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Searching For Treasures With A Metal Detector

Updated on December 12, 2018
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed has spent many years swimming in different types of waters. It is her favorite summer activity.

Treasure Hunting with a Metal Detector

Searching for treasure at the shoreline.
Searching for treasure at the shoreline. | Source

Metal Detecting for Treasures

Metal detecting and treasure hunting are two leisure endeavors wrapped into one exciting hobby.

Have you been bitten by the treasure hunting bug?

If the answer is yes, then you have become addicted to a lifetime hobby of searching.

If you like prospecting (another name for searching) for gold or gems, visit the mountain regions of Arizona, North or South Carolina, Colorado, and other locations.

There is excitement when your tool strikes a rock and you remove a gold nugget or a precious gem. After which, the mining process begins.

Treasure hunting can be a one-man or a group effort by people who share similar interests. I enjoy searching for treasure at the local beaches in search of lost jewelry or coins.

One Type of Metal Detector

This is one type of metal detector. There are many to choose from.
This is one type of metal detector. There are many to choose from. | Source

Types of Metal Detectors

Hours can be spent holding on to your metal detector listening for those familiar beeps which indicate the possibility that some treasure lies below the ground. Your heart will beat with excitement as you dig into the soil or sand to see if you have located a soda bottle cap or a gold ring. This is a fun outdoor hobby regardless of the uprooted prize.

Select a metal detector which will serve your needs. What type of treasure hunting are you interested in?

  1. Are you looking for coins, relics, or any metal?
  2. Will you be exploring through earth, sand (dry or wet), or water?
  3. Are you prospecting for gold or gems?

Mining for Gems

Mining precious ore can be very exciting.
Mining precious ore can be very exciting. | Source

Mining Gold and Gems

Mining gold or gems will yield hundreds or thousands of dollars in reward for your efforts. These earned findings will feed your addiction.

The discovery of locating lost or hidden treasure is the motivation for continuing to pursue your treasure hunting hobby with or without the help of a metal detector.

Where to mine for gold and gems:

  1. Depending where you live - your personal backyard
  2. Do a search on the Internet for locations within your state
  3. Check with local clubs and organizations for their recommendations
  4. Gold mining or gem mining vacations
  5. International countries
  6. Specialty mining camps open to the general public. Use own equipment or rent
  7. Old houses
  8. Vacant land
  9. Beach shorelines

Precious Gems

Gems bring financial riches for the gem miner.
Gems bring financial riches for the gem miner. | Source

Popular Precious and Semi- precious Gem Locations

Where To Find
sand-gravel of river beds and stream beds
granitic rocks
Ruby and Sapphire
metamorphic rocks
granitic rocks
metamorphic rocks,pegmatic dikes, igneous rocks
boulders of pebbles in stream gravels
igneous rocks
volcanic rocks, seams and fissures of sedimentary, igneous,metamorphic rocks
pegmatite dikes, granite cavities
thin veins and small veins of highly altere rocks

A small listing gathered from the United States Department of the Interior

Gem Stones of the United States Geological Survey Bulletin 1042-G

Gold and Silver are Popular

Bracelets, earrings, rings, and other jewelry are found while treasure hunting with a metal detector.
Bracelets, earrings, rings, and other jewelry are found while treasure hunting with a metal detector. | Source

Gold and Silver Jewelry

Types of gold and silver jewelry found on beaches include:

  1. School class rings
  2. Anniversary and wedding rings
  3. Bracelets, signet rings, and watches with or without gemstones
  4. Anklets
  5. Earrings with or without gemstones
  6. Gold or silver chains with or without pendant or gem stones
  7. Watches; gold and silver with or without gem stones
  8. Charms without or without gem stones

The best locations for working metal detectors are crowded public parks and beaches. There is a greater opportunity to find more items. This is a strong hint to do your research and map areas of opportunity.

A Gold Nugget


Stake and Claim A Gold Mine

Are you inspired by the television reality shows to do serious prospecting of gold?

Shows like 'Yukon Gold', 'Gold Fever', and 'Gold Rush' stir the prospecting bug of our being.

According to the United States Department of Interior. "There are 19 states where you may locate mining claims or sites. These states are Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming."

This is for the serious gold miner. You will need to follow the guidelines as stated by the United States Department of the Interior.

Buyers and Sellers Beware


Buying and Selling Gold Jewelry and Coins

What do you do with your findings?

You may choose to keep these found jewelry pieces or sell them for their cash value. It is very difficult to locate the original owners of jewelry findings.

I do know of one situation whereby the jewelry piece was exceptional and the finder advertised about it in the local newspaper. The person who had lost it called the phone number and described the missing item accurately. The finder returned the item to the owner. This type of scenario is rare.

Gold Coins

Gold coins have much dollar value.
Gold coins have much dollar value. | Source

Gold and Silver Coins

Treasure hunting for gold or silver coins will require research. Will you be looking for singular coins or do you want to find groups (cache) of coins. There are different types of metal detectors for pursuing these treasures.

After you find your coins the next step is to research their value. You will need to know the origin of the coin, its age, its metal content, and whatever else may be needed to learn of its market value.

The top organization which thousands of people use, including me, is The American Numismatics Society of America. It is a museum of American and International coins. They have listings of coin values both domestic and rare. This is the first stop which I recommend for researching the value of a coin.

I have checked with local coin shops, but in truth I hesitate because if the coin has any real value it should be appraised by an honest and respectful coin dealer or organization. If your coin is valuable it is to your advantage to get a written appraisal which authenticates its value. The best company which coin collectors and dealers use is PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) at

You may choose to start your own collection or sell the coin to a coin dealer or coin collector.

Walking Liberty Gold Coin


Coin Values

How is the value of a coin determined?

  1. Age
  2. Condition
  3. Rarity increases its value
  4. Printing errors
  5. Designed and minted coins which were never circulated
  6. Historical contest
  7. Coins made of gold or silver

It's The Law

Have fun using a metal detector to find treasures. However, know your laws and regulations to avoid legal problems.
Have fun using a metal detector to find treasures. However, know your laws and regulations to avoid legal problems. | Source

Federal and State Laws

I do not wish to remove the fun of metal detecting for treasures, but hobby or not, I recommend that you check both federal and state laws regarding found treasure.

When a small or large treasure is found we get excited and start to brag about our findings. Unfortunately, you may not be able to keep what you have found because of certain laws. To prevent this from happening it pays to know of any legal restrictions. Some areas may require a permit.

Discovering caches of coins, gold, antiques, and ship wrecks on government owned properties usually require permits, or not allowed to prospect. Should you treasure hunt on government property and find a treasure, you forfeit all rights to ownership. Ignorance of the law will not be an excuse.

Do your research regarding where it is okay to perform metal detecting and avoid any unnecessary problems. Happy treasure hunting.

How To Use a Metal Detector to Uncover Hidden Bounty

Have You Been Bitten By The Treasure Hunting Fever?

Do you enjoy treasure hunting with a metal detector?

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