Monday, June 30, 2014

6/30/14 Report - Depression Forming Off Florida, Detecting Community, Early Mexican Reales, Airplane Coil & Pippa

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of

Source of photo: USA Today
Pippa tells Matt Lauer that she reads the treasurebeachesreport every morning!

Just kidding!  I saw this photo and thought that was funny.

Here is the real news for today.   It has been quite a while, but there is something happening.  This is what this blog was formed to do - report on changing Treasure Coast beach and detecting conditions.

As you know we've been stuck with poor conditions and no changes, but now a depression is forming to the East of us.  According to NOAA it might become a depression by mid week.

I'm not expecting it to affect us much, but it is something to watch.

Tropical Depression Forming.
A few days ago I talked about how the metal detecting has grown and things that might make that growth appear large than it is.  I talked about how the internet has affected how much more information is shared and how much more you know about what is going on in the metal detecting and treasure hunting communities.

Back before the internet, maybe you subscribed to one of the metal detecting magazines.  It came once a month.  Or you visited a club meeting where you would learn what people were finding or what they were doing.  Again, it was once a month.

A few guys hung out at a local detector shop and got in on the gossip on a more regular basis, but that news was mostly local.

There were a few small groups that had their own newsletters such as the one started by Glenn Carson.  That group ended up investing in a silver mine in Mexico.  The project ended poorly with the money disappearing.

Now people read about everything that is going on whenever they want to, and that is often on a daily basis.

I do believe that there are more detectorists these days, but one important factor is that many detectorists are more informed, not only on detecting sites, but also on strategies and techniques.  The are also more informed about metal detectors and how to use them.

I'm convinced that back in the old days a lot of the guys had no idea how much they were missing.  I don't think they knew the weaknesses of particular detectors and especially how much good stuff you can miss by using too much discrimination.

Some guys today still over discriminate.  They simply don't want to dig trash.  And some don't realize how much they are missing.

Just to once again mention something important that I've mentioned before,  one of the best things you can do is practice with various types of targets and the different settings of your computer - even if you have been using that detector for a long time and think you know it well.  It is easy to fall into a habit of using the same old settings and focusing on the same small range of targets.  With some test targets, try various settings and listen and watch you your detector responds.  I bet you'll learn a few things.  Also, vary your sweep speed when doing you tests and observe the results.

Check The Coil On This Plane.

Try the same things inland and on a dry beach, wet beach and in the water and observe the signals.

Try different types of targets, not just the coins and rings.   Try watches, iron spikes, etc. etc.

This plane carries a coil, but not a detector coil, though it has something in common.

It is a coil used to detonate magnetic sea mines during WW II.   Just one of those neat and interesting things I ran across while doing some genealogical research.

The mint was created in Mexico City in 1535.   Although we are accustomed to quickly identifying cobs from Mexico from the Florenza cross, the first coins minted there did not have that cross.

Here is a look at some of the first coins from the Mexico City mint.

This is from the book, Monedas Espanolas desde Juana y Caros a Isabel II 1504 a 1868, by Calico, Calico & Trigo.

These 4-reales are undated and very rare.  Probably minted very near 1535.

Happy  hunting,

Sunday, June 29, 2014

6/29/14 Report - National Archives For Research, Detecting Military Shells With a 2-Box Detector, Getting To More Remote Beaches, & US Religious Shrine

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Fellow Using Two-Box Detector To
Locate Buried Shells From WW I On His Farm
Source: video link below.
I've learned a lot through genealogical research.  I mention that again because once again I was amazed by what I found. 

My father was on a minesweeper during WW II.  He never talked much, hardly anything, about his experiences during the war.  We have, however, found where his ship was everyday during the war.  Palermo, Genoa, Sardinia, and Malta are some of the places where they cleared mines before his ship came back to New York and Miami before going through the Panama Canal to the Pacific.

I tell you this because the National Archives has tons of information that you can search.  Not only can you research individuals, but you can also find detailed records on ships and battles.  And not only do they have information on WW II, but also information going back to the Revolutionary War and more.

I was able to find a daily longitude and latitude for my dad's ship, which was one of the smaller ships in the Navy.  You might find it easy to find even more information about larger ships.

If you want to find information about a family member or track down a ship that sank while carrying gold bullion, the National Archives and Navy have tons of records that can be accessed.  You can receive some information free, but there may be a price charged to cover the cost of copies of other records.

Oh, by the way, you can also get medals and things posthumously, as well as a flag

You can apply for the flag by completing VA Form 2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes.

Here are a couple of websites that can help you get started with research on a veteran or a ship.

Collection of Militaria From NY Times Video Clip
Source: link below.
Here is a video about a fellow (See picture above.) that uses a two-box detector to locate shells and other old military items on his farm. He has accumulated a huge collection.  

The story is a good reminder that there still may also be dangerous things in the ground and on the beaches around the Treasure Coast, which was once a military training center.  

It is said that 20 million shells were fired during the Battle of Verdun, of which about 20 percent did not explode.

Thanks to teklord for sending me that link!

Remember to be careful when digging where there could possibly be old shells or bombs.  That includes the Treasure Coast.

Spain recently returned a bunch of stolen artifacts to Columbia.

You might remember the case from back in 2012 in which Odyssy Marine had to turn over tons of coins from the Nuestra Senora de Mercedes that it recovered off of Portugal.

I'm not sure why Peru didn't prevail in their claim for the same coins.

A Mexican helicopter fired shots at a US border patrol.  They claim it was by accident, of course.  I would not be surprised by anything down there these days.

There are religious shrines around the world that are visited by millions of people, but you might not know that there are religious shrines in the US as well.  I thought this one was especially interesting.

