Four Basic Questions About Treasure Hunting

1. What are some basic methods of finding treasure?

Metal detecting is one method that is very popular; the flip side of this is dowsing, which uses either a couple of L shaped metal rods or a Y shaped branch. Salvage divers are also treasure hunters and operate by doing massive research. Gold panning is a popular sport for many people in most areas and is relatively inexpensive to get started at. Beyond that there are any number of ways to hunt for treasure because there are any number of definitions of what treasure is. Some people will search for rare or silver coins among rolls of coins purchased from banks. Others will haunt yard sales hoping for the chance to buy a valuable antique for little or nothing. One enterprising friend of mine bought a small dish at a yard sale that turned out to be made of fine silver and worth many times her investment.

Treasure hunting is widely practiced by many people and metal detecting is just one method of going about it.

2. What kinds of places are good to hunt in, and how might I find these?

Good places are everywhere. Just because someone else has already searched there does not mean that there is no more treasure there to find, either. Consider searching at beaches, parks, fairgrounds, sports parks, flea markets, in places where roadside vendors have parked, at boat launch sites, school grounds, around footpaths, docks, gravel parking lots, and any other place that people have been. Old homesteads and ghost towns are often locatable by contacting the local historical society for advice, or by purchasing copies of old maps and atlases.

3. Name some good brands or types of equipment to use?

Top brands include Whites, Garrett, Minelab and Tesoro to name just a few. These machines can easily run close to $1000 if you get a top end model with all the bells and whistles. Unless you are absolutely certain that metal detecting is a hobby that you will stick with for awhile, it probably makes more economic sense to buy a less expensive machine to learn on.

No matter how expensive the locator you purchase, there is still a learning curve involved. Metal detectors work by sensing the presence of metals through the change in an electronic field emitted from the search coil. To let you know that there is metal within range, the locator will usually display something either on a graphic display or a gauge AND at the same time a beep or other tone will sound as an audible alert. These tones are different for each different type of metal. A penny will produce a different tone than a quarter or an old nail. It takes some time to learn to differentiate these sounds and to use accurately pinpoint the location of the metal object beneath the surface.

An expensive detector in the hands of someone who cannot use it correctly may not produce as much treasure as an inexpensive machine in the hands of an expert.

4. Name some good resources to find help with metal detecting and treasure hunting?

One of the best resources is a metal detecting club if there is one in your area. Many manufacturers also offer videos in the correct operation of their products, and YouTube often has a multitude of short videos explaining how to do many things including treasure hunt.

Electronic Metal Detectors are Great Gifts for Children and Adults

Metal detectors are great gifts for children and adults. Even a low-cost unit can encourage children to turn off the TV, leave the couch and get outside in the fresh air…well, okay, if they’re normal kids they will leave the TV on–but they will still go outside to play.


As a hobby, treasure hunting can be relatively inexpensive. You need to buy a detector, a couple of digging tools, and some small bags to carry home things found while searching. There are usually no membership fees unless you join a club, or really any other costs involved except perhaps batteries.


Where most people get stuck is when it comes to picking out the metal detector itself. There are so many choices that it can be difficult to decide which unit to buy. One thing to keep in mind is that children will be using the device. That means the unit needs to be solid enough to handle getting banged around without breaking and cheap enough to easily replace if it gets busted.


If a children’s metal detector is in the budget, consider how many children will be expected to use the same metal detector. Some families expect to buy one unit and share it among several children. This will work as long as only one or two of the kids decide they like treasure hunting. If several children all want to use the unit, it may be better to buy lower-cost units and purchase more than one.


Also, remember that the more expensive metal detectors may be more than the kids really need or can understand. Many children are happy digging up pull tabs from the back yard and you don’t need a very expensive unit for that. In electronics, cost is often a sign of a more sophisticated product and treasure hunting is no exception to this rule. High-end machines from Whites, Tesoro, and Garrett will usually offer features and sensitivity that most lower-cost detectors don’t have.


But, for children is that necessary? Maybe and maybe not– if the child is serious about the hobby, it may be reasonable to spend a bit more money on a more powerful and feature filled device. Many parents will buy their children good-quality guitars or computers for gifts because they expect the children will use them and there is no reason not to follow this pattern with children’s metal detectors.


