Old silver coins are some of my favorite things to find when beach hunting, especially old Spanish silver reales.
Here are a few tips that will help beach treasure hunters to recover more old silver coins.
The older a silver coin is, the more likely it is to be encrusted in sand, or become attached to whatever it is resting against after many years buried under the sand.
The lower beach is constantly in motion and old silver coins are sometimes thrown up onto the beach after spending a long time in the water.
Silver coins washed up onto the beach may be oxidized (blackened) by saltwater and encrusted in sand or coral.
Knowing what condition to expect old silver coins to be in, will help you to set your metal detector controls to find more.
Obviously, if you are searching for old silver coins on the beach you want to use a minimum amount of discrimination.
Using minimal discrimination, or a true all metal mode will offset the surface condition of old beach found silver coins making them easier to detect.
Even a moderate amount of encrustation on silver coins may cause your metal detector discrimination features to mistakenly reject non ferrous silver targets as trash.
Modern silver targets will always ring out loud and clear through your metal detector headphones, but old silver coins and jewelry can and often do respond with softer or broken signals.
Old silver coins may also be very worn and only be a fraction of their original weight after spending years submerged in saltwater.
In other words, lay off the discrimination when searching for old silver coins and jewelry.
Another useful tip when beach hunting for old silver coins is not to give up on any target signal.
I learned this lesson a long time ago in England searching for old hammered silver coins, thin silver targets have a habit of disappearing during the target recover process.
On the Treasure Coast of Florida, I have found small thin Spanish silver half and one reales left behind by other careless beach treasure hunters.
Small silver reales can move on edge when trying to scoop them out of the sand, causing the signal to suddenly disappear.
A thin silver reale may be on edge in the spoil pile, or it may still be in the hole.
Moving the sand pile around with your foot, or scooping around the inside edge of the hole should always cause the signal to reappear.
I make a habit of of checking any signs of dug holes left behind by other beach hunters on eroded Treasure Coast beaches.
I have recovered several Spanish silver reales just by making a cautionary foot swipe across the top of other beach hunters dug areas in the sand.
Never walk away from a signal when searching for old silver coins, expect an unconventional signal response and a target that is prone to suddenly disappear when on edge.
Choosing a metal detector that is hot on silver is another good tip for beach hunters who search for old silver coins.
Minelab metal detectors designed for beach and water hunting are excellent choices for beach hunters searching for old silver coins.