Wednesday, September 30, 2015

9/30/15 Report - Hurricane Joaquin Developing Into Something To Watch. Revolutionary War Battle Site.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of
Joaquin Wind Pattern.
The big news today is that we have a hurricane.  The name is Joaquin.  It has been sitting out east of the Bahamas just meandering around and gaining strength. It is expected to head north instead of hitting Florida.  The cone of uncertainty is wide, but it looks like Joaquin might hit North Carolina.

This site is great.  As I've said, you can use it to check the wind, surf and waves for the present and several days out.

This afternoon the wind on the Treasure Coast was supposed to start coming out of the north.  We should get north/northeast winds for a couple of days.

Today the surf was supposed to be up to around six feet and I suppose it was, though I didn't check today.

It looks like this weekend that we are supposed to get up to an eight foot surf.  Unfortunately, by that time the wind will be blowing out again.  I guess that could be good if cutting occurs first and then it doesn't fill in too soon.

We might actually get improved conditions on the Treasure Coast beaches.  I'll be checking to see how it goes.

The tides are supposed to be fairly big too.

This is the most promising forecast that I've seen for quite a while.   I hope we actually get the high surf that is predicted for this weekend.  I also hope that any cuts don't fill right away when the wind changes.


I visited the conservation lab in Sebastian today and was reminded of all the other stuff that goes into shipwreck salvage.

If you are working on a salvage lease, it is done according to contract.  You don't just go out and find stuff, put it in your pocket and take it away.  There is a lot of record keeping, cleaning, conservation, and then, of course, the split with the state.  A lot of time is spent on things other than hunting.

I noticed the years and years of salvage logs and records.  Ir you know me, and you probably do to some extent if you've been reading this blog very long like I know some of you have, I could sit down and go through all the records and very much enjoy myself.  I've always been a person that enjoys information and data and trying to learn what I can from it.  I'm not good at remembering details.  I'm more into functional and structural relationships - how things go together and what it means.

Anyhow, I enjoyed the time at the lab this morning.

I also noticed that they are using some of the same techniques in the lab that I use and that I've presented in this blog.    Electrolysis is one.  Also baking soda is used after cleaning silver.  That is a common technique, and it obviously works well for them too.


CONCORD, Mass.Sept. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On April 19, 1775, despite heavy casualties just hours before,Lexington's Captain John Parker made the courageous decision to rally his troops and pursue the British on their march back fromConcord to Boston. More than 240 years later, after this heroic stand by citizen soldiers, an archaeology project using advanced technology has unearthed important details on the little known but noteworthy battle called "Parker's Revenge."
Here is the link for the rest of the article.



Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.


Happy hunting,

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

9/29/15 Report - How The TBR Beach Studies Paid Off. Tropical Storm Joaquin. Ten Top Treasures. Great Research Tip.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Three Rings Found In Coin Line
Finds and Photo by Doug E.
I am glad to know that people are not only reading and using the tips and techniques that I present, but they are being successful with them.

Here is what Doug E. said.

Thanks to your research on coin line formation I was able to determine from the wave direction, tides, and beach cams that a line was likely forming near Cocoa.

On Sunday I quickly found and  followed the line for almost 2 miles. From the condition of the coins and rings one could tell it was all older material. 

Most of the targets were at the same depth. More research is less less hard work digging. 

Please keep on with the study, it really helps in the field.

Doug E,

Thanks for sharing Doug, And congratulations!  

Doug's Finds.
Notice the predominance of discolored coins along with the other varied items, including sinkers and rings.  

You can indeed save time by learning to locate coin lines or coin holes.  Once you locate one, it can be worth working it completely.  

When targets are densely distributed, I'll pick it clean and then go back over it.  It seems that removing the obvious signals, you can then tighten up and focus on the less obvious signals.  That can produce gold that otherwise would be missed if you didn't go back over the area.  

As I've said before the idea of cleaning out a coin line or hole is not to find clad coins, it is to get the better items that might be associated with the line or hole.

Yesterday, I first went north to see what the beach around the bend looked like.  It wasn't any good.  I then turned around and went back south.  After walking a good distance I found a cut that I could not see from where I walked onto the beach.  

Binoculars are a good idea when you want to be able to see a little farther down the beach.


Top ten lost treasures of the world.


Dan B. gave this great tip.  When searching for quality reports and studies include the term pdf with your search terms.  It does help weed out the useless stuff and provides better search results.

Thanks Dan.


We have a new tropical storm, Joaquin.  We also have two disturbances.  

On the Treasure Coast we've had a south wind for what seems like years.  This morning the wind was blowing off-shore.

Despite Joaquin sitting east of the Bahamas, we're still not getting any beneficial changes.  Jaoquin will probably move north instead of closer to us.

Expect a three to five foot surf today and a foot or so higher tomorrow.  That is getting up there.  It will do some good if we can get some decent angles.

Happy hunting,

Monday, September 28, 2015

9/28/15 Report - Surge and Backwash and Cut Beach. Tropical Depression Eleven. Higher Waves.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Illustration Showing Surge and Backwash On A Beach With A Cut
A few days ago I presented a couple of illustrations to show how coin lines were formed.   My intention was to continue on that subject, but I got on some other subjects.

The illustration in the previous post showed how the surge went up the slope and gradually decreased and then washed back down the hill.  When there is a cut, the surge can hit the face of the cut before the water slows.  When that happens the surge bounces off of the cut and washes back down the slope with greater force than if it had gradually slowed down on the slope.

The tide is important.  When a cut is created before high tide, as the tide increases, more and more water hits the cut as the tide comes in.  When the tide starts to go down, and if the waves are not big enough, the water will no longer be hitting the cut at all.

If the cut is created at low tide, the high tide can over-wash the cut and smooth it out if the water is hitting the beach straight on.

