Tuesday, May 31, 2016

5/31/16 Report - Two questions or apparent disparities related to wreck finds as compared to beach finds.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Not long ago I discussed the observation that no silver rings had been found on 1715 Fleet shipwrecks by the salvage crews.  That observation was made by someone who would know.

My research, using such resources as the Mel Fisher artifact database, as well as books by archaeologists and other resources supports the idea that there have been very few, if any, silver rings found on the 1715 Fleet shipwrecks.  I did find one silver ring attributed to a 1715 Fleet shipwreck in Deagan's book on Spanish Colonial artifacts, but I don't know any details about where the ring came from or how it was determined to be from a 1715 shipwreck.  The book doesn't tell any of that.

Most silver rings authoritatively attributed to the 1715 Fleet wrecks were either gold or copper alloy. That seems certain from everything I've been able to find.

Despite all of that, a variety of old silver rings have been found on the 1715 Fleet beaches.  They are generally small and cheap and look very much like what would be called "trade goods." In some cases they were found with other items that appear to be from the 1715 Fleet wrecks, yet there is no definite proof that came from 1715 Fleet wrecks.  The question remains, why are the old silver beach rings so common when there so few, if any, from found on the wrecks.

I can think of several possible answers that might explain the apparent disparity.   I won't give all of those possible explanations now, but one thing that should be remembered is that the wreck beaches were busy places after the wrecks occurred.  There were salvage efforts conducted immediately after the wrecks, also salvage efforts that occurred later.  There were pirates and other opportunists, not to mention the activities that took place on the beaches even after the wrecks had disappeared.  Just because an item appears on a wreck beach, does not mean it necessarily came from the wreck, especially if it is not an item that can be precisely dated, and those that were found on the beaches can not be precisely dated.

I didn't intend to take so much time on this topic, but I wanted to point out what appears to me to be a bit of a mystery that has yet to be solved.

Another mystery, and one that I've discussed at considerable length in the past, is why the Florida collection shows such a lack of small denomination cobs when some of the wreck beaches produce mostly small denomination cobs.  Again, there are several possible answers.

Alan Craig's book on the silver coins in the Florida collection, says that small denomination cobs were kept in the colonies to be used for daily commerce rather than being shipped as bulk specie back to Spain.

There are some 1715 wreck beaches that produce predominately small denomination reales.  A lot of small denomination reales come from John Brooks beach, including a lot of half reales and some one and two reales.

The large number of small denomination reales found on the beach north of Sebastian Inlet is well known.  There is no known wreck off shore there, but that area is not very far from the salvage camp near the McClarty Museum.

If we put these two things together, we have cheap silver jewelry being found on the beaches but not on the wrecks, and we have more small denomination cobs being found on the beaches and more higher denomination cobs being found on the wrecks.  Could the two things be related.  I can think of at least one explanation that might account for both of those disparities.  I won't give that hypothesis right now. I'll wait until I have it better thought out and can do a better job of presenting it.  I'll also give others a chance to let me know what they think.  What is your explanation?

As far as the greater number of small denomination cobs appearing on the beaches, one hypothesis that I've presented in the past has to do with the fact that smaller denomination cobs might more easily washed up onto the beach.  We also know how easily small things get lost on a beach, compared to larger items.  That would be true of cobs as well.  And maybe the larger denomination cobs were found by beach seekers back in the sixties and seventies.  That might have something to do with it as well. I'm just throwing out a couple ideas to get you thinking at this point.  I haven't yet mentioned one idea that has become more interesting to me in recent days and might explain both disparities.


Looks like we're in for a couple of weeks of calm surf.  Summer beach conditions have started.  We got nothing from Bonnie.

Happy hunting,

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016. Remembering Those That Served and Died. Random Musings.

On A Peaceful Country Hillside Far Away - 2016

If I only knew then what I know now - that is something I occasionally think about.  I don't know that I'd change my life a lot.  I don't think I could make it much better.  I'm pretty content and have been pretty content most of my life.

There were times when I worked hard at metal detecting.  There were a few times that I started at sunrise and quit around sunset.  Those times were very few.  I seldom hunted more than about four hours at a time.  Most of the time I was very casual about my hunting.  I didn't really go at it hard unless I set some sort of goal for myself.  One day I was determined to not quit until I found a piece of gold.  It took me all day.  I finally found a small ring as the sun was starting to go down.

I hunted hard for a few months when I wanted to see if I could make a living by detecting.  I found that I could but didn't want to.  That seemed to take some of the fun out of it.  That was when I was down south and hunting modern jewelry.

One thing I would have done differently if I changed anything, I would have hunted longer when the conditions were really good.  I was very casual sometimes - too casual when there were targets everywhere.  I've told a little about that before.  That is when I should have really put in the time. Conditions can quickly change and then it all disappears.  As they say, "Make hay while the sun shines."

One other thing I'd do differently if I had the chance to go back and change things, is I'd appreciate family and friends more.  Now I know they don't last forever.  Grandpa and gramdma are gone.  Dad is gone. Mom is still here, but having a hard time.  That is something you might not think about until it is too late.

I might have played sports with more knowledge and skill and put more effort into it.  I could have done a lot better.  I could have studied a little in school and worked harder at my career.  That all would have been easy enough.  I didn't take any of it too seriously and still am not out to prove anything to anybody.  I never cared much about anything like that.  Sometimes I like to test myself to see what I can do, and I'm curious and like to learn, but I never cared much about being a "success" or making a reputation.  I still don't.  Things worked out well for me despite my lack of focused goals and effort.

As I sit here writing, the one thing I'm sure of and the one thing I'd like to say is, appreciate your family and friends today like you are never going to see them again.

Remembering those that served,

Sunday, May 29, 2016

5/29/16 Report - MIA/POW Memorial Bracelet Found. Remains of Raft Washed Up On Beach. Bonnie Now Tropical Storm.

