Friday, June 30, 2017

6/30/17 Report - Metal Detector Auditory Signals and Visual Displays - What They Won't Tell You. Beaches Today. Correction.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here are a couple Treasure Coast beaches as seen this morning near low tide.  Not much to look at.  I saw no erosion other than a few inches here and there.  

There were a lot of new turtle nests.  Not much else of interest.

I could see one spot that looked like it might be worth detecting.  There were no cuts, but the beach had been receding there for quite a while.  I plan to get back to it some time in the future.
This Morning Near Low Tide.
Beach conditions remain basically unchanged.


I apologize and resign.  I was wrong.  I think so anyway.

I went back and read an old post because I noticed that a lot of people were reading it after I referred to it in a more recent post.  After reading the old post, I was about to pull my hair out.  The post was about the fossil bone with a drilled hole and cut marks.  When I referred to that fossil in the old post, I talked like someone found the fossil and drilled and cut it.  I don't know why I believed that.  It is much more likely that the bone was drilled to obtain the bone marrow when it was fresh.  I remember Fred Dengler, my old buddy and fossil expert, telling me that at some point.  Why I believed it might have been drilled and cut after it was already fossilized is beyond me.  I guess it is remotely possible, but it just doesn't seem likely to me now, especially after remembering what Fred told me.

Maybe I shouldn't take it so hard.  You're supposed to live and learn, and if you never change your mind you probably aren't learning anything.  That is some consolation.  And it is sort of neat to think of having something that somebody cut and drilled maybe thousands of years ago.


Which is best: listening to the auditory signal from your metal detector or watching a visual display?

First I want to make a few things clear.  There are a couple important basic concepts.  They are the concepts of sensation and perception.  I'll use the following definitions.  Sensation is input about the physical world registered by your sensory receptors such as the eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and skin.  Perception, on the other hand, is the process by which the brain selects, organizes, and interprets sensations; it is often influenced by learning, memory, emotions and expectations.  In other words, sensation occurs more in the sensory organs, while perception involves more brain.

The auditory and visual processing systems are very different.  The auditory system is a sequential processing system, while the visual system is a parallel processing system.  If you know about parallel processors in computers, you'll understand that.

To illustrate, if you are in a large room where a lot of conversations are taking place, you can only really listen to one at a time.  If you think you are listening to two conversations, you are probably sampling - taking bits from one then the other and then putting the conversations together from the samples you took from each.  That is sequential processing.  It is like a single stream of information flowing through one pipe or hole.

Vision involves parallel processing.  You can look at the entire room and see hundreds of people at once.  A lot of the processing is actually done in the retina before it is sent to the brain.  It is not so much like a small stream flowing through a small keyhole.  It is more like an entire screen. Not only do you see the forest but also all the trees.

Signals always occur in a field of noise.  There is internal and external noise.  The sound of the wind and waves would be examples of external noise, and tinnitus, ringing in the ears, is an example of internal noise.  You can also be distracted by various irrelevant sights and sounds.

Two of the most basic characteristics of sound is intensity, or loudness, and frequency, or pitch. When you listen to a metal detector signal, you will mostly be listening for a change in loudness and tone. The detector, of course, produces some noise. depending upon how well it is set up and how well you are using it.

When you watch a graphic display or meter, there can be a variety of types information displayed, most often including things like some indicator of target depth and the type of target.

Most people will probably get more useful information from detectors that provide visual displays. Some of the information can incorrect or misleading, but it will provide a good bit of useful information.

If I had a simple answer to the question I posed, I'd say that most people will probably find the visual information useful.  Visual displays can provide a lot of information.  Theoretically they can provide all the information of an auditory signal and more.  Although some submersible systems provide a light to indicate a signal, all of the major metal detectors provide an auditory signal.

The detector can do a lot of the processing for you and a visual display can provide a lot of really good information in an easy and meaningful form.

An auditory signal can also provide a lot of good information besides indicating if a target is present or not.  I like reading ground effects.  You can do that if you don't balance or set up your detector to eliminate all ground signals.

I do want to say, however, that some people can learn to extract a lot of information from an auditory signal - perhaps much more than you might think, but it does require both a keen aptitude and a lot of experience.

