Sunday, January 31, 2016

1/31/16 Report - Man Seeking Fenn Treasure Now Lost. Doll and Figurine Finds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Few Doll Or Figurine Finds From the Treasure Coast.
One thing I like about metal detecting is that you can find almost anything.  It isn't limited to metal objects.  If you keep your eyes open you'll find all kinds of things.

Besides being interesting objects, non-metallic finds can give you good clues for metal detecting.  All kinds of objects can tell you something about what went on at that location in the past.

I've found a good number of dolls and figurines.  Here are a few.  Not only do they give you a date range, but they also suggest something about the type of people that were in the area.

These are inexpensive figures.  My mother had a doll exactly like the first one when she was a child.

The doll arm is bisque.  I've also found arms and and legs which were higher quality.  They were painted and made of porcelain in Germany.  I sold those.

Unglazed tinted dolls with a matte finish are referred to as bisque dolls.  Bisque dolls appeared in France during the 1850s.   

Glossy "china dolls" were popular at the same time. Both the bisque and the shiny glazed "China dolls" were made from porcelain, but the term porcelain is often reserved for contemporary dolls.

In the group of inexpensive figurines shown above, the first doll is marked "JAPAN," the fourth is marked "MADE IN JAPAN," and the last one, the little kewpie doll, is marked, "MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN."

There is an active collector market for dolls, kewpie dolls, and objects made in occupied Japan.

Following the end of World War II in 1945 and until 1952, items imported from Japan to the United States had to be marked in a fashion indicating they came from Occupied Japan. Although four different marks were used on cups and saucers during this time ("Japan," "Made in Japan," "Occupied Japan," and "Made in Occupied Japan"), only the last two marks guarantee the pieces were made in the Occupied Japan timeframe. For serious Occupied Japan collectors, it is items with these two marks for which they search.  (Source:

I've also found doll heads.

Of course dolls have been made for thousands of years and go back to ancient Greece and Egypt. 18th Century Eurpean dolls, were often made of wood, and it appears to me, generally had round heads and long necks.

Those shown above were all surface finds from the Treasure Coast.


Forrest Fenn is now looking for a treasure hunter who disappeared while seeking the 2 million dollar Fenn Treasure.

Here is the link for that story.

Thanks to Dean R. for the link.


The surf on the Treasure Coast is very small today.  It will be increasing very slowly for several days.

Happy hunting,

Friday, January 29, 2016

1/29/16 Report. A Few Beaches. Fort Excavation. Kennedy Mansion Auction. Little Pocket Mystery To Some.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Typical Beach Friday Near High Tide.
The wind was from the west today and will be shifting to become a north wind Saturday.

Above is a typical Treasure Coast beach - no cuts.  I saw another beach before I took this picture, but forgot to take a picture.  The first beach had a lot of sand on the front beach, but a lot of shells at the high tide line.  I saw two detectorists working the shell line.  No one else was on that beach.

Every car in the parking lot at the above beach (there were about 10) was from another state.  The locals weren't there.

Jensen Beach Friday Afternoon.
I had not been to Jensen Beach for a long time.  Notice how few people are there.

North End Jensen Beach Near High Tide.
I stopped at three different beaches, and this is the only place I saw any significant erosion.  This area has eroded back quite a bit over the past month or two.

The wind will shift tomorrow, but there will still be little surf.


From Kovels Kommets:  The furnishings of the Palm Beach house once owned by the Kennedy family were auctioned on January 23, 2016. The house was built in 1923 by the Wanamaker family, sold to Joe Kennedy in 1933, and used until the Kennedys sold the house and furnishings in 1995 to Mr. and Mrs. John Castle...

Some items had been part of the house for 21 to as long as 93 years. A set of William and Mary style tables estimated at $500 to $700 brought $10,625, and an Italian painted hall bench estimated at $3,000 to $5000 went for $9,375. Both were in the 1923 house. A pair of Venetian glass mirrors estimated at $2,000 to $4,000, perhaps in the house since 1933, was $38,750. The walnut twin beds used at various times by Joe Jr., Jack or Jackie sold for $20,000. A 1963 photograph of President Kennedy with his wife and children at Easter was $6,350.


"Just inside the walls of the fort we encountered what we call essentially a 1750 walking surface. That would be the level of the Earth that the British soldiers were walking on after the construction of Fort Lawrence and it's a very thin deposit but there are sufficient amounts of material in it to indicate that we are looking at that 1750 to 1755 era when the fort was occupied."

That is from an article about discoveries made at a fort site near the Nova Scotia border.  Here is the link for the rest of the article.

Here is a link to the rest of the article about discoveries at a fort site near the Nova Scotia border.


That little pocket in the pocket of your jeans is the subject of a story that is circulating on the internet.  It seems people started wondering what that little pocket is for.  The thing that amazed me is that so many people didn't know.  I've never wondered about it at all because I what it was for ever since I was old enough to wear jeans.

In case you didn't know, it is a pocket watch pocket.  Why they still have them is a bit of a mystery, but it never occurred to me that someone might not know that it was originally for a pocket watch.

