Friday, March 31, 2017

3/31/17 Report - 220 Pound Gold Coin Stolen. Marine Technology Journal. Historic Key Biscayne.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: See USAToday link below.

Did you hear about the 220-pound gold coin that was stolen from a German museum?  Yes, 220 pounds!

The coin, if it remains a coin, features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front and three maple leaves on the back. It was issued by the Royal Canadian Mint a decade ago, part of a promotional campaign for a line of gold coins. It's been on loan to the Bode from a private collection since 2010, museum officials said...

The stunning heist of a 220-pound gold coin worth more than $4 million from a German museum has bewildered authorities in Berlin and sparked a desperate hunt for the scratch before it is melted down.

The Canadian coin, known as "Big Maple Leaf," has a diameter of more than 20 inches and is more than an inch thick — it would make a great coffee table. It has a face value of $1 million, but the value of the gold is closer to $4.5 million.

Authorities suspect that the coin may have already been melted.

It appears that a wheelbarrow was used to get the coin to a car.

Here is the link for more about that.


You might be interested in the Marine Technology Journal.  You'll find articles on topics such as underwater imaging and ROVs.

Here is a link to one issue.


President Trump's Florida White House reminds of another Florida White House.  Nixon had a Florida White House on Key Biscayne.

I remember driving by the five home compound back in the day when Nixon was in office.  There was a helicopter pad at the time.  The compound didn't seem heavily protected back then, as I recall.  He probably wasn't in residence at the time, but things were different back then.  You could drive down the street right in front of it and the lots, as you would expect on Key Biscayne, were small.

Here is an article about that as well as a photo of what it looked like back then.

I did a lot of detecting around Key Biscayne.  It has a lot of history.  There was the old coconut plantation, and the lighthouse that the Seminoles burned, the well where old sailing ships used to resupply, and even treasure chests being found, one of which was found in an area now eroded into the Bay.


I haven't been to the beach for a few days.  Very busy.

The surf will be down around two feet or a week or two.  We've been having some nice low tides.  The combination of small surf and low tides might give me the chance to do something I've been wanting to do for quite a while.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, March 30, 2017

3/30/17 Report - Coin Bracelet Find. Computer Security and How To Avoid Sharing More Information Than You Really Want To Especially When You Send Photos.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Dug Bracelet of Drilled Coins.
Here is a dug coin bracelet.  At first I didn't think these would be real coins, but after inspecting them closely I'm pretty sure they are.

Each one is a un sol de oro.  Heavily tarnished or discolored but not old - 1975.

Despite the fact that oro means gold, there is no gold in these coins.  They are brass.

It appears that somebody worked the coins and drilled holes in them.  Close inspection of the holes shows they were drilled and they still have rough edges.  The connectors are hand made too.

Closer View of One Coin.


This is the digital age.  We are an internet community.  I thought you might be somewhat interested in what other people who access this blog are using.  For browsers, the list in descending order is Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox.  For operating systems it is Windows, Macintosh and then Android.

There has been a lot in the news lately about hacking and privacy.  It is a topic that is very relevant to treasure hunting.  When I was doing some consulting for a TV show, I was asked if I knew of any treasure maps.  That is a question I received previously from another TV show, and one producer commented that real treasure maps are really hard to find.

They are hard to find.  They aren't really meant to be public.  When they do exist, they are often coded.  But today instead of drawing maps, people are simply keeping GPS coordinates instead.

Treasure hunters, like everybody else today, use computers and electronic communications extensively, but they might think those forms of communication and data storage are more private than they really are.

People sometimes send photos of finds and things to me for the blog.  They might not  know sometimes the file also includes information about where the photo was taken.  I never post that information, so you don't have to worry.  I don't even look at it myself.  I just make a snipping or screen print and post that.

If you wouldn't say something out loud in a crowded room, don't say it over a phone or internet connection without encryption or some serious security measures.

You might know about the bill to repeal the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules, which I understand would allow your internet service provider to sell your browsing history.  Maybe you also heard that tech genius Mark Zuckerberg and FBI Director James Comey both use tape to cover the camera on their laptops due to the ease of hacking.

If you are reading this blog, I know you use the internet or a smartphone, so I think you should be aware that your electronic communications are probably neither secure or private.  I doubt that most people realize how insecure those things are.  If you don't care if your browsing history might be sold or made public, or if you don't care if your system is hacked, fine - no problem, but you simply can not be sure your electronic communications or data is private and secure.  I don't care if you are the President of the United States, leader of Germany, Secretary of State, head of a high tech company or the FBI, or just an average Joe, you can't assume that your electronic communications or data has not or can not be compromised.

The United States bugs and hacks.  Why would anyone think that other countries, especially those that are not supposed to be our friends, aren't doing the same type of things. You can assume that they are.  All this fuss about Russia trying to affect the election is silly.  I would expect no less of them. Foreign leaders aren't going to play fair and be nice, and neither are crooks.  That is just the way it is.

My point here is that you shouldn't assume that your electronic devices and computers are totally secure and private.


I want you to know that if you send me photos, I never look for any data other than the picture and any email message that you send. You don't have to worry about me checking out the location of where you took a picture. There are steps you can take to remove that data if and when you want to.

