Sunday, July 31, 2016

7/31/16 Report - 1715 Fleet Gold Rings Facts and Theories. Tropical Disturbance Quickly Approaching.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Life Rings Shown in an Illustration
Submitted to me by Darrel Strickland.\

I received some excellent information from Darrel Strickland, a very accomplished student of Spanish Colonial artifacts, concerning the rings found on the 1715 Fleet wrecks.  Darrel sent me a section of Bob Weller's book that discusses salvaged rings, including what are called "Life" rings. Weller refers to the 1999 Florida East Coast Shipwreck Project Report where the rings are discussed (pages 216-226).

Weller says his Crossed Anchors Salvage group found over 90 finger rings, mostly from the Nieves site.  In 1993, they discovered 22 gold rings on the Cabin Wreck site. He said he believed, as did most of the salvage community, that the rings were carried as cargo, as opposed to being worn by the crew or passengers of the 1715 Fleet.  The clustering, something that I used to talk about a great deal, was one of the reasons for that conclusion.

Weller mentioned "Ringsville," an area where a lot of rings were found clustered. He described  Ringsville as an area where there was "some sort of swale or low depression between the reefs."

You might find the speculated source of the rings interesting.  Weller speculated that "many of the more intricately engraved rings were made in China, traded at the Manila fair, and brought to Mexico by way of the Manila Gallions."  He goes on to speculate that the Spanish artisans did not have the capabilities during the 1600s and 1700s to carve ring designs nor cut the emeralds and diamonds found on the rings.  He did however think that some of the more simple rings could have been made in Mexico or by conquistadors or sailors with spare time on their hands.

Thanks much to Darrel Strickland for forwarding this information.

I also received the picture shown at the top of the post from Darrel with some additional information.  From that information I can tell that the Life Rings were engraved with different images than the one that was most recently found.

It seems to me that the Life Rings were customized and engraved for an individual with scenes that were especially significant for that person.  But that would not seem to fit well with the rings as cargo theory.  Of course, there could be a mixture.

You might recall my discussion of the lack of silver rings on the 1715 Fleet.  That seems to me to go along well with the gold  rings as cargo theory.  Weller does mention one silver ring, but that is not much compared to the hundreds of gold rings.   I have my own developing theory on the silver rings found on the 1715 Fleet beaches.

Here is an email Darrel sent me.

I have enjoyed your site for years. We have met on the beach before. 

I started detecting when Kip took my grandmother and I to a coin shop located in the Ft. Pierce Hotel during the late 60s. They bought me a Whites Coinmaster with the big blue rectangular box. We went to the old Colored Beach and found some coins. After that I never found one item. I was too young to understand the mechanics. I decided to stick with looking for bottles and arrowheads. It wasn't until I met Bob Weller and Jon Wilson that I decided to take this more seriously. Bob has passed away and Jon moved to Georgia. 

Growing up as a child in Ft. Pierce I knew all the Reale 8 members. Mel and Mo used to nickname me "cracker." Don't think it meant what most thought. I used to love the crackers they would serve when visiting. My grandmother, Beatrice Sisco, known as Bea, would loan them money or "invest" into their adventures. She ran a trailer park where the St. Lucie Museum is now located. Many of the divers would hang at the old Chucks and tie their boats at the old park. I assume this how they all got acquainted.

Since 1990, I began to research material for many of the infamous salvagers. It is sad that most are gone. Last year, in sync with 300th anniversary of 1715 fleet disaster, I donated most of the material to Vero Beach Library. I met Pamela when she first started there and always appreciated her invaluable time and knowledge in regards to Eugene Lyons, John Debris, Jack Haskins, Rex Stockton, Molinar, Mel and family, etc., etc., etc. These were just the few of many that I had the pleasure of meeting, researching for, or knowing. Pamela knew them and that impressed me because her responsibilities exceeded gathering material on treasure hunters and I knew it would be good hands.

It has been 50 years since my first adventure of metal detecting. Time flies and I hope that others will donate their material on ALL the local wrecks in that area before it finds it path to a trash can or just forgotten forever! 

Thanks much Darrel!

Darrel also helped, along with John Powel and Jim Baldwin, create the web site, which is absolutely outstanding.  Darrel also wrote a book on the 1715 Fleet and donated much material to the Vero Beach Library, where you can find it.  Ask Pamela Cooper at the Vero Library. She has accumulated a lot of material on the treasure wrecks.


No matter what you eventually do with finds, be sure to store them carefully.  Many artifacts get very brittle and break.  Many corrode if not carefully cleaned and stored.  It can be heart breaking to see a nice item break or be destroyed with time, and that can easily happen.  I was recently reading about a museum that stored historic items in old coffee cans that resulted in serious damage to the items.  Don't make that kind of mistake.


