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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My top ten tips for success at beach and shallow water hunting in 2014

1. Stay motivated
Never stay at home waiting for people to tell you when it is a good time to go beach or water hunting. 

2. Equipment   
Research and use a metal detector you are comfortable using, not the metal detector every other beach or shallow water hunter is using. 

3. Think outside the box 
Same time, same place beach and shallow water hunters go home empty handed.  The same applies to using the same turn around points on a beach.

4.  Stick to the basics 
Great beach hunters make great water hunters, hone your metal detecting skills on land before venturing into the water. 

5.  Ignore the tides
Go beach hunting regardless, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that not all jewelry is lost in the same place on the beach. 

6. Slow down
Yes its called metal detecting not beach walking, try stopping and covering an area. 

7.  Try different areas
Most of my best finds this year came from small beaches that see far fewer people than larger popular beaches. 

8.  Ignore the competition 
Yes beaches are heavily hunted now, but there are many bad beach and shallow water hunters out there.  Never assume just because an area has been searched, it has been searched correctly.

9.  Become a balanced treasure hunter
Master all three areas of the beach, the upper beach, lower beach and shallow water.  You will find the term "Sanded in" redundant when you are balanced treasure hunter. 

10.  Remember to have fun 
The only competition you really have is yourself,  the beach changes every day increasing your chances of finding something good. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Read the clues to find jewelry in the water

I just returned from a relaxing 7 day Christmas Caribbean cruise, more family time with the wife and daughters than metal detecting.  I did get a chance to go water hunting on a stopover in St Maarten, and I took these two photographs of the beach we spent some time at. 
These two photographs are clues to reading the water with an eye towards searching for gold jewelry. 

There were more people inside the water along one stretch of the beach, but it did not look very good for metal detecting inside the water.  
You would have to rely more on luck to find fresh dropped jewelry, than water hunting skill in such sanded in conditions. 
This second photograph shows the other side of the beach, the side with less people using the water.  This quieter stretch of water was the part of the beach that interested me the most, because of the obvious visual shallow water hunting clue. 
From where I was relaxing on my sun lounger,  I could see the darker area between the last two people in the water.  Darker areas close to shore can be very productive sites, if you know how to search and recover targets from these areas. 

The darker stretch of chest to shoulder deep water had a rock / coral bottom covered in seaweed and sand. I was able to use my Minelab CTX 3030 to search for gold jewelry in this tough to metal detect area, using my dive boot and hand to fan and recover targets. 
I recovered several Eastern Caribbean coins and fishing weights, but unfortunately only the one piece of jewelry in this photograph.

A nice David Yurman silver and 14K gold cable bracelet with diamonds, the ladies bracelet retails for $1000.00 on the David Yurman website. 
The more time you spend beach and shallow water hunting, the more your beach and shallow water reading skills will increase.  You can then spot the potentially promising looking areas in the water and hopefully get rewarded with gold or silver. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reading people using the beach

The age of people using the beach is an often over looked factor, knowing how to read beach goers should be part of your beach reading skill’s. 
As part of my thinking outside the box approach to beach and water hunting, I read the beach with an eye towards certain age groups. 
I have always preferred to search beaches that are popular with an older crowd, seniors and retirees.  
Gold and silver jewelry found on these beaches tend to be better quality, and more expensive than jewelry found on beaches popular with younger crowds. 
Older people like to spend more time in the water than younger people. 
As people age their wrists, hands and fingers all get smaller, watches, bracelets and rings slip off and are easily lost.  
Younger beach goers, such as surfers, tend to wear more silver jewelry than gold jewelry.  Large crowded beaches popular with college age kids may look more appealing than a beach with a smaller crowd of older people, but looks can be deceiving.
This beautiful and expensive antique18K opal and diamond ladies gold ring was found on south Florida beach that attracts an older crowd.

I strive to make the majority of my gold finds18K or higher, you can only do this by understanding how to read the beach with an eye towards age. 
Your beach hunting finds will always be a reflection of your beach and people reading skills.  It should come as no surprise that many of my expensive modern jewelry finds are a higher grade of gold, and they come from beaches that attract older crowds.  
This quality over quantity strategy is possible by understanding how to read the beach and knowing how to read the people using the beach. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

