Monday, May 22, 2017

5/22/17 Report - Learning From Treasure Hunting Yesterdays. Ransomware Hits One Operating System. Beach Update.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exlcusive use of

My first metal detecting was way back, but unfortunately I can't figure out what decade it was. I don't think the detector we had would detect a coin. My grandmother bought it. Maybe we didn't know how to use it. I'm very vague about that now.

I do remember that we went out to an old homestead where there was not much more remaining than a chimney. It was where she lived a short while as a child.  We found some things. I remember finding a horse shoe.  Too bad we didn't know what we were doing at that point.  It would have been nice to pick up some nicer things from her childhood.  Maybe that is what she was hoping.

I think it was the limitations of the detector that discouraged us from continuing, but it might have been our lack of knowledge that was the problem. It wasn't until years later (again, I can't figure out precisely when that was) when I was living in Florida and got a decent metal detector. It was a White's detector that I got from a Sears catalog. I started detecting the Hollywood Florida beaches, which were close to where I lived.

My coin finds increased quickly.  Every week it seemed I found more.  I remember detecting under a beach walkover one night and finding a big bunch of coins.

For some reason I returned the Whites detector to Sears, and I went to Pot O Gold, which was near the Fort Lauderdale Airport and bought a submersible detector.  It was a Fisher 1280 Aquanaut.   That detector turned out be be a good detector.  It was very reliable and effective.

I don't know which detector I was using, but it was either the Whites or the Aquanaut because I know it wasn't very long after I started detecting when I found my first ring. It was a silver skull ring by the water's edge near the main lifeguard station at Hollywood beach.

 I've said before how I found a lot more men's rings early on with the Aquanaut until I learned to turn down the discrimination, then I started getting more small ladies rings with diamonds or other gem stones.

My next detectors were made by Steve Noga.  They were modified Nautilus detectors.  Super detectors.  By that time I was finding a lot of gold.  The first one I got from Steve, was so good that after using it a couple of days and finding a lot of gold, I called him up and asked him if he'd give me a deal on a second one just to have as a backup.  He gave me a deal, and I bought the second.  I don't know what happened to Steve.

My next detectors were also modified Nautilus detectors, made by a fellow whose name I can't remember right now.  He lived in Margate.  I know he is now deceased.

I had left my consulting job and was teaching at a University in South Florida.  In between jobs I detected a lot and proved to myself that I could do well enough to make a living by detecting.  I didn't do that though. University teaching permitted a lot of time to do some metal detecting.

Since I got the Aquanaut I mostly did water hunting except when the water was too rough.  I had a long list of places that I liked to hunt, both in the water and on the beach.  I also did some parks - especially those that had swimming holes.  

At some point, maybe thirty years ago ( I don't know how many years) I started to make an occasional drive up to the Treasure Coast to try to find 1715 Fleet treasure.  It took a while.  I made a number of trips before hitting it right.  I got pretty discouraged before I managed to come when the beaches were producing, but kept at it.  

I had already found an 18th century escudo in South Florida, but was having no luck with the Treasure Coast.   Eventually I got my first piece of shipwreck silver on the Treasure Coast, then years later moved to the Treasure Coast.  I guess I've lived on the Treasure Coast over twenty years now.

The original purpose of starting this blog came from the wasted trips I made to the Treasure Coast.  I started out posting my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Conditions Ratings so people would be able to find out about the Treasure Coast beach conditions before deciding if it might be worth making the trip.  I had made a lot of wasted trips, not knowing what the beach conditions were and thought that would be useful information.  So that was the beginning of this blog.

I didn't write this just to tell you more about me.  I hope there are some useful hints in it.

First, if you are going to begin metal detecting, you don't need the most expensive detector in the world, but you do need one that is capable of finding the types of things you want to find.  Visit a shop and get a demonstration.  Make sure you know what your detector can find and the basics of using it.

I've detailed in many posts how important it is to understand your detector.  I've also told how you can experiment with your detector to learn how to understand it better.  Do a lot of air tests and ground tests with different types of objects in different environments.  Adjust the settings and see how that affects the response.

You can expect to progress with both the quantity and quality of finds.  You should continue to learn and improve.  There will be dry spells, and some might be long, but overall you should continue to improve.

To keep making finds you'll have to adjust from time to time.  It is always good to try new places and new techniques.


FRANKFURT, May 18 (Reuters) - Two-thirds of those caught up in the past week's global ransomware attack were running Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system without the latest security updates, a survey for Reuters by security ratings firm BitSight found.

Did you know that you can communicate over an international computer network without using the internet.  You can.  Back as far as the 1970s I was on an international network of Cyber super-computers that were not connected to the internet.  The hardware and software was completely different. The whole world wasn't on it, of course - just the relative few that had access.

 It amazes me that such high level people in our government have been communicating on such an insecure system.  The internet has become the public park.  Some of them are good and some not so good, but you never know who might be there or what might be going on.   If I wanted to communicate information that was critical to our nations security and had the resources, I would not be using the internet.  I assume there are levels of our government that use more secure systems.

I don't think it would be a bad idea for any large organization wanting to protect its data and operations to have a separate network system for sensitive functions.


Darrel S. has given updates on a variety of beaches the last few days.  Here is a new update from Darrel for today.

Beaches about the same. Low was around 11:30am. A lot more beach being exposed as we head into summer tides. It was glassy early, but wind picked up by the time Sun rose. Thought I saw one of the salvagers heading out earlier, but did not see anyone out.

Randy and I were the only detectors out. I had several shell hunters thanked me for sending in the images. That makes me feel better that people appreciate the effort...

Thanks for the report Darrel.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, May 21, 2017

5/21/17 Report - Analyzing How You Detect. One Person's Adventures With Treasure Hunting. Turtle Trail Beach Conditions.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Turtle Trail Beach Sunday
Photo by Darrel S.
The summer heat is here.  Darrel S. sent in these photos.  He also sent the brief report that I posted below.

Notice the shells near the water line.  The picture below also shows a little dip in front of the beach.

You can find a few shark teeth and other fossils around there at times.

Another View of Turtle Trail Beach Sunday.
Photo by Darrel S.

Here is Darrel had to say about his hunt.

