Beach Metal Detecting Tips

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Beach Metal Detectors and Metal Detecting Accessories


Wet sand metal detecting

When metal detecting below the high water mark there are a few golden do's and don'ts.

  • Do not rush out and buy the cheapest metal detector available. You must have the right machine for the job, being stable on the wet sand in conjunction with deep seeking capabilities.
  • To find the gold and coinage in quantity, the type of beach composition you must be looking for is: brown sand on black sand, black sand, hardpack, stone beds on black or hard-pack sand, all these mediums must be within the depth range of your machine.
  • Look for iron-infested patches, the art in working this type of beach is to use the all-metal mode on your detector and isolate each signal with a circular motion of the search coil. Now test the signal on discriminate whilst being careful not to overlap to another signal. I found an Edwardian purse full of coinage; three of the coins were two Sovereigns and a Crown from this type of area.
  • Old photo's of the beach or old postcards, will show you where the people of that era sat on the beach. Also, it will show you where the bathing machines went down to the water's edge.



Surf detecting or shallow water detecting

This is mostly done in the Mediterranean, where there is a lot of gold to be found in shallow water detecting, the same rules apply.

  • Brown on black sand or black sand on hardpack, this time you don't want the stones, they will just fill up your scoop, and it makes life hard.
  • A good underwater detector is a must for this type of detecting.
  • A strong scoop is also needed.
  • Soft sand is no good at all, walk until you feel the seabed getting firm, then test for black sand, this is where thin-soled surfing boots come in handy; you will be able to feel the change in the seabed. So the golden rule is if there is no black sand there will not be very much gold.
  • Out of season, the Mediterranean can get a bit cold at times, so get a good wet suit, you will soon recoup your expenditure.



Dry sand metal detecting

By this, we mean above the high water mark, will produce lots of recent losses in the form of coins and jewellery. If you find any piece of jewellery, try to find the owner by starting at the local police station, ask them if anything has been reported lost within the last few months in the area you found it. The look on someone's face when you return a lost ring or trinket is worth every penny.

Look at the beach during the day or find a postcard showing the beach at the height of summer. This will show the 'hot spots' to search where you have the greatest numbers of people congregating.

Try and detect before people are on the beach and after they have left, this causes the least inconvenience to other beach users, and you won't feel like the 'pied piper' with hoards of kids trying to dig your every signal.

Last and by no means least, please remember to fill in any holes you have dug, even on the beach, leave everything as you found it and take any litter home or dispose of it thoughtfully. It's a great hobby. Let's keep it that way!



Inland Metal Detecting Tips
By Nigel Ingram

Most metal detectors are suitable for inland & dry sand detecting, the only exceptions would be Pulse Induction detectors; whilst quite happy working on this type of area they do not possess any form of discrimination to reject ferrous objects, making them very hard work indeed.

When you first get your new detector read the manufacturer's instructions carefully also any supplementary instructions that have been supplied with your model (Regton supplies these with quite a few models).

Make sure your batteries are either charged or up to the correct power, we find that most operational problems are associated with batteries than anything else. The best place to try your machine, first of all, is inside your house with the machine on a table or chair with the search head overhanging the edge and away from the floor. You can now practise changing the various controls and becoming accustomed to the layout of your detector. At this point do not start experimenting with maximum depths and turning everything up to full, as in reality these settings will not be used in the field and you will make the machine unstable.

Your first outing will probably be your back garden, a good place to start and often you will be surprised what has been lost there. As you move further afield you will be looking for permission from farmers, landowners, friends, and family before venturing onto their property.

Fields fall into two categories, ploughed and pasture, the former is usually more productive as the older items of interest have been brought to the surface by the plough whereas the pasture tends to keep its secrets hidden, often out of reach of even the best detectors. On pasture it's worth trying all-metal mode to pick up everything, this is usually a slightly deeper mode to detect in, all be it a little slow sometimes.

This brings us to the next subject, research, the dreaded homework, but this can be fun if you go about it the right way. The first stop is the local library to find old maps and documents relating to the area you are detecting, when you compare these old maps with modern maps you will find many clues to abandoned buildings, forgotten villages and re-routed roads many of which have many lost or even discarded objects just waiting to be found.

There are many guides available now to help you understand how to obtain permission. Remember the person you are asking probably doesn't understand that we are only finding objects from the first 12 inches or so and digging with a trowel, he may be thinking in feet and have visions of you using a huge spade. Take time to understand how farmers can be invaluable when you are the umpteenth 'townie' to ask permission this week. Being able to correctly recognise his winter wheat from his corn crop will make him feel he is talking to a like-minded person who appreciates the countryside and knows how to look after the land, after all, it's his livelihood you are asking to walk over.

If you are thinking of detecting along bridleways or public footpaths, as a matter of courtesy try and find the landowner to ask permission, this can often give you the perfect opportunity to ask about the area and may well lead to other interesting sites.


If you find any piece of jewellery, try to locate the owner by starting at the local police station, ask them if anything has been reported lost within the last few months in the area you found it. The look on someone's face when you return a lost item is priceless.


 Beach Metal Detecting Permit is no longer required

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