Thursday, October 31, 2013

10/31/13 Halloween Treasure Treats, Silver Ingot, Super Bowl Ring Returned, and Increasing Surf

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Silver Ingot Sold in SedwickCoins Auction Wednesday
The first sessions of the SedwickCoins auction have concluded, but there will be more for auction on Friday in an internet only auction.  Lots in this part of the auction are generally less expensive than most of the lots in Wednesday's sessions.

The Friday lots include a number containing several cobs.  One lot offers 200 milled dollars.  Several lots offer several cobs.  There is also a breast plate listed and a variety of artifacts, such as spikes, cannon balls, etc.

The Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1703/2H, from the 1715 Fleet that I discussed a few days ago sold for $47,000.
Several other escudos sold for over $20,000.

The above  79 pound Atocha silver ingot sold for over $31,000, including premium.

I have been talking about some dug crotal bells in a couple of recent posts and just noticed this encrusted pair that sold in the auction.  They sold for over $800, including buyer's premium.

Crotal Bells Sold in Sedwick Auction.

Fort Pierce Inlet Park Beach Yesterday Morning
Above you  can see the renourished beach where they dumped tons of sand South of the Fort Pierce Inlet.  Despite the beautiful weather yesterday, it looks like project didn't result in a lot of tourist activity.  Where is everybody?   You can hear and see the grass growing on that beach.

Cut Just South of the Fort Pierce Inlet.
Just in front of all that sand was this four-foot cut.  Notice the sea weed that indicates that the sand came in since the cut occurred.

It is all renourishment sand with very few targets.

Another Beach With Tons of Sea Weed.
Here is another Treasure Coast beach that I saw yesterday - very sandy.

It looks like early next week we're going to have a 4 - 6 foot surf, and if the predictions are correct, it will last a few days and maybe get up to 7 feet.  That could certainly improve beach detecting conditions if the wind and waves are at a good angle.   That could be the welcome change we've been waiting for.

The low tides are still not going out much yet.

A stolen Super Bowl ring was found and returned after missing for decades.  An attempt was made to sell the ring back to original owner for $40,000 before police got the ring and returned it.

Here is the link for more of that story.

I saw a few silver half dollars from the lost Fort Capron payroll found in the surf near the old Fort Pierce inlet in the Sedwick Coins auction.   You might want to look that up if you don't know about that Treasure Coast treasure.

Don't forget the treasure coin auction that runs online tomorrow (Friday).

Happy Halloween,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

10/30/13 Report - Barber Quarter, Shell Artifacts, Auction Begins & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is another very worn old coin.  It appears to be a Barber quarter, which would make the date between 1892 - 1916.

You can barely see the profile of Liberty on this side.

If you look at the Seated Liberty dime from yesterday's post, you can see that both are worn almost completely down.

Barber quarters were 90% silver.  I would guess that would be about $8 in melt value.

Below is the other side of the same quarter.  You can see part of the eagle on that side.

It isn't easy to find old coins on old land sites.  People weren't as careless with their change as they are today.

It helps to do what I said yesterday, get a good mental map and poke around selectively.  That is especially necessary since there is usually a lot of junk.

This morning (10/10/13) the first session of the Sedwick Coins treasure auction begins at 10 AM.  The auction takes place at the Doubletree Hilton near Downtown Disney in Orlando.  You can follow it online.

High end classic cars have been increasing in price more than any other collectible for some time now.

An article from says,  A recent study by global real estate advisor Knight Frank discovered that cars like Ferraris, Bugattis and Bentleys increased their value by 21% over the last six months and by 28% over the last year. By comparison, prime real estate in central London grew by 7% in the last 12 months and gold saw a 23% decline.

Here is the link for more about that.

Finds and Photo Submitted by Dan B.

There are some very nice pieces in there.  Look them over closely.

I like the flaked piece near the center.

A day or two ago I showed some of the fossils, including hundreds of shard teeth found by Dan one day at the Peace River.

Thanks for the great photo Dan. 

I mentioned the TV mini series about the California Gold Rush.  There will now be one on the Klondike.  I hope it is as good.

Here is the link for information.

This morning on the Treasure Coast the surf was a little higher ( 2 - 3 foot surf).  It is predicted to gradually increase until next Thursday and Friday when it is predicted to be 4 - 6 feet.

Today there were a few very small cuts at some spots, but most of the beaches had more new sand and a lot of sea weed on some beaches.

Conditions remain poor for now.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Sandy hitting the northeast.

Happy hunting

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10/29/30 Report - Seated Liberty, Silver Ring, Visually Scouting a Site, & Golden Leaves

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Old coins found on the beach are often corroded and in poor condition.  Some old US coins recently found on a land site did not have the same type of corrosion typical of beach finds but were very heavily worn.  It made me wonder why they were so worn.  This one had a barely visible design.

The date on this one would be somewhere between 1837 and 1891 since it appears to be a Seated Liberty dime.  The melt value would be only a dollar or two.

Here is a web site that helps you to determine the melt value of silver coins as silver prices change from day to day.

Here is the other side of the same dime.

What I can't figure out is why all three silver coins that were found at the site would be so heavily worn.  It seems a little unusual to me.

The other day I said I was scouting a historic property.  I first did a lot of looking around to see if I could tell where things might have been years and years ago.

I do a lot of visual inspection of beaches too.  Often I don't even take my detector out, but depending upon how things look, just move to another site.

I think it is good to visually inspect sites before detecting.  There are a lot of things that will tip you off on where to detect.

On a beach, much of it has to do with where the sand is moving, but on modern swimming beaches you might look at other things such as where different types of people congregate and what activities take place at different places and what places other detectorists have been.  There are a lot of little clues to look for.

There are some places that are protected in one way or another.  For example around metal beach chairs, fences or poles, many detectorists don't detect.  You can actually learn how to detect places like that.  I've given a few clues on how that is done in old posts.

