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Monday, January 29, 2018

The metal detector I use on TV treasure hunting shows

I get asked a lot of questions about why I use the Minelab CTX 3030 so here are a few reasons why this metal detector is the one I use the majority of the time.
The main reason why is the waterproof Minelab CTX 3030 is a good all around metal detector, with bells and whistles for almost any metal detecting situation I come across.
Do not let the beach and water hunting tag fool you, I search for a wide variety of things in a wide variety of places and so I use equipment that is not just suited to detecting one thing in one place.
I would make no sense for someone like me to only use a metal detector designed to do one thing, with one size search coil or very few available accessories.
Traveling to detect and not knowing what sites I will search or the conditions I may encounter, a CTX 3030 with different size search coils is always my first choice of treasure hunting equipment.
With a price tag of over $2K this metal detector is not in everyones budget, although it is very easy for a beginner to use I always tell people new to the hobby to choose a cheaper metal detector and see if they really like metal detecting before laying out serious money.
I know once you have a CTX 3030 there is no where to go after using the Rolls Royce of discriminating VLF (Very low frequency) metal detectors, forget about upgrading lol
However good the CTX 3030 is in a wide variety of metal detecting situations, there could be a metal detector that does a better job detecting a certain thing at a certain site if that is all you ever search for.
Choosing the right tools for the job is very important in all walks of life, in the hobby of metal detecting it is no different.
Buy the tools within your budget that help you detect what you are searching for in the areas you search, doing plenty of research before you buy is always the best policy.
That is what I did when moving from predominantly land hunting to beach and shallow water hunting, 
I needed to use metal detectors not effected by mineralized sand and saltwater, as the single frequency metal detectors I had always used in England struggled on beaches.
After spending years pounding fields, rivers, lakes, beaches and oceans with a metal detector I have turned finds into metal detecting equipment and I am fortunate enough to be able to use what equipment I like.
Hopefully the Khalessi mother of dragons is not reading todays blog entry lol! although husbands everywhere should know jewel encrusted baubles do get you serious metal detecting permission.
I still count the research I did before buying as a very important step towards hitting the beaches running.
Things have changed a little since my early experiences with metal detectors, metal detector companies are seeing people travel to detect and bringing out more lightweight waterproof and versatile metal detectors, especially my favorite metal detector company Minelab.
My CTX 3030 has all the qualities I look for in a metal detector and that is exactly why I use it where ever I go. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Be a stalker not a walker

I am not a big fan of walking miles on the beach to find stuff or putting in ten or twelve hour beach or water hunting days to find stuff, I use beach and water reading skills to maximize my beach hunting time. 
I search small areas thoroughly and never walk away from any area I find gold, especially at tourist type beaches where gold is the main thing I am searching for. 
Been there done that and learned my lesson many moons ago, returning back to places after going walk about and recovering more gold in the area I walked away from.
Theres a lot to be said for being a veteran (Old fart) beach hunter, if you learn lessons along the way lol
A very good reason to be a gold stalker and not a walker is you often find more than one piece of gold in the same area, either because it was part of a set or an area where objects of the same size and density have settled.
My personal record is twelve gold wedding bands in one afternoon several years ago, beating nine gold rings in one morning hunt a few years before that, nothing too special but not too shabby. 
That explains why I like to use a box shaped search pattern and I am reluctant to walk away from areas I start finding gold in numbers. 
Look at it as the game of battleships for beach or water hunters, hitting gold hiding not far away from the first piece you tagged.
These three 22K gold bangle bracelets were recovered several yards away from each other at a tourist beach, it would have been such a shame to split them up by walking away from the area.

I would have probably seen them posted on some metal detecting forum or Facebook group and thought buggar I left gold behind, but I know that will not happen to the metal detecting ninja because I never walk away from gold.
It could be a gold ring, gold pendant or gold chain, who is to say it was an isolated find?
Dont walk away once you find an area holding what you are searching for, use your eyes and ears instead of your feet to find gold beach and water hunting. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Read between the beach hunting lines