Just to make sure I made this clear, I don't post photos. I make a snipping of the photo or picture and post that. I never post a photo so that the additional properties and data can be accessed.

You should know how to find that data in your photo files.

The location information is stored as “metadata” embedded in the photo files themselves. All you have to do is view the file’s properties and look for it.

If you use Windows, after downloading the image file to your computer, right-click on the file, select Properties, and then click the Details tab. Look for the Latitude and Longitude coordinates under GPS.

That is how easy it is to find where photo was taken if your camera or device stores that data.

If you want to remove the location information from your photo files,so you won't be telling everyone where you made those special finds or where you were when you took the photo, here is how you can remove that data when using an iPhone.

On an iPhone, open the Settings app, tap Privacy, and tap Location Services. Tap the Camera app in the list and select “Never” for “Allow Location Access.” The Camera app won’t have access to your location and won’t be able to embed it in photos.

If you want to know how to do it using other systems or devices, you might want to visit the following site.


The surf is down to around two or three feet, but we still have a very good low tide.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

3/29/17 Report - South Florida Beaches Get Tons of New Sand. Antique Words. Independent Investigator Needed to Explore Russian Involvement With TBR.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: Miami Herald link below.

To widen a 3,000-foot stretch of Miami Beach’s shore that was washing away, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dumped 285,412 tons of sand on Mid-Beach...
The $11.5 million project, funded with a combination of federal, state and county dollars, expanded the shore at 46th and 54th streets by about 230 feet...

The eroded section at 46th Street, which received the majority of the sand, was completed by Nov. 9. The swath at 54th Street was finished in late February. The whole project wrapped Friday.

Next up: Sunny Isles Beach...  Construction will likely begin in September and last four to six months.

Here is that link.

Thanks to Alberto S. for that link.

That is an area that I detected a lot back maybe thirty or forty years ago.  Good detecting!

There is an old shipwreck off Sunny Isles, but it isn't easy to get to.


A pile of cannon balls was found during a construction project in Pittsburgh.

Here is that link.


Do you know which country has the most readers of this blog after the United States?   I wouldn't have guessed it, but I looked at the stats just yesterday, and it says it is Russia.

I hope you don't think I'm conspiring with Putin or anything.  This is the internet, which of course is sometimes also know as the world wide web.   And people, even nobodies like me, have international connections.  Heaven forbid!


Language Artifacts.

I like words, but language isn't real easy for me.  I'm more of a visual thinker, so writing is a little more awkward for me than it would otherwise be.

My wife heard me tell my mother to look in the ice box.  My wife said I'm the only person that still uses that word.  We used to use it all the time.   I don't use it all the time anymore, but does come out when I talk to my mother, who actually used an ice box during her youth, and that is what she calls a refrigerator.

Have you ever heard anyone talk about the "cloak room."   Or getting their "wraps."  My elementary school teachers used to tell us to go to the cloak room to get our wraps.  You have to be fairly old to be familiar with that usage of those words.

I'm not really that old, but I grew up in a rural area that was a good part of a century behind the rest of the world.

By the way, "cloak room" was the long closet area on the other side of the wall at the back of the classroom on which George Washington's picture was hung.  And "wraps" didn't have anything to o with music.  Our coats or jackets were our wraps.

I'm talking about language artifacts today.

I was wondering the other day how long people will talk about hanging up the phone.  It doesn't seem like that term describes how people usually end a call these days,  But it is a term that might last for a while.


The Treasure Coast surf will be decreasing a little.  The tides are real good though.  We'll have soe very nice low tides.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

3/28/17 Report - 17th Century Wreck Finally Identified. Time To Make Plans For The 2017 Treasure Hunters Cookout. 160 Mile Per Hour Winds From Cyclone Debbie.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Make your plans now.

"We've watched it fall apart in front of our eyes for five years," said Dave Parham, senior lecturer in marine archaeology at Bournemouth University. "But you can only do one thing at a time."
The Swash Channel wreck is an early 17th Century armed merchant ship.
It was found in 7-9m of water on a sand and shingle seabed on the edge of Hook Sands near Poole Harbour in Dorset in March 1990, when a Dutch dredger hit it.
It was left for almost 15 years until an assessment for English Heritage in 2005 found it was a much more significant site than first thought...

Here is the link for more of that article.

More recently they identified that wreck as the Fame.
The so-called Swash Channel Wreck was discovered in a sand and shingle bank outside Poole Harbour.
Experts believe it to be a Dutch merchant vessel named The Fame which foundered in a storm in March 1631...

And here is the link for more about that.


If you've been keeping up with my posts on how sand moves, I've been adding a little every once in a while.

I added a big new piece to my understanding of what causes erosion when I got into topics such as liquefaction and sand shearing.  Those are engineering terms that have been studied experimentally, but I have been applying them to beach erosion.

In a few words, I've become more clear on the roll and importance of pore pressure. That is refers to the spaces between grains.

I'll try to more fully explain what I've learned about that some day soon.

Funny how you study a topic for a long while and every once in a while you learn something new that adds a whole new dimension.


Cyclone Debbie strikes Australia with 160 mile per hour winds.

Here is the link for more about that.


The weather has been absolutely beautiful on the Treasure Coast.  Unfortunately the beach conditions haven't been great.  While the surf subsides, we are now having some good tides.

Our hurricane season begins in less than two months.