You never know unless you go

In my opinion, far too many beach and shallow water hunters depend on internet metal detecting forums and beach report bloggers to tell them when to go treasure hunting. 
Waiting around for forum experts or bloggers to tell you when it is a good time to go metal detecting will always lead to empty find pouches. 
Lost jewelry and coins can be found anytime and anywhere on the beach, so anytime is a good time to go beach or shallow water hunting. 
I found some pretty amazing pieces of gold and platinum jewelry this year, many of my best pieces of jewelry were found during times when beach reports and forum experts were complaining about poor beach hunting conditions. 
17 ounces of gold jewelry and 2 ounces of platinum jewelry this year, not too shabby for a part time beach and shallow water hunter.
You never know what you are going to find unless you actually go beach or shallow water hunting instead of waiting around for beach conditions upgrades on the internet. 
I used to get so much grief when I posted photos of my jewelry finds on the popular US metal detecting forums, members at first puzzled about my finds then openly hostile towards me for having the audacity to find jewelry on a regular basis. 
One of the main reasons I continue to find jewelry on a regular basis is the fact that no matter what the beaches look like, I go detecting whenever I get the opportunity. 
You have to be a persistent beach or shallow water, always having a "Todays the day" positive treasure hunting attitude if you want to find jewelry on a regular basis. 
I remember many times this year being thankful that I made the effort to scout around in search of a promising beach site. 
Going home with a nice piece of jewelry, thinking to myself how lucky it was that I decided to go metal detecting regardless of what the conditions looked like. 
Here is one of those finds, a heavy gold ladies ring stacked with diamonds. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Rough surf and shallow water hunting

I only ever really let the tides influence my decision to go metal detecting during times of rough surf,  otherwise I go to the beach treasure hunting regardless. 
Shallow water hunting at high tide in rough surf can be a lesson in frustration, it can also be dangerous depending on how rough the surf is. 
I still never wait until two hours before low tide, as way too many beach and shallow water hunters use that outdated method of timing.
Going shallow water hunting just an hour or two after high tide can make a big difference at heavily hunted beaches,  putting the first drop off in the water within comfortable metal detecting range.
You will have less chance of getting your scoop or metal detector yanked out of your hands in rough surf, when metal detecting in the first drop off an hour or two after high tide. 
It is always nice to be the first one at a promising site, but what is the point if you cannot recover any targets because of the crashing surf.  
Fighting to sweep your search coil, pinpoint , scoop and recover is very tiring on the high tide.
You may be ready to leave the beach exhausted just when conditions in the area close to shore start to improve. 
Rough surf hunting is a little like weekend hunting, you have to be patient and wait for the best time to go metal detecting. 
Go shallow water hunting in rough surf too soon and you risk going home empty handed. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The giant sandy conveyor belt

I often like to refer to the lower beach as the "Giant sandy conveyor belt", because coins and jewelry are constantly moved onto and off the beach. 
One of the reasons why the lower beach is so productive is that it is the main place on the beach effected by the daily tide cycles. 
Two high and two low tides help to constantly change the landscape of the lower beach, both in and out of the water. 
During times of moderate to high surf, all manner of metal objects are moved around. 
Coins and jewelry are either pushed high up onto the beach, or dragged off the lower beach and washed into the first drop off inside the water.
The " Conveyor belt" effect on coins and jewelry is the reason why the water hunter saying "It is all in the water" is an outdated jewelry hunting notion. 
It is certainly not all in the water as most water hunters would tell you, I have the dry and wet sand modern bling and old treasure coin photos in my beach hunting books to prove it. 
Expensive jewelry can be found in the dry sand, wet sand and water, so you need to be proficient at searching all three areas of the beach. 
It also helps if you own a metal detector that you can use on all three areas of the beach. 
The gold rope chain with gold locket pendant in this photo was found in the dry sand at a beach I visited after finding the other pieces of gold jewelry water hunting at my first site. 

Water hunting at one beach and dry sanding at the next beach, two very different metal detecting techniques but as you can see, two very effective techniques. 
Many beach hunters make the mistake of metal detecting on only one part of the beach. 
When you narrow your metal detecting down to only searching one part of a beach, you narrow your chances of being successful.
One of the secrets to successful coin and jewelry hunting  on the lower beach is locating the end of the giant sandy conveyor belt. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wide beach hunting

I just spent a week up in Central Florida, unfortunately more work than pleasure but I did manage to get  a couple of short beach hunts in.
The beaches in central Florida are much wider than the beaches of south florida that I am used to metal detecting on.
I know many beach hunters would automatically think a large search coil and a brisk detecting pace are the best ways of tackling a wide beach, but I have never been a big fan of speed detecting and trying to cover as much ground as possible.
On a couple of short two hour hunts I relied on my beach reading skills instead of blind luck, especially since I was pushed for time.
Walking out towards the water I got a pretty good look at the most promising looking sites, several low spots or dips in the middle of the beach.
On my first two hour hunt using my Minelab CTX 3030, I recovered one small 18K gold diamond ear ring and a couple of small pieces of silver jewelry, all good targets were found in the lowest areas on the beach. 
I dug many more targets during my second two hour hunt in the lowest area on another beach, but no gold just silver jewelry.
After searching other parts of the second wide beach without any signals, I returned to the lowest area and used a different metal detecting search pattern.
I recovered a few targets I was unable to detect using the first search pattern, this is a technique I often use on productive areas.  
It is always surprising how many targets you can still recover metal detecting over the same area from a different direction.
The CTX 3030 is a very sensitive metal detector and very good at picking up small items of jewelry, such as stud ear rings.
I found several silver ones with CZs, they could just as easily have been gold with diamonds.
Jewelry can be found almost anywhere on a wide beach, but I have found the majority of time the lowest areas on wide beaches are the most productive jewelry spots. 
Going for target separation using a standard size search coil on wide beaches can sometimes be more rewarding than using an extra large search coil for depth. 
The depth advantages of using a large search coil are often negated when a beach hunter is trying to cover a wide beach too quickly. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Recent "Sanded in" beach observations