What if this is a first unit and the child has never treasure hunted before? Then the decision is up to the parent how much money to spend. Remember that a poorly functioning unit will be miserable to operate and may cause the kid to lose all interest in using it (and thereby being outside in the air and not on the couch). That said, it isn’t necessary to spend an inordinate amount of money on the project. There are several reasonable detectors available for right around $100 and even a couple of passable ones that are about one-half of that.


So, don’t panic if a junior adventurer asks for a children’s metal detector, the cost doesn’t have to be astronomical. And remember that beyond the detector there really aren’t that many costs involved.




Children’s Metal Detectors: Four Golden Rules

A children’s metal detector is a nice gift and a good learning tool for kids. There are a few rules are generally held in the metal detecting community and that all within the community try to adhere to.


1st, it’s important to refill any holes that you might dig while looking for treasure. Often, we find bottle caps, pull tabs, or pieces of aluminum foil and in their hurry children might simply dig these objects up and leave without refilling the holes. That can leave a lawn or other area looking like it has been struck by a pack of giant ground squirrels. In the treasure hunting community, refilling holes is considered common courtesy as it prevents anyone else tripping and allows the next adventurer to find a flat area that appears to be unsearched. When properly done, the fill holes should be almost indistinguishable from the surrounding area so it is very important to carefully cutaway sod so that it can be returned intact.


Practicing care when digging can also help in preserving the things that are found, a carelessly dug hole can easily result in scratches to soft metal surfaces, or damage to rings, jewelry, or other objects that may be buried. It is a good idea to teach children to be very cautious when digging so they don’t accidentally reduce the value of anything they might find by damaging it.


2nd, it is the general practice of most treasure hunters to carry off anything that they find. This means bits of tinfoil, bottle caps, pull tabs, or other items that might be considered worthless junk. This helps to keep the area where your search junk free in the future, and it also makes more sense than digging out junk and leaving it way around on top of the ground. Many treasure hunters carry several different bags that they can use in the field for sorting different types of things they’ve found. One bag might be for tinfoil, bottle caps, and other worthless items; another bag might be for coins jewelry and rings; and still a final bag might be for relics and other items considered too good to throw away.


3rd, always know who owns the land where you are searching, and always ask permission whenever possible. This is important for both children and adults to learn since it keeps the general public happy with the metal detector community as a whole.


4th, most treasure hunters will make some effort to return items that are engraved. From time to time you will see these stories appear in newspapers about someone who lost a school ring several decades ago and had it returned to them by the treasure hunter who found it. While this is not a hard and fast rule throughout the entire community, it is one that many enthusiasts adhere to because it builds goodwill.


Children can easily learn to operate most metal detectors, and can have hours of fun searching for even the smallest of treasures. The important thing is to understand common courtesy, and you try to behave in a way that furthers the sport rather than causes the general public to consider treasure hunters as individuals to be avoided.


A Kid’s Metal Detector Can Be a Great Gift

A kid’s metal detector can be a great gift that can help blind parents to their children and can help children reach out and connect to a larger community. Many people believe that metal detecting is a solitary activity engaged in by gray-haired old people who walk up and down the beach with a beeping metal box. While many older people do enjoy the hobby, it is commonly practiced by people of all ages, and kids can take advantage of this too.


Beyond simply being able to bind closer to their parents and mentors, children can bind closer to each other by planning outdoor activities involving their metal detectors. If you are fortunate enough to live in a rural area there are often multiple locations where children can use their metal detectors safely and responsibly. This social interaction among peers may take the form of siblings, or even friends who have also have metal detectors and are interested in hobby.


In some communities metal detector clubs exist that are filled with enthusiasts. If you check with your local club, they may have an auxiliary youth group that would allow children to interact among themselves and engage in club sponsored activities. This is a good way for children to learn to work together in a group, gain further information about using their detectors, and come to have an appreciation for the community at large.


A kid’s metal detector can offer a lot of fun for both parents and children, and especially if the entire family enjoys treasure hunting. Many families purchased detectors for multiple family members and then plan excursions to locations where all members can use their machines. This type of activity can be very beneficial in helping to establish strong bonds between parents and children.