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

James Rozo Bracelet Find
Below is the email from Paul B. concerning the bracelet.

I found this memorial bracelet on April 30th on one of the Vero beaches. It was about 8 inches down next to the surf. These bracelets have names of POWs and MIAs. Haven’t been able to locate a web site for finding owners of these bracelets, and I don’t use social media. It’s a bracelet with the name James Rozo. It is of particular interest to me since his home town was Buffalo NY, and my son now resides there, and this soldier went missing and presumed captured after leaving his base camp, Lai Khe, Vietnam in June of 1970. This was my base camp 1967/68 with the 1st Infantry Division ( though I was seldom there).

I will keep the bracelet if I cannot find the owner. James Rozo and all the others that gave all will be in my thoughts this memorial day.

Paul B

Wearing a bracelet bearing the name of a POW or MIA began in the 1970s.  The person named was not someone that was necessarily personally known but the bracelet represented the hope that POWs and MIAs would someday return home.  The bracelet was worn as a symbol of hope and honor.

To make it a little more personal, here is a bit of the bio of Sgt. Rozo.

SYNOPSIS: At about 1100 hours on June 23, 1970, SFC Joe P. Pederson, supply sergeant; SP4 James M. Rozo, armorer; and Pvt. Robert P. Phillips, unit supply specialists, all from the 595th Signal Company, left their base at the Lai Khe Signal site for the Phuoc Vinh Signal site in a GMC 2 1/2 ton vehicle on a supply mission. These men were updating clothing records, retrieving excess equipment, adjusting receipts and inventorying weapons of two outlying subunits of the 595th Signal Company. Before leaving the Lai Khe site, Sgt. Pederson was told by three separate individuals to go down to the "new Phuoc Vinh road", because the "cutoff to Ben Cat" was closed to traffic. The cutoff had been reported to be mined, and had a high probability of ambush. At 1530 hours on the same day, the truck used by SFC Pederson and the two enlisted men was discovered by ARVN and U.S. Mobile Assistance Team 33 elements in a ditch along provincial highway 7B in Binh Duong Province, South Vietnam. The truck's engine was still running. Initial reports indicated that the vehicle had no major damage other than a blown tire, and both front windshields shattered. Assorted signal equipment and supply records were found, but there was no sign of any of the personnel in the area. A search party found one dead Viet Cong and the three Americans' rifles jammed, and they surmised that the men had been ambushed and surrendered to the enemy. In September 1970, a Viet Cong was captured who said he was part of the ambush and he claimed that one of the men (Pederson) had been killed and buried near the location of the incident, but that the other two had been captured. The following day, the company commander of the 595th inspected the vehicle and found 12 small calibre bullet holes, the left front tire shattered, a small hole in the canvas top, and small metal objects in the cab. However, there were no indications of blood. Initially, the three men were listed Missing In Action while the government took 15 months to determine the validity of the Viet Cong's story. Then, in November 1971, a captured Viet Cong told interrogators he had seen two POWs being evacuated from South Vietnam into Cambodia. His description of the men fit Phillips and Rozo, whom he described as tired but healthy. Their status was quickly changed to POW. Pederson was maintained as Missing. In 1973, 591 American prisoners were returned home. Rozo, Phillips and Pederson were not among them. The Vietnamese deny any knowledge of the three. Follow up reports on these three men remain classified in 1989, although they have been officially declared "presumed dead". In October, 1985, Rozo's parents were informed that their son escaped prison in 1973 and was not recaptured. His whereabouts are unknown. Rozo's parents are understandably disturbed that it took the U.S. Government 12 years to tell them this, and wonder what additional information remains hidden from them under the blanket of "classified". They wonder if their son is one of the many said to be still alive in captivity in Southeast Asia.

Here is the link.


We remember those that served and those that lost their lives.


Warren D. sent these picture of a raft that washed up on a Treasure Coast beach.  It was constructed using a lot of Styrofoam and  an old car or truck engine.

Remains of Raft Found on Beach.

Styrofoam From Found Raft.
Thanks to Warren and Paul for their submissions!


Bonnie became a tropical storm and is going ashore at South Carolina.

Predicted Path of Bonnie
Source: nhc.noaa.gov
Bonnie isn't affecting us.  The Treasure Coast surf is predicted to be about two feet for a week or two.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, May 28, 2016

5/28/16 Report - Tropical Storm Bonnie Forming. Has It All Been Found? Fisher Airlift Video. 14.000 Year Old Discovery.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Diver Using Airlift.
Source: Fisher YouTube Video.  See link below.

You might not think this story has anything to do with you, but read on a little and you'll find that it does.

A series of prehistoric cave paintings has been uncovered in the Basque Country, northern Spain, in a discovery experts have called a "once in a generation" find.

The paintings, which include those of bison, horses and goats, were discovered by archeologist Diego Garate at a depth of 300m in the Atxurra caves, around 50km from Bilbao.

The paintings are between 12,000 and 14,000 years old and depict traditional hunting scenes, including a bison pierced "with over 20 spears" - which marks the cave painting of a bison with the most spear marks in all of Europe...

Here is the link for the rest of that article.


The reason I mention this article is that the paintings were there for 12,000 to 14,000 years and were just discovered.  They were there thousands of years before being discovered.

There are some people that think that there is not very much left to find.  They believe that it has all been found.  This article shows that you just don't know what might be under your feet or around the next bend.  There is always more, you just don't know what is still there.

The amazing gold coin finds north of Vero last year is a good example.  All of those gold coins were in shallow water just yards off of the beach and buried under just a few feet of sand.  Detectorists walked within yards of those gold coins hundreds of times never knowing the gold coins were there or how close they were.