Last Sunday I returned to the same beach that I found gold at on Thanksgiving day, this time I came away with gold and platinum jewelry even though the beach was still sanded in. 
Some people rely on lady luck when beach and shallow water hunting for jewelry, I like to rely on previously productive beach sites and my treasure hunting instincts.
It had only been a few days since I found gold in the water at this site, my instincts told me I could possibly find more jewelry after heavy surf had pushed sand around in the area. 
I had already done the hard work a few days earlier by finding the hot spot within the site, making it easy to concentrate all my efforts to detecting a smaller search area. 
Searching on the high tide was not easy, but it was better than sitting around waiting to go detecting two hours before low tide as any local water hunters in the area would surely have done.
The heavy 10K wedding band and the Platinum and 18K ladies ring are proof that when beaches look sanded in, there is always something to find when you know your local beaches and the location of previous hot spots. 
For the third straight hunt I never saw another beach or water hunter,  maybe they are waiting until someone tells them the conditions have improved? 
I worked hard for my gold and platinum jewelry in less than ideal water hunting conditions,  to find gold jewelry on a consistent basis you have to be willing to work hard.
You also have need to go to the beach with your metal detector, no matter what the tide is, or what the beach conditions are. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shell line opportunities.

I have hardly had any time to go metal detecting lately, so when I do get the chance I go for it. 
A thanksgiving morning gave me a small window of opportunity to go shallow water hunting in search of gold jewelry.
Although the beach I chose was sanded in, I saw one interesting area on the lower beach with a large amount of shells by the waters edge. 
Normally wide shell lines along the lower beach are not a good sign, but sometimes the areas in front or behind the shells can be productive.
Standing in the wet sand, I noticed the shell line resembled a mini cut inside the first drop in the water. 
After entering the water with my Minelab Excalibur, I quickly began scooping targets.
The quarters, dimes and nickels on the sandy bottom along the edge of the shell line told me that heavier targets had collected behind the wall of shells.
It was not long before I heard a low gold tone through my Excalibur headphones, which turned out to be a large heavy mans 14K wedding band. 

The line of shells only ran for a short distance, I knew how to read the lower beach and take advantage of the only hot spot on the beach. 
A beach may appear to be sanded in at first glance, but sometimes looks can be deceiving. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Finding gold at sanded in sites.

If you want to find jewelry at the water, you have to go to where the jewelry is, not where all the other water hunters are. 
On my first water hunt for three weeks I could have easily followed the detecting crowd to the over hunted sites everyone hits, but that is not my style and it never will be. 
Instead, I chose to use a hit and run tactic on three smaller beaches, assuming they would not be hunted over the weekend being so close to a popular tourist beach. 
The coins found in the shallow water opposite the three small beach sites told me I made the correct site selection. The two pieces of gold jewelry found at each site were the reward for relying on my treasure hunting instincts and not being predictable. 

It was a 4 hour water hunt so I wanted to make the most of my first water hunt in three weeks, to do that I searched known (only to myself) productive jewelry sites. 
Small beach sites close to each other that I could quickly sample to see if I had a chance of finding recently lost jewelry. 
All three sites held gold jewelry and when I was sure I had hammered the best area at each site I moved onto the next site. 
A good discriminating metal detector is the best equipment to use when you intend searching several sites within a certain timeframe.

You can see by the photo that even if the water is sanded in with no rocks, you can still find recently lost gold jewelry if you search around for places with more gold jewelry than water hunters. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Patience and instincts.

I have written extensively in my beach and shallow water hunting books about ways to increase your finds by timing your beach and shallow water hunts correctly.
One of the keys to being successful is learning to be patient, another is relying on your treasure hunting instincts if you are part time beach and shallow water hunter.
Knowing when to hit the beach during times of high surf, or knowing when to hit the water afterwards can really make a difference.  
Just like it is not a good idea for a weekend warrior to detect early on a Saturday morning before people on the beach have had a chance to lose anything, you have to wait for erosion to take place. 
Many beach hunters rush to the beach straight away when high surf is forecast, a good treasure hunting move, but only if you really know your local beaches. 
If you know how the surf height or direction effects your local beaches you have a big advantage and you can time your hunt much better.
This is another reason why it is so important to base your treasure hunts on your own instincts, instead of following the flock.  
Beach and water reading skills and being proficient at using a good metal detector can help a part timer treasure hunter to be just as successful as a full time beach hunter on eroded beaches.
So can patience and waiting until conditions on the local beaches are primed for treasure hunting.  
As I have also written in my books, sometimes it is just as important to know when NOT to metal detect on the beach as it is to know when to metal detect on the beach.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Power hunting and top 10 tips list