Two Tropical Disturbances
We have two tropical disturbances now.  One, having a 40% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours is moving over the Lesser Antilles.

The surf will be up a bit this week, but just to about two feet or so.

Keep an eye on this first storm.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 30, 2016

7/30/16 Report - 12th Century Kite Brooch Eye-Balled On Beach by Student. Two Weather Disturbances. More On 1715 Rings. Tobacco Used in Utah 12,000 Years Ago.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The above kite brooch was found by an American college student walking a beach in Irleand.  Imagine making a nice 12th century find just walking along.

It is called a kit brooch because of its shape.  It held a cloak or shaw together.

The NYU student said she was looking at a rabbit burrow when she noticed the brooch.  I always say,to look anywhere that the earth or sand is being moved.

Here is the link to the rest of the story.

That thing is in surprisingly remarkable condition.


Two Tropical Disturbances.
As of Friday night, the first had a ten percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next forty-eight hours, and the second had a forty percent chance as of Friday evening.

The first looks like it will head towards the Caribbean while the second will probably head north into the Atlantic.


I mentioned yesterday that I've seen the "clasped hands" motif on 1715 Fleet gold rings before. Checking today, I found one, though broken, from the 1715 Fleet in the Mel Fisher artifact database. The Fisher organization also sells replica clasped hand rings.  They call them friendship rings.

I also found one very much like the other ring that I showed yesterday.  I'm talking about the one made of connected circles with etched designs.  Unfortunately I couldn't see if the pictures on each circle were the same as the one recently found and submitted by Captain Jonah. I could only see what one circle had on his, and I couldn't see what was pictured on any of the circles on the one shown in the Mel Fisher artifact database, so I don't have any idea if they were the same or different, other than the fact they were both made of what looks like connected circles. They sell a replica of that type of ring too.


Just a few centimeters below the sun-baked surface, researchers have discovered a campsite used by prehistoric hunter-gatherers 12,300 years ago — when Utah’s West Desert was lush wetland.
Artifacts found at the site include the charred remains of an ancient hearth, a finely crafted spear point, and, most surprising, a collection of tobacco seeds — likely the earliest evidence of tobacco use...

Here is the link.


I'll keep watching for possible storms.  Right now the surfing web sites are not predicting much of any increase in the surf for the next week or two.  We're having some nice negative tides.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 28, 2016

7/28/16 Report - 1715 Fleet Gold Rings Found. Tumbaga and Depletion Gilding. A Diamond Ring, Gold Coins and Stinky Cheese. Two New Tropical Disturbances.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold Rings From 1715 Fleet Just Found.
Submitted by Captain Jonah Martinez

I just received this photo of the latest 1715 Fleet gold ring finds. Amazing finds! Great job guys!

The clasped hands motif is very common. I have seen it on a variety of 1715 pieces.

The clasped hands signifies friendship and love. That design motif has been used on antique jewelry since Roman times and continues to this day.

I wonder if the bird shown on the top ring is another reference to the pelican of piety that my friend Laura Strolia wrote about.  It very much looks like it could be.


Yesterday I mentioned tumbaga and how they used a procedure to get a relatively pure gold on the surface of the item.  I didn't remember the exact process at the time, but here is paragraph that describes the details.

The surface color of the objects could be modified by a process called “depletion gilding” (miseen-couleur), a gold surface enrichment. The cast copper-gold alloy figurines were treated chemically to remove the base metal from the surface of the object giving the finished piece the appearance of high purity gold. Either mineral salts or acidic plant extracts could have been used for this procedure. Depletion gilding produces a well bonded but porous and spongy layer only a few microns thick, which was then burnished. A higher copper content would result in a more reddish color and a higher gold content produced a more yellowish color.

That paragraph is from the web site found through the following link.

Here is another web site showing a variety of tumbaga artifacts.


A diamond ring, 14 gold coins, and you guessed it, 340 year-old stinky cheese, was found on an old shipwreck site.

Here is that link.


There is now a tropical disturbance, two in fact, coming off of Africa.  One has a 20% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours and the other has a 30% chance.  When you see them start to line up like that, they sometimes keep coming.

They are too far away now to have any idea where they might go or what they might do, but keep watching.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

7/27/16 Report - Treasure Hunting Vacation Hot Spots. Treasure Hunter Perishes While Hunting Fenn Treasure. Alamo Discoveries. Benny Bills.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Summer is a time when lot of people travel.  I always like to detect new locations.  You won't know the new locations like the locals, but you can do well anyhow

I've done very well when trying out new locations.  I was often surprised by what the locals missed and wondered how it could happen.

