Tuesday, January 21, 2020

1/21/20 Report - Vero Man and Treasure Coast Fossils. Kang Hsi Notes. Big Surf Coming.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Source: SiberianTimes.com web site.  See link below.

The Kotelny island woolly mammoth was killed by humans some 21,000 years ago, say scientists.

Dr Albert Protopopov shared new pictures of the remains found at a location which was then part of the vast Beringia Land Bridge connecting what is now Siberia and North America.

'The traces on the bones show that the mammoth was killed and butchered by ancient people,' he said...

Here is the link for more of that article.

You might be aware that some of the oldest things you can find on the Treasure Coast beaches are fossils. It might surprise you to learn that you can find mammoth fossils on our beaches. I've found both mammoth teeth and a section of a tusk.

Mammoth Tusk Section.
Source: SiberianTimes.com (Same link as above).
The tusk section I found was of about the same diameter as the one shown in the above photo.  The end was sticking out of some eroded sand on the Treasure Coast.

Every Floridian, full or part-time, should know about the world-famous "Vero Man" site and James Kennedy's history making find of a 13,000 year-old mammoth bone bearing a human carving.

Wikipedia describes Vero Man this way: Vero man refers to a set of fossilized human bones found near Vero (now Vero Beach), Florida, in 1915 and 1916. The human bones were found in association with those of Pleistocene animals. The question of whether humans were present in Florida (or anywhere in the Americas) during the Pleistocene was controversial at the time, and most archaeologists did not accept that the Vero fossils were that old. Recent studies show that the Vero human bones are from the Pleistocene and are the largest collection of human remains from the Pleistocene found in North America.

See https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/6/110622-mammoth-bone-oldest-art-americas-science/

And also https://www.livescience.com/20088-early-floridians-mingled-mammoths-mastodons.html


Shards Found South of Seagrape Where Kang His Has Been Found.
Photo by Robert C.
I recently received multiple questions about Kang Hsi porcelain.  As you might know, Kang Hsi porcelain is sometimes found on 1715 Fleet shipwreck sites and on the neighboring beaches.

Robert C., who sent in the above photo showing shards that he found, was wondering if others might know of Kang Hsi porcelain found on the Treasure Coast having colors other than the more common blue and white.

I'm sure he'd like to know if anyone had opinions to offer on the shards shown above.

I've talked about Kang Hsi porcelain in the past, but made some new photos that I think might be helpful for those attempting to identify Kang Hsi.

Below is a comparison of a piece of what I believe to be Kang Hsi porcelain and a piece of common European blue on white pottery side-by-side

Broken Edge of Common Blue on White Pottery (left) and Kang Hsi porcelain (right)
First off, in my experience, the paste of Kang Hsi porcelain is very white and very fine as compared to the common blue on white shards that you'll often find, and Kang Hsi porcelain is generally thin.

Another thing you will notice from the above photo is that the color will sit on the surface of most shards, while the color on Kang Hsi will penetrate the glaze.  The yellow on the shard on the right is encrustation, not a part of the shard.

I am far from an expert on this, and will gladly accept correction if I am wrong about any of it.  From my experience, though, these observations seem to hold.


It has been a relatively busy year so far.  While there have not been a lot of shipwreck finds, there have been some finds, and there has been periodic erosion at a few spots around the Treasure Coast.  Too bad there is so much renourishment sand to deal with.

The surf predictions look real encouraging.

Source: MagicSeaWeed.com

The surf will start to build today and peak tomorrow (Wed.).

The wind and primary swell is northerly, but the wind is a bit off-shore until tomorrow

Not only will we have high surf (if the predictions are correct), but we'll also see some swells coming from the north and a few wind direction changes.  Altogether, it looks promising at this point.

Happy hunting,

Monday, January 20, 2020

1/20/20 Report - Some History of Treasure Coast Treasure Hunting: Bruce Ward. Bigger Surf Coming.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

January 1965 Issue of Argosy Magazine Containing Story of Bruce Ward's Treasure
Submitted by JaminJackUSA.

If you are interested in the history of treasure hunting on the Treasure Coast you might want to find a library copy of the January 1965 issue of Argosy Magazine.  

Several days ago I posted a nice four-reale that was purchased by JaminJack from the estate auction of Bruce Ward.  Jack sent me a copy of the Argosy article as background on the adventures of Mr. Ward.  The article describes Ward's big find, which was made in 1964, early in the history of modern Treasure Coast treasure salvage, and at a time when the Real Eight Corporation and a variety of other smaller and less documented treasure hunters were working along the Treasure Coast.  This is the type of article that no Treasure Coast treasure hunter will want to miss.

