Friday, July 31, 2015

7/31/15 Report - Which Amazing Half Million Dollar Shipwreck Treasure Will You Soon Be Able To Buy? More On The Classification Process. Two Tropical Disturbances.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Chalice Found On The Site of The Atocha
On August 5 Guernsey's will team with Invaluable (an online auction marketplace) to auction sunken treasure from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha that sank in 1622 after sailing into a violent hurricane. American treasure hunter Mel Fisher discovered the sunken treasure. To mark the thirty-year anniversary of this astonishing discovery, Guernsey's will auction off items from Fisher's Collection. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Michael Abt, Jr. Have a Heart Foundation, which works to provide Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to schools nationwide. 

This auction starts at 7:00 PM EST on the 5th, and will feature a selection of 126 incredible treasure lots. On July 20, 1985 Fisher’s perseverance paid off: over 40 tons of silver and gold were located at the site of the wreck off the Marquesas Keys. Including more than 100,000 Spanish silver coins known as "pieces of eight," gold coins, the finest Colombian emeralds, silver and gold artifacts, and over 1,000 silver bars.

Crest Found On Chalice

The gold chalice, estimated to bring around $500,00, is one of the lots in that auction.
Since its discovery, the chalice has undergone conservation efforts lead by marine archaeologists, who also removed a layer of white, calcareous concretion. The rim of this gold chalice is etched with scroll work, images of animals, and there is a crest in the center of the cup that remains in pristine condition. Although experts have not linked the crest to any of the ship's passengers, there is a helm above the engraving that could signify its owner as having been a Duke or a Baron. The gold shines radiantly with a deep hue and is of a high karat weight. A portion of a tax stamp is visible on the edge of the base, and another is present on the bottom of the cup. The base is threaded onto the bottom of the chalice and it turns as if it were made yesterday.


With all of the treasure news breaking lately, including the million dollar Treasure Coast finds and that amazing 8-escudo Royal and the finds of the Capitana, I had this ready to post back some time ago with some other posts on beach dynamics and classification, but I put it if off because of all of that news.

The following chart provides a good illustration of what some call "classification."

You'll hear some of the same myths repeated by every book and half the articles on shallow water metal detecting.  It concerns how objects are supposedly classified or sifted and sorted.  I won't take the time to address those myths right now, but I think these illustrations will help you visualize how classification (the sifting and sorting of objects in a beach system) works.

Basically, with different amounts of force, different things get moved.  That is nothing new.  I've discussed that plenty.  And I've also discussed how different things will stay in motion longer than others.  Those objects will not drop out of transport as quickly as some other items.

To make this more relevant for us detectorists, imagine where coins or gold rings might fit in.  Coins and rings can be very different.  Coins come in different sizes and rings come in a variety of shapes.

Shape does make a difference, along with density.

Even different types of sand gains move at different times and in different ways.  That is what accounts for the different layers you will see on the beach.

With low flow speed, silt, sand, and maybe some gravel will be moved.  It will take a good bit to move a gold ring.  Gold rings will require more flow or force to move than gravel.

The illustration above shows a one-way flow.  On the beach, you often have a two way flow.  The waves wash up and then back, so you have to take that into account too.  When something washes up onto the beach, will it also wash back down?  That depends on a lot of factors.  In the case of a big fat class ring, it will often roll back down, if there was enough force to wash it up to begin with.

I just thought that would help you better visualize the classification process.

When the silt and sand gets moved from a specific area but not class rings, the class rings will settle lower.  If the flow reverses with a similar force, the class ring will then be buried again.

Once buried, the ring will stay buried until the sand on top of it is removed.  After the sand is removed from over it, the class ring can be moved too if there is then enough force.

Of course the sand and the ring can be moved at the same time, but one will likely be moved slower and less far and will be dropped off sooner as the force decreases.


There are two tropical disturbances in the Atlantic right now.  Neither are expected to affect us much though.

Expect a one to two foot surf this weekend.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

7/30/15 Report - Amazing 1715 Fleet Artifact Found In 1994. July 2015 1715 Fleet Finds by Trez. Steamship George L. Olson.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Remains Of Steamship George L. Olson
Source: see link.
The Steamship George L. Olson, launched in 1917, collided with another ship and was thrown off course and onto the rocks in 1944. Nobody was injured and the vessel later pulled into the harbour to salvage whatever possible. Some of the ship’s load – lumber – built the Baptist Church in Charleston. Though grounded in late 1944, the George L. Olson had a tendency to pop up over the decades. Storms moved sand off it and uncovered the ship in the ‘60s but once covered again, it was quickly forgotten. When it surfaced again in February 2008, though, it attracted quite a bit of attention.

This Olson is a part of a list of 25 items devoured by sand.  There are other shipwrecks.  You might enjoy looking at it.


Aritfact Picture From July 5 Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Yesterday I showed some recent finds made on the Treasure Coast.   On July 5 the Treasure Coast newspapers did an article on the 1715 Fleet and why the Treasure Coast is named the Treasure Coast.  In that article they showed pictures of a few finds, including the "vessel" shown above.

Above is the description the newspaper gave with the item.

 I think you can see it on display at the Mel Fisher Museum in Sebastian.


You won't want to miss the treasure I'll post tomorrow.


I've been doing this blog for about seven years now.  That is hard to believe.  When I started, there weren't many others.  Now there are tons of others.

