Sunday, December 31, 2017

12/31/17 Report - Treasure Hunting, Digging Holes and a Metaphor of Life. Should Be Viral Photo. South Hutchinson Island Beaches. Bigger Surf Coming Soon.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Partially Buried Scoop In One Big Hole 
Photo by Eric H.
This is the perfect picture for New Years.  If the world was populated by detectorists like me, the photo would go viral.  As soon as I saw it I had to laugh and showed it to my wife, who also laughed when she saw it.

It isn't that the picture is so funny.  It is just so meaningful.  It is a metaphor for life.

I won't tell the story that goes with the picture yet.  As a detectorist you can probably identify with the big hole at the water's edge.  You get it.  You've been there.

You get a signal.  You check it out.  More beeps.  There is something definitely there.  You start digging.  It is still there.  Dig some more.  Still there.  Dig and dig and dig.  You are almost there and the tide tarts coming in and every time you remove some sand, water comes in and fills the hole again. The object is so close, yet remains just out of reach.

As one year comes to an end, it isn't really an end.  We aren't done yet.  There is more to do.  There are things that we haven't yet accomplished even though we put in a lot of work.  There will be obstacles to overcome but there will also be windows of opportunity. There are treasures that will continue to draw us on and some that will continue to remain just our of reach.

You don't know what lies in the bottom of the hole.  Imagination says it might be some exciting treasure, while discouragement says it might be nothing but junk.  The optimist keeps digging, but the pessimist gives up and says there is nothing good there.

There is a lot in life that we can't see and haven't yet reached, yet we know it is there waiting for us - urging us on.

I've been surprised how religious or spiritual so many detectorists are.  It is no wonder though.  They search for what they do not know and do not see, yet they believe that it is out there.  They can search and work for something and not know what it is.  They can do everything right and still not be successful - until the right time.

Yes, there is much left to do.  There is more to find.  There is more to learn.  The goal has not been reached.   2017 may have been the start of many projects and the finish of some, yet there is much more to do.

May 2018 NOT be a year of bottomless holes and junk targets.  May your efforts be rewarded, and may you find the real treasures of life.


Fort Pierce South Jetty Beach Yesterday Just Before Noon.
I took a look at the beach yesterday.  Here are some photos that I took at Fort Pierce South Jetty and John Brooks beaches.  There was no new erosion at those beaches.

Fort Pierce South Jetty Beach.

It was foggy still around 11 o'clock when I took the photos.  I had to enhance them a little because the fog made them look blurry.

Fort Pierce South Jetty Yesterday.
The wind was coming from the northwest.  The water had only been to the toe of the cliff.

I did pick up some fossil pieces.

John Brooks Beach Yesterday Just Before Noon.

John Brooks Yesterday.

There was no new erosion at either of these beaches.  I don't know if any of the beaches to the north improved.  Maybe some one can give me a report from up there.


The surf predictions are encouraging.  As you can see, we are supposed to get a 5  - 8 foot surf next week.  Also some north winds.


Have a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

12/30/17 Report - Increasing Surf Along Treasure Coast and Beach Photos. Shards. # 5 Most Popular Post of 2017.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Pepper Park Yesterday Morning.
Photo by Alberto S.
Alberto S. visited Pepper Park and Fort Pierce South Jetty Beach yesterday morning and sent these photos. 

Fort Pierce South Jetty Yesterday Morning.
Photo by Alberto S.
Since the higher surf had begun I wanted to see what was happening at the beach, so I went out yesterday afternoon to take a look.  Below is what I saw.

John Brooks Beach Yesterday Afternoon Before High Tide.
Frederick Douglas Beach Yesterday Afternoon Before High Tide.
You can see that at both John Brooks and Frederick Douglas the water was getting up over all the newly accumulated front beach.  It was getting as high as it has been for quite some time and it was not high tide yet.

Frederick Douglas Yesterday Afternoon.
You can see the sand along the berm of the front beach here.  That irregular spot to the left is an area that has been interesting for months now.

The water is getting high enough that there might be some spots that open up at some other beaches after the next high tide or two.


As you probably know I have been listing the top ten most popular posts of 2017.  It has helped me get an overall perspective on the year and what has been most interesting to the blog's readers.

My number five most popular post of the year was another one of the September posts having to do with Hurricane Irma.  As I said before, five of the top ten posts were done in September.  That was a busy time for Treasure Coast detecting this year.

Number 5 was the 9/12/17 post on some of the first Hurricane Irma finds that were reported.  Below is that link.

A lot of musket balls and lead were found after Irma.


Consensus on the ceramic pieces found by Gaylen and shown in yesterday's post seems to be that they are not from old shipwreck pottery.  I am always very hesitant to evaluate pieces like that from just seeing photos, and other readers felt the same way, however, they do not look like either olive jar shards or majolica.  My first impression, though I was hesitant to say anything on that basis alone, is that they look too hard and dense and the edges are too sharp.  I was waiting until I studied it a little more before I said anything specific, but the responses I received via email seemed to be in line with my first impression.  I hope to take the time to study those pieces a little more so I can be more specific and perhaps show some examples of the real thing and how they differ.

