Monday, July 31, 2017

7/31/17 Report - Tropical Storm Emily Formed and Will Be Crossing Florida Today.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Finally we got a little break in the weather.  Yesterday I reported on a disturbance in the Gulf and this morning I awoke to some wind and rain that looked very much like a tropical storm, and indeed yesterday's disturbance had become Tropical Storm Emily.

At 8 AM Monday Emily was over the West Coast of Florida, as you can see above.

The projected path is shown below.


Emily will cross over Central Florida and Cape Canaveral and then out into the Atlantic.  This storm won't cause much beach erosion, but I can use it to illustrate an important point.

Since Emily is to the north of the Treasure Coast today, on the Treasure Coast Monday the wind will be mostly from the south.

The area north of Cape Canaveral will get more erosion out of Emily than the Treasure Coast.  We're on the wrong side of it.  St. Augustine, for example is having a three to four foot surf and northeast winds today.

The MagicSeaWeed chart below shows the surf for Fort Pierce peaking on Tuesday at two to three feet - still not much.


The point is that timing is important, and you can get an idea of the best time and place to detect if you know the path of an organized storm.

It was just a few hours ago that I posted yesterday's post, but I wanted to post about Emily early today.  If you didn't check last night you didn't see yesterday's post.

I might add more to this post later today.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 30, 2017

7/30/17 Report - $130 Million In Sunken Nazi Gold. Pirates And The 1715 Fleet. Tropical Activity In The Gulf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: See FoxNews link below.

SS Minden, a German cargo ship scuttled in waters near Iceland during the early days of World War II, may contain a huge trove of Nazi gold.

The merchant vessel, which is 120 nautical miles south of Iceland, is in the international spotlight following the reported discovery of a chest containing up to four tons of Nazi gold on the wreck. The horde is valued at 100 million British pounds (approximately $130 million), according to news reports.

U.K. salvage company Advanced Marine Services (AMS) has reportedly requested permission from Icelandic authorities to cut a hole in the ship’s hull and remove the chest.

Here is the link.


I found a very good web site about pirates.  I'll give you a few short excerpts that relate to our area just to give you some idea of the kind of information you'll find on that site.

The pirate population of New Providence was swollen in 1715 by a shipwreck off the Florida coast. This wasn’t just an everyday shipwreck. The dozen or so ships that were driven aground by a hurricane made up the Spanish plate fleet. In the hold of just one of the flag ships were three million silver pieces-of-eight, gold bars and coins, pearls and jewellery. The second ship of the fleet was almost as heavily loaded, with another three million pieces-of-eight, and there were nine more ships with smaller quantities of treasure....

Pirates close in

Soon, of course, English officials sat up and paid attention. The first was the governor of Virginia, who wrote to his bosses in London that
The Spanish plate fleet, richly laden, consisting of eleven ships, are, except one, lately cast away in the Gulf of Florida to the southward of St. Augustine …I think it my duty to inform his Majesty of this accident which may be improved to the advantage of his Majesty's subjects by encouraging them to attempt the recovery of some of that immense wealth.
Archibald Hamilton, the governor of Jamaica, also took an interest in the wreck. In fact, he took a very close interest indeed. Towards the end of November, not long after divers had stopped work for the winter, he sent two ships to sea. According to Hamilton, the Eagle and the Bathsheba were on a pirate-hunting mission that would last six months. Since Jamaica was itself a den of pirates, and had grown rich on the buccaneering trade, this perhaps seems rather surprising. So too was Hamilton’s choice of captain: he picked one Henry Jennings to command the Bathsheeba.

