How to Find More with Your Metal Detector – 5 Tips for Increasing the Number of Targets You Locate

Whenever you go treasure hunting with your metal detector the more targets you locate the better. Unfortunately, we all go through what we might call “dry spells”; periods where you just don’t find anything, and if you do get a hit, it’s trash. While most metal detectorists will say “Oh well, it’s still a lot of fun just to be out detecting” on trips that don’t yield any treasures, there’s no denying the excitement that comes along with hitting on a valuable target!

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you find more with your metal detector so you can enjoy fewer dry spells and many more trips filled with targets that turn out to be true treasures.

Use A Hand Held Pinpointer

The new XP Pinpointer known as the MI-6 features: Rechargeable battery, Submersible up to 20 feet, Connection via radio link to the DEUS and more!.

The MI-6 Pinpointer from XP Metal Detectors.

Probably one of the best tips we can give you to help you find more treasures with your metal detector is to use a pinpointer. Even if your metal detector offers a built in pinpointer having a hand held device can not only allow you to zero in on the targets your machine does find, but, once you dig up that initial target, a hand held pinpointer can often help you find even more in and around that first hole you dug.

Dig Beyond The Target Your Machine Found

As we mentioned above, digging beyond the first target your machine finds is another way to increase the number of treasures you’re able to locate with your metal detector whether you have a pinpointer or not. Usually, there isn’t just one civil war button, coin or gold nugget – there’s several – and if you keep digging (carefully) you’ll find them as well as your initial target.

Use Headphones

Headphones can help you find more targets with your metal detector by giving your ear the opportunity to hear all of the small changes in sound a target can make. Many of these slight changes in pitch can be missed w/the naked ear, especially if there is ambient noise. With headphones however these notifications from your machine are much less likely to be missed and, as a result, you’ll be able to locate more treasures. See all Headphones

Invest in Additional Search Coils

Most metal detectors come with a medium search coil as standard issue equipment.  Having search coils of varying size and/or configuration though is another way to increase the targets your metal detector finds. Each search coil is designed to search best in different situations. Having several on hand allows you to search as much of the ground as possible thereby resulting in more targets overall.

Do Your Research

While it’s fine to just go out metal detecting (as long as you have permission ) doing a bit of research before you head out can be very helpful. The more you know about the area the better you’ll be at finding good places to go treasure hunting. While the internet may come to mind first, the library and local town offices are excellent places to begin your research. Read more on researching new metal detecting sites

The more of these metal detecting tips you can apply during your treasure hunts, the more targets you’ll find. So, be sure to do whatever you can and increase the number of treasures you find with your metal detector easily.

Learn How to Read the Soil for Treasures Below

Learn to read the soil and find more treasures with deep seeking detectors such as the Garrett GTI 2500 with Depth Multiplier.

Learn to read the soil and find more treasures with deep seeking detectors such as the Garrett GTI 2500 with Depth Multiplier.

Did you know that you can learn how to “read the soil” you’re digging in to determine if there is treasure below? Treasure hunter Bill Gallagher explains in Lost Treasure Magazine that there are many clues to guide you. By reading the soil, Gallagher discovered that all of his treasure is often contained in one layer. So, getting to know the earth’s layers will definitely help with your success!

Soil Indicators of Buried Treasure

Pure colored sand and dirt usually means an area is undisturbed. However, variations in the soil like circles, dots and layers of multicolored soil indicate the opposite—people may have buried treasure here. Detectorists who are on the hunt for old dump sites and privy pits read the land and soil in search of old trash. An old piece of glass can signal a dump site below. The top layer of trash usually contains nails, tin cans, and old household items—which a metal detector will quickly locate.

Where is the Treasure Layer?

Gallagher suggests digging a few test holes in the area you’re getting a signal. “Get a good look at a cross section of topsoil, and try to find the treasure layer. In a fort site nearby, I found a thin black line below many layers of soil. It was chock full of buttons, coins and musket balls. Concentrate on finding the “Pay” dirt layer to maximize your finds.” Instead of spending hours sifting through all of the layers, find the good layer where most of the treasures have settled. Another tip is to treasure hunt where industrial digging is going on. Ditches and trenches are great places to search because the treasure layer may now be uncovered.

It’s all about detecting in the most productive way possible. If you develop your ability to read the soil, you will find the MOST amount of treasure in the least time possible!

