Dug Tampa City Hall Badge & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Dug Badge
Find and Photo by William M.

First, here is the TBR Find of the Day (FOD).

William M. recently dug this old badge. Very nice dug item!  Great condition.

William went off beach for this find.  That is a good thing to do sometimes, especially when you have a good idea on a place to hunt and the beaches have been stale.

Way to go William!

I did a quick google search but didn't find this particular item yet.  

If you find out more about it, let me know.

A similar type of item was sold by the police benevolent society during the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Below is a picture of that modern fund-raising badge, which shows the Tampa city hall.

William's dug badge probably goes back to the early 1900s.

Here is the source link for the picture of the modern version.

I received an email from a female detectorist saying that she felt limited in her detecting because she didn't want to detect alone in isolated locations.  She was wondering about safety measures and any tips that anyone might be able to offer.

Many men prefer to have a hunting buddy, and that is certainly a good idea for a lot of reasons.  I think it would also be a very good idea for women detectorists.

I thought maybe some of you female detectorists, might provide some thoughts on safety or maybe get together for some buddy hunting.    Let me know.

There is only one day remaining to respond to the blog poll.  The early results seem to be suggesting some interesting things that have a practical significance for our hobby.  

Please respond to the poll if you haven't already.

Which is more valuable -  rare 15th and 16th century silver coins or pewter tableware of the same age?   You might be surprised.

A Florida based treasure hunting company is salvaging a 450-year-old shipwreck near the Dominican Republic and has found 15th and 16th century silver coins and a 16th century pewter tableware set complete with maker's marks.  The tableware is valued at millions of dollars.

Here are links that provide access to more of that story.

The National Hurricane Center storm map shows nothing new.  The same two areas are shown with little change in position or strength.

On the Treasure Coast we are supposed to get a 2 - 3 foot surf for a few days now before the surf decreases a little.

The tides are still relatively flat.  The low tides have been pretty high lately.

Please respond to the poll, let me know if any of you women might want to form a buddy list or have any other good ideas, and let me know if you find anything on William's dug badge.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, September 29, 2013

9/29/13 Report - $2.5 Million Gold Coin, Tropical Depession 11, Fossil Find, and Beach Conditions

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

We now have Tropical Depression Eleven.  It doesn't seem to be much of a threat to Florida right now.  It is out in the Atlantic and pretty far north.

National Hurricane Center Map.
The low pressure area down below Cuba has a 20% chance of developing.

The rare gold coin shown below recently sold at auction for $2.5 million.  Only eleven are known to exist.

That is one beauty.

Click this link for more of the story.

Mitch P. recently picked up the following horse tooth fossil on a beach near Sebastian.

Fossil Tooth Found on Treasure Coast Beach
Picture and find by Mitch P.
Mitch describes himself as an occasional THer and frequent beach comber,

I think the first fossil I saw on a Treasure Caost beach was a horse tooth too.  I didn't know what it was at the time.

My very first fossil find, though, came up in a scoop of sand when digging a target in the water down south.  I didn't know what it was at the time either.   Now I could identify either of those at first glance - at least generally.  But not specifically like some people.   Some people can tell the age period sub-species or whatever and everthing.   I'm not a fossil expert at all but usually know a fossil when I see one.

Here is an underwater heart rate monitor.  Learn to keep your heart rate down and not use oxygen so quickly.

The tides have been fairly flat lately.   Not a lot of variation from high to low tide.

Here is a quick video clip of what it looked like out there yesterday.

Low tide (what there is of it) Sunday will be around 10:30 AM.   The surf will remain about two to four feet for a few days.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 28, 2013

9/28/13 Report - Scallops on Beach This Morning, Gold Medallion, Treasure From Sky & Good Goodwill

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Treasure Coast Beach Saturday Morning.

Yesterday afternoon the wind picked up and was coming from the northeast.  That was what I was expecting from the surfing web site predictions.

This morning I went out to see what if any effect it had on the Treasure Coast beaches.  I took a look at three different beaches.  The photo above is typical of what I saw.

You can see the remains of an old worn nearly two-foot step behind the scallops.  The high tide didn't get back that far.  The sand on the front beach was a course brown sand that was pretty mushy.

Other beaches that I looked at this morning had similar scallops near the high tide line.

There were very few shells and no sea weed.

There was certainly no improvement in beach detecting conditions.

I don't remember if I posted this find before or not.  I think not.  Anyhow it isn't a brand new find, but was found on a Treasure Coast beach.

It is 14K religious medallion.  It is thin and has a lot of cut-outs.   Also, it's on a gold chain.

A box filled with precious gems worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was found by a mountain climber on a glacier near Chamonix France.  He turned in the box filled with the gems.
It looks like the box of gems could have come from one of two airplane crashes in the area back years ago.
Here is the link.

That goes to show that treasure does occasionally fall out of the sky.  Not often, but if you're real real lucky you might just be in the right place at the right time.

More than $40,000 of jewelry was accidentally left with a donation to Goodwill.   A worker found the jewelry and returned it.