Better then last few days. More shells, but sand is still thick in low tide line. Very mushy. Nothing but pull tabs and iron debris. Others had similar finds. Mostly clean. Too many detectors in this area for summer!

Thanks for the pictures and report Darrel!


Some of you might know Ken H. (Southern Digger).  He detailed some of his activities in a recent email to me.  Here are some of them.

...I have been enjoying the Gold Shows including Coopers Treasure. It was in 1973 while attending college and visiting Fisher's treasure museum ship in Ft. Lauderdale when being offered a job to dive for Mo in Ft. Pierce to Sebastian area. I did not get certified until 1975 when my dive coach offered me a second opportunity to dive for Mo at Sebastian on the Fisher contracts. However, after I graduated, instead, I personally pursued a wreck at Jupiter Inlet in 1977 but was shut down by the local politics, Soon after,,I was brought into land explorations and archaeology and the work became overwhelming. Therefore, I formed a non-profit society to assist with land archaeology sites in South Florida and one of my members--an X-Marine--after being directed by me, became a diver for Mo in the latter 1980's.Sometime before or thereafter, I am certain that I met Mickos's father at a shipwreck artifact exhibit.,, family took a camping trip to Central Florida East Coast and camped at Sebastian Inlet on the north side and fished at the inlet., Back then, anyone could camp west of the bridge on the north side of the inlet for free. However, no electric or facilities. More important, north of the inlet and east of the bridge was a small cafe and that is where I saw some of Kip Wagner's shipwreck artifacts mounted on the back wall.On inquiring, I was referred to the "Pieces of Eight" book and all things changed after reading it. I called Kip in 1971 or 72-ish asking for wreck locations so that I could detect the beach. I ended up talking to his son and learned that he had recently passed, However, his son spent a good 15-30 minutes and provided me with mileage south of the inlet to each wreck site. After that, I spent trip after trip to the area, searching the beaches between Ft. Pierce and the Sebastian Inlet. Later, I gave these locations to a non-profit historical club member and late-friend after taking him to search the beaches.Later, he converged with a few treasure divers, updated the locations which are now beach parks, and published a book that provides wreck locations which is still popular today. Cooper dived with Kip on occasion and I wished I was born a few years earlier so that I could meet both of them. Never give up the pursuit....

Thanks for sharing Kenneth.

It is interesting how people get into treasure hunting, and there are still a few around who were involved with the early years of detecting.


I watched a few metal detecting videos lately and was amazed by the amount of time a lot of people spend on target recovery.  Between the first signal and getting the target in the pocket, a lot of time elapses.

One of the advantages of using discrimination that people talk about is saving time by not recovering junk targets.  I think sometimes that it is actually not so much a concern about time being wasted as it is about the effort spent in digging and sifting and the frustration that results from seeing a junk target emerge after going through all of that.

I've seen people spend tons of time going over a target multiple times and trying to decipher what the detector is telling them.  That spent time does not seem to bother then nearly as much as a little digging.  They don't seem to realize how much time they are spending in pinpointing and target ID.  I think that is partly, if not entirely because their hopes aren't dashed by seeing a junk target emerge after spending the effort.

I've counted the seconds on some videos and definitely found that many times it would have been quicker to just dig the target and put the junk in one pocket and the goodies in another pocket.  Like I said, I'm thinking that the emotion of seeing a junk target emerge magnifies the perception of wasted time.

On the other hand, people aren't disappointed when they mistakenly pass up a good target, even if it is a Rolex watch.  They think they did a good thing and go on their way satisfied, never knowing what they missed.

The psychological aspect is an important part of detecting.  We talk a lot about the operating characteristics of metal detectors, but the operating characteristics of the detectorist are just as important.  How a person detects is very much the result of their personality.  To some extent, so is metal detector selection.

If you analyze your style and productivity, you can overcome some your weaknesses.  That requires objective analysis, which is more difficult for some people than others.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, May 20, 2017

5/20/17 Report - Why Nor'easters Move More Sand and Coins: A Small Scale Video Illustration.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Erosion I Found Yesterday

It is not often that I am able to capture such as good image of such a basic and important thing. Usually I don't have my camera, or the batteries or dead or for some other reason I just can't capture the image in a way that shows what I really want to show.

Yesterday when I was out I hunting, I saw the above little eroded cliff. I made a very short video that shows how water hitting the beach at a sharp angle slices away the sand.  That is something I often talk about, especially as it relates to Nor'easters.

This erosion is on a very small scale, but the small scale and the clarity of the water, worked out for the better.  The same thing you see in the video below happens on the beach on a much larger scale when the surf is larger.  I think you can see from that video how the water slices along the front of the cliff.

Here is the link to the video.  Take a look.  It is only nine seconds.

Notice how the water speeds along the face of the cliff.

I suggest running the video and few times and watching how the water skirts long at the base of the cliff.

At the end, you see multiple steps in the sand.  The steps were created as the tide went down.  Some steps are greater than others because there were times when the waves were bigger.

Below is a an illustration of the eroded area and the neighboring beach. The general direction of the water adds sand in one place and removes it in another.  If the direction of the waves changed, the sand would be removed and added at different locations.

The curve in the beach is important.   To the right of the illustration, sand was accumulating.  It was only eroding where the water was hitting at an angle (orange line).

The water hits the cliff and bounces back off the cliff.  That water bouncing off the cliff then gets pushed along the face of the cliff by incoming water.  On the leading edge of the rushing water, you see a little swirl created where the wave pushes the water that is bouncing off the cliff.

I was glad I caught that on video.  I often see something I want to talk about, and for one reason or another, don't catch it on video.  On this small scale, it was pretty easy to see what was happening.

The movement of sand on the beach is multi-directional.  How the incoming and outgoing water interact is important.

When the water hits at a sharp angle, as in the video, there is a redirection of water as the outgoing water hits the incoming water.  When it is hitting at a sharp angle, there is not so much of a collision as when the water is washing directly up and down the slope.  When the water is hitting at a sharp angle, there is more of a combining and redirection rather than a collision that severely reduces the force of both the incoming and outgoing water.  In some areas it actually appeared that the two sources added together and added to the overall force.  There were times when the incoming and outgoing water combined to create a swirl that moved along the beach near the front of the combined sources.  The sand appeared to suspend more in the area of the swirl.

