Friday, June 9, 2017

6/9/17 Report - An Earring Find. Surprising History of Earrings. Cycles of Moving Sand.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Rainbow Over the River.
Rainbows have been a common sight lately on the Treasure Coast.

Very Encrusted Silver Earring.

This ear ring was dug on a treasure beach.  It is very small,  The main part of it will fit on a penny.

The stone is very small, but seems to have a remarkable surface.   

The back is made to let the light through the stone.
Back of Same Earring.
I'll have to get this heavy crust off to get a better look at this thing.

I got it partly cleaned - enought to see some design.  More cleaning is needed for the silver and the stone.

Same Item Partly Cleaned On Penny.

As often happens, after making a find, I try to narrow down the source and age of the find.  That means research.  In the process I usually find something interesting.  Here is a little of something I found on the history of earrings.

During the Middle Ages in Europe male earrings alternated between being popular and being out of style for long periods of time until in the 13th century when the Catholic Church forbade the piercing of ears. This was done in accordance with the dogma, stating that a person cannot alternate his or her body which is created in the image of God. Only thieves, pirates and representatives of the lower class continued to wear earrings.

Thieves used this means of expression to demonstrate their abhorrence for society, while peasants pierced the ear of the only boy in the family or of a child who had been born immediately following the death of another child. For pirates, the earring meant a plundered ship. The Russian Cossacks also gave much significance to earrings.

Earrings were worn on the left ear by the sons of a single mother whose husband had been killed and on the right ear by the only boy in the family. A man wearing earrings on both ears was the last of his family line. Such a man was guarded by his neighbors and was not allowed to participate in times of war, lest his line disappears forever...

For more of that article, here is the link.

I now think this earring is 19th century or later.  One reason is the kidney style wire with loop.  That was invented about 1870.   I would also not expect the setting for the stone to be open on the back. That is my best attempt at dating the earring so far.


Sand moves all the time.  Every tidal cycle it moves to some extent.  The amount can be small and difficult to identify.

Most of the time it is just a small amount of sand in front of the beach that gets washed up or a small amount of sand from the slope that gets washed own into the water.  That happens all the time to some extent.  The same old sand keeps getting pushed up and dragged down.

Newly lost objects can be in the top layers of sand that always get moved.  The objects might or might not move move with the sand.  I've discussed that a lot in the past.

The force of the water can be enough to move the water and leave the objects behind, or it an be great enough to move both.  When both are moved they will be separated as the force decreases with the more difficult to move objects dropping out first.

In the illustration above the three orange dots represent good old objects.  The sand above those objects can get pushed up onto the beach many many times before the objects are moved.  They will just sit there under the sand until the sand over them gets moved and the force of water is great enough to move them.  That could be years or centuries.

Of course they can get uncovered enough to be detected with a metal detector.

I should also say that sometimes the sand at the foot of the beach will get pulled out to deeper water.

Those same objects will not sink much deeper than the lowest level of sand that has occurred in the past.  If they are sitting on bed rock, the sand above was at some time removed or at least agitated or disturbed.  In the past I've discussed various things that can result in those types of effects.


The surf is just a little higher today ( 3 - 3 feet).  The primary swell is from the north.  We are near a nice full moon.  The tides increased a little.

You might want to go early before the rain storms start.

Happy hunting,