Back to land sites.  Inspect the terrain.  Are there streams, springs, dips, signs of old trenches or mounds?  All of those things can tell you where things were likely done in the past.

At the site I recently detected, I noticed pieces of concrete that were once part of an old foundation.  The first piece I found was down over a bank from the foundation.  I eventually found the original location.

The first things you'll often see are pieces of glass or pottery on the ground.  Also bricks.

Look for rusty iron, nails, and wood.  They'll often be on or near the surface.

Also look for signs of fire, charcoal, or burnt dark earth.

Just walk around and look for any clues, and then make a mental map of the site.

You might want to dig a few small holes to see what is directly under the surface at some locations.  And you might want to rake up grass, leaves or junk.

You can learn a lot by visually inspecting either a land site or beach before deciding where to detect.

And remember, there might be many layers to a site.  Modern items might be on top of older layers.

Silver Shallow Water Find by William M.
Photo by William m.
Here is a nice silver ring find by William M. who was doing some shallow water hunting the other day.
The small surf lately has made for some easy water detecting.

Some areas are also protected by a near shore sand bar.

It seems that inspection of trees reveals small amounts of gold in the leaves of trees growing up to 100 feet above gold deposits.

Here is a link to that story.

And if you don't have a way of looking for microscopic particles in leaves, you might consult a Swami.  Archaeologists digging into an area where a Swami dreamt there was tons of gold buried have found artifacts.

Maybe they'll find the gold.

On the Treasure Coast today we still have a one to two foot surf.

4 - 7 feet is predicted for a couple of days next week.  If that actually happens, it might significantly  improve beach detecting conditions for older items.  Keep watching that.

Happy hunting,

Monday, October 28, 2013

10/28/13 - Crotal Bells, Sharks Teeth and New Atocha Finds

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Dug Crotal Bell

Yesterday I mentioned some dug crotal bells and gave a link to a web site that provided good information about crotal bells.

This one was dug on an old trail along with some other items including horse shoes.

Did you ever hear someone say "I'll be there with bells on."  If you aren't a youngster you probably have heard that said.

If you look it up online you might find something like the following.  The expression goes back to the days before the automobile, when it was the custom to deck out with the fanciest harness the horse that drew the carriage for special occasions. That, of course, was the harness 'with bells on.'"

I think it has an older and more utilitarian beginning.

The bells were a type of insurance when going on a journey.  They were sometimes traded for goods or services if problems were encountered.  Therefore if you arrived with the bells, you arrived in good condition, not having had excessive problems along the way.

Same Dug Bell

Notice the design around the bottom.

This bell is very much like one that you will see towards the bottom of the above linked site.

It should have a size marker and a makers mark somewhere.  Maybe that can be found when the bell is cleaned.

On the Treasure Coast we still have a one to two foot surf.

There is a lot of sand, and a good many shells on some beaches.

I saw one piece of old pottery along with the shells.  I'm sure there will be a few beach fossils at a few places too.  Of course some beaches have more shells than others.  And also some beaches are a slight bit better for detecting now, even though I wouldn't expect to find any cobs now.

And this just in via email.  -  Captain Andy and the crew of the JB Magruder recently found hundreds of artifacts on the Atocha site, including 210 musket balls, 12 spikes, and 8 split shot and numerous pieces of pottery and a few encrusted objects.  For two days they found something in every hole.

One Very Sandy Convex Beach.
The beach above was very mush and poor.  The beach below was flatter at low tide and more firm.  Both had a good number of shells.  Note the sea weed at the high tide line at the beach below.

Also notice the sand bar in front of this beach.  There had been more of a dip in front of this beach until the bar moved in.

Both pictures are from near low tide this morning.

More Concave Beach.
A 4 - 7 foot surf is predicted for a week from Tuesday.  You know how it goes with those higher surfs that are predicted a week in advance.  It might not happen.

Fossils Found Last Sunday.
Photo by Dan B.
Dan took in quite a haul.  He found 430 sharks teeth as well as the other fossils you see here.  He said it was under difficult circumstances.

That is often the way it is.  The best finds are often difficult.

Congratulations Dan.

Like I always say, "There is always some place to hunt and something to be found."

I received a lot of emails and find photos.  I'll show more of those in the future.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, October 27, 2013

10/27/13 Report - Gold Mickey, Silver Coin, Crotal Bells, and Surf

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

14K Gold & Diamond Disney Find.
A couple of days ago I showed some Coca Cola bottles and mentioned that Coca Cola and Disney items are very collectible and easy to sell.  One reader sent in a photo of this nice dug Disney collectible that he found.

The Micky Mouse ring is 14K with diamond eyes.  If it is an employee reward or is older or rare, the collector value could be high.

Always consider the possible collector value of finds when trying to determine values, and if you are interested in selling the item, try to find collectors who would most appreciate the find.

One nice thing about selling collectible finds is that you can put them in the hands of people that will really appreciate and preserve them.

I've been off-beach the last couple of days and scouting out a historic property.  I've hunted it a little in the past and came up with a few finds including an old horse shoe, crotal bells, coins, bottles and other things going back to the 1700s.   As a result I haven't seen the beach or had much time to spend on the computer the past couple of days.  I'll have to get out to the beach to see what if anything is going on.

By the way, here is a nice web site on crotal bells.  The earliest were made in the 9th Century.

Here are just a few helpful lines from the above web site.

1400's bells were being molded rather than hammered into shape.
+/- 1500's single mold bells being formed.
1800's petal designs added to top and bottom of the bells.
Pre 1845 were generally egg shaped, slits had circular ends, the shank was drilled.
Post 1845 distinct middle ridges,
- introduction of screws or rivits through top used to attach bell to strap.
Late 1800's only lower half of bells decorated (generally).
1870's Nickel and Tin plating introduced
1940's Chroming process introduced

It is always helpful to be able to identify a date range for items.

