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Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy holidays to all my treasure hunting friends

Platinum, gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds and rubies, none of these treasures we look for are as important as family and friends. 
Take care of the treasures you already have at home and you will always walk out the door with a smile on your face knowing even if you do not find what you are searching for you will return home to treasures.

Now you know why I am always a happy treasure hunter, happy holidays my fellow treasure hunters! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Another treasure hunting year comes to an end

As another treasure hunting year comes to an end you will be pleased to know I have decided to change the format on my beach treasure hunting blog and get with the times, I hear the collective sigh of relief from long time readers of this blog lol 
From January 1st 2021 I will be starting a new Vlog style concept to help people interested in searching for old coins, artifacts and modern jewelry, it will be heavily coastal related but it will include inland searching too.
How best to use your metal detector and "Twin optical scanners" to locate and recover what you are searching for in the areas you intend to search, you will of course see a lot of video content.
My work related travels have allowed me to explore amazing locations and search for a wide variety of things at those locations, from 350 million year old fossils, ancient artifacts to relatively modern but significantly important or valuable recoveries.
Important aspects of treasure hunting I preach about in my treasure hunt guides are searching and learning, meaning trying different search areas and learning from those searches.
This blog was never about searching local beaches and wasting time waiting for good beach conditions, it is about grinding and finding instead of following others to the same sites fighting for scraps. 
I still prefer to be known for my recovered treasures instead of blog hits, days old eroded beach photos and cheesy copy & pasted treasure related articles.  
Being on site living the moment recovering what you are searching for is so much better than being a day late and a dollar short all the time.
My new Vlog style content will put you out there in front in the thick of the action, leave the fluffy stuff to the local hunters still living in Groundhog Day mode. 
This year has been a heck of a ride, between the thousand pound gorilla in the room called Covid and my work schedule, but I made the most of my down time by saving plenty of history.
I hate to say it and I am certainly not taking the subject lightly but I was kind of pandemic ready having always been a loner searching for different types of treasures off the beaten track. 
The more I found myself avoiding crowds the more cool sites I visited and the cooler the things I recovered so I ran with it lol 
There really are many advantages to trying new treasure hunting sites and of course searching for a wide variety of treasures, also not just relying on your metal detector.
 "Twin optical scanners" are just as important to a treasure hunter as a metal detector, you eyeball sites, scan site conditions and spot exposed treasures when you keep your eyes open and you are aware of your surroundings.
I would say some of my best finds were seen before they were picked up this year.
Some people may say that is just good fortune, but is it really luck when you research sites and work hard to put yourself in the right place at the right time? 
One very important lesson 2020 has taught me is to never overlook anywhere as a treasure hunter, as readers of this blog will see as the year comes to an end. 


Monday, December 14, 2020

Minelab Equinox and CTX 3030 target ID numbers explained

If you are a beach hunter, the photo below represents everything you need to know about target ID numbers.  
These 300 and 400 year old Spanish shipwreck emeralds, blood red garnets and pieces of amethyst were recovered this year on beaches I was metal detecting at and as they are non metallic they have no target ID numbers. 

The gems in this photo represent just a fraction of the eyeballed finds I have recovered this year while searching beaches using a metal detector.
That is exactly the point of todays blog, stop obsessing over target IDs on your favorite Minelab metal detectors because the numbers mean nothing if you are searching for old coins and artifacts. 
One of my pet peeves is answering questions connected to target ID numbers on the Minelab Equinox and CTX 3030, especially from beach hunters searching areas with a little history like the Treasure Coast of Florida with its three and four hundred year old Spanish shipwreck beaches.
I still hunt by ear and dig almost all metal targets when searching beaches for Spanish treasure, I know my metal detectors are quite capable of identifying small iron targets and fish hooks so I take care of the rest of the digging decisions.
If you waste time farting around looking at target ID numbers on your metal detector screen and sweep until you enhance the numbers accuracy you are wasting valuable search time.
You also do not see finds like the gems in the photo washed up begging to be picked up, not when you are fixated on potential ferrous and conductive property guestimates on your metal detector screen. 
The more you rely on your ears for target identification and have your eyes trained on the sand, the more you will find when searching for old coins and artifacts at the beach.
Site reading skills are very important to a beach hunter, they are wasted by beach hunters obsessed with checking and double or even triple checking target ID numbers.
Two of the biggest and most common mistakes a beach hunter can make is searching in a full all metal search mode and fully trusting in target ID numbers. 
If you follow anyone telling you that you have to dig it all you are not going to find what you are really searching for in your allotted search time, because you wasted time digging easily identifiable junk targets like small iron nails or fish hooks. 
On the flip side if you dig enough commonly found coins on beaches using your Equinox or CTX 3030 and you are now an "Expert" because you know your target ID numbers you better have good hearing. 
I can tell the difference by ear between a penny and a half ounce 10K gold class ring, a modern dime and a 300 year old Spanish silver treasure coin, an aluminum pull tab and a gold wedding band.  
Heres the kicker, the target ID numbers on your Equinox or CTX 3030 screen are exactly the same between each two examples mentioned, rely on those target ID numbers and you may leave the good stuff behind.
You will also miss valuable items because didn't pay enough attention to the search site and surroundings, especially the sand you are walking over.
Your treasure hunting number is always up when you rely on metal detecting by numbers.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Return on investment

