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 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

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 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 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.

Lesche All Purpose Shovel Review

Lesche All Purpose Shovel

The Lesche All Purpose Shovel is one of the best digging tools that will help you find buried treasures and relics.

When you’re out metal detecting, a large part of your adventure will involve treasure recovery. While any old shovel will technically do, digging up the treasure you find is infinitely easier when you have the right tools. One of the tools the pros never leave home without is the Lesche All Purpose Shovel.

Made in the USA, the Lesche All Purpose Shovel was designed by Walter Lesche and is part of his line of patented digging tools also known by the name “The King of Spades”; and rightly so. After all, like all Lesche tools, the Lesche All Purpose Shovel is made of aircraft quality steel which makes it durable, strong, and rust resistant. It’s also designed with a T-handle for good leverage as well as a long tapered cutting edge to make digging even in difficult soils a breeze. And, at just 26” and weighing in at only 2.3 lbs, the Lesche All Purpose Shovel is easy to carry when not in use as well. Don’t take our word for it though, let’s take a quick look at a few of the customer reviews we’ve received recently about the Lesche All Purpose Shovel.

Vince E. shares – “This isn’t a regular old garden shovel.”

Tara T. writes – “After reading a fair amount of reviews, and looking at what others bought, I decided on the Lesche. I wanted an all-around, sturdy shovel, not too big and not too small. So far, the Lesche has fit the bill. It’s relatively compact (for a nonfoldable), light weight, yet strong. The 4.5″ blade is a good size for plugs, and I use it for other jobs around the yard!”

Scott writes – “I have found that this is a very sturdy shovel. It cuts through tough clays and even cuts through decently-sized roots and the T-handle is great.”

Our resident experts here at agree as well; The Lesche All Purpose Shovel is an excellent metal detecting tool and will only serve to enhance this already exciting hobby even further. Plus, the company even stands behind it with their full 5 year warranty.

To learn even more about the Lesche All Purpose Shovel and decide if it’s the digging tool for you, visit our Lesche All Purpose Shovel product page.  This is where you’ll find all the information you need about this quality metal detecting tool including the instruction manual, product specifications and more.  Then, you can see just how much the Lesche All Purpose Shovel will add to your metal detecting experience and begin recovering your treasure with less work right away.

Metal Detectors Introduce a New Way to Find Antique Toys

New Ways to Find Antique Toys announces a new way to find antique toys with different metal detectors.

Avid collectors of antique toys are discovering a new way to build their toy collection—with a metal detector! Metal detector hobbyists have found thousands of valuable cast-iron, lead, tin and steel toys all around the world. Children’s favorite playthings from centuries ago can easily be detected with an entry-level or mid-level metal detector. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never used a detector before—there are guides in our Learning Library that can teach you the basics. We suggest you start with our article entitled “What are the Best Beginners Metal Detectors?”

Abandoned homesteads, schools, churches and town-sites are great places to start. Antique toys are considered relics (traces from the past), so a detector suitable for locating relics is the best choice for antique toy hunters. Michael Bernzweig of said “When I speak to toy collectors, I suggest that they read two important articles before selecting a metal detector: Antique Toy Hunting with a Metal Detector and What are the Best Detectors for Finding Relics?”

“Diggers” are Back in Action for an All-new Season of Metal Detecting!

History buffs and metal detectorists, get your TV remotes in hand. “Diggers” Tim Saylor and George Wyant are jumping back into our living rooms with a new season of over-the-top treasure hunting adventures. Starting Tuesday, February 25, 2014 on the National

New season of Diggers TV show airs February 25, 2014 on the National Geographic channel.

New season of Diggers TV show airs February 25, 2014 on the National Geographic channel.

Geographic Channel. This fun-filled series again follows two master metal detectorists on a quest for the most sought-after and storied American historical artifacts. This season, you can look forward to “Ringy” (Tim Saylor) and “KG” (George Wyant) taking on even harder challenges with their own brand of humor and unique terminology. “Juice” is any great find; “roundness” means coins or token; “civ” is an artifact from the Civil War; “cologne” is from the Colonial days, and “rev” is a Revolutionary War artifact.

