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

Tips for Finding Antique Toys with a Metal Detector

metal detectors can locate an antique toy car such as the one pictured here

With the right metal detector, you will be able to find hidden treasures like antique toy cars.

Back in “The Good Old Days” toys weren’t made from plastic.  Toys were made of metal and made to last. This is great news for metal detector enthusiasts!  Antique toys like metal cars and trucks, tin windup toys, lead soldiers, and many others can still be found all around the world in many different types of locations that are easily accessible to metal detectors.  From former dumps to old home sites and more, old toys can be unearthed almost anywhere actually; and they can sell for quite a bit depending on the type of toy you find along with it’s condition.

You won’t locate anything if you don’t have the right machine though.  If toys and other types of collectibles antiques like these will be a primary target for your metal detecting expeditions, there are a few features you’ll definitely want to be sure your machine has in order to be successful in your search.

Ground Balance Controls

When metal detecting relics and antique toys, dealing with ground mineralization in many parts of the world is a reality.  Choose a machine that features a ground balance (also known as ground adjust) control.  This will enable the metal detector to filter out all this extra chatter caused by the ground minerals, while still being sensitive enough to target lower conductivity metals like those that antique toys were made of.

Lower Frequency Metal Detectors

Metals like cast iron, tin, and steel have lower conductivity and, as a result, will be best located with a lower frequency metal detector as opposed to a high frequency machine. Please see our newly released Learning Library article: “Antique Toy Hunting with a Metal Detector” for help in sorting out your best metal detector choices on this subject.

Pinpointing Control

the Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector is one of the best metal detectors for locating relics and antiques

Using a metal detector like the Garrett AT Pro, you will easily be able to find buried antiques and relics.

A metal detector that incorporates a pinpointing control is helpful when metal detecting relics like antique toys.  This additional capability allows your machine  to zero in more precisely on your target for easier excavation and faster recovery.

If your metal detector has these three features, you should be all set as far as your machine goes, but, once you locate something, good digging tools are a must to make target recovery easier and more efficient. Lesche digging tools are a good example of what we mean here.  Strong, tough and build to last, these aren’t garden tools, these are metal detector digging tools and the difference shows. In addition to a quality digger, consider a hand held pin-pointer like the Garrett Pro-Pointer. This device will help you quickly and precisely locate your target in the hole.

In addition to your equipment needs, we also recommend that you do your research in order to find a good site to begin your search.  Look for places that were vibrant communities during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Choose locations like old schools, parks, playgrounds, and as we mentioned above, old dumps and home sites.  If your research leads you to a private piece of property, you will need to get permission from owners prior to metal detecting there.  Without their OK you may end up in trouble for trespassing as well as for removing anything you find on private lands.

Now that your research is done and you’ve got all the equipment you need, you’re ready to begin metal detecting relics and increasing your collection of antique toys; and possibly the size of your bank account as well!

Take Antique Hunting to a Whole New Level with Metal Detectors

anitque hunting

For those looking to get started in antique hunting, having the right tools will help you find relics buried in the ground.

Antiquing is a beloved pastime for many. It reminds us of the “good ol days.” Holding a piece of history in your hands is a great way to transport yourself to another time and space. For some, a tangible item might conjure up great childhood memories. In fact, it may even present the opportunity to share these memories with your loved ones. Not only that, collecting is fun! It brings people from many different places and experiences together in an environment where they can share their passions and learn from each other.

For many, antique hunting is something that’s done in a mall, at a show, online, at an antique shop, etc. But, did you know that in addition to these common places, antique items can also be found outdoors and even underground? Believe it or not, there are actually many items including antique toys, kitchen items, jewelry antiques, and more that can still be found underground and in other locations like old home sites and former garbage dumps. While treasure hunting like this isn’t nearly as easy as heading to the antique shop to search for treasures, it is incredibly rewarding and really will take your antiquing experience to a whole new level.

Antique Hunting with Metal Detectors

Having the right metal detector will make it easier for you to find hidden antiques and relics.

Antiquing this way is made possible by time spent in libraries, town offices, and other centers of local history speaking with others and searching for information on places that would make good dig sites, as well as the use of relic hunting metal detectors. These types of metal detectors can find metal collectibles and antiques of all kinds. But, not only that, they’ll also lead you to treasure digging spots where you’ll come across non metallic types of antiques, such as thimbles and marbles, in addition to the metal ones the detector will alert you to.

Choosing the best machine for metal detecting relics and antiques is important.  However, the “right one” will be different for each person. As a result, the best advice is to do your research. Some of the features that are important to consider when choosing a relic hunting metal detector include whether or not you’ll be near water, your height, weight, and level of physical fitness, technological preferences, and, of course, your budget. That said, a good entry level relic hunting metal detector would be the Bounty Hunter Platinum  a mid level model would be either the Tesoro Tejon  or Fisher F75 LTD and at the top of the line is the XP DEUS.

Whatever model you choose, antique hunting with a metal detector is very exciting. Just like the antique mall, you never know what you might find; you might leave with great treasures, or, you might walk home empty handed. But, unlike in the shops, when you are actually the first one to find and unearth a beautiful treasure, the feeling is like no other; and neither is the profit!

Enjoy antique hunting on a whole new level and head out on your own search. Not only will you have a fantastic time, but, you’ll be doing the antiquing community a favor by locating and sharing these rare finds that would otherwise remain deep underground.