Thursday, July 20, 2017

7/20/17 Report - What Might You Be Missing: Trade-offs and Strategic Metal Detecting Strategies.

Written by the treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Three Shipwreck Spikes and Some Modern Coins
What kind of items would you most likely miss?  Different people miss different things.  Everybody misses some types of items.   Your detector and settings and hunting style will be more tuned for some types of items, but that will mean that there will be other things you will miss.

There are always some trade-offs.  Your hunting style might be near optimal.  You might be finding the types of things you want to find while not missing much that you don't care about.  But do you know?  Do you know what you might be missing?  When you decide to discriminate or skip one type of item, are you aware of what else you might also be skipping?

You may never know what you left in the ground.  There might have been a few surprises.  I bet there were.

The number of watches I find has always been surprising to me.  I was surprised, first of all, by how many are lost, and secondly, how long they seem to remain on heavily detected beaches.  The thing is that they aren't identified by detector meters and they can sound like junk.  If you leave a watch in the ground, you might be leaving the most valuable thing you passed over all day.  That is just one example of the kind of thing I'm talking about.

There are some things that I'm sure I would have found years sooner, except they were in my "blind zone."  I didn't realize it for a long time, but it was the result of the characteristics of my metal detector and the items that I was targeting at the time.  I was focusing on gold jewelry, and as a result, there were other things that I was missing.

You can not avoid making some trade-offs when you focus your hunting on certain types of finds.  It is wise to focus your time and efforts.   Your decisions can save you time and optimize results.  You might be perfectly fine with deciding to accept one type of error in order to save time and optimize your overall results, but you need to be aware of the effect of your decisions so you know you aren't missing things that you'd really rather find.

Here is a little quiz.  Which of the items in the photo at the top of the post do you think a detectorist would most likely fail to find if it was in the metal detector's range and the coil was right over it?  

I'm going to talk about this in generalities today.  Assume all of those items were all at the same shallow depth. And I'm not going to go by any particular metal detector or the particular settings you might use.

You might think that size is the primary determinant, but in this case it probably wouldn't be the smallest of these items that most detectorists would miss.

I'd say that probably fifty percent or more of the detectorists that hunt the Treasure Coast would not detect the second item from the left.  It is a broken iron spike.

If I'm talking about another area of the country where other types of detectors predominate and where there are more relic hunters, for example, the results would not be the same.

You'd think that most detectors would detect a shipwreck spike, but many will not, even one of the ones that is very commonly used on the Treasure Coast shipwreck beaches will miss them.  You might run full sensitivity and no discrimination and it will still not respond to iron targets like this.

Years ago I wondered why I hadn't found iron shipwreck spikes even though I found all kinds of other shipwreck finds, including small cobs.  The simple reason is that I wasn't digging iron at the time, and the particular detector I was using at the time would null out on iron.  If you aren't digging iron, you won't find iron, and there might actually be a few iron items that you'd prefer to have. Again, it is good to be aware of the effect of the decisions you make.

The first spike in the photo is an interesting one to me.  It was bent over then clenched in, but then the head pulled through the wood.

The iron spike in the photo, is broken, as you can see.  The smaller spike to the right of the iron spike is copper, like the first one shown in the photo, and I think more Treasure Coast detectorists would dig the copper spike than the iron spike.

Of course, some metal detectors are very hot to iron and would easily detect the iron spike.  Most people do not like to detect with a lot of iron sensitivity and so either choose another type of detector or use some type of discrimination.

I'm talking about this to encourage you to get to know your detector and the possible results of different detecting strategies.  You might want to test your detector and the way you detect to see if what I am saying is true for you.  You should know if your detector is hot to iron or not.  Don't just complain about the iron junk.  Make a calculated decision.

Another Selection of Finds.
Here is a second grouping.  Which item in this photo do you think the most people would miss?

Again, you have to know what they are made of.   The first is copper; the second bronze; the third is lead, and the fourth object is lead.

The copper and lead will usually give a good strong signal on many metal detectors.  The one that many people might miss would be the third item: the lead stylus.  ( It has been identified as a stylus, although other people think otherwise.  I've recently talked about the difficulty of identifying artifacts.)

The lead stylus is surprisingly stealthy to a lot of detectors, while the crumpled lead sheathing gives a huge signal. 

What I said today might or might not be true for your detector and how you detect. My primary purpose with this is to make you think about different types of targets, and your detector and how you hunt.  I'm convinced that trade-offs are unavoidable, but can be good.  You just have to make informed decisions.

It is easy to miss certain types of items and never know it.  That might include a few of the types of items that you might prefer to find.  That is why it is important to know your detector and experiment with a variety of types of objects.

If I figure out how to get my detector sound recordings into blogger, I might give you some examples for two or three specific detectors.


Tropical storm Don has disappeared and there is now no tropical activity in the Atlantic or Gulf.

Expect a one to two foot surf for several days.  We are having some decent negative tides.  Every tidal cycle, some sand in the very shallow water and at the water's edge gets shifted.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

7/18/17 Report - Tropical Storm Don. Ancient Hoard Found in Spain. Live Cannon Ball Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of the

Predicted Path of Tropical Storm Don.
The big news for me is that we now have a named Tropical Storm.  It is named Don.

While it looks like Don will stay south, it could turn north, or maybe go through the Gulf and come back at us.

There is also another tropical disturbance behind (East of) Don.  That one now has a thirty percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.


Hoard of Coins Found in Spain.
Source: See thelocal link below.

A treasure of gold and silver ancient Roman coins has been found at a mining site in Huelva, southern Spain.

The discovery is of "incalculable value and a milestone in the archeology of this mining area," according to the archeologists from Atalaya Mining, the company running the mine who found it. The discovery was reported by local newspaper Huelava Spain.

