Saturday, March 25, 2017

3/25/17 Report - What's It All About? Finds That Take You Back To Another Place and Time. American Carbonator and American Bottler. Subsiding Surf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Sometimes in my dreams, I'm pretty smart.  Last night I dreamed I was in a big room, maybe like an airport terminal, and I saw a couple players from the 1970s Steelers football teams sitting on a long airport terminal-like bench.  They were older in the dream, like they are now in real life.  One I recognized, and the other one had a beard, and, I didn't know who it was, but maybe it was Jack Ham.

Just like in real life, it was fun to see them , and they said something like, why do people make such a big deal over us. And in more words and detail than I'm giving now, I explained to them that seeing them takes people back to another time and place. Seeing them takes people back to a time when families gathered around the TV after dinner to watch the game.  The kids were small and sat on the floor.  Dad, who is no longer with us, sat in his easy chair.  We were all together, just like the rest of the local community, watching, cheering, sharing.

We shared it, and that is what made it so special.  We talked about it.  We said things like, "Remember when Lynn Swann made that leaping catch that beat the Cowboys in 1975."  We watched the game, but what was going on was bigger than the game.  It was about that time and place in our lives.

The game was replayed and replayed and talked about and talked about, and is still talked about today.  I saw it on TV replayed just two days ago.  That keeps it fresh.  The memory of the game is refreshed each time I see it or hear about it and it serves as a strong marker in my memory that takes me back to another time and place in my life.

(By the way, I did see Lynn Swann in the Orlando airport one time, which I think is one small thing that contributed to how the dream came together.)

The game and the players were center stage, but the game wasn't the important thing. The game was something I shared with those who were there with me at that time and place in life.

OK, so what does that have to do with metal detecting?

On 3/22 I did a post on public services provided by detectorists.  I easily and quickly ran through quite a few examples.  They were all from a relatively short time span, maybe thirty years ago.  I don't exactly know the date or even the year, but I remember the events.  Each one involved me and at least one other person.  They weren't family events.  My wife was there for some of them, and I told her about others shortly after they happened.  But when I did the post, I shared those events with a few hundred more people.

I don't remember the found object in any detail for even one case.  I don't remember what the keys, eye glasses or even the expensive engagement ring looked like.  I do remember the object and why it was important to somebody.  And I remember the interaction that took place.  I remember when they asked me to look for it and when I gave it back to them.  And I remember the feeling.  I remember what each person did and the emotions when each person got their lost item back, and how I felt after that.  I only remember the objects for their function and what they meant to somebody.

We talk about finds.  We marvel over finds.  We think about finds.  But in the end, it isn't all about the objects.  It is about experiences, interactions, and feelings.  Long after the objects have tarnished or been sold or put away, the sum total of the experiences will remain in who you are.  And when you take out some old find or just think back about it, you'll be transported back for at least a few seconds to another place and time in your life.


In the process of conducting research on the Stuart Bottling Works I located a great resource that you might find interesting, especially if you are interested in old bottles or sodas.  It is a Google Books copy of the American Carbonator and American Bottler.  Here is the title as it appeared in the 1905 publication.

If you browse through that journal you'll find tons of interest.  The ads are great.

Below is one showing a Hutch bottle stopper.

And here are some items used to clean bottles.  Bottles back then were reused.  

If you are old enough, maybe you remember looking for bottles which you could return to the store and receive a couple of pennies. I remember doing that.  

Those bottles had to be cleaned well before being reused.

Click here if you want to browse that journal.


The Treasure Coast surf predictions for today are now 4 - 6 feet.  That is a touch smaller than predicted earlier.

Yesterday  the wind shifted once to a more southernly direction, but it didn't last long. Most of the day it was pretty much an east wind.  This morning it is a little more from the south again.

I'm not expecting much at this point, but I'll try to check around a bit later.  I think that there is one or two spots that might open a little.

Happy hunting,

Friday, March 24, 2017

3/24/17 Report - Treasure Coast Beach Metal Detecting Conditions Update

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Wabasso Beach This Morning.
Not cuts here.

Looking North From Seagrape Trail Access This Morning

No cuts here either.

Looking South From Turtle Trail Access

No cuts here either.  The bags were deeply buried and the dip that was down by the second flag pole a few days ago was now gone.

As you can see, there was seaweed at all of these beaches.

Rough Surf Breaking In Front of John Brooks Beach This Morning.

One to Two Foot Cut at  John Brooks Beach This Morning.

The slope was fairly steep and also mushy.

The beach here has been cutting every time a front comes through and then filling again as soon as the wind shifts.  Any opportunities have been short-lived.

John Brooks Beach This Morning.

You can see from the above photo that the high tide came up over the cut and washed back on the beach a little ways.

Conditions might have been a touch better before that happened.

Although John Brooks beach was cut, detecting conditions weren't very good.  I'm keeping my beach conditions rating as a 1 (poor).

At this point, I'm not expecting much.  The waves are hitting straight on.

Overall the bigger surf didn't do much for us because of the direction of the wind.  Back when I saw this coming in the predictions, I said that the best chance might actually be during the smaller surf.  It appears that my guess wasn't far off.

You can probably find some better hunting at places where there are obstacles such as rocks or sea walls.

You'll have to hunt them out.

That's all for now.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, March 23, 2017

3/23/17 Report - Mystery Pillar Dollar Recently Found on Florida Beach. Bigger Surf Today.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Find by Daniel M.
Daniel M. found this coin.  He said that if it is real it is the first time he found anything that old on a SW Florida beach.

