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POSTED 22 JUNE 2014 by Jim Graham

I've added a KEY-BAK retractable (key) return device to permanently connect the Pointer to it's holster.

Use braided saltwater fishing line and make a loop into a noose that snugs around the threaded battery endcap. Ordinary cap tightening holds the loop securely. Loop the other end of this line thru the large key ring on the KEY-BAK. (allow a couple of inches of slack here).

The other end of the KEY-BAK (the carabiner) snaps thru the belt loop of the holster to complete the project.

Now the Pro Pointer is always connected to you, yet is easy to pull out and use, How many times have we stood up after a dig, only to have to bend back down to pick up the pointer we forgot? Or were looking for the holster amongst the tools?

Note: monofilament line is not strong enough to withstand briars, etc. KEY-BAKs are sold everywhere (Walmart, Ebay) for about $12. We use the models with 48 inch Kevlar lines. They are also available with stronger holding force, but we find the standard model to be good enough.

Posted 1 April 14 by JIMGGRAHAM

We're often at the surf walking the beaches on Cape Cod, Our coils are waterproof so that's not an issue. However I always carry a Food Saver (those elasticized clear shower caps) for when a sudden rain comes up and we'd like to keep on swinging a little longer. The smaller size fits nicely over our Garrett Ace control boxes and is easy enough to read through. Be sure to remove them as soon as you are out of the elements to avoid trapping moisture within


The Summer brings weekenders to our private beach. What they leave behind in the sand for us Monday morning THs is mostly in the top 4 inches. What works best is setting the Sensitivity low and using a 4x4 Fry Basket from (restaurant supply) to scoop up the targets. The all-Stainless wire baskets have a nice short handle and need only to have their 4 corners stitched through with Stainless Aircraft Wire to make a very fast sifter. A small beach can be hunted this way in 1/2 hour before any tourists are awake.

Another Water scoop I made was from a Stainless Silverware Holder from the same supply house. I unfolded the lip into a scooping shape with a Bernzomatic and hammer, and drilled another 15 holes in the sides and bottom on a drill press. A garage door handle from Ace Hardware made a comfortable grip.

A second version i made was using a Stainless hoe with a wooden handle, and the same modified Silverware Holder. I cut the hoe blade narrower and drilled 2 holes, bolted the scoop to the blade at a right angle, and added two 45 degree braces between scoop and wooden handle using metal joist bridging. All nuts and bolts are Stainless and it is unbreakable.

I always worry about scratching my LCD screen on my MD I have found if you get screen protectors for E-Readers they work great just cut to fit and you can replace as soon as it gets dirty or scratched and you have a clear view again works for me. Happy Hunting

POSTED 7 JUNE 2010 BY Chris Jandrisevitz

I believe the most helpful resources are the ones that are harder to find,that is,unless you know where to look.

I have several books written by PHMC (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission) As I happen to live in PA. ..Each book tells you the history of a particular county,from the very beginning to present.They have tons of old hard to find maps and pictures of non- existant places. Lets face it, the earlier you can go back in time,and find a description of a place that has been long lost is a treasure map. Also ,just talking to older generation about "How the town changed over the years" is a great starter.You will find information most books could never tell you.("The old bank burned down on the over therein 1932" ,"We didnt have swimming pools,we swam at old man millers pond,all the kids went there") and other helpful information.I hope this helps a little.

POSTED 5 JUNE 2010 BY Jeremy Willis

I recently found out that my County Assessors Office has all of their data available online. I can search my township and range, by street, or by name. Counties and states may differ as far as what is available online, but I can pull up a picture of the house and get the date that the house was built. You might also do a search for whatever city you are living in. For example, I searched for "City of Pryor" and came up with a pretty good list of houses and lots that were owned by the city....which means they are public property, and in most cases, clear to metal detect. These assessors records have been a literal goldmine for me. I realize all of these records are available to the public at the local courthouse, but having it all available at your fingertips while sitting in your recliner at home sure takes a lot of work out of the whole thing. It's also quicker and leaves you more time for detecting!

POSTED 25 MAY BY Charles Hattaway


Here are a few tips I found helpful over the years I'd like to share.I don't know how many coil scuff covers I've cracked trying to pry them off,they can really be a pain,I found sanding the inside the coil cover with 320 grit sand paper works great,it may take a few on and off test fits and more sanding to get it right but it's worth it,now after a day a the beach or hunting in fine sand or water I can pop the cover right off clean and dry it in only a few minutes.

As far as beach hunting with your nonwaterproof land detectors it is worth the money to buy a rain hood for the control housing,you would be surprised how much sea spray and sand gets on and in your detector after a long day beach hunting even near the dunes on the dry sand,it is cheap protection and most detector companys have them for the newer units but if you cannot find one use a Ziplok but what ever you use leave an opening so condensation does not form causing corrosion to your detector's circuits.

This hot weather reminds me of a unusual event that happened to a hunting partner of mine during a mid-summer hunt a few years back,he left his hat at home and did not pay much attention to the amount of sweat dripping on his LCD on his detector but that sweat damaged his detector and costed him over a $100 to get it repaired,so wear a hat,a sweat band or a cover on the control housing .

While on the heat subject don't haul your detector in the trunk of your car or in direct sunlight for extended periods especially with digital LCD readout units, leave your calculator or cordless ID phone in the sun for a few hours and see how well it works,heat is killer on electronics!!

Make a habit to remove your batteries after each hunt because they will leak and damage your battery terminals and possibly more but as I mentioned make a habit of doing it even if you plan to hunt the next morning,no telling what type emergency or event will occur and prevent you from detecting for a extended period.

Another good tip is make copies of warranty/receipt documents on your detector and put them in a safe place,I almost had a hassle 2 years ago on a warranty card that did not arrive and was not on file but luckly I made copies and emailed them to the warranty dept and that solved the issue so don't assume because you mail them that they arrive or the dealer you bought it from has it on file,another good reason to make copies is for theft reasons,many detectors find themselves in pawn shops so that serial number can save your detector.
Treat your detector well and it will give you many trouble free years.Happy Hunting,Charles

POSTED 23 MAY 2010 BY Paul Regal


If you get poison all...... Go to a Saftey who sells safety eqiupment to companys and buy LONG Kevlar sleeves which cover the forearms and loop over your thumb .. 10 bucks a pair
They are comfy even in the HOTTEST weather AND....Wear rubber gloves (I wear 2 pair) over the edge of the sleeving to COVER ALL.....The sleeves are washable and MUCH easier than taking Prednisone steroid pills to get rid of the poison plant oils in your body.