We covered details of last season in our season finale blog post last August. Ringy and KG are high-energy, extremely experienced relic hunters who are as passionate about their metal detecting equipment as they are about their finds. In previous episodes, the “Diggers” got their hands dirty searching for stolen gold in an abandoned Nevada saloon, traveled to New Mexico to look for famous American outlaw “Billy the Kid’s” prized revolver; they hunted for the missing graves of several inmates at the old Montana Territorial Prison, and they hunted for buried pirate’s gold in southern Louisiana (while dodging gators). And that’s just to name a few high-risk, yet high-reward escapades!

A Little Background on the “Diggers”

“Ringmaster” Tim Saylor is an Iowa native who started metal detecting in high school. He was hooked on the hobby when he began recovering silver coins in his own backyard. Saylor’s luck really runs high when it comes to finding rings, though, so that’s how he landed the nickname “Ringy.” Impressively, Saylor holds degrees in both German and Psychology – but his true passion lies in treasure hunting.

“King George” George Wyant is a born and bred Montana boy. He works at a large copper mine and doesn’t retreat to the couch come quittin’ time. The outdoors is Wyant’s playground; hunting, fishing, skiing and metal detecting! After becoming a local treasure hunting hero and surviving bear attacks in the wild, Wyant has certainly earned his nickname, “KG.”

Sneak Peak of Season Two Diggers Episodes

Always leading with a high card, Diggers Season Two debuts with “Steve Jobs Time Capsule.” According to insiders, the late, great Steve Jobs buried his own original mouse from the Apple Lisa in a time capsule in Aspen, Colorado. Due to erosion and natural causes, the time capsule has been unable to locate. KG and Ringy have agreed to step in and put their expertise to work uncovering Jobs’ coveted time capsule. Also, this season, look forward to the Diggers going on location at the former home of an Al Capone soldier and digging up a pot of ‘nectar,’ or Revolutionary War treasures in Rhode Island. As always, Saylor and Wyant work with historians and archaeologists at each site to ensure artifacts are preserved and kept in their respective communities.

Diggers Use Top-Notch Metal Detectors and Equipment

On the show and off camera, KG and Ringy use their favorite detectors and accessories. Both of the guys say they started using the Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector first! The Garrett AT Pro can be used on land and in water; it features advanced target identification, so the digger can be relatively sure what they’ve located before digging their target. A higher-end model, the Garrett AT Pro, has several different search modes and advanced discrimination for precisely tuning segments out or including segments in. This means that they can tune out iron, foil and bottle caps, while tuning in nickels, bronze and gold. There is also a Pro Mode audio and Fast Recovery audio mode—just a few of Garrett AT Pro’s many features. KG and Ringy never leave home without a Garrett Pro Pointer which precisely locates an object after being detected The Garrett Edge Digger and the Lesche Digging Tools are always seen on camera with the Diggers, because they are the best for cutting through hard clay and soil, as well as thick underbrush.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Garrett Electronics. is proud to carry the entire line of Garrett Metal Detectors as well as all of the accessories that are featured on “Diggers.”

Tune in (along with us here at to the National Geographic Channel on Tues., February 25, 2014 for back-to-back new episodes of “Diggers.” Get the new season episode listings and times at

Best Places to Treasure Hunt with Your Metal Detector

Treasure Hunting Tips

When treasure hunting, two of the most important things are knowing where to search and having the right metal detector to help you.

When you’re eager to find lost coins, jewelry, relics and treasure—the first question in your mind is “where should I hunt?” Obvious spots are probably right under your nose and it’s prudent to get suggestions from veteran treasure hunters. After all, they’ve been experimenting with metal detectors for years and know where to find success. If you’re a fan of the National Geographic TV show Diggers, you’ve heard KG and Ringy talk about finding ‘nectar.’ This refers to the millions of dollars in coins and artifacts that sit just below our feet. So, with metal detector in hand—you’re probably ready to find some valuable nectar yourself. Here are suggestions from the experts for potentially successful metal detecting spots:

Public Parks & Recreation areas – search around drinking fountains, benches, picnic tables, walkways, entertainment platforms & pavilions. When metal detecting on private property you need to get permission from the land owner. With that said, amusement parks, fairgrounds, carnival & circus sites can be great spots to search. Any areas where lots of people have gathered over the years such as sports stadiums are great sites. You can check around the buildings, in the parking lot and even beneath stadium seats!