The date is obvious enough, but what is that mark between the two threes?

Dan tested it and found it to be silver.  He is still unsure if it is genuine.

Other Side of Same Coin.

The legend reads "REX PHILIP V D G HISPAN ET IND."

The mint mark is F for Feipe Rivas Angulo, assayer from 1730 to 1733.

It is from the Mexico mint.  You can see the mint mark (o over M) on either side of the date in the top photo.

Here is more information that Dan sent.

Thank you for the info on the items to look for. I put it on a scale and its weight is 25.4 grams and I silver tested it and it is silver as for purity I can say. Unfortunately I found what looks like a seam line in some areas of the edge. It’s not a raised seam like you see on plastic. This looks like two pieces that have been pressed together and didn’t fuse cleanly on the edge. I have included a link from the Heritage Auctions to what looks like a real one that has the same marking as the one I found. I also included pics of the edge of mine. My wife congratulated me as she told me it was a very high end souvenir. It was fun while it lasted. At least it’s a nice hunk of silver. Maybe some time I’ll get the purity tested.

Here is the picture of the edge that he sent me.

Edge of Above Pillar Dollar.

I also asked him about making the find, and he described it as follows.

Anyway I was working the dry sand area along the dune line between the public beach and a large upscale hotel. I was watching a bunch of kids digging these massive hole in the sand along the dune line. When I say massive I’m talking 4 to 5 feet deep and 5 to 6 feet in diameter at the bottom. There were three different holes and I noticed the change in sand texture and color. When they left I went and checked out the holes. The first one gave up nothing and after trying to get out of the first one I was hesitant to climb into the others. The possibilities of finding something worthy of needing climbing gear to get back out was too much to resist. So in I went. Then came a very faint hit. A couple scoops and the tone got better. 18 inches of digging and I was turning down the volume on the excal. Then came the happy sound of rattle rattle in the scoop. What I found was a very dark sand crusted item the size of a silver dollar. In the water the sand came off very easily and the black started to rub off also. Then the OMG stated. Anyway thank you again the info and your time.

I'm curious about the edge.  It isn't what I was expecting to see.  It isn't what I expected to see on a fake and not what I expected to see from the real thing.

The coin is heavily worn.  If it was a real Pillar Dollar, the edge should show a design around it.
The picture of the edge makes me think the coin is fake.

1733 would be just the second year they were making coins with the screw press technology in Mexico, so I wonder it the look of the edge might actually be due partly to a mint error.  I would think that would be highly unlikely, but perhaps possible.  What do you experts think?

I have a good bit of experience with cobs, but almost none with Pillar Dollars and would like the opinion of those of you who are more familiar with Pillar Dollars, maybe Ernie R. or another expert.

Thanks Dan.  Very interesting find, and very good photos!


I already received one theory on the coin from Larry.  Here it is.

Could be an old sand-cast counterfeit? That could account for the recessed seam, which can occur in sand casting, and the grainy texture and poor detail. It may have some value as a collectible counterfeit.

But if it's a counterfeit, it should have significantly less silver in it, which I think should have caused it to corrode more, if it were old. Unless it was buried deep enough early enough to have inhibited corrosion. 

Thanks much Larry.

And here is a good link Larry provided.

I considered the possibility of it being what I would call a reproduction, perhaps even made of salvaged silver by someone like the Fishers.  I don't know if that is a possibility or not.

Interesting mystery to be solved.  Congratulations and good luck.


Unfortunately I had other things I had to do and couldn't take a look at the beach today, so can't say how they are progressing.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3/22/17 Report - Public Service Provided By Detectorists Remains Largely Unknown And Unappreciated. Bigger Surf Coming.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

We don't do a good job of letting the world know how much of a service that detectorists provide. One of the ways that detectorists provide a public service is by finding and returning lost items.

I woke up last night and was thinking of some of the items that I returned over a brief period when I was doing a lot of hunting a few decades ago.  Here are a few of the examples that came to mind.

There was the young girl that lost her sister's high school ring in about four feet of water.  Her sister didn't know she had the ring and she was in for big trouble if she lost it.  I found it in a short period of time and returned it.

A tourist from another part of the country lost his eye glasses in a few feet of water in front of one of the hotels.   I found his glasses after a short hunt, and he offered to buy me a drink.  Being soaking wet and dressed only for the water, I declined his offer.

There was the high school ring of a young man that was lost in about three feet of water.  He promised twenty dollars to anyone who found it.   I just happened to be wondering through the area shortly after it was lost and saw the people hunting.  I found it and gave it to him, but he made no attempt to deliver on the reward.

There was the nice gem stone ring returned from about a foot of water near the Pompano Pier.  Not so much as a thank you was offered.

The same for a nice gold gem stone ring recovered from a submerged sand bar in front of a hotel.

I've mentioned this one in this blog before.  The fellow that ran the beach concessions in front of one of the major Miami hotels lost a key ring with about twenty keys on it before he opened for business early one morning.  He couldn't run his business without them.  He offered fifty dollars if I would find them.  I found them in the dry sand in a short amount of time and he was back in business.  That was the biggest reward anyone ever offered, and about the only one that I accepted.

That reminds me of the fireman from New York that lost his 20 year ring or something like that from the fire department in front of the same hotel.  I hunted that one for a long time, but never found it.  He gave me his address, and I hunted it a few times after he left town and wrote to tell him that I still didn't find it.

