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Thursday, August 10, 2017

What are you in it for?

It would be nice to find out what readers of this blog are into metal detecting for, no matter how much expensive modern jewelry I recover I prefer finding old stuff.
Sometimes you get the best of both worlds, returning home with an old piece of gold with precious stones.
I have had more than my fair share of old jewelry, found on the beach and inside the water using a wide variety of metal detectors.
Old jewelry is hard to find at the beach, but it can be found if you are a slow methodical beach hunter.
At least two or three times a year in south Florida I run across a hot spot containing several pieces of old jewelry.
I am talking about areas where I recover multiple gold class or college rings, due to favorable tides or some type of beach erosion.
Although old gold class rings are not exactly old compared to gold rings recovered in other parts of the world they can still be quite impressive when found in numbers.
Last year I recovered nine gold class rings over two three hour water hunts at an eroded section of beach.
Before the ring returners blow a gasket, I did manage to make contact with three people who lost their rings and were very happy to see them again, even encrusted in green coral lol
The other gold rings were impossible to return, with no owners initials from the 1940s and 1950s from schools that are now long gone.
I dont make a big deal about returning rings, iphones, or wallets found at the beach, I look at the returns as good Karma to appease the beach and water hunting gods.
I also like finding old coins at the beach, it still amazes me some of the old coins that can be recovered at tourist beaches or beaches in the middle of nowhere. 
Which goes back to what I always say, the more sites you search, the more variety of things you will recover, including old jewelry and coins if they are there. 
Heres a few older finds from florida beaches, some from places I expected to go home empty handed from. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Jewelry hunting

I always find it hard to add the word coins when people ask me what I am searching for at the beach, as jewelry is what I am really searching for when I am on a tourist type beach using a metal detector.
Although for every piece of jewelry you find I would say on average you find fifty or perhaps a hundred coins. 
When I post jewelry I have recovered at the beach, I rarely show the hard work I put in to find the jewelry I recovered, which would be a large amount of coins of all denominations.
The reason I do not post coins is because they could give away the site I found the jewelry.
I know my local beaches like the back of my hand, I also know what coins look like when they come off one of the local beaches I search. 
Foreign coins are recovered in quantities in certain areas, so when I lurk on detecting forums and see local hunters posting photos of foreign coins I know exactly where they are hunting. 
Shiny fresh dropped coins are often found opposite beach parking lots, especially quarters.
Black or dark grey coins are silver and have spent time in saltwater, the tarnish is oxidization from spending an extended time in saltwater. 
Green encrusted coins usually come out of the wet sand or the slope leading into the water.
Black and green encrusted coins I would not dream of posting, just in case I am still working the site.
You probably get the point of todays post, you can tell a lot about a jewelry hunting site by the coins you find.
Heck you could say I go to the beach to search for coins, because if you are finding coins there is a really good chance jewelry can also be found in the same area.
Jewelry and coin hunting go hand in hand, although coins are easier to find than jewelry for a couple of reasons.
The first reason being people take more coins than jewelry to the beach, obviously you are going to recover more coins than jewelry.
The second reason jewelry is harder to find than coins is target masking, the damn coins mask the good stuff at tourist type beaches.
A half ounce 10 K gold class ring will be invisible sitting next to a couple of pennies, you may even dig the pennies mistake the chunky gold ring for another penny and decide to move on.
No doubt this happens a lot at heavily hunted sites when the most important thing is to cover the prime ground before the competition, yeh right? 
Not me, I pick an area I believe is promising and let the coins lead me to gold. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Are you detecting deep enough at the beach?

In my opinion, the hardest targets to detect at the beach are often shallow targets, but the majority of beach and water hunters obsess over target depth. 
If you mistakenly believe you cannot find anything at the beach because the good stuff must be deeper, the latest greatest deepest metal detector or search coil is not going to help you.
This $5K diamond engagement ring was recovered in the dry sand approximately three or four inches deep, so were the Spanish silver treasure coin in the next photo.

