Tuesday, October 17, 2017

10/17/17 Report - Large Atocha Silver Bar With Interesting Monogram. The Soothing Beach. Tornado From Irma.

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

Large Atocha Silver Bar
Lot 216 in Current Sedwick Treasure Auction.
The cool thing to me about this large silver bar is the TA monogram in the shape of a human stick figure.

Here is the auction description.

Large silver bar #626, 89 lb 11.68 oz troy, Class Factor 0.8, with markings of manifest 1038, fineness 2380/2400 and mine/date cartouche ORVRO / 1621, from the Atocha (1622). 15-3/4" x 5-1/4" x 3-1/4". A particularly large ingot with strong markings on top (should be at least Class Factor 0.9) including a very deeply impressed diamond-topped-TA monogram (for owner/shipper Tirajo), very bold IUXXXVIII manifest number, full but corroded fineness IIUCCCLXXX, silvermaster V (de Vreder) in one corner and full but lightly corroded (but all-important) rectangular cartouche with mine name ORVRO above date 1621 (the presence of which should merit a Class Factor of 1.0), plus the usual cylindrical assayer's "bite" at one end, yet with all of the circular tax stamps too weak to discern, tiny bits of charcoal embedded in sides, overall well above average for these popular "loaves" of silver. From the Atocha (1622), with Fisher photo-certificate #85A-S626 and original gray plastic TSI tag.

This lot currently has a bid of $22,000 and is sure to go much higher.

Not only is this a great silver bar, but the imaginative monogram shows the creativity of the owner/shipper, Tirajo.  Really a great human touch that survives the centuries.

The ORVRO mark refers to Ururo, which is the Spanish name for Uro Uro in Bolivia.

According to Wikipedia, The city was founded on November 1, 1606, by Don Manuel Castro de Padilla. as a silver-mining center in the Urus region. At the time it was named Real Villa de San Felipe de Austria, after the Spanish monarch Philip III. It thrived for a while, but it was eventually abandoned as the silver mines became exhausted.


It is said that being at the beach provides mental and physical health benefits.

According to one article, “The color blue has been found by an overwhelming amount of people to be associated with feelings of calm and peace,” says Shuster. “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.” A study published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s journal even found that blue is associated with a boost of creativity.

The smell of the ocean breeze contributes to your soothed state, which may have something to do with the negative ions in the air that you’re breathing in.

Plus,that consistent ebbing and flowing you hear as you lie on your towel under an umbrella? “It kind of de-stimulates our brains,” says Shuster. The noises — coupled with the visuals — activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is “responsible for slowing us down and allowing us to relax and feel more engaged,” says Sally Nazari, PsyD, owner of Chrysalis Psychological Services and host of the podcast Beyond the Couch...

But it turns out there’s a bit of a placebo effect happening, too...

Here is a link for more about that.



Hurricane Irma was the beginning of a very hectic time for me and a lot of other people.  I won't go into all of the details, but I just haven't been able to get back to normal since.

A little tornado passed very near my house.  I happened to see it go through.  It was something to see.  A huge electric poll swayed and trees snapped over like paper napkins.  The sound was something too.

Path of Tornado Through Wooded Area.
There was a path torn through the wooded area.  Above is a little of that path.

Below is a picture of one limb ripped off by the Tornado.  Large trunks and limbs broke off.

Limb Broken by Tornado Associated With Hurricane Irma.
I talked a lot about Irma, but I haven't mentioned how it opened up some heavily wooded areas that were difficult to detect before.

Towards the end of next week it looks like we could have a decent size surf - up to six or seven feet.

Happy hunting,

Monday, October 16, 2017

10/16/17 Report - Impressions of the Garrett ATX Metal Detector After A Lot of Usage. Fossil Bone.

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

I thought I'd give my impressions of the Garrett ATX with 10x12 DD coil after using it for quite a few hours.  A lot of metal detector reviews are done after a few hours of experience with the metal detector.  You can't tell anything from that.  And I've explained the many problems with air tests, test gardens and other attempts to quickly assess and summarize metal detectors.

It took me a long time to learn to use the ATX well.  Like with any metal detector, it is not difficult to turn it on and go, but that doesn't guarantee that you are getting anything close to best performance.  Ignorance can be bliss.  You can use a metal detector for a long time and feel that it is doing well without really testing things out and making sure you are getting the best performance out of the detector.

How well a metal detector performs depends a lot upon the person using it.  I think that is especially true with the ATX.

I can't tell you exactly why it seemed to take me so long with the ATX.  I guess in some important ways it is just different from some of the detectors I've used in the past, but it did take me longer to become confident that I was using it well and getting great performance out of it.

One of the first things you will notice about the ATX is how heavy it is.  It is heavy.  It swings lighter than it is, yet it is still heavy and I can't think of a heavier metal detector that I have used.

The first thing you might notice performance wise, is its sensitivity to iron.  It is easy to end up digging very deep holes for iron targets and tons of holes for very small pieces of iron.  Again, operator skill comes into play.

There is an iron check function, but it doesn't identify iron in a lot of cases.

If you want a detector that gives a lot of discrimination or target ID, this is not the detector for you.  This is what I call a power detector.  It detects.  It detects deep targets and small targets.  There is a lot of digging with this detector.  If you are a skilled operator, and I do mean skilled, you can cut down on the digging, but it does require a skilled operator.

The ATX can pick up a lot of electrical interference around power lines, cables etc., but the frequency scanner does a good job of selecting a frequency to adjust noisy environments.

It is a deep seeking detector and responds very well to small gold and silver targets.  It is better than most detectors if you use it well, can handle a heavy detector and are not afraid of detecting some junk targets.

I'm not going to give you air test results or anything like that.  I've talked about the problems with such tests in the past.  I will say, it will detect small and deep targets very well if you use it well.

