Metal detection has become a popular pastime and hobby, especially for people who are interested in local history and culture. However, over the past few years, metal detecting has also become a way to earn money since there have been instances where people have found some massive amounts of treasures.
In 2009, a man with a basic metal detector found the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure hoard found till now. it included thousands of pieces of ornaments constructed using gold. Before that, in 1977 a metal detection enthusiast found a 4.9 kgs chunk of gold panning in California.
Despite the above-mentioned instances, you have to understand that it is very rare to find something so unique and expensive. Most of the time you will end up with lost coins, buries cans, pieces of metal, etc. At this point, you need to understand that metal detection is not only about treasure hunting. You might not win a jackpot or a lottery like the other person.
Metal detection is more like a hobby that helps people build and improve their peace of mind and spend their time productively.
Unfortunately, a common misconception prevailing in our society is that metal detect is for old people. It is not, it is just like any other hobby you can take up.
Now that we have been introduced to how things work, let’s move on to the step by step guide.
7 Important Terms to Know About Metal Detection
Before moving on to the basics of metal detection in every area, let’s look into some of the technical terms that you will regularly come across and that you should know.
- Ground balance:
- Target separation:
1. Ground Balance:
The changes made in the metal detector based on the type of soil and the type of ground it is being used on.
2. Target Separation:
The ability of the metal detector to detect and identify the targets or findings that are close to each other. However, in most cases, this is rarely used.
By changing the settings of the metal detector, users can differentiate different between different types of metals and objects detected. This helps the users in deciding where to dig and where not to dig.
This refers to the type of metal. Ferrous metals are metals containing iron, while non-ferrous metals do not contain iron and are non-magnetic. The latter include brass, gold, silver, nickel, tin, lead, etc.
You might have heard this term before, but it means something else when it comes to metal detection. The frequency of every metal detector varies depending on the number of magnetic fields sent to the ground.
It is measured in kilohertz and different metals react to different frequencies. Hence, the frequency settings can help you discriminate among types of metals.
This term refers to the quantity of iron and salt already present in the ground. This can interfere with the working of the metal detector. Hence, while going to a place like black sand beaches (due to iron) or red dirt areas, be rest assured you might not get the desired results.
Last but not least is interference. Metal detectors use magnetic pulses to find the metal pieces in the ground, hence, anything with an electromagnetic field will interfere with the working of the metal detector.
Do Your Treasure Hunting Research?
Now that you have decided that you want to get into the world of metal detection, its time for some research. Before looking into the equipment and the things you need for this new endeavor, it is important to research the type of areas you have in your locality that are ideal for metal detection.
Make sure you familiarize yourself with the terms, local and common practices as well as the proper method of metal detection. The best way to do this is by going to a local library and finding books on metal detection.
Metal Detection Equipment Requirements
Moving on to the type of equipment you will need. The market is loaded with entry-level, mid-range and premium level or flagship metal detectors. However, since you will just be stepping into the field, it is advised you don’t invest a lot of money in the gear.
Before jumping into spending large amounts of money, make sure you know the art of metal detection. What’s the point of spending money on something even if you are not good at it?
As far as the equipment required during metal detection is concerned, there are no bounds. However, for starters, you will need an entry-level metal detector, some gloves, a scoop, pouches, and bags to carry the findings, some towels, and extra detection search coils.
As far as the price of entry-level metal detectors is concerned, you can easily find a good specialized one between $200 to $500. Just so you know, premium level metal detectors can cost as much as $10 grand.
Some of the most renowned brands when it comes to creating good quality and authentic metal detectors in each segment are:
Finding the best metal detector is a very tricky job, and massively depends on the type of metal detection you want to get done. However, some of the all-rounders available on the market that have been labeled as fan-favorites are:
Garett Ace 300:
This is five items search indicator and only costs $250. It can be used to detect coins, relics, pieces of jewelry etc. However, it does not come with discrimination options.
This is a waterproof metal detector that, despite being affordably priced, provides the users with top-notch and premium quality features.
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker:
Even though metal detectors don’t usually recommend bounty hunter metal detectors, this one is pretty good at what it does. It can automatically set the ground balance as well and costs somewhere around $100. That’s why, Most of the metal detectorists like this tracker.
This metal detector can be used by adults and children alike, it comes with top-notch discrimination and is very lightweight. It will set the users back by $170.