That is the thing about detecting.  You never know what is there until you detect it.  When the detector beeps and you dig up what was causing the signal and see it for the first time, it can be a surprising discovery.  Of course, that also means it can be a bit of a disappointment too.  It is a little like unwrapping a gift on Christmas morning.   When you actually see whatever it was, it is a discovery, and sometimes it is a surprising and wonderful discovery.

In Alan Craig's book on the silver coins in the Florida Collection, James Miller, the State Archaeologist at the time, wrote, "The law of diminishing returns has had its way with the increasingly expensive search for the finite remains of the treasure fleets.  Each year more people try a little harder to recover that which is more difficult to find."

He goes on to say, "Between 1975 and 1982, ten separate salvage contracts resulted in a little more than five hundred coins being added to the collection."   That is just over 70 coins per year.  There were ten separate salvage contracts at the time, and Dr. Miller tells us that only four of those "added more than five coins to the collection."

Craig's book was copyrighted in 2000.  If the finite supply of treasure was diminishing to a trickle before the turn of the millennium, surely after another decade and a half, the flow of treasure on the Treasure Coast would now be down to almost nothing.  But that is not what we saw.  Despite Dr. Millers outlook, the 2015 salvage season produced amazing discoveries, both in terms of quantity and quality.

It is easy enough to accept the law of diminishing returns.  It is easy enough to accept the idea that it is getting harder and harder, and maybe it isn't even worth going out there any more.  If you've accepted all of that, you probably won't be the one to make the next big find.  What is in you is as important as what is out there.

It might not seem easy.  It might not come quickly.  I don't know that it should.  If it did, there wouldn't be so much joy in the success.


Here is a recent video of a diver from the Dare using an airlift to uncover deeply buried barrel hoops from the site of the Atocha.



Early Saturday the Treasure Coast will have northeast winds and up to a four or five foot surf as topical depression Two heads towards South Carolina. Tropical depression two is expected to become Tropical Storm Bonnie on Saturday night. Bonnie will bring bad beach weather to the coastal Carolinas and Georgia for the Memorial Day weekend, including rip currents, potentially heavy rain, and battering waves.

Happy hunting,

Friday, May 27, 2016

5/2716 Report - Tropical Weather. Sunken Peat Bogs and Mastodon Bones On The Beach At Fort Pierce In 1958. 82,000 Artifacts From Revolutionary War Site. WWII Sub Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Source: nhc.noaa.gov.
There is now some some weather east of us that has a 60% chance of developing into a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

If it goes as expected, it won't affect us much though.  We have a peak surf of only four feet predicted for Saturday.  Then the surf will decrease again.


Below is an interesting article from the Nov. 19, 1958 Fort Pierce Tribune.  It is difficult to read because the OCR software they used made quite a few mistakes.  Still, you might enjoy reading it.  I doctored it just a bit to make it a little easier to read but did not try to correct everything.


November 19, 1958  Fort Pierce Tribune

Dent Bones' Walked Around - On Our Soil 

The set of teeth found recently on North Beach by 8-year-old Brian Goff still lay unclaimed on the editor's desk today. But the discovery of dentures was not without repercussions, in that it brought a number comments.  Paw "You say it's news to find human false teeth mislaid on the beach," wrote one citizen, -referring to the Nov. 10 article in The News-Tribune. "Isn't it also news to find, as you claim, teeth from monsters that lived millions of years ago?" The story referred to mastodon teeth "4,000 years old" as having been found on the beach. "How come' mastodons on earth at the time of the Pharaohs?" asked one knowledgeable critic. "This is the first I hear of it-" And a third reader protested: "I haven't missed an edition of your paper for four years and I don't recall having read of any discovery of fossils on our beaches . . . Where do you find such things?" You Don't Ask Where» Well, we'll try to set the' record straight. The prehistoric relics in question were declared by University of Florida authorities to be from the Pleistocene Age, that is, 12 to 15 thousand years old. It is not particularly news that they turned up in Florida, which is a rich repository of fossils, but it certainly is of interest that they were, picked up on one of our bathing beaches, being spotted by a shell - hunter without any pretensions of pale-ontolngical (Cold bones) knowledge - This would be Mrs, Paul Mac-Mahon of 810 Sonlb. Sfh Street who has been beachcomhing (she has found, among other tilings, ing what the shells resemDl-rje implies) for five years. If you ask Mrs. MacMahon just where she found the prehistoric remains, her normally glittering eyes become glazed with the true scientist's reticence; might as well ask a fisherman for the location o£ his favorite fishin' hole. But the details of the find, and the specimens themselves, were brought to Gainesville by Miss Joan MacMahon, a former editor of McCarthy High's "GreCD and White." who is a UF student. Dr. Waller Auffenberg, university paleontologist, put them through the mill and recently he came up with his verdict. Look Like Something Elsa Joan's mother had found: 1. A lu-inch. length of mastodon tusk weighing 6 pounds (she had thought at first it was a piece of petrified tree); a long-extinct Chione shell embedded in the ivory helped fix the tusk's age 2. A six inch section of the molars of the mastodon (mam-mut americanus) which might be mistaken by the uninitiated for smoothed and blackened barnacles — their dark coloration coming from the peat in which they were embedded. 3. tipper and lower teeth from a prehistoric American horse. These could easily, be mistaken for debris of striped seashells. As to where they were found — in the shingle of shell and coral debris — this has singular interest in that it leads to another discovery: There are prehistoric peat-bogs Just off our shores. Those shiny dark patches that can be seen from the beach ddw and then when the tide is very low arc not chunks of asphalt from the old A1A or oil from passing ships; they are prehistoric bogs from which the ocean has temporarily swept their covering of sand. Cami Ov«r From Asia Swimmers wading waist-deep have actually slipped on them, and lost their footing, after a stiff nor'easter. Now and then a violent storm will rip into them and toss up onto the beach the remains of monsters that have been sleeping there since Florida was covered with ice. The curly - tusked mastodons did not plod about in swamps, like the dinosaurs and giant lizards, but rampaged over grassy waters, having trekked originally from Asia over what is now the Bering Strait. With them came the shaggy imperial mammoth, also a precursor of the elephant; the saber-toothed tiger, camels, bisons and the first American horse, which was about the size of a large dog, But none of the cowponies that change hands at the weekly Okeechobee auction are descendants of this dwarf quadruped; he was extinct thousands nf years before Cortez brought the first modern horses to America from Spain. Man Found At Vero Beach As to the finding of fossils in Florida, Dr. Auffenberg explained that the state is particularly rich in them because even in prehistoric times it was a peninsula, forming a trap, so to speak, for animals migrating from all parts of the continent. Remains are frequently brought to light by draglines, and almost anywhere in the state. Nor are they all pieces of animals-, bones of a prehistoric man, regarded by scientists as a major discovery, turned up some years ago near Vero Beach. t rrffirS-Trlttine f.riff S'hnlfi hy i-*-n MrNMIly) MASTODON'S MASTICATORS WKIA, HiKSKRVHO . . . . Afttr 12,000 Ytan In Peat-Boo Off Fori Pigrct B«ich 