While some people may say that the hobby of metal detecting is the reward in itself, children love treasure. Frankly, that treasure doesn’t have to be very valuable, either, to satisfy most kids. Some children are happy simply digging and pull tabs. Most will be happy if they find a few pennies or quarters, and that is highly probable in many locations. Just a few finds amounting to only pennies may be enough to set a young adventurer on the course of a pleasant and peaceful hobby that will last a lifetime.


A kid’s metal detector does not need to be expensive to be fun, and often some of the less expensive models are more than satisfactory for kids to start out with. There are some very, very inexpensive models that can be had for only a few dollars and one of these may be enough to establish whether the child will have any interest in the hobby. On the other hand a child that is interested will soon outgrow these ultralow cost detectors. For that reason it may be better to spend a little bit more and buy something that is likely to have enough capacity to keep the child happy for a while. There are a number of different models available for around $100 that should keep a young teen occupied. Younger children may be satisfied with a metal detector of about half that price, and older children may need something a little more involved which generally means a little more costly.

Childrens Metal Detector Etiquette

Children need to be taught to always ask permission before treasure hunting on someone else’s land. This is a behavior that will need to be repeated many times over the child’s lifetime. Even adult treasure hunters need to ask permission before operating on private, and sometimes even public, lands. Older children can be taught to search county records for landownership and although younger children may need an adult to do this and to negotiate for them, they should always be present when the negotiations are made so that they can understand what is involved and develop a respectful attitude toward land ownership.


Some landowners may ask for payment for allowing the use of their lands by treasure hunters. Most of the time this takes the shape of a share of any items found. This is a common practice and children should expect that they may be required to share in order to hunt in a particular location.  This is a good point for adult supervision so that the child can learn a bit about the world of property rights and negotiation.


While searching, children using metal detectors need to remember to fill any hole dug while searching for treasure. This means that they need to learn to dig neat holes that will be easily filled. One thing that most landowners hate is allowing a treasure hunter access only to be left with a bunch of small holes surrounded by piles of dirt. In fact, many landowners, after facing such a situation, are reluctant to allow treasure hunters access in the future. So, if kids or adults expect to be able to continue searching on private lands they need to have respect for the lands they are searching on and leave them in the same condition in which they were found.


The other half of filling your holes is deciding what to do with some of the things you find. Treasure hunters often dig up small bits of foil, old bottle caps, and other types of junk. Proper etiquette is to always take even these types of finds with you. For most landowners, finding a yard strewn with small bits of metal junk is almost as bad as finding it filled with open holes. Some people report carrying 2 treasure bags so that one can be used just for junk and can be dumped in the nearest trash receptacle. Others simply carry 1 bag and sort the items to be kept from those to be thrown away after they arrive home. This latter method offers the advantage of allowing adequate time for inspection of all items before disposal to avoid the possibility of throwing away something important.


Metal detectors can locate many nice items and occasionally these may take the shape of rings, watches, or other pieces of jewelry that may have an engraving. When such an engraving exists, it is often possible to trace the original owner of the item. Stories of this even occurring appear in newspapers across the country every few years. Children should be encouraged to try to discover who the original owner was and return items when possible. This is a common practice among many treasure hunters and it creates goodwill among the treasure hunting community and the general population.


A children’s metal detector is a great gift and kids and learn a lot about history and how the world works with just a little bit adult supervision.

Find more treasure with a kids metal detector

Children sometimes use their metal detectors only in the backyard or at the beach and seem at a loss for ideas on other places they can search. A little ingenuity can turn up a large number of locations that others may miss. For instance, any place where people have changed clothes or lounged might be an excellent location to find lost items. That includes not only beaches, but also pools, swimming holes, farm ponds and river banks. But, don’t forget to add boat launch ramps and other access sites to water. All of these are viable search locations as are any gravel parking lots that might serve these areas.


Other great places include campsites, picnic grounds, playgrounds, and around public benches. These are places where people have gathered and bent or stretched creating the possibility that items may have fallen from their pockets; still more opportunity exists around old railroad sidings, bridges, public gazebos, bleachers and fairgrounds.


Now that you have an idea where children can use their metal detectors, here are two tips to help the kids properly use their new machines.