It is difficult to explain why it took me so long to feel like I mastered the ATX, but I would not describe it is a turn-on and go detector.  Part of it was the fact that I really explored and tested the various operating modes and settings.  

With the coil and configuration I use, pinpointing is not quick and easy.  With most detectors, I can pinpoint fairly well without taking the time to stop and switch to pinpoint mode.  The ATX seems to give such a big broad signal to anything but the smallest targets, that pinpointing seems to take longer.  I really have never used a detector before that I had to take so much time pinpointing.  The ATX pinpoint mode is good, it is just that in the past I seldom had to slow down and use pinpoint mode so much.

With the ATX I like to manually ground balance, especially in wet sand.  I pay more attention to ground balancing and spend more time ground balancing with the ATX than I have ever done with any other detector.  

Non-motion mode will give you some added depth, but it takes a fairly skilled operator to use the non-motion mode in wet sand or shallow water.  The ATX will give you excellent depth on deep and small targets. 

There are a variety of reasons it took me so long to feel that I mastered the ATX.  Part of it is because of the detector itself.  It was partly because it is significantly different than a lot of the detectors I've used extensively in the past.  And part of it is that I just wanted to make sure that I explored everything and was getting the best out of the detector and its various modes and settings.

To summarize, the ATX will detect deep targets and small targets as well or better than any detector I have used, however it is not the easiest detector to learn and it is not the easiest detector to use.  It is definitely not a good detector for a beginner, and it is definitely not for everybody or every situation.  If I primarily wanted to make sure I was not missing deep or small targets, it would be my choice.  If I was hunting the average dry beach, I would probably not select the ATX.  There are other detectors that would do a good job and make the task easier.

A couple of days ago I showed  the following picture and asked what kind of fossil bone you thought it was.

Fossil Bone Find.

Below is a larger but similar bone.  It is a sloth toe bone.  From what I've seen, it could be a sloth toe bone, but that is just my wild guess.

Source: internet photo.


Just a 2 - 4 foot surf on the Treasure Coast right now.  That might increase a little in a few days.

I had to take a family member to the hospital this weekend, but all seems back to normal now.

Happy hunting,


Friday, October 13, 2017

10/14/17 Report - Fifth Century Gold Coin and Rings Found. Where Treasure Coins Have Been Found. Fossil Find.

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

5th Century Gold Coin and Ring Finds.
Source: thelocal web site link below.

My main topic today is the recently completed blog poll.  The conclusions are limited for a variety of reasons.  I was not able to post a long detailed question because of how the blog poll app works.  As a result I could only ask one question, and I could not get very detailed or specific.

Not long ago some one suggested that I conduct a poll something like this one. The question they posed was a little different though. It was something more like, "How many treasure coins have you found at the different shipwreck beaches in the last five years?"  That is a very different question than the one I posted. At first glance it might seem more similar than it really is.  There are reasons that I decided to do it the way that I did.

If I were to do this poll again, I would probably use some other time period than the five-year period that I chose.  This time around a ten-year period would probably have been better.  The five year period unfortunately put Hurricane Sandy, one of the productive times during that time span, not clearly in or out of the five year period. Not remembering specific dates, some people probably included Hurricane Sandy finds while others did not.

The locations listed in the poll were not defined in a precise manner either.  That leaves a lot of room for interpretation.  For example, the area defined as "between Turtle Trail and Rio Mar" might be considered to begin at the Turtle Trail access, or it could include a mile or two to the south of that.  It is not clear how respondents looked at that.

I didn't want to ask where people found the most treasure lately.  Most treasure hunters do not want to give away their hot spots.  I thought that by going with the five-year period, that would reduce that concern since people wouldn't be telling where they made their most recent finds.  That really didn't relieve the desire for secrecy concerning where people have been finding things.  Some people told me straight out that they didn't want to give that information out to the general public.  I understand that completely.  That is undoubtedly whey so many of the respondents were people who had not found any treasure coins.  They had nothing to hide.

Understanding all of the limitations of this poll and the limitations on the conclusions, it still wasn't a waste.  Perhaps it was most informative for less experienced detectorists and those that haven't made that first treasure coin find yet.  The poll results say one thing very clearly: treasure coins can be found a lot of places, including on the Treasure Coast and elsewhere.

You have to realize that the poll numbers do not indicate the number of coins found at each location.  The numbers indicate the number of people who found coins at each location.  That is a big difference.

As a previous blog poll showed, if a person finds one cob, it is very likely that they found more than one.

Given the short-comings of the poll itself, along with response bias, you can't take too much from the poll results.  There is no one beach or location that really sticks out as being a real hot spot.   The range of vote or responses for any one Treasure Coast location was 0 to 4.  That is not a wide range, and considering the limitations that I've already mentioned, you can't make much out of the fact that one location has more votes than another.

From the poll results we can see that a good number of treasure coins were found outside of Florida and outside the country.  With our heavy focus on the Treasure Coast, we might forget that there are other important areas where shipwreck treasure is found.  In the U. S., there are places like North Carolina, Texas, and other areas of Florida, including the West Coast.

As I mentioned before, I know of finds from areas listed in the poll that had no responses.  In other words, there were known finds that were not reported in the poll.  So, like I said, the voting was suppressed and can only be accepted very generally.

Here are the final numbers from the poll question, "Where did you find gold or silver shipwreck treasure coins or cobs in the last five years?"

Didn't find any.
  54 (72%)
  3 (4%)
  0 (0%)
Sebastian Inlet to Ambersands
  0 (0%)
Golden Sands/ Treasure Shores
  0 (0%)
  2 (2%)
Seagrape/Turtle Trail
  4 (5%)
Between Turtle Trail and Rio Mar
  1 (1%)
Rio Mar
  0 (0%)
John Brooks/Frederick Douglass
  3 (4%)
  2 (2%)
Other Florida
  3 (4%)
Not in Florida
  7 (9%)

Votes so far: 75
Poll closed 


Treasure Coast Fossilized Bone Find.
Can you guess what kind of bone this is?

