Monday, April 7, 2014

4/7/14 Report - Bad Timing, Tungsten Ring, 1715 Fleet Diamond Ring & Tips For Removing Encrustation

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I went out today to do some volunteer sub-surface junk removal.  That was successful.  I did my civic duty.

Tungsten Mother-of-pearl Ring
As far as finds, I pretty much struck out.  I went to a place I like to hunt occasionally.  I hadn't been here for a few months.  I prefer to get there when there is a low tide early in the morning.  The tide wasn't low enough this morning for me to get to some of the areas I like to get to, so I had to settle for the remaining area.

At first it was really bad.  Nothing but sinkers. I expected some coins, but wasn't hitting any at first.

The bank had eroded but there were bushes covering everything in front of the cut so I couldn't get in there very well either.

At least you can scrap the lead or sell the sinkers if you want to.  I say it is better to pick them up and remove them than take a chance on encountering the same ones again some other day.  Might as well give a fisherman a good deal on some cheap used sinkers.

Well, it was slow going at first and frustrating because I couldn't get to the places I wanted to detect.

Eventually I started to get into the green encrusted clads.  I'll have to check them a little better because I have found some older coins there in the past, but I'll have to do some cleaning before I know if there are any older coins in that bunch.

Then I found this tungsten ring with mother of pearl inlay.  I got excited when I put my hand in my scoop and my finger slid into the ring but then I saw it wasn't gold.

I guess tungsten rings like this sell for around $100 new.  I have no idea what it might be worth used. 

They use a lot of different metals these days besides gold and silver for rings.

I also picked up this encrusted junk whatever it is.   If nothing else it will be a good extrication exercise.  Good practice anyhow.

Soaking the item first sometimes helps. 

Encrusted Object
Same Object Partially Extricated

Here is another tip for removing hard crust.  Instead of hitting it with a hammer of something (actually it is better to lightly tap rather than hit) use a pair of pliers or something like that.  I think you'll find that if you use something to squeeze the crust instead of hitting it you will have more control of the amount of pressure applied.  Squeezing is a more cautious technique and often will crack the crust just as effectively.  Don't apply more pressure than necessary.  Needle nose pliers will allow you to direct the pressure to very small areas of the crust that might look particularly weak.

Well, I didn't do so good today, but there is plenty to look at in the Sedwick Coins auction catalog.

Here is a diamond ring from the 1715 Fleet.  Sort of unusual.  The estimated value is $25,000 - $50,000.

Here is the catalog description.

Gold-and-diamond ring, 4-1/2 to 5 carats, clarity SI1-SI2, fancy gray color. 8.44 grams, size 5-1/2. One of the most impressive jewels we have ever seen from the Fleet, with 11 high-quality diamonds in a circular pattern with the biggest rectangular diamond in the center and wedge-shaped diamonds to the sides, certainly not faceted to modern tastes or standards but obviously quite clear and brilliant, the gold with crosshatch pattern on saddle but plain at bottom and inside, completely intact and undamaged, the whole item very much on par with the "Queen's Jewels" found by Bob "Frogfoot" Weller and featured in various magazines. It should be noted also that diamonds are atypical for Spanish wrecks (unlike emeralds) and jewels containing them should be considered extremely rare. With photo-certificate. Recovered from: Spanish 1715 Fleet, east coast of Florida

The lot number is 1531.   

Notice the cut of the diamonds.  That isn't how they cut diamonds these days.  You can often tell something about the age of diamonds by the cut.   Also notice how they used to set stones.  That is diagnostic as well.

There is a plain gold ring from the 1715 Fleet in the May auction that has an estimated value of  $900 or less.  

I took a look at one beach today other than where I detected.   The surf was about three feet on that Treasure Coast beach.  The tides are pretty flat right now.

The wind is coming out of the South today, but that will be changing in a day or two, but we still won't get much surf even after the change.

Happy hunting,