Here is the link.


I thought that was interesting - traveling back to 1958.


That isn't what I set out to talk about today, but I wanted to lay the background for another discussion.  It looks like I'll get into my main point tomorrow.


Nice artifact image from the Philly Voice - see link below.

Archeologists uncovered some 82,000 artifact pieces spanning three centuries near Third and Chestnut streets when the visitors center was demolished to construct the new Museum of the American Revolution. Together, they tell the story of a developing city – a rarity when excavating urban sites...

Here is a link for more about that.



An Italian diver has found the wreck of the British submarine HMS P311, which vanished with 71 crew members off the coast of Sardinia during World War II...



I started out to write about the Florida Collection and some other observations on shipwreck treasures. As it turns out I didn't get that finished.  I'll pick up with that some other day.

It has been a while since I paid any attention to the National Hurricane Center weather maps, but it is getting to be that time of year.

As I said, I don't expect anything much in the next few days.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, May 26, 2016

5/26/15 Report - If You Like Old Treasures Here Are Some Really Old Treasures From the Treasure Coast Beaches.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

 Necklace Made From Fossil Treasure Coast Sea Shell

A lot of different kinds of treasure can be found on a beach.  Of course there are the shipwreck treasures, coins and modern jewelry.  Those are all made of metal, but there are other kinds of treasure as well.  You might also see sea glass that has been tumbled smooth by the ocean, lithic artifacts such as arrow heads or rare sea shells.

I often say there is always something to find.  When looking for one thing you might find another.

Different things will show up when the conditions change.  When conditions are not good for hunting old coins, the conditions might be just right for hunting old sea shells.

Sea shells can be a few days old, but they can also be millions of years old.  Very old fossil sea shells are occasionally washed up on the beach after becoming dislodged by rough weather. Or they can be dredged up during renourishment projects.

You might even be able to find a sea shell that contains calcite crystals, something like those that grow at world famous Rucks Pit.

Rare sea shells can be valuable.  Small sea shells that have nice druzy crystals are highly desirable and used to make unique one-of-a-kind jewelry.  Nice druzy shells will easily sell to people who make that type of jewelry.

It is not easy to find old druzy shells on the beach, but it does happen.  Rolling in the surf, sea shells are worn down, and that will often remove the crystals.

At the top of this post is a picture of one very old sea shell that has some nice calcite crystals.  

Top of Same Shell That Was Made Into A Necklace
Probably thousands or millions of years old, you can see the nice yellow druzy crystals inside the beginning of the first turn (left).

Shells like that won't be easy to find at the beach.  

Treasure Coast Beach-Found Fossil Turtle Scute Turned Into Necklace.
If you like old things, why settle for tens or hundreds of years old?  There are fine rare items to be found on the beach that can be millions of years old.

The two unique necklaces shown above were sold on Etsy by the Angel Heart Creations shop.


On June 29, 2016, a 400 carat diamond will be auctioned by Sotheby's.  Estimates suggest the tennis ball sized diamond might sell for as much as $70 million.

Here is the link.


Visit Florida, the state's official tourism marketing corporation, did a YouTube video using treasure hunting/metal detecting to promote tourism.  I hear from a lot of people that visit Florida to metal detect the beaches.

Here is the link.

Thanks to Steve for pointing to the Visit Florida videos.


I have a lot more to discuss about the shipwreck treasures of the Treasure Coast, but won't get into that today.


The surf is still small on the Treasure Coast.  It will increase up to three or four feet Thursday and Friday.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

5/25/16 Report - Twisted Wire Rings. Surprising Spanish Colonial Rings.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Strange Little Ring.Find.

Here is an ugly little ring. Not valuable.  Maybe not even very interesting.

I didn't test this to find out if it might be silver.  Could be, but who cares?

This is a twisted wire ring with a three beads.  Doesn't look old, or does it?  Doesn't look like it could possibly come from an old shipwreck.

You might be surprised to learn that twisted wire rings have been found by archaeologists at Florida Spanish colonial sites.  The two shown below are documented in Kathleen Deagan's book on Spanish colonial artifacts.

Two Twisted Wire Rings Shown in Deagan's Book On Spanish Colonial Artifacts.

Those two aren't very pretty either - at least not to me.  Yet they are Spanish colonial artifacts.  

I'm not saying the one at the top of the post is old.  I don't know how old it is.  It doesn't show much wear or corrosion.  I don't have any idea if it is old or not - probably not.

The point is that we are accustomed to seeing fancy gold and silver treasures, but not everything in the colonial days was made of gold or silver.  In fact most things were not.  

Unlike the royal treasures being sent back to Spain, were a lot of inexpensive items. There were a lot of trade goods.  There were a lot of items for use in routine daily life.  Trade goods were often poorly made.  