POSTED 6 FEB 2010 BY Sean Feigo


I noticed that alot of THers mention aerial veiws, did anyone consider using Google Earth? I have used it often and the aerial veiw from satalite have outstanding detail. The detail is so good that you can see old foundations from structure that are no longer there. The only down fall is that it view is not udated LIVE but it still worth the effort. In addition, you do not have to make any phone calls or go to the county offices to request information.
POSTED 23 JAN 2010 BY Christopher Wollyung


Here in Pennsylvania, and I think other states, shortly after the civil war, a company named William Beers Co. was making highly detailed atlases which can often be found at public libraries in your county seat or at university libraries.

These books are gold mines! They show every building and out building and list the owner or business at that time. These are not only city or town maps but rural areas as well. Even down to the old churches and schoolhouses. I took one and went out in the countryside with a friend as navigator and we found all kinds of possibilities. Just take a modern map to reference. If this helps, or any other questions, e-mail me at Good hunting. Chris

POSTED 23 JAN 2010 BY Christopher Wollyung


I live in Pennsylvania (think snow). we tend to put away the detector and pine for spring. Don't do it! If you live where it snows, then you probably live where people ski. gain access to a ski area and think of the possibilities. People get down the slope near the base lodge and take off their gloves. cold, shrunken fingers and lost rings soon part company and anything dropped in the snow disappears just as quickly as in sand on the beach. Why wait for spring?



I have a Blackberry with GPS built in. I use it to plan hunts. I also use an app called everytrail that records my GPS trail so I can refer to it for return trips. You can use it to take pictures and it encodes the GPS coordinates into the image info file and pinpoints it on a map thereby giving you more options for referencing locations and hunts.


We always used a rock tumbler to clean coins/jewellery etc.. It works great, usually takes about 12-24 hours, but it works flawlessly. You can usually find a cheap one at a walmart in the kids section, or any hobby shop.


Get a detector that has the best target identification possible, You may not go as deep but your coin count will be way up 9 out of 10 times I get more clad then the most expensived machines as I have learned my ID meter.

Ask dealers and other detectorists what their ID meter is like and why they stay with the machine they have.

You may see a pattern, try a few machines before you decide, remember there are detectors built in countries other then the USA that will work well, you may need to ask questions via email for these.

See if you can use or rent this machine before buying, as you may not like the weight or balance, pinpointing or other features.

Most machines can find and ID pennies and dimes, but the real test is do they show up in the exact same spot so your are digging too many pennies or can they tell the difference (In most cases as no machine is perfect) many detectors are calibrated on USA coins and need to be reset for Canadian.. I have used one brand that called most Canadian coins trash.

One more tip even seasoned Hunters dont understand, many machines have no or a poor signal overload protection on a large or close to the surface object, it can pin the needle or give a false reading other machines like garrett make hissing or crackling sounds excedssively unless sensitivity is turned down very low (depth loss).

Some of the cheaper machines use ordinary plastic, High Impact plastic is much better


I have a great trick I just learned and would like to pass it on to everyone here as a tip, using rubber backed car floor mats to kneel on while digging. That's right, take them right from the car's floorboard to the ground, not only do they form a padded barrier between your knees and all those hard rocks and stones, they also keep your pants dry from the morning dew and transport easy enough by simply rolling them up until needed.
Randy Morris, in Andover, Ohio



I see old houses all the time that have been rezoned to commercial and are being used for businesses. I have yet to be turned down at one of these when asking permission to hunt. I feel that these places are not as personal to people as their private residence. Another plus is that most of us hunt in the evening or on weekends when these places are closed and we do not interfere with their operation.

Good Luck, Dave



Hello everyone, I have a few tips to share for those that like to coin shoot fair grounds, hope they are of some value, they work very well for me.

1. If the fair is in progress and you go, take along a spiral index card notebook and denote the locations of all the booths, especially the food vendors, they will have the highest traffic and yield the greatest coin flow.

I make a rough map of the vendors represented by squares on a grid, then I mark food vendors with an "F", jewelry vendors with an "J" and so on.

2. If the fair or event is over, you can still locate the vendor's booths by simply looking for the new grass, tents and people are hard on grass and leave large muddy patches once finished, the land owners will reseed the lawns and this is a sure tell sign of a high traffic area. The bright, fresh grass stands out like a beacon in the night pointing the way to untold riches.

Randy of Andover, Ohio



I would like to add my tip if I may, use your metal detector set on all metal (with no discrimination) and scan trees before they are to be cut down or reduces to logs, there is nothing like a high speed chain saw blade hitting a nail or barbed wire to ruin someone's day. Your metal detector can save their life or permanent disfigurement by avoiding unseen hazardous areas.

Randy in Ohio



I am just learning all the tones and what they represent and your site got me thinking about places to look for coins etc. I have 7 acres in front of my work studio and I rent the frontage to a fireworks stand each fourth of July. Duh! I took my MD out and found 7 coins immediately. The clincher was the fact that 3 years ago, some brainsurgeon put off a whizzer that went right in the stand and set it on fire. Apparently, they didn't get out with the money bag and my MD went off like a slot machine. Alot of the coins were melted and some were spread over a large area, but it is a great place to find coins.

My father always told me about an old race track that existed here around the turn of the last century. I haven't been able to locate where the actual grandstands were located, but I know the general location of the track. I have found several old coins(Indian Head Pennies etc.) around the periphery of the old track.

I have had my MD for only a week and have already had more than $200 dollars(what I paid for the MD) worth of fun.

Randy in Texas



I found out the hard way that you should always have your detector handy. I took my dad and my grandpa to do a little reminiscing one day in southern Ohio, to a cabin they helped build in the 50's. We got there and my grandpa was walking around near the cabin in what used to be the veggie garden.

He told me a story of when he was plowing it one day in 1960. He said he was going along and all the sudden he seen something shinning on the ground, he stopped and went to see what it was and ended up picking $35 bucks in silver coins. Which I know he didn't get all of it. But at any rate, the owner of the property came home and it turns out she knew my grandpa and they got to talking (not about the money) and she gave me permission to come down anytime and hunt it.

