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,