I suppose there are a lot of things like that which - like TVs with knobs.  Younger people don't know about l I'm sure a lot of them don't know there was a time when you had go to the TV to switch channels. A list of things like that might be interesting.  I've seen lists like that before.  It gives an idea of how much things have changed in recent years.


Happy hunting,

Thursday, January 28, 2016

1/28/16 Report - Old U. S. Coins and Veteran's Commenmorative Medal Finds From Inland Sites.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of 

Couple Nice Finds by Dan B.
These are inland finds.  As often happens with worn Mercury dimes, the last digit is unreadable.  As you can see, the Barber dime is a 1908.

Nice finds Dan.


William M. also has been hunting inland and making nice finds.  Here is a nice Barber quarter.

1898 Barber Quarter Found by William M.

Back of Same Quarter.

Veteran's Commemorative Medal
Found by William M.

Other side of same medal shown
at right.

William also found this medallion.  The front (right) reads, "Honoring The American Veteran."

William found some other good items along with these.

The medal is obviously not as old at the Barber quarter.  Great finds!

Thanks to Dan and William for the find photos!


It isn't easy to find old U. S. coins on Treasure Coast beaches.  As I stated, those shown above were recently found at inland sites.

As strange as it might seem, it is easier to find 18th century Spanish coins on most Treasure Coast beaches than it is to find U. S. coins from the 1800s or even early 1900s.  Our beaches were not heavily populated in the 18 and early 19 hundreds.

I've seldom seen old U. S. coins that appeared to wash up onto our local beaches, and those were usually barely recognizable.  Of the Barber and other older coins that I've found on Treasure Coast beaches, most seemed to come out of the dunes rather than being washed up.  

I spent one very good day years ago digging many old U. S. coins that washed out of the dunes at Jupiter Inlet.  I thought it was a little strange that I didn't hit any Spanish cobs that day even though cobs did wash out of the same dunes at other times.  That was back before the Jupiter wreck was located and salvaged.


Very rainy the past couple of days.  We'll have a few days of small surf now.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1/27/16 Report - Most Recent Observations On How Water Moves Objects On A Beach.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Yesterday was an excellent day for observing how objects move on a beach.  The surf was about three to five feet.  That was rough enough that there were significant waves and enough force, while not too rough to be able to get close to the crashing waves.  There were also lots of shells and small rocks.  That made it possible to observe how things move.

At low tide I stood near the low point of the beach where the waves were crashing at the time.  There were a lot of shells and things periodically exposed as the waves crashed and the water and sand came and went.  Shells and things would be exposed, moved up and back down the beach, and then sometimes covered by sand again, and then exposed and moved again and again.  Occasionally some were moved higher on the slope where they remained for a while.

I focused on one small roughly coin-shaped shell and watched the water rush back down the slope over that shell.  At first it didn't move as the water rushed over it.  No movement.  No movement.  Then all of a sudden it popped up off the sand, into the current and quickly retreated down the slope and disappeared into the swash.

The thing that struck me most about that observation is how quickly it popped up off of the sand and how quickly it moved after a period of hugging the sand and not moving as the water rushed over it.

Here is a quiz to see if you read my blog in the past.  What have I called the point when the water force becomes sufficient to move a specific object?

It is the trigger point.  And what I have just described is an excellent illustration.  Again, what struck me was how sudden it was.

I think it is tempting to think that it is a more gradual process and that if the water is moving, objects are being moved in a similar way at and at similar rate.  But water moves more gradually while objects being moved by the water can be moved not at all and then very suddenly. The trigger point is all or nothing.  Eight it has been reached or it has not.  Once the trigger point is reached and the object becomes suspended it moves very quickly until the what I have called the "settle point" is reached, and the object settles down on the bottom again.

Objects such as coins, which are relatively flat and settle against flat the surface, sometimes even settling slightly into the surface, move differently from round objects, which roll around - first up the beach and then back down.  Rounder objects do not hug the surface and provide more surface area for the water to push against.

Flat coin-shaped objects quickly settle into the surface and do not provide much surface area for the water to push against, until they are lifted off the surface, and then they are moved quickly, sometimes flipping.

You can not observe how this works when the water is very rough.  You can't stand in the crash zone when the surf is strong, and if you could you would still not be able to see small objects because the water is so rough and turbulent.

If you look at the illustration  at the top of the post, the red area is where the waves were hitting with force and masses of shells were exposed.  Occasionally they would get covered with sand and disappear, but often the sand was removed to expose the shells and rocks.

When a wave crashed, the water would dislodge settled objects and some of them would get washed up the slope.  Many would get washed back down the slope with the returning water, but those that settled near the top (blue area on the illustration) formed a shell pile.  Occasionally the water would hit the shell pile and wash some objects back down the slope.

This was all happening at low tide.  As the tide gets higher, the crash zone moves up, as would other the surge and objects. At other times the shell pile might be pulled down into the water and disappear again.

All of this is very well explained by trigger points, and the increasing and decreasing water flow interacting with various characteristics of the objects, including density, size, shape and surface characteristics.