Well dad and grandpa are gone now, and when I called her she declined for me to come down and go over the property. We were on our way home and they wanted to stop by a old park that is not in use any more and visit that. W ell we stopped, and no detector. Well I guess God does have a since of humor. I guess you can just use common sense from here, "LIKE I SHOULD HAVE" If anyone has some good tips on post hole hunting " what to look for, how deep, what size coil, etc. that would be great. I promise I'll have my detector.

My e-mail


Here's some things I built and they work great

lgsifter.jpg - 8608 Bytessmsifter.jpg - 7898 Bytes

For the large sifter - 2 X 3 ft - I used 2 X 4 redwood for weathering durability. Build a frame, stretch 3/8 hardware cloth ( wire - lumber yard) over it and put strips of wood along to hold it in place. 3/8 openings wont let a dime pass at an angle. Some guys like tighter openings. The wood strips also allow for replacing it should it ever rip.

Use galvanized screws only - no nails as they will loosen. Build a bottom frame to match the top and put the top on it with large hinges. Now you can swing the top screen back to dump the load after you sift the goods out.

The legs are any height you want. I unscrew mine to fit it into the car trunk if I don’t take my truck.

The smaller one is basically the same as the larger - just use 2 X 2 wood for lightness. Put a BIG handle on the side for carrying it in to a site. Attach 2 swing down legs to the sides using a wing nut so you can tighten & loosen easily.

Steve Mc Cue



Metal Detectorist's tend to overlook the importance of old maps in their coin searches. Completely forgotten about is the existence of early county maps that contain a wealth of information. Known as Land Ownership maps they represented a very detailed picture of the population of a given area. A large volume of these rare and sometimes valuable maps were produced in the mid 19th century for publicity purposes, property assessment and to attract new migrants A dedicated Treasure Hunter should research this wonderful item, for they continue to be a great asset in researching for coins, forgotten towns, and other sources of potential discovery.

The original cartographers and engravers produced these giant wall maps, that could average a 6 foot tall image and that clearly defined different survey zones. These maps focused on tax land assessment, supervisory boards, land deeds, political and voter districts. They would show the locality of a property, name of the resident, possible occupation, acreage owned and other notable ancestry interests. Outside of the libraries and government institutions that have a limited staff to assist you with your project. One should look for on-line map libraries for all your needs. These entities are quick to respond to inquiries and can offer a large library of premium priced images of outstanding quality. Browsing the Internet the ever growing entourage of Metal detector enthusiasts, Treasure Seekers who should be aware of two map libraries that have a reputation for quality reproductions.

Either business has the professional staff and time to help you with your research is both a commercial enterprise and a non-profit organization that has for sale, sharp digitally remastered prints. They carry a enormous bank of maps of old mining areas, ghost towns, military outposts and forts, vanished settlements, towns, railroad routes, overgrown wagon routes, stagecoach halts and the list goes on. They have holdings of early edition topographic maps show in great detail the forgotten settlements, that once romanced old saloons, bordello's and a wealth of other buildings. Activities of the past generally leave there mark forever and with use of this maps, you will have at your disposal a tremendous tool for in depth research. Be aware that the old surveyors didn't miss a thing. Even the most modest shack, cabin or human involvement was marked on the old maps. So, do not be confused by a square dot in the middle of nowhere, its not a printing error, it is likely an old miner's cabin? In addition is another website of great maps. Both map libraries have a wide selection of land ownership maps, ideal for a detector searches.


Aaaaahhh the sun at the beach, warm … sometimes ‘hot’… the flat-land tourists slather themselves with lotion and ‘lay out’ until they get too hot. At that point they will wade out into the surf to about the waist level to cool off. It is here, in the cool water, that their fingers will shrink a bit and rings will slip off their oiled homes and fall to the bottom.

The clever hunter will consult the ocean tides-table and return to search at low tide when it is no longer waist-deep… but more like calf/knee deep… certainly shallow enough that you can sweep a detector and scoop a hit.

POSTED 26 NOVEMBER 2004 BY Mike Owens

One day the company i worked for had a party to celebrate being number one in the buis... We had this party at a pavilion that could be reserved for weekends and such. Anyway i thought it might be a good place to detect because it was well.... near a pond.

I hunted the area and found some coins. New stuff you know. And I hunted a little volley ball area and found a few more. Getting bored, i decided just to go away from the main target area and hunt by this very tall tree. It was next to a chain link fence. So i started sweeping. And to my amazement! I started finding all kindsa neat stuff man! First i found some military buttons. Navy ones. And then I found some old pennies. Then I found a President Hoover coin! Then some forks and spoons from the mid 1800's... one Silver! Some old aluminum tax tokens,,,, copper make up cases,,,, an aluminum coin with 18th president on it... jack club coin..... etc etc. Tall grass was on the other side of the fence and i wanted to burn it off so bad but its not my place to burn.... I think maybe this old house was there and maybe got hit by a tornado because everything that could be in a house was scattered all around this tree. But its like there was forks and spoon scattered around a 50 feet radius. Army buttons and the like. I was starting to think, why was this pavilion put right here?

Then i realized.... what better place to put something new that were an old place USE to be! Here is an idea. If its a place to congrogate, likely it has always been that way. So make sure you hunt places where parties are held. especially if its near an old pond where Old folks could live near water in the OLD days. And likely youll fine some Neat OLD stuff. Never think that just cause a place is new... you wont find really old things...

mike owens


A good trick for metal detectorist:
Most every city has a web site that has a lot of good information. I use this source for finding parks and playgrounds. The Department of Recreation usually list all parks and playgrounds for your city. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can visit any Recreation Departments in your area and they will be happy to give you a list of all these areas with addresses. These areas always replenish themselves, especially the play grounds. Remember to remove any trash please. Happy Hunting Art.D South Carolina

POSTED 17 AUGUST 2004 BY Jim MacKenzie

I was reciently shopping at our local Harbor Frieght tool store, when I saw a metal detector made for finding nails in wooden boards. This unit is only 81/2" long and 1 1/2" wide. The head is 2 3/4" wide. I thought it might come in handy to pinpoint an object under the coil of a metal detector. I had no idea of the sensitivity of this unit but bought it anyway for $15.00

I was very surprised to find out I could very accuratley pinpoint small metal objects, even could sense copper clad BB's which I had a hard time finding with my eyes. This "Little Wizard II" Which it's called is light in weight but strong, has a thumb adjustment for sensitivity and a screw adjustment for course tune. It runs on one 9v battery with a good running time. My Grandson uses it in the back yard to find coins and knails etc just by itself.I hope someone else might find this helpful as I do. Jim MacKenzie


When building a electrolysis machine to clean metal, a better transformer to use is an old AT type computer power supply not a ATX power supply just cut a yellow and a black wire from one of the four wire plug strip and attach clips. Yellow is POSITIVE (+), Black is ground.