Clip From Another Video Segment
In the above illustration you can see the direction of the incoming water, the outgoing water and the area where they were gathering (arrows).  That area is where there appeared to be the most sand suspended, for the area at the base of the cliff when the water hit it with some force.  The swirl moved parallel to the beach for a short distance.

As I've discussed when I talked about trigger points and drop points, what is moved by the water is determined by the amount of force.  The small amount shown in this video moved sand but would not move coins - other than those that might happen to fall out of the bank.  If you understand the movement of sand and other objects on a beach you'll know better when and where to look for coins.


This looks like it would be a good read.

The Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas and Plundered Shipwrecks, from the 18th-Century to the Present Day Hardcover – July 14, 2005, by Bella Bathurst.

Unfortunately you don't get much of an online preview, but here is the link.


The most read post of April was the 4/27/17 Report - More On Cooper's Treasure Show. Salvage Lease Process In The Bahamas. Blog Provided Touch of Home to Deployed Detectorist.

People have been going back and reading a lot of the old posts.


Happy hunting,

Friday, May 19, 2017

5/19/17 Report - A Two-Detector Hunt. Beaches Around the Treasure Coast.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Round Island Park Yesterday
Photo by Darrel S.
Here is Darrel's report from yesterday.

We went to Round Park first. A lot scrap iron. Few coins and jewelry. 8am to 10am.

Pepper Park big disappointment. A lot seaweed and only 2 hits. Both hits were pennies, but older.

Stopped by Turtle Trail. After 12 noon and exhausted. We went home!

Round Island Park Yesterday
Photo by Darrel S.

Turtle Trail Yesterday
Photo by Darrel S.
Turtle Trail North Yesterday
Photo by Darrel S.
Thanks much for the photos and report Darrel.

Those beaches look much like one from South Hutchinson Island that I showed yesterday.


I went out to the beach this morning.  It was a two detector hunt.  By that I mean I used two detectors.

At the ocean beach I used what I call a power detector.  Just a deep-seeking detector - no discrimination or anything.

I found a few coins and some junk jewelry in the wet sand.  There appeared to be nothing in the dry sand.  Very clean.

Then I moved to another location where I wanted to pick through the junk.  I used a Garrett Ace to pick through the junk and get small spaces.  I found one eight inch iron spike and a few smaller connectors.  The larger spike was so deteriorated it was crumbling.  Also, a couple modern coins that were very corroded.  There was clay or mud that was very acidic.

One spot at that locastion was exposed to levels that I had not seen in many years.  Just around the corner the sand was piled at least three feet higher than it was the last time I was there.

I think have a couple photos from that hunt on my phone.

When I moved out of that small eroded area, I switch back to the power detector, but I did better in the junky area with the Ace.  The eroded area was the only area worth detecting at that location.

Sometimes junk will be your best friend.  A lot of people won't work a junky area, and some that do will miss things.

As I've mentioned in the past, I like to select detectors depending upon the location and type of target.  don't however like to leave a detector in the car, so I don't often take a second unless I know that I will want to have two choices with me.  I knew that I would want both today, and one worked best at one location, while the other worked better for me at the other location.


The FBI needs to be investigated.  They seem incapable of detecting and preventing security threats and leaks.


The surf is going to decrease again this weekend.  The tides aren't big either.

Happy hunting

Thursday, May 18, 2017

5/18/17 Report - 19 Tons of Silver Bars. Some Erosion on Some Treasure Coast Beaches.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Eroded Treasure Coast Beach As Seen Early This Afternoon.
I noticed a good southeast wind once yesterday and suspected there might be some beach erosion.  I got out today and did find some.

The above cut is about two feet high.  As you can see, there is a lot of seaweed.  The sand in front of the cut was mushy.  The seaweed undoubtedly washed up after the wind changed direction and the erosion was done.

The quick erosion and refilling happened a number of times during a few weeks a month or two ago.  No cobs showed up then either.

Another Beach With Some Erosion. 
There was not quite as much erosion here.

No Erosion at The Third Beach.
The third beach had even more seaweed.  You could also see where the sand was accumulating on the front of this beach.

Overall, I'd say beach detecting conditions are not good despite the erosion at some beaches.


I previously talked a little about the S. S. Gairsoppa, but did you know about the SS Mantola?

Odyssey Marine Explorations has filed to claim salvage rights for the SS Mantola, a ship that was carrying nearly 19 tons of silver bars when it was sunk by a German torpedo in 1917.

On May 1 an court order was issued giving Odyssey exclusive rights to salvage the wreck.  The order in part reads,  ...IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction temporarily enjoining and restraining any and all interference by any third-parties with Plaintiff's rights to salvage the shipwreck site located within the area defined by the center-point coordinates is hereby GRANTED; it is further ORDERED that nay and all third-parties are hereby enjoined from conducting search and/or recovery operations, or conducting activities which would disturb the shipwreck site in any manner or that would interfere with Plaintiff's rights to continue its recovery of the cargo and artifacts at the shipwreck site;...

Any other parties have the right to submit their claims.
The coordinates for the wreck were kept secret, but it is known the the Mantola was discovered not far from the Gairsoppa.

The company ( Odyssey ) estimates 536,000 ounces of silver could be on board the ship. Under a 2011 salvage agreement with the UK government, Odyssey was to keep 80 percent of the cargo.
However, that agreement lapsed in September 2015 and the government no longer makes such deals, the suit says. Odyssey is staking its claim for ownership.
Here is the link to that source, where you can find some additional information.
And here is the link if you want to find out more about Odyssey's Mantola project.


Happy hunting,

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5/17/17 Report - 2.65 Carat Diamond Found. Story of John Huddleston. Pirates Hijacked by ePirates.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

John Huddleston
Source:  EncyclopediaofArkansas link below.

An Oklahoma woman struck gold when she found a 2.65-carat diamond at an Arkansas state park in less than 10 minutes.

Victoria Brodski and her family visited Crater of Diamonds State Park on Saturday after she heard someone found a 7.44-carat diamond there in March, according to the Arkansas State Parks website.

