Thursday, March 31, 2016

3/31/16 Report - Beach Slopes and Changes. 18th Century Cannon Found Buried.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The had this article about what appears to be an 18th century cannon that was found in Wilminton.  It wasn't found in the water.  It was found buried in front of the Federal Courthouse building there.

The article says, The cannon is cast iron, weighing about 700 to 800 pounds, Southerly said. While the cannon’s date is during a time when Wilmington was still a British colony – or maybe after it was incorporated as a city in 1739 – Southerly said the find is unusual because most of what’s been found in the immediate area usually dates to the Civil War period more than 100 years later.

“It’s been probably buried, maybe used as backfill or just an old cannon that was non-functional,” Southerly said. “More than likely it could have been off an armed vessel at the time. We have a lot of shipwrecks here in the vicinity, especially the Cape Fear River, that date from colonial times right on up to modern wrecks.”

Ships and things have been found in a lot of waterfront areas where they were buried.  You probably read of the ship that was found buried at the site of the World Trade Center or some of the things buried at the bay area of San Francisco as the dock area was enlarged.

It might be worth remembering that the water line can change as a result of nature or the work of man.  When the water line changes, old things can be exposed or buried.

The size of Florida has changed a lot over its history.  We are told that Florida will be losing land as a result of melting ice and global warming.

What I talked about yesterday was changing water lines.  I mentioned that there are long term trends and then there are the short term changes.  Long term changes and the shorter term changes interact.  A new cut in an area where sand has been accumulating for a longer period of time will not be very productive.  On the other hand, a new cut in an area where sand has been eroding for a longer period of time, could well be productive.

One of the points that I think I failed to mention yesterday is that it helps to know the history of a beach and how the sand has come and gone in the past.  It is helpful to know how far back a beach has eroded in the past and be able to compare that with the present beach.  If you only have short term knowledge of a beach, you are at a disadvantage.

It is not difficult to identify a new cut, but it isn't always that easy to know when a beach has moved back towards the dunes are out into the water.

Here are some ways a beach can change shape.

Lets say the beach began as outlined by the brown line which begins at C and ends at C.

The dunes are on the left, which drop off, and then the beach slopes down to the water.

The beach could then accumulate sand, as shown by the purple line that goes from point B to point B.

In that case the beach keeps pretty much the same shape.  Since the beach looks still looks very much the same, it can be difficult to see that so much sand has accumulated.

Similarly, the beach can look similar if sand is removed, but the beach keeps a similar shape as the sand is removed about the same amount from top to bottom.

If the beach moves out or back while keeping the same shape, unless you have a good visual memory or some landmarks to go by, it can be difficult to realize those changes.

A beach can also change slope, becoming steeper, as shown by the blue line ( D - D ), or becoming less steep, as shown by the red line ( A - A).  In those cases, a small change of slope can be difficult to identify.  A greater change in the slope will be easier to identify.

All of these different kinds of changes can be important.  It should be part of the history of a beach that you should be able to recognize and record mentally or otherwise.

If the beach changes as shown by the red line, the beach can look like it is actually accumulating, and sand is accumulating on the beach front, but it is cutting away at the dunes.  Things can be washed out of the dunes when that happens.  You would therefore want to look along the base of the dunes.

If the beach changes as shown by the blue line, you would want to check along the water line,where the beach front has receded.

The illustration is far from perfect, but I think you get the idea.  Beaches can change in a variety of ways.  Some of the ways it can change might not be perfectly obvious, but it can be very helpful to recognize how a beach has changed.


Yesterday the wind was brisk and the surf was choppy.  The waves were hitting from the east and where I was, there was no erosion to speak of.

The big Spring tides are gone.  The predictions are for around a three foot surf and a south wind.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

3/30/16 Report - Restarting Beach Condition Photos. Assessing Beach Locations

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

My care-taking duties finally reduced enough for me to get out and take a look at some beaches.  The wind was brisk this morning and the river was alive with white caps, so I visited a few of the South Hutchinson Island beaches.  It has been well over a month since I got to visit these beaches.  It is getting late so I'll just post the photos.


Yesterday I showed a few items that I found without a metal detector.  They weren't valuable or rare, but for someone interested in the past and local history they might be interesting.  More importantly, there is a lot that can be learned from how that quick little hunt unfolded.  Finding treasure isn't all about having the best metal detector.  There are strategies involved.  Knowing how to spot the signs of treasure will help you find older items whether you are using a metal detector or not. And surface hunting will test and improve your skills.  

