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Friday, December 30, 2016

A new years beach hunting resolution

Its that time of year for me, when I look back and see how I did at the beach with my trusty metal detecting equipment.
2016 was ok for jewelry and coin hunting considering I only managed to get to the beach every other weekend throughout the year.
Like a hardcore beach hunter, I used my metal detector like I stole it and I put it away wet after riding it hard.
The total weight of gold jewelry was a tad over 20 ounces and I recovered 1.7 ounces of platinum jewelry, mostly wedding bands.  
I do not keep track of my silver finds, but I would guess it had to be over 1.5 lbs of sloppy seconds. 
The one thing that stood out about this year was the amount of good jewelry I found at places I rarely ever see anyone metal detecting.
I posted a couple of youtube videos from a certain beach and it is now probably one of the most heavily hunted sites in south Florida lol! 
As well as researching and trying many new sites, I used a couple of pieces of metal detecting equipment that made my beach hunting life easier and saved my valuable metal detecting time.
My new years resolution for 2017 is to work harder at mixing things up and avoiding the pitfalls of searching over hunted areas.
The more sites you have the more chances of finding something good you have, which has always been my main beach hunting strategy.
Putting yourself in place to find something good with your metal detector involves research, site selection and good search techniques.  
I consider this a much better beach hunting strategy than following other beach hunters to heavily hunted sites, relying on other peoples beach reports or wasting time trying to track down places other people search.
In this video I explain some of the ways I try to be different, which may help you to set yourself apart from the competition.
Searching for modern jewelry or old coins at the beach, over time you will see that the less rules or restrictions you put on your beach hunting time, the more successful you will be. 
The two oldest silver coins I recovered this year, came from two of the most unexpected places.
Thankfully I think outside the box and never assume here or there is where you always find stuff. 
Wishing you a happy and lucky new year !

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Signs of previous digging

Many beach and water hunters are get discouraged when seeing obvious signs of previous digging at a site, but I prefer to see the positives in any beach hunting situation.
Just because a site has been recently searched, does not mean the site has been searched correctly.
At the average beach there will be an average cross section of beach and water hunters, from weekend warrior newbies to full time hunters.
A newbie would be more inclined to search a beach that has obvious signs that it has been recently searched, than a seasoned beach hunter.
In my opinion, the newbie would be more likely to detect something good at the recently hunted site, than an experienced person who moves away from the area.
Seasoned pros fall into the trap of seeing other people searching a site and moving on, or seeing a site has been hunted and moving on. 
I could not give a monkeys uncle who is searching a site or how many obvious signs that a site has been recently searched by another beach or water hunter.
There are too many diamond rings and old treasure coins in the Drayton's safety deposit box at the bank, found close to other peoples spoil piles or dug holes at the beach to ignore recently searched sites.
The deeper or wider the hole someone has dug attempting to recover something at the beach, the more likely it is they walked away without recovering what made them stop to dig.
Often a person with bad target pinpointing or recovery skills, will push the target deeper into the hole or mistakenly dump the target away from the hole and fail to detect it.
I have recovered many good finds around the edges of dug areas at the beach, also other targets in the hole left behind by people not rechecking holes for multiple targets.
People lose sets of rings at the beach, when I find one ring I always search in a spiral pattern away from the initial find just in case the ring is part of a set. 
If you see trash targets close to holes left behind by sloppy beach or water hunters, pick up and throw the trash away or move it if the trash is too large to take away.
Always recheck the dug area after you have removed a large piece of trash, because a large ferrous (iron) or non ferrous target may mask a more valuable smaller target. 
This is the main reason why you always recheck your holes, no matter where you search.
Sloppy beach and water hunters are sloppy jewelry and coin hunters, trash left next to dig areas are dead give aways to a site not having been searched correctly. 
I recovered this diamond ring a few years ago on the slope of a dug hole at a heavily hunted Florida beach.

