Saturday, October 31, 2015

10/31/15 Report - $100,000 Eight-Reale. Ancient Shipwreck Cemetary. Sword Found. Ghosts of Treaures Past.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Lot 720 as shown in the Sedwick Coins
Online Auction Catalog.

This heart-shaped eight reale brought a winning bid of $100,000 in the Sedwick Coins treasure auction that concluded this week.  It is the best example known.

I held this reale myself and inspected it carefully.  It is beautiful.  Unlike many heart-shaped cobs, this one is not holed.

Potosi was the only mint to make cobs in this shape.  Heart-shaped cobs from other mints do exist, but they were shaped into hearts later instead of being struck on a heart-shaped flan.

The purpose of these special cobs is not known for certain.  There is an article about that on the Sedwick  Coins web site.


Underwater archaeologists have discovered 22 shipwrecks around a small Greek archipelago, revealing what may be the ancient shipwreck capital of the world...

"Surpassing all expectations, over only 13 days we added 12 percent to the total of known ancient shipwrecks in Greek territorial waters," Peter Campbell, of the University of Southampton and co-director from US based RPM Nautical Foundation, told Discovery News...
Here is the link to that article.


A hiker travelling the ancient route between western and eastern Norway found a 1,200-year-old Viking sword after sitting down to rest after a short fishing trip. Further studies of the area will take place next spring...

That sword was in really amazing condition too.

Here is that link for that article.

One more example of how amazing objects can be found without a metal detector.


A lonely beach can be as busy as Times Square on New Years Eve if you really listen to your finds and use your imagination a little.  Fossils tell of giant sloths, mammoths, tapirs and Megalodons. Treasure coins conjure up ghosts of pirates, missionaries, conquistadors, sailors, and half-drowned survivors. Arrow heads and shell artifacts echo early man hunting and going about the business of survival.  Badly corroded World War II dog tags announce in sad muted tones the names of young men who trained in Florida for a landing in Europe that would change the world.  Modern coins and jewelry items tell of those who played, grew up and raised families on the Treasure Coast as well as tourists who came to enjoy the sun, sand and surf.  It is all there.  You can feel it if you are quiet enough.  You can see it if you respect it enough.


It looks like we are in for a week or so of 2 to 4 foot surf.  Not very encouraging.

Please respond to the blog poll if you hunted the Treasure Coast beaches during the last half of October.  It will help me evaluate my beach detecting conditions ratings as well as tell us what was or was not found.

Happy hunting,

Friday, October 30, 2015

10/30/15 Report - Sedwick Coins Auction Items. Polishing Found Jewelry. Viking Treasure Found On Danish Island.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Some Of The Artifacts Auctioned By Sedwick Coins In Orlando..

Tuesday I stopped at the Hilton Doubldtree in Orlando to inspect some of the items that were going to be auctioned by Sedwick Coins.  Frank Sedwick brought out those that I most wanted to see.

Larger artifacts were out on a table, but coins and other small items were carefully stored, as you would expect.  I don't know how he keeps track of so many valuable items.  That job would make me a little nervous, but Frank is obviously very used to it.  One of the ladies working the tables grew up in Fort Pierce and was a graduate of Fort Pierce Central.

I took a look at some of the heart-shaped cobs.  They were in  excellent condition.  They  showed very little wear of any kind.  That isn't totally surprising since it is believed they were apparently made for some special purpose other than circulation as coinage.   Most of the heart-shaped cobs are "holed," but not all.

One that I carefully inspected had two holes - one at the top and one at the bottom.  The holes were very carefully made.  One hole was amazingly close to the edge of the coin.  Just a smidgen off and the hole would have been something other than a hole.  It was apparent that those cobs were made with great care.  I could see how anyone could easily get into collecting such interesting pieces.

Another item I studied was the crucifix with attached coins.  I posted a a picture of that item and made a few comments about it in a previous post.

It was a good opportunity to inspect a variety of unique items, and, as always, Frank and Augie were very accommodating.

Some of you probably watched the online bidding yesterday.  One of the highest priced items was a  gold bar that sold for over $100,000.  It was lot number 234.  Below is the item description.

Long, complete gold bar #2, 2307 grams, marked with fineness XXI (21K) and foundry/assayer SARGOSA / PECARTA, from the Santa Margarita (1622). 11-1/2" x 1" x 3/4". Impressively complete and neatly cast ingot with lots of markings, including four finenesses, seven circular tax stamps and one foundry/assayer, central depression from casting shrinkage, small cylindrical assayer's "bite" at one end, "2" stamped on bottom by salvagers. From the Santa Margarita (1622), with Fisher photo-certificate #2-M-80.


The other day I showed a Hermes silver ring found by Robert H.  He used a Dremel and jewelers rouge to give it a good cleaning.

Here is a picture of the ring that shows how nice it looked after being polished.

Ring Found By Robert H. After Cleaned Up.

The following link will take you to a web site that provides a table that shows the polishing compound to use on a wide variety of metals including gold, silver, copper and many more.

That ring now looks great Robert.  Thanks for sharing.


An amateur archaeologist took his metal detector on a business trip and ended up finding a rare cache of Viking coins on a Danish island.

Here is the link for more on that story.

I want to thank all of the amateur archaeologists who make and properly report important finds.


We recently had a Super Moon and some nice high tides.  The surf will be around three feet for the next few days.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

10/28/15 Report - One Reason To Research Finds. Returned Ring Makes TV News. Heart-Shaped Cob Bringing Good Price In Sedwick Auction.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Finds and Photo by Robert H.

Here are some finds by Robert H.,  who says you should be sure to research your finds.  An item like the silver ring shown here would scrap for a few dollars, but Robert found that the German-made Hermes ring retails for $910. That makes it worth doing the research.

Watch for collector pieces. Silver itemsmade by certain designers can be valuable. 

Vintage costume jewelry can be worth more than you might think too.

