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Beginners Guide to Metal Detecting

Beginners Guide To Metal Detecting

Documented by admin-treasures

Categories & Site Details: Field Research, Gold, Metal Detecting, Metal Detectors

This article “Beginners Guide to Metal Detecting” was written by Richard Kennedy from

About the Author:
Richard Kennedy runs his own metal detecting blog helping people learn more about the hobby, and learn how to find as much treasure as possible.


Beginners Guide To Metal Detecting

What Is Metal Detecting, Why Should You Do The Hobby?

Metal detecting has been around for many years now. However, it has recently gotten a lot of traction due to the state-of-the-art technological advancements that have simplified the process. But there are other reasons people live for metal detecting these days, and some of the common ones include:

● The thrill of digging up and holding something in our hands that has been buried for hundreds, if not potentially thousands of years.

● The passion for collecting coins, be it old silver colonial coins, or some common ones such as wheat pennies.

● Metal detecting is a fun way to explore and exercise.

● Lastly, metal detecting can be a profitable hobby where you can sell rare and precious finds like silver or gold jewelry and gold nuggets. However, don’t set your expectations too high.


Metal detecting is also quite addictive because you become enthralled in digging up more relics dating back to hundreds of years, especially when you find something interesting or worth something.


Now, what’s the first thing you need to start your metal detecting journey? Well, you’d have to get yourself a metal detector first. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to spend a fortune on it, especially if you’re only starting.

The idea is to get yourself a reliable detector, gives good results, and is user-friendly, especially for a beginner.

When choosing a metal detector, it is pivotal that you pick one that has the following essential features:


Crucial Features To Look For In A Metal Detector

1. Detection Mode

Many metal detectors available today come with pre-configured detection settings that focus on different kinds of objects. Some of the most recurring modes include jewelry, coins, relics, and any type of metals.

2. Discrimination

When choosing a metal detector, you need to distinguish your primary target from the trash. That is the primary purpose of another feature known as discrimination. It will help you filter out a precious silver or gold coin’s signal from that of a trash item. This way, you’ll only have your primary target insight and save time digging out garbage items.

Most models that you find these days come with an auto-adjusting capability or allow users to adjust the settings manually. Some detectorists even choose not to use discrimination as they want to dig up anything that’s metal, including relics and gold.

3. Sensitivity

Nowadays, most metal detectors are designed to be highly sensitive. This means that they are able to pick up signals of treasure items under soils of high mineralization. This function also allows detectors to pick up metals that have been corroded under the weather for so long.

The operating frequencies for metal detectors typically range between 6.4 kilohertz and 20 kilohertz. Users can adjust the settings according to the area they’re conducting their metal detecting in. In short, you should pick metal detectors that are highly sensitive as they make the search easier and more rewarding.

4. Coil Size

The diameter of a metal detector’s coil is directly dependent on the depth of treasure hunting grounds. This means that if you have a large coil, you’ll be able to search deeper into your hunting grounds. For instance, a medium-sized coil allows you to search in depths that range from 7 to 9 inches. Smaller coils offer a maximum search depth of 6 in. So if you want to dig deeper, you’ll need a larger coil for the job.

5. Ground Balance

If there is even the tiniest trace of iron in the soil, it could interfere with your metal detector’s ability to find coins, relics, and other precious finds. Fortunately, ground balance is the very thing that will cancel out such interferences.

6. Operating Frequency

A metal detector’s operating frequency influences both the depth and sensitivity of your targets. It’s the number of times a signal is transmitted and then received by your detector every second. Detectors that are of lower frequency provide deeper scanning capabilities, offering a better detection depth overall. Those with higher frequencies are more sensitive to gold and smaller objects. Unfortunately, higher frequency detectors are unable to offer deep depth searches.

7. Target ID

This is the feature that will allow you to identify every one of your targets. That’s how you’ll be able to determine the value of your finds. We suggest opting for the detector that offers a vast array of target IDs, adding variety to and simplifying your search. Generally, those items that have a higher electrical conductivity have higher values to them. However, you should always refer to the manufacturer’s manual.


Metal Detecting Laws - Beginners Guide to Metal Detecting


Even if you have all of the necessary equipment and features in place, don’t think you can search for your heart’s content. Certain areas and locations have their own set of rules and regulations, especially when it comes to digging in someone’s private lawn or field. You just can’t go up to somebody’s yard and make a mess of everything while you’re looking for something valuable.

The point is that there are rules regarding certain localities, whether they’re written by law, or by the inhabitants of that place. Whatever the case may be, the rules need to be respected.

First and foremost, it’s illegal to simply come on into a National Park in the United States and start looking for relics or other items with your device. Should the police find you digging out some buttons right in the center of the Gettysburg National Battlefield, it would be really bad for you.

And it’s not just metal detecting that is a no-go in national parks; you also can’t remove artifacts or hunt for relics either. If you’re caught red-handed by the police, you could either get arrested, fined for approximately $10,000, or worse, incarcerated. And for that matter, your metal detector might get confiscated as well.

So whichever place you’re looking to dig up for any valuable item, be sure to give the owners of the area a phone call, or at the very least, drop a business card/flyer in their mailbox.

