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!

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

Exciting Civil War Relic Hunt: with Men, Women and Kids!

One of the artifacts recovered from the Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s raid site.

One of the artifacts recovered from the Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s raid site in Ohio.

In Carroll County, Ohio, a group of 80 hopeful treasure hunters gathered to unearth Civil War relics. Well-known Ohio detectorist Sam Waters organized the hunt after she learned of a Confederate raid in Carroll County. Waters, a passionate relic hunter, has been detecting since the age of 12. She researched the event and learned: in the summer of 1863, Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan led his cavalry on a 1,000-mile raid through Indiana and Ohio. The cavalry stole 2,500 horses and raided 4,375 homes. Morgan’s men fought with pursuing Union cavalry throughout Carroll County. Waters got permission from property owners to search the area.

Waters’ group scoured 500 acres with metal detectors; and in just three days, uncovered more than 200 items! Some of the treasure hunters were kids (joined by their parents). The group ranged in age from 8 to 75. Also joining the team was Josh Silva, one of the stars of the TV show “Dig Wars!”  Waters estimated that approximately half of the recovered items may be Civil War related. One intriguing find was a Confederate stirrup. She added, “The stuff we found was all over—scattered around the woods, fields and valley.” The metal detectorists worked with and gained permission from the Carroll County Historical Society. The society also owns an acre of land tied to the raid.

Want to Detect for Historical Artifacts?

Are you intrigued by history and finding artifacts from the past? If so, dig in with a relic-hunting metal detector! These units are specifically designed for unearthing relics which are usually made of iron, steel or brass and sometimes sometimes gold or silver. Relic hunting detectors are different than all-purpose and coin-hunting models. They specialize in ground balance control and ground adjust so you can filter out interference from other minerals. They also use lower frequencies and offer high sensitivity and pinpointing abilities. Many of these units have target identification, which will display the type of metal you have located.

Quality is key when hunting for relics. Here are some great detector choices for all budgets:

Entry Level Relic Metal Detectors:

Mid Level Relic Metal Detectors:

Higher-End Relic Metal Detectors:

 

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Relic Hunting TV Series’ Inspire New Metal Detectorists

Cast members of the new TV show "Rebel Gold" from the Discovery Channel sporting their metal detectors.

Cast members of the new TV show “Rebel Gold” from the Discovery Channel sporting their metal detectors.

A recent surge in TV series’ featuring the real-life hobby of treasure hunting is creating intrigue about this pastime. The fact that there are literally millions of dollars in gold coins, treasure caches and artifacts buried in U.S. soil in enough to pique anyone’s interest. Discovery Channel premiered a new series in September called “Rebel Gold.” The show followed an experienced group of treasure hunters who joined forces to retrace Jefferson Davis’ trail—searching for clues that would lead them to the legendary lost Confederate gold. An estimated $20 million in gold and silver disappeared at the end of the Civil War while Jefferson Davis and Confederate troops fled from Richmond, Virginia.

Diggers TV show co-hosts KG & Ringy metal detecting. Click photo & see Garrett metal detector models, just like they use on the show.

Diggers TV show co-hosts KG & Ringy metal detecting. Click photo & see Garrett metal detector models, just like they use on the show.

National Geographic Channel  brings their own brand of excitement with “Diggers,” which has already aired four seasons of reality metal detecting. The “Diggers” TV duo—Tim Saylor and George Wyant—are Montana natives and extreme detectorists. Viewers get to follow these two detectorists throughout the countryside while they hunt for artifacts from infamous outlaws (such as Bonnie & Clyde), war battles, Wild West gunfights and historical  American events. These are ethically conscious hobbyists who request permission to hunt on private property and donate historically relevant relics to towns and museums. What’s really interesting about both of these TV series is that the shows’ treasure hunters do this as a hobby…they all have other jobs and careers. There’s no misguided beliefs that you can quit your job and become a treasure hunter. Nevertheless, a treasure hunter can get lucky and unearth a treasure cache worth millions. We’ve seen it in the headlines!

Why are Relic Hunters Passionate about this Hobby?

When people talk about relics, they are referring to “traces of the past.” Battlefield relics are one popular category, with relic hunters searching for artifacts from the Revolutionary War and Civil War. Many Civil War battles and skirmishes took places in the southern United States, so these are common search sites. You’ll notice these well-known battlegrounds being scoured by the “Diggers” and the “Rebel Gold” team. But war relics aren’t the only relics to be found. Old coins, tokens, jewelry and medallions are highly sought after, as well as antique toys and bottles. “Diggers’” Tim Saylor says, “We usually  look for old coins because that’s our favorite thing to find, but it’s always the other weird items that come out of the ground—guns, rings, unique jewelry, tools, and so on—that are the most interesting and surprising.” And sometimes, a relic hunter will find “The Big One!” Just a few years back in England, a metal-detecting buff was exploring a field near his home when he unearthed a lead container filled with silver coins and jewelry. The coins dated back to Viking rulers of the region, more than 1,000 years ago!