People sometimes ask me about cameras and videos.  The picture shown today was a Sony Handycam HD. This camera takes very good beach pictures and is an overall very good camera for taking videos and stills.   I'm not totally sold on the microphone though, although I haven't really explored that much, so it might just be a matter of me not setting it for optimal results.

Don't forget to respond to the blog poll.

The surf today is supposed to get up to around 3 or 4 feet.  It will stay around 2 - 3 feet for a few days and then go down from there by next weekend.

Low tide today was around 9:30 AM.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 27, 2013

9/27/13 Report - Old Bricks and A History of Sebastian

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Old Brick Reading Ironton/Clarion.
Yesterday I mentioned that people collect old bricks and that old bricks are occasionally found on the beach.

Some beach bricks actually come from shipwrecks.  Galley bricks (bricks used in the ships galley) were found in numbers in the ballast pile of the San Pedro, for example.

You can also find pictures of bricks in the Mel Fisher artifact database.

But there are also more recent bricks that you can find.  You can tell the difference if you know what to look for.   There are differences in the clay and the size and shape of different bricks.  And some older modern bricks are marked with names, places or initials.

Above is one such marked brick.  It didn't come from the beach though.  Just an example.

Bricks like this, with names and markings are from the late 19th and early 20th century.  That can help if you come across an old home site and see a few bricks.

A little internet searching resulted in the finding that this brick is from the Ironton Firebrick Company of Ironton, Ohio.

Anything old with distinctive markings like this can be interesting to research.

I believe this brick originally came from an old building in Fort Pierce that was torn down.  

So how did it end up on the Treasure Coast?   I suppose that it was imported by train or ship, I believe ship is most likely, though I don't know.  I  believe it came from the old hotel building down by the private school by the intercoastal in Fort Pierce, part of which was torn down way back.  I think the old bricks of that hotel were sold and used for new construction around the Treasure Coast.  I'll try to research that a little more to see if that is right.

Here is a good site to start to learn about collecting old bricks if you are interested.

Here are a couple more examples of old bricks.  They are old fire bricks, used to build chimneys and things like that.

Quigley Uni-Tex Brick.

This one came from the Quigley Furnace and Foundry Co., which had manufacturing plants at Chicago, New York, and Springfield, Mass.  The plant was being built beside a railroad, so maybe that is how it was brought to Florida.  I believe it came from the same old building in Fort Pierce.

Here is a publication from 1916 telling about the construction of the brick yard in Springfield.

And one more example.

No 1 Arch Brick.
I don't know where this Arch brick was made.  If you can tell me, I'd appreciate it.

As I always say, keep your eyes open for non-metallic items that can provide important clues.

Make sure to read the following web site on the history of Sebastian.  If you are interested in the Spanish shipwrecks, you'll need to scroll down a good way to find the most interesting material.  It is a lengthy history and starts back 100,000 years ago and has sections from different sources.

It talks about the first and second salvage attempts of the 1715 Fleet by the Spanish, pirates and early finds by the Real Eight Corporation, and much more.

On the Treasure Coast today, the surf will be increasing a little.  The tide will be pretty flat today.  The high tide won't be very high and the low tide won't be very low.

Nothing much in the Atlantic right now.  Just one little disturbance that  is not likely to develop.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

9/26/13 Report - Clifford's Pirate Ship Salvage, St. Lucie County History Museum, Old Bricks & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

On The Site of the WhyDah
Clipped rom Foxnews video
See FoxNews link below.

Yesterday I commented on the local salvage season coming to an end.  The same thing has already happened up north.

Yesterday Fox News did a piece on Brandon and Barry Clifford who have been salvaging the Whydah.  They said they won't be back out on the Whydah this year but will be moving from Cape Cod to Africa to hunt the wreck of one of Billy the Kidd's ships.

One reason I wanted to comment on that is that I've been talking about treasure museums a little.

The Clifford's said they don't sell anything they find.  So what do they do with it all?   They have traveling shows.  The public gets to see what they've found.  And as I've been pointing out, the public is interested in such things.

Here is the link to the FoxNews video on the Cliffords treasure search story.\

Cannons From the Whydah.
From FoxNews video.
There are some interesting trends in the responses to the blog poll.  It is too early for me to comment on those, but I think we'll see something interesting.

Of course, other groups do something similar.  Odyssey Marine Explorations Inc. also has traveling treasure shows or displays.

Whyday Anchor
From Foxnews Video.

I still remember many years ago when I stopped at Art KcKees treasure museum down in the keys and the museum was closed but Art came out to talk.  He was known for that sort of thing and personally gave many private tours to delighted tourists.

Back to the poll blog on treasure museums.  Dennis S. wrote to let me know about an omission.  I actually thought about this at the time but didn't include it.   I can't do it now with the poll already running.

Here is what Dennis said.

I saw your poll on museums.  You might want to add one. The county museum in Fort Pierce,  \ , west bound side of the causeway, is interesting. It has a small section on the 1715 fleet,  It has two charts of the 1715 lease areas on the wall.. The picture of the bullet [in the blog] reminded me of the WWII section of the museum. I was surprised at the size of the amphibious base on the south side of the inlet.  It took up the entire north end of the island. I knew about the SEAL training on the north side of the inlet but nothing about the amphibious training base on the south side of the inlet.