The main thing to notice is that when the water continues to hit a cut with force there is no gradual slowing of water as the surge slows and reverses.  Instead the water can hit the cut with force and bounce back sending the water back down the slope with force.

When the waves are hitting straight on, the backwash will be colliding with new surges.  If the wave period is small, that will happen frequently.

When the surge and backwash collides there will be a reduction in force at that point, and items can be dropped off.

Any items washing out of the cliff can be temporarily covered and protected by sand eroded from the cliff.

If the water is hitting at a angle from the north, then the water can wash up onto the beach and curve back down without losing as much force.  That can move a lot of sand and other items.  Of course if it is coming in at a good angle it can still carve away at the cut when the water is high enough.  You get more erosion when there is a good angle and high water.

High water washing directly up the beach will not cause nearly as much erosion as water washing in at an angle.


Treasure Coast Beach This Afternoon

Last night we had a super moon and a lunar eclipse.  The tides were high, and I hear that in some areas there was flooding.  On the Treasure Coast the tide was about two feet higher than normal.  I didn't see any type of flooding.  In fact I thought the water was not any higher than yesterday.

Ida has finally disappeared.  We have Tropical Depression Eleven to the east of the Bahamas.  I expect it to stay out there and move north and not affect us much.  The waves were bigger though.  I thought in some places they looked like six to seven feet.  I saw a few surfers.

I found one cut that was close to two feet high.  I'm sure there were others around the Treasure Coast. I only looked at a couple of beaches.  One was mushy.  The other wasn't.

I wasn't finding anything old where I was.

There were some shells and fossil pieces.

We also have a disturbance in the Gulf.

The surf is supposed to be 3 to 5 feet until Wednesday when it is supposed to be up to 6 feet.

You might be able to find a good cut somewhere.  The waves are hitting directly from the East though.


The history of money diggers article that I presented yesterday is a good read.  You might be able to pick up a few good clues from it.  In any case the folklore and history is interesting enough by itself.

Also check out the bibliography at the end.


Happy hunting,


Sunday, September 27, 2015

9/27/15 Report - History of "Money Digging." Tropics More Active. Rare Coins On Auction.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Couple Fine Coins From An Upcomng Sothebys Auction
Source: See Sothebys link below. 

Have you ever heard of money diggers?  That is how they described treasure hunters in the early days of our country.

Treasure hunting was much practiced in the U. S. long before there was a United States.  Religious and other leaders of the day participated, as well as the common folk. Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints, was a money digger.

I found an article about the Joseph Smith's treasure hunting activities.  The article talked about Joseph Smith, but it also tells a lot about the history and superstitions associated with money digging.

Thetitle of the article is The Persisting Idea of American Treasure Hunting.  It was written by Ronald W Walker, and was originally published in BYU Studies, back in the 1980s.

Here is one paragraph from that lengthy paper.

From colonial times to at least the age of Jackson, Americans dug for magical treasure.  There were hundreds and probably thousands of these "money diggers," all seeking troves of fabled coins, mines, jewels and other valued prizes. They worked from the Atlantic Coast to the Mississippi hinterlands, and in a few localities heaped up tailings that rivaled those of the later forty-niners.  Yet for all this prodigious toil their finds were as rare as Merlin's transmuted gold.  What made them persist, relying on an immemorial but now forgotten world view, the money diggers placed faith in conjuring, elemental spirits, thrice spoken dreams, seeric gifts and enchanted treasure that could slip and rumble through the earth as easily as a fish moving through the deep.  The modern age will probably never fully understand the diggers strange compound of treasure seeking, religious feeling and intense psychological devotion to an old but fading way of life.  Theirs was another world which we can speak of but hardly enter.

 Here is the link if you want to read the entire article.

Treasure hunting is an activity that inspires superstition.  Treasure hunters seek the unseen.  They depend to some extent upon luck, no matter how scientific and thorough they are.  Intuition can be a  big part of it,  Guesswork is also a part of it.  Despite all of the hard work and diligent effort, the outcome is uncertain, and success and failure begs for explanation other than pure chance.

Few of us share the superstitions common among the money diggers of the 18th century.  There are some that still use dowsing and other methods that do not have the support of science.  For the most part metal detectors have replaced dowsing rods, but many treasure hunters still experience the hunt as being somehow mystical, if not religious.

As Ronald Walker's paper details, treasure hunting has a long and deep history in America.  No wonder!  It is as instinctual as curiosity.  It is as natural as work and progress.


If you watched TV the last few days it would have been difficult to miss the throngs of people that gathered excitedly to see the Pope.  It just goes to show how much of a hunger there is for the virtues characterized by the Pope and the Faith.

People of all faiths, as well as those of no religious faith at all, had good things to say about the Pope.  Many were moved to tears.  Congress, where leaders often rail for separation of church and state, seemed to have forgotten about their common cry for that separation.  Politicians of all stripes appeared to be deeply moved by the Pope's character and presence.  None had anything bad to say about him. News anchors, who usually are either hostile or at the very least show no friendship to religion, were also moved.  Nobody that I saw had anything critical to say about the man, including the aetheists, anti-religious, and those that are typically against religion.

It seemed to me that I was seeing a different side to the world.  Not in the Pope, He did not surprise me.  Nor did those of faith.  It was the politicians and media that surprised me.   It was those who make decisions for us and present the world to us.  It was also the unanimous, or what appeared to me to be the unanimous, interest, excitement and over-whelmingly positive reaction to this religious leader.

It appears to me that there is a deep world-wide hunger for authenticity and virtue and leadership. For a few days, on the TV news at least, conflict, hate and evil did not dominate.