The first thing I noticed yesterday was that there was some erosion that exposed things along the water line.  I knew that the same area had been producing items on and off for several weeks, so whenever I got a chance I took a look.  I could see at a glance that there was more erosion since the last time I was there, and I could easily see if more things were being exposed or if things had been covered up since the last time I was there.  I could see from a distance that rocks and things now littered some of the more eroded areas.  I didn't bother with areas that were accumulating sand, but made a bee line towards the areas that appeared to be losing sand and exposing more objects.

Here is a simple illustration.

The thick brown line represents a bank or the dunes.  The thin brown line represents the water line. Beaches are seldom straight like this, but I wanted to simplify the illustration.

The water line will change from time to time.  Everybody knows that.  There will be areas where sand erodes and other areas where it accumulates.  In the following illustration, the blue line represents the water line after sand has moved.  The water line is no longer straight.

Here is an important point.  There are longer and shorter term changes.  In this illustration, the blue line represents a relatively large scale and long term change.

Large scale changes might last years.  Short term changes might last a week or day or maybe just a few hours.

Small scale and short term changes can happen more quickly and can change several times while the longer term changes remain more consistent.

Where I found the items I showed yesterday, the general area had been losing sand for probably at least two or three months and maybe longer.  The general productive area was about a hundred yards long. To the north and south of that nothing new had appeared for months. That area had been changing a little in bits and spurts for a few months.  Sometimes there would be short reversals when the sand would accumulate a little and sometimes there would be smaller areas that would open up for a while.

The third illustration (above) shows that the water line had sifted some.  Also some shorter term dips or cuts ( red ) opened up along that same area.  The one towards the bottom of the illustration is cut into an area where the longer term trend was of accumulating sand.  The three cuts closer to the top of the illustration are in an area where the longer term trend was erosion.

So which do you think would be the most promising?  The new dips or cuts in the area where the longer term trend has been erosion would be the best places to find newly exposed older items.  Those would be the top three cuts.  Deeper cuts that are closest to the center of the long term erosion would be the best.  That would be the second one down if it was as deep as the others.

New short term cuts in area where the long term trend has been accumulating sand would not be very promising - certainly much less promising that the new cuts where the long term trend has been erosion.

The main thing to remember is that there are long term and short term changes, and they interact.  Not all cuts are the same.  New cuts in some areas will tend to be productive, while new cuts in areas of long term accumulation will not be as productive.


I want to get this posted, so I'll quit here for today.  I was glad to be able to get the beach conditions photos started again.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

3/29/16 Report - Report On A Recent Hunt and Some Of The Surface Finds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I like to eye-ball.  Sometimes I call it surface hunting.

For me, all hunting is first visual.  I look around and try to identify the best places to spend my time. Even while I detect, I use my eyes a lot, looking for clues that might tell the best places to hunt and looking for finds that might be partially or totally exposed.

Today I'm posting pictures of finds that were made during a recent surface hunt that lasted less than an hour.  I did not have a detector with me.  I saw that there might be the possibility of making some interesting surface finds so I decided to take a look.

Piece of Embossed Hutch Bottle Found Exposed
The first find that I found interesting was this piece of a Hutchinson bottle.  It is broke and not worth anything, but it told me that there might be more old things in the area.  It provided good information.

I can see part of the embossed label, which reads "Haller."  A little research will tell me more about the bottle and therefore possibly the site.

Here are two great web sites on Hutch bottles that you might want to check out.

Embossed Hutch bottles usually sell quickly.

The next find was the cork-top bottle shown below.

Cork-Top Bottle Find.
This bottle is in good condition but has no label or markings.  It confirmed that the area no only holds some old things, but that at least some of them have been exposed and are now available.

Next came this small cobalt blue cup.


The cup is in good condition but was a bit puzzling.  A little research soon gave me the answer.

You see it on the top of the bottle in the picture.  It is a John Wyeth and Brothers Effervescent Sodium Phosphate bottle.

The bottom of the bottle is marked, "PAT MAY 16 1899."

I've seen many examples of the cup for sale for a few dollars - usually around five or six dollars.

The patent date suggests that the bottle is probably from the early 20th century, which also would be close to the time period for the Hutch bottle and the cork-top bottle.

Below is the link to the web site that provided the above picture.

