Treasure hunting, like metal detecting, can be an interesting and rewarding activity. The ground in different places hides many unrevealed secrets, and valuable discoveries of different treasures are possible.
These may happen daily as people doing metal detecting find many interesting items. However, it is important to know how metal detectors work, how to find the right one, the laws governing this activity, and some interesting and significant information about metal detection.
If you are new to metal detecting, here is a beginner’s guide to help you get started:
- Research the hobby: Before you start metal detecting, it’s a good idea to do some research on the hobby to learn more about it. Many resources, including books, websites, and forums, can provide information on metal detecting techniques, equipment, and laws and regulations.
- Choose the right metal detector: Selecting the right metal detector is important for finding metal objects. Consider the type of metal you are most interested in finding, the terrain you will be searching, and your budget when choosing a metal detector.
- Adjust the settings: Make sure to adjust the settings on your metal detector to optimize its performance for detecting metal. This may include adjusting the sensitivity, ground balance, and discrimination settings.
- Use the right search coil: The search coil is the circular device at the end of the metal detector’s stem to locate metal objects. Choosing the right search coil for the type of metal you are searching for and the terrain you will be searching for can improve your chances of finding metal objects.
- Sweep slowly and methodically: When using your metal detector, it’s important to move slowly and methodically. Sweep the search coil back and forth in a sweeping motion, and cover the entire area you are searching.
- Look for areas with a high likelihood of containing metal: Metal objects are more likely to be found in areas with a higher concentration of people, such as near beach access points or areas with a lot of foot traffic. These areas can be good places to start your search.
- Use proper digging tools: When you locate a metal object with your metal detector, it’s important to use the right digging tools to carefully and respectfully remove it from the ground. A small trowel or digging tool is typically sufficient for this purpose.
- Have fun and be patient: Above all, remember to have fun when detecting metal. This is a hobby that people of all ages can enjoy, and the thrill of finding a hidden treasure can be a rewarding experience.
Below is my extensive guide to getting started with metal detecting. Each chapter goes into much more detail about each topic. This is in no way a “complete exhaustive guide” to metal detecting, but I hope it will help you get started.
Just click on the link next to each chapter to get started, then at the end of each chapter, there will be a link to take you to the next chapter. The information below is just a summary of what you will find in each chapter.
Chapter 1 – What Do You Need To Start Metal Detecting?
To start metal detecting, a metal detector is a must. There are plenty of metal detectors on the market nowadays, and if you have one, knowing the features and functions of your metal detector is important. You need to learn how a particular model works to use it well.
Use some proper tools needed, like when you are digging a hole, and you must take care of your tools so they will last longer. You can also use a pinpointer as this will help you to prevent digging some huge holes. You start with respecting the surroundings by asking permission from the owner if it’s private property or the government if it’s public, keeping the area clean, and burying the holes.
These are some of the factors you need to consider when you buy a metal detector: how much budget you have; where you plan on using the detector like it is on the beach, park, or the beach; the number of people who will be using it; and what are your plans and purpose of using it like are you mainly searching for jewelry, coins, gold, or relics. It is important then to consider your resources like the money in buying a metal detector, people who will use it, and your plans on how you will use it.
Chapter 3 – Metal Detectors – A Must For Treasure Hunting
As we learned in chapter 1, the first thing you need to get started is a metal detector. In this chapter, we will dig a bit deeper into that. We will cover different types of metal detectors and where you can go for metal detectors. We also cover some legal issues that may come up and a code of conduct that you should follow for best practices while out metal detecting.
Chapter 4 – The 3 Types of Metal Detectors Explained
The three main types of metal detectors are Pulse Induction, Very Low Frequency (VLF), and Specialty Detectors. These are metal detectors that use a single coil for you to transmit and receive some signals. It receives hundreds of pulses within one second, and this type of device is ideal for river banks and beaches as they are completely immune to soil mineralization.