Security was evident at every turn.  That shows that there is still evil in the world.  Maybe it was crowded out for a time - at least off of the TV screens that present so much of what we take to be the world.  Maybe what they normally present, with their continual emphasis on conflict and tragedy, gives us a lop-sided view of things.  I'm sure it does.  Maybe the imbalance swung the other way for a few days, and we'll soon be back to normal.  My hope is that it was not an illusion, and that in some small way we and the world were permanently changed for the better.


I recommend spending some time with the,30.477,-80.112,6 web site.  Not only will it give you a animated map showing the wind, but also the swell and waves.  Also if you place the cursor on any specific location it will give you detailed information for that location.  Give it a try.  Great  tool!


Here is a site where you can see some great photos of some great coins.  The two coins shown at the top of this post are from this web site.


The past couple of days, I did a little detecting on a flat beach and found a good number of coins.  I didn't test any of the steeper beaches.

There are now two tropical disturbances in addition to Ida.  Ida doesn't seem to want to go away and is lingering out in the Atlantic.

There is one disturbance in the Gulf and one East of the Bahamas.  The one in the Gulf has a 10% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours, and the one out East has a 20% chance.  Both are affecting our wind patterns.

For the next few days we'll be having something like a 3 - 5 foot surf.  There is a chance we will eventually get some significant beach improvement.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

9/26/15 Report - Pierced or "Holed" Coins: Characteristics and Uses. Slight Beach Improvement. Sea Glass Again.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Pot Shard and Sea Glass Incidental Finds
Here are a couple beach finds from this morning, They were eye-balled while detecting near low tide.  The blue sea glass is well tumbled and has a nice elongated teardrop shape.

Before I get into my main topic for today, I wanted to mention that the high tides lately has done some good, but not enough for me to  change my Treasure Beaches Detecting Conditions Rating.

I should also say that I would bet that there will be a few small cobs found.  I suspect they will be very few and very small.  The high tides have been dropping shells near the high tide mark on some beaches.

There are some shells and pieces of fossils on a few beaches now.  More than I've seen in quite a while.


If you've dug many coins you've probably found some that were "holed" or "pierced."  Over the years I've found everything from holed pennies to holed reales.  Probably most common in my experience are holed wheat cents.

You might have noticed the holed large cent in yesterday's post.  I pointed out the hole in one of the large cents dug by GoldNugget.

Holed coins are thought to have served a variety of purposes.  For slaves, it is said that holed coins were worn on a cord around the neck and served as a type of wedding band.

Holed coins may also have been used as charms.  You've probably heard of lucky pennies.  Some people wear coins bearing their birth year or other important years.

Some holed coins are simply used as a nice shiny trinket or adornment.

One coin found by archaeologists was punched multiple times and may have been used as a button.

Coins bearing two holes, one on each side, may have been strung together as bracelets or necklaces.

It is also said that coins were sometimes pierced to be sewn into clothing to prevent loss.

The practice of piercing coins may have been replaced to some extent  by the practice of mounting coins in a bezel.

One study looked at hundreds of "holed" coins offered on eBay.  Most had one hole, were holded at the top of the obverse (side bearing the main design) as if holed for hanging, and the majority were from the mid 1800s.

I think this survey of auction coins is great, but on a site like eBay, you never know how many might be copies, fakes or simply misrepresented.  Still, I think this survey is a good start.

The title of that study is Pierced Coins: Insights From eBay, by William B. Lees and Monica L. Beck of the University of West Florida.

Here is the link.

Here is something interesting on the subject found at another web site.

Based on my study of old coins excavated in Virginia, on average about eight per cent of the older coins have holes. Almost all are holed near the rim. Coins holed at center are unusual to dig. I understand coins used in West African rituals to be holed at the center and buried at the corner of structures. The tradition served to help spirits who could recognize objects they possessed in life, to find their way back to visit their living relatives when taken away from familiar surroundings...

That came from the following linked site.


Beach Near Low Tide Yesterday.

This particular beach has about twenty yards of flat sand out in the shallow water.  That sand came from the beach, which is now rather firm.  I chose to detect this beach rather than the steeper one with shells at the high tide mark.  This one had shells down near the water line.

We have a full moon tonight and will have another good high tide.  The surf will be increasing up to five feet in a couple of days, and the longer range prediction is for nine feet.  I can't get excited about the nine feet yet, because the long range predictions are not very accurate.

Nonetheless, it does look like we'll have some continued improvement in beach conditions.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 25, 2015

9/25/15 Report - Great Beach Finds: Large Cents, Half Disme, Shield Nickels, Three Cent, and Reales.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

If you saw the beach hunt video by Gold Nugget that I posted yesterday  you know what the beach was like where the coins shown today were found.  If you didn't see that, you might want to take a look.

Here is GoldNugget's first silver three cent find.  Very nice coin.


But that isn't all.  Below are some more of his old coin finds, including some reales.

These coins are shown after GoldNugget spend a couple of days cleaning them.

Beach Finds By GoldNugget.
Next are some shield nickels that he found.

Notice the holed large cent.  I think I'll probably be talking about "holed" coins more tomorrow.

Very impressive finds.  Congratulations to GoldNugget.

All of the coins appear to be worn and have suffered considerable corrosion.  They are also  all

The coins are a good sign that artifacts should be in the area too.  It appears to be an 18th Century site.  It would be fun to unravel the history of the place.

Once you locate a site like that you can hunt it over and over whenever the conditions are right.


I received emails about the excellent web site link that I posted yesterday.  You'll find it listed on my blog as Wind, Swells, Waves.  I'll be using it a lot.


On the Treasure Coast we'll be having a three foot surf for a couple of days and then next week up to four feet.

There is no tropical action to be concerned about right now.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 24, 2015

9/24/15 Report - Great New Beach Forecasting Tool. Beach With Cut Scenario. Surf's Up. Sea Glass Blog.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Still Clip Showing Wind Direction
This is a great tool  You can select to see the wind, waves or swells and predictions for future dates.

