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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Eroded beach rule number one, take your time.

News of eroded (cut) beaches travels fast, especially on heavily hunted beaches, but that does not mean you have to be the first person searching an eroded beach to find gold.
These twelve pieces of gold jewelry were found three years ago on an eroded Florida beach, with at least a dozen people already searching the beach.

I saw the cut beach on a webcam and drove two hours to go search it, despite knowing people were already metal detecting at the beach. 
I slowly searched along the base of the cut for five hours, covering no more than a quarter mile stretch of tourist beach. 
The surprising thing about that afternoon was just how much gold jewelry I detected along the base of the cut, even though it was pock marked with dug holes left behind by other beach hunters.
I have been in many of these type of situations before and I know that speed kills your chance of detecting anything good.
People always make the mistake of picking up the pace when several people are searching an eroded beach.
They see competition and try to cover too much of the beach before the competition.
A good beach hunting mind set to have is not to be in competition with anyone, have no competition but yourself.
I actually slow down when I see other people metal detecting at the beach, because I have no competition and I am not in a race to detect anything before anyone else.
I have supreme confidence in my beach hunting skills and I am going to detect a site thoroughly, even if it has already been searched by other people. 
In my opinion, when you leave a beach you gave it your best shot, no matter the outcome. 
The only way to give a eroded beach a good shot is by covering the area slowly and methodically, or risk leaving a find of a lifetime behind for another beach hunter who is not in a hurry to cover the whole site. 
Oh and the reason I chose to search along the base of the cut that day, was because I know many people ignore searching close to a cut at low tide, assuming the area has been hammered. 
The second surprising thing about that afternoon was recovering a piece of jewelry with my name on it. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Detecting bands at the beach

For a beach hunter searching for jewelry, wedding bands should be some of the easiest pieces of jewelry to detect at the beach.
The conductivity and shape of platinum or gold bands, make them easier for your metal detector to detect.  
I tune my metal detectors to detect thin platinum and gold bands, which can be both shallow or deep targets depending on the weight of the band.
The platinum and gold bands in this photo where all found within a three month beach and water hunting period last year.

I scrap several ounces of gold jewelry every quarter and the majority of the scrap pile gold is always bands, or what I like to refer as "Bread and butter" gold finds.
Tuning your metal detector to detect thin gold bands will insure you detect large gold bands.
When is the last time you experimented with your metal detector settings at the beach? 
Take a thin gold band in a small plastic bag to the beach, lay the bag on top of the sand and see what metal detector settings help you to detect the thin gold band.
If you cannot detect a thin gold band you are not going to have a chance of detecting highly sought after solitaire diamond engagement rings. 
Check out my finds page on my website and you will see what you are missing, as many expensive diamond rings are all expensive diamond mounted on a relatively thin platinum or gold bands. 
A good combination of ladies rings with stones and bands of all sizes means you are detecting a wide range of jewelry.
Your metal detector settings are set up correctly if you are able to detect small and large jewelry. 
If you scroll through my website finds page or previous FB posts, you will see all shapes and sizes of platinum, gold and silver jewelry.  
The type of jewelry that have detecting forum members reaching for the Pepto-bismol and leaves the local competition scratching their heads.
Making sure your metal detector is set up to detect thin and small pieces of gold jewelry, will also give you a chance of detecting broken bands. 
You may be surprised to know what a different audio response you will get from a band with a broken resizing or solder point.
If you have a broken band, put it in a small plastic bag and take it to the beach to see how your metal detector responds to it. 
In closing, strive to detect a wide variety of all shapes and sizes of jewelry, by making sure your metal detector is set up to detect small gold.  