Photo Appearing in January 1965 Argosy Magazine.
Submitted to TBR by JaminJack.

Bruce accumulated a lot of treasure, which he did not sell because he planned to make start a museum.

Here is a photo of a homemade dive platform that he created and used until he upgraded.

Photo of Homemade Dive Raft Shown in January, 1965 Argosy Magazine.
Sent to TreasureGuide by JaminJack.
And here is his salvage boat, the DeeGee.

The DeeGee Salvage Boat.
Source: Jan. 1965 Argosy Magazine.

Thanks JaminJack.


I was working in the yard this morning when I noticed that the wind had changed direction.  It is now coming more from the north, and it feels like a bit of a cool front came through, so it was not surprised when I looked at the surf predictions and saw that the surf will be increasing.

Source: MagicSeaWeed.com.

Looks like maybe up to a ten feet surf by Wednesday.  And some north winds before that.

That is a big enough surf to move some sand.  I just wish the wind kept coming from a northerly direction for a longer time.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, January 19, 2020

1/19/20 Report - Metal Detected Razor Thin Corroded Coins. Marine Fenders and Floats. Vero/Sebastian Beaches.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Dug Copper Coin That Has Been Corroded To A Fraction Of The Original Thickness.

A few days ago I started a series of posts on factors that can make it difficult to tell the age of a dug item from the amount of wear and corrosion.  The first thing I talked about was crusts that form and can protect an object from corrosion, even on a salt water beach.  Today I'll post the second part of the series showing that items can corrode very quickly or slowly, removing surface detail and making it difficult to tell the age.  Below are two examples.  

At the top of this post is shown a copper coin that is almost paper thin.  Originally it would have been as thick as a modern penny.  Can you tell what it is?  Below is front of the same coin.

Same Coin Shown Above.
Top and bottom clipped by photo.

You can still see the profile of Lincoln.  It is a Lincoln penny.  But the back shows that not only is it a Lincoln penny, it is a memorial penny, which tells you it is no older than 1959.  If it is copper, as it appears, and not zinc coated, it would be roughly 38 to 60 years old, despite being much more heavily corroded than many copper coins that are much older.  If I could not make out the Lincoln profile or the Lincoln Memorial on the other side, I would have no idea how old this coin might be.  It is remarkable that with so much of the coin gone, you can still see the shadow of those features.

Here is another one.

Another Very Thin Dug Coin.

This one is a mercury dime in similar heavily corroded condition.  Mercury dimes were made from 1916 - 1945, therefore this coin would be older than the penny shown above even though it is every bit as corroded.

The mercury dime is thinner than the half reales that you will find on the beach.

I have found shipwreck silver on the beach that is this thin, but I don't know if the thin silver was a reale or not.  I suspect not.

Silver dimes seem to corrode differently than reales.  Just an informal observation.  Heavily corroded reales seem to be more flaky or something.   Dimes seem to have a fairly distinct appearance even if they are almost corroded away.

My point today is that it is difficult to judge the age of an item by the amount of wear or corrosion, and that coins and other things will corroded very differently depending upon what they are made of and where thy have been.  Coins can be extremely worn and still be what we might call modern, while very old coins can at times be found in very nice condition.


Seagrape Trail Saturday 
Photo by DJ
I hadn't seen the beaches in the Vero/Sebastian area lately so I was glad to get these photos from DJ.  There are few cuts to be seen anywhere.

Turtle Trail Saturday 
Photo by DJ

Turtle Trail Saturday 
Photo by DJ

Wabasso Still Closed 
Photo by DJ
I'm expecting Wabasso to open again January 20, or maybe 21.  It looks like the equipment is ready to leave.

Does anyone know where that renourishment sand came from?

Treasure Shores Saturday 
Photo by DJ

Ambersands Saturday 
Photo by DJ.
Ambersands lost a lot of renourishment sand so far this year.   It would be nice to see the old sand start to show.

Ambersands Saturday
Photo by DJ
Thanks much DJ.


I received a couple emails concerning the big back flender or float that I showed yesterday.

Bruce B. said, I saw that fender floating in the surf back on December 27th. I looked up and found Yokahama Fenders that can be even bigger than that one, link attached. It was then a few hundred yards south of the beached sailboat.

Seems like it had only moved about a mile north in three or four weeks.  

Thanks Bruce.

Ron J. said, That big black finder looks to me like the floats that are used for the sand pump pipes and dredging operations as barriers. They would have steel cable attached to each end. I saw that at Sebastian Inlet and in the ICW as part of the marking of the keep out zone. 