You might look at my 11/18/12 and 11/19/12 reports, for example.  I am obviously far from an expert on shipwreck pottery or ceramics, but you have to start somewhere.

Here is the link to the 11/18/12 report. 

Of course there are books and resources that you can consult that are much more authoritative and thorough.


The most important topic today is the surf.  As I mentioned yesterday, it is getting bigger and hitting higher up on the beach.  Some spots might open up.

Here are the surf predictions for the next week.

Happy hunting,

Friday, December 29, 2017

12/29/17 Report - More Treasure Coast Finds and Info on Old Finds. # 6 Post of 2017. Higher Surf Begins.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Found by Gaylen C. a few weeks ago.
I showed the above item found by Gaylen back a few weeks ago.  Gaylen got some additional opinions on what the item might be.

Here is part of a message I received from Gaylen.

Wanted to thank you for the tip on the free day at Mel Fisher Museum. Awesome place. Seeing the real thing is way better than pictures. Got some folks to look at my artifact from Ft Pierce beach and a couple of other items. They agreed it could likely be a graver like the one at McLarty, or a cannon vent pick. Research indicates most vent picks were brass or copper to avoid sparks.

Got back to the same location a couple more times and found a few more pieces, some easier to ID than others.

The nail is an obvious nail this time and looks like another handmade piece. The two pieces of crockery are small, very thick, and from two different pots. One piece looks like it came from the opening. Could these be from olive jars or vases?

The small gray pieces I also showed to the Fisher folks. They didn't recognize anything but commented on the heavy weight. Later I saw some older posts on your site that looked pretty similar and I wonder if they might be pewter. Heavy like lead, shiny when scraped. Two pieces came from something with a very prescribed large arc.

Won't be back down there for a bit because of a knee injury, but maybe the expected higher surf will uncover more...

Here are a few pictures of Gaylen's recent finds.

Finds From a Heavily Renourished Area.
And here is a closer look.

Hope your knee gets better soon Gaylen.

I'm glad that readers of this blog took visited the museum after I posted about it and that I was able to provide a little indirect support for them through this blog.  As Gaylen said, it helps to see identified items in person.  You don't get the complete picture from photos, no matter how good the photos are.
Gaylen also obtained more information about items that he took to show.


Photo by Darrel S.
I showed these items that Darrel S. got out of a conglomerate.  I didn't mention that when they were freed, they were together, like a snap from a canvas bag or something.


Joe R. said the tracks I posted the other day looked like panther tracks.  Thanks Joe. I think so too.


Continuing with the list of my top ten most popular 2017 posts, the sixth most popular post of the year was my 1/6/17 Report - Memorable Metal Detector Finds: Firsts. Beach Conditions Prior to Approaching Winter Weather and Bigger Surf.   In that post I told a little about several of my personal firsts, including my first 1715 find, first gold coin, first non-1715 shipwreck treasure coin, first platinum ring, etc.

Here is the link.


Today the Treasure Coast surf will be up to three to five feet.  It looks a little like winter this morning.  We are also supposed to have a north wind.  That might open up a spot or two.

In a few days the surf is supposed to get higher.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 28, 2017

12/28/17 Report - Couple Mystery Finds. Old Pottery Site. Popular Posts of the Year. Bigger Surf Coming.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Brooch That Held Gem Stones
Find and photo by Chris N.

Chris N. sent the following message with the two photos.

Just wanted to share some more items found near St. Augustine area.

Copper Salt Shaker Top I thought was different and unusual for a find in the sand on a salty shore. No pun intended.

Some type of Broach copper material in which there was some sort of set points in the middle and top where decorative stones or jewels must of been places at one time, but were not present.

I dug both items in loose sand, by water line about 8-10 inch down, strong signal on my machine.

Find and photo by Chris N.
I told Chris I didn't think it looked like a salt shaker top and pointed out the two arrows at the top and bottom.  

Chris then added the following.

The object is about the size of a Salt Shaker Top. Sorry! for not using Ruler. I found it at the waters edge in loose sand which was not corroded, when pulled it out.. That probably means it was washed down from the bank which it probably laid for some time till the Hurricane and Nor east'er came last few weeks ago.

From my understanding talking with some folks who live in and around area where I found objects, one said there as an shipwreck in that area.

I know that the British camped out on the Northern end of Anastasia Island, but the dune areas is off limits to foot traffic and especially digging.

Another good friend of mine informed me that the British marked each item made of copper, or any other precious metals because it belonged to the Crown.

What do you think?


...It remains a mystery why so much pottery from such a wide time span have been found at this site.
Some speculate a settlement was submerged by a rise in the water level or the pots were sunk there in obscure rituals. Others sidestep romance and suggest it was just a dumping ground for used ceramics....


Yesterday I started to list the top ten most read posts of 2017.  I gave you numbers 10 and 9.  Working up the list towards the most popular of the year, today I'll give you numbers 8 and 7.