Teknetics EuroTek PRO:
It is lightweight and has good discrimination abilities. However, it is one of the most underrated metal detectors available on the internet.
Best Places to Go for Metal Detection
As mentioned, proper research is the key to finding the best spots to go to for metal hunting. However, one thing is understood, you will only have luck in finding treasure when you go to old and unused placed.
Areas with construction around usually don’t house any treasure. The only thing you will detect is metals in the garbage.
However, while looking for the best places to hunt, make sure you don’t go to off-limits areas (private property). In most cases, historical parks, monuments, and historical sites are off-limits for metal detection. Some of the most common places people go to for metal detection are:
- Old Homesteads:
- Swimming areas:
These are some of the most popular places people like to go for meta detection. Many metal detectors have found amazing things and treasures from old homesteads. Some found buries treasures while others found boxes and jars filled with money and jewelry.
If you know someone who lives on an old farm or has bought an old house, this might be your golden chance to get your hands on something fun and maybe expensive.
The campground is vast and is usually the area where people lose things. If you are interested in finding things like pocket knives or coins, going to a campground might be a good option. You won’t be allowed into army campgrounds but you can always check children’s summer campgrounds out.
As weird as it sounds, people usually lose their precious jewelry and similar items when they go to the beach for swimming. Looking for metallic objects in these swimming areas during low tides might help you find something precious.
If you can, returning it to the grateful owner will have an inner satisfaction of its own. However, if you cannot find the owner, the findings are yours.
The above-mentioned areas are most common when it comes to finding stuff, however, apart from this, you can also go to abandoned areas around the city. People have been known to find amazing things in areas that have been considered haunted since most people don’t go there.
Moreover, you can also look into towns built around waterways. Abandoned buildings, schools, large playgrounds, lakes, and local gathering grounds are some of the best places to go for metal detection.
Metal Detection Rules and Regulations
As far as metal detection and law is concerned, you are not supposed to break certain rules. There is a code of conduct that every metal detection enthusiast needs to follow. Some of the most basic rules are:
1. No Trespassing:
As mentioned, trespassing should be avoided at any cost. Don’t forget that every land has an owner and before you set out to find any buried metals, make sure you have the respective permission do to it. This is important to avoid any arguments and disagreements.
2. Protected Sites:
Some of the areas are protected by law, nobody is allowed to go detect metal at these places. They include sites of scientific interests and historic sites mostly.
3. Handling of Artifacts:
Even though the chances are low, you might find a precious artifact or something of historical importance. Hence, you should know how to handle them and keep them safe to prevent any degradation.
4. Reporting Finding:
In case you end up with a historical finding, make sure you report it to the landowner or the tenant as well as to the local body that deals with artifacts.
Apart from these basics, some ethics of metal detection are:
- Don’t ruin crops and contaminate water areas.
- If you come across garbage, pick it up. Keep a separate garbage bag for such things.
- Make sure you have the right digging tools so that the damage to the property is minimum.
- Don’t mess with the animals roaming the area.
- Don’t ruin the cemeteries.
- In case you find a deadly weapon buries, notify the police immediately.
- Don’t dig dry soil grounds.
- Do not leave trash around.
- Make sure you fix the holes you make.
Keep in Touch With News
If, after trying out metal detection, you decide you like it, make sure you keep updated about things happening around you. News of new artifacts being found is usually broadcasted via news.
Apart from this, people usually go on metal detection marathons together once a year or once in two years. Being a part of such activities not only gives you confidence but also helps you learn new ways to detect metals. Hence, make sure you are well aware of the current happening in the area.
Metal detection is more of a hobby than a business. Based on a common misconception, people believe that they will come across a huge treasure that will make them rich. However, it’s exactly on the contrary. You have to invest a lot of money before you even start finding worthless coins and metal pieces.
Scientifically, metal detection has been proven to improve the overall thinking ability and peace of mind of the individual. Hence, it is advised that you consider the activity as a hobby rather than as a business. Moreover, in any case, make sure you know the local rules regarding metal detection and comply with them. You don’t need any lawsuits to be filed against you.
However, overall, metal detection is a fun activity and can be taken up by elders, children and teenagers alike. So, keep having fun, enjoy your time metal detecting and keep researching.
You may like this post: metal detector history.