I liked detecting the lakes of Minnesota, the beaches of Pensacola, backwaters of Milton Alabama, as well as the Caribbean Islands, to name a few.

The locals don't always get everything.  In fact sometimes they leave some very good hunting.  That has been my experience.

Dean sent me the following link to an article on vacation treasure hunting hot spots.

Thanks Dean.


A treasure hunter who disappeared this year while searching for an author's cache of gold and jewels in the New Mexico wilderness was confirmed dead by authorities Tuesday after his remains were discovered west of Santa Fe...
Bilyeu disappeared in early January while searching for antiquities dealer and writer Forrest Fenn's $2 million trove in northern New Mexico.

Here is the link to that story.

New locations can be a lot of fun, but they can also present dangers that you aren't aware of or aren't prepared for.

Be cautious when you are working new and different kinds of locations.

Thanks to Dean and C Man for sending this link.


I don't like taking metal detectors as carry-on anymore.  I used to do that a lot, and I don't know of anyone having a lot of trouble with that, but when flying, I prefer to send my equipment ahead by mail so that it is waiting when I arrive.


Texas archaeologists may have found more of the Alamo. 
Spanish colonial adobe bricks discovered at a dig site in downtown San Antonio's Alamo Plaza may have made up part of the mission's original western wall, researchers announced Monday, although more analysis is needed to verify the architectural function of the centuries-old bricks.
The dig, the first of its kind at the Alamo, is the first phase in a larger effort by state and local officials to renovate the historical landmark.
Here is the link fo r more of that article.


Have you heard about "Benny bills?"  There is a philanthropist that anonymously leaves one hundred dollar bills.

Here is how the article begins.

A mystery philanthropist has been spreading cheer one $100 bill at a time for more than three years in and around Salem Oregon.

He randomly hides the bills to be found at stores, markets, fairs and festivals, surprising and delighting unsuspecting shoppers and patrons.

When the first reports surfaced in May 2013, I christened him with the nickname Benny because Benjamin Franklin is on the $100 bill. Not long after, when it appeared others might be trying to steal his thunder, he began signing his bills...

Here is the link for the rest of the article.


Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

7/26/16 Report - Ring Find. Martin County History. Fort San Marcos Boundaries Discovered.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beautiful Sunrise by Tony (Penzfan)
Ring Found by Tony

Yesterday I showed a couple of newly found local dairy bottles and talked a little about local dairy history.  Here is an article on dairy history related to Martin County.


The boundaries of Fort Sand Marcos have been identified after several unsuccessful digs.  Ground penetrating radar and magnetometers did the job.

Here is a bit of the background.

Fort San Marcos was built in 1577. Menendez’ crews got it up in six days because of the threat that a Native American tribe would attack. It allowed the Spanish to restore Santa Elena, which settlers had abandoned the year before when it was attacked.

The fort was a large bunkhouse of barracks and storerooms with cannon platform on one end, according to the release. It had 11 mounted cannons, the largest weighing more than 5,400 pounds.

After five years, the wooden posts surrounding the fort rotted, and a new fort, also called San Marcos was built on the nearby shoreline.

The restored Santa Elena grew to nearly 400 residents, impressive enough to be named the capital of Spanish Florida in 1571.

But after English privateer Sir Francis Drake began attacking Spanish settlements, the settlement was abandoned in 1587 for Fort Augustine in today’s Florida.

Here is the link for the rest of the article.

Happy hunting,

Monday, July 25, 2016

7/25/16 Report - Vero Beach History. Paintings As Research Resources. Treasure Coast Dairy Bottles.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Painting of Horse Shoe and Snaffle Bit.
This painting shown above is offered in a Southeby's auction.  It is a 20th century painting.

I look at old paintings a lot.  You can learn about old areas and artifacts that way.  You can find pictures of all kinds of old things in paintings.

I dug the bit shown below.  I never knew that it would be called a snaffle bit.  I learned that from the title of the painting.

Photo of Dug Snaffle Bit.
By the way, a snaffle bit is a simple bit.  It is jointed, and used with a single set of reins.

It is difficult to narrow down the date of a basic bit like this, which, I think, spans centuries.


Here is a history timeline for Vero Beach.  I know the type is small, but if you have trouble reading it, you can go to the original source.

The timeline comes from a Historic Properties Survey of the City of Vero Beach.

Here is the link.

You'll especially like to browse this if you are a land hunter looking for sites to detect.  There is a list of historic properties at the end with addresses of each.  You won't be able to detect the historic properties, but they'll point you to historic areas.