Brodski, 25, picked up a shiny object she thought was a pretty piece glass minutes after she arrived that morning. She dropped it in her pocket and kept searching for diamonds for the rest of the day...

See the link below for the rest of the story.

You probably know how the Crater of Diamonds State Park started, and how farmer John Huddleston found a diamond there back in the old days.  Some accounts describe him as a hog farmer who discovered a shiny stone in the mud of his hog farm one day.  It was something like some of the treasures I talk about.  According to some accounts (which might not be totally accurate in all details), he didn't know what the stone was at first and was offered a very small sum for the stone before he eventually found out what it was after sending it to a gemologist in New York.  I've used that story for illustration purposes many times, as have many preachers.

John Wesley Huddleston is best known as a struggling farmer who found two diamonds on the surface of his field near Murfreesboro (Pike County) in August 1906 and made himself and his state famous. Soon after the discovery, he was recognized as the first person outside South Africa to find diamonds at an original volcanic source. In the process, he became the controversial subject of numerous folk tales...

In August 1906, however, Huddleston found two unusual crystals along a public road running through the new property. Experts in Little Rock and New York City identified them as diamonds, and soon word of the discovery got out. When diamond-mining interests appeared on the scene in September 1906, the Huddlestons accepted $360 cash for an extendable six-month option on the 243 acres, at a purchase price of $36,000. Afterward, they signed deed contracts and received payments on principal and interest for almost ten years...

You can read more about John and how he discovered diamonds in Arkansas by using the following link.

Pretty amazing how discoveries like that are made. It could have happened to anyone, but it happened to John Huddleston when the events that changed his life converged at that specific time and place. It has happened on the Treasure Coast. It might happen to you, or it might not.

If farmer John didn't pick up those shiny stones and start the whole thing, somebody else would have.   It is that close.   He could have easily missed it one way or another, and it would have been some other person that went down in history.

You can visit the Crater of Diamonds State Park and search for diamonds for a small fee.  Might be a good vacation idea if you like that sort of thing.


You probably heard about Disney's latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie being stolen and held for ransom.  Someone (North Korea is suspected) threatened to release parts of the movie before the official release unless they are paid off in Bitcoin.  The day before yesterday, I think it was, I just talked about hacking and digital pirates sailing the internet, I also recently talked about digital forms of payment, including Bitcoin. Funny how the timing worked out.


Like I said the other day, I haven't been out to the beach much lately.  Darrel S. however, was out and submitted the following report about the beaches from Wabasso to Turtle Trail.  Very mushy and way too much sand near low tide line. Renourished dunes are exposed. Reason for too much dirt closer to ocean.

Thanks for the resport Darrel.

We're supposed to have a 2 - 4 foot surf today on the Treasure Coast, increasing to a 3 - 5 foot surf tomorrow.  The tides are small, so that will be no help.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5/16/17 Report - Artificial Intelligence Helped Find Lost Treasure Hunter. Can It Help You Find Treasure? Colonial Period Items of Personal Adornment.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Find and photo By Captain Jonah Matinez.

Jonah sent me this picture several months ago but I never posted it before.  Looks like it might have held some decorative stones.


A treasure hunter that disappeared while seeking the Fenn treasure was located by with the help of artificial intelligence.

When Randy Bilyeu disappeared, he was hunting for the Fenn Treasure, a chest allegedly filled with gold, precious stones, and jewelry, supposedly hidden in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, New Mexico...

Essentially, it’s an artificial intelligence system that figures out the current location of someone (or thing) using a data set of known previous locations. For example, geospatial abduction can pinpoint the location of a bear’s cave using the coordinates of animal’s droppings, or a serial killer’s address using the coordinates of known killings. Serial killers usually attack within six miles from their home, and bears will stay within the same distance of their cave when they go out on their daily hunts or bathroom trips. Shakarian has designed algorithms that take information like that into account, ingest data points, and, after ruling out obviously impossible locations like lakes, rivers and so on, come up with the most feasible solution to current whereabouts. As with most algorithms of this sort, the more data—the more killings or droppings—the more likely for the solution to be correct.

I bolded and underlined two words in the above excerpt to draw your attention to the fact that AI systems can be used to find things.  The same AI system that helped find the lost treasure hunter could also be used to find treasure.

Artificial intelligence is being talked about a lot these days.  Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google all offer AI capabilities to various industries.  AI was one of my interests some thirty years ago.  I constructed a couple of few "expert systems." Now artificial intelligence is receiving new attention and is being applied to more significant tasks.

The treasure industry could benefit tremendously from AI but probably won't.  There are a variety of reasons for that.  It requires expertise that most treasure hunters do not have and do not want to take the time to develop.  You almost have to start with the computer skills and then bring those skills to the application.

The tons of GPS data stored over the years by the treasure salvage in Florida provides a very rich database.  That would be an ideal starting place for an AI project.  The data has already been computerized for the most part.

AI attempts to recognize patterns in existing data and make predictions from incoming data so the AI system is only as good as the data and the algorithms.

 I always enjoyed taking big data sets, soaking it in and analyzing the heck out of it.  If I was thirty or forty years younger, I would definitely be doing that.  So much in life and treasure hunting is about timing.


It would be easy enough for a manufacturer to install an expert system into a detector that would guide you to the best settings for a specific piece of ground and target type.  You heard it here first.


Here is a book you might like - especially if you find old things and try to identify them.

The book is American Artifacts of Personal Adornment, 1680-1820: A Guide to Identification and Interpretation by Carolyn White.

Here is a table from the book showing the items discussed.

Here is the link to the book, some of which can be viewed as a preview.

Aglets are often found and can easily be confused with a number of other items.  They are typically made of copper and in the shape of a rolled cone.


The surf is picking up a little.  Expect something like three to four feet along the Treasure Coast.  The wind is from the east.  I hope to get out to the beach in the next couple of days.

Happy hunting,

Monday, May 15, 2017

5/15/17 Report - In The Dumps. A Different Type of Jewelry Find.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Where I came from you could put out the garbage, but it was going to stay where you put it.  It wasn't going to disappear.  There was no garbage pickup service.  That is the way it was in rural areas.