The wide hole was left behind on the lower beach by the beach hunter a hundred yards in front of me, the area screamed search me, search me!
The other beach hunter left behind a nice piece of bling in their haste to keep searching ahead of me. 
Which reminds me, good stuff is often left behind when a beach is cut (eroded) and being hastily searched by a lot of beach hunters. 
One persons trash may actually be hiding another persons treasure! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

My favorite christmas treasures

I consider myself a hardcore beach and water hunter, but today is the one day of the year I am quite happy to stay at home. 
On this special day I put my hobby aside and spend time with my favorite treasures, my beautiful wife and two daughters. 
In my opinion, family and friends will make you much richer than any jewel encrusted shiny gold colored objects you may find at the beach with a metal detector.
I would swap all the gold and jewels I ever found to have my mum who passed away this summer sitting at the christmas dinner table today. 
They say treasure is where you find it, but I can tell you from experience you often already have the best treasures in life. 
Stick a metal detector in my hand and point me in the direction of the local beach and I will be one lucky son of a gun, but even without leaving home or using a metal detector I consider myself one lucky son of a gun.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all my family and friends. 
My girls Anya 16 and Katya 13 love posting embarrassing photos of their dad on Instagram, back at you girls from many christmas times past lol! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Recovering the prize

I spend the majority of my beach hunting time searching for two things, modern jewelry lost at tourist beaches and old Spanish treasure coins and artifacts on Treasure Coast beaches.
When I detect a good sounding target at the beach, I always try to make sure I do not damage a potentially good find during the recovery process. 
Sunglasses are a perfect example of a good sounding target, they sound very similar to gold chains at tourist beaches. 
Every time I stop to scoop a signal that sounds like a pair of sunglasses st the beach, I secretly hope to see a gold chain in my scoop basket.
As you would expect, I take great care during the recovery process to prevent potential damage to the good sounding target. 
One of the ways I help prevent damage to potentially valuable targets is by using a scoop with a decent size basket. 
You will see many different types of scoops used at the by beach and water hunters, very much like using a metal detector,  the best scoop is the one you are most comfortable using. 
The way you use your scoop to recover targets will prevent damage to what you are hoping to recover intact. 
I always rely on my pinpointing skills to help me X the spot I believe the target to be located. 
Then I make sure I push my scoop basket behind the target at a steep angle, I would rather scoop a wider hole than risk damaging a good target.
Plus you never know, often you can detect multiple targets in the same hole.
This superb piece of 1830s Seminole Indian war gold came out of a hole I scooped on an eroded stretch of beach back in 2011, after first removing three crusty bottle caps.
When I first saw the 1836 gold coin on top of the sand under my headlamp, I mistakenly thought it was a gold colored chocolate coin and cursed my bad fortune.

I moved what I thought to be a gold colored candy wrapper with my scoop basket and put a small scuff across the face of the coin.
The military buttons, include a carved button probably done by a bored soldier, a federal navy officers button, war of 1812 button, Artillery and a decorated cuff button. 
This stuff also goes to show what is buried in the dunes at Florida beaches. 
Yes I was gutted about the scuff mark on the gold eagle, but anytime you pull a gold coin out of the sand you cannot complain, I imagine the officer who lost that gold coin at the beach was equally gutted. 
Let my mistake help you avoid doing the same thing to something you have detected at the beach. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Site reading skills and using your beach hunting time wisely

