Thursday, April 30, 2015

4/30/15 Report - Gold Coin Find - Fake or Real? Suggestions and Reminders On Detecting Etiquette.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Coin Found and Photographed by Robert H.
 Robert H. found this coin on 4/28.

 Here is what he said.  Not sure if it's real or fake. It's so very underweight and seeing your posts about items being in the ocean like reales being very under weight because of the washing machine type conditions. Closet comparison I was able to find was the 1853 $1 gold coin. Could a item that consist of 90 percent gold and 10 percent copper really be worn down a gram after being in the ocean many years?

While I'm not going to offer an opinion based upon just the photos and an email, I'd say that it is unlikely that a gold coin would lose that much weight without it being very observable.

A one dollar gold coin of that era should weigh in  just over 1.67 grams.  A loss of one gram would be over half of the coin's weight, but the photos do not show that kind of loss.

I can't really make out the third digit in the date.

I commented upon a few other things that I noticed about the coin via email.

If you' like to see the data on a similar gold coin, you can use this link to the NGC coin site.

If you have any observations or comments on this find, please send me an email.   Thanks.


As I write the Sedwick Coins auction is going on.  The bidding is good.  I noticed that the two stamped "oro corriente" pieces sold way above estimates.


I was hoping to come up with some guidelines for beach detecting etiquette. I didn't get exactly what I was looking for but got something even better.

One thing I was reminded of by those who responded is that detecting courtesy isn't just between detectorists.  There will be other people on the beach, and it is just as important to be courteous to them.  The reputation of the hobby is at stake.

Ron J.said,  Beach detecting courtesy should be no different than than at other places...

That is what it comes down to.  Courtesy is courtesy.  Some people don't show it on the road or check-out counter and some people don't show it on the beach. It is about being aware of the other person, and their situation and treating them as you would like to be treated.  Detecting on the beach does present some unique situations though.
I didn't think of trash when I first posed the question, but it does affect other detectorists as well as other people on the beach.  Picking up trash is one more way to extend courtesy to others, even those that aren't around at the time.  Trash will remain on the beach forever if we don't pick it up.  I know of a few places that run a machine on the beach to pick up the trash, but that is a rarity.  It is up to us, and we should get credit for doing it. 

It was Champ F that said you should act like you are on video and the video will be on the evening news.  Good idea!

Concerning trash, Champ said, You dig it and its yours. Period. Land or sea. Only exception is too big to carry to the trash can... and no leaving the crushed can in the bottom of the hole just because you didn't pull it out, and before anyone whines that their bag is too small for all that trash, you should have brought a larger trash bag or just stop being so lazy and walk the 50 yards to the garbage can.

I mentioned just the other day that some of our beaches are now very clean - cleaner than they have een in decades.  That is a good thing anyway you look at it.  On the other hand, there are some beaches that are getting tons of trash dumped on them along with renourishment sand.
Here is a topic I didn't think of at first, but it is a good topic.  If you detect on crowded beaches you will come into contact with other people.  Although I used to hunt busy beaches, I now seldom visit a busy beach.  I normally go early, late, when its rainy, or to a more quiet beach.   It is an important topic though.

Champ also said, If the cut is a long one, I'd tend to go far ahead and work from the opposite end towards the middle.  By long, I'm thinking one that would take a single detectorist an hour+ to work. 
He said if you've established rapport with another detectorist before hitting the beach, you mutually decide who gets which end to start on. If you cant decide, flip a coin...  I personally wouldn't intrude on someone's found hole, but i would use the knowledge to search for a nearby similar spot.
Champ said, Dumping kids that crowd you so bad you can't swing and mob the scoop when it comes up is my pet beach peeve.  I love a short talk with a well mannered kid, but the others I'd like to feed to the sharks along with their clueless parent(s).  My usual method of getting rid of them is to dig a couple of scoops at a spot in the wet sand and declare "well, its a gold ring or pulltab but its just a bit too deep for my scoop".  That never fails to occupy them long enough for a getaway.

I love the possible gold ring in an endless hole ruse.  There are rude adults and undisciplined children.  Handling them with grace is important for our hobby.
Thanks Champ!

I enjoy talking to the good kids and even teaching them a thing or two.  The undisciplined monkies are another matter.   

Ron J. sent in some good ideas too.  Here is what he said.

1.Fill holes, remove all junk.

2.Like fishing, don't crowd in on someones spot.

3. Being aware that some detectors cause interference when used too close to another, I always turn off my detector before approaching to talk someone who is detecting.

4. Being aware of whats going on around you can help a lot to avoid conflict.

5. When working the towel line with sunbathers on the towels, don't detect real close to the people, go wide around them and come back when they have left.

That is a good reminder.  Be courteous to beach goers that are not there to detect.  Give them some space too.

6. When the family with kids stops and ask about what I am finding, I really try to take the time to show the kids what I have found (mostly junk).  The kids look at you like , Wow this is really fascinatingly cool!...

Thanks Ron!

SuperRick is from Vegas where he normally detects for meteorites and gold.  He was here on the Treasure Coast  recently and was detecting the beaches.  Here is what Rick said.

I just found this Blog a few days ago and this is the third time that I have to say thanks for all the good information on the Blog. I run a forum in Las Vegas for playing craps that is set up to help others out. I appreciate all of the hard work that who ever is running the Blog puts into it, He does a great job of it.

Thanks Rick!
To start with every hole we dig gets filled in and that is one of the first things I tell anybody that I help that is starting out and we can be 60 miles from anybody out in the desert. Face the fact that any hole you dig is a hazard not only to other humans but also any animal that might trip in it.
So even if I dig at the water line here on the beach my holes are filled in right away. I want it as I found it. There are so many laws that are made because people didn't do the right thing. Think about that the next time you do something that only would have taken a minute to do!
Now if someone is out in the desert with any of us and they find a meteorite or gold we give them all the space the need, if they want to call us over and tell us to check out the area where they found it, then we will hunt after getting permission to do so.
Its a common practice out there to give that permission to hunt the area, one guy will hunt out front and the other will hunt to the rear. We want to find the direction that the meteorite came in from. Now as far as gold goes that can be a very different story.  Some guard any gold by not saying a thing about it. The funny thing about that is the meteorites are worth more then the gold if its the right type...
The one thing that I would do is make a mental note about the area if they had all kinds of dig hole that I could see and they were cleaning up on finds. That would be so I could recognize the same type of area down the beach. It may have taken the guy that is hunting that area years of hunting to find areas where things collect. Why would I want to take advantage of what he has found without an invitation to hunt that area?   [Underlining added by TG]  That is a very commendable attitude.
Now as far as trash goes, every bit of trash that I find is taken to the trash can, it only make common sense to do so, not only are you helping everybody else that hunts that area, you are also helping yourself, the next time you hunt that beach.

