Monday, September 7, 2015

9/7/15 Report - Great Numismatic Study of Dug Pistareens. Tropical Storm Grace Headed This Way. Ring Beach Find.

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Found This Morning On A Treasure Coast Beach.

I went to the beach this morning.  Conditions had not changed at all.  I saw a couple of detectorists on the same beach.  One had done a good bit of the beach before I arrived.  The other arrived later.

People were arriving early for the Labor Day holiday.  There were a few distant showers and a little lightning and thunder.

When the holiday crowds are at the beach, they spread out a little farther than normal from the main gathering spots.

I had just switched from motion mode to non-motion mode, just to check it out, and hit the ring.  It sounded much larger.

I think it is a very good idea to be very familiar and practiced with all the modes that your detector offers.  There are times to use each one.


Yesterday I posted Bernard Romans' statement about pistareens being found along the Treasure Coast beaches after Easterly gales.

The coins Romans referred to were not really pistareens.  Pistareens, as the term is more strictly defined, are Spanish coins minted in the old world. In the 1700s pistareens were commonly used in the American colonies along with a variety of other foreign coinage.  Of course, there was no U. S. currency yet.  It would be natural for Romans to refer to the Spanish cobs found on the beach as being pistareens, since they were commonly used in the colonies and had similar markings.


Mint Marks.

1. Seville
2. Madrid
I found a super study of dug pistareens recovered in the tobacco raising colonies of
America.  Pistareens found by both relic hunters and archaeolgists are included in the study.  Many of of those included in the study were found in Virginia.

This is definitely THE best study of a large sample of dug coins that I have ever seen.  The study was published in the April 2001 The Colonial Newsletter.  The title of the study is When Cross Pistareens Cut Their Way Through the Tobacco Colonies.  The author is Thomas A. Kays.  I posted the link below.

Here are some of the conclusions describing the typical dug pistareen.

It crossed the Atlantic westward as a 1721 dated pistareen minted by King Philip V at Seville.

The coin was used to make everyday purchases in Colonial America before the Revolution • 

It grades very fine having circulated actively for fifteen years and was saved for twenty five. • 

It was cut into quarters for frontier change at a tavern losing 25% by weight to the melting pot. • 

It would have gone to melt completely before the 19th Century had it not been casually lost. • 

It lay undisturbed (save for the pass of the plough) for over two centuries until it was dug up. 

The study includes many illustrations and a map showing where the pistareens were found and a lot of other really good information.  I think you'll want to read this.

Here is the link.

The mint marks shown to the left are from the same linked study.

I'll add this link to my list of reference links on the first page of the blog.


Tropical Storm Grace.
Grace seems to be following about the same path as Erika.  She is still days away and supposed to decrease to a depression around the West Indies.  We'll just have to watch that one for a while.

The surf this morning was one to two feet.  It looked a little rougher than I expected, but won't change much the next few days.

Happy Labor Day,