I don't know which category the wire rings fit into.  I suspect that they were simply made by someone of the lower classes for personal use.  They were found at an 18th century archaeology site in St. Augustine.

Below are some more rings from Deagans book.

Four Rings Found at Spanish Colonial Archaeological Sties.
The four rings immediately above are from San Luis de Talimale, a late 17th century site.

The one at the top left is made of glass.  The one at top right is made of jet.  The two below are copper alloy.

There were tons of beads, glass, jet and other less expensive items shipped to the New World.

Not every old item that comes from a shipwreck beach will look like treasure. It might or might not be pretty.  It might or might not be valuable.  And it certainly might not be easy to date or identify.

I once found a gold enameled ring on a shipwreck beach and didn't think it was old simply because I didn't know they did enameling that long ago.  They do.  That is just one example.

Don't be too hasty to disregard things just because they don't look like you think they should, and it is always my advice to keep things until you can definitely determine that they are of no interest to you. I've held things for decades before finally learning to identify or appreciate them.


The surf is still small on the Treasure Coast but will increase slightly to a peak of about three or four feet on Friday.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

5/24/16 Report - Mexico Two-Escudo Just Recovered by Crew of Capitana. Gold and Diamond Modern Find. Another Small Ring.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

William B. On Deck of Capitana Showing The Newly Recovered Two-Escudo
Photo submitted by Captain Jonah
As I said yesterday, the salvage season has started well.  The Capitana crew struck gold on the third day out.  Below are close-ups of the find.

Mexico Two Escudo
Photos submitted by Captain Jonah Dan B.

Thanks much for the photos guys!  And congratulations on a great beginning of a new season!

In the top photo you can see a good clear mint mark and denomination.  Very clear and nicely centered cob.


Gold and Diamond Ring Find
Find and photo by Tony M. (penzfan)
South of the Treasure Coast, Tony M. is still in the gold.  Here is a nice 10K ring with five small diamonds.   

Thanks for the nice photo and congrats on the find Tony.


Old Silver Ring
Find and Photo by Bernie C.
Yesterday I showed two more old small silver ring finds by Bernie.  They are thought to be early 1700s trade goods.

On the Treasure Coast there is so much talk about the treasure ships of the 1715 Fleet that it is easy to forget that there were ships arriving from Spain to supply many of the things that the colonists in the New World needed.  Here is a little overview of the transatlantic economy.   

At first, everything the Spanish needed in the New World was shipped from Spain. Food, nails, weapons, paper—everything. Before 1600, theencomenderos and other Spaniards paid for all these trade goods with gold and silver, and occasionally some foodstuffs like chocolate, corn, and potatoes. After 1600, things began to change. A critical mass of Spaniards meant that the major population centers of Mexico City (Mexico), Lima (Peru), and Vera Cruz (Mexico) began to produce some of these items for themselves. But the Crown wasn't thrilled with this; not unlike the English a century later, Spain wanted to keep its colonies as colonies. Among other measures to keep the colonies subservient to Spanish control, the making of paper was prohibited in the New World. This proved problematic, since the Spanish government depended on paper, and more paper and more paper. The eventual shortage got so serious that by the early nineteenth century,legal documents were crossed out and reused repeatedly.

And in an age where no one went anywhere without sailing ships, the Spanish made sure that there was no colonial production of goods such as canvas for sails, hemp for rope, and tar for sealing ships. Nonetheless, as always happens with these things, the Spanish economy suffered as a trade imbalance grew with the New World. In other words, since Mexico and Peru began producing clothing and other goods for themselves, there was little demand for Spanish products and Spanish merchants couldn't finance the purchase of all that silver.


The water has been nice and smooth lately.  It will get just a touch rougher for a few days, but not much - something like two or three feet.  That is due to a little weather off the coast that could possibly develop a little.

Happy hunting,

Monday, May 23, 2016

5/23/16 Report - The Journey Of A Cob. Finds: Beach Silver Rings. Ocean Gold Coin. Crushed Cup.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Two Old Silver Rings.
Finds and photos by Bernie C.

Both of the above were found by Bernie on a Treasure Coast wreck beach.  They are thought to be silver trade goods from the early 1700s.


The Journey.

The cobs that are found on the Treasure Coast went through a lot before they came to the Treasure Coast.  Maybe you did too.

Lets follow the journey of a small Potosi reale.

It started out in Cerro Rico, where it was laboriously mined by poor miners under very difficult conditions.  You might want to look into that sometime.  It is an interesting topic by itself.

Cerro Rico is known as 'mountain that eats men' because of the large number of workers who died in the mines. Some writers such as Eduardo Galeano in his work Open Veins of Latin America estimate, quoting Josiah Conder,[4] that up to 8 million men have died in the Cerro Rico since the 16th century.

Long tunnels carved out of the mountain lead down to the silver.  After being dug out, the ore was carried up repeated lengths of leather rung ladders to the surface where it was hand-sorted and then carried by pack animals to the grinding mills and then amalgamated before going to the smelters and being turned into refined bars that were taxed and marked.  Then it was sold to the mint before being turned into cobs.  From there it was transported to Panama and across the isthmus to be loaded for shipment to Havana where it was loaded onto another ship to leave with the fleet for Spain.

As we know, then there was the hurricane and wrecking and attempts at salvage.

Then one day, you decide to go metal detecting, and on the beach somewhere after hundreds of years,  you meet up with that one little piece of silver.

Then where did it go?  Maybe into your pocket.  Maybe to auction.  Maybe to a friend or collector.

How unlikely the meeting!  You were born, raised, worked, searched, and then you met.  And the journey isn't over yet for either of you.  Where will the journey lead next?


Here is a good web site that lists the major events relating to the price of gold and silver since the 1600s.   It gives a good international overview.  Very informative.



I heard from people from Rosewood, a TV program on Fox.  Evidently they are developing one episode on a treasure hunting story.