Like many other people hooked on this great hobby, I class myself primarily as a weekend warrior and I have to make the most of any opportunity to go beach or shallow water hunting.
I try to be effective by "Power hunting" using either an all metal or discrimination search mode to blitz a chosen site for jewelry or coins.  
Since I have been doing this blog, I hear from many other part time beach and shallow water hunters in my area who ask me for advice or potentially good site information. 
My message inbox starts to fill up when people see conditions are good for treasure hunting, especially when finds are being posted on the internet.
First of all, you should never worry about what other people are finding because you only have control over your own treasure hunts.
It is important for part time hobby guys to pick and choose their battles.
My top ten tips for Power Hunting are;

1. Choose a local site.
 Spend more time metal detecting than driving, use up your valuable detecting time chasing treasure, not other treasure hunters!

2. Own the correct treasure hunting equipment.
Be ready for any beach or shallow water hunting situation, versatile treasure hunters adapt and change metal detectors and search coils to suit the conditions. 

3. Local knowledge rules! 
Use your knowledge of the local beaches to hit prime search areas within a local beach site, be the master of your local beaches.

4. Leave the house with a Plan B
Have a back up site, never go to the beach without knowing the best secondary site within reach.

5.  Be a methodical beach or shallow water hunter.
Methodically try to cover every square foot of the search area, drag your long handled scoop or use a GPS if you have one. 

6.  Maximize your metal detector and search coil depth.
Keep your search coil level and slightly scuffing the sand, both in or out of the water.

7.  Slow down 
Overlap your sweeps to help hit deep targets and improve target IDs on screened metal detectors. 
Overlapping sweeps actually forces you to slow down, overlapping sweeps is recommended when using Mono coils but it is just as effective when using Double D coils.

8. Double check
Always recheck your holes and any holes left behind by other beach or shallow water hunters. 

9. Leave no prisoners 
If you cover the search area using discrimination and recover targets, cover the same area in all metal.  Really hammer every site you search before leaving.

10. Be a positive treasure hunter.
Maintain a positive treasure hunting attitude, I always enjoy the feeling of contentment knowing that if any jewelry or coins were in the search area, I would surely have found them.

These are just a few of the things that help me to compete against the small army of full time beach and water hunters in my area. 
Try to remember, it is not how much beach you cover, it is how you cover the beach!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Beach hunting competition

If you are a competent methodical beach hunter, you may be surprised to know just how little competition you really have. 
The majority of beach hunters on the beaches that I like to search, always look like they are on their way to somewhere. 
Zig zagging along the lower beach and racing towards some mysterious hot spot just in the distance, they must spend more time walking to spots than actually metal detecting. 
I hear many people complaining about the sanded in conditions and how the competition for finds has increased.
I believe an increase in beach hunters just means a few more of the easier shallow surface finds are skimmed off the beach.  
I would be worried if there is an increase in beach hunters NOT zig zagging and speed walking over the sand lol!  
They would probably be covering the ground correctly and finding deeper targets, taking a bite out of my jewelry numbers. 
On East Coast US beaches, winter time is often the best beach hunting season and after high surf many popular beaches are crowded with beach hunters. 
That does not mean your chances of finding anything good diminish, on the contrary your chances may increase if you do not get caught up in the frenzy.
Stick to slowly and methodically searching prime treasure hunting real estate on beaches with large numbers of people searching them.
Avoid getting carried away by trying to cover several areas, as many speedy beach hunters do.
Your knowledge of the local beaches will help you decide where you are going to have the best chance of success. 
Trying to recover the shallow, medium and deep targets in one prime area is better than trying to recover all the shallow targets in many different areas, especially when you know where the good stuff is.
I have found some of my favorite pieces of gold jewelry on beaches with large numbers of people metal detecting. 
Practice , patience and knowledge of the local hot spots is often money in the bank, no matter how many people are searching the beach. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

More on traveling to beach and shallow water hunt

When you really know your local beaches and how to use a good metal detector, traveling to metal metal detect can be a good option. 
You can better  use your local beach and water reading skills to good effect on beaches you decide to travel to.
Knowing how to use a good versatile metal detector will also help you to compete with other beach and shallow waters in the area.
Relying on lady luck to walk over an old treasure coin or modern diamond ring is never the best beach or shallow water hunting strategy. 
It is always better to rely on your skill as a beach or water hunter, to maximize your chances of having a successful treasure hunt.
Always keep the "hunt" in treasure hunt,  it is called treasure hunting not treasure "chasing"
If you are traveling to search a beach because another person has recovered a good find, chances are that was the only good find and discovering the location of the recovered find will be very difficult.
Beach or shallow water hunters who post good finds on the internet rarely post the exact location, just a general area.  
Many beach and shallow water hunters base their detecting traveling plans on rumors or finds photos on internet detecting sites.
Sometimes, beach conditions can change a lot faster than a beach report or good find posted on the internet a few hours earlier. 
Add travel time and the fact that many other beach and shallow water hunters may have seen the same information and you have already missed the proverbial boat. 
Research, beach reading skills and your prowess as a beach or water hunter using a good metal detector are the keys to traveling and finding treasure. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Return on investment