In the end, the user still has to make good decisions.  No metal detector can make the most important decision for you.  It will not tell you where to put your coil.  If you don't put your coil over good targets, none of that other information matters. A lot of the information for that important decision will come from visually scanning the landscape and referring to your acquired knowledge base.


Happy hunting,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

6/29/17 Report - Army Corps To Metal Detect Large Part North Hutchinson Island. Diagnostic Artifacts Web Site.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Area Designated for Study.

The area shown above will be the subject of a study to determine what materials might remain on the old amphibious training base.  Below is an excerpt describing the study.

A Tiny Tim was found in January of 2017 during a construction project.  Munitions were also found during a removal project in 1998 and munitions were removed in 2014 and 2015.

The Tiny Tim is a 1200 pound rocket or torpedo (I've seen it referred to both ways) that was detonated in the water off Vero.

Here is the link to that event.

I saw them remove the obstacles from the shallow water a long time ago.  It must have been 1998, although it seems like it could have been longer than that to me.

It should be interesting to see what they find, military or otherwise.

Trez sent me a copy of the proposal prepared by the Environmental Science and Engineering Co. of Gainesville for the Army Corps of Engineers.  There goes our tax dollars again.

Thanks to Trez for the great info.


I found a great web site just yesterday.  It is the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum website.

I commend them for putting it out there and making it accessible to the tax-payers.  Good example of other states and government organizations to follow.

The have sections on diagnostic artifacts, including projectile points, prehistoric ceramics, colonial ceramics, and other small finds.  You have to go two or three clicks deep in each of those to get to the individual examples.

Here is the link.


On the Treasure Coast we still have a one-foot surf.  The tides are more moderate now though.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

6/28/17 Report - Personal Metal Detecting Firsts. Effigy or Pendant? Big Canoe. Surprising Carving Tools.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Found at Douglas Beach About 15 Years Ago.
Find and photo by Darrel S.

Here is what Darrel said about the above find. At first I thought a pendant with the top part worn from time. A friend, who wrote a book on Taino, thought possibly an effigy, etc.  It is about 2.5 inches. The material is steathite, which was used making celts, etc. Definitely, material not from Florida. I still think it is a pendant and the grooved ring was worn over time. 

I really like that piece, especially how you can see the different layers.

Thanks for sharing Darrel.


BELCHER, LA -- Excavation efforts have unearthed a large, prehistoric Indian canoe along the Red River in north Caddo Parish.

One archaeologist said the almost 34-foot-long dugout canoe, described it in very good condition even though one side is missing. The canoe, weighing an estimated 1,000 pounds, could be the largest ever found intact in North America...

Here is the link for more about that.


11,000 Year-Old Statue
Source: See link below.

New scientific findings suggest that images and hieroglyphics on the wooden statue were carved with the jaw of a beaver, its teeth intact.
Originally dug out of a peat bog by gold miners in the Ural Mountains in 1890, the remarkable seven-faced Idol is now on display in a glass sarcophagus in a museum in Yekaterinburg.
Two years ago German scientists dated the Idol as being 11,000 years old...

Here is the link.

To me, that is absolutely one beautiful statue.  And the idea of using beaver teeth to carve makes so much sense -  I love it!


I was thinking of my personal metal detecting firsts.  Some came readily to mind even though they happened a long time ago.  Some I could remember like it was yesterday, and some are things that I would barely pay attention to if I found them today. Still they made an impression at the time.   I'll try to put them in chronological order as well as I can.

My first ring.  It was a silver skull ring.  Nothing that I consider special in any way today.
My first Rolex watch.
My first multi-carat solitaire diamond ring.
My first national championship sports ring.
My first escudo.
My first piece of shipwreck silver.
My first gold shipwreck artifact.
My first raw gold nugget from a treasure wreck beach.

Looking at the list, there are a couple of things that might seem a little surprising.  For one thing, I found an escudo before I found a reale.

Another thing that seems a little odd to me is that I have no idea which was my first gold ring find.  It doesn't stick out in my memory for some reason.

The diamond solitaire ring find sticks out in my mind because it was such a vivid sensory experience. It was blue sky day with a very calm clear surf.  What I remember is seeing the diamond reflecting the sunlight as soon as it emerged from the sand even though it was under about three feet of water when that happened.