A lot of the time, jewelry found on a beach will not be in good condition, and that can dramatically decrease the value.

Silver Hermes Ring Found By Robert.
Photo by Robert H.

Neat Small Watch Found by Robert.
Photo by Robert H.

I reported on Warren Dennison finding a lost wedding ring and being able to return it to the owner.
That story appeared on WESH TV.

Here is the link to the video.

A new Florida magazine has also inquired about the story.


The floor bidding will begin on Thursday for the upcoming Sedwick Coin auction.  The auction features a variety of heart-shaped cobs and royals.

One of the hearts with the lowest listed beginning bid already has online bids of over three time the low starting bid.  Here is the item description.

Lima, Peru, cob 2 reales Royal, 1732N, cut into Heart shape, very rare. S-L21; KM-unl. (cf. R32); CT-unl. 5.28 grams. Choice full pillars and cross in true medallic alignment, rather accurately Heart-shaped but cut that way post-minting (note the low weight), with holes at top and bottom of cross, beautifully toned AXF, interesting pedigree to a small collection of (genuine) Hearts sold together in 1985. Pedigreed to the Coin Galleries (Stack's) auction of July 1985 (lot #1123).

Sedwick Coins Auction Lot No. 581.
Source of photo: online auction catalog.

Here is the link to that section of the auction, which you can view online.


Wednesday the Treasure Coast will get a south wind and have something like a 2 - 4 foot surf.

Some beaches will probably be filling back in.

Your participation in the poll is appreciated.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10/27/5 Report - New Poll. Dynamics of Pebble Covered Beaches. Detecting The Past. Why Today Is The Day.

Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of

I added a poll to the blog.  It might be worded a little awkwardly, but there are reasons for that.

Try to answer to the best of your ability.  This poll should only be answered by those that detected Treasure Coast beaches during the last half of October.

Thanks for your participation.  It is always good to get a realistic estimate of what was found, and therefore an idea of what you can expect during conditions such as those we recently had.


Here is a great illustration.  I lost the link, and I think the web site changed.  It used to be something like, but I can't find the source web site now.

That illustrates a lot of different things that I talk about from time to time, such a the different trigger points of different objects, the importance of the shape of objects, etc.


If you talk to detectorists, many will tell you that one thing they like is touching history.  Another thing you will often hear is something like, "Just think. I was the first person to touch that item in three hundred years."

I think those two statements express slightly different sentiments.  "Touching history" emphasizes the time element more, while the "first person to touch x" statement is more about personal uniqueness. It emphasizes the person being "first."

The two statements are not necessarily mutually exclusive.  Neither are the sentiments mutually exclusive. The person who makes an old find might simultaneously feel both of those sentiments but just express one.  They might feel connected to history and the personal uniqueness of the moment.  I'm sure there are other times when the choice of one of those statements actually indicates the most significant sentiment for that person.

There are definitely detectorists who prefer to find old rusty items more than more valuable modern items.  The two reasons given above are among the most common,


Today is the day!  You've heard it, and it is true.

If you live to be a hundred years old, that would be about 36,500 days.  That sounds like a lot, doesn't it?  The problem is that if you are fifty, you've already used about 18,250 of those days.  And if you only live to 80 instead of a hundred (still a lofty goal), knock off another 10,300 days.  Now you,re down to around 8000.

A lot of people don't want to think about the passing of time and how short life really is.  Maybe that is the best way to go, but for me looking at it numerically is a bit of a reality check.  It makes it clear how finite life (or should I say a "lifetime") is, and how precious every day is.  Knowing that it is so short and precious, make the best of each and every day and each and every moment.

How do you make the best of it?  You'll have to determine that for yourself, but it might be worth thinking about.


The TV news is going on and on about the Super Moon.  The water will be a little higher, but I'm not expecting that to help beach detecting conditions much.  The surf is only predicted to run around 2 or 3 feet and the wind will be out of the southeast.

I did see a lot of plastic junk on one beach at the high tide mark yesterday.

Happy hunting,

Monday, October 26, 2015

10/26/15 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Conditions. Meg Teeth Being Found On N. C. Beaches. Advantages of Team Detecting.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Photo Taken Monday Afternoon.

Here is one beach that I showed a couple of times last week.  The cuts have almost disappeared at this beach.  In some spots there are no cuts, and where the cuts remain, they are only about one third as big as they were early last week.  The front beach is now mushy.

All the beaches that I've seen in the past week have had a pile of sand in front of the beach.  It is at least ten or twenty yards wide and has been protecting the beaches.

The surf is decreasing and will continue to decrease this week.

Another Beach As Seen Monday Afternoon.
The two beaches shown are Douglas and Brooks.  They aren't far apart, but you can see that one still has nice three-foot-plus cuts, and the other looks like it has mostly filled in.

I wanted to show how different these two beaches are, yet they are the same in some ways.  Although the cuts have not filled in on this beach, it has filled a little, and it also has that pile of sand in front of the beach.

The water hasn't hit the cliffs here much since early last week when they were formed.  Although this beach looks better, there are very few good targets.  Many of the good targets were removed days ago, and there is nothing going on to replenish old targets or bring in new ones.

I'm not saying there will be no more cobs found on the Treasure Coast beaches, but they will be much harder to find now than they were a few days ago.  What I saw today made me very confident that my reduced rating of "1" on my beach conditions rating scale is correct.

The surf is down to around 3 - 5 feet today and will slowly be decreasing through the week.

In a day or so the wind will be coming from the south again.  I hope that doesn't last long.  I don't want all of the beaches to get filled completely back in.

It seemed that the low tide was pretty far out today, but that didn't do much good because it only exposed the pile of sand in front of the beach.


Team detecting can be very effective.  By detecting with others you can scan more ground.  As I've shown with some of my polls, the probability of finding a cob once one has already been found.