Search techniques, beach reading skills and site selection, are far more important than target depth for a beach or water hunter.
Heck I believe I could probably find more jewelry using a garden leaf rake at the beach than someone using a deep seeking 10K metal detector and a 20 inch search coil.
The silver treasure coins in this photo were lost over three hundred years ago, but ended up close to the surface and easily detected on a Treasure Coast beach.

I know they were recovered due to site selection and knowing when to go look for them, you could say I waited for Spanish treasure to come to me. 
The diamond engagement ring was recovered very close to several pieces of surface junk at a tourist beaches, bottle caps and corroding pennies that work like a Klingon cloaking device to mask jewelry.
My goal at many tourist type beaches is to recover shallow hard to detect pieces of jewelry left behind by speedy beach hunters.
When I walk onto a beach I aim to find and recover anything of value within the normal detection range of the equipment I am using. 
I am not concerned about what may lie much deeper, as the majority of the gold, platinum and silver jewelry I detect at the beach is recovered within the first six inches of sand.
Depth is very over rated and often used as the excuse to why a person cannot find jewelry at the beach.
Improving your search techniques, beach reading skills and site selection will help you avoid falling into the trap of believing everything good is just out of reach at the beach.
It only takes a little trash to cloak or mask a lot of of treasure! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Search coils and settings

I am a search coil junkie, which can be a little tough on the old wallet as some search coils cost as much as a metal detector now.
One important thing to remember when changing search coils on your metal detector is you have to adjust your settings to suit whatever search coil you have installed on your metal detector.
You have to make sure you use the right metal detector settings for the size search coil being used.
For example, you should not be concerned about discrimination or settings geared towards recover speed or target separation when using a large search coil.
Large search coils are always best used for ground coverage and target depth at non trashy beach sites.
The opposite is true when using small search coils at trashy beach sites, where target separation not target depth is the most important factor. 
You can run much hotter manual sensitivity settings using smaller search coils than you can using large search coils.
The reason why there is not a lot of difference in target depth between the 8 and 10-inch search coils on one of my favorite metal detectors the Minelab Excalibur.
Hot or high sensitivity levels will result in a noisy ride at the beach, so you often have to lower the metal detector sensitivity control to operate smoothly.
A chattery metal detector because of an incorrect sensitivity setting for the size of search coil, may cause you to walk over valuable targets missed in the threshold chatter.
If you dumb down your metal detector to use a large search coil, any potential target depth advantage of using the large search coil is wiped out. 
It is not just settings you have to adjust, a fast sweep speed will also negate any depth advantage of using the large search coil.
You have to sweep large search coils slower than small search coils.
If you are using different size search coils on a regular basis, more than likely you know how and why they serve a purpose in your beach or water hunting arsenal.
Unfortunately, people new to beach or water hunting use different size search coils but do not understand their "Normal" settings do not always do a different size search coil justice.
To get the maximum benefit from investing in a different size search coil for a metal detector, you have to find the best settings to run the new combination at.
Different set ups require different settings to make the reason you are using it work. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beach & water hunting troubles

Many moons ago I managed to run across a trifecta of bad beach and water hunting situations, all thanks to an early predawn hunt at a local tourist beach.
After getting kitted out and walking on to the beach, I was immediately accosted by a group of drunk youths asking me what I was doing and how much was my equipment worth.
Not very much as  I made it myself was my reply and they backed off when I told them my scoop was very sharp. I was ready to go medieval but it was not necessary as I walked into the water and that put an end to that potential threat.
I continued searching in the water, although I usually would only search inside the ocean after sunrise. 
With my back to the beach pinpointing a target, two approximately five foot long spinner sharks passed between me and my search coil. 
The sharks pectoral fins brushed against my thighs, luckily I was wearing my brown shorts. 
That is it I thought, I'd rather take my chances with the land sharks. 
About an hour into the beach hunt, a bad thunderstorm rolled over the area.
I headed straight to my car and drove home, drunken lager louts, sharks and lightning, do you think someone was trying to tell me something? lol !
Today's blog is about watching your back at the beach and being aware of your surroundings.
I am sensible now at not taking chances at the beach, starting with parking and sitting in my vehicle for a few minutes to scout the area for unfriendly's.
I also prefer to check a beach out first without carrying my equipment, just in case the beach conditions looks terrible. 
Better to take a quick look at the beach conditions than waste money feeding hungry parking meters without knowing if you are going to stay.
I also never get in the ocean before sunrise, automatically taking myself off the breakfast menu.
Some people like to metal detect in the ocean at night, I do not anymore.
Get caught in a rip tide at night and your in trouble. 
Not metal detecting at the beach during a thunder storm is a no brainer to me and that was before I heard about a guy getting struck and killed by lightning metal detecting in the water at Jupiter beach.
My metal detector often tells me it's time to go when a thunder storm approaches.
A lighting strike several miles away will cause your metal detector to false. 
Better to be safe than sorry, carrying a metal detector and metal scoop on a wide open beach.
Watch your back if you are searching beaches at night and use caution near the water or during a storm as no amount of gold is worth dying for.
Put safety first and what ever it is you are searching for at the beach second. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Site percentages