I was observing shells and rocks today, but coins are moved in a very similar way.  Coin lines are formed in the same way as shell piles.  You can't often observe the same process with coins though. There are much fewer coins, and they are more difficult to see.  Shells will be moved slightly differently than coins, because of differences in density, size and shape, but the same basic principles apply.

I had plenty of other things to post today but thought I should post this while I was thinking about it.

Even when you are not finding what you want, take advantage of your time on the beach to observe how it all works.  You might find something else in the process.

Remains of An Old Cut As Seen Yesterday Afternoon.

One Formless Beach As Seen Yesterday Afternoon Near Low Tide.
I'll try to get some good close video of the things I described above.  I guess I was so intent on watching that I forgot to take a video.

Every time I do try to catch a video of something in the crash zone, it seems things don't happen when I want.

It rained last night and much of today.  The surf is down today and will be nearly flat for a few days.

I'll get back to recent finds in my future posts.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1/26/16 Report - Great Treasure Coast Area Land Hunt. Phipps Ocean Park Renourishment Project. Surf Increased Today.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Finds and photo by William M.

William M. had a great Treasure Coast area land hunt yesterday.  Look at the variety and quality of the finds.

More pictures to come in the near future.

Phipps Ocean Park Beach Renourishment 2016
From Jason T. YouTube Video.  See link below.
Dumping Anything Over One By One Inch Out of Sifter.
See link below.
Here is the link for the entire video.

Good video Jason!


...There are believed to be 165 million tons of it in the ocean right now. We're dumping the equivalent of one garbage truck's worth into the ocean per minute; that's projected to jump to four per minute by 2050, according to a report released Tuesday by theWorld Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation. And that report has an ominous warning: We're on track to have more plastic than fish, by weight, in the world's oceans by 2050. (Right now, the ratio is about 1:5, plastics to fish.)...


On the Treasure Coast the surf is up to 3 - 5 feet.  It was rainy this morning.  We'll have negative low tides.  The wind is mostly from the southeast.

Happy hunting,

Monday, January 25, 2016

1/25/16 Report - Treasured Memories. North Carolina Beach Cams. Ornate Button Find.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is a really cool land find by Dan Beckingham.

The button back is very ornate.

Thanks for sharing Dan.


Some of the beaches up north should have turned good.

Gosports1 sent me this link that provides some good beach cams for the North Carolina beaches.

Thanks for sharing.


Some things stick out in memory.  It isn't always something big or important.  In fact, too often it is some small annoying or trivial thing.  It might only be a slice of a moment, yet the impression can last for many years.

One of my earlier memories like that was made when I was about five years old.  I went out to collect eggs from the chicken nest that was on the ledge of a garage window.  What I remember most is the sticky mess of the broken egg in the pocket of my jeans.  I guess I tried to put the egg in my pocket.  It made a big impression even though it was something that nobody else would even know about unless it was my mom when she cleaned my jeans.  I doubt if she remembers it now though.  It happened over sixty years ago.

I have several metal detecting memories like that from several years ago.  I remember one day when I was up to my waist in the ocean on a very beautiful day.  The water was smooth and extremely clear, The sky was blue.  I slowly lifted my scoop, and as the scoop was just a little above the sand when some of the sand slid off and I was greeted by a flash of light.

That moment sticks in my mind like it was yesterday even though it has been probably nearly thirty years ago.  It is like the moment was recorded on my mind very much like how light is recorded on film when an image is focused and the shutter is opened.

I could walk to that same spot today if it wasn't now covered by tons of renourishment sand.

I didn't think that much of the ring at the time.  In fact I didn't think it was anything special for a very long time.  I thought it was a zircon.  The ring was marked 14 KP.  I thought that meant plated.  That memory was indelibly recorded before I knew that I had anything valuable at all.  I later found out that "KP" means karat plum, not plated.  And plum means "exact."  It was a very good ring with a big quality solitaire diamond.  It was the sensory experience that was recorded in my memory, not the find.

Several of my most vivid memories occurred when I was in the water, and some don't involve finds at all.  Two in particular occurred almost exactly at the same spot, although at different times.

One day I was in water up to my neck.  The sun was low in the east and the water and sky were blue. It was a quiet beautiful day again.  I noticed a beautifully formed wave to the east of me that rose up about three feet above the level of my head, and through the wave with the rising sun shining through, I could see the shadows of hundreds of fish.  I really wish I had a photo of that.  That image was entirely visual.  I just remember the awesome sight.

Another day, almost in the same spot, the sea was calm as could be.  I was in the water again, and it was foggy.  There was no wind.  It was silent.  I could see only a few yards.  That was a very unusual scene.  I cant explain it.  It was like I was in my own private world surrounded by a curtain of fog.   I'd love to have a picture of that so I could share it.

There are other types of extremely vivid memories too.  Some are humorous.

I definitely remember the first piece of Spanish silver I found on the Treasure Coast.  I drove up from Fort Lauderdale.   I had made the trip several times before when conditions were poor and I had no luck.