Thanks Dennis.  There are still a lot of left overs from the WW II exercises that pop up on the beaches from time to time.

Things besides silver and gold change in price.

KovelsKomments says,

An annual "World Wealth Report" study of the most profitable luxury-item investments for 2013 says classic cars have gone up 28 percent since the end of 2012. Coins are up 9 percent; stamps, 7 percent; watches, 4 percent; Chinese ceramics, 3 percent; and jewelry, 2 percent. But antique furniture is down 3 percent and fine art is down 6 percent.

That should help your argument if you've been trying to get your wife to agree to your purchase of a collectible car.

Did you know that some people collect old bricks, especially the ones with the names or initials on them?  Not only are old bricks collected by collectors, they are used to add that extra touch to new homes and buildings.

I like the old bricks with the names or initials on them. 

Sometimes you can find a brick on a beach that actually came form an old shipwreck.  Keep your eyes open for those.  They were often used in a ship's galley.  To me, they make an interesting find.  The galley bricks will generally be of different dimensions than modern building bricks.

Reclaimed bricks are popular for building modern homes because of the attractive and distinctive look of the aged clay.

On the Treasure Coast the surf will only be about one foot Thursday but the low tide will not be very low.

The surf will pick up to about 3 - 4 feet by Saturday.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

9/25/13 Report - Gold Finds, New Poll, Brass(?) Ring, and $8 Million Sunken Treasure

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Charm Detector Find
Find and Photo by Michael E.

I wouldn't say hurricane season is over yet, but nearly so.  And despite the early predictions for an active season, this season has been very quiet.

The salvage season is pretty much over too, I would suspect.  For 1715 wrecks it has been a very eventful salvage season.  Good and bad alike.

For gold finds, it has been a very good salvage season.  Some seasons are good and some not so good.  This year there were two crews that made big gold finds.

The calmer seas that helped the salvage crews did not help the beach hunters.  There have been, and continue to be, some old shipwreck discoveries made on the beach, but overall it has been a slow summer for beach hunters.

To the left you see Michael E.'s gold charm found on the beach.  Way to go Michael!  Keep swinging.

And there have been, and continue to be, a few old shipwreck beach finds this summer.

Below is one of the more recent finds by William M., who showed us a couple of recent cobs.  You can see them in recent posts.

This ring is small, unmarked, and he says, appears to be brass.  It's identity is not certain, but it was found in the same general area as the cobs.   Good find William!

Small Brass Ring Found and Photoed by William M.

If you've found a ring that looks like this one, Michael would like to know.  To me it looks like it could be 18th Century.

You might have noticed that I posted a new poll on the blog.  I hope you will participate by entering your responses.

As I've said before metal detecting and treasure hunting have a significant economic impact on the Treasure Coast.  This poll will give us more information about just one of the treasure related things that residents and tourists are interested in and spend their money on.  It also undoubtedly accounts for part of the popularity of the Sebastian Inlet State Park, which I recently found out is one of the most visited state parks in Florida.

Since Florida has more sunken gold and is well known for shipwreck treasures, the state needs to better publicize and benefit from Florida's most unique resource and tourist draw.  Hiding tons of shipwreck coins in a dusty basement won't do it.

Your answers to the blog poll might help us let others know how important detecting and treasure hunting is to our area.

Small 10K Ring Beach Find

Here is another small modern gold ring found on a Treasure Coast beach.  

Everybody, it seems, knows something about the sunken Spanish galleons along the Treasure Coast, but there are plenty of other sunken treasures along the Florida coastline.

Do you know about the 8 million dollar treasure said to be in 20 or 30 feet of water off of Fort Myers?

Here is a link to that story.

On the Treasure Coast today, low tide will be about 7 PM.  The tides have moderated some.

We'll have a surf of only about 1 - 2 feet.  By Saturday, that is predicted to increase to up around 3 or 4 feet.

Happy hunting,

Monday, September 23, 2013

9/23/13 Report - Why Do The Two Sides of One Coin Sometimes Corrode So Differently? Florida State Parks & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Big One Penny

I dug this big Queen Elizabeth penny the other day.  It isn't old, only 1967, which is only four years off of what the state considers to be a historic artifact, as simple as that might sound.  It isn't valuable by any sense of the imagination.  In the online references it is listed as bronze.

When I first dug it up I thought it was a half dollar.  I couldn't see the other side at all and didn't take the time to really look at it very good.  I just tucked it away thinking it was probably a half dollar.

The reason I mention it is because the two sides of the penny were very different.  I'm not talking about design but the patina and corrosion.

The side you see in the photo is basically how it looked when it was dug.  The opposite side though, was covered with a thick green crust that obscured all of the coin.

Why would two sides of the same coin look so different?   That was my question.

I've seen a similar thing happen before.  I saw it on a half reale that was dug down at Jupiter some years ago.

That half reale is shown below.

