Dig it up!

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News Archive

Finding gold jewelry and other lost treasure on the beach and in the water: Part 1

With schools in session, the summer winding down and Labor Day approaching, crowds at local beaches are starting to thin. For some, the end of summer is a tough transition, but for beachcombers and shallow water treasure hunters armed with a good standard, hybrid or submersible metal detector, it means an opportunity to cash in on lost gold and diamond jewelry, I.D. bracelets, rings, watches, necklaces, and other goodies that beach-goers typically lose during the crowded summer months at the beach. All that "bling" makes metal detectors sing, and if you follow a few simple guidelines, you’ll be singing, too—all the way to the jewelry appraiser.

Beaches and swimming holes offer some of the most lucrative treasure hunting hot spots to metal detecting enthusiasts for several reasons, including the following:

How to find gold, diamond and silver jewelry, coins, and other valuables at the beach and in the water using a metal detector.

Beaches are gold jewelry hot spots for the enterprising treasure hunter.
(CC) Larry D. Moore

•    Swimmers and sunbathers don’t wear much when they hit the sand and water, but they often do wear jewelry.

•    Lost items can easily hide under the sand or slip into the water out of sight. 

•    The inventory of lost valuables is replenished annually, so once you establish a good location you never run out of potential finds.

Suction Dredge Gold Miners Hoppin' Mad Over Ban

Suction dredgeCalifornia has drawn a line in the sediment and outlawed suction dredge gold mining, a practice in which frame-mounted, vacuumlike machines suck up the riverbed of mineral-laden mountain streams and spew it out into the water in hopes of capturing a few flecks of gold. The ban is part of a plan to help reverse declining salmon runs on several rivers—but to a bunch of hobbyist gold miners, it’s an affront to personal rights, according to the July 30 Sacramento

News and Review.

“The scientific evidence against suction dredging doesn’t pass the laugh test,” James Buchal, attorney for a mining advocacy group called the New 49’ers, tells the newspaper. “This bill will put hundreds of people out of work and destroy the vacation plans of thousands of people for no purpose whatsoever.”

Despite the gold-tinged vacation dreams of the New 49’ers, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the ban into law Aug. 6. Writes the Associated Press: “Small-scale miners still drawn to California to chase dreams of striking it rich will have to find their gold nuggets the old-fashioned way for awhile, with shovels and pans.”

The American detectors who pay more than £2,000 to search a muddy Norfolk field

American metal detector enthusiasts have descended on a muddy field in Norfolk, paying more than £2,000 for the privilege, in the hope they will uncover some of the treasures.

By Lucy Cockcroft
Published: 6:24AM BST 19 Aug 2009

Around 21 Americans can be seen, head down, scanning the ground in the heart of East Anglia in the hope of finding their own piece of history.

Metal detecting groups have been visiting the area for nearly 20 years, paying up to £2,200 for the holiday, excluding flights.

Each arrives armed with their own detector, which projects an electromagnetic field into the ground and beeps when it comes into contact with anything metallic.

Mostly, they just uncover rubbish like a discarded shotgun cartridge or an old tin can.

US metal detectors looking for treasures in a field in Felmingham
US metal detectors looking for treasures in a field in Felmingham Photo: ARCHANT

Governor Signs Bill Banning In Stream Dredge Mining for Gold

Today Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill to temporarily ban the destructive form of recreational gold mining known as suction dredging.

A gold mining suction dredge on the Salmon River in Northern California spews out a plume of sediment. Photo courtesy of the Karuk Tribe, Orleans, CA.
Karuk Tribe · Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations · Institute for Fisheries Resources · Klamath Riverkeeper · Center For Biological Diversity · Friends of the River · California Tribal Business Alliance · The Sierra Fund · California Trout · Environmental Law Foundation · Environmental Justice Coalition for Water · Friends of the North Fork American · California Sportfishing Protection Alliance

Treasure trove of silver Roman coins worth thousands found buried in field

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:53 PM on 16th July 2009

One of the largest hoards of Roman coins ever discovered in Britain has been officially declared 'treasure' today.

Amateur metal detecting enthusiast Keith Bennett discovered a total of 1,141 Roman denarii, or silver coins, in a field last July.