My wife picked the piece out of my scoop and was about to throw that flat black razor away.  I hollered,"Wait,wait, wait."  I took a look, and stuck in my pocket.  When I got home I tested it and found that it was indeed silver.  It had no detail.

Today I could walk to within a couple of feet where I made that find even though it has been nearly thirty years since then.

Memories can be special.  Some of my favorite memories have nothing to do with metal detecting, although metal detecting has provided quite a few good ones.  I guess I wish more of them had been shared.

Many of my favorite memories are childhood memories with family members who are now gone. I'm glad I have those memories.  I hope they last as long as I do.

Make memories to share.


This morning the surf is small but will be increasing later today.  Tomorrow the surf will be up to around 3 - 5 feet.  Unfortunately the wind will not be very favorable.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, January 23, 2016

1/23/15 Report - A Look At Some Beaches Today During A Strong West Wind.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

John Brooks Beach Saturday Afternoon Shortly After Low Tide.
You've probably been watching the weather, either from up north or locally.  There was a lot of weather this weekend.  Some of the beaches up north are undoubtedly eroding or improving in places.  Very cold though.

Www.surfchex,com provides good video views of North Carolina beaches.  Check it out.  Thanks to Gosports1 for that link.

The first thing I did this morning was check some of the beach cams.

As you can see from the above photo, John Brooks beach is very much like it was a few days ago with the exception that the front beach has been shaped some by water coming over the hump and then running off.   If you go back a few days, you'll see that the beach has not changed much.

Cuts With Sand Filling From Back Beach.

It was a little unusual.  The strong west wind was blowing sand from the back of the beach down over the cuts and into the water.

I watched the wind this morning switch from southwest to northwest.  We've had a lot of fronts and shifting wind this year.

The wind was blowing out while the tide was up this morning.  That kept the water down some.

Walton Rocks Beach Shortly After Low Tide Saturday.
As you can see there were small cuts at both Walton Rocks and John Brooks beaches.

There were good numbers of shells at Walton Rocks.  A few days ago after the high tide there was also a good coin line there.

Shells At The Water Line.
There were also a few pieces of fossils today.

Shell And Fossil From Today.
There is a full moon out tonight that which coincide with the high tide.

There has been a lot to watch the last few months.  Not a huge amount of good detecting but some, and there have been enough changes that could open things up fairly quickly.

Happy hunting,

Friday, January 22, 2016

1/22/16 Report - Two Million Dollar Dime. Tiffany Gate Link Ring Cleaned. Safety For Using Muriatic Acid.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

This 1894 S Barber dime was sold at a Heritage Auction on January 7, 2016 for nearly $2,000,000.  Only ten of these are known to exist.

Here is the link for more about that.


Yesterday I talked about cleaning encrusted coins.  Things besides coins need cleaning.  Rings and other things can be encrusted too.

Silver Tiffany Gate Link Ring.
Find and photo by Robert H.
Notice the Tiffany and Co. mark and the silver mark.

Gate Link Ring After Cleaning.
Photo by Robert H.
That is a unique ring.  Very nicely cleaned.  A used ring like this would probably sell for nearly $400.

Tiffany Ring on Sizing Mandrel.
Photo by Robert H.
Bill Popp, who originally explained the Muriatic Acid cleaning method for this blog, sent an email and said, " ... muriatic acid at room temp does not attack copper, silver or gold... Any other metal coin may be junk anyway (aluminum?)..."

I didn't mention gold because it rarely needs cleaning, although old pieces will occasionally collect a little coral or something.  If the crust is only light, I'd probably let it stay. It depends.

Thanks for sharing Robert and Bill.

I should remind you that Muriatic Acid is a strong acid and requires safety precautions.  Wear protective gloves, goggles and do not breathe the fumes.  Do not use it in the house or around furniture or other items that can be damaged.  Do not get it on your skin.  Store it safely.

Here is a web site explaining the safety precautions.

Muriatic Acid is used to maintain swimming pools and can be purchased at pool supply stores.


The weather is changing.  This morning the wind was more from the south, but now it is more from the west.

The surf will be small this weekend, but increase Tuesday.  The tides are decent, with negative lows.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, January 21, 2016

1/21/16 Report - Preparing and Cleaning Encrusted Coins. Another Front Going To Come Through.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Encrusted Coin Found by Mark P.

I received the following email from Mark P. a couple of days ago.

Hi there,

I've been following your blog daily for several months now and have spent some time going back through old posts as well. Thank you for sharing your wealth of information to the public. As a new detectorist, I have learned a lot from you, and I know I am only scratching the surface.

One thing I would like to learn more about are cleaning techniques, so I hope you will share some of that knowledge in future posts. In some of your old posts, you mentioned links on the home page to good resources for that, but they are either gone now, or I am not seeing them.

I'm specifically interested in learning how to clean fully encrusted coins that can't even be identified in their present state. I've seen some photos you have posted on recent finds and they turn out beautifully. But I'm not even sure where to start.

Specifically, I have what is possibly (it's too encrusted to tell) a 200+ year old copper coin that I'd like to clean enough to at least be able to identify it. I am not worried about any value it may have, but I want to be able to identify it and don't want to damage it any more than it already is.