Check out the web site.

I have noticed in recent weeks a good number of slightly older coins on some beaches lately.  A good number of wheat pennies, many of which look like they were just dropped.  It doesn't make sense to me.

Here is a 1944 fifty centavos coin found on a beach the other day by Michael E.

50 Centavos Find by Michael E.

The 1944 fifty centavos contains just under .25 ounce of silver.  That makes it worth around $2 in melt value.

We are at the time of year when the beaches usually transition from summer conditions to winter conditions.  The surf should be getting rougher on a regular basis and  we will undoubtedly be seeing more frequent erosion.  That will be a welcome change.  We've been stuck with sandy summer conditions for what seems like forever now.   Usually we get some good erosion and good hunting in October or November.

Above you can see the surf predictions for the Treasure Coast from the Magic Sea Weed web site.  We have a one to two foot surf today, but looking ahead, the chart shows a 4 - 6 foot surf a little over a week from now.

I've pointed out many times how the rough surf predicted a week or so in advance often disappears as the time approaches.  Hopefully that won't happen this time.  In any case, it does look like the surf will be increasing.

The web site also shows a very high low tide today.  The low tides haven't been going down much lately.

That is all for now.  Maybe more later.

Happy hunting,

Friday, October 25, 2013

10/25/13 Report - Treasure Coast Finds and Old Post On Tricks of the Old Timers

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Ring Found by Michael E.
 First here are a couple of Treasure Coast beach finds by Michael E.

Here is what he said.

Went to Jensen as tide was coming in last night (Monday night). Only stayed for about an hour and change and pulled in 4 rings 2 925 one I'm pretty sure is stainless...

There are hundreds of posts in this blog now.  Although hundreds of people read this blog daily now, it took a while for the blog to become that popular.
Token Found by Michael E. Photos by Micheal
A lot has changed since this blog began.  The internet has grown and it now seems that everyone and their brother now has a blog or web site.
Someone said that there are so many posts in the blog now that I should post some of the older ones again, especially those that were exceptionally popular but probably not read by the more recent followers.

Here is one post that originally appeared in 2010.  It is one of my personal favorites.

Have you ever arrived at a beach and saw another detectorist already detecting your favorite spot? Or maybe you just saw the tracks of that detectorist who evidently left the beach right before you got there.

If someone beat you to your spot, you might look to see if it looks like the other detectorist knows what he is doing, or if he is likely to leave a lot. If he is gone, you might see if you can tell what he did and how he did it.

When there are other detectorists on the beach, you might notice what type of detector they are using, if they are digging may holes, how thoroughly they are covering ground, etc.

If someone was there before you, but is now gone, you might notice where the foot prints are, evidence of any holes, and how close together the foot prints are. That can tell you something useful.

Sometimes though, if the other detectorist is one of the wise old-timers that are still around, your observations might be misleading. Appearances can be deceiving, especially if you don't know who you are watching.

I reveal the following with some hesitation, and wouldn't do it if I thought it would make the tricks any less effective. I have faith that the old-timers will be able to stay one step ahead of the pack even if some of the old tricks are revealed to the audience of this blog.

First off, some old timers would actually disguise their detector. Some have been known to paint their detector, beat it up so it looks like an old piece of junk, wrap parts of it in duct tape or electrical tape, or even change the control box housing. I can tell you for certain that all of that has been done.

You should realize too, if you ever asked some of the old timers if they found anything, they would most likely tell you that they never found anything,and they might even tell you something like they never found as much as a tin can, and they don't think that their old beat up detector even works.

Here are some other things that old-timers have been known to do.

They would carry a few pull-tabs or iron nails in a pocket, and when a good target was dug, they would leave a junk item by the hole so that anyone following would think junk is what came out of the hole.

When being observed, after digging a good target, they would make a motion that looks like the target is being tossed while palming the good target, eventually slipping the good target into a pocket unobserved.

When far enough away from other observers, after digging a piece of junk, they would stand there a few seconds inspecting the object as if it were the Queen's jewels and ceremoniously clean it off before sticking it in what would appear to be a goody pocket or bag.

They would make a show of digging some nice deep holes as if there were targets where there were no signals at all.

When nobody is observing them at the time, old timers not wanting anyone to know where they had hunted, would often hunt next to the water line or in a few inches of water when the tide is coming in so that any holes or tracks would quicky disappear.

They would sometimes spread junk over good spots to discourage others.

Those are just a few of the tricks that I know have been used. But some of the best detectorists are seldom seen and never suspected. You probably won't see them, won't hear about them, and if you do wouldn't suspect them anyhow. They are solitary hunters who tend to remain in the shadows.

There are many more old-timer tricks, but that will give you some idea.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

10/24/13 Report - 1715 Fleet Gold Rosary, Shipwreck Onion Bottle, and Auction

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Rosary Up For Auction in the Most Recent Sedwick Coins Auction.
Here is one item that is expected to bring a good price at the upcoming Sedwick Coins auction.  The online bidding has already started and the bidding is up to $40,000.  That isn't at all surprising to me.

Of course you all read about the gold coins and chains found off the Treasure Coast this summer.  This is an older Fisher 1715 Fleet find.

Here is the auction description.

Complete gold rosary consisting of chain, crucifix and three medallions. 64.20 grams, the necklace 30" long with 4-1/2" pendant. It is hard to fathom a more impressive piece from the 1715 Fleet, as this rosary is 100% intact and beautiful, all in high-karat gold, with the chain consisting of wire hooks, diamond-shaped mesh and small cages, connected to an ornate triangular link from which hangs one oval medallion and a cross-shaped chain of cage-links with octagonal medallions hanging off the sides and small but ornate crucifix suspended at the bottom, one of a several significant gold jewels found on the "Cabin wreck" site by the crew of the Virgalona in the summer of 1993 (with more found on the same site a year later) and featured in articles thereafter. The medallions—each one and each side different—show various saints, some with the Christ child, while the cross itself has ornate engraving on the reverse (see photo for detail). While the asymmetrically single medallion above the central triangle would seem to indicate a missing partner, it should be noted that all the intact rosaries from this two-year find have the same arrangement. From the 1715 Fleet, featured in the 1994 issue of Silver & Gold magazine (Western & Eastern Treasures) as well as Vol. Num. 3 of HRDnews (photocopy included), with Fisher photo-certificate #23286X. Recovered from: Spanish 1715 Fleet, east coast of Florida.

