Total Pageviews

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Searching natural jewelry traps at the beach

Saturday morning I hit a beach for  a 2.5 hour beach hunt, I was expecting some erosion with recent high winds and surf. 
Unfortunately the main beach was sanded-in with no cuts, so I decided to search an area I have always done well at in the past.
The rocky outcrops away from the main beach area had sand remove from between the piles of rocks, making them interesting places to search for jewelry and coins.
Although this stretch is not as busy as the main beach, it sees its fair share of people snorkeling around the rocks.
Eagle eyed blog viewers may recognize these rocks from previous jewelry shots I have posted in the past.
This youtube video shows the moment I pulled the 14 K gold chain out of the hole, I stopped to turn on my GoPro hoping a gold pendant was attached, no such luck this time, but hey you never know. 
https://youtu.be/MLFTX-qFagI
My initial plan was to search any cuts I saw at the main beach, cuts at a beach act as  jewelry or coin traps, small or sometimes large vertical walls of sand that jewelry and coins get trapped against.
The rock piles I searched away from the main beach are also jewelry and coin traps, only you do not always have to wait for high winds or waves to make them productive. 
In this case sand was washed away from between the rocks, but I have recovered plenty of gold chains and gold rings close to the rocks without any sand washed away.
I usually use a smaller search coil when looking for jewelry and coins close to rock piles, as they often have a lot of bottle caps and can slaw in and around the piles.
Rocky outcrops are natural jewelry and coin traps at the beach, and not just around the rocks.
Large rocks sometimes have cracks and small pockets that jewelry and coins can get washed into, this is the main reason I usually carry a pin-pointer with me to the beach. 
Get ready for some serious fun if you search over rocks that were previously covered in several feet of sand. 
I will try adding videos to all my upcoming beach and water hunting blogs, early days so please excuse my rookie video production and please subscribe to my youtube channel. 
HH Gary







Thursday, October 27, 2016

Less is often more when using a metal detector with a screen

Metal detectors with screens are becoming extremely popular with beach hunters, I use one myself.
Although I only use the display readouts as a second opinion, I still rely on my ears when making my digging decisions.
When you use a combination of audio and display screen target information, it helps if you have accurate read outs.
This video on my youtube channel explains a few of the basic settings I use on the Minelab CTX 3030,  towards the end of the video I explain my reasons for not having everything I could have running on the metal detector.
https://youtu.be/CEQfnbXwY2o
One of the things I have learned about using a metal detector with a display screen, is the more things you have running the more inaccurate your readouts become.
Target ID's become less accurate, it may cost you target depth and you could lose confidence in the discriminating capabilities of your metal detector, especially with jumpy display screen read outs.
You do not have to have every box ticked and running on the CTX 3030, by leaving a few options unchecked you may get better depth and definately get more accurate target ID's.
How you set your metal detector up should have a lot to do with the stuff you are searching for. 
For example, why have a Deep option on when you are searching for fresh dropped jewelry.
Alternatively, you would have no need for hardly any target ID options if you are looking for deeply buried treasure coins or artifacts.
Those type of targets are probably going to be on the edge of detection range, a metal detector may struggle to identify deep targets and mistakenly reject them.
I believe someone once said, my fellow beach hunters ask not what your metal detector can do for, ask what you can do for your metal detector. 







Monday, October 24, 2016

Searching old cuts at the beach

Unfortunately I never had time to go beach hunting this weekend, but I did check a few local beaches out to see what they looked like. 
King tides have helped rearrange many of my local beaches and I ran across signs of beach erosion that probably occurred some time last week.
It was very windy and I made an impromptu video to show an interesting shell line a few yards down from the base of the old cut.
Many beach hunters mistakenly believe when a cut has filled in there is nothing to find, but that is not always the case.
The base of the cut is often the most heavily area at an eroded beach, but sometimes the most productive area is a few yards away from the base of the cut.
If jewelry or coins are washed into the area, they end up hitting the face of the cut and often get dragged out back towards the water. 
I have found nothing at 6 to 8 ft cuts when they were first created, but found plenty of good stuff a couple of days later when the surf calmed down. 
The following high tides often do not make it all the way to the cut, if you are lucky you may detect a "Coin line" deposited between the base of the cut and the water. 
A coin line is basically a previous high tide mark with coins or jewelry washed up along the previous high tide line.
You can identify signs of previous high tide lines, by seaweed or shells washed up in a line on the beach. 
The shells washed up along the shore in the impromptu video I made are from a previous high tide that happened after the beach was eroded. 
https://youtu.be/4MGqBEXJSmk
You do not have to be one of the first people metal detecting at a cut beach to find stuff, you just have to know what signs to look for. 