The 40 or 50 coins found, which date from the 2nd century AD, according to a report in La Informacion, are said to be from the era of Nero and Trajan.

"It is a discovery of great beauty that comes to contribute data to our knowledge of RioTinto, that was the great mine of the Roman Empire," Luis Iglesias, director of archeology at Atalaya Mining, told El Pais....

Here is the link.

Unless Don or the other system heads our way, it looks like we'll have a one to two foot surf on the Treasure Coast for a week or two.  We have some good tidal variation though.


Explosive Cannon Ball Found
Source: See CBC link below.

A cannonball fired by the British during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 has been unearthed at a building site in Old Quebec.
The rusted, 90-kilogram projectile was unearthed during excavation work last week at the corner of Hamel and Couillard streets and still contained a charge and gunpowder.
The work crew that found the ball picked it up and gathered around it for photographs, unaware that it was still potentially explosive.
Municipal authorities were contacted, and archeologist Serge Rouleau was called in.
Rouleau brought the cannonball back to his home, and noticed it still contained a charge...
Here is the link for more on that story.


I recorded some detector signals and was going to insert them in a post.  I couldn't figure out how to do that on blogspot.  Maybe I'll get it figured out some day.

Happy hunting,

Monday, July 17, 2017

7/17/17 Report - Two Tropical Disturbances. Different Strokes. Ear Training. 1st Century Writing Tablets. Old Book Treasures.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Two Tropical Disturbances Now
The first one (orange) has about a 40% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.  They tend to move west/northwest, but we'll have to wait and see what they might do.


Everyone is not the same.  We are all different.  We have different sizes, shapes, strengths, weaknesses, attitudes, interests. skills and abilities.

Not everyone is going to make a career out of treasure hunting. You might be thankful for that.  It would mean everyone on the beach having a metal detector.  Not everyone is going to spend their life on hunting deep sea gold.  There are other things that need to be done in this big world anyhow.  And not everyone is going to hunt old coins, relics or modern jewelry.  There are a variety of types of treasure hunting and a variety of types of detectorist, just like there are a variety of types of people, careers and hobbies.

I wrote about an article proclaiming detecting the world's worst hobby.  Why was it the world's worst hobby for that person while being the world's best hobby for so many of others?  The answer would take longer than I'm willing to spend, so I'll just boil it down.   For some people its great; for others its not.  Some people like vanilla and others like chocolate.  Go figure.

Beyond that, I think that if Emily had more instruction and better support from the beginning, her experience and conclusions might have been different.  Yet the fact remains, that many of us did not have any training and started totally on our own and got hooked.  Maybe my first attempts would not have been so encouraging and habit-forming if I had not begun detecting on busy Florida beaches.  I don't know.

There was that time when I was much younger and my grandma got a radio shack detector that after a few attempts I found out wouldn't detect a coin.  It would detect larger objects.  I didn't get hooked on detecting then, but maybe I would if the detector was better.  Again, I don't know.  I barely remember that.

One thing I do know is that detecting has provided me a lot of education and entertainment.  The demands of life haven't permitted me to go at it as hard and heavy as I once did.  In fact, I haven't been getting out much at all lately.  Hopefully things will improve and I can get back at it.

Yesterday I mentioned that Emily said she found it hard to distinguish the various detector sounds.  One of the several reasons I recommend doing a lot of testing with various objects, especially those that you'd like to find, is to become familiar with the sounds and their meaning.  If you want to find gold, put a similar gold target on the ground and go over it time and time again until you can quickly and easily identify the sound.  In the past I talked a lot about doing that kind of testing.

There was an ear training course you could purchase for the Excalibur.  It might still be available.

Here is an article about an unusual find of 1st Century writing tablets.

The hoard of around 25 wooden writing tablets was discovered by an archaeological team at Vindolanda on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland.

Consisting of letters, lists and personal correspondence, the items had been discarded towards the end of the 1st Century.

Work is under way to conserve the tables and decipher the messages...
Here is the link.


A Sotheby's auction including many fine old books on maritime history and related things has concluded.  For example, a lot of ship's journals and other papers relating to the African Slave Trade of the 1780s and 90s sold for $65,000.   Old books can be great treasures as well as resources.

Here is the link if you want to check out the other lots.


The surf hasn't change and their are no significant changes predicted yet.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 16, 2017

7/16/17 Report - A Metal Detector Beginners Observations and Experiences Plus Commentary. New Tropical Disturbance Brewing.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Tropical Disturbance In The Atlantic
There is now a disturbance that has a 20% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.  You would expect this to continue heading west and turning north at some point.

No significant increase in surf is predicted for the Treasure Coast yet.


NPR's Alex Chadwick talked with Slate contributor Emily Yoffe about her latest Human Guinea Pig experience: metal detector-ism. Subsequently Emily wrote a post on having the subtitle Metal Detecting Is The World's Worst Hobby. I listened to a few minutes of the NPR interview and read Emily's article.  I found the article interesting because it clearly presented the impressions of someone just giving metal detecting a try.  And as you would guess from the subtitle, Emily and her family, didn't like it at all.  You might wonder why.

First of all, the Staffordshire Hoard was one of her first references to metal detector finds that she made.  With images of such sugar plums dancing in her head, surely the reality must have been a shock after going out and finding the typical junk.  The point of that being that expectations need to be realistic.  Big treasure hunting dreams usually come true only after a lot of effort. Optimism is a plus, but patience is required.

