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

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?”

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.

Antique Bottle Digging: Rescued Treasures

Antique Bottle Digging

If you're looking to find buried antique bottles, you will need the right metal detector that can help you.

A privy pit may not sound like a very desirable location, but if you’re an antique bottle collector, it’s the place to be. Outhouses from long ago often yield stashes of old bottles. Dump sites and old campgrounds are other lucrative bottle digging spots. Believe it or not, old used bottles are highly collectible and can be worth lots of money. How do you know what types of metal detectors are best suited for bottle digging?

A metal detector cannot target or pinpoint a bottle, but it will pick up relics and some models like the Makro deephunter Pro Metal Detector can even detect voids in the ground. These voids can indicate an old caved in dump or privy pit. Usually, bottle diggers locate relics and trash first, which leads them to the dump sites. There are two recommendations for types of metal detectors for bottle digging: 1. two-box deep metal detectors and 2. relic metal detectors. Learn more by reading our article entitled “What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Antique Bottles?”

When asked about the best equipment for bottle digging, Michael Bernzweig of offers his advice, “A heavy duty shovel is one item needed to retrieve bottles and relics. The Lesche brand of shovels are top quality and will help get the job done quickly.”

Lesche Relic Hunter Shovel Review

Lesche Relic Hunter Shovel

With the Lesche Relic Hunter Shovel, you can easily dig up relics buried in the ground.

The Lesche Relic Hunter shovel is one of the toughest metal detector recovery tools around; just what relic hunters need!  When you’re metal detecting for relics it’s highly likely you’re going to run into some pretty tough ground conditions.  When you have the Relic Hunter Shovel from Lesche along with you though, it will make these soils seem like any other and you’ll have your treasure recovered in no time.

Like all Lesche shovels, the Relic Hunter is made in the USA of the best aircraft quality steel.  This provides the metal detecting tool with unheard of durability and strength.  At the same time, they’re also lightweight (just 3 lbs), has a T style handle and, at 31”, the Relic Hunter shovel is not only ideal for digging up your treasure, but, it’s easy to carry while you’re metal detecting too.

In addition, the Relic Hunter Shovel also incorporates a serrated blade on one side so you can easily cut through roots and other debris you might run into during treasure recovery.  This makes even more efficient use of your digging time and also helps make recovering your treasure less physically demanding.

To give you a better idea of the practical use of this metal detector tool let’s take a look at a few of the customer reviews we’ve received regarding the Lesche Relic Hunter Shovel.

Mr.S. emailed –  “Best shovel for relic hunting I’ve ever used.”

Rydell shares –  “Metal detecting is so much easier now that I bring my Relic Hunter Shovel.”

Think the Lesche Relic Hunter Shovel might be just the shovel to help you recover all the treasure you find while metal detecting?  Head over to our product details page for the Lesche Relic Hunter Shovel to view an informational video, product specs, and more that will help you learn all about this valuable metal detecting tool and decide if it’s one you’d like to bring along on your next metal detecting excursion.

Related article from the Learning Library:  “What are the Best Digging Trowels and Shovels for Metal Detecting?

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.