Metal Detectors – A Must For Treasure Hunting


Humans are generally a very creative species. We have the ability to invent and develop various items. People have been doing that for thousands of years. Numerous things have been developed throughout this history and the largest part of those creations have been lost, abandoned, and forgotten. Today, almost every corner of the Earth is within our reach. We can go deep below sea level and we can reach the tops of the highest mountains.

Unfortunately, many of us are not aware that those places are hiding various mysteries and treasures from the past. Many locations used to be villages or small towns centuries ago, however, they disappeared from the surface of the planet because of weather or just people building over them. At first sight, a large number of those locations are totally invisible. However, the ground is often an excellent conservator and many traces of the old civilizations stayed beneath the Earth’s surface until this very day.

A lot of these traces are actually important historical items waiting to be found. They might not be in an ideal condition due to the passage of time, however, they often have a great historical value despite everything.

Many of such items were developed of different types of metal including gold and silver. These are virtually indestructible materials so they can stay in the ground for a very long time. And with the right equipment, the lucky searcher can discover such artifacts.

A quality metal detector is, of course, the most important tool for activities of that kind. It gives you a chance to investigate beneath the ground. It is good to understand that there are different types of those devices so some might be more or less efficient depending on various specifications. There are stronger and weaker models, and the results might vary, according to the capabilities of your device.

Where Can I Go To Metal Detect?

People are not aware, however, the ground around them may contain numerous hidden treasuries. People think that valuable items could only be found only on historic sites, but that option is pretty far from the truth. There are various historically important locations that people know nothing about.

For example, many meadows and forests were battlefields in the past and various valuable items were lost at those locations during the battles. These might include coins of different types including gold and silver ones. Different types of weaponry could be found in such locations too as well as any other potentially valuable items used by armies and the people who were present there.

It is possible to find some coordinates of locations where such conflicts took place, and they are potential gold mines when it comes to valuable discoveries. It is necessary however to collect and investigate all the documents you can about such events. With a clear analysis of that material, you can figure out the correct location, and find your potential treasure trove.

A good metal detector can help you to check a larger area in an efficient way so you can quickly determine if there is anything at a location. It is not possible to search a larger area like this without a device of this kind because it would take too much time and energy. Still, one has to learn some good skills and enough experience to operate a useful tool.  Metal detecting is a hobby that can be started at a fairly reasonable cost and does not have a steep learning curve, so gaining the useful skills won’t take you to long.

There are hobbyists and archeological amateurs who achieved big successes following the steps below. They carefully investigated the history of particular areas, and they managed to find the correct locations where some important events from the past happened. They were then awarded by their government for their activities and discoveries, a win-win for all parties.

However, it is useful to know that there are many other places you can hunt hidden treasures in the ground and those do not necessarily need to be connected with a distant past and important historical events that happened hundreds or thousands of years ago.

That is why many detectorists, for example, decide to go to various popular beaches when they are empty. These are also locations where various valuable targets can be discovered. As you know, people often swim with various pieces of jewelry such as rings, bracelets, and necklaces. I have yet to understand why they do that, but they do. It is a potential financial risk for the owners because those items are often lost in the water and sand during those moments.

Your body tends to shrink a little when you are in cooler waters and your ring will slide right off your finger without you even noticing it.  Also if you set your valuables down on your towel and then pick up your towel and forget about the valuables, they can be quickly lost in just the lightest covering of sand, and you won’t notice they are gone until you are back home unpacking everything.

Many metal detectors are waterproof so they can freely operate even beneath the surface of sea, lakes, and rivers. Such conditions do not interfere with the device’s efficiency so it is possible to successfully find various metal items regardless of their size. It would not be possible, of course, without appropriate metal detectors and that’s why these devices are a must for treasure hunting across many different locations and areas.

Different Types of Metal Detectors 

Metal detectors are great because you can use them for such important purposes. However, it is definitely necessary to understand these devices well in order to achieve good results while hunting.

Metal detectors are generally separated into different types. They have some similar and some different abilities depending on their particular categories. Not all types are equally in their uses, and there are few of these that dominate the market currently. Most metal detectors belong to one of those several categories.

A Very Low-Frequency Metal Detector

This is probably the most popular type you can currently purchase. There are several important reasons for its mass production.

This type is beginner-friendly so it gives you a chance to learn fast while using it. A kid’s metal detectors all usually belong to that category. They are lightweight and easy to use. You can simply handle them, and they do not create any serious pressure on your arms or wrists. That’s very suitable for beginners who just want to get familiar with metal detecting.

The very-low-frequency devices do not have any complicated systems and components and basic controls are simple to learn and master. When you complete that initial step, you can then transfer to a more complex type of metal detectors.

The very-low-frequency machines are usually affordable, and the price often plays an important role for many. If you do not take this activity so seriously, there is a great chance you will select some of the cheaper models. That’s why these devices are so common on the market.

On the other hand, simplicity and affordability have their own drawbacks, of course. Very low-frequency devices are not very efficient when it comes to detecting and locating small targets. So they might stay hidden despite the fact you searched the area with the metal detector.

They are also not very efficient for investigating overly mineralized soil because they do not have appropriate settings for the function. More complex metal detectors can ignore such terrain staying exclusively focused on targets.