Another one I've mentioned before was on a remote beach outside of Pensacola back before cell phones.  I stopped at this remote beach and an elderly couple and their grandkids were just leaving the beach when they discovered they had lost their car keys. I found them.  There was no one else on that beach, and they could have been stranded a long time if I hadn't found their keys.

I don't tend to remember the ones I spent a lot of time trying to find but never found.  There were a number of those.

There was the gold chain and pendant that I found for the young man that did a handstand in the shallow water.  It was found relatively quickly.

Then there was the gold chain in a lake in Minneapolis that I couldn't find.

Probably the most expensive was a huge diamond engagement ring I found in the dry sand.  I was walking down he beach when a frantic woman stopped me and said she lost an engagement ring and asked me to find it. I found it after a short hunt I walked off into the sunset as they celebrated.

Other than the fifty dollars, the only other reward I recieved was when I found a nice emerald ring that a nice young lady lost in a couple of feet of water.  After presenting the ring to her, she ran up and got something and ran back down into the water and stuffed a twenty in my pocket and ran off again before I could give it back.

 The list goes on and on.  Those are just a few that came to mind last night.

If it wasn't for detectorists I dare say hundreds of thousands of cherished lost items would still be lost.  From the number that I personally remember returning from that one brief period of time that I was thinking about last night, I can only assume that the total number of items returned by detectorists must run at least into the hundreds of thousands and probably more if you think of the decades that this has been going on.

We should publicize returned items more.  Any park ranger or government official that is against metal detecting would quickly change his mind if his wife lost her engagement ring or family heirloom.  Then it might hit home.


Warren D. has sent in reports of nice returned finds that he has made.  I'd like to see more or that kind of thing from others.


There are other services that detectorists render as well.  Detectorists work with archaeologists and police, uncover bombs and dangerous items on the beach, return coins to circulation as well as precious metals and other items, and  remove trash.

I have no idea how much the return of coins to circulation saves the country, but I'll bet the amount is very large.


Warren D. alerted me to the upcoming Marx lecture.

Sir Robert Marx lecture

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (ET)

Gleason Performing Arts Center


The surf today tomorrow and Friday is supposed to be up to something like 5 - 7 feet.  Unfortunately the tides will be fairly flat.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

3/21/17 Report - Legendary Treasure Found In a River. Mystery Stuart Bottle Information Found. Still Up To Seven Foot Surf Predicted.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A Few of the Thousands of Items Found.
Source: See link below.

CHENGDU, March 20 (Xinhua) -- A centuries-old legend that a vast booty of treasure belonging to the leader of a Chinese peasants uprising was lying at the bottom of a river has now been proven true.

After more than 10,000 items of gold and silver were recovered from the bottom of Minjiang River in Sichuan Province, archeologists confirmed Monday the tale of Zhang Xianzhong and his sunken treasure, dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)...

Here is that link.


I finally got some information on the Stuart Bottling Works bottles that I've found.

In July 1913, James Elersly Weir, Jr., purchased a pitch pine wooden building owned by Joseph A. Lucas, a real estate developer, located on an isolated dirt road (Decker Street) south of Stuart; he had it converted into a bottling plant, Stuart Bottle Works. Soft drinks were bottled, sealed with large snap off caps and distributed in Stuart, Palm City, Jensen, Salerno, Hobe Sound, even to Fort Pierce and Jupiter. Weir only remained in Stuart a few years, joining family in West Palm Beach, in the plastering business and later, an auction house.

The bottling plant building was eventually owned by Ira L. Decker, who operated a concrete manufacturing business and was used primarily for storage. In the afternoon of Feb. 6, 1933, while Decker and local firemen were battling a brush fire nearby, the building caught fire. The wooden structure quickly went up in flames making it impossible for Ira to retrieve equipment, vehicles or machinery.

At least two bottles from the plant survive, clearly marked Stuart Bottling Works, one of which can be seen at the Stuart Heritage Museum.

The bottle is evidently older than I thought.  I thought it looked like a soda bottle.

Here is the link.

Thanks to Dean R. for the link.


Here are the MagicSeaWeed predictions for the Fort Pierce area.  Not too bad.  There is still a chance for something good to happen.

Unfortunately the tides are now pretty flat.  The wind has died down too.

Happy hunting,

Monday, March 20, 2017

3/20/7 Report - Treasure Coast Beaches Show Little Improvement So Far. Increased Surf Predicted.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Rio Mar Beach This Morning.

Looking South Towards Seagrape Trail Access.
As you might be able to see in the photo above, there were a few dips just north of the Seagrape Trail access around where the shard teeth sometimes accumulate.  It wasn't much.  There weren't many shells, and very little sign of any erosion at all this morning.

Looking North Around Bend North of Seagrape Trail This Morning.

South of Turtle Trail Looking Towards Second Flag Pole.

 I went out this morning to check some beaches.  As you can see not much was going on yet.  There was almost no erosion at Rio Mar.

At Seagrape Trail there was very little erosion.  There were a lot of coconuts laying along the high tide line.  The only smidgen of a cut was south at the second flag pole.  There was a dip starting at about the second flag pole and went south for a distance.  That was about it.

The waves were hitting straight on and weren't very big at all this morning.  There was no sign of the bags below Turtle Trail.  They seemed to be pretty deeply covered.

I saw a few detectorists out checking the beaches this morning, but none detecting.


I have a report of a 1733 Pillar Dollar being found on a SW Florida beach.  Pictures and more about that tomorrow.


I'm still looking for any information on Stuart Bottling Works.


The predictions are still for a 3 - 5 foot surf tomorrow and a 5 - 7 foot surf later in the week.