Unlike that one, which made a real impression as soon as I saw it shining under the water, there were other items that I didn't appreciate until after I did the research and found out what they really were. Sometimes that was a long time later.  Those I not sure of when they were found because I didn't appreciate them right away.

It is not surprising that most of the modern finds came first.  I lived in South Florida and was focusing on modern jewelry before moving to the Treasure Coast.


There is no tropical weather to watch right now.

The surf is still calm and we still are having some nice tides.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

6/27/17 Report - Getting To Know Your Detector/Coil Combination. A 250-Year-Old Lock. Surveillance.

Written by the TreaureGuide for the exclusive use of

A few days ago (/10/17) I talked about the cone of sensitivity for different metal detector coils.  I showed that for some coils, the area of sensitivity is more cone shaped.  For a cone-shaped coil, the maximum depth is obtained when a target is under the center of the coil.  You get less depth when a target is out near the edge of the coil.

The illustration above shows the theoretical cone of sensitivity for two different types of coils - a concentric coil and a DD coil.  According to what you will typically read or hear, the area of sensitivity under a DD coil will not be as sharply cone-shaped as it will be for a concentric coil.  When looking at the area of sensitivity from the side you can see that it is more blunt from a side view.  The area of sensitivity is supposed to be narrow for a DD coil when viewed from the front or back.

The depth you will get with a DD coil for a target under the center of the coil will be similar to the depth that you get when the target is near the edge of the coil.  The importance of that is that you will be getting greater depth under a wider span of the coil, making overlapping of sweeps less important because you are getting good depth under the entire area of the coil (front to back).  When using a concentric coil, failure to overlap sweeps would mean missing more deeper targets that fall closer to the front or back edge of the coil where you get less depth.

I am not one to go by theory or what everybody says or even by what the manual says.  I test things out.

In my 6/10 post, I encouraged you to use a test object to map out the area of sensitivity for your coil and detector.  Doing an air test, pass a test object under the center of the coil and see how deep the object can be detected.  (That is how most air tests are conducted.)  Then pass the object out towards the edge of the coil and see how deep the object is detected, and then do the same thing with the object farther out near the edge of the coil.  You will get a good idea of how much depth you will get under the center of the coil and farther away from the edge of the coil.

Mostly we talk about the area of a coil's sensitivity from front to back.  DD coils are often said to have a narrower area of side to side.  That is supposed to result in better target separation.  You should be able to distinguish between two targets that are beside each other.

With my tests I definitely found that one detector/coil combination had a much sharper cone shaped area of sensitivity than another.  As expected the concentric coil had a sharp cone shaped area of sensitivity, and the DD coil had a more blunt shaped area of sensitivity, as shown in the illustration.  I did not, however, find that the side to side area of sensitivity was narrow.  It seemed about as blunt as the front to back sensitivity.  So much for what the manual says.  Although that test did not correspond to what the manualsaid, my tests corresponded very well with what I experienced in the field.  This particular detector/coil combination does not provide good target separation even though it involves a DD coil.  Targets sound big.  And a bunch of small close targets sound very much like one big target.  How much of that is electrical engineering and physics and how much of it is psychosensory, I don't know, but that isn't important to the detectorist.  The important thing is how you perceive it in the field.

My main point is to experiment so that you really get to know your detector and how it responds.  Get to know both its strong points and its weaknesses.  Read the manual, but test everything out for yourself.  You might find that what you have been reading or hearing does not seem to be true for your situation.


Source: See link below.

MACKINAW CITY, MI - A 250-year-old lock was discovered at Colonial Michilimackinac earlier this week.

Staff at the historic fort and trading post in Mackinaw City discovered the intact, 2.75-inch long and 2.25-inch wide brass artifact while excavating a fur trader's home on the site.

Lynn Evans, curator of archaeology at Mackinac State Historic Parks, said the piece was likely used to lock a small trunk or chest sometime between 1760 and 1770. The lock is a rare find, even for a place full of hidden treasures like Fort Michilimackinac...

Here is the link for the original article.


Some of you will consider this off-topic.  Thats ok.

BAE, a British company that has been widely criticized for sharing communications surveillance software to countries with human rights abuses.  The software is capable of tracking virtually ALL computer communications.

