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Found Detecting Pensacola Treasure with Whites Metal Detector

Updated on November 15, 2010


My dear husband is one of those guys that always needs to be starting a new project or finding a new hobby to learn and stay motivated with life in general. A few months ago after watching a show on Mels Fisher Treasure Museum he decides he wants to be a treasure hunter. We tour the Museum in Key West and he sells me on the idea by reminding me how much I like the beach and suggesting this is a hobby we can both do together. His last hobby, texas hold’em poker was kind of gnawing on me plus getting way too expensive. Being the understanding wife that I am, I say “whatever babe, do what you like“, I figure it may be fun, we can try this. This gives him the thumbs up to purchase the metal detector he needs to pursue this new found passion.

Whites Beach Hunter 300

Whites logo on soft carrying metal detector case
Whites logo on soft carrying metal detector case
Beach Hunter with headset
Beach Hunter with headset
9.5 inch coil
9.5 inch coil

Whites Beach Hunter 300


Man that he is, he starts off like a real professional. He does his research and purchases the best metal detector he can afford. Accessories are an important part of the hobby. You have to look good , according to him. A box arrives with the whites label metal detector and 7 other boxes along with it. One has a hard carrying case, the other a metal scoop with a long handle, another has multiple hats with lights on top like he’s going mining ...sigh, another box contains books on where to find these treasures and only god knows what else is in the other boxes, I stopped looking.

I’m sure he doesn’t need half of this but he insists he does. He says looking the part is half the battle and I’ve been married long enough to know that in his case he really believes this is true. He is now the proud owner of a Whites Beach Hunter 300 capable of underwater detecting. It can target metal buried up to three feet under.

Breaking the News


I tell my sister about this new hobby and she laughs like she’s done every year since my husband and I have been married . She laughs because she thinks we are ridiculously immature. She laughs because she has been on vacation with us and knows we subscribe to Murphys Law (whatever can go wrong, will ) sort of like the Chevy Chase vacations. She asks how I feel about this new hobby and I tell her the truth . As long as he keeps taking me to the beach, I’m in, and if he doesn’t find anything and looks discouraged I’ll be the first one out there scattering quarters to keep him busy and interested.

Pensacola Beach Find

Right before we left to Pensacola Beach for our second metal detecting trip I read a hub by Treasured Pasts and commented on how my husband and I were just getting into the metal detecting fever but so far had only used the metal detector a handful of times and had managed to find a measly .26 cents. Treasured Pasts encouraged us to keep at it and that we did. Shortly after that I heard of newly discovered Anglo Saxon gold and silver treasure in England. This is the hub he posted detailing that find. Found- Anglo-Saxon Gold and Silver Hoard.

While on vacation in Pensacola Beach , naturally the first and foremost scheduled activity was to metal detect the coast and then a park. We had done a bit of research as to what locations would be best within proximity. I normally like to stroll a few steps behind the hubby carrying a second shovel in case of a big find. Mostly though I get distracted by every pretty shell, little crab and cute kid I come across. I only speed up when I see him flagging me over with a hint of excitement in his face.

We had been on the beach about 45 minutes and dug up multiple soda pop tabs, metal beer caps and a few pennies and quarters. Upon this one dig the metal detector went wildly crazy flashing lights and marking large ring. Once dug up about 6 inches in the sand we came up with a ring. It was gold in color with orange stones but it didn’t seem like gold to me, it looked more like a tarnished metal sort of like bronze with green salt deposits. Regardless of what it was it was very exciting, it was our first treasure found. We also managed to find that day a Browning knife, an AA hope coin and an ankle bracelet with a peace sign charm attached.

We talked about our good luck for the rest of the day and vowed to swing by a jewelry shop on the suggestion of an older gentleman from the area whom we met on the beach. He happened to be metal detecting with a 79 year old friend and offered some tips and places for us to try our luck. Belonging to a metal detecting club he was an 18 year plus experienced detector. He happened to have a magnifying glass on him and upon viewing our new found ring he was excited for us.

Browning knife on right and miscellaneous finds
Browning knife on right and miscellaneous finds
Citrine/Orange Sapphire?  Silver Ring Find
Citrine/Orange Sapphire? Silver Ring Find

The lady at the jewelry shop pulled out her gold test kit and commenced to do the test, she shattered our dream when she said it was not gold. We continued on our drive home determined not to give up . If it wasn’t gold, what metal was it ? The question haunted us and once back in our hometown we took it to a friend of ours which owns a jewelry store. Again, he tested the ring. Sure enough, it again tested not gold. He pulls out his silver tester and Bingo, the ring happened to be silver. He told us that old silver exposed to the elements and salt for a very long time ends to turn a brackish gold color. The gemstones are real, either citrine or orange sapphires. Only sapphires I knew of are blue, but he says that although rare there are all color sapphires. The ring has been shipped out to a gemologist that more accurately determines through a spectrometer the actual gemstone and quality. We are anxiously awaiting word of the value, if any. We were advised not to clean it because it would take any historical value it may hold away . Who knows, maybe its not worth much but it will sure keep us motivated for some time to come.

Whites Prizm 6T

My White Prizm 6T


Since then I have purchased my own whites metal detector to cover twice as much ground while out there detecting. After having a general idea of the different metal detectors and their capabilities I entered a dive shop and settled on a White’s Prizm 6T, the latest models of the Prizms. I love because it is a bit more lightweight than my husbands. It has a panel that upon sweeping over metal gives you an idea as to what is underneath. It has nine discriminating settings as well in the event you only want to dig up certain targeted metals such as ones marked as coins or relics. I’m getting familiar with the panel as it has multi tones and flashing lights. I’m currently learning how to discern the different type of metal noises as well.