Hurricane season is just about two months away now.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, March 19, 2017

3/19/17 Report - Improvement in Beach Detecting Conditions Likley In the Coming Week. Stuart Bottling Works Bottle Found.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of the

Source: MagicSeaWeed. com

The big news today is the weather and predictions.  There was a west wind this morning on the Treasure Coast.  It turned north later in the day.

Midweek we're supposed to have something like a three to five foot surf  and later in the week, a five to eight foot surf.  If that actually happens and everything else such as the wind is right, there will be a chance of some finds both midweek and later.

It looks like the wind might be more favorable midweek.


Stuart Bottling Works Bottle Found Couple Days Ago.
Here is a bottle that appeared the other day.  It was partially uncovered by recent movement of sand.

I found two of these before but never have been able to find out anything about Stuart Bottling Works, when they existed or what the bottles were used for.  They are evidently not exactly rare along the Treasure Coast.

Embossing On Same Bottle.
It is embossed as shown above.  Sorry the photo isn't better.  It is embossed simply STUART BOTTLING WORKS.

I'd appreciate any information anyone might be able to give me on Stuart Bottling Works.

I also saw this.

That is what I saw in the water.  I picked it up and saw the following.

Lucky Little Green Ceramic Frog.


Two things I've learned about life dreams.  If you are lucky or unlucky enough to have one, first, they are not to be fulfilled easily.  If everything falls into place without any struggle, something must be wrong.

Secondly, they aren't meant for you alone.  They are just as much, or perhaps more, for others.  If they kill rather than develop over time to be seed or fertilizer for someone else's dream, it is a just a desire - not a real life dream.


Watch or possible beach conditions improvements this week.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, March 18, 2017

3/18/7 Report - Some Real Gems. Teenager Finds 7.44 Karat Diamond. Atocha Emeralds Auctioned.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

877 Karat Emerald Known As La Gloria To Be Auctioned April 25.
Source: CNN link below.

This seems to be the week for gems. Huge gems are in the news, including some from the Atocha.

On April 25, the public will have the opportunity to own some of the most magnificent and valuable emeralds in the world, when they go up for sale at Guernsey's auction house in New York...

One of the highlights of the sale is a collection of cut emeralds from the great Spanish shipwreck Nuestra SeƱora de Atocha, a galleon that sank off the Florida coast in 1622...

Here is the link for more about that.


Diamonds are in the news too.

An Arkansas teenager hit the jackpot Saturday when he found a 7.44-carat diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.

Many people spend hours searching for diamonds at the park only to walk away empty-handed, but Kalel Langford, 14, had only been at the park with his parents for 30 minutes when he spotted a shiny, dark brown gem, according to a statement.  Kalel took the stone to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center later in the day and learned that the shiny rock was actually one of the largest diamonds ever discovered in the park...

Here is the link for more on that story.

I've written about Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas where anyone can pay a fee and hunt diamonds.  The story about how it was discovered is interesting.  A hog farmer discovered a diamond in the mud.  I've told that story before.

Thanks to Dean for leads on both of the above stories.


An African church minister who supplements his meagre stipend by scrabbling for minerals in the artisanal mines of Sierra Leone has discovered one of the largest diamonds ever found.

The stone is to be auctioned, the Sierra Leonean government announced yesterday, although its value cannot be determined until its quality is assessed. An 813-carat diamond was sold at closed auction in London last month for £51m...

And here is that link.

I once got an email from a woman saying that her husband was talking about buying a metal detector and quitting his job.  She wanted to know if he could really make a living doing that.  I gave her my answer and she replied saying her husband wasn't going to be happy.

Well, first of all, most people don't metal detect for a living.  Very few do.  And there is a good reason. Most would dismally fail.   It is not something you can do that easily.

I remember years ago seeing people yelling "get a job" at a detectorist that was metal detecting in the water near Miami Beach.  I don't know if they actually thought he had no job and was detecting as a living, but it seemed like they did. Some people (very few) are professionals detectorists.  Some some people are obviously hobbyists, but I guess it might not be so obvious is if you don't know much about it.  The number that are professonals must be something like one percent of one percent of all detectorists.  That is my guess.

In the old days the professionals tried to remain invisible.  (I'm talking about detectorists here, not treasure salvors.)  The pros intentionally flew below the radar.  They didn't want to be seen or known. Today it isn't like that.  At least not entirely.  Some today do whatever they can to publicize and promote themselves.

But back to the point I wanted to make.  You can't just buy a detector and go out and expect to make a living at it.  If you are one of the few that can make a living out of it, you first have to put in a lot of time before you get to that skill level.  And it isn't easy.  You can't just go out and wave a detector around and expect to make any kind of profit.  For one thing, you have to be where there is a lot of things to find, such as South Florida.  You can't squeeze gold out of a beach that has none.  If you don't live near excellent detecting, you have travel time and travel expenses to deal with.

Most hobbyists don't keep track of expenses.  Metal detectors are expensive.  Many cost a thousand dollars or more.  And if you are hitting it hard you have more than one and you've gone through several.

Scoops are expensive too.  Then there are pinpointers, batteries, parking fees, detector repairs, wetsuits, etc. etc.  That is a lot of expense  before you can think about making any kind of profit.  I'm sure that most detectorists don't cover expenses.  Most don't really try to.

Some people that I know have paid thousands for a metal detector just because they enjoy playing with it.  They don't really care if they are making a profit.  They enjoy the activity and what they find is just icing on the cake.

