Wednesday, December 3, 2014

12/3/14 Report - Finding The Queen of Spain's Jewels; A Seminar. One Way To Have More Fun With Unexciting Finds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of



Friday, December 5, 2014
6:15 PM - 8:15 PM (ET)
Gleason Performing Arts Center


One of the world’s most valuable sunken treasures lays close at hand, just a few miles south of Sebastian Inlet.  In early July 1715 a convoy of 12 Spanish galleons sailed from Havana, Cuba heading to Spain. After the convoy started making its way up the Straits of Florida, a fierce hurricane struck on July 30  and all the ships were lost and over 1,000 people perished, along with the Queen’s treasures. To date neither the Queen’s collection or the huge amount of gold specie and bullion known to be aboard the ship have been located.
Since 1960 Sir Robert Marx has worked in the archives and libraries of more than 40 countries and spent over two years in the Archivo de las Indias in Seville, Spain, the main repository for researching Spains fascinating maritime history. Come listen to his stories as he uncovers his quest for these priceless jewels.

For more information contact: Contact  Donna Cassario
Thanks to C Man for emailing the notice of the seminar.

When you are not digging up the Queen's jewels you might be digging up something a little less dramatic.  It can still be fun, and makes for something interesting to keep you busy in the mean time. 

Vintage Dug Slat Shaker.
When beach detecting isn't much good sometimes I'll do a little bottle hunting.  Some bottles can be detected because they have metal lids.  Most, though, no longer have their lids.

Besides being interesting artifacts, glass can be one of the first clues to an old detecting site that might not show much other evidence of past human activity.

Common vintage glass bottles aren't worth much of anything but you might find that you can add value to them. That is one thing I like to do - take a find that has little or no value and change it in some way to make it useful. 

Among my bottle finds are several old cut-glass salt shakers.  I noticed the other day that they would make nice Christmas tree ornaments. 

Above is one dug vintage salt shaker.  It was dug with its top.  The top was corroded, so the first thing I did was clean the glass and remove the plating and corrosion from the top.  I added a copper wire loop through the exiting holes.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do next, but I got some mirror surface paint which I might put on the inside, which should make it reflective.  With just a few added touches they should be very pretty.   Or I might put some small momento in it.

Next year I might make an artifact Christmas tree.  I can think of a number of small finds that will make fine ornaments.

I have regular Christmas ball caps with the loops that fit these bottles, but for the one with the original top I wanted to keep the original copper top on it.

Small Vintage Cut Glass Salt Shaker

Here is another of the several cut glass salt shakers that I've found.  A mirror surface on the inside should turn this into a real attractive sparking Christmas ornament.  I could even make it light up.

I already have a regular Christmas ball top and loop that will fit this one.

One point I'm making today is that there are more ways than one to find value.  You can find value by using your creativity and turning dull finds into something useful and attractive.  That is one more way to get more fun out of metal detecting.

I'm also reminding you to not get too narrowly focused.  If you focus on coins too much, you can miss a lot of other things, including shipwreck spikes, pot shards, shells, and even jewelry.  Not only are they interesting artifacts but they can provide clues to bigger treasures.
Many people eliminate a lot of nice finds by discriminating too much.

While on the subject of small glass bottles, here is a nice recent ink bottle find that is in unusally good condition.

The bottom of the ink bottom reads For 1 1/2 inch hole.

Old Ink Bottle Find

It was probably one of those ink bottles that was in an old school desk.

We still had those when I was in school.   We actually had a few penmanship classes with the old ink pens with the metal tip that you dip in ink.  Maybe a few of you remember that.
They would probably be considered weapons today.  Could you imagine having ink on the desks of elementary school children today?   Sounds like a blueprint for disaster.

And here is a link to a great web site on salt/pepper shakers.  There is a gallery of hundreds of examples and other things.


I don't expect any significant change in Treasure Coast beach detecting conditions for at least a few days.  We'll have mostly 3 - 6 foot surf, with occasionaly East/Northeast winds.

Don't forget the seminar Friday.

Happy hunting,