Jennings was no stranger to piracy – or at least, to its more upright brother, privateering. Jennings had successfully attacked Spanish ships in the war that had recently ended. Possibly Hamilton believed that Jennings’ experience as a privateer would make him a very effective pirate hunter, just as poachers make the best gamekeepers. But it’s much more likely that the governor and the captain had something altogether different in mind. Certainly Jennings wasted no time. The Eagle, the Bathsheba and three sloops sailed straight to the salvage site with 300 men.
Mooring their ships off-shore, the pirates waited until nightfall, cleaning their pistols, and sharpening their cutlasses ready for the attack. Then, armed to the teeth, they rowed to the sandbank. The raiders pulled their boats up the beach, well beyond the reach of the pounding surf that hid the sound of their approach. Then they lay low until dawn. The following morning, the company regrouped and drew their weapons before marching across the sand to the Spanish camp. Finding himself surrounded and outnumbered five-to-one, the Spanish commanding officer stared down the barrel of Henry Jennings flintlock pistol, then quizzically asked “Is it war?”.
“No” said Jennings “We have come to fish for the wrecks.”
“There is nothing of yours here…” replied the officer “…the vessels belong to his Catholic Majesty the King of Spain, and I and my people are looking for the treasure.” ...

That is actually a fairly long excerpt, but a very small portion of what you'll find on the site.

Here is the link.


On the Treasure Coast we still have a small surf.

There are now two disturbances: one in the Atlantic and one in the Gulf.

The one in the Atlantic is not expected to strengthen real soon.  The other, however, is close to the Florida Panhandle and has a twenty percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 29, 2017

7/29/17 Report - Gold Coin and Ivory Icon Found. Changing Products and Markets With Discovery of the New World. Pirates.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Ancient Gold Coin Discovered
Source: See sofiaglobe link below.

...News of the find of the ivory icon comes a few days after the finding of a rare gold coin from the time of the Byzantine emperor Phocas, which the dig team believes proves that the Rusokastro – also known as the “Red Fortress” was working in the sixth century CE.

Commenting on the finding of the ivory icon, Milen Nikolov, head of the Regional History Museum in Bourgas, said that ivory was extremely valuable, “much more valuable than gold in the Middle Ages”...

Ivory Icon.
Source: See link below.
Here is the link for the rest of that article.

One thing thing that I took from the article is that when we look at an old find we have an idea of its value but our the way we look at the item and the way we value the item might be very different from the way the item was valued back in the day by the people that made, used or lost the item.

As the above excerpt points out, ivory was much more valued than gold back in the Middle Ages.

Things change.  I've observed changes in market values of certain items in just the past twenty years due to the internet.  The discovery of the new world resulted in huge changes too.

Beginning in the 1600s, sugar and tobacco offered people on both sides of the Atlantic new flavor sensations. Exotic and expensive, they made some planters in the Americas, merchants in England, and ship owners who connected them immensely rich. The price was the forced labor of millions of African people. The work of field hands on plantations in the Americas changed the lives of consumers elsewhere...

That excerpt comes from a very nice history site that you might want to look at.  It has some good information and some nice illustrations.

Here is the link.

If you look around at that web site you will find that it has a section on pirates, which you might also want to see.  Below is one of the illustrations from that section.

A Few Shipwreck Artifacts.
Source: See piratechart link below
Here is some of the text that goes with this illustration.

  • Nails

    Nails were a multipurpose fastener aboard ships. In addition, a handful thrown into the muzzle of cannon served as an effective antipersonnel weapon or sail shredder during a battle.
  • Lead patch

    Lead patches of various sizes and thicknesses are common finds on the wrecks of wooden ships. They were used for patching holes in the decks and hulls.
  • Cask and barrel hoops (casting)

    On sailing ships, barrels were the most common containers for food, cargo, and other storage. These fragments represent a nest of barrel hoops. On many ships, the barrel hoops and staves were stacked and stored belowdecks; the barrels were only assembled as needed.
  • Lead sounding weight

    Blackbeard eluded the British by using his knowledge of local waters to sail into shallow areas where bigger warships could not safely follow. He lowered this sounding lead over the side to learn the water depth under his vessel. The depression in the bottom was filled with tallow or wax to sample the bottom. Knowledge of the bottom conditions was needed for anchoring.
Like I said, you might want to check that web site out.