Any advice or links you could provide would be very much appreciated.


P.S. Attached is a photo of my possible 1797 Isle of Man half penny - or you know, maybe it's an arcade token. 

Thanks for writing Mark.  The method I use for cleaning silver cobs was originally described to me by Bill Popp, and I posted Bill's instructions way back at the beginning of this blog.   It got deleted with other very early posts.

Bill encouraged me to use the diluted muriatic acid method on silver cobs, and it worked very well.  It is actually less dangerous than electrolysis, another commonly used method.

The first time I tried electrolysis, I used it on a Buffalo nickle, and damaged it.  Since then I learned to use electrolysis more effectively and still commonly use it on some types of objects such as iron artifacts but use muriatic acid on silver cobs.

You can use the link immediately below to find a description of the muriatic acid method.  I have used it almost exclusively for silver, although I am told it works as well for copper coins.

I have run into situations (two that stick out in my memory) when coins were encrusted with a crust that muriatic acid would not penetrate.

I prefer to know what type of coin I might be dealing with before starting.  I like to know if the coin is silver, copper or whatever.  I also like to have a good idea of what type of coin it might be, but that is not always possible.  You will also want to know if you have something that might be very valuable or that should be treated with the utmost care.  Assume that it is until you have a good idea that it is not.  And when you don't know what to do, don't do anything until you get some direction.

For me, one of the first steps is to soak any coin.  Soaking a coin in water can loosen a little crust or remove dirt.  Use water that doesn't have a lot of chlorine or chemicals in it.  Vinegar wouldn't be a bad choice in some cases.  See how much of the crust will come off with soaking.  After that, try to remove any crust that can be safely removed mechanically.  A jet of water can be helpful and might be better than rubbing.  Rubbing can create scratches.

For heavy crust, I prefer to crush rather than chip, brush, or hammer.  I use pliers, sometimes needle-nose pliers, and squeeze the crust.  If you squeeze rather than brush, chip or hammer, you can apply a very measured amount of force.  Start with very little force and gradually increase the force as necessary, but be careful.  Some of the crust will most likely crumble and fall off. Hitting or hammering the crust is less controlled and more dangerous, but a light tapping can be helpful.

Globs of crust, like that shown on the coin in the top view, can be squeezed with needle-nose pliers. Make sure to not hit the coin itself though. With little globs like that, you might not need to put the coin between the tips or teeth of the pliers.  If you have crust on both sides, you can put the entire coin between the pliers.

With some of the crust safely removed, you might be able to better identify the coin.

After removing as much of the crust as you can by mechanical means, start the acid bath.

I like to keep a close eye on what is happening.  Closely monitor progress.

A paste made of wet baking soda can be used on silver coins after the muriatic bath to remove the black patina.  Some people prefer to leave them black.  I don't like a real silvery look and typically under clean rather than over clean.

I have a lot more experience using Muriatic Acid to clean silver rather than copper coins but have been told that it will work as well on copper.

If you want a very detailed description of various cleaning methods, take a look at the TAMU conservation manual by using the following link.

That might be more than you really want to know, but it will give you a lot of good information.

Hope that helps.


The wind is going to shift this afternoon.  For a couple of days it will be coming from the south. Then as the front comes through we'll have a west wind, and then back to a north wind again.

On Saturday the surf will be nearly flat.  At the beginning of the week, the surf will be increasing again.  Expect something like three to five feet.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

1/20/16 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions Not Bad Despite Small Surf. New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exlusive use of

One Cut On The Treasure Coast This Morning Near Low Tide.

I've been busy for a few days and hadn't been out to check the beaches until this morning.

As you know, the surf hasn't been big.  The tides have been good and we had some north winds that made up for that to some extent.

The beaches that I saw on Hutchinson Island this morning weren't half bad.  I found plenty of heavily corroded and patinated clad coins and a few other things.

Fort Pierce South Jetty Beach This Morning.

I found one coin line that was about one third of the way up the slope between the low tide and high tide lines.

There were plenty of targets, and if you are hunting modern things, I suspect you could find some good hunting.

There might be a beach or two that is producing old stuff, but I didn't have the chance to check some of those spots, so I can't say for sure, but there is a chance.

Overall, conditions are much better than summer conditions right now, but not good enough for me to increase my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Rating.  I'll have to check some other beaches tomorrow.

The three big factors are waves, tides, and the wind.  In this case we didn't have big waves, but had a good tide and some good north winds.

I saw erosion at three different beaches.  Two of those beaches also had sand piled up at the front of the beach.  One of those is shown immediately below.

Piled Up Sand On The Front of John Brooks Beach This Morning
In this picture, the piled up sand goes back to the light brown strip, which is made of a courser light sand.

There were few beach goers this morning.  I could see my tracks.  It reminded me of games we played up north in the snow.  I can't remember the name of that game now.  Maybe it was Duck, Duck, Goose or something like that.

I did see one other detectorist.  You can see her at the South Jetty Beach picture.


