Friday, February 27, 2015

2/27/15 Report - Legends & Superstitions of the Sea & Sailors. Ancient Coin Resource. Fort Pierce Inlet Partially Open.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

John Brooks Beach This Morning Near Low Tide.
Not a pretty morning.  Rainy along the coast.  Not heavy rain though   A little cooler too.

The beaches weren't good.  John Brooks looked very poor.  There are piles of new sand on the front beach, and a sand bar not very far out.  There is a lot of sand that needs to be moved.

Beautiful Fort Pierce Beach.
Right in the middle of tourist season, they make it ugly and inaccessible again.  Seems like they do that every year.

The inlet is open for smaller boats, I think.  There was one boat patrolling the area of the wrecked barge to keep people away from the wreckage, which is not visible above water.


How about that group of 355 silver coins from one small lot!  One person took action after reading about the demolished house and the silver coins in the walls.  A lot of people read the same story but didn't follow up on it.  


I visited one beach in front of a hotel today.  I ran zero discrimination and hit some coins, one piece of jewelry and only one piece of junk.  Why was there only one piece of junk?  Because I cleaned the junk out the last two times I was there.


Here is an interesting free digital book that you might want to read.  It is Legends and Superstitions of the Sea and of Sailors by Fletcher Bassett, 1885.

Click here to go to that Google ebook.


The native populations that European colonists encountered in North America as they spread across toward the west of the continent were defined at least in part by their patterns of warfare, say a team of researchers.

Here is the link for that article.

If you are interested in scholarly studies of ancient coins here is a great resource.  It provides access to the numismatic chronicle and journal of the Royal Numismatic Society.


Tomorrow's surf on the Treasure Coast is predicted to be 4 - 6 feet, and Sunday, 4 - 7 feet.   The North winds we have today will be shifting to be more easterly over the weekend.  That is too bad.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2/26/15 Report - Sunken Barge Closed Fort Pierce Inlet. Viking Sword & Islamic Coins Found by Detector. More New Sand.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Fort Pierce Inlet Where Barge Sank.

Yesterday I had one big story.  Hope you didn't miss it.  Today I have a variety of items.

The big news today is that a barge sank in the Fort Pierce Inlet yesterday and the inlet was closed and remained closed today.

Below is the link for that story.


In August 2014 a detectorist found a Viking sword in a field.  Archaeologists were called in to examine the find, which included a shield boss, and found that the boss contained Islamic coins.

Here is the link to that story.

Viking Era Sword Found By Detectorist.

Waveland Beach Getting New Sand
Photo by Joan T.

Add Waveland Beach to the long list of beaches getting new sand. 

Thanks Joan.


Captain Andy and Papo with their respective crews are scheduled to be back on the Margarita site now that the seas have calmed.


Bill P. says the round part of the moistener that I showed the other day might actually be an insulator.  It could be.   


Not totally unrelated, I was thinking one day of how many ways a simple item like a ball could be used.

Toy, projectile ie. musket ball or for a sling shot, ball bearing, weight, float, in roll-on deodorant applicator, stopper in Hutch bottle, home décor.   You can probably think of more.  Of course in many cases you could eliminate many of those based upon size or composition.


One important thing today is the bigger surf predicted for this weekend.   Today and tomorrow the surf on the Treasure Coast is only around three feet, but Saturday it is supposed to increase and then Sunday maybe up to eight feet.   We'll have to see how that develops.  Of course I'll keep a close eye on it.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2/25/14 Report - Florida Coin Shooter's Dream Come True! Reader Of This Blog Finds 335 Silver Coins On One Small Lot!

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Silver Coins Dug By One Reader At One Small Site.
Look at that parade of Walking Halves!
Photo rights reserved.

Finally!  I've been itching to tell you about this for months now.  Finally I can do it. Remember, you got it here first, right here on the

Back in April of 2014 a small run-down condemned bungalow built in Florida in the early 1900s was condemned and demolished. Old silver coins spilled out of the walls - 60 pounds of them. But that is not what I'm going to tell you about today.  I'm going to tell you about what happened when one of this blog's readers, who will remain anonymous, followed up on the story.

Here is what he had to say.
When I read the news of the hoard and the method it was discovered, I thought some of the silver coins might have made it into the ground.  I was cautiously optimistic, but when I heard that the demo work had occurred months before I thought surely the area had been scoured since it was an open secret amongst the city workers, as there were multiple workers on site when the coins were initially discovered.  I worked out a deal with the current owner to split my finds 50/50.  I found one coin in the first half hour (a 1906 Barber dime unrelated to the hoard) before finding a large concentration of coins.  In about 3 hours I found 125 silver coins, many of them halves.  In one expanding hole I found 30 silver coins!

Silver Coins Found First Day On The Site.
Photo rights reserved.
The search was made much more difficult because 6-8 inches of fill had been spread on top of the site after demolition.  Many of the coins were deep and gave marginal signals.  There was also a huge amount of trash.   After searching the area over eight visits using every method that I could muster, including different swing directions, different coils, trash removal, digging all questionable signals, searching after hard rain, and even blind digging in spots, I found thirty more coins after having 4-6 inches removed with a Bobcat (I have a family connection and how I wish I had access to that Bobcat all the time!).

Silver Coins Found Second Day On Site.
Photo rights reserved..

I searched carefully for buried jars, but no luck with further caches.

My total silver count for the site was 335 coins.

One other quick note.  A city worker who was on-site the day the coins were discovered during demolition said that their project manager was impatient and did not want to delay the demo job for long while the coins were collected.  They carefully picked up all they saw, but scoops of dirt and debris had already been loaded in the dumpster prior to discovery.  The worker pulled out a few handfuls of dirt…and found silver coins.  The site manager did not want to search that dirt so it was hauled to the dump!  After hearing this story, I made some effort to find out the exact location the debris was dumped but, since it occurred several months prior, the search was fruitless.  I guess silver coins are still being lost!
Congratulations!!  And thanks or sharing.  It is always good to see people do so well. 
Back when the project started the detectorist commented to me on how going back over the same ground in different ways was productive.
There are some good hints in that story.
In that number of coins, and they look to be in very nice condition, there have to be some good dates and maybe even some error coins.
I was invited to be in on the project from the beginning, but tried to give what advice and assistance I could via email.  I missed a lot of fun, but I'm happy about the outcome nonetheless.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2/24/15 Report - Mystery Object Quiz. Comparison Of Two Very Different Detectors - One Cost $200 Plus, The Other $2000 Plus.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

First a little quiz.   These are some items I picked up when looking for bottles the other day.

