Never under estimate the importance of the humble aluminum pull tab, or crusty penny when beach or shallow water hunting.
I live in an area where beaches are hammered day and night by full time beach and water hunters, but it surprises me just how many pull tabs and clad coins you can still find following other people metal detecting.
When several people are metal detecting in the same area, I use pull tabs and clad coins as motivational finds.
With so many people using the same few makes and models of waterproof metal detector, I always know the pull tab or coin I just recovered could easily have been a piece of jewelry.
No doubt some beach or water hunters would decide to move to another area if all they are finding is pulltabs and pennies, but not me.
Pull tabs and coins recovered in areas with visible signs of metal detecting activity are very motivational to me.
One of the waterproof metal detectors I use is a very popular make and model, I know if someone was using it correctly they would never pass on scooping the signal from an aluminum pulltab.
That aluminum pulltab ( potential piece of gold) was either missed or recovered and thrown back down again by a sloppy hunter.
Targets left as decoys are normally found on the surface close to dug holes, and are easily identifiable.
I was water hunting in an area that two water hunters had just searched on the morning I found this 14K gold diamond eternity band.
One of the water hunters had dug a few targets closer to shore and I wanted to see if the area had more targets.
I took out quite a few pull tabs, bottle caps and pennies in one small area, before seeing this expensive diamond ring in my scoop.
The other water hunter probably got tired of digging lightweight trash targets in the shallower water, moving away from the pull tabs and corroded bottle caps.
Never give too much credit to other beach and shallow water hunters, especially on heavily hunted tourist beaches, the competition may not be as competent and you think they are.
They may not be covering the ground very well, have their search coils raised too high above the sand, or they could be using a ridiculously high level of discrimination to reject trash targets.
That aluminum pull tab or crusty penny you just recovered, may turn or to be a good sign on a heavily hunted beach.
A sign that gold or silver is still in the area, you just have to see what other targets were missed in the same area.