Part of Old Map Found In The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

I mentioned a bit about public domain yesterday.  When I started that discussion I meant to give you a good link for accessing a lot of public domain materials.  At the time I couldn't find the link, but found it later.  Here is the link to the digital collections of the New York Public Library.

Above is one example of what you can find there.  It takes a few minutes to learn how to navigate the site, but it is worthwhile.  You can find a lot of good material there.

The picture I posted yesterday was also from the New York Public Library Digital Collections.


I have deleted some of the old links from my reference link list and need to delete a few more that no longer work.  Old sites can be removed or renamed.  If you find any that no longer work, let me know.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

1/19/16 Report - Drake and Spanish Treasure, Sifting and Marble Finds, Miami Mansion Being Torn Down

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exlusive use of

This is one of many public domain images.  Copyright has a fixed duration. \When items are old enough they are public domain, which means they are no longer under the protection of copyright laws.

Without getting into the details, the term of a copyright is the lifetime of the author plus 70 years.  As with all such laws there are many exceptions.

Vast libraries of public domain pictures and other works can be found online.

Pablo Escobar's Home In Maimi Is Being Torn Down.
Here is the link for more about that.  Thanks to Alberto S. for the link.


Russ P. has been sifting an old home site and has found a lot of marbles.  Most came from a single lot, and that included marbles from different eras.  Notice especially the clay marbles.

He said he didn't notice any hand blown examples, but is going to back and check for that.  There will rough pontil marks as shown in the links I previously provided.

Thanks for sharing Russ!

Russ has shown us his sifter in the past.  That takes some time, but can be very worthwhile.


I'll have to cut it short today.  That's all for now.

Happy hunting,

Monday, January 18, 2016

1/18/16 Report - State Laws. Changes Badly Needed.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

It looks like we are in for a week or two of small surf.  It might be a good time to do a little scouting.

Yesterday morning the wind was stiff from the west when the tide was low.  It was an opportunity to get out a little farther.  Later in the day the wind shifted again.

If you like finding the older stuff, check for areas where the renousishment sand has been eroded down to the older layers or locations just outside the renourishment areas.


People often ask me about the rules for hunting on the beach and in the water.  I hate those kind of questions because when you get down to the details it can be very confusing, and no matter how much I might say about it I can't cover every situation.  There can be multiple agencies or divisions involved including both state and local authorities.

Here is the link to what the Department of State Division of Historical Resources says.

Here is just one paragraph that will help clear up some confusion for some of you.

(11) “Sovereignty submerged lands” means those lands including but not limited to tidal flats, sand bars, shallow banks, and lands waterward of the ordinary or mean high water line, under navigable fresh and salt waters to which the State of Florida acquired title on March 3, 1845 by virtue of statehood, and which have not been heretofore conveyed or alienated.

Rulemaking Authority 267.031(1) FS. Law Implemented 267.031(2), (5)(i), (k), (o), 267.061(1) FS. History–New 4-13-87, Amended 7-20-09.

They consider "historic" as being items 50 years old or more.  To me that is absolutely absurd.  I use items that I have owned longer than that.

Besides state parks, state lands includes submerged land in all navigable waterways.


Some archaeologists consider treasure hunting (often considered to include metal detecting) to be almost anything done to any item that is at least fifty years old by anyone who is not one of them.   As is usually the case, the article leaves out a lot of important considerations.

The arguments against treasure hunting did not take into account the harsh nature of beaches and shallow water sites.  As you know, items don't conserve well in that environment.  Yes, there are some items that make it into cracks, crevices or remain under protective sand for long periods of time and hold up well even in very harsh salt water environments, but many, and perhaps most, do not, All are subject to possible harm or destruction and loss.  I've seen coins bent in half by being caught between rocks in the shifting surf zone.  My point is that time is not always a friend, especially in those environments, and many items will definitely be damaged or lost if they are not recovered. before it is too late.

As was demonstrated and admitted in the following linked article on the S.S. Georgia, not all salvaged items have any real value in terms of adding to our knowledge.  There were items that "they wanted," as well as others that they reburied. (

My estimate is that very few items add much if anything, no matter how well preserved, to our knowledge base.  There has been enough salvaged and dug up to this point that everybody knows that treasure ships carried coins, what kind and where they came from, etc. etc.  It is a true rarity that actually adds new information.  More real information is added by detailed research on items that have already been found.  Take for example the excellent in-depth research done by Laura Strolia on the heart shaped cobs.

It is true that you never know when that one truly unique and revealing item might pop up, but you must admit it is very rare, and many of those discoveries are made by the public.  The thing to do is to inform the public and make it easy for them to report anything that might be significant.  

A few years ago Richard Hulbert of the Florida Museum of Natural History attended a conference on Vero Man (based upon a huge contribution by a local non-professional) identified fossils brought in by attendees.  That is an excellent method for connecting the public with the professionals.  I applaud Dr. Hulbert for that.

It is always said that the purpose is to protect and preserve our history for the public.  The public who funds so much of the archaeology, is not only seldom involved, but efforts are actually made to keep them uninformed.  Sites are kept secret, and most artifacts are not easy to access. 