Do you know what the square box like object is?  I got it wrong when I first saw it.

It has some markings on the bottom but they are hard to make out.

Do you see anything in the picture that goes with the box?  I didn't know they went together until a few days later.

See if you can figure out what it is.  I'll give the answer at the bottom of the post.

I've used a variety of detectors over the years including detectors made by most of the major manufacturers, including Whites, Fisher, Tesoro, Garrett and Minelab.  I've used custom made detectors even more than the detectors made by those companies.

I often get emails asking about what detector to buy.  As you probably know, that is a tough decision,  I can't make that decision for anyone without knowing a lot of details, such as where they want to hunt, what they want to find, and even knowing something about them.

I can say I wouldn't choose Tesoro for wet sand or water hunting, and you should not be fooled by their advertising a lifetime warranty.  It is not a lifetime warranty at all.  They will not honor the warranty when they determine that the detector is obsolete.  They also have other ways to get out of their "lifetime" warranty.

Anyhow, today I thought I'd compare two very different types of detectors made by the same manufacturer.   I chose the Garrett Ace 250 and the Garrett ATX.  Those are two very different detectors.

The Ace costs just over $200, while the ATX costs over $2000.  On the basis of that alone you might think that the ATX will be the far superior detector, and in some ways it is, but there are times when the Ace might be the best choice, and price isn't the only factor, there are times and places where the Ace will actually perform better.

The Ace has basic target ID.  The ATX does not.  The ATX does have a feature called "iron check" but as the manufacturer says, iron check is conservative.  It does not always identify iron.

Both have discrimination.  You probably know how I feel about discrimination.  There is nothing wrong with using discrimination, but use it discriminatingly.  That means don't use it too much.

If I were to describe those two detectors in a few words, here is what I would say.

First the Ace 250.  Inexpensive -  Easy-  Productive - Limited
Now the ATX.         Expensive - Challenging - Powerful - Rugged

The Ace 250 would be a good beginner's detector.  The ATX would probably be very frustrating for a beginner.

There are other times I would choose the Ace.  It is excellent for quickly scanning an area.

The ATX, on the other hand could drive you crazy in a junky area where there is a lot of small trash unless you learn how to effectively deal with that.  It will detect nearly invisible small pieces of iron and it takes a while to learn to effectively deal with that.  Many people would not have the patience.

Don't get me wrong.  I think the ATX is a great detector.  It is just not for everyone or every situation. 

Like I often say, "Detectors are something like golf clubs. Select the one that is right for the situation." 

If you hunt for different things at different types of sites and can afford it, you might want to have more than one type of detector in your arsenal.


Answer to quiz.

Picture clipped from a web site selling vintage items.
Here is a picture of an item like the mystery object that I asked you about.  I found it online.

The object is a vintage letter and stamp moistener.  Water was put in the container and the wheel had an axle that fit into the slots.  When the wheel was turned stamps or whatever could be moistened by the wet wheel.

Picture of the found container
with wheel inside.


No significant change in beach detecting conditions yet.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 23, 2015

2/23/15 Report - New Wreck On Corrigan's Beach. "Open Access" Movement. FCC To Vote On Internet Regulation.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Wreck At Corrigan's
Photos by Captain Jonah Martinez
I received these photos via email just yesterday. This nice boat was left high and dry on the beach.

Notice the cut in the background of the second photo.  You might remember that the beach accesses around there were closed a few weeks ago for dune renourishment.  Well, as usual, the renourishment sand is being moved already.  We haven't had big waves lately but the tides have been bigger than normal.

Thanks for the photos Captain!


The most read posts of January, actually there was a tie, were the 1/3/15 Report - 2/3/14 Report - Beach Renourishment Projects. NDBC Buoy Data. Pirate Superstitions. Six Foot Surf Predicted Friday., and the 1/2/15 Report - 2015 Beach Renourishment Projects. Dredging And Dredged Sand Around the Treasure Coast.

The most "Google Plused" post of January was the

Don't forget that you can always go back to review old posts.  You can also do a key word search using the search box on the main page of the blog.


If you've been reading this blog very long you know that I've complained about how archaeology claims to be saving history FOR the public yet does not provide easy access to the artifacts or information.  Most scholarly articles are published in high-priced academic journals.

The public pays for much of the archaeology that is conducted in the state.  Much of it is paid for by grants that come out of our tax dollars.  Much of it is conducted by faculty, staff and students of state universities.  Salaries, resources and other equipment are provide by the tax payers, yet the public does not have easy access to the results of the research.

I've conducted polls that show how few people have viewed the state collections.  If you've actually seen any of the coins collected by the treasure salvors off of our coast, you probably did not see them at the state museum.  It is much more likely that you saw them at a Mel Fisher Museum or for sale online.  Few of us have ever seen the "Florida Collection," and much of it can only be viewed by appointment for research purposes.

If the pubic pays the salaries and provides the equipment and opportunities for archaeological research, including that done by faculty and graduate students in our State universities, why shouldn't the results be easily available to the tax paying public that pays for it?  Well, it seems that some progress is being made.  There is an "open access" movement.

 In Feb. of 2014 ... AAAS (publisher of ScienceInsider) announced that it will launch the organization’s first online, fully open-access journal early next year...

The move marks a shift for AAAS, which has long been a target of complaints from some advocates of open-access publishing. They argue that the nonprofit organization, best known as the publisher of the high-profile subscription journal Science, has been slow to embrace open access, and over the past decade opposed certain proposals to require journals to make government-funded research papers immediately available for free. AAAS and other publishers have generally argued that such policies would imperil a business model that has served the scientific community well for more than a century.