Things stayed where you left them until they were reused, buried, rusted away or just piled up.

It was that way even on the Treasure Coast back in the day.  As I've said before, the people that lived along the Indian River threw there junk over the bank into the river.  Much of it is still there.

Farmers didn't throw away much.  They kept it in case it came in handy some day. If they needed to fix something, they usually found something laying around that they could use.

There was old stuff in the barn, in the shed and in the field.  But what about real garbage?

Organic materials like food scraps became animal food or fertilizer.  The dog got the bones.  None of it went to waste.

What about papers?  They were used too.  Maybe to start a fire or line a dog pen or the bottom of a chicken coop.

There were some things that went to waste, but not many.  Bottles and tin cans might get thrown into a valley or dip and piled up over time.  My dad buried those.

I know where some of those old bottle dumps were and could probably go back and dig them up.  Not many people would know about those dumps today.  They are hidden out there waiting to be found. That is one advantage of being older and knowing something about what went on in days gone by.

Old folks from the area can be a good research resource.  They're usually happy to talk.


High Relief Cameo In Silver Find.

I've written about all kinds of jewelry finds in the past, but here is a different one.  It is a high-relief cameo mounted in a silver setting.

There are cheap cameos and then there are the more expensive hand-carved cameos.  The one shown above is not one of the common cheap ones.  It was carved in Italy,  which I learned after some research.

Nice hand-carved cameos run from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.  The setting is silver and made so the cameo can be worn as either a brooch or pendant.

Back of Same Piece

As you might be able to see, the piece is marked Italy and sterling (upper left), and the sculpture signed the piece by carving his name into the back of the shell.  The signature seems to be Fraterno.

From what I've read, it is probably Sardonyx shell.

I found the following description online.

The creative process for the cameo begins where the shell divers appropriately select specimens from 90 to 100 feet below the water's surface. The divers' harvest journeys to the shops of craftsmen in Torre del Greco, where the artist painstakingly searches for sea shells free of flaws and cracks. A new dimension of artistic skill and aesthetic appeal was added to cameo carving when it was discovered that many stones - and later, shells - were made of different colored layers. This allowed the artist to create a striking contrast between the raised (relief) layer and the flat (background) layer. Unlike our competitors who use modern machinery to assist in the initial stages of the process, our master craftsman performs the intricate details still carved by hand.

The individual piece to engrave is mounted with tree sap on a wooden stick. After sketching a picture of what he intends to carve, the engraving begins using steel burins. The goldsmith work is strictly hand-made and the techniques used are part of the most remarkable Neapolitan and Italian artistic tradition. Gold frames, like cameos themselves, are created in all shapes and sizes, the most popular being the oval. A gold metal ribbon (bezel or gallery wire) is wrapped around the perimeter and folded over the edge of each single cameo. In this fashion no two can be exactly alike in their curvature, thickness and contour. The bezel is then surrounded by the most decorative part of the frame: gold-moldings, twisted ribbons, double wire braids, mixed ropes, strings of pearls, hallow-cane, etc., and embellished with filigree patterns, or diamond settings.


Beach conditions remained unchanged.  I hope to get out to do a little hunting this week.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

5/14/17 Report - Happy Mother's Day! Fisher Distribution Week. Digital Technology and Treasure Hunting.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Happy Mother's Day!  

You can take that lightly, and I suppose that most of us do for a good part of our life, but there is no one else that carried you and gave birth to you or has the same type of feelings for you.  More than likely there is no one that has cared for you or worried for you any more than your mother.  

Time comes and time goes.  In my life, that person that cared for me now needs my help and care.  That person that held my hand when I tried to walk, now needs a hand.   In my later years, I can  look back and see the years and stages in life a little differently, knowing that probably some day not too far away I'll never have a chance to talk to her in this life again.  The person that I depended upon, now depends upon me.  Some things I can't do that I'd like to.  Some I'd like to fix, but can't.  I know she had the same type of wishes for me,  I hope I made her feel that through it all, it turned out pretty good.


May 2 - 5 was Division Week for investors in the Mel Fisher organization in Key West.  Division Week is when investors received thei split of the previous year's finds.  

The Fisher crews made a few recent finds.  A cannon ball was found on the Margarita site.  An eight reale was also chiseled out of bottom rock.


After posting a bit about the information war yesterday, I read an article from the New York Times under the headline  Hackers Hit Dozens of Countries Exploiting Stolen N.S.A. Tools

...By late Friday the attacks had spread to more than 74 countries, according to security firms tracking the spread...  Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm, said Russia was the worst-hit, followed by Ukraine, India and Taiwan. Reports of attacks also came from Latin America and Africa.

Elsewhere I read that one Los Angeles hospital paid thousands of dollars o ransom. More from the same article follows.

...Security experts described the attacks as the digital equivalent of a perfect storm. They began with a simple phishing email, similar to the one Russian hackers used in the attacks on the Democratic National Committee and other targets last year. They then quickly spread through victims’ systems using a hacking method that the N.S.A. is believed to have developed as part of its arsenal of cyberweapons. And finally they encrypted the computer systems of the victims, locking them out of critical data, including patient records in Britain...

...The attacks on Friday appeared to be the first time a cyberweapon developed by the N.S.A., funded by American taxpayers and stolen by an adversary had been unleashed by cybercriminals against patients, hospitals, businesses, governments and ordinary citizens...

...They also showed how easily a cyberweapon can wreak havoc, even without shutting off a country’s power grid or its cellphone network...

We are all computer users and vulnerable.  You need to be aware of the dangers.  Digital technologies are becoming a bigger part of our lives.  We all need to know something about the new technologies. The very nature of treasure and treasure hunting is changing.

You probably know about Bitcoin.  It is a monetary system in which payments are made and received by transfering units of digital money outside of the national monetary systems.  I can't really explain it well without taking more time so you'll have to look into it yourself if you want to know more about it.  There are no physical coins or bills aassociated with Bitcoin.  It is entirely digital.

As you know, the economy is becoming increasingly digital.  That has a direct impact on how much change you'll find on the beaches.  People carry less cash.  They rely more and more on plastic and other forms of payment.   That affects metal detecting directly and immediately.  In the future it will transform treasure hunting in a variety of ways. Some are predicting that in the not too distant future, coins and cash will not be used at all.