Happy hunting,

Monday, March 27, 2017

3/27/17 Report - Calusa Site Yields Remarkably Preserved Artifacts, Beer Bottle Facts and Dating Old Beer Bottles

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Remarkably preserved cord made of twine found at a Calusa site.
Source: See lNews Press link below.
The above cord is just one of many rare artifacts that were preserved by the wetland conditions at a Pineland Calusa site.

No one has seen remnants of ancient daily life like this since the 1800s, when a Smithsonian expedition led by pioneering anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing unearthed more than 1,000 remarkably well-preserved artifacts, including the celebrated Key Marco cat near Marco Island.

Some of the more extraordinary things to emerge from the Pine Island pit are pieces of netting, complete with tied-on weights. Archaeologist Bill Marquardt, curator in South Florida archaeology and ethnography at the Florida Museum of Natural History and director of Pineland's Randel Research Center points to a bagged white clam with a hole knocked in it, threaded with knotted twine.

"These ark shells they used to weight down their gill nets and their seine nets, with the knots still tied — that’s the kind of preservation we’re getting. In addition to that, we’re getting pieces of wood you can still see the working marks on, and seeds such as squash seeds that will help us figure out what kinds of plants they were using."...

Here is the link for the rest of the article.


I was looking for some information on a recently found bottle and found a web site that gave some interesting facts.  Besides being interesting they might help you narrow down the date range of any old beer bottles.

The web site is the

Here are the facts that I mentioned.

Did you now that Glass did not become widely used until after the Civil War (1865)..??


Did you now that up to 1860 all beer bottles had pontiled bases...??


Did you now that beer bottles from 1860-1870 are very rare??

from 1870-1880 they are scarce. From 1880-1890 they are Semi- Common.??


Did you now that Bottles marked Ale or Porter were first Manufactured from 1850-1860..??


Did you now that until the 1870's beer bottles were sealed with cork..??


Did you now that the lightening stopper was not invented until the late 19th century..??


Did you now that before the 1930's beer came in green bottles then after the Prohibition,

brown glass was used because it was thought to preserve freshness by filtering out sunlight ..??


Did you now that in 1873, a British inventor Hiram Codd invented a bottle with a glass marble

confined inside its neck, When the bottle was filled with an effervescent liquid, gas pressure forced

the marble to the top of the neck, sealing the bottle.??


Did you now that from 1879 to early 1900's the Hutchinson stopper was commonly used. A heavy wire

loop controlled a rubbler gasket that stayed inside the cork..??


On the left is a bottle that I found a fews days ago, and on the right one that I found a long time ago.

The one on the left reads "FEHRS." The one on the right reads "FRANK FEHR BREWING CO."

I think they are both Fehr beer bottles. The one on the left looks newer than the one on the right.

Above we read, Did you now that before the 1930's beer came in green bottles then after the Prohibition,... brown glass was used because it was thought to preserve freshness by filtering out sunlight ..??

And that would suggest that the one on the left is later than 1930, which I would have guessed anyway, and that the one on the right, which looks more green in person, is older than 1930.

Just an example of how the facts listed might help you narrow down a date range for beer bottles.

While I'm at it, here is another found beer bottle.

This one is a Pabst bottle.  Also brown.  Looks very much like the brown bottle above, but judging from the additional embossing, I would guess maybe a touch older than the brown Fehr bottle.

It shouldn't be hard to get a better date estimate on any of these bottles with a little more research.


If Congress has shown me anything in the past week, it is the glaring need for term limits.  Those guys that make a lifetime job out of it need to go.


Not much change in beach conditions to report.  Expect another day or two of three to five foot surf.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, March 26, 2017

3/26/17 Report - An Important Experiment That Helps Explain When Beaches Will Erode. A Little More Erosion On One Beach.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

John Brooks Saturday Afternoon.

This is one place along the Treasure Coast that shows a cut.  Friday I showed the same beach, but nearer to high tide.

John Brooks Beach Friday Near Low Tide.

Between Saturday morning and the Friday low tide, another half foot had been added to the cut at John Brooks.  The slope was not as mushy either.

Another beach I looked at was not cut at all, but was showing an area that would have probably produced at least some modern coins if I had made the walk.  It was a good ways off.


From time to time I talk about how beach sand moves.  I've referred to how crashing waves push water into the sand and put pressure between particles of sand.  I found a good YouTube experiment that hows how water with some velocity saturates and and how the process can actually lift sand particles.  You might remember the photo that I posted in which in looked like sand was actually being sucked up into a wave.  This experiment might help you better visualize how that happens.

The experiment shows how sand will be moved.  If you remember my post on sand liquefaction, this is something like that.  The result is "sand shearing."  Sand shearing, I recently discovered, is the technical term for one way that sand moves.

Water Poured Into  Sand Contained in a Transparent Container \
Source: YouTube video link below.
The above illustration clearly shows what I imagined must happen and what I tried to describe before.  In the middle where the most water is hitting, you see two things.  One is that the water is penetrating the sand.  That is hardly surprising.  Notice also that the sand is pushed out from the area of greatest force on the surface of the sand.  Sand is also lifted there.

So what does that have to do with metal detecting?  Imagine a coin sitting on the surface of the sand when a wave hits the same spot.  The coin, unless the force is so great that the coin is lifted too, would slip down into the depression and eventually be covered.