In recent years, however, the conflict has reached something of a resolution. Science and many other subscription journals have adopted a policy of making research papers freely available after 12 months; at the same time, many publishers have launched scores of new open-access journals, which charge authors a fee...

That is all long over due. 

Here is the link for the entire article.


On Feb. 26 the Federal Communications Commission will vote on regulating the internet.  According to what I read that means taxes, higher prices and loss of freedom.  Once they start, where will they stop?  Look into it.

Here is one web site where you can add your name to a petition.  Also you might want to contact your representative.

It is my opinion that if research is paid for or supported by the tax paying public, the results should be provided online free for easy public access, including good pictures and descriptions of any and all collected artifacts.


If you didn't see yesterday's post on the Pelican-in-Piety artifact from the 1715 Fleet, you might want to take a look.

Not much has changed on the beach.  We still have the small surf, but also some negative tides.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2/22/15 Report - New Authoritative Research On The Gold Pelican-in-Piety Of The 1715 Fleet.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I'm honored to be able to post today the most authoritative new research on one of the most magnificent artifacts found on a 1715 Fleet wreck.  Laura Strolia, author of the book Marigalera of the 1715 Fleet, sent me her newest research on the gold Pelican-in-Piety.   Mention is also made of the gold-filigree triptych reliquary pendant that was found at the same wreck site.


The Gold Pelican in Piety of the 1715 Fleet
Part IV – Conclusion
By Laura Strolia

Over the past several years, I have conducted an ongoing investigation of an artifact found at a shipwreck site on the Florida coast. The vessel originally carrying this item was part of a convoy of ships headed to Spain, but its voyage ended early when a devastating hurricane hit the Bahamas Channel in 1715.

This object of study, discovered by Bonnie Schubert in 2010, was a 22-karat gold statue formed as a pelican-in-piety. It measured only 5.5 inches in height, and the presence of eyelets suggested the piece once held chains in order for it to be suspended in mid-air. The body of the bird was created with an opened chamber and its legs were pinned down into an ornate base. A rose, the classical symbol of Jesus Christ, adorned the bottom and its attached three pointed leaves represented the Holy Trinity.

Previous research (click on Pelican-in-Piety – Part I, Part II, and Part III under “Sources” to read) revealed that the piece could not have been constructed to be a monstrance, reliquary, incense burner, or pyx because of the many ordinances set by the Church at the time. The size and structural design of the artifact were also major components in formulating this conclusion. Its purpose was to simply be a beautiful ornament hung in a chapel, used for adoration. There is more to expand upon, however, concerning its patron and when it would have been on special exhibition.

The pelican-in-piety symbol was associated to a story of folk-lore where the bird was said to have ruptured its own breast to revive its young with its own blood. This legend of sacrifice led to its representation of Jesus Christ on the Cross who laid down his life to save each and every one of us. 
During the Middle Ages the image of the pelican-in-piety, first recognized as the Passion of Christ, was given a more specialized meaning that concentrated on the Eucharist (Rubin, p. 311). Spiritual nourishment became the main concept when gazing at the bird, as Catholics have always believed Jesus continually feeds His people with His Body and Blood by means of the consecrated Host.

In the Madonna della Strada Chapel at Loyola University Chicago, there exists a striking and colorful painting of a pelican-in-piety. Across its body are the Latin words, “ECCE PANIS ANGELICUS.” This phrase in English means “Behold the Bread of Angels,” alluding to the Eucharist. By searching this expression further, one learns it is part of a hymn called “Sacris Solemniis.” The piece was written by St. Thomas Aquinas, the author of the complete liturgical work or Divine Office of Corpus Christi. More intriguing is that another hymn by Aquinas, “Adoro te devote,” makes reference to Christ as a pelican whose one drop of Blood can free the entire world of all its sin.

The Feast of Corpus Christi came about from St. Juliana of Liege who became a nun in 1206. Our Lord revealed to Juliana through reoccurring visions that there was an absence of a liturgical devotion for Christ’s presence in the Blessed Host. In 1264, Pope Urban IV proclaimed a new feast day, Corpus Christi, to be held annually on the Thursday after Holy Trinity Sunday. The celebration would wholly be dedicated to the miracle of bread and wine becoming the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

The feast was accepted in Spain by the late thirteenth century (Brooks, p. 55) and became one of the most popular festivals for every level of society. Events included high masses, theatrical performances, tournaments, banquets, fireworks, and of course, the famous General Procession where the consecrated Host was carried through the streets of the city. The parade was made up of clerics, municipal officials, military, and commoners who gathered with their fellow parishioners, or with members belonging to their trade, guild, or confraternity.

The term confraternity (cofradías) referred to religious groups or brotherhoods whose purpose was to do charitable acts. They also held chapter meetings, and maintained chapels on land of their own or in rented spaces of other churches. It was said that in the Golden Age of Spain, every member of the community belonged to at least one confraternity (Webster, p. 14). Many brotherhoods were originally established by trade groups. For instance, the Sevillian confraternity of Cristo de la Expiración was sponsored by the silversmith’s guild and the congregation of Santísimo Cristo de la Humildad y Paciencia was affiliated to the Basque merchants of Cádiz (see Webster, pp. 14-20, for more information on the identity and member formation of guilds, confraternities, and devotional brotherhoods).

During the Corpus Christi procession, participants stopped at temporary altars set up throughout the diverse neighborhoods. Special prayers were said in front of the Holy Eucharist before continuing on the set route that would eventually lead back to the Cathedral. The outdoor altars, built by guilds or confraternities, were carefully planned out for months and embellished with the finest pieces of artwork, particularly those of gold and silver. Effort was taken to decorate the altars with those ornaments directly related to the history and theme of the Blessed Sacrament (Lenaghan, p. 9). A symbolic piece of art like the pelican-in-piety artifact of the 1715 fleet would have been quite appropriate in such a setting (to better understand the theological concept of the Eucharist in artistic imagery, please read the extraordinary work of John F. Moffitt on Masaccio’s Trinity fresco and how it is a celebration of Corpus Christi, pp. 71-74). When the festival ended, the objects of devotion returned to a group’s chapel where they would be displayed all year long.