When metal detecting, it is important to learn about the local and national laws before setting out on your hunt. National treasure hunting organizations and local treasure hunting clubs can provide information on the current laws, rules and regulations. Other top sites to explore include:

  • – Beach swimming areas and public pools – especially concession and play areas
  • – Swimming pools and swimming holes
  • – Fishing piers, boat ramps and landings
  • – Horse and hiking trails, campgrounds and children’s camps
  • – Schools and colleges – around playground equipment, water fountains and doors or where people wait in line
  • – Tourist and rest stops lookouts and scenic spots
  • – Wishing wells and fountains- search below ponds or water where people pitch coins
  • – Service stations – don’t forget older and abandoned gas stations
  • – Old drive-in theater locations – search around ticket windows and concession areas
  • – Motels and hotels- current and former locations
  • – Old buildings and abandoned homes – doorways, next to porches and steps, near mailboxes and along all walkways and paths
  • – Your own yard – you will be surprised what you can recover from your own backyard!

These are just a few ideas for treasure hunting locations. You can also visit your local library and do a little research on local history. Perhaps you’ll stumble across information about rumored treasure caches or the sites of old buildings. This may provide you with a list of spots that could yield quantities of old and valuable treasure. If you’re new to the hobby of metal detecting, check out the articles at that cover beginner basics, such as Digging Into Research at Your Local Library- Uncovering the Best Sites for Locating Treasures.

What Does a Metal Detector’s Search Coil Do?

search coil

The search coil of your metal detector allows you to better scan the ground for hidden treasures.

The finest metal detector in the world is no better than its search coil, so be sure not to overlook your search coil’s importance in treasure hunting. The type of search coil you use will determine how effectively your metal detector will perform the task at hand. What exactly is the search coil’s function? The search coil is mounted on the lower end of the detector’s stem. It takes power from the control housing through the search coil cable. Then, it transmits data between the metal detector and the ground. The search coil simply scans to allow the metal detector to find metal targets.

Most search coils operate with electromagnetic transmitter and receiver antennas embedded within the search coil. An invisible electromagnetic field is generated and picks up signals from the surface you’re scanning—soil, rock, water, sand, etc. Search coils designed by major manufacturers and provided with their detectors are generally reliable because they are maximized for performance. However, experts say there is no such thing as a standard search coil. A coil that operates perfectly in the park may not be suited for a pop-top filled beach. Search coils that find coins are not the same as those used to search for a treasure cache. There is also the issue of moisture and/or water-resistant capabilities. Find out if your search coil can resist a small amount of moisture, is waterproof for operating in heavy rainfall, or is fully submersible. Most coils made today fall into this last category of fully submersible.

Size Matters When it comes to Search Coils

Search coils come in many shapes and sizes. In general, the smaller the search coil, the smaller the object that can be detected. Larger search coils are designed to detect larger, deeper targets—but they can often locate small objects at deep depths, too. From small to large, search coils are designed with specific objectives in mind. Here is a snapshot of sizes & functions.

3-5″ Diameter: Very small search coils, also called “Snipers,” are ideal for trash-filled areas, allowing a detectorist to pinpoint coins in spite of nails and other junk. These search coils are able to maneuver in tight spots and around obstacles. They will signal at the detection of small and shallow targets. However, depth of detection is not as great as larger search coils.

7-9.5″ Diameter: This size search coil is what comes equipped with most detectors. 7-9″ search coils are usually the best for coin hunting and general purpose treasure hunting. These search coils are lightweight with a good scanning width and they are sensitive to a wide range of targets. Mid-range search coils offer decent depth of detection.