You can attend the floor bidding Oct. 30 in Orlando at the Double Tree Resort near Downtown Disney.

Here is a video from Sedwick Coins showing some of the fascinating lots up for auction.

It is really nice that this rosary survived intact.  Often with beach finds, a part of a rosary might be found, maybe the crucifix or some other part.

I've shown the same thing with modern gold chains.  Often they are broken, especially beach finds.

In the water they are more likely to be whole, but still the incidence of broken clasps is high.

Onion Bottle in Sedwick Coins Auction.

Yesterday I talked about some glass found at 18th Century St. Lucie County sites.  Not everything in the auction will be silver and gold.  Already having a bid of $320 dollars is this 18th Century shipwreck bottle.  The winning bid will probably be considerable higher than that.

Here is the auction description.

Dutch glass "onion" bottle, intact, rare as from this wreck. 673 grams, 7" tall and 5-1/2" in diameter. This complete and totally undamaged bottle is in perfect condition, better than most non-salvage examples in fact, probably due to its contents having leaked out in the ocean, for others we have seen with corks and wine intact displayed significant flaking and discoloration from the acid in the wine. This piece, in contrast, has only minute traces of "pearling" and no chips or stars in the light olive-green glass, just some stains inside where some residue remained as well as very fine encrustation inside minute etching on the exterior. Recovered from: Reijgersdaal, sunk in 1747 off South Africa.

As I've said before, even if you don't plan on selling or buying anything, auction catalogs are a good resource for learning about coins and artifacts.

Despite the existence of the Florida Collection, few of us have seen that.  I showed that with a poll that I conducted in this blog not too long ago.

You might see pieces of black glass on the beaches.  I've shown some pictures of that.  It looks black at times when found even if it is dark green when you hold it up to the light.

The surface usually gets roughened up by being washed in the surf with the sand and shells.  The result being that you can hardly see through it unless you hold it up to the light.

If you don't know much about old bottles, look for bubbles in the glass that can indicate that is was hand blown rather than made in a mold.  The existence of large bubbles does not guarantee that a bottle or piece of glass is old.  There are still some bottles being blown, but that is not typical.

In the past I've shown some photos of old bottles that were blown and that show some nice big bubbles.

A teen girl found a 3.85 karat diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Here is the link to that video.

Below is a Treasure Coast beach as seen near low tide yesterday.  It is not as convex as most.  

Also notice the dip between the sand bar and the beach.

Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday Near Low Tide

The beach has been building.  Notice the convex shape.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

11/23/13 Report - Finds From St. Lucie County Land Sites, Button and Bottle Links, and More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

In recent posts I've been talking about early homesteads and sites in St. Lucie County, especially the area of the 1840s settlement known as Susanna.

William M. was kind enough to send us some photos of finds from those land sites that he and Kenneth H. talked about.

William sent in this photo of a French wine bottle seal that he found.

Here is what he said.

Most of the 1800's glass I came across in that area was broken but this is one collectible piece.
From the Medoc region of France.

Here is a link that will take you to a web site where you can learn more about applied glass bottle seals.

William also found a neat brass fork, and the flat button with English back mark also shown below.

Buttons Found at 1840s Era St. Lucie County Landsite
Finds and photos by William M.

The other two buttons are undergarment buttons from the same area.

It can be worth studying antique buttons to help identify the age of a site.

A back mark can make that process much easier.

Here is one button sites that provides a lot of nice examples of different kinds of buttons.

And here is the link to the web sites glossary.  That will also be helpful for learning about old buttons.

And here is a catalog of Civil War button back marks.

Those web sites will help you get started on learning more about old buttons.  Buttons are great collectibles, both antique and military.

As I said above, they can also be very useful in helping you to identify the age of a detecting site.

Back of Above 19th Century Button.
Find and photo by William M.

Here is one great web site for studying Spanish Colonial military artifacts, including buttons.

You can also find that link in my reference link list to the left of this post.

A 1700s mission site is being excavated in St. Augustine before a home is constructed on the site.

Here is the link to that story.

Tropical Storm Lorenzo developed out in the Atlantic, but seems to be headed away from us and is not likely to have much impact on the Treasure Coast.

It seems we are stuck with a small surf and poor beach conditions.  It has been a long time since I've been able to issue a beach conditions upgrade.

There have been a few spots of erosion, but they have been scattered and small.

October has in recent years seen some good erosion resulting in good finds.  Doesn't seem like it will happen this year.  Maybe November.  We've had some legendary November storms.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10/22/13 Report - Secondary Surface Finds - Coke Bottles

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Four Coca Cola Bottles

I've been showing a lot of high end items from the Sedwick Coins auction and talking about some of the early land sites along the Treasure Coast, but things don't have to be really old or made of precious metals to have some value.  In fact if you browse through the items in the  auction catalog, you'll notice that many of the much older coins of antiquity are not as valuable as the shipwreck cobs.  Age isn't everything when it comes to determining value.  Collector interest is a very big factor, and a lot of collectors like things they had during their childhood.  There might be more supply, but there is also a large demand for things like that.

Two very popular collectible themes are Disney and Coca Cola.  There might be some, but right off I can't think of any more popular collector areas than those.

So what does that have to do with detecting?  As I've said before, there are primary targets (the things that you really want to find) and secondary or even tertiary targets.  Those are things that you might find in the process of looking for primary targets, such as treasure coins, but that also have some value.