 

Find More Treasure with these Related Articles:

Backyard Treasures: Real Finds from People’s Own Property

1857 US one dollar gold coin found by a metal detector.

1857 US one dollar gold coin found by a metal detectorist at an old home site.

Have you checked YOUR backyard with a metal detector? The first question asked by new detecting hobbyists is “Where should I start hunting?” Believe it or not, the most obvious answer is the best: in your own backyard! And don’t forget to check the sides and front of your home, condo or apartment. You never know what’s been dropped or stashed there. If you live in an older home or property where old farm houses, sheds or buildings were, this is especially true. But even in newer neighborhoods, the soil could have been deposited from another location dating back hundreds of years ago.

Amazing Backyard Treasures:

According to an article on the National Geographic website, these amateur detectorists really DID find BIG treasure—just by detecting out back!

  • Underground Stolen Money:  In 1946, U.S. Army postal inspectors used a military metal detector to search a deceased postal employee’s backyard who was believed to have stolen money. They uncovered $153,150 buried in his backyard stashed in jars and cans!
  • Buried Model T:  1966: In Detroit, a man wielding a metal detector unearthed a Model T Ford that was buried in his backyard 40 years before.
  • JFK Conspiracy Info?:  In 1975, an amateur treasure hunter found a bullet where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The FBI determined that the bullet was different than the type fired by alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • Confederate Shell:  1997- Virginia: Two young boys using a metal detector unearthed a live Confederate Army artillery shell in their grandfather’s backyard.

Search Your Neighborhood for Big Treasure!

Even if you don’t find big treasure in your backyard, it may lie right around the corner!  An avid detectorist and author revealed that he got permission to search his local church grounds and found: three Indian head pennies, a rosary ring, four clad quarters and a 1797 Connecticut large cent.

Search your OWN backyard and neighborhood, and tell us about YOUR great finds at MetalDetector.com’s  “My Metal Detecting Finds!”  Your story will be entered into a contest to win a Makro Waterproof Pointer.

 

Related – Take a 2-3 minute read of the article we wrote: What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Coins?

Relic Hunting Abandoned Home Sites

Metal Detecting for Relics

When it comes to metal detecting for relics, you need to know where to look and also have the right metal detector.

There is no shortage of locations that are ripe for the picking of long forgotten remnants of the past (a.k.a ‘relics’). Just bring along your metal detector and let the excitement begin! Among the hot spots to locate relics are deserted or abandoned buildings. Anywhere people once lived will yield treasure that can be located by a metal detector. Many times you will find rooms in abandoned homes that were left just as they were when they were lived in decades ago.

Detecting for relics is different than searching for gold or coins. Old houses and buildings can present hobbyists with a tremendous amount of junk iron and nails. For these sites, using a small amount of discrimination will prove highly beneficial. You don’t want to use too much discrimination so as to reject valuable targets. Daniel Bernzweig of MetalDetector.com advises “If you’re using a detector that has a visual target display, rely heavily on it to identify your targets. Correlate the audio and visual signals before making a decision to dig a target.” Recommended reading for relic hunters is What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Relics?

 

Related: See the Metal Detecting Code of Ethics

Don’t Ignore all “Junk” Targets (It Might be Gold!)

Find more gold treasures while metal detecting.

Find more gold treasures while metal detecting.

Discrimination and Target Identification are valuable, time-saving features on metal detectors. But experts advise against overlooking all targets that indicate aluminum or other “junk.” Your target may look or sound like a pull tab, foil, bottle cap, nail or tin; however, this can be deceiving. The fact is—old aluminum pull tabs have a similar ring tone as gold. It would be very unfortunate to pass up a gold or silver ring because you’re discriminating out potential junk.

“Dig Up Everything” is the Mantra of Many Detectorists

Discrimination blocks your detector’s response from targets you choose to eliminate. This is helpful for coin hunters, but not so much for relic hunters. Relic hunters usually err on the safe side by digging up anything that’s made of metal. Detectorist and author Dick Stout says, “Gold and aluminum are so close in conductivity, it’s virtually impossible to reject one target without rejecting the other.” So, consider what treasure you’re after. For relics and jewelry, your discrimination setting should be very LOW.

