Summer is an exciting time of year for detectorists, because beaches are in full swing. Crowded beaches equal more success finding treasure. It’s also the perfect time for beginners to get excellent metal detecting experience. Beaches are chock full of coins and lost jewelry, so this is the place to get your feet wet. Dry beach is typically easy to dig, while wet sand can yield lots of treasure carried in from the tide. So, when you get to the beach with your metal detector, where should you begin?
Beach Layout and Best Treasure Hunting Areas
Here are the spots most beachcombers visit: the “dry,” the “wet,” the “towel line,” the “water line” and if you get lucky- the “coin line.” The dry beach can yield lots of trash, but look for activity centers like volleyball courts, horseshoe pits and other places where sports are played. Try to get to the beach early, before these areas are populated. The “wet” is the wet sand area that is exposed during low tide. Many beach hunters swear by the low tide line as it can be the most productive for gold jewelry. If the tide is low for most of the day, most of your good items will be at the low tide line. The water line is where the water meets the sand. When the tide comes in, it pushes a lot of items with it—the moving water is what carries everything. It also tends to bury heavier objects, (gold as an example). The towel line is where everyone sunbathes and lays their belongings, so this can be productive. And a “coin line” is a line of coins that runs parallel to the beach. This is due to physics and how the tide pushes objects of similar weight together. Where there are lot of coins, there may be jewelry.
Beach Detectors and Sand Scoops
For dry sand metal detecting, most beginner metal detectors will perform well and display probable targets on your screen. For wet sand detecting on a salt water beach, a Pulse Induction (P.I.) unit may be the way to go, as VLF detectors can tend to get erratic. If the water line and shallow water detecting are your niche, check out underwater metal detectors.
Keep in mind, you will also need a sand scoop or digging tool. Find a great assortment of beach scoops, from hand held to long-handled scoops with buckets at MetalDetector.com.
Look for our upcoming article about learning how to “read the beach” for even more valuable tips!