First, when starting out, kids should dig every time the detector signals the presence of metal. This means that the detector should be in non-discrimination mode and should be set to report all metals. The reason for starting out this way is simple. Modern detectors are designed to discriminate between metals and to provide an audible tone as a clue to the operator about what type of metal is present. Every brand of locator will offer a different set of tones and so in order to really learn how to work the machine every operator needs to go through a period of “ear” training. After a short period practice, the operator will not only be better able to work the locator, but also be much better able to understand what the detector is trying to say. Many experienced treasure hunters will run their detectors in “all-metal” mode at least part of the time. The fun of treasure hunting is in finding things and all-metal mode gives much better odds of doing so.


Second, when working in areas where the ground is hard, consider going out after a rain. Wet ground is much easier to dig in and many claim that their locators work better when the soil is wet.  Obviously, it isn’t wise, or necessary, to go out during rainstorms but it may be beneficial to wait until after the rain is over. This can be especially helpful when working around walking paths, gravel or dirt parking lots, or other areas where repeated foot or vehicle traffic may have resulted in very hard soil.


A children’s metal detector is a great gift offering the chance for a lot of fun and adventure. Just remember to carefully fill in any dug holes to prevent anyone else from tripping over them, and also remember to carry out any trash dug up. It is common when working with a locator to find old bottle caps and gum wrappers. When you dig these up please, please carry them away with you so that the ground will stay clean and neat.









Four tips to start out right with a children’s metal detector

A child’s metal detector requires a period of learning. While it is easy to turn a metal detector on and learn to make adjustments, there is a bit of a trick to recognizing the tones that the machine gives off and understanding what those sounds mean. Most units produce a different sound for each metal that is passed underneath the search coil. A piece of aluminum foil will produce a tone that is very different than a silver coin. This audible tone isn’t additional aid when treasure hunting, but it does take time to learn the different tones. For that reason it’s advisable that children starting off with a metal detector be taught to dig up everything that their unit gives a signal on. In this way, they can learn to distinguish the different tones that the machine gives off for different metals. Eventually they may want to lock out certain metals so that the unit will not give a signal when the search coil is passed over them; however, to begin with it is considered best to simply dig for everything that the unit finds.


Kids also need to learn how to use their digging tools properly. This is not like digging in the sandbox, many of the places that treasure hunters frequent may have rules about digging holes. Children need to learn to carefully remove sod and replace it well enough to leave no visible marks. A group of holes carelessly left open, or poorly replaced sod can mean the next time the child may not be allowed to search in that location. Different digging tools also have different uses, some work very well in sod and others work better in sand. Some tools are designed primarily to cut sod and some tools are designed primarily to scooped dirt. It is important that children learn which tool to use on which occasion in order to make filling the holes easier, cleaner, and neater.


Good manners are very important, especially when engaging in a sport where multiple other people may be harmed by the child’s thoughtlessness. All of us need to remember to ask permission before we go on someone else’s property, or on public property, searching for treasures. Often it takes several visits to a location in order to properly scan all areas, and an expedition that is cut short by an angry landowner may not have enough time to adequately cover all areas of the site.


Finally, the hobby is often about history and who better to discuss local history thAn longtime local residents. With proper supervision children should be encouraged to speak with longtime residents and inquire about local history. A store that closed and was torn down 30 years ago may seem like old news to some people, but to detectorist it could be a massive opportunity for coin shooting. Through these discussions, children can learn about local history and develop an appreciation for older people and the knowledge that they have. This is an opportunity for kids to gain not only in knowledge but in social understanding of the people and the world around them.


A child’s metal detector is a great gift, and treasure hunting is a great sport, but like all sports there are some preparations and considerations that we need to make in order to enjoy a safe and happy hobby

Do you want a screen or do you want a tone?

Many modern metal detectors come with LCD screens that provide a visual readout that provides the machine’s interpretation of what the object under the search coil might be. These LCD screens make for a very slick interface between operator and machine, but how necessary are they? Do you really need the added expense that the LCD screen provides? And, are machines equipped with LCD screens actually any better than those that either have an old-style gauge, or no visual aids at all?