I started with the intention of letting people know when beach conditions were good for finding old shipwreck coins on the Treasure Coast beaches.

I thought that would be helpful, because I used to live down in South Florida and when I got interested in the Treasure Coast shipwrecks, I had to drive up here and the first times I did that I had absolutely no luck.  I thought people would like to know when they had a decent chance of finding cobs and when the chances were poor.

I haven't been posting my conditions ratings very often lately because the conditions have not changed or months and it gets boring posting the same rating day after day after day.

When I started I didn't imagine that so many people would read the blog, but it became popular right away.  I was really surprised.  I had tried a blog on a completely different topic and never got more than a handful of readers, so the success of this blog, blew me away.

I've never done any promotion.  I have no facebook page, twitter, ads or anything to promote the blog.  It has all been done by the readers of this blog via word of mouth.  (Thanks to all of you.)

After a short while I began to post more than my conditions ratings.  And as you know, the blog contains a lot more than the condition ratings, which lately have faded into the background.

Briefly, my Treasure Coast Beach Metal Conditions Rating Scale, as some of you will know, is a five point scale, with 1 indicating poor detecting conditions for finding old shipwreck coins, and 5 indicating excellent conditions.

Just to make it clear, my rating is for beach detecting, not salvage efforts with blowers that produces the kind of thing I posted in my last post.

I haven't had a five rating that I can remember in the seven years, maybe I did have one or two, but a five rating would be something like what you get after a hurricane, which we haven't had for ten years now.

I used to often repeat that I started the five-point scale with a 1 instead of a 0 because there is always some chance, even if it is very small.

Well, Trez proved proved this month that there is always some chance.  His high level of skill and local knowledge increased the chances though.  That is always the case.

Before I get into that, let me thank Trez for correcting an error that I made in my last post,  He pointed out that Potosi did not mint gold coins during the period that would be included in the group of coins that were recently found and that I posted in a photo.  I did see some Lima mint marks.

Here is what Trez said to me in an email.

So far my count for the month 3-1 reales, 5 pieces of lead sheathing w burlap imprint, 1 pot shard w some glaze, 1 small porcelain frag. (my 1715 celebration hunt will cont until the end of the month.) Hope to see you out there sometime. I have always believed and still do, no storm is needed to find 1715 material. It takes 40 plus days of this weather and you will find it, if you are patient.

Again, there is always some chance no matter how poor conditions are.  The chances though, can be very slim.  If you don't have the knowledge, skill and, as Trez points out, patience, you'll be out there for days and scan miles and miles without success.

He has a couple more days of the month to add to his finds too.

I always say those who hunt the most find the most.  Even when pickings are slim, if you stick at it long enough, you'll find something, and you can't tell what it might be.

Trez knows a lot about how to improve his chances.  That is the definition of skill.

Even though old things can be found anytime, even when overall conditions are poor, if beach conditions were better, you would have a much better chance.  To find anything like that now, local knowledge helps a lot.  There are also some things that have been going on lately that open up unique opportunities.  Sometimes those special opportunities have nothing to do with the general beach conditions.

Congratulations Trez, great finds!  A tip of the hat to your skill and patience.


Talking about the unexpected, my first escudo find was made in the eighties in Dade County.


Tomorrow I'll talk about "classification" or the sifting and sorting of targets.


One day remaining on the blog poll.  Your responses are appreciated.


The surf on the Treasure Coast will be increasing by about a foot for the next few days.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

7/28/2015 Report - New Photos Of The Amazing Royal Found By Schmitt Family On Treasure Coast Wreck Site. Also Other Coins And Bottom Where Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Royal Found By Schmitt Family On A Treasure Coast Wreck Site.

Yesterday I posted pictures of the million dollar treasure found by the Schmitt family on one of the Treasure Coast shipwreck sites. Those are pictures that appeared in the mainstream media.  Today I have some other pictures of the amazing Royal and other gold coins that you might not have seen elsewhere.

Here are some good close-ups of the Royal.

The Royal is really unbelievable. It shows an amazing strike and is in almost like new condition despite three hundred years on the bottom of the ocean.  Aside from a little surface silt, it just has a few scratches that I can see.

As you can tell, it is a 1715 OMJ, obviously from the Mexico mint and must have been shipped shortly after it was minted.

This Royal is very much like the 1715 Mexico 8 shown as a type 25 in the book Monedas Espanolas Desde Juana y Carlos A Isabel II 1504 A 1868.

It is often said that Royals were presentation pieces produced for the king.  I've seen that disputed by at least one very authoritative source.

Who cares who they were made for, they are beautiful coins in any case.

All of the news outlets have picked up the story and it is everywhere.

Below is another photo that you might not have seen in the media.  It shows the gold coins found by the Schmitt family, including other 8 escudos and various denominations.

The Royal is clearly the star of the bunch, but there are some other super nice gold cobs there.

Notice that there are some pillars and waves style escudos in that group.

A little of the dark clay or silt is adhering to some of them, but they are in great condition.

Notice the Pillar and Waves on many of those escudos.  Not all Mexico mint there.

Gold Coins Recently Found by the Schmitt Family On A Treasure Coast Shipwreck.
The above photos were sent to me by Captain Jonah Martinez.  Thanks much Jonah!  And congratulations to the Schmitt family.  Unbelievable!

Below is a clip from a video posted on the Orlando Sentinel web site (link below) showing the discovery of the Royal and other escudos.  The arrow points to the position of the Royal.