My best beach find so far this year was a fishing knife in the soft sand saving someone's feet from a cut and I will use it too!

I think that is probably what it is.  Thanks Ron.


The surf is down to about three feet today.  It will remain that way for a few days, and then next week might increase again.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, January 18, 2020

1/18/20 Report - Higher Surf Recutting One Beach. EO and UFO (Unidentified Floating Object). Random Thoughts

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Large (Approx. 7 ft. long) Fender(?) On Beach.
I saw this item rolling in the surf Friday.   The size, I would guess, is about 3 - 4 feet high (as it lies) and about seven feet from end to end.  From how it moved I would guess it is empty.  It does have metal eyes on each end.  I didn't get real close to it, but it looked like it might be made of a thick, but hollow, flexible rubber like material, and the ends had a yellowish color, looking like brass or bronze.  I'm guessing it is a large boat fender or air bag.  It looks more heavy-duty than anything I've found online so far.  What do you think?

John Brooks Friday Afternoon.

As of late Friday afternoon, from the few beaches that I saw, it looked like the wind and surf had not yet improved beach conditions significantly.

The cut at John Brooks looked like it was being recut, but the cut was not nearly as big as it was when I increased my beach conditions rating to a two.

The beach in front of the cut was soft and mushy.

John Brooks Friday Afternoon.

Frederick Douglass Beach Friday Afternoon.
The front beach at Frederick Douglass appeared to be building.

Frederick Douglass Beach Friday Afternoon.


A couple days ago GC was working the shell line at Fort Pierce South Jetty and picked up the usual light stuff along with an interesting EO, which is circled in the photo of finds in the photo below.

Wednesday Objects From the Shell Line
Photo by GC.

Here is how he described it.

Went to FP South Jetty Park on Wed. I see that the dune is cut back further than I have ever seen, but not as tall and vertical. So I guess any goodies are still buried under the renourishment. Lots of shells, and that shell line is where I dug up a curious object 2-3 inches in deep in sand.

     It gave off a very loud signal on my highly technical BH Time Ranger. All I did at the time was check it with my magnet because it was quite heavy. Not at all magnetic. Checked again at home with stronger magnet. Nope. When I tried, perhaps too vigorously, to chip off some of the encrusted material it broke, pretty much in half. The inside material appeared to be carbon, maybe charcoal like substance, in all appearances. and properties. I certainly have no level of expertise in identifying artifacts, but it occurs to me that it is a container or flask of some kind, possibly made of lead. In cross section an outer layer of some metallic substance, and what could possibly be a neck. That is my best guess to explain the heaviness and that layer. There are 2 areas, marked A and B, located within the outer layer, that appear to be shiny and metallic. They could be the inside surface of the container. But A has a very definite circular edge that seems quite different from B. I'm guessing that it was either round, and flattened somehow, or was a very thin, maybe pocket sized thing. The round thought is based on seeing what appears to be a crack at the outside edge in vertical photos.

      Any thoughts, ideas, guesses, would be greatly appreciated...

Two Views of EO
Find and photo by GC.


You know you are getting old when -

you can't even remember the last time anyone asked about your schooling or occupation, which seemed so important at one time.

you are the only one who remembers the times, places and events of your childhood days.

the only people your age, or near it, that still look half way good are unrecognizable because of an extremely talented plastic surgeon.

you know more dead people than living.

you remember a day when the people you knew seemed to be united by a common view of things.

you realize that you were once just as stupid as you were young.

you realize that you didn't understand what your elders were going through and perhaps weren't as kind and considerate as you should have been.


The wind was still blowing early Saturday morning but shifted.  It now is coming more from the south.  That means a change in how the beach was forming.

 The surf will peak about 9 AM, just after low tide.

Source: MagicSeaWeed.com

Like I said, I'm not increasing my beach conditions rating, but I haven't seen the Vero/Sebastian beaches, so could be missing something.  As of yesterday afternoon, the South Hutchinson Island beaches that I saw weren't encouraging.

Happy hunting,

Friday, January 17, 2020

1/17/20 Report - Treasure Auctioned by Ward Estate. Nice Dated Four-Reale. Electrolysis. Frederick Douglass Report.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

1702 Four Reale
Photo by JaminJackUSA
I received the following message along with coin photos form JaminJackUSA.

I had the pleasure of meeting a member of Bruce's family metal detecting at Turtle Trail many years ago. They were fascinated that I knew who he was and knew him when I was younger. I actually met him on a beach in late 60s in Ft. Pierce. He even showed me where and how to identify shipwreck coins. This beach back then was called Colored Beach, now known as Douglas Beach.