I found it about three weeks ago.  I just got the picture downloaded.


Concerning the 5th Century coin and ring finds shown at the top of the post, here is a brief excerpt.

The coin was made in honour of Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III, who ruled between 425 and 455. The emperor is depicted on one side of the coin, with his foot resting on the head of a barbarian – a common motif in coinage from the period. A similar coin commemorating Valentinian III was found three years ago...
Here is the link for the rest of the story.



Happy hunting,

Thursday, October 12, 2017

10/12/17 Report - Metal Detecting Over A Few Decades. Thomas Jefferson's Home. Inca In Peru.

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

Metal Detecting: The Changing Journey For One Person.

Life looks a lot different when you are 20 years old and looking ahead than it does at 70 something and looking back.  Its not the same at all.  I guess if you live in the moment or are totally consumed by daily struggles, you might not notice the difference, but otherwise you might come to see things entirely differently.

Not only do I see life differently, but also metal detecting.  When I started, I had no idea what I might accomplish.  I started trying to find  pocket change - counting it at the end of each hunt and trying to find more the next time out.  As I improved my skill level and finds, I started to focus on jewelry and better things.  I counted gold rings instead of small change.  I was still studying and trying to learn as much as I could and kept improving.  During one period of about six months when I was between jobs, I proved to myself that I could find enough to make a living at it if I wanted to.  I wanted to know what I could do.  I wanted to prove something, mostly to myself.   Now that matters very little.

When I moved to the Treasure Coast I started hunting more for shipwreck finds than modern jewelry even though I had done some of that before moving.  I like historic stuff better anyhow.  Unlike with modern jewelry finds, there is no living person that had to lose the item first.

Loved ones pass away.  Heavy life and death situations are faced.  And surprise, surprise, I got old.

Life doesn't look the same.  It is just as amazing and marvelous - even more so.  A lot of things were once taken for granted that are now appreciated and recognized as fleeting.  Things that were once important, like education, degrees, career accomplishments, no longer matter.  No body cares, and I almost never think of it.  While those things once consumed a large part of life, they are now irrelevant to me except as distant memories.

As far as metal detecting, there were times when I was very competitive.  And I'm not a competitive person by nature, but when I set a goal for myself, I can pursue it very intensely.  I'm no longer competitive with my metal detecting at all.  I don't see anyone else's success as affecting mine in any significant way.  I always have a strategy, and a way to adjust or work around or use what anyone else might be doing.

I used to do things that I would not even consider doing today, such as water hunting in the ocean at night alone.  Or working really rough or other dangerous conditions.

Just like in the rest of life, many of the things that once seemed very important to me in metal detecting, are no longer important to me at all.  Finds that I would once drool over, no longer excite me.  Some of those, as precious and hard to come by as they are, now seem sort of boring.  But don't get me wrong.  The fun and interest of the activity is not gone.  It is still an activity that I very much enjoy.  I still enjoy finds.  But in a different way.

The finds I most like now are not necessarily valuable or the kind of things most sought by many people.  I like little things.  They don't have to be amazing or tremendously valuable.   I appreciate the little pieces of history - pieces that require study and tell a story and still leave a little mystery.   It could be something valuable, but if it was, I'd prefer a one-of-a-kind piece or something unusually rare.  It would have a little mystery to it or help solve a mystery.  It doesn't have to mean anything to anybody else.  It only has to mean something to me.

My professional career involved research, teaching and consulting.  I do that now, but as it relates to metal detecting.

Since I began this blog, I've communicated with a lot of people.  A lot of peope read this blog, and some send emails.  Some have helped me a lot.  Fred Dengler, for example, always answered my every fossil related question.  He was more than an always helpful expert: he is a great guy. and I proudly count him a friend.   I haven't heard from him for a while and hope he is well.  Fact is, I miss him.  He provided expertise, but also something more.  He freely gave of himself.

The thing that I have come to appreciate is the kind and generous people. Some contribute to this blog in some way.  Some send encouraging comments, thank me for what I do and wish me well.  Some have offered to financially compensate me for the benefit they get from the blog.  I haven't accepted any contributions, but I appreciate the offer just as much or more than what might have been offered.

I have made friends through this blog that I never met.  A very few I have met.

For me, the journey has changed.  It is now less about the finds and much more about the search and the experiences I had along the way, and now, more than ever, about the fine people that I met.

I've met good people.  They care about others and try to help others.  They've been good to me.  That has been my biggest reward for doing this blog - getting to know that there are so many good people out there in the world and getting to know some of them personally.


Arcaheological investigations were conducted around Thomas Jefferson’s historic home and plantation in Bedford County.

At a tour on Saturday, Jack Gary, the director of archaeology, said that a new two-lane “Polar Forest Parkway” soon will be constructed to make the property more accessiblevia an extensive section of unused land.
To prepare for the road, Poplar Forest’s archaeologists excavated 4,000 small sites along its marked path . That way, they can ensure the road doesn’t obscure anything with potential historical import...
Here is the link for the rest of that story.



An Inca site was recently discovered in Peru.

Here is the link to that story.



Only one day remaining to respond to the blog poll.  All responses are appreciated.

Ophelia is still a hurricane but is just a fish storm.

On the Treasure Coast today we have a little wind from the northeast, but the swells are still more easterly.  The surf is around four to six feet.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

10/11/17 Report - How The Competition Can Actually Help You If You Effectively Analyze Your Finds. A Twist on the Spanish Conquest.

