Thursday, January 9, 2014

1/9/13 Report - Agatized Coral The State Stone & Wood for Ships & First(?) Metal Detector

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

High-resolution Image of Agatized Coral
Florida Agatized Coral
Source of photo link below.
What very famous inventor invented a metal detector and was called to locate a bullet used to shoot a US president?   I'll give you the answer below.

While I'm asking questions, here is another.   How many oak trees were required to build Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Victory?  You'll find that answer below too.

Its a damp rainy day on the Treasure Coast.  The surf today is to be a little bigger - up around six feet.  The surf will decrease some tomorrow.

The wind and waves seem to be coming from the southeast today.  It is warming up a bit.

Yesterday I showed a close-up photo of an arrowhead that was once found by a lady looking for shells on a Treasure Coast beach.  William M., who knows a lot about things like that, added the following comments.

The white coloration on the agatized coral point is a calcium patina...if you want to see the beautiful material below can soak it in mineral oil for a day or two...this makes the patina clear temperately. It won't harm the artifact.

Thanks William.

That brings up another question.  What is the state stone of Florida?  Yes, we have one.

It is agatized coral.   The Florida Dept. of Historical Resources web site tells about that.

Here is the link.

The coral was fossilized when silica from the ocean water replaced the lime corals with a form of quartz over a period of 20 or 30 million years.  Three locations where agatized coral is found is Tampa Bay, the Econfina River and the Withlacoochee/Suwannee rivers.

That means that the coral for the arrowhead found on the East Coast was most likely obtained on the West Coast of Florida.

You might also want to look at samples of minerals found in Florida, including chert, agatized coral and others.  Here is a link. of Flor

A book that I am reading, At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson, says it took about 3000 oak trees to build the Victory.

And in the same book I learned, that Alexander Graham Bell, who sometimes wrote under the pseudonym of H. A. Largelamb, invented a metal detector and was called to locate the bullet that shot James A. Garfield in 1881.  The detector, which worked well in the laboratory, the book says, gave confused results at Garfields, picking up the bed springs.  Apparently the bullet was still in the president.  Of course it would be difficult to find a bullet in a hospital room, let alone in a body in a hospital bed.

I'm not totally sure that all of the details provided by the book are correct, but I assume that there is some truth to it.

There is a knack to using a modern detector near metal objects such as fences, beach chairs, and concrete walk ways with rebar, etc.  I've discussed some of the problems and solutions for doing that in the past.

I should make a video on that some day.

It is really pouring rain now.

Happy hunting,