10-12″ Diameter and Larger: Large search coils are designed to detect coins and other targets at greater depths. Precise pinpointing is more difficult with the larger sizes because they pick up more mineralization. But these search coils are beneficial for finding, large relics and treasure caches. They provide considerable ground coverage, so you can cover a lot of ground more quickly than with a medium search coil.

Shop by Features for Search Coils at stocks over 100 available optional search coils for just about every manufacturer’s detectors. To make it easier to narrow down your search results, you can Shop by “Features.” Choose from Brand, Search Coil Size, List Price, Search Coil Shape or Type, Audio Identification, Water Resistance, Country or Warranty. Daniel Bernzweig, of suggests, “To improve your understanding in all types of treasure hunting, I encourage you to learn about the various types of search coils and practice using them whenever possible.” Learn more about search coils in the Getting Started section of’s Learning Library: Choosing the Best Search Coil.

Digging and Retrieval of Coins with Metal Detectors

Digging and Retrieval of Coins

Michael Bernzweig of is above metal detecting with the the Lesche digging trowel says "When trying to find buried coins, having the right tools will make it easier to find and retrieve them."

Once your metal detector has given you a strong signal and you’ve located a coin or something more valuable, how do you dig it up without damaging your find? Expert coin hunters give much advice on the safe retrieval of coins and interestingly, it’s all different. They say it depends on the kind of turf you’re digging. Each type of soil can require a different digging and retrieval method. Recovering coins from the beach may be easy, but digging coins from hard-packed clay is much more difficult.

Michael Bernzweig of said “Garrett Metal Detectors are one of the most popular brands for locating coins and valuables.” He went on to say “If you are looking for our top metal detectors for sale be sure to check out our top 10 list.”

For recovering coins on the beach, many people use two tools—a wire mesh or stainless steel sand scoop sifter and a small trowel. When they have pinpointed a metallic object with their detector, they scoop through the sand with a sifter. If the sand is loose and fine, the object may be in the sifter. However, if the coin is in wet sand near the water, it’s time for the trowel. After pinpointing, a detectorist will insert his/her trowel several inches into the beach sand and with one quick twist, remove the clump of sand. Hopefully, the coin will be at hand. Otherwise, keep digging with the trowel. It’s important to use tools for beach retrieval because you may encounter broken glass.

Other Methods for Probing and Retrieval

Some coin hunting experts like to use knives when retrieving their finds. They cut a plug of grass about three inches deep. When folding the turf back, the coin is usually in the plug of dirt. If not, you can remove a second and deeper plug. You can use a pinpointing metal detector to locate the target within the hole. After retrieving the valuable, you can fold the turf back into place and secure it. A stainless steel digging trowel is a great way to retrieve your target. Treasure digging trowels have marks to gauge the depth of a hole and they help to avoid marring coins while digging. You can shop for Digging Tools, Pinpointing Probes and Metal Detector Accessories at

When you click on the Browse Shop tab in the top navigation, you’ll see the Shop Accessories category. There are subheads for each accessory category, making it easy for you to locate what you’re shopping for. You can even find digging kits, such as the Garrett Treasure Digger Kit, which comes with a pouch, probe and trowel. Shop by Features or even do side-by-side comparisons by adding two products to review.

Types of Retrieval Equipment for Metal Detecting

Among the useful tools that you will need for locating and recovering coins are a knife such as the Lesche Digging Tool, stainless steel trowels, pinpointer and some type of apron or pouch. Electronic Pinpointer metal detectors are considered a gem among retrieval tools for many coin hunters. Electronic pinpointers help speed up recovery while adding extreme accuracy. The most popular model on the market today is the Garrett Pro-Pointer. Knives are essential for cutting plugs; metal detecting knives allow you to be exact, precise and quick. Trowels specifically designed for this hobby are typically made of hardened stainless steel. They come in many sizes to adapt to your needs.