Thanks Rick!
Just the other day I mentioned how there are differences between inland hunters and beach hunters.  Here are a couple more different detecting cultures - meteorite and gold hunters.  

To summarize it all up in general terms, be considerate of other detectorists and beach goers in general.  It might be difficult to come up with a list of specific rules because there are some many unique situations, but courtesy will guide you well in any situation.  I'll go back to the golden rule.  Treat others as you would like them to treat you.  That will keep you on the right track.

Thanks to all of those who submitted their thoughts.  I'm sure everybody will benefit from reading the various suggestions and reminders.  I did.


We'll have one more day of one to two foot surf on the Treasure Coast.  The surf is predicted to begin increasing this weekend and reach something like four to six feet next week.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

4/29/15 Report - Another Good Metal Detecting Day Of The Past Photographed. Nice Antique Lock Found. Strange Surf Prediction.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Finds From Another Four-Hour Hunt.
Yesterday I showed finds from one hunt.  I told you that that cut lasted for two days.  This is the other day's finds at the same location.  That makes 13 gold rings in two days and eight hours of hunting.

Although they were good, those two days weren't my highest totals.  They aren't near the highest quality either.  It was one of my better days back in the early years.  It was fun.  I'll see if I have photos from any of the bigger days.  Like I said yesterday, I usually didn't photograph single days.  And there were years I didn't photograph finds at all.  Too bad!  I just happened to find these two.

I can't remember for sure whether this was the first or second day at the same location.  I should have written the date on the back of the photos.

There were six gold rings found this day.  The five in the front are gold as well as one that is back a bit.  Also some silver items.  I especially liked the remains of a fancy old locket or reliquary or whatever that can be seen at the foot of the cross.  It is silver and very ornate.  Too bad part of it is missing.

I did this two hunt in four hours after work one evening.  I should have stayed at it longer.  When I left there was more remaining.  But after I left after the second day a front came through and it all disappeared by the time I returned the next day.

After the first day I told Kevin Reilly (now deceased) of Reilly's Treasured Gold about it, and he showed up with a buddy and they worked for a little while down the beach a little ways.

Notice the crusty coins and earrings.  The coin/jewelry ratio is similar to that of the day I showed yesterday.


Same Lock After Cleaning.
Lock Dug By Dan B.

Dan B. dug this very nice lock.

Nice find Dan!

And good cleaning job too.

Dan said sometimes the best cleaner is elbow grease.

I recommend removing as much dirt, crust or corrosion as you can safely do by physically removing it.  Be careful though.  You don't want to scratch or damage a nice old item.

Even if you are going to use some other type of cleaning, chemical or electrical, remove as much of the surface stuff as you can first.  That will allow you to better assess what you have and what you need to do.  It will also allow any chemicals to do their job.

I've had items that were so encrusted that even acid wouldn't touch the item because of the crust, so the crust had to be removed first.  You really shouldn't choose another method until you can see enough to know what you are dealing with anyhow.


Gold Coin In Stacks Bowers Rarities Auction.

This gold coin is lot 50 in the current Stacks Bowers Rarities auction.  It has a current bid of $22,000.

There are a lot of really nice early U. S. coins in this auction.  You might want to browse though the auction listings to see what you might want to find or just get an idea of values.

Click her to see the auction listings.



We have a strange looking chart for the predicted surf for Fort Pierce.  I don't believe I've seen one that looked like that before.  I really doubt if it happens that way, but I'll sure be looking for it.

Look at that flat period between the 4-6 foot surf predicted or the sixth and eight of May.

I'm betting that won't happen, but I'd sure like t see it.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

4/28/15 Report - Seven Gold Ring Metal Detecting Day of The Past. Keeping Photo Records. Beach Renourishment In Progress.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The Results Of A Good Four Hour Hunt From Back In The Day.

Back in the day I made a lot of mistakes.  I learned from many of them.  But I also did a few things right.

One thing I'm glad I did was take pictures of my finds.  One reason I did that is because I didn't keep them around the house, so after I found a few I would take them to the bank.  It was good to have the pictures at home.

It is always good to keep records.  And pictures help a lot.

I just came across some of those old pictures.  I noticed a few that showed the finds of a single hunt.

Above is one of those.  I remember the day well.  Although I didn't write down the date or location as I should have, the picture brings it back.

The finds include seven gold rings, two of which are class rings, a couple gold ear rings, some silver, and a bunch of coins.

Notice the ratio of coins to gold rings.   When you get a really good cut you'll often get a lot of coins.  Notice also that some of the items show some age.  That is another common sign of a good promising accumulation. 

I have a good recollection of what the beach was like that day and even where some of those specific items were dug.

These items came from below an unusually good cut.  The cut and the good hunting lasted two days and then suddenly disappeared again.

I was lucky that I found the cut before it disappeared.  That is the benefit of being out there a lot.  When an unusually good opportunity comes up, you have a better chance of catching it.

I hunted for four hours the first evening.  I should have stayed longer.  That was a mistake.  Make hay while the sun shines.  I guess I've always been a bit casual about my hunting - in some ways.

Usually I didn't photo the results of single hunts.  I would usually accumulate finds for maybe a week or two or three, depending upon how fast they were being made.

I recommend keeping photographs of finds along with dates and locations.  That can help you select detecting sites, but it also helps you relive those fun hunts.

We all take a lot of photos these days.  So many that we can't keep track of them.  Many end up getting lost.  Some get lost as technology changes or as computers or cameras are replaced.  That is the fate of many of our digital photos.  I think it is a good idea to get prints of those that you hope to keep for years to come.

When you look back on experiences like that with the benefit of the knowledge that you have more recently acquired, you can learn even more from them.