The tropical disturbance the I mentioned a day or two ago has disappeared and there is nothing else brewing in the Atlantic or Gulf.

We still have a one foot surf.  The tides are more moderate now too.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 28, 2017

7/28/17 Report - One-Ton Coin-Cache Found by Couple Detectorists. Slow and Systematic Does It. Microchiping.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Partially Cleaned Clump of 69,000 Coins.
Source: See link below.

What would a one-ton clump of coins sound like?  I don't know.  It depends upon how deep it was and maybe some other things, but whatever it sounded like, I bet it didn't sound like what most detectorists would dig.  It wouldn't show up correctly identified on any ID meter.  To find unusual things, you can't do what a lot of people do and pass up questionable signals.

What is the biggest cache every found?  I don't know that either, but this cache of coins weighed a ton and held 69,000 coins.  The cache, which was clumped together with earth, was painstakingly disassembled over a period of three years.  There were also some gold torques that seasoned the pot.

In 2012, a pair of veteran metal detectorists on Jersey in the British Channel Islands discovered a gargantuan coin hoard in a field they had been searching off and on for three decades. The hoard was the largest ever to have been found in Britain and appeared to have the potential to transform interpretations of Jersey’s history. But first it had to be moved. Just getting it out of the ground was fraught with tension. “With earth still attached, it weighed over a ton,” says Neil Mahrer, a museum conservator with Jersey Heritage. “We had no idea how strong it was, in that it was only held together by the corrosion between the coins.”

Here is the link for more about that.

Did you notice that they had been searching the field on and off for three decades before hitting the hoard?


I was reminded of the time when I was doing contract work for the Navy Air Rework Facility in Pensacola and a fellow told me he knew an old hotel site near Milton that he would take me to when work was over.  He had detected the site and not found anything of interest.

I had a detector along.  I don't remember which one, but I arrived at the site, and it looked like a battlefield.  There were holes all over the place.  Not little holes.  They were obviously dug with a shovel and the dirt was piled beside the open holes.

I detected and started finding silver coins right away.  I found tax tokens, a sterling silver plate, a gold lapel pin and some other things.

I don't know why the other fellow wasn't finding anything good.  He just watched me when I was there.  I remember him saying, you stay in one place a long time.

I guess it was true.  I didn't wander around randomly.  I visually surveyed the area and picked the spots that I thought looked most promising.

I assume he was randomly wandering, moving fast and hitting the big loud targets, which would mostly be junk.


This next story was all over the TV news.  You probably saw it.  Microchips are being implanted between the thumb and forefinger to hold identification and financial information.

Cash will be obsolete someday.

Here is the link.


One Disturbance in the Atlantic.
This disturbance isn't expected to develop real soon.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

7/27/17 Report - Webcams and A Few Tips On Hunting Modern Items In Shallow Water.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Sebastian Area Beach
Webcam capture submitted by Darrel S.

Same Beach Another Time.
Webcam capture submitted by Darrel S.

Darrel sent the above two webcam images of the same beach - one taken after a rain and the other when it was nice and sunny.  Darrel suggested using technology such as webcams so you can see what is going on and know where to metal detect.  You might not like metal detecting in the heat when all the sun-bathers are out, but you can check to see where the crowds are when you aren't on the beach.

I haven't talked about shallow water hunting for modern items lately.  I'll do that a little today.

Generally speaking, beaches and areas that have more people will produce more finds, but that isn't always the case.  It is a more complicated than that.  There are a lot of factors.  For one thing, as I've said before, some groups don't wear or carry much of anything to lose.  There are cultural differences and socioeconomic differences.   There are also differences between condo beaches frequented by residents who tend to take items off before going out to the beach, and resort visitors, who are less likely, for various reasons, to remove their valuables before going in the water.  Those are just a few examples of differences between various groups of people.

Young active people are also much more likely to lose valuables in the water than older cautious people.