If you can scan more ground, you have a better chance of finding those good productive spots.  When detecting with others you will also have fun sharing information and talking about your experiences and finds.


Lots of Meg teeth are being found on North Carolina beaches lately.


Happy hunting,

Sunday, October 25, 2015

10/25/15 Report - Silverware Beach Finds and Facts. 15th Century Treasure Wreck Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Not too long ago I showed an old fork handle. Silverware is a common type of beach find. Most silverware will be marked, so with a little research you can get a good idea about how old it is.  Older pieces might not be marked or the marks can be difficult to see.  I haven't researched all of the silverware in this photo yet. There is one silver piece in the photo, one of pewter, and the others are silver plated.

Notice the spoon near the bottom that is missing most of the bowl.

The good thing about silverware besides the fact that it is often well marked is that you can find good web sites that provide excellent information about both the markings and companies that made the pieces. The site is one good example.

Here are a few of the marks from the group of items shown above.

Star Rogers and Bro AI
Some quick research revealed the following.

Established in 1858 at Waterbury by Asa Jr. and Simeon Rogers. Until 1874 the firm was only a flatware manufacturer. It was one of the original companies becoming part of International Silver Company in 1898 

There are many silverware companies with "Rogers" in the name.  Most are different than the company indicated by the mark shown above.

Four Crowns.  Other Markings Unreadable.
The four crowns show above show clearly on this piece but the other markings are unreadable.  With enough research, this one could probably be identified.

Silverware can also be identified by the pattern.

Racebrook Silver Plate.
This one is easy enough to read.

Here is an interesting fact.

The only time and place in the U.S. where hallmarks were required on silver was in Baltimore during the years 1814 to 1830.

You can read more about that by using the following link.

Here is some more interesting information that I found.

It is now illegal to use the word silver to describe any new metal alloy that does not contain at least 70% silver. But the names for non-silver metals that contained the word silver were popular in the 1800's and early 1900's and are still in use today.

There are many of these metals and a few are: African Silver, Alpaca Silver (or Alpaca alone), Argentine Silver, Brazil Silver, Britannia Metal (alluding to Britannia Silver but is actually a form of pewter), German Silver (or simply G Silver), Mexican Silver, Montana Silver, Nickel Silver, Oregon Silver, Pearl Silver, Russian Silver, Siberian Silver and South American Silver

One of the forks shown above is marked "ALASKA."  I thought it must have been from an airline or something, but here is what I found.

Alaska silver is a trade-name for a white metal. White metals have absolutely no silver content despite the use of the word silver in many of their names. These metals were named for their silver-white color, not for the content of the alloy and contain tin, zinc, lead, bismuth, antimony and/or copper in differing proportions. Pewter is considered by many to be one of the white metals since modern pewter consists of tin with a little antimony and, occasionally, copper (old pewter can have a high lead content and should not be used for food service). 

And here is a  nice brief history on electroplating.


A fabulous sunken treasure may be recovered off Finland coast as archaeologist divers say they have found the wreck of a legendary 15th-century vessel...
Records also indicate the cargo included 10,000 gold coins and gold jewelry — a treasure estimated to be worth more than $150 million today.
Here is the link for the rest of the story.


I need to check to see if I down-graded my beach detecting conditions rating too soon.  Like I said, it was a difficult call for me, but so far I think I was right.  Nonetheless, it takes just a little change in angle to open up a new spot.

I've been watching one spot for over a month just waiting for a good low tide so I can work it. I'm itching to get at it.

The surf will be decreasing slowly over the next week if the predictions are correct.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, October 24, 2015

10/24/15 Report - Surf Decreasing and Beach Conditions Rating Dropped. More On Returned Ring. Conquest of Mexico.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Ring, Charm and Coins Found by Warren D.
Photo by Warren.

I awarded Warren Dennison the TBR Detectorist of the Month Award in yesterday's post.  I wanted to follow up on that a little today.  There were a few things I wanted to emphasize.

After eight hunts, Warren found the ring "at low tide, low on the slope on the wet sand after following a trail of old coins..." He also found a piece of a charm.  It is not unusual to find coin lines low on the slope in the wet sand.

I talk about finding coin lines not so much because I want to find the coins, but because they can lead to other things, such as rings.  This is a good example.

It is good for all of us when someone does a good deed like Dennis did.  It happens more often than we hear, so I wanted to thank Dennis for telling us about it.


I am going to drop my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating back to a 1.  That is a difficult call for me because conditions for finding old shipwreck items are still better than they were a couple of weeks ago and all summer.  It hasn't been a definite reversal with the beaches all filling in.  Still I am predicting that fewer cobs will be found now than earlier in the week, and it won't be as easy to find those few that remain.

Of course my ratings are based upon my best evidence.  There is a lot of guess work involved.  It isn't like getting on a scale and reading your weight.  Still, from all of the corroborating evidence that I've been able to gather over the years, including the results of the polls that I've conducted in the past as well as reports from other people, I'm convinced that my ratings have been fairly accurate.

As I've explained in the past, my five point scale starts with a 1 instead of a zero, because there is always some chance.    I'm willing to bet that a few more cobs will be found this weekend, but I'll also bet that it won't be as easy now.  There probably will be more people out this weekend.

For the most part, I would not expect the good holes to be getting replenished now.  Some beaches are filling a little, but that is not the only factor.  Another factor is that the easy finds have mostly been made.  One way you can improve your chances is to get away from the beach accesses and the most heavily hunted areas.  You might have to walk a mile or two.   '

For one example, if you walk south from Turtle Trail, you'll come to one flag pole, but if you keep walking, you'll come to a second flag pole.  After reaching the second flag pole, look way down towards the bend where you will see one tall palm tree with a small top sticking up above the others. You could try detecting the area down by the palm tree.  I'm not saying to do that now, because it has been checked now, but that is the type of area that will normally not be one of the most heavily detected.