The Fisher HAUV Dolores has been pin-pointing small non-ferrous targets, such as most recently, what appears to be a smashed metallic cup found on the Atocha site.

Smashed Cup
Dolores is doing a good job of pinponting targets as small as 2" by 2".


The 2016 salvage season is underway on the Treasure Coast and off to a great start.  The first gold coin has already been found.

Way to go guys!


Happy hunting,

Sunday, May 22, 2016

5/22/16 Report - Potosi 8-escudos Contemporary Counterfeit. A Brief Analysis of Seville Escudos. Meteor News.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Contemporary Counterfeit Sold for $2350 in Recent Sedwick Auction.
Source: Sedwick Auction Catalog.
This contemporary counterfeit sold for $2350 in the recent Sedwick auction.  It is gold gilt over platinum.  That might seem funny to you if you don't know the history of platinum.  While platinum today is a precious metal, there were times when it was little more than a nuisance.

...Despite being worked with some skill by South American Indians over 1,000 years ago, it was not until after the Spanish conquest of the New World during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that news reached Europe of a new white metal with unusual properties.

By the end of the 17th century, the Spanish Conquistadors had discovered alluvial deposits of platinum while they were panning for gold in the Choco region in what is today Colombia. They considered the metal a nuisance because it interfered with their gold mining activities. In fact, since platinum was considered of little value, it was soon being used by forgers to adulterate Spanish gold coins.

Here is the link for the source of that quote. http://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=1210

And here is the Sedwick auction description.

Gilt platinum contemporary counterfeit of a bust 8 escudos of Charles III, 1771, fantasy mintmark and assayer R. 26.81 grams. Incorrect but convincing details, the mintmark somewhat like the Potosi monogram, AU- (lightly circulated) with traces of platinum peeking through the slightly worn high points.

"Contemporary counterfeit" is the term used to describe a copy that was made to be used when the coin was in circulation. It does not refer to later copies or reproductions such as fantasy coins or souvenirs.


You might recall that the crew of the Captiana found hundreds of escudos during the 2015 season. Three, if I correctly I recall, were minted in Seville.

Previously there had been very few, if any, Seville minted coins found on the 1715 wrecks.   In the Florida collection of about 24,000 silver coins, most of which came from Spanish shipwrecks and approximately 600 of which are illustrated in Alan Craig's book, none of those illustrated are from Old World mints.  I can't swear that I didn't miss a  mention or two of Seville minted coins in his book, but it is clear that there were few if any Seville minted silver coins in the nearly 24,000 coins in the Florida Collection.

Also as I recall, in the distribution from the 2015 salvage season, the state selected one of the three recovered Seville minted escudos.  With all that they had to choose from this year, the fact that they chose a Seville minted coin must say something about how rare and interesting it is.  The state also selected a Royal that was found this year - a rare coin indeed.

I was therefore interested in the good sample of Seville minted escudos that were offered in the recently concluded Sedwick auction.  That sample provided a good opportunity to take a look at the relative prices and the factors that affect the price.

If I didn't have so much else to do, I'd go through auction results and develop an equation that would give a good estimation of the value of auctioned Spanish shipwreck coins.  It wouldn't be difficult, and I'm sure I could develop an equation that would account for some 90 percent of a coins perceived value.  I'd bet it would take no more than eight variables, including such things as year, mint, assayer, denomination, condition, etc.  I like analyzing data and doing that type of thing.

I did a very limited and simple partial analysis of the realized prices of a few of the Seville escudos sold in the recent Sedwick auction just to illustrate how easy and productive it could be.

Below is a graph showing the prices of ten Charles and Johanna one-escudos sold in the auction.  The prices are the winning bids, not including the buyers premium.  If I were to do it again, I would probably include the buyers premium.

As you can see the range is $500 to $900, with an average of $685.  The progression in price is gradual.  There are no real outliers, suggesting that there were no really exceptional escudos in the group.

Comparing the Seville minted Charles and Johanna one-escudos with three Phillip II Seville one-escudos sold in the auction shows no huge difference in prices.  The Phillip IIs had a range of 600 to 900, and an average of 800.  The average is higher, but the sample size is simply too small to be very useful.  I just did this comparison for illustration purposes.  It appears from this very small sample, that there is no big difference in perceived value between the Charles and Johanna and the Phillip II one-escudos.

There were seven Seville four-escudos of the Phillip II era that sold in the auction, so I did a chart for them.  The range for this group was larger, 750 - 2600.  The average was 1471.

The range of this group was about five times greater than the range for the group of Charles and Johanna one-escudos.

There appears to be two distinct groups shown by that chart.  The lower priced grouping with prices ranging from 750 to 1000, and another group ranging from 2050 to 2500.

Actually, there was a happy mistake.  I thought I'd go back to see what factors separated the two groups, and what I found was that the low-priced group was composed of two-escudos, while the high-priced group was composed of four-escudos.  I only wanted to include four-escudos, but pricing showed that there were really two distinct groups included.

The mistake actually illustrated how useful price charts can be.  This one shows that two-escudos and four-escudos are valued very differently.  There are other factors besides denomination that cause price differences, but in this case the priced differences that can be attributed to denomination is considerable.  It could have been condition issues, a rare date or something else.  And if those factors affect prices enough, I would expect those differences to also be apparent in similar charts.

The lower-price group that is actually composed of Phillip II two-escudos falls into the same price range as the Charles and Johanna one-escudos.  The era difference appears to be significant there.

On the other hand, the three Phillip II four-escudos shown on this chart are about three times more expensive than the Charles and Johanna one-escudos.

I could go on and on about this, but the sample size is so small, and I just wanted to illustrate how easy it would be to figure out how coins should be priced and what factors most influence price. With more data I don't think it would be difficult to work up a good regression equation that would give a weight to each factor that affects a coin's price.  The sample size could be increased by going back to the records of previous auctions.