The Sedwick TREASURE, WORLD and U.S. COIN AUCTION #17 will go live on the internet on Wednesday, April 29, beginning at 10:00 AM EDT for Session I.   If you want to bid you have to register, but if you don't plan to bid it can still be fun to watch.


I got some emails concerning beach detecting etiquette.  I'll get into that more some other day.  One thing I'll say now is that everybody mentions the importance of filling all holes.  One person said, act like you are on video all of the time.  That sounds like a good idea.


Below is what I saw at the beach this morning.

One of the Treasure Coast's Beautiful Unspoiled Natural Beaches This Morning.
It rained a lot along the Treasure Coast today.  I got rained out.  I forgot to take my waterproof headphones and with the rain and poor conditions just took a look at a few beaches.

It looks like we'll have a few more days of calm surf, then possibly a bump up after a front comes through Thursday.  The predictions now are for something like four to six feet.  I'll be watching that, of course.

Happy hunting,

Monday, April 27, 2015

4/27/15 Report - Detectors Every Where On The Beach. Civil War Pinfire Cartridge & Unique Coin Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Civil War Era Pinfire Cartridge
Fnd and photo by William M.

Another View of Pinfire Cartridge
Find and photo by William M.

William M. is still working inland and doing very well.  Here is one very nice find.  He says it could be a Civil War era 12 millimeter pinfire cartridge.

Can any of you Civil War guys put there give more information on that - maybe what the numbers mean.

Below are a couple pictures of an unusual coin that William Found.

That coin might get you excited when you first see the lions and shield.

The coin is bronze and is from Guernsey.  It is an 8 Doubles.

Guernsey is a possession of the British Crown.  It is a small island in the English Channel, off the coast of Normandy.

1949 8 Doubles
Find and photo by William M.
1949 8 Doubles
Find and photo by William M.

That is an unusual coin to be found on the Treasure Coast.

It is probably worth a few dollars.

Coinquest tells more about that coin.  Here is the link.

Those are two interesting finds from the following that were dug by William.

Inland Finds By William M.
I went to the beach this morning near low tide.  There were five other detectorists there that I saw.

That is why the Treasure Coast beaches are so clean, along with the very poor detecting conditions.

Treasure Coast Beach This Morning Near Low Tide.
Notice the smooth water.  I saw a small group of manatees going north.

Same Beach 
There is very little junk on this and other Treasure Coast beaches now.  It seems I must have finally convinced people to pick up the junk.

I pulse induction detector and NO discrimination this morning.  Junk that I dug this morning included no pull tabs, one bottle cap, one piece of an old can, a screw, and not much else.  Good targets out-numbered junk.  That is the way it should be.

All of my good targets this morning were fairly deep.


My most read post of March was the 3/3/15 Report -  Two BIG gold  Metal Detector Finds!   The Will To Discover!

And the most Google plused post of March was my 3/8/15 Report -  Discussion Of How Coins Sink In Soil.  North Wind Saturday But Little Erosion.


We're supposed to have another week of small ( 1 - 2 foot) surf.   We aren't getting negative tides now.

Still looking for additional thoughts or experiences on beach detecting etiquette.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, April 26, 2015

4/26/15 Report - Is It Size Or Surface Area That Most Affects A Metal Detector Signal? Dinosaur Eggs Discovered.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Dinosaur Eggs Discovered.
Source: ABC link below.
How the world has changed!

Social media has really changed how quickly we get news and how much information is available.  It wasn't that many years that you had to subscribe to magazines or buy books to get a lot of good information.  Now it is right in front of you on your computer screen.  You get fresh news from around the world daily.  Of course not everything you see on the internet is true, but you can use your own methods to seek out the best sources.  It sure is easier than depending upon a few magazines or going to the library every time you want to look something up.

The picture above shows fossil dinosaur eggs found at a construction site.  It just goes to show once again why archaeology needs and informed and cooperative public rather than an alienated tax base that only funds projects.

Here is the link for the dinosaur egg article.


Today I'll discuss that age old question, Does size matter.

The bigger the metal object, the stronger the signal.  Right?  Well, usually.  But not always.  It isn't the mass of the object, but rather the surface area that causes a strong signal.

Here is a section from page 38 and 39 of Charles Garrett's Successful Coin Hunting, 22nd printing, 2004.

Simply stated, the larger a metal target, the better and more deeply it can be detected.  Larger detection signals come from targets that produce more eddy currents.  An object with double the surface area of another will produce detection signals twice as strong as those of the smaller object but it will not necessarily be detected  from twice as far away.  it is true, however, that a large target will produced the same detection signal as a small target positioned closer to the searchcoil.

Generally speaking, modern metal detectors are surface area detectors.  How a detector "sees" a target will be determined to a large extent by the surface area of a metal target that is "looking at the bottom of the searchcoil.  You can prove for yourself that the actual volume or mass of a target has very little to do with most forms of detection.

With your detector operating move a large coin toward the searchcoil with the face of he coin 'looking at the bottom of the searchcoil.  Note the distance at which the coin is detected.  now move the coin back and rotate it so that the narrow edge "looks" at the searchcoil's bottom.  Bring the coin in  and you will notice that it must come far closer to the searchcoil to be detected.  The mass of metal itself did not change, only the surface area of the coin facing the searchcoil.

Most of what I learned over the years I learned by myself.  I read a lot, but I was a detailed observer and did a lot of testing on my own.

I tested how changing the presented surface area a coin affected the detector signal using three very different types of detectors.  I posted some observations on the shape of objects and sweep direction in a post some months ago.  See my 10/12/14 post for example.  Or take a look at the following linked YouTube video.

Using a clad dime and quarter an Ace 250, Excalibur and ATX, all with standard search coils, I first placed the coins flat on the ground and observed the distance at which the dime could be detected by all three detectors.  Of course there were differences in depth for the three detectors.  I won't get into  those details now.  I used both all metals and pinpoint modes with the Excalibur and the motion and non-motion modes with the ATX,but just the all-metals mode was used with the Ace.  You can see how the number of combinations and comparisons quickly increases.

I could give you depths for detecting the dimef or each detector but that would be fairly meaningless because it would be different in different environments.