Serious metal detecting can also be very strenuous.  I could not today do what I used to do.  There were times when I would walk miles and worked in very rough conditions.  There were times that it was very dangerous.  I wouldn't do some of that today.

I liked to test myself and see what I could do.  It wasn't a profit motive that drove me.  I had some good jobs and a good bit of spare time. I didn't have to find anything to pay the bills.  I did a lot of business travel so I took my metal detector and got to detect a lot of different locations.

I took a few months off between jobs once when I proved to myself that I could make a living out of detecting beaches and shallow water.  I wanted to find out if I could.  That was decades ago.

To repeat my main point - you can't just buy a detector and go out and leisurely make a living out of it.  Don't bet the bank on it without first giving it a try and really finding out what it will take to be successful.  For me now, it is a very enjoyable educational activity that provides a multitude of benefits.  It is a good way to connect with the past and learn a little more about yourself.


We have a small surf and small tides on the Treasure Coast now.  If you are a shallow water hunter, it is probably a good time.

The surf is supposed to increase next week.

Happy hunting,

Friday, March 17, 2017

3/17/17 Report - New Margarita Finds. Industry Shipwreck and St. Augustine. SS Central America Search Strategy.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Beach Renourishment Begins At Jupiter Beach South.
Submitted by CladKing.
Thanks CladKing.


The sea is usually rough in the keys in March, however the Mel Fisher organization reports some very nice finds were made recently during a calm spell by the Sea Reaper on the Margarita site.  Exploring a less explored area to the east, a variety of artifacts were found including a large encrusted iron pot.  A iron key and a sword handle was found the next day a little distance away.  These new finds added new possibilities to what is known about the distribution of wreckage.
A second iron pot was found the next day nearly a half mile away, but in a direct line with the first.  It appears that a second scatter lies parallel to that previously plotted.

Here is a three-legged 18th century iron cooking pot from the Industry shipwreck off St. Augustine.
Source: TAMU Dissertation.  See link below.


Franklin's dissertation is something that anyone interested in 18th Century Florida will want to read. It gives a good history of St. Augustine (one of the best I've read) and especially how they were provisioned, both legally and illegally. The Lawrence family of New York was one big player.

The dissertation provides a lot of information on Spanish St. Augustine and how they were supplied by British ships, the Industry being one that sunk outside of the inlet to St. Augustine. Also covered are the artifacts. A good bibliography can be found at the end.

Here is the link.

Picture of a Similar Iron Pot In a Ship's Hearth.
Source: TAMU  link immediately above.

Here is another good read.  It discusses the search for the SS Central America.  It is not about what happened when the wreck was found - just search strategies prior to the location of the wreck.

Here is that link.


Well the surf is still small along the Treasure Coast.  The tides have also decreased.  Not much hope for much improvement over the next few days.  It is however an chance to check the low tide area.

I expect a lot of beach renourishment this summer.  It has started, but there is more to come.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, March 16, 2017

3/16/17 Report - Legal Issues and Maritime Treasure Salvage. The Roll of The Public.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Ancient Gold Coin Found in Pendant.
A few days ago I posted a number of gold coins that were found in pendants.  Here is another example.

It is an ancient Greek Coin showing Alexander the Great.


I'll make a few comments on a article by Cathryn Henn entitled The Trouble With Treasure: Historic Shipwrecks Discovered in International Waters and published in the 2013 International and Comparative Law Review.

The article comments on archaeological interests, commercial interests and public interests as competing interests.  I'd say that no person fits into one of those categories,

I'll submit that archaeologists have commercial interests, other than those who are volunteers or amateurs, and those are members of the public.  The public makes a lot of significant discoveries and commercial ventures contribute to archaeology and the public. And the public funds most archaeology.

Here is how they describe public interests.

3. Public Interests    The interest held by the general public can be summarized as "the interest to educate and be educated about the historical and cultural implications that accompany historic wrecks." 76 This interest has a tendency to get lost in the bitter feud between archeologists and salvage companies. For instance, when a historic shipwreck is discovered, archeologists may not want the artifacts to be moved or disturbed.77 Archeologists have "a tendency to become singularly preoccupied with protecting artifacts and lose sight of why the protection is necessary in the first place.. .the education of the world public."78 Conversely, a salvor would naturally want to sell recovered artifacts to finance the salvage operation, and receive compensation for his or her time and effort.

The public is perceived as being very much a passive bystander that might read a book, attend a class or visit a museum.  That perception is seriously flawed.  One group that is really overlooked in this classification is the segment of the public that is actively interested and involved in the pursuit of their cultural heritage. They might dive, metal detect or collect. I believe that the public has a right to not only fund archaeology and consume education, but also a right to pursue their cultural heritage. They have a right to seek, discover, touch, protect, collect, protect, research, communicate, educate and conserve.  As it is often said, "Cultural heritage belongs to the public."

Here is one more paragraph from that article.  Here it is.

The needs of all three interest groups are not currently met under the salvage laws applied by U.S. courts. Confusion about the application of salvage laws often leads to litigation, which economically strains parties, slows the pace of wreck disposition, and negatively impacts all stakeholders. Ultimately, this fails to satisfy the public interest in learning about the cultural and historical aspects of shipwrecks. The current legal regime is thus ineffective at meeting the needs of all interest groups; instead a cooperative approach (as will be discussed in section V) should be used.

Their proposed solution is briefly described in summary below.

