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Metal Detecting for Beginners


Tips to Make Your First Metal Detecting Trip Productive

As a new owner of a metal detector, I thought I would give some tips to other novices from what I have learned in a short period of time.

For those who aren’t familiar with metal detecting it is a great hobby. Entry level metal detectors can be had for less than a hundred dollars (and there are low cost detectors in the $30 and less range for those on a really tight budget).

Inexpensive metal detectors are sufficient for looking for coins and jewelry in grassy parks and other areas.

Metal detecting is a great family hobby as most populated areas will provide enough hits to keep the kids digging and looking while a parent uses the detector to find the treasure location. Of course, keep in mind local laws and regulations regarding digging.

The first time metal detector owner will want to start their search for treasure in their yard. Play with the detector and get used to its different functions.

Most metal detectors will offer a feature to ‘tune out’ junk metal such as steel and concentrate on precious metals and coins.

When first starting place some common items in an obvious location in your yard and run the detector over it to get used to its response to gold, quarters and other items.

When it is time to leave the house on the first treasure hunting trip with your metal detector you will want to take along a few simple tools.

Of course be prepared to take care of yourself with water and perhaps food and first aid supplies depending on how far into nature you are going to go.

Some simple digging tools such as a trowel or small shovel will be very useful. If it will dig in the ground where you are a plastic scoop is preferable as it will not set off your metal detector.

As for technique sweep the metal detector slowly side to side. When you find a ‘hit’ swing the detector away while watching the spot with your eyes.

Sweep the detector past the spot again to assure you still are getting a reading. I often prefer to then turn 90 degrees and sweep the spot from a new angle to further isolate the location of the find.

If you find nothing on the surface begin digging. As you loosen soil grab a handful and pass it over the detector to see if the item is in your hand (make sure you don’t have a ring or watch on that hand).

After you have found your item remember to replace the soil and sod to the same condition as you found it.