After noting the depths at which the flat coins were detected by all three detectors, I then stuck the coins in the ground so that the detector was only "seeing" (to use Garrett's term) the edge of each coin when the coil went over it.  As predicted, the depth at which the coins were detected by all three detectors decreased dramatically.  Not surprising.

The depth decreased by roughly about one third to one half for the Excalibur and ATX when the coins were on edge.  Maybe a touch more for the ACE.

While it is unusual to find a coin on edge, there are times when you might have the flat surface of the coil over the edge of a coin.  One is when you are digging a hole and the coin gets stuck against the edge of the hole.   I've mentioned in the past how that can make the signal disappear.

Another time when you might be detecting the edge of a coin is if there is a cut and you run your detector coil up and down the face of the cut.  A coin laying flat in the sand would be presenting the edge of the coin to the face of the search coil in that case.

I took the test one step farther though.  I wanted to see the effect of sweep direction.  I've shown in the past that long elongated objects such as nails will cause a different type of signal depending upon the direction that you sweep your coil over it.  That provides one method of identifying objects like nails from the auditory signal.  When a coin is on edge it presents a long narrow surface to the coil, as shown in the above diagram. 

With the coin first laying flat, I swept the coil over it left to right and right to left, and then changed the sweep direction by ninety degrees with each detector.  There was no obvious change caused by changing the sweep direction over the flat round coins.  That is what you would expect.

Then I stuck the coins in the ground so the searchcoil would only "see" the top edge of the coin and swept the coil over the on-edge coin first in one direction and then the other direction.

My observation confirmed that for all three detectors there was a marked decrease in the depth when the coin was on edge.  The decrease in depth was very marked for all three detectors and for both sweep directions.  The coil had to be within a few inches of the on-edge coin to get a good signal no matter which direction the coil moved.

As with elongated objects, the signal was different when swinging the coil in one direction and then the other direction.

With the Excalibur in discrimination mode, for example, sweeping across the edge of the coin (direction 1 in diagram) caused a good strong defined signal (double blip) when the coil was close to the on-edge coin, however when sweeping in the other direction (direction 2) the signal was more of a single whisper, but good and strong when close.

A similar thing was found when sweeping the ATX coil across the coin.  When sweeping in direction 1, the signal was much stronger than when sweeping in direction 2.

When the coil was close enough to the on-edge coin, and sweeping in direction 1 relative to the on-edge coin, the auditory signal was very strong.  Strength of signal rapidly decreased with depth though.

For this test I thought the pinpoint and non-motion modes provided the best test of signal strength since it was less processed. 

Discrimination modes provide some unusual results in different situations.  I won't go into more detail than that now though, it can get very detailed and confusing.

One of the main points that is definitely true is that the surface area presented to the coil affects signal strength and detection depth.  It is not all about size (mass). 

I've also shown in the past how an on-edge ring can cause a much less strong signal than a ring laying flat.

Another finding is that the direction the coil is swept over a coin that is on-edge makes a difference.  Very much like an oblong object, one sweep direction will produce a different signal over an on-edge coin than a different sweep direction.

You might remember an old post in which I showed something similar with a rectangular copper tag that I dug.  It was bent and part of the surface of the tag was at an angle rather than flat or on edge.  (You can see that tag in the YouTube video mentioned above.)  It identified differently on an ID meter when the coil was swept in different directions.  Bends in the tag and being buried in the ground at different angles caused differences in the signal.

Ideally you want to have your detector coil parallel to the largest surface area of the buried object for maximum signal strength.  When detecting a flat beach, if your coil is tilted that has the same effect as tilting a flat object and therefore reducing the surface area being detected.  That is another reason to keep your coil flat front to back as well as throughout the swing.


I'd like to get some more emails concerning beach detecting etiquette and experiences.


On the Treasure Coast today (Sunday) the surf is small - about one foot.  The tides are small today too.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, April 25, 2015

4/25/15 Report - Current Beach Conditions. $10 Million Gold Tablet. 2000-Year-Old Owl Clasp. Iridescent Coin Toning.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Typical Treasure Coast Beach This Morning Near Low Tide.
Treasure Coast beach conditions remain poor.  On top of that, most are over-hunted.

There was a cluster of targets below the high tide mark at the beach shown above.  I saw the spot as promising as soon as I looked at the beach.  It wasn't very obvious, but did show the subtle signs.

Most signals there were what I've been calling "marginal."  By that I mean they could have easily been missed if you worked too fast.  Most of the targets, both junk and good, were deep.

I got tired of digging deep holes, but did find one piece of gold, which helped.

I checked a few beaches this morning.  At the first beach I didn't see any promising spots and didn't detect much before moving on.

The beach shown in the above quick video clip, is one that I didn't bother detecting at all.  The video does give a good idea of the sand and surf conditions though.


A $10 million gold tablet, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, was obtained by a holocaust survivor after WW II is being claimed by a museum that held the tablet before the war.

Ancient Gold Tablet Worth $10 Million.
Source: link below.


Here is a neat 2000 year-old bronze and enamel Roman owl clasp.  I remember an enameled gold ring I found on a Treasure Coast treasure beach years ago.  Back then I didn't know that enameled items were of the time period and wrongly assumed when I dug the item that it was recent, but enameled items can actually be much older than our Spanish shipwrecks.  That is why you should be familiar with things like this.  It helps to have an idea of the age of items when you dig them.

Here is the link to the article about the owl brooch.

Enameled Roman Bronze Brooch.
Source: cphpost link below.


You might remember that not long ago I did a post about toning on coins.  Here is an article on iridescent toning. The commonly accepted definition involves lustrous toning in which the color pattern changes with the viewing angle of the coin.

In the distant past I showed one nice dug silver coin with very nice iridescent toning.

Here is a link to the article on iridescent toning.

Nickel With Iridescent Toning.
Source: cointalk link above.

I need to hear from people who have some ideas about beach detecting courtesy.  

Happy hunting,

Friday, April 24, 2015

4/24/15 Report - $5 Million Item Found In Attic. Glass Items Found On Atocha. Valuable Old Books.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Faberge Hardstone Figure
Sold For Over $5 Million.

This Faberge hardstone figure was found in the attic of a house by an executor of an estate.  The figure sold for over $5 million at auction.  The pre sale auction estimate was $500,000 to $800,000

Nice find.

Here is the link for the article.

