Saturday, August 22, 2015

8/22/15 Report - A Hand Full Of Gold Cobs. A Gold Cob In Hiding. Hurricane Danny Heading Towards Puerto Rico.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Freshly Discovered Gold Cobs.
Photo by Fred Banke
Lately I've mostly been showing the recent finds.  We all love to see what has been found.  We love to see a piece of our history, especially local history.  Not many people will actually see it once the state takes it.

Seeing things like that gets people excited and motivated, but motivation will quickly fade if your only motivation is images of nice shiny things.  I don't doubt that there will be people who go out and buy a new detector and go metal detecting because of what they saw lately.  If those exciting images is the only thing motivating them, they'll quickly get hot, tired, frustrated and quit before long.  It doesn't help that beach conditions are so poor now.

For some, the excitement will only carry them through about two hunts before they quit.  It isn't quick and easy.  It can take a lot of time.

There are times when someone gets lucky.  I know of one lady that found a gold cob on her first time out with a metal detector.  That is like hitting Power Ball.  The odds are very very long against it.  People often go years or decades or even a lifetime without that kind of luck.

That is not what I started to talk about.  I just thought it needed to be said.

I started to say that I've been taking a lot of time showing what was found because it is historic and important, but all the fun doesn't stop with the find.  That is where a lot of the fun begins.

Like words, artifacts have meaning.

After Captain Jonah sent me a photo of all the musket balls they found, I thought he was probably close to the gold.  I remember that I actually drafted a brief email two times, but before hitting the send button I killed the emails before sending them.  It was nothing more than hot air anyhow, even though I thought I had reason to believe what I was going to say.  But the point is that I thought the musket balls were a good sign.

A find starts a whole new process of discovery.  What does the find mean to the hunter?  What does it tell us about history?  What does it tell us about the wreck?  What does it tell us about how things are distributed? What does it tell us about hunting techniques?  What does it all mean?  What does it tell us about ourselves?  What can be learned?  If you want good answers, start with good questions.

For me, metal detecting is very much about thinking, analyzing and learning.  My motivations changed over the years.  At first it was very much about what I could find and how much I could find.  Later it became more about learning and discovering.  I wanted to figure things out.  That kept me motivated, both when I was successful and maybe even more when I wasn't.  Now, I'm not really much impressed by finds - not even big finds.  It is more about meaning.  What does it mean?  What can we learn from it?

After showing and celebrating these historic finds, I'll be getting into more of the analysis of things in the future.


A few days ago I did a post on rocks being what I called the ground floor.  That is mostly true, but not entirely.

Did you know that coral can grow at up to 4 inches a year?  Lets say that we select a much more modest rate of growth - say .5 inch a year.  At that rate, in three hundred years the coral would grow 150 inches.  That is well over ten feet.  Are you seeing where I'm going with this?

A 300 year old shipwreck could have many feet of coral on top of it.  Same for artifacts.  That is why I am now saying rock is not "always" the ground floor even though it often is.

I've seen sand coalesce into sandstone or at least a sandstone-like comglomerate in a matter of just a very few years.

The point is that some old shipwreck items may be covered by coral or rock.  It can be a lot of rock too.  

I think I know of one place on the Treasure Coast where the rocks have encapsulated a wreck.  Maybe its just pieces of a wreck that formed the base for a reef.

I've seen old iron sticking out of the rocks there not too far from the water line.  If that is what I think it is, some artifacts would be permanently entombed.


Gold Cob Hiding In Crack.
Photo submitted by Jonah Martinez

Here is a very cool photo.  There is a gold cob or two, or maybe even three, hidden in that chunk of conglomerate.  You'll see rocks like that on the beach some times.

Very nice picture.  And something for you to remember.  Thanks once again Jonah!


Yesterday I posted a Lima gold cob being held by Fred B.  The cob was part of the recent haul made by the Capitana guys.  The cobs shown at the top of this post are also being held by Fred.  I'll take a more detailed look at some of the newly discovered cobs in the future.

One additional tid bit - One of the oldest. if not the oldest escudo of the newly discovered group. was an Old World cob.  That means it was minted in Spain and then traveled to the New World, where it was in circulation for a good time, and then was on the way back to Spain when it went down off of our Treasure Coast.  Quite a journey!  Brent Brisben told about that at the press release Thursday.


The state should photograph the finds, including those they claim as well as those they don't, and they should make the information available in a database and make it available to the public.

It is time that the history that is being saved for the public should actually be made accessible to the public.

If that was done items would be viewed more, studied more and more would be learned.  \

We are now getting open access scientific journals.  It is now time to have open access history.

You don't need a high level archaeologist to do all of that, all you need is a graduate student or trained monkey.  Nothing against graduate students.  Just thought that was funny.   I was one - in fact three times in three different fields. Not a monkey, a graduate student.


It appears that hurricane Danny is headed towards Puerto Rico. It is predicted to decrease in strength by then.  At this point it doesn't look like we'll get much from it, but who knows.

This is my fourth post on the recent 1715 Fleet Treasure Coast Finds, so you might want to look at the previous posts.

Happy hunting,