Corpus Christi became an event where people not only expressed their faith, but their competitive spirit as well. Groups of every nature and status, as well as entire parishes, hoped to outshine all others with lavish displays on streets and on sponsored parade floats. The goal to make such outstanding contributions in Corpus Christi required great resources and funding. One confraternity chose to pawn items belonging to its private chapel consisting of “various articles of silver, including bells and crosses, in order to pay the high costs . . .” (Webster, p. 140). Having great sums of money, though, gave groups an opportunity to contract professional artists in order to obtain unique and new creations that no one has ever seen before. What ended up in the inventory of brotherhoods must have been imaginable, as one quote exclaimed “the adornments commissioned by or donated the confraternities during the seventeenth century were precious objects suitable for the use of kings and queens” (Webster, p. 127).

I truly believe the pelican-in-piety artifact from the Florida coast belonged to a confraternity member who was going to donate it to his chapel in Spain. Additionally it would have been displayed in the Feast of Corpus Christi for multitudes of spectators. The hanging object, being of New World craftsmanship, would have presented its own story and secrets from an originating place so far across the ocean.

On the same wreck site and within close range of the discovered pelican-in-piety, another intriguing religious item came out of the water, this being a gold-filigree triptych reliquary pendant. Surprisingly, its center piece contained a monstrance design, thus also having a Eucharistic theme. It is likely that both the pelican-in-piety and the reliquary pendant were from the same shipment and held the same destiny upon reaching European soil. Undoubtedly, the two artifacts together would have contributed to a one of kind Corpus Christi altar.

Today the pelican-in-piety artifact of the 1715 fleet remains a valuable and unique piece of art and history, reflecting people’s beliefs and social networking of the time. The true
nature of its value, however, lies in its ability to bring us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.


Brooks, Lynn Matluck. The Dances of the Processions of Seville in Spain's Golden Age. Kassel: Ed. Reichenberger, 1988.

Flynn, Maureen. Sacred Charity: Confraternities and Social Welfare in Spain, 1400-1700. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1989.

Lenaghan, Patrick, and Ruth Matilda. Anderson. Images in Procession: Testimonies to Spanish Faith. New York: American Bible Society, 2000.

Moffitt, John F. Painterly Perspective and Piety: Religious Uses of the Vanishing Point, from the 15th to the 18th Century. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008.

Rubin, Miri. Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991.

Strolia, Laura. Pelican-in-Piety – Part II:

Strolia, Laura. Pelican-in-Piety – Part III:

Webster, Susan Verdi. Art and Ritual in Golden-Age Spain: Sevillian Confraternities and the Processional Sculpture of Holy Week. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1998.


I'm fortunate to be able to post the most authoritative research on some of the most fantastic artifacts found on the Treasure Coast.  Thanks Laura!


The surf on the Treasure Coast is running around three of four feet.  It will be like that for about a week.

We have been having some nice big tides.   Too bad the surf hasn't been bigger.

Happy hunting,

Friday, February 20, 2015

2/20/15 Report - Strategic Decision Making. Knowing Your Beaches.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A few days ago I posted a chart showing that some of the most valuable rings are smaller.  I also showed the effect of two different discrimination settings in that chart.

In order to select the best detector settings, it helps to know the beach and what it most likely holds.  It usually takes more than one visit to determine the type and amount of junk that will be found on a particular beach, but it usually takes more visits to get a good feel for what type of good targets you can expect from a particular beach.

To give you a few examples of different beaches, there are some beaches where you'll find a good number of big bulky class rings.  For example Fort Lauderdale, back in the day when that was the place to Spring Break, was very much like that.   There were a lot of class rings, but relatively few engagement rings or quality gemstone rings. 

As you probably know, that has changed.  Now Fort Lauderdale draws a different crowd, and you won't find as many class rings, but you will find more engagement and other types of rings.

Beaches frequented by wealthy patrons do not generally produce a lot of bulky class rings, but they do produce gemstone rings, large men's rings and even a few Rolex watches.  Beaches like that might not produce a large quantity of good finds, but the quality can quickly make up for that.

Hollywood beach back in the eighties produced a good number of cheap bands.  Often they were gold plated, and if solid gold, seldom more than 10K.  The numbers were good but not the quality.  There were also a few high school class rings found there, but not the numbers you would find at Fort Lauderdale back in the day.

What I'm saying is that you should get to know your beaches and what kinds of targets are likely to be found there.  It can take a while, but you can not get an complete understanding if you always discriminate out an entire range of targets.

If you need to use discrimination, and you probably know that I try to discourage using too much discrimination, take into account the types of objects that you are likely to find or not find at a particular beach. 

If you are at a place where there are very few small valuable pieces, a strategic decision might be to focus on larger targets.  That might mean you can use a little more discrimination.

It also helps to know the predominant types of trash at a particular beach. It usually doesn't take as long to get to know the predominant types of trash, but you will need to check at least a few times without discrimination so you know what is or isn't there.  

The predominant type of junk at a particular beach is not only determined by the activities that take place there, but also by the detectorists that work the site and how they detect.  That depends to some extent upon what type of detector they use. 

Some beaches are very clean these days.  They have been cleaned by detectorists who do not use much discrimination.  Remember, there is no reason to use a lot of discrimination where there is no junk. 

Most beaches are predominated by a few types of junk. Some beaches have mostly one type of trash, while others have multiple types.

Some beaches have a lot of pull-tabs.  Others have a lot of beer bottle tops.  Others have a lot of small pieces of iron. 

One popular tourist beach on the Treasure Coast has virtually no trash in the middle 50 yards or so. The same beach, though, has tons of bottle caps just to the north of that.  And to the south of that middle section, not as many bottle caps as to the north, but a good number.  That beach has very few pull tabs now.  A few years ago it had tons of pull tabs.  

As you move from one part of that beach to the next, you might want to make some adjustments to your settings.

That is what I'm talking about - getting to know your beaches - both what is there and what is not there.  Once you know that, you can select your discrimination and other settings more strategically.


Here is more on the Minelab GPZ 7000.  They are really promoting this.


