Treasure Hunting

Treasure Hunting on Delaware's Coin Beach

A slender strand of sand that extends between Dewey beach and Fenwick Island is call Coin Beach. The formation of this beach is believed to be because of the sinking of the Faithful Steward.

Over the years it has yielded a substantial number of 18th century coins dating from 1766 to 1782 with King George image. A few have been dated 1785. They are corroded copper coins when rubbed reveal an image.

After storms along the beaches, these coins lie propped up on a pedestal of sand. They have washed their way to shore over the last two centuries. In the 1930's and 1940's many were found by the Life Guards from Indian River. After sever Northeasterners, half penny coins were found by the bucketful, literally. The US Coast Guard personnel collected them along the One and a half stretch beach near their station. Organized groups came to collect the treasure and word got out that coins were being found by the bucket full.

Little is known about one of the first recorded shipwrecks in the Delaware history but it is believed to be the brig, "three Brothers."

The British ship was supposedly carrying tons of copper, silver and some gold coins that represented the payroll of the king's soldiers based in Pennsylvania.

On a stormy night in 1775 the Three Brothers sailed out of control into a sand bar. The wreck was battered by the surf for years and a total loss.

It was ten years later, May 20, 1785 that the Faithful Steward set sail from Londonderry, Ireland It was filled with valuable cargo and 249 passengers. It to is believed to have given the beach some of its precious cargo and coins. Rumors spread quickly that the passengers on the faithful Steward were affluent Also that the ship carried a secret cargo of a half million British pounds in gold.

Some of the coins found have been silver Spanish reales and pillar dollar gold English Rose Guineas but most are copper pennies. Even today there are reports of finding such coin treasures even silver and gold coins after a storm. Happy Hunting.

To Preserve Treasure Hunting As A Hobby You Can Follow these Guidelines while Hunting for your own treasures with a Metal Detectors.

Do Not go on or across the sand dunes.

Cover all your holes.

Don't Trespass.

Don't litter- take your garbage with you for disposal.

REMEMBER Historic or Archeological sites are legally protected so stay out.

Information in part courtesy of David Seibold Shipwrecks, Sea Stories and Legends of the Delaware Coast available at the Sea Shell Shop


Pirate Treasure Coins Pirate Silver Cob - 1560-1750

A favorite pirates booty was Spanish Gold or silver. A Spanish gold doubloon was worth about seven weeks pay for the ships sailor. Silver pieces of eight, or old Spanish pesos were cut into pieces to make small change. The rich silver mines of Mexico were the source for the first silver coins or cob of the new world. Pirate crews would divide up the booty. The spoils could add up to $200,000 to $500,000 or more. It might take the form of bars, plate, goblets, church crosses , jewels and silver and gold coins. Today the value would be over 3 to 500 million.

There are a few records of buried treasure and secret maps. Pirates would come ashore by night to hide their treasures on remote islands. They also used the old smugglers? trick or anchoring the contraband in barrels and weighting them with heavy stones to the seabed's and atolls. X marks the spot on many maps showing buried boards. Many treasure have never been found but the legend continues. One such treasure found was on Gardiners Island on the Eastern tip of New York on Long Island. The treasure was all recovered.

Is it true of fiction? Does such treasure still exist. We many never really know unless of course it is found!