In addition to people differences, beach conditions are important too.  When people are on a sand bar, items can be covered quickly.  When that is happening you'll have to find an item before it disappears.   How quickly it disappears will depend upon how the water is moving the sand.  It can take months or years for an item to be exposed again.

The dip in front of the sand bar can be good or not so good.  The dip will fill up at times and get cleaned out at times.  A couple feet of lose material can quickly accumulate in the dip covering up items like rings.

The following illustration shows a crude illustration of one beach area in front of a Fort Lauderdale resort that I used to hunt a lot. There was usually small dip and a sand bar in front of the resort.  On the other side of the sand bar was gradually deepening water.

The beach didn't change much over the years.  People always congregated on the sand bar in front of the cabanas and beach chairs.  Of course they crossed the dip to get to the sand bar and wondered off the sand bar at times, but most of the time the vast majority congregated on a small area on the sand bar.

Where do you think the majority of finds were made?

If you guessed on the sand bar, that is a good guess - but wrong.  And it wasn't in the dip, or on the deep side of the sand bar.

There was almost always a hot spot just to south.  I outlined the hot spot below (big grey circle). I could almost always find coins and jewelry in the hot spot even though I rarely saw people in that area.

Once in a while I would find a newly lost item on the sand bar where most of the people congregated, and occasionally something would show up in the dip, but usually I could find the good hot spot to the south of that.  The items in the hot spot were often discolored.  They were not recent losses, but had accumulated over time in that one area. That area was a pretty consistent producer.

My main point is that the best spot is not always were the most people go, although you will find items that were just lost there if you are quick enough.  Remember, sand bars move.  Sand is pealed away and the sand bar moves in one direction or another.  And dips fill and unfill.  If you happen to catch a dip that has recently formed and has been cleaned out deeper than usual, that can be a real hot spot too.  It would take me a really long time to try to describe how all of that occurs, so I won't try to do it now.

It pays to really get to know your beaches.  It takes time.  You have to explore a little, but once you know a beach, you can take advantage of that knowledge for months or years.

Don't forget that the sand is almost always moving to some extent, as do other items.  I've talked about trigger points and things like that in the past.

The history of a beach is important too.  Beaches go through phases.  They can be popular for a while, then became old and outdated and then be revived again.  Beaches that are not busy and active now, may have been in the past.  Coins and modern jewelry items can still be found years or decades after they were lost.  All it takes is for the sand to move.  I often hunted beaches that were not currently the most busy and popular beaches.


As you can see, we now have one disturbance to watch.

The surf remains calm and the tides pretty big.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

7/25/17 Report - Salvage Boats, Sandy Beaches and Bathers. Inexpensive Detectors. Fine Watches.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Salvage Boat Working Directly in Front Of John Brooks Access Today.
I saw at least three salvage boats working around the Nieves site this afternoon.  One (above) was in front of the beach access and two to the north up towards the condominiums.

Two More Salvage Boats North of John Brooks Beach Today.
A Dive Boat This Afternoon Off Another Sandy Beach
It looked to me like some people were getting an early look for the mini-lobster season.

Another Small Surf and Sandy Beach.

People Enjoying Sun and Surf This Afternoon At Jensen Beach.

Jensen Beach To The North.
The people that were wading were mostly gathered at a couple locations.  They weren't very active though.

There aren't any storms brewing in the Atlantic or Gulf.  The water is calm and the tides are very nice, with some big low tides.

We really are having sandy summer conditions, and so far there has been almost nothing to stir things up.


Bounty Hunter Detectors For Sale At A Local Store.

If you are thinking of buying your first metal detector, don't go into a store and buy one without talking to someone who knows something about metal detecting or getting a demonstration.  You are setting yourself up for disappointment.

The thing that bothered me most is on the box, the Bounty Hunter Junior (top) is referred to as "Professional Quality."  That couldn't be farther from the truth.

The Junior was priced at about $60 and the Tracker was listed at about $120.