The author of the article (Emily) called a metal detector salesman to purchase her first metal detector and told him she wanted something her seven year old could easily use and she wanted to find Civil War relics because she lived where they could hunt for those.  She was surprised when the salesman told her the seven year old would probably only want to go metal detecting one time.  That is about the way it turned out.  He also told her he had been detecting for three years (pretty much of a beginner himself) and had never found any Civil War relics.  She was surprised that a salesman would tell her something like that.

In her post she said, I started metal detecting for the latest episode of Human Guinea Pig, the column in which I do things people are curious about but wish someone else would do for them. But metal detecting was something our family actually did want to do, even without Slate's encouragement. It was my daughter's idea, actually. She requested a metal detector for her 7th birthday—she had seen a TV commercial that promised diamond rings and other amazing treasure.

Many people are curious.  They sit and watch and try to get a glimpse of what you dig, and they ask if you found anything.  Emily actually tried it, spurred on, it seems, by her seven year old daughter who was enticed by a commercial.  I guess the commercial worked to sell one metal detector, but the result was an entire family being turned off by the experience, and perhaps many more people being negatively influenced by her interview and blog post.   

She, as I suppose most beginners, was confused by the variety of detectors offered on the web.  That must be very common.  I receive a lot of questions from people wanting to get started who don't know what to buy.  

Here is something else she said that I believe people need to pay attention to.  The beep of the metal detector, like the car alarm, the busy signal, and the colicky baby, belongs in the catalog of irritating sounds. The booklet that came with my Tracker IV instructed me to study the different tones emitted by the machine so I would know the kind of metal being indicated. But I could never keep straight whether the chirp that resembled a dying sparrow meant iron or the drone like that of a truck backing up meant copper.

I agree one hundred percent that metal detector sounds are irritating.  Do they have to be so cheap and unpleasant sounding?  Most are.  Secondly, and more important, it isn't easy discriminate a lot of the sounds.  A musician might have an easier time with it than the average person.  In my opinion, that is one of the better reasons for visual displays.  (You might remember my recent post discussing aural versus visual signals.) 

After some discouragement, she consulted a neighbor who was a detectorist.  He showed a box of his finds, evidently exciting her interest to some extent again.  He did another thing for her.  She said, Phil adjusted the arm length on my Tracker IV, resulting in the immediate relief of what was becoming a debilitating case of metal detectorist elbow.  It wasn't long ago that I referred to the importance of a properly adjusted rod.

Metal detecting isn't something that someone with no experience or help can easily jump into on their own.  It is not as simple as buying a detector, turning it on and admiring the finds.

Emily's post (no pun intended) should be of some assistance to metal detector manufacturers.  It might also be of some assistance to beginners, as discouraging as it might sound.  If you are a beginner, expect to put in your time learning how to use your metal detector and find treasure.  It can be an activity that provides a world or interest and education.  Take your time to get educated before making a lot of commitment.

I personally found Emily's observations interesting.  They might be of value to both metal detector manufacturing companies and retail outlets. 

And here is the NPR radio interview here.

Happy hunting and happy learning,

Saturday, July 15, 2017

7/15/17 Report - Trade Silver Artifact and Difficulty of Identifying Items. No New Storms.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Detectorist Working North of Sebastian Inlet.
Photo submitted by Darrel S.

Thanks for the photo Darrel.


MACKINAW CITY, MI - Excavators at Colonial Michilimackinac uncovered a 250-year-old piece of trade silver earlier this week; their second big find this summer. 
According to Dr. Lynn Evans, curator of archaeology at Mackinac State Historic Parks, the triangle-shaped artifact has a small hole in it, which means it was likely part of an earring or pendent worn around 1765...
Source: See link below.

This might make you think of the posts I did on Seminole and Calusa silver artifacts.  This item wouldn't be associated with either of those groups, but it is said to be trade silver.  It seems to me this item could easily be misinterpreted.  It is a simple geometric shape and could be used in a variety of ways. It could even be a left over scrap or part of something that had no particular function at the time it was lost.

After reading most of the article, I did something I don't usually do:  I read some of the comments.  I don't know what happens to people when they are sitting at a keyboard and faced with the opportunity to type something, but in a lot of cases it isn't pretty. It makes you wonder about the state of our civilization and hope for the future.  I think you know what I'm talking about.  I can't even describe it.

Anyhow, there were a few comments that I thought were illustrative or otherwise interesting. Someone commented that it could be part of a fishing lure.  You might not think so if it is really silver.  On the other hand, I can imagine circumstances when a person might use a random piece of shiny silver for something like that even if it was previously or subsequently used in other ways.  We might go to the store or order the precise part that was designed for a very specific purpose, but people in the past, and some of the more handy and creative people of today, might save any miscellaneous piece of material and use it in any multitude of ways.  If you wanted to be creative and think of all the ways this piece could be used, I'm sure you could come up with at least a few.

I always remember one item that was dug up during an archaeological excavation of what was described as a slave quarters and the item an archaeologist said was one thing ( I think they said it was a tobacco pipe ) turned out to be one of those small toys from a box of Cracker Jacks.

It can be difficult to interpret finds - even when they are found in context.  It is easy to be wrong.

Lets say there is a range of possible uses for an artifact.  For example, a triangular piece of metal, like the one shown above, could be used as a pendant, or it might be used to attract fish, or it might be used as a screw driver, or to scour a line in wood or cut leather, or if shined up to reflect light, to signal someone on a distant hill.   I think you get my point.

There is a range of possibilities. To any interpreter, some of those possibilities would seem more likely than others.  If you assigned probabilities to each of the possibilities, you might say something like you feel that there is a 75% chance that it is a pendant, for example, and maybe a 2% chance that it was used to reflect light and send signals.  In general you might expect a bell shaped curve something like the following.