The coins, stashed in a clay urn and buried around four feet underground, date from between 206 BC and 195 BC.

Roman coins found in Warwickshire field

Big find: A total of 1,141 Roman denarii were found by amateur metal detector enthusiast Keith Bennett in a Warwickshire field. They are expected to be worth

Ring finder's son offers classy reunions

You see those stories once in a while where someone finds a class ring and tracks down the owner.

Drew MacDonald has a whole box of 'em.

Drew is an estate-planning attorney from Menasha with an office in Appleton. He spends his days telling clients how to pass along their treasures.

"And here I sit with a boxful of heirlooms that don't belong to me," he said Tuesday.

They belong to N.L.K. from the Burlington High School class of 1979. And to G.V.P. from the Pulaski High School class of 1975. And to someone whose name on the ring band looks like Walter Diay or a spelling close to that. His 1940 ring from the University of Notre Dame got away from him somehow.

Here's the thing: Drew didn't find any of these rings. His dad did. John MacDonald retired as a maintenance manager

Michael Sears

Drew MacDonald will gladly reunite these class rings with their owners. His late father found them over the years

Archaeologists find Confederate cannons

From staff reports

Published: Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 12:02 a.m.

Archaeologists from the University of South Carolina and East Carolina University have found two large cannons from a sunken Confederate gunboat in the Pee Dee River and have identified where the Mars Bluff Naval Yard once stood on the east side of the river in Marion County.

State underwater archaeologist Christopher Amer and state archaeologist and research associate professor Jon Leader began work April 30. The project called for finding and, eventually, raising three cannons, each weighing upwards of five tons, that were once aboard the C.S.S. Pee Dee, as well as determining the location of the naval yard where the gunboat had been built.

Amer said the underwater research has been very successful, despite rising waters that have created a higher or more swift-moving current and lower visibility.

Photo provided
University of South Carolina underwater archaeologist Christopher Amer and archaeological assistant Joe Beatty carry an artillery shell from a Confederate Brooke rifled cannon recovered from the Pee Dee River.

Moorpark man finds gold nugget worth $10,000

After seven years spent prospecting for gold as a hobby in the California desert, Terry Hughes of Moorpark hit the mother lode.

On Memorial Day, the former Marine and disabled Vietnam veteran scored a “one-in-a-million” find: an 8.7-ounce gold nugget worth an estimated $10,000.

“We’re all hoping to find the big one and Terry did,” said Patrick Keene, co-owner of Keene Engineering, reportedly one of the world’s largest suppliers of portable mining equipment.

A nugget that big — about the size of an egg — is “extremely rare,” Keene said.

Jeffrey Earle / Special to The Star
“When you get your first gold, it gives you the gold fever,” Terry Hughes said. He stands behind a dry washer like the one he uses.

Jeffrey Earle / Special to The Star “When you get your first gold, it gives you the gold fever,” Terry Hughes said. He stands behind a dry washer like the one he uses.

Find out how Anton Antonowicz fares scouring for gold in California

It is 10am in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the prospector is already sweating... feverishly.He is bent double over the snow-melt creek, using a long-handled spade to dig beneath a submerged rock.

Pound after pound of stone and gravel slide into a large plastic bucket. And somewhere amid his relentless toil is pay-dirt.

Rudy Beauford looks up suddenly, his single-minded concentration broken by my presence. He takes off his New York Yankees baseball cap and wipes his brow.

Then, without prompting, he welcomes me to his world. It is one to which more and more hard-up Americans are returning as recession bites and jobs disappear.

Gold Rush (Pic:JohnChapple)

51 years later, RHHS class ring back with owner

She didn't pay but $9 and change for her Rock Hill High School class of 1942 ring. But that doesn't mean Wilma Peebles hadn't missed that little ring for so many years.

“I remember Daddy gave me a $10 bill, and I had never held so much money before, and I got some change back,” Peebles recalled about getting the ring.

But 51 years ago, she was planting daffodils outside her Harmony Road house south of Rock Hill. Her late husband, Alton, had dug a trench for the bulbs on that day in 1958. The ring somehow slipped off, but it wasn't noticed that it was gone until later.


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