Clip from the video shown on numerous sites including the site linked below.

I added the arrow to point out the position of the Royal before it was uncovered.  You can see other gold coins laying around there.

It is in a dip between rocks.  Notice the big rock sticking up in the left corner of the video clip.  It is a lot larger than what you can see.

The Royal is in a small depression in what appears to be a clay or similar cohesive silt-like material.  It is standing on end.  Other escudos are laying flat around there.

That hole would have been well protected.  If the cobs were found where I think they were, they were a few hundred yards out from shore where the bottom would seldom be affected by rough water.  The assumption of a relatively undisturbed bottom is supported by the presence of clay-like material.  You might remember that I once showed how the sand changes as you go from the beach and out to deeper water.  That coin would have been safe from most currents, and that certainly looks to be the case.  Very little sign of wear or anything, other than the few scratches.   I would not be surprised if those coins were in virtually the same location since they were lost 300 years ago.


I'll stop there today.  I was going to post some information relative to what many refer to the "classification" (sifting and sorting) of treasure by the waves and currents.  I'll get back to that some other day.

This would be a good time to mention an excellent web site on Pillar coinage.  In my opinion it is one o of the best, if not the absolute best.

Take a look.


We'll have a very smooth surf on the Treasure Coast tomorrow (Wed.).  Some day we'll get some rough surf again, but I don't see anything in the next week or so.

Thanks for your responses to the blog poll.

Happy hunting,

Monday, July 27, 2015

7/27/15 Report - MILLION DOLLARS Of Treasure Recently Found On A Treasure Coast Shipwreck Site. The Difference Between Compact And Mushy Sand.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

2015 Gold 1715 Fleet Discoveries
Photo source : link below

For a few weeks, the Schmitt family and 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC had a million-dollar secret on their hands. Last month, they recovered $1 million worth of sunken Spanish jewels off the Florida Coast.
“The treasure was actually found a month ago,” said Brent Brisben of 1715 Fleet — Queens Jewels LLC. Keeping the news under wraps was “particularly hard for the family that found it. They’ve been beside themselves.”
  • 51 gold coins
  • 40 feet of ornate gold chain
  • A single coin called a Royal made for the king of Spain, Phillip V, a news release states. Only a few are known to exist, and the coin — nicknamed “Tricentennial Royal” — is dated 1715. Brisben said the extremely rare silver-dollar-sized coin is worth “probably around half a million dollars itself...
Here is the link for the rest of the story and a video.

Take a look at that Gold Royal in the middle of the photo.  You can also see part of the chain to the left.

Thanks to Jorge and Doug for sending me this link.


People that are passionate about certain activities learn a lot about those activities.   They put knowledge together that draws from different fields of study and may even add new knowledge.

I've been talking a lot about how sand and other objects move on a beach and in the water. I feel like I've learned a lot in the last few years and have been drawing from a variety of scientific disciplines but also from people who are very passionate about different recreational activities.  Some of what I've learned lately, I've learned from surfers.  I've shown Scott Little's photography, for example. Obviously, surfers are interested in waves and may know more about waves in some ways than oceanographers.  Today I learned something from another recreational group -  those who do sand sculpture.

You've probably stepped onto a beach and you sank in up to your ankles.  Another time you might have stepped out on the same beach and it felt like pavement.

We talk all the time about mushy sand, which is a very poor sign for beach detectorists.  Mushy sand is often composed of larger grains,  Fine grain sand obviously settles more, but that is not all there is to it.

Here is what the sand sculpture web site says.
In a word the big secret is "friction". More specifically, the sum total of all friction between the grains acting on each other. This is why compaction is so important. When you compact sand you increase the friction between the grains.

Uncompacted sand has relatively large pore spaces between the grains but compacted sand shrinks these spaces increasing points of contact between the individual grains and thereby increasing the friction between them. The more friction there is, the more resistant the grains are to separation.

One other important dynamic is "cross-linking", a term from soils engineering. Forcing randomly shaped grains tightly together causes many of them to naturally cross-link. Cross-linking is a common technique in masonry work where vertical joints between bricks, stones and block joints are intentionally staggered thereby vastly increasing the strength of the structure.

Friction is also why certain sands are better than others. Finer sands will naturally have smaller pore spaces and angular grains are most likely to tightly interlock and cross-link. Rounded grains will always have larger pore spaces between grains no matter how well compacted, and a naturally smooth surface further reduces friction. Beyond being merely rounded as the individual grains become more spherically shaped the grains also become incapable of cross-linking. Try to imagine stacking a pile of bowling balls. The advantages of a sand that compacts well are easy to see and will always make for a more enjoyable day when sculpting. 

Here are three illustrations from the same source.

To compact sand before sculpting they build a formwork (box) and fill the box with six inches of wet sand, then compact the six inch layer with a construction compactor. Then they add an additional six inch layer of wet sand on top of the compacted layer and compact the new layer, repeating until they have enough to begin the sculpture.

Here is the source link.

If you generalize from the above, you'll understand some of the differences between mushy and compact beach sand.

There is more to it, I'm sure.  I didn't take into account exactly how the sand was deposited.  Often it will be in layers as wet sand is deposited when the tide is up.

When you have compacted sand, it will take more to get it into suspension and moving.

I pay attention to the feel of the sand beneath my feet when detecting.  If I am walking along and feel the sand under my feet become compact, I would be sure to check that area for any good targets.

