Thursday, October 3, 2013

10/3/13 Report - Density and Shape Both Affect Where Items Gather On a Beach & What Does Lifetime Warranty Really Mean

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

National Hurricane Center Map

We still have the same two areas to watch.  Jerry seems to be going nowhere, but the low pressure area down by the Yucatan now has an eighty percent chance of becoming a cyclone and could be headed for the Gulf Coast.  That is the one to watch for now.


Here is an interesting article about ancient Roman bones and thousands of artifacts being discovered in a lost river.

Here is one brief quote from that story that I wanted to elaborate on.

"Forensic studies show that when the body disintegrates near a watercourse, the skull travels furthest, either because it floats or it can roll along the base of the river."

In my 8/5/13 post I did a simple experiment which supported what I always say about how items move on a beach.  My experiment involved four items made of lead, but each was a different shape or size.  When washed by a rush of water, both size(or weight) and shape affected how far the water moved the four differently shaped items.

(You can page back to my 8/5/13 post.)

The egg shaped lead sinker moved the most, a fish shaped sinker next most, and then a small disk or coin-shaped sinker, and then the bigger and heavier disk or coin-shaped sinker moved the least by the water.

Although people talk about weight as being the biggest factor in determining how an object sinks into the sand, I've claimed time and time again that weight is not as important as density and that shape as well as density is a very important factor in determining how an object is moved on a beach or in the water.

The quote from the article above is just another illustration of that fact.  A skull will present more surface area for the water to push against and may also roll.  The other bones are generally more aerodynamic than the skull and will not be moved as much by rushing water.  Skulls can also trap air, giving some buoyancy.

How does that relate to detectorists on the beach?   Coins lay flat against the sand and present a lot of surface area to the sand while presenting only a thin edge for the rushing water to push against.  They hug the surface of the beach while the water rushes over them.  They therefore lag behind other items that are more quickly washed away.

Watches are something like the skulls.  They contain space where air is trapped making them more buoyant.  They also present more surface area to the sand and do not sink into loose sand rapidly.  You'll often find watches in dips filled with course sand and bits of shells.

Rings while laying flat will sink into the sand rather rapidly, but they can also get turned on edge and roll down the slope.  I've seen that happen a number of times.


What is a liftetime warranty?  You might think that if a metal detector manufacturer offers a liftetime warranty that means that you'll be able to get your detector fixed under warranty for as long as you own the detector.  Think again!

I don't know what lifetime Tesoro is talking about when they advertise a lifetime warranty, maybe the lifetime of a fruit fly, but it does not mean the lifetime of the detector.

One person was motivated by the advertised lifetime warranty to buy a Tesoro detector, which he used primarily as a backup.  He liked the idea of having a detector that he could get fixed without cost or problems.  He also owned a variety of metal detectors made by most of the other major manufacturers and used a couple of those other detectors the vast majority of the time.

But "lifetime" to Tesoro did not mean what the buyer thought it meant!  When he sent in his detector for repairs after years of using it only rarely, mostly having it around as a backup, after tracking the detector and finding that the company had received it a week earlier but having heard nothing from them, he called to see if it was shipped back yet.  What he then learned was that in the past week they did not diagnose the problem but instead told him he would have to send in a deposit to have it fixed and that they no longer had a circuit board for that model and so didn't think that they would be able to fix it anyhow.

Evidently what lifetime means to them is the period of time that they maintain a stock of parts for repairs.  When they no longer have the parts for a particular model, the "lifetime" is over.

I know of another case in which the same thing happened.  The older detector was purchased under the lifetime warranty and when sent in for repairs was deemed too old, and they said they no longer had the necessary parts to repair it.  When pressed about the lifetime warranty, they said there was white dust from corrosion in the unit and that voided the warranty.  That was said after they had already admitted that they no longer had the parts to repair the unit, but it gave them an out.   If the corrosion had voided he warranty or not, they still did not have the parts to repair the detector.  I suspect you can find some hint of corrosion on any electronics of some age even if you have to use a microscope to find it.

My main point is that when you hear a "liftetime" warranty advertised, it probably means something other than what you think when you hear the term.  Don't be fooled by that.


On the Treasure Coast, conditions remain pretty much the same.   Watch that low pressure area.

The surf will be about 2 feet today and down around 1 foot this weekend.

Happy hunting,