You'll find other things of interest in the survey as well.  At the end is a list of laws relevant to metal detecting and historic properties and archaeological sites.


Here is a nice web site that sells items from Florida's past.  One category that is represented is milk bottles and associated items such as dairy bottle caps.

Here is the link.

I've found a variety of Florida milk bottles.  Some of the most common are Vero Beach Dairy, Boutwell and Alfar-Boutwell Dairy.  Both embossed and painted dairy bottles are common.  The paint on the painted bottles is usually faded or partly missing.

Below are a couple very recent dairy bottle finds.

No Deposit Dairy Bottle

Boutwell Dairy Milk Bottle
Dairy bottles were a part of normal life a few decades ago.  Now they are fading into history.  It is a part of history that should be preserved.  I'm glad I was able to save these artifacts and the story they tell.


There is no cyclone activity, and the surf will be about one foot through the week.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 24, 2016

7/24/16 Report - Found On Treasure Coast: Gold Finger Bar? Ivanka Trump's Earring Found and Returned. Creative Problem Solving For Treasure Hunting.

Written by the TreassureGuide for the exclusive use of

Unidentified Treasure Coast Find.
Submitted by Bernie C.
Bernie says it looks like it could possibly be gold, and he is going to have it tested to determine the metal content.

Gold usually does not have a crust like that, but I have found tumbaga items that did have some very similar darkening on parts of the surface.

Tumbaga is an alloy of copper and gold, and sometimes with significant amounts of other metals. The amount of gold can be fairly small in tumbaga. If I correctly recall, the Inca had a method that drew more pure gold to the surface of alloyed items.

Many of the gold items found by the early conquistadors in South America was tumbaga.


College Student Returned Ivanka Trump's  Earring.
The earring shown above was found at the convention center after the convention.  The college student used twitter to arrange for the earring's return.

Here is the link.


I often try to encourage creative thinking and creative solutions for treasure hunting.

While enjoyable, the purpose of metal detecting is to find things  The goal for most people is not metal detecting.

There are some characteristics of metal detecting that make it addicting.  I believe the rhythmic repetitive action, active awareness, curiosity and element of mystery or surprise of every dug target all adds to the addictive nature.

Did you ever hear of the nine dots puzzle?   The puzzle involves nine dots arranged in the shape of a box.  You are supposed to connect the nine dots with the smallest number of lines.

Here is what the puzzle looks like before it is solved.

How many lines does it take to connect the dots?

Probably fewer than you might have thought at first.

Here is one solution.

That required four lines.  Did you think of that?

Most people do not come up with that solution.  Why?

They work inside the area defined by the dots.   That is not necessary.

To say it very uncreatively, they did not think outside the box.

There is actually a much more simple solution.  You can connect all of the dots with one line.  Who said the lines have to be straight? You can connect the dots with one curved line.

That is just one way of showing how people accept unnecessary limitations, and work inside the box.

One of the biggest obstacles to finding really creative solutions is being overly influenced by what everybody else is doing.

Minimize your starting assumptions.  For example, you might think you need a better metal detector. But is metal detecting the goal?  Finding items is the goal for most of you, not metal detecting.

Once you back up and define the problem better - finding stuff rather than metal detecting - you open up a lot of additional possibilities.

There are times when dredging might be a better approach.  And there are times when sifting might be a better approach.

I've used a Merkitch sifter on a beach and found it to be very effective.  In some situations sifting is more effective than metal detecting.

Pulling a sifter is a lot of work, and somehow not as addictive as metal detecting.  It is also not very good for the deep targets and can be impossible in wet packed sand.  You will find thin chains and non-metallic items that you could very easily miss with a detector.   Here is the fun part.  It can be done on beaches where detecting is not allowed

Is the goal to make a better mouse trap, or to get rid of mice?  How you define the problem has a lot to do with how creative you can be with solutions.

Again, is the goal to metal detect, or is the goal to find stuff?   Is the goal to scoop, or is the goal to recover targets?

Have you ever thought about training an otter or seal to dive and retrieve odd items, especially shiny things?  I have.

The Navy has trained porpoises to assist lost swimmers and locate submerged mines.

It is always easier to fall in line and do what other people are doing.  There is certainly a time for that, but making a creative break-through of your own can be a lot of fun and very profitable.

I enjoy thinking about other ways of doing things. You won't come up with a great idea everyday. Really creative solutions are rare treasures, but don't be afraid to consider wild ideas. Despite the rarity of great new ideas, there are always better ways to do things.  If you don't always follow the pack, you just might be the one to come up with the next great idea.


Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 23, 2016

7/23/16 Report - A Treasure Box in a Treasure Box. A Bit of History Spring Break Detecting In Fort Lauderdale. A Touch of Humor.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Found Under Trap Door In Closet.
Source: ViralNova link below.

First, a touch of humor.  I thought this is the funniest thing I've seen for quite a while.


I post  a lot of stories that I find on the internet.  I post a variety of types of articles and stories.  In my opinion, this one about the box shown above is particularly good for several reasons.  For one thing, it is very well documented with a variety of photos.

It starts when a couple found a trap door in the floor of a closet in a house they bought.  Then when the door was opened they found a locked box.  After they got into the box, they found coins and another box.  Then another cache in the second box.

Here is the link.  Thanks for the link Dean!


A few posts ago I mentioned the movie Where the Boys Are and talked what it was like in Fort Lauderdale back in the day when it was "the" place to be for spring break.   Kenneth H. was there too, and had the following warm memories to share.

I smiled at your notes in the Treasure Coast Beach Report about "Where the Boys Are." That beach and I have a lot of history. Searched there with an old Relco in late 60's; and with my Bounty Hunter 3 BFO in the early 70's. I detected that beach heavily weaving around the Spring Break crowds. Sometimes, will join them and go to the free beach concerts. 

In 1971, the local Sentinel did an article about me detecting the beach and depicted what I was finding. In 1971, they took a photo of me at age 18 standing near to the historic marker of the 1841 site of Fort Lauderdale, a Seminole War fort which was established along the beach. Not far from there and about 5 or 6 years later, while using a Whites Coinmaster VLF, I dug a 1911 $5 gold piece. In 1979, I published an article for Jess Publishing entitled, "Where the Coins Are." 

Of course, the best find I ever discovered on Ft. Lauderdale Beach is my wife now married for 40 years this August. She was on Spring Break from Ohio U.. Eventually, she moved down here to stay with me. I actually met her at the "Button," once a popular beach side hangout with live music. I proposed to her to marry me six months later while we were upstairs in the famous hangout called the Elbo Room. I never put the detector down and still beach or water hunt at Ft. Lauderdale on occasion. My last best find was a Tag Watch, dug off a sandbar in four feet of water--needs repair though.

Thanks for sharing Ken!


We have no changes in weather or beach conditions again.  We'll have something like a two-foot surf for the next week or so.  I sure would like to see things get stirred up a bit.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 22, 2016

7/22/16 Report - Two Dug Ancient-Looking Coins For Identification. Silver Cache Found in Spain. Cannon Found in Waterway.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Two Almost Identical Dug Beach Coins.

These two nearly identical coins were recently dug.  They are the same size as a quarter, but not as consistently thick.  I do not see any signs of them being circulated and almost no corrosion other than the dark patina.  I believe they are probably fake.  I don't have any good test acid right now, so I haven't tested them, but from the weight and other characteristics, I think they are not genuine coins but probably made to be used in costume jewelry.  They are more perfectly round than I would expect of a genuine coin, and the edges are sharp.

Even if they aren't genuine, I'd like to determine what they are supposed to look like, if there are genuine coins that look like that.

I provide photos of the lettering below.  If anyone can read the words or tell me what they are supposed to be I'd appreciate it.

Thanks much.


200 Silver Denarii Found Buried in a Vase.

Barcelona (CNA).- "The 2,500-year-old Empúries site on the Costa Brava continues to provide surprises. The last three weeks of excavations, carried out by thirty students attending the 70thedition of Archaeology Course of Empúries, lead to the largest treasure ever found on the site; a ceramic-vase containing 200 silver denarius dating from the 1st century B.C. Thanks to the good conditions of the treasure, the archaeologists have concluded that the treasure would have been hidden by its owner in one of the rooms of the houses which are also being excavated. The treasure would have been lost after a fire which hit the property. Besides this treasure, 24 amphorae of wine have been discovered in the cellar ​​the house, a slab of bronze -'simpulum'- to extract wine and two bracelets.

Here is the link for the rest of that story."

When I post a news item like this, there is usually something I think you can get from it.  In this case, one thing to notice is how the cache was lost.  A fire to the dwelling caused its loss.

Although the vast majority of my detecting has been on the beach, there are times that I get out and hunt land sites.  In one case I was able to hunt the site of an old hotel that burned down in the 1940s. Sites like that can be good sites with lots of targets, but there will probably be a lot of junk. The junk may actually be a good thing if you are not one of the first to detect the site.  A lot of detectorists will leave a lot of good targets when there is a good covering of junk.