On the Treasure Coast today (Fri.) we'll have around a two or three-foot surf.  The tides are big though.  We'll have a good negative tide.

Yesterday morning William M. observed a cut that went from two inches to two feet in about twenty minutes.   You might have noticed the northerly winds yesterday morning.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2/18/15 Report - 2000 Gold Coins Discovered. 3500 Year-Old Bronze Cache Discovered. Few Old Bottles. GPZ 7000 Details.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1000-Year-Old Gold Coins On Ocean Floor.

A dive club found what at first appeared to be toy coins while on a club dive. 

It turned out to be a priceless trove of 2,000 gold coins used by 10th Century Caliphate which once ruled much of the Middle East is found off the coast of Israel.
  • Largest haul ever found off Israel’s Mediterranean coast.
  • Divers found coins dating back more than 1,000 years by pure chance.
  • Thought they were toy coins before experts confirmed they were gold.
  • Work ongoing to trace origins of the treasure uncovered by storm.
  • Valuable haul is property of the state with no finder’s fee for divers. 

Below is the link to the article in which the photo was found.


A similar thing happened to a fellow taking a walk when he saw something sticking out of the ground.  It was actually part of 3500 year old cache of bronze items.

Here is the link for that story.,403787,treasure-of-bronze-objects-from-before-35-thousand-years-discovered-in-bieszczady.html

Photo from Science in Poland web site.

And here is a picture of some of those bronze finds.


Few Old Bottles Eye-balled On The Treasure Coast Yesterday

Yesterday I decided to take a walk to do a little eye-balling.  The results weren't that great, but I did enjoy myself.

Here are some bottles that I eye-balled.  As long as some older things are showing up, you never know when something good might pop up.

In this picture there is a Scott's cod liver oil with lime and soda bottle (upper left), a couple of small pharmacy type bottles, a nice old Pepto Bismol bottle and an ink bottle.  Also there is a miniature painted vase that I didn't get in this picture.

Pepto Bismol Bottle

Cod Liver Oil Bottle

On the Treasure Coast today there is a West wind and something like a one-foot surf.

Tomorrow the surf will be calm too.

Don't expect any real changes in beach conditions anytime soon.

One thing you can say is the weather isn't bad.  At least you won't sweat to death.


Yesterday I mentioned the new GPZ 7000 Minelab detector.

I received an email from Minelab this morning with a link to the press release announcing the the new GPZ.  

Here is a link to a site all about the new detector

One thing interesting is the charts showing depth comparisons of the new detector with the 5000 and SDC detectors.  Notice how the different detectors compare on small, medium and large nuggets.

While the new detector comes out ahead on all three sizes, the advantage is definitely larger on some sizes and not so much on other sizes.

That is an interesting chart with important implications if you study it.


Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

5/17/15 Report - New $10,000 Plus Minelab Detector. Little Things Can Mean A Lot. Sharing Photos Made With GPS Enabled Devices

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Minelab GPZ 7000 Detector

Here is a picture of the new Minelab GPZ 7000 to be launched tomorrow, Feb. 18.   Preorders are being accepted.  The retail price is around $12,000.   I've seen them offered for $9,999.

It is a gold detector and supposed to be 40% deeper than the GPX 5000.

 The stem and body assembly look a bit like the Garrett ATX.


One of the things that it took a long time for me to learn, and that I'm actually still learning, is that little things can make a big difference.  I was noticing just the other day how much difference a slight tilt in the coil can have.  I was using a powerful detector and a slight tilt sometimes made a big difference in signal strength.  That also means a difference in ability to detect deep or small targets.

Mostly what I've been noticing is the big difference made by changes in settings.  It really surprised me how much difference the threshold setting can make - not just on one detector either, but mostly pulse induction detectors. 

Some people simply adjust the threshold for comfort.  Some like the threshold silent while others like it louder.  If you do a test (I've done many) you'll see that the threshold setting can make a huge difference.  It won't necessarily make you miss the most obvious targets, but it can make it difficult to hear perfectly good smaller or deep targets. 

In my tests, having the threshold either too quiet or too loud, resulted in a surprising reduction in signal strength and losing a good number or signals altogether.   I would never have guessed how much difference it would make, but I tested it and found out for sure.

For many years I went out and set the settings to what I was accustomed to using or what seemed to work.  After extensive testing, I am now much more careful about my settings.  You can have a very good detector, but use it in a manner that makes it much less effective.  I now adjust my detector differently at different beaches and different parts of a beach, depending upon a variety of factors.

You can start by using the factory presets, what the instruction manuals suggests or what someone tells you, but if you want the best performance that isn't enough.


If you use an iPhone or GPS enabled camera you should be aware that when you upload a photo from such a camera that you could be passing along additional data.  You could be unwittingly posting the location where the photo was taken, and possibly your name and other information stored with the picture.

You don't have to worry about the GPS data being included if your camera is not GPS enabled. 

If you use an iPhone to take your pictures, you can remove data that you don't' want to share before posting a photo.  Don't worry it is relatively easy.  I mentioned this before but I received a question about it so thought I'd post more information.

First, here is a general article about that.

And here are instructions telling how to delete data from iPhone pictures before you send them or post them.

You can check for data associate with pictures when using Windows 8 by right clicking on the photo, and going to "Properties" and then "Details."  You can then select to remove data if you wish.

I usually snip the pictures that I receive before posting them so the extra data is removed.   But if you want to make sure not to include extra data with your pictures or your own posts, you can follow the above instructions.


It is good advice to slow down when metal detecting.  It might also be a good idea to slow down when driving.  I've seen some terrible driving lately and some bad accidents.  It isn't worth it.  Arrive alive!


On the Treasure Coast the wind this morning was from the South.  In the afternoon it was coming from the West.  Expect a westerly wind for a couple of days.

There was a good negative tide today combined with a calm surf.   That is a good time to check the low tide area.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 16, 2015

2/16/15 Report - Strategically Selecting Discrimination Settings. Rechargeable Batteries.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is a simplified illustration.  It is not real precise, but I hope it helps.

