Wednesday, August 13, 2014

8/13/14 Report - How Objects Sink During Summer Beach Conditions. Valuable Antique Jewelry. H. L. Hunley Submarine. Titanium On Beach

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Antique Diamond and Ruby Ring.
Source: See link below.
I'm often asked about those light pieces of melted metal that people find along the coast.   They look a lot like aluminum.  I believe that many of those are titanium.   I've posted about that in the past.  Since I still get questions about those finds, here is a little repeat of what I said.

If you've ever dug up a piece of metal that looks something like melted aluminum on a Treasure Coast beach, it could be titanium from a rocket or maybe the space shuttle Challenger disaster.

Here is a link to a web site that tells how to identify titanium.

As you might know, titanium is also used to make inexpensive jewelry these days and is much less expensive than platinum, gold or silver.

Below is a beach photo that I showed a few days ago.  I'm showing it again as an illustration.

Recent Treasure Coast Beach Picture.

A few days ago a lifeguard told me about a diamond engagement ring that was lost a few days earlier.  He said the lady was in knee deep water at the time.  He also said that even though the ring was lost a few days before, the water had been calm.  He was thinking it would still be about where it was lost since the water had been so calm.
What the lifeguard did not understand is the poor sandy beach conditions in that area.  Despite the generally very calm surf, things were not staying near the surface, but rather were quickly sinking our of detector range.
The wave in the above photo is not as big as it looks.  It wasn't much more than about a foot.  It is breaking nicely and from its form you couldn't tell it from a ten foot wave. 
What I want to point out is that where the red line is, the crashing water will churn the sand even though the surf is small.  Furthermore, the line of impact will move as the tide goes in and out so that the red line will move ten or twenty yards or more in and out twice a day.  Not only that but the area in front of the crashing wave, between the red and yellow line has surging water which will move the sand and keep it from settling.  That means sand will be accumulating from the red line to the yellow line and a little beyond.   That is what happens during a summer beach.
So even though the water looks very calm, it won't take long for an object like a ring to be buried.  It is partly a matter of the ring sinking and partly a matter of  it being covered.  The sand in this area is loose and the apparent sinking happens at a fairly rapid rate.
As I have pointed out in the past.   It takes more water force to move some objects than others.  I'm talking about horizontal movement now, not vertical.
It takes very little water movement to move sand, especially when it has been suspended, as it would be by the crashing wave.
The fact that it takes little force to move sand but considerably more to move something like a ring, which is more dense,but which also is shaped in a way that does not provide good surface area to the water to push against, what happens is that the sand moves faster around the curved object, letting the object sink through the loose sand while at the same time moving more sand in to cover it up.
There is what I call a trigger point for different objects.   The trigger point (amount of water force need to move an object) for sand is much lower than the trigger point for an object like a ring.   That is much of what accounts for objects like rings sinking quickly in sand when the force of water is slight.  That is what basically what happens during poor beach conditions.
The trigger point is determined not only by an objects weight or density, but also by its shape.  I've demonstrated that by experiments in the past.
Here is one link to reference.  You can search for others.


Above is a picture of an antique diamond and ruby ring worth $80,000.  Use this link to learn more about the ring and a matching $160,000 bracelet

The H. L. Hunley being conserved.

Nice picture and article.

There is no tropical weather to watch in the Atlantic.

On the Treasure Coast the tides are still fairly big, but the surf is still around one foot and will remain that small for several days.

Happy hunting,