Today I'm talking about things that are not as old or valuable, but still have some value and should not be passed over too lightly.

Why pass up perfectly good items that have some value just because you were primarily looking for something else?

I've probably sold more Coca Cola bottles than any other type of item.  I'm not interested in selling most of my finds, but of those that I have sold in the past a good number are Coca Cola bottles, simply because I found them especially easy to sell for a decent price.

Those shown above are nothing special.  In fact some are in poor condition and not especially desirable.  They are some that I had handy and served as examples.  

I found one straight side Coca Cola bottle from West Palm beach that even though it was in poor condition was rare and still sold for over a hundred dollars.

All of these bottles that I am showing today were surface finds.  No digging was required.

The straight-side Coca Cola bottles can bring good prices.  And bottle from the sixties, like some of those shown above, can be easily sold for a few dollars.

The one on the right of the photo above is a Coca Cola soda water bottle.  There is another type of Coca Cola soda water bottle with a star embossed on it that typically sells for more.  I found a few of those and sold them.

One thing about the sixties bottles like those shown above is that they have the city of the bottling company embossed on the bottom.  There are 1400 cities that bottled Coca Cola and some people try to collect all the cities.

Bottom of Sixties Coca Cola Bottle.

To the left is an example bottled by the Fort Pierce Bottling Company.

I think one of the other bottles shown in the photo above is from Titusville.

Below is a photo of two new bottles.  They are unusually small.  I forget where they came from right now.

Anyhow, to the left of the photo shown below is a hand blown blob top bottle.  It isn't a Coca Cola bottle, but is hand blown.

When held up you can see nice large bubbles in the glass.

A Couple Old Bottles With a Couple New Bottles.

The bottle on the right is a Hutchinson bottle with a metal stopper intact.

The first Coca Cola bottles were Hutchinson bottles.  This one isn't embossed and is probably not a Coca Cola.

I have found embossed Hutch bottles.

All of those shown today, except for the two new bottles, were surface finds, so keep your eyes open for bottles that might be collectible while you are detecting or beach combing.

Just something a little different today.

We have a new tropical storm, Lorenzo.  Lorenzo is out in the Atlantic and headed the other way.

Nothing much has changed on the Treasure Coast beaches.

The surf is down around one foot.  The surf will be increasing over the next several days but not reaching the earlier predicted 4 - 6 feet.

Happy hunting,

Monday, October 21, 2013

10/21/13 Report - Old Finds From Back in the Day and Unusual Shell Item

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Have you ever been walking down the beach and noticed something unusual - maybe a shell, or stone that was a bit different somehow?  If you keep your eyes open, especially around shell piles, you probably will occasionally see something you can't identify.

Rounded Shell Fragment
Add caption
It might be the result of natural processes, or it might be the result of human activity.

Here is a rounded piece of a shell that a lady found while collecting shells for crafts.  As you can see it is almost the size of a quarter, but unusually round.  That is just not a very natural shape for a piece of shell.

Below is what our expert and friend, Fred D., said about this piece.

Looks modified by human hands...obviously. It was probably on its way to becoming a gorget, ear gauge or a pendant of some kind. It is an artifact to be sure. The chalky substance is the shells decayed cortex.

Thanks Fred.  Your expertise is much appreciated.  I love having access to the expertise of the readers of this blog.

The above is non-metallic.  There are a lot of non-metallic items that you can't help but to see if you spend enough time on the beaches and develop an eye for what is natural and common and what might not be.

A couple of days ago I posted some information from local historian and long-time detectorist Kenneth H.   William M. has also investigated some of the sites around the same area of the Treasure Coast.

Here is what William said.

Your info today was is Kenneth.
I speak to him periodically.  I thought you were about to talk about when he detected with club members...One club member found a Spanish silver coin that day... black glass bottles and Native American pottery scattered everywhere.  I've hunted the same property he mentions the case Gins in.  Second Seminole war military artifacts were there as well as Native American.

I know of another detectorist, who I'm pretty sure participated at that same club hunt.  He is now  deceased.  He found a silver Seminole head dress ornament - again, that was back in the eighties.
I didn't post everything that Kenneth sent me the other day. Here is more from Kenneth.

Toward the south end-Ancona, about 2006, I found a site that produced wagon parts; a ships spike; an English flat button; an English hallmark silver spoon and such--dating to 1860's. Once I discovered it, the landowner became nervous and stopped me from continuing until he finished developing the property. This one hurt because much of the site was concealed by vegetation which since was removed during construction. Since then, an immaculate lawn was planted and shrubbed.

Ironically, this site and one of the 1840's bottle dumps I found years back were very close to Indian River Drive. The first site actually produced two bottle dumps. One was an 1845-1850's outhouse pit only 6-ft off the road. The second dump was an Oyster shell pit and it contained an 1850's S.E. dime and a few Cuban/Bahamian short rum bottles. It was another eight feet west of the outhouse pit; but, off to the side.

Remember, the closer one lives to the river, the more constant the breeze. The more constant the breeze reduces the horrid insects such as mosquitoes and sand fleas. Hence, most of these sites were up against the apex of the bluff and because of that, many exist under today's Indian River Drive. Notably, the outhouse pit contained a set of doorknobs made of copper. Also therein were bottles from US; England and France. Hence, evidence of supplies travelling through the Bahamas. I will be converting a few of my photos to jpegs and will share a few with you in the future.

Thanks again for sharing Kenneth.  Your information is appreciated by me and the readers of this blog.

Since I've been talking so much about personal history lately, here is a fantastic story of a man who created a museum out what he found under his home after archaeologists told him he wouldn't find anything there.  This is far from the Treasure Coast, but still a fascinating read.

There is one low pressure area in the Atlantic right now that has a 40 percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

To me it looks too far north to do much for us even if it does develop.