If you are interested in finding gold jewelry on a beach or in the water and want to maximize the value of your finds, you should be aware of how discrimination will affect the results and the value of your finds.

As I've said before, back a lot of years ago I thought that women didn't lose nearly as many rings as men.  That was because I was using too much discrimination and missed many of the smaller women's rings.

The illustration above shows increasing ring size as you go from left to right.  The smallest rings are for babies and children.  Charms, ear rings and chains can also fall in this range.

On the right are the larger rings such as men's school class rings and championship rings.  Larger gold rings have more gold value, but small gold rings can be more valuable if they hold valuable gem stones.

The line plotted on the chart gives an idea of how the value of gold rings of different sizes.can vary.  The least valuable are small children's rings and small lady's bands.  The most valuable are typically diamond engagement rings.  High quality diamond rings do not typically have large bands, especially the highest quality solitaire diamonds.

Men's bands are typically bigger and have more gold weight. Men's gold diamond and gemstone rings can be quite large and hold valuable gems, although usually the gems are not of the same quality as those in quality engagement rings.

And then there are the very heavy championship rings, which usually don't have the highest quality gems, but are highly valued as sports memorabilia.

When I began serious water detecting I had a Fisher 1280X.  It had simple linear discrimination controlled by a single knob.  My initial setting was something like that shown by the orange line to the right of the chart.  I was then getting a lot of men's rings, but few women's rings.

If you have a simple linear discrimination setting such as that on the 1280 or the Minelab Excalibur,  you should be aware of what you might be missing.

One thing I want to show with this illustration is how you should strategically select your discrimination settings, simple linear or otherwise.

When I dialed back the discrimination to the level of the orange line to the left, I started getting more women's rings, which includes those in the high value engagement and gemstone category.

Large gold rings have more gold weight and gold value, but some of the most valuable rings will be those with quality gem stones.  They often have very small gold bands.

There are still small and possibly valuable gold items that will be missed even with the lower discrimination setting, such as diamond stud ear rings, which have very little gold weight.

Even if you have target ID, you should be aware of valuable targets you might be missing.  As I once demonstrated using the Ace 250, if you don't dig targets in the foil and aluminum range, you could miss something like 30 or 40 percent of the gold rings.

I am not showing precise experimental data in this chart, but I hope that it illustrates the main point  -- that you should be aware of the effects of discrimination so you can make strategic decisions with your settings.


If your detector uses AA batteries and you detect a lot, replacing batteries can be expensive.  In that case it can be worth spending on rechargeable batteries.  Every good consumer report that I've seen rates the Eneloop Pro as the best rechargeable battery.  An eight pack will probably cost you nearly $40, but it could be worth it.  They recharge quickly, don't loose their charge quickly during storage, and last long.

There are NiCad and NiMH batteries.  NiCad batteries can develop a memory and so it is best to discharge them fully before recharging them.   NiMH batteries, such as the Eneloop batteries, use a better technology and do not have the memory effect.

It can take a number of discharge/recharge cycles for your rechargeable batteries to reach maximum capacity.  You can see that if you have a battery tester.  After the first recharge, the batteries may only show a charge of something like 70 or 80 percent.  You can expect that to improve.

I get a lot of good use out of my battery tester.  If you don't have one I'd recommend getting one.

Here is a link if you want to read more about rechargeable batteries.

I was just informed that the Eneloop batteries were developed by Sanyo (not Sony as I originally typed) but were bought by Panasonic.

Champ F. also said, Always buy the highest rated amperage ones available since you will be using them for many many years.

Good tip.  Thanks!


We are back to a small surf along the Treasure Coast again.  It will give you an opportunity to check out the low tide area to see what might have washed in during the larger waves.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, February 14, 2015

2/14/15 Report - Mystery Item Positively Identified. Santeria Yemana Tools. Smaller Surf Sunday.

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Photo source: Papa Jim's Botanica Web Site.
In ,my 2/12/15 post I posted a picture of a mystery item.  The same type of item had been found at two different locations.  I asked for ideas and received quite a variety.

After posting those pictures, I received pictures from Robert H., whose friend also found a similar item.   This third find was accompanied by other items, similar to those that I've seen found on beaches before and also similar to those shown in this picture.  The items included a small metal sun, moon, anchor, and a couple other items.  One item found with the group of items sent by Robert was an object known to be used in Santeria. 

I therefore did a little research on Santeria and before long came up with a picture of some the items in Roberts picture, including the mystery item.  Those items were advertised by a shop that sells things for use in Santeria.  Here is that picture as shown on Papa Jim's Botanica web site.

Notice the two items at the bottom.  Those are exactly like the mystery items.  Mystery solved!

Here is the link listing those items.  They are listed as Yemaya tools.

Thanks Bob for the help!  And thanks to all of you who sent ideas.

I've found most of those items myself, including a metal chicken, sun, moon, anchor, ships wheel, etc.   The chicken, which is not shown in the above picture, is also shown on Papa Jim's web site.

I though I posted some of those items years ago, but couldn't find them in the blog right off.

I suspect those finds are more common in South Florida, but like the finds, Santeria might be spreading out from Miami.

Here is a link that will tell you about Santeria.  It began back as far as the 1700s and is still practiced today.


Its always good to get a positive identity for a mystery item.  In doing so I now know more about some of my old finds.


The surf tomorrow is supposed to be down around three feet along the Treasure Coast.  That will give you a good opportunity to walk along the wet sand and look for "wash-ups" like the one I described yesterday.

Check areas where rocks and large shells are accumulating.  The hot spots will probably be on the lower third of the slope.

Most of the park areas next to the walk-overs seem to be pretty clean.

Happy Valentine's Day,

Friday, February 13, 2015

2/13/15 Report - Extensive List of Most Valuable U.S. Coins. 1890 Swiss 2 Rappen. A "Wash-Up" Located This Morning.

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Typical Treasure Coast Beach This Morning Near Low Tide

I didn't see any cuts today.  Even cuts that existed a few days ago are now gone.  At high tide the waves came up over the berm and far back on some beaches.

You can see how smooth this beach is.  This beach front was fairly mushy.  I did find one front beach that was firm.

