Friday, July 6, 2018

7/6/18 Report - Hurricane Beryl. Pac Man Cob. Inspecting Coins. Two Blown Bottles.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Mexico Minted Half Reale
 This is what I call my Pac Man cob.  If you are old enough, you might know why.  It is because of the shape.

I didn't have this one labeled with the time and place of the find, although I know it was a John Brooks beach find.  I now have no idea when it was found.

Like many beach found cobs, this one is not in good shape.  A lot of the design is missing, and what is there is not easy to decipher.  There are things you can do to help you see details that otherwise might be difficult to see.

What I want to show today is the effect of lighting.  I didn't do any sharpening or enhancement to the photos, which can also be a big help.   I just took the photos with the camera looking straight down.  The only thing I changed was the lighting.  You might be able to make out the partial cross in the photo above.

For the first photo, the light was coming from directly above the object and reflecting back at the camera.

Same Cob With Different Lighting
 Photos give a two dimensional view.  That means you can lose valuable information that you would have if you were looking at the item with your two eyes, which gives you a stereoscopic view.

One way you can get more dimensionality is by changing the lighting.  The photo immediately above was made with the light shooting from the the south.  You can see the shadow above the cob.  You can also see how that highlights the horizontal bar of the cross.  The light reflects back from the south-facing raised edges.

The glare from the surface of the cob was also reduced.  Compare the view of the surface you get in this photo compared to the one at the top of the post.

Same Cob With Lighting From the Left.
In the bottom photo, the light was coming from the left, which bring out the vertical bar more, but you can't see the horizontal bar so well.

My point is that you can bring out different details by changing the direction of the lighting.  Lighting is the most important thing in photography.  It can also help you see things that are too small to see with the naked eye.

When I want to see small details on coins that I might not be able to see with the naked eye, whether it is a modern penny or an old cob, a close-up image and strategic lighting can be a big help.


Two Old Green Hand-Blown Bottles.
I recently showed two old hand-blown brown beer or ale bottles with applied lips.  Here are two more old bottles found on the Treasure Coast.  These two also have applied lips, and probably date to the late 19th century.

The one on the right was the first blob top bottle that I found and was my favorite bottle find until I found the Muhler bottle.

Lip and Neck of the Light Green Bottle.

After the bottle was blown in a mold, the blow pipe was broken off the bottle and a hot blob of glass was placed on top of the bottle where is was shaped and formed.

Lip Forming
Here is a diagram of a lip-forming tool. It was stuck down into the neck of the bottle and turned to shape the blob of glass that was to become the lip.

Sure would be nice to find one of those.

The process often led to fine bits of hardened glass adhering to the inside of the neck.  I can see that very well on both bottles but more on the dark green bottle.  Those kinds of things are nice little details that you can easily miss, but they give you a real sense of how the item was made.

Here is the source link for the picture of the tool.  You can also find that link on my reference link list.  Great site that tells a lot about old bottles.

I really like these old hand-blown bottles.  You can see the bubbles in the glass that stretched along with the glass as it was being shaped.  Both of these green bottles have long bubbles in the neck.

It is very much like coins.  I enjoy seeing the details on the coins that show how they were made.  Coin errors often illustrate the process.  I'll talk about that more some other time.

The bottoms of these two green bottles are very similar.  You can see where the pontil was and how it was smoothed out.

Bottom Light Green Bottle.
Notice bubble just left of 12:00 position.
The bottom on the light green bottle (above) is very lopsided.  The right sie is much higher than the left.  That is much of the charm of hand blown bottles.  Like hand punched cobs, you can see the workmanship.  In the case of the bottles, it was a glass blower and his assistant.

Whether it is coins or bottles, I would encourage you to look for the little things that can tell you so much.  Even modern coins show errors and other small details that are the result of decisions made by individuals.

More views of the bottles will be available in


It is that time of year.  The Atlantic is heating up.  There is a tropical depression in the Atantic and a hurricane.

The topical depression probably won't affect us.

The hurricane is Beryl, which is headed east towards the Gulf.  Of course there is a good chance that it will turn north, but the predictions I've been hearing say that it will fall apart or turn north and miss us.  If anything, it could produce some rougher surf for us this weekend.

Time to watch for the next storm that might turn out to be like the legendary Thanksgiving Storm of 1984.

Hurricane Beryl
Happy hunting,