As I've shown by polls conducted in this blog, more people have visited the privately owned Fisher museums than have seen the Florida collections.  Public auctions also provides a way that we can see many artifacts.

The challenge for archaeology is to involve and educate the public, but first they'll need to get their paranoia and suspicion of the public under control.


Happy hunting,

Saturday, January 16, 2016

1/16/16 Report - Vero Coin Show. Discovered Shipwrecks. A Little More On Marbles. Ghostwriting.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: See N Y Times link below.

The Treasure Coast Coin an Currency Show will be January 16 and 17 at the Vero Community Center at 2266 14th Ave in Vero.  Saturday it will be from 10 to 5, and Sunday 10 til 3.


I got myself more interested in yet another type of collectible.  I didn't really need that.

I talked a little about marbles a couple of days ago.  Then I learned more about it. For example, I learned how to look for pontil marks.  That is what tells you that a marble was hand-made.

Here is something else I learned.  Among opaque marbles, black and white are the most common. They were used for voting.  A white marble represented a "yes" vote, and a black marble, a "no" vote. That appears to be the origin of the term "blackballing."

Here is another good link if you are interested in learning more about marbles.

And here is how you can tell old from newer marbles.


You might remember when they were looking for the missing Malaysian airliner, MH370.  In the process a lot of ocean was inspected, and some shipwrecks were found.

Here is one image from that search.

Here is the link for more about that.

And here is another link showing another image (top) obtained during the search for MH370.


It seems like every time I show someone a book or article that I wrote, they say they are going to write a book.  It seems like almost everyone thinks they are going to write a book of some sort, yet most don't.  Not only do most people never write their book, but even a lot of the biggest authors never write a book.  Celebrities usually don't actually write their books.  They use ghostwriters. Writing a good serious book takes a lot of time, is tedious and is a skill that you do not pick up without spending a lot of time working at it.

There are a lot of little books on hobbies like metal detecting that are pretty good and some sell, but they aren't really what they could be.  They usually lack something that prevents them from being really good.

In this blog, I don't spend time refining my writing.  I put my time into getting good content,  and that has been successful beyond anything I imagined when I started.  This is a different format.  I just say whatever I've been thinking of or whatever comes up. I do provide a lot of content here, and much of it is completely original.

I used to do a radio program and I often interviewed other authors on my program.  One author, for example, wrote a book about NFL coach Tony Dungy.  I interviewed the author that actually wrote his book, and in that case, unlike many others, Tony was not claiming to be the author.

I was interviewed in a blog for writers.  They wanted me to tell other authors how to pitch their books if they wanted to be selected for radio interviews.  That was back before I started this blog.

I'm almost feel like a ghostwriter for myself.  I just do the work.   Many people help by sending me photos or information.  That helps a lot, and I wanted to thank all of those who have contributed.


It is one beautiful day out there.  The water is smooth and the tide got low.

Happy hunting,

Friday, January 15, 2016

1/15/16 Report - Price Movements. T. C. Coin Club Show in Vero. Gold Nugget Ring Find.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I metal detect for the fun of it and because it is interesting.  I'm more interested in the mystery and the history than the economics of it, but one thing I find interesting is how prices are determined and how they change.

Gold is an excellent example.  Considering it only as a commodity and pricing it per ounce, you can see from the above chart how much the price of gold has changed since the 1970s.  At its high it was nearly $1900 per ounce, and at its low, just over $200 per ounce.  That is a huge range.  If you held gold over that period you could have sold it for nearly one fifth or five times as much, depending upon your timing.

The natural tendency is to hold onto things when the price is going up, hoping that that prices will continue to go up, and to sell after they've gone down.  Of course that isn't the best thing to do, but it is human nature.

Too often people sell a gold item as if it was simply a commodity.  Pawn shops and other buyers will want to pay you for your item by the weight of gold.  Often they won't pay for any gems - just the weight of gold.

You should be aware that your item may have more value than just the value of the gold.  It might have historic, aesthetic or some type of collector value.  Even a raw gold nugget, if it has a little size or is attractive, is worth more than the weight of gold.  There are a lot of people who collect gold nuggets and will pay a premium for nice examples.

That wasn't what I started out to write about.  I wanted to talk about how markets change over time. Gold is just one good example.

I like old books.  The market for old books has changed dramatically over the past few decades.  I once constructed a pricing database for old and collectible books and sold it to book dealers.  The first one, if I correctly recall, was sold to a dealer in England.

Anyhow, there was a time when almost any old book (several decades old) could be sold for decent money.  The internet changed that.  Every body started selling old books online. The supply went up dramatically, while the demand stayed the same or went down.  The result was that most old books became so easy to find that they could be bought for next to nothing.  The price of very rare and very desirable books actually increased, but those books are rare and difficult to very difficult to find.

A similar thing happened with old bottles.  There was a time when most cork-top bottles with a little embossing could easily be sold for a few dollars.  With the huge supply currently available online, many bottles that previously could be quickly sold for a profit can't be sold at all.