There was a lot of sea weed on some flat beaches.  You can see a little in the above picture.  Some beaches had much more.

I found a surprising number of new coins in the dry sand after taking a good walk away from the park.

I also found a "wash-up" coin hole at one location where an accumulation of rocks was observed down by the swash.   A shell pile was near the berm above that.  There was nothing else remarkable about the spot.  The slope and compactness of the sand was about the same for hundreds of yards, yet the coins were washing up at this one spot.  The highest ones were less than half the way up the slope.  The only tip-off was the rocks and shells.

Here is a nice short video showing the beach and waves this morning.

Below is a nice old coin found by Dan B.

This is a 2.5 gram bronze coin, 20 mm in diameter.

It is a 1890 Swiss coin.

The denomination is 2 centimes or 2 rappen.

Super condition!

Congratulations Dan.

The value in VF20 condition would be about $8.  I'd say this is way above that.

MS63 would be worth more like $45.


See if you can match these four coins with their realized prices.

1926 S Mercury Dime
1913 Liberty Head V Nickle
1921 S Morgan Silver Dollar
1944 Steel Wheat Penny


The order of those coins from most to least expensive follows.
1913 Nickle, 1944 Penny, 1926 Dime, and 1921 Silver Dollar.

Here is llink to an extensive list of the most valuable US Coins if you want to see the prices of many besides those four.

That is a handy list.


On the Treasure Coast the surf is decreasing.  Expect it to be down to around 2 or 3 feet by Sunday.

We got some good size waves but the angles were not good.  Just goes to show that it takes more than big waves to cause cuts.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, February 12, 2015

2/12/15 Report - Beach Condition Photos Fort Pierce, Vero & Sebastian. Mystery Item.

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One of these items was found in the Melborne area.  Another identical item was found in the Deerfield Beach area about six years ago.

It is made of lead.

If you have any ideas about what it is please let me know.


When I awoke this morning I was disappointed to see that the wind wasn't blowing much.  I went out to survey the treasure beaches along the Treasure Coast this morning. 

Turtle Trail is now open.  They dumped new sand on the dunes and in front of the dunes.  It seemed renourishment projects are in progress or were recently completed on many of the beaches from Vero to Sebastian.

Seagraph Trail was now closed, as was Wabasso.  Golden Sands and Treasure Shores were open.  Renourishment projects were completed there not too long ago.

They were working on the area by the old salvage camp north of the McLarty Museum.  The informal beach paths used by fisherman and others were ribboned off.

Also, a project is underway at South Jetty Park in Fort Pierce.

Waves Last Night Came Up Over The Berm At Douglass Beach.

Nice Size Waves At Douglass Beach But No Erosion.
Looks like the wind is blowing the tops off of those waves.

Looking South at Turtle Trail.

Looking North at Turtle Trail.
Notice in both of these pictures how they put new sand over the front of the dunes.  I think that contrary to the predictions, the waves were actually higher down along Hutchinson Island this morning.

Amber Sands Beach Looking North.
 In the above picture you can see that they covered the dunes like they did down at Turtle Trail.

Cut South of Amber Sands Beach Access.
Here is a cut maybe 50 or a hundred yards south of the access.  It was in renourishment sand.

Overall conditions failed to improve despite the higher waves we had last night.  The waves were parallel to the beach this morning, as was the case yesterday.

The waves all along the coast were breaking far out from the beach.  It looks like there is a lot of sand piled up just off-shore. 

Tomorrow the surf is supposed to begin decreasing.  Too bad.  I didn't see anything that would make me increase my beach detecting conditions rating today. 

Don't forget to send your thoughts on the mystery item.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2/11/15 Report - 6 PM Conditions Update. Cross of the Order of the Holy Spirit. One Remarkable 1715 Fleet Artifact.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Photo source: Wikipedia link below.
The Order of the Holy Spirit was created by Henry III in 1578.  The Order of Saint Michael was an older and less exclusive honor.

Knights of the Order wore a medallion such as the one shown to the left.  It is a gold cross with gold fleur-de-lys and white enamel.  The dove, of course, signifies the Holy Spirit.

Knights of the order were supposed to wear the medallion at all times.  It was worn on a blue silk ribbon or with an elaborate collar.

Nearly 27 years ago, on June 9, 1988, Captain Mo Molinar amd the crew of the Virgalona found the medallion pictured below about a mile north of the main pile of the presumed Nieves wreck site in the area of the famous "carpet of gold"

The Order of the Holy Spirit was a French Order, so what would a knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit be doing on a Spanish treasure ship? 

John de Bry's article The Order of the Holy Spirit: An Important Decoration from a 1715 Plate Fleet Wreck (The Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol 74. No. 1. pp. 50-63) gives us an idea.

De Bry says, The present decoration is extremely rare in historical significance.  It is one of the few 1715 Plate Fleet artifacts which have been the focus of thorough historical research.  It is inconceivable that it could have been anything other than the rightful property of a knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit, and the 1715 dating strongly suggests that the knight was Don Isodore-Juan-Joseph Domingo de la Cueva y Benavides, he first Spanish recipient of this prestigious award.

Artifact Found By The Crew Of The Virgalona
Source of photo: Florida Historical Quarterly link above. 
It appears that this artifact has been traced to a particular passenger on the 1715 Plate Fleet.  Few artifacts are remarkable enough that they can be identified with such specificity.  It makes you think of Don Isodore, esteemed and knighted, perhaps wearing this decoration with color and cord, when disaster strikes. 

You can look out at that same area of the ocean the next time you are at Douglass Beach and imagine how Don Isodore became separated from this unique artifact that remained on the ocean floor for hundreds of years before being discovered again by the crew of the Virgalona.

Here is a link to the de Bry article..  You might have to register with JSTOR to be able to gain access to the article.  Yesterday I talked about JSTOR and some of the ways you can access it.

And here is the link to the Wikipedia article.


The wind is from the North on the Treasure Coast and the surf on the southern end of the Treasure Coast is about 4 - 6 feet, and more up north, more like 6 - 8 feet.