In a plastic tub mix tap water, a tablespoon of salt per 8 oz of water, attach yellow lead to a stainless steel piece put in water on one side of the bucket attach black lead to the metal find, put in the water on other side of bucket.

Do not let the leads touch each other, turn on the power and it will bubble give it a little time and the dirt and rust will come off find and be on the stainless metal. The power supply does not over heat and cleans faster than small power supplies


Just like most people who add their imput to this webpage, I am an avid treasure Hunter. My greatest problem was doing the research, searching for any lead that would put me on the right track. Recently I got a new computer and come across this wonderful store. They sell maps! Not just maps, but reproductions of some of the best research maps I have ever come across. I can go into detail, but check this website for yourself. They auction maps on Ebay, but they have a store that is just a click away. Prices are very reasonable and their service is great. They send your map almost immediately. Hundreds and hundreds of maps to search for clues. Their web site is MAPS OF THE PAST Dave


Lots of large ice chest and coolers have a moveable plastic storage tray that comes with them. These are usually rectangular in shape and are used to keep your dry goods off the ice inside the cooler. You can also use a plastic Tupperware tray or a similar tray (as long as it is plastic and deep).

I use these trays to speed up my digs. Simply put the dirt you dig out the tray. After every couple of scoops, run your coil over the dirt in the tray. Since the tray is plastic, it will not cause any false reading.

If your detector beeps they you know you have scooped out the object (now just sift around in the tray until you find it). If your detector does not beep, you will know its still in the ground (just keep scooping).

Every four scoops, dump the tray out near the hole you are digging. This way the amount of dirt in the container is minimal, and you do not have to search through as much once your detector says the object is in the tray.

I have found that this “process of elimination” speeds up my digs. It also makes re-filling your holes quick; you just invert the tray and use it to drag the pile of dirt you made back into the hole.

N. Stewart


I attached the type of hook used for holding a can of paint (when painting on a ladder) to the right hand corner of my shoulder-bag. Now, when detecting on sand or grass, I put the handle of my spade on the hook and the spade simply drags on the ground as I walk. It really works well!
Wal Brown


As a New Englander my favorite spot to detect is at rural, abandoned farm lots that just happen to have an abundance of deer ticks, mosquitoes and snakes that hide among the rocks of old stone fences. I do most of my detecting in these areas in late Winter when the ground is still frozen and there is little or no snow on the ground. I detect and mark the spots with irregular cut pieces of white birch bark that I trace from a pattern. I mark the depth on the piece of bark with a pen then push a two inch, thin nail through the bark and into the frost line to keep it in place or I put a stick over the bark so it won't blow away.

I return to dig my finds at the first sign of the ground thawing when there are no leaves on the bushes and the snakes and mosquitoes are still sleeping. I only have to contend with the deer ticks at this time.

Blessings to my fellow THrs.


My detector takes 8 AA battery's and I got tired of carrying spares and recharging all of the time so the batt's were at peak power for good detecting. I went to my local battery store and bought a 12V 4.5 amp wet cell sealed battery for $11.00. The battery has spade terminals for a slip on connector, two alligator clips for the battery compartment on the detector, a little automotive accessory wiring and I was all set. I bought a carpenters canvas tool belt with four canvas pockets on it for the control box and battery and now I can hunt for days without a recharge and the spare pockets a great for trash and finds. Good hunting everyone.........Pete Lund Everett WA


Here's another tip that seems to be successful in finding Jewry. What I do is find an area with a lot of clad coins and and clear the high tones out while I'm clearing the high tones I mark the low tones with poker chips then I go back and clear the low tones you find a lot of trash but you do get nickels and rings this way.

I only do this in areas where I get a lot of hits in a small area. One high school that I went to has a small grassy area 20 by 20 next to the main doors and I pulled 20 dollars in clad in three hours and 2 rings using this method. This high school was built only 4 years ago!

Most people reading this might think that I'm using a high dollar detector but I'm not I picked up a Bounty Hunter at Big 5 for $100.00 dollars and it paid for itself in one month. I took it to a detector shop in Denver and they said it wouldn't detect gold nuggets boy they where sure surprised when it did. There is a learning curve with this detector but when you figure it out it is really productive. I have only been detecting since Christmas of this year but Imhooked for life now!

Robert Oest


I recently got into metal detecting and from what I've been told is that I'm doing very well. Finding clad coins over one hundred and twenty five dollars and over 12 rings to include a 24 inch gold necklace in a month during the winter time in Colorado. I seem to find the most at high schools. What I do is find the main doors and then locate the nearest grassy area or where the smokers go at the school they seem to hang around there and drop a lot of items. The smokers can't smoke on school grounds so ask some kids where they go or find the butts off campus it has been working for me. I average about $2.50 dollars an hour and 1 ring for every 10 dollars in clad in these areas.


I just came across this valuable link for anyone who might be looking for old postal routes, railways, canals, highways, etc of states in the US.
The Special List items are free of charge for copies.
Tammie Gibson

POSTED 4 January 2004 BY Mike Owens

I would like to share an example with you that i learned when i found a bunch of civil war bullets (unfired) in one spot. I found three bullets one day. I thouroughly hunted the area until i just knew that nothing else remained. I went back to the area again with an idea. Since I was not getting any signals, what if i turned my volume all the way know at ear exploding volume! Well guess what happened? I found 9 more bullets in the same hole! The signals were there, I just couldn't hear them unless the volume was at..or near max.

good hunting

Mike Owens, treasure hunter


When searching for cellar holes in the woods in New York State

When traveling the back roads or the forgotten roads in New York State and maybe in other states as well, look for "orange day lilies" or the leaves. They are in front of the house by the road in more than 60% of the cellar holes in the woods. Also watch for 4 or 5 Maple Trees equally spaced along the road, a sure indication. Other sure signs are old lilac bushes and the ground cover "myrtle".

One of the first places to detect these sites is right by the road and around the well hole!

If you have a farm field where you think there was a house, look for shards of brick and white and blue pottery! If you see that? You are in for some fun my friend.