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

As you know I cover a wide variety of topics.  Once in a while I get on a particular topic and stick to it for a while before changing again.  For a few weeks I was on the weather and developing beach conditions.  Sometimes I'll be on beach dynamics or treasure coins, or metal detectors or strategies techniques or equipment.  Sometimes even things like fossils, sea glass or Native American artifacts.

Lately I've been talking about one 8-mile stretch of beach that I detected a lot in the past.  I'll  talk a little more about that today, particularly two of the better modern jewelry beaches.

The first I described as "a very narrow swimming beach where a lot of people crowded on nice days.  It produced a lot of good quality jewelry on a regular basis."  The jewelry finds were generally good quality and seemed to be a good representative sample of what the people wore there.

On the other hand, there was another jewelry beach that I described as " a good hole.  It was in front of an active high-scale resort.  Not as many items as in zone 1, but higher quality.  Some very good finds came from there even though there was known competition.  I believe that it was resort staff.  A fellow stood and watched me working the water one day and left cursing when he saw me dig a gold chain in very shallow water.  I could tell that  a lot of my finds from there were not the easy finds and were things somebody could easily miss."

The things I found there were not things that were easy to detect.  The average and large size things never appeared.  It was always a very thin gold ring with a good gem, or a small gold chain, or something else that might easily be missed by the detector.  Finds were not frequent but they were good. There was no junk and very few coins. 

If you carefully analyze what is being found or not found, you can tell a lot about a site and modify how you hunt accordingly.  Since I knew there were very few junk targets and few big targets, I could really pump up the sensitivity turn off discrimination and hunt slow and listen for the small signals.  Overall, it was very productive hunting.

Once I was traveling on business and stopped at a roadside beach with a couple picnic tables near Pensacola.  There were four posts marking out a square area in front of the picnic tables.  I started hunting found the are within the square marked by the posts thoroughly cleaned out so I moved just outside the square area and found three gold rings in a very short time.  Whoever was working that area on a regular basis, worked the square but left the area just outside the square untouched.

My point is to carefully analyze finds and junk to determine what is going on and then make adjustments.  The competition can actually help you out if you figure out how to take advantage of what they are or aren't doing.


Monday was Columbus Day, and as you would expect, in response to any mention of a celebrated historic or national cultural event that at one time played any roll in fostering national identity, we are treated to a parade of contrary boring poorly-thought-out  incessantly-repetitious emotion-driven arguments by dissenters for their "favorite" group, skin color, nationality, ideology or whatever.  I am all in favor of presenting "the other side."  In fact I highly recommend and encourage exactly that.  I only want the argument to be thorough, consistent and justified by something other than myth, repetition and emotion.

Victim-hood attracts sympathy.  I understand that, but being a victim does not automatically make you right.  It does not grant merit.

The Spanish ( or Europeans or Whites - however you want to define your favorite group or your favorite hate group) conquistadors did terrible things.  I am not defending that at all.  However, the Maya and Aztec, foe example, appeared to have little aversion to violence, human sacrifice, war, slavery, or territorial expansion, all of which existed in the New World before Columbus arrived.

The difference is not that one group was evil and the other inherently good.  The big difference came down to the fact that one group was more successful in effecting the evil in their heart.  I have no reason to believe that if the Aztecs, for example, had the ships, army and war technology to project power overseas, that they would develop a non-violent non-aggressive culture and limit the evil they would do.   I see no reason to believe that if they had the power to project domination that they would not have done the same thing to North America and Europe and we might be speaking some strange language today.

I accept that the more powerful group is responsible for the greater damage done, but not having the ability to do more damage hardly makes you a better person.  It was not that one group was completely good and the other completely evil.  No group is completely good or evil - especially not any group defined by such superficial simplistic things as skin color, ancestry, race, national identity or culture.  We have to learn to look at things in less simplistic terms, and we need to start looking at people as individuals - not just group members.  We need to get over this obsession with skin color, race and nationality.   No person is perfect.  Neither are groups.


The poll is progressing nicely.  Not much longer to get your responses in.  I know that some people have not responded because I know of some finds in areas that still have zero votes. 

Please respond before it is too late.  I think this is one of my more interesting polls.



Compared to September there isn't much excitement.  The surf isn't huge, yet it isn't real small now.

I haven't been able to get out lately, but hope you have.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

10/10/17 Report - 1715 Fleet Eight-Escudo. How High Will It Go? Evaluating Metal Detecting Zones.

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

Lot  In Current Sedwick Treasure Auction # 22.
Source: auction.sedwickcoins.com
Here is the lot description.

Lima, Peru, cob 8 escudos, 1697H, "PVA" variety, very rare, encapsulated NGC MS 62, finest and only specimen in NGC census, from the 1715 Fleet (designated on label). S-L25; KM-26.2; CT-8. 26.85 grams. Broad flan with good full cross, clear king's ordinal II, bold full crown above full pillars-and-waves, minor peripheral flatness, frosty surfaces. This is one of only six dates (1696-1701) struck under Charles II, whose name on these coins appears simply as "C.II.," which are naturally highly sought for the type. One of two varieties for this date--with and without dots in the motto--but this is the only specimen of either variety in the NGC census. NGC #4485215-002. From the 1715 Fleet.

This is an exceptional cob that already has a bid of $20,000.The auction estimate was 20 - 40 thousand.

What is your guess on the final price?   Make a guess and send me your estimate.

Here is the link,



I recently wrote about a stretch of beach and various metal detecting zones I identified along that stretch.  I mentioned how those areas differed.  Some differences were apparent by simple observation.  You could see the people, how many were there, what they were doing, what types of things they had, etc.  You could see the natural environment, including the sand, slopes, sea grass, etc.  But there were some things I had to check with my metal detector.  I sampled every area at least a little - some more than others. 