When I am not working on TV treasure hunting shows I am at a beach treasure hunting somewhere, either searching for old coins and artifacts or modern jewelry. 
I always consider my time and how I can make the most of my site and conditions reading skills to have a successful hunt, I hate the thought of just showing up at a site hoping to get lucky.  
I hit a wide variety of sites searching for a wide variety of things and I do not always use a metal detector to be successful, you'd be surprised just how many good things you can discover and recover at sites with more than one type of treasure. 
Looking back this will go down as one of my favorite treasure hunting years because of the wide variety of finds I have recovered, the return on investment was outstanding and perhaps towards the end of the year I may post a few of those finds.
This year like previous years I paid no attention to the weather, tide time or surf height, I just went to sites and worked with what the site gave me to play with at the time I was searching.
I recovered some pretty amazing finds using my eyes, metal detectors, garden rakes, dollar store sifters, rock hammers, spades, hoes and hands, whatever it took to recover what I hoped to find. 
In my opinion, there really isn't any bad time to go in search of something you would like to detect and recover, the reason I never have an excuse why I cannot go beach treasure hunting. 
There is always a good return on your treasure hunting investment when you take the time to do research and you rely on your site reading skills. 
Research and site reading skills really pay off to a beach hunter when prime beach treasure hunting opportunities arise, for example after coastal storms cause beach erosion or a busy three day weekend at a popular beach.
When and where do you go to get the best return on your metal detecting time are two of the questions you are faced with when prime beach hunting opportunities arise, when you have one or two known productive sites you are well ahead of the game.
The more known productive sites you have up your sleeve the better, one of the perks of not posting recent finds is giving yourself a chance to hit potentially lucrative sites without the sites being metal detecting conventions when you get there. 
Your metal detector and target recovery tool are your main investment in the hobby and it is during prime beach hunting situations when you find out if your choice of metal detecting equipment is up to scratch. 
You may have the opportunity to pay for your metal detecting equipment many times over with just one good find at the beach, now that is a really good return on investment I think you'd agree. 
It happens, but you can increase your chances of paying for your time and equipment by researching the equipment you use, sites you intend to search and learn from every beach hunt.
I class myself as a hardcore beach hunter and I rely heavily on knowing how to read the beach and recognizing hot spots where I can potentially get a good return on investment. 
Not every good find you recover at the beach is of monetary value, but you could say they are a good return on investment. 
From meteors and fossils to semi precious gems and indigenous artifacts, good beach hunting finds are certainly just as rewarding returns on investment. 
An investment in research and site reading skills always pays the best interest to a beach hunter. 

                        Available at 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

How to find valuable targets before the competition

Trusting in your metal detector and using a little metal detector discrimination will help you make the most of your metal detecting time at the beach.
The old metal detecting adage you have to dig it all does not apply to tourist beaches or other areas you are not likely to recover old artifacts.  
Metal detector technology has really changed over the last decade making it easier to reject objects at the beach you clearly know are not valuable targets.
I consider every piece of junk you dig at the beach to be one step further away from putting you and your search coil over a good target.
For years I have used my favorite metal detector the Minelab CTX 3030 to take full advantage of the competition at heavily hunted sites, where I know at least a dozen regular beach hunters hit those sites hard.
I know other people using metal detectors will not pass up digging quarters, dimes and pennies, so I leave them behind for other beach hunters because I did not become a beach treasure hunter to search for chump change. 
When I check targets on my CTX 3030 screen and interpret target audio tones I can easily tell if my search coil is over a wide variety of coins and I can pass on scooping them up.
You can have those I say to myself as I push on for platinum, gold and silver jewelry the high value targets I go to the beach hoping to find.
Yes I am 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 blog thinking about hitting the comment button with a "What if you miss this or that" question, but seriously you cannot worry about missing the odd high value target by digging every piece of junk at the beach.
Digging hundreds if not thousands of small pieces of iron, bottle caps, hair pins, fish hooks, corroding pennies and chump change every year will not justify your metal detecting time wasted digging junk you really do not have to waste time on.
I make the most of my metal detecting time by only scooping probable high value targets at tourist beaches or other heavily hunted sites. 
I wonder how many people have followed me metal detecting at a tourist beach and mistakenly believed I was not that good of a beach treasure hunter because of the amount of coins I left behind for them?
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 darn good metal detector with an array of discrimination bells and whistles.
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. 