I don't know how well the Junior works.  I have my suspicions.  You can't expect a lot at that price.

The Tracker is at best a beginner's detector, with a slightly lower price, but with performance that is commonly rated below some other very slightly more expensive metal detectors.  I'm sure you can find a few things with it.

If Bounty Hunter wants me to retract anything I said here, they can send me one and I'll give it a thorough and fair testing and compare it to other similarly priced detectors.


Watches were very common finds for me.  Some were drowned but many continued to work.  It is always good to be informed about the value of the things you might find.  It is too easy to overlook something when you don't know how much it might be worth. You might want to browse through the new Sothebys auction catalog of fine watches.

There are some names you'll recognize, such as Rolex and Patek Philippe, but there are also some other fine vintage and antique time pieces that you might not know, such as Bell and Ross or Maurice Lacroix.

Here is the link.


Happy hunting,

Monday, July 24, 2017

7/24/17 Report - Type 5 1714 Mexico Escudo: More Details. Assay and Sampling of Precious Metals Reference. Get Smart.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

1714 Mexico Escudo.
Photo submitted by Captain Jonah Martinez.
If you've been following my posts, I first thought the the 2 escudo recently found by Grant of the Capitana was a 1714.  Then I noticed the two fleur de lis in the panel at the 4 or 5 o'clock position. The design shown in the Bowers and Ruddy catalog for 1715 coins showed two fleur de lis in that panel at the 4 or 5 o'clock position, but only one of the varieties for the 1714 Mexico escudos in the Bowers and Ruddy catalog showed two in the same location, I concluded that Grant's escudo might be a 1715 escudo.  There is also, however a 1714 variety that has two fleur de lis at that location, (See illustration below.) like the escudo shown above.

Type 5 1714 Mexico Escudo
Source: 1977 Bowers and Ruddy Auction Catalog

As you can see in the illustration, there are only two fleur de lis in the panel I've been discussing for the 1714 Mexico escudo (red arrow).  That differs from the variety I showed yesterday for the 1714, which had three at that part of the shield.

Captain Jonah sent me the photo of a clearly dated 1714 Mexico escudo (top of post) that shows two fleur de lis in the same field.  That escudo is similar but not exactly like the type five shown in the illustration.  There is no "o" above the "M" mint mark (blue arrow) on the type 5 illustration, but there is an "o" above the "M" on Jonah's coin..

 I can't see any other features that would in my mind definitely distinguish between the two dates.  Maybe someone else can.

Like I said many times before, I'm not an expert in numismatics, just an interested student.  I learned a little more by muddling around with this.  Hope you did too.

Thanks to Captain Jonah for sending such a great photo for study.


While doing some research on one of my longer standing mystery items, a 10 gram silver ingot or whatever, I found a great reference book.  The book is The Sampling and Assay of the Precious Metals, by Ernest Smith, published 1913.  Click on the title if you want to take a look at the free ebook.

What I've read in that book makes me think that the 10 gram silver ingot or button probably has something to do with the assay process.

Below is a brief excerpt from the book just to give you the idea.


Teresa T. sent in a link to a supplement that seems to be endorsed by famous people such as Stephen Hawking that is supposed to dramatically increase mental alertness and IQ.  I'm too old to get smart now, but here is the link.


I've been watching a fellow do some involved work and having a lot of trouble with it primarily due to poor planning and preparation.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

You might consider detecting early or later to avoid the hot mid-day sun and afternoon thunder storms.


We're still having a one to two foot surf on the Treasure Coast.  No change in sight.  The tides are big though.

There is no tropical activity of interest in the Atlantic or Gulf.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, July 23, 2017

7/23/17 Report - Capitana's Mexico Escudo Find: A Closer Look. Turning Failure Into Success.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

2-Escudo Found by Grant of the Capitana a Couple Weeks Ago.
I thought I'd take a closer look at the shield design on Grant's recent find today.  Unfortunately it does not show either the date of the mint mark or assayer initial.  It does show the denomination (II ) to the right of the shield.