Jim Vokes NY

POSTED 10 NOV 2003 BY Mike

When in an area with lots of brush, cut your way into the thick of it and find what the others who are afraid of briar patches did not find.
Thanks. Mike Owens

POSTED 18 OCT 2003 BY Mike

Ever take a coffee can and fill it with dirt and rocks and shake it up? the larger rocks and pebbles come to the surface. When hunting sandy areas think about this. Take a garden hoe and do some scraping.
Thanks Mike

POSTED 12 OCT 2003 BY Dennis Line

Here is a idea for carrying extra 9 volt batteries and not having the terminals short out. I heard of putting a 9 volt connector on it with the wires cut off. Then I though, "what if a coin slips between the connector and battery". So that got me thinking. What could I use that truly protects the terminals? I came up with a Kodak 35 mm film canister. I don't know if other brands will work. Plus if you wear a hat that has the elastic loops around the outside that's the perfect place to carry it. After all that is what those loops are for, film canisters

POSTED 10 JULY 2003 BY Laurie Macklin

Finding Old Farmhouses.

I've found old farmhouses by looking for rockpiles in farmfields. What better place to throw all the rocks in your field then in an old cellar hole. Also check out terraserver or terrafly for tell tale signs of stonewalls and cellar holes in your area. Look for patches of brush or trees in large open fields, sometimes several buildings are clustered together. Lineing up straight lines with old maps can sometimes put you on ancient roadways. Walking the roadways look carefully to both sides throughout wooded areas for sunk in depressions that are not noticable from the air. GPS's are always a good idea and can be used to mark down sites for future hunts. Old bottles can often tip you off to a nearby dwelling as well as give you an estimate about the age of a site. Don't always go by the first bottles you find, take time and do a thoural search. Many times newer houses were built on top of older foundations.

POSTED 02 MARCH 2003 BY Michael Welch (

I think of the Internet as a brief synopsis of all the information available to me from a library. Sometimes the information is incomplete, sometimes not true, but it is a starting point for finding sites I can use my metal detector on. Though it will never replace conventional research, the astronomical growth of the information being placed on the Internet has changed the methods I use to research forever. Here is one project I have begun that hopefully will begin others on the trail of research.

I started this project for my local metal detecting club. I wanted to find all the ghost towns in Montgomery County, Indiana so we could find places for club hunts. I started my research at E-Bay, finding and bidding on any map of Indiana I could and especially maps that drilled down to the county I was researching, providing towns of the era (I limited my research to 1852-1897). I found that the most frequent maps available to me were railroad maps. Not a lot of detail on roads, but great for providing town names and distances from other towns.

I also started looking for maps that were placed on the Internet. My first reference was American Memory Historical Collections for the National Digital Library posted on the web by the Library of Congress This site was great for finding many of the state maps for the timeframe. This as well as many other Internet references were obtained by a simple use of a search engines such as Google. I placed the words Map Indiana History Montgomery County Union Township in the search engine and up popped as many maps as I could look at in a week.

Another site located during this search was Hoosier Web Hoosier Geneology and history This site provided me with a list of post offices in the county for 1875. PERFECT!! I took this information and matched the towns listed against current towns. I looked up the current towns using Yahoo! Maps I looked up each town from the 1875 list and if it was listed, checked it off my list.

This left 12 towns not listed on Yahoo and were therefore assumed as Ghost Towns for the moment. Now it was time to go back to my basic search engine. I then took each town name left on my list and entered them into my original search (Map Indiana History Montgomery County Union Township TOWN NAME). I had to review a few pages to find out which towns had been renamed to current names and tick them off as well. This left nine towns that no record existed for. Of these nine towns, six had short histories of some kind on the Internet.

Now I just had to be able to find the actual towns' general locations. I added the word plat to my search, hoping to find a few plat maps, but no such luck on this (Note: many states and counties do have historical plat maps on the Internet, but the county I was searching for did not).

Okay... Off to the library then. In the library I found early plat books for 1864 and current plat books of today. I was able to look up the towns and compare their locations. The first town I located is Pawnee, Indiana. Now a cornfield, the plat map pinpointed the town's railroad station. It worked out that the station is on the exact corner of four plats. I again used the current plat map in the library and was able to follow the roads to the exact location. Virginia (my wife) and I went to the site and looked it over. We used the new plat map to find out who the owner is and are now in the process of contacting them to get permission to hunt the site. I hope to take my detector out in a week or two just to check the ground, without digging and see if it is ALL plowed down too deep. If I find anything of note, I will recommend this site to my club for a club hunt.

The old plat map also shows either a school or church in the same area. There is no building there now, though there are a couple of farmhouses nearby. The owner of the land where the old building was is listed on the new plat map as the owner of one of these farmhouses. I will start knocking on doors and hopefully begin a conversation with the owner or a neighbor. Hopefully, I can pinpoint that building.

Back to the library again to try to breakdown exactly where the buildings were in the town. I tried first to look through the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, but could find no map of Pawnee. I then went to the Indiana Historical Magazines. I found four articles on Pawnee, but still nothing on the locations of the buildings. The search is not over, it was just too late to do any more over the weekend.

I will try to keep you abreast the further along I get in my research on the other towns and the progress of the hunt for Pawnee. If others get interested in the idea of research they may find their own for places of interest. Most of us are especially interested, in the methods others use to find sites, determine their hunting prospects and get permission to hunt on them. Pass this article on to the others so as many as might want to get involved in the research of places to hunt can add their comments to your clubs next meeting.

A Troll walks afield and finds waiting for him treasures of knowledge and the wealth of love from his wife. Sometimes a Troll is just lucky.


Research is only as fun as you make it!

In reviewing old plat maps at our local library you have access to dimensions, survey way points and in some cases latitude and longitude references. I purchased a topo cd from maptech which allows search by feature, eg rail line, well, historic points of interest, etc. Which leads me to putting all this information together to get on target.

Although the plat maps had measurements many were a compilation of structures that no longer exist. Take a plat with 4 structures shown from 100 years ago and in more cases than not you will be on another planet when searching in 2003.Which leads me to add another tool. GPS! this provides reference points of known maps when all physical structures are gone. I plan to begin using this in 03.


One of the best way to find disappearing old building sites is to take a tour over the area in a light plane at sunrise or sunset, when lengthening shadows highlight any surface irregularities. This technique has been used to find almost eradicated sections of the old pioneer Smoky Hill Trail in Colorado. You're in luck if you know someone who has an old, slow Piper Cub or Aeronca, etc., because the slower the better in this case.