It’s undeniable that technology has provided us with many benefits, and LCD screens are only one small benefit out of many. For many years metal detectors had no gauges at all, with the operators working solely by the sound change when the search coil was passed over a metal object. Later, meter style gauges were included to help the operator judge the strength of the signal and in some cases the type of material under the search coil. That eventually evolved into the more complex computer-driven screens that we find today on midrange and high-end metal detectors.


Metal detectors, even today, make slightly different sounds when the search coil is passed over different materials. A well-trained operator can usually distinguish between the different sounds and be able to tell fairly well what type of metal machine may be reacting to. In fact, many experts recommend that you dig up everything that the metal detector finds because many metals will oxidize underground and react differently than they would otherwise. An operator, who blindly accepts the information provided by the LCD screen or meter, may pass over valuable finds while still digging up small bits of trash.


Discrimination in a metal detector means that the unit has been adjusted so it will not react to certain types of metal. A machine is equipped with an LCD screen may still show a readout, but no tone will sound. In this manner and LCD screen is quite handy since the operator may still be alerted to a potential find even though the machine is not producing an audible tone. In the long run, however, many experts are recommending that treasure hunters do not rely on discrimination mode for the reason stated above. Their best advice is dig all signals.


So is a unit equipped with an LCD screen actually better than something with only a meter or only sound? In all fairness the answer is probably yes, simply because the machines that have LCD screens are generally more expensive and the rule of thumb in electronics has long been “you get what you pay for.” From this standpoint, a metal detector with an LCD screen would be more expensive and therefore could be expected to have more expensive components inside. Not all units with LCD screens will be higher-quality units, but enough of them will be of better quality but it’s reasonable to say that most LCD equipped metal detectors have better electronics than those that are not so equipped.


If you are looking for a metal detector, you might consider one with an LCD screen, but don’t be afraid of units that don’t have screens. The idea behind using one of these machines is to train your ear so you have some idea of what type of trash or treasure might be below the ground before you dig. A visual representation of that is fun, but may not be something necessary to your success.




Metal Detectors: 5 Hints for Beginners

Hint #1

There are many places that are open to metal detecting, but whenever you are searching a location that is off your own property, it is wise to seek permission to search. In many cases this is as easy as asking the property owner, or the person in charge. For the most part people will allow you to search as long as you are not destroying lawns or flower beds. So be prepared to carefully remove and replace sod when searching on someone else’s lawn. Sometimes public parks will have limitations or restrictions on metal detecting, so it is always a good idea to check the park rules before beginning to dig.


Hint #2

Many people equate the price of a metal detector with its ability to find treasure. In many cases this may be true, but it is probably better to read many reviews and search for the best metal detector that the money you have can buy. The temptation in many cases is to spend more money on a metal detector than you have, and sometimes that additional cost may not provide a significant enough functional improvement to justify the extra money. So consider carefully based upon a balance a budget and needs. This is an especially important consideration when purchasing a children’s metal detector, since it is important to find a rugged and reasonably low cost unit, but still have something that the child can use. If the metal detector is so inexpensive that it cannot find any metal, the child won’t play with the toy for long.


Hint #3

Learn to use your metal detector and you understand what the gauges, readouts, and sounds are trying to tell you. Different manufacturers will use different methods of signaling the operator when an item of particular interest has been passed over by the search coil. Beginners can usually pick these signals up fairly easily, but to become really proficient with the metal detector expect to spend some time practicing. Time spent learning to use the metal detector can be an important parent-child bonding time during which everyone can have a good time.


Hint #4

When considering accessories it is important to think about the area or location where the metal detector will be used.


For beach searching, a sand scoop is very helpful. The same item would not be of much use at all when working in most backyards. For working in the backyard a probe, garden trowel, or one of the newer digging tools specifically designed for treasure hunting is highly useful.


A small box or pouch for carrying found items is very useful. Scuba divers frequently carry mesh bags and such an item might be useful for working at the beach as long as the match was small enough to prevent small items from falling out.


One very handy accessory is a carrying case for the metal detector. This can keep a metal detector clean and free from dust when stored in a closet waiting for use, and it can also help carry some of the other accessories necessary for the hobby.


Hint #5

Learn how to research. One easy method is to visit the local historical society, Museum, or library. These places often have a wealth of information about the location of old buildings, factories, stores, homes, schools and other places where people may have congregated in the past. Generally, places where people have congregated are places where you will find treasures lost.