When I first looked at it, I thought it would be a 1714 escudo.  After taking another look, I see at least one thing that makes me think I was wrong and that it might actually be a 1715 escudo. There are a number of signs that might help you determine the date.

The following illustration shows the design elements for a 1713 escudo.

Design Elements For A 1713 Mexico 8-Escudo
Source: 1977 Bowers and Ruddy auction catalog.

Notice that the middle panel does not cover the lower castle that appears in the upper right quadrant.

Below is the shield for a 1714 Mexico escudo.

Design Elements For A 1714 Mexico 8-Escudo
Source: 1977 Bowers and Ruddy auction catalog.
The middle panel now covers the lower castle entirely.  That suggests that the escudo is later than 1713.

There are a number of variations on the 1714 design, but they are mostly smaller things such as ornamentation around the denomination indicator.  Sometimes GRAT appears where other times the date is displayed.  That is another variation.

Below are the design elements for a 1715 escudo.  Take a close look at the shield.

Design Elements For A 1715 Mexico 8-Escudo
Source: 1977 Bowers and Ruddy auction catalog.
The red arrow points to what I missed before and why I now believe that Grant's find is a 1715 escudo rather than a 1714.  There are 2 rather than 3 fleur de lis there.  That is what I missed before and what makes me think it is 1715 instead of 1714.

 I can't see some of the other elements on the real escudo.  That is typical, but my opinion now is that it is a 1715 escudo.

I'm no expert on these things and there might be other things I'm missing, but you might benefit from looking at these designs and realizing that there are a lot of clues to the identity of a cob even when it does not display the date or other information.  It might take an expert to identify them all, but it is always interesting to take a good close look at your finds.

If I'm still wrong about the date, I hope you'll let me know.


Almost anyone can deal fairly well with success.  You celebrate, congratulate yourself and feel good about yourself and whatever is going on.  Maybe you don't learn as much from your success as you could.   Maybe you give yourself a little too much credit and don't acknowledge all the factors that led to success.

Despite the pitfalls of success, it is usually even more difficult to deal with failure - especially a lot of failure.   How you react to failure can be extremely important.  It is during the difficult times that you can learn a lot about the task and about yourself. As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”   (I don't know if he really said that.  They say he did, and it is a good thought anyhow.)

When you're not having success, strive to learn something from it.  Make use of the time and the experience.

I recently watched someone having trouble with a job.  He was having trouble doing something he had done many times before.  He became upset, and ranted and cussed.  The more emotional he got, the more mistakes he made.  He got stuck in a self-defeating spiral.  The more trouble he had, the more upset he got, and the more mistakes he made.

How you react when things aren't going well is very important - maybe more important than how you react to success.  Don't get to emotional.  Look at the situation analytically and see what you can learn or change.

Thomas Edison also said, “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”   There were a couple of 49ers that had no success.    They finally gave up and were headed home when one of the discouraged miners shot himself.  On that spot a large nugget was discovered by his partner who was digging a hole for the burial. He retired very wealthy.  ( I wish I could remember the names of those fellows.  Maybe one of you can tell me their names.)

If you are not an eternal optimist, you have one strike against you.  You'll have to work harder to keep yourself encouraged and moving ahead.  If you are afraid of work, you have another big strike against you.  Edison also said, “We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work."  

There are other factors, but if you want it bad enough to work hard and stick to it, you have a very good chance of success.  Don't give up  when things aren't going well, but make it a time to learn and grow.


Regarding the ring inscription that I asked about yesterday, I received a number of replies, first from Bill A., saying that it referred to a date.  All agreed that Dic 22/87 probably was Spanish for Dec. 22, 1987. Thanks to all for the help.  


I enjoyed watching the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford yesterday.


