Friday, September 5, 2014

9/5/14 Report - Gold Cob Found By Salvage Crew On Treasure Coast! Fascinating Clump of Artifacts Too. How Objects Sink In Dry Sand.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Treasure Coast Shipwreck Coin
Photos submitted by Captain Jonah Martinez
The past few days I've given a lot of information on how objects sink on the beach, and I'm far from done with that.  I've only addressed a few factors so far and will continue with that topic in the future.

Today I wanted to take a bit of a break from that and show you some finds to drool over.  The finds were made by the crews working the shipwrecks off of the Treasure Coast.   Thanks to Captain Jonah Martinez for sending the pictures.

First, here is a gold coin they found.  Although this gold coin sure is pretty, they found a silver coin that actually might be much more rare.

I'm no expert on Spanish shipwreck coins - far from it.  So if you can correct anything I say here, feel free.

Notice the type of cross on the top photo.  Each arm of the cross is like a cross on the end.

That is not a real common type of cross, but that type of cross was used on some Mexican escudos,

On the left side of that coin, I think I can make out part of the "M" mint mark for Mexico.

I can not see the legend on this coin or the date.  They do not appear to be present.

Below is a photo of what I believe is a very similar escudo.

It is found in Monedas Espanolas desde Juana y Carlos a Isabel II 1504 a 1868, by F Calico et al, 1985.

Illustration of Similar Design Escudo from the Calico et al Book.

The following illustration more clearly shows a similar type of shield and the same type of cross although there may be some differences.

Illustration of Similar Escudo Design Elements.
Source: Cobs, Pieces or Eight and Treasure Coins book by Sewall Menzel
From what I've seen I would guess the escudo above to be an early 1700s Mexico two-escudo.  That is just m guess from what I can see from the photo.

Below are two pictures of a recovered clump.   Captain Jonah says this clump of objects was found by Mike and Gavin and ... if you look close you can see to buckles, two medallions, a silver spoon and maybe cuff links...

Photos submitted by Captain Jonah Martinez.

I always find clumps exciting.  You never know what all might be in them.  And I never know if I want to leave them alone or take them apart to find what is in them.  There is that conflict between wanting to preserve them and wanting to find out what might be in there.

They can be x-rayed or examined internally by using other technologies without taking them apart.

Those are just a couple of the photos that Captain Jonah sent me.  I'll show more of them in future posts.  Included are cobs, porcelain, and one very early and exciting cob.

Thanks for sharing Captain!

The last two posts that I did received  lot of +1s.  It seems they were very much liked.

I should explain that the did not discuss all relevant factors, but maybe it did help to put to rest some common misconceptions.  I still want to add just a little to that discussion today.

First of all, people might wander how objects sink in dry sand where the water does not hit if objects only sink through suspended or disturbed sand.   One big factor affecting dry sand is the wind.  Barrier islands and beaches in general tend to migrate away from the ocean as wind coming off the ocean tends to blow sand towards the back beach where it piles up as dunes and fills in marsh land.  You can find that fact in any number of books.

On our local beaches I've seen a lot of dune building over the past year.  Any plants or anything that serves as a wind break will cause wind driven sand to drop off and build up.  That causes items lost on the dry beach to be buried as the sand builds up.

If you go to the beach after a busy holiday, you'll notice how much the busy spots have been churned up by foot traffic, kids digging, etc.  That certainly disturbs the top layers of sand and causes items to sink or get covered.

Also, the water does occasionally come up over the dry sand and all of the way to the back dunes.

And they sink in when dropped, flung or thrown.

There are some ways that the dry sand is disturbed causing things to sink or get more deeply buried in the dry sand.

I'll discuss more details on how items sink on the beach and in the shallow water in the future, but I'll also be showing some more pictures of the Treasure Coast treasure finds that Captain Jonah sent me.

We still have a one to two foot surf on the Treasure Coast.  Beach hunters are tired of the consistently smooth surf this year, but it has been good for the salvage crews.

There is one disturbance coming off of Africa, but it is days out, and we'll have smooth water on the Treasure Coast for at least several days.

Happy hunting,