Sunday, May 28, 2017

5/28/17 Report - Understanding How Nature Creates Treasure Caches. The Importance of Visually Scanning Treasure Sites.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Finds and photo by Russ P.
Note the Barber Dime and Other Old Coins.
Russ sent me a great email in response to my 5/23 post in which I wrote on the subject, "You can't accomplish what you can't imagine."  Here is what Russ said.

Hope you are doing well.  Enjoyed your column yesterday *  I found it to be dead on.
I first detected between the years 1984-1989.  Though my area was moderately hunted, I never met any other detectorists.  However, I read a lot of the treasure magazines that were available.  I spent way too much mental time lamenting that I wasn't in one of the "good" areas that produced great finds featured in the articles or wishing that I would have gotten into detecting in the 1970's before everything was hunted out!  I'm embarrassed by my mindset, looking back.  I found 26 silver coins in those five years, the oldest 1936.
When I was reconsidering the hobby five years ago, the big question in my mind was if there were any finds left.  I almost did not purchase a detector because of that concern.  However, I'm glad I did.  I am primarily interested in old coins and my current finds far outstrip those finds from the 1980's, including finds that I make without even using a detector, despite hunting in the same general area that I felt was hunted out in the 1980's.
The fact is that some  detectorists find much more than others.  Even if someone does not find more than you, there may be something to learn.  If you had been showing up at my club (though I'm not in one!) with all those finds, I would have been picking your brain for something to apply to my detecting situations.
I don't watch many youtube find videos, but occasionally I'll watch the innovative aquachigger.  This video made me think of your blog, as it demonstrates many of the points you make.
He goes to unfamiliar territory in Texas, I think, to fossil hunt on a river with a local buddy.  However, he happens upon a collection of iron junk that he quickly realizes has been "sorted" by the river.  He then goes on to eyeball some great coins.  The local guy, who hunts the river for fossils all the time, has never found a coin on the river!  Aquachigger finds a handful, by eyeballing, on his first trip.  There are so many lessons here, but perhaps the biggest is there is a reason why some folks find more than others and it is almost never due to luck.
I'm sending you a picture of my morning finds in an hour hunt.  It is a lot I've been to several times, finding only a couple of wheats and a few marbles, but clearly with more potential.  Conditions changed so I returned.  This is the most marbles I've found in an outing and some are in terrific condition.
Take care,

Thanks Russ.

If you watch that video, you'll see how the fellow found old silver coins without using a metal detector.  The video provides some very good tips.

In the past I've talked about eye-balling a lot.  Closely inspecting the area is always a good first step.  You can visually scan a lot of ground quickly.  That will help you get some good ideas on where to spend your with a metal detector.

Below is an area that I hunted briefly about a week ago.

Back maybe ten or more years ago, this structure was buried.  I could see something was there but I didn't know what.  I could just see a few very small pieces sticking out of the sand. I could detect big iron and more to the right of what you see in the photo, I could see a little of what were obviously large slabs of concrete sticking out of the sand  The structure that you see in the photo was not visible at all.

When I last detected the area I found some iron  along with a few badly corroded and encrusted coins.  Also some sinkers and bullets.

You should be able to imagine the path of coins as they would travel over the years. Some of those eroding out of the sand to the right of the picture, assuming they were there to begin with, would be caught by the structures, settling into the crevices and around the structures.  The water would rush around those things, and the objects would stop where ever they got caught or settle into dips or crevices.  When they get covered they won't move for a while until they get uncovered and the water rushes over them again.  Then they'll either be washed out or sink deeper as the sand washes away. The deepest they will sink will be lowest point that the sand was eroded.  The covering and uncovering can happen many times, but they'll only move when exposed and they'll only sink to the lowest surface area created by the erosion.

If there were any items lost before the structure was created, they might still be near the bottom of the structure.

In the above picture you can see a depression around the posts at the front of the picture.  That depression is caused by the water rushing around the posts.  Coins, or whatever, that are washed out of the bank and down the slope can be trapped in depressions like that and remain there until the sand erodes more or the force of water increases enough to wash them out, which of course, would also move more sand.

Unfortunately you won't be able to detect very close to the structures.  To complicate matters, there are plenty of iron bolts and nails.

The only way you can get to the accumulated items, is to remove the sand or wait until erosion moves the sand again.

Older items will tend to be deeper because they would have been can sink deeper every time the sand is eroded to a deeper level.

More recently lost items will be very near the surface, depending upon how far the sand eroded in the recent past.

There are two big points that I want you to get today.  One is the value of eye-balling, and the second is the importance of understanding how water moves sand and other items.  If you understand that, you can figure out where things will accumulate.


On the Treasure Coast, the surf is going to be smooth, the tides big and the weather hot.  We'll have some nice negative tides.

Have a safe weekend.


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