Thursday, October 20, 2016

Time for a change of pace

One thing I have learned about metal detecting is you have to think outside the box if you want to succeed.
Doing the same thing or using the same equipment all the time will come back to bite you, if you do not mix things up a little and adapt.
Beach and water hunting is often about change, not surprising really as the beach is constantly changing, two high and two low tides every day helps make that change.
Coastal storms or unusually high surf can completely change a beach, so it makes sense that you know how to adapt to searching a beach more than one way. 
I will be changing my blog soon, adding beach and water hunting youtube videos showing how I do things differently to other beach and water hunters.
Many of my beach and water hunting techniques are site or beach conditions specific, meaning I do not  search the same way every time I go beach or water hunting.
I jewelry or coin hunt to the site or conditions, not regardless of the site or conditions. 
The metal detecting finds in the attached introduction video were found all over the beach and in many different depths inside the water. 
https://youtu.be/W9DQphnB9g8
I always attribute my wide variety of beach and water hunting finds to using a wide variety of search techniques in a wide variety of areas. 
Also using different metal detecting equipment to suit the site or conditions, instead of just searching one way using the same equipment all the time.
Every year I discover something that works better, both search techniques and equipment, sometimes I try doing or using different stuff and fall flat on my face, but the main thing is I always try to get out of my beach and water hunting comfort zone.
This year has been a heck of a year for me, a lot of metal detecting firsts and a lot to be revealed in the future.
I hope my videos will help you avoid becoming a beach hunting clone, searching the same way, at the same time with the same settings or search coil, every where you hunt for jewelry or coins at the beach.
In several of my beach and water hunting books, I write about people new to the hobby of metal detecting often making unbelievable finds of a lifetime. 
It is often put down to beginners luck, but my take is that people new to the hobby create their own luck by searching in places other experienced hunters would simply overlook.
They often find great stuff using metal detecting equipment that leave experienced hunters scratching your heads.  
At a beach with competition, sometimes experience can hold you back from putting your search coil over a find of a lifetime.
I will show you what I mean soon. 






Friday, October 14, 2016

Tourist beach gold and silver hunting

Following up on my previous blog about how I prefer to use discrimination at heavily hunted sites, this gold chain is one of the reasons why I do not "Dig it all" at these type of sites.


I have always had the same search strategy for heavily hunted tourist type beaches, get to the gold before the competition.
Im not interested in clad coins or junk jewelry, in the words of the late great Freddie Mercury "I want it all and I want it now."
The 18K gold chain in this photo was recovered towards the end of a two hour beach hunt earlier this year, with four other beach hunters searching along a quarter mile stretch of tourist beach.
The other guys were hunting as a group and I know at least two members of the group were digging it all using their pulse induction metal detectors.
I was using my Minelab CTX 3030, cherry picking for gold or silver jewelry by only stopping to dig low or high tones.
My metal detector is set up to respond to four audio tones, a modified low tone, a high tone and two mid tones.
For anyone interested, my CTX 3030 settings are in my two CTX 3030 beach and water hunting books.
I only stop to dig two tones at tourist type beaches, especially if the beaches are heavily hunted.
Low tone gold and high tone silver are the two tones that get my toes tingling, I dig my fair share of low tone aluminum and nickels, but hey its unavoidable.
When you are not digging every piece of junk and clad coin on the beach,  you do not have to spend all day at the beach metal detecting to find something good.
My average jewelry hunt is two or three hours at a tourist beach, searching for gold or silver in those two or three hours.
I combine my beach reading skills and experience using metal detectors to seek out the high priority targets I am searching for, especially at sites I expect competition.
Years ago, I remember every time I would detect a piece of gold the signal would stand out so much from the coins and junk I had been wasting my time digging.
I decided to research what metal detectors gave the best audio response to gold and silver and use that information to help me better make use of my beach and water hunting time.
Beach and water hunters spend way too much time agonizing over they could be missing at tourist type beaches, instead of what they could be finding. 
Get to the good stuff by skipping over the bad stuff, hands up how many beach and water hunters dig stuff up knowing darn well exactly what the target is before they dig it up.
I do the same, just to targets I know have a high probability of being gold or silver.  







Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Discriminating beach hunters

I always use the best features of my metal detector to maximize my chances of recovering what ever it is I am searching for.
The majority of the time the best features on the metal detectors I use for beach and water hunting, are the iron mask and discrimination control. 
These two features increase my chances of detecting jewelry, while at the same time helping me avoid digging unwanted junk targets.
Junk is junk, no matter where you find it so the less time you waste stopping to dig junk the better.
Metal detecting times have changed and metal detectors have changed, you no longer have to dig everything at the beach, just in case you mistakenly reject one valuable target.
Competition has reached crazy levels at many beaches, so using the best features on your metal detector to help you detect desirable targets faster, makes perfect treasure hunting sense.
The old saying "You have to dig it all to find the good stuff" is just that, an old saying.
Even though I have quite a few miles on my beach and water hunter odometer, I am a discriminating treasure hunter.
I class discrimination, target depth gauges, and display readouts as all very good aids to detecting jewelry and coins instead of junk at the beach.
Using discrimination is the best way to quickly sample a new beach or beach hunting site, or detect a coin line. 
It is also the fastest way to search an area you expect to have competition, you can always recover the area digging rejected targets, if you believe there may be other valuable targets masked by the targets you initially rejected.
You have options using discrimination at heavily hunted sites, move on to the next site or stay and dig the junk you left behind.
If you dig all metal targets from the start at a heavily contested jewelry or coin hunting sites, those junk targets may cost you a good find you did not have time to get to.
No thanks, I prefer to use discrimination to get me to the good stuff faster.
I never worry about what valuable targets I may be missing, only the valuable targets ahead of me I can detect! 




Monday, October 10, 2016

Searching beaches long after a coastal storm.

Many people mistakenly assume once beaches effected by coastal storms are heavily hunted and weeks pass by, there is nothing to find.
From previous experiences searching beaches after powerful coastal storms, I know that even beaches that appear sanded-in can be productive many weeks or even months afterwards.
Use this photo of my Spanish 1715 fleet treasure ring as a reminder not to assume all the best finds are recovered directly after a coastal storm.


Back in early 2005 when I recovered this 300 year old inca gold and Colombian emerald treasure ring, I had many Treasure Coast beaches all to myself as other beach hunters gave up the dream of finding hurricane treasure.
Obviously not me, I was just as hardcore a beach hunter then as I am today.
I believe jewelry and coins wash off the beach and wash onto the beach during a strong coastal storm, I often describe the beach as being like a sandy conveyor belt.
If you work hard enough and I admit get a little lucky, you can often find jewelry and coins on a beach well after a strong coastal storm.
I just prefer to rely on persistence, patience and perseverance than lady lucky when beach hunting.
There are going to be plenty of post hurricane Mathew beach hunting opportunities, if you rely on the three "P"s of treasure hunting. 
Over the following weeks and months beaches will be effected by wind and waves that will take just enough top sand off an area to expose goodies to patient beach hunters. 
Some of my favorite beach hunting finds were recovered many weeks or months after a coastal storm rearranged a beach.
At tourist beaches, beach and water hunting for jewelry has been superb the next time high surf rearranges the beach after a storm. 
The recent hurricane in florida did very little visible damage to beaches in south Florida, but I know over the following weeks and months I will be in for some interesting beach and water hunts.
I know the emerald treasure ring I found was more than likely moved around by two hurricanes in late 2004, and I remember thinking in early 2005 there must be more good stuff just out of detection range.
Long after any coastal storm, if you keep plugging away you may discover a find of a lifetime.
Avoid waiting around for more favorable beach or water hunting conditions or giving up on a good beach site that is temporarily sanded-in.
Keep plugging away and be ready to take advantage of future openings at good beach sites known to hold something good.
I wonder how many people walked over the area I found my find of a lifetime?
It just goes to show, if you don't go you often never know!