There is a lot more that I didn't get into, but that is as far as I want to take this today.  I got a late start.


The surf on the Treasure Coast will be very smooth the next couple of days.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 26, 2015

7/26/15 Report - Unusual Find. October 29 Sedwick Coins Treasure Auction. Testing and Sampling. Spanish Galleon Book.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Unusual Tag Find
Photos by Warren D.

Warren D. found this tag.  Fortunately he has a relative that was able to translate it for him.  Here is what he said.

I found this on the beach this morning. The writing looked Russian to me. I sent pictures to my niece who studied Russian linquistics and history at Duke University. She said the tag looks like it is from a Warrior Dash/Cross Fit style outdoor obstacle-course race held in Russia that is sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Defense and veteran's support organizations. They are associated with the military (military-style obstacles in the race, a little similar to "Support Our Troops" events here) which is probably why it was designed to look like a dog tag. The first picture with the design at the top, lists 2 of the sponsors, Absolut Bank and the non-state pension fund "Blagasastayania".

The second picture, with the large bold face type, says the name of the race "Race of Heroes". It looks like whoever finishes a race gets one of these dog tags and this particular one is from spring-summer last year. The race if you're curious: http//

I told her it's great to have a translator in the family.Found in Cocoa Beach.

Warren D.

Very interesting find Warren.  That is one thing that keeps it interesting.  You can find almost anything on a Florida beach, even things that come from half way around the world.  Congratulations!


From Sedwick Coins:

Our third live floor auction (Treasure, World and U.S. Coin Auction #18) will take place on October 29, 2015 at the DoubleTree Suites Hotel at Lake Buena Vista, just minutes from Walt Disney World. We invite you to attend and take part in the outstanding opportunities this event offers, whether as a consignor or a bidder:

• Educational presentations the day before the auction by numismatic experts from around the world.• Networking with other collectors and dealers at our famous Argentine gaucho-style dinner the night before the auction.

• Lot viewing for all lots the day before and during the live auction right next to the auction room in the hotel.

• Live bidding in our state-of-the-art auction room with Shaunda Fry, our world-renowned auctioneer...


People know a lot less than they think they know.  I'm not just talking about other people.  I'm including myself.

It is easy to think that you know something.  It is also very seductive.  And once you think you know something, the tendency is to support and defend it even if it takes all kinds of mental gymnastics.  And the more you do that, the more hardened and resistant the perceived knowledge becomes.

It occurs to me that ignorance makes "knowing" easy.  You don't have to deal with all the facts and contradictions that way.

I dare say some people are more prone to this than others.  The defense is skepticism, especially about what you think you know, is objectivity and a willingness to test  your knowledge and change your mind.

You probably won't learn much if you rigidly resist the possibility that you might be wrong and refuse to change your mind.

I know I've changed my mind about some pretty basic things concerning metal detecting.  There was a time when I thought treasure coins washed out of the beach but not up onto the beach.  I had a lot of experience that supported that belief, but that experience was limited, and I was completely wrong.  That is what more recent observations have proven.  Now it seems that I was stupid to have ever believed that they do not wash up.

Just because you are wrong about something doesn't mean that your mistaken beliefs are completely useless.  They can be correct for some situations, and can actually be quite useful in some situations, though not as useful as more complete knowledge.

What I'm getting around to today is the need to continue to test your thinking and continue to learn.  I test things that I think I know.  Sometimes it appears to be a waste of time.  That's OK.  I don't spend a lot of time on testing things I'm fairly confident about.  I spend more time testing things that I'm not so confident about.

What makes my method different from most that you read about is the amount of analysis.  In the field I do a good bit of sampling and analysis.  I'll quickly check here and there to see if my first thoughts are supported on not.  If one place looks like a good place to detect, I'll check it out.  I'll have certain ideas about what I expect, and I'll look for signs that prove my expectations either right or wrong.  Depending upon what I find, I might then quickly move to another beach or area to test or sample it.

Sampling is very important to me and I do a lot of it.  Sometimes it is just a quick sample and other times a more extensive sample, depending upon a variety of factors.

I  guess I've been surprised too many times in the past to take everything for granted.  And that isn't all bad.  When you are surprised, that means your expectations didn't match your observations, and that is a grand invitation to learn something new.


Here is a non-fiction book that you can read parts of online.  It is Spanish Galleon 1530-1690 by Angus Konstam, 2004.  Take a look.


Expect at least a few more days of very small surf on the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 25, 2015

7/25/15 Report - New Treasure Finds Made By The Capitana! Possibility of Tropical Activity Developing Near Florida Next Week. New Poll.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Cob Found By Crew of The Capitana.

Captain Jonah Martinez and his crew continue to make great finds.

Here is one of the latest, a nice OM and maybe J cob.

For those of you who don't know, the OM indicated the Mexico mint.  The J would be the assayer initial.

Nice find guys!

But that isn't all.

One of Captain Jonah's Top Notch Divers
Showing Off Some Great Finds.

In the plate is a buckle, a button and some more cobs.

A closer view of those finds is shown below.

The last picture shows a close-up of some very clean reales and the button.

They are nice and clean showing good detail.

You can tell they are also from the Mexico mint from the style of cross.

Thanks for letting us get a look at your finds Captain!

All of these photos were sent by Captain Jonah Martinez.