Kovels Komments says, When going through the items in an old house, be sure to shake every book, look for hidden drawers in desks and blanket chests, and check hems of drapes, pillows and the backs of pictures hanging on the walls.

I've been in the unfortunate position of being an executor to an estate.  Also check pockets before getting rid of old clothes.

I also love old books and have spent a lot of time in thrift stores looking at old books.  It is not uncommon to find interesting items hidden in old books.  

I once published a list of the top 20 most valuable modern collectible books and offered the list in an article I wrote for a treasure magazine.  I received tons of requests for that list.

I've found a lot of things tucked between the pages of old books, including money.  

Old and vintage pictures are now very popular and are sold on sites like eBay and Etsy.  It is not unusual to find a neat old picture tucked between the pages of a book. 

Also check to see if the book is signed by the author or some famous person.  Sometimes a book will have been owned by a famous person before it was sold off. 

I once found a book written by Hoagie Carmichael Jr. that contained his signature and his personal calling card.


Have you found any of these?

Lead Bottle Stoppers Found on Atocha.
Source: site linked below.
To the left are lead bottle stoppers that were found on the Atocha.  Some were found with glass from the bottle remaining on them.

Here is a very good and thorough report on glass from the Atocha.  It covers all kinds of glass found.  It is an older report, originally printed in 1990, but very good.

Glass from Nuestra SeƱora de Atocha By Corey Malcom Reprinted from: Astrolabe: Journal of the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society Volume 6, No.1 - Fall, 1990

Here is the link.  Enjoy!

Most glass would be eye-balled, however some is found still attached to metal objects such as stoppers or frames.

Maybe you've found one of those lead stoppers and didn't know what it was.  That is a good thing about reading things like this.  It will help you identify various objects.

Nice photos and sketches of glass items and pieces to look at in that article.


The Sedwick TREASURE, WORLD & U.S. COIN AUCTION # 17 will go live on the internet at 10:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 and end on the 30th.  Just a few days left to bid.


I hope you'll send your suggestions about proper beach detecting etiquette.  Also send your "bad" experiences with other detectorists.


Today (Friday) on the Treasure Coast we'll have some north winds later in the day and a two to three foot surf.  The low tides won't be as low as they have been recently.

There is one nice bump in the surf prediction listed for next week.  We'll see.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

4/22/15 Report - Code Of Conduct For Hunting On A Beach With Other Detectorists. Provide Your Input.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Russ P. thanked the blog and its readers for identifying his sword pin mystery item.  He went on to say, There is one topic I'd like to see addressed in your blog.  I don't think you've covered it before.  What are  I'm sure it is much different than mainland sites.  I wouldn't dream of encroaching on someone hunting mainland, but it seems much more acceptable on a beach-or is it?  For example, would you work a cut that someone else is working and, if so, at what distance.  

That is an interesting question.  Beach hunting is different from inland hunting and those that specialize in each are different.  Inland hunting involves getting permission and taking care of the property by filling holes and replacing grass etc.  Inland hunters are probably a bit more experienced on the whole.  They are interested in history and probably a more conservative group on the average,  A good number of land hunters are as happy to find some worthless rusted old relic as they would be to find a piece of gold.

I think beach hunters are a more diverse group.  Some beach hunters are just as experienced and just as interested in history, but among the beach hunters you also have a lot of beginners and some who are on vacation and look at it as a way to pass some vacation time a few times a year.  There is also a small group that are out there with the thought of nothing more than sniping a recently dropped ring.  So while there is some overlap of groups, on average I do think there are some differences.

You might remember the post I did not too long ago addressing the question of how things sink in dirt.  I assembled the various thoughts I received and posted them and gave a bit of a summary.  That worked well.   Maybe we can similarly develop some guidelines concerning beach detecting etiquette by putting our heads together.

I'll start by putting some hypothetical situations out there and see what you all think would be the proper conduct.  I need to hear what you think.   After I have everybody's thoughts I'll post representative ideas along with my conclusions.

Hypothetical situation number 1.   Suppose you arrive at a treasure beach and someone is already working a cut that you planned to work.    What should you do?  Jump in right beside them and start detecting?  Hurry around to get in front of them and start detecting?  Go the opposite direction?  Move on to another beach?  Think about it and let me know what you think would be the right thing to do.

Hypothetical situation number 2.  You arrive at the beach the same time as another detectorist.  You talk a short while in the parking lot and walk over the crossover.  You both see a promising cut.  What should you do?  Get your equipment on as fast as possible and try to beat the other guy to the cut or what?

Hypothetical situation number 3.   You see someone digging a bunch of holes in a dip or coccentrated area.  What would you do?   Hurry up and get down there and start digging right beside him trying to get whats left before he does, or what?

Those are just a few situations to get you going.  They deal with issues of encroachment.  You might think of other issues to address.

The one issue that has been thoroughly addressed for beach hunters  (even though there are still some violators) is the matter of filling holes.  I think everyone knows that you should fill your holes.  Some people just don't care.  And there are some situations when it doesn't seem necessary, such as when you are on a remote beach with no one around and the water will fill the holes in a few minutes anyhow.

Another issue might be discarding dug metallic trash on the beach.  That is littering and might not deserve mention, but some people do it.

Some people look at metal detecting as being very competitive.   There are a few who think that detecting is war and anything goes.  Some are just ignorant, but the vast majority are courteous and considerate.   I've had very few encounters with rude inconsiderate people, but it has happened.

There may be other issues besides encroachment that you want to address.  Feel free.

I'll give you a few of my thoughts with which you might agree or disagree.

While I don't believe that anyone is entitled to have an entire beach to themselves (they can't cover it all by themselves anyhow) I do believe you should give other detectorists some space, especially when they got there first.   How much space is another question.  That might depend on other factors.  Generally speaking I'd throw out something like 30 yards.

It is hard to put a number on it because there are other factors that you might want to take into account.  If two detectorists are walking along the beach in opposite directions they can pass very close to each other without any problem.  If there is detetector chatter, most people will try to minimize that.

If someone is working along a line, whether it is next to a cut or next to the water, I generally give them the line, at least for a good distance.

I'd say if someone found a good cluster or a coin hole or coin line, it should be their's to work.

If someone is working a well defined tight pattern, whether it is following a cut or working a grid, I'd say don't jump in on them.

