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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Reading the beach and water, logical treasure hunting.

So many things about metal detecting on the beach and water have to do with understanding conditions and using logic.
I wrote two books that can help you to better understand how to read the beach and water, and how to use your noggin when it comes to beach and water hunting.
I get a lot of positive feedback from people who have read both books, saying they have helped readers to get a ahead of the learning curve.
Many seasoned beach and water hunters have also complimented me on the "Hardcore Beach Hunting" book, I guess they are finally coming over to the dark side lol!
Jewelry and coin hunting the same tired way, using the same metal detector settings, even the same metal detector at the same beach every time can and will lead to beach and water hunting mediocrity.
Just a little variation from your beach or water hunting routine can make a difference, it has for me just lately and lead to an increase in platinum and gold jewelry recovered. 
I normally never hit the same are twice, but I have been returning to recently hunted areas finding more platinum and gold jewelry. 
I have been doing this to take advantage of rough surf conditions that have opened up two productive sites to both beach and water hunting, something explained in detail in the "How to Read the Beach & Water" book. 
Some of my favorite metal detecting finds were recovered from these two areas several years ago, its been a while since they have opened up, but I am taking advantage of the opportunity provided by mother nature.
This heavy 1/2 ounce platinum band was recovered in the wet sand using my Minelab CTX 3030.

Of course, if I shared my favorite sites with other beach and water hunters, I could kiss the productive site goodbye, something I detail in the "Hardcore Beach hunting" book.
Over the weekend I will return to the sites and I know I have a good chance of finding more platinum, gold, or silver jewelry.
How's that for confidence, another thing you need plenty of to be a successful jewelry hunter. 
Little things can make a big difference, especially on heavily hunted beaches,  acting on those little differences will separate a good treasure hunter from an average treasure hunter. 
Average beach and water hunters will carry on searching the same way regardless, good treasure hunters adapt to changing conditions and changing beaches. 
My name is Gary Drayton and I approve this treasure hunting message, books available on my website at

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Where to find lost jewelry and coins at the beach

The question of where the most jewelry is lost at the beach is a heated topic on the internet amongst beach and water hunters. 
I class myself as a beach and water hunter, so I guess I just answered my view on the subject. 
This topic gets just as heated as the "What is the best metal detector" arguments, with everyone trying to have the last word about their favorite metal detector. 
I know a good answer to that question also, it is the one you like and you are comfortable using. 
Water hunters tend to wear blinders when talking about jewelry hunting in the water, especially with the "Its all in the water" saying. 
Note to water hunter, if you only search in the water, that is the only place you will find jewelry! 
I am sure there are many Treasure Coast salvagers who would love to use a bulldozer on the beach to find all the Spanish treasure that is surely buried under the sandy beaches opposite Spanish wreck sites. 
My emerald treasure ring is an excellent example of it is not all in the water, I have modern diamond rings out the wazoo to prove that it is not all in the water. 
In my opinion, beach and water hunters will always find more jewelry than a person who only box hunts by searching one area at the beach all the time. 
Heres a couple of things to consider if you believe the hype and only search with a metal detector in the water. 
People who visit the beach and cannot swim do not lose their jewelry in the water, if they are unlucky enough to lose jewelry it will be lost on the beach. 
People who remove and hide their jewelry in shoes or clothing before going swimming, do not lose their jewelry in the water.
People fooling around on the beach, or using concession stands 100 years ago at the same beach, did not lose their jewelry or coins in the water. 
People playing volley ball, soccer, football, cart wheeling, or any other physical activity on the beach,  do not lose their jewelry and coins in the water. 
People playing with kids in the wet sand, do not lose their jewelry in the water. 
Narrow thinking is what causes local water hunters to get so hot under the collar about my jewelry finds,  spending more days and more hours in the water does not guarantee they get the same results as I do. 
It just means they waste more time, neglecting large productive areas because they are box hunters.
Versatility is an under used word in beach and water hunting,  versatile beach and water hunters using versatile metal detectors are hard to beat, especially on heavily hunted beaches. 
I was not sitting at home waiting for the water to calm down back after a nor'easter in 2011,  I was out on the beach with my Minelab Sovereign GT scooping this beautiful 1836 gold coin up off the beach. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The parachute effect on solitaire diamond rings