There is another thing to consider as well.  When the sand is lifted, it will be easily swept away by water moving over the surface.

On a day when the surf is not so rough, the waves are breaking out in front of the beach.  When the waves are bigger and the tide is up, the waves will crash farther up on the beach.  When that happens, the sand will wash away quickly.

When the water is hitting with force any type of cliff from any erosion that has already occurred, the erosion will occur quickly due to the water bouncing back off the cliff and washing disturbed sand down the slope at a relatively rapid rate.

On calmer days when the water is washing up the slope, sand and other materials that are easily lifted and moved will wash up onto the slope.  The water force will slow as the water goes up the slope and the sand will be deposited.  The water washing down the slope will be even less forceful, due to water sinking into the sand.

Here is the link to the video.  There is more to it.

If you remember my discussions of trigger points, the water must be moving with enough force to move both sand and coins for coins to wash in.  (I'm not talking about coins being uncovered or washing out now.) While the force diminishes, the coins will settle or drop out of the flow while the sand is being moved.  The sand will settle out at some other location where the force diminishes even more.

I hope these experiments help you to visualize what I've been talking about.  The technical terms make it much easier for me to talk about my observations.

Sand shear or soil shear are two good terms that I'll be using more in the future.


It looks like we'll have a three to five foot surf for a few days.  The wind will be from the east.  That isn't promising, but we'll have bigger tides later in the week.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, March 25, 2017

3/25/17 Report - What's It All About? Finds That Take You Back To Another Place and Time. American Carbonator and American Bottler. Subsiding Surf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Sometimes in my dreams, I'm pretty smart.  Last night I dreamed I was in a big room, maybe like an airport terminal, and I saw a couple players from the 1970s Steelers football teams sitting on a long airport terminal-like bench.  They were older in the dream, like they are now in real life.  One I recognized, and the other one had a beard, and, I didn't know who it was for sure, but maybe it was Jack Ham.

Just like in real life, it was fun to see them , and in my dream they said something like, why do people make such a big deal over us. And in more words and detail than I'm giving now, I explained to them that seeing them takes people back to another time and place. Seeing them takes people back to a time when families gathered around the TV after dinner to watch the big game.  The kids were small and sat on the floor.  Dad, who is no longer with us, sat in his easy chair.  We were all together, just like the rest of the local community, watching, cheering and sharing.

We shared it, and that is what made it so special.  We talked about it.  We said things like, "Remember when Lynn Swann made that leaping catch that beat the Cowboys in 1975."  We watched the game, but what was going on was bigger than the game.  It was about a time and place in our lives.

The game was replayed and replayed and talked about and talked about and is still talked about today.  I saw it on TV again just two days ago.  That keeps it fresh.  The memory of the game is refreshed each time I see it or hear about it and it serves as a strong marker in my memory that takes me back to another time and place in my life.

(By the way, I did see Lynn Swann in the Orlando airport one time, which I think is one small thing that contributed to how the dream came together.)

The game and the players were center stage, but the game wasn't the important thing. The game was something I shared with those who were there with me at that time and place in life.

Ok, so what does that have to do with metal detecting?

On 3/22 I did a post on public services provided by detectorists.  I easily and quickly ran through quite a few examples.  They were all from a relatively short time span - maybe thirty years ago.  I don't exactly know the date or even the year, but I remember the events.  Each one involved me and at least one other person.  They weren't family events.  My wife was there for some of them, and I told her about others shortly after they happened, but when I did the post, I shared those events with a few hundred more people.

I don't remember the found object in any detail for even one case.  I don't remember what the keys, eye glasses or even the expensive engagement ring looked like.  I do remember the object and why it was important to somebody.  And I remember the interactions that took place.  I remember when they asked me to look for the object and when I gave it back to them.  And I remember the feeling. I remember what each person did and the emotions when each person got their lost item back and how I felt after that.  I only remember the objects for their function and what they meant to somebody.

We talk about finds.  We marvel over finds.  We think about finds.  But in the end, it isn't all about the objects.  It is about experiences, interactions and feelings.  Long after the objects have tarnished or been sold or put away, the sum total of the experiences will remain in who you are.  And when you take out some old find or just think back about it, you'll be transported back for at least a few seconds to another place and time in your life.


In the process of conducting research on the Stuart Bottling Works I located a great resource that you might find interesting, especially if you are interested in old bottles or sodas.  It is a Google Books copy of the American Carbonator and American Bottler.  Here is the title as it appeared in the 1905 publication.

If you browse through that journal you'll find tons of interest.  The ads are great.

Below is one showing a Hutch bottle stopper.

And here are some items used to clean bottles.  Bottles back then were reused.  

If you are old enough, maybe you remember looking for bottles which you could return to the store and receive a couple of pennies. I remember doing that.  

Those bottles had to be cleaned well before being reused.

Click here if you want to browse that journal.


The Treasure Coast surf predictions for today are now 4 - 6 feet.  That is a touch smaller than predicted earlier.

Yesterday  the wind shifted once to a more southernly direction, but it didn't last long. Most of the day it was pretty much an east wind.  This morning it is a little more from the south again.

I'm not expecting much at this point, but I'll try to check around a bit later.  I think that there is one or two spots that might open a little.