The eighth most read post was not from September like so many of the top ten.  In fact it was from January of 2017.  It was the 1/18/17 post with the heading, A Few Tips For Finding Modern Jewelry On Dry Sand Beaches.

Here is that link.

The seventh most read post is a much more recent post.  In fact it has only been out there a couple of weeks.  It is the December 12th post, which included one of my very popular Ole Timer Talks.  That one was about a crate of dishes, possibly Kang Hsi, uncovered by heavy erosion on one Treasure Coast;

That post also showed the heavily eroded Fort Pierce South Jetty beach.  It would probably be higher on the list if it was not so recent.

Here is that link.


For Tuesday a 3 - 5 foot surf is predicted for the Treasure Coast along with a north wind.  That could do something.

A 6 - 9 foot surf is predicted for Tuesday.

Another year is about to fade into history.  I clearly remember starting the year and it doesn't seem that long ago.

Happy hunting.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

12/27/17 Report - Ring Find. Some Top 2017 Posts. Floating Find. Strange Prints for ID. Increased Surf Predicted.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Amethyst and Diamond Ring Left by Beach Santa.

It was an interesting year, as usual.  A lot of the time beach conditions were poor for finding old shipwreck objects on the beach.  There was a lot of beach replenishment sand, but there were times when nice treasures were uncovered.  September was a decent month for shipwreck related finds, for example.  I was reminded of that as I looked back over the year's posts.

I decided to list the top ten most read posts of the year.  That gave a pretty good summary of the big news of 2017.

Starting at the bottom of the list, number ten is the 9/9/17 post about the dugout canoe that was uncovered by Hurricane Irma and found by Randy Lathrop north of Cocoa. That post also showed items from another shipwreck that was uncovered by Hurricane Irma.  It also discussed predictions for the storms, Jose and Maria.

September was a busy month and produced a lot of popular posts.  Five of the top ten posts of the year were posted in September.  That surprised me because  posts from the beginning of the year have an advantage over later posts because people continue to read them as the months go by.

Here is the link to the 9/9/17 post, which ranked tenth in views for the year..

The number nine most popular post of the year was the 9/15/17 post, which was also about Hurricane Irma finds and Hurricane Jose predictions.

Here is the link for that one.


At the top of this post there is a photo one item left by Beach Santa  on the Treasure Coast this year.  Unfortunately there are no inscription to help with finding the original owner.


Dan W. sent in the following message and photo a few days ago.

I've spent a lot of time on the beaches in Central Florida. Ive walked every inch from Vero to Port Canaveral in search of my first real more than once. Although I have not had a definitive find of a coin, I have found items that may have links to the 1715 fleet. This is one of my more interesting finds I found bobbing in the surf along one of the Southern Melbourne beaches a few years ago. I really enjoy your posts. Please keep it up and Merry Christmas to all.   

Find and photo by Dan W.
Thanks for writing Dan.  I found the little "CUBA" boy interesting.  I wondered about the possible significance of the beret and blue costume.

Keep your eyes open while detecting.  Sometimes paper money will be found floating in the surf.  I've found a twenty and smaller bills floating by as I detected.

One of my favorite 1715 Fleet finds, a wax seal impression, was eye-balled at the edge of the water.  Amazing that it lasted hundreds of years.


The following prints I found confuse me.  Looks kinda human.  Maybe on tip toe.  But only four toes?

The second print seems to have claws though.

Am I being stupid or what?  Let me know what you think made the prints.  Doesn't look like any animal tracks that I recognize.


Interesting surf predictions.  There is one bump predicted for Friday and another for next week.

There is a very good chance that the bump predicted for next week will not be as big as predicted.  That is what often happens with these predictions.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

12/26/17 Report - Over-hunted and Worked-Out Beaches. Different Types of Sites. Santa Dead?

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I'm not always extremely careful with the wording in my posts.  I do too many posts too quickly for that.  I am usually pretty clear. I think, but sometimes I need to clarify what I meant and how I define the terms that I use.

In a post not long ago I used the term over-hunted.  For me, over-hunted is not exactly the same thing as hunted-out.  I use those terms slightly differently.  Over-hunted is relative.  It means that a site is hunted more than is warranted by the number of targets relative to other available sites.  Hunted-out, on the other hand, means to me,that the good targets (however that is defined for the situation) have been removed.  That is not relative to other available hunting sites.  There are simply no targets in detector range at such a site.  There will be some good targets on over-hunted sites, but fewer than at other local sites that could be detected.

Hunted-out sites might be hunted out, but things can change over time.  Any site that has a good number of visitors that lose things will be over-hunted rather than hunted-out. Over-hunted beaches will generally remain over hunted even if there are a good number of visitors because they are hunted heavily relative to the rate of replenishment.  So the number of available targets is kept low.  That does not mean that you can not find anything on an over-hunted beach.  It just means that you could find more at beaches that are not so heavily hunted.

If you are targeting old items on a shipwreck beach that has few visitors other than detectorists, that type of beach is much more likely to qualify as hunted-out because replenishment will occur much less often.