There are a few ways that new coins can pop up in old hunted-out holes.  One is when someone comes along and does a better job of detecting.  Another is when just an inch or so of sand is move off the hole  in one direction or another.  It doesn't take a lot of sand being moved for a borderline detectable coin to be brought within range for a person that is detecting carefully.

Coins that were previously masked by something like perhaps a heavy streak of black sand can be more easily detected when the black sand is moved.

The thing to realize is that coins can show up in old worked-out holes after you might think they have all been removed.

And of course, when conditions are right, old holes can be replenished again and again and again.


Several days ago I posted a link to an article about a Spanish convoy that was destroyed.  Larry G. sent me the following email recommending a couple books about the conquest of Mexico.  Here is what Larry said.

If you haven't read it yet, I must recommend to you the books, conquest of Mexico, and conquest of Peru, by William H. Prescott. The remains from the slaughter of the Spanish convoy that is being excavated now is documented on p.498, though no mention is made of the Spanish women. The place was Tezcuco, which translates as "Place of Rest." Reportedly, the Tezcucans skinned the Spaniards and hung the skins, along with their accouterments, in their temple, but that the bulk of the loot, which included looted treasure, was sent on to the Aztec emperor.

By the way, the sacrifice of Spanish captives (as with all battle captives), and the eating of them, was something the Spanish would become very familiar with before the conquest was completed. The Spanish convoy above were certainly not the only Spaniards so treated, they are the exception only in that they were utterly destroyed,  the only Spanish force I can think of during the conquest that was annihilated.

When Cortes returned to the city, he made it his headquarters for the conquest of the capital and the heavily populated valley with numbers of large cities. Tezcuco itself was a very large and beautiful city, Mexico being a heavily populated land at that time, with thriving markets, trade, and industry, highly organized, with large police forces to keep the peace in the major cities. The Mexicans were especially fond of flowers, and the cultivation, sale and display of flowers was big business. The Aztecs maintained large parks, and gardens in their cities and their suburbs. The Spaniards were astonished by the beauty of the urban and suburban areas, of course with the grand architecture of the great temples dominating the scenes. Sadly, much of this was destroyed in the conquest,the lakes were drained. forests felled,  and salt leaching destroyed the soil and the great expanses of cultivated land in Mexico valley became wastelands. Populations dwindled to a fraction of their former number, right up until the 20th century.

The books give pretty precise information as to the location of battlefields around Tezcuco, and it would be very interesting to metal detect  and generally poke around those locations.

Thanks Larry.


Like I said, I don't expect the hunting to be as good this weekend as earlier in the week, yet I do expect a few cobs to be found.  The surf will be decreasing throughout the week.  That means the cliffs won't be eroding much more, but on the positive side of things, it might give you a chance to detect a little farther out on the beach than you could before.

The really good news is that the beaches haven't completely refilled yet.  In fact they've only refilled a small amount.  Hopefully they won't completely refill before the next period of erosion comes along.  And if we are really lucky, the level of sand will remain down all through the winter.  We had such a long period of accretion, now maybe we'll get a long period of decreasing sand levels.  It could happen.  At least we can hope.

Happy hunting,

Friday, October 23, 2015

10/23/15 - Treasure Beaches Report Detectorist of the Month Award.


October 2015
Treasure Beaches Report Detectorist of the Month Award

awarded to
Warren Dennison


Here is what happened, as told by Warren Dennison.

I responded to a lost wedding ring ad in the Spacecoast, Florida craigslist.

The ring was lost on Oct 3 in Indialantic, Florida on the beach during high surf across the street from Beach Bodies Gym. I made about 8 trips and finally recovered it today and returned it to the owner. She and her husband are body builders. The ring was 5.8 grams white gold and many diamonds. I asked her what it was worth and she said it cost $6K. Makes it my third ring recovery in about 2 and a half years.

I found it at low tide, low on the slope of wet sand after following a trail of old coins, a quarter, nickel and dime and a small piece of a charm that said "2 peas in a pod". I gave her the coins and piece of charm and said these are your lucky pieces.

I found it with my Excal 800 with a 12 x 15 SEF coil, pinpoint mode and custom beach scoop.

I'll meet with her husband this weekend. I plan on showing them the exact spot on the beach where I recovered the items.

The pic is the owner with me in the gym. Notice I don't frequent a gym.

Warren Dennison

Lost Ring Found by Warren Dennison.
Photo by Warren Dennison.
Happy Owner Showing Returned Ring With Warren.
Photo submitted by Warren.
Thank you Warren!  You represented the metal detecting hobby with distinction.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

10/22/15 Report - Heart and Royal Cobs. Gold Crown. 10,000 Year-Old Spear Head. Continued 2 On The Beach Detecting Conditions Rating Scale.

No cobs, but Paul D. did find gold.

These are Paul's finds from the 20th.  Notice the gold crown at the bottom right.  Hope you weren't thinking of the other kind of crown.

You never know what you might find.  I've found a few dentures over the years, and bowling balls and pool balls in the ocean.


Here is a neat promotional video for the upcoming Sedwick Coins auction.  It features heart-shaped cobs and royals.


A beach comber discovered a 10,000 year-old spear head.  I'll say it again  - if you are out there looking around, you never know what you might find.

Thanks to Dean for alerting me to that story.


I received the following email from Bruce.

Don't want to take up a lot of your time, but wanted to thank you for what you do. I have been reading your blog for years. I just bought a detector and although I have found nothing but junk so far it is exciting to try. 

The blog is just great, I feel guilty sometimes absorbing it all for free, so thanks for all you do!!!!

Bruce B.

Those kind of emails keep me going.  Thanks to all who send info and encouragement.


Cobs are being found.  They aren't real plentiful, but enough to keep it interesting.

Beaches change in subtle ways.  Sometimes it isn't noticeable when sand is moved.  Maybe it will only be a small new dip, or a new slice from the cliff.

