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Best Metal Detecting Gear to Find Coins, Jewelry and Gold

Best Metal Detecting Gear to Find Coins, Jewelry and Gold

Best Metal Detecting Gear to Find Coins , Jewelry and Gold

Strictly speaking, there are only a few things you really need other than your metal detector to enjoy the sport. Things like a digging tool and a pin-pointer. But you’ll have A lot more fun, and you’ll be much more comfortable and productive with the right equipment.

You can expect to gain the same types of benefits by learning and using the best metal detecting gear to improve your searches. Here we cover the add-ons, tools, and peripheral gear you might want to consider for general metal detecting. That is, for coins, jewelry and relics. Specialized detecting, such as for gold and beach detecting are covered in separate papers.

We’ve divided up the general categories of related gear into three, somewhat overlapping, categories:

  • Before the hunt.
  • During the hunt.
  • After the hunt.

Maps for Metal Detecting

The simplest, cheapest, yet most effective piece of equipment you can buy is a map of the place you are looking dated from the mid-1960’s. This will show you the oldest streets and where your best chances finding silver are.

You can find such maps on auction sites, from historic documents in local library, or from older USGS Topographical maps, The most often used are the 1:24000-scale topographic maps available on line. The Historical topographic maps are generally older, which is prefer, as they more easily direct you to silver coins. Newer digital maps from the began appearing from 2006.

Best Clothes for Metal Detecting

You know the environment and which hazards to look out for. That said, some things you may want to think about:

  • A hat that has a flap to protect your neck from the sun and insects.
  • A good pair of gloves. This prevents cuts and bruising to your fingers. I use the new nitrile gloves with cloth backing.
  • Rugged, all-weather shoes.

Use a box in the trunk of your car for all the detecting gear. This keeps things neat, and if you need the car for a vacation or group trip, carrying one box back to the garage is easier than gathering lots of little items stashed in various nooks and crannies.

It best to have a dedicated clothes for metal detecting, as things get dirty quickly. Maybe keep the dirty items confined to the garage.

This can save your time . I also use an old dish towel to collect the dirt when I’m digging a hole. Simply fold the towel in half when you’re done, and pour the dirt back into the hole.

Compass and GPS for Metal Detecting

The idea here is not to get lost. If you are detecting in wilderness areas it’s easy to become disoriented. take a compass and generally set off in one direction, stick to that, and follow the line back to the starting point.

In extreme cases of wooded or hilly areas, it may be advisable to get a hand-held GPS unit, or have an app installed on your phone. Set the starting point as a landmark. The GPS unit will tell you the distance and the direction back to your car.

A decent map application on your smart phone also works well to keep you oriented. The trick there is to remember your starting location.

Gear for During a Metal Detecting Hunt

Most detector manufacturers let you change coils. You can then choose different coil sizes and types to meet your needs.

The main choices are smaller coils, larger coils, and Double-D (or D-D) coils. Small coils are better for junk filled areas. They help in sorting out coins from bottle caps and other trash. Small coils do not penetrate the earth as deeply and you have to swing the coil more often to cover the same area as a larger coil.

A larger coil will help you find deeper objects, but you will often pick up multiple items at the same time, so you would need to scan from different angles and use the detector’s pin-pointer function to separate the valuables from the junk.

Round coils create a bowl-shaped search field. Many detectorists prefer the Double-D type coil. This design forces the field into a narrow band, like two dinner plates stuck together. With this design it’s much easier to find the exact location of the object before you start digging. If you’re like me, once you start using DD coils you won’t want to go back to the round ones.

Essential a Pin-Pointer for Metal Detecting

The hand-held pin-pointer is the single most valuable add-on I would recommend. Sure, you can zoom in on the target area with the detector alone, but the pin pointer adds another dimension to your search. If you dig a 1-inch round hole, for example, 2-inches deep, the pin-pointer will vibrate the loudest when it’s on the side of the hole nearest the coin.

Likewise, it will tell you if the target is near the ground surface or deeper in the hole. The pin-pointer makes retrieving the target MUCH faster. This increases your productivity.

Headphones for Metal Detecting

After your first hour of scanning a beach you’ll understand how important headphones are. The sun will shine off the detector screen and you won’t see a thing.

Headphones and learning “tones” is a basic skill when metal detecting. Learn beeps from bongs and chirps is going to fill you pockets with treasure or dash your dreams.

Probes for Metal Detecting

Sometimes a pin-pointer is called a probe, but strictly speaking, for detecting purposes, a probe is a thin metal or plastic rod used to puncture the ground and feel for a coin or object. This saves a lot of time by zeroing in on the target without a lot of digging. Once located, the coin can be easily removed with a much smaller digging tool, such as a flat-head screwdriver.

A probe is best suited for sandy locations or loose, arable soil. Rocky and hard-packed ground generally prevents the effective use of a probe.

Digging Tools for Metal Detecting

This is a big, messy topic. Much depends on the soil type where you live and what kinds of detecting you favor, such a coin-shooting or relic hunting.

If you’re like most folks, you’ll start with a 2-dollar gardening spade, and about the third time the handle comes apart or the blade breaks trying to pry up a rock, you start to think something much sturdier is needed here. Specialized tools, designed specifically for metal detecting are worth the extra cost.

If you’re hunting in farm land, deep, rich soil, or searching for relics, a long-handled but light spade might be appropriate. For general coin hunting you can usually get by with a good hand-held digger.

In clay heavy soils or newer locales, such as California, where most of the coins are less then a few inches deep, a simple weeder or even a flat-head screwdriver is all you need. In undeveloped areas or hard-packed soil I sometimes use a curved weeder where the arch serves as a fulcrum; you press the point into the soil then simply press down on the handle, and the coin pops right out.

This has been an overview of the gear and equipment that might help you in metal detecting. I suspect as you get deeper into the sport there will be new tools and inventions that you’ll want to add to your Gotta Have list. Like wireless headphones.

Here’s hoping the review of gear is helpful to you. There will be separate detecting gear papers for gold detecting and water detecting.

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