Some detectorists have told me that they find fewer coins on the beach these days because people are carrying less cash.  Some attribute at least part of that to the increase in the number of people detecting.

I mentioned not long ago one place where a lot of old coins were found, and I think it is because that is where parking fees were collected in the old days.  If there were parking meters that required change or if an admission or parking fee required change, you would find more change at that beach.  Also beach snack shops, businesses or concessions would also result in more change being lost on the beach. Less money is being exchanged at places like that now too.

It used to be possible to go out and pick up a couple of dollars of change almost any day on any busy beach.  It seems that is not the case anymore.

Information can be a type of treasure. Computer code can be treasure. Personal information can be treasure.  Pirates sail the web looking to hijack personal information that they can sell.

I feel like talking more about computer security and our nation, but won't do that right now, but treasure hunters do need to be aware of the big picture and what is going on.  It is good to know something about new technologies, including both the benefits and the potential problems.  It is also good to know something about the changes occurring in our culture and lives.

I once did a post about how different cultures wear more or less gold and how that affects the distribution of lost gold jewelry on Florida beaches.  Some groups wear more gold than others, and some groups tend to wear a higher karat gold than others.  I've talked about that in the past.  You can tell a lot about who visits a beach, by what type of jewelry you find there.

Many different types of knowledge are relevant to and can help you with treasure hunting, and treasure hunting can help you learn about a lot of different types of things.  I guess that is what keeps it so interesting for me.


Next week on the Treasure Coast we're supposed to have a gradual increase to a surf of up to five feet.

Again, Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

5/13/17 Report - Multi-Million Dollar Reward For Detectorist. Viking Hoard. Shipwrecks in the Suwannee River. Auction Results.

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Items Found in Viking Hoard
Source: DailyMail link below.

According to a May 12 article in the DailyMail, the British detectorist who discovered the famous Viking Hoard will be receiving a reward of just under 2 million pounds ( a pound is worth just over 1.25 U. S. dollars).

In Scotland the reward goes to the finder, in the rest of the U. K. the reward is split between the finder and the property owner.

Another Piece of the Viking Hoard
Source: See DailyMail link below.
To read the rest of the article and see more of the finds, here is the link.


Mystery Surrounds Sunken Remains in Florida Spring.  That is the title of a National Geographic article on shipwrecks in the Suwanee River.

...So far state archaeologists have found and are working to identify the remains of at least ten steamboats in the Suwannee River, three of which are accessible to divers.

In addition to the ruins in Troy Springs, divers can visit the David Yulee near the Suwannee's mouth, as well as the well-preserved ruins of the City of Hawkinsville,the last steamboat to operate on the Suwannee...

Here is the link for the rest of that article.


As you know, the most recent Sedwick Coins auction has concluded.  You can view the prices realized by browsing through the catalog or jumping right to a spreadsheet that lists the realized prices for each lot.  Below is the link for the spreadsheet.

While looking through the catalog, I noticed one category that did not sell well despite the overall excellent auction results.  It was the U. S. paper money category.  Many lots in that category did not sell at all, and many others sold for under the auction estimate.  I don't know much about the paper money market, so I can't say why that happened, but I would guess that Sedwick's customers are mostly intersted in coins and shipwreck artifacts.

The two maps that were offered in the auction did not sell either.


Something to think about.

According to many books and publications, "information warfare" is reportedly being conducted by Russia on the U. S. and other countries, but what if an information war is being conducted in the U. S. by U. S. agents on the U. S.   If you accept information warfare as a genuine type of warfare and it is being conducted by dissident parties in the U. S., you could say the U. S. would be in a civil war.  It isn't like THE Civil War - North against South - it is more like the war against terror.  In fact one side might be aligned with terror without the intention or realization.  The result is the same.  While information warfare is often associated with computers, TV is one of the most effective tools (weapons) for the delivery and spread of misinformation.


I didn't detect much last year due to a series of issues, and I haven't detected much yet this year either.  Hopefully that will hange later this year.

Righ now we have a one to two foot surf.  In a few days it will in increase a two to three foot surf.

Happy hunting,

Friday, May 12, 2017

5/12/17 Report - Custom-Made and Hand-Struck Fine Cob Replicas. Great Information On Gordon Cooper and the Cooper's Treasure TV Show.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Yesterday I mentioned that you can get cobs made according to your specifications.  The die and cobs are made using the same methods used in colonial days.  The result is a very nice hand-struck replica.

The name of the business making these replicas is the St. Augustine Mint.  I'm not sure where it is located though.

Here is the link where you can learn about either buying replica cobs or having your own made.

There is also a YouTube video that shows how these replicas are made from an ingot or planchet.

Here is that link.

I wondered about this, but towards the end of the YouTube video it is said that a small "COPY" mark is added.

I've seen fake coins (not from this business) on which the COPY mark was so small or well disguised that it was very difficult find.  COPY marks can also be reduced or removed.  I've seen that before too.

These replicas are beautiful, and if one ended up on the beach or in your scoop, you might not recognize it as a fake at first glance, especially if it was out there long enough to corrode a little. Otherwise it would look too good, perhaps still showing lustre.

I recommend that you check out the YouTube video.

I can't fault anyone who wants to make a replica for any of a variety of good honest reasons.  As a metal detectorist it is possible to dig up the real thing, but you might also pick up a very good replica or very poor copies or even what you might call fantasy pieces or play money.

It is sometimes fairly easy to identify a cast copy, but a well made and aged hand-struck replica might be more difficult.  It would not present some of the tell-tale signs common to a cast copy, such as a seam.

Replicas, such as those sold by the Mel Fisher museum, have been found on the beach.

If you found one of these fine mint replicas on a beach, the first indication you might notice is that it looks to good too be real.  It could be too shiny, and the ones I've seen in the pictures are more complete than what you will likely find on a beach.  They mentioned that the die for one replica required referring to several different real examples because any single real cob, unless it is a "royal" will be missing some of the design.  Real cobs typically do no show the complete design because of low spots in the surface, or because of the irregular shape of the cob or poor striking.  And corrosion can reduce a real beach cob by 30 percent or more.