Mid 1800s Cannon Recovered From Waterway In Hong Kong.
Source: South China Morning Post.
“This trip is tangible evidence that there is historical material in Hong Kong’s waters. There have been lots of surveys on land but not in water,” Jeffery added, urging the government to invest more in maritime archaeology as it is important to the understanding of Hong Kong’s history."

Here is the link.

Some places are more covered by detectorists and salvagers than others.


We'll have something like a two-foot surf today.  Just a touch less this weekend.

We'll also have some negative tides.

There is no significant tropical activity yet.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 21, 2016

7/21/16 Report - Treasure Coast Finds. Various Scoop Designs Favored By A Couple Treasure Coast Detectorists

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Recent Treasure Coast Shipwreck Spike Find.

As you you can probably see, this spike is heavily corroded.  It looks like much more than half of the material was lost.

Very Heavy Treasure Coast Silver Bracelet Find.

Warren D. sent tthe following two pictures of scoops along with an email on the designs.

Couple Innovative Treasure Scoops.
Photo by Warren D

More Treasure Scoops
Photo by Warren D.

Below is the email that Warren sent with the pictures.

The correct use of leverage to allow one handed digging in the most efficient manner is important to beach detectorists.

At the same time to dig vertical, one handed is the most efficient way for deep targets.

When lifting the full bucket one handed from wet sand or in the water and break the ground suction first before lifting is important.

Being able to use the large muscle groups to do the heavy lifting, legs, without bending your back is important.

To be able to easily control the full bucket one-handed without spilling the contents in order to hold the bucket away from the coil to recheck the hole to see if the target was collected is important.

The heavy full bucket center of gravity should be far below the wrist to avoid the twisting of the wrist.

Innovative handle design allows all of the above.

I think experienced beach detectorists know what I mean.

I've had people on the beach come up to me and say I see what you're doing and I get it.

Warren D.

And here is a scoop picture sent by Cliff.

Another Treasure Scoop Design.
Photo by Cliff.
Ciff likes this scoop.

I've talked about scoops before and won't go into it any more today.


There is not tropical weather to be concerned about.  The surf will decrease just a little as we head into the weekend.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

7/20/16 Report - Navy Explosions Mistakenly Reported To Be Earthquakes. 1600s Religious Symbols in Cave. Plagiarism.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Explosion Mistaken for Earthquake.
US Navy Photo by Michael Bevan

Here  is a correction.  Yesterday I gave a source that reported an eathquake off the coast of Florida. It now appears, according  to the following linked source, that the seismic activity was caused by a explosions intended to test a new U.S. Navy vessel.

Here is the link.


A team led by the British Museum and the University of Leicester have found evidence of an early religious dialogue between Europeans and Native Americans. In a cave deep inside the remote island of Mona, archaeologists were astonished to discover Latin inscriptions and Christograms next to spiritual iconography left by indigenous peoples.


I write daily.  I write a lot.  I almost always give sources when I can.  I probably plagiarise sometimes, but not intentionally, and sometimes I probably do it unintentionally.  I think I do a pretty good job of giving sources and credit, but know that I am far from perfect.

I'm copied a lot without receiving credit.  I was made aware of another blog that was basically copying my post.

I don't hold to the highest standards of academic writing.  That is not the kind of thing I do.  This obviously isn't an academic journal.  I just put a few thoughts out there every day - nothing formal.

Sometimes I want to pass along something I heard or read and don't remember or can't find the original source.  I usually tell you when that is the case, so if plagiarism is defined as passing off someone else's work as your own, in those cases, I didn't do that.

I was helping someone who was writing a book recently and provided some text.  The person wrote back and said that later in another section of the book they subconsciously used what I had written. They didn't do it intentionally.  They discovered that they had done it unintentionally. That is natural. If you read or hear things, they register in your memory, you assimilate them, and are likely to use them in one form or another in the future.  That is just how people function.

Here is one type of plagiarism defined by a source found by using the link below.

Uncited paraphrase

When you use your own language to describe someone else's idea, that idea still belongs to the author of the original material. Therefore, it's not enough to paraphrase the source material responsibly; you also need to cite the source, even if you have changed the wording significantly. As with quoting, when you paraphrase you are offering your reader a glimpse of someone else's work on your chosen topic, and you should also provide enough information for your reader to trace that work back to its original form. The rule of thumb here is simple: Whenever you use ideas that you did not think up yourself, you need to give credit to the source in which you found them, whether you quote directly from that material or provide a responsible paraphrase.

Here is that link.

When does a person have an truely original idea?  I'd say almost never.  And when they do, if there are no similar good ideas leading up to the "original idea," I'd bet the "original idea" is pretty bad. In my opinion the above paragraph expressed no "original" idea.