If you give someone a certain amount of space no one seems to have a problem with that, but like personal space, the specific amount might vary from person to person.

There are other factors than space.  Some people might take up your time in one way or another.

If two detectorists are working two different zones, such as dry sand and wet sand, they can be very close in proximity without any feeling of encroachment.  They are working different areas.

Of course if you are causing detector chatter, you need to give them some more space.  That seems to be less of a problem these days.

If someone is wandering around in an apparently random pattern, I see no issue with encroachment unless you are right on top of them or following them around or something.

One time I arrived at a beach and another fellow (evidently a beginner) started talking to me as soon as he saw I had a detector.  He followed me around asking questions and wanting me to teach him what to do.  He followed me all the way down the beach.  I don't know why he thought I knew what I was doing but he attached to me and seemed to expect me to give him lessons when I had very limited time and just wanted to check the beach with the little time that I had available.  He wasn't encroaching on my space, but he was encroaching on my time.  I am limited in the time that I have available to hunt and highly value my beach time.

Another detectorist got insulted because I didn't stop and talk long enough.  I was on a tight schedule and had a lot to do that day.

There are a few thoughts to get you started.  How much space do you think you should give another detectorist?  What factors should be considered?  And what other issues should be addressed.

Thanks in advance for your input.


The weather is good down in the Keys.  The Margruder is on the Santa Margarita wreck site, and the Dare will soon be there too.


Not much new on the Treasure Coast. 

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

4/21/15 Report - Jewelry To Coin Ratio. More On Test Targets. Lake Michigan Wrecks.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Single-Day Finds By Leonard G.
Photo by Leonard.

Leonard found these items on Sunday morning.  Way to go Leonard!  Great jewelry to coin ratio. 

Not only did he find some ear rings, but a matching pair.  That doesn't happen real often.


If you want to get the maximum value out of your beach hunts, you might want to hunt where there is a good jewelry to coin ratio.  To give just one simple general example, the jewelry to coin ratio is higher in the water than on the beach.

Concentrations of coins can help point you to jewelry, but the best jewelry spots do not always have a lot of coins.  There ate times and places where you'll find a nice high jewelry to coin ratio. 

One extreme and unusual example is a muddy spot along the road in the Keys where people tend to stop and wade.   It isn't a nice beach and isn't heavily visited, but every time I detected there I found a gold ring but seldom a single coin.  People wander out into the shallow water and in a few yards find that it is actually more like mud.  Any hand or foot with a ring on it that is put into the mud will come out without the ring.  The suction will pull it right off. 

Another beach where I used to detect was more typical.  It was your usual sandy Florida beach, but it was spread out over a huge area.  It also had a very high jewelry to coin ratio for some reason.  You'd spend an hour or two and typically come out with one piece of jewelry and maybe two or three coins.

You have to know those places.  At a place like that a lot of people would spend a little time detecting, not find many targets and quit too soon. 


One thing that I've really come to appreciate in recent years is the benefit of using test targets.  I know I've talked about that some before, but my appreciation of test targets continues to increase, even after all these many years.

I happened to notice the other day where another blog linked to one of my posts about test targets.  After reading the article, the author of the blog concluded that it was indeed a good idea to carry a test target.  The linked post was the one where I was talking about how I used a test target in the field to check my tuning.  In the post I talked about how one day I noticed that my detector's response seemed less than what I would have expected on a particular target.  I then put the test target down and tested the detector on the test target.  I knew about what type of signal I should get with that particular test target.  As with the other target, the response wasn't as strong as I expected.  That verified that my detector was not tuned optimally and might need to be retuned.  The test target provided a quick and easy test, and since I knew how my detector typically responded to that carefully selected target, it also provided an accurate test.  After retuning with the test target, I go much better performance.

One key is to use a relevant test target, such as a small gold ring if that is the kind of thing you are targeting.

I can remember times way back in the days not long after I began detecting when my settings were way off and it took me a long time to find that out  On one occasion my settings looked right.  I put the knobs where I usually had them and everything looked right, but I later learned that somehow the settings were off.  Just as an example, lets say the sensitivity setting was at 10, but the detector was acting more like it was at 5.  I hate to think how long it might have been before I learned that.  If I had done what I do now, I would have checked with the test target to at the beginning of each hunt and quickly found out if the settings were off.  

Things do go wrong with detector's at times, and it is good to quickly discover when that happens.

Even when everything is working well, you can still benefit from retuning or ground balancing from time to time.  A test target can help you discover that and help you assess the impact.

I frequently do a check with a relevant known test target in the field to verify that I have close to the optimal settings.  Some detectors benefit from it more than others, but even with a simple turn and go detector, using a test target can quickly show you if everything is all right or not.  No need to waste time detecting an hour or two before finding out.  Verify first.


The water has been very clear in Lake Michigan.  Here are some nice views of unidentified wrecks.


On the Treasure Coast we still have very smooth seas and good negative tides.

Happy hunting,

Monday, April 20, 2015

4/20/15 Report - One Great Method For Locating Good New Hunting Spots And Some Things To Look For.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

View Of One Of My Best U. S. Silver Coin Areas Of the Past.
There are exciting ways to search for good new spots to hunt these days.  You might be able to discover some by searching through sites like Google Maps.  That will give you a view of places you might never see just driving down the road.

I chose a few spots that were among my favorites in the past to show as examples.  I think that will give you the idea.

The first  (shown above) shows one of my favorite silver coin hunting locations from the past.  This site was abandoned and overgrown when I hunted it.  There was a busy swimming beach there back in the days of segregation.  It was one of those "Colored Beaches."

The remains of the old wood groins is the first thing you might notice.  There were also abandoned buildings and an old parking lot behind the beach.

When I hunted there, which I did whenever the water eroded the dunes, I parked before going through he park entrance and walked down and around an old fence at the water's edge and up the beach to the groins.

Evidently people used to lounge on the dunes that were the covered with bushes when I visited the site.  Whenever the dunes eroded, silver coins in very nice condition would wash out.

Like many run-down abandoned areas, it used to draw its share of unsavory characters who would break into your car if they had a chance.

In more recent years the park has been revitalized. 