You can't always tell by looks either.  Sometimes feel is important. An area might get firm as underlying layers are exposed.  I pay attention to how firm the sand is as I walk along.

Mushy sand is not a good sign.  And neither is sea weed, although there are times when the sea weed is on top of good ground.

I'm keeping my 2 rating on my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating Scale for now and probably a couple more days.

Friday we're supposed to have a little bump in the size of the surf, but not much.

I'd guess that beach conditions will remain pretty much unchanged until that crease I talked about yesterday disappears.

I think any peal back in the surface layer of sand will reveal a few more deeper targets in select locations.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

10/21/15 Report - Beach Conditions Still At A 2 Rating. Finds Being Made. Beach Configuration.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach This Morning Near Low Tide.
What I wanted to show in this first pictujre is the crease at the water line.  I don't think there is a term for that, so I'll have to make up my own.

You will find the same front beach configuration including the crease on the beaches of South Hutchinson Island as well as those as far away as Turtle and Seagrape Tails.   That is a good distance, and they aren't even the same type of beaches (as I classify them),  I find it interesting that beaches so far apart developed in exactly the same way and exhibit such similar features.

The pile of sand in front of the beach is protecting the beach from the waes to some extent.  The waves are breaking farther out and then the surge is rolling in over that pile of sand.

At the crease there is a thin layer of sand over shells.  The front edge of the crease is being pealed away and the shells pushed up onto the beach in some spots.

There has been a lot of targets near the low tide line - both in St. Lucie and Indian River County beaches.

Cut Over Three Feet High Just Behind the Crease Shown Above.
There was a lot of fishing litter (sinkers, spoons, etc.) close to the crease as well as a good bit of iron (nails etc.).

At the beach shown here, there was a long coin line up the slope a little ways.  Many of the coins and other targets in the coin line were under a foot or so of sand, which was covering a layer of shells.  As you get farther from the crease the layer of shells was under more sand.

Simplified Illustration Showing Side View of Beach Such As The One Shown Above.

The brown line shows the cliff and slope down to what I'm calling the crease.

Under that is the shell line, which I doubt is a actually a straight line, but it appeared to be fairly straight today - just going from what I observed when I dug holes down to the shell later.

As you go back from the crease the shell line was deeper under the sand, and the targets were generally deeper.  There were a few exceptions where coins were more shallow and a couple very near the surface.  The surface coins were up closer to the cliff and towards the middle of the line.

If you didn't have a deep seeking detector, you wouldn't have found many of the coins in that coin line.  I got really tired digging so many deep coins.  I'm getting too old.

I haven't really analyzed all of this thoroughly yet.  I think that the surface coins were more recently washed out of the cliff.

I've seen many times when a lot of targets were resting on top of a deeper layer of shells,  That definitely appeared to be the case today.

I suspect that closer to the cliff there are lot of targets on the layer of shells that were too too deep to be detected.  They can be exposed if and when some of the top layer of sand on the slope is moved. That could happen for a distance along the slope or as a dip in one area.

I didn't plan to get into all of that and maybe should have waited, but that is what I was thinking about today.


After a very slow summer I finally increased by beach detecting conditions rating.  I think that was the first time since about January.  Anyhow, I said yesterday things would be found and I would stick with my 2 rating.  There were more finds today.

Captain Jonah sent me this report.

I myself didn't find much but I was witness to at least 5 cobs found this morning beaches looked worse this morning. But just goes to show treasure is being found. X2 1/2 reales x2 1 reales and X1 2 reale. One lady was showing me her finds and was so surprised when I picked up a Spanish 1/2 out of her find she had no idea ,I made her day. I'm sure more will be found. Thanks.

Thanks a lot for the report.  I need to get reports to get a feeling about how accurate my ratings have been.  I go on my own observations, but it sure helps to have reports from other people.

Congratulations to that lady who found her first reale.  That is always fun.

The next two days the beaches won't change much.  The surf is supposed to be about the same and the wind is supposed to be about the same.  I'll stick with my 2 (improved) beach conditions rating.

Sometime in the near future I'll post a poll to get some numbers on how much was found this week.  It sure has been a pleasant change.

I was busy today, and it took me a while to do that simple illustration, so that will be about it for today.  Hope I didn't make too many mistakes.  I got a lot of good stuff that I put off posting after the beach conditions improved.  I'll eventually get back to it.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

10/20/15 Report - Morning Beaches and Finds. Piece of Gold Chain and Copper Connector. Also More on Fork Handle and Charles IIII Coin.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Piece of Gold Chain Found This Morning on a Treasure Beach
Copper Connector Found This Morning Close To The Chain.
There are a couple of finds.  There were more found yesterday and today.

Above Turtle Trail Looking South This Morning.

Most of the beaches didn't change much since yesterday.

North of The Bend North of Seagrape Trail
John Brooks beach had a lot of sea weed on it this morning.  That is a sign of a beach that is accumulating sand rather than eroding.

There were things to be dug at all the beaches that I visited.  Most were not shipwreck related, but there were some that were.

I'd say that Turtle Trail South was the place to be today.

The weather won't change much the next two or three days and I'm not expecting the beaches to change much.  I don't think any real good new holes will open up but I would expect some left-overs to be found.   I think some spots will improve a bit while others deteriorate.  Conditions are still better than they were a week or so ago.

I'm sticking with my "two" beach conditions rating for another day.


In my 10/18/15 post I asked for any information I could get on two items that I posted.  John P had information on both.

Concerning the coin that I thought was a Ferdinand, John P. gave this correction.  Here is what John said.

Hi, it looks to be a Charles 1111 by the design of the head, and I can just make out 1800 date. It also has the FM mint mark which puts it between 1791 and 1801...