I saw a TED talk, which I wish I could find again, on Evident, a software package about which it has been said, "You'd be able to intercept any internet traffic," a former employee told the BBC. "If you wanted to do a whole country, you could. You could pin-point people's locations based on cellular data. You could follow people around. They were quite far ahead with voice recognition. They were capable of decrypting stuff as well."

I just think a computer user should be aware of the digital environment they inhabit and more generally the world they live in.  

Treasure hunters used to be very much interested in treasure maps, codes, covert activities and the like.  Doesn't seem to be the case so much anymore.

Watching the hearings on TV, one thing that impressed me is the number of things that they feel they have to keep secret from the citizens of the country.  Very much like archaeology, but a byproduct of terrorism instead of looting.  

Here is one link if you are interested in this type of thing.


On the Treasure Coast we have more smooth surf for days or weeks.  The tides are pretty good now, with some nice low tides.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, June 25, 2017

6/26/17 Report - Kang Hsi Porcelain. Silver Cleaning Cloth. Fenn Treasure Hunters Die.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Kang Hsi Displayed At St. Lucie County Historical Museum
Photo submitted by Darrel S.

The porcelain shown above was on display at the St. Lucie County Historical Museum that is located near the East side of the big bridge on the south causeway from Fort Pierce to Hutchinson Island.  It is near the aquarium and is easy to miss.  The link below will give you the address and more information about the museum.

I showed a new find of Kang Hsi in my 5/18/17 post. Smaller pieces can be found on the beach at time. Small pieces can have some value and are sometimes mounted in jewelry. I've shown a few pieces that were found on the beach.

A stack of Kang Hsi plates were once seen on South Hutchinson Island newly exposed by erosion. That was back years ago. The detectorist did not bother to collect them. He thought they were from a beach picnic or something and didn't think much more about it. When he learned what they were, he went back and couldn't find them. That is why I talk so much about being able to recognize various types of treasure. Big mistakes can be made when you do not realize what you are looking at. A stack of Kang Hsi plates could be worth quite a bit.

I once did a post on how to identify fine China like Kang Hsi.  It can easily be distinguished from other blue and white old pottery.

You can sometimes find small pieces in shell piles.

If you do any research on Kang Hsi, you'll find that it is spelled in a variety of ways.


The museum owns some very early Fort Pierce phone books that I found before they were discarded by what was then the Indian River Community College.  


People have died seeking the famous Fenn treasure and the police want people to stop looking for it.

Here is the link for more about that.

Thanks to Dean for submitting the link.


I have a polishing cloth that I used for years.  The bag it came in reads, "Miracle All Purpose Polishing Cloth."  I wouldn't call it a miracle, but it works.  What is most amazing to me, is that the cloth still works after all these years.  I looked it up and found that they still sell them.

It won't take heavy corrosion off things, but it will remove the black patina off oxidized silver.  You might want to look into it.


To everything there is a season.  It is now hurricane season and also salvage season.  For beach hunters, depending upon where you are and what you hunt, it can be either a slow season or productive season.

The Treasure Coast is supposed to have a couple weeks of one-foot surf.  There is no tropical weather on the Atlantic map right now.

The tides are pretty big.  We've been having some nice negative tides.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, June 24, 2017

6/24/17 Report - Taking Another Look At An Old Find. History-Changing Archaeological Discovery. Search for Lost Merchant To Resume.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Old Find
Once in a while I go back and look through old junk finds.  Sometimes I put things aside without paying enough attention to them and I might have missed something interesting.   I'll mention one example of that later in this post.  Anyhow, I decided to look through some old items yesterday, and the item shown above was one of them.

It had some greenish corrosion.  That usually tells you the item is at least partly copper.  I cleaned a little of the corrosion off.

As you can see in the close-up photos above and below, there is some exposed copper.  The item is silver plated.  I probably acid tested the item originally, but I wasn't able to get such good photos back then.

The photo of the other side (below) clearly shows better where the plating wore off.

Other Side Same Medallion

When I put this religious medallion under the Celestron camera to take these photos, I also saw for the first time the word "ITALY."  You can almost see it at the dark spot on the left in the flat space beside the upper arm in this photo.