Even though none of these finds are rare or valuable, they do suggest that the area is associated with early 20th century activities and items.

I didn't show all the things I picked up on this walk.  There were a lot of more recent items that I didn't bother to pick up.

Later I found what appears to me to be a brick made out of coral.  Although the brick (if that is what it is) is incomplete.

Here are the pictures of the item.  See if you think it is a brick.

I haven't learned anything about this item yet.  I'd really like to hear what you think.

And here is the last item I'll post from the outing.  What do you think it might be?

It has a key shaped opening between what appears to be two screw holes.


We have a calm surf today.  Very early the wind is from the west but turns north.

I'm watching the predictions for the first week in April.

Happy hunting,

Monday, March 28, 2016

3/28/16 Report - History and Geology of Columbian Emeralds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Huge 1759 Carat Columbian Emerald.
Source: Article found immediately below.
Yesterday I showed a cross found by John C. on the Treasure Coast.  It held small pieces of emerald. In the past I've shown other artifacts found on the Treasure Coast bearing emeralds and even some raw emeralds found on the Treasure Coast near shipwreck beaches.  Today I am presenting more information on South American emeralds, and the history and geology of Columbian emeralds.

Here goes.

...When the first Spaniards arrived in the New World in the early 16th century, emeralds were being worshiped, were used in jewelry, and played an important role as sacrificial offerings in ceremonies such as the famous El Dorado ceremony on Lake Guatavita, located just northeast of Bogota [Bray, 1978). Emeralds were being traded as far south as Peru and Chile and as far north as Mexico. According to Morello (1957], when Spanish conqueror Cortes met the Aztec emperor Montezuma in Mexico in 1519, the latter was bedecked with fine emeralds. Reportedly, Spanish conqueror Pizarro sent four chests of emeralds from Peru to the King of Spain in 1533. These were all undoubtedly of Colombian origin (Ball, 193 1). 

Chivor was the first operating emerald mine discovered by the Spaniards in their conquest of the New World. Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada saw the first sign of emeralds in Colombia at Turqmequ6, Boyaca, in 1537 (Colombian American Business, 1979). Quesada sent Captain Pedro F. de Valenzuela to find the source. That same year, he located the well-developed Chibcha Indian mine of Somondoco, later to be named Chivor after a nearby valley. Soon thereafter, the Spaniards were vigorously working the Chivor mine using local Indians as slave labor. Five years after the founding of Santi'sima Trinidad de 10s Muzos in 1559 (Wokittel, 19601, the Muzo and Caijma Indians' mine was located some 7 km to the west on the Itoco Hill. Actual mining of the Muzo area by the Spaniards began in 1567, and initial production is said to have overshadowed production at Chivor (Feininger, 1970). By the end of the 16th century, both Chivor and Muzo were being vigorously worked using Indian slave labor. In 1592, the first recorded grant of Chivor was given to Francisco Maldonado de Mendoza by Antonio Gonzalez, president of the New Kingdom of Granada. By this time, however, the treatment of the Indian slaves was so inhumane that on September 22, 1593, President Gonzalez issued a 39-article decree protecting the Indians (Johnson, 1961). This decree was soon followed in 1602 by several royal orders from Phillip 111 of Spain to enforce the law. By this time, however, the Indian population had already been decimated. As a consequence of this loss of cheap labor and the litigation that followed the royal orders, production of Colombian emeralds declined drastically. In 1650, the Muzo mines were declared royal property, and production further declined. By 1675, the Chivor mine had been abandoned; its location eventually became a mystery that endured for over 200 years. Muzo continued to be worked sporadically throughout the 17th, 18th) and 19th centuries (Barriga and Barriga, 1973) until the government declared it the National Emerald Domain in 1871 (Colombian American Business, 1979). When the mines at Muzo came under government control, production all but ceased and lawless disorder came to characterize the area...

The title of the paper is Emeralds of Columbia by Peter C. Keller.

I can't get the link to work for some reason, but if you want to read the entire article, which I would recommend, I'm sure you will be able to find it by entering Emeralds of Columbia - GIA by Peter Keller.

GIA, of course, is the Gemological Institute of America.

You will learn about the geology of Columbian emerals and also the history, which goes up to the present day.


And here is more history from an article about carved emeralds.