As of 6 PM Douglass Beach had big waves but no erosion.  You can see what that looked like in the picture below.  The waves were hitting straight on, and the front beach was mushy.

600 PM Beach View.

Tomorrow it should be a little higher.  We'll see if that actually happens.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2/10/14 Report - Eight Foot Surf Predicted. Artifacts Saved From Destruction By Looters. Repurposed Artifacts. Great Research Resource.

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This article discusses how these artifacts were possibly saved by Viking looters.  If the Vikings did not steal them, they would have been melted down.  It also tells how the items were repurposed.  Since the Vikings had no use for the religious artifacts, they took the parts and used them as jewelry.

The idea that looters saved the artifacts is interesting by itself, but it made me think of the many items that are saved by detectorists from one type of destruction or another,  Beach hunters, for example, save artifacts that would be lost to the sea through tumbling and corrosion over time.  The salt water surf is a rough environment where things can not survive forever without being damaged or destroyed.

Here is the link to that article.

Artifacts being recycled is another interesting topic.  One old emerald ring that I found seems to have a setting taken from an older piece and mounted on a newer band (See photo.). 

The band does not match the setting in style, and the gold on the top piece is of a different purity than the band.

Certainly things have been repurposed or recycled and reused over the decades and centuries, sometimes being used in an entirely different way or form than the original.


JSTOR is a collection of scholarly works that includes articles from many disciplines including history and archaeology to name just two.

If you are doing research you might want to get access to JSTOR.  One way to get access is to take a class at a college or university.  You will then have access through the library when you get your card.  Some public libraries also provide access.

There is a program for individuals which will give you free but limited access if you register.  There are big limitations in this program.

Here is a link obtained through JSTOR to an abstract of an article that talks about the use of metal detectors in archaeology and discusses the source of the uninformed opinions of archaeologists on the subject.

If you take a class as a part time student, your access will last only as long as you are enrolled in the class, but JSTOR can be worth the price of tuition if you really use it intensely during that period.

If you are doing research you might look into getting access to JSTOR through a school, library or try out the limited but free access for individuals.


The surf on the Treasure Coast is very small today.  I'll be watching and hoping for the eight-foot surf predicted for Thursday.  I really hope that happens.  We sure do need it.

Happy hunting,

Monday, February 9, 2015

2/9/14 Report - Souvenir Or Fake Reale Recently Found On The Treasure Coast & Not A Fake.

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I just received an email from a reader who had been trying to clean what appeared to be his first cob find.   He did his research and learned how to clean cobs.  Then he carefully cleaned it so he could see the details.  Then he did some research only to find out it was a fake or souvenir reale.

Most of us have found fakes.  I'd say I've found about a half dozen fake cobs over the years.  My first fake was really confusing.  It was encrusted very much like a real cob might be.  As a result I carefully cleaned it, first carefully removing some of the crust with a dental pick.   When I finally got it to where I could see some of the detail I was even more confused.  The design didn't match the  color I was seeing.  Remember, that was my first cob (I thought) and I didn't know much about them at the time.  I did more and more research until somehow (I don't remember exactly now) I finally learned that it was a fake.  What a disappointment!

Today I can usually identify a fake pretty quickly, often as soon as I see it or pick it up.  Sometimes they can be identified by feel.  Some are way too light.  Sometimes you can tell by appearance.

Some fakes are made out of lead.  Some, like like the one below, are plated with a gold color plating  Some are marked "COPY," but often the marking will be small or covered by dirt or sand.

I've seen some convincing fakes.  I'm sometimes hesitant to scratch a possible cob for metal testing, and that can be a bit of an obstacle.

Often I can identify a cheaper metal by look or feel, but I have seen fake cobs actually made of silver.

I usually remember where I found the better fakes because at first sight I thought they were real.

One thing to consider is where it was found.  If you find a cob on top of dry sand in a public park where no cobs have been found before, most likely it is a fake.   It isn't likely that one will show up in a place like that, but strange things can happen.  I've found a lot of things where I still wonder how in the world they got there.   Some kid could have taken dad's prized possession for show-and-tell and lost it.  Things like that are possible.

The first fake cob that I ever found (the encrusted one I talked about above) was found probably ten yards from where I found a genuine cob, so you can't always tell if it might be fake by location, although that might be your first tip off.

Replica 8-escudo.
Here is a "replica" coin.  There is no intention to deceive.  It is sold with the packaging clearly marked "replica."  Nonetheless, if you dug one up you might get excited at first glance.

One very big Florida retailer includes these with some of the detectors they sell.

After a while you'll get to know what cobs should look like.   Real cobs will often be black.  They aren't perfect either.  They can be a little bit like diamonds.   If they look too perfect, maybe they are fake.

With experience you'll have a better idea of what a real cob should look like.  That first sight of a fake in the scoop can get you excited until the disappointment settles in.

I once found a genuine Spanish silver coin that I thought was a fake at first glance (See photo below.).  It is shown here as it looked after it was partially cleaned.

When I dug it up I saw what appeared to be a cross on one side and quickly assumed it was a fake reale and put it in my pocket without getting excited at all.  I assumed it was fake.  It looked too perfect.  It was perfectly round.  It was not worn.  It did have enough sand on it that the design was not clear.

I didn't really take much time to inspect it.  I didn't expect to find anything very old where I was and quickly slipped it in my pocket.

Since that time I've learned that old things do show up at that location on rare occasion, including 18th and 17th century items.

This particular coin, showing a cross and a lion and castle on one side, in my judgement was probably a fake.  Anyhow, I knew that I could inspect it later, so slipped into my pocket and continued my hunt.

After cleaning it off and doing the research, I eventually learned that this coin was a 1966 100 pesetas silver bullion coin.  The same coin is shown cleaned at the top of this post.  Not exactly a fake.

Fakes can be disappointing, especially if you thought you just found your first reale.  The one thing good about them is that you generally learn a lot from them.  All of the cleaning and research pays off to some extent.  You will probably learn more about cobs from your first fake than your first real cob.


The surf on the Treasure Coast is supposed to be calm Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday we are supposed to get somthing like a five to seven foot surf.  That could do us some good if the other factors line up.

Happy hunting,