Sunday, May 18, 2014

5/18/14 Report - Carpet of Treasure and Rare Windows of Opportunity & Poll Results and Conclusions

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

There is an old saying that goes make hay when the son shines.  That makes an important point for metal detecting.   There are times when the window of opportunity opens and the conditions are just right and there is treasure everywhere.  The thing to know is that the same window of opportunity can slam shut just as quickly as it opened.  The window can slam shut in hours or even minutes.

I posted what Clint L. told about one of those times when there was a carpet of treasure in my 5/7/14 post.  He told about when the long shore currents uncovered hundreds of coins.  If you haven't been lucky enough to stumble onto one of those rare events, you might find it hard to believe.  I understand that, but there are times like Clint described, rare as they are, when it seems there are more targets than you can dig.  That is how thick the targets can be.

In my years I've run into about a half dozen times when there were so many targets that I couldn't recover them in a few hours.  I've told about at least one of those times when in a four hour period I picked up over twenty dollars in face value of quarters alone.  That doesn't count other coins or targets.  That was in the shallow water and I quit after four hours and came back the next day and worked the same area again for four hours with very similar results. 

It all came to an end though when I was working the water the second day and as I got ready to quit for the day, even though I was far from cleaning it all out, and the sky got dark, the wind changed, the waves picked up, and that changed everything.  When I returned the next day, it was all gone.  The carpet of targets had disappeared.  That is the way it works some times.

When I told the guy that made my detector, he said I shouldn't have quit until I got it all.  He was right.

There was much more to be found.  What I should have done is worked as fast as I could as long as I could until it was cleaned out.  I only put in two four-hour days, and I knew there was a lot left.  I know I didn't get near half of it.   I should have dug as fast as I could and worked as long as I could until it was cleaned out or the window closed.   I shouldn't have been so casual.  I should have known that the window of opportunity would close, and it did - way before I had picked up anywhere near all the targets.

That is the lesson I learned and want to pass along today.   There are those rare opportunities.  They might only come along every few years, but they do happen, and when they happen you need to be ready to make the most of it. 

Those rare events don't always come after a hurricane or big storm.  The one I just described above was not after a big storm.  That is something to remember.

Some of those that I've seen have been after hurricanes though.

I'd say I've encountered about six of those rare events over about thirty years.   Some are bigger and better than others, but it is truly something to experience when it does happen.

The carpet of targets that I just described I had pretty much to myself too.  I didn't see anyone else working that area at the time.  There was a big cut, but it wasn't the biggest cut I'd ever seen by far, but it was in the right place, and the results were amazing.  You seldom see a carpet of targets where the targets are so thick that you are temped to quit detecting and start scooping, but you need to realize that it does happen and it can all disappear as quickly as it appeared.

The thing that gives you the best chance of discovering one of those rare events, is being in the field a lot.  The more you are out there the better your chances will be.  You also need to be very aware of beach conditions.  That will help you to make the most of your time and give you the best chance of hitting those rare events.  That is one reason I do this blog.  If you keep on top of conditions as much as possible, you will be able to pick your times more effectively and be in the best position to be there when the window of opportunity opens.

The most recent poll has concluded and the results are in.

The most obvious thing is that for the first half of 2014, the most favorite find for most people has been modern jewelry (42%).   That isn't at all surprising given that we haven't had good beach conditions for finding older things. 

One thing you have to remember about my polls is that some people who live and detect outside of the Treasure Coast and Florida are included.

The second most favorite find this year has been US coins (19%).  I've shown some nice coins that have been dug this year.

Third was the "other" category (16%) which can include anything that isn't listed, such as foreign coins other than treasure coins, tokens, etc. etc. 

Next were US relics or artifacts.  I've posted some of those this year too.  A previous blog poll showed that a good number of readers have been working inland sites. 

Only two people reported finding a treasure coin as their favorite find, and two a shipwreck artifact as their favorite find this year.

One of the things I am most interested in looking at when I conduct a poll on finds, is how my beach conditions ratings match the finds that are made.  This poll seems to me to validate my beach conditions ratings.  The beach conditions ratings in 2014 so far have mostly been "poor."  Since the ratings are meant to give an idea of the chances of finding old treasure coins and artifacts, they seem to have been fairly accurate.  Conditions have routinely been poor and there have been few of that type of find.

I did a poll back after Sandy, and then we saw that good numbers of treasure items were found in a relatively short period of time -  much more than have been found all of this year.  Again, that supports my ratings, which were up to at least a 3 for a good number of days during and after Sandy.

Overall, I think the poll was very helpful and generally supported what I have been saying in this blog.  I'm pleased with the extent to which my conditions ratings are reflected in reported finds.  I'm still working to further refine my beach conditions rating system.  

You probably realize that when I don't post a beach conditions rating, that means that there is no significant change.  I get tired of posting "poor" ratings for weeks on end, and that has been how it has been this year.  If I see that there is sufficient reason to post an upgrade, I'll certainly do that.

The one thing I'm watching right now is the predicted six foot surf for Monday and Tuesday.  The high tides are still pretty high too.  The only problem is the predicted wind and surf direction, which I wish was going to be more from the North.

I noticed that the blog hit counter now shows over 3/4 million hits.

At the end of this post are the raw poll results.

Happy hunting,

Modern jewelry.
  33 (42%)
US coin.
  15 (19%)
Shipwreck cob or treasure coin.
  2 (2%)
Spanish shipwreck artifact.
  2 (2%)
US relic or artifact
  9 (11%)
Non-metallic find.
  4 (5%)
  13 (16%)