Happy hunting,

Friday, March 24, 2017

3/24/17 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Metal Detecting Conditions Update

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Wabasso Beach This Morning.
Not cuts here.

Looking North From Seagrape Trail Access This Morning

No cuts here either.

Looking South From Turtle Trail Access

No cuts here either.  The bags were deeply buried and the dip that was down by the second flag pole a few days ago was now gone.

As you can see, there was seaweed at all of these beaches.

Rough Surf Breaking In Front of John Brooks Beach This Morning.

One to Two Foot Cut at  John Brooks Beach This Morning.

The slope was fairly steep and also mushy.

The beach here has been cutting every time a front comes through and then filling again as soon as the wind shifts.  Any opportunities have been short-lived.

John Brooks Beach This Morning.

You can see from the above photo that the high tide came up over the cut and washed back on the beach a little ways.

Conditions might have been a touch better before that happened.

Although John Brooks beach was cut, detecting conditions weren't very good.  I'm keeping my beach conditions rating as a 1 (poor).

At this point, I'm not expecting much.  The waves are hitting straight on.

Overall the bigger surf didn't do much for us because of the direction of the wind.  Back when I saw this coming in the predictions, I said that the best chance might actually be during the smaller surf.  It appears that my guess wasn't far off.

You can probably find some better hunting at places where there are obstacles such as rocks or sea walls.

You'll have to hunt them out.

That's all for now.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, March 23, 2017

3/23/17 Report - Mystery Pillar Dollar Recently Found on Florida Beach. Bigger Surf Today.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Find by Daniel M.
Daniel M. found this coin.  He said that if it is real it is the first time he found anything that old on a SW Florida beach.

The date is obvious enough, but what is that mark between the two threes?

Dan tested it and found it to be silver.  He is still unsure if it is genuine.

Other Side of Same Coin.

The legend reads "REX PHILIP V D G HISPAN ET IND."

The mint mark is F for Feipe Rivas Angulo, assayer from 1730 to 1733.

It is from the Mexico mint.  You can see the mint mark (o over M) on either side of the date in the top photo.

Here is more information that Dan sent.

Thank you for the info on the items to look for. I put it on a scale and its weight is 25.4 grams and I silver tested it and it is silver as for purity I can say. Unfortunately I found what looks like a seam line in some areas of the edge. It’s not a raised seam like you see on plastic. This looks like two pieces that have been pressed together and didn’t fuse cleanly on the edge. I have included a link from the Heritage Auctions to what looks like a real one that has the same marking as the one I found. I also included pics of the edge of mine. My wife congratulated me as she told me it was a very high end souvenir. It was fun while it lasted. At least it’s a nice hunk of silver. Maybe some time I’ll get the purity tested.

Here is the picture of the edge that he sent me.

Edge of Above Pillar Dollar.

I also asked him about making the find, and he described it as follows.

Anyway I was working the dry sand area along the dune line between the public beach and a large upscale hotel. I was watching a bunch of kids digging these massive hole in the sand along the dune line. When I say massive I’m talking 4 to 5 feet deep and 5 to 6 feet in diameter at the bottom. There were three different holes and I noticed the change in sand texture and color. When they left I went and checked out the holes. The first one gave up nothing and after trying to get out of the first one I was hesitant to climb into the others. The possibilities of finding something worthy of needing climbing gear to get back out was too much to resist. So in I went. Then came a very faint hit. A couple scoops and the tone got better. 18 inches of digging and I was turning down the volume on the excal. Then came the happy sound of rattle rattle in the scoop. What I found was a very dark sand crusted item the size of a silver dollar. In the water the sand came off very easily and the black started to rub off also. Then the OMG stated. Anyway thank you again the info and your time.

I'm curious about the edge.  It isn't what I was expecting to see.  It isn't what I expected to see on a fake and not what I expected to see from the real thing.

The coin is heavily worn.  If it was a real Pillar Dollar, the edge should show a design around it.
The picture of the edge makes me think the coin is fake.

1733 would be just the second year they were making coins with the screw press technology in Mexico, so I wonder it the look of the edge might actually be due partly to a mint error.  I would think that would be highly unlikely, but perhaps possible.  What do you experts think?

I have a good bit of experience with cobs, but almost none with Pillar Dollars and would like the opinion of those of you who are more familiar with Pillar Dollars, maybe Ernie R. or another expert.

Thanks Dan.  Very interesting find, and very good photos!


I already received one theory on the coin from Larry.  Here it is.

Could be an old sand-cast counterfeit? That could account for the recessed seam, which can occur in sand casting, and the grainy texture and poor detail. It may have some value as a collectible counterfeit.

But if it's a counterfeit, it should have significantly less silver in it, which I think should have caused it to corrode more, if it were old. Unless it was buried deep enough early enough to have inhibited corrosion. 

Thanks much Larry.

And here is a good link Larry provided.

I considered the possibility of it being what I would call a reproduction, perhaps even made of salvaged silver by someone like the Fishers.  I don't know if that is a possibility or not.

Interesting mystery to be solved.  Congratulations and good luck.