The ITALY mark is significant.  That tells you the item is not older than 1861 - the year when Italy was founded.

Although in this case, nothing significant showed up, it can be worth going back and looking at old finds.  Sometimes you will find something that you didn't notice before.  Maybe you have newer and better methods or technology or maybe you've learned something that will help you better analyze and appreciate your find.  Keeping good records will help too, although if you are like me, junk find will just be put aside.


...After years of debate over the dating technology used on the mastodon, a group of researchers now believes that they can date it and the human tools to 130,000 years ago—more than 100,000 years earlier than the earliest humans are supposed to have made it to North America....

Interesting article.  Here is the link.

As you probably know, the Treasure Coast produced its own history-changing fossil.  If you aren't aware of that use the following link.

I've found mastodon fossils on a Treasure Coastbeach.  I also found one fossilbone  that appears to have be drilled and cut by man.

I showed that in an old post.  Here is that link.

Like the fellow that found the carved mastodon bone near Vero, I had that bone sitting around a long time before I noticed it was worked by human hands.


Nine coins, a few ballast stones and another piece of silver were recently found on the Margarita site by the crew of the Sea Reaper.

The Dare will soon be replacing her mailboxes with search gear and going north to resume the search for the Lost Merchant.  Lost Merchant is a code name.


There are now no tropical disturbances on the Atlantic map.

We are having a calm surf and some good low tides though.

Happy hunting,

Friday, June 23, 2017

6/23/17 Report - Calusa Artifacts for Reference - Silver, Gold and Copper

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Photo of Calusa Artifacts Displayed in the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Photo by Darrel S.

In order to help you identify finds, yesterday I showed a variety of Seminole artifacts - mostly silver. Today I'm showing Calusa artifacts.  A lot are silver, but there are also copper, gold and even a couple lead items.  All of the Calusa artifact photos were taken by Darrel Strickland at the Gainesville museum.

Just to let you know, Darrel has made some great finds.  He knows more about these things than what he saw at the museum.

What he considers his greatest beach find was "a complete Native American necklace with wrapped shipwreck coins, beads, shells, etc."  The twine was made of horse hair and plant strands.  It has been viewed by experts.  He has also made other great finds.  One, a bison bone, is in the Fountain of Youth collection.

Below is a closer look at some of the artifacts Darrel photographed in the Gainesville museum, including both gold and silver items.

Photo by Darrel S.
Next are some made of copper.

Photo by Darrel S.

And below are some cone shape silver items.

Photo by Darrel S.

Beads on the Left, Tablets Center, and Other Items on the Right.
Photo by Darrel S.

Here is a closer view of some of the above, especially tablets.

Photo by Darrel S.

Below are close-up views of some beads and tinklers.

Photo by Darrel S.

Below are a few more unique Calusa items. 

Photo by Darrel S.

This post should provide a good reference for identifying old Calusa artifacts.


On the Treasure Coast we are had some big low tides today.  Combined with the small surf that should give you good access to some beach areas that might be hard to get to at other times.

That is all for today.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, June 22, 2017

6/22/17 Report - Silver Seminole Artifacts. Mining and Science History. Gold Chalices.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Seminole Silver Objects.
Photo submitted by Darrel S.
I started a conversation one day not too long ago about Seminole silver.  It is something that might be found metal detecting in Florida.  You should therefore know what it looks like.  Thanks to Darrel Strickland, who visited the museum in Gainesville, I'm going to post some images of Seminole silver objects.

Above you will see a set of what appears to be pendants.  They are made from silver pounded flat and then cut out.  A simple hole is made for attachment.

Below is an image of more Seminole silver objects, including pendants bracelets and rings.

Seminole Silver
Photo by Darrel S.
Thanks much Darrel!


I enjoyed browsing the Mining and Scientific Press issues for the years 1899 and 1900.  There is a lot of interest,  The range of topics is very broad.  You'll find everything having to do with mining.  The pictures and history are interesting too.

Below is one illustration from one of those issues.  I think maybe I've been on those rails.  The Durango to Silverton line goes through an area that looks very much like that.  That is a ride I would recommend to anyone.

Illustration in Mining and Scientific Press.
Link provided below.

