Friday, January 6, 2017

1/6/17 Report - Memorable Metal Detector Finds: Firsts. Beach Conditions Prior to Approaching Winter Weather and Bigger Surf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Douglas Beach Near Low Tide This Morning.
As you probably know we will be getting colder weather this weekend.  A front will be coming through and the temperature dropping.

The surf is also predicted to increase - perhaps up to seven feet.  

I wanted to see the condition of the beaches before that happens.  In most places there is a lot of newly accumulated sand.  You'll see that from my photos.

Another View of Douglas Beach
You can see the new sand on the front of the beach in this picture.  There were also some shells.

Fort Pierce South Jetty Park.
You can see the different steps or levels on this beach.  Notice the light shell sand that accumulated on the front beach.  Back a while ago that was decent detecting. 

One Beach That Had Some Better Swells.

This beach also showed recently accumulated sand and had some shells.  This beach however, even with the new sand, is back farther than in recent years.  A good cut on this beach should be productive.


Time flies.  Things change.  What you are left with is memories.

I decided to do a post or maybe a few posts on memorable metal detecting moments.  After thinking about it a little while, I discovered that they break down into a small number of categories.  The main categories are (1) firsts, (2) big finds, (3) numerous finds, (4) difficult recoveries, (5) human behavior, and (6) regrets.

Today I'll start with some firsts.

My first 1715 Fleet find was a black silver "razor."  It isn't worth much of anything, but I was glad when I finally find it.

It was the size and shape of a 2 reale but had absolutely no design detail to indicate that it was a coin.  It was found on Douglas Beach decades ago.  I had made several trips to the Treasure Coast with no luck prior to that and I wondered if I would ever find a treasure coin on the Treasure Coast.  I had found some down south, but my trips to the Treasure Coast had up to that point been frustrating.

I always remember when I dug it up (and I could go to within a few feet of that very spot today) my wife took it out of my scoop and started to toss it.  I said, "WAIT!! Don't throw that away."  I still didn't know if it was silver or what, and I didn't find out until I went home and acid tested it.  For quite some time I thought it was my first reale, but now I'm not so sure it was a reale.  It could have been a piece of silver from something else.  I just don't know.

That find is very clear in my mind today after decades have passed.  Most of my early years I was specializing in modern jewelry.

My first escudo find, (a 1714 2-escudo) was very memorable.  It came before I ever visited the Treasure Coast.  Sometimes things are found where and when you are not expecting them.  What a pleasant surprise!

It was found in Dade County.  The area has changed totally.  The hotels in the area have been replaced, and the beach has been extended out into the ocean over a hundred yards or more.  It was on my birthday weekend.  On the same weekend I found a 20th Century American Eagle gold coin (1980 something if I correctly recall).  That was a very lucky birthday weekend.  Two gold coins from two different centuries in one weekend!

My first reale find not from the 1715 Fleet was found at Jupiter.  It seemed like a long time coming too. I found a lot of older U. S. coins and things at Jupiter before finally getting a reale there.  On my visits to Jupiter, I often ran into a fellow (Dave) who hit that beach daily and had found jars full of reales.  I had some luck on the 1715 Fleet beaches before I got a reale at Jupiter.   It came one day when I visited Jupiter and the dunes were eroding.  It was in extremely nice condition although it was encrusted when found.  

My first 18th Century military button came along with a number of other 18th century firsts.  Those firsts came because of the location.  As they say, "Location, location, location."   You can't find what isn't there.

 I was on a small Caribbean Island with a lot of history, including battles.  My first finds there included military buttons, grape shot, trench art and some finds that fall into some of my other categories, including regrets.

My first ring find was made not long after I got my first metal detector.  It was a silver skull biker ring found on Hollywood Beach near the lifeguard stand near the water.

My first old bottle find was made on Key Biscayne after Hurricane Andrew.  I was hunting coins and noticed old bottles floating in the surf.  I found a plastic bag and started collecting them.  That was the beginning of my bottle collecting.

My first gold nugget find was a few years ago.  I never did any nugget shooting and was happy to find three raw nuggets one day on a 1715 Fleet beach.  They are among my favorite finds now.  Not real valuable, but I like them.

Strangely, I don't remember my first gold ring find, but I do remember my first platinum ring find.

First finds aren't necessarily valuable finds, but they can be memorable just the same.


Watch to see what happens when the cold front hits and the surf increases this weekend.  Hopefully it will hit just right.

Happy hunting,