Site reading skills fill finds pouches and pockets with stuff a beach hunter is searching for.
You can follow surf charts or waste time waiting for second hand beach reports, but every beach has something to find when you know the sites within a site to search. 
One easy way to combat sanded-in or less than ideal beach conditions is to search for previous high tide lines.
Often referred to as "Coin lines" in beach hunting terms, previous high tide lines can hold jewelry coins and artifacts at sites with a little history.
Just because you cannot see previous high tide lines does not mean you cannot locate and recover stuff from these productive areas of the beach.
A loose W or snaking type search pattern will help you find previous high tide lines that are now sanded over.
Remember to keep glancing behind you while searching at the beach to see if holes you have dug line up, stop and go back over any area that looks like it could potentially be a coin line.
Look for obvious high tide lines containing seaweed or shells left high and dry, a dead seabird or even a bottle half buried in sand may be a clue, talk about a message in a bottle. 
I have always found the best coin lines (Previous high tide lines) to be mid beach or higher at tourist type beaches. 
The reason being most robotic wet sanders and water hunters only search the lower beach and water at heavily hunted beaches.
Meaning any previous high tide line (Coin line) will have been ignored quite some time even at the most heavily hunted beaches.
Notice how coin line and previous high tide line are one and the same as I go through todays blog entry, because they are.
Anytime you dig up a few targets out of a different matrix to the surface sand it is a good sign, it could well be a more compact line of shells from a previous high tide line that has been covered over for a long time. 
I like to look at the beach as if its a push penny arcade game, where have the gold rings, coins and artifacts been pushed to and waiting to drop for me.
Find those hidden and not so hidden lines at the beach my beach hunting friends and you will often find what you are searching for. 

Four of these expensive diamond rings were recovered in previous high tide lines I searched for, fortune favors the beach hunter with site reading skills. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Alternative beach hunting tips

Here are a few beach hunting tips for people keen to know what it takes to find the big one.
That find of a lifetime may be a Spanish treasure ring or Templar cross, it could be a Rolex or an expensive diamond ring, whatever you are searching for the following tips may help you find it.

Find your own beach hunting style

My advice to anyone new to the hobby is to read your metal detector manual several times, including studying and practicing the basic search techniques normally printed towards the end of the manual.

The more you figure out yourself the better, avoid copying other people you see metal detecting at the beach as a surprisingly high number of beach hunters do not know what they are doing because they have not bothered to read the manual.
Go out there and be your awkward best at first, what comes after is what will work for as you adapt.
Copy others and you may end up with other peoples bad habits and set yourself back, you may also get into the bad habit of searching the same site or area all the time by following others.
Not being a stereotypical beach hunter will help you become a hardcore beach hunter over time.

Think like a beginner

In my opinion there is no such thing as beginners luck, good finds are recovered because of inexperience.

Beginners want to find stuff, any stuff and they are prepared to search anywhere to find it.
They search areas of the beach a more experienced beach hunter often overlooks, water hunters do that all the time by not searching on the beach.
There are plenty of stories of people who bought a metal detector and found fabulous treasures in the most unexpected of places, they found treasure because they tried somewhere different.
Beginners will often stick around in one place, instead of marching off down the beach looking for somewhere better.
Treasure is often where you find it and it is certainly not in the same spot every time as many experienced beach hunters mistakenly assume.

Be a positive beach hunter 

I can never understand the negative nellies in metal detecting, people who say its not possible to recover something like that, its too sanded-in to find anything, its over hunted, negative people always finding an excuse as to why someone has more success than they do.

We have the best hobby in the world, out in the fresh air getting exercise and one dig away from recovering a find of a lifetime, whats not to like?
I have always believed positive things happen to positive people so when I hit the beach I am excited to see what I am going to detect and recover.
I am not interested in who us finding what and where, just what my share is going to look like.
After putting my time in with any metal detector I like, I am pretty positive I will not miss anything within detection range.
That confidence in skills and metal detector is a heck of an advantage over people not confident they are going to find something and without full confidence in their metal detecting equipment.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Lower beach hunting

