Beach Hunting Metal Detecting Tips for Beginners

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Metal detecting is becoming more and more popular for many reasons. Some of the easiest areas to start detecting is on a beach. Digging through the sand is much easier than digging through dirt or diving into rivers.

Beach is a great place for beginners to find jewelry and coins since it’s so heavy in traffic. And if you’re still new to detecting, or looking to buy your first one, you can find reviews and guides for the best metal detectors for beginners here.

What is the sweet spot of a beach?

The sweet spot of a beach is the area between the high tide mark and the low tide mark of a beach. To metal detect this area properly you should work about 10′ off-center on both sides of the center mark. While metal detecting work in a zigzag pattern to cover as much area as possible.

Metal Detector Swinging Techniques

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It is very important to keep the coil of your metal detector as level and as close to the beach surface as possible without actually letting your coil touch the ground. Making sure that the metal detectors coil remains level and close to the ground throughout your full swing. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes we make while metal detecting. If you have a bad swing, slow down for a while, start concentrating on your swinging technique. I can guarantee you will start finding more goodies.

Metal Detector Discrimination Tips

Discrimination is a good thing, but can and is overset by many beach hunters. Here is a good tip to setting that discriminatory. Throw a nickel down on a clean piece of ground. Now turn the discriminator on your detector all the way up. Start swinging the coil of your metal detector over the nickel while backing off the discrimination. When you start picking up the nickel loud and clear, stop. Now kick back the discrimination one more notch below the level that you picked the nickel up at.

There will be some debate over this one. A lot of people like to run their discrimination wide open and then there are others that run keeping an eye on things. Watch the beach or beaches that you metal detect. Pay attention to where people are congregating, playing and lounging. These should be productive areas for metal detecting. More people = More lost goodies.

Metal Detecting for Historic finds

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The above tip, “keeping an eye on things” works well for locating the newer treasure. If you would like to locate older treasure keep these tips in mind.
Do research, find out where the areas of historical significance are and metal detects these areas (shipwrecks, fairy landings…). Chances are you will not find any historic items in areas where the sand is deep. Look for areas of shallow sand or where the hard pack may be exposed. Most beaches have a hard pack beneath all that sand. This is where a lot of older items can be found. Look for deep cuts and areas of the beach that have been eroded away.

Look for patches of black sand, this may be a sign that the upper levels of sand have been washed away exposing prime metal detecting ground.

Metal detecting with the tides

The lower the tide, the better. Pay close attention to tide patterns in your area, metal detecting the waterline of the lowest tides can be very profitable.