No big changes in beach conditions to report.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, July 22, 2017

7/22/17 Report - Dug Gold Band Inscriptions. 1714 Mexico Two-Escudos Over the Years. Fake Silver Ingots and Online Transactions.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Inscriptions in Dug Beach Gold Band

This small gold band was a beach find.  It fits almost exactly on the outside rim of a U. S. dime.

There is an inscription on the inside that I was wondering about.  You can see it in the photo.  It seems to read DIC  22/  87.

The DIC could be a person's initials, I guess.

I don't know about the 22/.  It is not 22 karat.

And the 87 could possibly be a year.

What do you think?


You'll find a great research tool on the SedwickCoins web site.  Go to the auction archives.  You can browse through the old auction catalogs and also find the realized prices.  If you want to inspect the pictures in the catalog in fine detail, download the particular catalog you want to look at.  You can then see each of the lots in amazing detail.

There is a lot to study in all of those auction catalogs.

Just yesterday I noticed a 1714 Mexico 2-escudo in the most recently completed auction catalog that was in many ways similar to the one found by Grant of the Capitana.  It was the only one of that mint, year and denomination.  It sold for $2000.

Just for rough comparison, I went back to the 1977 Bowers and Ruddy auction catalog that I mentioned not long ago.  It is an old hardcopy catalog and the photos are not nearly as nice or detailed as those you will find in the digital Sedwick catalogs.  The binding is also starting to fall apart.

Anyhow, the old Bowers and Ruddy auction had a lot of listings, including 69 1714 Mexico 2-escudos.  The highest price for those lots was $500 and the low price was $175.  In other words, the most desirable examples brought about three times.

As I've mentioned before, 1977 dollars were worth about four times what 2017 dollars are worth, so that seems to be fairly close when these escudo prices are considered.


Here is something I stumbled on while researching a found silver ingot.  It was published on  It was written in 2010, so I don't know if it is still accurate, but it raises some interesting issues anyhow.

Well, the way PayPal works, if your item is fake, (and for example, selling an ingot of .925 as .999 is regarded as fakery), then PayPal usually tell you to destroy it. Very occasionally, they may ask you to return it to them. But usually not. However, if they asked you to return it to the seller, they would be opening themselves up to aiding and abetting an offence and perpetuating a fraud, so you'll NEVER be asked to return a fake item to a seller. 

So, after you have received your refund for the fake .999 ingot, you MUST destroy what might be a .925 ingot and confirm to PayPal that you have done so! 

And what do you get for your £30 assay fee? Well, quite simply, the satisfaction of fighting fakers and counterfeiters by destroying a bar of silver. 

And of course, with an ingot in your hands that nevertheless contains 92.5% of silver, that's exactly what you're going to do - ISN'T IT; you're going to destroy that bar, rather than refine it or sell it on with the certificate?

If nothing else this should remind you to remain alert to the possibility of items being sold on ebay and similar sites being fakes.  Be very careful when buying on those kinds of sites.

I do know of one reale that was sold on ebay that was a fake and when the seller was informed, he simply refunded the payment and no return was necessary.  You might have more trouble with other sellers.

I've sold some items on eBay - mostly books and bottles - and only had trouble with one buyer, and that one was from Italy.  I easily sold the item again, so it was not a huge problem for me.  Still I would be especially careful of foreign transactions and most especially China.


There are no storms brewing in the Atlantic or Gulf.  No change in beach conditions is expected real soon.

The year is speeding by.

Happy hunting,

Friday, July 21, 2017

7/21/17 Report - Hurricane Season and Seasonal Beach Changes. Intuition and Data.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach detecting conditions haven't been much good for a long time.  I can't even remember the last itime I issued a beach detecting conditions rating of three of more.  It has been a while.   I'm pretty sure that it has been more than a year, and maybe two or more since I issued a "4" rating.  This summer has been VERY slow if you are talking about fining old shipwreck items on the beach.  We've had a very small surf for months now.

We all know about Nor'easters.  I've talked about how they hit the beach and provide access to old items.  Lately we've had mostly southeast winds that bring hot weather and a small beach-building surf.  Things will change - sometime.