National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Fonda, NY: Having lost her parents at an early age, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) was raised among the Mohawks in the home of an uncle. There she first encountered Christian missionaries, and was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1676 in Fonda, NY near the Jesiut mission in Auriesville. Because of her baptism, her exemplary life, and her desire to remain a virgin, Kateri suffered great persecution. She died at age twenty-four known as the “Lily of the Mowhawks,” since she had given herself over entirely to care for the sick and long hours of prayer and penance. She was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II. Her body is buried in the church of the Native American  reserve of Kahnawake, Quebec.


It sometimes seems that the obvious beaches are over hunted.  I suppose they are.  There must be more detectorists today than back a few decades.  Yet that is easy to over estimate, as I've said before.  The detecting community is so much more visible today than in the past, due to the internet. 

The most over-hunted beaches are those that are obvious and easy.   Most of those "obvious" beaches have parking lots and beach walk-overs.

There are however long stretches of beach along the Treasure Coast that are seldom hunted because they are not as easy to get to.  Those beaches are not as heavily hunted, but they are also generally not as busy and so produce fewer modern targets.  That doesn't mean they will never produce shipwreck items though, and they may produce a few good modern targets even if they aren't real plentiful.

One way to make it easier to hunt those out-of-the-way beaches is to get someone to drop you off and pick you up again later.  That can keep you from having to walk a few miles with your detector, scoop, water, etc.

If there are two or more of you, you might consider dropping a couple of the more energetic people off at an out-of-the-way location while the others go ahead to a parking lot.   If the one group detecting the more distant location only has to walk to the parking lot, that means the walk has been cut in half.   If you park at a parking lot then walk to a remote site and then have to return to the parking lot, that doubles the distance you have to walk.

On the Treasure Coast we are stuck in the same old weather pattern with a one to two foot surf.  As is typical of this kind of weather, a few shards have recently been found up in the Corrigans area.

Happy hunting,

Friday, June 27, 2014

6/27/14 Report - How To Tell The Difference Between Philip II and Philip III Mexican Reales, Nice Gold Birthday Find & Action Cameras

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Nice White Gold Charm Found by Joan T.
Photo by Joan T.

Part of this post popped up yesterday before it was complete.  Sorry about that.

Joan T. found this nice white gold charm.  It was the perfect time too.  Just in time for her birtheday! Happy birthday Joan!   Cute swans and ballerina design.   How does it feel to be an adult now Joan?  For you readers, I'm just kidding about Joan's age.  I think she's been an adult for a little while.

Some of my most favorite finds were birthday finds.  I'll never forget one birthday weekend that netted a 1714 Mexican escudo and a 1982 American gold eagle coin.  That was fun.  Not only was it my first escudo, but to find an escudo the same weekend as finding a US gold coin, that was the topper.

Sometimes it feels like some finds have a special significance.   It is easy enough to see a personal significance in events like that. Maybe all things do happen for a reason.

A couple days ago we got a good look at a Mexican minted reale that the crew of the Capitana found on the Green Cabin wreck site.  The view of the reverse that I showed did not show any of the legend, as is often the case with found cobs.  Reales of this period did not show a date, however sometimes other clues to a date range might be found on these cobs.

Philip II and Philip III Mexico minted cobs might be found on this wreck site and would be a common time period for the Green Cabin.  Philip II reigned from 1556 to 1598 and Philip III reigned from 1598 to 1621.

Here are a couple of design differences that could provide information concerning which of the two kings were reigning when a cob of that time period was produced.

First, if you can look at the obverse of the coin (shield side), one  difference between Philip II and Philip III cobs would be the crown.  The base of the crown over the shield on Philip II reales would be an arch, while those of the Philip III period would be an oval.  That is one good example.

Another difference between reales minted under the two kings that might be apparent on the obverse would be in the legend when you can see it.  The legend would show a roman numeral II or III for the respective king, which would appear directly below the shield at close to the six o'clock position.

Here are two illustrations from Sewall Menzell's book that I've been using as a reference.

Here is a Philip II eight-reale.

Notice the arched base to the crown over the shield.

Also notice the roman numeral II directly under the shield in the legend.

Here is a Philip III reale.

Notice the more oval base to the crown and the roman numeral III under the shield in the legend.

Those are two examples that might help you determine the time period for Philip II or Philip III Mexico reales, which do not show a date.

Yesterday GoPro went public.  GoPro is the company that makes action cameras that you wear or stick on your surf board or dive helmet or whatever.  I used a GoPro camera in the past for some of the pictures that appeared in this blog.  I seldom use it now.

GoPro cameras are very well made.  They work very well.  At least that has been my experience.  The Flip Cams that I used for a while, on the other hand, seemed to have problems.   They weren't as well constructed.

My SonyCam has been doing an excellent job for both videos and stills.  The only problem with it, as far as I'm concerned, is that it isn't waterproof.

I've seen the guys on the Diggers TV show using a GoPro camera.  Sometimes they have one mounted on their detector rod pointing up at them.  You might have noticed some of those odd shots with the camera pointed up towards the detectorist.  Sometimes they mounted the camera on the rod and pointed it towards the ground.

For action videography, GoPro is a good choice.  Stick it on your hat or whatever and get a POV video.  It is fairly expensive, but very well made.  It is a good choice when you are genuinely doing action videography.

They are talking about making a GoPro media channel.

GoPro stock was up 30% much of the day yesterday.  And up that much again today.

Where did I find the following?  I don't remember.  It was a religious web site.  Maybe I'll find the source again later.

The patroness of Uruguay is known as The Virgin of the Thirty-Three. This unusual title derives from the time when 33 patriots landed on the beaches of Agraciada in 1825 to liberate the country. They headed on to Florida, went into a chapel and dedicated the future of the new nation to the Blessed Mother in front of a small wooden statue placed there by Jesuits in 1779

A lamp bought for $125 turns out to be worth up to $125,000.