The vertical axis would represent the probability that an item is a certain thing.  There might be a relatively high probability that the item is a pendant.  Items like that would fall at about the center of the curve above.   But there are other possibilities, some of which might be considered to be much less likely.  They would be either far left or right on the curve.   (Maybe the curve should be cut in half.)

I am just thinking at the keyboard, so I apologize for the lack of refinement and poor explanation.

It must be something like medicine.  You go to the doctor and present symptoms X, Y and Z, so the easy diagnosis is something common, like the flu, yet symptoms X, Y and Z might also indicate something very rare.  The tendency would be to over-diagnose the most likely illness and under-diagnose rare diseases.

Undoubtedly archaeologists and treasure hunters tend to identify finds according to what seems most likely or probable.  That makes sense, but in the process some interpretations are overlooked or too quickly dismissed.  That would result in a narrowing and heightening of the curve.

I hope you get what I am saying, and I apologize for trying to put it out there before I thought it out more completely.

There were other comments to the article that were interesting.  A couple people said something like that they were out at the dig site last week and dropped the item.  One person jokingly said that, and then said they would appreciate having the lost item returned.

While those people might have been joking, they make an important point.  Sites can always be contaminated.  And odd things can be found where you'd never expect to find them.  Some kid might take a thousand year old fossil or hundred year old coin from dad's collection and drop it in the school yard.  Just because an item is old doesn't mean it was lost a long time ago.

Another point is that there are people who will try to claim things they did not lose.  It happens.  I've seen people try to claim a diamond ring or gold chain they did not lose.  I've talked about that before, and you have to be careful.   Don't provide a full description until you know you have the real owner.  Ask them for the inscription inside the ring or something to prove ownership.  That is one reason the picture that I posted of the lady wearing the lost cross pendant was important.  It helped prove ownership.

Here is the link to the original article.

Click here to go  to "trade silver" article.

Sorry this topic wasn't better developed.  I'll undoubtedly have to spend some more time on the subject and probably have to clean up this post later.


There is no tropical weather of concern right now.

The surf will be two to three feet on the Treasure Coast this weekend.  Otherwise, beach detecting conditions remain unchanged.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 13, 2017

7/13/17 Report - 1715 Fleet Capitana Escudo Find. Wolf Gold Burial Hoard.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Illustration of 1714 Mexico Two-Escudo .
Source: Sewall Menzel's Book, Cob's, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins.
The two-escudo from the Menzel book shown above looks very much like the one found by Grant that I showed yesterday.

 The one found by Grant does not show the date or mint or assayer mark, however it does show some clues to those things.  It does show the denomination in roman numerals to the right of the shield.

The escudo I showed yesterday, like the one shown in the illustration above, seems to be a Mexico two-escudo, probably from 1714.  It is also similar to the one posted in my 5/24/16 post.

One of the biggest clues to the cob's date is the Bourbon crest which covers the lower-right castle and pomegranate.  I outlined the shield of Bourbon in the illustration below.

Shield of Bourbon Highlighted on Two-Escudo.
Here are a few interesting observations relative to such escudos.

In 1977, Bowers and Ruddy sold a very similar one for $250.  That was about the going rate back then.  The dollar was worth about four times more in 1977, so you might expect the value of a similar two-escudo today to be worth about $1000 if you just made a simple adjustment for inflation.  Of course, there are other factors that affect the market value.

I've seen similar two escudos running for just over $1000.   A similar two-escudo having the mint mark and date in excellent condition might be more like $2500 or $3500.  I'm just talking in very general terms.  You could look through Sedwick auction results and find a very comparable escudo for price comparison.  I didn't do that.

The melt value of the escudo, with today's gold prices, would be about $245, close to what the Bowers and Ruddy cob sold from in 1977 when the price of gold was just over $160 per ounce.

I'm not expert on cobs, so if anything I said here is wrong, let me know.


Source: See reuters link below.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A sacrificial wolf elaborately adorned with some of the finest Aztec gold ever found and buried more than five centuries ago has come to light in the heart of downtown Mexico City, once home to the Aztec empire's holiest shrines...

Here is the link.


There are no tropical depressions or storms in the Atlantic or Gulf.  We got the remains of old Tropical Depression Four yesterday, which resulted in a day of rain and some lightning.

The surf today on the Treasure Coast will be about two to four feet, and tomorrow, two to three feet.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

7/12/17 Report - Capitana Diver Grant Finds Treasure Coast Gold.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Capitana Diver Grant Shows Off His Find.
Photo by Captain Jonah Martinez

The guys on the Capitana are on the gold trail again.  I just got the following email from Captain Jonah Martinez.

New diver Grant, has been finding silver coins, musket balls, pottery, bronze spikes, encrusted iron artifacts, throughout the season. All the right stuff! The day started like any other. Digging and finding pieces when he got the hit. Two fans of his hand and a flash of gold. Congrats to Grant, welcome to the club.  First gold coin on the boat of the season. 

Here are some fine closeups of the escudo Grant is holding.  Both photos submitted by Captain Jonah.

Here is a BIG congratulations to Grant and the Capitana.

Thanks to Captain Jonah for sharing and keeping us informed!   We are all rooting for you.


There is no new tropical weather to watch.

The surf is supposed to increase to three to five feet on Thursday.

I wanted to get the new find posted.  Maybe I'll add to this post later.

Happy hunting,

7/11/17 Report - Photographs For Viewing Coins and Artifacts. Looking For Lost Items: A Reminder.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I receive a lot of pictures of coins and artifacts and make quite a few myself.  Yesterday I received the pictures of the lost gold cross, and they were excellent for the intended purpose.

A lot of the photos that I've taken leave a lot to be desired.  The most important consideration is what you are trying to accomplish.  A picture that is good for one thing might be a total waste for something else.  The picture of the cross being worn was an excellent picture; it showed the owner, the size of the cross and there was also another photo showing a closeup of the cross.