Friday, October 7, 2016

More on beach hunting after hurricane Mathew

I expect many beach hunters will be scratching their heads today, after hitting the beaches to search after hurricane Mathew just moved along almost the entire east coast of Florida.
Plenty of flooded areas close to the beach, trees toppled and property damage, but not the beach erosion many beach hunters had travelled long distances to detect.
There are several factors that determine if a beach erodes, the main two things that produce cut beaches are the wind and waves hitting the beach from just the right direction.
A good direction for wind and waves will depend on how the beach runs along the coastline.
I really did not expect this storm to erode the majority of east coast Florida beaches, because of the high tide times and the fact that good directional wind were only going to hit beaches for perhaps half a day.
Huge onshore directional swells were softened up in very sanded in shallow water close to shore.
Sand bars all along the Florida east coast are high and wide with beach replenishment sand washed off the beaches after previous rough seas this year.
They act to cushion the blow from the raging surf and help push more sand onto already sanded in beaches.
The good news if you are a water hunter, a huge amount of sand has been moved around.
Sand has to have been moved from somewhere, and perhaps the water is the place to take advantage of the hurricane.
This hurricane just goes to show how important it is to know before you go, meaning knowing what to expect.
I did doubt my beach reading skills after being contacted by so many people saying they where traveling to the east coast of Florida to detect after the hurricane, what if I am wrong I thought?
Knowing what conditions are needed in order for  beaches to erode comes in very handy, especially if you are traveling to detect.
I would not have been able to spend much time on the beaches if they had eroded, the safety of my family and friends comes first.
My wife and youngest daughter are out of town and I am pulling double daddy duties with our eldest daughter and monster pitbull.
All the webcams and beach reports posted online today confirmed my suspicions about this hurricane hugging the coastline and causing little beach erosion, but who knows it could have taken a jog to the right or left and been a different story.
Going back to my previous blog, I am sure many beach hunters have learned valuable lessons for the future from this hurricane.
They may not be returning home with pockets full of jewelry, coins or artifacts, but many will now know that not all coastal storms are guaranteed to improve beach hunting conditions.
I am quite sure many frustrated beach hunters will now look deeper into what conditions are needed to open up Davy Jones locker, also what equipment to take for the next big coastal storm.
PS
Why does the local beach report blogger always disappear for a few days during a storm lol!
As I always say, learn to read the beaches you want to hunt and you don't have to wait for anyone to tell you when to go.










More on beach hunting after hurricane Mathew

I expect many beach hunters will be scratching their heads today, after hitting the beaches to search after hurricane Mathew just moved along almost the entire east coast of Florida.
Plenty of flooded areas close to the beach, trees toppled and property damage, but not the beach erosion many beach hunters had travelled long distances to detect.
There are several factors that determine if a beach erodes, the main two things that produce cut beaches are the wind and waves hitting the beach from just the right direction.
A good direction for wind and waves will depend on how the beach runs along the coastline.
I really did not expect this storm to erode the majority of east coast Florida beaches, because of the high tide times and the fact that good directional wind were only going to hit beaches for perhaps half a day.
Huge onshore directional swells were softened up in very sanded in shallow water close to shore.
Sand bars all along the Florida east coast are high and wide with beach replenishment sand washed off the beaches after previous rough seas this year.
They act to cushion the blow from the raging surf and help push more sand onto already sanded in beaches.
The good news if you are a water hunter, a huge amount of sand has been moved around.
Sand has to have been moved from somewhere, and perhaps the water is the place to take advantage of the hurricane.
This hurricane just goes to show how important it is to know before you go, meaning knowing what to expect.
I did doubt my beach reading skills after being contacted by so many people saying they where traveling to the east coast of Florida to detect after the hurricane, what if I am wrong I thought?
Knowing what conditions are needed in order for  beaches to erode comes in very handy, especially if you are traveling to detect.
I would not have been able to spend much time on the beaches if they had eroded, the safety of my family, friends and house comes first.
My wife and youngest daughter are out of town and I am pulling double daddy duties with our eldest daughter and monster pitbull.
All the webcams and beach reports posted online today confirmed my suspicions about this hurricane hugging the coastline and causing little beach erosion, but who knows it could have taken a jog to the right or left and been a different story.
Going back to my previous blog, I am sure many beach hunters have learned valuable lessons for the future from this hurricane.
They may not be returning home with pockets full of jewelry, coins or artifacts, but many will now know that not all coastal storms are guaranteed to improve beach hunting conditions.
I am quite sure many frustrated beach hunters will now look deeper into what conditions are needed to open up Davy Jones locker, also what equipment to take for the next big coastal storm.
PS
Why does the local beach report blogger always disappear for a few days during a storm lol!
As I always say, learn to read the beaches you want to hunt and you don't have to wait for anyone to tell you when to go.










Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hurricane Mathew beach hunting tips

My inbox is full of Hurricane Mathew questions, so here are a few beach hunting tips that should make a difference if beaches along the east coast erode due to the hurricane. 

1. Site selection

This is post hurricane beach hunting tip number one as far as I am concerned, you should have one or two sites picked out that you are going to hit first and a number of good back up sites.
Always go to the site or sites with the most potential, not the sites everyone else is probably heading to. 
Knowing what wind and waves are necessary to erode your favorite beach hunting sites is the key to having success after a coastal storm and of course this is why local beach knowledge rules!