La Salle's ship?

I started a discussion a couple of days ago about how the detecting community seems to have changed.  I talked about how a lot of the old hard-core guys were very secretive and in contrast, how much more we communicate these days, and as a result how much bigger the detecting community seems to be.

I'll continue with that discussion some day soon.

On the Treasure Coast nothing is changing.  Still very sandy conditions with a one to two foot surf for days to come.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, June 26, 2014

6/26/14 Report - 16th Century La Plata Mint, 18th Century French Weapons Recovered, Jesuit Missions, & T. C. Silver & Ivory Higa

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Encrusted 18th Century Weapons Salvaged From Alexandria
Note: An incomplete post was showing up earlier.  Sorry for the mistake.

You will often see encrusted items.  Here are some 18th Century French weapons recovered by divers near Alexandria, Egypt.

You can see the trigger and trigger guard on the one third from right.

Immediately below is the link for more of the story and the source of the photo.

The other day I showed a Potosi minted coin found by the crew of the Capitana on the Green Cabin wreck site.  While we determined that the cob is from Potosi, there was actually another mint that produced cobs that were indistiguisable from Potosi cobs.  The short-lived La Plata mint produced 134,000 reales in face value from Dec. 20, 1573 to March of 1574 using dies and other tools and equipment sent from the Potosi mint.

Both the La Plata mint and Potosi used the mint mark of P, and Rincon was the assayer for both.  Since they used dies from Potosi and since the mint mark and assayer initials were the same for both, it would be virtually impossible to distinguish between cobs made at those two mints.  Howver, only the Potosi mint made eight-reales.  La Plata manufactured only the lower denominations.

I obtained that information from Stuart Menzel's book Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins. 

Here is a nice map of the early Florida missions from  The link for the map and other informatin can be found below.  It is worth checking.

You can't do much with ivory these days.  Below is a paragraph form Kovels Komments on the issue.

Example of Found Higa or Figa
Lawmakers in New York State have voted to outlaw the sale of items that are over 100 years old and made with more than 20 percent elephant ivory, mammoth ivory or rhinoceros horn. These rules for antique ivory are stiffer than those of the federal government (see the June 20 New York Times article.) There is great confusion about the new laws. I recently asked a museum curator if he could accept a 112-year-old humidor made of a piece of an elephant tusk mounted with Gorham silver and marked with the date. He didn't know. The federal law says old or new ivory can't be accepted by a museum, and we know many antique pieces have been destroyed in Colorado. Recently, antique musical instruments with ivory inlay were exempted.

You might wonder what that has to do with Treasure Coast treasures.  There have been a few ivory pieces found on the Treasure Coast shipwrecks.   One is an ivory and silver higa found on a beach years ago.  I believe there was a nearly identical one found on the Atocha.

If you don't know what a higa is, it is a charm to ward off evil eye or curses.  Higa's have been made and used for centuries.

On the Treasure Coast detecting conditions haven't changed.  The only difference is that the surf will be about a foot bigger the next few days.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

6/25/14 Report - Towable Metal Detector RMD-1, Le Griffin Wreck, & Metal Detecting Community Changes

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is a metal detector designed to be towed.

It is the RMD-1 by JW Fishers

Click  RMD-1 to learn more.

Trez checked in via email and said, ... Today's [6/24/14] post of the Mexico just from looking at the reverse and indeed castle style is Philip III my guess for obverse is OMF and 1614.

Nice finds and thanks so much for showing. I have found a few reales from that wrecksite, all mexico mint, but have seen Potosi being found.

Trez agreed on the other one being an early Potosi.  Thanks Trez!

A man might have found the 300-year-old wreck of Le Griffin in Lake Michigan.

Things change.  There is no doubt about that.  However it isn't always clear exactly what it is that has changed.  Sometimes what has changed is how much you know and how you look at things and how you remember things.  You see things differently when you look back across the years.

I was thinking about how metal detecting has changed over the past twenty or thirty years.  One thing that I'm amazed that has changed so little, and I've commented on this before, is metal detector technology.  It seems to me that the metal detectors I had many years ago were as good or possibly even better than those I have today.

I'm actually amazed at the small degree of improvement in metal detector technology.  Part of that, I suppose, is due to the fact that I don't much care about many of the technological changes that have been made.  I don't really care about many of the features that seem to get a lot of attention today, and I certainly don't care much about fancy readout screens and things like that.

The other day the thought crossed my mind that there are a lot more detectorists today than back twenty years ago.  That might be true, but after thinking about it some more, I'm not so sure.  There are reasons that it might appear more true than it is.

One thing that was very different back then is that the best detectorists were very secretive and hunted when no one would see them..  They were out there doing their thing but most often they were not seen or heard.

I remember one shadowy figure from back in the eighties that I would see crawling out of the ocean in his black wet suit and snorkel gear as the first hint of sunlight appeared in the Eastern sky.  Very few people knew him and his metal detecting ventures very well.  There were a few, very few, but not much more than the couple who owned the shop that sold him his detecting equipment and purchased some of his finds.  Maybe vague mention would be made of this fellow at the local detector shop, and there was one picture of the fellow that  appeared, I think it was in a very small a metal detecting club newsletter, but even in that picture the detectorist was disguised so you couldn't tell what he really looked like and there was no real detail, just a vague reference.

I talked to this fellow a couple times -  once at Rio Mar after a storm, although he, like I, mostly hunted South Florida, back then.   He never let on who he was and I didn't give any indication of knowing him, although we'd both caught faint glimpses of each other on rare occasions.

One thing that was really different back then is that most hard-core detectorists were more secretive.   Also the metal detecting community seemed small.