Now to the present. I was tipped off about his estate going to an auction. (Bruce had moved away from Ft. Pierce area, and eventually passed away years, ago.) There were flintlocks, cannon balls, a caravacas cross, and 100s of encrusted coins. Few were clean, but most were in clusters, etc. There were 8s, 4s, 2s, 1s, and halves!

Below is one of the coins that has been through an electrolysis process. At the time I am just trying to clean the lots I won. Later, I may sell some of them.

Dated 1702 Four Reale
Photo by JaminJackUSA

What a shock and extremely rare! I have found a few 1 reales from Charles II, but never a 4 reale Phillip V!! 

And below is a photo of an electrolysis setup from JaminJack.

Simple But Effective Electrolysis Setup Using Battery.
Photo by JaminJackUSA

COA From Estate Auction.
Photo submitted by JaminJackUSA


Frederick Douglass Beach Early 1/17
Photo by Steve M.

Steve M. sent the following message along with the photos from Frederick Douglass beach.

 We hit Douglas Beach today Thursday, around 8.   Washed down wall since last week.   Very Shelly only found tiny bits of aluminum beer cans , and rusty nails.   Beach still convex.   Surf about 2-3 foot.

Frederick Douglass Beach Early 1/17
Photo by Steve M.

Frederick Douglass Beach 1/17
Photo by Steve M.

Steve also sent photos of the kinds of things he's been finding at Frederick Douglass such as those on the plate below.  

Shells and Things From Frederick Douglass Beach.
Photo by Steve M.

He said he looks for all kinds of things while detecting, including shells, fossils, sea glass, and old artifacts, such as pot shards.  I very much advocate that.  Not only are the other items interesting on their own, but they can give you valuable clues.

Thanks for sharing Steve.


I had some other topics that I started but I put them off for a short while because I've been getting timely beach photos that need to be posted while they are current.  That's great.  I'll have time to continue the other topics in the near future.

This morning the wind started and undoubtedly the surf is building.  We will have that higher surf for not much more than a day.

Source: MagicSeaWeed.com

Happy hunting,

Thursday, January 16, 2020

1/16/20 Report - Cortes' Aztec Gold Bar Plunder Analyzed. Beach Reports and Photos.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

A new scientific analysis of a large gold bar found decades ago in downtown Mexico City has confirmed it was part of the plunder Spanish conquistadors abandoned as they beat a temporary retreat from the Aztec capital...

A year later, Cortés would return and lay siege to the city, which was already weakened with supply lines cut and diseases that accompanied the Spanish invaders taking a toll.

The bar was originally discovered in 1981 during a construction project some 16ft (5m) underground in downtown Mexico City – which was built on the ruins of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán – where a canal that would have been used by the fleeing Spaniards was once located.

The bar weighs about 2kg (4.4lb) and is 26.2cm (10.3in) long, 5.4cm wide and 1.4cm thick...

Here is the  link for more about that.


I received a the following beach reports and photos by Steve M.

We got to Turtle Trails at just after sunrise.    Pretty smoothed down beach.   Less sand than a few weeks ago.   We went north to just about Sea Grape.   Just a couple modern nails.    Real deep. 

Turtle Trail Early Morning 1/15
Photo by Steve M.

Turtle Trail Early Morning 1/15
Photo by Steve M.

Turtle Trail Early Morning 1/15
Photo by Steve M.

After Turtle we headed north. Wabasso was still closed until the 20th. We went to Golden Sands then to Bonsteel Park. Beach re- nourishments going on as we were there. Talked to somebody they said all the way to Melbourne. We didn’t do any detecting on this leg.

Golden Sands 1/15
Photo by Steve M.

Bonsteel 1/15
Photo by Steve M.

Renourishment Project at Bonsteel 1/15
Photo by Steve M.
If you've been wondering about any of these beaches, you can thank Steve M. for sharing the photos.

Thanks Steve!


Looks like we'll have a nice increase in surf Friday that will last just a couple tide cycles.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

1/15/20 Report - One Thing That Can Make It More Difficult To ID the Date of Dug Items. Dug Coin Revealed As Fake. More Surf.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.

Winged Liberty Head Imprint.

It can be difficult to tell what an item is and how old it is when you dig it up.  We might have a first impression that tells us that the item is old or that it is modern.  But those two terms are very general and we might not know precisly how old the item is, and our impressions can be way off.

