From the Blog

Getting Started Coin Collecting With Your Metal Detector


So you just purchased your first metal detector and looking to find coins and other treasures. You came to the right place! Here are some basic steps that will increase your coin finds and build your coin collection.

Information is a big key in getting started and one of the best ways to gain information is to join a metal detector or treasure hunting club. A wealth of information comes with attending meetings and learning from members who are guided to have you on board. Making friends, getting support and sharing finds are direct benefits of membership. Subscribe to good treasure hunting publications like Lost Treasure and Western And Eastern Treasure.

They provide great stories of treasure finds, field reports on new equipment and detectors, metal detecting tips and techniques / technical reports that assist all levels of detectors. It is also very important to study your manual received with your detector. Knowing your detector is essential. We all want to have the best metal detector. The one with all the bells and whistles that will go deeper than the rest. Depth is important but is not that important. Since 1900 over a 100 million coins have been lost just in America. Even the best detectors only find coins in the 10-12 inch range. By having a treasure finding mindset and doing good research you will find spots that others have not hunted and many targets will only be a few inches deep (90 percent of my most valued coin finds have been less than 5-7 inches deep).

The best research is to get to know your local history. I call this the home town advantage. 35,000 of my 50,000 keeper coins came from my home town in central Florida. Research is the most important aspect of your information quest. Libraries have local history books. Study old maps of your community, and above all get to know the older citizens. Most of them will love to share (from the good old days) what it used to be like. The Internet is also a great tool for research. Go to a search engine and type "history of …" (your community, town, city, etc.) You will be amazed at the new spots that will be added to your list.

Where should I get started with my metal detecting for coins? This is a good question and your locality is a key. If you live near a beach that is good place to start. However, more good keeper coins are found by starting in your own backyard or friend or family members lot. Most metal detectors sold today have discrimination features that help you bypass junk like nails, tin foil, bottlecaps, and pulltabs. But the more you discriminate, the less depth you are going to have. Use less discrimination and dig up more items and you will learn to distinguish different types of signals. Discriminating out pulltabs will cause you to miss the nickels and small gold coins and rings. I dug up over 40 buffalo nickels and 11 V nickels on one trash lot that other hunters had no patience to turn down their discriminators. Start out in a yard, field or beach until you can learn to tell the signals apart, then move up to more trash areas where most detector user will not go. Remember, you will find trash as well as treasure. I have been very thorough in research and only one out of three coins have been keepers. The others have paid for my gas, food, batteries, etc.

To close this introduction to getting started with metal detecting for coin collecting I want to give you my personal code of ethics. Here's to finding many coins – Larry

Treasure Finders Code of Ethics

1. Respect the rights and property of others.

2. Observe all laws, whether national, state or local. Aid law- enforcement officers whenever possible.

3. Never destroy priceless historical or archaeological treasures.

4. Leave land and vegetation as it was. Fill all holes.

5. Remove trash and litter when you leave.

6. All treasure finders may be judged by the example you set.Always conduct yourself with courtesy and consideration.

7. Sharing is caring! Keep our treasure finding heritage strong by helping newbies in getting started.

Source by Larry E. Smith