That was before the internet, and the kind of fellows that I'm talking about would never publicize themselves, and they would not have posted anything on the internet if it existed back then, which of course it didn't.

Today  it seems people are much more pubic.  Some post everything on the internet.  Even crazy things.  I think it is even more so among the young.  I don't think it is entirely because of the internet.  I think the younger generation is just different in some ways.

I can only think of one detectorist back in the eighties that seemed to want everybody to know how good he was.  And he was good - very good.

That fellow is still detecting and I would say he is probably still the best detectorists in the Miami area, however , I have not seen or heard anything of him on the internet, even though he is still making tons of terrific finds.  I don't know if he has changed or if he just hasn't taken to social media.

The detecting community is a much larger community today.  Today the detecting community is a worldwide community.  I suspect that there are a lot more detectorists today, but I'm not sure if that is true, and if true how many more there are.  The thing is, again, almost everybody is on the internet.

There might be more detectorists, but one thing that is for sure is that detectorists are much more visible today.  Detectorists communicate more today than ever before.  You hear about lost treasures, found treasures, and who is doing what.   Not only do we know about those in our area, but we often see reports and stories and web sites of those that are in other states and overseas.

I've receive emails from detectorists from all around the world.  And I hear from a lot of people, near and far.

There were metal detecting clubs back as long as I've been metal detecting.  There were a couple clubs that I visited, and one that I visited regularly for a while.  And when I think about that, it appears to me that the clubs were nearly as big and active as they are today, but I do not really have a real good estimate of the numbers.

The St. Lucie metal detecting club grew quickly.  No club could have formed and grew that quickly back twenty years ago.  I'm sure that was because a lot of people learned about it over the internet.

It seems to me that there have been good numbers of detectorists as long as I've been detecting.  However, it is hard for me to figure out how many in comparison.  I certainly know more about what goes on today, because of the internet, and I hear from many more people.

There was a time when I only knew a few detectorists.   I occasionally saw a few in the field, but it was only a few because, I used to hunt primarily when no body else was out there and in locations where few others hunted.  I always hunted alone, except very rarely my wife would join me.  I mostly knew what I learned while at one of the detector shops or by reading a detecting magazine or book.  The magazines arrived once a month.  That was very different from being able to read new things about metal detecting on the internet everyday.

I'll wrap this up for today and continue with it another day, but in conclusion of what I've said so far today, things have certainly changed.  I think there are more detectorists today, but it is difficult to tell how many more because, like people in general, detectorists in particular are so much more public and communicate so much more today.  The internet has changed things, but I also believe that people have changed as well.

I'll pick up some other time with how that has changed skill levels and competition.

As far as the Treasure Coast beach detecting conditions, more of the same old thing.  I'm getting really tired of that, but that is the way it is.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6/24/14 Report - More Land and Sea Treasures: Reale and Pad Lock & Port St. Lucie City Parks Dept. Rules On Metal Detecting,

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Another Reale Found by the Crew of the Capitana
Photo submitted by Captain Jonah Martinez.

I've been showing some of the finds made by the crew of the Capitana which has been working the Green Cabin wreck.

Yesterday I showed a reale which as far as I could tell was an early Potosi cob.

Here is another from the same wreck site.  This one is obviously a Mexican cob.

Just looking at what I can see on this side, that is about all I can tell about it right now.   I might be able to tell more from the style of castles and lions if I spend some time in research.

As you might know, a letter was sent to the director of the City of Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation Dept., Sherman Conrad, asking the parks people to allow metal detecting in the city parks.  You might recall that one reader of this blog had been detecting the parks for some time and then one day was told he could no longer do that.

I received a copy of the response signed by Mr. Conrad via email from one of this blog's readers.   Here it is.

To sum it up, metal detecting is allowed in the PSL parks, however, digging and/or "disturbing" grass areas is an offense.   The fines are described in the letter.

Below are a couple of nice inland finds by William M.   Thanks for the photos William!

On the Treasure Coast there has been no change in detecting conditions for quite some time.  If you are a water hunter you might appreciate the smooth surf even if it is sandy.  That probably means you are looking for recent drops though.

Happy Hunting,

Monday, June 23, 2014

6/23/14 Report - Attempting To Identify A Reale Found On The Green Cabin Wreck Site

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Picture From Sewall Menzel's
Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins

Yesterday I showed a picture of a reale found by the crew of the Capitana at the Green Cabin Wreck site. It is also shown in the picture below.

The first picture shown here is a very similar reale to the one that was recently found.  It is shown by Sewall Menzel in his book, Cobs, Pieces of Eight, and Treasure Coins.

This isn't the most simple case for identification.  I would guess it is a Potosi coin, and it would have to date before 1653, which is when Potosi starting using the pillars and waves design.

Notice the mint and assayer marks (PR) to the left of  the shield.  The mint would most likely be Potosi, and the R would be the initial of the assayer, Alonso Rincon.  If that is true, the date would be between 1573 and 1576.  That is a very early cob.

Reale Found by The Capitana Crew On The Green Cabin Wreck.

The found cob does not show the denomination, which would be marked to the right of the shield.

 The crown of the found cob matches that of the Menzel example very well, but the R is a bit different.

The shield of the found cob also matches the Menzel example very well.

If you can correct me on any of this, please do so.

I have a lot more to post today but don't have time to get it posted.  I will end there today with this short post and hopefully get to the other stuff tomorrow.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

6/22/14 Report - Land and Sea Treasures: New Finds By The Capitana Crew At The Green Cabin Wreck and Nice Inland Finds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Bronze Shipwreck Artifact Found by the Crew of the Capitana Yesterday.
Photo submitted by Captain Johan Martinez.