Percentages is not a word you would normally associate with beach hunting, but at heavily beaches it is good to take site percentages into account.
I always think about percentages before leaving the house, the percentages of finding something of value at the site I am heading towards with my metal detector.
I always like to stack the odds of success in my favor by taking several things into account.
At heavily hunted tourist type beaches, you may see several people searching a site or sites on a regular basis, taking the term local beach hunter to new heights. 
If three or more people are searching the same area of the beach every day, it stands to good reason your percentages of finding something good are greatly effected by joining the crowd and searching the same site.
You could say in the previous scenario you have a 25% chance of finding something in the same area, perhaps less chance of recovering something of value.
If you choose wisely to search a different area the three regular hunters ignore, your chances of success shoot up to 100% if there is anything to the be found in the area you chose to search. 
If you have a hunting partner, you get to find approximately 50% of what ever there is in the area to find. 
Assuming there are no other people searching the site at that time and you are as skilled as your hunting partner.
Your chances of a successful hunt drop even more if you have more than one hunting partner. 
Use a non waterproof metal detector or wear the wrong clothing at the beach and you cannot search inside the water effectively.
Limiting your chances of recovering all possible finds in the water if it is the place to be, unless you take off your sneakers or flip flops and cover your metal detector control box in a plastic bag.
Crowded beaches do not always guarantee you will find something, especially if you are ignoring large areas of the beach that people use.
Think of the percentages the next time you go beach hunting, are you limiting your chances of success?
The answer is probably yes if you race to beat the competition to the same site at the beach every time you go metal detecting, the fact you are joining the competition lowers your percentages of a successful beach or water hunt.
If you only water hunt or only search in the wet sand or only search in the dry sand, you lower your percentages of having a successful hunt.
I played the percentages on my last two beach hunts and recovered eight pieces of gold jewelry, on a two hour water hunt and a two hour wet sand hunt.
On the water hunt I recovered two gold chains and a gold ring, searching a local beach inside the water opposite an old beach entrance I discovered a few years ago. 
On a wet sand hunt at a different beach, I recovered five gold rings taking advantage of an area I know is a popular local water hunting site. 
I know the wet sand is ignored by the water hunters who say "All the gold or 95% of the gold is in the water" yeh right! 
After scouting out the area and seeing good wet sand hunting signs, I figured the percentages of being successful were good on the next low tide. 
Eight pieces of gold jewelry in four total beach and water hunting hours, I like those percentages. 
Put the percentages on your beach or water hunting side, by hunting smarter not harder. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sweep slow low and level