Bot "modern" and "old" are very general terms that might mean different things to different people.  You might even use them differently at different times.  When I say an item is modern, I'm usually thinking that it is 20th century or later, but that can vary.

In the absence of any definitive marks, when it comes to estimating an item's age I think most people look first at wear and deterioration.  That is the first and most obvious thing you will see.  An old item will generally look worn or corroded, but that really doesn't tell you much.  Appearances can be very misleading.

Many years ago I thought that items that are hundreds of years old would look crude or primitive, but I learned that many really old items were very skillfully and wonderfully made, at times being every bit as nice as the finest modern items.  If an item looked too good, I could have mistakenly dismissed it as being more modern.  I probably made some mistakes like that.

It does take some time for items to wear down or corrode, but that process can take place very rapidly or very slowly, so the amount of wear or corrosion can be a very poor indicator of age.

The environment can have a lot to do with how quickly an item corrodes.  Coins will corrode faster in salt water environments than fresh water, for example.  I was always impressed by how well silver coins held up in the cold fresh water lakes of the north.  And coins buried in the acidic soil around mangroves, on the contrary, corroded very rapidly.  Nearby items can also accelerate corrosion or protect an item from corrosion.

Buried items can become encrusted.  At the top of this post is an imprint of an winged liberty head.  The imprint is in a clay coating that encased a mercury dime that I once dug up.  After finding the coin, I took it home and placed it in Muriatic acid to clean it.  The Muriatic acid appeared to have absolutely no effect at all on the crust or coin.  I tried a stronger solution and left it longer, but the crust was completely resistant to the acid and completely protected the coin no matter how long I left it in the acid.

The imprint you see at the top of this post is on the inside surface of the crust that was removed from one side of the dime.  The other side of the dime and the edges were completely coated too.

Outside Surface of the Crust Removed From The Same Dime.

When the crust was removed, other than discoloration, the Mercury dime was still in great condition and looked very much like it probably looked when it was lost.  The protective crust protected the dime very well until the crust was manually removed.

Here is another example.  I've used this example before.  It really shows how an item can be protected by a crust.

Here is how one side looked when it was dug (below).  It actually wasn't so much dug as scooped up from the rushing water that was bouncing off an eroding cut.

Heavily Encrusted Side of Half Reale.
That shell/sand crust was very hard and strongly attached to the surface of the coin.  I couldn't budge it mechanically without doing damage to the coin.  Muriatic acid did the job though.

Here is the extremely well preserved surface that was revealed when the crust was removed.

Surface of the Cleaned Coin That Was Protected by the Crust.

The details on the side that was protected by a crust are unusually nice and sharp.  The other side of the half reale had no protective crust when I picked it up.  Here is the other side, which is not much different than it appeared when it was taken out of the scoop.

Same Reale  
Side That Did Not Have a Protective Crust.

You can see that the edges, which were not covered by the crust are worn and the side that was not covered by the crust is not nearly as clear as the details on the side that was covered. If you go by the amount of wear or corrosion alone, one side looks older than the other.

Time alone does not cause an item to look older or newer.  It depends upon where the item was and what happened to it.  An item lost hundreds of years ago can easily look newer than an item that is actually very new.  How well an item is preserved depends upon the material, the environment, and how the item reacts to the environment.  An item can appear to age either very quickly or not hardly at all.  You can not judge the age of an item with any precision from the amount of wear or corrosion, even though that is what we usually tend to do.

Today I gave two examples of items that were protected to some extent by protective encrustation.  In the future, I plan to present other examples illustrating other things that can radically affect the apparent age of a beach find.

Items that are hundreds of years old can look days old and other items can deteriorate very rapidly, making them look much older than they are.


Yesterday I showed a Facebook photo of a find by a Tom J. who was visiting the Treasure Coast and found what looked like a reale.  Although the photo was not real clear, I thought I could see a raised edge on the object that made it look incorrect.   I didn't have the entire text of the Facebook page yesterday, but DJ sent me the rest of the text, so I'll present that now.

So the bottom line is that Tom J.'s find is a fake treasure coin.  Don't you wonder how they end up on the beach?  I think some are souvenirs that are lost just like many of the other things we find.  I think others might be put out to entertain children who want to play pirate.  And perhaps others are meant to fool someone.

Thanks to DJ.


Looks like we'll get another bump in the surf - but only for one day.

Source: MagicSeaWeed.com

Too bad the wind will be mostly east/southeast.

I'll be talking more about corrosion on coins, Kang Hsi shards, Aztec gold and a variety of other topics that I've already started.

Happy hunting,