I started to write up one topic this morning but didn't complete it.  I couldn't get it organized and ready, so I gave up for a while.  I'll get back to that topic some other time.  Maybe tomorrow.

It actually is better that I put that topic off because as I was writing I was coming up with more and more information.  I might have to break it up and present it in two or three different posts.

In the mean time I got some updates from Captain Jonah and the crew of the Capitana who are still finding some super items on the Green Cabin wreck site.

They found this bronze artifact along with some other artifacts yesterday.  Really neat!  Keep it up guys.

Reale Found by the Crew of the Capitana
Photo submitted by Captain Martinez.
Captain Jonah also sent me pictures of a couple of reales they found.  I'll show one of those today and another some other day.  I'll also get into a discussion of the details and identification at some other time.

Really nice detail showing on this reale!

Great job guys.  Thanks for sharing!

Like we said the last time, there is more out there and will be for a long time to come.

On the Treasure Coast beaches we've been having such poor beach detecting conditions, and no sign that that will change much any time soon.

Things can still be found.  I've been surprised by my rate of jewelry finds on the beach lately despite not finding hardly any coins.

Michael E. and William M. have been doing some inland hunting after calling to get permission from land owners.

Finds included vintage buttons, a merc dime, old shot gun shells, wheat cents, and a lead seal.

Michael says he likes the shot gun shells because you can date them with a little research.  I like them too.  They have different graphics and show a good bit of information.

Then Michael did some water hunting and got his 34th and 35th rings of the year.  Very good for anybody but especially for someone that hasn't been detecting a long time!

Variety of Very Nice Inland Finds
Photo submitted by Michael E.

Tungsten Ring Found by Michael
Photo submitted by Michael E.

Thanks for sharing Michael and William.  Nice finds during poor detecting conditions!

With the high price of gold you'll find a lot of rings made of other metals.

\That is all for today.  I'll be back with more some other time.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, June 21, 2014

6/21/14 Report - Top Ten Treasure Troves List, Tips on Timing Site Visits, & King Baby Studio and Chosen Rings

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Crown 

I ran across this neat list of the top ten most incredible treasure troves.

Two are pictured here.

Below is the source link for the detailed descriptions and photos.  Learn more about those shown and the others selected as top ten treasure troves.

Gold Chalice

Yesterday I mentioned that I would give some tips on timing your hunts.   Timing is especially critical during poor beach detecting conditions.

During poor detecting conditions, sand accumulates on the front of the beaches and in the shallow water, and things will generally be sinking relatively quickly instead of being uncovered.

During poor detecting conditions you will often be hunting things that have been recently dropped, and a lot of those things, if they are in the wet sand area or shallow water, will be beyond detector range in a short period of time.   That means hunting during or after a busy beach day is a good idea.  Waiting until the next morning will give things more time to sink.

Another thing to take into account is other people that hunt the same beach that you have chosen to detect.  If there are a lot of decent to good hunters continually cleaning out an area, you might want to get to know their habits and plan your timing accordingly.  Some beaches are detected heavily during the morning and others heavily in the evening.  Some are detected most heavily on weekends.  That can all affect your timing decisions.  If you pay attention you can tell how much and when most sites are hunted and when the best times to hunt those sites would be.

As a side note, I want to remind you that in the past I've given a number of strategies for working heavily hunted beaches

Some beaches can be hunted profitably every day, while others sites that are not as busy may require more time for things to accumulate again.

Some places that you might detect are not detected frequently or are protected in one way or another.  You do not need to get around to them as quickly or as often.  I often decide to detect a beach that is in more danger of deteriorating or being detected, and let the one that is protected and seldom detected wait for a later time.  .

I have one site now that I have worked a couple of times recently, but don't feel there is any hurry in getting to it, because the conditions will not likely deteriorate soon and there is not much chance that it will be cleaned out by anyone else.

One thing that I take into account is proximity.  If I go in one direction there will be a variety of site possibilities, and in another direction other site possibilities.   If you intend to detect one particular beach, be aware of the others that are close by, perhaps stopping to check some of those sites as you pass them even it you do not intend to detect them.  You might change your mind and decide one of them looks too good to pass, but if you check it, at least you will be up to date on current conditions there.

If the first choice does not look promising for whatever reason, have a second and third choice in mind. If  your first choice doesn't seem to be very promising after looking at it or doing a little sampling, be ready to move to one of the more likely alternatives that you have in your mental filing cabinet.

I often take the tides into consideration when timing my outings.  If I want to detect low tide, I'll usually show up a suitable time before low tide. How long before depends on a variety of factors including how long I intend to detect, surf conditions, and where on the beach or in the water I plan to detect.  You'll often find easier detecting on an outgoing tide.t.  In wet sand, the saturated wet sand will make it easier to detect deep targets.

There are a few thoughts on timing your outings.  There are too many factors to explain them all.

I might have found the reason for the word "Chosen" on the Chosen rings.   Robert H. sent me some text about the King Baby Studio, who it seems produces those rings.


King Baby designer and owner Mitchell Binder has stated, "What I love about jewelry, it becomes a very personal piece to whoever wears it. That's one of the things that just does it for me. It gives it meaning, it's very fulfilling and it gives people some sort of identity as well. That's the gift. That's the specialness. That's what I want to hang onto."

King Baby Studio is rooted in the freedom of the open road and in the spirit of rock n' roll. In the 1970s, when Mitchell was a teenager, he moved from Jackson, Mississippi to Los Angeles, California. It was a time when music reflected a spirit of idealism, and new found freedoms.

At 15, Mitchell became a jeweler's apprentice and shortly thereafter began designing jewelry on his own. With his trademark charismatic personality, he soon made the right contacts and quickly became the "go-to jeweler" for Hollywood. Mitchell has also partnered with legendary brands including Harley Davidson® and Fender®. This year, King Baby Studio is launching their highly anticipated eyewear collection as well as introducing a custom shop in Nashville, Tennessee.