The still clip above shows the wind.  You can see it streaming down from the northeast over the southern states and North Florida.  The center of a low pressure zone is sitting just north of Canevaral.  At the time shown,we were getting south/southwest winds.

You can see a lot of areas.  If you were traveling, you could tell where you would have a good chance of finding good detecting conditions.

The tool also allows you to look at the swells and waves.  It is a great beach forecasting tool that I'll be using a lot.

You can see a center of circulation just north of Canaveral.  In this clip they're getting northeast winds.  We're getting a west wind in the same clip.

To see this in motion, along with a lot of other neat and useful stuff, use the following link.,-80.112,6

I'll add this to my Surf Conditions  and Waves link list as soon as I get around to it.

GoldNugget sent me the link.  Thanks!


Here is an illustration I showed yesterday.  I'll start with it so I have it to compare with the next illustration.

One thing is different in the illustration below.  It shows a cut instead of a gently sloping beach.  When there is a cut, as shown in the following illustration, the water bangs against the front of the cliff when it gets up that far.  That means that the surge can hit with a good amount of force, and instead of the water gently slowing and dropping off sand and other objects, the you get a more forceful backwash.
This illustration assumes the water hitting the beach straight on rather than at an angle.  One other thing that occurs in this situation is that the surge continually hits the backwash and they pretty much cancel out each other.

The point where the surge and backwash collide will often stop the flow enough to drop out any objects at the point of the collision.

Of course for any coins to be caught up in either the surge or backwash they must be exposed rather than protected by the sand.  That can be either down near the breakers, when they are carried up the slope, or on the slope.  They can also get carried either up or down, depending upon the force of the surge and backwash.

As the tide goes up, they tend to collide higher on the beach, and as the tide goes down, they tend to collide lower on the beach.

In this scenario there is not a lot of sustained momentum as there would be when the waves hit at an angle and slice away at the beach.


Dan B. found a sea glass blog site that has a post on red sea glass.  It shows a neat distress lamp with a red lens that was found near a shipwreck site.  It also talks about other sources of red sea glass. Thanks to Dan B, for sending me the link.


This morning the surf was up a bit on the Treasure Coast.  The water got up a little higher than usual.  While the waves weren't bit, they were nicely formed and big enough for a lot of surfers to be out.

I also saw a good number of detectorists out early this morning.

I suspect that in places where the beach is angled just right that you might be able to find a few modest cuts.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

9/23/15 Report - One Way To Add Value And Interest To Your Treasures. North Carolina Beaches Producing. Sea Glass Web Sites.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

What's the most valuable thing you ever found?  That is a question that I hear a lot.  If you detect very much you've heard it too.

I'm never comfortable with that question.  For one thing, I don't know the answer.   I'm sure you've heard that an item is only worth what you can get somebody to pay for it.  If I do sell something, which is rare, I do some research, but I let the market tell me what the item is worth.

Since my primary interest isn't economic, and I know that is what I'm being asked, I don't know how to answer the question.  I could get into a long discussion, but that isn't what the person wants.  Their interest isn't complicated, but it doesn't mesh with my thinking.  The result is that I'm left with an uncomfortable feeling knowing that not only do I not know the answer, but I am also a little uncomfortable with how the question is posed and the underlying assumptions.

Even if you boil it down to a matter of dollars and cents, I'll bet that some of your finds will fool  you. You might have finds that are worth a lot more than you realize and vice versa.

Not long ago I talked about a red piece of uranium sea glass that I found.  I didn't know until very recently that it was uranium sea glass.  I didn't find that out until years after it was found when I finally looked at it under a black light.

Red sea glass is rare.  Only about one out of 5000 pieces of found sea glass are red.  But this piece is more rare than that.  It is nice extremely well tumbled and shaped.  It is more rare than that.  It is also uranium glass.  That puts it in another category altogether.  The fact is that the red piece of uranium sea glass that I found would probably sell for more than many of the silver reales that I've found.  Who would have guessed?  Most detectorists have no interest in sea glass.

My point with this discussion is not about sea glass.  It is about treasures and how easy it is to be fooled by the potential economic value of finds.  It is easy to over value or under value different types of items.

I think more mistakes are made by not not appreciating the value of items than by thinking that things are worth more than they are.  If you over-value something, you won't throw it away or sell it ridiculously cheaply.  You'll just be disappointed to find out that you can't get much out of it.

In the case of items that are not thought to have any value, they are often ignored, sold too cheaply or thrown away.  You might never find out about that mistake, or you might.

This is just as much about silver cobs or escudos or other kinds of treasures.  They can be over valued or under valued.  The key is knowledge.  Do your research.

Here's another question.  What is the oldest thing you've found?  You might think of coins that are hundreds of years old, or maybe an artifact.  In my case, I didn't know what my oldest find was for a long time.

My oldest coin find is about 5th century BC.   Obviously that is not a U. S. coin.  But that is far from my oldest find.  My oldest finds are millions of years old.  They are fossils.

The first fossil I found came up in a scoop of sand and shell when I was digging probably a penny or something.  I didn't know what it was at the time, but thought it was unusual, and as I often advise, I put it aside and kept it. I didn't know what it was for a number of years.

The knowledge you bring to a treasure can totally transform it.  You might not know something important about a find, but when you learn more about it, the find can be transformed.

It is knowledge that makes the item more interesting and possibly more important.  Knowledge can also actually make an item more valuable.

Take for example, a coin with a certificate of authenticity.  The certificate provides knowledge.  It should tell you something about the item, such as who found it, maybe what wreck it was associated with etc. etc.  That knowledge makes the item more valuable.  Having a coin graded can also make the coin more valuable.

