Friday, December 20, 2013

12/20/13 Report - Gold Prices Fall, Whatzit, Jewelers Loupe and Old Straten Bottle

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of

I've shown this find before but have never figured out what it is.  I decided to show it once again.

It was found at a circa late 1700s or early 1800s site along with musket balls, grapeshot, and British military buttons.

I don't know what metal it is.  It is fairly thin, something like a heal or toe plate, but does not show the slightest wear and does not seem to be the right size for that.  Also the holes and shape don't seem exactly right for that.

If you have any ideas what it is let me know.  A few people have offered ideas, but I don't feel like I have a positive ID yet.

Gold hit a new 3 year low at around $1200 per ounce yesterday.  Here is a nice long term chart of gold prices.

And here less detailed chart, which shows how much in dollars gold has increased over the decades.

The source of this chart is

You have to remember that a great deal of the increase in the price of gold can be explained in the decrease of the value of the dollar.

To oversimply, what you could buy in 1900 for $3.48 would have cost $100 in 2012.  So if I figure it right, close to half the change in the price of gold is due to the decrease in the value of the dollar.

Silver, of course, has been dropping as well and was down to $19.19 per ounce yesterday.

For inspecting finds, especially jewelry, I recommend using a jewelers loupe.   10X magnification is best.   Anything not seen with 10X is not used in grading diamonds.

Here are a few tips for buying and using a jewelers loupe.

I have some interesting experiments planned that I'll probably do after the holidays.  Also I'll be doing a few more polls in the near future.

Don't forget if you want a little variety and you feel like trying something other than the beaches, the Treasure Coast has a lot of places you can find old bottles.

I heard from one reader recently who is a bottle digger and he mentioned he was looking for some places to dig bottles.

Along waterways or at old sites you can find old bottles that you don't have to dig, such as the one shown here.

This small bottle is embossed Vanstan's Stratena.  It is from the 1890s and is a glue bottle.  2.5 inches tall and nice aqua.

On the Treasure Coast today we have about a three foot surf, which is expected to increase gradually up to about six feet by Christmas.  Six feet is getting close to the level where if everything else is right, we could get some improvement in beach detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,