This one shows hydraulic mining in Dahlonega Georgia.

It is a online as a free ebook in   I could spend months looking through that one.


Some of the most fantastic 1715 Fleet finds are religious artifacts.  Here is a web site that explains the spiritual reason chalices are made of gold.


Tropical Storm Cindy is inland now and dropping rain on Louisiana and other states to the west of us. There is no other storms on the Atlantic map at this time.

The surf is still small, but we are having some nice tides now.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

6/21/17 Report - Tropical Storm Cindy To Make Landfall. Laws For Turtle Season. Sword Found. Old Jewelry Find.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Turtle Nesting On Treasure Coast.
The turtles are nesting.  I took this photo a few days ago and forgot about it until someone wrote and asked me about turtle nesting season.  I don't think it is too complicated.  Just don't dig in the nests or disturb the turtles.

Most of the nests are marked, so if you are a snowbird or don't know about that, there are stakes that mark many of the turtle nests.  New nests you can clearly see.  Penalties can be serious.

Florida state law provides protection against taking, possessing, disturbing, mutilating, destroying or causing to be destroyed, selling or offering for sale, transferring, molesting, or harassing any marine turtle or its nest or eggs at any time.
Federal law provides even greater protection (and criminal penalties as severe as $100,000 and a year in prison) if you “take, harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, or capture any marine turtle, turtle nest, and/or eggs, or attempt to engage in any such conduct.”

Here is a link.


Medieval Sword Discovered in Peat Bog.
Source: See ScienceInPoland link below.

Completely preserved medieval sword from the 14th century has been discovered at a peat bog near Hrubieszów. The finder donated the artefact to the local Fr. Stanisław Staszic Museum. "This is a unique find in the region" - said Bartłomiej Bartecki, director of the museum...,414626,lubelskie-medieval-sword-discovered-at-a-peat-bog.html

That would be a fun find.


Some 2,500 Israeli pupils and volunteers from Modiin-Maccabim-Re’ut participated in an archaeological excavation in their own community, coming away with a new sense of history — and a treasure trove of 900-year-old Crusader-period jewelry...

Source: See TimesofIsrael link below.
I've been talking about jewelry and some ways to identify the date for them.  Here is some old jewelry.  Some of it is not very different from what you might find on a Treasure Coast beach.

Here is the link for more about that story.


I have a lot more to post, but I'll wind it up for today.

With the hurricane season becoming active already, you'll want to keep up on the latest tropical weather activity.

Tropical Storm Cindy is about to make landfall near the Louisiana/Texas border.

It looks like Bret has disappeared.

That's all for now.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

6/20/17 Report - How To Determine How Old A Ring Might Be. Tropical Storm Near and Heading for the U. S.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Old Photo of Me Using an Aquasound Metal Detector.
The Aquasound was a good metal detector.  The photo must be from twenty some years ago.  I just ran across it.


After Warren's amazing ring find that I showed a few days ago, I thought it would be a good time to look at some of the things that will help you get a good idea of a ring's age.  If you don't know what to look for you can easily mistake a ring that is centuries old for a new ring or vice versa.  In the past I mistook some very old finds for modern finds.  It can be tricky.  I remember one enameled ring found on a 1715 Fleet beach that I immediately concluded was modern because I thought enameling was a more modern technique.  I was wrong about that.  That is just one example.

Below is an old Roman ring.  Would you know right that it was old when if you dug it up.  And what would you look fo?.

There are some features on this ring that would make you think it might be real old as soon as you saw it.  First, the setting.  The setting is covers everything but the top of the stone.  The setting would be one of the first things that would suggest to me that it is probably an old ring.  Secondly, the stone is polished instead of cut like most of today's gem stones.

Rings looked fairy similar up through the middle ages.  As I explained the other day, gems were not faceted until later.

Here is a web site on antique rings.

Below is an example of an 18th century ring that is faceted.

You can see that the the diamonds are clearly faceted.  Now look at the settings.  The stones are surrounded by the setting.  They are not set with prongs like most of the diamond rings of today.

18th century rings will often be "foiled."  The gem will be surrounded on the sides and bottom with foil - sometimes gold.  Modern diamond rings are faceted and the setting is very open to permit the light to flow through the gemstone.