Research can provide important information about an item.  Notice that auction catalogs provide as much relevant information as possible.  The catalog might tell you about any special features, rarity and anything else that might make the item more valuable.

As I learned more about my red sea glass, it became more valuable - in more ways than one.  That is another example of how what you bring to your treasure is important.  What you know about an item can add a lot of value - again, in more ways than one.

Most people look for the obvious treasures.  Anyone will recognize a coin, and value it if it is old or made of silver or gold, but there are treasures that aren't obvious to the eye.  There are treasures that you might not recognize at first.

I feel like I'm talking in code or symbolism here, but that was unintentional.  It is still there.  There are multiple levels to what I am talking about.

I'll bet that you have found better things than you know. I'll bet that you've seen and passed over or even thrown away some valuable treasures.  I have.  As they say, knowledge is power.

What you bring to a treasure is important, and adds value.


The surf on the Treasure Coast is a little rougher now.  It increased today and will be something like three of four feet for several days if the predictions are correct.

Ida is still out at sea, but that disturbance that has been slowly moving north should be affecting North Carolina.

I actually got a recent video clip from GoldNugget who is finding reales and other old coins on a North Carolina beach.

Here is the video.


A package of pot was found on a Fort Pierce beach yesterday.

Some years ago, I found three large (4x4x4 foot bales) on a Fort Pierce beach early one morning.


Here are some good sea glass web sites.

This one is about uranium sea glass.

And this one presents a table showing the rarity of different colors of sea glass.


Happy hunting,

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

9/22/15 Report - How Coin Lines Are Formed: The Basic Beach Dynamics. CSS Georgia Salvage.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Yesterday I talked about finding coin lines.  Today I will attempt to illustrate the basics of how coin lines are formed.

The above illustration shows how the amount of water and force decreases as it goes up the slope of a beach.

The key concepts are those I've mentioned many times before.  First is the trigger point, which is the amount of force needed to pick up and move specific objects - in this case coins.

The force is greatest near the bottom of the slope and decreases as the water goes up the slope, sometimes eventually ceasing altogether.

At some point the water slows enough that it can no longer carry the objects and they settle out.  In my simple diagram that would be about at the number two.

That is the most simple scenario capable of creating a coin line.

However, not only does the water rush up the slope, very often there is a backwash.

In this illustration the red line shows the backwash.  If the water retreating back down the beach is strong enough to carry coins, it can carry coins back down the slope.

Remember, when the water slows to the critical "drop off" points, objects will be dropped.

But different objects have different "trigger points" as well as different "drop off" points.  Both the surge and the backwash can move coins and sand, or if not strong enough to move coins, it will just move the sand, leaving coins behind.

If the backwash has enough force it will carry coins back down the hill and also sand.  Sometimes it will have enough force to carry sand but not coins.  That applies to both the surge and backwash.

To additionally complicate matters, the coins can start out either in the water or in the sand.  They can be washed up or down.  They can be carried up the beach and dropped off at some point, or if they start out in the sand, they can be uncovered as the sand is washed away and washed down the slope.

A coin line can be very narrow when the surge is consistent or wide when you have a waves and a surge that varies more.

Once a coin gets covered by sand, it can be protected from the flow of water, which will flow over it without moving it until the sand is moved and it is uncovered.  If the water is moving enough to move the coin, of course it will also move the sand.

The backwash can be very strong in some cases, and in others virtually non-existent.  The balance between the two is important.  You'll often see the surge colliding with the backwash,

This is overly simplified, but I think it is still a decent illustration of the key concepts.

I'll possibly add to this in the future, considering things such angles, different sources and abrupt changes in beach profiles.


Terry T. recently found these coins in a coin line.  You might remember that I mentioned that discolored coins are good signs or markers.  They have been out there long enough to have been sifted and sorted and dropped in a line.

Coins Recently Found In A Coin Line On The Treasure Coast.
Photo submitted by Terry T.
Here is what Terry said in response to yesterday's post about a coin line.

...All in the picture were found to the south of a public beach about 300 yards a few days ago. I had about an hour to detect. A cut approximately 3 ft ran for about 60 yards. 26 years ago people were able to park off of A1A on top the dune very close to the beach ( an old party spot). I have got stuck there many times in the sand. Only to come to the conclusion that a couple of 8 inch wide pieces of wood cut 3-4 feet in length stored inside my vehicle, and a little patience along with a small shovel (and a lot of sweat back in the day) would get me out of the situation. Now AAA will be called -lol. All are modern U.S. coins, but have been there for sometime ( I excluded the pop tabs - both modern and old school types from the picture). Not one fishing sinker was found - nor any gold, but this area has produced gold in the past along with other items. I went back 2 days later after digging the coins in the picture, and the cut was filled in. She hides it well.....

Thanks Terry.

The primary purpose of hunting a coin line is not to find modern coins, but they can also be made of old coins and sometimes even better things as well.  The thing about the coins is that they reveal a pattern that can then be exploited.

Any old green coin like those shown above can be a sign of a coin line or coin hole.


Many artifacts and a 9,000 pound Dahlgren cannon has been recovered from the wreck site of the CSS Gerogia.

Here is that link.


It looks like Ida will fizzle out in the Atlantic.  There is a disturbance to the north of Florida that can be helping some of the states to the north of us.

The Treasure Coast is supposed to have a slowly increasing surf for the next week.  I'm not real hopeful.  We are getting into the Fall when typically we get some kind of storm.

Happy hunting,

Monday, September 21, 2015

9/21/15 Report - Scan Patterns and Coin Line Identification. Tropical Storm Ida.

Writtten by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach This Morning.
I took a look at a couple beaches this morning.  I was disappointed.  Yesterday it looked like we might get a little improvement, but not much happened.