The predictions for a 4 - 6 foot surf on the Treasure Coast about a week from now is already being modified.  That frequently happens when you look at the predictions that far ahead.  It has been delayed one day and decreased by one foot.

Now we have a small surf - down around one foot.

Expect current conditions to continue at least a few days.  That means relatively high low tides too.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

10/20/13 Report - Overdate Eight Escudo and Geneaological Research Again

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

This cob is off to a fast start in the most recent SedwickCoins auction.  It has among the highest bids so far in the category. Yesterday it already had a bid of $26,000 with an upper end of $30,000 for the expected value.  It will likely exceed the expected value, judging from the good start.

Here is the catalog description from the online auction.

Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1703/2H, from the 1715 Fleet, very rare (unique overdate), encapsulated NGC MS 62. S-L25a; KM-38.1 ;CT-13. 26.9 grams. This is an exciting coin: For starters it is lustrous Mint State and well struck, well centered (also aligned axes) and with virtually full legends, which enables the advanced researcher to study the dies carefully. The cross side is an exact match with Tauler #219, but the pillars-side die is previously unknown, either for 1702 or 1703 (of which only 2-3 of each are known, none in the State of Florida collection), with a straight-bottom crown that ended in 1703. The overdate is hard to see (NGC missed it, after all), due to minor doubling (localized to that spot only), but an overlay comparison with the "2" on the 1702 in our Auction #6 (lot 21) proves it. A unique coin like this has unlimited potential, but for comparison we would like to point out that the only other 1703 we have sold (Auction #3 lot 8, which was the highlight of the 2003 Tampa sale, where it sold for $13,250) realized $17,250 in 2008. Also note the previously cited 1702 sold for $25,300 in 2009! From the 1715 Fleet, with photo-certificate.

Not only a great cob, but an overdate.  Examine found coins closely for errors.

I'd advise going through the auction description and looking at the photos to see if you can see what is described.  That is a good way to learn.

I'm going to recommend that you do some genealogical research once again.  I know I've done that before, but I am so amazed at what I recently found that I can't help recommending it again.  I was blown away.

Six generations back into my ancestry I found information about Captain John Wetzel, who came from Holland, was a captain in the Revolutionary War and was killed by the Indians.

I'm not to the part that blew me away yet.

He had a couple of sons, Lewis, the more famous one, and John Jr., who is in my direct ancestral line.

Captain John, the father of John and Lewis, was killed by the Indians while Lewis was still young, and Lewis was shot in the chest and captured by the Indians at the age of 13 and later escaped.  He managed to survive the injury even though it fractured his sternum.  As a result of the killing of his father and his own injury and capture by the Indians, he vowed vengeance against the Indians and ended up collecting a rather large number of scalps.

My good fortune is that a book was written about him in the 1800s, not long after his life on this earth was concluded.  There are also historical references to him in other history books.

The account of frontier life in the 1780s is fascinating reading.  It is hard to imagine that it was actually like that.  Political correctness does not permit accurate description of the violence.  And seldom do you find such good descriptions of daily life on the frontier back then.

Here is the part that blew me away.

Much of the drama of Lewis' life took place at Mingo Bottom.   Doesn't sound like any big deal.   Well, I've shown photos of a wagon trail and Indian trail that takes off from Mingo Bottom in this blog.  I've detected that trail numerous times.  It goes through the property where my wife grew up in West Virginia, and I'm as familiar with the trail as the back of my hand.  Numerous arrow heads and artifacts have been found along that trial by my wife's family and I've shown a few finds from the trail in this blog, including things like a horse shoe, buckle, bell, etc.

Now that blew me away.  I had no idea that my ancestors had walked the same ground back in the 1780s that I've walked many times myself and detected a few times.   I would never in a million years have guessed that.  A horse shoe or artifact that I picked up may have actually been from one of my ancestors.  I now know that is entirely possible.  And before very recently when I discovered the wealth of reference material about Lewis and his family, I had absolutely no idea.

Of all the places in the country, I was absolutely amazed to learn that I've been tromping the same area as my ancesters from the 1780s, and I didn't even know it until a night or two ago.

Many times I've passed a spot on the river that Lewis swam across while making an escape.  It is no small river either.  The location is precisely described in more than one historical resource.  I know it well.

In this blog I've shown some of the Indian artifacts from the same area that one of my wife's family members collected.  I didn't know that my ancestors were there battling the Indians hundreds of years ago.

Some coincidences just seem too unlikely.  It makes you wonder if it just an amazing coincidence or something else?

Not long ago I used the term personal history.  This is certainly personal history for me.

I've wondered why I like the mountains so much?   Just the other day I showed a scene of a cabin site in the Rocky Mountains in this blog.  Is there something more than coincidence to explain it?

Personal history isn't created or owned by academics, professionals, or museums.  It is a part of your life and mine, if you are lucky enough to chase it long enough to find it.   In fact I think the professionals do it damage, reducing in some way what they claim to offer.

Sometimes I've wondered why I do this blog.  I might be a little closer to knowing now.

This isn't about me and my ancestors.  It is about everyone.  It is about you and yours too.

You never know where the lines will cross.  You never know until you connect the dots.

Once again, I highly recommend doing your own genealogical research.  You have an ancestry, and there is something fascinating about discovering how you ended up where you did.  You might not find a lot quickly or easily, but take your time.   That is the way it goes with treasure.

Here is a link to the resource where I found a lot of information about my ancestors who lived a very adventurous life in the 1700s.   If you like history or adventure stories, you might like reading this.

Old Indian and Wagon Trail in W. Va.
The last time I mentioned this particular West Virginia trail was in my 5/25/13 post in which I showed the following picture of the trail I am talking about today.

There are no storms in the tropics to watch.

On the Treasure Coast we are having a 1 - 2 foot surf, which is predicted to decrease through Wednesday.  After that it will start to increase a bit, but is predicted to jump up to 4 - 6 feet next Sunday.

