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Thread: Finally got out to the beach, but what is it?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Digger_O'Dell's Avatar
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    Finally got out to the beach, but what is it?

    Hello everyone! Finally got out for a couple hours Saturday morning to my local Lake Michigan beach. First thing that appended was seeing a whole bunch of people detecting even though it was just past sunrise. There was a woman who passed me up as I was headed out and she told me not to bother as she already found everything. Yeah, haha....

    I started following my usual line right along the surf where most of the regular old codgers avoid problems due to being kinda steep and the chance of wet feet. I hadn't gone more than 20 feet when the same lady rushes past me now carrying a soup can size scoop, and starts detecting my line not 10 feet in front of me! I just followed her and got all the goodies she missed..

    So anyway, other than the usual pocket change I got a junker ring and an item I have no clue about. It looks similar to a water spigot handle, but it's made out of what looks to be stamped copper with the back hollow filled with lead. Doesn't look like it broke off anything or that it had any shaft attached. The nubs around the outside are rounded as if to get a better grip, not as if they were spokes broken off to a larger outer wheel. Any ideas would be appreciated.
    My only guess is maybe a valve handle off one of the many steamers that wrecked in the area between the 1860s to the 1920s or so.

    Ring:
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    The unknown item:
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    Last edited by Digger_O'Dell; 08-01-2022 at 03:38 PM.
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    2017 -Silver 28 Bling 18 Gold 2
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  2. #2
    I have no idea what that is, Chris. Why were there so many detectorists? Normal?
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  3. #3
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    HI Chris,

    I think it is a handle for a valve. I have seen some like that in older foundries when I sold valves and fittings in my youth. Glad you got out.

    Darryl
    Garrett AT Pro, Garrett Waterproof Pinpointer, CTX3030 with 6,11,17" coils.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Digger_O'Dell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OxShoeDrew View Post
    I have no idea what that is, Chris. Why were there so many detectorists? Normal?
    Drew,
    As this is the only actual beach that anyone recreates on in any number and has easy access I've seen as many as a dozen (or more) people at one time detecting the beach in the early mornings. There's usually about 4 or 5 regulars and more who show up after events like the air show we had a week ago.
    There's other couple public beaches. One is a little inlet creating a little half moon shaped beach that collects all the garbage, dead fish and seaweed on the shore. The others just outside the city limits are below a very high bluff of about a 1/4 mile vertical climb. There's usually stair access zigzagging the bluff faces, but that more than doubles the climb. Bad enough as is, but then carrying detecting gear up and down is quite the haul. Also few people use these areas due to the limited access, and although I have detected them all I've found very little.
    There's some nice beaches to the south along other cities, but competition is fierce there too. I tried pretty much all the beaches North and South within 3 hours driving several times without finding even a bottle cap or gum wrapper at any one of them.
    Equipment:
    Minelab: CTX 3030, GPX 4800, X-Terra 705. Whites TDI SL.

    2017 -Silver 28 Bling 18 Gold 2
    2018 Silver 8 Bling 1 Gold 1
    2019 Silver 7 Silver bling 2
    2020/21 Nothing worth mentioning

    Best finds: 28 silver dime spill, 1800s Dutch customs seal.
    Oldest/best coin: 1837 Upper Canada large cent
    Oldest find: 1800 Sailors Luck token
    You Tube: Rediscovering America

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Bucknut's Avatar
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    Wow there is so much competition over there. Michigan has plenty of detectorists out and about but I rarely see anyone when I go out except after Labor Day in the MetroPark beaches. The MetroParks used to have a rule of no detecting at their beaches from Memorial day to Labor Day. So the morning after Labor Day I have seen up to 15 detectorists at a beach.

    Well I hope you either find a spot that not too many people have pillaged or keep at it in these places and get lucky and find that elusive piece of gold.

    I can see the mystery item looking at like spigot handle but I don't see where it would screw onto the pipe. So not sure what it was.
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  6. #6
    Veteran Member The Rebel's Avatar
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    That mystery reminds me of the plugs in older sinks/bathtub drains.
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  7. #7
    Incredible! If I found this object here in Europe, I would be 100% sure that it is a Celtic wheel amulet. I have an interesting thesis: it actually looks like it is an electroplated copy of a Celtic amulet. The thin copper layer was then back-cast with pewter. Perhaps a souvenir from Europe?
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  8. #8
    Elite Member Digger_O'Dell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menzl View Post
    Incredible! If I found this object here in Europe, I would be 100% sure that it is a Celtic wheel amulet. I have an interesting thesis: it actually looks like it is an electroplated copy of a Celtic amulet. The thin copper layer was then back-cast with pewter. Perhaps a souvenir from Europe?
    Thank you Menzl, this is fabulous news! I just spent several hours researching these coins along with trying to find any souvenir pieces that match. A few facts stick out here:

    1) The piece is 47.7mm diameter not counting the irregular points while the biggest authentic wheel I saw was around 17mm
    2) It appears to be hammered bronze for the outer mold and is pretty hard material.
    3) The back side is filled with what appears to be pewter, but again potin is very close to pewter.

    One oddity is that I did read somewhere on one of the web pages I saw some mention of potin being cast into bronze to make wheel pendants, but no details were given about size.

    Another consideration is that legitimate potin wheel coins and pendants of the Celtic era seem to sell relatively cheap. So my guess is it could be either a well made tourist piece (doubtful due to lead content) or an actual period relic someone found or bought, then lost it in my area.
    Equipment:
    Minelab: CTX 3030, GPX 4800, X-Terra 705. Whites TDI SL.

    2017 -Silver 28 Bling 18 Gold 2
    2018 Silver 8 Bling 1 Gold 1
    2019 Silver 7 Silver bling 2
    2020/21 Nothing worth mentioning

    Best finds: 28 silver dime spill, 1800s Dutch customs seal.
    Oldest/best coin: 1837 Upper Canada large cent
    Oldest find: 1800 Sailors Luck token
    You Tube: Rediscovering America

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by The Rebel View Post
    That mystery reminds me of the plugs in older sinks/bathtub drains.
    that was my first thought.
    I live my life one target at a time
    since '68

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