The wet sand is the first place I always test a new metal detector, it has to be because I predominantly beach and water hunt. 
I need a metal detector that will run smoothly on the lower beach with water rushing over the search coil and one that can handle the transition from the dry to wet sand. 
There are two easy ways to search the wet sand, from the dry sand to the water or search paralel to the water, either way will get the job done so its a matter of preference.
I prefer to work from the dry sand to the water using a tight W search pattern as I steadily move along a beach, depending how wide the beach is and of course the tide time. 
This helps me to avoid unknowingly walking away from a good area, as I have found too many nice pieces of gold in areas just above or below the line another beach hunter has walked in a straight line before fading into the distance.
I like to mole around in areas, covering the sand around me instead of trying to cover the whole beach.
This morning I hit a local tourist beach for a couple of hours at high tide, as expected I did not see many other people metal detecting as it was high tide and no "Its all in the water" type person would be anywhere near a beach until at least two hours before low tide.
During my high tide beach hunt I recovered several pieces of gold and silver jewelry in the wet sand, a lot of stuff probably washed in on the rough surf just waiting to be detected.
I use a scoop and dump method searching on the lower beach at high tide, meaning I scoop recheck the hole and dump my scoop basket higher up on the beach when I know the target is probably in my scoop basket.
This insures I do not have to worry about waves washing over jewelry or coins I have dumped and washing them back into the water.
If like me you fancy your jewelry hunting chances in the wet sand, there is no need for super large search coils or super deep metal detectors.
Far from it, you need a metal detector that can handle the wet sand and water and use a little discrimination as there is no need to waste time digging shallow junk just like there is no need to waste time digging deep junk at tourist type beaches.
Headphones are important when lower beach hunting, windy days and rough surf can make hearing signals difficult without headphones.
I have a custom pair of headphones for my Minelab CTX 3030 to help me deal with the extra noise on the lower beach, I actually pretend they are better than they really are when people ask me questions.
He is wearing headphones and cant hear you, I often hear people saying as I avoid eye contact.
Hey every minute wasted at the beach yapping is a minute further away from potentially detecting something good.
The lower beach is also the only place that is constantly changing because of two low and two high tides so you are often the first person searching a changed area of the beach.
The wet sand on the lower beach is where you learn your pinpointing and target recovery skills, especially if you want to venture into the water with a metal detector. 
It is also the place a beach hunter will really get to know what a metal detector can and cannot do.

I know what my metal detectors can and cannot do at the beach because I am constantly testing them on the lower beach proving ground.
Targets can be shallow or deep closer to the water and relatively shallow towards the high tide line, so it is always best to play the percentages by making sure you are set up to detect a wide variety of targets at average depths.
Searching on the lower beach, can you handle it? 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Been there

I love trying my luck at out of the way beaches, places you would not expect to find anything but when you do you know darn well you are the only person who knows about that spot.
A few years ago on Oak Island Nova Scotia I took a photo of this rock out in the middle of nowhere special, but back in August 1897 Mr, Mrs or Ms R W Evans from Chester thought this beach was a good place to leave a mark. 

Every year on my walkabouts I recover really nice finds on beaches you would never expect to find anything at, mainly because I do not just go to the same sites every time I go beach or water hunting. 
I do not want to only search sites others have discovered stuff, I want to discover my own sites.
I believe known sites hold you back as a beach treasure hunter, especially if you are searching for old coins and artifacts which I am passionate about doing. 
Sure you get skunked trying new beaches or areas off the beaten track and sometimes go hours between signals, but to be successful in the long run you have to put the hunt in treasure hunt right?
There are plenty of advantages to going against the beach hunting flow, including eventually having many more known productive sites than the competition and recovering a wider variety of finds.
Known productive sites are the answer to sanded-in conditions, if you have enough sites you always have somewhere open for business when you know how different conditions effect different beaches.
Search the same beach all the time, expect long waits between good times. 
I could post photos and reports of the same beach and tell you when to expect the conditions at that stretch of coastline to improve, but I do not run with the pack because the outlook and view from the front is better. 
Expand your beach hunting horizons when trying to sniff out old and modern finds, you can be sure someone used that beach or area back in the day.
In my opinion, the best treasures are waiting for the beach or water hunter who is willing to search outside the beach hunting box.

Monday, January 8, 2018

How to find old shipwreck gold

This piece of squashed gold jewelry (Probably a treasure ring and 1600s because of the site) had me break dancing on the beach when I recovered it a few years ago on the Treasure Coast of Florida, ironically the day after a local blogger posted beach hunting conditions were poor with a beach rating of one.