I'd also bet that "the" source, in the vast majority of occasions, has another earlier source, and another and another, documented or otherwise.  People just don't think up ideas "on their own" very often.

Also take into account common sentiments and expressions, such as "I love my son."  That can hardly be an idea that is owned by anyone, first because of its prevalence, and second because when someone else says they love their son, they are not talking about your son, so you are not really expressing the same idea.

The fact is that the vast majority of ideas and language is held in common by a large segment of the human race, and I'd submit those common ideas do not belong to anyone.  Furthermore, there are only a few ways to express those ideas succinctly.  The vast majority of all English written or spoken text is done with around 200 different words.  People just don't construct language in a vacuum, There is much repitition, and there is very little real originality.  There is almost always another older source.

After all the talk about Melania Trump's supposed plagiarism, I decided to test Michele Obama's 2008 convention speech, and found, as I expected, that the online plagiarism test (same one used by one of the TV reporters) found plagiarism in Michele's speech as well.

So when I say "God bless America," or repeat the pledge of allegiance, I hope you'll forgive my plagiarism and simply assume that I was not the first to say those common words or express those ideas, and I am not trying to claim that I am the original author.


We'll have a few days of two-three foot surf.  No tropical activity to report.  This is getting boring but I'd rather have boring than a bad hurricane.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

7/19/16 Report - One Type of Area Where Foot Fanning Can Be Very Helpful. Gyarados Found Near Pompano Pier. John White's Lost Colony.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Some of the best detecting I ever experienced involved situations like the one I will now describe. This was in shallow water over a hard packed rock bottom.

Above I tried to give some idea of what it was like.  On top was a thin layer of sand, probably not much more than an inch thick.  That is represented by the brown lines on top.

Then under that layer of sand was a few layers of rocks.  The larger rocks are indicated by the rectangles above.  The larger were a foot or more long and wide.  Of course they varied in size and some were smaller.

Between the larger rocks were small stones, pebbles, shells and sand which filled in all the spaces. The pebbles, shells and sand and all the rocks were settled and very well packed together, almost like pavement.

Under all of that was a layer of bedrock.  The bedrock layer was not flat like the black line, but rough.  There were depressions, cracks and bumps in the bedrock.

Good targets, including coins, rings and things, were in between the rocks with the pebbles shells and sand.  Good targets were at all levels and in the cracks between rocks at all levels.

If you attempted to scoop normally, the scoop would hit the rocks and only skim over the top layer. Scooping targets was impossible.

The top layer of sand hid the cracks between the rocks so you couldn't get the edge of the scoop in the cracks to lift up the rocks.  Even the edge of a rock was found, lifting it didn't get you far.  Since the rocks and cracks between them were not visible, a layer of sand had to be moved before you could see the cracks.

I mentioned foot-fanning the other day.  That was the best solution in this case.

When foot fanning, of course the first layer of sand was the first to move.  Then the sand and shells between the top rocks would lift out of the cracks.  That was important.  When the material between rocks was removed, the rocks were then looser and could be moved a little.

After every bit of progress, it was necessary to recheck the hole to see if the target was still in it.  Progress was always pretty slow, but also worthwhile.

It was common to discover more targets as the hole continued to get deeper and wider.  It was necessary to check not only the bottom of any growing hole, but also the sides.  Once one rock got moved, the surrounding area was much looser.  Once a hole got started that made it much easier to keep enlarging the hole.  If a target was found at one side of the hole, it is much easier to fan away from the edge after the hole was already started.

I've usually found these types of areas close to the beach and inside a sand bar.  That is a high energy zone where waves pound.

I have no doubt that targets in this area are a combination of things lost originally lost on the beach and in the water.

Foot fanning will pop targets out of cracks or depressions.  Naturally, it is much easier to see newly exposed or moved targets when you have decent visibility

I've learned that I use some techniques that don't make a lot of sense to other people because of the types of places I tend to hunt and the different strategies I use.  You might not see the need or advantages of foot fanning unless you hunt in areas where scoops are very much at a disadvantage. I've found the type of area I described today as being among the most productive.


Gyarados are being found near Pompano pier. Not only can you find coins, modern jewelry or a rare Spanish cob by the Pompano pier, now you can also find Gyarados there.

If you are at Pompano pier or some other location like that and use the right app with your smart phone camera, you might actually see strange characters like the Gyarados.

If you wonder what I'm talking about, you must be over 25, and you are obviously not up on one of the latest viral social media trends.

What is a Gyarado?  It is a dragon-like Pokemon shown here.  It is known for its strength.

Pokemon Go is the latest craze.  It uses what has been called "augmented reality."  It integrates real life GPS, smart phone video and actual locations with a virtual world populated with Pokemon characters.