Many beach hunters underestimate the importance of site reading skills, knowing where and when to look for jewelry or coins at the beach.
I have a beach hunting experience in my " How to read the beach and water" book that sums up site reading in a nutshell.
Many years ago I was searching a Treasure Coast beach for Spanish1715 fleet treasure coins and artifacts, and thought to myself how lucky I was to have the beach all to myself towards low tide. 
An old guy parked his truck at the top of the beach and walked onto the beach and down towards the water with his metal detector and scoop, but after looking around for five minutes he walked straight off the beach without even turning his metal detector on. 
My first thought was how hardcore I am plugging away until I find a treasure coin and I also foolishly thought maybe I scared the guy off using my methodical search pattern. 
On the way home I spotted the other guys truck parked at the next beach down the road, so I turned around and checked out the beach.
I could see where the old guy had dug plenty of holes as he too had methodically gridded out the lower beach.
Not sure what the person found, but I know it was more stuff than me because he actually detected and dug stuff up. 
 I could not buy a signal on the sanded-in stretch of beach I had just wasted my time at.
Over the years I saw the wily old veteran beach hunter at several other Treasure Coast beaches known for Spanish shipwreck coins and artifacts. 
I knew exactly what had happened all those years ago, because I am now the wily veteran beach hunter, who does not just keep plugging away regardless of the beach conditions. 
Instead, I use my site reading skills to insure I use my detecting time wisely. 
All I really need to see is one or two promising beach hunting signs, to make a site worth searching. 
When I see poor beach hunting conditions, I know better than trying to make something happen that is clearly not going to happen. 
Recently I observed 3 to 4 ft cuts on several beach web cams, but instead of grabbing my metal detector and rushing to the beach I spent my time wisely with my family instead of wasting time searching cuts in replenished sand. 
Knowing when not to hunt can be just as handy as knowing when to hunt, especially when your beach hunting time is limited.
Beach and more specifically site reading skills are a huge advantage to a local beach hunter who regularly searches the same beaches. 
You know where to look and when to go, leaving less likelihood of going home empty handed. 
The beach can be your own personal jewelry store, when you have a window of opportunity to take away some jewelry. 
It's not how many hours you metal detect at the beach, it's where, how and when you search at the beach. 
Knowing what to look for at a beach or site within the site is one of the keys to beach hunting success. 
Knowing when not to search is one of the rewards of being able to read a beach and being the master of your local beaches. 
If you go days weeks or even months without finding what you are searching for at the beach, you need to try different sites or work on your beach reading skills. 
I stopped digging targets I know are junk just in case I miss one good target a long time ago. I also rely on experience to avoid wasting time talking long fruitless walks on the beach. 
This is the reason you never see me walk onto the beach turn my metal detector on and just search along a straight line like the majority of beach hunters do. 
I prefer to use my site reading skills to determine where I will head to, then I turn my metal detector on after I arrive at a specific site at the beach.
If the beach does not look very promising, I move on or go home, either way I always try to use my beach hunting time wisely.
This is probably one of my least productive years for beach found old coins and artifacts, but it has been a really good year for modern bling with over 20 ounces of gold jewelry. 
I know I have spent my beach and water hunting time wisely this year, cutting down on the amount of time I travel to detect and relying on my beach reading and site selection skills.
Here is a nice chunk of platinum and 18K I recovered in January, I walked along a stretch of beach with five other beach and water hunters in the area, until I saw an area that looked like it had the best jewelry hunting potential. 

I am not so sure this heavy chunk would have been waiting for me if I had wasted my detecting time walking around hoping to get lucky.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Obvious places to find gold at the beach

When people ask me where is the best place to find gold at the beach, my answer is always the same, the obvious places! 
Here are three obvious places to find gold at the beach using a metal detector.

Opposite a beachside parking lot 

The bigger the beachside parking lot, the more parking spaces the more people potentially losing gold at the beach opposite the parking lot. 
That is simple beach jewelry hunting math, and timing your beach hunts will increase the likelihood of you finding gold opposite beachside parking lots. 
Try not to fall into the trap of believing gold is just lost in one area opposite a beachside parking lot, by only searching one part of the beach. 
For example, only searching along a line in the wet sand, only searching inside water or only searching up in the dry sand.
Here are $25K worth of reasons to search opposite beachside parking lots, both diamond rings were found after busy holiday weekends.
They were also found in areas often ignored by many beach hunters, the high tide line and knee deep water. 

Never overlook the areas just past the busiest stretch of beach and go find yourself some big ice!

Opposite beachside bar's or nightclub's

Drinky winky and gold jewelry are not a good combination at the beach, but I sure would like to see more happy hours at beachside nightclubs and bars ! 
Timing is everything when searching on the beach or inside the water opposite popular beachside drinking spots. 
Night time and early morning hunters often have the first crack at recovering gold lost by courting couples on the beach or swimmers who had one too many.  
Look for towels spread out, discarded alcohol containers, drinking glasses or items of clothing left behind on the beach. 
You often find jewelry in the same area, sometimes just laying on top of towels or clothing. 
I have returned so many cameras, cell phones, wallets and jewelry to very happy and hungover people. 
Also forget about following outdated beach hunting advice passed around on metal detecting forums, if you wait until two hours before low tide to go beach hunting your selling yourself short. 
I cannot tell you what the tide time was when I recovered this superb diamond encrusted 18K gold chain and cross a few years back opposite a beachside bar.

Opposite a known shipwreck 

These are my favorite places to find gold, because old gold is always my favorite kind of gold. 
If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a known shipwreck or two, keep hammering away and you may get lucky enough to experience the thrill of pulling old gold up from opposite a ship wreck site.
This unusual piece of gold was recovered on a Florida beach opposite a known French shipwreck from the late 1600s. 