If that actually happens it very well might result in a long overdue beach conditions upgrade.

This weekend we still have high low tides.

Happy researching.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, October 19, 2013

10/19/13 Report - More on the Susanna Settlement and Finds, Gold Fever & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

14K and Gem Treasure Coast Find

First here is a gold ring beach find.  Looks like maybe a garnet.  You can always pick up some recent drops even when detecting conditions are not very good.

Back a few days ago I showed a photo of the remains an 1844 coquina fire place  I talked about the St. Lucie County settlement known as Susanna.  Kenneth H., a long time resident, has hunted the area a lot and provided some fascinating information.

I asked if I could post this information and he gave me permission.  Here is part of his email to me.

Saw your post regarding the above subject with he Coquina fireplace. I have hunted this area for over 40 years, finding relics and bottles and such. One homeowner found a few case gins on his property but would not allow me to search. So, I received permission to hunt the property next door finding bottles dating back to the 1890's, lying under trees on top of the ground--although not as old as his. When I took club members to one of the dozed farms in the early 80's (now developed), one of the members found a single shot cap and ball pistol that dated between 1860-1880. Also, I have found bottles dating back to the 1840's.

Ironically, in the mid-80's one property owner wanted me to dig into an Indian mound on his property just out of curiosity. I explained to him the importance of respecting possible burial sites; and to protect and preserve them--and convinced him to never do such. On another property, but back in the woods, I found the frame of a Model -A. I used to hike the tracks, with detector, shovel and backpack sifter from Ancona and to the north, finding interesting, undeveloped properties; and never seeing anyone except when I crossed the east-west roads such as Midway. Wildlife was hawks; squirrels; foxes and an occasional rattlesnake.

Kenneth really knows his local history and detecting.  Thanks much for allowing me to share that Kenneth.  

There are rattlesnakes around here so be careful when tromping around off the beaten track.

The above note from Kenneth reminded me of the percussion caps that I've found on one Treasure Coast beach in good numbers. I did a little research and found that percussion caps were common from about 1840 - 1860.  That fits well with the period of the settlement of Susanna, although it is obviously not in what would be part of the settlement of Susanna.  It gives an idea of a possible date for activity at that particular beach.

I posted a photo of a corroded percussion cap back in an 4/15/13 post.  I thought I posted some better photos than that.  Maybe I'll have to take some better photos.

Last night my wife and I watched Gold Fever, the second part of a two part mini-series on the California Gold Rush.   During the first episode about the Gold Rush that we saw last Friday evening, she kept saying isn't that interesting.  I was surprised by how interested she was in that show.  She often has no interest in the things that I watch.

The show was interesting.  It told the real story.  It told about people - people who made fortunes, people who crossed the country in wagons taking a big chance on changing their lives, people who failed, people who went home broke, and even one who shot himself in the head standing almost directly on top of a 150 pound gold nugget discovered by his discouraged buddy while digging a grave.

What if your history or geography teacher in school showed that video?  Would you have found it more interesting than the history you studied?  Would you have learned more?  Would you have been inspired?

Education could be so much better.  It is a shame.  And I'm not blaming teachers.  They have to do what they can with what they have.  But we do have an opportunity to radically change education for the better.  There are excellent materials these days that can be brought to the classroom.

There is little reason that it can't be done except for the bureaucracy, from the Department of Education, all the way down to the lonely teacher in his or her classroom.

The TV program told the story.  It told about real people.  It showed them in full color, each with their own story.  There was Sam Brannon who built an huge empire and then lost it all.  You could see how greed destroyed him even while he built his empire.  There was scarcely a field of study that you couldn't learn something about while watching the program.  Besides history and geography, you could learn something about psychology, chemistry, geology, business and even politics.

It relates to us today too.  We aren't doing anything nearly as challenging, but when people detect, there are different motives.  Some have Sam Brannon's greed.  Some are saying look at me.  Some are doing it for whatever money they can make.   Some want to discover, make connections, learn and touch history.  It is different for different people.

Steel Penny Sticking to a Magnet

You can use a magnet to help identify different metals.  As I said the other day, a steel penny will stick to a magnet and a copper penny won't.

A good magnet can also be helpful in picking up small iron in junky environments.

There are no weather systems to watch right now.  Hurricane season was a real flop, especially when you consider they were predicting a very active season.

We still have the 2 - 3 foot surf, that will be decreasing a little, but then next weekend they are still predicting a 4 - 6 surf.  If that turns out to be what happens, it could be enough to improve beach conditions.

There is a nice full moon, and we're still having high high tides and high low tides.

Happy hunting,

Friday, October 18, 2013

10/18/13 Report - Beach Coal, Boilers and Steam Ships, Gold & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Coal Found on Treasure Coast Beach

You might see almost anything on a beach.  Maybe you've seen lumps of coal like the one shown here.  The question always is, where did it come from and what might it tell you.

If it is seen around or below the high tide mark, the first thing it might tell you is something about the types of things that are washing up - or out.

If you think about the source, you won't know for sure, but one possibility is that it came from a shipwreck.

Along the Treasure Coast we tend to think most about treasure ships with sails.  But there are certainly a lot of other kinds of ships that sank along the Treasure Coast.

Some of the spikes that I've seen I would guess are from later wrecks from the 1800s or 1900s.  They could have been ships that were fueled by coal or carried a cargo of coal.

From what I've seen along the Treasure Coast I would say that there are a few steam ship wrecks scattered along different parts of the Treasure Coast, and in some cases, found along some of the same beaches as artifacts from older wrecks.

Old Book: Modern Marine Engineers Manual.

As you probably know, I always encourage reading broadly.  I found this huge old book a few years ago in a thrift store and bought it for a dollar.  It has been been very handy for researching ship parts.  It contains thousands of pages and many illustrations, including hundreds of pages on ship boilers etc.

