Finding Beach Treasure Without A Metal Detector

Leave it to our three time tournament champion to find this, of course without a metal detector

I’ve always said Stephan Talabisco has a golden horseshoe shoved up his nether region. Yesterday he proved that once again. By finding a little treasure and history on coin beach, without a metal detector. Of course it was the first time he ever looked for anything too. Now he is a three time treasure hunter, but I don’t think Indiana Jones’ title is in danger … yet.

Stephan … Originally I was supposed to be down in Ocean City for some concerts for bike week. They got canceled due to Covid. The rental wouldn’t refund our deposit so I decided to make it a family trip. The weather wasn’t cooperating so I decided to take my family to the seashell shop in Fenwick Island. But what I didn’t know was above the shop was the Discoversea Shipwreck Museum.

This place was amazing. So much history and found treasures. I saw a man giving a lecture to a group of patrons. Come to find out he was the owner of the museum, Dale Clifton Jr. He was very Knowledgeable. We discussed the Mel Fisher Museum in Key West and the Atocha Shipwreck which Dale was part of the dive team. He then let me and my family hold a few gold bars he found. Come to find out they were worth a half a million. We talked a good bit and I decided to ask him about Coin Beach, at the Faithful Steward Crossing, also known as Savages Ditch, near Indian River Inlet.

discoversea shipwreck museum, delaware, fenwick island
Dale Clifton Jr, Stephan Talabisco, and Ruby Talabisco holding gold bars at the Discoversea Shipwreck Museum in Fenwick Island, Delaware

I’ve always heard you could sometimes find treasure from the Faithful Steward. An 18th-century merchant ship that was wrecked off the coast of Delaware in 1785. Dale told me he still finds coins today. So I said thanks Dale we only have a few hours till sunset and I grabbed my family and rushed out of the shop and headed to coin beach. My wife said to me there is no way in hell you are going to find any coins. I said you also said I wasn’t going to win The Delaware Surf Fishing Tournaments which I did.

We didn’t have a metal detector or any fancy equipment just our hands and eyes. We searched for a few hours and found seventy-six pieces of a metal like substance. When we got back to our condo I took a magnet from the fridge and all the seventy-six pieces stuck to the magnet. We were exited and def thought we hit the mother load. We waited until the shop opened up the next day and headed to see Dale.

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The 76 pieces I found on the beach at coin beach.

He was surprised to see us back and took my bag of metal pieces and ran a “wand” over them, a hand held metal detector. Only two pieces gave a distinct signature of having some sort of other metal in them. He put them in a cleaning solution and said it would take some time to clean. Five or ten minutes later he said you want the good news or the bad news. My daughter Ruby and I both said the bad news.

He said this whole bag is nothing but shale. Could be from a anchor or some other type of metal. The good news is two of your pieces contained a button and a nail and the other contained a Irish or English Half Penny. He was a hundred percent positive it came from the Faithful Steward and 99.9% percent sure the button and nail came from the same shipwreck. Dale was amazed I found these without a metal detected and gave my family and I some kudos. Dale was super busy and told me to come back and he would give us a certificate of authenticity for the artifacts.
If you want something really cool to do check out the museum and have a conversation with Dale. As for the booty it’s out there to be taken. Happy Treasure hunting folks!

Stephan Talabisco
Three time tourney winner now turned treasure hunter.

I tell people all the time you never know what you will find on the beach, you just have to look. Sometimes as Stephan found out, those pieces of junk you find, might be something really special. Treasure doesn’t always look like a golden idol sitting on a pedestal in a cave. In fact it never does. Usually it is just a piece of old rusty looking metal, or rock, laying on a beach that most wouldn’t glance at twice. I know some metal detector enthusiasts that have been looking for one of these coins for years.
We are never going to hear the end of this either. Nice work Three Time!

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Irish or English Half penny, button and nail piece from the Faithful Steward shipwreck found on coin beach

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