ROI ( Return on investment) is a chapter title in one of my books, it is something that beach and shallow water hunters should take into account when traveling to metal detect.
The grass is not always greener when you go to compete against other beach and shallow water hunters in their back yard, especially traveling long distances.   
Local beach and water hunters should always have an advantage over outside treasure hunters raiding their beaches.
Not having to travel to detect is a major advantage, even a half hour drive to a beach means a full hour behind the steering wheel instead of on the beach metal detecting.
Having confidence in your beach and shallow water hunting skills, and knowledge of your local beaches will give you the upper hand over traveling treasure hunters.
Gas, tolls and parking fees can also put a damper on raiding other beach and shallow water hunters territory. 
I never like to over extend myself, I travel to metal detect but always making sure I know the best areas, and have at least two back up sites.
I try to make my treasure hunting trips a good investment, that means coming home with something to make the trip worth while.
If I travel to search for hard to find Spanish treasure coins, my back up sites are modern jewelry sites.
Easier to find gold or silver jewelry on tourist beaches, more than make up for the disappointment of not recovering older finds. 
There is a small army of full time beach and shallow water hunters, and local bloggers who detect the same beaches every day. 
If you are a part time treasure hunter like myself, you can still give the full time treasure hunters a run for their money by honing your detecting skills and searching places closer to home.
Sites you know you have a chance of searching and recovering valuable targets, instead of wasting your limited metal detecting time driving long distances to beaches that have probably already been heavily hunted. 
You will get the biggest treasure hunting returns by banking on your knowledge of the local beaches.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Reading the beach and shallow water

This really nice chunk of platinum and diamonds was found inside the water on Saturday morning, because of beach reading skills. 

When you metal detect on the beach and in the shallow water, beach reading skills often lead to water hunting success. 
I chose to search a beach that was off the beaten track, a small beach with a hidden access gate used by timeshare vacationers staying across the road opposite the beach. 
It was quite a hike to the nearest beach entrance, but as you can see from my photo it was well worth the exercise.
I noticed an old cut just past the area I had intended to search,  metal detecting on the slope below the old cut I recovered many clad coins. 
I knew from past experience there was a high probability of more coins and jewelry being found in the water opposite the cut. 
The first drop off inside the water was very sanded in, no doubt from all the sand dragged off the beach when the erosion first occurred. 
A little further offshore the area was very rocky, with many coins scattered in the rocks.
The platinum ring, an 18K gold band plus several pieces of silver and junk jewelry were recovered after fanning sand off the rock with my hand and foot.
This story just goes to show that you can still take advantage of beach erosion, even when the erosion happened a week or two earlier. 
Old cuts are often filled in with the same sand that was washed away when the cut was first created. 
Sometimes leaving valuable jewelry behind for enterprising water hunters. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

High tide hunting in the dark

I planned to water hunt this morning at a remote beach entrance that I know is not heavily hunted.
I left the house early and swung by a popular tourist beach to see if I could find anything washed up in the high tide line,  I did find a gold ear ring washed up below the high tide line.
When I search tourist beaches after hours, I like to use a head lamp to scan the towel line just above the previous high tide mark.
This morning I saw a few dry sanders high up on the beach,  but I had the high tide line all to myself.
I found a $140.00 ladies Armani watch with the price sticker still attached to the back of the watch.
No great shakes but it could just as easily of been a more expensive watch taken off and left in sand.
Many times when searching high tide lines you can eyeball finds before your search coil has a chance of picking them up if you use a head lamp.
After the sun came up I had a productive early morning shallow water hunt, finding platinum, gold and diamonds.
If I was a box hunter who only water hunted, I would not have searched the lower beach and found a gold ear ring and the watch.
Many beach hunters never bother to search the beach on a high tide,  preferring instead to show up two hours before the low tide.
Buy yourself a headlamp and get into the habit of searching the beach after hours, especially for the high tide.
You may be surprised how much jewelry you can find when you are forced into searching a much narrower strip of lower beach.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pulse or large search coil