I had to pass by some areas to get to others.  Even if I didn't want to spend much time at a particular zone, I would at least pass through it quickly with my detector to check it out..  I always like to collect a little data to check my previous conclusions.  Occasionally I would run across an unexpected good find or something that might make me want to check a little more.

My main point here is that it is important to really get to know different areas and don't write them off too soon. Check things out, and improve your understanding of any area.

I highly recommend keeping detailed records.  I've said that before.  I never regretted keeping records, but often wished I had kept more.

Areas change over time.  You might want to compare observations over the years and it is difficult to remember everything over a lengthy time span.  Those fifteen zones I described were only along one 8 mile stretch, and I detected a lot of places other than that small area.  

It is nice to have a good long stretch with a variety of different types of zones.  When one zone isn't producing another might be.  You can select different ones to work at different times, depending upon what is going on.  And as you walk from one to another, you can always check those in between.

Different zones had different concentrations and types of targets.  That is something important to keep track of.  I once did a post on math for metal detecting.  You can probably still find it.

When the value of targets can be quantified, you can calculate the most likely value of your finds per time unit at the different zones.  That will help you compare and select detecting sites.  Some zones produce more finds, but on they might be low value finds so that your average find value might actually be higher at an area where you find fewer things.  The numbers will help you assess the situation much better.  It is amazing how a very few remarkable finds can quickly add up to hundreds or thousands of low quality finds.

Of course you can't go entirely by the numbers even though the numbers will help you get a good picture of the situation if you put in enough time and keep records.  Some people just want to go by feel.  Some people are just more interested in certain types of finds even though they might not be as valuable.  Some people just like old coins or other old things, for example.  On the other hand, a lot of people don't have the patience for the low-quantity zones even if there are some very high quality finds to be made there.

One of the zones I mentioned yesterday was supposed to have produced old shipwreck coins, according to one book..  I never found that to be the case, but by looking at the area I could tell that it would take a very good storm to wash old coins in even if the book was right.  The book, by the way was written by an author not known for the highest standards of accuracy.  That is another reason I tend to go by my own observations and data.  I try to experiment and test everything that seems important and questionable.  Having spent part of my career in science, it is just my nature.  One thing I emphasize and teach a lot is an empirical scientific approach to metal detecing.

More on metal detecting zones some other day.


I hope you will take time to respond if you have not yet responded to the blog poll.  I know of finds that were made that do not show up in the poll yet.  In fact there are some that I showed in this blog that are not represented in the poll yet.  I know that because the area the cobs were found still shows zero finds for that area.  Of course the poll isn't complete yet, so I expect it to fill in.

Thanks for your help.


Tropical storm Ophelia is out in the middle of the Atlantic and won't affect us.

We are back to three and four foot surf for the Treasure Coast.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, October 8, 2017

10/8/17 Report - Knowing Your Beaches: Classifying and Categorizing for Metal Detecting. The Blog Poll. Hurricane Nate.

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

Hurricane Nate caused a lot of flooding and road and beach closures in the western Florida Panhandle.  There is a storm surge and still high waves.

I wanted to talk a little about the blog poll today.  I had a lot of information entered and lost it so I'll start over.    I'll do a little now, and if I have the patience, more later.

The current blog poll should provide some good and interesting information.  It will unoubtedly give us some good insight but also leave some unanswered questions.  Already the early responses made it clear that cobs are found other places than on the Treasure Coast.  That isn't surprising, but those of us  who live here focus so much on the Treasure Coast, that we might not think much of hunting other areas of Florida and the world.  It is always fun to travel and detect new places.

People have reported cob finds from both other areas of Florida and areas outside of Florida.  As you probably know, cobs can be found on the West Coast of Florida, Canaveral area, West Florida, and many other places.  I have regular readers from North Carolina and other states and regions where cobs are found.

I am hoping that you will take the little time necessary to respond to the poll, because when we have good information we all win.  You don't need to be afraid of giving away your favorite spot.  The poll covers five years and does not tell anyone what area is hot now or next week or next year.  And we all know that things change.

In retrospect, I wish I would have specified a longer time period than five years.  Hurricane Sandy was about five years ago, and I'd like you to include that time period.  Since then beach detecting conditions on the Treasure Coast have been poor more than not.

If you read this blog and get anything out of my free work, I hope you'll make a contribution in the form of your response to the polls.


There was an 8-mile stretch of beach that I detected frequently in the 1990s.  I looked at it as consisting of 15 different zones.

The first zone was a very narrow swimming beach where a lot of people crowded on nice days.  It produced a lot of good quality jewelry on a regular basis.

Moving north and going around a bend was what I considered zone 2.  This was a longer and wider shallow-water area that produced significantly less jewelry, and the jewelry there was of a significantly lower quality, even though the area was still in the same park.

Moving farther north was zone 3 - a dead zone.  Almost nothing came out of there.  It was in front of a condo, but it seemed few people from that condo ever went outdoors, let alone swimming.

Zone 4 was the next area, which was in front of a condo or resort that was closed.  The beach there produced relatively little, but on a few occasions when the beach eroded, you could find good coin lines with a little jewelry on the eroded slope.

Zone 5 was a private beach club.  A lot of people went to the beach and swam there.  I found less there than I thought I should and always suspected there was somebody else that cleaned that location regularly.  I wouldn't doubt if it was some of the staff of the club.  They didn't like me being there and I once was told I couldn't detect there, but I knew better.  I called the county offices and they told me the public had every right to use that beach back to the erosion control markers. Public tax dollars maintained that part of the beach.

Zone 6 was another dead zone.  One or two nice pieces came out of the shallow water even though it was covered with sea grass and had  lot of aluminum junk.

Zone 7 was around a sand spit that extended out into the shallow water where a lot of boaters parked.  The interesting feature of this zone was the remains of a wreck  under the beach where the sand bar joined.