Dug Half Reale With Sand/Shell Crust

Different metals corrode differently and you can often tell something of the composition of the coin by how it corrodes.  Copper and bronze will often have some green on them, like the penny above had.

This half reale though just had a crust of sand and shell on one side and the typical black appearance of a sea seasoned cob on the other. 

When the cob was dug I could easily see the cross etc. on the other side.

You can see the other side pretty much as it was dug below.  There is some crust on the other side, but very little as compared to the side shown above.

Other Side of Same Half Reale
It is possible that the heavy crust only accumulated on one side and not the other.  Or I guess it is possible that there was a heavy crust on both sides but the crust on one side was worn off after the cob got uncovered.

I think the first theory is most likely.  I think that the very heavy crust was formed on one side maybe because of how the cob was positioned for all those years.

The heavy crust turned out to be a benefit because it kept the detail of the cob from being worn down.

See photo below showing detail revealed when the heavy crust was removed by acid.

Like I said, the bronze penny also had two very different sides.  The one side had a heavy green crust while the other side is as shown above.

Unfortunately  I didn't think to take a photo of the green crust before I removed it.

Same Half Reale Showing Detail Preserved by Crust.
Another possibility besides one side reacting differently because of its buried position, or the surface being cleaned by movement of sand and water after being eroded out of the bank, is that the coin or cob could have been buried next to something that protected it either physically or electrogalvanically.

What is your idea?

Here is a photo of the half reale showing the side that was heavily encrusted after the crust was removed.  Notice how well the heavy crust protected the cobs surface and preserved the detail.


I believe that the cobs that were recently found and shown in this blog were actually pushed up onto the beach weeks ago, not recently.  From the circumstances, William thinks that might well be right.

I also felt that was true of some of my recent finds.  

If you hunt the over hunted places, you won't find things like that, but they can remain for a long time after washing up in locations that are less frequently hunted.


I just just read yesterday somewhere that Sebastian Inlet State Park is the second most visited state park in Florida.  That is quite a distinction.   The McClarty Museum is part of that.

 Right off I don't know which is first most visited.

Here is a link that will introduce you to all of Florida's State parks.

Which have you been to?

An Audubon Society report said the following.   Florida’s park visitors provide a critical economic boost in the communities where they are located – and that’s more important now than ever. For every 1,000 people attending a state park, the total direct impact on the local community is more than $43,000, a 2008 DEP study found. 

Trying to find out which was the most visisted, I found a 2012 listing in HolidayTripper that didn't have the same order.  Here is what they had.

The most visited state parks in order are:
  • Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin
  • Gasparilla Island State Park, Boca Grande
  • St. Andrews State Park, Panama City Beach
  • Lovers Key State Park, Fort Myers Beach
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
  • Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine
  • Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne
  • Sebastian Inlet State Park, Melbourne Beach
  • Stump Pass Beach State Park, Englewood
  • Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key

After researching some more I found that Honeymoon Island consistently shows up as number one.  I've seen different things for Sebastian Inlet, but is always listed among the top few.

How many of those have you detected?  I can only list three.  There is one on there that I detected many more times than Sebastian.  I've mentioned it in past posts.

Low tide on the Treasure Coast will be around 5:30 PM today.

We'll be having a 1 - 2 foot surf for a few days.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

9/22/13 Report - Miscellaneous Finds, Another Cob, and Man Rewarded for Turning in Bag of Cash

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

There are continuing miscellaneous finds around the Treasure Coast.  Some are undoubtedly related to the full moon and the recent higher high tides.

Michael E. is continuing his string of ring finds.  Here are two silver rings he found at one beach.

Finds and Photos by Michael E.
He also found this old bullet.

Find and Photo by Michael E.

As you probably know if you've been detecting the Florida Coast very long, WW II finds are not uncommon.  I've done posts before talking about dug shells and the marks that can tell you where and when the were manufactured.

You probably also know that the Treasure Coast was the site of a lot of training activities during the war.  You might want to visit the Navy Seal Museum to learn more about that.

I once saw the most monstrous vehicle, probably operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, that was used to remove the concrete landing craft barriers that look like huge jacks from the shallow water north of Pepper Park.  I really wish I had a photo of that machine.   It was widee than A1A, which was closed when the vehicle was brought in, and drove down the beach on huge tracks and into the water where it remained while the barriers were removed.  It was quite a land/sea salvage vessel.  What I could have done with that thing!!

New Find and Photo by William M.

William is still on a streak.  Above is the latest.

I told you not to expect a reward for returned finds.  As I've said, as hard as it is for me to understand, people don't generally reward the work and/or honesty that results in getting their lost items back.

Here is one case in which a man who turned in a bag filled with cash and travelers checks worth $40,000 did get a reward for his efforts, but it wasn't from the person who got the bag of money back.  It was from someone else who noticed the honesty of the homeless man and set up a fund for him.

Here is the link to that story.

I recently read that some people are simply not wired to empathize or be able to take the perspective of others.  Thankfully there are some people who can do that, and thankfully there are some people who care about others.

Gold and silver prices have been fluctuating wildly - up Wednesday and Thursday and then down again Friday.