Your sweep speed and search coil control are often overlooked money makers at the beach. 
Slowly sweeping a level search coil close to the sand throughout the sweeping motion, will lead to detecting more valuable items.
It is not the amount of hours you spend beach or water hunting with a metal detector, it is what you do in those hours. 
If you have to spend all day at the beach swinging a metal detector to find stuff, you are swinging your metal detector. 
I guarantee the less ground you cover slowly, the more targets  you will detect.
The more targets you detect and dig, the less hours you can physically stay out at the beach digging. 
My two or three hour beach and water hunts are intense, because  I use my beach reading skills and site selection to make sure I am detecting and digging targets not covering ground.
If your beach or water hunting plan is covering more ground than the competition, you are likely sacrificing technique and finds for ground coverage.
Sweeping slow low and level means sacrificing ground for finds at heavily hunted beaches.
Just one reason why a heavily hunted beach means nothing to me, I'm probably still going to get my share because I rely on site reading skills and technique. 
Detecting targets in the sand is what beach and water hunting is all about, not covering a beach before someone else shows up to detect. 
It makes perfect beach treasure hunting sense to give yourself as much chance of detecting targets as possible. 
Sweeping your search coil slow low and level, should make sure you are not covering an area too quickly.
My sweep technique is based on a three second sweep from left to right and right to left.
I do not step forward until I have swept my search coil in front of me twice, even overlapping my sweeps if I am using a mono search coil. 
On sandy beaches my search coil scuffs or scrubs the sand, for maximum target depth. 
If what I am searching for is within detection range of the metal detector and search coil I am using, it's going to be detected.
If I end up going home empty handed I know it was not there, but that does not happen very often when you sweep slow low and level. 
These two pieces of gold jewelry were recovered while trailing a couple of speedy water hunters this weekend.
Nothing to do with metal detector choice, everything to do with sweep speed and search coil control. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sensitivity and beach hunting

In my opinion, the wet sand is the real proving ground for metal detectors or search coils intended for beach hunting, you can add waterproof pin-pointers to that list too.
Salt levels change daily at beaches and black sand can show up after beach erosion or rough surf churns up the lower beach. 
Tweaking a VLF metal detector sensitivity or PI metal detector gain to suit the beach conditions is important, the reason I never turn my sensitivity control or gain  to a certain level and forget it.
I see that advice passed around on metal detecting forums, set your metal detector sensitivity to a certain position and off you go. 
That is ok as long as you are going to check and adjust the sensitivity level at some point to suit the ground you are covering. 
At saltwater beaches you need to adjust the sensitivity on your VLF metal detector to suit the salt levels present at the time you start metal detecting.
Not the same sensitivity level you used last time at the beach or the level you use all the time at the beach. 
The whole point of having a sensitivity control is to be able to adjust it so your metal detector is running smoothly and detecting a wide variety of targets at various depths.
Depending on the beach, you may be able to run hotter or it may be better to back off the sensitivity. 
My advice is to find a starting point, start searching and then tweak the sensitivity. 
Increase it to a level that causes a little chatter then back it down to where it runs smoothly.
If you are running noisy at the level you first chose, back off the sensitivity.
Find the slightly chattery level and then the best or most comfortable operating level. 
Too much chatter or too many false signals will cause you to miss good targets.
Lowering your threshold volume a little usually helps to smooth out and compliment a well adjusted sensitivity level. 
Don't be afraid to use Auto sensitivity if you have it and it allows you to run smoother. 
Sometimes it is better to detect all targets instead of missing targets because you are running too hot. 
Just because you are using a VLF metal detector it does not guarantee you have an advantage using discrimination, if you are losing depth or missing shallow targets because of sensitivity setting issues.
Get in the habit of adjusting your metal detector sensitivity control to suit the conditions you are about to search.
Remember just like driving a car, low dipped highlights in the fog are better than using full beams. Saltwater beach example, a lowered sensitivity level will help you to see through black sand and detect targets.
High car beams in open areas, allow you to see greater distance ahead. 
Beach example, a higher sensitivity level will help you to cut through the sand and detect deeper targets. 
Your metal detector sensitivity control should never be a set and forget control unless you run in Auto, as conditions always change. 
Set your sensitivity to suit the real time conditions at beaches as they change from day to day and sometimes from one tide to another tide. 
Are you setting and forgetting your sensitivity control, or are you maximizing your metal detectors sensitivity to detect small shallow targets and detect large targets at depth? 
In other words, are you leaving stuff behind for the next beach hunter because you do not take advantage of one of your metal detectors best assets. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Beach hunting "L" plates