As always, King Baby Studio continues to handcraft their jewelry in the U.S.A., uniting sterling silver with precious stones, 18K gold, onyx beads and leather. King Baby Studio jewelry and eyewear is "for the chosen few."

 Notice the last phrase in quotes.  That seems to be the reason for the "Chosen" rings.

I can't believe how much money they get for those things, but I guess it is something like Tiffany and how the Tiffany name adds value.  Items from the King Baby Studio are popular right now.

I always recommend researching finds so that you know what you have especially if you are thinking about selling.

It looks like we'll have flat surf on the Treasure Coast for another several days.   Too bad that there is so much sand out there.   Most of the beach fronts and shallow water has too much sand.

Happy hunting,

Friday, June 20, 2014

6/20/14 Report - 2000 Year-Old Gold Coin, Price of Silver and Gold, Chosen Ring, Returned Ring, & Beach Video

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Worn Gold Coin Found Dating To Around AD 64 or 65.
Souce: Link shown here.
In a breakthrough which defied two generations of diggers along Hadrian’s Wall, a volunteer French archaeologist has found the first gold coin at Vindolanda, the Roman site which has been intriguing excavators for almost 50 years.

Described as being “well-worn”, the confirmed aureus bears the image of the Emperor Nero, dating it to around AD 64 or 65. The precious currency was worth half a years’ salary for serving soldiers, but was lost on the northern outpost of the empire following 300 years in circulation...

Here is the link for the rest of the story.

As you might have noticed, the price of gold and silver increased around 4 percent each yesterday, as gold shot through the $1300 per ounce mark.  Gold ended at $1313.10 per ounce and silver, at $40.40 per ounce as the dollar fell.

If you are holding gold or silver finds, you might hang on a while if you think those metals will continue to increase.  

Here are a few prices and dates,from showing how the price of gold has increased over the years.  

Ending 2012, the price of gold was $1664, 
1954, it was 35.25,
1912, it was 20.67,
1867, it was 27.86
and 1808, 19.39.

Here is a link for more on gold prices.

Yesterday I showed a "Chosen" ring.  Those rings appear to be very popular right now.  

Being such a common ring, Robert H. has also found one.  I'm sure others have as well.

Chosen Ring and Two Silver Rings Found by Robert H.Photo by Robert H.

I still do not know if there is any specific reason that he word "Chosen" appears on the ring.

I also mentioned that there have been a lot of returned rings featured in the media lately.  Robert H. sent a photo of one of those happy moments too.  Thanks Robert!

One Happy Return
Submitted by Robert H.

Below is a quick video of a beach this morning near low tide.

Notice how wide the front beach is and how far out into the water the sand goes.

Also notice the dip behind the walking couple.

The dip is not well enough developed to be worth much, but that is one type of thing you should look for and notice.

I was surprised there wasn't more junk in the wet sand here.  In the first 30 or 40 minutes a ring and two ear rings were found.   I expected more aluminum than was found.

The three pieces of jewelry were found while only one coin was found.

There is enough jewelry on the beaches these days, but if you aren't hunting a rich or glitzy area, the jewelry is likely to be low quality.  That is one thing that happens when the price of gold is high, and of course when you hunt in an area that isn't very wealthy.  If you want to find better stuff, you might have to drive to an area where the density of quality finds will be higher.

Timing is very important these days.  It is especially important when beach detecting conditions are poor.  I should talk more about timing your hunt some time.

As you see from this video, beach detecting conditions are still poor.  Don't expect much to change any time real soon.  You can however find recent drops.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, June 19, 2014

6/19/14 Report - Chosen Ring, Mucking, John Morgan Podcasts, Ring Returned, Most Valuable Treasures & More Marine Preserves

Written by the TreasureGuide for he exclusive use of

Chosen Ring Found  Yesterday While Mucking

These "Chosen" rings seem to be popular.  I saw one listed on eBay for about $250.

I don't really know if they go with a TV show or what.  Anybody have any background on what "Chosen" means on these rings.

Trash can protect treasure.  I often work trashy areas.  Of course, like everything, there are tricks to mucking.

I've been trying to think of how to explain it.  Basically you use the trash to develop a 3-D model of the layers of sand and distribution of objects in it, then head towards the sweet spot as the evidence points you in the right direction.

I'll try to figure out how to briefly explain that.

It seems there has been a rash of returned rings in the media lately.  Here is one that took longer than most others.  This one was lost sixty years before being returned.  It is the older style of class ring from the 20s and 30s.

Here is that video.

Yesterday I showed a picture sent in by John Morgan.  Check out his podcasts,

Here is a brief video of the most valuable stamp in the world along with some of the other most valuable treasures.

Old and antique jewelry brings good prices these days.  One London dealer said, "It's easier to sell something for 500,000 British pounds (over 800,000 US) that for 5,000."  

The economy has hurt the middle class, but the rich are seeking out fine unique pieces.  In the US things often sell for less than in London.  Kovels Komments suggests investing in fine antique jewelry as they expect prices to increase.

Here is that link.

John Kerry wants to set aside at least 10% of the oceans as marine protection reserves.  I'd bet he actually wants to set aside 100% of the ocean and everything else too, and charge access to it all, except for ketchup companies like Heinz, which is where he gets his money.

More marine preserves probably means more shipwrecks being off-limits.  Some of you guys that didn't care about the St. Lucie parks might care about this.

Ont the Treasure Coast it looks like more of the same for several days.  Little surf and lots of sand.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

6/18/14 Report - Salvage Vessel at Cocoa, Mucking, Class Ring Found On Old Shipwreck Returned and Stamp Worth Nearly 10 Million

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Salvage Vessel  Working Up At Cocoa
Photo by John Morgan

John Morgan sent me this picture and email message.