Equipment to Get Started Relic Hunting with a Metal Detector

It’s important to use the right type of metal detector if you’re searching specifically for relics. This is because most relics are made of iron, steel or brass. Also, a lot of valuable relics are found in highly mineralized soil. If you were using a detector for coins, it would discriminate most of these metals out. Relic-hunting metal detectors are designed to use lower frequencies that respond well to iron, steel and brass; and they’re deep-seeking. Many relic metal detectors feature ground mineral displays, ground cancellation and target identification. Here are a few high-quality detectors suggested for relic hunting:

Entry Level Relic Metal Detectors:
Mid Level Relic Metal Detectors:
Top Relic Metal Detectors:

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What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Relics?

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

Just like the Diggers, You Can be a Relic Hunter!

Relic hunting is the search for historical artifacts, including military items from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. For detecting hobbyists who enjoy learning about history, this can quickly become a favorite pastime. On one hunting trip, a detectorist might find a hundred-year-old musket ball and on the next—a cannon ball or an officer’s Medal of Honor. Treasure hunters who live near heavily wooded areas of old home sites should try their hand at relic hunting, because this is prime hunting territory. Many protected U.S. battlefields are off-limits to detectorists, but if you live in parts of the country where Civil War battles took place, you may be able to build a military relic collection!

So which type of metal detector is designed for finding relics? Most multi-purpose units work just fine when adjusted with a small amount of discrimination. Too much discrimination will reject valuable targets, which is why gold and beach-hunting detectors aren’t ideal. Relics are typically made of iron, steel or brass. A visual target display is an extremely valuable feature for relic hunting, so that should be on your list of ‘must haves’ when shopping for a new detector. To learn which types of detectors professional and serious relic hunters use, check out: What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Relics? One last consideration after your metal detector, is a heavy duty shovel, so you can dig all those great relics you are in search of with ease. The Lesche shovels and digging tools are highly regarded by relic hunters and are affordable, yet built to last for many years of use.

Announcing the Fisher F-19 Metal Detector

A top choice for Relic Hunters and Treasure Hunters Alike!

The Fisher F-19 Limited Metal Detector comes in Pink or Green Camoflouge and is a Relic Hunters dream machine.

The Fisher F-19 Limited Metal Detector comes in Pink or Green Camouflage and is a Relic Hunters dream machine.

We’ve been carrying Fisher metal detectors since the late 1980s. Today, we’re pleased to announce that MetalDetector.com is now carrying yet another of their fantastic machines, the Fisher F-19 metal detector.

The F-19 was designed to be a high performance gold, coin, and relic detector.  It has an amazing feature set including:

  • Computerized GROUND GRAB®, one touch ground balance with manual override that can ground balance all the way to salt.

  • FeTone™, Adjustable Iron Audio and V-Break®, Tone Discrimination System gives the F-19 unmatched target identification and separation capabilities.

  • Continuous ground condition readout with Ground Phase Value and Fe304 Graphic, clearly indicates the amount of ground mineralization present.

  • Static all metal pinpoint with depth indicator make target location and retrieval easier and more accurate.

  • 19 kHz operating frequency to help you locate coins, relics, and gold.

  • Weighs just 2.5 lbs. (1.1 kg.) for hours of comfortable metal detecting.

In addition to these and all of it’s other features, currently, the Fisher F-19 is also available in either Green or Pink Camouflage.  Plus, for a limited time only, when you order from MetalDetector.com we’ll include a free special bonus package!

As you can see the Fisher F-19 is a versatile metal detector that can be used at the beach, in the park, or out in the mountains to find anything from jewelry to gold nuggets, to antique coins, and much more.  It has a range of features that make the machine easy to use and treasure easy to find.  While this is essentially the goal of every metal detector, the Fisher F-19 is one of the machines that actually pulls it off.

Whether you’re new to metal detecting or a seasoned pro, you’re sure to enjoy the Fisher F-19.  Check out our product page for the Fisher F-19 metal detector to learn more.  Here you can view an informational video, read a full product overview, and gain access to the product manual and full list of stats.  So be sure to take a closer look at the Fisher F-19 because you may have just found your perfect metal detector!