Frank Millis, Sr.


I'm always looking for tips from all you fellow metal detecting addicts out there and learning all the time. I have a tip that will help those looking for those all farm homes torn down years ago. I've read tips from getting old maps,talking to seniors,even renting a plane to spot these old home locations. I found a easy way to find old farm homes sites and I wish to share this with all you that have shared your ideas with me.

I live out in the country, with farmland all around.I would always end up driveing to town to metal detect and people in town would tell me I would have better luck hunting the old farm homes, many of which were torn down and now farm fields, but how do I find them? Maps, hear say, airplane, etc. Frustrated, I drove down back roads looking for old farm homes that were still standing, which were far and few, Until one day driving, I noticed something shining in a farm field being prepared for spring planting, curious,I pulled over, got out and checked out what was being reflected,to my surprise it was a piece of glass, infact there was lots of pieces of glass being reflected by the sun.

Thats when it hit me, these were part of the remains of a house which stood there once. Since then I have found many sites thanks to the glass remains. I now can pretty well locate where the house stood, front yard,etc.The glass even gives me a idea of the homes age, the finds also have been rewarding. The best time to look,spring planting time, fall after crops have been harvested,and on sunny days during these periods the glass is easy to spot.Please be considerate to the farmers and hunt before crops are planted and after plants are harvested.Remember your most likey to be the first to hunt the site and more then likely the last.

Be sure to recheck the sites once a year,because the farmers retill the land bringing up new goodies. I'm sure this tip will open a new door to many of you as it has for me.Happy Hunting.


I carry a pinpointer and a long-handled digger in my left hand and my detector in the right. I'm learning trial-by-error what works and what doesn't. I just discovered that if I hold my left hand behind my back, or else so the digger and pinpointer are pointing up, that it cuts out some chatter I've been having a problem with.


When you are hunting an old home, try to find a tree with growth scars from having a clothes line attached. then figure where the clothes line ran. Go slow on all metal mode under the old clothes line area. many coins/jewelry are left in the pockets, and make it through the wash to the clothes line where the wind shakes them out on the ground. also, if there is an old wringer type washer on an old poorch check around the washer. they often did their laundry on the poorch and let the wash water run out on the ground beside the poorch, along with whatever was in the washer

POSTED 13 JANUARY 2003 BY Angela

I thought I'd pass on a trick I came up with. To keep loose 9v batteries from shorting out stop by Radio Shack and get a five pack of '9v snap connectors' for about a dollar and a half. Clip the wires off and presto, instant battery terminal covers! :)


Many of the older detectors (such as my White's 5900/di PRO sl) literally eat "C" batteries by the gross, so instead of NiCads I've switched to using NIMH batteries: Just enter that description on a good internet search engine such as Google and you'll find many good souces. Note that NIMH batteries don't take a "memory set" like NiCads do, and therefore can be recharged at any state of discharge without damage. As a matter of interest, most good alkaline "C" batteries average about 8200 milliamp-hours, abbreviated "MAH", while modern NIMH batteries usually have a capacity of between 2200 and 3800 MAH, still much better than the old NiCad's 1400 MAH. My Whites 5900 uses about 180 MAH per hour with headphones and 220 MAH per hour without phones. These modern NIMH batteries can be recharged -- normally at a rate of 1/10th of the rated capacity per hour -- from 500 to 1000 times, depending upon brand and circumstances of use.
Hope this helps! -- Geezer


Follow railway lines. Years ago, there were ten times the number of stations - small ones in rural areas that have long since vanished. If you can talk to railway ol' timers or get an old rail schedule, you can find these places where people used to wait for trains.


If you don't mind getting your knees dirty, and can get permission, find an old homestead with a verandah or porch that has an access door. With the coil tilted flat and a flashlight, you'll come up with lots of coins and jewellry that's slipped through the floorboards over the years. And most of it should be right on or near the surface!!


USE a GPS! Don’t get lost even in bad weather or in the dark. Use it for preplanning your trip so that you can quickly get to spots where you suspect are good places to check out. Use it to avoid dangerous territory but if you get into trouble use a GPS unit and a two-way radio to communicate your exact position to rescue teams.


Here is why a supposed "hunted out" site probably still holds goodies others have no patience to find - I can prove it mathematically. We all know (or should) that the search pattern under the coil is that of an inverted cone. If we assume that the maximum depth your detector can find a coin reliably is 6", than the point of the cone is at the 6" mark. Your detector will therefore detect any coin that falls in the cone pattern below the coil down to the "point" of 6". For simplicity sake, pretend that your coil is an over-sized spray paint can. Now, if you swing your coil by overlaping the previous swing by only 1" (which is hard to do if you are moving fast across the ground), at 2", 4" and 6", your coil would spray paint a swath of a given width as it passes over these depths with its cone-shaped spray pattern. If we could actually see the spray pattern left by the "giant" spray can, here's what you would see with the 1" overlap swing:

At 2" depth - 25% of the area would be missed by the "spray"

At 4" depth - 59% of the area would be missed by the "spray"

At 6" depth - a wapping 86% of the area would be missed by the "spray"

Now, factor in all the other things that may make you miss a target (i.e. bad target id on a good target) and you have an almost impossible probability that all targets between 4" to 6" have been successfully cleaned out. The only way to get every possible target is to grid a small area and clean every "all-metal" signal out of that area and than move on. How may people ever do that?!?!

Never give up!!!!!!

POSTED 24 AUGUST 2002 by
Find out where the city dumps its street sweepings and go through them with a metal detector when they sweep the streets they sweep up paper money and coins

POSTED 25 JULY 2002 by
I use a military type web belt and a pouch with two compartments that works great. The trash items go into the bigger of the bigger of the compartments while the good stuff goes in the smaller one. My probe clips over the belt and the case for my digging tools slides right over the belt as well. I have canteens, trenching tools, first aid kits, and assorted sizes of pouches, all designed to go with the belt. I often add things for that particular hunt. When the hunt is done, just remove the belt and put it in with your detector.

I also use a plastic grocery bag to place dirt on, just slip a few over the belt and you have another place for trash or an emergency cover for your detector in the event of rain. They also work great to help keep the knees dry in damp soil.

We go as a family MDing the 3 of us it is a family outing plus we find things.

We use a belly pack to put our "goods" in so we don't loose them. also we put a plastic sac on the belly pack for trash. it works really well.