In conclusion, a collaborative model that provides for a bilateral agreement between potential salvors and nations of origin, taking all competing interest into account, best provides protection for our underwater cultural heritage. This model will provide a system that incentivizes private corporations to find and salvage artifacts for the benefit of all mankind. Instead of viewing profit motives as evil, it embraces the economic needs of the salvage industry, recognizing the difficulty in locating ships, and the financial and technological inability of nations to perform this task themselves.

While their proposed collaborative model has merit, it is a collaboration between the archaeological and commercial interests, it does not nothing to improve involvement by the most interested segment of the public.

If you want to read the entire article, here is the link.

Here is another article from a law review that you might want to look at.  It is from 2008 and a little out of date.


A front came through and we got a north wind.  The surf is small, but with the tides it might be enough to shake out a musket ball or something like that at one location.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

3/15/17 Report - Advanced Beach Dynamics : Fluidisation and Liquefaction

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

It is amazing what you can learn by just walking around and observing.

Yesterday Joe R.wrote about sand fleas as a biological factor contributing to objects sinking in the sand on a beach. Here is some of what wikipedia says about sand fleas (Emerita).
Emerita is adept at burrowing, and is capable of burying itself completely in 1.5 seconds.[5] Unlike mud shrimp, Emerita burrows tail-first into the sand, using the pereiopods to scrape the sand from underneath its body.[11] During this action, the carapace is pressed into the sand as anchorage for the digging limbs.[11] The digging requires the sand to be fluidised by wave action, and Emerita must bury itself in the correct orientation before the wave has passed to be safe from predators.[11]
As the tide changes, Emerita changes its position on the beach;[5] most individuals stay in the zone of breaking waves.[6] This may be detected by the physical characteristics of the sand. As the tide falls, the sand is allowed to settle; when Emerita detects this, it uses the temporary liquefaction from a breaking wave to emerge from its burrow, and is carried down the beach by the wave action.[6] Longshore drift may also drag Emerita laterally along a beach.[6]

Notice the word "fluidised."  Another similar word is "liquefaction."  I've never used those words, but have described those processes to some extent.  If you ever watched the guys that build docks on the river, they use a pump to pump water into the sand and push the poles into area created where the sand has been fluidised.  You can see the same process if you watch people using water to run pipes under the road or driveways.

Here is a little of what I wrote a few days ago about how objects sink.

An item can be uncovered and covered several times before the sand below it is moved enough for it to sink down.  Another way an item can sink is when a wave crashes over the item.  That can push water into the sand, agitating the sand and pushing the grains farther apart while putting downward pressure on the item. 

That is a description of how I would describe what I've observed.  I recently found a study that talks about liquefaction.  "The criterion of liquefaction occurrence is estimated as the critical overpressure required to overcome the effective weight of the soil."

LIquefaction and fluidization are very important processes that can help explain how sand and other things move on a beach, but I was not previously familiar with those terms and have never used those specific words before. I've thought a good bit about how crashing water forces grains apart and puts them into suspension.

A few years ago I posted an amazing picture of a wave that appeared to show sand being sucked up into the wave.  It is easier to understand how that happens when you think in terms of the sand be fluidised.  When sand is fluidised and moves as a liquid, it is easier to imagine how the water and sand mixture becomes part of the wave.  Back then I described that as the sand being sucked up into the wave.  (My discussions of trigger points are also relevant.)

Below is a paragraph from the conclusion section of a scientific study on liquefaction.  The experiment was conducted in a kind of wave tank with a sloped loose soil base leading to a wall.  Waves were generated and the effects measured in a variety of ways.  .

CONCLUSIONS  A physical model for studying liquefaction occurrence in the wave loading against a vertical wall was described. For large enough wave conditions, and for a loose and partially-saturated bed, an excess pore pressure is recorded within the soil and a liquefaction threshold is reached. A large zone of the bed then clearly behaves as a fluid. Sand grains displacements were quantified. Phases of soil compaction and dilatancy were identified. As runs are repeated, the bed becomes more compact and better saturated, and the liquefaction phenomenon no longer occurs.

Soil dilatancy is another interesting phenomena that is relevant and could be discussed at length, but I won't try to do that now.

I'll have to study the article a bit more.  There are specifics in the paper that I'm sure I haven't yet captured.  The jargon they use is a bit strange and needs to be put into common terms.

Now think of a cliff that has been created by erosion on a beach.  A similar thing will happen to the sand in front of the cliff that happened in their wave tank in front of the wall.  If waves crash in front of the cliff and the sand "fluidises," sand will flow away with the water at a rapid rate.

There are a lot more details that I could get into, but I won't do that just yet.  I'm sure I'll add to that at some later time.

Here is the link to the study I was talking about.

I also just found a very interesting video demonstrating soil dilatancy. It shows how a weight will sink into agitated and fluidised sand while a buried ping pong ball rises through the sand to the surface.

I think you'll find the demonstration interesting.

I talked about all of this to some extent before but did not have the studies to back it up, or the terms to make it clear.  The addition of these two new terms makes it easier to discuss and visualize the processes that I had thought about and referenced before.  Quicksand is another  illustration of sand fluidising.  Thinking of the suspended sand particles as  a fluid provides another conceptual tool that changes how we conceptualize its movement.  The studies also increase confidence in the conclusions.

I might not be a hundred percent correct in how I discussed the study today or how I used the terms in every case, but I found both the study and terms helpful in presenting my thinking on the subject.  I'm sure I'll increase my understanding of both in the near future and perhaps be able to explain some of the things we see on the beach a little more clearly.

That is all of that for now. It would take a lot of pages to put this all together for you.  I haven't felt like doing it yet.  It will be a big project.