He also knew about the fork handle, saying,  As for the fork handle, I have taken many of these apart for the sterling handles and they can have a putty in them or some even lead. That one has a very common design. It may be a pewter handle as you mentioned, but I only have scraped the sterling handles. They were made for many years and mostly in the 1800's through current times.

Thanks much John

Ivor Hume, in his book A Guide To Artifacts of Colonial America, said "Silver and silver-plated handles of the first half of the eighteenth century were made in two cast sections joined down the middle, in the second half the entire handle was often machine stamped in very thin silver and filled with plaster composition which gave it weight but little durability."

The one I showed was joined down the middle.  I think you can see that in the photos I posted.

It came from a 1715 Fleet beach.

Hume's book can be a help in identifying the date of some artifacts.


Happy hunting,

Monday, October 19, 2015

10/19/15 Report - Early Edition and Follow Up. Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating Increased To A Level 2. Beach Survey.

Written By The Treasure Guide For The Exclusive Use of

I'm increasing my detecting conditions rating to a 2 for now.  I'm sure it would be higher if it wasn't for all of the renourishment sand on so many beaches.

I expect to be back with more later today.

That is all for now.


I'm back.  I took a look at some beaches yesterday, and the wind blew all night, so wasn't surprised to see some additional erosion this morning.   The change wasn't dramatic though.

Here is what Douglas beach looked like yesterday afternoon.

Three Foot Cut Along Douglas Beach Sunday Afternoon.
The cut at Douglas yesterday was bigger and more continuous than the cut at John Brooks.

Here is was it looked like at John Brooks as high tide approached this morning.

John Brooks Around Noon Today.
The is a lot of sand right in front of the beach here that prevents that surge from getting to the cut with a lot of force.

I also didn't like the angle - too easterly, which was the case everywhere.  I'd really like to see the waves coming more from the north or northeast.

Pepper Park Before The High Tide.
There wasn't much erosion at Pepper.  As is always the case, some places were much more eroded than others.

But Out In The Middle of Nowhere Today.
Not all erosion is at a beach access or public park.  Sometimes you have to walk a ways to find a good cut.  The one shown immediately above was the largest that I saw all day other than the old cliffs at the back of some beaches.

The peak of this cut was four plus feet.  The cut at Douglas was more like three feet.

North of Turtle Trail Looking South.
This cut at Turtle Trail was more like two feet.  In front of this, there was a dip developing between the beach and the front of the beach.

A lot of detectorists were out this morning.  I watched a couple of fellows detect along the foot of this cut while I was lower on the slope.  On my way back, I decided to check out the foot of the cut too and was surprised to find a good number of deep clad (over six inches) right along the foot of the cut.  I thought they had probably removed most of the targets from there.  Evidently not the deep ones.  There were a good number of iron targets lower on the slope and a few other things.I'

Yesterday at John 'Brooks there was a line of deep aluminum near the water line.

Yesterday I posted a few beach pictures but lost them somehow.


We're expecting the same size surf along the Treasure Coast tomorrow.  I was hoping for more of a northeast wind and waves, but it doesn't look like we're going to get it.  As a result I'm not expecting a lot of improvement.  I'm sure there will be some improvement some places but deterioration at other places.

I'm keeping my beach conditions rating at a 2.  It would definitely be higher if it wasn't for all of the renourishment sand and all the sand that accumulated this summer.

I'll have some find photos for tomorrow and perhaps a few other things.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, October 18, 2015

10/18/16 Report - BIG SURF Coming. Ferdinand VII Reale Find. Silver Sea Salvaged Forks. Pewter Fork Handle.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of\\

Predicted Surf From The MagicSeaWeed Site
Link cqn be found on blog.
The first thing I want to talk about today is the predicted surf chart from the MagicSeaWeed web site.

5 - 7 feet is still predicted for Monday.  That is good enough by itself, but then we also have around five feet predicted for the rest of the week leading up to as much as 12 feet for next Sunday.

There is a good chance that the 12 foot surf will not happen, yet it could.  All in all, that is the most promising thing I've seen all year.


Coin Find and Photos By GoldNugget

Here is a nice old "holed" coin found by GoldNuggeet on a North Carolina beach.

It is very worn, but I think it is Ferdinand VII, which would make it 1808 - 1833.

The date would be at the bottom of the portrait, but I can't make it out.

Notice the counterstamp "RSH".  Anyone know more about that?  If so, let me know.

The legend on this side should be something like DEI . GRATIA . year . FERDIN . VII

Below is shown the other side of the same coin.

The mint mark and assayer should be to the upper left of the left column.

The denomination should be left of the left column at about the 9 o'clock position.

I can not make those out.  Maybe it is F dot M above the column - not sure.

The legend on this side should be HISPAN . ET. IND . REX . NG . followed by the denomination and mint mark and assayer initial.
If you can correct any of this or add some information, please send me an email.


One of the things that caught my interest at the Queens Jewels conservation lab in Sebastian is the number of silver forks.

Silver Forks At The Conservation Lab
That is a nice collection. They seem to all be very similar.

Unfortunately the State of Florida, according to what I hear, hasn't settled the 2014 salvage contract yet, so those finds won't be available for viewing or study through the state for some time.  You'd think they'd be interested in obtaining items that they determine have the most interest for the citizens of the state.  As it is, you probably have a better chance of seeing them here.  As I've shown before, most people who have viewed Florida's sea-salvaged history have done so at a private museum or display rather than through the Florida collection.

On the subject of forks, here is what has been identified as an 18th Century fork handle. This is an entirely different type, as you can see.

Ornately Decorated Pewter Fork Handle

This pewter fork handle, if that is indeed what it is, was found on a 1715 Fleet beach years ago.  I've heard that handles like this were filled with a type of plaster or wood.  I haven't seen any examples in artifact databases or anywhere.


I'll be looking for the predicted increase in surf later today and hopefully we'll actually see the increase that is predicted for Monday.  Time will tell - real soon.