Local tales of old coins or jewelry washing up or being detected on local beaches after storms are usually true. 
All it takes is a little research to find the general location and the patience to be ready for the next big storm. 
Old coins, jewelry and artifacts more difficult to find than modern coins and jewelry, but if you up for the challenge who knows what fantastic treasure you may find.

So there you have it, three obviously good places to find gold at the beach. Sometimes the best places to find gold at the beach are the most obvious places to find gold.
Makes me wonder why I see so many people walk onto a beach, turn on their metal detector and immediately start walking away from a perfectly good place to find gold.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Roped off areas in the water

Earlier this morning the ocean was a flat as a Paris runway model, so I snuck off work for a couple of hours hydrotherapy with my Minelab Excalibur.
Although the ocean was calm it was pretty sanded in, but I always know where to look for jewelry or more specifically where jewelry is more likely to be within detection range.
I relied on an old faithful water sports rental site, hey let the jet skis blow the fluffy top sand away right? 
Although water sports rental sites are often off limits to swimmers during the day they still have plenty of people swim out to the ropes and hang onto them, even if they do not cross the line.
I have probably found dozens of rings and chains close to roped off areas in the water. Today was no exception, with one gold and two silver rings recovered directly under or to the side of ropes in the water at a local tourist beach.
I recovered two silver rings rather quickly and in the final hour when I heard a nice low tone I started rolling with the GoPro. 
Here is a short video of the 18K gold band recovery showing how close I was to the ropes and how my site selection was spot on.
There are many reasons why roped off areas are great jewelry hunting spots, including people grabbing hold of slippery ropes that lead to rings, chains or bracelets becoming snagged.
Or maybe they are just good places for a swimmer to catch their breath and then dive down under the ropes, whatever the reason for lost jewelry around ropes in the water, I like it! 
Many beach and water hunters make the mistake of using roped off areas as turn around points, so they are more prone to be just whiffed at and not searched correctly by many beach and water hunters turning around. 
Also lets not forget about jewelry and sunglasses lost by people getting on and off jet skis or paddle boards, especially when they remove life jackets, rearrange swimwear or their hair. 
I do not have that last problem, but I knew you were thinking it! 
In closing, make water sports rental sites one of the first places you search before the rental site sets up for the day. 
They are also good places to search after a busy weekend, dang Im giving away all my jewelry hunting secrets now. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Three gold rings and the reasons why they ended up in my pocket

In my opinion you make your own luck at the beach using a metal detector and the less you rely on luck the better.
Here are three gold ring recoveries and three perfectly good reasons why they ended up in my finds pouch.

Never assume jewelry is lost in one area of the beach 

This 18K gold diamond encrusted beauty was recovered about thirty minutes after a couple of people I recognized from the detecting forums told me not to bother searching an area because they just hammered it. 

I had my eye on the two guys ahead of me in the water at a tourist beach, making the same turn around points in thigh deep water.
I guess the knee deep water I recovered this "Bobby dazzler" was not worth searching ? 

Go with the flow

The Saturday morning I recovered this expensive 18 K gold diamond engagement ring, I arrived at the beach intending to water hunt after sunrise.
From experience, I know the importance of always searching up on the beach opposite all the sites I intend to water hunt at.

The diamond engagement ring was recovered above the towel line in the dry sand along with a pocket full of coins.
I never did make it into the water, instead I went with the flow and continued dry sanding.
If I only did one thing ( Water hunting) all the time this ring would probably have been recovered by someone else.

Put the hunt in treasure hunt 

I am always researching new beach and water hunting sites and trying different places.
This heavy gold jade ring with diamonds reminds me why I do not follow the detecting crowd to the same places every weekend.
After hurricane Sandy in 2012 I could have joined the detecting crowds at the tourist beaches, but I decided to search a small beach I read about in a local history book with a rumored late 1800s shipwreck. 

The beach was eroded, targets were scarce, but if you don't try different things you will not find different things. 
I wear this superb old ring at speaking engagements, it reminds me to always put the hunt in treasure hunt and search new places. 