The wind has shifted.  We're not going to have much surf this week, but we are going to have some good tides.  We'll also have some good north winds.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3/14/17 Report - One Beach Profile And How It Related to Finds. Biological Factor That Can Cause Objects To Sink.

Simplified Beach Profile.

I attempted to illustrate the beach where I was finding things yesterday.  It wasn't really that steep.   The beach was wide, and the water had been high up on the beach, nearly to the dunes.

The two black lines with the arrows pointing to them define the range of where the targets were found - a few yards back from the waters edge at low tide and about three fourths of the way up the long slope to the dunes.  The area was way too wide to be considered a coin line.  The were spot where you could see the course beige sand on the slope that I have come to associate with cobs.  That sand was thinly scattered though.

The two prominent (not very prominent) features were a small hump a few yards from the water and a very small intermittent cut towards the top of the slope.  The targets ran from the hump up to close to the small cut - nothing seaward of the hump or beyond the cut.

The heaviest concentration of targets was under the hump.  Most of those targets were at least a foot deep and laying on the top of a pile of shells that was about a foot under the sand.  There appeared to be a layer of rocks below that, and a few more targets, some of which were irretrievable down there.

It appeared to me that the layer of shells was in the not too distant past piled on the rocks and then later covered by sand.

Under the hump that I'm talking about were pieces of copper, heavily corroded modern coins, and a few sinkers.  On top of the hump was found smaller pieces of copper and a piece of two of aluminum, which evidently was washed up with the latest accumulation of sand.  Also there were near the surface some fish hooks and small iron pieces, which I did not dig.

Folded Piece of Copper Sheathng.
This picture gives one example of the type of thing that came from under the hump.

Higher up scattered over the rest of the slope below the cut were coins.  These coins were not as deep as the objects under the hump.  I didn't abandon any targets that were higher on the slope.  Some coins were very near the surface.

The black line showing where the objects were located scattered up and down the slope represents about twenty yards.

I decide to make the walk down to the area described above even though it was a good long walk.  I thought it would be the best bet for two reasons.  For one thing, it seemed scooped back a little farther than the rest of the area.  I couldn't see the small cut from that distance.  The second thing was that it was cleaned of sea weed.  The rest of the beach had seaweed scattered over it, particularly near the high water mark.  This area was clean of seaweed.  It plainly looked like the most recent tide had washed out the light surface stuff rather than adding to it.


If you don't think you were a fool when you were young, you probably haven't learned much after that.  I was a jerk.  That is part of what it is to be young.  At least it was for me.  Then by the time you get a few things figured out, it is too late.


I got an email from Joe R. concerning biological factors contributing to how objects sink.  Here is what Joe added.

...If an item is 1-1/2"deep in the surf zone and a colony of sand fleas moves through, it will end up 3-4" deep. Of course as sand erosion may later occur it will bring the objects nearer the surface the same process may happen again. Now sand may be pushed up to the original level of the beach , but the object may now be 8" or so deep. Thus I say settling, in a way, does occur...

Thanks Joe.


The surf will remain small, but as I described above, the tides are pretty big.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, March 12, 2017

3/13/17 Report - Things To Be Found On Treasure Coast Beaches. iPirates. One Bad Apple.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

John Brooks Beach This Afternoon Near Low Tide
The nice cuts at John Brooks are now mostly gone.  I checked another beach at low tide.  No cuts there either, but there were none at the second beach back when John Brooks was cut.   Back then there were a couple of nice dips at the other beach that had since filled in.  Still there were a good number of seasoned clad US coins and other items in the wet sand area.  Almost all were a foot or more deep even if they weren't old.  When you find zinc pennies a foot deep, conditions aren't real good.  Also found were pieces of old copper sheathing - most with a lot of green crust except where it was worn off by the surf and sand.

Most targets were under a foot or so of sand and laying on a buried layer of shells.  I gave up on several holes.  There were too many people around to get out a shovel and really go for the deep ones. There was a good chance of a spike or something like that.


You can tell nails, spikes, fish hooks and similar elongated objects from the signal if you run and pinpoint or all metals mode.  That would be true of many detectors even if they do not have target ID meters or screens or discrimination.


You probably know something about England's Portable Antiquities Scheme.  A policeman in England was arrested for stealing gold coins that he found with a metal detector.  He failed to report them to the coroner, as required by PAS.  He also made a deal to split finds 50/50 with the landowner, but did not honor that agreement either.  He was jailed.

It was a very significant find too!

Here is the link for the rest of that story.

Thanks to Steve from Iowa for that story.


The following paragraph about the cyber weapons can be found on the wikileaks web site.

Securing such 'weapons' is particularly difficult since the same people who develop and use them have the skills to exfiltrate copies without leaving traces — sometimes by using the very same 'weapons' against the organizations that contain them. There are substantial price incentives for government hackers and consultants to obtain copies since there is a global "vulnerability market" that will pay hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for copies of such 'weapons'. Similarly, contractors and companies who obtain such 'weapons' sometimes use them for their own purposes, obtaining advantage over their competitors in selling 'hacking' services.

The world of digital information is becoming very pervasive.  Transactions are increasingly made without the exchange of money, and everything from museum displays to movie sets that once consisted of physical models at real locations are now created digitally.

What does that have to do with treasure hunting you might ask.  I commented once before on how metal detectors that gather GPS data can be bugged and hacked.  But who wants to hack a detector of a coin shooter on a beach?  Probably nobody, but what if the policeman in the story above stored the GPS locations of the gold coins he found on his detector.  That could then become evidence.  That is just one example.