If you can correct or add to what I said about either the reale or fork handle, please do.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, October 17, 2015

10/17/15 Report - What Is In Front Of The Beach Is Important. Six or Seven Foot Surf Predicted For Monday.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Small Silver Pendant With Chalky White Stone.
Shown on penny.

Yesterday I showed some new erosion on a couple of South Hutchinson Island beaches.  I went back after the next high tide to see what happened.  At the end of the day, it was worse instead of better.  Some of the erosion had disappeared.

The erosion that I found in the morning was created by a small surf and as a result was close to the front of the beach.  .

On the beach where the erosion was, the waves had been breaking right at the foot of the beach.  At another beach which had no erosion, the waves were breaking farther out and there was a lot of sand far out into the water.

We know that the waves break where the water becomes too shallow for the swells to continue without breaking.  That means that the water right in front of the beach was deeper on the beach where the waves weren't breaking until they hit shore.

The beach without erosion was a beach which eroded during the high tides back a week or so ago. The eroded sand was now in front of the beach and provided protection.

The area between the low tide mark and the breakers is very important.  It is also the area that is most turbulent and difficult to observe, especially during rough water.  Coins that wash up onto rather than out of the beach come from  that zone.

When there is a lot of sand in front of the beach, not only is the beach protected from the waves, but coins and things can remain buried and protected.  For coins to wash up onto the beach, they have to be uncovered, or at least moved to surface layers of sand that will be moved.  You can get a lot of erosion without coins washing up.

As far as I can figure out, there are two ways that coins in front of the beach can be uncovered.  One is when the sand in front of the beach is dragged out into deeper water thus exposing the coins.  After the coins are exposed, or at least brought close enough to the surface that they are in layers of material that can be moved, they can then be washed up onto the beach.

You'll recall that sand can be moved while other materials are left behind (the process of classification).

The best shallow water hunting that I've ever encountered has been in dips right in front of the beach after the sand had been removed from the dip, leaving coins and jewelry on a bed of packed rocks.

The other way coins and things can be uncovered in the shallow water is by strong long shore currents moving sand roughly parallel to the beach.

In both cases, for coins to be washed up onto the beach after being uncovered, the force of the water then has to be strong enough to wash them up.   For those coins to remain on the beach, the backwash can not wash them back into the water.

When the backwash is not interrupted or does not slacken enough, both the sand and coins can be washed back into the water.

I've talked before about the importance of the long shore currents and the importance of the north/northeast winds, which push the long shore currents.  The long shore currents move sand away from in front of newly eroded areas.

Waves approaching from the east will tend to build beaches.  Sand can come in from farther out and fill any dips.

Unusually big swells can move items up onto the beach, but from my experience items moved by swells hitting from the east are  generally the easier to move items such as half reales rather than eight-reales or gold.  Big swells of course can hit the cliff at the back of the beach and release harder to move items and if the backwash is sufficient also uncover items that were buried under the beach.


Bill F. sent me this related email back a few weeks ago.

Was reading the current one about cuts and backwash.  An important
aspect is that coarse material forms a steep beach.  2 reasons.
First, the higher the velocity of the water, the larger the material
which can be transported (pushed) by water movement.  Strong waves
move coarse material up the slope.

Then, a second feature comes into play.  As the water velocity slows
and stops, much of the volume of water soaks into the coarse material.
Thus, the returning water is much lower in volume and velocity, and
moves less material back to the ocean.  At low tide, you see this
water running back out of the beach, often at the top of the hardpan
layer.  Beach is kinda like a big sponge!


Thanks Bill.


If you know what the chalky white material in the pendant is, please let me know.  I can think of it right now.


The Treasure Coast surf is only supposed to be 1 - 2 feet through Sunday.  I don't expect the beach conditions to improve this weekend, however they are still predicting up to a seven foot surf on Monday and northeast winds.  That might work.  So far the are also predicting something like a 4 - 6 foot surf through out the coming week.  That could definitely create some erosion.  We'll have to wait and see.

Happy hunting,

Friday, October 16, 2015

10/16/15 Report - Beach Conditions Starting To Improve This Morning. Different Times and Stages For Detecting. Items That Sell Well.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

South Hutchinson Island Beaches This Morning Before High Tide

It looks like we're finally transitioning from summer beach conditions.

From what I saw this morning, beach conditions are improving.  In my opinion not enough to increase my beach conditions rating quite yet, however it might be the start of something.

The wind changed yesterday and blew some last night so I thought I'd go see what, if anything, was happening.

These beaches were eroding well before high tide.  I'd expect more later.

The water isn't getting up as high on the beach as it did when we had the high tides, but at least there is some erosion.

The erosion I saw ran for probably a mile.  It wasn't big though - less than two feet at the highest and usually less.

The surfing web site says we're going to have a small surf today and tomorrow, increasing slightly Sunday and then Monday up to something like eight feet.

Funny how we got this erosion with such a small surf.  I always say that the size of the waves isn't the only thing that matters.  Angles are very important.

Hopefully we'll get some decent angles when the surf gets big.


Life is short and passes quickly.  You only have so much time, and can only do so many things. With your time you can either dabble in a lot of different things or dive into one thing and do it very well.

My detecting and professional life have both been varied.  I've done a lot of things, but managed to do some of them fairly well.

There have been definite stages in my detecting.  When I started detecting, I hunted coins, kept track of my coin finds and gradually got better and was able to find more and more coins.

That stage passed as I became more interested in finding jewelry. That progressed in steps and stages too.  I became primarily a shallow water hunter.  I changed how I hunted and got a detector that was excellent for finding gold in salt water environments.  I got into detecting very radically for a while.

Where I lived was a very important factor.  It offered a lot of good jewelry and also good water hunting conditions.