Plate Full or Finds.
Nice View of Button and Cobs.
Lots of Musket Balls.

With the picture of the musket balls, Captain Jonah sent the following  message.

A couple weeks ago we got in to some musket balls so we went back skipping ground by about two days south here's what we found about 850 musket balls grape and pistol shot hopefully more at the end of this new trail. These balls appear to be from the green cabin but we find 1715 mixed in this area.  

Here are the densities of some common metals given in grams per cubic centimeter.

Aluminum 2.7
Copper 8.96
Gold 19.3
Lead 11.3
Platinum 21.5
Silver 10.5

Silver is just a touch less dense than lead, with gold being quite a bit more dense than lead.

Here is the link.

Besides being the same density another thing that would group the musket balls together is their round shape, which means they will move easily, but down more than up.


The same stationary front that has been causing afternoon showers along the Treasure Coast also provides conditions that could produce tropical activity near Florida next week.

Thanks for your poll responses.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 24, 2015

7/24/15 Report - Magnet Fishing: A Tool For Detectorists. Beach Sifting Machines. Metals Used In Coins.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Good Magnet That I Use
A couple of days ago I mentioned alternate forms of treasure hunting that could be used instead of or in addition to metal detecting.  I talked about airlift dredging as one of those.  Today I'll mention another - magnet fishing.

Have you ever heard of magnet fishing?  It has become somewhat popular in Europe.  It involves using magnets to retrieve items from water.

Europe is the natural place for magnet fishing.  It has a long history and old ferrous relics can be found in rivers and canals.

Of course magnets won't pick up silver or gold coins, but if you are a relic hunter, you might want to give magnet fishing a try.

If you have a particularly junky location that is littered with a bunch of iron junk, you might use magnets to clean it up some to get the iron junk out of the way before detecting.  That can be done either on land or in the water.  For land use they actually make magnetic rakes for picking up iron trash.  They are used by roofers, for example, to pick up nails and debris after a job.  It would be good for site preparation.
Magnetic Rake.

But magnets will pick up some coins and medals.  Some foreign coins are ferrous, as is the steel U. S. cent.

The magnet shown at the top is one that I've used for magnet fishing.  A good rope was attached to the top.  Some flotation should be added to the top so that when you throw the magnet out in the water and drag it back, the bottom of the magnet stays on the bottom of the river or whatever.

Without some flotation device, this magnet would turn on its side as you drag it back.

Of course you'll pick up a bunch of junk, but it you are where there was once a historic battle or something like that you might get all kinds of interesting objects.

I've seen where people have found gun parts, knives, swords, and even a motorcycle.

Good strong magnets are made for industrial purposes such as recovering tools and things like that.

You want a good strong magnet, or perhaps better yet, and array of magnets, but you don't want the absolute strongest magnet you can get.  If you get a 300 pound pull, the magnet can attach to a sunken car or something and you'll have trouble getting it back.

Here is a video showing how one man made a magnet fishing rig and how he used it.

It is also a good way to quickly test a site without diving.  If you are looking for an old crossing or battle site, you'll probably pick up a few things that will tell you if that is the site.  If you are looking for the location of an old bridge or dock, you'll probably find some nails in a hurry.  If you are looking for an old picnic grounds and swimming hole, you'll probably pick up some old rusted bottle caps in just a short time.

If you locate a nice old historic area, or want to recover some lost tools or something, magnet fishing can be worthwhile. In any case, it is fun even if you don't find anything valuable, and it does help clean up the place.

If you want to know what coins are ferrous or what other metals are used in coins or medals, here is a good listing.


Beach Cleaner
The most efficient and effective means for keeping beaches safe and healthy is “lift and sift” mobile screening. This is a mechanical process whereby the beach sand is screened. The entire top layer of beach sand and debris are lifted and carried up over an oscillating, sifting screen. Everything larger than the selected screen-hole size is loaded into the machine’s hopper for removal, while the sand is immediately returned, cleaned, aerated and fluffy, back to the beach. 

That paragraph comes from the following linked web site.

They have all sizes of these things.  Some are remote controlled.  I bet the operators occasionally get a nice bonus.


You will notice that I recently added a poll to the blog.  I am more interested in the level of detector that you purchased than the actual number of dollars.  That is why I asked for the new price of detectors even if you purchased them used.  Thanks for your participation.


Well, well, well!  It looks like the Treasure Coast surf will be increasing.  Don't get excited though, it is only going to be something like two feet.  I never thought I'd see the day when that would be an increase.  We've had an unbelievable spell of smooth surf.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 23, 2015

7/23/14 Report - Sand Sucking Waves. Peopling the Americas. Silver Ups and Downs & Buried Coins. Clean Beaches.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Breaking Shore Wave Sucking Sand.
Photo by Clark Little.  Source: link below.
A couple of days ago I posted a photo a wave seemingly sucking up some sand.  Here is another even better photo showing that.

This view of sand getting sucked up certainly suggests that other things like coins could be sucked up into and thrown by a wave like this.

Also note the ridge of water to the right in the photo.  You can see the water rolling down from that ridge and then up into the wave, taking sand with it.

These photos, as I said the other day, are by Clark Little.  He does amazing photography that is not only beautiful, but as I'm finding out, informative as well.

If you are wondering how Clark gets these photos, here he is.

Clark Little About To Get Crashed.
Source: link below.
If you think you got crashed, think about how this is going to feel.