VLF metal detectors are the most common ones based on various factors. These types of detectors are best for beginners, and the price is low, lightweight, easy to use, and have longer battery life. Specialty detectors are categorized into three groups, the Multi-Frequency, gold metal detectors are used looking for gold nuggets, and waterproof metal detectors.
Chapter 5 – How Does a Metal Detector Work?
A metal detector is a great tool for detecting metal objects like coins, gold, and jewelry below the ground’s surface. A metal detector works by transmitting an electromagnetic field from a search coil at the end into the surface ground, and if there are metal objects within the field, it will send a signal back or a tone to the detector. That tone being sent back has unique sound and properties depending on what kind of metal is found underground.
Chapter 6 – How To Use a Metal Detector
Using a metal detector is not hard, and any beginner can use it by learning in local areas and small yards until they can master the methods and techniques. The basic guidelines for getting started with a metal detector are as follows. First, you must assemble it, add the batteries, and then power it on.
You can select your mode setting, like what particular item you want to search for, whether it is silver, iron, or gold. Then select the advanced settings on your particular type of detector, and finally, you can start doing ground balance, and you may begin detecting metal.
Chapter 7 – What Are The Metal Detecting Laws?
All US states follow either the ARPA Act of 1976 or the Antiquity Act of 1906, plus some of their laws or rules that may allow or may not allow metal detection more restrictive and needed requirements in their area. Each state has its metal detecting laws. That’s why it is important to ask permission first from the owner if you are doing metal detecting activity, especially on private properties and even on public lands.
Chapter 8 – Can You Metal Detect in National Parks?
In the US, many destroyed and old abandoned cities were declared as national parks because the remains are badly destroyed, and no one lives there. Unfortunately for treasure hunters and metal detectorists, National Parks are entirely off-limits.
Federal law prohibits someone from owning and using detectors in federal properties like national parks; Penalties can include imprisonment and fines up to $10,000. Not only is it illegal to do metal detecting in this place, but it’s also a felony as the law prohibits digging or removing artifacts, any historical objects, and relic hunting.
Chapter 9 – Can You Metal Detect in a Cemetery?
A cemetery is a special and quiet resting place for your loved ones who passed away, and this place should not be disturbed unless you will come and visit them on special occasions. State laws vary if it is legal or not if you are doing metal detecting in this place.
Some people think it is okay to do metal detecting in cemeteries. Still, most people in the metal detecting community agree that you should not do that on resting grounds to respect those buried underground. Many metal detectorists feel that it is immoral for those who will do this, which will give a bad image to the community.
Chapter 10 – Can a Metal Detector Find Gold Coins?
All metal detectors will find coins, whether gold or not, making coin hunting a guaranteed success, especially if you are looking in common areas like parks, playgrounds, beaches, sidewalks, and public buildings. All coins contain metal, so the metal detector will beep if a coin is in the area.
Every metal detector will find coins whether you are using cheap or costly equipment. You don’t need a gold detector to find those gold coins, as gold detectors are recommended for nugget hunting and not for coin hunting.
Chapter 11 – Can You Make Money With a Metal Detector?
Yes, you can make money using a metal detector, but you must have patience and much effort, like doing some research first and more hard work to make it possible. Before you make money after finding something in metal detecting, it is important to do some research by learning where are the best places to find those hidden treasures and familiarize yourself with using the detector.
Once you are familiarized with it, what the different sounds mean, and its sweeping methods, you are one step closer to finding treasure.
Chapter 12 – How Do You Choose The Right Metal Detector?
Each person has his preference and needs in choosing the right metal detector. To choose the right one, start with knowing the land composition, the climate, and whether you will use it on land or water.
Choose a detector that will fit your hunting desires of relic, coin, land-based, underwater, gold, or any precious gems. The adjustability of the length and height is important if you are short, tall, or if you plan on sharing it with somebody else. Choosing the detector that will fit your desires and needs is also vital.
Chapter 13 – Your Metal Detecting Questions Answered
I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about metal detecting and the metal-detecting community.
I have compiled a listing of each state’s local metal-detecting clubs and possible info on how to contact them.