I remember back in England having to have a big red L for learner sticker on my car when I was first learning to drive.
When you first start beach and shallow water hunting you don't need an L plate as experienced beach hunters can easily spot a beginner from a distance.
I often see people new to beach hunting, but I don't look down my nose at them or mistakenly believe they are not competition.
They often have more chance of detecting something good than a seasoned beach or water hunter. 
The reason why is because they have not restricted themselves yet, got set in their beach hunting ways.
A seasoned beach or water hunter is more likely to head to one spot and search it the same way they always do. 
A beginner will search different areas, try different things and often dig unexpected items. 
Some of those recoveries are going to be good targets in unexpected beach or water hunting scenarios. 
In my opinion, the guy in the white sneakers and socks using a land detector up in the dry sand, has just as much chance of finding something good as the guy searching in the water dressed like a navy seal. 
Who the heck says you have to search a certain area or a certain way to detect good stuff at the beach, lost is lost at the beach and what you are searching for is often never where you think it is. 
If jewelry and coins are always found where you expect them to be, they would probably be referred to as waiting stuff not lost stuff.  
Sounds strange, but plenty of beach and water hunters return to the exact same places expecting to recover something else long after they recovered an initial find.
The reason I can return to certain beaches and see the same guys in the same areas doing the exact same thing I saw them doing the last time I searched those beaches. 
There is such a thing as being a local beach hunter, but same site same way same day same time hunting is just plain crazy.
Although, it is good knowing where other beach and water hunters will be while I am searching a different place filling my finds pouch. 
Hands up how many people reading this blog watch other people searching a completely different area and think they are wasting valuable detecting time doing that.
I'm the opposite, when I see a newbie searching a much different area to where I am searching I always wonder what they found.
I will often replicate what I saw a newbie doing at the beach, because they are often doing something 99% of other beach or water hunters would not "Waste" their time doing.
Although I have a lot of experience beach and water hunting I will never take my beach and water hunting L plates off.
Here are a few things people new to beach metal detecting often don't do which helps them to have beginners luck.
They do not read tide charts, have a favorite site, need to use the most expensive metal detector or the same metal detector everyone else is using, they are not hung up about competition, they are content with what they find and they are often having more fun than you! 
Beginners luck is often the best kind of luck, the very reason beginners have so much of it.
Throw caution and beach hunting misconceptions to the wind, have you ever though how would a beginner search the same beach and find something good? 
Beginners find good stuff experienced beach hunters ignore, so avoid taking your beach hunting L plates off.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Local beach hunters

Local beach hunters are hard to beat, especially at heavily hunted beaches.
If you have to travel to detect a beach, you can be sure someone has searched that beach for years with a metal detector and knows the beach like the back of their hand.
Local beach hunters have a heck of an advantage over people who either travel to detect the same beaches or people who have just got into beach hunting.
I rely on local beach knowledge a lot, knowing what areas look good and what areas I have recovered good stuff at in the past.
There are beaches I travel to that I know better than locals who have only been searching them a year or two.
The conditions present and what a beach looked like at when I recovered a good find are very important memories to me. 
Over the years I have seen my local beaches change dramatically, after hurricanes have ripped them apart and after the city has dumped tons of sand back on them to make them higher and wider. 
Every so often a window of opportunity opens up at a local beach and I get to put my knowledge of local beaches to good use.
It may take months or several years before I see something I know is a good sign, that is the point of today's blog knowing where and why a local beach is open for business. 
A week ago I found good stuff at a beach that I have not recovered anything good at in a long time. 
Two years to be exact, but I never stopped checking the area out and took advantage of an opening.
A good friend of mine once described shipwreck salvage guys as sand movers, they are just moving sand. 
Unfortunately beach hunters have to wait for sand to move, but it does move eventually.
Behind many of my best finds there is a reason why they ended up in my finds pouch, it almost always has to do with knowledge of a local beach and previous experiences in the area.
Local beach knowledge is not just about knowing where you are likely to find stuff, it involves knowing what conditions change the beach.
Long term studying of surf and wind directions at your local beaches will help you to figure out when sand will move.
Just a few hours of constant surf from the right direction may change a beach for the better.
Much higher surf hitting the beach from a different direction may actually sand in the beach more.
You have to learn what type of surf improves conditions on your local beaches. 
I often use beaches similar to ones I search to gauge beach or water hunting conditions, checking beach cams.
If I see one beach is losing sand, I know other similar angled beaches are losing sand.
Using beach cams saves me from having to waste time traveling to check beaches out.
The better you know your local beaches the easier they are to search. 
Local beach hunters stay on top of the best sites at the beach. 
A few years ago, I made a three hour round trip drive to a beach after seeing a cut on a beach webcam.
Twelve pieces of gold jewelry in a five hour beach hunt and three more pieces of gold the next morning, putting knowledge of that beach and previous hunts there to good use.
Oh and finding a gold pendant with my name on was pretty cool too. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Surprisingly easy places to find gold at the beach