To learn more about the safe recovery of coins and other valuables, be sure to read the following related articles from our Learning Library:

  1. What are the Best Digging Trowels and Shovels for Metal Detecting?
  2. What are the Best Metal Detector Pinpointers?
  3. What are the Best Beach Sand Scoops for Metal Detecting?

Make a Profit Detecting Gold and Silver Jewelry

Metal Detecting for Gold and Silver

Hobbyists today are turning to metal detectors to help them make money by finding hidden gold and silver jewelry.

It’s hard to resist the prospect of finding lost treasure—that’s why there is a growing attraction to the hobby of metal detecting. Nowadays, the selection of “turn-on-and-go” detectors is endless; anybody can get the hang of it! Jewelry is at the top of the list for many detectorists and it’s relatively easy to find. For example, sunbathers and swimmers lose jewelry at the beach all the time. Throwing a Frisbee can fling rings from fingers or break clasps on necklaces, bracelets and chains. Beginning hobbyists say they find valuables at the beach and along the shoreline on their first time out.

Gold and silver rings, watches, necklaces, bracelets, anklets and sunglasses are among the items you can search for with your metal detector. You may be interested in profiting from these finds or starting a collection. Michael Bernzweig of suggests reading about available types of metal detectors and features you’re interested in first. “Once you have decided on a few prospective metal detector brands, use our ‘Shop by Product Features’ tool. Then, when you select ‘compare,’ the site will show you a side-by-side comparison chart,” Michael advises. To read about some popular metal detectors for prospecting jewelry and which models are best for you, read What are the Best Metal Detectors for Metal Detecting on the Beach?

Fisher F4 Metal Detector Review

Fisher F4 Metal Detector

The Fisher F4 Metal Detector offers intuitive controls that allow you to easily find hidden treasures like jewelry, coins and more.

When looking for a VLF (very low frequency) metal detector that’s adept at finding a range of different targets, the Fisher F4 may be just the machine that’s called for.  Suited for finding treasures like relics, jewelry, and coins, the F4 comes with both audio and visual target identification, a large, easy to read LCD screen, as well as a one touch pinpointing feature with depth readout; so once you get your trowel out, you know you’re digging for treasures instead of trash.

The Fisher F4 also provides users with a hands on yet easy to use feature set.  With the option for using either the machine’s auto ground balancing abilities or the manual ground balancing control you’re ready for metal detecting in any soil type.  Then, the user experience is further enhanced with one touch notch, auto tune, and discrimination controls.  With all of these simple, intuitive controls, the Fisher F4 is equipped to give users control over their experience while providing the option for automated settings at the same time.  As a result, regardless of skill level, you’ll have a great time with this metal detector.

Don’t take our word alone though, let’s take a look at some of the Fisher F4 customer reviews we’ve received:

Fred writes – “I’m new to metal detecting, and like most I did a lot of research before I bought. I couldn’t be happier with my decision. The F4 is easy to operate after you stop over thinking it. I have been out three times this week getting to know my new toy, and I’m having a blast. On a side note, Moe at was very helpful when I called after I placed my order. I asked a question on a particular product and he gave his honest opinion, and recommendation, and that’s a hard thing to find now a days, so thanks. You have a customer for life.”

A. Knowles shares – “I bought my Fisher f4 two years ago and I could not ask for more. This F4 has a very deep hunt signal and this dog will hunt worth every penny. It’s easy to use with lots of options to boot. My friend has a top metal detector made by another company and I was following his footsteps. He got mad as anything when I pulled two silver coins and a nice diamond ring up in the path he was on … ”

Fisher F4 Metal Detector Controls

The Fisher F4 metal detector offers a large LCD display that is easy to read and use so you can spot buried treasures in the ground.

As you can see, by designing the F4 the way they did, Fisher has definitely created another excellent metal detector that users of all kinds find versatile, reliable, and easy to use.  You may agree too!  To learn more about the F4 and decide if it’s really the best metal detector for you, visit our Fisher F4 product page.  Here you can access information like machine specifications, the product manual, product videos and more so you can make an informed decision about the metal detector you’d like to buy and head out to successfully find some treasure right away.


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