That is the way it goes.  If you sell any of your finds, or might sell them at some time in the future, one of the things you should be aware of is how markets change and how difficult it can be to predict those changes.  You can't be sure that the price of gold or any item will continue to increase.  The price of gold has not, and the price of most old books and bottles has not continued to increase in value.  Timing is difficult and trying to time tops and bottoms is almost impossible.  Be aware of that as you consider if and when you want to sell.

For me, selling an item is good way to find a good home for an neat item that deserves to be appreciated and preserved.


The Treasure Coast Coin Club will have its annual show in Vero tomorrow.  You might want to see that.


I switched to hunting modern stuff for a day, and here is one find.

It is a heavy 14K nugget ring.

There are a lot of snow birds on the Treasure Coast right now, and some of them are hitting the beach when the sky clears a little.

That was some rainy day today.

The surf will be small Saturday and Sunday.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, January 14, 2016

1/14/16 Report - One Type of Non-metallic Find. Marbles. Front Coming Through Friday.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Common Marble Beach Find.

Beach Marble Showing Waves In Glass Surface.

Beach Marble Find Showing Large Manufacturing Defect On Surface.

Frosted Sea Glass Marble.

Hope you are the person that got all of the Powerball numbers.  I guess if you did, you probably wouldn't be reading this today.

We have another front coming through on Friday.  This morning the wind was from the north, but it has already shifted around and is now coming from the south.  The surf, which is about 2 - 4 feet today will be diminishing the next couple of day,s and the wind will be shifting again.

Over the years I've found a good number of marbles on beaches and along waterways and a few at other places.  Like many other things found on a beach, they are often in poor condition, some are what I would call sea glass.  Some are completely frosted from being churned by the sand and surf.

Marbles can be worth a good bit.  There are marbles that are worth hundreds of dollars.  It is not too likely that you'll find one of those beauties on a beach, but you should be aware of it anyhow.

Marbles have been around for hundreds of years.  Some were made of stone or clay.  Those are the older ones.  They were sometimes found at civil war camp sites.

An old clay marble is a nice find, but the more valuable marbles are the hand formed glass ones.  They can be very intricate and beautiful.  You might be able to find a pontil mark on hand-made marbles.

Probably most of the marbles you will find are from the mid twentieth century.  By then they were mass produced.  If you were old enough you might still have some of your own.

Although three is the very remote possibility of a finding a valuable marble, marbles can be important signs.  If you find an old clay marble, it can be a sign of activity that took place in the area possibly as much as a hundred years ago.

If the marble is one of the more common types from the mid twentieth century, it still could be an indication of activity at the site decades ago.

I used to hunt some old park beaches that are not used any more and are now completely over grown. You wouldn't know that those sites were popular beaches back in the day unless you did some research or happened to find something that might provide a clue.  I once found some marbles in old overgrown area like that and that was one clue that told me the area might have once been a popular beach.

My point today, is that you can find marbles on the beach, and even if they are not likely to be valuable, they can be a good clue of past activity.  Keep your eyes open.

Here is a link to the Marble Collectors Society of America web site.  It has a lot of good useful information.


Happy hunting,

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

1/13/16 Report - Lots of Sand on Treasure Coast Treasure Beaches. Orange Sand. Grinding Crust. A Shard.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

John Brooks Beach Yesterday Afternoon.

Its baaaaaack.  I'm talking about the sand.

I looked at four treasure beaches yesterday afternoon and each one had a lot of new sand on it.

Turtle Trail, which I've  been talking about a lot, has so much newly accumulated sand that the blue bags that were exposed a few days ago, are now completely covered again.  The black sand had disappeared too.

South of Turtle Trail Yesterday Afternoon.

The other beaches were similar.  There was a light beige new sand on all of them, and the beaches were now convex.

It is always helpful to have some rocks, stumps, posts or anything that you can use to judge the changing level of sand.

There weren't any shells to speak of either.

North of Seagrape Trail Yesterday Afternoon.

John Brooks, Turtle Trail, Seagrape Trail and Wabasso beaches all looked very similar with tons of new light beige sand.

The beach front at John Brooks was firm.  I dug a hole to see what was underneath.  In the first foot there was nothing but more of the same sand.

Wabasso Beach Yesterday Afternoon
I don't think I posted this shard yet.  It was found about a week ago.

I tried a different way to remove crust from heavily encrusted objects.  I used a grinder, like you would use to sharpen tools.  It worked well for removing the bulk.  Of course you should be careful to not hit the object inside.  This method is pretty fast.

I intended to take pictures of the orangish sand that was uncovered at Turtle Trail in recent weeks, but it got covered up again.  The old sand was showing below the renourishment at the bottom of the cliff.  It was also seen under just a few inches of sand on the beach in front of the cliff.

That older sand could have been the source of some of the finds.  If not, it was certainly a sign that a lot of the renourishment sand at that location had been removed.

The other beaches were not eroded down to the old orange sand, and as far as I know, were not producing.

I hope you took the time to take a look at the thesis I mentioned yesterday.  It contains a wealth of great information, including a lot about armaments.

The surf on the Treasure Coast is now down to 3 - 4 feet and will continue decreasing until it is down to 1 foot by Sunday.

Happy hunting,