This is why you should never wait around for second hand beach reports, get yourself to the beach and see for yourself which is always a great way to put yourself in the right place at the right time.
I may give off the vibe that Spanish silver reales on shipwreck beaches float my boat, but really it is the thought of recovering Spanish gold jewelry or gold coins that gets my toes tingling.
Searching any beach with a little history I always hope to break out the gold dance, especially if the beach is eroded (Cut) by a coastal storm or unusually high surf hitting the beach from just the right angle.
Some beach treasure hunters may think the party is over when the beach begins to fill in, but that is not aways the case. 
Some of my better old gold days have come days or even weeks after erosion has taken place, you really think nothing washes onto or off the beach on the following tides?  
A good site is open for business long after a storm has passed if you know where to look.
That place is often a trough, dip or scalloped area where objects washing in and out with the following tides settle and get buried by every successive high tide, the great sandy conveyer belt that all beach hunters try to find the end of. 
Following up on yesterdays blog about putting myself back in the day, I also try to see where gold may have been flushed out of and deposited after a storm.
One way is to take a walk along the beach and past where you intend to search, do you see anywhere that gold may have been deposited?
If like me you go beach hunting regardless of when the high tide time is, you often get to see the dynamics of the beach.
Where the surf makes it up to on the beach, the way the water moves across or along the beach.
The angle of the beach has a lot to do with this, but you wont see it or find Spanish gold if you wait to go beach hunting two hours before low tide or wait for second hand beach reports.
A beach is constantly changing and the more time you spend at your favorite beaches the faster you will learn what may have been deposited and more importantly where!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Put yourself back in the day

When searching for old coins and artifacts at the beach, I always try to put myself back in the day by imagining what I would have done and where I would have gone.
On Oak Island I tried to do the same thing, trying to imagine what the island would have looked like and what I would have done back in the day.
Obviously when you go to an island a few hundred years ago it was by boat not driving across a man made causeway. 
Getting on an off a small tender type boat would have been difficult along a rocky shoreline, a rocking boat, slippery rocks and seaweed would have led to pocket coin spills and the possibility of other drops. 
Perhaps weapons, buttons, buckles, jewelry or anything else a person could lose landing on or leaving from an island.
This whole scenario makes metal detecting on beaches a great way to find old coins and artifacts.
Once ashore the first thing you do is head to high ground and take a look around, especially back in the day dealing with inquisitive or hostile natives, not to mention hostile foreigners if you are from across the seas.
Answering the call of nature is an obvious thing to do away from the beach admiring a view, pass the triple ply bathroom tissue and a newspaper please.
This puts hillsides and the highest points of a coastline in play for lost old coins and artifacts, from people sitting down admiring the views or from dropping pants answering the call of nature. 
Buttons, buckles and coins are often recovered on hillsides overlooking rivers and beaches.
If you are staying overnight back in the day you can forget about ordering a double bed, you find a high and dry spot and light a fire.
That camp site is now an awesome place to detect and recover old coins and artifacts, if you are lucky enough to find a camp site.
If you like the island back in the day, perhaps you establish a regular crossing point which is another great place to recover old coins and artifacts today.
If you look at a map you can easily figure out where the closest crossing points to and from the mainland would have been back in the day.
In closing, detecting and recovering old coins and artifacts along rivers, on islands and at shipwreck beaches is easier when you put yourself back in the day.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Return on investment

This weekend is no different to any other weekend, I am planning to go beach or water hunting at the place I consider to have the best return on investment.
In other words, where am I likely to recover what I am searching within the time I have to spend at the beach with a metal detector in my hand.
If you have reasons to go to a particular site you have a better chance of recovering what you are searching for than a person who just goes to a site without knowing why.
Reasons to search a site may include weather effecting an area, crowded beaches or even just a hunch, whatever it is having return on investment in mind is always good. 
Beach conditions usually have the most effect on a beach or water hunt, assuming you know what you are doing with a metal detector and use good search techniques. 
The more types of beach conditions you know how to search the more likely you are to recover something good within your allotted metal detecting time.
Sanded-in beaches and rough surf only mean you have to adapt to the situation, the reason why it is important not to be just one thing, a water hunter, wet sander or dry sander. 
You could say being a versatile beach hunter is a good return on the investment of learning how to search a variety of different sites.
Travel time also effects your return on investment, as in how long are you spending traveling to beaches.
I know many people who spend several hours driving to beaches they consider to better than their local beaches every time they go beach or water hunting.
Believe me, you will always find more at a beach using a metal detector than you will spending hours behind a steering wheel.
Lastly but not least, lets not forget about the very first investment you make in the hobby.
The metal detector you use has to be able to detect what you are searching for at the places you are going to be searching, the reason doing your homework on metal detectors is very important. 
I am big into getting return on investment in metal detecting, which is why I hardly ever show up at a site hoping to get lucky, I always have several good reasons to be there. 
I like to quote Benjamin Franklin on the inside cover of my books, an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest, it certainly does in beach hunting. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Make the most of your metal detecting time using discrimination