If you are just trying to show a nice find, that is one thing, but if you want people to be able to identify the item or put a value on it, that requires a different kind of photo.

Sometimes you might not want the item to look like it looks in real life - not because you are being dishonest, but because you want to show certain details or features that might not be real obvious to the unaided eye.  The photo at the top of this post shows some found bottles.  The photos were taken in black light to show something you wouldn't see by actually looking at the bottles without the black light.  Those photos were taken for a specific purpose.

No matter how good a photo might be, it is not like being able to hold the item in your hand.  If you are holding it, you can turn it, get it under different lighting, inspect it from all angles and touch it.  It is easier to get a good feel for an object when you are holding it.

You can sometimes photograph things so that you can see things that you can not easily see with your own eyes.  You can use magnification, for example, and you can adjust the photo with editing software to do such things as increasing contrast or sharpness.

If you have a good closeup lens or a microscope that can take pictures, you might be able to see and show very small marks or details.  Different kinds of lighting can help too, as shown above.

I had one piece of red sea glass that I did not realize was made with uranium to make it glow.  I found information that told how lenses used on buoys were sometimes infused with uranium to make them glow.  I could only see some suspicious yellowish specks in the glass, but when photographed under black light, I could see that the glass was fluorescent on one side.

You can read more about the red sea glass and those fluorescent bottle finds in an old post by using the following link.

When it comes to coins, it is often best to have them lighted from an angle.  A flash aimed straight at a coin will usually glare out a lot of detail.  Remember that a coin is not a flat object.  It is often best to photograph it in a way that shows the three-dimensional features.

Photo of Recently Found Wheat Penny.
This photo isn't a bad photo for the intended purpose.  I just wanted to get a good closeup view.  It was taken with a Celestron microscope camera - an inexpensive camera setup that can make decent close-up photographs of smaller objects such as coins.  My primary purpose was the see if there was any doubling.  There was not.  The one shown below does show doubling.  That photo is from eBay.

Photo Taken From eBay Showing a Error Coin.
The Celectron is more convenient than using a  high-powered loop at times.  And the lighting is easily adjusted.

Lighting is one of the most important things for any photo.  Move the light around until the coin shows like you want it to.

When submitting photos of artifacts to be identified, make sure to provide a variety of angles and some idea of the size of the object.

If you want to photograph old embossed bottles, I often position them so the sun is behind the bottle and shining through it.  Move it around until you have the right angle.  That can take some experimentation.

My main point is to think of the purpose of your photos and make adjustments so that the photo will accomplish the intended purpose.

It is usually easier to identify an item in person, so if you want somebody to try to identify an item from a picture,  give them some chance by giving them the best pictures you can.


Bill Popp sent me an email and reminded me that items are often not lost where people think they are lost.  That is a good point.  Bill pointed out that when a person first misses an item, they tend to think that is where they lost item, but that is not always the case.

I've found items almost exactly where someone told me they were lost, but more often the item is not found or is found somewhere else.  It is not unusual for an item to show up some distance from where it was thought to be lost.

Thanks for the good reminder Bill.


There is no tropical activity brewing.  The tides are moderate.

Today the Treasure Coast will have a one to two foot surf.  The surf will increase a little tomorrow and be up to three of four feet Thursday.

Happy hunting,

Some people believe that they can make good things happen for themselves by keeping a positive attitude.  There is undoubtedly some truth in that, even if it might not work exactly the way they think.

A positive attitude is a real asset for a treasure hunter.  If you don't have the expectation of being able to find something, you probably won't even buy a metal detector.

People are different.  Some can tolerate long periods of frustration.  Others can't.  A positive attitude can keep you going through the dry spells.

People often say that persistence is the difference between success and failure in treasure hunting.  It is certainly a big factor, but not the only one.

Many people who buy a metal detector get discouraged and quit after a few outings.  They don't stick with it long enough to learn what it is about.

A treasure hunter must be somewhat optimistic, otherwise they wouldn't spend the time looking.  It takes time to become proficient.  The ability to be happy with small successes is also an asset.  It will keep you entertained and going until you can find bigger and better things.

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between the treasure hunter and those that sit on the beach watching.  Many beach-goers are curious.  Some will stand and watch over your shoulder while  you dig, hoping to get a glimpse of what you find.

How many times have you got the question, "Did you find anything?"  Or, "Did you ever find anything good?"  Or, What is the most valuable thing you have found?"  Those are common questions that you will get.  Those people seem to be curious, but not enough to try it for themselves.

One place where I hunt once in a while, people will tell me there's nothing there.  Yet I go out and make finds.  The next time I'm there they tell me again, there's nothing there.  I show the gold ring or old coin I found the last time, and then they tell me there is nothing else there.  The fact that I showed them that there was something there doesn't seem to impress them or change their mind.

There are people who are curious but won't try it for themselves, and there are people who are not curious at all.  Neither will give it a try. They don't have the dream.  They won't make the effort.

A positive attitude is a great asset, especially if you can keep it when things are not going well.

Not only will a positive attitude make you happier and more energetic, it will also improve your relationships.  One negative person can bring down an entire team, while a positive attitude can inspire and energize people.

When too much success comes too quickly, it can set up unrealistic expectations.  There have been people who have found a gold coin on their first outing.  Imagine going then going out the next time, next ten times, or next hundred times and being unable to follow the first outing with anything nearly as exciting.  It could lead to discouragement and disappointment.  I hear a lot of you saying, "Wish I was that lucky."

People who start out with unrealistic expectations are not likely to last long.  Most will become disappointed and discouraged in a short time. Those won't last a year.