Any beach that has a good number of visitors that can lose things will be replenished on a regular basis and finds will be made.  The real question then is, are there other beaches where you could make more good finds. There are a lot of factors that can be involved in site selection.  I've discussed many of them before and won't try to get into all of that again now.

Hunting modern items is different than hunting old shipwreck items in several ways.  If you are hunting modern items, they can be anywhere they are lost.  Knowing how things are lost and where most good things are lost is the most important thing in that case.  When hunting old items, knowing how items get moved by nature over time is a more important skill.  Of course that knowledge also can be useful when hunting modern items if the modern items have been on the beach a while and especially if the the site was popular for years or decades.  If a site like that has been heavily hunted for years or decades and you are hunting mostly recent drops, knowing how items are moved over time is obviously less important.

If you are near a popular beach and hunt modern items, you can hunt the same beach daily and still make good finds without any special knowledge other than knowing how to use a metal detector. Just cover the same area daily and pick up whatever is there.  You'll eventually get to know that beach very well and it can work for you.  You'll even pick up some rare or strange items if you stick at it long enough.  The big thing is to be there and spend the time.  Targeting items that are centuries old is different.  You will be depending more on conditions changing to bring old items within detector range.

Some beaches have both old items and new items.  One such beach is Wabasso.  It occasionally produces old shipwreck items, but also has a resort and a good number of daily visitors.  That makes things easier, however it is also heavily hunted, as you would expect of such a beach.

What appears to one person to be a hunted-out beach might not be for another more skillful person.  On the other hand, an over-hunted beach is an over-hunted beach regardless of your skill level.

I hope that helps to clarify how I use those two terms.  There is a significance difference between the two terms and the way I use them.

As I said, site selection depends upon a lot of factors, and personal preference, style and convenience are just a few of them.


I always liked trying new and different types of sites.  I often learned something when I visited a new site.  While you might learn something from trying a different kind of detecting or a new kind of site, there is one short-term disadvantage.  When you try a new site you obviously won't know the site very well.  Therefore you will probably not be as effective at the new site as you would be at a site that you detect all the time and know very well.  In time you'll learn to detect the new site more effectively, and there will also be the bonus of being able to take what you learned and applying that new knowledge or skill to your old sites.

Sometimes you can hit a super good find through nothing dumb luck.  You just wander over to an area where there is no real reason that there should be anything good, and bingo.  That happens more with recent drops than old items on a beach.  Very old beach targets seldom show up any place other than where the forces of nature put them, whether you understand those forces or not.  There are exceptions, of course, such as when someone else finds the old item and then drops it again.  That is one example of how an old item can end up where you would never expect it to be.  In that case, it becomes what I would call a "recent drop" even if it is a very old item.  It happens.


Santa dead?

Bones thought by some to be the bones of Saint Nicolas have been dated to the correct period of time.

Here is the link.


We had some wind from the direction of the North Pole yesterday, but I did't get out to any beaches check.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, December 24, 2017

12/24/17 Report - Firsts and Oldest.

Source: CatholicCompany web site.  See link below.

St. Francis of Assissi had a special devotion to the Child Jesus, and he is credited with creating the first nativity scene on Christmas Eve of the year 1223...

Here is the link about the first nativity scene.


... Christmas was kept much the same in mid-18th-century Virginia as it was in late 16th-century England.

Englishmen who came to the American colonies brought along their cultural traditions. In dress, manners, and social behavior, Virginia settlers tried to recreate the ambiance they had known back home. Their Christmas, like the English manors', evolved as an interval of leisure to enjoy feasting, visiting, dancing, and games. Even in Virginia's critical early days, the settlers did not forget Christmas. Captain John Smith wrote in 1609 that he kept “Christmas amongst the Salvages: where wee were never more merrie, nor fedde on more plentie of good oysters, fish, flesh, wild fowle, and good bread, nor better fires in England then in the drie warme smokie houses of Kecoughtan.” Kecoughtan is now part of Hampton...

During the holiday season, Colonial Williamsburg doors and windows are wreathed in arrangements fashioned of natural materials. This boxwood construction is accented with holly, pine, apples, and feathers. Among other popular accents are oranges, pineapples, and seashells...

Seashells make good ornaments and decorations. I showed some examples yesterday.

Here is the link for more about Christmas in colonial Virginia.


The First American Christmas

The first Christmas celebration in what was later to become the continental United States took place in St. Augustine,Florida, in 1565 (for a list of entries treating American history and customs, see United States of America, Christmas in). Old documents inform us that Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales presided over a Christmas service held at the Nombre de Dios Mission in that year. The Shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Leche now marks this location.The town of St. Augustine boasts of being the oldest settlement founded by Europeans in what is now the United States. Still, residents of Tallahassee, Florida, suspect that an even earlier Christmas celebration may have been held near the site of their town. In 1539 a party of Spanish colonists, led by explorer Hernando de Soto (c. 15001542),camped near the place where Tallahassee now stands. Since the Spaniards stayed from October 1539 to March of the following year, some Floridians speculate that they must have celebrated Christmas there.