If you look behind his left foot, you can see the sand rising there.

I started wondering if the sand being sucked up in the picture that I showed a couple of days ago could have been a reflection or illusion of some sort so I looked for more evidence.  I wanted to make sure it was really sand being sucked up.  These additional pictures seem to verify that to me, but better yet, in a video that you will find by using the link below, Clark himself referred to sand getting sucked up
 into a wave.  With these additional pictures and Clark's own words, I'm now certain that sand, and undoubtedly other things, get sucked up into waves.

If you go to the following linked site, scroll down and play the video, beginning at 28 seconds you'll hear him say "with the sand sucking up."

Here is the link.

That adds a new and important factor to the whole discussion about the movement of sand and coins as it relates to treasure hunting and metal detecting and advances the science of beach metal detecting.


Here is a good article on the peopling of the Americas.  I might call it, Native Americans Are Immigrants Too.


When the market turned around it fell like a rock dropped into a canyon. You couldn’t sell at some slightly lower price. There were no buyers! As I watched bullion prices fall, I felt sick to my stomach. A few months later we moved to Virginia. As soon as we bought a house I buried all the bullion coins I still had in PVC pipe in my backyard. They lay there for 19 years. Recently a friend dug them up and I sold them for about four times face value.

That is the last paragraph in a story about the silver coin and bullion business back in the days when the Hunt brothers drove the price of silver up to $50 per ounce.

Here is the link.

Despite the very sandy conditions we've been dealing with for many months now, there has been a surprising lack of junk targets relative to coins and better targets.  Considering the poor conditions, I'd expect to see more aluminum.  Not that I'm complaining.  I'm glad that people have removed a lot of the old trash.  Most of the heavily detected beaches are now pretty clean.  The predominate type of trash that I've seen lately consists of beer bottle caps, which at some spots are very plentiful, but at the most heavily detected areas, have been pretty much removed.

There is one spot with a lot of bottle caps that might be worth taking a look with a discriminating machine, but the areas where I've detected lately haven't had enough trash to bother using any discrimination.

No increase in surf is predicted for the Treasure Coast for the next few days.  And there is not tropical activity developing.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

7/22/15 Report - WWII Bomb Found On Beach. Atocha Finds. Mitch King Video. Smooth Surf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

100-Pound WW II Photoflash Bomb 
Found On St. Pete Beach.
A 100-pound WW II photoflash bomb was found by a beach-goer on Sunday.  It was detonated by the bomb squad.

I think I see the Don Cesar Hotel in the background of the video linked below.  It has a long history.  It was opened in 1928 and members of high society played there including guests such as F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It was purchased by the U. S. Army in 1942.

Below is the link to the video about the bomb.

Thanks to Doug for sending me that link.


The crew of the JB Magruder uncovered a silver coin, musket ball, gunners dice, encrusted objects, a large barrel hoop fragment, two iron spikes and pottery. The Fisher organization believes that there is still at least $260 million dollars worth of treasure to be found on the Atocha site. 

The Dare searched over Lost Merchant 100 linear miles with side scan sonar and magnetometers in the search for the Lost Merchant.


Here is a very nice video of Mitch King talking about metal detecting.


The price of gold has been dropping.  Now it is down around $1100 an ounce.


Treasure Coast Beach This Morning Near Low Tide.
Notice the same old flat beach created by the smooth surf we've been having for months.  That sand is very fine grain.

Sparkling Ocean.
I just happened to catch the sun reflecting off the water and thought it was neat.

There were good numbers of coins and junk jewelry this morning and a few better pieces.  Maybe with the price of gold going down more people will be buying gold again, but I doubt it.  I don't think the middle class feels good about the economy.

One thing about the smooth surf is that although nothing old is being uncovered, and that is more what this blog focuses on, recent items that are being lost in the water are not disappearing.  There are a lot of shallow coins that look like they haven't been out there very long.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7/21/15 Report - Something You Need To Know For Water Hunting. Treasure Coast Waterways Cleanup. Junkyard Car Museum.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

See link below for details.
I have been looking at lot of very extensive studies concerning the movement of beach sand.  Some involve institutions such as Woods Hole and the Department of Defense.  Some involve laying fields of state of the art sensors, both in the beach and out into the water.  Some of the studies cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and the reports are full of technical jargon and mathematical formulas.  Those studies are only concerned with the movement of sand.  While I am interested in the flow of sand, I am also interested in how other objects such as coins move, and those studies to not address that, although I can draw some conclusions about that from what they do find.  A lot of the studies found nothing much beyond what I've learned through personal observation, which pretty much amazes me.

If you use the following link and browse around that site, you'll be able to find some of those studies.

Here is a link to a nice animation of that site.   When you get to the site, click on the multimedia section to view the animation showing the moving sandbar.  You might want to repeat it a several times.

 (Animation by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The location of sandbars can protect or endanger the face of the beach. As undertow drives sandbars away from the shoreline and further out to sea, waves break further from the shore. When sandbars are pushed closer to shore, waves break closer and run further up the beach. (From the Woods Hole site.)

I took some clips from the animation and added some things.  I added the two vertical lines so you could better estimate the position of the moving sand.  Orange dots illustrate coins.

In the first clip shown below, the sand bar is out and the currents are moving the sand in, but not the coins.  The arrows indicate the direction the sand is moving.

