By Steve Herschbach
I have been lobbying for over 6 years - more like a decade - for somebody to produce a replacement for either the White's Bigfoot, or Tesoro Cleansweep coils. These narrow 18" long coils are superb at scanning large areas for relatively shallow targets, making them excellent for jewelry detecting in large fields, and for vacuuming up recent coin drops. They are so efficient at this that some planted coin hunts prohibit them as an unfair advantage. Also great for beach detecting recent drops, relic/coin hunting huge fields, patch hunting for gold nuggets, even meteorites. See my long thread here for details on the subject.
The short story is that the Bigfoot was a 3" x 18" figure 8 wound coil, specific to some White's models. This design has advantages, but is very hard to make, pretty much a hand made coil. And to really work best, a detector needs to be optimized for it (see additional post below). Barring some process breakthrough, I expected getting this coil back into production to be difficult at best. I therefore also concentrated on the Tesoro Cleansweep design as an option, as it is simply an elongated DD coil, much easier to produce properly in volume at lower cost, and with no oddball operating characteristics.
I tried to get Nokta/Makro in particular to make these, as they are generally open to new ideas, and I thought, and still think, a detector sold with this coil as stock would be a unique offering that would attract attention. That came to naught, unfortunately. Then, about a year ago Detech contacted me on another subject. I used that opportunity to once again bring up the elongated coils as an ignored market, and they seemed enthusiastic about pursuing it. But then nothing, silence for a long time. I pretty much gave up hope. I was contacted by another old detectorist on the subject recently, and said just that. I had lost the original contact info from Detech, and was resigned to these coils never happening again. And frankly, I have one, so I'm covered. I just wanted so much for others to be able to get their hands on these coils, especially for machines that never had them as an option.
Well, miracles happen!! I just was notified that Detech is producing a 4" x 18" DD coil that will be available soon (not sure how soon, but they may chime in on this thread hopefully). I do not know the weight or price, but with Detech I am sure that the price will be reasonable. The best part is that it will be for more than one brand of detector. The list I was just provided with:
- MINELAB'S EXPLORER / E-TRAC / SAFARI
- FISHER'S F75
- TEKNETICS T2, G2, GAMMA / OMEGA
- GARRETT'S ACE AND AT PRO
- WHITES' DFX / MXT / M6
And so without further ado, let me give you your first look at a genuinely new product for some detectors, the Detech Arrow! One of my favorite all-time coils is the Detech Ultimate series, so I know they make some great coils. This is a niche coil, but one many people crave. I want to give a very personal thanks to Detech for doing this, as it is something I have tried hard for a long time to get somebody to do, and they have granted this old guys wish finally. Thank you!
Caesarea National Park isn’t the only place where divers have found vast riches in living memory. There’s also the 1715 Treasure Fleet (also known as the 1715 Plata Fleet — “Plata” being the Spanish word for silver), which was unearthed by an amateur diver and enterprising Florida Man, William Bartlett. He went down to do what many divers do — check out a shipwreck that is hundreds of years old. What he found was so much gold he had to start packing it into his gloves.
Over the next two days, he and his compatriots found 350 gold coins worth an astonishing $4.5 million. And while other hauls have been pulled out of this shipwreck, this one was the biggest to come from the wreck in decades.
Where Did the 1715 Treasure Fleet Come From?
The story of the 1715 Treasure Fleet is almost the archetype for the American conception of “sunken treasure.” There were 11 ships, totally loaded with treasure, on their way to Spain from Havana in July 1715. The Spanish were badly in need of the gold, as they had just ended the War of Spanish Succession over who would be King of Spain — the French claimant or the Austrian one — and the war badly drained their resources.
Of course, July is prime hurricane season in Florida, then as it is now and the Spanish did not have the advanced meteorological equipment that we have today for early storm detection. As many as 1,500 Spaniards died in the wreck and it was one of the biggest disasters of the entire Spanish colonial era. Some of the men survived and established a camp while they awaited rescue. The Survivors’ and Salvagers’ Camp can still be visited today, on Orchid Island, Florida.
The Spanish sent ships and, to their credit, were able to recover about 80 percent of what was on board the ships. This is astonishing, not just because of the relatively limited technology of the time, but also because of the number of pirates mulling around the area trying to score whatever treasure they could. Indeed, famed pirate Henry Jennings was first accused of piracy because of his lurking about trying to recover the lost gold of the 1715 Treasure Fleet.