With the weekend fast approaching here are a few surprisingly easy places to find gold at the beach.

Lifeguard tower steps 

Early morning beach hunters should always check around lifeguard tower steps, sometimes you don't need a metal detector to find good stuff.
After hours skinny dippers often take their jewelry and clothes off before hitting the water.
I have found watches, sunglasses, cell phones, wallets and gold chains just waiting to be picked up off lifeguard tower steps.
The area in front of the steps on the beach and in the water is also a great place to find gold.
Remember these type of areas are off limits during the daytime, so you are often the first person searching these type areas.

Beachside showers

Another great after hours area to search is around the beach showers, I have found everything from gold chains and bracelets to diamond ear rings around shower stands and hose pipes.
People do all the things that shake jewelry loose when showering off before leaving the beach.
I sometimes use a waterproof pin-pointer around the outskirts or edges of the shower area. 
Also check out drain covers many of the grids or screens just lift up, yeh I know I need serious help lol 

Gay areas

I can assure you gay gold is just as heavy, shiny and beautiful as straight gold. 
You can use other beach hunters intolerant views to your advantage if your local beach has an area popular with gays.
Gay marriage now means more wedding bands lost at the beach, and if you want to see fine jewelry a gay beach is the perfect place to see some serious bling.
If you see a pair of Union Jack speedos, that's me scooping up gold at places other beach and water hunters use as turn around points. 

Beach aerobics areas

Many swanky beach side hotels hold aerobics or fitness classes on the beach.
If you see a guy with Union Jack speedos and a CTX 3030 in their hand, yup that's me again looking for expensive jewelry shaken off to the oldies.

Concession stands 

You would think and rightfully so that you would find a lot of coins around concession stands on the beach, but you can also find gold.
Hands go in pockets to pay for stuff and gold taken off at the beach and put in pockets for safe keeping is pulled out and lost.
I have found a lot of gold chains and wedding rings around concession stands on the beach.

Sand castles and deep holes 

Hands up how many beach hunters have been asked to find a gold ring lost by someone playing with their kids at the beach.
Put your down now please, and never pass a large sand castle or dug hole you come across at beach without detecting around it. 
I should add not to search it while the people are still using it and at least attempt to fill any dangerous hole people may break an ankle stepping in.
I've had my share of nice diamond engagement rings around sand castles and dug holes, kiddy bling too at some beaches. 

If you don't be creative and search areas other people ignore at the beach, you leave easy beach hunting gold behind for others.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The 10K gold drop out point