Target Identification – Audio is Just as Important as Visual

Target Identification has gotten sophisticated on all of the latest metal detectors. And many models claim they can precisely identify what you’ve found. Further, there are some advanced detectors that actually show you a visual of what’s underfoot! Target ID will show you whether your target is a copper penny (minted before 1982) or a zinc penny. It will distinguish between clad coins, silver, gold and other metals. Sophisticated detectors like the Whites Spectra VX3 will tell you the target you’ve found (nickel, quarter, gold, silver), but there is still overlap between pull tabs and gold. Get to know your detector’s audio tones, because this will help tremendously in distinguishing treasure from trash!

Halloween 2016: Compassionate Detectorist Helps Widow Find Husband’s Lost Ring

Tom Shively and Catherine Tucker show the metal detecting equipment that helped find a lost wedding band. Catherine Tucker said she could not stop crying after finding her late husband's ring.

Tom Shively and Catherine Tucker show metal detecting equipment that helped find a lost wedding band. Catherine said she could not stop crying after finding her late husband’s ring.

Metal detectorists love their hobby for many reasons. First of all, there’s the thrill of the hunt. Secondly, there is the possibility of uncovering extremely valuable treasure: coins, jewelry, relics and even gold. Yet another passion of detectorists is helping out other people. Kind-hearted and compassionate, many detectorists use their expertise to help others locate sentimental lost items. This was the case recently when a seasoned hobbyist helped a distraught woman who lost her late husband’s ring while handing out Halloween candy.

Lost Ring Passing Out Halloween Candy

Catherine Tucker, a mother of two from mid-Michigan, became a widow three years ago when her husband died in a motorcycle accident. A former Air Force Lieutenant, husband Chris left the military to stay home with his daughters. Chris’s tragic motorcycle crash occurred on the day of his daughter’s birthday. Catherine had to sell her own wedding ring after the accident; and all she had left was her husband’s wedding band. After passing out Halloween candy, she realized the ring was missing and put out a plea on social media to look for the ring.

“Treasure Tom” to the Rescue!

Thankfully, Tom Shively (a.k.a. “Treasure Tom,” of Holt, MI.) read the story and offered his detectorist experience. Shively spent 80 minutes methodically searching Tucker’s yard with his metal detector. Tucker thanked him and told him to give up, but Shively asked for a few more minutes. Ten minutes later, he heard a faint, high-pitched tone. Sure enough, he found the ring! It had fallen upright in the grass and someone had stepped on it. Tucker was eternally grateful and emotional—and in the end, Shively would not accept a reward.

If you are inspired to take up metal detecting (whether to help others or make a profit), now is the time to get started. Technological advancements have made even entry-level units VERY efficient. Any hobbyist can easily locate lost valuables and treasures with a newer metal detector!

Here are some of the most affordable and popular entry-level detectors available today:

Entry-Level Metal Detectors:

MetalDetector.com’s Big Holiday Sale

Don’t miss MetalDetector.com’s 2016 Big Holiday Sale– going on now through December 20, 2016. Take advantage of the best prices of the year on the most popular detectors and accessories!

Amazing Cases of Detectorists Finding a Fortune—YOU Could Be Next!

Gold PendantAmazing treasure finds are occurring around the world, from South Africa, to Europe; Australia to the U.S. It’s no wonder there is a new metal detecting craze! Not only are detectorists finding a fortune, they are loving their hobby at the same time! From ancient jewels, to gold coins, meteorites and shipwreck treasure, amateur and professional treasure hunters alike are uncovering amazing finds! Veteran hunters do stress that finding big treasure is a combination of luck and experience. But, with determination, any detectorist will uncover coins, relics, jewelry and antiques. A popular saying is that dedicated treasure hunters will find enough treasure to pay for their detector. Detecting is among the most exciting hobbies. With the holidays quickly approaching, now is the time to get in on the action. Put a metal detector on your wish list!!

Exciting and Unexpected Discoveries

  • Amateur U.K. Detectorist Finds Gold Pendant with Carving of Jesus’ Birth
    Every Sunday afternoon, Mark Hannabee went out treasure hunting for fun and exercise. Seven years later, Hannabee’s detector went off—and to his amazement, he found a stamp-sized gold pendant. It had an intricate carving of the birth of Jesus. He took it to Sotheby’s Auction, where it was estimated at $250,000 pounds. They didn’t buy it, but he eventually sold it at another auction for $38,000 pounds—equivalent to almost $50, 000!  
  • Six-Year-Old Finds $4 Million Gold Locket with His Dad
    A father and his young son enjoyed casual metal detecting- just looking for junk. After a few weeks of hunting, they stumbled upon a gold locket with the image of the Virgin Mary. Appraisers determined that the locket dated back to the 16th Century and belonged to the Royal British family. They sold the precious gold locket for $4 million dollars, and shared part of the proceeds with the family who owned the property it was found on.
  • Hauxton Hoard – Near Cambridge, England
    In 1992, a farmer in England lost his hammer in the field and asked his detectorist friend to help find it. Detectorist Eric Laas not only found the hammer, he located a historical treasure hoard. Named the Hauxton Hoard, Laas discovered Roman Empire coins including: 24 bronze coins, 565 gold coins, 14, 191 silver coins and other jewels and statues. Under British law, a treasure trove becomes the property of Britain. However, they are required to pay fair market value to the finder. So, the duo received a cool $1.7 million pounds—almost $2.1 million!!