...It seems that Mexico or South America are the hot spots for the origins of carved emeralds. South Americans were carving emeralds no less than 1,000 years before the Spaniards stole them all away and carried them to Europe. The oldest known carved emerald, dated from 500 BCE to 200 BCE, is a small figurine attributed to the Olmec, an indigenous people group living in the tropical lowlands of Mexico between 1500 BCE and 400 BCE.
Scientists have tested the stone and found it consistent with emeralds found in Russia (an unlikely trade route) and Colombia. As the Olmecs were known to trade with several South American groups for gems, including blue jade from Guatemala, it is most likely that this emerald originates from Colombia. {Morgan, p. 78}
Nearby Colombia, in Peru, there are legends of the goddess Esmeralda, who was purported to live in a large emerald ostrich egg.  Rumor has it that Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro ransacked the beauty’s temple, taking from her priests all her “children,” which were really the innumerable emeralds her loyal followers had offered to her on festal days. Those that were not destroyed by ignorance (aka, by hammer and anvil testing) were loaded on ships. Hundreds of pounds of emeralds set sail for Spain in the 16th century {Corcoran, p. 877}.
Meanwhile on the North American continent, another conquistador, Hernan Cortes (Cortez), ransacked Mexico, taking home with him his own fair share of emeralds carved by the skilled hands of Mexican lapidaries. A handful of these precious gemstones would soon be his downfall.
The Queen of Spain desired a gift, a carved emerald in the shape of a large rose. History intimates that he knew of her desire, but instead gave the rose, as well as four other carved emeralds ((a horn, a fish with golden eyes, a bell with pearl clapper, and an elaborate cup) to his wife. Some accounts relate that they were presented in the form of a charm necklace, while others describe five distinct sculptures. Regardless, he lost the favor of the Queen upon his return to Spain, and the necklace was lost at sea eleven years later during a shipwreck off the Barbary coast...
And here is the link if you'd like to read more about carved emeralds.


I got out for a few minutes of surface hunting yesterday.  That was my first hunting in about a month.
I found a few interesting pieces and will post some photos sometime soon.

Among the items was a brick, which looked like it was cut from coral.  I'll have to research that.

While the surf hasn't been high for some time, I'm sure the recent tides and wind direction changes opened up a few holes that would produce modern items.  I wasn't out there to find them, but as my care-taking duties decrease, I do expect to get out more in the near future.

The surfing web sites are predicting a big surf out about ten days.  I'd bet that it doesn't happen, but will keep watching.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, March 27, 2016

3/27/16 Report - Happy Easter. Cross With Emerald Trace.

"Cross with Emerald Trace"
Find and photo by John C.

This is another fine Treasure Coast find by John C.

John sent me an email in which he described how he got into metal detecting on the Treasure Coast. He has also been a diver.  John sent the photo of this artifact as a reminder of the real meaning of Easter.

Thanks John!  Really great find and unique artifact. It was purchased by one of the Fishers.


Happy Easter.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

3/26/16 Report - New Treasure Salvage Season About To Begin. Detectorist Discovers Important Viking Treasure. Archaeology of Easter.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Pendant That Is Part of the Galloway Viking Treasure.

Another detectorist makes another important find.  How often have you seen that reported?  Hobbyists make many important discoveries.
Conservators have released images of the contents of a pot of Viking treasure more than 1,000 years after it was buried in a field in Galloway.
Items inside include six silver Anglo-Saxon disc brooches, a gold ingot and Byzantium silk.
The pictures give the public a chance to see the items for the first time as they are not currently on display.
It follows a painstaking project to remove and conserve the items which date from the 9th to 10th century AD.

Here is the link for the rest of the article about the items comprising the Galloway Viking treasure.


The seasons come and go.  The older you get the faster that seems to happen.

2015 ended up with some decent beach hunting.  1715 Fleet items were found, and I've shown some of those.

The hope was that 2016 would continue with more beach finds, but the beach conditions weren't as good as I'd hoped.  We had a lot of south winds and small surf.

Now we're entering the next phase.  Winter is about over and summer is on the way.  That usually means poor beach conditions with the exception of the occasional storm or hurricane, but it also means that the salvage season is about to start.

The crews are getting ready and the Capitana, if things go as planned, will start a new salvage season on April 1.  No fooling!

You know what they accomplished last year.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars of gold coins and a bunch of Royals.  That was as good as it gets.  Not only were hundreds of gold coins found, but that number of gold Royals is truly amazing.