Using a little metal detector discrimination will help you make the most of your metal detecting time at the beach.
The old metal detecting school rule of you have to dig it all does not apply to tourist beaches or other areas you are not likely to recover old artifacts.
Things have changed with metal detector technology making it easier to reject stuff you clearly know is not platinum, gold or silver at the beach.
I look at it this way, every piece of junk you dig at the beach, puts you further away from putting your search coil over a good target.
The last several years I have used my metal detector the Minelab CTX 3030 to take full advantage of the competition at heavily hunted sites. 
I know darn well other people using metal detectors will not pass up digging quarters, dimes and pennies, so I leave them when I hear the tones and see the target cursor placements and ferrous and conductive number read outs on my CTX 3030 screen. 
You can have those I say to myself as I push on for platinum, gold or silver jewelry the stuff I go to the beach hoping to find.
Yes Im sure I do miss the odd piece of silver too, but very little of the silver jewelry I recover avoids the scrapping process anyway.
Now I know more than a few beach hunters will be reading this thinking about hitting the comment button with a what if you miss this or that.
My response will be does digging hundreds if not thousands of small pieces of iron, bottle caps, hair pins, fish hooks, corroding pennies and chump change every year justify the time wasted digging that junk when you do not have to.
Oh man that sounds good signals sometimes turn out to be junk, but those good sounding targets are the ones I spend my time digging at tourist beaches or other potentially heavily hunted sites. 
I wonder how many people have followed me at a tourist beach and figured he is not that good he is missing stuff? 
Perhaps it was just a metal detecting ninja trail of clad coins, bottle caps and unwanted junk I clearly knew was not platinum, gold or silver thanks to well trained ears and a metal detector screen. 
Again, why dig junk at the beach when searching for platinum, gold or silver jewelry?
Cherry pick the good targets and enjoy the fruits of being a discriminating beach hunter, platinum and gold bands are some of the most common jewelry finds if you get to them before the next beach or water hunter. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A new years day tale of heavily hunted beaches

Early on new years day I scouted a couple of tourist type beaches out before getting suited and booted to search for gold jewelry. 
After feeding the hungry parking meter at the first beach I visited, I sat on the beach for fifteen minutes watching three people water hunting, two people wet sanding and four people metal detecting in the dry sand. 
That is nine people using metal detectors at eight o'clock in the morning at one tourist beach, no doubt other people had already been metal detecting earlier and would have followed later. 
Checking out a smaller tourist beach a couple of miles down the road, I saw two people in the water and five people on the beach using metal detectors.
If you are keeping count, that makes sixteen metal detectors being used early in the morning at two local tourist beaches. 
I drove back to the first site for a couple of hours beach and water hunting, even though more people were already searching the beach including another person who had joined the metal detecting crowd.
The reasons I fancied my jewelry hunting chances, shiny new metal detectors, sloppy and erratic ground coverage, box hunting and raised search coils swung like golf clubs.
Perhaps some people may have seen all the people metal detecting and decided to take a pass on the first beach, but I saw opportunities.
Here is why, people with new metal detectors are often newbies and rarely have them set up correctly. 
People constantly meandering from the dry sand to inside the water and all points in between, obviously cannot read a beach and do not know the best potential sites to search.
It should not take you long to see the best looking sites to search when you know how to read a beach.
A couple of full time guys I recognized are "Box hunters" who only search in the water opposite one or two places every time I see them, every heavily hunted beach has box hunters. 
Search outside the boxes the full timers grid every time they search the same site and you are golden, as I was yesterday!
Covering the beach at a brisk pace swinging a search coil like a four iron, enough said. 
Try to look past other people already searching a beach, where are your opportunities?
How can you use what you know about other people metal detecting at a site and yourself to recover what you are searching for.
Some beaches are just heavily populated by people metal detecting, not over hunted or hunted out.