The expectation might be totally unrealistic for some people.  They think if they have a metal detector all they'll have to do is go out for a while and it they'll find gold or something great.  They might not realize how much some people put into metal detectin

This summer’s Mel Fisher Days are set for July 13th-15th. Every summer a celebration is held in honor of Mel Fisher, a man who pursued his dreams and discovered a fortune in treasure in the seas off Key West, inspiring millions to follow their own dreams and earning him the title of The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunter.

On July 13th and 14th Mel Fisher Fans can participate in Behind the Scene Tours of the Mel Fisher’s Treasures Conservation Lab on Thursday and Friday, 10am and 4pm, at 200 Greene Street. Space is limited; Pre-registration is encouraged on the Mel Fisher Days website.

The annual Dock Party at Schooner Wharf will take place Saturday, July 15th from 3pm-9 pm at 202 William Street. From 4:30pm-6:10pm, Captain Andy and his crew are offering tours on board Mel Fisher’s Treasures’ 90 foot salvage vessel, JB Magruder. The Magruder will dock at the Historic Seaport, just behind Schooner Wharf Bar.

The evening is filled with a HUGE silent auction, live auctions, the famous Cupcake Contest, 50/50 raffle, the presentation of the prestigious Mel Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award to Andy Matroci, great music and drink specials. The world famous Mel Fisher silent auction will offer over $15,000 in exotic items including everything from gourmet dinners to luxurious vacations and authentic treasure from the Atocha, The Santa Margarita and the 1715 fleet shipwrecks.

Starting Monday 10th, Mel Fisher Fans can enter a free raffle at both of the Mel Fisher retail locations, 200 Greene Street or 613 Duval Street. Drawing for the raffle winner will take place at Schooner Wharf at 8:45pm. One lucky winner will take home an Authentic Atocha coin valued at $1,400. Must be present to win. No purchase necessary.

During the 16-year search for the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, Key West embraced Mel, his family and crew, and supported them when others did not. Now his namesake company, Mel Fisher’s Treasures, is committed to giving back to the island community he called home. All of Mel Fisher Days’ net proceeds benefit Wesley House Family Services, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and enhance the safety, well-being and development of children by educating, supporting and meeting the needs of families. “Mel Fisher’s legacy is part of the life-blood of Key West,” commented Jeremy Wilkerson, Director of Community Relations for Wesley House, “and Wesley House Family Services is honored to share in celebrating this legacy and thankful to be the recipient of Mel Fisher Days event proceeds, which will provide crucial support to child welfare and family preservation throughout the Florida Keys.”

For a full Mel Fisher Days schedule and advance registration discount tickets visit

Boat Update

June was one of the best month’s we have had this year for finding Atocha and Margarita artifacts. We found a ornate piece of gold jewelry, more than a dozen silver coins
g.  They might not realize how long it can take to become really skillful. They might think that the detector will lead them to treasure somehow.

Monday, July 10, 2017

7/10/17 Report - Gold Cross Pendant Lost At Jensen Beach. Help! Additional Info Added 10:40 PM.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Item Reported Lost at Jensen Beach.
I just received the following email.

To whom it may concern,
If you could please share this with all treasure hunters, metal detector enthusiast and Social Media Treasure Hunting Groups in Jensen Beach, it would be GREATLY appreciated... I do not have much but I am offering an award! 🏻

Everyone please share! This was my grandfather's cross and my mom has worn it everyday since he passed. She bought it for him when she was 18 years old and he wore it every day until he passed. While taking her morning walk on Jensen Beach (North Side), she lost it. It's the most important item to her so please if anyone finds it, contact me or Stephanie D'Ann Siefker immediately. She is devastated so please share this across the treasure coast.

Here is a picture of the cross being worn.

Lost Cross Being Worn.
That is a good photo that shows the size of the cross.  It also helps establish ownership.

I'll go ahead and post this now and maybe add to this post later.


The following was added 10.30 PM Monday after I asked the lady for more information. 

I was in the water, it was high tide. I was about even with the white sign in the dunes with a black "Z" on it. I figure it is a long shot, but the ocean has a way of taking and returning things. If there is a blog for metal detector enthusiast, I'm hoping someone finds it and sees my story.

I also heard from Steve from Iowa who plans on searching again tomorrow for the cross.

Here is how Steve described it.

I was out at Jensen Beach this afternoon when Stephanie (the gal who lost
the gold cross) approached me. She actually lost it in the water out in
front of the small sign with a "z" on it at the north end, on the sandbar
while she was net casting. I couldn't find it. The water was fairly rough
from the southeast wind. I will try again tomorrow or the next day. Nice
lady. Wish I could have found it for her as it has a lot of sentimental

Thanks for helping Steve.

I hope someone can find the cross. Thanks to all who are attempting to locate this small cross.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

7/9/17 Report - 2011 Law Concerning Ownership of Artifacts and Space Exploration Artifacts. Blog Poll Conclusions.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The Cape Canaveral area, being the site of so much history, including early historic sites and a treasure wreck or two, provides another class of artifacts.  I'm talking about space exploration artifacts.

Space exploration artifacts occasionally show up on the Treasure Coast, most commonly including the relatively common melted bits of titanium, which I've discussed in the past, including instructions for identifying titanium. Occasionally more interesting items show up.

The recent Cooper's Treasure TV programs suggested another type of connection between space exploration and treasure hunting.  This blog's posts concerning the questionable trustworthiness of that show received a lot of attention.

On July 20th, Sotheby's will hold their Space Exploration auction, which among a long list of artifacts, includes the flown flight plan from the Apollo 13 mission.  That flight, which encountered serious problems and could have ended very badly, was the subject of a movie.

