Found On Beach - Piece of Silver, Pewter, other?

SandPyrat

Greenie
Jan 18, 2017
12
59
St. Augustine
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Whites Surfmaster PI
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Beach & Shallow Water Hunting
Found this at the low tide line yesterday on beach in St. Augustine area.
Is it old because of the shells stuck on it? Generally how long does something need to be in the water for this to happen?
And, if old, why hasn't it corroded away (if it were iron)?
I scraped and edge to show the metal is shiny. Wondering if I should investigate further or don't bother.
Edit: Remember I had a dremel tool and wirebrushed a spot, added pic.
 

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DCMatt

Gold Member
Oct 12, 2006
10,371
13,519
Herndon Virginia
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 600, EX II, & Musketeer, White's Classic
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
It looks like a brass alloy - which is suitable for use when it will be exposed to seawater. and has been used in ships and seaside items for centuries. Hard to say what it broke off of or how old it is...

DCMatt
 

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cudamark

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Mar 16, 2011
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San Diego
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Yeah, it looks to me like aluminum or pot metal. Maybe a chunk of a license plate frame?
 

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ARC

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Aug 19, 2014
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Tarpon Springs
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JW 8X-ML X2-VP 585
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Agreed... this is almost definitely aluminum by sight alone.

My guess... strap from something.

Not old at all.
 

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mcl

Sr. Member
Sep 26, 2014
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411
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I'm not totally ready to call it anything specific in terms of metal material.. not enough information here to decide. It's completely encrusted in barnacles -- thus it's difficult to really see the metal itself. It's not iron, and it wasn't melted, that much seems clear. I think it's interesting either way and is worth a bit of looking into.

What I will say is that, I did find a picture of a part of the Space Shuttle Columbia that washed up in 1996, 10 years after after it exploded over the water. This is the picture of that piece still on the beach:

cocoa_beach_1996 challenger.jpg

That gives you some time scale. Though to me, yours is completely encrusted yet they all seem long broken/dead. So while I'm no expert, I would at least venture a guess that the piece is at least 10 years old.
 

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