Zone 8 was a good hole.  It was in front of an active high-scale resort.  Not as many items as in zone 1, but higher quality.  Some very good finds came from there even though there was known competition.  I believe that it was resort staff.  A fellow stood and watched me working the water one day and left cursing when he saw me dig a gold chain in very shallow water.  I could tell that  a lot of my finds from there were not the easy finds and were things somebody could easily miss.

Continuing north some more, next was zone 9, another condominium.  This one had more active people and produced a few good finds.  It was much better than the other condominiums but not nearly as good as a few of the other zones.

Zone 10 was long dead zone.

Zone 11 was a big public park with a huge shallow swimming area.  This swimming area would produce very few coins but almost always a piece of gold or two.  It was visited by more detectorists than any other zone other than possibly zone 1.

Zone 12 was at the north end of the parking areas.  Most park visitors stayed in the main swimming area just south of there.  Zone 12 was a relatively small area where it seemed people parked before the paved parking was put in.  This area produced coins and jewelry dating back into the 1800s.

Zone 13 was larger and had a much lower concentration of coins.  The quantity of finds was low and the quantity was no better than average.

Zone 14 was  rock outcropping that was usually covered by sand, however after one storm there was a virtual carpet of older silver coins and jewelry there.

The next zone (zone 15) was a small area where people in the past evidently parked along the road and visited the nearby small beach.  The coins there were generally mid to early 1900s.  They were usually very heavily corroded.

I have a number of reasons for going through the list, but mainly wanted to give some idea of how you should get to know your beaches as potential detecting sites. 

I might expand on this some other time in the near future..


Sunday the wind is from the south and the surf is down again.  There is a nice high tide today though.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, October 7, 2017

10/7/17 Report - Difficulties of Dating An Artifact: Florida Dugout Canoe Find. New Poll. Hurricane Nate. Sand Monster.

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

Hurricane Nate
Source: nhc.noaa.gov

Hurricane Nate is not going to affect the Treasure Coast but might affect the Florida Panhandle.

Bathtub Beach is eroded and they are talking about bringing in more sand next week.  It seems like that is a continual thing there.  I talk about obstacles to sand flow like rocks and sea walls that cause localized erosion.  The houses to the north of Bathtub Beach cut off the sand flow.

Remember what I posted yesterday about renrourishment sand.   Depending upon various factors, it could have something good in it.

The winds have turned southerly and the surf is now down to 2 - 4 feet.  There will, however, be a good high tide.


The dugout canoe found in Cocoa by Randy Lathrop back in October was thought by some to be very old.  After closer examination, its age is in question.

A Florida Division of Historical Resources archaeologist inspected the 15-foot log vessel, and radiocarbon dating results were released Thursday. The tests determined there is:
• A 50 percent probability the wood used to make the canoe dates between 1640 to 1680.
• A 37.2 percent probability the wood dates between 1760 to 1818.
• An 8.6 percent probability that it dates to 1930 or later...

"The canoe has some interesting features, like the presence of paint and wire nails, that indicate it may have been made in the 19th or 20th century, so this adds to the mystery," she said...
Or, perhaps the canoe was made in the 1600s or 1700s, saw use for many years, and was modified over time..
"Florida has the highest concentration of dugout canoes in the world. We have more than 400 documented dugout canoes in our state. Each canoe is important in that it adds to our database and helps fill out the picture of how people used these canoes over thousands of years," Revell said...
Here is the link for the complete article.


Of course we want to learn the age and identity of finds, but it can be difficult or impossible to do with precision.  Even with readiocarbon dating you are left with probabilities, not a precise date.

One tricky thing we often neglect is that an item can be from widely disparate age ranges.  Part of an item can be older than another part, and then it can be used for years or centuries and modified, repurposed or remanufactured.

It is especially difficult to put a date on some barely identifiable clump or something without any context shown in a photo.

Even coins that give you a mint date don't tell you when they were lost.


I posted a new blog poll.  This one should be interesting.  I'm trying to determine where treasure coins or cobs have most often been found during the past five years.  Answer to the best of you recollection.  Thanks much!


You might find this interesting.  It is about a real sand mover.

Friday, October 6, 2017

10/6/17 Report - Metal Detecting and Renourishment Sand. Amazing Archaeological Find by Detectorists. Treasure Auction 22 Now Online.

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

Here is the link to the new auction catalog.


There are some nice bids already.


The other day I mentioned a few older finds I made in renourishment sand.  Joe D. wrote in about metal detecting renourishment sand.  Here is what he had to say.

I'm glad you brought up the subject of how important the original location of the renourshment sand source is when surveying beach locations to detect, since that is what many of us end up detecting when there is little erosion going on. 

I wanted to give you a few examples of the locations of the last several I've had knowledge of and detected often as they were put down and subsequently eroded out.

The most recent of which was the beach South of Jupiter inlet, from the inlet to the end of the public beach. The sand source was a little inside the inlet in front of Dubois Park. An area with quite a bit of history, but not the original inlet location, which was a little south. Nevertheless, my thinking was that it might turn up some good stuff if it was not overly filtered for size; which I believe it was based on the composition after the fact. I have found nothing old or fossilized in this stuff, which looks more like shell rock than beach sand, and barely moved at all compared to the regular beach sand from when Irma came through. 

On another renourshment project in the South end of Palm Beach a year or so ago, they dredged from offshore about a quarter of a mile and were nice enough to dump the larger filtered items in a nice pile in Phipps Park for a couple of months. It was all shells and rocks and anything of size that didn't meet the sand size specs. I found many piece's of copper sheathing and several brass spikes over that period. And there were many shell collectors there all the time.

Another two renourshment projects in Palm Beach at the main beach were not productive. The most recent came from directly off shore, which is now gone. And the one before that was trucked in from a sand pit on the other side of Lake Okeechobee! They, and us, paid big bucks for that one, only to watch it wash away in a year or so.

