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,