Here is the link to that story.

I recently found a 1967 United Kingdom One Penny on a local treasure beach.  That was a bit of a surprise.   It looked like a half dollar when I dug it up.  It was covered with a green crust.  The biggest penny I ever dug.

Below is a find worth a little more.

Heavy 14K Initial Ring Treasure Coast Beach Find

The surf today on the Treasure Coast will be around 2 - 3 feet Sunday and the high tide will not be quite as high as it was.

The surf will be dropping to a low of around 1 - 2 feet by Wednesday and then increasing again a little by Friday.  That means mid week will be a good chance to check the areas lower on the beach.

There is only one tropical disturbance in the Atlantic now.   Our slower than normal hurricane season continues despite what was predicted for this season.   There is nothing that is going to affect us seriously real soon.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 20, 2013

9/20/13 Report - Nice Shipwreck Spike in Wood, 18th Century Merchant Ship Construction and Current Conditions

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Shipwreck Spike In Wood
Photo submitted by Rob E.

This spike was found on Topsail Island, North Carolina.  It is approximately 5.75 inches long and the head is about 5/8 inch square.

Rob is trying to get any information he can about the spike.  If you have any guesses about its age or other things, let me know.

Thanks for the great pictures Rob!.  Nice artifact!

While looking for information that might help to date shipwreck spikes I came across a Master's Thesis entitled Eighteenth-Century Colonial American Merchant Ship Construction, by Kellie VanHorn, 2004.

It provides a lot of information on ship construction and looks at a variety of different wrecks and hull sections as they were found under water.

It also provides a map and a lot of pictures of ships and artifacts.  I think you'll find it informative and enjoyable.

Here is the link to the pdf file.

I went out to see what the beaches were doing this morning.   I was hoping that I'd see a little more erosion.  It didn't happen.  The water didn't get up as high today as it did yesterday.   The surf was a touch smaller.  And the expected high tide didn't compensate.

The result was that beach conditions were not as good today as yesterday.

Cut This Morning on a Treasure Coast Beach.

This is the same beach and same cut that I showed you yesterday.  The cut was a little less high today.  Not much, but some.  And the sand in front of the cut was more mushy. 

Evidently the last two high tides between when I was there yesterday and today added sand to the beach instead of continuing to remove it.  A tell-tale sign was a new line of sea weed at the base of the cut at some spots.

Too bad!  I was hoping for improved detecting conditions and possibly a beach detecting conditions upgrade.  Now I'm glad that I didn't upgrade it yesterday.  It was getting close, but not close enough.

Another Treasure Coast Beach I Saw This Morning.

As you can see, this second beach had no erosion and had a lot more sea weed.   As I think I said yesterday, even though there were some places where there was erosion, others weren't eroded at all.  That is more often the case than not.

That is also one reason why time in the field is such a good predictor of number of finds.  If you are out there a lot, there is a much better chance that you will find or stumble onto the good spots when they do appear. 

I heard of a couple places that were eroded in the past few days, and they are not eroded now.   That is the way it goes.

There aren't any named storms or hurricanes out there now.  There is one low pressure area east of the Bahamas that has a 20% chance of developing, but that is all.

The high tide is expected to be above average today but the surf will be decreasing daily for a few days.  Don't expect any major changes in beach detecting conditions.

As I've been showing, there have been some cob finds in the past week or so.   There is always a chance.  As I used to explain often, the reason my beach detecting conditions rating scale starts with a 1 instead of a 0 is that there is always some chance.  Things occasionally pop up at unusual times and in unusual places or at one of those unusual spots when everyplace else is looking bad.

I'm going to try to better quantify my rating scale.      

Michael E. told me he got a couple of rings one day recently.   

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 19, 2013

9/19/13 Report - Returned Ring and Some Beach Detecting Conditions Improvement

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Ring Found and Returned
Picture from NBC video

First I'll give the national story with a local connection.   A few weeks ago, I introduced this story that I received from meghunter.  You might recall he was diving in the Cooper River looking for fossils with his friend Brian Tovin when Brian found this 1974 class ring in the murky river.

They tracked down the person who lost the ring right after graduation from college 39 years ago.  Brian was flown by CNN to return the ring to the man that was now suffering from cancer.

Below is a link to the video.

The underwater video in the clip was made by meghunter,    Thanks man!

The video also has some great pictures of meg teeth and other fossils.   You'll want to see this.

Here is the link.

One more reason we can't let metal detecting get banned.   This one wasn't found by a detector, but most are.

There are many dangers to working a beach near high tide when you are between rough water and a big cut.  Here are a few tips if you get caught in a situation like that.

First and most important, don't get knocked off of your feet.  It can happen.  An unexpected wave will come in, and if you hear or see it coming, the natural instinct is to move up the slope.  That can be a bad thing if the water is big enough to bounce off of the cliff with a lot of force.   The back wash coming from the opposite direction than the incoming waves, can catch you off guard and soak you from head to toe or worse if you are caught in a poor position.