Gold Hunting Spot.
Here is another spot just around the corner from the one above.  You could either drive directly to this one or take a good walk from the first spot.  This spot didn't yield silver coins, but it was a good gold spot.  Even though it wasn't a well-known busy beach at the time, there were some bathers and wind surfers that visited the area.

The inside corner of the rock jetty shown above had a dip that yielded five gold rings the first time I ever visited that spot.  The sand and seaweed line in shallow water yielded a class ring.

People tend to stay more on the sand.  That makes narrow strips bordered by sea weed more productive.

Same Spot From Another View.
The arrow points to the same spot shown above.  I'm just showing how you can use tools such as Google Earth to check out potential hunting sites.

Recently I mentioned a carpet of silver that was found after Hurricane Andrew.  It was on the coral outcrop shown below.  The coral outcrop back then was normally covered by sand.  Hurricane Andrew removed the sand a left a bunch of coins and silver items.

The funny thing is, at that time I had never seen ANYONE there, but evidently some time in the past it was visited by more people.  I can understand why.  It is an interesting feature.

In recent years that constructed a path and a observation platform near that area.  You can see the rectangular platform in the picture if you look close.

Coral Outcropping

Around the bend from there is another place (See below) where silver coins were found as well as old bottles after Hurricane Andrew.

Another Silver Coin Spot Not Far From Coral Outcropping.
You can see the coral outcropping in this shot.  Near the road at the North end of the island you can see another silver coin spot.  It is right beside the where the road enters the island from the north.

I'm told that this spot is hard to get to now.  I was told that there is a fence there now that makes it difficult to get to from the road.

The laws might have also changed.  I don't know if you can detect there or not now.  The laws changed while I was down there.  At first you were not allowed to detect there and then you were.  I don't know if it has changed again or not.

My intent is not to show you particular spots to detect.  What I am showing today is that by browsing online sites such as Google Earth, you can get a good look at places and maybe find some nice new spots to try.  You can even use Street View to see how many people are at a beach and where they sit and swim.

Look for signs of old or abandoned structures or unique natural structures that might have drawn people in the past.  Always look for structures, man-made or natural, that can trap items.  Also where erosion might often occur.


You couldn't ask for better water conditions for water hunting.  Only a one foot surf and a good negative tide!  You can get out there and not get jostled around.  The only trouble is the sandy conditions.  Expect a couple more days of that on the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, April 19, 2015

4/19/15 Report - Indian River Treasures. Steamboat St. Lucie. Pot Shard, Old Bottle & Fossils.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Picture of the Steamship St. Lucie
Docked Not Far From Jensen.

In the old days the Indian River Lagoon was one of the main highways on the Treasure Coast.  Boat traffic was used by early settlers.  Later there was steamship service.

Here is a picture of the steamship St. Lucie at dock near Jensen.  I haven't found the name of any others, but feel there must have been others.

If any of you know of other steamships that sailed the Indian River along the Treasure Coast, I'd like to hear or read about that.  I've done a little research on that but haven't found very much.

You will occasionally see old things along or in the river.  One day just walking along Indian River Drive I saw a check-stamped pottery shard.  That was a surprise. 

Back after the hurricanes of 2004, the west side of the Indian River was lined with bottles.  It really was amazing.  They were solid along the water line.

The bottles gradually disappeared.  There weren't any to be seen for a few years.  I didn't know if they would ever return because many of them came from the banks where people used to throw their garbage.  That, of course, was in the days before they had garbage service. 

After the hurricanes they put sheets of concrete blocks over the banks of the river to prevent Indian River Drive from getting washed out again.  I thought with all of that we might not ever see the bottles again.

Last year a few of them started to appear.  And in the past few months some of the older ones started to show up again in spots where there was erosion along the water line.

My guess now is that there are still tons of them covered by sand that will be washed up again some day.

Years and years ago an embossed blob top beer bottles was found in the sand down by where the steamship shown above was docked.  The dock is no longer there.  It was destroyed by a hurricane way back in the day.

The thing that revealed the bottle was a spot of moss in the sand.  The moss, or seaweed or whatever it was, was growing on the bottle.  That bottle was not along the water line but out in the shallow water.

There are still the remains of a few garbage burn piles that can be found on the banks of the river.  Not many though, because of the erosion control structures.

I've never gone out to hunt fossils along the Indian River but have twice seen fossils there.  The first was this nice Great White tooth found along the edge of the river

Great White Shark Fossil Tooth.
.When I first saw it I thought it was the corner of a buried bottle.  When I bent down I saw it was a shark tooth. 

It is a very nice example with sharp serrations.  It is over two inches long.

One other time I was walking along the river bottles and noticed a fossil tooth of an extinct horse.  That was a surprise too.  I didn't really think that would be what it was when I first saw it.

Even though the fossils are there, I think in most places they are very rare.

When it comes to metal detecting along or in the shallow water of the Indian River, it is very difficult.  There is a ton of trash on the banks and in the shallow water.

I did spot an old pair of ear rings in one old burn pile once.

Even without a metal detector you can find all kinds of stuff along the river.  Those that I've mentioned today include include pot shards, old bottles and fossils, all of which I have seen when not hunting them. 


The surf predictions and wave data is now found below the popular posts list.

This week we'll have very smooth surf and south winds.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, April 18, 2015

4/18/15 Report - Moving From The Winter Detecting Season Into Hurricane Season. Vero Man Archaeology.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

2000 - 2014
Chart Showing Number of Storms That Hit Florida Since 2000.

You never know when and where you'll find something interesting.  You can narrow it down a bit though.  That is one thing I talk about a lot - the probability of finding interesting things at the beach at different times.  That is the reason I developed the Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Metal Detecting Conditions Rating Scale.  Unfortunately we've been stuck on a single rating ( 1 ) for so long and frequently as of late that I quit giving the rating on a daily basis like I did in previous years.  Too bad I didn't keep a record of my daily ratings.  I would have liked to be able to look at the trends over those years.

I mentioned the gold nugget beach find that was found and posted in the Spring of 2014.  We had some decent erosion and hunting that year, but not this Spring.

When I started the blog back a number of years ago there were frequent rating changes, but not hardly any the past couple of years.  We've just been in a very slow period.  That has to change sometime, hopefully sooner rather than later.