As they get ready to start a new season, I wish the salvage crews the best of luck for 2016.  I don't know how anyone could top the 2015 finds, but it might be done.  They learned a lot last season. They have some good techniques and strategies, so anything is possible.


This article is particularly appropriate today.  It is about the archaeological evidence relating to what we now call Easter.

I am personally very skeptical about the archaeological evidence, although the historical evidence, if that is what you want, is compelling, to say the least.  For me it is more of a spiritual matter that does not depend upon either archaeology or historical evidence.  It is about personal daily spiritual experience.

Whatever your position, you might be interested, as I was, in this brief article that considers Easter and the archaeological evidence.


I might actually finally get out to the beach today.  Hope so!

Happy Easter,

Thursday, March 24, 2016

3/24/16 Report - See if you can identify the mystery items. Two Points of View On Cleaning Coins.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I have a little quiz for you today.  See if you can identify these dug items.

First, what era do you  think they are from?

Mystery Item One.

Mystery Item Two

Mystery Item Three

Mystery Item Four

Mystery Item Five

Mystery Items, Picture Six.

If you don't have any clue yet, they are all gun parts or used with a gun.

They were all recovered from a Revolutionary War era site.

Item 1.  Broken Sideplate from a British trade gun.

Item 2. Piece of a broken brass cast butt plate engraved with a boars head, trumpet, lance and arrow.  It is from a Willet trade gun.

Item 3. Another piece of the same butt plate.

Item 4.  This one is eassier.  It is a triggerguard, circa 1770 - 1813.

Item 5.  These are unused gunflint holders made from flattened lead musket balls.  These were folded over and the gun flint was wrapped in the holder to hold them securely in the gun cock.

Item 6.  These items are not so certain.  It is thought that they are a pistol butt plate and a pistol side plate.

All of these items are shown in Timothy McGuire's book, Recovered Colonial and Revolutionary War Artifacts.

I have found items similar to these such as a silver engraved side gun plate which was found on a 1715 Fleet beach and was posted in this blog back some time ago.


Concerning the question of cleaning the Standing Liberty Quarter which Russ P. found and was shown yesterday, I received basically two types of replies.

Bill Popp said,  I would try the diluted muriatic...remember... A.A.A. Always Add Acid to dilute, not vice versa. 

I've found that method very effective for cleaning reales and other coins.

Dan W. who works on one of the Treasure Coast salvage vessels and has spent a lot of time in the conservation lab, had the following to say.

Don't clean it! It may have rust on it and it is rough, but you could never simulate that kind of patina.   It is beautiful. 

After experimenting with acid and electrolysis on some of my coins, I regretted cleaning some because they no longer remind me of where, when, and how I found them. Just a thought. Dan

Those are two points of view.  Some people like clean shiny coins and others like to keep them as found.

If you do want to clean them, the muriatic method should do the job.  Go slow and keep an eye on them.  Russ only wanted to clean them enough to see the date, so he could stop as soon as that was accomplished.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

3/23/16 Report - Why You Might Not Be Finding Old Silver Coins Where You Would Expect Them.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Two Silver Quarters Recently Found by Russ P. At An Old Home Site.
See story below.

Not finding any old silver at sites where you would expect to find old coins?  There could be some reasons for that.  The following email that I received from Russ P. might give you some good ideas.

Here is what Russ had to say.

Can you stand another story about digging pennies?  This one is from a mainland site.

I have worked a small, trash infested site a dozen times in the past few weeks without finding a single silver coin using conventional hunting methods.  I decided to give another try with the detector after a decent rain.

After a fruitless hunt, not a single coin, I was headed back to the car when I got a poor, inconsistent chirp that was occasionally high-pitched.  It registered, at times, as a zinc penny.  I dig all questionable signals at this site so got after it.  I took about three inches of soil and, to my surprise, amongst the trash was a wheat penny.  I swung the detector over the hole and got another poor signal, but more of a copper penny signal and reading.  I had a large shovel with me and took a generous scoop.  I ran the detector over the dirt and an got an incredible sweet signal.  It was a Standing Liberty quarter!  I put my pinpointer in the hole.  Of course, there were still several different metal targets, but one of those targets was another Standing Liberty.  

I never got a good signal on any of the coins until they were out of the hole.  In my judgment, the penny was not part of the spill as it was much shallower, but certainly helped mask and confuse the detector (and its user).

