Beginners Guide To Metal Detecting


Treasure hunting, like metal detecting, can be an interesting and rewarding activity. The ground in different places hides many unrevealed secrets and valuable discoveries of different treasures are possible. These may happen every day as people who are doing metal detecting find many interesting items. However, it is important to know how metal detectors work, how to find the right one, the laws governed in doing this activity, and some interesting and significant information about metal detecting.

Below is my guide to getting started with metal detecting. This is in no way an ‘ultimate’ or ‘complete exhaustive guide’ to metal detecting. I currently working on about 30 more articles that are being edited right now that I will be adding to this site in 2022 that will cover many more details not covered here. The chapters below will certainly get you started with metal detecting.

Just click on the link next to ‘Chapter 1’ to get started, then at the end of each chapter, there will be a link to take you to the next chapter. The information below is just a summary of what you will find in each chapter.


Chapter 1 – What Do You Need To Start Metal Detecting?

For you to start metal detecting, having a metal detector is a must. There are plenty of metal detectors on the market nowadays and if you have one, knowing the features and functions of your metal detector is important. You need to learn how a particular model works for you to use it well. Use some proper tools needed like when you are digging a hole and you must take care of your tools so they will last longer. You can also use a pinpointer as this will help you to prevent digging some huge holes. For you start with, respect the surroundings by asking permission from the owner if it’s private property or the government if it’s public, keeping the area clean, and burying the holes.


Chapter 2 – Key Factors To Consider When Buying a Metal Detector

These are some of the factors you need to consider when you buy a metal detector: how much budget do you have; where do you plan on using the detector like is it in the beach, park, or the beach; the number of people who will be using it; and what are your plans and purpose of using it like are you mainly searching for jewelry, coins, gold, or relics. It is important then to consider your resources like the money in buying a metal detector, people who will use it, and your plans on how you are going to use it.


Chapter 3 – Metal Detectors – A Must For Treasure Hunting

As we learned in chapter 1, the first thing you need to get started is a metal detector. in this chapter, we will dig a bit deeper into that. We will cover some different types of metal detectors along with where you can go to metal detect. We also cover some legal issues that may come up and a code of conduct that you should follow for best practices while out metal detecting.


Chapter 4 – The 3 Types of Metal Detectors Explained

The 3 main types of metal detectors are Pulse Induction, Very Low Frequency (VLF), and Specialty Detectors. These are metal detectors that use a single coil for you to transmit and receive some signals. It receives hundreds of pulses within one second and this type of device is ideal for river banks and beaches as they are completely immune to soil mineralization. VLF metal detectors are the most common ones and are based on various factors. These types of detectors are best for beginners and the price is cheap, lightweight, easy to use, and longer battery life. Specialty detectors are categorized into 3 groups, the Multi-Frequency, gold metal detectors which are used looking for gold nuggets, and waterproof metal detectors.


Chapter 5 – How Does a Metal Detector Work?

A metal detector is a great tool in detecting metal objects like coins, gold, and jewelry below the ground’s surface. A metal detector works by transmitting an electromagnetic field from a search coil at the end into the surface ground and if there are metal objects within the field, it will send a signal back or a tone to the detector. That tone being sent back has its unique sound and properties depending on what kind of metal is being found underground.


Chapter 6 – How To Use a Metal Detector

Using a metal detector is not hard and any beginner can use it by learning in local areas and small yards until you can master the methods and techniques. The basic guidelines on how to get started with a metal detector are first, you need to assemble it, add the batteries, and then power it on. You can select your mode setting like what particular item you want to search whether it is silver, iron, or gold. Then select the advanced settings on your particular type of detector and finally, you can start doing ground balance and you may now begin detecting metal.


Chapter 7 – What Are The Metal Detecting Laws?

All states in the US are either following the ARPA Act of 1976 and the Antiquity Act of 1906 plus some of their laws or rules that may allow or may not allow metal detecting more restrictive and needed requirements in their area. Each state has its metal detecting laws that’s why it is important to ask permission first from the owner if you are doing metal detecting activity especially in private properties and even in public lands.


Chapter 8 – Can You Metal Detect in National Parks?

In the US, many destroyed and old abandoned cities were declared as national parks because the remains are badly destroyed and no one lives in there. Unfortunately for treasure hunters and metal detectorists, National Parks are entirely off-limits. Federal law prohibits someone if are owning and using detectors in federal properties like national parks, Penalties can include imprisonment and fines up to $10,000. Not only it is illegal to do metal detecting in this place, but it’s also a felony as the law prohibits digging or removing artifacts, any historical objects, and relic hunting.


Chapter 9 – Can You Metal Detect in a Cemetery?

A cemetery is a special and quiet resting place for your loved ones who passed away and this place should not be disturbed unless you will come and visit them on special occasions. State laws vary if it is legal or not if you are doing metal detecting in this place. Some people think that it is ok to do some metal detecting in cemeteries but most people in the metal detecting community agree that you should not do that on resting grounds to respect those people who are buried underground. Many metal detectorists feel that it is immoral for those who will do this and this will give a bad image to the community.


Chapter 10 – Can a Metal Detector Find Gold Coins?

All metal detectors will find coins whether it is gold or not, making coin hunting a guaranteed success especially if you are looking in common areas like parks, playgrounds, beaches, sidewalks, and public buildings. All coins contain metal, so if a coin is present in the area, the metal detector will beep. Every metal detector will find coins whether what you are using is cheap or costly equipment. You don’t need to have a gold detector for you to find those gold coins as gold detectors are recommended for nugget hunting and not for coins hunting.


Chapter 11 – Can You Make Money With a Metal Detector?

Yes, you can make money using a metal detector but you must have patience and much effort like doing some research first and more hard work to make it possible. Before you make money after finding something in metal detecting, it is important to do some research by learning where are the best places to find those hidden treasures and familiarize yourself in using the detector. Once you are familiarized with it, what the different sounds mean, and its sweeping methods, then you are one step closer to finding treasure.


Chapter 12 – How Do You Choose The Right Metal Detector?

Each person has his preference and needs in terms of choosing the right metal detector. For you to choose the right one, start with knowing the land composition, the climate, and if you will be using it in land or water. Choose a detector that will fit your hunting desires of relic, coin, land-based, underwater, gold, or any precious gems. The adjustability of the length and height is important if you are short, tall, or if you plan on sharing it with somebody else. It is also vital to choose the detector that will fit your desires and needs.


Chapter 13 – Your Metal Detecting Questions Answered

I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about metal detecting and the metal detecting community.


Chapter 14 – Metal Detecting Clubs in the United States of America

I have compiled a listing of each state’s local metal detecting clubs and possible info on how to contact them.


Jason Smith

I am a former Marine who works as a Web Developer. I have five US States left to visit. I like whiskey, wine, coffee, soaking in hot springs or my hot tub.

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