One of the advantages of using my favorite Minelab metal detectors is being able to know the moment your search coil passes over gold jewelry. That distinctive low tone that has you wondering what type of gold jewelry you will be seeing in your scoop when you lift it out of the water.
I sometimes scoop a hundred targets but I only really remember the one tone that I knew just had to be gold.
When you have been beach and water hunting a long time, you can start to tell the difference between high grade gold, a nickel, pull tabs and can slaw.
I still get excited when I hear my search coil pass over a nickel, pull tab or can slaw, but I usually know the subtle differences between these targets and gold.
So why not "cherry pick" for gold all the time and ignore all the high tone silver and clad coins?
Because of finds like these old 10K class rings, found after beach erosion in areas known for old gold class rings and silver coins.
10K gold class rings have a lot of different alloys in the mix and often produce high tones, especially when they are encrusted in sand or coral.
One large class ring may weight as much as several high karat gold wedding bands, they are certainly not the kind of targets you want to risk losing by cherry picking gold.
I only cherry pick for gold in a couple of beach and water hunting situations, when pushed for time on short hunts or when dealing with multiple hunters on the same tourist beach.
Cherry picking for the high probability gold targets leaves many attractive targets still in the area to distract the competition.
I call these high tones "anchor finds" because they slow down the competition and allow me more time to search for gold.
I used this tactic over the Memorial day weekend last year on a local tourist beach using my Minelab CTX 3030, I recovered these gold finds with five other water hunters closing in on a local hot spot.
I remember the look on another water hunters face as they started digging my anchor finds, no doubt they thought I was just another bad water hunter missing targets.
Cherry picking for gold can be an effective beach and water hunting technique in certain situations.
You just have to know when to use it and more importantly when NOT to use it.