Metal detecting is a great hobby for young and old alike. With a little bit of research, a little bit of practice, and little bit of luck, almost anyone can be successful. You need



Features to look for in a kids metal detector

Considering a kids metal detector as a gift? Whether for holidays, birthdays, or other special events, an inexpensive metal detector can make a great children’s gift. But, with so many different models and brands available, which is the best unit to buy? What elements go into making a great children’s toy?


Much like choosing a unit for an adult, selecting a treasure locator for a child is a matter of considering the cost, the use, and the physical size required. In many families cost is the major factor, and if so there are inexpensive units that can be purchased for around $20 or so. These work well for younger children and for novices who simply want something cheap that they can start with to see if they are going to enjoy the hobby. Sometimes this is all that is necessary since the child may not be interested in treasure hunting once the ‘newness’ of the idea wears off.


In those cases, beginning with an inexpensive toy-level unit makes economic sense. However, if someone else in the house will also be using the unit, such as the parents, it may be better to go with a little bit more expensive metal detector as an initial entry point. This is simply because the very low-end metal detectors are somewhat disappointing in their performance and may also be of somewhat shorter physical length than units that are definitely designed for adults.


The length and weight of the unit are quite important when selecting a child’s metal detector. Most manufacturers produce products with an adjustable shaft length so that you can lengthen or shorten the overall length of the metal detector from coil to carry handle. Even so, the shortest setting may be too long for smaller children. So be cautious when selecting a unit to check the overall length to learn how much adjustment is available on the shaft. Some cheaper units may only just a few inches if that, while more expensive units may adjust almost a foot.


For the most part weight is not an issue unless the child is very, very young and in that instance the child may be too young to participate in the hobby anyway. Metal detector weight can vary between a few ounces and a few pounds. Typically, less expensive metal detectors way less than more expensive ones because they have fewer components, and the parts that they do have are usually thinner and lighter weight.


One feature that may or may not be at issue is the quality of the metal detector. If the intent is to simply purchase an inexpensive toy for the child to play in the backyard with almost any unit will do. If the child is a little bit older and a bit more advanced, or has experience in the hobby, a more expensive unit will certainly please. There are many name brand metal detector companies that produce high quality metal detectors available in shops and catalogs across the country and around the world. These companies include Whites, Tesoro, Garrett, Mine Lab, Bounty Hunter and a number of others. Many of these companies have been around for decades and also produce electronic equipment used in mining, police, and security work as well as industrial applications. For a better quality metal detector, it is generally better to stay with a well-known brand and avoid the advertisements you see for “new” metal detector companies that appear to provide amazing machines at fantastically low prices. A good quality metal detector is something that should last for many years if treated properly and it is not uncommon to run across units that are too decades-old and are still used occasionally.


Quality is especially important thing when dealing with treasure locators because in many different varieties of consumer electronics for saying “you get what you pay for” is very true, and this often is the case in treasure hunting. More expensive models will offer a number of different features that inexpensive models will not. More expensive models will, as a general rule, be more sensitive and less likely to produce false readings and inexpensive models. And, more expensive models can often be repaired should they break.


When selecting a children’s metal detector ease-of-use is a major point. Often, increasing complexity goes hand-in-hand with increasing difficulty in operation. As units become more complex they become more difficult to figure out which buttons to press and switches to flip. In many cases metal detector manufacturers have attempted to solve this problem by including more and more touch panels and computerized operation in their more expensive models. Low-end models will be very simple but maybe one or 2 knobs to adjust, high-end models will do much more, be much more sensitive, and may be operated and controlled by a touchpad that ultimately ends up being easier to use then knobs on the low end machine are.


Also, as for any children’s toy, it is important to consider the type and number of batteries that the unit requires. Some manufacturers build detectors that require 6 or 8 AA batteries, and others build units that require one nine-volt battery. Obviously, a box that runs on one battery might be cheaper to operate in the long run than one that runs on multiple batteries. So, this becomes an important consideration since the ongoing cost of operation is often part of the gift.


A kids metal detector is a great gift and will provide many hours of fun and education for both child and parent. The hobby is easy and popular among both young and old, and can be a good way to get kids off the couch and outside into the sun.