Home Hobbies Guide to Starting a Metal Detecting Hobby: Tips for Finding Treasure

Guide to Starting a Metal Detecting Hobby: Tips for Finding Treasure

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If you’re looking for a new and exciting hobby that can potentially lead to hidden treasures, then metal detecting might be the perfect activity for you. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or just someone looking for a new thrill, metal detecting can provide hours of enjoyment and the possibility of finding valuable artifacts and coins. In this guide, we will provide you with tips and advice on how to get started in the world of metal detecting and increase your chances of finding treasure.

Choosing the Right Metal Detector

The first and most important step in starting a metal detecting hobby is choosing the right metal detector. There are many different brands and models available, each with their own features and capabilities. It’s important to do your research and choose a metal detector that is suitable for your skill level and intended use.

Beginners should look for entry-level metal detectors that are easy to use and understand. These models are typically lightweight, have simple controls, and are affordable. Some popular brands for beginners include Garrett, Fisher, and Minelab. As you gain experience and knowledge, you can upgrade to a more advanced model with additional features like target discrimination, depth indicators, and advanced settings.

It’s also important to consider where you will be using your metal detector. If you plan to search primarily on land, then a standard metal detector will suffice. However, if you’re interested in underwater metal detecting, you’ll need a waterproof metal detector that can submerge in water.

Understanding Metal Detecting Laws and Regulations

Before you start metal detecting in public places, it’s crucial to understand the laws and regulations regarding metal detecting in your area. Some locations, like national parks and historical sites, have strict rules and restrictions on metal detecting to protect the environment and preserve historical artifacts. Make sure to research and obtain any necessary permits or permissions before you start detecting.

In addition to legal restrictions, it’s important to be mindful of ethical considerations while metal detecting. Always obtain permission from landowners before searching on private property, and be respectful of the environment by filling in any holes you dig and disposing of trash properly.

Learning the Basics of Metal Detecting

Once you have your metal detector and have familiarized yourself with the laws and regulations, it’s time to start learning the basics of metal detecting. Before you head out on your first detecting trip, practice using your metal detector in your backyard or a local park to get a feel for how it works.

One of the most important skills to develop as a metal detectorist is understanding how to interpret the signals and tones your metal detector emits. Different metals produce different signals, so it’s essential to learn how to distinguish between trash and potential treasure. Practice burying different types of metal objects in the ground and learning how your metal detector responds to each one.

In addition to signals and tones, it’s also important to pay attention to the depth indicator on your metal detector. This feature will give you an estimate of how deep a target is buried, helping you dig more efficiently and save time.

Choosing the Right Locations

When it comes to metal detecting, location is key. Certain areas are more likely to yield valuable finds than others. Popular locations for metal detecting include old parks, beaches, campgrounds, and historical sites. It’s also a good idea to research local history and learn about any historical events that may have taken place in your area.

Beaches are particularly popular among metal detectorists due to the high volume of people who visit them and the likelihood of finding lost jewelry and coins. Look for areas near beach entrances, lifeguard towers, and popular sunbathing spots where people are more likely to lose items.

Old parks and playgrounds are also great places to search for coins and jewelry. Focus on areas near benches, picnic tables, and swings, as these are common locations for people to sit and spend time.

Digging Techniques and Proper Etiquette

When you detect a signal indicating a potential target, it’s time to start digging. It’s important to use the right digging techniques to avoid damaging the target and the surrounding area. Invest in a good quality digging tool like a trowel or a handheld shovel to make digging easier and more efficient.

When digging, make sure to create a small plug of grass or dirt and carefully remove the target from the hole to avoid causing unnecessary damage. Scan the hole again with your metal detector to ensure there are no other targets present before filling it back in.

Proper etiquette is also important while metal detecting. Be courteous to other detectorists and park visitors by filling in any holes you dig and disposing of trash properly. If you find any valuable items like jewelry or coins, consider returning them to their rightful owners if possible.

Cleaning and Preserving Your Finds

Once you’ve found a treasure, it’s important to properly clean and preserve it to maintain its value and condition. Most metal detectors will have a pinpointer feature that can help you locate small targets, making it easier to recover them without causing damage.

For coins and jewelry, use a soft brush or cloth to gently clean off any dirt or debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the surface of the item. For more delicate items like jewelry, consider taking them to a professional cleaner for a thorough cleaning.

To preserve the value of your finds, store them in a safe place away from moisture and excessive heat. Consider investing in a display case or shadow box to showcase your best finds and keep them protected.


Metal detecting is a fun and rewarding hobby that can lead to exciting discoveries and hidden treasures. With the right equipment, knowledge, and skills, you can increase your chances of finding valuable artifacts and coins. By following the tips and advice in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to starting your own metal detecting adventure and uncovering the mysteries hidden beneath the ground. Happy hunting!

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