As I've said before, you can not separate politics from treasure hunting.  In 2012 President Obama signed a law concerning the ownership of space exploration artifacts.  (I won't get into the Odyssey Marine issue again, in which the courts ruled to give tons of silver recovered by Odyssey Marine to Spain, reportedly as part of a deal to obtain a valuable painting for a U. S. citizen.)  Here is how the Sothebys site describes that law concerning ownership of space exploration artifacts and how that law relates to the flight plan.

Here is the link for more information related to the flight plan and various incidents that occurred during the mission.

You might also want to browse the auction lots.  I found them interesting.


The most recent blog poll has concluded and the results are in.

As you can see from the bar chart below, the respondents generally go more by analysis and observation than intuition. That isn't surprising considering the amount of time I spend on analysis of beach conditions and other things.  Only one of the 45 respondents said that they went almost exclusively by intuition and hunches.

On the other end of the spectrum, 4 respondents said they rely almost exclusively on analysis.

The vast majority of those that responded, appear to use some mixture of analysis and intuition.  Overall the results were definitely skewed in the direction of analysis and observation over intuition.

Here are the results expressed in a bar chart.  I reordered the categories from how they were ordered when the poll was presented, and also shortened the category labels.  The numbers in the chart are percentages.


Sunday I watched a series of TV programs on the Dare Stones and the Lost Roanoke colony.  Pretty good series.


I've been working on another topic for a few days, but it just won't seem to come together.

There is no tropical weather in the Atlantic or Gulf right now.  No significant changes in beach conditions are expected real soon either.  There will be a little bump in the surf around Thursday, but not much.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 8, 2017

7/8/17 Report - Mel Fisher Days and Lifetime Achievement Award. Atocha, Margarita and Treasure Coast Finds. New Island. Scoop Assist.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Newly Formed Island Off North Carolina
Source: Charlotte Observor
I talk a lot about how sand and things move on a beach.  Here is a new island that recently formed.  It continues to grow, but it might disappear just as fast.

One thing I'd be interested in is where the sand came from.  When sand builds up one place, it comes from someplace else.  That is obvious enough.  So the question is did something get uncovered.  That is what I think about when I see sand accumulating.

Here is the link for more about that.


Along the Treasure Coast, Captain Jonah and the crew of the Capitana has been finding lots of musket balls, pottery,lead,and some Silver coins.


The Fisher organization reports that June was one of their best months of 2017.  Found on the Margarita and Atocha sites were an "ornate piece of gold jewelry, more than a dozen silver coins, a rapier, knife blades, pottery and lots of encrusted objects..." 

Mel Fisher Days will be celebrated this year in Key West July 13 through 15. Captain Andy Matroci will receive the Mel Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award. Here is the link for additional detail.


I give away tons of free information all the time.  I generally don't do free product advertising too, and I probably never will, most especially unless I've tested the product myself and can offer my own observations. but Warren D. said,  Here's an example of a scoop assist handle we created to allow one handed digging without bending your back.  You lift it like you would lift a suitcase using your legs.  It clamps on to any handle. Here it is seen on a Stealth scoop with a carbon fiber handle.

Warren D. Using Scoop Assist Handle On Stealth Scoop.

There are only a few hours to respond to the most recent blog poll.


Tropical Depression Four has disappeared and there is currently no tropical weather to watch.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 7, 2017

7/7/17 Report - Tropical Depression Four. Intuitive Detecting. Fall Treasure Auction. Metal Detecting Ergonomics.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Predicted Track For Tropical Depression Four.
Tropical Depression Four is still on the same track as of early Friday morning.


Back a few days ago I asked readers about experiences of intutition.  Here is an example sent to me by Larry.

There was a soccer-sized field in a park in which, over the course of time, I pulled 7 gold rings. Once I got past #4, it became harder each time to believe there could be another one in there, but then eventually I'd get over my skepticism, and start hitting it again. After #6, the drag from my skeptical side just wouldn't let me go back to that field for many months. 

One afternoon, I was feeling oddly enthusiastic and also had the gold fever bad. I wanted to hit that field again, but couldn't imagine how another ring could be hidden in there after all the hours I'd spent hunting it, not to mention the 6 gold rings that were now missing from it. 

So, I brought up the field on google earth, laid the point of my index finger over the screen, closed my eyes, disconnected my mind from my hand,  

It required me to go into a meditative state, I guess, and I must have gotten there, because after some time, I returned to a sense of my body, and my finger was fixed on one spot of that field. That is where the gold would be. 

Without any doubt in my mind, I drove there, walked out into the field. I looked out, and fixed the spot where I believed my finger had rested. I checked one signal on my walk over to the spot, it was a tab. When I got to the spot I'd fixed with my eye, I stopped and swept the coil a couple of times, got a signal. I dug it, and it was a gold wedding band, with several Cartier style bisected circles engraved around the band. It was not a Cartier, however it was 14k gold. That was the 7th and last gold ring I pulled from that field, or any field. Since then, I've found all my gold at the beach.


Thanks for sharing Larry.

Larry's example also supports another thing I talk about: not giving up on a location too soon.  There is often more there than you might think, and it can take multiple hunts to get it all.


You can now book a room or consign to the next Sedwick treasure auction, which will be held in Orlando in November.  Here are the details.


If you metal detect heavily for many years, things will eventually begin to catch up with you.  Even things that are done for health and fitness reasons can cause problems in the long run.  Runners often develop knee problems, for example.  And bench pressing can cause shoulder problems.

