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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Drag on the lower beach

One of the things I like to explain during beach hunting lessons is how objects we search for move on the lower beach, especially sloped or steep beaches. 
In my beach hunting books I refer to the lower beach as the giant sandy conveyor belt, with tides helping to move objects up and back down the lower beach and shallow water. 
Flat objects like coins will move more easily than jewelry, coins tend to be found higher up sloped or steep beaches than rings.
The shape of a ring will help it settle in one place as the band creates drag, often before being pushed higher up onto the beach.
The bigger the ring the more likely it is to be closer to or inside the water when the beach is steeply sloped. 
A coin line or line of deposited coins from a previous high tide will often be found higher up the beach than jewelry.
The way jewelry is shaped in rings, chains and bracelets creates drag in the sand, when you know where flat coins settle you can search for jewelry that did not make it all the way up the lower beach to the line of coins.
This is why I prefer to search a known coin line using a loose W type search pattern, instead of a straight line and risking walking away from gold.
This is how this heavy platinum and 18K diamond ring ended up in my finds pouch instead of being found by the person who walked a straight line ahead of me scooping coins a few years ago.

A loose W type search pattern around wooden beach steps hanging in mid air on an eroded beach has worked out well for me over the years.
There are many little things that make a big difference in beach hunting, knowing how objects you are search for move up and down the lower beach is one of them.
For example, I have eyeballed more gold chains on the beach than I have detected on the beach.
I would'nt even be at the beach to see them if I only went to the beach two hours before low tide, as many beach and water hunters getting advice of metal detecting forums do.
High tide is the best time to see gold chains tangled in seaweed or flotsam, chains tend to ball up or get tangled in other things.
The object they became tangled in may not always make it up a sloped beach, but I lump gold chains in the drag category as they tend to ball up too.
At heavily hunted beaches I will often sacrifice the coins to go for the jewelry, especially after rough surf when you often see coins laying on the sand washed up.
Searching down from a visible coin line will give the competition something to dig while you search for jewelry stopped by the drag effect on the lower beach. 

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