If you notch out unwanted junk targets you better be careful you don't unknowingly notch out gold. 
10K gold is always the first gold to go when you turn up your metal detector discrimination to a certain level. 
This is why I always test any new metal detector or search coil combo with a variety of 10 K gold jewelry.
I prefer using a little metal detector discrimination at the beach, but not close to the level that 10 K gold drops out.
My fellow beach treasure hunters would probably assume I go after 18k gold at ritzy tourist resort areas, but they would be wrong.
I search a wide variety of beaches, resulting in a wide variety of jewelry that is either scrapped, returned or head to my Khaleesi mother of dragons jewelry box.
10K and 14K gold moves the scrap gold scales much faster, as big gold rings and chains needs to be made stronger by the addition of more alloys in the gold mix.
I have found several large 10 K gold rings weighting an ounce, and at least two 1.5 ounce beasties.
It does not matter how big a gold ring is if you've notched it out because your tired of scooping pennies, bottle caps or god forbid aluminum ring pulls lol 
Because I test my metal detectors and search coils with a variety of test targets at the beach, I know where 10K drops out.
I suggest you do the same with your metal detecting equipment of choice, sometimes it can be a real eye opener what one incremental turn of a control knob or press of a discrimination button can do to a beach hunt.
Are you leaving big gold rings behind for other beach or water hunters ? 
A couple of weeks ago I followed and detected behind two guys swinging extra large search coils on a Florida beach, I recovered a 0.6 ounce 10K gold wedding band in their tracks.
They were not sloppy beach hunters wildly swinging, quite the opposite so my guess is they were using just a tad too much discrimination. 
Better check yourself before you wreck yourself with notching and discriminating out junk targets st the beach, just in case you leave stuff like this behind.

Find your metal detector 10K drop out point if you are a discriminating beach hunter and get under it to avoid missing 10K gold.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Site and target specific

The title of today's blog is my usual reply to people who ask me what is the best metal detector to buy for beach hunting.
The best metal detector to use is the one that suits the sites you search and best detects what you are searching for, period! 
Once you get used to these two cold hard facts about beach metal detecting, you can choose the appropriate beach treasure hunting tools and find some return on your investment. 
I have used the same type of equipment for a very long, which I know like the back of my hand.
There are a few more metal detectors designed for beach and water hunting, but I have yet to test and find anything better than the metal detectors I use.
Trust and comfort are two words you also don't hear a lot about when it comes to your beach hunting equipment.
Trusting if what you are searching for is in the area your metal detector will detect it and you just feel comfortable using your metal detector of choice.
When perfect beach hunting opportunities come along or I am are going on a metal detecting trip, I always know treasure hunting equipment is coming with me.
Owning and using site and target specific equipment means you are always ready to be successful at the beach.
At heavily hunted beaches, people using site and target specific equipment usually have a heck of an advantage.
Shiny new metal detectors and pizza box size search coils don't always translate into more jewelry and coins.
I often use different equipment to search different sites, especially when searching for specific targets.
Using site and target specific tools, also refers to beach hunting accessories. 
For example, I use a waterproof pin-pointer and carry a long flat head screw driver for winkling out jewelry or coins on coral ledges.
These lead musket and bucky balls came off a beach with a little 1830s Seminole indian war history.
I was using an old discontinued metal detector and 5 inch search coil, the best equipment for the site.

In closing, make sure you are using beach or water hunting equipment for the reasons in this blog title, not because everyone else is using something so it must be good.
Beach hunting equipment is only good if you are using it because of the sites you search and the targets you hope to detect. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Finding a needle in a haystack

Recently I found a thin sewing needle while detecting with the Minelab CTX 3030 and 11 inch search coil, pretty damn impressive if I do say so myself.
A few years ago I found a sewing needle on a Treasure Coast beach, which is probably more difficult than finding a needle in a proverbial haystack. 
The two finds spoke volumes for the metal detector I was using and the way I had it set up.
Of course sweep speed and search technique played into it, but setting up and knowing what your metal detector is telling you is the key to detecting little stuff at the beach.
Everyone likes and wants the big stuff, but if your not detecting small stuff you probably have not got your metal detector set up correctly. 
I'm a firm believer that detecting small thin targets at the beach is important.
Anyone can detect a coin or a chunky gold wedding band, not everyone can find a thin platinum or gold engagement ring.
I find a good mix of jewelry every year, gold chains, rings and bracelets of all shapes and sizes.
This uncut emerald wrapped in a thin gold wire bale was scooped out of rough water several years ago, talk about firing on all water hunting cylinders.

If you detect diamond stud ear rings, tiny ear ring backs and small segments of fishing trace wire on a regular basis, welcome to the micro target beach and water hunting club.
One of the main reasons I use a mask and snorkel when water hunting is to help me recover tiny targets that fall through the 1/4 inch slots in my scoop basket. 
I carry a waterproof pin-pointer when beach hunting to help me recover detected tiny targets faster. 
Detecting small stuff at the beach has it advantages, small thin bands often hold the best diamonds !

