Friday, October 28, 2016

10/28/16 Report - Fairly High Surf. Metal Detecting Favorite Finds Are Usually Surprises. St. Augustine Area.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of


We've had a lot of wind, a fairly high surf, and even pretty high tides lately, but the angles haven't been good.  As far as I can tell it hasn't been hitting the right places yet.  The only places that I've seen erosion is by inlets or rocks or other obstacles.  I'm sticking with a 1 (poor) beach conditions rating for now.  I haven't seen a lot of the beaches and there might be a spot or two where you could find something good.  There are certainly some good spots for modern coins right now, but I haven't seen any good spots for cobs.  There might be one or two though.


A couple days ago I mentioned that I stopped at one beach where there were a lot of modern coins and the tide was already coming in so I tried to skip signals that sounded like clad coins and managed to pick up a gold band.  If you've been reading this blog very long, you know that I often tell people to dig everything.  This was a special case and a strategy that I've seldom used.

Digging everything is highly recommended, especially if you haven't been metal detecting for decades and you don't know the area inside out.  You will learn a lot by digging a lot of targets and it will keep you from making a big mistake.

As I think back, most of my favorite finds were surprises.  Raw gold nuggets found on a treasure wreck beach are some of my favorite finds.  I wasn't targeting gold nuggets.  I didn't expect them on a Treasure Coast beach.  I don't know if I would have passed them over or not if I was discriminating or using target ID, but since I was digging everything, there was absolutely no danger of that.  Would you correctly identify gold nuggets while beach hunting or might you miss them?

Most of my favorite finds would not be easy for any detector to identify.  Take for example the Rolexes and other high-end watches.  Do you really want to take a chance on missing targets like that because you don't feel like digging? I know it doesn't happen often, but it doesn't have to happen often to be very worthwhile.

How about a three hundred year old pistol or rapier blade?  Would you correctly identify them or discriminate them out and pass them over and then complain about finding nothing but clad.

The vast majority of my all-time favorite finds were surprises.  You don't find those kinds of things everyday.  In fact it is to some extent their rarity that makes them so valuable.  You never know what you might find, and how you detect not only determines what you find but it also determines what you don't find.

I've told stories about how I learned those lessons.  It was a long time before I ever found a shipwreck spike.  I should have found one much sooner and surely would have found one much sooner except that in those days I was targeting modern gold and was skipping a lot of things that did not sound like coins or gold jewelry.  That was until I learned that I was missing things that I would really like to find.

The more narrowly you define acceptable targets, the more things you eliminate and skip.  It is a trade-off. There are interesting and valuable targets of all shapes and sizes and made of all types of materials. Be aware of that and realize that your detecting style will determine not only what you get but also what you miss.  Your strategy should take into account your goals and what might or might not be in the area you are working.  You can't be too sure of what might or might not be there.  There is always the possibility of some big surprise.  And isn't that what detecting is all about?  Don't you want to see something appear out of the soil or sand that you never expected?  Maybe you hoped for it, but didn't dare expect it.  Do you really want to eliminate the possibility of such a surprise?


The damage to the Fort Pierce area was so light that you would never think that Hurricane Matthew passed by so recently.  For all practical purposes Matthew has been forgotten and life moves on.  That is the way life is.  About the only remaining sign of Matthew around Fort Pierce are the piles of limbs along Indian River Drive and perhaps a few other places where Waste Management has not yet finished picking it all up.  Things are not so normal elsewhere along our coast.

Here is what Darrel S. had to say about St. Augustine.

Went over this morning to check on our condo and I really did not see much to remind me a hurricane hit. Downtown St. Augustine was back to normal. So I thought, when I went Vilano, ton of debris out in front of every structure. From Vilano Beach up to Ponte Vedre Beach was not pleasant. I went back through St. Augustine and over the Bridge of Lions. In Davis Shore was same as Vilano. Also, sewage was backed up, and many still without water or power. Drove down to St. Augustine Beach and numerous streets had trash out front. Further down our condo was okay, but Crescent Beach had the largest devestation. Piles of trash and construction debris everywhere. Matanzas Inlet Restaurant no longer. Been eating there for over 45 years! Summerhaven was closed to thru traffic as well as the old A1A gone!! Went down to Marineland, and a new surf spot was created. The beach was now on A1A. Decided to turn around and as I went over 206 bridge could see numerous homes and docks damaged. Yet, as I was headed back to Gainesville there were people heading over for Fla vs Georgia game in Jacksonville this Saturday. GLAD to be back in Gainesville...


Happy hunting,