If you realize that a big wave is coming instead of doing what seems natural and moving up the slope and close to the cliff, move a few steps down the slope and away from the cliff.  Timing is important.  That will get you out of range of the backwash or at least reduce the amount of water that hits you.  The water bouncing off of the cliff can be more dangerous than the incoming water.

Two.  Make sure your equipment is strapped to you.  You can lose a detector, scoop, or other equipment very easily when the water bounces back off of the cliff.

Three.  Make sure all vulnerable electronics are water proof or sufficiently protected.

Four.  Be very alert at all times.   Logs, boards and other dangerous debris can be washing around in the rough water and when you are below a cliff the best exit might be blocked.

Below is a video of the beach this morning near high tide.  The surf was up as predicted.  There will be a full moon tonight.  Of course that adds to the high tide.  The high tide breached the berm again today.

There was a two to three foot cut at the beach shown.  Another beach that I saw was not nearly as cut.

As you can see from the video, the waves were hitting the cliff directly on.  I would have liked to have seen the waves slicing in from the north.   That is normally much more productive.

There were modern coins coming out of the sand bank, but not recent drops.

Cut Seen on One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.

On another beach with less of a cut, down about five to ten yards from the berm was an area of shells covered by sand that was producing a good number of miscellaneous items.

I'm not quite ready to increase my beach detecting conditions rating.  Although the beaches have improved some, I don't think it is enough to give a "2" on my beach rating scale yet.  Maybe in another day or so if things go right

A lot of spots, even some in front of these cuts, were mushy..

There are other beaches that are showing good erosion, but many aren't showing much.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

9/18/13 Report - Found Half Reale, Shipping Detectors For Repair and Current Beach Conditions.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Find and Photo by William M.
Here is the other side of William M.'s cob that I showed yesterday that had the Mexican cross on it.

Looks to me like this side is showing a part of a Philip monogram.

William said it is so light he could blow it off of his hand.

I think you can see on the upper right where some of the silver has been lost.

As I mentioned to William, I'm not surprised that it is particularly light since conditions have been so poor.

Little cobs like this can be washed around with shells.  I've found them in a shell line at the top of the berm after the berm had been breached.

Here is a nice link showing a variety of nice half reales.  Take a look.

I had a detector that needed to be sent for repairs.  In the past I've used UPS.  I found out they are not the best choice now.  I packed the control box, ear phones and coil in a fairly small box, and they told me the cheapest would be about $13.70 for regular ground, which would take about a week for delivery.

I went to the US Post office and found they were cheaper for regular mail, and if I used a Flat Rate Priority Mail box, it was even cheaper.   And of course, priority mail does not take as long.

Therefore, if you have to send a detector for repairs, consider Flat Rate Priority Mail.  It has the other benefits too, such as tracking.

I was able to use a relatively small Flat Rate box in this case because this detector's coil is relatively small and the control box is also compact.  You might have to use a slightly larger box and pay a couple more dollars.

Cut Seen This Morning On One Treasure Coast Beach

This is the same area that I showed two days ago in the following photo.

As of this morning, the waves hadn't picked up yet.  It was pretty tame out there.  The surf was supposed to pick up later in the day.

Notice that now instead of two steps, there was now only one.  The beach smoothed out, and only one small one foot plus cut remains at the top of the beach.

One of the most recent high tides came up over the berm.  The lower cut was filled in and the front beach generally smoothed over.

Notice also that the sea weed is now gone except for what remained above the berm on the flat beach.

Photo of Same Area Two Days Ago.

While beach detecting conditions did not improve here, you can see that sand was definitely moved around.  The beach looks very different today than two days ago.  

It isn't a bad idea to compare photos of the same beach to get a better idea of how the sand is moving.

As you can probably tell, the top photo was taken from closer to the water than the bottom photo.

Humberto is still out there but won't be coming our way.

The surfing web site is predicting a 4 - 6 foot surf for late Wednesday and through Thursday.   The high tide will be higher than yesterday, and so probably will come up over the berm again in some places.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

9/17/13 Report - Another Beach Cob Find, Cob Weights and Denominations & Beach Conditions

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of the

Another Recent Treasure Coast Beach Reale
Find and Photo by William M.

Yesterday I showed a cob found by William M.  He was going through his finds and was excited to see that he had dug another cob.

The one I showed yesterday I'm guessing from the photos might be a Lima half reale.  William is going to get it weighed so then we'll have a better idea if it is a half reale for sure.

This one is small and probably a half reale too.  It looks like a rather typical beach find.  It appears to be a Mexico half.  You can tell from the ends of the cross that it was minted in Mexico.

The one he showed yesterday had a bar across the ends of the cross instead of the ball, like this one.

We'll see what if any more we can learn about these cobs.  Maybe we'll get some more photos.

One Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday Near Low Tide.

The above is pretty much the kind of thing that you'll typically find around the Treasure Coast right now.   

There are several things to notice.  One is the sea weed and the sea weed line, which shows that light materials including sand had been coming in.  The sea weed line can also tell you where the last high tide was.

On this beach a sand bar that was in shallow water is now pretty much attached to the front beach.    In this photo, that would be between the white water and top seaweed line.