When the sand bar moves in, but the water velocity is not sufficient to move objects such as coins, the coins that were originally lost on the bar when it was out end up in deeper water (see below).  Objects lost in the dip in front of the sand bar (above) get buried, as shown below.

Compare the second picture to the first and note the relative position of the coins.  There are also times when the coins will move as well as the sand, but that isn't the situation illustrated here.  It is about trigger and drop points again.  Water force can be sufficient to move just sand or strong enough to move both sand and other objects.  Sand and coins can move at different times, and at the same time but at different speeds.

Sand bars are generally moving, sometimes very slowly.  As I've said before, items lost on the eroding side will be uncovered if they were previously covered, while items recently lost on the other side of the bar will get buried when the sand is moving in that direction.

Here are a couple more clips from the animation.  These show situations where the undertow moves the sand out.

When there is sufficient undertow, items as well as sand can be dragged out.  The clip below shows the bar moved out.  The bar has flattened some (below).  It could continue to move out until it looks very much like that shown in the first clip. When the velocity of the water drops the sand drops out of transport and piles up.

If you are aware of the sands position and how it is moving, that is a big step towards knowing where you'll find objects when you are metal detecting in shallow water.  Sometimes objects get uncovered and sometimes buried, and sometimes the objects are moved too.

Whichever way the sand is moving, objects are moving in some relation to that, again depending upon the trigger points and drop points of the sand and objects.

I hope the illustrations are clear and helpful.  I had a hard time getting them fixed the way I wanted, and still didn't get it exactly like I wanted.


The Treasure Coast waterway cleanup will take place July 25.  I hope you will support this.  Anyone can volunteer.  It would be a great thing for clubs.

Here is the link for all the information.


 Nestled in a north Georgia forest, over 4,000 classic cars decorate 32 acres that have been turned into a junkyard museum. Owner Walter Dean Lewis' parents started the business in 1931 as a general store that also sold auto parts. Lewis grew the collection, which had just 40 cars in the '70s, over time...

Lewis stopped selling parts about six years ago, soon after realizing he could sustain the business more as a museum, charging $15 for visitors just looking, and $25 for photographers. He estimates that 95 percent of the people who come through the six miles of trails are photographers...
Here is the link for the rest of the story.  Sorta neat.


I can't believe it.  That little two foot bump in the Treasure Coast surf predictions for next week has disappeared.  We're back to one foot for who knows how long.

Happy hunting.

Monday, July 20, 2015

7/20/15 Report - Alternate Methods To Metal Detecting. Air Lift Dredge. Silver Rosie dimes. History of Shipwrecks Book.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

90% Silver Rosie

Metal detecting isn't the goal for most of us.  The goal for most people is finding things.  Metal detecting is just the method.

Sometimes people act as if metal detecting is the goal, but we shouldn't forget that there are other methods for finding things.  Sifting, dredging and eye-balling are a few examples.

There are times when other methods will pay off, and there are times when metal detecting just won't work.

Other methods might actually be the best choice in some situations.  One would be when metal detecting isn't allowed.  Another would be when valuable objects are not made of metal.  Another might be when there is too much overburden or junk.

There are times when you can eye-ball coins and things somewhat effectively.  For example, when a strong wind has scoured a busy dry beach.  I've done that.  You can find a good number of coins by eye-balling.  Or when there has been erosion at a good spot where coins and things are being uncovered in front of your eyes.  Or along streets or curbs.

There have been places like that where I have found a good numbers of coins.  While you obviously won't find buried coins by eye-balling, you can find uncovered coins, and in some cases you can follow up with a detector.

Eye-balling can be the first step in narrowing down where you want to spend your time detecting.  If you find a coin or two that has been just uncovered along the surf line that is a place to check with a detector.

A good thing about eye-balling is the ease of quickly scanning large areas.  It works best in busy areas where there might be high concentrations of targets.

You might eye-ball for bills along a fence line after a carnival, for example.  Or along a sea weed line.

I know of one dip in the water off of a busy resort where bills tend to collect.  Snorkeling for bills often produces a few ones, fives or twenties.

In my 6/15 report I posted about how Russ P. does some sifting sometimes when he doesn't have a promising detecting spot.  It is a lot of work, but can be effective in the right place and has the advantage of being able to uncover non-metallic targets as well as metallic.

One thing you might consider is an air lift dredge.  It is only for those who dive though.

Here is an illustration.  It isn't too hard to construct an air lift dredge and it can be used to lift metallic as well as non-metallic items.  Of course it is easier to buy than make if you have the money.

I believe the Fisher organization used an air lift dredge in areas known for emeralds.

The illustration shown here and the excerpt below is from Wikipedia.

Typically, the airlift is constructed from a 3 metre to 10 metre long, 10 cm diameter pipe. A controllable compressed air supply vents into the inside, lower end of the pipe (The input end always being the lower end). Compressed air is injected into the pipe in one to three second bursts with an interval long enough to let the resulting bubble to rise to the higher, output end of the pipe. The bubble moves water through the pipe sucking debris from the lower end and depositing it from the upper end of the pipe. Ejected debris can be either cast off (as in simply removing oveburden) or collected.

Here is a YouTube demonstration..

Two problems with air lift dredges is that they are most effective in deeper water and are not easily moved.  A small gas powered dredge would work in shallow water.  Keene is one well known manufacturer of portable gold dredges.