Saturday night and Sunday morning I tried to recover a very expensive diamond ring in the wet sand, the couple who lost the ring offered me a $1000.00 cash reward and I was out the door like a flash. 
Unfortunately I could not find the diamond engagement ring that was lost earlier on Saturday morning. 
I believe the couple had the correct area the ring was lost, but the ring either sank out of sight, or got washed into the water. 
They told me several people had dug around in the wet sand trying to find the ring, my guess is that someone stepped on the ring and pushed it further down into the mushy sand. 
I used my CTX 3030 with an 11 inch search coil first then covered the same area using my 17 inch search coil for added depth, but I still could not find the ring.
My next searches will involve using smaller search coils and hoping for a little beach erosion in the area where the ring was lost. 
I believe gold and platinum rings with large diamonds are difficult to find because of their shape. 
They do not lay flat like normal platinum or gold bands,  in my opinion the large diamond acts like a parachute and flips the ring down and on edge making it more difficult to detect. 
Gold or platinum bands with large solitaire diamonds are not usually wide, they are thin bands. 
If large diamonds in typical prong settings cause the ring to parachute, you are trying to detect a small section of the band.
I have recovered several nice diamond rings and gold chains this year,  and I credit my ultra slow sweep speed for making it possible to recover them. 

This is the fourth lost expensive diamond ring story I have heard this year, I wonder how many expensive diamond solitaire rings are lost on the beach every week?
I know all of these lost ring stories has caused me to cut down on the amount of discrimination I use in trashy areas, just in case. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Diamonds in the rough

One of my favorite beach and water hunting sites, has produced some really nice pieces of jewelry this year. 
What I really like about this beach is the way it is possible to find something good in all three areas of the beach, the dry sand, wet sand and water. 
This 18K gold ring with three high quality diamonds appraised close to $5000.00, it was found in the dry sand earlier in the summer before the sunrise.

Even though I had gone to this beach with the intention of wet sanding before water hunting, I still decided to search the dry sand around the beach entrance. 
This diamond ring recovery story, explains why local water hunters who cry about my jewelry finds miss these type of rings. 
Two hour before low tide water hunters and wet sanders, are probably too cool to search the lowly dry sand. 
They would rather spend 5 or 6 hours walking around in the water hoping to stumble across a piece of jewelry, than figure out where to search, work hard in less hours and go home with a ring like this. 
I also see more people wising up about the use of discrimination as a way to cut down on the amount of hours you have to spend beach or water hunting to get results.
The efficient use of your time will help you have a chance of recovering gold rings on heavily hunted beaches.
If I remember correctly, it was only 15 minutes after arriving at the beach before I was holding a $5000.00 diamond ring in my hand. 
Gridding a beach entrance, ignoring obvious coin target IDs, bottle caps and iron junk, just scooping up pull tabs, nickels, can slaw and gold. 
The wet sand was not as productive at first light and inside the water stunk, but the dry sand was definately hot before the sun had a chance to properly warm it up. 
There is a time to discriminate, and a place to discriminate, a time to dig it all and a place to dig it all.
It just does not make treasure hunting sense to search the same place, the same way and expect to stay ahead of the competition for jewelry on heavily hunted beaches. 
I will say it again, jewelry is lost on the beach, all over the beach and all over in the water, why would you not want to chase it? 

Monday, August 18, 2014

The view from the water

Sunday morning I spent three hours water hunting, mainly because the weather is brutal this time of year in hot and humid south Florida. 
I decided to use my waterproof SDC 2300 pulse induction metal detector, as it was a little sanded in on the beach I chose to search.
Two other people were metal detecting on the beach, wearing back packs and using non waterproof metal detectors designed for land use. 
The first thing that stood out about the people searching the beach was how many more targets they were scooping.
They were swinging and digging like crazy, even though both beach hunters were using discriminating VLF metal detectors. 
Many water hunters look down their noses at beach hunters, but not me because I search in the wet sand, dry sand and shallow water. 
I know those guys probably found a  piece of gold searching along the towel line on a Sunday. 
We are all after the same two things, jewelry and coins, although I am not keen on recovering modern coins most of the time. 
I found two pieces of gold, an 18K gold chain with pendants and a 14K gold ear ring in the water, but I still had my eye on the beach. 

The more targets you dig on the beach, the more chance you have of finding gold on the beach.
I personally do not like metal detecting in the day time around people laying on the beach,  you tend to see a few frowning faces shucking sand out of scoops near people laying on towels covered in suntan lotion and sunblock.
After I walked out of the water, I checked out the area the two guys had detected.
The previous week we have had some really bad storms in Florida, I wonder how many people grabbed their belongings and rushed off the beach to escape the thunder and lightning. 
The famous towel line is legendary among beach hunters,  and after seeing how much scooping the other two guys had done maybe I will hit the towel line myself after work this week. 
I will finish up by getting to the point of todays blog,  watching other people metal detecting is motivational and it often presents an opportunity. 
No doubt the two guys wildly swing their search coils like fly swatters cleaned up most of the surface targets, but maybe the deeper gold is still waiting for a slow moving search coil. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Unpredictable jewelry hunting