Unfortunately I had other things I had to do and couldn't take a look at the beach today, so can't say how they are progressing.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3/22/17 Report - Public Service Provided By Detectorists Remains Largely Unknown And Unappreciated. Bigger Surf Coming.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

We don't do a good job of letting the world know how much of a service that detectorists provide. One of the ways that detectorists provide a public service is by finding and returning lost items.

I woke up last night and was thinking of some of the items that I returned over a brief period when I was doing a lot of hunting a few decades ago.  Here are a few of the examples that came to mind.

There was the young girl that lost her sister's high school ring in about four feet of water.  Her sister didn't know she had the ring and she was in for big trouble if she lost it.  I found it in a short period of time and returned it.

A tourist from another part of the country lost his eye glasses in a few feet of water in front of one of the hotels.   I found his glasses after a short hunt, and he offered to buy me a drink.  Being soaking wet and dressed only for the water, I declined his offer.

There was the high school ring of a young man that was lost in about three feet of water.  He promised twenty dollars to anyone who found it.   I just happened to be wondering through the area shortly after it was lost and saw the people hunting.  I found it and gave it to him, but he made no attempt to deliver on the reward.

There was the nice gem stone ring returned from about a foot of water near the Pompano Pier.  Not so much as a thank you was offered.

The same for a nice gold gem stone ring recovered from a submerged sand bar in front of a hotel.

I've mentioned this one in this blog before.  The fellow that ran the beach concessions in front of one of the major Miami hotels lost a key ring with about twenty keys on it before he opened for business early one morning.  He couldn't run his business without them.  He offered fifty dollars if I would find them.  I found them in the dry sand in a short amount of time and he was back in business.  That was the biggest reward anyone ever offered, and about the only one that I accepted.

That reminds me of the fireman from New York that lost his 20 year ring or something like that from the fire department in front of the same hotel.  I hunted that one for a long time, but never found it.  He gave me his address, and I hunted it a few times after he left town and wrote to tell him that I still didn't find it.

Another one I've mentioned before was on a remote beach outside of Pensacola back before cell phones.  I stopped at this remote beach and an elderly couple and their grandkids were just leaving the beach when they discovered they had lost their car keys. I found them.  There was no one else on that beach, and they could have been stranded a long time if I hadn't found their keys.

I don't tend to remember the ones I spent a lot of time trying to find but never found.  There were a number of those.

There was the gold chain and pendant that I found for the young man that did a handstand in the shallow water.  It was found relatively quickly.

Then there was the gold chain in a lake in Minneapolis that I couldn't find.

Probably the most expensive was a huge diamond engagement ring I found in the dry sand.  I was walking down he beach when a frantic woman stopped me and said she lost an engagement ring and asked me to find it. I found it after a short hunt I walked off into the sunset as they celebrated.

Other than the fifty dollars, the only other reward I recieved was when I found a nice emerald ring that a nice young lady lost in a couple of feet of water.  After presenting the ring to her, she ran up and got something and ran back down into the water and stuffed a twenty in my pocket and ran off again before I could give it back.

 The list goes on and on.  Those are just a few that came to mind last night.

If it wasn't for detectorists I dare say hundreds of thousands of cherished lost items would still be lost.  From the number that I personally remember returning from that one brief period of time that I was thinking about last night, I can only assume that the total number of items returned by detectorists must run at least into the hundreds of thousands and probably more if you think of the decades that this has been going on.

We should publicize returned items more.  Any park ranger or government official that is against metal detecting would quickly change his mind if his wife lost her engagement ring or family heirloom.  Then it might hit home.


Warren D. has sent in reports of nice returned finds that he has made.  I'd like to see more or that kind of thing from others.


There are other services that detectorists render as well.  Detectorists work with archaeologists and police, uncover bombs and dangerous items on the beach, return coins to circulation as well as precious metals and other items, and  remove trash.

I have no idea how much the return of coins to circulation saves the country, but I'll bet the amount is very large.


Warren D. alerted me to the upcoming Marx lecture.

Sir Robert Marx lecture

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (ET)

Gleason Performing Arts Center


The surf today tomorrow and Friday is supposed to be up to something like 5 - 7 feet.  Unfortunately the tides will be fairly flat.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

3/21/17 Report - Legendary Treasure Found In a River. Mystery Stuart Bottle Information Found. Still Up To Seven Foot Surf Predicted.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Few of the Thousands of Items Found.
Source: See link below.

CHENGDU, March 20 (Xinhua) -- A centuries-old legend that a vast booty of treasure belonging to the leader of a Chinese peasants uprising was lying at the bottom of a river has now been proven true.

After more than 10,000 items of gold and silver were recovered from the bottom of Minjiang River in Sichuan Province, archeologists confirmed Monday the tale of Zhang Xianzhong and his sunken treasure, dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)...

Here is that link.


I finally got some information on the Stuart Bottling Works bottles that I've found.

In July 1913, James Elersly Weir, Jr., purchased a pitch pine wooden building owned by Joseph A. Lucas, a real estate developer, located on an isolated dirt road (Decker Street) south of Stuart; he had it converted into a bottling plant, Stuart Bottle Works. Soft drinks were bottled, sealed with large snap off caps and distributed in Stuart, Palm City, Jensen, Salerno, Hobe Sound, even to Fort Pierce and Jupiter. Weir only remained in Stuart a few years, joining family in West Palm Beach, in the plastering business and later, an auction house.