There are other methods that I haven't yet discussed.  Some much less expensive and easy to construct.  I just wanted to make the point that metal detecting is not the goal, and that there are plenty of other techniques.  Also that there are situations when other techniques might even work better.

Of course, you can use different methods in combination too.  The bigger point is to keep thinking.

What inspired me to write this today is that I've been using some alternative methods lately but want to get some good pictures and record results before I post about them.  Just like with metal detecting, sometimes they don't work out real well, but sometimes they do.


I ran across a book you might want to take a look at.  It is History of Shipwrecks by Angus Konstam.
You can preview it free online.  Click on the underlined title above to go there.


Here is something to watch for even though it would be rare to find in circulation.  Starting in 1992 the San Francisco Mint  produced some 90% silver Roosevelt dimes, though all such silver dimes have been struck in Proof format.  A 2004 S dime would have a melt of around $1.00 and in mint state sell for around $6.00.


The Treasure Coast predictions are for a two-foot surf next Monday.  Normally I wouldn't pay any attention to that, but we haven't had anything that big for weeks, if you can believe that.  I never thought I'd see the day when a two-foot surf looked like a bump up.  It might not even happen.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

7/19/15 Report - Do Crashing Waves Throw Coins As They Break? 130 Year Old Winchester Found In Desert.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Real Wave Photo.

Now this is really cool.  Believe it or not this is an actual photo.  Beside being a beautiful picture, it shows something very interesting.

I'm not positive but I think the photo is a Clarke Little photo.  He is a surfer turned photographer.

I lost track of the source, but here are more of Clarke Little's beautiful wave photos.

Take a good look at that photo again.  Do you see what is happening?  Look at the brown sand or whatever being sucked up into the wave.  That is what I think is very interesting.  It wouldn't be that apparent if you were just watching it happen, but when it is frozen in time like that you can really see it.

In my 7/16 post I showed this illustration.  Notice how the waves move in circles.  I've told before about how if you are floating in the deeper water, you'll move in a circle as a wave goes by.

As the wave gets in more shallow water the circles get flattened and turn into  ovals.

What you are seeing in the top photo is the bottom of the circle where the sand is getting sucked back into the wave.  The circle isn't completed here because the water is too shallow and the wave is breaking.

Just think about what is happening there.  First the top sand is getting sucked out and then the wave comes crashing down with force just in front of that.  

When the sand gets sucked up into the wave, as you can see in the photo, it is lifted, and then when the crashing wave impacts the sand with considerable force.

That happens time and time again as the waves come in, and each time in just a little different place.

A report by the Naval Warfare Center ( says, Overall, average impact pressures from the breaking waves are greater in magnitude than the impact pressures from the non-breaking waves and average impact pressures tend to increase with increased speed...

OK.  We knew that crashing waves have considerable force.  I recently posted about blocks weighing tons being moved.

Big waves, as is obvious, stirs up a lot of sand, but in addition to the effect of crashing, there is also the sucking that we see in the photo.   Add that to a near continuous flow running along with the long shore current on a steep beach and a lot of sand and stuff could be moved quickly.

Adding in any undertow or backwash, the net effect will depend upon a variety of factors, including the "trigger" and "drop" points for specific objects, as I've said before.  

I think my understanding of how coins and objects get covered and uncovered is fairly complete.   I've tracked and observed how objects move in many situations, but I have never been able track the movement of objects within big waves and during storms.  I think I'm getting pretty close to a complete understanding of that part of the process too, which will explain how coins and things wash up at times.

Looking at the picture at the top of the post and how the sand is getting sucked into the base of the wave, I wondered if coins or other objects could get sucked up into the wave and actually thrown ahead with the water in a breaking wave.  I don't know about that, but considering how easily coins flip (turn over) in relatively little current, I wouldn't be surprised if large breaking waves could throw some objects.  Certainly they are blasted, lifted and moved, but maybe not through the entire cycle of the breaking wave.

In the photo, you can see some of the sand moving ahead with the wave.

It would only happen when the waves and obects are in shallow water.  That is one condition.  When the water is deep relative to the size of the waves, the bottom and objects on the bottom are not affected.

When we have storms, some waves are breaking on a slope rather than a flat bottom like we see in the photo.  I

I didn't really want to introduce the complication of the different types of waves yet, but I unintentionally just stepped into it.

Besides breaking waves, there are other types, such as plunging waves and surging waves.

According to wikipedia

A plunging wave occurs when the ocean floor is steep or has sudden depth changes, such as from a reef or sandbar. The crest of the wave becomes much steeper than a spilling wave, becomes vertical, then curls over and drops onto the trough of the wave, releasing most of its energy at once in a relatively violent impact. A plunging wave breaks with more energy than a significantly larger spilling wave. The wave can trap and compress the air under the lip, which creates the "crashing" sound associated with waves. With large waves, this crash can be felt by beachgoers on land. Offshore wind conditions can make plungers more likely.

That is as much as I want to get into that for now.

I've known for a quite a few years that coins wash up onto the beach.  There is no doubt about that, but perhaps large crashing waves can move sand and objects in even more dramatic ways than I previously suspected.

For a relatively thorough explanation of waves, you might want to look at the following.


132 year-old Winchester rifle was found propped up against a tree in the desert.  Nobody knows what happened to the owner or how it got there.

Interesting story.


It seem that the Treasure Coast is in for a couple more weeks of one-foot surf.  How long can this last?

Happy hunting,