But who knows? There might have been others.

Here is that link.

Of course Florida did not become a part of the United States until 1819.


This is said to be the first artificial Christmas Tree.   124 years old and still being used.

Here is the link for more about that.


I had another post almost done but decided I wanted to do Christmas today.

Merry Christmas,

Saturday, December 23, 2017

12/23/17 Report - How Common Beach Finds Can Become Treasured Christmas Memories and Other Christmas Treasures.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Vintage Brass Crotal Bell Ornament.
I got very much into Christmas activities this year and have been doing a lot of Christmas stuff.  I like to make use of the things I see on the beach and pick up a lot of things that aren't big treasures but which I find interesting or possibly useful.  Some of those things come in handy for Christmas.  I already showed the buoy that I turned into a silver bell and hung with other yard decorations.

Here is a crotal bell almost exactly like one that I once dug that makes a nice Christmas tree ornament.  You can buy them or make them out of your own finds.  I like to use my own finds.

I like hand-made ornaments or ornaments that have a story or that hold personal memories.  While at the beach, you will undoubtedly see shells or other nice items that can be made into ornaments too.

Wreathe Ornament Made From Beach Coral.
My wife makes those kinds of things.

Here is an example of drift wood and a beach shell that was made into an ornament.

Another Ornament Made By MyWife Out of Beach Finds.
Here is one more ornament made out of shells.  It is actually covered with glitter and very sparkly, which doesn't show in the photo.

Ornament Made of Sea Shells.
Nice ornaments can also be made of sea glass and found miniature bottles.  Bottles can be mirrored or decorated to make really attractive ornaments.

It is all about the story and memories for me.  Some of my ornmanets were made by my grandma and every time I decorate the tree, I'm reminded of her and things she did.

One of Many Ornaments Made by Grandma
Grandma's ornaments always have a special place on my Christmas tree.

If you remember the fifties at all, you might remember the little cardboard buildings that went under the tree.  They had cellophane windows that were always punched out by the children.  Here is one of those that survived.

Vintage Cardboard House For Under The Christmas Tree.
My wife made a little copy of the house I was raised in which my dad built.  That was a very thoughtful gift and is under the tree with the vintage cardboard houses and animals.

As I was saying, for me it is all about the story and memories.  Here is a special one for me.  Even though it is a purchased ornament, it is the story that goes with it that is important.  My mother purchased the ornament and typed up the story that goes with it.

The Box and The Typed Story That Goes With The Ornament.

Christmas Ornament With a Very Personal Story.
My mom and dad as 21 year-old country bumpkins starting a family just after World War II, had a truck like this, and as my mother explains, they rode around on the bumpiest roads they could find when I was long overdue hoping the jarring would induce labor.  My dad is now gone and my mother is 91.

I hope I got you to think of other kinds of treasures today and what can be done with some of the more common things you see on the beach and how they can become treasured parts of your Christmas and life.


That is where I'll stop today.

Happy hunting,

Friday, December 22, 2017

12/22/17 Report - Gold Is Where You Find It. Where One Detectorist Found It.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

New 14K Gold Bracelet Find
Find and photo by Steve in Sebastia
I received the following email along with pictures from Steve in Sebastian.

"Gold is Where you Find It".... This century old adage applied mainly to those out prospecting.  You really never did know where gold would be found.  Sure a degree in geology would never hurt.  In my "do over" life...that will be the first thing.  But some of the old timers just had a "nose for it."  Gold has popped up in the strangest of places.  Many a prospector out "bird dogging" (as it was called) came away with great riches by not following the pack. 

I recall the long hours of "bird dogging" off the local waters here... in the general area of General e Capitan Don Jaun Esteban de Ubilla's Flagship and Capitana near the McLarty Museum.  Funny how that works... we talk about "Ubilla's Capitana... yet Ubilla, is in fact a city in Spain.  Google it.  It is just that common practice back in Colonial Spain was to address a man with the ending word, being the city or region he was from!  That's why the name is always DE Ubilla, "de" being "from" in Spanish.  But I digress...

Bird dogging with a metal detector (back then a Fisher's Pulse 8X) on flat barren bottom, tossed around by the surge when you finally "tried" to work a target, and generally just a few feet of visibility.  A few dozen tanks of that kind of work, was enough for me.  But then one day when I was working a project up in The Great Lakes, on a quantifiable wreck with known bow and stern... I get a call that the Captain of our Salvage Vessel down here in Sebastian, Kim Ferrell, has hit it good!  He was out "bird dogging" and had found -- a half of a chest of 8 reales-- ("ray all ace")!  Or to the dreamers and lovers of Spanish Lore...half a treasure chest of the famous pirate treasure..."Pieces of Eight" !!!"  Way out off the beaten path.... READY?  Out to the NE about 150-200 feet of the main salvage area in 18-22'  feet of water."  It was a big deal, the promoter in LA called the media, and the helicopters flew in from Orlando and Palm Beach.  Big news that night... seeing a lump of silver still shaped like the cedar treasure chest!  If you are still around and reading this... well done Kim!  As a pro (not nearly as glamorous as it sounds) my first question is..." Where is the 2nd half of the chest?"  Same as my cuff link with a 200-400 B.C. Silver Denarius.  Where is the 2nd one???  How did I miss the 2nd one in the first place?  Someday I'll write about how we worked the deep passenger steamships (150-205 feet deep, up north on "The Great Lakes."