We take a kitchen strainer with us to help sift through the sand. Sand goes out goods stay in.

I'm not to keen on wearing bulky headphones especially when it's about 90 degrees out, so what I did was buy a set of small headphones for a walkman radio (the kind that slip in your ears). I went to radio shack and bought the right size phone plug to fit my MD and replaced the original one on the new headset. You will need a soldering iron for this. I been using these for 3 years now and there great, I haven't noticed any lost signals compared to the big headphones. The total cost for plug and phones, about $5.

Note: adds this comment Just a short message about using the earbud headsets, these use a one eigth inch plug and the MD has a one quarter inch jack, but there is a plug at radio shack that adapts the 8th to one quarter no soldering is required. Tom

Hi The best tool I have used to dig up "treasures" is a taping knife. I make sure the knife is sharp. When digging just slice the ground till the coin pops up. That way you won't make a big hole which you have to cover. It is also very useful if you have to clear out small weeds or grass to get to your treasure. Thanks

Hi once again! I just wanted to pass on a set of test cards that I made up for metal detecting . I cut out of white cardboard 2 inch squares. On them I taped a pull tab, iron nail, foil, zinc penny (after 1982), copper penny (before 1982), nickle, dime, quarter and a half dollar. I wrote on them the sounds they make when passing my detector over them,ex. low tone,med and high tone. I carry them in a zip lock bag. When I am out hunting and I want to disc. something out I just reach into the bag and run it over the coil and adjust the disc till it is out. This way I know if what I hear is good things and not junk. They are also great tools for learning as you can place them on the lawn and practice finding them by sounds and also finding the X , correct area to dig. Just have someone lay them out face down when you have your eyes closed. Now try to identify them by the sounds or the read out on your detector. Have a good time metal detecting and be sure to fill in your holes.Tom

POSTED 7 APRIL 2002 by
I use plastic shower curtain hooks hooked on my belt to hold tools with cords attached. Find the ones you can snap closed thrift shops sell them apx. 25 cents for a dozen. They work real well and if you lose one no big deal. I am just getting started again in THing. Been away from it for long time.

POSTED 7 APRIL 2002 by
I have found that by keeping my 9volt batteries in zip-lock bags (one battery per bag) I have no trouble with them shorting out. Plus , the bags can be used later for keeping my finds safe. Tom

POSTED 7 APRIL 2002 by
I have rigged up a support strap for my detector by using the shoulder strap off my power weed wacker. I attach it the same way as it is on the weed wacker. This saves my shoulder and keeps it up at my hand all the time. I can stop detecting for awhile and rest and never have to lay it down in the dirt. I've had two shoulder surgery s and this really helps. Good hunting! Tom

AERIAL PHOTOS: When looking for sports fields adjacent to schools,look for faint patterns in the area. Rectangles will usually indicate older football fields while those shaped like a slice of pie will be baseball fields. I've done well with this one. Any questions? E-mail me and we'll talk

POSTED 02 February 2001 by in Paradise Texas
Someplace to check that I have md'ed is rodeo arenas due to the riders forgetting to take off certain jewelry.

POSTED 06 January 2001 by (Jim Donnelly)
I found that when I go beach hunting at night that a skiers head light is great, you leave it off till you get a signal on your detector headset then turn it on. Where you look is where the light will shine great investment! Jim Donnelly

Heres one to restore dug Lincolns and Indians.After cleaning off the dirt, put a drop of Tabasco Sauce on the cent.After about 5-10 seconds wipe off. Presto! shiny as new.Theres some sort of chemical reaction that the copper reacts to the pepper sauce. Caution! If you have a cent you believe is numismatically valuable dont do this its better left as dug.


Ever have a problem of where to put the trash you dig up? Well, the next time you get your car washed, remember to get the car trash bag that you hang from the cigarette lighter. I put mine over the spare probe that I have on my pouch. It's large enough for the occasional soda can and easy to dispose of. I once got permission to hunt on the local fairground solely because the grounds keeper saw I was "serious" about taking my trash with me. Happy Hunting


In the ensuing hot days of Summer that are just around the corner, I often prefer to hunt in the very early A. M. hours, since I use a XLT and running the on board back up light, draining my battery twice as fast as normal usage, I use a snake light. These lights generally run around $10.00 and can be wrapped around your neck and adjusted to show the display screen and also while digging, they run on two "C" type batteries and are very handy to have for nearly anything. Also, I always carry a few spare batteries just in case.

This is the quiet time of day for most folks, but to a detectorist any time of day is fine and no noisy people bothering you, I also carry a mosquito net and 'deet' and wear surgical rubber gloves, long sleeve shirt with the collar turned up, so bugs aren't usually a hassle, it's cool and the ground is damp with dew, so knee pads should be used.

The wet ground offers better depth and I search areas I have gone over previously, just one time a Deputy sheriff stopped and asked me what was going on, seeing my detector see immediately took interest, so I showed him what we do and what I had found that night, yes, I often hunt from midnight to dawn, the Deputy was quite impressed and maybe I made our hobby a recruit.

Give this a try for those of you who can't wait for daylight or if the heat of day bothers you as it does myself, the finds are good, the air clean and I feel like I have total privacy.

NOTE:If hunting private property talk to the owner before doing this, they may agree or disagree about having someone on their property at one in the morning, most will agree as you offer a extra sense of security for the owner and his family. Tom Money


Gather an assortment of generally found items; pull tabs, pop lids, old spark plugs, washers, coins, old jewelry, silverware, keys, rings - you get the idea. Make 3 X 5 cards with the name of each item on one card. Have a friend place some of the items at random in your yard in an 8 X 10 foot area and cover them with a plastic tarp (available at Wal Mart or a local Hardware Store).

Practice locating the items and placing the appropriate card on each location. Keep your detector about 6 to 12 inches above the tarp to simulate the item being buried. After locating all the items give yourself a grade based on the number of correct finds. With a little practice you'll find you can generally identify items before you look at them, invaluable experience for actual field treasure hunting. Be sure to do this with different modes of your metal detector so you know the difference. In the all metal mode you should be able to find all the items but may have a little more trouble identifying them. In the discriminate mode, depending on the amount of discrimination, you may not detect some of the items that are considered "trash" and this is good.