Poke are also being found at Riverside Park in Jensen.

If you want to know what this is all about, you might want to start with the following link.

Not only is this a type of " hunting" game that has gone totally viral, it also represents a creative new way of using technology, which might have some type of future application in real life treasure hunting.  It takes little imagination to foresee detector screens that show icons representing various targets displayed on a real-life beach or landscape.

I think this viral game presents endless creative possibilities and will lead to many practical applications.


Evidence is mounting that at least part of John White’s lost colony may have ended up in Bertie County.
Archaeologists have excavated 850 square feet of the tract in question and found dozens of artifacts including bale seals used to verify cloth quality; 16th-century nails; firing pans from snaphaunce guns of the day; aglets used to form tips on shirt lace strings; tenterhooks used to stretch hides; pieces of pottery jars for storing dried and salted fish; and bowl pieces like those found in Jamestown...
Here is the link.


Trivia.  What is the motto of the London Stock Exchange?

"Our word is our bond."  That is the motto and has been used as the motto since 1801.

Hardly an original sentiment or expression in the 21st Century.


Expect a one to three foot surf for the next few days.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 17, 2016

7/18/16 Report - Earthquake Off Coast of Florida. Poll Results. Metal Detector Field Test Report.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: Associated Press.
No, its not a hurricane, and it is not a tropical storm.  Who would have guessed?  There was an earthquake 104 miles east of Florida on Saturday.

It is not totally unprecedented.  In fact another 3.7 magnitude earthquake was recorded off the coast of St. Augustine in June.

In 1878 an earthquake knocked plaster from walls in St. Augustine.  That one was felt all the way to Tampa.

Here is the link.


The most recent poll has concluded and the results are in.  Conditions have been poor for quite some time, and, as I suspected, the poll shows that very few treasure coins have been found on the beaches recently.  In fact only one person reported finding a treasure coin on the beach up to this date in 2016.

Of course not everybody responded to the poll, so there could well have been more people who found treasure coins this year than is reflected by the poll.  What I conclude from the poll results is that some very low percentage of those that read this poll did find a treasure coin so far this year. From what I've seen and reported, beach detecting conditions have been very poor.  I did miss a lot of time this year due to illness in the family, so I thought there might have been some better times that I missed.

According to the poll results, 2015 was considerably better.  In fact, just going from the poll results, only 1 percent of those that responded to the poll found a treasure coin as late as 2016, while 8% of the respondents found their most recent treasure coin in 2015.

It seems that 2014 was a relatively poor year for finding treasure coins, although the number could actually be as high 9% of the sample.  Those that found coins in 2016 and 2015 could have also found coins in 2014, but that wouldn't show up on the poll because of the way the question was written.   In retrospect, I could have, and probably should have, allowed multiple responses, and then I would have had the additional data.

20% of the sample reported that the last time they found treasure coins was 2013 or earlier.  That could be 2013 or anytime before that.

Only 30% of those who responded to the poll reported that they have ever found a treasure coin on the beach.  To put it the other way, 70% had not found a treasure coin on a beach.  So those of you who have, can count yourself as among the minority.

I've done polls in the past that show that if you found one treasure coin, there is a very good chance that you found more than one. Once you get your first, it seems easier.

Overall, the poll results seem to support my estimates of beach conditions, at least in a general way.


I ran across a test of the Nokta Fors Relic metal detector by Colonel Dan on the Kellyco web site.

They called it a field test, but the test targets were selected and placed or planted (not sure which from the report) in the field.   It also seemed to me to be more like a test for coin shooters not relic hunters, as iron targets were considered trash.  I'm not sure that is how relic hunters look at the world.

Here is one of the tables found in the report.  You might find it interesting even if you'd never consider a Nokta.  "WSS" indicates wet salt sand.  The two sets of data are for the stock and small 5 inch coil.

Sensitivity at Depth7x11" Stock5" Round
Values = inchesWSSSoilWSSSoil
1897 Silver Quarter71147
1877 Silver Dime7846
1883 V Nickel71036
1886 Indian Cent5746
3 Ring CW Bullet61036
Antique Key61247
1853 Large Cent51158
14K Ring51048
10K Ring3626
The first thing you might notice is that depth was significantly reduced in wet salt sand.  The second thing is that the reduction in depth for the smaller coil, which would also be expected, but that might give you some idea of the amount of the reduction.

The small coil was said to provide excellent separation between the trash (key) and good targets.

Click here to go to the field test.


This week on the Treasure Coast we'll have something like a two or three foot surf.  Nothing much else going on other than the Blue Algae.

Happy hunting,