Many beach and shallow water hunters ask me whether it is best to invest in a pulse induction metal detector or buy a larger search coil for a VLF metal detector. 
In my opinion, you are always better off basing that decision on the beaches you metal detect on. 
If you search wide open beaches or stretches of water with a low amount of trash or ferrous targets, a pulse induction metal detector should be the best choice. 
People who search on trashy beaches with moderate to high amounts of ferrous targets, may find an extra large search coil on a VLF metal detector  a better choice. 
When it comes to metal detectors and search coils, everything is about the beaches that you search on.
Using the wrong metal detector or search coil on the beach is the main reason why many beach and shallow water hunters go home empty handed. 
Metal detecting with a pulse on a trashy site and digging all targets can be just as frustrating as using a VLf metal detector on a wide open beach with a small search coil. 
You must also take into account the types of objects you are searching for, when deciding which set up is a better choice.
If you predominantly search for old shipwreck artifacts, digging all targets using a pulse induction metal detector or an all metal mode is the best plan of action. 
Modern finds, such as gold and silver jewelry are more likely to be found in trashy areas. 
A large search coil on a discriminating VLF metal detector is a better choice of treasure hunting equipment when trying recover deep jewelry on busy beach sites. 
For many beach and shallow water hunters,  a pulse induction metal detector or an extra large search coil on a VLF metal detector are very effective game changers in the right circumstances. 
It just depends what your local beaches allow you to use. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Productive sites and treasure hunting patience

Sometimes you have to wait for a productive beach site to open up again, before you can reap the rewards of treasure hunting patience. 
The hardest part of knowing any productive site is discovering the site in the first place, but once you do find an area containing old artifacts or modern jewelry it can be a future source of many metal detecting finds.
I have many, many beach and water hunting sites that I constantly keep an eye on, I am prepared to search them even if they open up for the shortest window of treasure hunting opportunity.
These gold jewelry finds from a 2 hour beach hunt are special to me, they represent a five year wait in between one beach site opening up and giving me the chance to find over 30 pieces of gold jewelry at the same site last year.

I was ready to search this old productive beach and water hunting site, after initially finding many more pieces of gold jewelry five years earlier. 
The diamond encrusted 18K gold bracelet link matches three other segments of the same bracelet found on the same site five years earlier. 
This may not  be very popular with people reading this blog who like to beach and water hunt in groups but, "Loose lips sink ships" when it comes to producing sites. 
The less people you tell about your  productive sites, the more treasure you have waiting for you at the site, instead of a large crowd of people metal detecting when you arrive at the site. 
Knowing where you are likely to find old shipwreck artifacts or modern gold jewelry is one heck of an advantage to a beach or shallow water hunter. 
Patience really is a virtue when a productive site opens up, no matter how long you have to wait for that site to open up,  it is always good to know you already have one of the keys to finding treasure. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Searching for old and modern finds

When I go to the Treasure Coast in search of Spanish treasure, I always make the drive knowing the treasure has been there for 300 years and if it is my time to find it, I will. 
Old artifacts and treasure coins are much harder to find on a beach than modern jewelry, you have to be  at the top of your game to recover older finds. 
I always feel more satisfied driving home with an old Spanish silver piece of eight than a modern gold ring, because I know the old treasure coin was much harder to find. 
Speedy fast moving beach or shallow water hunters rarely recover older finds using sloppy or hasty metal detecting techniques.
That explains why many beach and shallow water hunters have no problem recovering modern jewelry, but struggle to find older coins and artifacts.
Beach or shallow water hunters known for recovering older finds make good modern jewelry hunters.
You can still find modern jewelry using speedy metal detecting techniques, but forget about recovering older finds using the same techniques.
Older finds tend to be deeper targets, old finds in the area become the first casualty of treasure hunting haste.
Speedy hunters miss large chunks of ground, and even when a search coil passes directly over a deep target they are difficult to detect.
Deep old targets respond very differently to shallow targets, the same deep targets are often rejected when using anything other than a minimum level of discrimination.
You should always strive for balance in your metal detecting finds, even a variety in the ages of your metal detecting finds is a good beach and shallow water hunting sign. 

These metal detecting finds span several centuries, they were all found on beaches where it is possible to recover both old and modern finds. 
Take your treasure hunting time and increase your chances of finding older finds. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Site selection and reading people

When I am metal detecting on a beach or in the shallow water,  I always hope to find one piece of gold jewelry. 
When I used to post on the internet metal detecting forums the biggest complaint from the forum "experts" was that I found too many pieces of high karat gold jewelry. 
How was I able to find such high quality pieces of gold jewelry on the same beaches where forum members struggled to find a plain gold band.  
I even got accused of owning a jewelry store, which is quite ironic because after finding so much jewelry I actually thought about opening an online jewelry store lol! 
The answer is site selection, nothing puts more diamonds on your loved ones finger than site selection.
Every beach and shallow water hunter has a choice to make when selecting sites to search on crowed beaches. 
Looks can be deceiving, many beach and shallow water hunters mistakenly think crowded beach sites must contain high end gold jewelry finds, that is simply not true in areas popular with younger crowds. 
Through the years I have had a lot of success at jewelry hunting by reading people using the beach. 
A crowded beach at spring break is the last place you will see me,  I do not go jewelry hunting for toe rings and mood rings. 
I prefer to search sites that give me a chance of finding that one valuable piece of high karat jewelry I am looking for.  
Every beach has sites within the site, I guarantee the faster you learn to read the people using the beach, the more high end jewelry you will recover. 
Think about that the next time you go jewelry hunting, which people on what part of the beach are more likely to lose what you are searching for?
That is exactly how this 14K ladies eternity ring stacked with diamonds ended up in my finds pouch. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Marathon hunts

