10 Best Spots to Find Treasure at Your Local Park!

Marcus found this 1754 1/2 Reale coin near older trees while metal detecting in a local park.

Marcus found this 1754 1/2 Reale coin near older trees while metal detecting in a local park.

The local park is usually the FIRST place hobbyists start detecting, and parks can be very lucrative when it comes to metal detecting. Finding treasure in your own neighborhood—right down the street—is exciting because this is the history of your city. Amazingly, people have found some of their best treasures at the park—including YouTuber “Mark D.”, who hunts with his Garrett AT Pro, and found a diamond and ruby brooch in Denver, CO. He also got an “80” signal on his detector, which was a copper memorial, right next to a Mercury dime. Mark uses his Garrett Pro-Pointer to pinpoint targets, after getting a signal from his detector.

Some people say that popular area’s in parks are “hunted out” after years of metal detecting, but don’t be deterred. Experts say if you follow a few valuable tips, you will most certainly be successful hunting your favorite local park!

Hunt These Areas at Your Local Park

  1. Outer Edges of the Park: Older coins are often found at the outer edges of the park. Why? Grass is usually only mowed in the modern sections of the park. However, people also frequented the outer edges of the park many years ago. This is where lost coins and jewelry are lying.
  2. Under Large Trees: There are always treasures around park trees, especially where the shade is. Hunt the shady side of trees that are near volleyball courts, baseball diamonds and activity areas.
  3. Volleyball Courts: You will find lots of jewelry and coins in the sand of a volleyball court. Players use suntan lotion, which loosens rings; while other jewelry can simply fall off.
  4. Park Pools: It’s always a “given” that people lose jewelry and coins around the pool. They take off watches and necklaces and inadvertently leave them behind.
  5. Picnic Areas: Groups of people leave all sorts of things where they lay down blankets in the summertime. “Music in the Park” is a festive evening activity, where coins and valuables are later discovered.
  6. Ball Fields: Especially if they are old fields where games were played many years ago. Spectators dropped old coins, possibly from a century ago!
  7. Gazebos: This is the site of group photos, including wedding and graduation photos. Where there are people, there are lost valuables.
  8. Play Areas: Perhaps the most obvious search spots are the playgrounds, or tot lots at the park. It’s mostly the parents losing items here, such as rings and coins.
  9. Dirt Piles: Don’t pass up these areas where trail repair projects or construction is happening. Old dirt equals easy finds!
  10. Grass by the Parking Lot: Search the grassy area leading to the parking lot. This is where people are digging for their car keys, while other things (including coins) fall out of their pockets.

Related Article – Best Metal Detectors for Finding Coins and Jewelry.

Metal Detecting Old Farm Land for Lost Treasure

Bruce Lilienthal, hit the jackpot. He found a large, unusual rock on his Minnesota farmland.

Bruce Lilienthal, hit the jackpot. He found a large, unusual rock on his Minnesota farmland.

Metal detecting at pre-existing homesteads and old farmhouses is a GREAT tactic because old relics and coins lie here. What can you expect to find when you detect and dig an old farmland? Arrowheads, pottery shards, buttons, porcelain and metal thimbles, bits of colored glass and old ammunition or bullets. In 2013, amateur detectorist and producer, Bruce Lilienthal, hit the jackpot when he found a large, unusual rock on his Minnesota farmland. After testing and researching, he and his wife learned that it was a meteorite. They sold the rock for a modest $10.5 million!  It pays to search farmland, for MANY different reasons.

Scout Out Large Trees around a Homestead’s Foundation

Farm “markers” are indicators that a farm pre-existed; they often include large trees. These trees have grown very large because nobody has cut them  down. Always watch out for these markers because a favorable hunt site exists nearby. When you do find a “marker tree,” detect the area that immediately surrounds it. There are likely buried coins and relics hidden in the dirt! It was a common practice for people of past centuries to bury hoards of coins and valuables near marker trees. People intended to reclaim their possessions, but it often never happened. Now’s your chance to recover these precious items with your metal detector!

Old Coins are Hiding, and YOU Can Find Them!

1921 Silver Dollar found with a metal detector.

1921 Silver Dollar found with a metal detector.

Detectorists who focus on hunting coins (“coin shooters”) are on a quest for older, more valuable coins. Some hobbyists display their own collection and others sell coins for a profit. What distinguishes an “old” coin from a newer clad coin? It’s their silver content. According to the American Rare Coin website, “Roosevelt and Mercury Dimes, Washington Quarters, and Walking Liberty Franklin and Kennedy Half-Dollars minted in 1964 and earlier are 90% silver.”  All dimes and quarters minted after 1964 are not made with silver. Newer coins are made of an alloy, or a mixture of metals.

Experts say that success in finding older coins depends on your creativity in finding the right hunting spots. Scouting out a unique location is very significant. For example, parks, beaches and music venues will often yield new coins, but if you are searching for Mercury dimes, Morgan silver dollars or centuries-old $5 gold pieces, you’ll need a great spot! Researching historical records will give you clues about past locations that are worth exploring.

