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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.