I"m not a jewelry expert, but those are a few things that might help you determine if a ring might be old or not.  There are other things to look for, but I'll have to get into some of those another time.

Some old things can be in very good shape (especially if they are gold) and look almost new.  And modern items can be in terrible condition, but that does not necessarily mean they are old.  It can be very difficult to tell the difference between old and new items.

Plain bands can be difficult since you do not have all the clues you would have with a gemstone ring. Crucifixes can also be tricky.


We now have the two named tropical storms - the first of the hurricane season.  We had a named storm earlier in the year, but that was before hurricane season began.

Bret is heading west/northwest along the north coast of South America.

Cindy looks to be headed towards Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Cindy

On the Treasure Coast we'll have a 2 - 3 foot surf Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then it will decrease a bit for the rest of the week.

The tides are a little bigger and we'll have a nice negative tide Tuesday.

Happy hunting,

Monday, June 19, 2017

6/19/17 Report - Eight-Reales And More Found by Capitana Diver. Treasure Hunting Opportunity. Tropical Storm Headed North.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Grant G. Shows New Finds.
Photo submitted by Captain Jonah M.
Grant is diving for Jonah on the Capitana this year.  Grant is showing off some finds from this weekend.

A Closer Look at Grant's Finds.
Photo submitted by Captain Jonah.
Congratulations Grant!

On the one cob you can see the Florenza cross indicating the Mexico mint.

Below are more of his finds.

Cobs, Pottery, Sheathing and More Musket Balls Found by Grant G.
Photo submitted by Captain Jonah.

Finds included two 8-reales, 60-70 musket balls, pottery, lead sheeting and EO's.

Jonah could still use another hand on the Capitana.  That is a great opportunity to be part of an exciting adventure that you'll never forget.  

He said, If you're into the 1715 fleet you will learn more about these wrecks and how they scattered from reefs into the beaches. Get to dive with a detector and recover Spanish Treasure. If you can commit and are in physical shape, ready to work in the sun and water, we work hard all day everyday the weather is good. Call 772 215 4366.


The tropical disturbance that has been hanging around the Yucatan has moved north into the Gulf and is expected to become a tropical storm and hit land between Texas and Florida.

The other tropical weather that I've been watching seem headed towards the north edge of South America. It might turn north at some point too.

The surf was a touch higher today, and will be around 2 - 3 feet tomorrow, then decrease just a bit again.

We are having some small negative tides now.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, June 18, 2017

6/18/17 Report - Another Nice 1715 Fleet Find. One Way To Narrow Down The Age Of A Piece of Jewelry. Two Tropical Disturbances.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Find Made by Gavin on the Arrr Booty.
Photo submitted by Jonah Martinez.

Jonah M. sent the above photo and said, "Find made by Gavin. Eric's working hard trying to make some more great finds."

That is one nice piece of Kang Hsi. Hope they find more of the same item.

Congrats to Gavin and the crew of the Arrr Booty! And thanks to Jonah for sharing!


Yesterday I showed an amazing ring that was found by Warren D. (If you missed it, you might want to go back and take a look.)  When you find an item, it helps to know where it came from and where it has been up until the time you found it. It is also nice to be able to determine its age.

There are a lot of things that might give some clues. First is the where it was found, including the layers of sand above and surrounding the item. The sand adhering to the item might give you some clues about where it has been. So will the patina or crust. I can't talk about all of that today, but I am going to talk about the diamonds. Although the type of setting and other features of a ring can tell you a lot, I'm just going to focus on diamonds right now.

Although diamonds were used in jewelry much earlier, diamond cutting did not being until the 14th century.  Then they were more polished than cut.

Diamonds were mounted with what you might call a "point cut" in the 15th century.  There still wasn't much cutting involved.  Here is an example of a 15th century diamond ring sold by Christies.  You can see the point or pyramid.

15th Century "Point Cut" Diamond Sold by Christies.

True faceting didn't begin until the 16th century.  Then the "rose cut" was invented.  Diamonds were still rare in jewelry.

Rose cut diamonds have 24 facets.  They are domed on top and have a flat bottom.  The top looks very much like a geodesic dome.