So getting back to "Treasure is Where you Find it !"... I was sitting in my favorite place.  My 30 year old Lazy Boy that is still built and acting tighter and better than a brand new one for a thousand dollars up at the "Lazy Boy" store in Melbourne.  You sit down trying out a new one, put your feet up, and shift your weight back and forth, and you have to hang on for dear might just get sea sick!!!  No thanks!

So I have a couple hours to kill before dinner last Friday.  Too lazy to pack up the car with all my gear, and put on my harness, so I just grab my Minelab CTX 3030, and walk across the street to an empty lot.  But being here over thirty years...I know there had been a small modest 50s style ranch on this lot years ago.  It was demolished after sustaining terminal damage after hurricanes Francis and Jeanne.  It had flooded some, and got beat up pretty bad.  Another similar house across the street from that one was lost too.  That one the lady had just spent $50,000 in renovations.  Sad.

So if you have ever detected a former demo'd homesite...let's just ain't pretty.  Metal junk is spread everywhere when the bulldozer does the final rake out.  But being new to the 3030, I thought -perfect for learning the tones and discrimination patterns and effects-.  I especially had a keen interest in a good target such as a coin in close proximity to a rusty nail.  And was there nails!  Hundreds of them!  The bent in a circle nails are the worst for fooling the detector.  You name it...brass hose bibs (water faucets for your hose) thank you...still work, will someday use.  Brass hose nozzles for the end of the hose, sockets, tile pieces with the mesh metal grid...and on and on.  Then to beat all.. the lot is cut very high, so your coil rides up about 3" over the weeds/ turf.  No real grass or sod, just a tangle of weeds and vines.  Best of all.... heavily infested with fire ants!  But you could not see the mounds, due to the high cut weeds! 

Now I arrived in Florida in 1987, and promptly went to the beach to see the site of a Spanish Galleon.  After is the very reason I moved to Sebastian.  At the time, there was an empty lot right in line with the Capitana.  So I walked through only to be yelled at by the next over neighbor.  Big deal...just wanted to see the site.  But no... being a polite Wisconsin boy... I stand there explaining my love for history and the sea... all the while standing dead center in a fire ant mound.  Well...when 14 got aboard...the "master ant" yelled: "Now Boys!!!" and they nailed me!  The worst burning pain I had ever felt.  I ran down into the water, rubbing up and down my legs, and never will I forget the sight I saw that afternoon.  Those little bastards were washing in the salt water waves, hanging on by their butts, and not legging go!  I'll always remember seeing them swinging back and forth in the waves.  I headed home -fast-.  Half way to 520 at Wabasso, my mother would not have known me.  My face was twisted in a horror story that I almost ran off the road when I looked in the rear view mirror.  A twisted up face... like "Dr. Jekyell and Mr. Hyde."  My wife raced me to the ER.  That is all I remember until I came to... the doctor smiled at me and said;  "You had about 10 minutes."  I replied:  " 10 minutes for what?"... his answer short and sweet.... "To Live."  The ER doctor said they lose about 20 people a year in this area.  So please be careful if you are allergic, and carry your Epipen, if you go off on hunts.

So I dig a few dozen targets, earning my keep, and learning as I go.  I find my first "coin spill !"  Three Lincoln Memorial pennies.  Oh boy.  But I still got coins out of this desolate lot.  I may sound like a chump, but I love them all.  I found a couple of dimes and a few pennies in my own yard, and had more fun, running over to show my neighbor a half eaten away zinc penny!  I said:  "And to think...this is our monetary system!!!"  (;  So I tell the wife... "Gee... I wish the pennies had at least been "Wheaties"?  But I found three in the same "first" coin spill so...that's that. 

I go back two days later...again too lazy to go anywhere, other than to stumble across the street.  And what do I find about 15' from the first coin spill?  ANOTHER coin spill!  And like a wish come true... Wheaties... all of them!  Too funny.  But I first detected a real clean signal... that clearly stood head and shoulders above all the others.  I said to myself... so "this" is how a coin signal should sound!  Crisp, clean tone, on the screen the image kept building exactly in the same spot, not bouncing all over, and painting the image in darker and darker red, layer upon layer.  Then... the pin pointing lined up with the coil location as well.  Two key things to watch for on the 3030.