If you have been following this blog you may have figured out by now that I am fairly unpredictable. 
Just like I never only search one area of the beach, I also never just use one metal detector.
On my last three times metal detecting, I have water hunted, searched in the wet sand and jewelry hunted in the dry sand.
One day I could be using a pulse induction metal detector, the next hunt I may be using a VLF metal detector with a 17 inch search coil. 
This year I have already recovered a good variety of finds, from many different parts of the beach.
I like to believe the only thing predictable about me is finding jewelry and coins on a regular basis.
Because I like to mix it up a lot, you never hear me moaning about sanded in conditions or crying about the competition. 
You are less effected by sanded in beaches when you do not only water hunt or wet sand, you are less effected by competition when you use different metal detectors or search coils. 
I bet right now there are many beach and water hunters waiting for better conditions, or not going detecting because they know their local beach is being hunted by competition. 
To be honest, going searching in the dry sand earlier this week was the last thing I wanted to do, but I knew I had too to do it just in case.
All I found was silver jewelry on my 4 hour night hunt, but I could not let two spots opposite productive stretches of water go undetected. 
This Tiffany & Co silver ring was one of nine pieces of silver jewelry I found that night.

It gave me hope that I may recover high end gold or platinum jewelry up in the dry sand on these beaches,  so I have another two areas to add to my collection of beach hunting sites with potential. 
In my opinion, jewelry is lost on the beach randomly and certainly not in the same place all the time.  
So it makes good jewelry hunting sense to search all over the beach, and in a variety of ways. 
Hopefully now you may see why it makes no sense to walk in a straight line in the wet sand two hours before low tide, or go plowing through the water using the same search pattern all the time. 
Treasure is where you find it,  and sometimes in the strangest of places, you are not going to find it if you are too predictable. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Full moon gold hunting

I often do quite well for gold jewelry on the beach and in the water when its a full moon. 
If you are a wet sander, there is always a lot more lower beach exposed during the full moon. 
Super low full moon tides, also allow water hunter's to get much further out into the water than normal, this weekend was no exception. 
Timing my water hunt on Saturday, I was able to get out on the low tide into an area that was previously only accessible to swimmers. 
This 18K gold chain with John Hardy silver & Onyx bamboo cross was probably lost by a swimmer, maybe cooling off after playing beach volleyball?

Many water hunters in my area like to plod around in the shallows, even on a full moon low tide.
I saw three other people with flap hats and extended metal detector straight straight shafts searching close to shore on Saturday. 
They probably never saw me because I was so far out, wearing a weight belt, with only my snorkel visible. 
This is something I like to do in calm seas, when you can metal detect safely offshore.
My SDC 2300 may be a little heavy in the wet sand but the weight comes in handy when water hunting. 
The further away from shore you metal detect, the less trash you will find, so why not use a waterproof pulse induction metal detector and dig all metal targets. 
If you do not have a waterproof pulse induction metal detector, put your VLF in all metal mode and dig everything.   
Gold and silver chains, class rings and watches, are some of the heavier items of jewelry lost by swimmers in deeper water. 
Your choice of scoop is very important when searching in deeper water, a heavy long handled stainless steel scoop is much better than a lightweight aluminum scoop, especially when "Tippy toe" water hunting. 
You do not need the hassle of a lightweight aluminum scoop basket moving with the water current over the target area as you prepare to press your foot down on the back of the scoop basket.
I also found a large quantity of coins, several pieces of silver jewelry and a cellphone in a waterproof case out in the deeper water, again more than likely lost by swimmers.
The amount of finds I recovered told me that the deeper water at this local beach had not been detected for a while. 
I only had one shot at metal detecting this weekend, and for me the full moon low tide water hunting was my best chance to find gold. 
The next time you get a chance to go water hunting on a full moon, take advantage of the extra water hunting real estate, go look for gold lost by swimmers in an area that  is normally off limits to shallow water hunters. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekend beach and water hunting tips

Going back to my previous blog,  if you are a weekend warrior and use the three Rs of treasure hunting you should now be ready to find jewelry and coins.


Research your local beaches to find out where you are more likely to find jewelry and coins, if the beach conditions are in your favor.  
There is a reason why you cannot beat experienced local beach hunter's to jewelry and coins during prime beach hunting conditions. 
They know their local beaches, and know the best sites to search on those beaches, making it very difficult for you to compete if you have little local knowledge of the same beach. 
Are you going to search a beach you know this weekend, or are you going to travel to another beach you are not familiar with and hope to get lucky?


Keep on top of your local beaches, know what signs to look for on the beach or in the water, it will increase you chances of finding jewelry and coins.  Beach and water reading skill's are very important parts of beach recon,  they allow you to narrow your search instead of walking along the beach just hoping to put your search coil over something good.
I am always scouting out new beach and water hunting sites, taking note of the beach conditions, and comparing the previous conditions to present conditions on my next visit to the same site.
When you walk onto a beach this weekend, will you know where to search first? 