I noticed one coin that didn't sell.  It wasn't included in the chart.  The starting price was more in line with a more expensive group than the group to which it belonged.  From a quick analysis of results, it looked like the "no sale" could have possibly been predicted.

In some forums there is probably no more common question than "What is it worth."  This type of analysis can help answer that question.  A person equipped with the equation and relevant data could figure out a good approximate price very much like an expert.

Just a couple more notes on Seville cobs.  Seville cobs documented to a shipwreck, especially a New World shipwreck, tend to be more expensive.  With more analysis I could probably give a good estimate of how much more.

I used the terms "cob" and "coin" interchangeably.  If you want to be more precise, there is a real difference between a cob and a coin.


Puebla. Residents in a Mexican city woke in fright before dawn on Saturday to bright light in the sky and then a thunderous noise, fearing a nearby volcano had suddenly erupted, AFP reported.

But officials said Popocatepetl volcano had not stirred and no earthquake had registered.
Instead, the phenomena witnessed by the inhabitants of Puebla de Zaragoza, a city of three million people 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Mexico City, was "most likely a meteor," the local Astronomic Society tweeted.

The rock from space probably burned up in the atmosphere and no impact was detected, it explained.
"It was horrible, we thought it was the volcano, but it wasn't," said one resident, Emma Chavez.
"There was a light that shone for a couple of seconds like it was daytime and then there was tremendous thunder."

Another resident, Alvaro Morales, said: "It was really strong. Windows were shaking. We thought it was an earthquake, but it wasn't. There was a sound like an explosion. We were truly terrified."


Happy hunting,

Saturday, May 21, 2016

5/21/16 Report - 3-D Printing and Scanning For Treasure Hunters and Coin Collectors. Virtual Tour of the British Museum.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

3-D Printed Lion Ring
Source: ShapeWays link below.

There has always been counterfeiting.  It happens now, and it happened back in the day.  You might have noticed the contemporary counterfeit that was sold in the Sedwick auction for a good price.  Some people collect contemporary counterfeits, which are counterfeits made while the coin that was counterfeited was still in common circulation.  I'll talk about that more some other day.  Today I want to talk a little about some new technologies that maybe you didn't connect with treasure hunting or coin collecting.

Want to make a copy of your favorite coin or artifact?  You can use 3-D printing.  You can actually buy an inexpensive 3-D printer at Best Buy or Sams Club that costs less than five hundred dollars.  Those are low-end, of course, but they work remarkably well.

3-D Printer Offered On The Sams Web Site.

Sams offers basic, intermediate and professional 3-D printers.  They also offer 3-D scanners.

There professional level 3-D printers that can create very precise copies of objects in steel, aluminum, silver, gold or other materials.

I'm not talking about making a counterfeit coin to be circulated, but it might be nice to have a copy of a coin or artifact that you can carry around or display while the original remains safely stored.

I would be surprised if museums are not using 3-D printing extensively.  They often display reproductions instead of valuable artifacts.  You might remember that a few years ago a gold bar that was on display was stolen from the Fisher museum in Key West.

You don't have to do it yourself.  There are companies that will create reproductions for you.
Here is a link to one company that will do it.   http://www.shapeways.com/

I think you'll be impressed if you take a look at that web site.  They will make reproductions from originals or design something special for you.

Here is a 3-D printer buyer's guide.


A 3-D printer is a 3-D printer.  The printer can be part of the system.  You might also want a 3-D scanner to scan objects that you want to reproduce.  3-D scanners can be bought at a price that compares to a 3-D printer.

In numismatic circles, there is a discussion of 3-D printing being used to make counterfeits of valuable coins.  Some coin collectors feel that 3-D printed coins can be identified, but it might not be easy for someone that is not very expert.

3-D printing can also be used to create copies of the encapsulation holders used by certification companies.  Some people seem to be more concerned about that than the actual reproduction of coins.

Here is a link to one discussion of the problem.


A lot of coin collectors find the potential abuses of 3-D printing scary, but you might find some good uses for a 3-D printer.  Like I said, if you want a copy of a coin or artifact to carry around or display in a cabinet, you don't have to make it yourself.

Of course, there are other ways to create copies.  I'm sure you know that you can create molds etc., but 3-D scanning and printing offers one good alternative.


While I'm on technology today, there is one more that I'll point out.  You probably know about Google Street View, and if you have been looking for a new house, you probably know that it is possible to create virtual tours.

There are some good virtual tours on the internet that you might want to check out.  Google partnered with the British Museum to create one very complete tour.  Give it a try.  Here is the link.


It takes a little practice to learn how to get around, but once you master it, it can be a lot of fun.


I have a lot of topics to talk about that I didn't get to today.

We're still having flat water and easy water hunting.  The only problem is the heat and afternoon thunderstorms.

Happy hunting,

Friday, May 20, 2016

5/20/16 Report - What Florida Says To Do If You Find A New Shipwreck. Top Priced Treasure Auction Items.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

This gold disk sold for $65,000 in the Sedwick auction that closed yesterday.  With buyers premium, it comes to $76,375.  I think that is the highest selling price in the entire auction.

Here is the lot description.

Gold disk with cut edge, 1438 grams, fineness XIX••• (19.75K), foundry / assayer STN / DTS (?), from the Atocha (1622), ex-Christie's (1988). 4" in diameter and 1/2" thick. Impressive disk with lots of markings (four fineness, two foundry / assayer and four circular tax-stamps) on flat top, tangential piece removed from edge in its time by shallow chiseling and deep breaking (with encrustation in crevices of break), much copper color on surfaces, great pedigree. From the Atocha (1622), pedigreed to the original Christie's (New York) auction of June 1988, lot #81.

I think this is the item with the second highest selling price.

The winning bid for this silver bar was $57,500.

Here is the lot description for this item.

