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,