The weight of these replicas is not what a genuine newly minted cob should be either.  They tell you that in the video.

By the way, as I've said before, although beach found cobs are often not the correct weight, weighing a found cob can still help you determine if it might be real or fake.  It should fall within certain limits if it is real and made of either gold or silver.

I think I am fairly good at identifying a newly dug cob in the field at first glance.  The last one I found showed absolutely no detail.  It was totally encrusted, yet it just looked like a cob to me.

If not totally encrusted, silver beach cobs will typically have a very characteristic grey or black color. They will clearly show the effect of weathering and salt water.

It might be worth looking at the web site and video, especially if you do not know how cobs were originally made.


It never ceases to amaze me.  I hear from real experts all the time, and they provide really great information.

As you know, I've been mentioned the Cooper's Treasure TV show a few times lately and conducted a poll to see how people felt about that TV show and a few other shows.

I just heard from James Oberg, a retired rocket scientist and author, who was a colleague of Gene Kranz, who I mentioned yesterday.

James wrote two articles about Gordon Cooper and the TV show.  Both articles were published in The Space Review.  Below are the links.

“The magic MacGuffin of Mercury 9”

I think you'll enjoy reading both of those.  They are packed with good information.

The first article debunks the "secret sensor" and the "five thousand photos" claims.

The second bears the title, Loss of Faith -- Gordon Cooper's post-NASA stories.  

I really enjoyed both.

James Oberg also pointed out that "Cooper's flight-annotated ‘flight plan’ was sold at auction last year,
there is no mention of any latitude/longitude observations of any surface anomalies in the catalog description."

The following was posted by James on various comment threads.  So far he has recieved no substantial reply.

I need some help figuring out how Cooper did the map. This is the best I can do reconstructing the scenario but I must have missed or misunderstood something important. As I see it, Cooper’s only opportunity for a near-overhead daytime view of the Turks & Caicos area was on the 4th orbit, when he was talking to the Cape Canaveral Capcom [Wally Schirra] between 04:40:04 [HH:MM:SS] as he passed over Houston, to 04:45:52, for 5m 48 s [traveling about 1740 miles] or slightly more…. The ‘as-the-crow-flies’ distance of Houston to ‘Turks and Caicos’ is 1530 miles, so by the time the comm link was lost he was hundreds of miles past the islands. As the voice transcripts show, he was busy talking about spacecraft systems and experiments [such as a flashing beacon sub-satellite just jettisoned for visual tracking tests] the entire pass. He turns the in-cabin television camera on. They discuss emergency landing opportunities, how much he had eaten, and medical samples. Towards the end of the pass Cooper describes the view of Florida, indicating his small window is pointed north rather than straight down as would be needed to be eyeballing the islands passing beneath him. The suggestion he ALSO has secretly turned the window down and is surreptitiously scribbling hidden notes about what he observes near the islands doesn't seem to fit in. A day later he follows the same track but is deep into preparations to fire retrorockets to return to Earth, so no sightseeing either. When did he spot the anomalies and log them?

Thanks much James.  I appreciate the information.  I also think I'll become a reader of The Space Review.


I've noticed that the Cooper's Treasure posts in this blog are still popular and get a lot of readers.

We're still having a small surf on the Treasure Coast.

It won't be long until the salvage season heats up.  I hope things go better in the water than they have on the beach so far this year.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, May 11, 2017

5/11/17 Report - TV Show Poll Results and More. Space Treasure and Collectibles. Custom Made Cobs.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The poll has concluded and the results are in.  I think the poll could have been constructed better, but it worked.  One person said I should have had a "none of the above" answer.  That is a good idea.  Maybe I should have done that.  There were other possibilities as well.

The sample size was good.  Over fifty people responded.

Here are the poll results on the perceived "realness" or "trustworthiness" of each of the four TV shows.

Bearing Sea Gold
  20 (38%)
Cooper's Treasure
  3 (5%)
Curse of Oak Island
  9 (17%)
Gold Rush
  20 (38%)

The amazing thing to me is how precisely the results matched my own feelings.   The poll respondents put the shows in exactly the same order that I would, and the relative number of votes for each show reflected how I felt about the shows.

Bering Sea Gold and Gold Rush were selected as being the most real or trustworthy by the same number of people, and both of those shows received more than twice the number of votes received by either of the other shows.

I also had a hard time deciding which of those two I trusted most.  It was a toss up.  I like Bering Sea gold better, but that has nothing to do my feeling about it being more real.

Coming in third was the Curse of Oak Island show.  That is where I would put it too. I think it is an interesting, even with all of its short-comings.  I can watch it, even with all of the dramatization and baiting.

And dead last in trustworthiness according to the poll results was the Cooper's Treasure show, which, as I think I said before, almost makes me feel like I need to take a shower after watching a few minutes.

It seems that there are a lot of people that feel the same.  That was my feeling from the first few minutes, and I wondered if everybody else felt that way.  Evidently many did.

For me the meeting between Darrell Miklos and Gene Kranz said it all.  Darrell had obviously misled Gene about the purpose or topic of the meeting in order to arrange a meeting, and then tried to get Gene to say something about the topic of treasure. Gene didn't appreciate being misled and put an abrubt end to the meeting and walked off.

Below is a link to an article on the Cooper's Treasure program by Variety, an entertainment publication, and even they address what I would call ethics issues.  That article starts with the following.

The poorly kept secret of unscripted TV is that it is, in general, rather scripted. Ari Mark and Phil Lott, co-founders of production company AMPLE, are looking to affix that “un-” back where it belongs.
“Our generation, you’re at a point where you want to believe in things,” Mark tells Variety. “Everything in your life is fake, and especially in our genre.”

Here is that link.


I've made several references to space lately, ranging from meteorites to rocket parts.  Occasionally people discover what appear to be melted metal from Shuttle launches on the Treasure Coast.  I've written about that, provided tips on how to test that metal to distinguish it from melted aluminum and reported on some people who talked to NASA to verify that their finds were related to space shots.

On May 7 it was reported that  The U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B mini-space plane has landed after a record 718 days in Earth orbit, touching down for the first time on the Florida runway historically used by NASA's space shuttles.

