Metal Detecting

Stumble Upon Treasure: How to Start Metal Detecting

April 19, 2021

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This is just one of the many reasons to get into the art of metal detecting.

From gold necklaces and chalices to ax heads, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to amazing metal detector finds. But before you grab your detector and start treasure hunting, there are a few things you should know.

Want to increase your odds of searching in the most lucrative spots? Need more information on choosing the best metal detector for the job?

Keep reading to learn the answer to these burning questions and more!

Metal detecting

Choosing the Right Metal Detector

Any expert will tell you (regardless of the activity); you need the right tool for the job. Like most electronics, not all metal detectors are created equal.

A few factors will determine the type of device you buy — including price, the type of treasure you hope to find, where you’ll be hunting, and your experience level.

One thing all metal detectors have in common is that they’ll beep when they sense specific objects, or targets, underground.

Metal detectors contain a coil that sends out an electromagnetic field. When that field comes in contact with other objects generating their field (coins, jewelry, and other treasures), the device alerts you.

It’s in your best interest to invest in a high-quality detector. This improves your chances of finding targets made of various materials beneath different types of soil and conditions.  Metal detectors can sense the conductivity of metal objects.  This is how some detectors differentiate between various targets.  The ground or salt water at the beach may have a conductivity to it which is why you don’t want to use a cheap machine.  It can be frustrating to have the machine beep, dig and turn up nothing.

Where to Hunt

As you enter the world of metal detecting, knowing where to hunt is half the battle.

The good news is there are many places to search.  When it comes to privately owned property, it is important to obtain permission from the owner. Even though most parks are public, contact the park office to determine rules for metal detecting.

Most beaches are open for searching below high tide line. Above high tide is usually owned by a hotel or private owner.  There are many exceptions. Click here for more information.

Understanding what mineralized ground is and how it affects metal detecting is key. Ground mineralization refers to natural minerals in the ground that may interfere with your detector’s readings — causing confusing sounds and false alerts.

Some of the best ground conditions for hunting include soft ground that is slightly wet and free of iron, sodium, and other acidic minerals.

How to Improve Your Odds

Even with the best metal detector and prime ground conditions, there are other things you can do to improve your odds of scoring some great finds.

Timing Is Everything

There’s nothing worse than being hot on a trail only to be sidetracked by a group of kids, stray dogs, or other disturbance.

To avoid this, try hunting early in the morning or at night. This increases your chances of staying on course.

Take Your Time

The idea of discovering buried treasure is exhilarating — but don’t let your excitement get the best of you!

Take your time and move carefully over the area you’re covering. Move your detector slowly, scanning every inch of ground. Keep the coils of your detector parallel to the ground and avoid lifting your detector too soon or angling it upward.

Remember, even the faintest signals could be signs of valuable treasure buried deeper beneath the surface. Leave no stone (or grain of sand), unturned!

Hit the Beach

Most people can recall at least one time seeing someone on the beach with a metal detector. That’s because loose sand is a treasure trove for hunters. Why?

It’s not the cool ocean breeze and sunshine (while those are nice, too!), but instead the high level of pedestrian traffic.

Not only are beaches busy (which means more turnover), but countless beach-goers unknowingly drop earrings, bracelets, rings, and other small valuables close to the surface.

Metal Detecting: A Fun and Lucrative Hobby

While not every trip out to the beach or park will result in a gold mine, metal detecting is about more than just making a quick buck. It’s about discovering lost treasures, historical artifacts, and rare and unusual trinkets.

Looking for other relaxing hobbies?

Check out our extensive list of classes or contact us today for more information on your next great adventure!