Experienced Coin Hunters Weigh in on Where to Find Old Coins

Avid coin hunters love to share their success stories. And in detecting forums, they give advice to new hobbyists and coin hunters!

Bob from Illinois offers this BRILLIANT tip:

  • “Talk to anyone over 60 years old. Ask them where they played when they were kids. They were growing up before 1964. Ask where the swimming hole was, the shortcuts to school, and if that school that was torn down? Inquire about older parks and fair grounds. Do they know areas that are overgrown now that were homes in the past? I have gained many silvers this way!”

Marty from Georgia says:

  • “All my old coins have come from private property. When I’m searching, I think of where people would chill scores of years ago. A/C wasn’t affordable “back in the day.” Shade trees and the Southern edges of property lines with trees are the best. Try thinking like a 130 year old!

‘Coin Guy’ has this advice:

  • “Old houses. I knock on the door and ask. 7 out of 10 property owners say yes. Be friendly and you can have old silver coins in your pocket. At one old house that was already searched, I found a 1904 dime and 5 Indian-  plus several Wheaties.”

Interested in a metal detector that will find old coins? Please read our Learning Library article, “What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Coins?” to help you make the best selection!

Relic Hunting: Tips for Detecting at Old Homesteads, Farms and Historical Homes

"The Marshall House" which was used by the British as a field hospital.

“The Marshall House” which was used by the British as a field hospital.

With warmer weather here (and better ground conditions), the thrill of treasure hunting beckons! If you’ve already hunted local parks, beaches and public venues in your neighborhood, it’s probably time for more advanced metal detecting. Over time, many detectorists start to realize that detecting on older private properties is where the REAL ACTION is! More old coins and excellent relics are found in private yards than anywhere else.  This is largely due to the fact that few people (if any) have ever swung a metal detector on this territory. It’s important to know the history of your area before deciding where to hunt and what you’re searching for. Do you live in a region where the Civil War was fought or where the first colonies once were? If so, you’re in ideal relic hunting territory.

Politely Ask Permission to Hunt Someone’s Private Property

There are some favorable tactics for gaining permission to hunt on private property. And in an upcoming article, we will fill you in on some of these “best practices.” But in a nutshell, it helps to explain to the home or landowner something on the order of: “I live here in town and I’m a  history buff. I appreciate older neighborhoods and properties such as this. My hobby is metal detecting, so I search for old relics in fields and old  properties. If something is interesting, I’ll be sure to show you; then offer it to a local historical society.” When you DO obtain permission to hunt, here are some tips for relic hunting success:  

  • Make sure you are good at plug cutting. You don’t want to tear up someone’s yard, field or farm!
  • Front yards were generally used a lot more than backyards. It’s best to detect the front before the backyard—specifically the  paths to and from the doors of the house.
  • Look for locations of the old out buildings. This includes sheds, barns, outhouses and wells. The paths to those areas where high traffic, with great old coin potential.
  • Get under the front porch, if possible. Lots of coins, old toys and other objects have likely slipped through the cracks. This was also a popular place for burying treasure.
  • If there are sidewalks, check along the grass edges. Coins and small objects land next to sidewalks and in the cracks.
  • Search under old trees on the property. People congregated in shady spots, also stashing items near roots.
  • Pay attention to clusters of trees, especially if they are in a row. These were usually intentionally planted years ago; it’s a good hint to check that area.
  • When you are done with the property, be sure to thank the landowner. If you had lots of luck there, consider giving the property owner a token of your appreciation.

Efficient relic hunting requires tools for careful digging and target retrieval. Many relic hunters swear by Lesche digging tools, as well as specialty shovels.

Related Articles:

What are the Best Digging Trowels and Shovels for Metal Detecting?

What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Relics?

Expert Tip: Under-Searched Sites Will Yield Relics

Silver Navajo Indian Bracelet with Coral Inlay found in New Mexico with a metal detector.

Silver Navajo Indian Bracelet with Coral Inlay found in New Mexico with a metal detector.

The BEST places to find relics and old coins are at pre-existing homesteads, old farmhouses and former soldiers’ camps or battle sites. Obviously, there are many more locations that will yield valuables and artifacts, but these are a few good examples. Metal detectorists always face the challenge of choosing sites that are already picked over. Don’t shy away from these locations, because it’s impossible that every relic and coin has already been recovered. However, if you really want to increase your chances of treasure hunting success, it’s a great idea to find virgin sites or those that are under-searched!

How to Scout Out an Untouched Metal Detecting Site

Detecting enthusiast and relic hunter, Brian Palmer, has a clever tip for interested hobbyists. Investigate for signs of old home sites. In colder months (in some states), it’s almost impossible to treasure hunt. But you can do online research and scan old maps. It’s much easier to scout out sites when the grass isn’t high—and you can also see further into the woods. Palmer and his wife scouted around in the winter and found a fallen tree along a stone wall where there were stones in the outline of a home’s foundation. When they came back to search the area, their detectors hit on a jackpot of treasure!