Here are a few ways I detect and continue to detect small stuff at the beach.

1. Using the best equipment for the beaches I search.
2. Moving and sweeping my search coil slow low and level.
3. Using the bare minimum amount of Ferrous (Iron) rejection.
4. Searching small areas of the beach methodically and thoroughly. 
5. Relying on my ears, instead of a metal detector screen readout.
6. Never assuming good stuff can only be found at certain areas.
7. Relying on beach and people reading skills.
8. Testing and adding equipment that makes a difference at the sites I search.
9. Thinking like a beginner, free of any beach hunting restrictions.
10. Not giving away the locations I recover good stuff at.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Lines in the sand

Here's a little trick I use after a crowded beach event or national holiday, but it often works any day of the week at heavily hunted beaches.
I use knowledge of local beach and water hunters to my advantage, by knowing where they like to search and also the times they like to search.
The majority of local beach and water hunters do the same things  every time they go to the beach, so the majority of so called competition are easy to read.
Reading a beach should also include reading people using the beach and the competition searching the beach at heavily hunted sites.
Knowing one local beach was very crowded on July 4 th, I searched the outskirts of two  areas everyone likes to metal detect at.  
I posted a handful of rings the other day and yesterday I travelled to another beach and added to the tally with another gold ring and two gold earrings.
Knowing the search habits of two full time water hunters who camp out at this tourist beach, I figured they would still be searching the same two heavily hunted areas the same way.
As expected I struck Klondike just beyond the invisible line on the beach and in the water tourists do not cross opposite two popular parking lots. 
When you know the habits of local beach and water hunters, you often have other areas all to yourself, the reason I don't complain about beach or water hunting competition. 
It's good to know the places to avoid and the places to invest your time.
I often leave a lot of the beach to other people swinging metal detectors, and put my time into cleaning out areas outside or just beyond areas I know are ignored by other hunters.
The next time your thinking of turning around at the beach and searching back towards where the people are, think about water currents and people who are not into sunbathing or swimming in crowded areas.
Water currents push or move jewelry and coins along the beach, people do use the beach and water past the last line of sun beds. 
Just two reasons why there are no lines in the sand when it comes to beach or water hunting. 
Don't fight over sloppy seconds at the beach, get the good stuff left behind by others not willing to cross invisible lines in the sand.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Two good indications for a beach or water hunter

I always want to get a feel for the potential of a site when first starting out searching, clues that indicate my beach or water hunting chances. 
The easiest indicator is the sand I'm moving over, does it have the potential to hold jewelry or coins ?
A hard packed sand, shell or mud bottom are good signs, but anything I detect normally gives me the final say on a site.
If I recover coins I'm a happy camper because coins in an area are signs jewelry could also be present.
Even the size of coins can be a good indicator,  tiny denomination coins in many countries can be easily missed by sloppy beach or water hunters. 
Large denomination coins would not be around if the site had recently been searched, or searched correctly. 
The same can be said about aluminum pull tabs or can slaw, unless you are following  someone who is purposely dropping junk instead of removing it from the site.
Not many local beach or water hunters do that, knowing they will probably detect the same junk again.
Toy cars and fishing weights are good finds to me, more objects not left behind by serious local beach hunters.
They say one persons trash is another persons treasure, one persons trash often leads to another persons treasure in my opinion.
Although I use a VLF metal detector and a little discrimination, I only reject junk targets that have a high probability of being unwanted pieces of trash. 
Detected targets like nickels, aluminum pull tabs and lead fishing weights, would never be around if a site has already been searched correctly, especially at heavily hunted sites.
Firm ground and easy to detect large denomination coins should always tell you to stay and search an area.
The more attractive a piece of metal is to detect at the beach, the more likely that metal would not be there.
I never look at conductive junk or non valuable targets as disappointing recoveries, I look at them as indicators about the site I am searching. 
Can you see the good site indicator in this photo of a platinum and diamond ring ? 

Its the rocky bottom below the water helping to trap lost jewelry in place until I put my CTX 3030 search coil over it.