Now for the finale.... I locate and dig the first coin.  I check the hole with my "Garrett Carrot" pin pointer, and sure enough...another reading about 6" away.  I slightly elongated the hole.  Another penny!  Scrubbing the hole with the pin pointer shaft along the hole walls up and down (remember the entire shaft end up to the light is -a transducer-, not just the tip.  I see too many people just point the tip at the ground.  That you do at the end to finalize the pin point.  Probe into the last couple of inches of lose soil in the hole, rub the walls 360 degrees up and down the hole walls with the pin pointer shaft, but --do not- use your pin pointer as a digging tool.  It will start acting up and falsing in no time!  The Garretts have a nice "scraper blade" running down the entire tip length to assist you in scraping down the walls to get a clean detecting surface.  But again... don't use it as a pry bar to dig!!!

So that is it...2 Wheaties.  But now our next mission is to carefully recheck the target area one more time.  Sure enough... 1 more faint reading, a little over from the first hole, but still adjoining the first hole.  Yup... a 3rd Wheatie!  A bona fide coin spill!  Oh boy... but you know what??? I am really enjoying myself.  So the next mission is to dig ALL targets around the coin spill. 

I get a reading with a fairly good tone, but signal jumping around a bit.  Dig it anyway!  Rusty nail... a foot from "coin spill."  NOW... an honesty check.  I am here to help others learn from my mistakes, not to brag of my finds or my skill... in the least.  HAD I DUG ANOTHER NAIL FIRST...THE DIG WOULD BE OVER.  I WOULD HAVE MOVED ON...  But I get a reading a foot to the right of the nail, and a foot and a half down from the coin spill hole.  The tone is strong, but much, much lower a tone, and the screen image is almost off the screen on the left, actually hitting the wall of the screen on the left side, ..not way over to the right like a coin.  Then the clincher... NOT to dig it, due to it being so -long in length- a target.  I do a pin point on the detector, and I get the same target in a straight line almost a half foot long.  Now by "sizing your target," I KNOW...this cannot be any coin, and instead a big piece of junk copper gas line, etc.  But we'll dig it, because it's near the coin spill.  My mind said... it certainly cannot be anything as ridiculous as gold in this low level mess...certainly not anything valuable at "this" site!!!  But in the back of my mind... I knew gold was a very low tone and a number like 12-5 was in fact around gold, instead of a silver or clad coin at 12- 37-43.

So this object is laying perpendicular to how I was standing facing the coin spill hole.  I tried to pin point this object with the  just ran in a length of equal signal.  So I -WRONGLY- centered on this target, dug my hole, and off to the side of the clump dropped off a heavy lump.  Gold  toned chain?  What???  Costume jewelry... but boy did I make mistakes had this been real.  Then to my horror... I'm on my hands and knees, I look down into the hole right below me and see 2 links hanging down the rear edge of the hole (toward me).  I thought... Thank God this is just practice, because if it had been real... I would have just ---chopped a gold chain in half--- with the Lesche sharp shovel !!!  Shame on me!  So I widen the hole toward me, and out drops the remainder of the chain.  The shovel had actually more "pulled" than cut on the chain, and a little ball on a stud was on the one end, and a matching round hole on the other.  The bracelet was open when lost, as the lock mechanism was full of dirt.

I've had enough lessons for one day.  I head for home.  Shamefully... I hand the wife the 2 pieces.  She walks to the sink and starts washing.  She says: "For gold plating, I have yet to see a tarnished link"?  And I drew closer, now more afraid than excited...  Sure enough on the clip "tongue" said - "Italian"- and on the other side a 3 letter brand, and --"14k"--.  Yup... it was real... and I had just chopped it into two. 

Where Bracelet Came Apart During Recovery

So... full circle to the title... "GOLD IS WHERE YOU FIND IT."  No location should be judged as being "too poor" a site to hold gold.  Why?  Because.... Gold is Where you Find It !!!  With careful placement in my vise with cloth covered jaws... I gently heated the opening hole end, and pressed the stud with ball end back into it.  Click...good as new!  13.5 grams, 0.48 ounce, 8.7 dwt.  $338 scrap, new about $500-$600.  Santa was sure good to me this year... I found my first coin spill !!!  ;  Listen for those -very low tone- targets... and never, ever judge a site as being "not worth it."  I bet there is still more there... and to tell you the exact location...(it is Christmas after all...) This Italian gold bracelet was found 147 steps SE from my front door!!!  Yes... I really did count them.

Merry Christmas,
"Steve in Sebastian"

Thanks much Steve.

Steve's "stream of consciousness" email message gave us a look into the mind of a treasure hunter and all the twists and turns and ups and downs that can occur during a single hunt. It also provides some good tips.

For those of you who have been detecting the same over-hunted beaches again and again with the same poor results, you might want to try something different.  There are a lot of virgin detecting sites out there, believe it or not, and also many that are not exactly virgin, but still hold some very good targets.  You might be surprised how much good detecting you pass up on the way to the beach.

Detecting old home sites is a different type of detecting.  You'll learn a lot by doing it if you stick to it long enough.

I often look around and think about all of the sites there are to detect. I've had my eye on a local restaurant that just went out of business, for example  It has a grassy overflow parking lot that was often full.

