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Beginners Guide to Metal Detecting and Treasure Hunting

The first thing you need to know about metal detecting and treasure hunting is that it’s a great way to spend time outdoors with your friends and family. Metal detecting is also a hobby that can make some money from the treasures you find!

In this guide, we’ll cover all sorts of topics from how to get started, tips for finding good spots, what types of detectors work best in different environments, and more.

1. What is metal detecting and treasure hunting

Metal detecting and treasure hunting is a hobby that’s becoming increasingly popular. It involves using advanced equipment to detect and recover treasures from the ground, such as coins, jewelry, medals, tools, etc. In some cases, you can even find old pirate loot!

Metal detectors work by sending out radio waves or electromagnetic fields that interact with metal objects. The detectors are then able to detect the strength of the signal reflected back, which allows users to determine whether there is metal buried beneath the ground.

Once the detector located a buried object, your job is to dig it out and see what you’ve found.

This is in short what metal detecting and treasure hunting is all about. Now, let’s take a look at what is needed to get started.

2. Getting started with metal detecting

Getting started in metal detecting and treasure hunting could not be any easier! The first thing you need to do in order to get started metal detecting and treasure hunting is getting a good detector.

If you are just starting out, it’s recommended that you buy a cheap model until you find out if this is something for you or not. Chad Eicher from Metal Pursuits wrote a detailed article that will help in selecting the best metal detector for beginners, check it out.  

If you enjoy treasure hunting, then I recommend that you invest in an advanced metal detector. The more expensive ones have many useful features which enhance the process of finding the treasure.

There are many different brands and models of metal detectors on the market, so it’s important to do some research before you buy one. Ask yourself: What type of treasures am I likely to find? Will the detector be used for an outdoor or an indoor activity such as hunting for old coins in my grandma’s attic?

After you’ve done the research and made a decision about which detector to buy, it’s time to learn how to use it properly. It’s a good idea to join a metal detecting club or buy a book that teaches you how to treasure hunt. This way, you can learn from others and make sure you’re using your detector and practicing effectively.

The next step is testing out your new metal detector in an open field with no metal around. Make sure you put the metal detector away from any sources of electricity or mobile phone towers as these can cause interference.

Turn on your metal detector and slowly sweep it back and forth over the ground, avoiding making sudden movements. You should be able to hear a low buzzing or clicking sound as you do this. When you pass your detector over the buried metal, the sound will become louder – this is called target discrimination. Once you’ve figured out what discrimination means, give it a try!

3. What to look for when choosing a metal detector

When choosing a metal detector you need to consider a few things. The first thing you need to consider is how advanced of a model you want – there are some high-tech metal detectors out there with all sorts of bells and whistles, while others are more simple. However, it’s important to remember that the simpler the detector, the more challenging it will be to find treasures.

The second thing you need to consider is your budget. As with any hobby, the more money you spend upfront, the more fun you’ll have! But remember that there are plenty of good metal detectors out there under $500.

The next thing to consider is how deep you want to be able to detect objects. If you’re just looking for old coins, then a shallow-depth metal detector will work just fine, but if you want to try your hand at treasure hunting gold or other deeper objects, then you’ll need something with a longer range.

4. Tips for finding good spots

The next thing you need to know about metal detecting is how to find good spots. Usually, the best locations are old parks, campsites, beaches, farmlands, or anywhere that’s been disturbed by people or animals.

Learn about the history of the place you are metal detecting at. Most old parks or historical sites have history books that can tell you what sort of items were around in the past. This information is very useful when metal detecting because it’s more likely you’ll find older objects like coins at these locations.

If you want to find gold, look for areas where there used to be a lot of water. Gold is very heavy and lots of it washes out into streams and rivers. Find a place where there once was a lake or river, and chances are it might be worth your while.

5. What types of detectors work best in different environments?

When metal detecting, you need to consider the environment that you’re detecting in because certain environments require different types of detectors to work effectively.

While many people use metal detectors, not all metal detectors are made equal! Here’s a quick breakdown of which detector is best used where:

  • Coin hunters should look for a coin-dropping machine that fits their budget.
  • Gold hunters should use a high-sensitivity gold machine.
  • Detectors for underwater treasure hunting are made with waterproof designs and mostly contain plastic parts, so they can withstand long periods of time underwater without corroding.


Metal detecting and treasure hunting is a fun activity for people of all ages. As you can see from this guide, there’s plenty to learn and consider before heading out into the field – but it’s worth the effort.

The most important thing when starting out is to choose the right metal detector for your needs, read up on the basics, and practice before you head out into the field.

You can save a lot of money by investing in a cheap metal detector before you know if this is something for you or not.

Remember that metal detecting is mostly about having fun! If you go to a location or time of the year where there’s not much chance for treasure hunting, don’t be disheartened. Treasure hunts can take days or weeks to have any success – so just relax and enjoy yourself!

Now that you have the basic knowledge of metal detecting and treasure hunting, go out there with your metal detector to find treasure!

Good luck with your treasure hunting adventures!

Jeff Campbell