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Metal Detecting Tips for Finding Coins

Metal Detecting Tips for Finding Coins

Finding Coins, metal detecting for coins, or coin shooting, is a favorite for detectorists. Finding coins is a rewarding hobby and some of them can be quite old , All professional metal detectors will find coins, whether they are entry level or high end. Some models are specifically designed for coin hunting. Very low frequency (VLF) metal detectors are the most common types. Most major manufacturers produce VLF machines.

They are versatile machines, which is one reason they are so popular. Pulse induction (PI) metal detectors are less affected by ground minerals but can be more expensive and heavier than VLF machines. Be sure you buy a good quality metal detector.

Choose the Right Search Coil

Some metal detectors have options for search coils, while others come with the search coil permanently attached to the unit. There are 2 basic types of search coils: concentric and wide scan. Concentric search coils search deeper but have less discrimination.

A larger coil will search deeper than a smaller coil but cannot get into small spaces as easily. Research the type of coil that will work best for your chosen search area.

Bring Extra Batteries

I always recommend bringing extra batteries on every metal detecting trip. Some models have a rechargeable battery pack, but some have AA or 9-volt battery backup. Other models run only on AA or 9-volt batteries. There is nothing worse than getting onto a good patch of land only to have your metal detector run out of juice!

Use Discrimination

If you are digging nothing but nail after nail in a site, turn up the discrimination mode on your detector. This will help weed out the iron signals you don’t want when looking for coins. Bottle caps may still ring through in a trashy area, but higher discrimination you will find more coin targets.

Use Multiple Tone ID

If your metal detector doesn’t have advanced discrimination settings, you can use multiple tone ID. This requires familiarity with your machine as you must be able to determine a coin signal from other signals. Some detectors only have 3 tones: high, low, and mid. This is still helpful in sorting out what type of signal you are receiving.

Use Coin Mode

Many metal detectors have a specific mode for coins. some metal detector has pre-programmed settings for coins, jewelry, relics, and all metal. Using the coin setting on a metal detector will discriminate out targets that are not likely to be coins. Again, you may receive a positive ID on a bottle cap occasionally.

If You Find One Coin

Don’t fill a hole back in immediately after finding a coin. Run your detector over the area a couple more times. Coin spills are not uncommon and would leave several targets right together. Search the hole you’ve dug and the area surrounding it.


As with any metal detecting hunt, accessories are very important. Be sure to take a finds pouch so you have somewhere to keep your coins. You will want a very good quality hand trowel, or perhaps a garden knife for harder soils. If you are digging in a grassy area (like someone’s yard) you may want to bring a frisbee along to set the plug and dirt on.

This allows you to fill the hole back in properly. You may want a good set of headphones to help you hear faint targets and block outside noise. I also like to pack a compass and map if I am detecting in the woods or other remote areas, as well as my cell phone.

Best Metal Detector For Finding Coin

1- Minelab CTX-3030

The best overall coin-finding machine is the Minelab CTX-3030. The CTX is built to perform in virtually any condition imaginable and can be configured to search for virtually any type of target you could want.

It really shines on coins, with its variety of features designed to get the most performance possible out of a detector. It even comes with wireless headphones so you don’t get tangled up in a headphone cord!

One of our favorite features the CTX offers is its excellent ground balancing capabilities. These ground balancing features allow the CTX-3030 to run in the most highly mineralized soils, including wet, salty sand.

Another great feature is Minelab’s powerful FeCo Discrimination, which allows you to pick exactly what metal you are hunting for with no distractions from trash metals.

This saves treasure hunters tons of time, allowing them to dig only coin metal signals, like silver, gold, nickel, and copper. A big reason we love the CTX-3030 is how versatile it is.

With a variety of search, mode presets, you can begin coin hunting, relic hunting, or even gold hunting with a high-performance machine with the touch of a button!

Since coin shooting can take you anywhere, from local parks to wading out in saltwater, it is very important to have a metal detector that can withstand any environment. The Minelab CTX-3030 is submersible up to 10 feet, so it can go anywhere you want to find coins!

The ergonomics of a metal detecting machine can make or break the machine for many detectorists. Luckily, the CTX-3030 has excellent ergonomics, allowing you to stay out in the field searching for coins longer.

It really is amazing how comfortable a coin detector is with this many features! With that being said, the five-pound weight can be excessive for certain hobbyists, as it is on the heavier side for a detector.

2- Garrett AT Max

The Garrett AT is our favorite mid-level coin finder, as it provides so many great features at an excellent price point!

The AT is highly versatile and can be used for coin hunting, as well as many other types of detecting. It is loaded with features that have helped hobbyists find old Morgan silver dollars, buffalo nickels, and old Colonial large cents for years!

Our favorite feature of the Garrett AT metal detector is its powerful detection depth and sensitivity. The AT Max is capable of finding coins at deep depths, while still providing excellent target separation.

The digital target identification and LCD screen display are also excellent features with the AT Max. Garrett outfitted this detector with search mode presets, as well pinpointing features, and 40 manual discrimination tabs!

These discrimination tabs save coin hunters so much time since it allows detectorists to exclude iron and other non-coin metals from their target signals!

Ground balancing is automatic or manual depending on what you want, which is great for running your detector in salty, heavily mineralized areas.

The AT (All-Terrain) Max gets its name due to its ability to be used in virtually every condition imaginable. Saltwater, sand, rain, ice, and snow will not hurt this detector, as it is submersible up to 10 feet deep! prospectors love this coin finder for treasure hunting in the water, as it is powerful and durable!

The lightweight of the Garrett AT Max makes it a favorite among younger detectorists, or those who would prefer a lightweight coin metal detector, The ergonomics of the AT were designed with user comfort in mind. The grip is a non-absorbent rubber that provides all-day comfort. We would have no problem using this machine for coins all day long!

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