My initial intentions was searching for sunken pirate booty that may have found its way onto the beach. I’ve also entertained the possibility of finding lost jewelry. Others use it to search old abandoned buildings and groves hoping to find old historical coins, possible gold caches, and historic relics from past eras. The best and most successful metal detecting enthusiasts actually do quite a bit of research to increase the chance of finding something of value. They might spend quite some time at the local public library researching dated magazines for past gathering areas of folks before us. I have to say its not as easy as it looks, but it certainly is an interesting pastime, fun, plus a great way to keep in shape.

In the near future.
In the near future.

Other Great Locations to try your Luck

  • Ruins

  • Amusement Parks

  • Derelict Property

  • Old Homesites

  • Ghost Towns

  • Old Farms

  • City Parks

  • School Yards



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    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 23 months ago from Missouri

      I have long desired to get into this hobby but just have never pulled the trigger and bought one; someday I will. I read this with interest as we just completed our first family vacation in Pensacola a couple of weeks ago. As I read I recalled seeing a gentleman using a metal detector at the beach near the pier and I was struck by how similar the man I saw resembled your husband: were you and he there the week of the Fourth? The picture of him on the beach with the pier in the background was eerily similar to what I noticed as the man worked the beach and waters that day. Crazy. Anyway here's hoping you both continue to enjoy this hobby and maybe someday I will get up the gumption and follow in your footsteps. Take care.

    • roob profile image

      Ruby 2 years ago from United States

      Haha I love the opening paragraph about your husband. I am 22 but that sounds so much like me, always selling the ones around me on the new thing I'm into lol. As for the ring that is such a fun find! Who cares if its just worth $10-20, keep finding more and it'll add up. Great read.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 5 years ago

      Thanks for the encouragement m stewart. Maybe we will bump into each other some time hunting. I love hearing stories from old timers such as yourself.

    • profile image

      m stewart 5 years ago

      have detected pensacola for many years.have 2 shoe boxes of mostly old coins from downtown .and jewlery .be patient study when & where to go have a good hunt .am an old man now. cant get out like i did .

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 5 years ago from Florida

      We rented a metal detector here in Florida on the "Treasure Coast" and spent the whole day searching....we did turn up a heavy mans silver bracelt and of course I went out and purchased a metal detector the next day. We had very little luck with the one we purchased and ended up selling it on Craigslist. I do love reading stories of interesting finds however my partner and I need more immediate gratification to continue on a journey of possibilities. Any news on the ring or "new finds"?

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago

      Well first off, congratulations on living in a beautiful area! We loved our vacation there and god willing will be back up in just a few short months.

      I do hope you find something too. Early in the morning or after the sun sets I find it best for the sun is not beating down on you. Good luck metal detecting, enjoy yourselves :)

    • TripleAMom profile image

      TripleAMom 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi, I happened upon your hub as I've just started with hubpages. I live in Pensacola and my husband and I are checking out some city parks today. Hopefully we'll find something.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago


      I certainly hope to find big treasure some day. In this hobby patience and persistance is everything. Beep, beep :)

    • profile image

      mlhudson 7 years ago

      Great, Great read, love the fact that your husnand and you both hunt for treasure, you'll love this hobby we call metal detecting, stay at it, you'll find that lost treasure one day - LOL

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      Stephanie Henkel

      Metal detectors are quite useful, even if not used for treasure finds we have managed to find items of sentimental value for others such as an old gold chain lost by a friend in/around his farm. I do hope to strike it rich someday though :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 7 years ago from USA

      We had a metal detector years ago and used it around our old, recently purchased farm. It was really fun to find things like old sleigh bells and a cow bell. The best use was in finding some items we had lost like a special penknife of my husband's. Have fun and I hope you find some real treasures!

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 7 years ago

      tom tom

      You should be excited. Pensacola is one of the great areas for metal detecting. Good luck, find something sweet! Let me know how you fare.

    • profile image

      tom tom 7 years ago

      here in Pensacola now and getting ready to head out to the beach detecting.... im excited

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 7 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      Great photos and information. Thank you.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago

      Oh - they work. You need an extra dose of patience to make a find with a metal detector, but once you do, you are as good as hooked. Thanks Chloe Comfort.

    • Chloe Comfort profile image

      Chloe Comfort 8 years ago from Long Island

      Great hub. Always wondered if those things really worked. I guess they do! Happy hunting - I just know there's a big treasure out there waiting for you!

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 8 years ago from Michigan

      An interesting hub. I had an uncle that liked to use Metal detectors. I remember he found some dated coins.Thanks.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago


      Thanks for the vote of confidence. Glad to provide some humor in your life.


      Absolutely! Its all about sharing and having fun - no matter what you do. Thanks for stopping in.

    • Godslittlechild profile image

      Godslittlechild 8 years ago

      I think metal detecting would be a lot of fun. Expesive treasure or inexpensive treasure. Still fun, which is what it's really all about, right?

    • profile image

      Yvonne 8 years ago

      I knew it would only be a matter of time before you got your own! You guys make me smile (and laugh).

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago

      Treasured Pasts

      Thanks so much for the encouragement and the comment. I will for sure keep you in the know of my finds:P

    • Treasured Pasts profile image

      Treasured Pasts 8 years ago from Commerce, Texas

      You have been bitten by the bug, every bit as contagious as gold fever. Keep looking and it will only get better and better! I would love to hear what else you find.


      Treasured Pasts

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 8 years ago

      Hi Creativeone59

      I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for a very interesting and educational hub on metal detecting. thank you for sharing. creativeone59


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