Some sites might not look like much, but that doesn't tell you what might be there.  What you see there now does not tell what went on there in the past.  You really have to go some to find land where there is nothing to be found in the ground.  People that tell you there is nothing there often just don't know how to go about it.

Chains can be tricky to recover.  In the water, they tend to slide out of the scoop as the scoop is raised,

I also remember my first introduction to fire ants.  I was trying to recover a target in a fire ant mound.  Bad idea, especially when you don't yet know what they can do to you.

I've also made some big mistakes by assuming that an item was not very old or very good when it was older or better than I thought it was.  It is better to be overly optimistic than pessimistic if you are a treasure hunter.


It appears that the after Christmas increase in the Treasure Coast surf will not amount to much - only two to four feet.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, December 21, 2017

12/21/17 Report - Cusco Excavations and Artifacts. South American Indigenous. Objects From Clumps.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Research works at Espiritu Pampa archaeological site in Southern Cusco region led to the discovery of an astronomical observatory, massive stone walls, as well as ceramics and other pieces of evidence of pre-Hispanic Wari and Inca cultures presence...

The team also discovered two spaces built with small stones within the temple. Tooth fragments of some sort of local animal were found in the first one; as well as two Wari style ceramic bottles, a silver chest plate, and a silver crown or headdress in the second...


Handbook of South American Indians edited by Julian H. Steward was published by  the U. S. Government Printing Office in 1946 and is available online free at the following address.


I posted instructions written by Darrel S. on using acid to dissolve encrusted objects.  He sent photos of items that he has freed from encrusted objects using that procedure recently.  Here are some examples.

He said he unfortunately found no more coins.

You might be able to read on the big piece in the bottom picture "Stainless" and see a hallmark.

Below are some clumps I'll be cleaning a bit.  All three are seven inches long or more.


The surf is supposed to increase after Christmas up to four to six feet. 

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

12/20/17 Report - Hoard of Silver and Gold Coins Found. Basic Stages of a Systematic Hunt. Recognizing Various Types of Treasure.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Hoard of Gold and Silver Coins Uncovered by Archaeologists.
Source: See Sci-News link below.

A hoard of 21 Islamic gold dinars, 2,200 silver coins, and gold artifacts dating to the 12th century CE has been unearthed by archaeologists digging at the Abbey of Cluny, a former Benedictine monastery in Cluny, Saône-et-Loire, France...

Source: See link below.

Here is the link for more about that.


I recently saw an episode of the Oak Island TV program in which they used an ROV to explore one of the submerged pits.  Finally!  That is one of the things I was amazed that they didn't do long ago.  I

It also seems like the equally long overdue systematic drilling has pinpointed the area that they refer to as "the real money pit."   That will help them focus their efforts better.

I don't remember if it was the same episode, but I cringed as a mattock was used to retrieve a detected target.  That reminded me of several instances of beautiful artifacts being damaged or destroyed by careless recovery techniques.

I haven't talked much about search strategies lately.  I talked about that kind of thing more in the past, and I don't like to repeat too much.  As a result I probably don't repeat enough.  People probably don't remember what I said some years ago anyhow.

My first step is always research.  After that is visual analysis.  There are too many beaches and the beaches are too big to cover completely.  You have to be selective, and it is best to select on the basis of reason and data.  To spend your time well, whether you are on a beach or not, you always need to know something about what you are going after, the area, and the signs or clues that will help you narrow down your search.

After your research and scanning the area visually, the third thing is to do some sampling.  After you eliminate some areas and identify others as more promising, it is time to verify your visual observation by doing some systematic sampling.

Some people grid an area before they test it. That is fine, but I usually want to collect some data by checking an area out a little with my detector before deciding to spend that kind of time.  Analysis of  finds made during sampling, both good and junk finds, can tell you a lot, and it might not take very long at all to gather that additional information.

There is a lot that could be said about sampling including search patterns and analysis of finds, but that is not my intent now.  During sampling you will also more closely inspect the area visually and with your other senses.  You'll see the type of sand and other small objects such as shells or pot shards as you check the area with your detector, as well as feel how compact or lose the sand is, for example.  You might then choose to switch search patterns and/or detectors.

I've also described multi-stage searches in which the surface targets or junk targets might be removed first and then the search strategy refined as the same area is covered more thoroughly in stages.

The same basic process can be used on either beach or inland hunts, large scale project or jut a trip to the beach.   I always prefer a thorough systematic process even though a quicker scan and analysis can be the first step.


That toy shown above sold for over $85,000.  I tell you that to remind you that treasure comes in many forms and it is good to be aware of the significance and value of many types of treasure.

People polish crotal bells like the find I showed yesterday and put a nice red ribbon on them and sell them for a good price.  The Polar Express movie made bells like that very popular.  You can get brand new ones or nice vintage bells.

Here is the source link for the picture above.


I haven't been saying much about beach conditions lately.  There hasn't been much change.

It looks like we might get some bigger surf after Christmas.  That is what the MagicSeaWeed web site is showing.  I'll keep watching that.

Happy hunting,