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Monday, September 28, 2015

A tale of two diamond rings

These two platinum and gold diamond rings appraised for a cool $23.000.00 and they were found using the same metal detector but in two very different areas of the beach. 

I do things differently to the main beach and water hunting advice passed around on internet metal detecting forums, you can probably see that the jewelry I pull off the beach and out of the water on a regular basis. 
I doubt you would see many detecting forum experts telling you to go jewelry hunting at high tide, or go water hunting at beaches that see few people swimming, but that is exactly why these two chunks of ice are now resting in a safety deposit box at the bank.
The platinum Tiffany ring with 1.5 carat diamond was found last year at a small beach entrance that water hunters would barely notice on their way to hunt with the detecting crowds at a popular tourist beach. 
It was found using a waterproof pulse induction metal detector with an eight inch mono search coil,  designed more for hunting for small gold nuggets than gold jewelry, but it detects plenty of small pieces of gold jewelry too.
Finding platinum jewelry using a pulse induction metal detector with an 8-inch mono search coil at a quiet out of the way beach, would be considered water hunting blasphemy on the detecting forums.  The 14K gold ring with 2 carat iceberg was found earlier this summer in the high tide line at high tide using the same Minelab SDC 2300 pulse induction metal detector, another case of beach hunting blasphemy. 
Two very different jewelry hunting strategies that went against the usual beach and water hunting grain, but worked like a charm.
When I go beach or water hunting, I go out of my way to try different things and hopefully recover something good.
I never go to the beach and do the same thing every time I go metal detecting,  there are just too many variables to search the same way at every beach. 
In my opinion, it is better to go beach hunting where ever and when ever, as nothing is ever predictable trying to detect a gold ring or a coin in a wide open sandy space. 
Setting yourself apart from the beach hunting crowd is a great way to insure you do not endure slumps or long droughts between finds at the beach.  
The more rigid you stick to the same "Ground hog day " style beach or water hunting plan, the longer you will go between finds.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Following signs to recover gold in the water.

This past weekend I ran across an area in the water that held a lot of green encrusted coins. 
Anytime you start recovering "Greenies" you have a good chance of recovering silver coins or gold jewelry. 
Saturday morning was no exception, after scooping up a handful of encrusted coins and fishing weights I pulled up an encrusted 10K gold ring.  

The hard packed sand that held the coins, fishing weights and rings could not be seen in the water, it was covered over with approximately six inches of sand. 
The darker and deeper water was the only visible clue from the lower beach, the trough was created by a combination of wind and waves opposite an area with older condos. 
Many Florida beach and water hunters ignore beaches with high rise condos, in favor of tourist areas where other beach and water hunters flock to. 
I like the sight of gold jewelry too much to just search the same sites over and over again. 
The trough or trench, was about 10 ft wide by 100 feet long and the hard bottom under the fluffy sand contained more coins and jewelry than pull tabs, bottle caps and other lightweight trash.  I recovered two other gold rings, five silver rings, three junk rings and very little trash in 2.5 hours. 
There were actually three excellent jewelry hunting signs at the water hunting site on Saturday morning. 
A narrow strip of darker water running paralel to shore, lead fishing weights and green coins. 
Any one of those gold signs can help you be successful, all three signs scream do not walk area from the area. 
I swung by the same site on the way to work this morning, just like that the site was sanded in.
You often only have a small window of opportunity between tides to make the most of a good water hunting situation.
I hammered the site in my allotted metal detecting time and came away with some goodies.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Discrimination by depth

Early Saturday morning I hit a south Florida beach that has several bars and restaurants opposite the beach. 
It is a beach that has been very good to me through the years and Saturday morning was no exception. 
By the condition of the flat gold necklace and the location it was found, I would say it was probably lost after the bars had closed. 
The gold necklace was an easy surface find and I saw part of it on top of the dry sand when I turned my headlamp on to scoop the target. 
On a heavily hunted beach, this is the type of area that is best covered quickly before the competition shows up.
My favorite way of covering a stretch of tourist beach quickly is by using the target depth indicator on my metal detector.
I discriminate by depth, stopping to scoop targets that my target depth readout indicate are six inches deep or shallower. 
My reasoning is that on heavily hunted beaches there are probably no deep targets, so why not concentrate on recovering good shallow targets.
For beach hunters who are obsessed with target depth, there are often just as many deep junk targets as shallow junk targets on a tourist beach.
Using the target depth indicator to cover ground faster, is the opposite to what many people do when searching parks for old silver coins, ignoring shallow targets and only digging deep target. 
I have done quite well before sunrise in the dry sand this year, searching for fresh dropped jewelry on tourist beaches. 
Mainly because I make the most of my limited beach hunting time, by concentrating my time and effort searching for shallow targets. 
I am not a box hunter, I mix things up and try different search techniques to suit the beach conditions. 
Many beach hunters, use the same search technique and search the same way every time they go to the beach. 
Change is good for a beach or water hunter,  it leads to unpredictable finds at the beach. 
While covering areas quickly is not one of my favorite beach hunting tips,  it can be a very effective jewelry hunting technique in the right situation. 
Opposite beach bars and nightclubs, it helps to know what you are looking for and how deep those intended targets are likely to be. 
Or you could stop and scoop every target on popular beaches and hope no other beach hunter puts their search coil over jewelry before you do.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The jewelry to coins recovery ratio.

Recently I have had several beach and shallow water hunters contact me for advice, wanting to know why they have no problem finding coins but struggle to detect jewelry. 
They point to their equipment and ask if changing metal detectors or search coils will make a difference. 
Before changing metal detectors or search coils, I advise a change of search technique or timing if you struggle to detect jewelry. 
Coins being flat discs are easier to detect at the beach than jewelry, which is often made of several different alloys and comes in all shapes and sizes.
There are also many more coins lost at the beach than pieces of jewelry lost at the beach. 
On beaches in less populated areas, the gap between lost coins and jewelry may be even wider. 
Sometimes jewelry is just not there to find, and no metal detector or search coil will make a difference. 
At tourist beaches you should not have a problem finding jewelry, no matter how heavily hunted the beach is, or what metal detector and search coil you use. 
If you are struggling to detect jewelry at a tourist beach, you need to look into your metal detecting technique first, or the times you go metal detecting. 
In my opinion, technique and timing are the big two solutions to balancing out the jewelry to coins ratio. 
Where there are coins, you can find jewelry if you slow down and methodically search the area. 
A level search coil swept slowly just on or slightly above the sand will detect jewelry, especially if you overlap the area you just swept over by half. 
Over lapping search coil sweeps,  automatically forces you to slow down which improves your jewelry hunting chances. 
As far as timing, the best time to go beach or water hunting is anytime you feel like it. 
Far too many beach and water hunters tilt the coin / jewelry scale towards the side of coins by spending too much time clock watching.
For example, waiting until low tide, only jewelry hunting on certain days, or waiting for more favorable beach conditions. 
Try to think of your metal detector as just a tool or machine to find jewelry at the beach. 
Like any tool or machine you want to become an expert at using, you have to use it appropriately and often to become an expert. 
When I am on a job painting my customers say I make it look easy, when I am at a beach doing the hobby I love, my competition say I own a jewelry store. 
Is it my paint brushes, rollers, metal detectors and search coils making it look easy, or the crafts of using those tools? 
Your probably always going to find more coins than jewelry at the beach, but you will find jewelry with good timing and search techniques.