web analytics

Treasure Hunting with a Metal Detector


Finding a treasure is a popular dream of many, often thought about but never really explored.

Imagine, if you will, the excitement of finding a jar full of coins hidden in a backyard, or perhaps finding a bag of money that bandits have buried that was never found.

There are many types of treasures to be found in this world of ours.

Many collectable items can be found. Old bottle caps are becoming more and more popular for collectors.

Civil war artifacts are being discovered not only on battlefields, but in encampment areas. The list is almost limitless of the things that are out there just waiting for someone to find them.

Metal detecting or Treasure Hunting, as I prefer to call it, can be done alone or as a family activity. Many families have found this to be a fun outdoor hobby that all ages enjoy.

Choosing the right metal detector to use is very important. Research will reveal many reputable companies that manufacture metal detectors.

Prices range from around $300 to well over $1000. As with many things, simple models as well as full featured (loaded) models are just waiting to catch your eye!

After you have picked out the one you want and have read the manual, practice using it around your own backyard.

Search along your driveway and the sidewalk to your home. You just might discover some change or long lost jewelry!

You will need a sturdy garden trowel to dig your finds. A long flat head screwdriver is also handy to probe around and pry through roots, etc.

Carry a two compartment bag for your results: One side for “keepers” and one side for the “junk” items you will also inevitably find.

One nifty idea that will quickly enable you to learn about the workings of your new metal detector is to bury some coins in your own backyard. Mark the spots, with various denominations, as well as buried to different depths.

As you operate your metal detector over known coins at known depths, you will see what the display shows, and you will hear the sound your detector emits for a known object at a known depth.

Once you have a handle on how your detector works, you are ready for a treasure hunt.

You can start in your town. Researching at your local library and talking to people who have lived there for a long time will help you find good places to search.

Find out where the first train station was located, the popular places where people congregated, where the first churches and homes were built.

Old homesteads are also a very good place to explore. Study the history of your town.

Expand your research to some of the towns close by. You might discover a legend that says a bank robber has been thru there and his stash of coins are buried but have never been found. These are things you do on days you can’t go treasure hunting.

You will need to find out the local laws regarding things you find on public property. And, be sure you get permission before searching on someone else’s property.

Most people will let you search then split what you find with them. Just be sure to ask. In addition, accepted metal detecting etiquette says that you always leave a site in better shape than you found it.

Always refill any holes you have excavated, including putting the sod back in place. Take any “junk” finds you have with you.

Best Times to Treasure Hunt with a Metal Detector

Metal Detecting is a great hobby with one little problem. It seems that at times you can’t find anything.

If you are like most people you detect areas close to your home whenever you can but the finds are usually only some pocket change.

Here are some tips to take advantage of natural changes and manmade changes to the environment that may open up some new locations for metal detecting near you.

One of the best times to treasure hunt with or without a metal detector is during a drought.

As the water in lakes, rivers, and streams go down they expose areas to search that were previously covered.

Old fishing lures are commonly found snagged into rocks or submerged braches and vegetation. Often lures can be found without a metal detector.

Often these lures just need the hooks sharpened or replaced and they will be as good as new. Spinners and other heavy lures are found with the assistance of a metal detector.

I have found a surprising number of watches in riverbanks. I’m not sure why so many people are losing their watches in the water, but it seems to happen a lot.

Coins, keys, tools and jewelry also turn up to the metal detector’s beep in stream beds and lakes. Pay special attention to areas around boat ramps and swimming and diving areas.

Conversely, after times of high water are also great for metal detecting. The powerful flood waters and the resulting erosion uncover new areas to metal detect and treasure hunt.

Remember to detect under eroded banks along streams. While metal detecting in these areas keep an eye out for fossils and Indian arrowheads and other artifacts as well that may be unearthed by the churning of the soil.

Take Advantage of Changes in Nature when Metal Detecting

After large wind storms is another time that is great to metal detect if trees have been blown down.

The root bulbs under the tree can be detected as well as the soil from under them. I have found a few old coins and other objects under fallen trees.

I surmised that at some point in the past someone sat down there to rest and the coins fell out of their pocket.

To me that is part of the fun of metal detecting, to find an object and ponder how it ended up there. Whether it is gold, silver, or junk it is always interesting to find stuff with a metal detector.

Don’t forget the manmade changes to the landscape that might open up new metal detecting opportunities.

New cuts through hillsides for roads (as well as old ones newly abandoned), foundation work at construction sites, and places where construction crews dump dirt are all good places to metal detect.

Good luck with your metal detecting treasure hunt!