But the remaining 20 percent sat in the deep for quite a long time indeed. It took over 250 years before anyone was able to unearth anything that sank during that shipwreck. All told, there were 14 million pesos on the entire fleet.
Mel Fisher and Kip Wagner: Modern-Day Treasure Hunters
Mel Fisher and Kip Wagner were treasure hunters who teamed up with the intention of getting the remaining bits of treasure still in the deep waters off the Florida coast. Two ships in the massive wreck were located and it took five years of work to uncover all that they could from just those two ships alone. After they moved onto other projects, various salvage crews worked the area until 1983.
The Queens Jewels were allegedly on the ship, though these have not, as of yet, recovered. What’s more, the cargo estimates are based on what was registered with the Spanish crown. There is reason to believe that a far greater amount of riches were on the ship in the form of contraband that the captains and their crew were smuggling back for their own personal enrichment, not that of the Spanish crown.
Unlike some of the other unearthed hoard we have covered here, such as the Hoxne Hoard or the Staffordshire Hoard, there is a clear owner of the shipwreck: Queens Jewels, a salvaging company that acquired the rights to the area in 2010 from the previous owner, treasure hunter Mel Fisher, who came out on top in a long and contentious court battle against the State of Florida. The Spanish government did not attempt to exert a claim on the shipwreck.
For its part, the State of Florida is entitled to 20 percent of any haul, which is then transferred to a museum in Tallahassee. Whatever is left is then split between Queens Jewels and the lucky treasure hunter. It can easily cost $50,000 to even get to the point where you can begin digging around in the ocean for this gold. Anything that washes ashore is the exclusive property of the person who found it. The 1715 Treasure Fleet is one of the reasons the Treasure Coast in Florida is such a popular place for metal detecting, particularly after hurricanes.
Eric Schmitt’s Million-Dollar Score
While Bartlett is one of the biggest scores in recent history, he’s not by any means the only person to strike gold in the deep blue sea thanks to the 1715 Treasure Fleet. Eric Schmitt and his family were able to unearth 52 gold coins and 40 feet of gold chain, as well as 110 silver coins and buttons, which amounted to over a million dollars in value.
Schmitt dives a lot and it wasn’t his first trip down to the Treasure Fleet looking for his fortune. Usually, however, by his own reporting, all he’s able to come up with is empty holes and beer cans. This time, however, it was vastly different. Only 15 feet down, but 1,000 feet offshore, he was able to strike it rich. A gold coin popped out of the sandbank he was working on. It wasn’t the only coin he would uncover and one of them, a very rare piece called a Tricentennial Royal, was worth $500,000.
Back in the old days, people who made coins weren’t terribly concerned with how they looked. The main concern was about how much they weighed and what the overall purity of the precious metal was. The Royals, however, were an exception, as they were presented directly to the king himself and had to be of exquisite quality.
The 1715 Treasure Fleet has seen some exposure in pop culture. A scene in the video game Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag involved the 1715 Treasure Fleet. The first season of the Starz series Black Sails revolves around the 1715 Treasure Fleet and attempts by pirates to recover the riches that it left on the ocean floor.
It is estimated that there are still $400 million in Spanish gold coins outstanding in the area known as Florida’s Treasure Coast. That’s a lot of gold and silver just sitting around for the right enterprising diver to happen upon it.
The 1715 Fleet: The Archetypal Sunken Treasure originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com
By Jim in Idaho
According to legend, in a creek not too far from home, there are two gold bars from a stage robbery. Typical bars in these cases were 125 lbs, and would be about 8 x 16 x 3". I'm going to build a small raft, with a detector mounted on it. Said raft will be controllable by me, so it can be caused to sweep back and forth across the width of the creek as I wade behind it. I'd probably be 10-12' behind. because of barbed wire, and other iron trash, I need really good iron discrimination, and the size of the target means I don't need super sensitivity. A large coil would be a help, as would auto ground tracking. Wireless headphones would be a big help, assumin they can reach that 10-12' I'll be behind the detector. Also I'd need the coil to be waterproof to 24", Though I'm not planning on having the coil that deep. The detector being at least water-resistant would be a help. I'm thinking a lower frequency VLF of some sort, for depth, and will probably be buying on the used market as I'm happy with my current fleet of detectors, except for this specialized task. I'm looking for suggestions from you hotshots, and appreciate the help. I guess it doesn't need to be said that I'd like to keep the cost as low as possible.
This was posted by someone else in a different forum. I thought that ya'll would find it interesting.