Monday, November 16, 2015

The money line

This weekend I found another gold chain along the place at the beach I refer to as the "Money line." 
On a heavily hunted tourist beach, it is not hard to figure out that this was a shallow target.
The surprising thing about the find was the lack of other beach or water hunters in the area, I had the place all to myself and for a couple of good reasons.
The surf was rough, so the full time "Its all in the water" hunters stayed at home and it was high tide so many of the "Two hours before low tide" detecting forum and detecting club members stayed at home.
High tide leaves a money line twice a day at tourist beaches all around the world, but many beach and water hunters still prefer to see more of the lower beach exposed before going coin or jewelry hunting.
The great thing about a high tide line can be that you do not have to cover so much area, you can just search along the high tide line.
Heck, you can even pick some really cool things up at the beach walking along a high tide line. 
Recently I have been restricted to being a weekend warrior, going metal detecting when I have the chance at the weekend. 
I cannot pick and choose my times now work has picked up, so I go regardless of the tide times.
The high tide should never be looked at as hinderance or negative thing, especially at a tourist beach. 
This 14K gold chain read 2 inches deep on my CTX 3030 target depth display, I saw part of the gold chain after pushing sand away from the area with my boot. 

I thought it may have been a pair of designer sunglasses and did not want to damage them with my scoop. 
This also goes to show how jewelry and coins are washed up and deposited along a tourist beach high tide line. 
If you are lucky enough to be there at high tide you could take home some freshly deposited gold from the money line. 
My favorite way of searching the money line is in a straight line, using a metal detector that is not effected by water rushing over the search coil or effected by soaking seaweed washed up on the high tide line. 
The money line has been very good to me, I have found everything from Spanish treasure coins, to modern gold bling,  designer sunglasses and paper money. 
In my opinion, the more rules you set for yourself when jewelry and coin hunting at the beach, the more jewelry and coins you leave behind for other people. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

No set search pattern or set beach hunting time

These two things set me apart from many other beach or shallow water hunters. 
I never know how I am going to search at the beach until I get there and I never look at tide charts, even when I go water hunting.
Already knowing how you are going to search a beach before you get there, assumes you are going to do the same thing you do at every beach. 
Timing your beach or water hunts to coincide with low tide, assumes you are only going to search the wet sand or shallow water. 
Also notice how I say beach and water hunting, unlike many people who only search one or the other. 
Using different search patterns to suit the conditions present and arriving at the beach regardless of the tide, will insure you cover different areas at the beach.
I cannot say I have found more jewelry and coins in one area of the beach than any other area of the beach. 
Because I do not wait until two hours before low tide to hit the beach, the tides often work in my favor forcing me to search an area I may otherwise have ignored.
If you search heavily hunted beaches, this is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. 
The majority of the competition on a heavily hunted beach will show up to detect two hours before the next low tide.
Many empty finds pouches are self inflicted, you snooze you lose when jewelry or coin hunting at the beach. 
You also handicap yourself by not straying from your search comfort zone, same time, same area, same style beach or water hunting usually end with the same result. 
In my opinion, there are set ways or set times to search a beach with a metal detector. 
more like a set of guidelines as Jack Sparrow would say. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Iron infested site tips

Some of my best finds came off beaches that are very tough to search because of iron.
Large iron objects buried in the sand make it very tough to search a beach, especially if you are not familiar with the area.
Many beach or water hunters think they can search an iron infested beach effectively by using a search coil, but a small search coil is useless if used incorrectly.
You have to reduce your search pace and sweep speed down to a crawl when using a VLF metal detector and small search coil at any iron infested beach site. 
Do not be afraid to put your metal detector down and move iron obstacles around if you can, you may be the first person searching under or around the iron object you moved. 
I have several iron obstacles I use as jewelry traps on local beaches, when I visit these beaches I go straight to known obstacles to move them.
Any jewelry or coins close to the obstacles are easily detected after moving the iron obstacles. 
Fishing piers are perfect examples of trashy iron infested beach sites, full of corroding fish hooks, bottle caps, beer cans and flakes of iron from the pier. 
The closer you metal detect to a fishing pier the more corroding junk you encounter, the more that little voice kicks in telling you to move away from the area. 
Instead of moving away from an iron infested site, do everything you can to detect jewelry or coins hidden amongst the iron. 
Search the area from different directions and expect good targets to be effected by any iron in the area. 
You cannot expect all good targets to respond with two way repeatable signals, especially sitting on, or close to iron.
Any one way target response should be investigated, use your scoop or foot to move sand away from the target area. 
Wiggle your search coil over the target area, try to coax a better target response if you can.
Think of yourself as the first person taking the time to recover jewelry or coins at the site, because often you are!
Iron masking is enemy number one when it comes to jewelry and coin hunting at the beach using a VLF metal detector. 
A shallow target can easily be missed if you do not put all your efforts into target separation, instead of target depth.
You single out, or hone in on good targets amongst multiple iron targets by giving your metal detector time to detect a good target.
Sometimes the easiest targets to detect are in the hardest places to search, if you take the time to search iron infested beach sites. 
This gold and silver jewelry came out of an iron infested site earlier in the year, I moved two old cast iron drain pipes out of way and the area was loaded with targets. 

