Thursday, November 3, 2016

11/3/16 Report - Non-metallic Treasures - Valuable Seashells: Fossils and Artifacts. Higher Surf Coming In A Few Days

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Eight-Inch Long Fossil Shell Find Sold.
I always encourage detectorists to keep their eyes open for non-metallic treasure. You can find a lot of valuable things on the beach that are not made of metal.  You can find fossils, sea shells, wood items, stone and shell artifacts, old bottles, sea glass, etc..   Those kinds of things might be worth more than you think. 

The fossilized shell above might look like any broken old shell, but it quickly sold for a nice price.  Sea shells are used for home decor and collected by shell collectors and others.  Some are fossils and some are artifacts.

I hate the fact that I have such a hard time identifying shell artifacts, but I've found a few.  I take my own advice and keep things that I'm not sure about.  If I don't know about them then I ask people who do.  I'm still sure that I occasionally pass up some good things on the beach not realizing how valuable they might be.

Reading helps, but sometimes you need the opinion of specialists or at least people who are more informed.

With shell artifacts it is often difficult to tell the difference between shells that have been modified by humans and those that nature has shaped.

Lightning Whelk Shell Hammer
Source: See link below.
You can find pieces of shell on a beach similar to those shown above.  Who would ever guess that they are artifacts?  It is not easy to see the signs of human workmanship.  Context can help a lot.

Who would ever guess that the following is anything but a broken shell?

Shell Hammer.
Source: See link below.
Like I said, it can be difficult to tell.  But you might be walking right by artifacts like this when you are detecting.

My wife has a found some interesting artifacts while looking for shells on the beach.  Tourists sometimes ask me about the things they've found, and they sometimes have some nice artifacts or fossils.

The beach is an amazing place where all kinds of treasures show up from time to time.  It helps if you learn to recognize them.  I recommend browsing the following thesis which you can read online.  It is lengthy, but you can jump to the pictures or get into it as deeply as you want.

2004 Prehistoric Shell Artifacts From The Apalachicola River Valley Area, Northwest Florida by Eric C. Eyles.

Here is the link.


The surf will increase this weekend, up to a peak of about seven feet on Monday or Tuesday.

Happy hunting,