The beach shown above is very mushy.  You can see the waves breaking right at the base of the beach.  The slope is fairly steep, ever so slightly scalloped and mushy.  Not good detecting conditions.

Another Beach At Low Tide Yesterday.
Notice the twenty or thirty yards of flat beach out front.  Water from the breaking waves is surging in over that flat part of the beach.

I saw another beach this morning that was very much like this one.

There were few targets where I did a little detecting this morning.  There were some though, although it took me a while to find them.

I started off by checking the two hot spots that usually produce good targets on that beach.  There was nothing at those two spots.  My guess is that the regulars hit those spots this weekend.

I quickly shifted to a very loose scan pattern to see if I could find some better spots to hunt.  I would often use a zig-zag pattern in a situation like that.  Today I checked down by the waterline first.  Nothing good there.  Then I checked higher on the beach.  Nothing there either.

It didn't look like it was worth spending much time either high or low, so then I checked the middle of the slope.  Bingo.  First a dime.  Then a quarter, etc.

There was a coin line.  It was a very narrow straight coin line.  If you looked back and connected the holes with a line, it would have been surprisingly straight.  By the way, this line was not by the most busy parts of the beach.  It was well north of that.  Again, I suspect that the weekenders cleaned the more busy areas.

It took me a while to find the first good target, but after that they came fairly quickly.  I used the first coin as a sign of a possible distribution pattern.  In this case it turned out to be a coin line.

I used the first find as a possible indicator of the most productive zone - in this case not high, or low.

The second find supported the idea that there could be a coin line and that the most productive area would be just a little below, mid way between the water and the high tide mark.

The third find and additional finds were all in that narrow coin line.

I've often talked about using finds as indicators.  Some will not be a part of a distribution pattern, but after finding one, the next thing I do is check to see if it might be a part of a pattern.

All the coins found in that line were discolored.  That is important.  A coin that was just dropped would not be a sign of a distribution pattern.  Discolored coins that have been out there for a while are more likely to be relevant signs.  That is especially true in areas where most coins are removed before long.  A discolored coin that pops up in a heavily detected area probably came from somewhere - either washed up or washed out.

I'm always looking for something to tell me where to spend my time.  First by looking at the beach and any features, considering hot spots that have been found in the past, and then by sampling.

At this point I could get into the details of how coin lines form, but that would take me a lot more time.  I think I'll wind this topic up for now.  Maybe I'll get into how such lines form some other time.

Here is the auction catalog for Sothebys Oct. 1 Rarities Auction.  There are over 200 lots of very fine coins to browse.


Here is a very good paper on bioturbation and artifact movement.  It shows how significant bioturbation can be.


There wasn't much wind this morning.  I was disappointed that we didn't get more sand moved last night.

Wednesday and Thursday the surf will be up to around four feet if the predictions are correct.

Ida is supposed to become a hurricane in a few days.  It looks like she'll stay out in the Atlantic though.  It doesn't look like she'll affect us.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, September 20, 2015

9/20/15 Report - 18th Century Merchant Shipwreck Discovered. Processes That Cause Coins and Things To Sink. Bigger Surf Coming.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Recovered Wood From 18th Century Shipwreck.
Source: see link below. 
The newly discovered remains were found in the Nanticoke River during a bridge repair.  About 20% of the ship was recovered.

“At least three curious or strange carvings have been found,” she said. “We don’t know what they mean. Usually when you see carvings on a ship, they were put there during the construction process, usually Roman numbers, but these were different. There are two geometric patterns (carvings) that no one in our team of underwater archaeologists and maritime historians, had ever seen before.”
Were they simply construction diagrams used when building the boat?

You can see the carvings in the photo.  It is hard to tell if they are anything more than doodles, but that is the kind of puzzle that makes it interesting.  You never know what the significance might be, and as I tried to show with the black light posts, the significance can be discovered over time.

Here is the link to the article.


How do coins sink?  That is a question that was addressed in one very popular post back some time ago.  There was a lot of input from readers of this blog, and I thought it was both interesting and helpful.

I have long maintained that things do not sink simply as a result of gravity.  Gravity is a part of it, but without something else going on, gravity is simply not sufficient to draw objects down through layers of soil or sand.  

Yesterday I became convinced that one process that I did not appreciate enough is what the archaeologists call bioturbation.

Pedoturbation refers to many different processes that can result in the displacement, movement, and burial of artifacts.  Bioturbation, which includes faunalturbation and floralturbation, is the common processes that affect most sites.

The illustration immediately  below provides a very good list of processes that move soil or sand and result in artifacts being buried or moved.

The illustration is found in chapter 11 of Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory edited by Michael B. Schiffer.   Part of that book can be read online. 

Click on the title of the book if you want to read more of that.

Chapter 11 of the book extensively covers site disturbance processes including the effect of animals, including ants, worms, and almost anything that burrows or moves earth.  The effect of these animals is estimated and measured in some cases, and it seems the effect can be very significant, especially when counted over decades or centuries.  Although I had recognized and mentioned the effect of animals in burying and uncovering artifacts, I am now convinced the effect is significantly greater than I previously recognized.

In my previous post, one factor that I felt was one of the larger factors was the creation of top soil by fallen leaves etc.  In a woods where leaves fall and deteriorate, it should be noted that there would be a lot of earth worms there as well as other animals foraging, digging and scratching around.  I am certain that I didn't appreciate the full extent of that until yesterday.

Anyhow, I found the illustration helpful.  It made me also think of underwater environments.  There are plenty of animals that disturb the bottom in the water too.  That deserves more attention.  That could be a significant factor in tight spaces like crevices and cracks.  I'll have to dig into that more myself.

Here is a link to an abstract for a paper that considers the relative effect of sedimentation versus pedoturbation.  I'd like to get that article.