Did You Know: We stock the complete line of Fisher Hobby metal detectors and have done so for decades. We also stock the Fisher Security and Walk Through metal detectors and locators from the Fisher Industrial division.

Dig Wars Season Finale Tonight on Travel Channel

The Season finale of the Travel Channel’s new TV series Dig Wars airs tonight. Dig Wars is a competition hunt between three pairs of metal detectorists who travel to historical locations in the U.S. in search of the most valuable artifacts. Each team has only one day

Mike Scott  of Dig Wars with treasure hunting brothers Daniel and Michael of MetalDetector.com

Mike Scott of Dig Wars with treasure hunting brothers Daniel and Michael of MetalDetector.com

to dig; then an appraiser determines the value of each of their finds. The team who rings up the highest price tag at the end of the day wins that hunt. So far, each of the teams has chalked up victories. Teams consist of Mike Scott and Larry Cissna, Ron Guinazzo and Mark Slinkman, along with the husband and wife team Abby and Josh Silva. Chicago Ron, Larry Cissna and Mike Scott are well-known in the industry and each of the contestants are highly experienced detectorists.

What’s really refreshing about this digging show is that it’s closer to the reality of metal detecting than some of the other dramatic “reality” shows seen in the past. In Dig Wars, we get to see the truth of unsuccessful days and run-of-the-mill finds. However, the Civil War battlefields, old settlements, forts and mines these folks gain access to are places detectorists dream of. And each of the teams score some amazing finds.

Discoveries of the Dig Wars Cast Members

In Fort St. Philip, an abandoned military outpost in Louisiana, Ron and Mark hit a home run by finding a military officer’s seal appraised at $1200. That’s not to take away from Josh and Abby’s finds: a cannonball and 1812 buttons. Mike and Larry found a noteworthy 100-lb. parrot shell. At the Eastover Plantation in Virginia, the teams dig near the site of America’s oldest European settlement. It was fun to see the rare 1806 silver half-dollar Josh/Abby found as well as Mike’s steelyard scale. Mark and Ron rejoiced with the bayonet they found in Episode 3 on their dig at the Antietam Overlook Farm in Maryland.

Historic sites – exciting metal detector finds!

Digging Georgia Landing is an exciting episode for Civil War buffs because it’s set at the site of the Battle of Georgia Plantation in LA. Josh and Abby won this round with their finds of a Louisiana coat button appraised at $700 and a Yankee button with the Connecticut state seal appraised at $200. Mike and Larry dug up two awesome pieces—a buckle and keeper from an 1851 officer’s belt: appraised at $700. In Ruby, AZ, the teams set out in search for gold in an abandoned gold mining town about 4 miles north of New Mexico. This day’s treasure hunt is mint for each of the teams. Mike strikes some gold nuggets and Mark and Ron found a soldier’s belt buckle from 1880 as well as a stashed purse with tons of valuable coins (Barber dimes/quarter, Indianheads, etc.)

Cast Members Use Equipment Stocked at MetalDetector.com

Dig Wars cast member Mike Scott said it best himself, “Tune in to see some cool detecting and good times on TV with Fisher, Teknetics, ….. and Garrett metal detectors all in action finding some really cool artifacts!” At MetalDetector.com, we are proud to carry the majority of all metal detector brands. Not to mention we have thoroughly enjoyed watching what these guys (and gal) have unearthed while checking out which equipment each of the detectorists are using.

The Season 1 finale of Dig Wars airs this Wednesday, July 10. 2013: 10:00pm Eastern / 9:00pm Central / 8:00pm Mountain / 10:00pm Pacific. This dig takes place at Fort Phantom in the ruins of a 19th-century fort. The teams will try their hand uncovering artifacts from Texas frontier life. Be sure to tune in to see who will gather up the best bounty and tell us if you’re enjoying Dig Wars as much as we are!

Dig Wars TV Show Premieres Tonight on Travel Channel!

Note: Our original Dig Wars TV show post has the most complete details on the Dig Wars series. Includes the team members, what metal detectors used and also show times for all US time zones and scheduled repeats.

 

Summer just got hotter for all of the metal detectorists of the world. Travel Channel premieres their new TV reality show Dig Wars tonight, Wednesday, June 12, 2013. This is like no other metal detecting show… It’s a digging contest that will have you on the edge of

Mike Scott (left) is featured in tonight's premeire episode of Dig Wars on the Travel channel. Pictured to the right of Mike is longtime friend Daniel Bernzweig. The two are pictured in front of one of the aisles of Fisher metal detectors in the MetalDetector.com warehouse in Southborough, MA.