2. R O T

Return on investment is very important to me, which is why I hit the beaches I know the best, sites that are preferably within a decent traveling distance. 
The more time you spend behind a steering wheel, the more time other people have to search a site before you show up.
After a major storm has caused beach erosion, you want to give yourself the best shot of finding something good.
Local beach hunters have a heck of an advantage over people who decide to travel long distances to detect the same beaches.
Advantages including time saved not traveling to detect and inside information on what part of the beach looks the best to search.

3. Equipment choices

Following up on my previous blog, it is important to use the right equipment to take advantage of prime beach hunting conditions after a hurricane.
Try not to get carried away thinking about deep targets and ground coverage when six to ten feet of sand have been stripped from the beach.
Go for the easy to detect targets, an eroded beach is not the place to get bogged down digging everything. 
Think about what you are really searching for, what it sounds like and where it is likely to be found, then choose the equipment that will help you do that.
Also be prepared to stay at the beach much longer than you usually would, including taking extra batteries, water and snacks.  


4. It ain't over until the fat lady sings

I have searched beaches I know are very productive with monster cuts and not found a darn thing, but the following days I have cleaned up.
When a beach is stripped of sand and targets are as rare as hens teeth, you may have better luck on the following high tides as things taken off the beach and into the water are pushed back onto the beach. 
The giant sandy conveyor belt theory of jewelry and coin hunting has worked well for me in the past, so don't forget to search for coin lines. 
I usually search higher up on the beach after erosion first takes place, then lower down over the following high tides as the surf calms down. 

5. Savor the moment 

Beach hunters lucky enough to search an eroded beach after a hurricane, often only appreciates the opportunity they had well after the hurricane. 
Some of my favorite finds have been recovered after severe beach erosion caused by hurricanes, the lessons learned from those hunts really helps you prepare for the next big storm.
Finds like these rings recovered after a hurricane in 2012, a vintage 18K Cartier diamond & emerald ring, antique 18K jade ring and an18K amethyst ring, with a combined appraised value of $20.000.00  Talk about site selection, good equipment choices and the luck of the English! 



Unfortunately I do not have the time to go metal detecting directly after this hurricane, but I am hoping things I have learned from previous storms will at least help me pick a few trinkets up the weekend after. 
Who am I kidding, I know I will find some good stuff well after the storm has passed.
Savor the moment and put the stuff you learn from this hurricane beach hunting experience to good use after future storms.

Good luck and be safe hurricane beach hunters!



Sunday, October 2, 2016

Tough beach hunting decisions

One of the hardest things for a person getting into beach hunting to figure out is what equipment to invest in.
I should add that many experienced beach hunters also have a tough time figuring out what equipment to use.
Over the last week my inbox is full of messages from people ready to go beach hunting after hurricane Mathew. 
Several people asked where is the best place to search, but the majority of questions had to do with what metal detector, search coil or recovery tool I recommend using. 
From my messages I know many individuals and groups are traveling down to Florida to try their luck when Mathew moves a couple of hundred miles offshore. 
My blog is not based on beach conditions or posting photos of the same beaches every other day, so I will pass on giving my predictions of what this hurricane will do for beach hunters.
I was surprised so many experienced beach hunters do not know what metal detecting equipment would be the best to travel with, as I have seen some pretty nice finds posted by some of the people asking the equipment questions. 
If you are one of those people reading this blog this is not intended as a slight, just an interesting observation about how even experienced beach hunters have trouble deciding what equipment to use.
Even I have discovered several things that work better for beach and water hunting in the last year, because I consider several of these equipment choices advantages over the competition I will keep those choices under my hat.
I can tell you some equipment changes are metal detecting equipment and others are clothing related. 
That is also the advantage of having an open beach hunting mind, you use what you need not what everyone else uses.
Several times over the last year I have been surprised to discover something I have used for a long time was not as good as I thought it was, and an alternative item turned out to be a good advantage.
That basically sums up todays blog, find what works best for you in the areas you search, but try other things just in case they work out much better for you.
I believe traveling to detect is where you learn a lot about the treasure hunting equipment you are using.
The less changes you have to make the better, good equipment choices work anywhere.
There is a lot to be said about using equipment you have confidence in and you know will get the job done.
It is very easy to get comfortable in beach hunting, especially when you have success using the same equipment a long time.
Sometimes it takes a detecting trip or something that takes you out of your beach hunting comfort zone to help you find something that can make an unexpected difference.