The black narrow rectangle shows the approximate area where I was getting miscellaneous targets.  The targets were deep, below several inches of sand and near the top of a covered layer of shells.

When you don't know the denomination of a cob, you can often figure it out from its weight. Here are the proper weights for the denominations of silver cobs according to Royal Proclamations up to the year 1728.

8 reales -  27.468 grams
4 reales -  13.734 grams
2 reales -  6.867 grams
1 reale  -  3.4335 grams
1/2 reale -  1.7167 grams
1/4 reale -  0.8584 grams

As you probably know, cobs were not always made to the proper weight.  Many were off when they were minted.   But I think you can expect most cobs found on the beach to be slightly under weight due in part to corrosion.  That has certainly been my experience.  Most of the cobs that I've found in the past were just a touch underweight to considerably underweight.   Sometimes you can tell when a cob has lost a lot of material to corrosion by looking at it.

Cobs that were minted overweight cheated both the owner and the Royal Hacienda.   If they were too much overweight, it would be detected and the entire batch would be remelted, costing the mint and assayer a lot of money.

In 1728 the prescribed weights for reales were reduced slightly and stayed the same until 1825.

William's cob shown above looks like it has that common black crust on it.  Maybe we'll get a photo of the other side soon.

Ingrid is in Mexico and Humberto is headed north into the North Atlantic.  No other storms appear on the National Hurricane Service maps right now.

One Foot Cut on One Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday.
The cut shown here only ran a short distance.  There were a few cut scallops too.  See photo below.

A higher surf of 3 - 5 feet is now predicted for Wednesday and Thursday.  

Maybe I'll be able to increase my beach detecting conditions rating.  

Low tide today will be around 1 PM.

The high tide will be a little higher than normal.

Happy hunting,

Monday, September 16, 2013

9/16/13 Report - Cob Found During Challenging Beach Detecting Conditions & Some Miscellaneous Stuff

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Small Cob Recently Found on Treasure Coast Beach
Find and Photo by William M.
Despite the poor beach detecting conditions we've been having most of this summer, William M. took up the challenge and found a cob on a treasure beach. 

I think it was just yesterday that I talked about a wheat penny that showed up where I wouldn't expect it and also recalled a similar centuries-old button that also appeared where I would not have expected it.

My system is based upon probabilities and making the most of your time in the field.  You can occasionally win against the odds if you have the patience to keep at it.

As I've said before, time on task is the biggest factor in detecting success.  If you hunt hard enough and long enough you will find surprises.  That is why it is important to be optimistic. 

It is also important to have well defined goals.  You can't adjust your detecting to meet your goals optimally unless you have well defined goals.

And although time on task is very important, you can always improve the odds through skill.  That is how I define skill.  It is doing what you can to improve the probability of success. 

William had success when success was not easy.  Above you see the cob he recently found on a local treasure wreck beach.

Closer Look at Same Cob.
The photo of the other side doesn't show much of anything I can make out.  A picture of the other side can be seen below.

It just goes to show once again, if you keep swinging and sifting there is always a chance of coming up with something good.

Let me know whatever you might be able to identify about this cob from the photos.

Yesterday (Sunday) after the morning thunder storms stopped there were some pretty good wind coming off of a local storm.  As I've said before, even local rain storms can cause increased waves and a little erosion.  There were enough clouds and wind to make it a little more comfortable than it has been with all of the hot humid summer heat.

It looks like late Tuesday the surf will increase along the Treasure Coast beaches.  It looks like it will be 3 - 5 feet.  That is the most recent prediction that I've seen.

It looks like the 3 - 5 foot surf will last about three days.  That should help a little although maybe not enough for me to upgrade my beach detecting conditions rating.

Other Side of William's Cob Find.

I've learned a little over the past few years, and I've adjusted how I do my ratings a little but not a lot.  It has been so consistently poor this summer and even longer than that so I haven't bee posting  my ratings everyday.  Now I doing it mostly only when there is a change.

At the beach just a little while ago I found one place that had a one foot cut that ran for a little while.  It was the same beach that I last posted photos of.  There was a little start of a cut there then.  It increased just a little.

Another beach I saw had a firm low front where the sand bar was merging with the front beach.  Near the merger was an area with some targets.  Most were on the top of a layer of shells that was covered by several inches of sand.

The largest cruise ship to capsize is being parbuckled by salvage crews.

Here is the link.

I wonder how all the stuff left behind by passengers will be recovered, if at all.

Here is how the mints make the hubs and dies to produce our coins.

Here is what the sky looks like when you are out away from lighted cities.  It is really amazing when you are somewhere where you can see it like this.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

9/15/13 Report - Larger and Smaller Gold Finds, Bigger Surf Coming Soon

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Beach Detector Find
This morning was rainy with a lot of thunder and lightening.  I don't know if that will continue all day or not.  Probably not.

One promising thing that I see in the forecast is the 4 - 6 foot surf that is predicted for Wednesday.  We haven't had anything that big for quite a while - seems like it has been all summer since anything like that.   4 - 6 feet is sort of low to borderline for  improvement in beach detecting conditions.  And, as I've said, many times, depends upon other factors such as the direction of the wind and waves.  At least I think we can expect a little stirring and some small erosion.  I doubt that it will improve beach detecting conditions much, but we'll have to wait and see.