Below are a couple of illustrations from the book, just to give you the idea.

The book actually has hundreds of pages on boilers.  It also talks about the fire bricks that were used to insulate the fire boxes.

 I've shown pictures of fire bricks that were found on the beach.  And of course, the Spanish galleons used bricks in the galleys.

A boiler for a ship was first patented in the 1600s, but they weren't widely used until much later than that.

Illustration of Boiler From the Above Book.

Steam boats were used a lot along the Indian River.

That is a nice part of our Treasure Coast history.

So when you see a lump of coal on the beach, give some thought about where it might have come from.

I think I said yesterday to let your imagination run, and use the evidence you find to debunk or support your theories.

Here is a web site with a very nice history of steam boats.

Yesterday the price of gold jumped while the dollar dropped.  That means that every dollar you have in your wallet or pocket or in a savings account became worth less.  The country continues to deal with its debt by silently slipping money out of your pocket.

Here is a link to an article about the move in the price of gold yesterday.  It hit $1322 an ounce once yesterday - well off of the year's high.

Have you ever walked by one of those fountains or whatever where you can see all the lucky coins that people threw in for good luck.  Some of those go for charity.  I don't know about the others.

One woman in need was recently arrested for taking $2.87 out of a fountain at a courthouse.  She said the money didn't belong to anyone and argued that it wasn't stealing.

Here is the link to that story.

I always think back to my childhood and one little bridge that crossed a small creek where the children and parents would always stop and look at the minnows as we went to the community swimming pool.

I wonder if it is still there.   If it is, I'd love to go there and detect in the stream under the bridge.

If you have access to any places like that that were a part of your childhood, you might think about going there and doing a little detecting.

The next article has no particular relation to the Treasure Coast but it is powerful story in my opinion.  Thought you might want to read it.

The Wild West has returned to ghost towns created by the recent floods in Colorado.  Small towns that have been isolated by recent floods and largely abandoned.  The only law remaining is the law of the Wild West.

On the Treasure Coast we still have a 2 - 3 foot surf, with high low tides and fairly high high tides.
That is no change.

If you look ahead over a week, the surfing web sites are predicting a 4 - 6 foot surf.  That far ahead, the predictions are not that reliable.  If it does actually happen, it could improve detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

10/17/13 Report - Shark Teeth, Kennedy Half Dollars, Eisenhower Dollars, & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Shark Teeth Recently Found  on the Treasure Coast
Find and photo by William M.
Here is the TBR FOD (Find Of the Day).

The shark teeth were found by William M. along with some other items I'll show below.

Good eye William.  Thanks.

Once again here is something I say a lot, "Keep your eyes open while you detect."   You can find some interesting things that aren't made of metal.  That is especially true when beach detecting conditions are not great.  When sand and shells wash up, so will other things, such as fossils, sea glass, pottery, and sheets of metal.

The Kennedy half dollar coins found in the canning jar that I showed yesterday ranged in date from 1971 through 1983.  Too bad.  That means there is no silver.

In 1964 the Kennedy halves were introduced and were 90% silver.

1965 through 1970, they were 40% silver.

1971 and later, no silver.

Here is a link to a site about Kennedy halves.

The Eisenhower dollars in the jar were 1971 and 1974(2).  Again, no silver.

There were some silver Eisenhower dollars produced by the San Francisco mint, but the ones found in the cache are not silver.

Here is a link about Eisenhower dollars.

There is a 1972 variety worth $90.

It can be worth checking out our coin finds.  You never know when you might have a key date, error coin or some other type of surprised.

Although the silver Eisenhower dollars were not circulated, it is worth checking to make sure.  The silver ones weigh a couple extra grams.  You an learn about that by using the above link.   I'm sure there are a very few silver ones that have found their way into circulation through either ignorance or accident.

I've been seeing so many wheat pennies lately, I've been wondering why.  Just coincidence probably.

Concerning the shell with metal item trapped in concretion, Easy G. said, I was thinking that you could use Coke to dissolve it.  Let it sit for a week or two.  I did that with a wheat penny I found, was a slow process but it does work.

About the same item concealed in concretion, Fred D. said the following.

When I find fossil shells with considerable concretion (or matrix) I go the old fashioned route: soak it in vinegar for a few days. Repeat as necessary. Vinegar breaks down the calcium carbonate (not the silica). It should not harm the metal. It is a light acid but works wonders most of the time. Sometimes not so much. Give it a shot. 

Variety of Objects Found by William M.
Photo by William M.
Here are some of William's othe finds.  Notice the variety.  Fossil bones, some turtle fossil turtle shell and other bones, sea glass, and encrusted object, and a nice big piece of copper.

William said he ended up walking about six miles yesterday.

Sometimes it is good to just go looking around.  You can occasionally find a new spot worth detecting more heavily in the future.

I would say that most people never take the time to go out and do prospect any new locations.

You might recall that in my formula for detecting success, that the top two factors are location and time on task.

I got an email from Ken H. about his hunting along the Indian River Drive over the past forty years.  He has made a lot of great finds in the area of Susanna, which I was talking about yesterday. He said he might be able to send some photos that I can share.  I hope so.

I hope you took the time to look at the web site giving the history that I gave the other day.  There were some really nice articles and some maps on it.

The low pressure area in the Atlantic that I mentioned a few days ago is now well north of the Treasure Coast, actually up by North Carolina.

The on the Treasure Coast is still in the 2 - 4 foot range.   It will be decreasing down to 1 foot on the 23rd of October if the surf web site projections are correct.  And then increasing a good bit on the 26th.   We might actually get some action by that time, again, if the surf web site predictions are correct.

The high and low tides are relatively high.  Too bad we don't have some bigger waves out there.  They did look pretty nice for a little surfing a couple of days ago - not huge but nicely formed.

Happy hunting,