One of the most important things I learned about this process is that the sand is filtered for grain size, and I guess, secondly if at all, is quality of sand, which probably differs from each location based on the governing body, and how much it will cost, and how much the state will cover. If you can find out or get access to the filtered material before it is hauled away, that is where a lot of the good stuff is.
If you have anymore knowledge to add, it would be interesting to hear of any other observations besides my own.

Thanks. Joe D.

Thanks for sharing your experiences Joe.  I hope others will as well.

Joe brings out some important factors: the source of the sand and the filtering.

Just a few days ago I mentioned how I found a WW II cap badge in  renourishment sand just south of the Fort Pierce inlet.  That wasn't from the most recent renourishment project.  It was one or two projects before that, but the point is that good old stuff can be dumped on a beach with renourishment sand.  At that time, there was also a bunch of garbage in the renourishment sand, including a lot of mangled aluminum cans.  They didn't bother to filter a lot of the garbage out that time.  

Renourishment sand can be tricky.  There can be a variety of layers form different times that get mixed together in no discernible order.

There is one place on the Treasure Coast where new sand was dumped a year or two ago.  It is a fine white sand, and near the dunes they planted sea oats in it. Under that sand is a thick layer of sand from fifty or more years earlier that was dug from in front of the beach and dumped on the dunes and beach.  That time they dug down through sand that is recent and down through sand that contained millions of years old fossils.  When it was dumped on the beach, it was not dumped in order, but spread out so that Styrofoam cups and plastic garbage bags were mixed together with ancient fossils.  Despite the mixing you can easily tell the difference between this sand with older items spread through it and the most recent renourishment sand.  The point being that renourishment sand can be  either homogeneous or a varied mixture.

I tend to do a little sampling of any renourishment sand to see what might be in it.

Observe the different types of sand that you can see on a beach.  If you carefully observe the sand, you'll be able to see how it is moving.

Notice when different layers are exposed.  Different layers can be associated with different types and ages of finds.  The sand can tell you a lot about where you should spend your time.

Tell me about your finds and experiences with detecting in renourishment sand.


A breathtaking hoard of ancient Roman bronze artifacts, described as the first of its kind in British history, has been unearthed by a pair of metal detector enthusiasts.

The 4th century hoard found by Pete Cresswell and his brother-in-law Andrew Boughton in Gloucestershire includes a sculpture of a "licking" dog never found before in the UK.

The licking dog is an example of a healing statue, and may be linked to a Roman healing temple at Lydney, near the Forest of Dean...

Here is the link for the rest of that story.

There will be a nice high tide today.  The surf will be decreasing a foot or two.  The wind will be shifting to a more southerly direction.

Looks like Nate will be a hurricane, but won't affect us in any significant way.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, October 5, 2017

10/5/17 Report - What Was Found During September 2017. Beach Conditions. Another Hurricane.

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

Little Erosion to Back Dunes As Seen Yesterday Afternoon.
 The water has been getting pretty high on the beaches.  Note the new erosion to the base of the dunes.  Also notice that this is renourishment sand with planted sea oats.  There were a few spots where the newly exposed sand was not the newest, but also not real old.  That older sand was also dumped there, but contained some old objects, unlike the most recent layer of renourishment sand.

John Brooks Beach Yesterday Afternoon

Waves Hitting Beach Yesterday Afternoon.
Notice the flat area in front of the beach.  The sand bar seems to go out maybe twenty yards.  That is protecting the beach to some extent and also covering anything is the shallow water.

The slope was mushy, especially in the middle.

The water was hitting the beach straight on instead of a slicing angle.  That is one thing we've been missing since Irma hit us.

I used to always say it take more than a big surf.  I don't think I really have to say that anymore.  I think it has become common knowledge.


Thursday Surf, Swells and Wind for the Fort Pierce Area.
Source: MagicSeaWeed.com

Notice that the surf starts to decrease a little today.  It will continue decreasing for a couple of days.

Another Hurricane.
Source: nhc.noaa.gov
Can you believe it?  Another hurricane.  It looks like it is headed towards the Mobile/Tallahassee area.  Being to the right side of the storm, the wind direction probably won't be much good for beach erosion on the Treasure Coast.


Well, the most recent blog poll has just concluded.

Poll Results.
Source: TreasureBeachesReport.blogspot.com
This has been an unusual period of time with three hurricanes affecting us to some extent or another during the month of September.  All three send us a good high surf, yet none of them really ripped the beaches.  There was some moving of sand, but it was not the kind of movement that leaves big cuts and the back dunes weren't hit hard despite all the high surf.  I believe that was due two to factors: first the large amount of renourishment sand in front of and on the beaches, and secondly, the poor angle of the swells.  Most of the waves were hitting from the east.  We didn't get those nice slicing northeast winds and waves.

Anyhow, there were some things found.  Some of the beaches reminded me a bit of Sandy, which produced some beach cobs - more than these hurricanes produced.

The total number of votes was 71 and the total number of respondents was 63.  (People were allowed to select more than one response.)  That is a good sample size.  Thanks to all who responded and helped us all learn a little something.

Only three of the 63 respondents reported finding treasure coins.  That was a lot of storm and surf compared to the number of finds.

I should have specified "beach" finds, but I suppose most finds reported were from the beach.  There were a couple other refinements I should have made to the poll, but didn't think to do it at the beginning.

So what we see is that a few treasure coins were found.  Not many though.  It wasn't anything deserving more than a 2 rating on my 5-point Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Scale.  I didn't issue many numerical ratings due to the fact that I wasn't able to get out to observe the beaches enough to issue precise numerical ratings.  Hopefully moving forward, I'll be able to get back to doing that more.