The old mine cushion cut began in the 18th century.  That cut featured a relatively small flat table on top, a very slightly rounded edge, and a deep culet.  Below is an example.

Old Mine Fashion Cut Diamond Shape
Source:  See ErstWhileJewelry link below.

By the mid 18th century the Marquise cut was developed.

Of course there are more, but I'll stop there for now.  I just wanted to show that you can get a lot of information from the cut of a diamond or any gem.

If you want learn more about the history of cutting diamonds, you'll find an intersting article by using the following link.

It can be very difficult to capture subtle but important details in a photo.


Things are heating up in the tropics.  There are now two tropical disturbances,both of which have a 70% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

One has been hanging around the Yucatan, but at some point might head north.  The other looks to be heading towards the Yucatan.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, June 17, 2017

6/17/17 Report - Amazing Treasure Coast Beach Find!!! Beach Conditions and Tropical Disturbances.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Diamond Gold and Amethyst Ring Find.
Find and photo by Warren D.

If you have been reading this blog, you've read about Warren Dennison before.  He has found and returned some valuable rings.  The stories were covered in the news and here.  Warren stored up a lot of good karma.  Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Different View of the Same Ring.
Find and photo by Warren D.

This find is a very exceptional one-of-a-kind item.  Research could reveal the owner.  It has been identified by no less than Robert Marx and Karl Fismer as being a probable 1715 Fleet item.  A cob was found nearby.  It was found on a Treasure Coast beach, and is obviously shown uncleaned.

There is a WESH2 News video with Warren showing his find that you can probably find on the internet.

Congratulations Warren!  Super great find!


John Brooks Beach Saturday Morning.

You can see the sandy conditions and the nice smooth one-foot surf.

With these summer conditions, you have to be alert to rare opportunities.  Some of those occur are very localized situations. As you can see, the prevailing beach conditions are poor, but there are always those little spots ( some man made and some natural ) that provide opportunities.  They are rare and not always easy to find, but they are out there.

Nieves Site Saturday Morning.

You can barely see it, but the small dot is a salvage boat working in the distance.

Seaweed Covered Beach Saturday Morning.
Seaweed is generally a bad sign, but there are rare occasions when a layer of seaweed can cover a newly exposed good spot.  In this case, under the seaweed was newly accumulated sand.

Down the beach was a spot where there was no seaweed.  Some older items were found there - mostly iron.

I also found some very old fossils.

There are still a couple tropical disturbances on the map - one near Yucatan and the other way south in the Atlantic.  The second is organizing and has a long way to go before hitting land.

Happy hunting,

Friday, June 16, 2017

6/16/17 Report - Small Gold Artifact Found. Gold King Mine Disaster. Shipwreck Wood on Beach. Two Tropical Disturbances.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Animas River After Gold King Mine Disaster.
Source: See Daily Signal link below

In August 2015, an EPA crew inexplicably dug out the rock and rubble “plug” to the long abandoned Gold King Mine, triggering a massive blowout that flooded the Animas River with 3 million gallons of acid mine drainage and, according to the EPA, over 550 tons of metals...

Click here to read more about that.


Things have been going well down south.  The Dare recently recovered three silver coins on the trail of the Atocha.

The Magruder found a small gold artifact said to be a pendant.  It appears to be gold wire with a gold two-piece filigree bead and with a pearl near the end.  A similar one was found in 1985.

Here is a picture.

Small Gold Artifact Found by Margruder
Source: Personal email.

Shipwreck Wood Washed Up on Beach.
Source: See Daily Astorian link below.
CANNON BEACH — What at first glance looks like one of the many logs that line Cannon Beach may be an uncovered keel of a boat from a possible shipwreck.
The wood object, which measures about 18 feet long and several hundred pounds, was found Wednesday afternoon on the beach close to the Taft Street access by Jeffrey Smith of Portland. Looking for a place to rest after walking with his wife, he noticed rusty square nails, notches and square cutouts in the log and decided to call the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum...
Here is the link for more of that story.

Cannon Beach!  Pay attention to place names.

Shipwreck wood occasionally washes up onto Treasure Coast beaches too.


As I've been saying, "Its time to start watching for tropical weather."   There are two disturbances out there now.  Neither will likely affect the Treasure Coast much, but keep watching.


Happy hunting,