Wednesday, July 1, 2015

7/1/15 Report - Five Ways Coins Move On A Beach. Leather Adornment & The Round Mystery Item. Plant Clues. Artifact Database.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

New Picture Of GoldNugget's Mystery Item.
Back Side.

I thought I'd list the ways that I've seen coins move on a beach.

1. Fall out of an eroding cliff, cut or dune.
2. Slide down the face of a cliff or dune.
3. Move within a rush of water.
4. Roll down a slope.
5. Flip,

I don't know if that is all the possible ways, but it seems like it must be close to it.

I've seen a cob and other coins fall out of an eroding cliff right in front of me as I detected. They fell out of the cliff and stayed on the flat sand in front of the cut or cliff until a strong enough rush of water came to move them again.

I've also detected cobs and other coins on the face of sloped dunes and cuts,  I've seen them, some times on a slab of sand, sliding down the face of the slope.  They'll often slide a little at a time.

Coins that are moved by a wave or rush of water on the beach are sometimes easy to track and sometimes difficult to track.  Coins that move with a relatively small rush of water and only move a few inches, can be seen as they move.  They remain flat while moving.  However those that are moved by a more forceful rush of water, can't normally be seen as they move point a to point b.   I don't know exactly how they move, but one second they will be at one spot and the next second they will be found again a foot or even several feet away, often getting covered by sand, and not always quickly found again.

The direction of coins moved by rushing water on the beach can be either up the slope, down the slope or sideways or a combination.

I've tracked coins moving with rushing water on a beach many times.  I don't know if they stay flat, flip or what while in the rushing water.   I sometimes throw coins down just to see how the water moves them.

I've also watched coins roll down the slope, sometimes all the way back into the water.  Rings also do that sometimes.

I've also seen coins flip.  To me that is one of the more interesting ways that coins move.

I've seen coins flip up onto the flat berm just behind a cut.  That one is surprising, but I've seen it happen a few times when a wave hits the front of the cut.

I've also seen coins flip down the slope as water rushed over top of the coin.  I don't exactly know what the situation has to be for a coin to flip that way.  I guess I'll have to do some experiments.

Coins might also step down a slope like other larger items.  I've written about that before, but have never seen it in action with coins.

Coins moved in rushing water could possibly be flipping, or maybe just sliding along.  I don't know.

More often than not, coins move down the slope and towards the water, but not always.  I'd say the net effect is down.


The really great thing about having an unsolved puzzle is that the longer it remains unsolved the more you learn.  At least that is the case if it arouses your curiosity enough to stay on the problem.

As a result of looking into  GoldNugget's round mystery item, I've learned a lot and hope you have too.

GoldNugget sent me another email with this additional information.

It is completely flat on the front and back. The back has the same design as the front, On the back each Ray show a pattern of dots from the Cross in the circle to the end of each Ray, On the front I do not see the dots.

I think the small differences in observed pattern on the front and back might be due to corrosion.

As far as the front and back showing the same design and being flat, that completely changes my feelings.

Above is an example of a bridle rosette.  Notice the bar for attachment on the back.  That is lacking on the item under consideration.  There would also be no reason for the same design to be on the back of a rosette.  The new information helps a lot.

One of the things I found out is that at one time bridle rosettes often featured a design that looked like a rose, some very realistic, so the name makes sense.

Even though it now appears the item may not be horse related, I'm glad that I learned more about horse adornment while doing the research.  That information will undoubtedly be useful at some time in the future.

I have found some horse related items, including crotal bells, horse shoes, etc.  That is not uncommon from older sites.  Now I'll be better prepared to identify other items such as those shown immediately below.


Always look for the slightest sign that something might have broken off of a find.  It is not uncommon to eventually discover where a pin, eyelet, or something was at one time attached but broke off.  Corrosion can wear off  remaining stubs or any remaining signs of broken parts, making identification very difficult.  Cleaning and close inspection, including magnification, will sometimes reveal small marks or clues.

While doing the research, I found a really great paper with the title A PRELIMINARY STUDY OF 17TH- AND 18TH-CENTURY LEATHER ORNAMENTS FROM MARYLAND.  

Here is one paragraph from that paper to give you the idea.  

Leather ornaments are decorative metal items with two or more tines on the back that are designed to pierce and then fold around leather to hold the ornaments in place. These artifacts are found on sites across Maryland, but they generally do not occur in large quantities on any one site, and they have received little attention from archeologists. As a result, leather ornaments are often misidentified, and even if they are properly identified, a lack of consistent terminology in catalogs makes it difficult to study them. Leather ornaments might have appeared on personal items such as pouches, belts, firearm slings, and sword straps, but their use on clothing became unpopular by the early 16th century (Egan 2005), so it is likely that most examples found in Maryland represent fittings for riding and harness horses.

Here is the link if you want to read more.

And that paper led me to the Maryland Database of Diagnostic Artifacts, which you might want to look at.

It is a small database, but you might enjoy it or find it useful.

Well, the additional information we obtained helped rule out some ideas and I don't know that I can say what it is with 100% certainty yet, but I learned a lot in the process.  Thanks much to all contributors.  Your contributions help me create better posts.


Native Americans and European settlers planted certain types of plants and removed others.  If you know the plants of an area, that might help you identify old sites.

A new study by University at Buffalo geographers explores how humans altered the arboreal make-up of Western New York forests before European settlers arrived in large numbers.

The research looked at land survey data from around 1799-1814, and used this information to model which tree species were present in different areas of Chautauqua County, New York, at that time.

The analysis placed hickory, chestnut and oak trees in larger-than-expected numbers near the historical sites of Native American villages...

Here is the link to read more of that study.


Happy hunting,