I wonder how many water hunters at this popular beach got to the pipes, heard the null and walked around before I decided to put my metal detector down and move the pipes. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Aim small miss small.

I am a big fan of dividing beaches up into small areas and covering those smaller sections really well.
If you try to cover too much of a beach, you run the risk of walking over valuable targets. 
The majority of beach and water hunters I see are straight line searchers, people who walk and search in one straight line at the beach. 
The two most common type of straight line hunters at many beaches hit the low tide. Searching a straight line way out in the water, or along the beach next to the waters edge. 
When you search in one straight line at the beach, you are not doing yourself any favors except for extra cardio from all the walking. 
You could probably get lucky by walking a straight line along the beach, but hoping to stumble across something good is not a good beach or water hunting plan. 
In my opinion, you are better off doing the least amount of searching in a straight line as possible. 
I prefer to use a tight zig zag search pattern across a beach, hoping to latch onto a target or two. 
When targets are detected I narrow my search pattern, instead of completely walking away from the area in a straight line as many other beach and water hunters do.
I have found far too many pieces of valuable jewelry to ever walk away from an area with multiple targets. 
Sometimes, I have recovered great finds only after completing a different search grid over an area.
Ferrous and non ferrous targets hide jewelry and coins, a nice tight search pattern gives you a chance of recovering the maximum amount of targets in an area.
Some people like to cover all the beach in one hunt, I prefer to cover one area of the beach in one hunt. 
This superb Tiffany & co platinum ring with a 1.5 carat diamond appraised at $10.000.00, the diamond ring was my reward last year for sticking around at one spot. 

I began recovering coins and instead of walking down the beach to a busier section, I hammered the small area with a pulse induction metal detector.
By aiming to cover a small area really well, I know if anything of value is in that area, it is more than likely coming home with me. 
The diamond ring was recovered after using a tight spiral search pattern away from the highest concentration of clad coins and assorted junk targets.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Avoid jewelry hunting speed traps

Continuing on from my last blog regarding eroded tourist beaches, here are a couple of water hunting finds that would put a smile on any beach or water hunters face. 
I recovered these rings at two different beaches, back in 2007 and 2012, both beaches were very trashy sites. 

The antique 18K jade ring with two mine cut diamonds was in an area with a late 1800s wreck offshore, there is a very good chance this beauty came off that ship. 
This site has a lot of small iron on the beach and in the shallow water, you have to keep your sweep speed down to a turtles right hook and use a small search coil to hear good targets between the iron. 
Target recovery speed is the name of the game at this beach, giving yourself the chance to detect a good target after your search coil has moved over a piece of iron. 
The 18K ladies ring with 2.5 carat oval emerald was found at a popular local tourist beach, this ring was also recovered thanks to using my ultra slow sweep speed and "Excalibur wiggle" to coax good targets out of a trashy site.
Some of the best pieces of jewelry I have found beach and water hunting, I earned the hard way.
Patiently turtling around in trashy areas, relying on detecting targets other beach and water hunters have little chance of hearing swinging their metal detectors like a five iron. 
Try to remember when using a VLF metal detector with an audible threshold and even a minimum amount of iron mask,  you are not detecting any good targets until your threshold (Back ground noise) kicks back in. 
I use my metal detector threshold to keep me honest at trashy speed traps, not daring to move until my metal detector threshold is audible. 
If you are moving on from trashy tourist sites because you cannot hear anything through the sea of trash, you are probably moving away from gold. 
A good VLF metal detector will tell you when it detects a good target, it will also tell you to slow down if you listen to your threshold.
Jewelry hunting at trashy beach sites is about using your metal detector threshold to avoid  sweep speed traps.