The bottling plant building was eventually owned by Ira L. Decker, who operated a concrete manufacturing business and was used primarily for storage. In the afternoon of Feb. 6, 1933, while Decker and local firemen were battling a brush fire nearby, the building caught fire. The wooden structure quickly went up in flames making it impossible for Ira to retrieve equipment, vehicles or machinery.

At least two bottles from the plant survive, clearly marked Stuart Bottling Works, one of which can be seen at the Stuart Heritage Museum.

The bottle is evidently older than I thought.  I thought it looked like a soda bottle.

Here is the link.

Thanks to Dean R. for the link.


Here are the MagicSeaWeed predictions for the Fort Pierce area.  Not too bad.  There is still a chance for something good to happen.

Unfortunately the tides are now pretty flat.  The wind has died down too.

Happy hunting,

Monday, March 20, 2017

3/20/17 Report - Treasure Coast Beaches Show Little Improvement So Far. Increased Surf Predicted.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Rio Mar Beach This Morning.

Looking South Towards Seagrape Trail Access.
As you might be able to see in the photo above, there were a few dips just north of the Seagrape Trail access around where the shard teeth sometimes accumulate.  It wasn't much.  There weren't many shells, and very little sign of any erosion at all this morning.

Looking North Around Bend North of Seagrape Trail This Morning.

South of Turtle Trail Looking Towards Second Flag Pole.

 I went out this morning to check some beaches.  As you can see not much was going on yet.  There was almost no erosion at Rio Mar.

At Seagrape Trail there was very little erosion.  There were a lot of coconuts laying along the high tide line.  The only smidgen of a cut was south at the second flag pole.  There was a dip starting at about the second flag pole and went south for a distance.  That was about it.

The waves were hitting straight on and weren't very big at all this morning.  There was no sign of the bags below Turtle Trail.  They seemed to be pretty deeply covered.

I saw a few detectorists out checking the beaches this morning, but none detecting.


I have a report of a 1733 Pillar Dollar being found on a SW Florida beach.  Pictures and more about that tomorrow.


I'm still looking for any information on Stuart Bottling Works.


The predictions are still for a 3 - 5 foot surf tomorrow and a 5 - 7 foot surf later in the week.

Hurricane season is just about two months away now.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, March 19, 2017

3/19/17 Report - Improvement in Beach Detecting Conditions Likley In the Coming Week. Stuart Bottling Works Bottle Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of the

Source: MagicSeaWeed. com

The big news today is the weather and predictions.  There was a west wind this morning on the Treasure Coast.  It turned north later in the day.

Midweek we're supposed to have something like a three to five foot surf  and later in the week, a five to eight foot surf.  If that actually happens and everything else such as the wind is right, there will be a chance of some finds both midweek and later.

It looks like the wind might be more favorable midweek.


Stuart Bottling Works Bottle Found Couple Days Ago.
Here is a bottle that appeared the other day.  It was partially uncovered by recent movement of sand.

I found two of these before but never have been able to find out anything about Stuart Bottling Works, when they existed or what the bottles were used for.  They are evidently not exactly rare along the Treasure Coast.

Embossing On Same Bottle.
It is embossed as shown above.  Sorry the photo isn't better.  It is embossed simply STUART BOTTLING WORKS.

I'd appreciate any information anyone might be able to give me on Stuart Bottling Works.

I also saw this.

That is what I saw in the water.  I picked it up and saw the following.

Lucky Little Green Ceramic Frog.


Two things I've learned about life dreams.  If you are lucky or unlucky enough to have one, first, they are not to be fulfilled easily.  If everything falls into place without any struggle, something must be wrong.

Secondly, they aren't meant for you alone.  They are just as much, or perhaps more, for others.  If they kill rather than develop over time to be seed or fertilizer for someone else's dream, it is a just a desire - not a real life dream.


Watch or possible beach conditions improvements this week.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, March 18, 2017

3/18/17 Report - Some Real Gems. Teenager Finds 7.44 Karat Diamond. Atocha Emeralds Auctioned.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

877 Karat Emerald Known As La Gloria To Be Auctioned April 25.
Source: CNN link below.

This seems to be the week for gems. Huge gems are in the news, including some from the Atocha.

On April 25, the public will have the opportunity to own some of the most magnificent and valuable emeralds in the world, when they go up for sale at Guernsey's auction house in New York...

One of the highlights of the sale is a collection of cut emeralds from the great Spanish shipwreck Nuestra SeƱora de Atocha, a galleon that sank off the Florida coast in 1622...

Here is the link for more about that.


Diamonds are in the news too.

An Arkansas teenager hit the jackpot Saturday when he found a 7.44-carat diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.

Many people spend hours searching for diamonds at the park only to walk away empty-handed, but Kalel Langford, 14, had only been at the park with his parents for 30 minutes when he spotted a shiny, dark brown gem, according to a statement.  Kalel took the stone to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center later in the day and learned that the shiny rock was actually one of the largest diamonds ever discovered in the park...

Here is the link for more on that story.

I've written about Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas where anyone can pay a fee and hunt diamonds.  The story about how it was discovered is interesting.  A hog farmer discovered a diamond in the mud.  I've told that story before.

Thanks to Dean for leads on both of the above stories.