Now a question for you and the readers.  Everyone can probably see the rust on the coins from the close proximity of iron.  Does anyone have specific experience with the best means of cleaning rust off a silver coin?  I know one very valid option is to do nothing, but, should I choose to at least attempt for a visible date (one is a 1917 from the reverse), I'd like to rely on some expertise.  I thought electrolysis or muriatic acid were best options, but not sure.  

Russ P.

First notice that Russ detected the site several times without finding a single silver coin. 

Also, he tried again after a rain.  Rain can make deep targets more detectable.

He finally got a poor, inconsistent chirp that was occasionally high pitched.  On the ID detectors that I've used, target ID is less reliable on deep targets and targets that are close to or masked by other targets.  Also if the target is on end or not laying flat in the ground or bent, the target ID will not be as accurate.  That is something to remember, especially if you are interested in deeper targets.  Older targets are often deeper.

Russ dug the target, and the first thing he found was a wheat penny among the trash.  

How many times have your heard that you should check the hole after removing the first target.  I talked about an expanding hole a few days ago.

If you have never tried it, take a variety of coins out in the yard and lay them flat on the ground and see what your detector tells you.  Then take the coins and stand them on edge and see how the detector reads.  And then move your coil up and away from the coin to near its range, and see how the detector responds.  Then put a nail or other junk targets beside the coins and see how the detector responds.  That kind of testing will really help you get to know your detector and what it is trying to tell you.

Thanks or sharing Russ.

After checked again, Russ got a target ID suggesting something like a copper penny, but after removing the dirt from the hole, got a very "sweet" signal.  He removed a Standing Liberty Quarter and then another Standing Liberty Quarter.

You can skip over trash if you want, but it can mask a lot of good targets.  As I've said before, if you remove a lot of surface junk, you'll then often be able to find some better targets that you did not hear before.

Russ says he never got a good signal on those targets until they were out of the hole.

If you throw a target on the ground or if the target is shallow, you'll likely get a good reading, but as I said above, if the target is deeper, you might not get a good target reading.

Now to the question.  Have you ever removed surface rust from a silver coin?  I'd like to get help for Russ and all of my readers on how to that.  I'd like to hear from any of you who have tried methods either successfully or unsuccessfully.

Please send your ideas on that to me at


The surf has calmed down some now.  We'll have a couple of days of south winds.  That will not help most beaches.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

3/22/16 Report- Kangxi Seal and Treasure Coast Shard. Shirley Temple's Blue Diamond.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Shirley Temple Blue Diamond Auctioned
Source: CNN

(CNN)Got a spare $35 million? This blue diamond ring owned by a bouncy, curly-haired child star could be yours.
Sotheby's is auctioning the 9.54-carat ring it says belonged to Shirley Temple, the movie star-turned-diplomat who appeared in films such as "Bright Eyes" and "Curly Top."
The cushion-cut stone was a gift from her father in 1940, Sotheby's said in a statement. At the time, she was 12 and her movie, "The Blue Bird," had just premiered...
For the rest of the article 

Kangxi pot shards are sometimes found on the Treasure Coast beaches. I've shown some examples in this blog in the past.  I've also shown the mark that identifies such porcelain.  That was not too long ago.

You can see a piece found on a Treasure Coast beach by going to the following linked post.

Here is a picture of that piece.
Sample Kang'Hsi Shard That Was Found on the Treasure Coast.

The spelling varies.  Sometimes you will see it as Kang'hsi
Kangxi (4 May 1654 – 20 December 1722) was the fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty the first to be born on Chinese soil south of the Shanhai Pass near Beijing, and the second Qing emperor to rule over China from 1661 to 1722 (Wikipedia)
Sotheby's will be auctioning the Kangxi seal shown below.
Bearing the inscription “Revere Heaven and Serve thy People”, the Seal of the Mandate of Heaven is the largest and most powerful ever carved for the Kangxi Emperor, the greatest and longest reigning monarch of China. The Mandate of Heaven is the philosophical tenet that Heaven granted emperors the right to rule based on their ability to govern and their righteousness and was used throughout the history of China to validate and legitimize the rule of the emperors. During Kangxi’s reign, the seal was at all times kept in the Palace of Ultimate Purity, where emperors entertained and a major venue for their policymaking...

Here is the link to the Sothebys video about the seal.

On the Treasure Coast we had a north wind this morning that shifted to east later, but only a two to four foot surf.  I hope to get out to take a look some day soon.