Never assume a place has been searched thoroughly, or that jewelry is only found in one area of the beach, and make your own luck instead of fighting for sloppy seconds at heavily hunted beaches.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Target depth tests

When I search for jewelry at a tourist type beach, I like to make sure my metal detector is fine tuned for detecting small gold.
I often use a thin gold ring on a length of string to help make sure I am using the correct metal detector control settings to get the best target depth possible at the beach. 
If you are mainly searching for coins at the beach, try using a small thin piece of silver with a hole in it, tied to a length of string to use as a test target.
Tying knots in the string every three of four inches will help you judge how deep you are detecting the gold ring or coin.
I prefer to use a small thin gold ring as a test target, as I know if I can detect the test target I will have no problem detecting larger pieces of gold jewelry.
If you set your metal detector controls to the same settings every time you go beach hunting, you have the most to learn from this simple ring or coin on a string test. 
It takes five minutes out of your beach hunting time to make sure you have your sensitivity and discrimination controls set correctly to detect what ever it is you are hoping to detect at the beach.
Occasionally testing your metal detectors response to test targets at the beach will insure you do not have an unknown problem with your metal detector. 
When you do the same things and set your detector up the same way every time you visit the beach, you run the risk of not knowing you have a problem which hinders your chance of recovering a desirable target.
Along with the lower beach test in my previous blog entry, target depth tests are the second way I judge a new metal detector or search coil at the beach. 
Check out these gold chains (Found without pendants) I have recovered on past beach and shallow water hunts using my favorite Minelab metal detectors. 

Some of these notoriously difficult to detect gold chains were recovered from pretty good depths thanks to testing similar targets at the beach ahead of time.
Target depth tests help me to know if I need to tweak certain metal detector control so I can detect the targets I am searching for, I think you will agree it is always better to know the depth and sensitivity capabilities of the main thing you are relying on to detect stuff.
Never assume anything in beach treasure hunting, and that also applies to your metal detector controls by making sure you are getting the most out of your metal detector.
When is the last time you tested your metal detector at the beach to see if you could detect something you hope to detect?
Little things often lead to big things in this hobby, as long as you know how to take care of the little things that can make a huge difference.  

Friday, December 9, 2016

Does your metal detector or search coil pass the lower beach test?

The lower beach close to the water is a good proving ground for metal detectors and search coils. 
If you are serious about being a beach or water hunter, your equipment has to be up to the challenge.
Metal detector or search coil, if it does not pass my three basic tests on the lower beach it is not going to become part of my beach or shallow water hunting arsenal. 
I say shallow water hunting because you can get away with a non waterproof metal detector if you are very careful, and I mean very careful! 
I often try new metal detecting equipment, it's just another way of staying ahead of the competition. 
It makes good treasure hunting sense not to get left behind using outdated treasure hunting equipment or techniques. 
Sometimes I discover something that gives me an edge over the competition, other times it goes pear shaped. 
The main thing is I saw for myself, and if a metal detector or search coil did not live up to expectations it is usually because it failed to perform well on the lower beach proving ground.

Wet to dry sand transition 

Going from the dry sand to the wet sand is the first real test of a metal detector or search coil you hope to use for beach hunting. 
You can use the most expensive metal detector or search coil, but if you cannot make out good signals from false signals in the wet sand, what is the point of using it.
Noisy chattery metal detectors  cause you to miss valuable targets on the lower beach. Putting you at a disadvantage over other beach hunters using equipment that can handle searching over wet freshwater or saltwater sand.


If your metal detector or new search coil emits a false signal every time you sweep over wet seaweed, you run the risk of  missing valuable targets. 
High tide lines are often littered with seaweed, high tide lines are great places to find jewelry and coins washed up along with the seaweed. 
I have a little more wiggle room for using equipment that gives the occasional false signal over soaking seaweed, but within reason.
Seaweed holds saltwater and takes longer to dry than the surrounding high tide sand, causing havoc with many metal detectors or search coils. 

Rushing water over the search coil 

If your metal detector or search coil goes nuts every time water rushes over your search coil on the lower beach, you again run the risk of not detecting valuable targets. False signals are caused by either the water bumping your coil or the extra amount of salt rushing over the top of your coil at saltwater beaches. 
Either way it can be very frustrating using a chattery metal detector in the surf zone. 
If your metal detector or search coil is effected by more than one of these three lower beach situations, you may be in for some frustrating times on the lower beach. 

Experienced beach hunters may be able to diffuse difficult lower beach hunting situations by tweaking your metal detector controls and using different search techniques. 
Although experience has taught me, it is always better to use the right tools for the job. 
I use equipment that helps me to detect fine gold jewelry, like this emerald wrapped in 22k gold wire. 