Popular Relic Finds with a Metal Detector

The Palmers’ finds at this former homestead in New York included five Civil War “Eagle buttons,” flat buttons, a knapsack hook and two 1863 Civil War tokens. These tokens were issued because coins were scarce during the Civil War, but they only circulated for one year. They are great pieces of history! On another hunt they scouted ahead of time, the Palmers’ uncovered a World War I German buckle from 1839, an 1840’s Federal Navy cuff button and an Indian Wars 1874 Pattern belt plate. These are all examples of items you can find when relic hunting. Keep looking for new places to search and/or ask for permission if necessary. You, too, will come across some amazing relics!

Recommended Relic Hunting Metal Detectors:

Entry Level Relic Metal Detectors:

Mid Level Relic Metal Detectors:

Premium Relic Metal Detectors:

Resource:   “Western & Eastern Treasures” Magazine

Whites TM 808 Metal Detector- Find Coin Hoards & Treasure Caches!

Whites TM-808 Deep Seeking Two Box Metal Detector

Whites TM-808 Deep Seeking Two Box Metal Detector

Have you ever gotten a lead about a buried treasure cache’s whereabouts, but didn’t act on it? Perhaps it was hidden on several acres of farmland, and you figured it was an impossible mission. That’s when the Whites TM 808 Metal Detector, a deep-seeking two-box unit, is a priceless commodity! Coin and treasure cache burials were extremely popular in the past, and a large majority are still waiting to be discovered. These caches were buried during an emergency, for safe-keeping and even by outlaws.

Find Large Deeply Buried Treasure’s

Whites TM 808 is specially designed to detect larger objects and deeper metals—up to 20 feet deep! Professional features include: adjustable ground balance, powerful electronics, preset controls and easy tuning. Whites TM 808 is priced right and also detects septic tanks, pipes and relics.

 

See all models of Whites Metal Detectors

More Than One Search Coil Will Help with Your Success!

Adding a larger or smaller search coil can lead to increased finds.

Adding a larger or smaller search coil can lead to increased finds.

As a beginner, your first metal detector comes with a “standard” sized search coil—and that seems perfect. It signals metal objects, and it’s very exciting to hear beeps while checking out your LCD display for depth and ID. But did you know that search coils are interchangeable for different detecting purposes? As you grow into the hobby, you will learn that one size search coil doesn’t “fit all”- they come in several shapes and sizes. The standard search coil is typically 7-11″ with a sufficient scanning width—sensitive to a wide range of targets. Great for beginners, these medium-sized search coils are usually the best for coin hunting and general purpose treasure hunting.

Benefits of Smaller & Larger Search Coils

If you hunt trashier areas, however, a smaller search coil will help you find valuables. Junk-filled areas are easier to work with a smaller coil, which will separate responses from undesirable targets. Smaller search coils usually range from 3-6″ in diameter. Larger search coils (12″ diameter and larger) are designed to detect deeper targets—including treasure caches. Offering much more ground coverage, you can hit targets more quickly and deeply than other search coils. Among the larger coils are “DD” coils, which cover more ground and detect less mineralization in one sweep.

In summary, most manufacturers allow you to attach search coils of different sizes and shapes to your detector. As you grow into the hobby, you may decide to equip your detector with a different sized search coil based on your hunting preference. To find interchangeable search coils for your detector, see the “Related Products” information for your detector model or check out MetalDetector.com’s Search Coil Options.

Detectorists’ Dreams DO Come True! Silver Coin Hoard Found with the Garrett AT Pro

One lucky detectorist is keeping the dream alive for all of us who hope to find a coin hoard! Known as “Aquachigger” in his videos and metal detecting forums, this avid treasure hunter often searches rivers and streams. He spotted a river where he believed war relics would turn up, and started his shallow-water hunt. Aquachigger quickly hit on several silver coins in one concentrated area. Because the river floor here is bedrock, metals cannot sink any lower. This is perfect for uncovering coins, relics and gold. In his You Tube video that you can watch below: “OMG! I Found A Huge Silver Treasure Hoard Metal Detecting!” Aquachigger credits his Garrett AT Pro detector and Garrett Pro-Pointer for quickly signaling the silver coins. There was so much fence wire and lots of nails, he figures another detector may have passed right over the silver.

178 Silver Coins Found with the Garrett AT Pro!

Aquachigger’s Garrett AT Pro emitted a high pitch—with target ID reads from 89-90’s for silver. The AT Pro displayed 30’s when it passed over iron, making it easy to pinpoint the silver coins. After 5 or 6 trips to this riverbed hot spot, his total haul was 178 silver coins! The video is a worthwhile watch, as Aquachigger lays out all of his coins and explains what they are. A majority of the silver coin hoard includes U.S. halves, with the remaining pieces being Spanish 8 Reales, 5 franc coins and foreign (Brazil and Peru coins). It’s also interesting to read the comments about where this detectorist searched, how to find coins and how much the coins are worth. You can be next in a successful treasure quest!

MetalDetector.com’s 2017 Winter Sale

Start your OWN treasure hunting adventures with a metal detector of your own! During MetalDetector.com’s 2017 Winter Sale, you’ll find the lowest prices of the year on the most popular metal detectors and accessories. This includes the Garrett AT Pro!

 

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!