Mike Scott (left) is featured in tonight's premeire episode of Dig Wars on the Travel channel. Pictured to the right of Mike is longtime friend Daniel Bernzweig. The two are pictured in front of one of the aisles of Fisher metal detectors in the MetalDetector.com warehouse in Southborough, MA.

your seat. Dig Wars follows three teams of relic hunters across the U.S. as they treasure hunt “on the clock” in different history-rich locations. Each team is competing to find the most valuable artifact at each respective metal detecting site. The more items they unearth—the better their chances of winning. Who decides which artifact is most valuable? A local expert who evaluates the treasures and prices them from a collector’s standpoint.

Are the teams only as good as their metal detecting equipment, their luck or their experience? That’s the heated debate among the contestants. Tune in this evening to find out!

Here are the Dig Wars TV show times for this evening, June 12: 10:00pm Eastern/9:00pm Central/8:00pm Mountain/10:00pm Pacific

And don’t miss all 6 new episodes of Dig Wars for the ultimate metal detecting and digging contest. From the Eastover plantation in Southeastern Virginia to Fort St. Philip, Louisiana and other locations, these teams are digging up finds for the world to see and enjoy once again!

 

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Dig Wars: A New Metal Detecting TV Show on the Travel Channel

Starting June 12th, 2013 the Travel Channel will be debuting their new television series Dig Wars. The show is a reality series that follows three teams of metal detectorists as they work unique sites around the country to see who can come up with the best metal detecting finds and treasures.

Teams consist of Mike Scott and Larry Cissna, Ron Guinazzo and Mark Slinkman, along with the husband and wife team Abby and Josh Silva. Each of the team members is an experienced metal detectorist and, of course, brings a “colorful” personality to the table as well in order to help create what looks to be a very unique, educational, and exciting metal detecting program.

Dig Wars team member Mike Scott with Daniel and Michael Bernzweig of MetalDetector.com

Dig Wars TV Show Mike Scott (middle) pictured with Michael Bernzweig (left) and Daniel Bernzweig (right) of MetalDetector.com. The three have known one another for over twenty years. The Dig Wars metal detecting show will debut on the Travel Channel this Wednesday evening.

Because Dig Wars is a TV show, the teams get to search some really fantastic places. For example, during one of the first shows that will air, the teams get the opportunity to search Fort Saint Philip; an abandoned military outpost in Louisiana that’s been closed to visitors since Hurricane Katrina. This is the type of site that would make any metal detectorist drool to say the least! However, most historical sites like these are closed to metal detectors; not those on Dig Wars though!

Viewers also get in on the appraisal side of metal detecting. Each team takes their finds to a local appraisal company to get some historical information on the pieces as well as to determine their value. The appraised value of each of the team’s finds is then totaled and a winner determined for that site.

Metal Detectors used on Dig Wars TV Show

In addition to all this, we get to watch the teams use some of the best metal detecting equipment and accessories too. You’ll get to see Abby Silva search sites with her Teknetics G-2 metal detector, and, on another episode, Mike Scott debuts his “Dirt Diggler” which is an original factory prototype of a not yet released model. The current top of the line model is the Teknetics T2 Special Limited Edition metal detector. Watch Larry Cissna with his “Blue and Grey” Tesoro Tejon detector. On the TV show, relic hunting will be a constant theme and all of the units mentioned so far, are some of the best metal detectors for finding relics. The rest of the team members use quality metal detectors and tools like these as well; which gives all of us watching a nice opportunity to see these machines in action.

“On Dig Wars, you will see some of the top brands of metal detectors in action… all brands we have proudly represented for decades.”  Daniel and Michael Bernzweig of Metaldetector.com commenting on the new Travel Channel TV show Dig Wars

Daniel explained that “The Travel Chanel has selected some of the most experienced and enthusiastic detectorists for their DigWars TV show”. Michael went on to say “On Dig Wars, you will see some of the top brands of metal detectors in action like Tesoro and Teknetics. A neat fact is the company that produces Teknetics, also makes Fisher and Bounty Hunter metal detectors, all quality brands that we use ourselves.”

With all of these elements, we’re pretty sure Dig Wars is going to be a metal detecting reality show that’s worth watching. In fact, we’ll be tuning in ourselves come Wednesday, June 12th and can’t wait to see what treasures all the folks behind Dig Wars unearth.

Here are the Dig Wars TV show times for June 12, 2013: 10:00pm Eastern / 9:00pm Central / 8:00pm Mountain / 10:00pm Pacific

Dig Wars Repeat Times: June 13 at 1:00am Eastern /1 2:00am Central / 1:00am Pacific  and  June 12 at 11:00pm Mountain

 

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