In many cases, the detectorist keeps the spoils that they’ve excavated, unless the owner of that area that they went hunting for asks for something. Some of these items may include jewelry, or perhaps family heirlooms, which is fair game since the item was in their property.


Technique – Beginners Guide To Metal Detecting

Even if you have your permissions in place, that’s not going to guarantee a successful treasure hunt. So if you want to get good results and enjoy the thrill of treasure hunting itself, then you need to follow the essential tips that we’ve laid out for you below:

Tips on How to Use Your Metal Detector | Beginners Guide to Metal Detecting

1. Understand the Metal Detector Properly

This rule is so essential that even professionals need to be wary of it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re getting your first detector ever, or the tenth one, it’s important for everybody to know how to operate their device. It’s only when you properly understand your detector’s functions and properties that you’ll finally enjoy every hunt or search you conduct.

Whether you consult the manufacturer’s manual, an instructional CD, or online tutorials, of which there are many, you need to bridge the gap between knowing how to work your detector and uncovering some of the biggest historical, archaeological, or valuable finds around.

2. Start Searching Once You’re in an Ideal Location

When you start searching, you’ll notice that your device will be making plenty of beeps in various tones. As you continue to build experience over time, you’ll be able to identify your targets better with those sounds. And if you’re bothered by background noise, then use headphones.

3. Move Slowly

When treasure hunting, abstain from power walking as you’ll likely miss your targets. Just move slowly and make sure to keep your detector’s coil close to the ground without bumping or touching it.

4. When You Get a Good Signal, Start Digging a Plug

After pinpointing the location of your target, do the following:

● Take your hand bigger, get down on your knees, and then back off at least three to five inches from your target before sticking the digger into that spot.

● Start cutting the area in a counterclockwise motion, forming a horseshoe-like shape.

● After cutting the target, pry open the plug with your digger so it falls on its head. At this point, the plug acts as a hinge.

● Take your towel and lay it down on the grass right in front of your hole to prevent any dirt on the grass or ground. If your target isn’t inside, then use the handheld pinpointer to first inspect the plug and then the hole. And if you want to dig extra dirt from either the hole or the plug, then place it on your towel.

● Once you have your target, slide back any dirt on your towel into the hole by gently lifting both ends of your towel. Finally, flip the plug you opened back over and be sure to press it firmly while ensuring that no dirt is seen on the grass or ground.


5. Put Your Findings in a Pack or Pouch

Carefully store your valuable finds in a pack or pouch. And if you want to clean them, then be sure to use a soft toothbrush or anything similar before you stow them away.

6. Continue Hunting

There’s never a moment where there is nothing for you to find. And if you’re itching to find more loot, then go on ahead by all means. As long as you have the proper equipment and permissions, there’s no reason why you should put a stop to your fun.


Metal Detecting Gloves, Shovels, & Equipment

Equipment You Need

The most important equipment you’ll use in all of your treasure hunts is your metal detector, but that’s not the only thing you’ll be using. You’ll also need the aid of the following equipment:
Essential Equipment for Treasure Hunting

● Durable gloves: whether it is sand, dirt, or even metal, your hands will be going through different types of ground material. That’s why it’s important to wear a reliable and durable pair of gloves during your hunts.

● Pinpointer: a pinpointer is like a mini metal detector, especially if you’re hunting for coins. It will make finding old coins easier as well as reducing the possibility of damaging them.

● Headphones: to cancel out the loud crowd noises in public places, you’ll need a good pair of noise-canceling headphones so you can focus only on the beeps of your metal detector when it picks up a signal. Getting a pair with volume control will certainly be helpful.

● A drop cloth: drop cloths are especially helpful for catching the dirt that falls from the plug you dig up, which reduces the chances of you messing up a neat lawn or ground.

● Digging tools: only the proper digging tools can make looking for valuable items easier and reduce as much damage to the ground as possible. For beaches, we recommend a sand scoop, while a Lesche digger is more suitable for soil. A small trowel can also be a decent option, as well.

● Search coil covers do exactly as their name implies: protecting your coil from fast or excessive wear and tear and other likely damages it may incur when searching in rough terrains. If you didn’t get a search coil cover with your device, we suggest you get some for every search coil you have.

● Extra batteries and chargers: a metal detector isn’t going to perform all the time efficiently. Sooner or later, you’ll start noticing a decline in its performance. That’s why it’s essential to carry some spare batteries and chargers with you on your trip.

Beginners Guide To Metal Detecting


Metal Detecting Old Towns

Where Are The Best Places To Go

Often the best places to look for buried items can be your backyard or any of the following places:

● Churchyard
● Woodland
● Public parks
● Public schools
● Beaches
● Private land
● Campsites

And there you have it! The complete guide for both rookie and professional metal detectorists. If you ever need to freshen up on your metal detecting know-how, always refer to this article.




5 responses to “Beginners Guide To Metal Detecting”

    • When You Get a Good Signal, Start Digging a Plug

      After pinpointing the location of your target, do the following:

      ● Take your hand bigger, get down on your knees,

      it should say digger

  1. I was recommended this website by way of my cousin. I am not sure whether this
    publish is written through him as nobody else understand such specified approximately my difficulty.
    You’re incredible! Thank you!

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