An African church minister who supplements his meagre stipend by scrabbling for minerals in the artisanal mines of Sierra Leone has discovered one of the largest diamonds ever found.

The stone is to be auctioned, the Sierra Leonean government announced yesterday, although its value cannot be determined until its quality is assessed. An 813-carat diamond was sold at closed auction in London last month for £51m...

And here is that link.

I once got an email from a woman saying that her husband was talking about buying a metal detector and quitting his job.  She wanted to know if he could really make a living doing that.  I gave her my answer and she replied saying her husband wasn't going to be happy.

Well, first of all, most people don't metal detect for a living.  Very few do.  And there is a good reason. Most would dismally fail.   It is not something you can do that easily.

I remember years ago seeing people yelling "get a job" at a detectorist that was metal detecting in the water near Miami Beach.  I don't know if they actually thought he had no job and was detecting as a living, but it seemed like they did. Some people (very few) are professionals detectorists.  Some some people are obviously hobbyists, but I guess it might not be so obvious is if you don't know much about it.  The number that are professonals must be something like one percent of one percent of all detectorists.  That is my guess.

In the old days the professionals tried to remain invisible.  (I'm talking about detectorists here, not treasure salvors.)  The pros intentionally flew below the radar.  They didn't want to be seen or known. Today it isn't like that.  At least not entirely.  Some today do whatever they can to publicize and promote themselves.

But back to the point I wanted to make.  You can't just buy a detector and go out and expect to make a living at it.  If you are one of the few that can make a living out of it, you first have to put in a lot of time before you get to that skill level.  And it isn't easy.  You can't just go out and wave a detector around and expect to make any kind of profit.  For one thing, you have to be where there is a lot of things to find, such as South Florida.  You can't squeeze gold out of a beach that has none.  If you don't live near excellent detecting, you have travel time and travel expenses to deal with.

Most hobbyists don't keep track of expenses.  Metal detectors are expensive.  Many cost a thousand dollars or more.  And if you are hitting it hard you have more than one and you've gone through several.

Scoops are expensive too.  Then there are pinpointers, batteries, parking fees, detector repairs, wetsuits, etc. etc.  That is a lot of expense  before you can think about making any kind of profit.  I'm sure that most detectorists don't cover expenses.  Most don't really try to.

Some people that I know have paid thousands for a metal detector just because they enjoy playing with it.  They don't really care if they are making a profit.  They enjoy the activity and what they find is just icing on the cake.

Serious metal detecting can also be very strenuous.  I could not today do what I used to do.  There were times when I would walk miles and worked in very rough conditions.  There were times that it was very dangerous.  I wouldn't do some of that today.

I liked to test myself and see what I could do.  It wasn't a profit motive that drove me.  I had some good jobs and a good bit of spare time. I didn't have to find anything to pay the bills.  I did a lot of business travel so I took my metal detector and got to detect a lot of different locations.

I took a few months off between jobs once when I proved to myself that I could make a living out of detecting beaches and shallow water.  I wanted to find out if I could.  That was decades ago.

To repeat my main point - you can't just buy a detector and go out and leisurely make a living out of it.  Don't bet the bank on it without first giving it a try and really finding out what it will take to be successful.  For me now, it is a very enjoyable educational activity that provides a multitude of benefits.  It is a good way to connect with the past and learn a little more about yourself.


We have a small surf and small tides on the Treasure Coast now.  If you are a shallow water hunter, it is probably a good time.

The surf is supposed to increase next week.

Happy hunting,

Friday, March 17, 2017

3/17/17 Report - New Margarita Finds. Industry Shipwreck and St. Augustine. SS Central America Search Strategy.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach Renourishment Begins At Jupiter Beach South.
Submitted by CladKing.
Thanks CladKing.


The sea is usually rough in the keys in March, however the Mel Fisher organization reports some very nice finds were made recently during a calm spell by the Sea Reaper on the Margarita site.  Exploring a less explored area to the east, a variety of artifacts were found including a large encrusted iron pot.  A iron key and a sword handle was found the next day a little distance away.  These new finds added new possibilities to what is known about the distribution of wreckage.
A second iron pot was found the next day nearly a half mile away, but in a direct line with the first.  It appears that a second scatter lies parallel to that previously plotted.

Here is a three-legged 18th century iron cooking pot from the Industry shipwreck off St. Augustine.
Source: TAMU Dissertation.  See link below.


Franklin's dissertation is something that anyone interested in 18th Century Florida will want to read. It gives a good history of St. Augustine (one of the best I've read) and especially how they were provisioned, both legally and illegally. The Lawrence family of New York was one big player.

The dissertation provides a lot of information on Spanish St. Augustine and how they were supplied by British ships, the Industry being one that sunk outside of the inlet to St. Augustine. Also covered are the artifacts. A good bibliography can be found at the end.

Here is the link.

Picture of a Similar Iron Pot In a Ship's Hearth.
Source: TAMU  link immediately above.

Here is another good read.  It discusses the search for the SS Central America.  It is not about what happened when the wreck was found - just search strategies prior to the location of the wreck.

Here is that link.


Well the surf is still small along the Treasure Coast.  The tides have also decreased.  Not much hope for much improvement over the next few days.  It is however an chance to check the low tide area.

I expect a lot of beach renourishment this summer.  It has started, but there is more to come.

Happy hunting,