Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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 treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

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.