The weather has changed and the wind has been coming more from the east/northeast all day.  The surf on the Treasure Coast is up a little today too.

I visited a couple of beaches this morning and the waves were a little bigger than expected.  Definitely three feet when I was there.

The waves were crashing out some twenty yards on the front of the flat beaches, while on the steeper beaches, the waves were crashing almost right at the waterline.

Wednesday or Thursday we might get as much as a four of five foot surf.

The change of wind direction alone has resulting in some small changes.  Sand has been moving a bit.  I saw a few small cuts - all less than a foot though.

I think some more sand might be moved around a little through the first part of this week, but not nearly enough to change my beach detecting conditions rating.


Congratulations to Mr. and Ms Dan B.  A nine pound baby boy just joined their family.


Happy hunting,

Saturday, September 19, 2015

9/19/15 Report - Surprising Results of Detector Test With Three Small Cobs. Tropical Storm Ida And Other Weather.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Three Small Under Weight Cobs.
In the past I've talked a good bit about specific target training and tuning.  By that I mean learning the optimal detector settings for finding particular targets, and also tuning in the field for those specific targets.

If you are interested in finding small silver items like those shown above, you need to experiment with different detector settings to find the settings that are best.

These particular cobs are way under weight.  They were found on a beach near a 1715 wreck site. They lost much of the original material.  The one on the left is only about .015 ounces, and the other two around .02 ounces.  The second is actually a touch lighter than the third.  My scale isn't highly accurate for small weights like that.

When selecting test targets, I will often select those that are on the smaller side, assuming that if I can find the smaller ones I will have no trouble with the larger ones.

Size is much like depth in relation to signal strength.  Small items sound much, not exactly, like larger but deeper targets.

One thing I try to keep the same is the material.  If you want to find silver, test with silver.  You generally want test targets that are as similar to the desired targets as possible.  One possible exception, as I said, is size.  Again, I tend towards smaller test targets.

If you are going to hunt for a particular type of item, you want to know if your detector will detect it and what settings are required.  It is best to test your detector before going on a hunt so you have confidence that your detector will detect whatever you are hunting.  What a waste it is to spend hours hunting with a detector set up in a way that would not detect what you want to find if you were right on top of it.

I hadn't tested one my newest detector on small cobs and wanted to find out how it would do with those types of targets, and secondly, what settings would be best.  I had tested these test targets with a couple other detectors, and knew how they would perform, but I wanted to know how this detector would perform with the same test targets.

I took these items out to a space that I have cleaned out and often use as a test area.  I kept changing the settings and modes to see which worked best on these test targets.

My test area is not the easiest even though there is no ground mineralization.  There is a lot of ambient electrical interference to deal with that causes a lot of detector noise.  In this area, there are some inexpensive detectors that actually do better than some of the more expensive and powerful detectors because of the electrical interference.

Which of the above three test targets do you think gave the strongest signal?  You might well guess the first, which is both lightest and presents the smallest surface area.

Charles Garrett in his book Successful Coin Shooting, said that generally detectors are surface area detectors, and that mass makes little difference.  He suggested a way to prove that for yourself.  Take a coin and run your coil over it.  Then take a stack of the same coins and run your detector over it.  You should get about the same signal because the surface area that is presented to the coil is the same.

He threw that word "generally" in there, and that is a good thing, because I have found exceptions.  I haven't done a real precise experiment on that, but I have observed enough to feel confident about that.  There are times when thickness, or mass, seems to make a difference, though not a large one.

To answer the question, the first and third targets (as shown in the photo above) cause much stronger detector signals that the second one.  That is very consistent.  And it proves out with different detectors.

The first item, has a small surface area.  You can see that.  The photo accurately shows that.  It is however thicker than both the second and third items.

The second and third items are nearly the same weight, and one might be a bit thinner than the other, but it is not enough to be obvious from look or feel.

So what is it about the second item that produces a weaker signal?   I can't say for sure, but it does seem to be something other than surface area.  Perhaps it is the material, although the three cobs should not be very different.  They should have similar silver content.  Maybe they are a touch different though.

I've shown in the past that shape makes a big difference.  Detect a coin laying flat, and then turn it on edge and you'll probably notice a big difference in the signal.  On some detectors the difference will be greater than on others.

The second item does not appear to be shaped hugely different from the third item, but it is a little less round.  The first item is much less round than the second, but still produces a better signal even though it also presents a smaller surface area.

I've done experiments that show that angles and irregular surfaces make a difference.  A slanted surface may not produce a signal that is as strong as if the surface was flat and parallel to the surface of the coil.

The top surface of the small item is a little convex.  I don't know if that produces a better signal.

It is pretty complex.  I'd have to do a lot more experimenting before I could say exactly why the second items produces a much weaker signal than the other two.  At this point I just have some ideas.

The main thing I want to say today is that you should experiment with detectors and their various settings and relevant test targets before you go for a hunt.  Get to know what your detector will and will not do, and get to know the best settings.


We now have a named tropical storm, Ida.  Also a tropical depression, Nine.  And another disturbance up by Georgia.

I doubt we get much of anything from any of these, however there is a chance.  Both tropical depression nine and Ida will probably live and die out there in the Atlantic.

The disturbance up by Georgia might turn into something, but North Carolina has a better chance of getting something out of it than we do.

Right now the surf predications are for a slightly increase surf for mid week.  If you look out a week from Monday, they are predicting something like 4 - 7 feet.  That might be nice - if it actually happens.  I guess there is some chance, but I'm not betting on it.

Happy hunting,

Friday, September 18, 2015

9/18/15 Report - Rip Currents. Tropical Depressions Nine and Ten. The Heart Of Any Good Treasure Story.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treaurebeachesreport.

There are two tropical depressions in the Atlantic now - numbers nine and ten.

it is hard to tell what they will do, but at this time neither is predicted to become anything stronger than a depression in the next five days.