 

MetalDetector.com’s Big Holiday Sale

Start your OWN treasure hunting adventures with a metal detector of your own! From now through December 20, 2016, you’ll find the lowest prices of the year on the most popular beginner and mid-level metal detectors. Almost every detector brand/model is available at MetalDetector.com—and all accessories. Get started on your holiday gift list TODAY, so you can get in on the action!

For more great metal detecting finds stories, check out the My Metal Detector Finds section from us here at MetalDetector.com

 

Reference:

“10 Amazing Cases Of Lucky People Finding A Fortune!”

“Is This an Important Relic or Coin?” How to Identify Treasures Found

Learn more about this metal detecting find and your own found treasures in this helpful article.

Learn more about this metal detecting find and your own found treasures in this helpful article.

It’s exciting when you actually dig up a metal treasure, but frequently you don’t even know what it is – especially if you’ve found a relic! It probably looks ancient and valuable, but what is it? Experts advise not to tamper with your target too much before you know what it is. For instance, don’t scrub dirt off abrasively or use soap and water right off the bat. There are hundreds of metal detecting experts and communities who can help you identify items.

The Art of Identifying Treasures

When you find your first artifacts, you obviously want to know what they are! Before you know how to clean your find, you need to identify it. Ask a fellow detectorist for help. There are other resources, as well. Many museums have identification facilities. Check to see if any museums in your area offer this service. Another great reason to visit a museum is you will see tons of artifacts and be able to relate items when you make your own discoveries. Antique stores and coin dealers are also very useful to detectorists. They can help you identify finds; dealers often publish coin lists which you will likely reference often. Metal detecting books and magazines are beneficial to most detecting hobbyists. For example, experts recommend the book, “Whitman’s Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins” for identifying coins. MetalDetector.com offers a huge selection of metal detecting books, magazines and videos. You can find a book specifically geared towards Civil War relics, if that is your niche. Treasure Hunting magazines typically publish a monthly “Question & Answer” section in which readers’ finds are identified by experts. By the way, if you do buy metal detecting magazine, save them for your archive. It’s a great way to build up your own reference library.

Ask Mark Parker- Magazine Q & A Example

The metal detecting magazine Western & Eastern Treasures features a monthly column called “Ask Mark Parker.” Relic and coin expert Mark Parker selects photos from hobbyists interested in identifying their finds. He researches each find and provides detailed insight as to what it is, as well as its estimated value. One reader dug up an old brass lock in Colorado engraved “St. Louis” on both sides. He was interested in any information about his find.

Mark Parker’s response, “Your warded padlock dates from the early 1900s, and although there are no maker’s marks, the style is very similar to that of locks made by the E. T. Fraim Co. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As for the “St. Louis” name, it’s been suggested that this is one of a number of locks issued to cash in on the enormous interest and enthusiasm surrounding the St. Louis World’s Fair, or Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held in 1904. It’s a fairly common but collectable little item, usually retailing around $20.”

Identifying your treasure is among the most exciting aspects of metal detecting. For more information, check out MetalDetector.com’s Learning Library. Read about these related topics:

“2016” Treasure Finds – This Year’s Amazing “My Finds” Entries Here at MetalDetector.com!

A 2 Reale coin from 1723 is a great find! Read all the stories in MetalDetector.com's "My Metal Detector Finds"

A 2 Reale coin from 1723 is a great find! Read all the stories in MetalDetector.com’s “My Metal Detector Finds”

Every metal detecting find that evokes excitement is extraordinary, and each treasure find is significant! At MetalDetector.com, we don’t believe that one person’s find is more intriguing than another. We simply encourage hobbyists, newbies and veterans, to share their stories of success in order to inspire an encourage. It is truly inspirational to read about fellow hobbyists’ finds in their own neighborhood that are rare, exciting and sometimes very valuable. We encourage metal detectorists to share their treasure hunting finds to motivate others, while teaching tips and tricks. Here is a sampling of amazing metal detecting finds that are posted on MetalDetector.com’s  “My Metal Detector Finds” for 2016.

