Beachcombing: has anybody ever found anything valuable ?

Has anybody, or do you know of anyone having found anything valuable while beachcombing (excluding the washed-up goods after the recent cargo wreck off the coast of Devon) ?

Since there really isn’t a classic “General Question” here, let’s try MPSIMS.

samclem GQ moderator

I often find my sanity while beachcombing. Does that qualify?

OK, how about this? One of the things my niece got for her last birthday was a metal detector. About a month later, they went to the beach to see if they could find anything, but it wasn’t the beach my niece wanted to go to and she started to get hissy about it. Her mother tried to calm her down by telling her that maybe she’d find jewelry or money or something with her metal detector and eventually got her to come out of the car. They got down to the beach and lo and behold, right away, my niece spots a ring in the sand. It wasn’t even buried enough to need the metal detector. It probably wasn’t worth fifty bucks but it was a nice find for a kid who, had she gotten her way, wouldn’t have found it at all.

I’m not sure if most beachcombers are even looking for valuables. I think that most are just looking for things like interesting shells, sea glass, driftwood, etc.

There are places, however, where one could possibly find treasure (like the Treasure Coast of Florida, where lots of Spanish ships carrying gold got whacked by the frequent hurricanes there). However, unsurprisingly, most of those places have been played out or are off limits.

I found 18 golf balls on the beach one time when I was about 12. I think they’re still in the house somewhere.

Whaddya mean? Those are valuables!

I once found a bottle with a letter in it. Turns out it had been tossed in by a neighbor, who hoped someone in a far-off, exotic land would find it. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it didn’t get that far, so I mailed it to a friend in California who lived on another beach and another body of water, and told her to write back to the originator, saying she found it right there.

I expected the news media to pick it up and run a story about the bottle that made its way thru Lake Michigan, over Niagra Falls and the St. Lawrence Seaway, then thru Panama Canal (or around South America) to be found on a Santa Monica beach. But that never happened. Maybe the scam was too obvious?

OK, then. We once found a message in a bottle that had gotten about 30 miles for where it had started. We wrote to the girl who launched it but never heard back from her.

I once found about 200 packets of cigarettes, presumably dropped by a smuggler. Unfortunately they were this disgusting Chinese brand, so I left 'em.

I found Bruno Gerussi, and man, was he glad someone dug him up.

[sub]* Non-Canadians probably won’t get this joke.[/sub]

Not beach combing, but snorkling on Maui, Mrsin found a wedding ring. We advertised in the Maui News and got a couple of calls but no one could identify it. We still have it. Identify it and it’s yours. :cool:

I’ve beach combed items - fossils and seaglass mostly, that I’ve sold on ebay for a few quid.

I have found all sorts of neat things, but nothing very valuable. My gramps used to find all sorts of jewelry with his metal detector, though.

A previous thread about people finding valuable ambergris

I remember going for a picnic with my family when we lived in Holland. We stopped at a beach, most beaches in Holland are stone/pebble beaches and we met a woman who was looking for semi precious stones - she’d found garnets I believe. We tried but hadn’t really got a clue what we were looking for.

Last year I found a diamond ring on a beach on the Big Island. I turned it in to the police.

When I was a kid, I used to go beachcombing with my dad and a big, noisy metal detector. The best things we ever found were a thin gold ring which looked like a class ring, and several coins. When I was 7 I discovered a marble whose outside had been buffed by the sand to a frosted finish. Not valuable, but to a 7-year-old girl it was TREASURE.

I’ve found quite a bit of seaglass on the beach at Lake Huron. Thats it though.

On the Baltic and the North Sea coasts they still find amber with fossilized organisms.

What’s seaglass ? Can’t find it in dictionary.

Laughs! That’s tricky.