A beach or water hunter should already know their metal detector is capable of finding any kind of jewelry or coins.  In other words, you have confidence that you are using the correct treasure hunting equipment.
Do you have total confidence in your choice of metal detector? 

This weekend you are far more likely to be successful with your metal detector,  if you know the beach, know how to narrow down your search, and use a good metal detector correctly.
If you mainly do your beach or water hunting over the weekend,  use the other five days of the week to plan ahead.
Check out beach webcams, visit a couple of local beaches if you can, charge your metal detector batteries,  test various targets similar to what you are searching for,  prepare to make the most of your weekend treasure hunting opportunity ahead of time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The three Rs of beach and water hunting

My recent jewelry finds, show that it is still possible to recover jewelry during the sanded in summer months, and in the face of stiff competition.
I cannot say enough about how important it is to know your local beaches, my knowledge of local beaches,  always gives me a fighters chance of finding jewelry or coins when I go metal detecting.
You do not even have to go metal detecting to keep on top of beach conditions on many local beaches, use beach webcams, or just stop and check in on beaches from time to time.
If I am passing a beach, I like to park up for a few minutes to see if the beach has potential. 
You can sometimes observe things that will help you in the future,  similar to how I saw a few interesting spots and made out like a bandit on my last two water hunts. 
One of the sites I recovered gold at was found by accident, I was driving down the beach road and had to stop to allow pedestrians to cross the road at a small beach entrance.
I parked up, walked across the street and found a place that was begging to be searched with a metal detector.
Far too many beach and shallow water hunter's wait for beach or water conditions to change, instead of looking for new beach sites and learning how to read the beach and water.  
Another thing that many beach and water hunter's do, is use the same search mode, they either use discrimination or dig all targets. 
I prefer to make that decision on the site I am about to search, I rarely show up at the beach prepared to stick to one search mode.
When I take my new Minelab SDC 2300 pulse induction metal detector to the beach, I always take my CTX 3030, just in case digging all metal targets is not the best option.
I also never whine about sanded in conditions, the beach or water is how it is and you have to deal with it by having plenty of beach or water hunting options. 
Jewelry and coin hunting on the beach, or in the water, is all about putting yourself in the best situation to succeed. 
I am sure you have heard of the three Ps of treasure hunting, patience, persistence and perseverance. 
Try my three Rs of treasure hunting, research, recon and readiness. 
These and other useful tips for beach and water hunting are in my books, "Hardcore Beach Hunting" and "How To Read The Beach & Water" available on my website at . 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Never over estimate the competition

I hear many beach and shallow water hunter's complaining about the high number of people metal detecting now on the beaches of Florida.
I am sure it is the same on many beaches through-out the world, the number of people beach and water hunting has increased.
That does not mean your jewelry and coin count has to take a hit,  increased competition just means that  a few of the easier to find targets are skimmed off beaches.
When you use a good metal detector, and you are experienced, try not to give the competition too much credit.
For example, if you arrive at the beach and see other people already metal detecting, there is no need to move on.
Who says the competition knows what they are doing?
I was faced with the same situation last August,  arriving at a beach to metal detect and seeing five people already beach and water hunting.
My day could not have got off to a worse start, after locking my keys inside my vehicle!
Now I was standing on the beach walkover in my wet suit with my detector and scoop, looking at people already detecting the site and I could not drive to another beach if I wanted to.
Luckily, thanks to a friendly beach jogger who allowed me to use a cell phone, I was able to call my wife at 7am on a Saturday morning.
I told the wife that I would metal detect in the water until she drove the half hour to the beach to rescue me.
Not wanting to crowd the other shallow water hunters, I moved into the deeper water and started to move away from them.
The other water hunter's were staying pretty close to shore, and getting in and out of the water, wandering around in the dry sand, then returning to the water.
Not exactly the best plan of action,  and observing them for a while I decided to move a little closer to cover the waist deep water they showed no interest in covering.
I was happy I moved a little closer to shore, which is where I found this heavy 18K ladies ring with 2.5 carats of diamonds.

About 10 minutes after finding the diamond ring, I saw my wife waving to me from the top of the beach.
I walked out of the water and put the ring in her hand,  and in an instant the early morning phone call that ruined her Saturday morning sleep in was forgiven.
The diamond ring appraised for $4850.00,  readers of this blog should use this ring as motivation not to let the sight of other people metal detecting put you off searching a beach. 
A good metal detector is the hands of a confident beach or water hunter, out trumps any amount of competition. 
Heavy competition, sanded in beaches, just makes returning home with these type of finds even sweeter.