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.

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