The emerald pendant was found in choppy surf back in 2013, obviously not much of a metal target to detect, but not having to deal with a chattery detector or false signals means you do not miss jewelry like this. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Traveling to detect tips

I have been on several trips abroad this year and because I am a hardcore treasure hunter, I took my detecting gear with me. 
A couple of months ago my email inbox was full of questions from people who were traveling to Florida to detect after a major hurricane moved along the coastline of Florida.
So here's a few thoughts about traveling to detect and what to take along for the journey.

Your favorite metal detector

Always take the metal detector you are most comfortable using, traveling to a place you have not searched is not the time to use a back up or situational metal detector. 
For example if you use a VLF metal detector, leave the PI detector at home and maybe vice versa depending what metal detector you use the majority of the time. 
Nothing beats being comfortable and at ease, instead of wishing you had brought your old faithful metal detector with you. 

Search coil selection 

I take the stock coil and an extra larger search coil than I would normally use when traveling to detect. 
Knowing from experience that both of these sizes suit the majority of metal detecting situations I am likely to encounter.
Better to plan big than go small and worry about ground coverage and target depth.


I prefer to take a metal detecting sling or harness when I expect to spend more time than normal metal detecting. 
Spare battery packs are important and so too is a pin-pointer and finds pouch. 
A Travel scoop for beach hunters or a fold up spade for land hunters makes sense, or you can buy a digging tool locally after you arrive.
Two simple and often overlooked things can ruin a trip you have a chance to metal detect on, a broken search coil bolt or arm cuff strap.
Good look trying to find both of these items locally abroad, I carry both of these items in my vehicle whenever I go metal detecting. 

Lastly don't forget to travel light and layered. You get what you pay for when it comes to outdoor clothing. 
A cheap rain suit after five minutes in the woods, will make you look like you had a run in with a grizzly bear. 
When I know I am likely going to be water hunting, I take a light wet suit, hard soled dive boots and gloves. 
Here's a short video of a recent land hunt in England and a small medieval hammered silver coin I pulled up using one of my favorite travel accessories. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Discrimination by use of a metal detector target depth indicator

I had a chance to do a little metal detecting on a recent overseas business trip and I relied heavily on my metal detector target depth read out while searching for old coins and artifacts.
It is amazing how many pesky bottle caps and pull tabs you find in off the beaten track sites. 
Often out of the way places you would least expect to recover the same modern junk I find on Florida beaches.
If the situation calls for it, I will discriminate by target depth when searching for modern gold jewelry at tourist type beaches, especially during heavily sanded-in beach and water hunting conditions.
Discriminating by target depth is probably a technique more known to people who search for old coins in trashy inland parks than to beach hunters. 
The basic premise is that you can avoid digging shallow junk targets by only stopping to dig targets with deep target depth readings. 
Old coins are not usually going to be shallow targets in a park, a trained ear can easily help pick out the tone of a silver coin in areas with large numbers of shallower modern coins.
At a sanded in tourist type beach, gold is found at deeper depths than common beach found clad coins. 
Gold being denser or heavier, sinks into fluffy loose sand much faster and deeper than clad coins. 
This helps explain why many beach hunters return home with lightweight junk targets during sanded in conditions, instead of gold.
I'm not much into returning home with chump change, which is why I often like to use a metal detector with a screen and target depth indicator at tourist beaches. 
I prefer to leave the junk and get the gold before the competition. 
Yes I know it's beach hunting heresy, but in my opinion you do not have to dig it all to have a successful beach hunt.
When you know gold is highly likely to be detected deeper than clad coins and pull tabs, don't dig any target registering near the surface, unless of course it sounds like gold. 
The time you waste digging obvious non gold targets eventually starts to eat into your precious beach hunting time.  
The more obvious surface junk you waste time digging, the further you will find yourself away from recovering gold as you run out of metal detecting time.
Back to my recent couple of short hunts during my recent trip, I used six inches as the likely modern finds cut off target depth. 
Every older coin or artifact I recovered had a target depth reading of nine to twelve inches, well beyond the modern finds cut off depth.
The next time you know you are digging shallow junk during sanded in tourist beach conditions, use that experience of yours to resist the temptation to stop and dig surface junk. 
Check out your target depth display and move a step closer to recovering gold. 
This is just an " Outside the box" technique that helps you adapt to a specific situation.