Happy hunting,

Monday, March 21, 2016

3/21/16 Report - Central Florida Sunshine Shootout Coming Soon. Reliquary and bronze buckle.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Join the Central Florida Metal Detecting Club for their Annual Central Florida Sunshine Shootout. Every year people come from all over the country to detect, learn, have fun, and, of course, win prizes (they are giving away over $12,000 worth this year)!

Gold, relics, cash, prizes, great food and over 15 pounds of silver and other treasure will be distributed during the day so don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity! Minelab has also sweetened the pot by providing 5 new metal detectors which includes their top-of-the line Minelab CTX-3030 and their premier underwater detector, the Minelab Excalibur II.
Time is running out so complete your registration online and take advantage of the reduced early entry fee today!
When:Saturday, April 9th @ 8:30 AM
Where:Moss Park
12901 Moss Park Road
Orlando, FL 32832
Price:$99- Only until April 2nd then goes up to $135.
The registration fee includes entry to the park for the day, all hunts, and lunch!

You can register online by clicking here.


A medieval reliquary and a piece of a bronze cross have been found at the ruins of a monastery from the 11th-12th century located near the town of Dobromirtsi in Bulgaria's southernmost municipality Kirkovo. 
The medieval artifacts have been found during the preliminary exploration of the monastery site by archaeologist ProfNikolay Ovcharov from the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia, reports the 24 Chasa daily.
The reliquary probably contained relics of a Christian saint during the Middle Ages but has been found empty.
Here is the link for the rest of that article.


Bronze Buckle
At just 6 cm in diameter, this little buckle is causing quite a stir in archaeological circles.
The small gilt bronze buckle once held a petticoat together and was buried between 900 and 1,000 years ago with its female owner in a Viking grave in west Denmark.
It is a rare find for Denmark, as the buckle appears to have come from Scotland or Ireland...
Here is the link for the rest of that story.


A cool front came through and the wind picked up.  I heard the waves are up but haven't been out to see how much.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, March 20, 2016

3/20/16 Report - Tiny Viking Pendant Found By Detectorist May Rewrite History. Emails From Readers.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Small Viking Pendant Found By Detectorist.
NEWSER) – Denmark's Dennis Fabricius Holm got off work early on March 11 and decided to go for a stroll with his metal detector near the town of Aunslev. "Suddenly I hit upon something," he tells national broadcaster DR, per the Local. "Ever since I turned over the clump of earth and saw the cross, I've been unable to think of anything else." Holm had indeed made "an absolutely sensational discovery," says archaeologist Malene Beck of the Ostfyns Museum. The 1.5-inch-tall pendant, complete with gold threads and filigree pellets, features the image of an open-armed man and is almost identical to a silver crucifix found in Sweden, visible here. A release speculates it was worn by a Viking woman. The Independentcalls it "one of the most well preserved Christian artifacts found in Denmark," but its date, AD900 to AD950, is what most intrigues experts.

This tiny Viking pendant found by a deteector hobbyist could rewrite history

Here is the link for the article that will tell you how..


Robert H. wanted to clarify about the ring that came up like a penny on the CTX.  He added the following.

The sound came up like a penny on the CTX with that gold ring yesterday but a different number meaning the CTX is pretty accurate when it comes to determining targets. I knew it was going to be something different other than a penny because of the odd number on the ID. If it were the same number as the penny comes up I would have passed it knowing I didn't skip more than a penny. 


In response to my post on why I dig pennies, Bill P. wrote to say, Copper pennies have close to 2 cents worth of copper in them too, 1982 and older I believe...95% copper. 

That is another good reason.  I always heard that if you watch the pennies the dollars will take care of themselves.  I believe that is true, but it is also a broader statement about taking care of details.  I certainly do understand that if you are hunting modern stuff on a beach where there is a lot of competition, you might need the advantage of  trying to cherry pick the higher value targets.  .  

There are additional reasons I didn't mention.  One is that I can't see detecting the same targets time after time when I visit the same locations.  That won't happen if you are in an area where a lot of people detect, but I don't do that much either.  I tend to find my own holes.   That was my specialty when I was hunting modern stuff.  Believe it or not there are still very productive holes that are in places that are almost never detected.  

Also if I detect an area frequently, I prefer to clean it up.  There is a bit of a environmentalist element to it.  I don't like to leave beaches or other areas littered, and I like the idea of recycling copper,  aluminum or whatever can be recycled.