Some people are already mining digital information illegally.  And that information can then be sold. The point being that treasure can take many forms.  It doesn't even have to be tangible.  It can be digital.

It is my thought that treasure hunting in the future might have more to do with information mining than digging coins.  Just a wild idea.

I've always found it entertaining to think about how things can be done differently.  It is too easy to do what has already been done and what everybody else is doing.  I think there are often excellent alternatives to be found if someone is creative enough to really think and give it a try.

Don't get me wrong.  The point of this is not that you should pirate information or do anything illegal. The point is that the world is changing and will continue to change.  You can either be out on the edge or following the crowd.  One way of saying that is, "You can be ahead, or you can be a behind." Just a little play on words.

Here is the link to the wikileaks web site.


Despite the relatively poor conditions for finding shipwreck treasure on the Treasure Coast beaches, you can still find modern items and even perhaps a few shipwreck items such as spikes and EOs.

The surf is small by the tides are fairly big.  The water was pretty high on the beach yesterday.  I found darkened and encrusted modern coins and a few pieces of copper and things almost all the way up the slope of one beach.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, March 11, 2017

3/11/17 Report - Page-Ladson Site Yields Pre-Clovis Finds. Treasure Coast Finds From Last Week. More On How Objects Sink.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: See link below.
Radiocarbon dating of a prehistoric archeological site in Florida suggests that 14,550 years ago, hunter-gatherers, possibly accompanied by dogs, butchered or scavenged a mastodon next to a small pond. The findings, based on a four-year study of the Page-Ladson archaeological site in the Aucilla River, about 45 minutes from Tallahassee, Florida, provide a rare glimpse of the earliest human occupation in the southeastern United States, and offer clues to the timing of the disappearance of large animals like the mastodon and camel that roamed the American Southeast during the Late Pleistocene. Additionally, the artifacts at Page-Ladson highlight that much of the earliest record of human habitation of the American Southeast lies submerged and buried in unique depositional settings like those found along the Aucilla River, which passes through Florida on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. This record can only be accessed through underwater investigation, which, if undertaken with precision and care, should reveal a rich and abundant pre-Clovis record for the American Southeast, the authors say...

Here is the link.

Back on the 3rd of the month when our windy period started there were a few old finds. Here is what Trez told me.

I was able to hit the beach couple weeks ago, on the 3rd. I went right after work, had the beach all by myself for the first hour...1 guy was working farther south from where I decided to work. There wasn't much of a cut maybe a foot, the bags were not showing except for a few threads from the previous cuts months ago. But I found a 20 yard section (NO BLACK SAND exposed) just above the shell/rock line but mid up...had my Sov Elite Threshold humming and within minutes had 2 copper targets, moved farther south and shortly followed by 2 Musket balls and a small piece of the lead strap that the musket balls were attached to (DEEP TARGETS) fine orange sand...then nothing else. Only an area 100' square...

Thanks for the report Trez.

One other fellow found a small lead pistol shot. And another guy told me he found a musket ball and a couple odd pieces. I haven't heard of any cobs though.

I'm glad I changed my "2" rating on my beach conditions scale. That suits that kind of thing I'd expect during that rating.

You might also remember my discussion of John Brooks which had a three foot or greater cut about three times in the last month or two. It has been cutting, then the cut fills for a number of days and then it cuts again and fills again. Each time it cut lately, it cut when a front came through with a stiff north wind, then when the wind changes direction, the cut disappears.

A cut can disappear even when there is still a big surf. One way that happens is that the surf washes straight up and over the cut. That will remove the cut in a hurry.

We're supposed to get another front this weekend and a north wind for a short while Friday night, then again Thursday. Check out

The surf is supposed to remain small for the entire week though.


I sometimes use the Indian River for observations.  It acts something like the ocean in some ways, but is on a smaller scale.  The wind kicks up waves from time to time, the sand moves around, erosion occurs and objects are exposed.

The west side of the river typically takes more of a beating than the east side, but, of course, depending upon the wind, that will change.

I made a couple of observations recently.  Recently I noticed nails used to construct docks laying exposed under many of the docks.  They were not that visible a month or more ago, but now you an see a lot of them.

One of the docks where the nails are now exposed was made a good ten years ago, yet you can now see nails lost during construction laying exposed under the dock.

So what!  Well, one thing it shows is how slowly things sink (if you can call it that) even on the higher energy west side.  Those nails, have been there within a few inches of the surface for like ten years.  Sometimes they disappear but then reappear again.  Not much sand was removed to reveal them.  A lot of sand has been moving west from slightly deeper water, but there is a little dip in some locations close to the bank.

In my opinion, contrary to what people often say, items don't sink, no matter how dense they are, if the sand beneath them is not moved, or at least agitated.  Upper layers of sand will move more than lower layers of sand.  That sounds obvious enough.  For an item to sink, uncovering it won't cause it to sink.  Deeper layers will have to be moved, or at least agitated.

An item can be uncovered and covered several times before the sand below it is moved enough for it to sink down.  Another way an item can sink is when a wave crashes over the item.  That can push water into the sand, agitating the sand and pushing the grains farther apart while putting downward pressure on the item.

My main point here, however, is simply that items do not quickly sink in the river sand, as my nails seem to show.  The process in the ocean is similar but quicker because of the higher energy environment.  Still, it is not a passive process governed primarily by gravity as some seem to imply.


We'll have about a two foot surf for the next few days.  We are, however, having some nice negative tides.

Happy hunting,