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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Piers and jewelry hunting

I have found a lot of jewelry and coins around piers, or more importantly just a few yards past piers.  A few yards past the fishing pier in this photo, I found two Spanish silver reales from the late 1600s. 

Local tales of Spanish treasure coins found on the beach near the pier after winter storms turned out to be true. 
Many beach and water hunters use fishing piers as turn around points, or they avoid metal detecting around fishing piers because of the high amount of discarded fishing tackle in the area. 
I love metal detecting around fishing piers, it is very surprising how much gold jewelry you can find in an area that is often off limits to sunbathers and swimmers during normal beach hours. 
Under the pier has always been an attractive place for courting couples to hang out at night, in the day time people like to wade or snorkel around around the pier pilings. 
This would explain all the gold jewelry you can find under a pier, if you do not mind working hard for it. 
Yes you will find a lot of lead fishing weights and corroding ferrous objects, but you will find gold and silver if you put your time in around a pier.  
I have heard of so many great finds recovered around piers in Florida, but I still see many beach and water hunters just turning around at piers and walking back in the direction they came from. 
Twice this year, strangers chatting to me on the beach have told me that their friends had lost jewelry close to a fishing pier. 
I wonder how many people fishing off the pier lose earrings, rings, chains and watches while casting or reeling in fish. 
The older the pier, the more likely you are to recover old coins and jewelry after coastal storms hit the area. 
Think about all those people back in the day, dropping coins on the pier and seeing them fall between the wooden planks. 
One of my favorite pier find stories happened a few years ago when I recovered an old 1730 Spanish silver two reale mounted in a 14K gold bezel.   
The custom pendant was found a few yards past a popular fishing pier in south Florida. I was following another beach hunter who predictably turned around at the pier, he took his headphones off and told me the morning was a washout as he headed off the beach.
I went a few yards past where the chap had turned around and returned home with a really nice treasure coin pendant. 
Next time you think about turning around at a pier, think about what great find may be waiting for you just a few yards past the pier. 

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