Hi Treasure Guide,
At 8:25 AM  6/18/2014 I spotted a treasure salvage boat with blowers down outside on my balcony at 16th south Cocoa Beach.
They are 1/3 mile offshore...

John heard Josh Fisher talking on a podcast about a wreck of the 1715 Fleet that they thought was around Cape Canaveral.

Thanks for the information and report John!  Nice photo too!

Do you know the difference between this blog and some of the others?  This one is all about you.  I'd rather post your finds, reports and information than mine.

I'm not trying to get attention or sell you anything.  Not even trying to make money off of clicks by advertising.  No ads here.  I just pass along information.

The thing that makes me happiest is when the information that I post helps other people and I hear about that.  One person recently sent me an email and said his finds have about doubled since he began reading this blog.  That is the kind of thing I like to hear.

Another reader recently said that as a direct result of one of my tips, he looked where he never would have looked and found two high quality rings.

I do enjoy researching and analyzing and passing along what I learn.  I was a researcher in academia for a lot of years, and I enjoyed it.  I also enjoy analyzing things and learning, as well as sharing what I learn.  That is why I do this blog.

Typical Sandy Treasure Coast Beach This Morning Near Low Tide 

Here is one typical Treasure Coast beach as I found it this morning.

I have pictures of other beaches from this morning, but they all look pretty much the same.  

In the picture above. towards the right you can see slight remains of an old cut (right of the ATV tracks), and all of that sand in front has washed up since.  You can see the last high tide line.

If you are detecting on the Treasure Coast now, during these sandy conditions, your best bet is recent drops. There is a lot of sand.  Even recent drops are sinking or being covered quickly, both in the water and in the wet sand area.

The renourishment projects added a lot of sand to our beaches too.  Much of the renourishment project sand has been dragged into the shallow water, where it extends out quite a few yards.

I did a little detecting in front of a small hotel this morning where the renourishment was.   I ran loose scan pattern to find any concentrations, then I focused on one small area but only came up with coins.  I don't remember getting anything but coins there - no trash at all.

I then moved on and did some mucking at another beach that had been replenished recently and has been eroding. The sand that was brought in has a lot of torn aluminum in it.  I detected in front of a cut there even though I knew I would find tons of aluminum trash.  

By "mucking" I mean detecting a very trashy where I figured there would be a few good targets. 

The area where I was mucking had about ten aluminum targets to every non aluminum targets, at least that is how it seemed, although I did not keep track exactly, yet it took less than a half hour to find a ring.  Come to think of it, there was only one coin found in that mess, and about a half dozen other non-aluminum targets, plus the ring.  

There is a trick to mucking.  Read the pattern of trash to find the areas where other kinds of targets are most likely to be found.    I should have taken some pictures of that area so I could explain the technique better.  Basically, you analyze the pattern of junk, both laterally and depth, and it will point you to where you might find better things.  There is no escaping digging the trash though.  The trash is what will tell you how things are distributed, and therefore, where to go.

Mucking takes patience.   But it will often pay off.


I show them all the time - rings that are found and returned to the owner.   A 1972 class ring was found by a treasure salvage crew off of Vero and returned to the owner who last saw the ring when it was stolen form his apartment in Miami some 40 years ago.

Here is the link to that story.


One cent stamp sold for $9.5 million.  Here is the link for that story.


On the Treasure Coast we'll have about a one-foot surf for several days.  That won't change the sandy conditions we have.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

6/17/14 Report - Another Type of Detecting Location, Metal Detector Design, Six Fortunes Found and Video of Returned Ring

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Wide But Thin Gold Ring Detector Find.

Do you remember the TV show Lost?  I never liked it, but my wife did.

Well, I ran across this web site where some people went out and scouted around and found the locations where it was filmed.  They found the specific locations where particular scenes from the TVshow happened.

That reminded me of all the times I've seen film crews and photo shoots on various beaches.  Some of those locations were not at high traffic swimming beaches.  Some were very much out of the way.

Crandon Park on Key Biscayne is one location where there have been a lot of photo shoots and where a lot of TV ads are made.  That has been the case for a lot of years, and I often see ads that are shot there.   There was one location right in front of a sand bar in the middle of the beach where they did a lot of the shoots, but there were times when they'd shoot at locations on the island where you'd never expect it.   One day I saw a photo shoot taking place back in the mucky mangroves where most people never ventured.  Models were running back and forth jumping in the shallow water.  That activity plus the fact that they were changing clothes and working with a bunch of equipment, made that a good site to detect after they left.  Those people had some nice stuff.

You might know where other TV shows have been shot.  Virginia Key, just across Bear Cut (I think that is what it is called), was the site of a long running TV show.  That was before Virginia Key was rehabilitated and it was primarily at a spot away from the swimming beaches and so could be easily overlooked by many detectorists.  Many scenes of Flipper were also filmed very close to there.

The Alexander Hotel on Miami beach was where some of the Miami Vice staff stayed during production.  Most detectorist back in the day hunted south of there at some of the bigger hotels and busier beaches.

Those are just a few that come to mind.  My point is not that you should go to those specific places to detect today, but if you know where filming or photo shoots have been conducted, those spots can be good places to detect - particularly those which are more out of the way and therefore where few others would have detected since.

It can also be a bit of a treasure hunt to just go out and identify the locations where the scenes of movies or TV programs were shot.

Here is one web site that talks about the fun of going out and locating where film scenes were shot.