Large silver bar #488, 85 lb 9.76 oz troy, Class Factor 1.0, from the Atocha (1622). 14" x 5" x 3-1/2". Choice example with all markings clear, including fineness IIUCCCLXXX (2380/2400) to left of intricate assayer-mark for Juan Sanchez Mexia, manifest number IIIUDXXX, three circular tax stamps, foundry/date Po1621, owner/shipper mark (large asterisk), silvermaster mark B next to diagonal line at corner, plus small double-scoop assayer's "bite" in center, nearly corrosion-free and attractively toned in the details From the Atocha (1622), with Fisher photo-certificate #S488.


Here is an interesting bit from Kovels Komments.

A painting was discovered behind the glass in a mirror waiting to be sold at a March 2016 Clars auction. The painting was identified as a picture of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina by Elliott Daingerfield, an important North Carolina artist. It’s in excellent condition because it has been secretly preserved behind the mirror for over 40 years. The estimate was $6,000 to $9,000. Bidding started at $3,000, and after many bids, it ended in a battle between two phone bidders. The picture sold for a record price of $39,325. The auction house was pleased, the consignor was pleased and the president of Clars joked it was the highest price ever paid for a mirror at Clars.

Look behind mirrors.  You never know where you might find good things.  Look between the pages of books and behind paintings.


Here is a Q and A from the myflorida.com site. 

Q: What should I do when I find an underwater archaeological site?
A: The best thing to do when you find a site is to not disturb it. As the "discoverer" of a site, you should make some important decisions that will help to determine the site's future. This includes giving us a call or sending us an email reporting the discovery. We can help you in determining what you have found, and whether it has already been reported, recorded, or investigated.

Bureau of Archaeological Research
Division of Historical Resources
B. Calvin Jones Center for Archaeology
1001 de Soto Park Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32301

And here is the link if you want to look at the other Q and A items.



More of the same at the beach.  The surf will start to increase daily, but very slowly.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, May 19, 2016

5/19/16 Report - 1715 Fleet Silver Ring Shown in Deagan Book. Found Claddagh Ring. Danger of Cracked Rings.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Not long ago I talked a lot about silver rings not being found on 1715 Fleet wrecks.  I did a little research and what I saw supported the idea that there were few, if any, silver rings on the 1715 Fleet.
There were, however, silver rings found at Spanish colonial land sites.  That was documented by Kathleen Deagan, a Distinguished Research Curator of Archaeology and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History and one of the top researchers on the Spanish colonial period in Florida.  

In her book on Spanish Colonial artifacts, Deagan shows a silver ring that is reported to be from the 1715 Fleet.  Immediately below is part of a figure in her book showing the designs of some 1715 Fleet rings.  Notice F.  That one, and only that one, is described as being silver.  

Part of the crown over the heart is missing.

That ring is called a Claddagh ring.  It is very common type of ring, even today.

Here is one legend of the source of what we now call Claddagh rings.

Though there are several legends about the origin of Claddagh rings, the one believed to be most accurate involves a member of the Joyce clan from Galway who sailed to the West Indies, and who was captured and sold into slavery, working for a Moorish goldsmith in Algiers. During his 14 years imprisonment, he learned the goldsmith’s art and created the Claddagh ring design as a tribute to his love back in Ireland. When William III became king in 1650, he demanded that the Moors release all British prisoners. The prisoner Joyce brought back the jewelry design with him, and became a successful goldsmith in Ireland.

And from another source, here is more about Claddagh rings.  (Sorry I forgot the original source of both of these excerpts.)

Claddagh rings became widely known in America after Irish immigrants brought them over, mainly in the 18th century. They remain popular, both as wedding rings and decorative adornments. Many of the rings are now passed down through Irish-American families and heirlooms.

Here is a Claddagh ring that I once found on a Treasure Coast wreck beach.

Claddagh Ring Found On A Treasure Coast Wreck Beach.
I always thought this was silver, but I never tested it because I like the black patina, which is a little sparkly even though that doesn't show in the photo.  I didn't want to remove any of the patina.  I like it the way it is.

Here is a closer look at the illustration of design of the Claddagh ring that Deagan attributes to the 1715 Fleet.  She doesn't give any more detail on the source of the ring.

There are many similarities between the found ring shown above and the ring illustrated in Deagan's book. That isn't surprising.  Claddagh rings are Claddagh rings, and they haven't changed much over the centuries.

There are some differences too.  The hand positions and how the hand holds the heart is very similar on both rings.  The hands on both rings have slightly different cuffs.  The heart and crown is a little different on both rings.

While silver rings are very rare for the 1715 Fleet, there is a documented exception in the Deagan book.

The dug example shown today has no marks on the inside of the band or elsewhere.  A sterling mark or a makers mark can tell you a lot about the age of a ring.

This ring has a great black patina, but one of the most impressive things to me is the carved look. You can see it throughout in person.  In the photo you can perhaps see it best in the crown.

I might break down and clean it and test it to see if I can learn anything more about it.


Here is another item with a familiar ring to it.

On 5/10 I showed an encrusted ring (shown below) that I cleaned.  Here it is.

Old Dug Encrusted Treasure Coast Ring

After it was cleaned I could see some serious cracks in the metal.  I put it on just the other day for cleaning and it fell off.  It broke on three cracks and fell off.  If I was doing something when it happened I would not have even noticed it being gone.

The reason I bring this up is to alert you to how easily that can happen.  Any cracked ring can break and fall off at any time, so it might not be a good idea to put new finds on your finger until you have checked for cracks.  I have heavy gold rings with cracks too.  The same thing could happen.


The first day of the current Sedwick auction concluded yesterday.  The remaining lots will be sold today.  You can view the auction results online as it happens.  They move from lot to lot very quickly.


Nothing has changed on the beach.  Still a one-foot surf.  Probably more afternoon thunder storms.

Happy hunting,