I've said before that someday people will be salvaging space vehicles and debris similar to how shipwrecks are salvaged now.  In fact there is a space vehicle that orbits while collecting space junk to turn into fuel that it can use.  Interesting idea.

I recently heard it said (I think it was on TED) that if you want a new idea, read an old book.  I agree with that, but there are other ways to get new ideas too.  Creativity is stimulated by reading broadly.

Here is the link if you want to read the article about the vehicle that vacuums up space junk to use as fuel.

Continuing on the subject of space, there is a good web site that offers a wide variety of "space collectibles."  Here is the link.


Did you know that there is a company that will manufacture cobs that are hand struck from die that are  custom made?  They hand strike them on planchets.  You can send them the silver after I investigate it more.

I'll have more on that in the future.


We're supposed to have a couple weeks of one or two foot surf on the Treasure Coast.  No change in beach conditions expected.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

5/10/17 Report - Small Change on the Beach. Mule and Other Error Coins. In the Dumps. Florida Wildfires.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Mule Quarter
Source: See link below.

I haven't talked about coins much lately.  It seems that you don't find as many coins on the beaches anymore.  People aren't carrying money as much.

Down south there were a lot of places where people needed change when they went to the beach, either to feed the parking meters or to pay park entrance fees.  That meant more change on the beach.  

On the Treasure Coast the beach accesses are mostly free.  And there are few places where there are concession stands.  That means less change on the beach.

I used to detect some places where there was evidently some type of paid parking next to the beach in the old days. All that remained at one such location was an old wooden post and a small section of a packed shell road right next to the beach where I believe people must have paid their parking fees. The road was very close to the water at that point and actually eroded when the water was rough. That was a good place to find lots of old coins when the bank eroded. I once got five mercury dimes in one scoop. There were older coins and some old jewelry there too. It was very good detecting when it eroded.  I suspect that it is still very good detecting when it erodes.

There was one place where I found a lot of Susan Anthony dollars in the shallow surf. I never understood why that would be.

I believe it is still a good idea to take a good look at any coins you might find. There is always the possibility of something interesting popping up. You never know when you might pick up an error coin. I've dug a few over the years.

I've been finding an odd number of wheat pennies. I don't know if people have decided to spend their collections or what.  They are in good condition.

Mule coins are one type of error coin. You can easily miss them. A mule coin is a coin struck with dies that were not intended to be paired. "The most prominent of these would likely be the 14 Sacagawea dollar planchets struck by a Washington quarter dollar obverse die and a Sacagawea dollar reverse die.” The quarter at the top of this post is one example.

Collector Tommy Bolack wrangled his 10th Sacagawea dollar/Statehood quarter mule during an Aug. 6 Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction for a total price of $117,500.

Here is the link for the rest of the article.


Recent construction uncovered an early 1800s dump in Iowa that yielded thousands of artifacts.  This article raises many issues that I could discuss but I won't take the time to do it now.

Old dumps are good places to find old things.  They won't appeal to people that hunt modern jewelry.  You might be able to find old jewelry if you explore enough old dumps, but more often you'll find broken or cheap items.

Old dumps are explored especially by bottle hunters.  They are especially challenging for detectorists because of the prevalence of old cans, iron and other miscellaneous pieces of metal.

I'd love to be able to go dig up the old burn pile areas and dumps where I grew up. Some of them existed long before I came along. As a kid there was one dump in a field below an old farm house where we would get bottles to shoot with our bb guns.  We'd take them up the creek, throw them in, then run down to where there was a high cliff looking out over the creek, and sit there and shoot the bottles as they floated down the creek.

A lot of bottles were tossed in depressions or dips where water run off.  Such places are worth scanning.

You might know that on the Treasure Coast, the lagoon was used as a dump before there was garbage pickup.  As a result tons of bottles and things can be found in the river when conditions are right.

There are also places where you can see the remains of burn piles on the bank of the lagoon.

Here is the link to the article about archaeologists exploring the 1800s dump.

One of the issues relevant to that article, is how much actual archaeological value items in discarded in a dump might have.  Does the context of those items provide any information?  Like I said, I won't get into all of those kinds of discussions today.


“Florida is in the middle of its worst wildfire season in years – with no end in sight,” Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Adam Putnam said in a May 8 statement."

Of course that means you need to be careful with cigarette butts and campfires, but for the detectorist there is another side to wildfires.  Fires can remove brush and open up new detecting territory that might have been protected by vegetation for a long time.


This is the last day of the current blog poll.

More small surf coming.  No change in beach conditions.

Happy hunting,

Monday, May 8, 2017

5/8/17 Report - Deep Water Galleon Salvage in 1950. Personal Flying Machine.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Diver Using Metal Detector
Source: Oct. 1950 Popular Mechanics
See link below.
I ran across this neat article in an old issue of Popular mechanics. The title of the article is Quest for a Galleon's Gold.

The article is about the salvage of a Ship of the Spanish Armada, which was sunk in 1588.   The salvage rights were granted by Charles II to local Dukes.  There is a report on a salvage effort conducted as early as 1683,  Salvage continued from time to time over the centuries.

Besides the metal detector and airlift, they probed with an air-supplied nozzle to find the buried ship.

The ship is believed to be either the San Juan or Florencia and could have contained pay for the entire Spanish Armada and a king's crown.

I don't doubt that this wreck has been explored in more modern times, but I found the 1950 article very interesting, especially some of the illustrations, a couple of which I posted here.

Source: Oct. 1950 Popular Mechanics.
Link below.


Flying Machine.
Sunday I saw a couple of guys at the beach with these motorized propellers that they wear while strapped to a parasail or whatever you call it and go flying.

I've seen people use these on the beach before.  It could be quite handy for checking out the beaches, but I don't think I'll try it.  

If I did ever try it, I'd probably be flying about ten feet off the ground.  


Crumpled Copper Find.
I don't know what this went on or what it was for.  It obviously was attached to a surface (has a hole at both ends for a screw) and the round hole in the middle.


There is not much time left to respond to the blog poll.  Thanks to all those that responded.

Yesterday there were a lot of boaters and beach-goers, as well as the men with their flying machines.

We still have a couple of days of one foot surf.

Happy hunting,