I was out of town for a few days and had a chance to do something I rarely get to do recently, which is metal detect over 3 hours.  
Between work and family time, my normal beach or water hunts rarely go above 3 hours, unless I run across a special metal detecting situation. 
Yesterday I hit several Treasure Coast beaches and spent 5 hours searching for Spanish treasure coins before finally giving in to the sanded in conditions and searching another 3 hours for modern jewelry. 
I eyeballed an olive jar shard in the high tide line at the site of an early 1600s Spanish shipwreck and unfortunately only found a handful of coins and junk jewelry searching later on a tourist beach for modern jewelry. 
My longest day ever treasure hunting was last November when I walked onto a beach at 9pm and arrived home at 9pm the following evening. 
Yesterday I forgot just how well balanced my metal detectors are,  I was using an Anderson carbon fiber shaft on my Excalibur II and my CTX 3030 already has a well balanced collapsable carbon fiber shaft. 
It is really good to know that if you do run across a situation where you want to spend a full day on the beach, you can. 
My friend was using a GPX 5000 with a detecting harness, he also was not tired at the end of day. 
A balanced metal detector is an often overlooked key metal detecting factor.  If you sitting at home nursing a sore arm or shoulder instead of metal detecting, you may miss a golden opportunity at the beach.
Custom straight shafts or a detecting harness are important metal detecting accessories during prime beach or water hunting situations. 
Marathon beach or water hunts are possible when you take the issue of the weight of your metal detecting equipment out of the treasure hunting equation. 
That also applies to your recovery tools, use a stainless steel scoop for water hunting and an aluminum scoop for beach hunting. 
A sore arm from using the wrong type of scoop can just as easily stop you from being able to metal detect on marathon hunts. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Full moon water hunting

Now is the best time to take advantage of the full moon if you are a shallow water hunter. 
During the full moon low tides it is possible to search areas offshore that we're previously only accessible to swimmers. 
Jewelry lost by swimmers out in normally deeper water is almost impossible to retrieve when first lost by the unlucky swimmer. 
Timing is everything when the full moon gives you an opportunity to search in less heavily hunted areas. 
You usually have a short 2 hour window of opportunity to retrieve as many good targets as possible. 
On tourist beaches I never waste my precious full moon low tide time digging iron, the clock is ticking as the extra high full moon high tide will make sure you are searching closer to shore than usual. 
Use a discrimination search mode to go after the non ferrous targets, you can dig all targets any other time of the month. 
Watches, chains and large gold rings usually stay within discrimination search mode range much longer. 
If you return to search the same site the next day, try using a larger search coil or switching to an all metal search mode. 
It is always better to recover the easier to find jewelry first before searching for the harder to recover jewelry. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Following other beach and shallow water hunters

There are far more full time beach and shallow water hunters than ever before on popular beaches, but that does not mean you cannot be just as effective being a part time beach and shallow water hunter. 
You just have to refine your metal detecting techniques and make the most of every treasure hunting opportunity to compete with full time beach and shallow water hunters. 
I always say just because someone has walked over an area with a metal detector, it does not mean that area has been searched correctly.
It is amazing how many good targets you can recover following sloppy beach and shallow water hunters.
When you can clearly see the lower beach has already been searched by scoop drag marks and dug holes, you still have a couple of golden opportunities. 
Most of the easy surface finds should already be gone, search slowly and concentrate on trying to recover deeper targets that were being partially masked by surface targets already recovered by previous hunters.
Always double check around any areas of disturbed sand, some beach hunters give up on disappearing signals from targets on edge. 
Get into the habit of using your foot to push the sand around a filled hole on the beach, before slowly sweeping your search coil over the disturbed patch of sand as there may also have been a more valuable target in the same hole. 
I have found far too many nice pieces of gold jewelry following other beach and shallow waters, to ever get discouraged by signs of a freshly hunted beach. 

Monday, October 14, 2013


Lead is a really good sign when you are beach or shallow water hunting in an area known for older coins and jewelry. 
Some of my best beach and shallow water metal detecting finds have come from hunts were I recovered multiple lead targets first. 
I recovered a handful of early 1800s lead musket balls before finding my 1836 gold half eagle coin.

It would have been easy for me to walk away thinking the musket balls or old military uniform buttons were the best targets, but I knew there had to be some old coins in the area after finding the lead.
I knew from past experiences searching for Spanish treasure on the beaches of the Treasure Coast of Florida that lead targets are a sign of good things to come. 
A Spanish 1715 fleet silver half reale was recovered along with the lead finds in this photo. 

