- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
Metal Detector How to Find Coins Necklaces and other Hidden Treasure
"Fifteen men on the dead mans chest. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum."
Buried treasure brings with it connotations of Pirates and adventure on the high seas in days of yore.
X marks the spot on the tattered old map that you found in the attic of the old house.
You take the 15 paces south from the old oak tree and start digging until you hear the sound of your metal shovel thudding against something wooden. Digging around the wooden chest with brass banding sweat pouring from your brow, heart beating at one hundred miles an hour and your stomach doing cartwheels, although working in almost total silence you are deafened by the screaming in your head " I'm rich, I'm rich".
You finally free the Chest but it is too heavy for you to lift, this is a good sign meaning that the chest is full, deciding to leave it in the ground for now you pick up your shovel and whack the old rusting lock on the chest and luckily, for you it breaks first time.
Almost to the point of passing out you reach down and open the Chest, slowly you raise the lid and drop it back down with the shock of what you have just seen and the realisation of what you have just found sets in.
You suddenly find yourself laughing hysterically and screaming aloud the words that were deafening you earlier, "I'M Rich!"
Gold coins, diamond necklaces, ruby and emerald studded goblets, gold rings and what looks like the Crown Jewels from a country that may not even exist anymore.
Then you awaken and realise it was all just a dream.
Back in the real world, there is treasure to be found out there, it may not be from pirates or in a wooden chest with brass banding, but you could be lucky and find some pieces of jewellery, coins or even artefacts from those times of yore.
All you need to find that hidden treasure is a metal detector, a trowel for digging, a cloth for cleaning soil or sand from the found objects and an idea of where to look.
My Son Jason 8 months old trying his luck on the carpet
My Basic Metal Detector
Coins commonly found with a metal detector
What is a Metal Detector?
There are different types of metal detectors, from the hand held scanners that security personnel scan your person when you enter into a security area or even a nightclub. There are the doorways that you walk through at the airport that scan your whole body for metal objects. Then we come to the metal detectors that brought you to this article, hand held devices that allow you to search for metal objects under the ground.
How Does A Metal Detector Work?
Without getting too technical, a metal detector is a scanner that is connected to a buzzer, which sounds when the scanner passes over a metal object. Some metal detectors have meters which tell you if the piece of metal found is worth digging up out of the ground or if it is the ring pull, discarded when someone opened a can of soda.
A metal detector quite simply finds metal that has either been lost either on the surface or buried under the ground.
I have just bought a metal detector, where do I start using it?
To get yourself used to your new metal detector, why not try it out in your own garden you never know what you may find, that set of keys that you lost last year or even that loose change that you dropped out of your pocket the night you came home drunk from your friends birthday party.
You may think that now that you own a metal detector the world is your oyster, but before you begin your treasure hunting you need to be aware of some rules before you start digging up holes in your local park.
If you plan to try your new hobby out on private property you must contact the land owner for permission to do so. ( Making a contract offering the landowner a share of any valuables that you find on their property usually seals the deal)
Planning to try out your new hobby in your local park?, then asking permission from your local authority is advised.
Golfers rules apply, When you dig up a bit of ground replace the soil and grass as good as you possibly can just like a golfer tries to when he/she creates a divot when striking the ball.
Saltcoats Beach (Where I live)
Saltcoats Beach in the evening
The Plantation in Saltcoats
If you prefer to clean the metal objects that you find rub the item gently with a vinegar soaked cloth or if the dirt is ingrained and hard to remove leave the object overnight in a glass of Coca-Cola remember not to drink it.
Where can I use my metal detector?
Knowing where to look for buried treasure gives you an advantage, depending on what you are looking for different locations offer different kinds of treasure that you will find.
is a great starting point for the beginner because to put it simply you are guaranteed to find coins or jewelry.
Take a trip to the beach earlier in the day and note where the majority of people are lounging on deck chairs or sunbathing in the sand. go back later on around 6-7 pm when there are still plenty of daylight hours left and the beach is quieter and start your search in the areas you noted earlier in the day.
You can find loose change watches and Jewelry that people have dropped in the sand that day and couldn't find.
At my local beach most people sunbathe against the beach wall and there is always treasure to be found there in the evenings
Normally you do not need permission to use a metal detector at the beach.
Looking for artifacts from ancient times? every country in the world has historical landmarks and battlefields where if you have sought the proper permissions you may be allowed to try out your new skills with your metal detector, of course most of these places will have been searched more than once in the past by fellow metal detector enthusiasts but you never know what you can find there from old uniform buttons, to swords, shields and even coins from a fallen soldier.
For best results thoroughly research the piece of land you plan to search and try to find the best spots for your treasure hunt.
The Local park
Assuming that you have permission you could hit the jackpot at your local park, especially if it has been used as a park for many years.
In reality you could try anywhere in your local park and find treasure but I have found that the best places to find coins, Jewelry or other personal items that have been lost is to search in places where lovers hang around, behind trees or bushes under bridges or other areas that have an obstructed view from the public.
If the park has been in public use for many years, you have a better chance of finding older coins that are rare and no longer in circulation, antique jewelry, rare buttons and many other objects like snuff boxes or cigarette cases.
Where people camp out over night there is usually treasure to be found, look for areas where tents have been pitched and where people have congregated together such as around the campfire or near a swimming spot where people strip off to get in the water dropping their coins and jewelry in the process.
you should find money, watches and jewelry.
Plan your Treasure Hunt in advance
How to dig a coin, by Dan Hughes
Where would you like to try out a metal detector?
Using your metal detector
Once you have chosen where to begin your treasure hunt it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start the area could turn out to be a lot larger than you first expected and for a beginner this can be a bit daunting.
The best advice is to plan ahead, visit the area a day or so before you take your metal detector and make a grid of the land with numbered squares and search the area using your grid as a reference.
If you cannot get to the area in advance of your treasure hunt, pick one corner of the land for example, and mark out a six foot by six foot square using your trowel, your cloth, your jacket and the box your metal detector came in. slowly go over your square sweeping the metal detector from right to left over the ground inside your square until you have covered the whole square.
Once you have done the whole square move your square forward and do the same search.
If your metal detector reacts as you sweep then slowly go over the area until you find exactly where the reaction came from.
Take your trowel and carefully dig around the area away from the centre as you lift off the top turf check it with the metal detector to see if the object is there if it is then carefully with your fingers break the turf up until you find your treasure.
If the object is still in the ground then keep digging carefully and check with the metal detector every time you remove soil until you find the object.
Always break up removed soil with your fingers to give you a better chance of feeling the metal object that you are seeking.
Remember to try and replace the soil and turf as you go along to avoid complaint.
Metal detecting doesn't always end at finding treasure sometimes it is interesting to try and find out the history of the objects that you find.
An engraved piece of jewelry can lead you on an exciting journey through history finding out about the person who once owned it.
Happy treasure hunting.