  • Jan., 2016- CT: Small Cache of Silver and Gold

Using the Garrett AT Gold, two friends hunted an old 1770s homestead in January, 2016. After junk hits and an iron nail, they stumbled upon a cache. The loot included 5 Spanish Reales, an 1812 5 dollar capped bust gold piece and an 1819 capped bust quarter! It was pure excitement! Read full story

  • March, 2016- TN: George Washington Ang. Fourth of March 1789 Button

A 73-year-old active detectorist was in his hometown at a 1790 mansion house digging away at a plug and saw this roundness that he thought was a flat button. After retrieving it, he realized it was a once-in-a-lifetime find—a button  reading March the Fourth 1789! See story

  • June, 2016: My 1837 Half Dime

Using the Whites Coin Master, Carl Clark of New York found the best coin of his life—an 1837 half dime!  Right next to it was a 1908 Indian head penny. Carl says he is glad he purchased the Coin Master as his first metal detector, as it has proven itself over and over! Read full story

 

  • May, 2016: Well, That Was Quick!

Anthony of  Schenectady, NY always wanted to get into metal detecting. With a Bounty Hunter unit as an entry-level detector, he got started on his own backyard. After finding tons of coins, he was hooked. On his third day of detecting, he found an 1805 Liberty head large cent about 4″ deep. Needless to say, he is now hooked!  Read full story

Read True Stories from “My Metal Detecting Finds”

Share your OWN exciting discoveries at “My Metal Detecting Finds!”   You will be entered into the best stories prize sweepstakes pool! You can win exciting prizes including this month’s Makro Waterproof Pointer.

 

Related Articles:

What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Relics?

What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Coins?

How the Shape of Your Metal Detector’s Search Coil Effects Your Treasure Hunting Success

Search Coils

Owning the right type of search coil that matches your metal detector will make it easier when searching for treasure.

The shape of the search coil you use on any of your metal detectors will change the capabilities of your machine and, as a result, having several different types on hand will really enhance your treasure hunting experience. In fact, many metal detectorists feel that you can transform your metal detector into an entirely new machine simply by selecting different size and shape search coils as opposed to actually buying a whole new machine! There are two parts of a search coil to talk about when discussing their shapes. First is the shape of the search coil itself. The search coil itself will be either round or elliptical – most will be round. More important than this though is the internal construction. The way the wires are attached to the coil internally will take one of the three following forms – Concentric, Double D, or Coaxial – each giving your metal detector different capabilities. Let’s discuss each of these search coil designs, their benefits, drawbacks, and more.

Concentric

Concentric circle search coils are probably the most popular design of search coil for metal detectors today. Most commonly used for finding smaller targets like gold, jewelry, coins, and relics that are generally found near the surface concentric coils are also excellent at target discrimination and pinpointing. They’re drawback? Concentric coils are easily compromised in heavily mineralized soils.

Double D

A Double D search coil is designed in the shape of two capitol letter “Ds” hence it’s name! Double D metal detecting search coils are reliable in heavily mineralized soils, like what you run into at the beach for example, and cover more ground in one sweep than other types of coils. They’re not as good at pinpointing nor as adept at target discrimination; although many of the newer DD coils being made today are.

Coaxial

Coaxial coils are probably the least popular search coil design type and are rarely found on metal detectors made today. While it’s detection depth is usually lower, the coaxial search coils are the best type of coil to use when you need to minimize interference from utility wires or other metal detectors. Coaxical coils are also great at pinpointing and discrimination even in areas with very heavy trash.

All shapes are generally available in all sizes (extra small/mini, small, medium, and large) and vice versa. Whatever size and shape search coil you buy for your metal detector though, be sure you’re purchasing quality search coils that are compatible with your metal detector in order to avoid violating any warranties or, worse, causing your machine to malfunction. You’ll also need to consider the type of metal detector you’re using, the frequency it operates on, and, as we mentioned, where you’re working, and what you’re hunting for. From there though you’ll easily be able to buy all the right shapes and sizes of search coils to find treasure wherever you’re metal detecting.