Metal Detecting and Treasure Hunting

How Well Do You Know Your Metal Detector?

If you are new to the hobby of metal detecting, you have probably heard the term “air test” or “nail test” thrown around once or twice.  If you were to ask many experienced metal detectorists what they think about air or bench tests, the response is often loud and clear... 

Air tests are worthless.   Nail tests?  What a joke!  A test garden in the backyard?  A waste of time!  

Twist it and spin it any way you like.  Certain metal detectorists just do not like to bench test their metal detectors.  They very well may even scoff at the suggestion of it in forum or blog posts.  In their eyes, you should take your relic machine and go hunt a nail infested relic site to learn.  You should take you gold detector and go find gold.  Testing is rubbish.   

While I will never say somebody is wrong because they do something different, I just cannot subscribe to that logic.  I think many veterans of this hobby forget what it was like to be a rookie.  There is a learning curve to almost everything in life and metal detecting is no different.  There is tremendous value in testing your metal detector in multiple ways - no matter how long you have been in the hobby. 

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Welcome to Metal Detecting

So you want to become a metal detectorist?  You've seen the TV shows and the Youtube videos.  Guys hooting and hollering at every find.  Unearthing history right under their feet.  It looks like great fun right?  Maybe not all the cartwheels and yelling - but the metal detecting part sure does seem neat.

Heck, it’s free money and jewelry coming out of the ground.  Gold nuggets beeping their way into your pockets. Relics from ages past just waiting to be uncovered.   It’s literally the hobby that pays you back for enjoying it!

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The Treasure World of Metal Detecting

Relics - gold nuggets - coins and jewelry - saltwater beaches.  There’s a detector for each, and sometimes a detector that will try to do it all. So without further ado...let’s take a look in no particular order.


Some hardened veterans say this is the hardest aspect of treasure hunting.  You must literally dig every beep to be truly successful here.  99% of it being iron bits and not gold, it could easily be mistaken as work rather than a hobby.  While retirement type finds have been made in a single hole, it should be noted that it is usually the accumulation of many small to medium sized targets that wins the day here. 

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Treasure Hunting - Legends and Loot

Wagon loads of gold bars.  Chests full of gold coins.  Barrels of missing dimes that have supposedly fallen over a cliff.  There are dozens upon dozens of treasure legends waiting to be uncovered.   All we have to do is find it. 

Sounds easy enough when there are books, websites, and internet forums dedicated to the sole purpose of retrieving them.  Maps and GPS coordinates spread across the pages.  Pictures of what the treasure may or may not look like.  Stories of failed attempts where hunters were positive the treasure laid.. 

A little research, a canteen and shovel, and off we go to find the riches buried below.   Easier said than done... 

Especially when many of those treasure legends sound like complete nonsense.  Either too good to be true, or just plain illogical to begin with.  

That being said, we do know for a fact that hoards of coins and jewels have been hidden for safe keeping for centuries.  We know of stories across the globe where very real treasure has been uncovered.  Usually by accident....

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Best Metal Detecting Finds

The Best Metal Detecting Finds

If you are like many first-time metal detector users - you remember the feeling when you unboxed your first metal detector.   It was the best one to ever roll off the assembly line.   Little to no difference if it was a beginners model for $50, or a $2000 upper-end model.  It was YOUR detector and your time was now!  

Surely somebody buried gold bars at your local park.  Or maybe a lost Viking hoard just waiting in your backyard.  The crown jewels wrapped in gold, just waiting for you to uncover.  Get your retirement life in order, put your two week notice in at work.  You were going to hit it big on your first trip out.

You probably also remember the drive back home.  Sore legs and back from bending up and down multiple times.  A pocket full of pulls tabs and scrap bits of various metals.  If you were lucky, maybe a few clad coins to take the sting away. 

Perhaps you should call your boss and tell him you don’t want to quit in two weeks after all.

Don’t despair.  99% of the metal detectorists out there will never hit it big.  It is one of the biggest myths in the hobby.  Take pride in each wheat penny - every silver coin - every small nugget the size of a pencil eraser.  For most of us that will be about as good as it gets - and there is nothing wrong with that.  Enjoyment of the hobby should always come before the value of the find.

Fresh air - bonding with a hunting partner like a family member or friend - getting some exercise.

Remember - your personal finds and adventures will always be the “best” find there is. 

That being said - there is still the 1% out there that do hit retirement type finds.  So let’s take a look at some of their best metal detecting finds ever.  Like always - this is just a random list in no particular order.


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How to Clean Your Metal Detecting Finds

If you are into the hobby of metal detecting, you know how rare it is to find something that comes out of the ground in perfect (or even decent) shape.  Coins and relics lose their luster each day they are underground.  

Sure, precious metals like gold and silver resist corrosion, and some soils and fertilizers are kinder to buried metals than others.   But for the most part, iron relics are almost always going to be rusty and pitted.  Brass, bronze, and copper almost always having a patina of some sort.

The finds we intend to keep need some love to be restored to anywhere close to their former glory.

How does one go about doing that?  There are various ways from home concoctions to expensive machines.  Google is your friend here, as there are MANY methods I will not be covering in my short blog.  I will be sticking to the more popular methods for the sake of the reader's time. 

So let’s take a look and get to cleaning!

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How To Use Your First Metal Detector - A Beginner's Guide

The neighbors have probably started to worry about you.  Your family is close to staying at a hotel for a couple nights to get away from your newfound madness.  Peeking through your blinds all day - checking emails for tracking updates - walking to the curb strip to look up and down the street with that troubled look on your face.  It’s not the normal behavior of an adult, but you just cannot help yourself.  

You finally hear the sound of the truck in the distance.  The air brakes almost enough to send you into a frenzy.  Perhaps a little dance runs through your legs and body.   After countless hours of researching forums and watching YouTube videos, it is finally happening.

Your very first metal detector has arrived.

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