Remember, every piece of junk you dig at the beach puts you one step further away from what you are really searching for so the faster you learn how your metal detector responds to junk targets compared to good targets the better.
Use a metal detector like the Minelab CTX 3030 or Minelab Equinox with visual target IDs and excellent audio target tone IDs and you can set yourself apart from the beach hunting completion. 
You sometimes have to dig the trash to get to treasure, but only when you search for old coins and artifacts. 
Learn where and when to use discrimination to increase your chances of detecting and recovering precious metals at crowded beaches.
For more metal detecting tips and tricks check out my beach treasure hunting guides at


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

In my opinion target separation is always more important than target depth when it comes to searching for jewelry at popular beaches.
The opposite applies to searching for old coins and artifacts at less trashy beach sites known for shipwrecks or beaches with a little history. 
It still surprises me just how much value is put into target depth at popular beaches by people searching for jewelry with a metal detector.
From experience I can tell you the hardest jewelry to detect is often the shallowest jewelry as if it is hidden in plain sight.
No doubt a lot of gold I have had the good fortune to recover at beaches was simply missed and left behind by speedy beach hunters or people swinging their metal detectors like golf clubs.
Perhaps some gold was also left behind by beach hunters who simply got bogged down digging deeper clad coins and junk instead of eventually running across the gold I detected.
I use search coils designed for target separation when I search beaches known to draw large crowds and I use my ears as my main discrimination tool.
I also never worry about what I am potentially missing by hunting in the all metals mode or sweeping an extra large pizza box size search coil, I concentrate on detecting shallow or partially masked gold.
A lack of metal detecting finds always has more to do with site selection, equipment choice and search techniques than beach or water hunting conditions. 
For example, I often use small sniper size search coils in very trashy areas of the beach to spice things up.
If you sweep an 8-inch search coil at a trashy beach entrance you will find gold a 10-inch search coil will simply not be able to detect. 
It makes more jewelry hunting sense to try to detect and recover shallow gold than deep golden  trashy areas of the beach.
Look at using a small size search coil as driving with low beam headlights in the fog, reading less is actually more beneficial in the long run.
Think about it, if you search heavily hunted beaches why on earth would you be concerned about deep targets? 
Skimmers take coins and the odd piece of jewelry at heavily hunted beach sites, but they cannot get it all. 
Fresh dropped shallow gold is often hidden when it is laying next to a bottle cap, clad coin or other undesirable object, you have to give yourself a chance to detect that gold on the first or second sweep across where the gold has come to rest. 
Two sweeps and step forward or as I like to refer to it, rinse and repeat beach gold prospecting. 
I believe there is always something to find if you find a way to find it, you just have to put your search coil over it in trashy areas of the beach.
You can winkle gold out of the most trashiest of areas if you learn how to sweep slow and low using a small search coil. 
Note to speedy local beach hunters, I am that guy you see as you walk onto the beach and the guy you see in the same place you returned to after you took your long walk. 
I can tell you from experience gold likes to hide right next to objects that help mask it from detection. 
For tips on how to find gold jewelry at the beach, check out my beach treasure hunting guides at  


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Reading the competition

I recently went to one of my my favorite treasure hunting sites only to find two people already searching the area, I am an early bird so it was a double surprise seeing the site being searched and other people knowing about this hot spot. 
The first thing I did was acknowledge the other people searching the site with a friendly wave, the second thing I did was go about my business haphazardly like I did not know what I was doing. 
My sloppy search techniques probably helped the other searchers feel at ease while I sneakily determined if they really knew what they were doing and if they were at the site for the same reason I was.
It turned out they were looking for the same thing I was searching for but they were going about it in a completely different way, which I give them credit for and I will for sure give it a try myself.
When you search a wide variety of sites you can be sure other treasure hunters know about the sites you search and you will run across other people searching for the same things you hope to recover.
I am a like a sponge when it comes to treasure hunting, I really like studying or trying to "Read" other people I see searching the sites I have success at or hope to be successful at. 
Every year I find something I can adapt into my search techniques even if it is only a small wrinkle that helps me to recover more or better finds.
As strange as it sounds I would rather see people who really know what they are doing at many of my favorite treasure hunting sites, it helps to keep me on my toes and sometimes I try doing what I see other people doing and it works.
I would say 2020 has been a very successful treasure hunting year so far because of new things Ive tried and adapted instead of just doing the things I consider to be corner stones of my metal detecting foundation.
Closely watching other treasure hunters searching your sites will help you decide if they know what they are doing or if they are just hoping to get lucky skimming over a search site.
Tell tale signs of "Skimmers" include meandering around using sloppy search techniques, using unsuitable equipment and covering the ground too quickly. 
The real competition for finds at a site tend to avoid eye contact and small talk as they search a specific area methodically, they are exactly the type of searchers you should learn to read if you see them at sites you know hold what you are searching for.
Over the years I have learned that the only real competition you have is yourself when searching a site, but it can be really helpful to study the way other people searching the same sites as you go about their business, especially if you can add something that helps you at those sites.
Another thing I have unfortunately learned is 90% of the people you see out there searching for treasures are skimmers, so when you do see someone who obviously knows what they are doing they stand out. 
Perhaps things that do not at first stand out, such as sticking to one small area of a site or carrying and using unusual recovery tools, like they know where to find and how to recover it.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I say if one person can do something another person can so keep your eyes on the competition and never think you know it all, learn and evolve to be successful. 
For more tips to searching heavily hunted sites check out my treasure hunting guides at