P. Bishop wrote and said, After reading your article on 3-15-16, I decided to check some of the targets that nulled ( I was hunting in discriminate mode ) out on my detector. This is what I found when I checked one of the targets, after minimal cleaning, a fully functional lock blade knife. Thanks.

Knife Found By P. Bishop
Photo by P. Bishop.
There are many types of items that will never be correctly identified by a detector unless you dig it up.  This is just  one example.  The artifacts I showed yesterday are other examples.


IT looks like we'll have something around a two-foot surf on the Treasure Coast for several days.  

I hope to get out on the beach again someday soon.  Haven't been able to get out for a while.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, March 19, 2016

3/19/16 Report - Two Great Treasure Finds and Why I Dig Pennies.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Silver Dragon Handle of Some Sort
Find and photo by John C.
John C. found this great silver dragon handle on the Treasure Coast not too long ago.  That is one very nice find.  He also found this really nice silver buckle shown below.

Ornate Silver Buckle
Find and photo by John C.
Thanks for sharing these great finds John!


 A penny is a penny is a penny.  That might be true for some but not for me.

A penny might be zinc or copper.  It might be new or old.  It might be recently lost, or lost a long time ago.

There are error pennies and rare pennies that can be worth more than a gold ring.

Pennies can provide good information that will lead you to a real hot spot.  I look for the spots that produce concentrations of high value targets and don't spend much time where there are a lot of recently lost new pennies.

Some are obviously lost very recently.  Others show corrosion and the wear of time.  That can provide important information that will point you towards better things.

Pennies can define the boundaries of what I call coin holes.  If you know that and take whatever other information a penny might give you, it can definitely point you to the real hot spots.

Zinc pennies travel faster than copper pennies.  Zinc pennies will therefore tend to be farther away from the source than copper pennies.  That will point you in the direction of the source of the coins.

Zinc pennies will tend to be more on the outer boundaries of coin holes.  Coin holes produce more than coins.  Gold found in coin holes will generally be towards the middle of a coin hole, while pennies will be on the outer edges.  Again, pennies can help point you in the right direction.  Quarters will be closer to the center of a coin hole, and closer to where more gold will be found.

Zinc pennies that are badly corroded or other coins that show evidence of having been in the water tells you something about how the sand and other objects are moving, and that helps point you to the areas where more good targets will be found.

Since I spend the majority of my time in areas that have few new pennies relative to other types of higher value targets, I don't encounter great numbers of pennies, and when I do, unless there are indicators to the contrary, such as when newer material begins to wash over a deeper hole containing older accumulations, I usually quickly move to another area, so I encounter few pennies anyhow.

If I'm finding older pennies rather than new pennies, that can be a sign that things are opening up and other older things, and possibly concentrations of higher value targets can be found nearby.

I usually pick up pennies, but there are times when I do not.  I do not pick up pennies, for example, when I want to use them as markers or indicators of how the sand and other objects are moving.  I leave them in place to see if they are in the same location later or if they moved in one direction or another or if they were covered or more were exposed.

While pennies are not usually found mixed with old shipwreck coins, they can be an early sign of improving conditions and places to watch for the future appearance of older items.  As I mentioned above, they can be an indicator of improving or deteriorating conditions in a particular area.  Older and longer lost pennies are generally a better sign than new pennies.

I've often been impressed how many more targets are found after the more obvious surface targets are removed.  Pennies can mask other targets.  Sometimes other deeper targets are only found after pennies and other less valuable targets are removed.  In a concentration such as the one I illustrated a couple of days ago, pennies can be in the top layers of heavy target concentrations.  When they are removed, additional signals and better targets can be found as the hole expands and gets deeper.

I do not focus so much on recent drops, preferring to hunt concentrations, and do not spend much time in areas where pennies or other junk targets predominate.  While pennies and junk targets can provide important information, such as where not to spend much time, pennies and other junk are not much of a bother to me simply because I usually don't hunt much where they are plentiful relative to better targets.

Those are a some of the reasons why I dig pennies.  Basically the same thing goes for junk targets.


I've been spending a lot of time in a hospital and rehabilitation facility with an ailing parent.  I'm reminded that loved ones don't last forever.  Make the best of the time you have and appreciate good health whenever you have it.


Expect a two or thee foot surf for a couple of days.

Happy hunting,