One thing I want in a detector is compactness.  Even if it isn't the kind of detector I'm looking for, the SDC 2300 folds up nicely.  I like that.  Sometimes you want to take a detector on a plane or pack it a long distance on foot.  And sometimes you might want to ship it.   I'd like a detector that disassembles, folds up, takes little room, doesn't have unnecessary bulk, which also means it does not have unnecessary features.   I can give up a lot of features.  I don't need a lot of bells and whistles.  In fact I'd prefer to not have them.

If you look in your detector, the circuit board takes up very little space.  The knobs and adjustments take up quite a bit.  I can do without most adjustments.  I can't remember the last time I took my primary detector off of the automatic sensitivity setting.  I could easily do without that adjustment, as one example.  I don't need most of the knobs and adjustments.

 A few diode lights could provide all the signal that I need, or maybe better yet, a bud ear piece.   I don't need or want big neon headphones.  (You could wear some controls or battery pack under your hat.)

I once made a pocket inside my hat for things.  An small control box could easily be worn there.

I don't want a bunch of wires.  They aren't necessary any more.  Basically I want an unobtrusive coil and a simple indicator of signal strength.  Make everything else that can be done away with disappear.  Maybe a button to turn it on and one of two small switches or buttons.

The XP Deus is one step in that direction.  They've eliminated some of the wires and use a smart phone as a control box.

I once made my own rod out of a short sections wood that I packed in my carry-on luggage. The standard metal rod wasn't wanted or needed.

There are times when you don't need an entire length of rod, such as when snorkeling, or here is one you might not have thought of, when detecting on a steep hillside.

I can't believe how slowly metal detector technology has changed.  Just the other day I saw a brand new 2014 detector model using the exact same rod assembly the manufacturer was using over twenty years ago.  I know there is no reason to change for the sake of change, but there should be significant advances over that amount of time.

I know, some of you will rave about this or that detector or change or improvement, but I haven't seen anything new that impresses me as being significantly better than what I had 25 years ago.

The detectors I used over twenty years ago are just as good as what I can get today - at least when it comes to my wants and needs.  Those detectors were good basic machines.  They weren't produced by major manufacturers but were put together by individuals and they did the job.  There were things that I would have liked to change about them, for example they were unnecessarily awkward and bulky just like detectors today.

I've mentioned this before, but here is a video about it.  I'm talking about the Tiffany ring lost on Jacksonville Beach, found by a detectorist and returned a year later.

Did you notice that it was found buried under a fishing sinker?   Always check to make sure there isn't more than one target.

Here is a good article about six people who accidentally found a fortune.  Two of those six stories are about really fascinating metal detector finds.  One was found while a farmer was trying to find his lost hammer.  That resulted in the find of the Hoxne Hoard.   Another is about a lady who detected every Sunday afternoon for seven years before she stumbled on a very important find.

Here is the link.

The surf on the Treasure Coast is two or three feet today and for a couple more days, then it will go flat again later in the week.  Nothing that will change beach detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,

Monday, June 16, 2014

6/16/14 Report - Ring Finds, Commonly Counterfeited or Fake Coins & Silver Beach Reales Under Magnification

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The past couple of days I've been showing some of the recent shipwreck treasure finds recovered by the crew of the Capitana.  Today I have some modern finds.   The pearl ring is Robert's first pearl ring.

Rings Found by Robert H.
Ring Found by Robert H.Photos submitted by Robert H

I've talked about the problem of fake or counterfeit coins before. I've shown some that have been found on the beaches.  Here is a list of some of the most common counterfeit coins.

The most frequently seen counterfeit or altered U.S. coins, according to PCGS's 2004 book Coin Grading and Counterfeit Detection, include the following.

  • 1856 Flying Eagle cent
  • 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent
  • 1955 double-die Lincoln cent
  • 1916-D Mercury dime
  • Cincinnati commemorative half dollar
  • 1804 Bust dollar (a million dollar rarity)
  • 1893-S Morgan dollar
  • Saint-Gaudens high-relief double eagle
  • 1914-D Lincoln cent
  • 1922 Lincoln cent
  • 1943 bronze Lincoln cent
  • 1912-S Liberty Head nickel
  • 1913 Liberty Head nickel (a million dollar rarity)
  • 1937-D three-legged Buffalo nickel
  • 1944 copper-nickel Jefferson nickel
  • 1799 Bust dollar

The above list comes from an article on counterfeit coins which you can find by using the following link.  Check it out.

I enjoy looking at old coins under a microscope.  You can see interesting things - maybe even find an error such as a date over-strike or die crack.  

If you look closely at beach found reales, they have a distinctive look.  You will see the oxidized silver and some other distinctive things.

Edge of Beach Found Silver Reale at
200 Power Magnification.

End of Florenza Cross on Half Reale
200 Power Magnification.

Famous Steeler head coach Chuck Noll passed away Friday.  You probably know of him whether you were ever a Steeler fan or not.  Being a Hall of Fame coach, he was often quoted.  Here is one of his famous quotes that I thought I would reflect on today.

 The thrill isn't the winning, it's in the doing.  I believe that applies to life in general, including treasure hunting, as much as football.  Football is nothing more than a game, no matter how big a deal it is to some people.  But what I want to address, is how true that saying is of treasure hunting,   If you focus on the finds (the winning), you'll be happy sometimes, but tired and discouraged and maybe even angry during those times when you can't find a zinc penny to save your life.  I think detectorists who have those highs and lows as they succeed or fail have a good chance of quiting.  Those who enjoy the process, win or lose will stick at it and eventually succeed.

Eyes open, ears open - sun, wind, waves, sand, detectors hum - there you are.  Enjoy it.  Suck it in.  It's life - the most precious thing of all.

On the Treasure Coast June 21 is nearing and we're getting some good big tides.

The surf is going to be just a touch bumpier the next couple of days, getting smooth again after that.

Happy hunting,