2004 and 2005 were heavy hurricane seasons for Florida.  We all remember when the Treasure Coast was hit by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in a three week period back in 2004.  A lot of finds were made after those storms.  I hadn't started his blog yet, but I remember it well.

2013 and 2014 were pretty much the opposite of 2004 and 2005.  Very calm weather with very little erosion, and correspondingly very very few older beach finds.  It just goes to show how things get hot and then cold.

Since 2014 we haven't had a hurricane.  That is atypical, however this year is projected to be a calm hurricane season too.

In 2012 we had Sandy, which didn't hit Florida. Sandy didn't cause hardly any erosion on the Treasure Coast, but as she passed by she did cause high waters and a good number of old finds.  It doesn't seem that long ago.  I remember a lot of people hunting up on the back beaches after Sandy.  And that is where some things were found.

The October to February time period is when most of the good hunting of treasure coins has typically and historically occurred on the Treasure Coast beaches.  We're well past the good winter hunting season now.  It is very much over.  Now we're getting close to the hurricane season.

The winter season is typically best.  There can be a few months where the sand leaves the beach in fits and starts over a period of months.  The change to more South winds in the spring reverses the process and starts to build the beaches again.

The one thing that can change things in the summer is a good storm that takes a lot of sand all at once.  It really doesn't take a hurricane but a hurricane can really do the job.

Not all hurricanes do the same thing though.  Hurricane Andrew caused very little erosion in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas.  It was something like what Sandy did for us.  The water got high on the beach but there were few cuts.

There was one carpet of silver that I found right after Andrew, and Andrew got me started into bottle hunting.

Maybe I can talk about that carpet of silver some other time.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture but it was a very unique event and occurred in a location where I never saw people.

As the chart above shows, the storm season peaks in August and September.  We are in a lull between the winter season and the hurricane season right now.  That is if you are interested in finding old items on the beach.

For modern items Spring Break is over and we are getting into the hot summer season with smooth seas, which can make for easy and profitable water hunting for modern items.

The multitude of beach renourishment projects of recent years has complicated matters.

On the few beaches that aren't piled in mushy sand, you can see sand bars just off shore.  That sand will tend to make its way back in as long as we have south winds.  The sand bars will come closer to shore and the dips will get filled.

When a sand bar is moving check the back side of the sand bar, especially if people have been congregating on the bar.

Here is a link to a site that lists and discusses the storm seasons from 2000 - 2014.

Considering the poor beach detecting conditions we've had over the past couple of years, you definitely will want to stay on top of things so you don't miss any short term improved conditions that do occur.  Those periods can be as short as days or even hours.  But eventually we'll get back into a longer term period of improved conditions that will last a period of years.


Some very important archaeology takes place on the Treasure Coast.  Maybe you've heard of Vero Man, for example.  Here is a good article showing the importance of Treasure Coast archeology


On the Treasure Coast we have some very good negative tides today.  The surf is about two to three feet and a foot or so less tomorrow.

I hope you take a look at some of the old popular posts that are now listed on the first page of the blog.

Happy hunting,

Friday, April 17, 2015

4/17/15 Report - Most Popular Posts. Marginal Signals. Detector Adjustments & Sensitivity. Shipwreck Gold Nugget.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Ancient Gold Pendant
Found With Metal Detector.
You probably noticed that I made a change to the first page of the blog.  It now displays eight of the most popular posts of the past.

I think this is a great feature because there are six or seven years of posts now, and that can be overwhelming.  This provides a good new way to see if there is anything you missed or simply want to revisit.

The post about this gold pendant is one of those popular posts.  It is listed at the top of the list.

Last night I stumbled upon an old post reporting on the find of a gold nugget on a Treasure Coast shipwreck treasure beach last year about this time of year.  That particular post didn't make the top eight list.   See the 3/17/14 post for that and more on gold nuggets.



Back a few days ago I talked briefly about rounding your curves on your sweep pattern as shown in the illustration below.  In wet sand an abrupt change in direction at the end of each sweep can cause false signals at the end of the sweeps.  This especially occurs when the change in direction occurs where a recent wave stopped and left a line dividing wet sand from dry sand.  If you have your discrimination up or your sensitivity low, you won't hear those transitions, but there can be a cost to that.

An increase in noise near the end of sweeps can cause you to miss what I have called marginal signals, which also frequently occur near the end of the sweeps.  Marginal signals can sound a lot like the noise caused by the coil passing over the line between the wet and dry sand.  Ignoring marginal signals can result in a significant reduction in finds. It can be difficult to distinguish between noise and marginal signals, but double checking will do the job.  When you sweep in both directions over the questionable signal, signals that remain consistent will be good signals.

Adjusting your detector to avoid all false signals can cause a loss in sensitivity that will cause you to miss good but borderline targets that are either small or deep.  Experience can help you distinguish between noise and marginal signals.  Double checking some of those hard to distinguish signals is always a good idea.

It is also a good idea to sweep your coil parallel to the water instead of East/West or towards and away from the water's edge.  That way your detector will not have to adapt to the changes in moisture levels and mineralization on each swing.  That will give you more depth, and if you are running hot, fewer false signals.

If you run your detector hot in all-metals or pinpoint mode, you can hear all of the changes in the moisture and salt levels etc., but you can learn to distinguish those sounds from real targets.  The same goes for black sand.

Many people feel like their detector doesn't work over black sand.  They hear the black sand and give up.  In an all-metals mode you definitely can hear the black sand, but you can also hear many of the targets in or under the black sand.  

An edge in the black sand, made by a scoop or foot print or something, can cause a signal that can be difficult to distinguish from a signal caused by a good target.

It is a good idea to work in different areas of the beach (dry sand, wet sand, and in the water) one at a time instead of making your detector adjust as you go back and forth from one to another.  With some detectors, you will want to ground balance again if and when you go from one of those areas to the next.

One time a fellow using a high-end Minelab gold detector told me that when he was sweeping North/South along the water he could detect targets deeper than when he swung perpendicular to the water.   He said he thought it had to do with the earth's magnetic fields.  He was a very bright fellow, but what he was really observing was the loss in sensitivity caused by his detector trying to adjust to the rapid changes in moisture and salt when sweeping East/West.


On the Treasure Coast today the surf is a touch higher.  We are having some good negative low tides though. 

Happy hunting,