We are now well into hurricane season and everybody is waiting for a beach ripping storm.  Some seem to think that the early formation of storms like Don might indicate an active hurricane season.   I just read one such article.

"We’ve now had two tropical storms form in the tropical Atlantic before Aug. 1, Bret and Don," said meteorologist Bob Henson of Weather Underground. "This early season low-latitude activity is likely a harbinger of a more active than usual Atlantic hurricane season..."

Here is the link for more about that.

You might find this older article helpful.  It gives some general basics you might want to review.  Here are a couple paragraphs from that article.

Now, let your imagination return you to that same beach in winter. Your beloved berm is gone, pulled out to sea by regular storms. If it is a particularly vicious winter, the waves might have chipped the dune face into a scarp. This is seasonal erosion, and not usually a big deal, because summer comes along, the storms abate, and wind patterns restore the berm. And so it's not so much erosion as it is a seasonal fluctuation, in which hurricanes play their own role. "Hurricane passage with high waves and surges will cause dune erosion, but a lot is temporary," says Rogers.

Not always. Big storms like Matthew can pull sand into deep water. So deep, that the normal waves and tides that come after the hurricane won't be strong enough to drag the stuff back up onto the beach. But, because shore erosion is a long game, scientists won't know where (or whether) Matthew hastened long term erosion. More obvious are the effects on low shorelines, where Matthew could push sand inland, past the beach, into coastal shrubbery, marshlands, or communities...

Here is the link if you want to read more of that one.

The best way to increase your number and quality of finds is to increase the amount of time you spend hunting.  There are other ways.  Skill is important factor, but you still have to be out.  When you are out there a lot, you have a better chance of finding the better spots and running into one of those spots when it is producing, even when they are few and far between.

A lot of people blame their detector when they aren't finding much.  That can be a problem, but it usually isn't the problem - assuming that it is working fairly well and you know how to use it to some extent.

There are times when some beaches simply aren't producing.  When that happens you might be better off trying something else.  Don't get stuck in habits that limit you.  You might need to travel a little farther or try a new different type of hunting.  It is too easy to get in the habit of hunting the same spots all the time.  It is best to have a good variety of spots that you know very well.  And continue to explore new spots.

Some spots will produce on and off over a number of years and then quit.  I keep those cataloged in my mind and wait for them to start producing again.  Some of those spots are seasonal, but some haven't produced for a few years.

Some detectorists switch from hunting old shipwreck items to hunting modern items when conditions are poor.  Those two types of hunting can be very different.  You can find a lot of modern items in the dry sand, but when you hunt the dry sand you are mostly looking for items that have been recently dropped, so you are looking for areas where a lot of people have recently congregated and been involved in the types of activities that result in losing items.  When it comes to hunting in the water for new items, that is more similar to hunting old shipwreck items.  It is more about how the sand is moving.


I recently did a poll on intuition that showed that most treasure hunters rely on intuition to some extent.  Intuition is viewed by some as the natural result of observation and experience culminating in good judgment, for others it is viewed as something coming from a more magical or mystical source - something more like ESP.

If you are one of the few that feels that intuition is not reasonable or incompatible with a scientific approach, here are a few quotes form Albert Einstein.

The only really valuable thing is intuition.
I believe in intuition and inspiration; at times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery.  There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.

There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.

When you look out over a beach, there is order.  The wind, waves and gravity all work in harmony, distributing things according to their ways.  From experience you might grasp the prevailing order at first glance.

One more quote on intuition I want to add.  This one from John Naisbitt, author of books on the future and megatrends.

Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data.

Some might think that data replaces or pushes aside the need for intuition, but in this view, vast amounts of data makes intuition all the more valuable.


There are no storms brewing in the Atlantic or Gulf right now.

The surf is still small but the tides are big.  We are having some nice high and low tides.

Happy hunting,

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, bronze 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,