Silver and the Tidal Zone
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Thread: Silver and the Tidal Zone

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  1. #1
    us
    Apr 2014
    St. Petersburg, Florida
    Garett Ace 350
    9
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Silver and the Tidal Zone

    What happens to silver when its be in a tidal zone for quite some time.
    Does it turn black and get brittle?

  2. #2

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    13,667
    10065 times
    Banner Finds (4)
    in wet salt, it turns colors to somewheres between a metallic grey, to a full-on-black. Depending on combination of minerals with that wet salt. And then slowly eats away at the metal integrity of the silver, such that ... it's never redeemable numismatically. And to add misery to this, if the coin is in the "in-out" action of the sand (pulled out with each erosion cycles, and re-deposited back on the beach with the spring/summer fill-in), then it can also begin to get a "sand-blasted" effect. I've seen silver quarters and dimes ... so thin.... that you could bend them with your bare fingers. Doh!

    An exception would be silver coins that came out from the higher dunes, which had not been eroded back into by any previous storm. Not sure about Florida, but here in CA, when there's the winter erosion cycles, not every spot on the beach is equally as eroded back into. Thus mother nature takes one spot on the beach, and that becomes her "burr in her bonnett". Like scallop points, etc.... Thus in subsequent years, when a new and different zone is getting eroded (a mere 1000 yards up or down from there), it can go into other dunes, which perhaps hadn't last been at this high water mark since 1900 or whatever. The silver coins get introduced to the wet, which , at first, can be every bit as shiny (nearly so anyhow) as something you'd expect to find on land.

  3. #3
    zm
    Nov 2012
    1,295
    643 times
    Quote Originally Posted by ebeing View Post
    What happens to silver when its be in a tidal zone for quite some time. Does it turn black and get brittle?


    Click image for larger version. 

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    This one was quite dark and down under a long time.

  4. #4
    us
    Apr 2014
    St. Petersburg, Florida
    Garett Ace 350
    9
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    thank you both for your replies.

  5. #5
    zm
    Nov 2012
    1,295
    643 times
    Some more silver I've found in south Florida.
    Sometimes they appear a purplish color also.

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    lorraine likes this.

  6. #6
    us
    Nov 2012
    Florida
    1,692
    688 times
    Here is some. A wasted dime.

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  7. #7
    us
    Jun 2009
    Oahu, HI
    White's, Garrett, Minelab
    241
    166 times
    Metal Detecting
    The black residue on the surface of silver is silver sulfate. A good place to find sulfates are in lawn fertilizers - so common for silver coins in lawns to come out dark grey-black. As the time exposed to the sulfate lengthens, the coating grows deeper, changing the silver surface color from white to yellow, gold, red, blue, green and finally black. You can use this as a guide to gauge when the ring was lost (perhaps - soil concentration of sulfates is unknown).

    The green-blue on sterling silver rings can be because the silver is alloyed to copper, which oxidizes to a green-blue. Silver oxidized with chlorine forms silver chlorine which is purple/yellowish. A good source for chlorine is sea water.
    Sir Gala Clad likes this.

  8. #8
    us
    CASPER

    Jan 2012
    NEW ENGLAND
    WHITE'S XLT, PI PRO, GARRETT 2500, 3- FISHER CZ21s, JW FISHER 8X
    15,279
    15638 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (5)
    silver from "most" places up in the northeast comes out like this -(one on left for comparison-silver quarters)
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    silver colonial buckle
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    this handful of silver is from one trip to Fla. waters
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    we have more black sand and causes more caking
    and then theres coins from this one beach I been hitting
    they come out like this - no black sand
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    Motto = "I try to hit where others cant or others wont "

  9. #9
    us
    Jun 2009
    Oahu, HI
    White's, Garrett, Minelab
    241
    166 times
    Metal Detecting
    Perhaps some soap and water followed by soaking the silver in vinegar would remove the encrusted minerals. Then a bit of silver polish would get them shiny again.

  10. #10

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    13,667
    10065 times
    Banner Finds (4)

    reply

    Casper, great pix. Thanx !

 

 

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