I didn't get any pictures of the precious metal find - coin or artifacts.  Somebody said they were hoping to see pictures of those.  I know that one person who reported finding a precious metal treasure coin also reported finding a precious metal artifact.

I did get a lot of pictures, which I posted, of many of the other metallic finds, including the many musket ball and lead finds.  I'm sure you saw those.  I commented on those in previous posts.

I also posted pictures of some wood finds.  I suppose there were also some shards found, but I didn't get any pictures of those to post.

There were ten reported finds of silver U. S. coins.  As you might suspect, and as is supported by the poll results, they will often surface first.

Almost half of the reported responses (not finds) were some kind of shipwreck related find.  So even though conditions evidently weren't great for finding cobs, they weren't bad for coming up with some kind of shipwreck related find.

21 of the 63 respondents found some sort of shipwreck related find.  That isn't bad.

As usual, if you found one shipwreck related item, the chances are that you found more than one.  Previous polls have verified that.  If you find one cob, you have a very good chance of finding more than one  I know that at least one respondent reported finding both a precious metal coin and a precious metal artifact.

I previously posted pictures of many of the lead finds and some of the wood finds, I'd be pleased to post pictures of some of the other finds if you would send them.

Overall, I'm sure everybody was disappointed with the relatively small amount of treasure relative to the number and size of the storms.  Perhaps there were more finds in other parts of the state that experienced more beach erosion.

It sure was better than the hunting we had on the beaches all summer.  The storms did us some good.  And it isn't over yet.

I'm encouraged by the result.  I think the results generally supported my observations, even though there were many times when it seemed things might turn out better than they did.  We got the surf, but not the angles.  And there was all of that renourishment sand still out there protecting the dunes and front beach.  Still a good number of interesting things were found.

I'm sure a few more will be found this month.


More polls to come.

Also I'll be talking about detecting in renourishment sand.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

10/4/17 Report - Beach Erosion and Conditions. Jupiter Beach. Musket Balls and Lead Shot Finds. Nine or Ten Foot Surf. PM Update.

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

Seven Foot Cliff At Fort Pierce South Jetty Park Yesterday Afternoon.

Most of the sand they dumped here a couple of months ago is almost gone.  It is all renourishment sand.  That doesn't mean there can't be something old in it.  I showed one WW II hat emblem that I found in renourishment sand there once.  It depends upon where the new sand came from, and I don't know where that is, although I think it is from near the south bridge in the river.

Fort Pierce South Jetty Park Looking South Tuesdsay Afternoon.
You can't see it in the picture, but there was a detectorist working the slope at the bend.  That is the an area I mentioned once as producing a lot of WW II dog tags.  It is also not far from an old wreck that is believed to well picked over.

Frederick Douglass Park Looking South Yesterday Afternoon.
As I said yesterday, the water was high and getting back over the berm, but there were no cuts or other erosion at John Brooks or Frederick Douglas Tuesday afternoon.  I suspect most erosion will be around barriers or obstacles such as rocks, jetties or erosion control structures ( irony ).

I was going to take a picture at John Brooks too, but the rain started pouring down and I couldn't get the picture.  It turned out to be so much like Frederick Douglass that it wasn't necessary anyhow.


Joe D. sent the following report from Jupiter.

South of inlet conditions are pretty much unchanged! Worked a little farther south past the renurished beach and did find a small coin line along a small cut that had formed from morning high tides! Hoping the King Tides will create a few more cuts since the wind and waves are making low tide hunting unavailable awhile!

Thanks much Joe!

I showed a lot of lead and musket ball Irma finds.  In one other post I mentioned the following web site that was referred to me by Trez.


If you do some research, you'll find that musket balls can be tell you a lot.  Don't just look at them as round balls of lead even though that is what they look like.

The size can tell you a lot.  You can find tables that tell you the size to be used for different types of wild game, for example.  One size is recommended for pigeons and another size for ducks and another size for geese.

The size can also tell you something about the type of gun.  Smaller sizes were used as buck and sometimes shot with larger size balls.  The next larger size would be used for pistols, and then carbines and muskets.

You can find tables giving the size and weight of lead shot recommended for both different kinds of wild game and different fire arms.

By looking at the examples I've posted the last few days, I think the musket balls were being made at a camp on the beach.  Any spare lead could be melted and poured into molds.

Here are a couple links to start, if you want to learn what you might be able to tell from musket balls, or perhaps more properly, lead shot.



The PAS finds database is a good resource.  Too bad we don't have something like that in Florida or the U. S.


There was a time when everyone would be eagerly hoping for a nine or ten foot surf.  Now after the hurricanes and big surf that brought very little erosion, it seems that a lot of people are discouraged, but even without big cuts and erosion this is still better than the continual summer south winds.  It gives you a chance, and at any time a window of opportunity could open up.  I'm rating Treasure Coast beach detecting conditions as a 2 on my 5 point scale.  It is far from excellent, but certainly better than those boring summer conditions.  Some old things will be found.

Here is the Wednesday prediction summary.

I love the windy rainy weather.  I guess I associate it with some of the better hunting days of the past and for me it is a lot better than the hot beating sun.


One day remaining to respond to the blog poll.  Shortly after that one, there will be another blog poll to follow up.


PM Update

I took a look at John Brooks, Frederick Douglas and Waton Rocks and saw very little change in any of the beaches from yesterday.  No cuts other than to the base of a few new front beach dunes in one case, and some renourishment sand near the back of the beach in another case. 

It looked like a the first two beaches might have a flat spot near the waters edge.  There seems to be a wide sand bar in front of those beaches.  Maybe it will separate from the beach a little at low tide.  I still feel a few old things will be found on the Treasure Coast.  I thought there were some spots worth checking out even if they weren't terribly exciting.  I have not seen and have no reports from Vero/Sebastian yet.

Happy hunting,