Saturday, August 1, 2015

8/1/15 Report - Two Valuable Treasures. Which Is Most Valuable? Detectors In Various Price Ranges And What People Are Spending.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Two Pearls From Margarita
Found in 2007
Gold Cross Discovered On Cabin Wreck
Recovered in 2003

Which of these is the most valuable?  You might be surprised.

This Gold and Emerald Cross was found inside of an ornate gold box that was sealed shut due to its centuries under water. Along with this magnificent Cross was a five-foot long chain and two spectacular emerald rings. Discovered on the site known as the "cabin wreck" while exploring the 1715 Fleet, the Cross may well have been meant as a gift to Elizabeth Farnese, Duchess of Palma, from King Philip V of Spain. After his previous wife died in 1714, Philip began to woo Elizabeth. She eventually consented, but would not consummate the marriage until she received her weight in gold and jewels . Already behind schedule, the 1715 Fleet was forced to delay even further so that fine jewelry and other wedding gifts could be delivered to the ships headed back to Europe. Due to turbulent weather, unfortunately, the ships carrying many of the new Queen's jewels sunk well before they reached European soil.   Estimated Price: $100,000 - $125,000

Two Pearls  In June 2007, Blue Water Ventures in conjunction with Motivation, Inc. (the Fisher family's salvage operation) found a lead box within the Margarita's wreck site that contained thousands of pearls. Following the discovery, a gemologist from the GIA was enlisted to analyze and categorize the pearls so that their history and guidelines for future care could be established. Conclusions drawn from the numerous tests performed do confirm that the pearls are historically important, the nacre condition of these pearls is good given their age and the hundreds of years they spent on the ocean floor. It is believed that the lead box they laid in had in fact protected the pearls from significant damage and erosion. These two pearls in particular are the two largest pieces stemming from the 16,000 pearl discovery aboard the wreck of the Santa Margarita, the sister ship of the Atocha. Attributed to Indian pearl divers off the coast of the Isle of Cubagua near the Venezuelan coast, this particular area was specifically prized for its oysters and their pearls beginning in the sixteenth century. Each of the two pearls in this lot have been graded by the GIA as "AA," which means they have a very high luster, and at least 75% of their respective surfaces are free from defects. Considered to be part of the most unique collection in the world, these pearls hail from a rare species of oyster associated with the Nueva Esparta region where they originated. It is perhaps poignant to note that the word "margarita" in both Greek and Spanish translates as "pearl" in English. The Isle of Margarita which is situated close to Cubagua was given its name by Christopher Columbus to honor the Infanta Margarita of Austria, who was engaged to the heir to the Spanish throne.  Estimated Price: $300,000 - $400,000

To be approved to bid on these lots, please complete Guernsey's Bidder Agreement Form ( and return it to Guernsey's by fax or email before 12 Noon (EDT) August 5.

The above pictures are from the online auction site.

To view the online auction here is the link.


The most read post of July was the  7/27/15 Report - MILLION DOLLARS Of Treasure Recently Found On A Treasure Coast Shipwreck Site.  The Difference Between Compact And Mushy Sand.


“If you want to build a boat, don’t drum up the men and give them orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” -Antoine de Saint ExupĂ©ry

I just thought that was a great quote.  Antoine de Saint Exupery wrote The Little Prince. He was a French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator.  He was best remembered for his novella, The Little Prince.  He once wrecked and was stranded in the Sahara and last disappeared over the Mediterranean while on a reconnaissance flight in 1944.

The most recent poll has concluded and the results are in. There were 111 people that responded - a good sample size.

Seven people, 6% of the respondents, paid $250 or less for their last detector purchase.  That could include detectors like the Garrett Ace 250 or Fisher F2.  Those are decent detectors.   

My last detector cost me closer to $2500, but the one before that was the Ace 250, which cost about 1/10 the one I purchased next.  While both are worth the money in my opinion, the Ace 250 is a good value and would be an excellent first detector, back-up, or special purpose machine.  I'm not doing an advertisement - just my personal observation.  

Some people might call these detectors toys, but they are adequate for beginners and me.  My Ace is a handy detector that I use for specific situations such as making a first pass over an old home site or scanning a junky high and dry beach.  

A note for beginners -  start with something basic and simple.   More expensive does not mean more simple. And more expensive does not always mean better.  Some advanced detectors will totally frustrate a beginner.

33 people, 29% of the respondents, paid between $250 and $750 for their most recent detector purchase.  That would include detectors such as the Garrett Ace 350, Fisher F4, Bounty Hunter Discovery at the lower end, and more advanced detectors like the Garrett AT Pro, Fisher F5 at the higher end.

As I've said before, I won't touch a Tesoro because they advertise a lifetime warranty but won't honor it.  

The largest number of respondents paid between $750 and $1500 for their most recent detector purchase.  That is not surprising to me since many of the Treasure Coast use a detector such as the very popular Excalibur which costs about $1500.  That is up some in recent years.

When you get into waterproof detectectors, the price goes up.  Also specialized hunting in difficult ground often calls for more expensive detectors.

This price range includes detectors such as the Fisher Gold Bug II, Garett GTI 2500, Fisher F75, Teknetics T2, and up right around $1500, the Minelab Excalibur.

Prices will vary depend upon where you buy and what options and accessories are included.

The Excalibur might fall in the $1500 to $3000 category, depending upon where you got it etc.   In retrospect, the one thing I would change about the poll is the $1500 cut-off point.  The Excalibur is so common on the Treasure Coast and comes in at about that price.  It could fall on either side of $1500.  

The Minelab E-Trac is close to that lower cut-off too.  

Other detectors in that range are detectors such as the Minelab SDC and CTX 3030 and  Garrett ATX,

Above $3000 you get into specialized detectors such as the GPX and GPZ gold detectors and a whole variety of detectors.

I know I didn't include all detectors, some of which are very good.  I notice that I didn't mention any Whites detector, for example.   There is nothing wrong with that brand or others that I might not have mentioned. 


There is one tropical disturbance still out in the Atlantic.  It is closer to Africa than us though.  

On the Treasure Coast there is no change in beach detecting conditions.

Happy hunting,