When you are young and fit, it might be hard to imagine, but long term repetitive actions can cause parts of the body to wear out.  How many times have you swung that coil back and forth? I have no guess, but over the years it might be close to millions.  Certainly that can cause strain on various parts of the body such as the shoulder or back.  Digging is another thing you will do many times.  Try to do it all as ergonomically as possible.  You might not think it is any big deal now, but it can catch up to you in the long run.

Ergonomics is the science concerned with designing and arranging things so that they are used efficiently and safely. Ergonomics might also be called biotechnology, human engineering or human factors.

I once developed plantar fasciitis, I think from vigorously walking barefoot in the sand so much. That was easy to treat.  There are stretching exercises that seemed to do the job for me.  Good footwear can help too.

For detecting long without getting too tired, try to maintain good posture.  Adjust your rod assembly carefully to the right length so that you can maintain good posture while you detect.  And inch or two on the rod assembly can make a big difference.

Everyone knows that listening to a lot of loud music can cause hearing loss.  I'm also convinced that listening to a constant threshold tone for hours and years on end can cause hearing loss in the frequency range of the threshold tone.  Don't run the threshold any louder than necessary.  I also think that a variable tone is better than a single frequency.

And don't underestimate the effects of the sun, which can cause skin damage and serious cancers.  Don't forget the sun block.  I know of metal detectorists that have had very serious skin problems in the later years.

Ok, that's enough from grandma.


The surf will remain small this week.  The surf predictions are for about a one foot increase in the surf next week.  That isn't much change.

Thanks for your poll responses.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, July 6, 2017

7/6/17 Report - Today Is The Day! What Makes America Great. Tropical Depression Four Heading This Way.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Today is the Day!  That is one powerful statement.  It is perhaps the biggest treasure to come out of treasure hunting.

It is not about silver and gold.  It is about today.  It is about time - the most precious thing you have on this earth.

Today is what you have.  It is where you are.  It is the epicenter of what can be.  It is the source out of which good and evil spings.  It is where the next moment is born. It is where the next moment is shaped and formed.  It is now.

Someday there will be no tomorrows - at least not on this earth.  That applies to everyone. There is a final chapter.  The book slams shut.  Your earthly story comes to an end.

You write your story every day.  How does it read so far?  How do you want it to end?

You are the author.  You can't go back and change the beginning.  What has been written won't be erased, but you can change what comes next.

Everyone is the main character in their story.  Every story revolves around the main character.  The main character writes his own lines and determines what he will become.

You might wish to change the setting or the other characters, but the setting was formed in days gone by and the other characters write their own lines.  You are the author of your own story, and that is the way it should be.

You can be a part of other stories.  You can't be the main character in someone else's story, but you can change their story.  You might not realize your power or impact on others.  They can't change what you do.  They can only choose how to react to what you do.

Like it or not - realize it or not - you are writing your own story now.  Each and every decision is your choice - no matter what situation you face.

Each and every decision can send the story in a different direction.  Today is the day.  Today is where it all happens.

Now is the time to consider how you want your story to end.


A Barna Research poll found out what Americans think makes America great.  Here are some of the results.


The young and old have different opinions on this, as do liberals and conservatives.  You can find all of that at

Interviews with U.S. adults included 1015 web-based surveys conducted among a representative sample of adults over the age of 18 in each of the 50 United States. The survey was conducted between June 5-9 of 2017...
Barna research is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization under the umbrella of the Issachar Companies. Located in Ventura, California.


Predicted Path of Tropical Depression Four.

Tropical Depression Four seems to be headed in our general direction. According to AccuWeather, during the first part of next week,the system is likely to travel near or just northeast of the Bahamas.

The surfing web sites are not predicting any increase in the Treasure Coast surf for the next couple of weeks.

Keep watching.

Just a few days left to respond to the blog poll.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

7/5/17 Report - Forty Years Ago: 1715 Fleet Treasure. Serious Storm Developing in Atlantic.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Forty years ago (Feb. 1977) Bowers and Ruddy Galleries auctioned 720 lots of 1715 Fleet treasure, mostly cobs, many gold and silver, but also some bars and artifacts from the 1715 Fleet. I decided to take a look back today.

It was in the 1950s that a hurricane ripped the Treasure Coast beaches and Kip Wagner was at the right place at the right time and started finding silver reales from the 1715 Fleet on the Treasure Coast beaches.  You know the story.  Kip and seven others formed the Real Eight Company.  Recoveries were sporadic and slow at times.  On one occasion in the 1960s, their blower exposed gold dubloons, and in 1974 another amazing day resulted in more than a thousand dubloons being recovered.

13 Pound Encrusted Clump of Pieces of Eight.
Source: 1977 Bowers Ruddy Auction Catalog.

Back in 1977 the clump of coins sold for $2000.

9.5 Ounce Gold Splash
Source: 1977 Bowers Ruddy Auction Catalog

The above gold splash sold for $2200.

37.25 Inch Gold Chain.
Source: 1977 Bowers Ruddy Auction Catalog

The gold chain sold for $2200 as well.

The auction house offered the following price guide for escudos in the auction catalog. 

Eights - $800 to $1300
Fours - $600 to $1000
Twos - $200 to $500

From a quick look at the page of realized prices, it looks like the realized prices were not far off the suggested prices.

To give some perspective, the price of gold in 1977 ran around $161.

According to one inflation calculator, it would take about $403 today to buy what $100 would buy in 1977.  That would mean the dollar was worth about four times more back then.

I was lucky to pick up the Bowers Ruddy auction catalog with realized prices in a local thrift store for $1 a number of years ago.


This disturbance has a 70% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

It is still far out there, so it is difficult to tell where it might go.  Earlier predictions I saw had it going east of us.

According to the surf predictions, we'll just get a small bump in the surf around next Wednesday.


I appreciated all responses to the blog poll.

Happy hunting,