On the hurricane front, Humberto has weakened but is expected to strengthen again.   Ingrid is still expected to track into Mexico.

Lots of floods in Colorado.   That reminds me of El Dorado Canyon near Boulder Colorado  That is someplace you might like to visit if you are ever out that way.   It attracts world-class rock climbers from all around the world.  The sheer rock cliffs are amazing.  There is a neat old cave there as well as other interesting historic sites.

Small Gold Beach Find.
Heavy rains can unearth things - even some on the local beaches.  It will wash the face of any cliffs and of course on inland sites it can create erosion and soak the ground for better detecting.

Rain and thunder also can cause people to hurriedly leave the beach.  That can result in losses.

Here is another gold beach find.  It is very small.  It would only fit the finger of a little girl and is very thin.

Compared to the much more bulky gold ring shown above, this one would not give nearly as strong a signal and would be very easily missed like the small gold chain that I showed a few days ago.

I would bet that a lot of people would miss this one.  It wouldn't take much to miss it.

One thing I think I forgot to mention yesterday about the junk find, is that you should also pay attention to any signs that an item was lost some time ago.   Beaches change over time.  Where a particular beach might be popular and visited by one group of people for a while and then go down hill, there can be different eras when a beach has higher and then lower quality items.  Look for any good clues that you can get from either  finds or research, and try to learn what the different eras are for different beaches.   Sometimes hotels are new, popular and thriving, and then they'll get run down, and then sometimes be revived and become popular again.

Just because a beach is not attracting and good crowd now doesn't mean that it never did and vice versa.

I know of several resort hotels that have gone the full cycle, going from the playground of the rich and famous, then getting run down and then being revived again.  That can mean different layers or zones that produce items of varying quality.   The recent drops can be either high or low quality, while there are other layers or zones with the opposite.

An old area that seems to produce nothing much good can be a good place to find high quality items when the older stuff is stirred up or uncovered.

The bigger ring shown at the top of the post came form a run down area that was once a much more popular place.

Again, get to know your beaches - as they are now AND as they once were.   You'll find the most competition at the placs that are popular now, not at the places that were popular in the past.

Today through Tuesday the surf on the Treasure Coast is predicted to be 2 - 3 feet.   Then Wednesday 4 - 6 feet.

Low tide this morning was about 11 AM.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 14, 2013

9/14/13 Report - Good Finds and Bad Finds Both Tell You Things & Hurricanes.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Ring Beach Find
This ring is sort of unusual.  Modern jewelry is the best bet right now with the current beach conditions being so poor.  

This particular ring has a lot of surface area but is thin and not as heavy as it looks.  As compared to the small gold chain that I showed not long ago, this is an easy target.  

As far as quality goes this ring is not high quality but nevertheless is gold and worth a little.

The amount of surface area on this ring will keep it from sinking as fast as a more compact gold ring of the same weight and density.  The surface area will also produce a good strong signal if not too deep.

Humberto and Ingrid are still out there.  Humberto looks to be headed north into the Atlantic, while Ingrid is headed to Mexico.

Gold and silver fell to a new low for the month on Thursday, but gold recovered a little on Friday.

I picked up a wheat penny the other day on a heavily hunted beach in the dry sand.  It wasn't deep at all.   That is a bit of a mystery.  It had enough corrosion on it to suggest it wasn't a newly lost item.  Sometimes you find things where you just wouldn't expect them.   Not long ago I found a centuries old button in near the same type of location.  Just leaves me scratching my head.

Junk Finds From Another Beach.

The above junk was found at the edge of the water.  I don't know if they go together or not.  It's possible.

Always evaluate finds.  Continually evaluate beach conditions, and besides reading the beach, see what the finds are telling you.

If you recall, not too long ago I talked about how some beaches have better quality items than others.  The first thing I thought of when I dug the axe, which was dug before the junk chain, is that this could be one of those low-quality beaches.  I didn't give up on that beach right away though.  Sometimes there are exceptions and sometimes you need a bigger sample.    But when your sample gets bigger and you are still finding a lot of junk, you might be better off moving to a beach that on the average produces better stuff.

I'm always evaluating a number of factors and will move on or stay a while depending upon what is being dug.   Not only will items like this tell you something about the people that visited that beach, but they will also tell you something about beach conditions and where the heavy and lighter materials are located.  These are on the light side.

**  Remember that when I say "light," I don't mean exactly that.  As I've explained before, there are other factors beside weight or density that determines where items will be found.

Anyhow, items like this even if not desirable finds, do provide some good information.  Sometimes they tell you to move on.   They can also tell you to move to another zone of the beach where you might find better materials.

We still have the all too common 1 - 2 foot surf on the Treasure Coast.  That, however, will be changing a little.  The surf will increase to a peak of about 3 - 5 feet by Wednesday.   That is not a lot, but it is something.

Overall, beach conditions for hunting older items remains poor on the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,