Last October when I found 50 pieces of gold jewelry,  I pulled an incredible amount of fishing sinkers from the two main areas I found the majority of my gold jewelry. 
A third of a 5 gallon bucket to precise, as long as the fishing sinkers were coming up I knew I still had a great chance of finding gold. 
I am well known for favoring the use of a discrimination mode when beach and shallow water hunting, but when lead starts to show I become all metal Gary.
Never walk away from an area producing a lot of lead targets, not only is lead a good gold sign it is also a sign that you are searching an area that has not been hunted recently. 
When I found several large gold class rings a few weeks ago, it was in an area popular with tourists and the large amount of easily detectable lead sinkers let me know I had run across a potential gold patch in the water.  
If you find multiple lead targets, gold is often hiding in the same area.  


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Elusive beach metal detecting finds

I recently saw a "Groundhog day" style post while lurking on an internet metal detecting forum. 
A long time water hunter was venting about never having found a gold chain in the water, the same water hunter uses a popular submersible metal detector with an extra large 15 inch search coil. 
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why you have a better chance of finding a gold chain in the water using a smaller 10 or 8-inch search coil. 
You can avoid going years without recovering certain metal detecting finds by taking a look at the finds you are recovering in numbers. 
If you always predominantly recover one size, or type of find in large numbers, you may have a problem caused by your choice of search coil or metal detector control settings.
Sometimes a combination of both may be causing the lack of variety in your metal detecting finds.
Recovering high numbers of medium to large gold weddings is nice, but it could be a warning sign that you are missing small gold. 
Changing search coils or metal detector control settings will allow you to find small gold.
Alternatively, recovering a majority of small gold targets may be a bad sign, a lack of large gold targets, such as class rings may mean you are lacking depth. 
A beach or water hunter should be able to recover gold chains (with and without pendants) and both large and small pieces of gold jewelry. 
A few years ago I used a different submersible metal detector with a 12 inch search coil for deep water jewelry hunting on tourist beaches.
I noticed my large gold and platinum band numbers increased, but ladies ring numbers declined.
I stopped using the metal detector with the hardwired 12 inch search coil, and almost immediately my ladies ring numbers increased.
Achieving variety in your metal detecting finds is not just a sign that you search different beaches. 
A variety of jewelry finds can also be a sign of a beach or water hunter using the correct size search coil and control settings to suit the beach being hunted. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ugly beach hunting

I refer to metal detecting at off the beaten track beaches as "Ugly beach hunting" 
You can discover some pretty cool metal detecting finds on the beach and in the shallow water at out of the way beaches. 
The majority of beach and shallow water hunters flock to the same beach sites every week,  many local beach hunters do not find anything but still return to the same site week after week. 
You run the risk of not finding anything on heavily hunted beaches, why not take a chance on an out of the way beach. 
You may go home empty handed more often, but once you do start to find jewelry or coins at an ugly beach site you usually have the place all to yourself. 
Of course, it is not a good idea to tell everyone about your new site after you have taken the time to find and search it thoroughly.  
I search many little out of the way beaches, places I hardly ever see another person metal detecting.
One of the reasons I spend so much time researching and hunting ugly beaches is I am not afraid to strike out. 
In my opinion, the thrill of finding an old coin or piece of gold jewelry is sweeter when your research and persistence pays off, even if it does happen less often on out of the way beaches. 
I find Spanish treasure coins,  old US relics, and modern gold jewelry far away from sites you would expect to find them. 
The more sites you search, the more variety you will have in your metal detecting finds. 
You can only go so far relying on lady luck,  go out and make your own luck if you want to find on a regular basis. 
This  $3500.00 1 carat diamond ring was found on the beach opposite a little beach entrance,  far away from the nearest condo or house. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Follow your instincts

Sometimes it is tough out there and you have to rely on your instincts to beat "Sanded in" conditions.
Last week I only had one chance to metal detect for a few hours on Sunday morning.
I have been finding gold jewelry on my recent short beach and shallow water hunting outings, but I had to rely on my instincts to keep my gold streak going on Sunday morning. 
My early morning hunt was looking like a wash out, I had not found anything on the beach in the dark at low tide and the sun was rising.
I decided my best chance of finding gold was to spend my final hour in the water.
I know my local beaches are hammered over the weekend, but sometimes it is not possible to search everywhere.
The jet ski rental site had not opened and I figured my best shot was in the water before anyone arrived to set the rental area up for business. 
The area between the jet ski rental buoys is off limits during the day time.
Both the beach and shallow water were sanded in badly, but when you are searching for "Fresh drops" sanded in conditions are not important. 
My strategy worked and my gold streak is still alive, thanks to this 18K gold grill and a handful of quarters. 

You always have a chance of finding gold or silver jewelry when easy to detect targets like quarters are in an area.
Maximize your metal detecting time by searching less hunted areas if you can.
Sometimes the obvious place to search on the beach is not always the most crowded area.