We also have a little disturbance just off shore near the Daytona area.

I don't expect any of that to affect the Treasure Coast significantly in the next few days.  


The Woods Hole Institute is doing a lot of research on waves and beaches.  I just ran across a nice article on rip currents.  Detectorists should know about rip currents, especially if they detect in the water.  If you unintentionally wander into a rip current it can be frightening if you don't know rip currents and what to do.  I think most people know to not struggle to swim directly against the rip current, but if you don't know what to do, you should look it up.  Be prepared.

I remember my first time.  It surprised me.

In this Woods Hole article 150 foot channel near shore using a landing craft and revving the engines to create the trench.  I'd love t see a picture of how they did that.

According to my understanding they weren't using anything like blowers.  I can imagine how they did it but would like to see it.

Rip currents can wash away sand and expose a firmer layer of rocks or other bottom.  If that happens in the right place, it can be a very good hunting spot, but by all means, do not jump into the dip until it is safe.

Rip Current
Source: link below.
The rip current shown above does not look exactly like a natural rip current to me.  It looks like it could be the one that made.

Notice the scientific monitoring equipment floating in the rip.

The dark water in the middle of the white water is the deep water where the water would be rushing out.

As the article points out, the waves will break on each side of the rip current, but not in the deep part. You'd expect that because waves break when the water becomes to shallow.

You might want to look at this article.  Here is the link.


The crew of the Dare has been surveying the Lost Merchant site, 


Yesterday's post was a story about how an found item can continue to reveal more about itself over time.  Any treasure story consists of various threads.  Most treasure stories are told as if they were about items.  You've read the articles and books.  They tell what was found,  where it was found, how it was found, what it was worth and who found it, but the best part of the story is left out.  The part of the story that is most often left out is the contemporaneous human story.  

The best of the story is about people -  real people, fragile people, strong people, people with hearts and souls, people with emotions who act and react.  It is about ups and downs, successes and failures, relationships, friends, family, time and change.  It is about chance, cause and effect, and consequences. The crux of any treasure story is really about people and how they live, learn, feel and change.  It is about heart and soul.

I talk a lot about items, but if you look a little deeper, the other part of the story is always there to be found if you look deep enough for it.  In this blog, I don't have the space or time to bring it out like I should.  Maybe sometime in the future I'll be able to give that part of the story the justice it deserves.

Good stories make people think.  Great stories make people feel.


Happy hunting,

Thursday, September 17, 2015

9/17/15 Report - How One Artifact Continues To Reveal More Of Its Story. Tropical Depression Nine.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

We have tropical depression nine now.  It is supposed to stay out there.  Probably won't have much effect on us.

As you can see there is another disturbance behind that one, and one down by Key West.

Today we had around a three or four foot surf on the Treasure Coast.

The tides are moderate.  The surf will be down around one or two feet again this weekend.


I found this red sea glass quite a while ago.  It is in my opinion an exceptional piece of sea glass and would sell for a few dollars.

It is nicely worn and shaped and is a rare color.  Yellow is more rare, but red is right up there.

But what I wanted to talk about today is the detective story and how information about an item can be revealed slowly over time.

As I said, I found it a long time ago.  As with all finds, I'm always interested in trying to determine what things are and where they come from.  I didn't know, but I guessed that this piece was part of a lens.  If so, what kind of lens?

Well, it sat around for a good while without me gaining any more information about it.  I had inspected it with a loop and saw some very small yellow specks in the glass.  They weren't really on the surface - more like in the small air bubble depressions.  I didn't have any idea what that yellow residue was about.

Yesterday I showed how a black light could be used to reveal more information about fossil seashells.  That was just one example, but a good one.  What I was really trying to show is how to inspect items in various ways, such as under magnification and different types of lighting.

Vintage Glass Finds.
I often find old bottles and glass.  The above picture shows three such finds.  The two on the left are Depression glass and the one on the right is Vaseline glass.  I think those are the right terms.

There are a lot of collectors of both depression glass and vaseline glass.  I've sold some pieces in the past.

I'm not changing topics.  I'm going somewhere with this.

Depression Glass and Vaseline Glass Photographed Under Black Light.
I tried the black light on those items, and you see what I saw.  They glow.

Both types of glass were made with uranium.  Yes, uranium.  Vaseline glass has a more yellow color. To create the more green depression glass, iron oxide was added.

OK.  A black light can reveal some interesting things with some types of glass.  So now I tried the red sea glass under black light.

Red Sea Glass Under Black Light.
I shut out all the light and shined the black light onto the red glass.  The one side showed nothing.  I couldn't even see it in the dark room, let alone photograph it.

I turned it over, and saw a world of difference.  On this one side, it glowed!

It was the side with the yellow specks infused in the glass that glowed.  It glowed orange.

What does that say?  Uranium isn't used in glass nearly as much as it was back in the day, although people do copy depression glass and vaseline glass.  So is this glass older?  I thought it was older just judging from how it was worn into a very rounded cushion shape.  And why was it made to glow?

Then I ran across the following text.

This clip was found in an 1878 nautical magazine.  It is talking about how uranium glass was used on a buoy.  Is that what I have a piece of?  I don't know.  But the evidence is mounting that this red sea glass was once part of a lens, perhaps like was used on a nautical buoy.

Click here to link to the nautical magazine.

What I am talking about today is how an item can continue to reveal more about itself, and how various methods of inspection and research can help make a find come alive.

The same process can occur with almost any kind of item.  Even an item as simple and mute as a squarish little piece of glass will continue to tell you more of the story as long as you are curious and really want to know.

It is something like that with people too.


I was without internet most of the day, so that is it for today.  I didn't think I was going to get any kind of post done today.

Happy hunting,