While I was doing consulting work and traveling around the country doing  work for organizations such as the Navy, Federal Express and Martin Marietta, I got to detect a lot of different places.  I liked detecting the lakes around Minneapolis and the beaches and historic areas around Pensacola, for example.  My jewelry hunting strategies and techniques worked well in those different places.

Then there was the period between jobs before I went back to university teaching.  I had a few months between jobs, and it was during that period that I was able to prove to myself that I could make a decent living at detecting if that was what I wanted to do.

I spent a lot of time detecting during that period and did some really intense detecting.  I spent a lot of time hunting and worked very difficult conditions, including very rough water.  I even did some dangerous things that I wouldn't be stupid enough to try now.

One thing I kind of regret is not going to Columbia when I was invited to be a keynote speaker at a computer education conference at Antonio Nurino Unversity.   There were travel advisories at the time because of the drug wars.  I'd love to detect there, but probably never will now.

Eventually I moved to the Treasure Coast.  Then I got more into finding old things.  The old jewelry hunting techniques still worked well when I wanted to do that.  I had to learn the new local beaches though.  I still don't know the Treasure Coast beaches as I knew the South Florida beaches.

Hunting old stuff is different from hunting modern stuff.  You have to use different strategies and techniques for optimal results.

I'm no longer as intense about detecting as I once was.  My family situation has changed and my priorities have changed.  Maybe I've matured some.   When the hurricanes hit, I didn't even get out to the beaches because I had other priorities.  I missed out on a lot of good finds when I missed out on some of the best hunting conditions, but like I said, my priorities have changed.


According to Kovels Komments

Click here to see the other popular items on their list.

Don't ignore jewelry finds just because they are costume jewelry.  They can still be worth something.


The main thing today is the improving conditions.  Keep watching to see what happens the next couple of days.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, October 15, 2015

10/15/15 Report - A Find's History May Be More Complex Than You Think. Million Dollar Historic Photo Found. 600-Year-Old Warship Found. Nine Foot Surf Coming.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Snuff Box Held By Captain Jonah Martinez
Electrolysis Tank At The
Conservation Lab in Sebastian


The tendency is to over-simplify.  If you find an old item, the tendency is to believe that it was simply lost there.  That might be the case sometimes, but there are also times when things are moved two, three or more times, and they can be moved in ways that are seldom considered.

Years ago I found an escudo that the evidence suggests could have been lost and recovered three different times.  It seems it was once lost in a shipwreck, then salvaged and put on another ship, which sank and was lost again.  It was then salvaged by a salvage company and sold and then lost in the ocean at a resort and then found again.  That would be a remarkable sequence of events, but very possible.

It might not be possible to trace a specific coin's history like that very often, but I'm sure that many coins have a similarly interesting history.  When you find an item, don't assume that it was simply dropped where it was found.  A lot could have happened to it.

It is easy to think of a shipwreck dumping items in the ocean, but often forgotten is the mining of the gold and silver, transport of the raw materials to the mint, and the trip from the mint overland and by sea to the port where they were loaded onto the ship that eventually sank.  It is also easy to forget the chaos during the storms and sinking, and the first attempts at recovery, the movement along the beach to a salvage camp, and the movement of salvaged items.  And then there were the pirates, individual thefts, and salvaged by the natives.

I've read where gold chains from shipwrecks were hung in trees.  If you found one of those chains, it might be found alone and with no clue as to why it was found where it was.  You would know that it got there somehow and that would tell you to check for more items, but you probably wouldn't find much else - certainly nothing like if it was found at a shipwreck site or salvage camp site.

The point I am making is that items may have a more complex history than we think.  There are many ways that things can end up where they are found - especially when you consider a period of hundreds of years.  It isn't always a simple matter of things going down with the ship and then being washed onto a beach.  There are a lot things that can happen at different times. There are a lot of ways that items can be moved and lost and found again. Items that are lost are not always lost once.

I suspect that during salvage, items that were picked up were occasionally lost again.  Ropes slip, chains break, and things can be dropped.  That all contributes to the distribution pattern, and means that things can be found where they are not expected.

Even when it comes to modern items, things can be lost and found multiple times.  In the process they can be moved from one location to another - sometimes far away.  That sort of thing is perhaps most obvious at resorts where items are brought from around the world and lost at the resort.  For some items, such as foreign coins, it you might suspect that they have traveled long distances before being lost, but for many, you might never guess how many times they have been lost and found or how they have moved around the world.

I've found items that I lost and found again.  I remember one thin gold chain with a medallion (made in Italy by the way) that I dug up and put in my pocket.  It was probably a couple of miles back to the car and my pocket had a small hole in it and the chain was dropped about half way back to the car.  I walked back along the beach and was lucky enough to find it again.  But the point I am making, is that right there in a very small amount of time, the object was found after having been lost, moved, lost again and found again.

I have no doubt that some of the items I've found and returned have been lost again, or perhaps sold and resold or maybe given away.

Think about the journey that cobs and other items have made.  Think about where the silver or gold was mined and where the cobs were minted.  Think about the trip they made before they were loaded onto the ship.  Think about the chaos of a hurricane, and how things are spread around.  Think about the early recovery efforts and the attempt to assemble and store things before transporting them again.  And think about all of the things that could happen at any part of the process.

Just because you find an item at such and such a place doesn't mean that its journey was simple or that the object didn't take many side trips along the way.  We'll never know about many of those side trips, but it might be worth considering the various possibilities.


Among a group of photos purchased for $2 was a rare photo of Billy the Kid playing croquet, which is thought to be worth a million dollars or more.


Aerial photography helps find a 600-year-old warship buried in river mud.


Still the big news for me is the predicted five to nine foot seas for the Treasure Coast this coming Monday.   That prediction has held steady for a couple of days.  That doesn't always happen.  We still have four days to go.

The wind is supposed to be mostly out of the north up until then and then get stronger and more easterly.  I'd rather they continue from the north.

Nonetheless, that is something to watch and be ready for.

Happy hunting,