The very-low-frequency devices are however good when it comes to discovering larger targets. They also usually have powerful batteries that do not need to be changed frequently. That operation gives you a chance to perform the long search without any worries.

Multi-Frequency Metal Detectors

These are also one of the common types of metal detectors you can find on the market. Such devices are definitely more efficient than the low-frequency detector, and there are different reasons for stronger abilities.

Multi-frequency devices can successfully discover all kinds of metal objects regardless of their size. That’s possible because it transmits various frequencies at the same time. Low ones are suitable for big targets, and high ones are excellent for locating small targets.

Multi-frequency metal detectors are also good because they usually have Ground Balance settings. They give you the possibility to handle the mineralized soil in an efficient way by making appropriate adjustments. You will need to set-up these manually or automatically, depending on your particular model. Regardless of the current setting, the Ground Balance feature does the work.

Multi-frequency detectors are also great because you can increase depth detection, according to your needs. The previous type does not have such an option, and this is a clear advantage over the competitor’s abilities.

However, the quality has a price, so these devices are usually more expensive. The difference can be quite significant so you have to be ready to spend more money on a model of that type. Just to give you a rough idea, when talking about a very-low-frequency detector, you are looking at something in the range of $200~$400.  Multi-Frequency detectors are going to run in the range of about $600~$1,000.

They are also heavier than very-low-frequency detectors and might have some complex features and functions. Multi-frequency detectors are more commonly used by professional detectorists so it is definitely recommended to have appropriate experience in operating such devices. So they might not be an ideal solution for total beginners.

Pulse Induction Metal Detectors

These are also very common on the market, and many models belong to that type of device. They are excellent when it comes to detecting small targets because potential mineralization does not have any influence on this machine. It is not necessary to make any adjustments to this feature because the detector performs that type of work automatically. That’s one of the reasons why pulse induction metal detectors are an excellent choice for beach hunters.

Pulse induction metal detectors also allow deep depth detection of different kinds of objects. They have a strong range so they are a great solution for professional hunters. Two really good examples of what a PI metal detector is would be the Garrett ATX Pro or the Minelab Equinox 800.  If you would like a breakdown and comparison of the different types KellyCo has an excellent article detailing the differences.

Still, this type has some drawbacks so it is useful to mention these too. Pulse induction device is excellent for gold explorations, however, the device is not suitable for areas with a lot of trash, for example. That’s because it does not have a discrimination feature and a lot of iron objects would interfere with the normal work of the device. It is the reason why you should not use it in city areas.

Pulse induction metal detectors are also quite heavy in comparison with some other types, and the price is quite high too. You are normally looking at about at least $1,000~$3,000. So it is good to consider all those facts before making a purchase.

Beat Frequency Oscillation Metal Detectors

KellyCo and some other sites also talk about Beat Frequency Oscillation (BFO) metal detectors.  These are normally a much older detector and they are not sold in stores.  These types are very basic, and user-friendly, just a turn them on and go type.  No settings to change or adjust, just literally turn it on and start detecting. If it beeped there was some kind of metal to dig, you had no way of telling what it was until it was recovered.

Metal Detecting From a Legal Point of View

Disclaimer: I am NOT a lawyer and I am certainly NOT your lawyer.

It is not forbidden to buy and possess a metal detector, and there are no legal limitations when it comes to that matter. Anyone can purchase an appropriate model in accordance with their needs. That does not however mean that you can research or dig every area you want. For example, you are not allowed to detect in historic sites and national parks. All the properties from those locations belong to the government and no individual or group has the right to extract any artifacts in those areas. I have another article that covers all of this in more detail here.

The federal law also forbids metal detecting on federal properties, however, there might be some exceptions to that rule. It is always recommended to check the rules and regulations for any particular area before starting any activities of that type. If you cannot find appropriate details, you can directly contact the responsible authorities and resolve the issue in communication with them.

Generally, it is allowed to go to state and local parks, forests, meadows, beaches, riverbanks, (that are not private property, unless you get permission from the landowner first).  Also make sure you check with your local state authorities before you just start digging anywhere. Some states do require you to purchase a $10 license before you start digging in local parks or lakes.

Code of Conduct

Metal detecting is usually performed in open nature, such as parks, forests, beaches, and so on. It is great to spend your day in those locations, however, it is very important to pay attention to the environment. You should not leave any kind of trash behind, always collect the garbage and put it in an appropriate bag. This includes any trash that you dig out of the ground, toss it in a local trash can or carry it out with you until you can find an appropriate place to dispose of it.

Depending on where you go detecting, your detector might signal many times so you might need to dig a large number of holes. However, it is not hard to fill them back when you pull out the targets, and that’s how you can leave everything in perfect order after finishing the exploration. Please, always fill your holes.  Even if you are on the beach, a small hole you left could really mess up someone’s ankle if they don’t notice it. It is also important not to disturb animals, such as birds and nests because these are often protected by the laws. You should also not destroy any plants, trees, or any other kind of objects in your way.

Jason Smith

Former Marine, IT Guy & Builder of Websites.  I have 5 US states left to visit. I enjoy hot springs, adventures, hiking, photography, sci-fi, wine, coffee & whiskey.  I am fluent in sarcasm, name that tune, & speak in movie quotes.  I spend most of my time building websites, fixing computers, metal detecting, magnet fishing, and gaming occasionally.

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