Summing it all up, Practice, Practice, Practice. The rewards are "less frustration" and "more enjoyment" from the "Art" of treasure hunting. Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Poker Chips make excellent markers for treasure hunting. You can place one on each found location and after a number of finds stop detecting and start digging. You can even use different colors for different types of finds - ie, red for "hot" finds, white for "questionable" finds, and blue for "sounds deep" - make up your own color code. I've done this for many years and it also gives your arm a chance to rest from swinging the detector. Good Luck and Happy Hunting

A good tip for a regular supply of modern finds is to get permission from the owner of a local field to host boot sales and fates, they will earn a regular income for charging a small fee per stall, and you can go round on a regular basis finding all the lost coins e.t.c. Visit my site and see a varied selection of interesting coins and artifacts


Never allow yourself to try and out race the other guy, we all find things, that's what this hobby is all about. Don't become competitive, work slowly, keep in mind that this is your enjoyment not your lively hood, enjoy what you are doing. Very soon now in the North Country of New York State we'll be taking to the fields, go back to any area that produced for you last year, re-hunt the same ground, concentrate on the sounds, this is your greatest in metal detecting, it is very similar to fishing, be patient, never mind the speed walking, sweep the area very carefully and listen.

Sometimes it is useful to enlist the aid of a family member, have them 'salt', your driveway, use coins, pull tabs, steel bottle caps, all covered with a handful of snow, now you know exactly where the targets are, but you don't know what the target is, try and identify each one before peeking, a very worthwhile test of yourself and equipment, experiment, don't be afraid to boost up the settings, see what higher settings do to affect your ability to identify the target, it's fun and worthwhile. Tom.

Posted 24 Feb 2000 By Charles Vance (

Getting Permission: Sometimes gaining permission to hunt someone's property may be negative, but don't give up hope. Sometime ago I asked the police chief of my town to hunt a piece of property he owned. The old place was empty and had been partially burned and through speaking to him, it was under investigation for arson. He turned me down due to these circumstances. I waited for a year or so and asked again and was granted permission. I'm glad I persisted,because after clearing the area of newer date coins I began to find silver. Silver mercuries, Roosevelt dimes, a soldier's dog tag issued prior to W.W.II. Then as the finds became more scarce, I had a good signal that kept registering in the nickel/foil range and since I've found many gold rings in this range,I decided to dig this one also. Yes you've guessed it,it was a very nice 14kt. gold wedding band that was produced in the thirties. So do not, and I re-iterate do not give up after being turned down. Persistence can be a nice reward. Charles Vance

We've all heard of checking the local Library but not to many of us think to check the local college. In My town the college even has a remote sensing curriculum and has allowed me to view many local areas from a different perspective. The college library also has an extensive local special collection which the city library does not. This section contains many maps, newspapers and other resources. Most colleges won't let you sign out books unless you're a student but they will let you make copies of individual papers. Good luck to all
Tom Welch (Upstate NY)

I often find rings as I suppose many other hunters do, but here is a short on a mistake I made: I found a nice ring, but no stone on a top flat surface, I failed to put the two together at the time and could not find the exact spot where I found this ring, I may have missed out on a decent stone, so, after discovering a ring look it over, if it appears that it may have held a stone, very carefully sift through the soil, I carry a small sieve or a 12" by 12" piece of screening and continue to search this area, who knows you could find something interesting. T. Money.

POSTED 08 JAN 00 BY Clif Bolton /

Here is a Battery idea that may be of help.....
I was in a photo shop about a year ago and saw some "AA" size batteries I had never seen before. They were Energizers, but these had a Gold body and about 1/2in. down from the top (+ end) was burgundy/red. I ask the attendant about them and he said they were new and were very long life. They are called "Energizer--High Energy Lithium".

After buying enough to use in the auto-winders of both my cameras ( 4 each ), and in one flash attachment (4 also), I headed home.

I am proud to say that the ones in the auto-winders are still going strong after a year, and I have replaced the ones in the flash only once, and it has always been hard on batteries. I have been using this flash for about three years, and I would swore that the flash is a little brighter also.

These batteries have just recently became available in this area in 9 volt. They are not over sized and fit very nicely into the Shadows battery area. I was able to get around 28 hrs. out of the first one I used in a Shadow. It wasn't dead after that, I just took it out yesterday and put it into a small flashlight I keep in the glove box of my pick-up, and it shines nice and bright.

So far they can't be found at the Wal-mart, K-Mart, or Lowes, or any place like that here. I had to order them through the photo shop where I originally found the "AA" size, and there was only a small difference in cost between them and the top of the line you normally find everywhere.

They are cheaper by the 24 count box, and have very good shelf life as well, based on what I have seen with the "AA" size which I now use in everything I have that requires "AA" size batteries.

Just a thought, something you may want to look into.
Be Well, God Bless, & Good Hunting, "DigginDaddy"...( Clif )


I'm new to this great hobby, but I am using logic to come up with good places to detect...a few days ago there was a concert in the park in our city. A really big rock concert. The day after the concert, I took my detector over to the grassy area where the crowd was. I found virtually all the coins laying on the surface, almost not even needing the metal detector.

But as luck would have it, I'm glad I brought it along. My first dig that day was by the adjacent carnival...under about a 1/2 inch of soil was a 1892 Barber Dime! That made my whole day. Just advice to watch your local newspaper for outside events...people drop all kinds of stuff.


I'm one of those nuts who like to on the hunt the year round. One day I was looking over a old map of our area and decided to check out a old railroad depot. Going to the spot it was hard to visualize the area being large enough to have supported a RR, but you must think back, years ago many depot's were located on most RR lines and they where fairly small. I started the hunt and in a short time I turned up a brass key, marked NYC Railroad, Adirondack Div., about 2" deep next to a tree. I found that staying close to the tree's the soil is warmer, less freezing, no money, but the key may be worth $50, and this was in the month of January and very cold.

POSTED 13 DEC 99 BY Clif Bolton /

This may prove valuable to Coin, Cache, and Relic Hunters.....

Make a list of your family members ( Uncles, Aunts, Grand Parents, Etc. ), that are say 60 yrs. old and up. Then add people you know with relatives that fall into this age bracket. The reason for this is simple.....

When they were kids, teen agers, and young adults...cities, towns, and surrounding areas were much different from what they are today. Houses, school yards, churches, encampments, cemeteries, parks, sports areas, swimming holes, as well as old roads, paths, drive ways, logging camp locations, battle sites, etc. In many cases were 50 to 100 years then. Do the math, these places are now 100 to 150 years old, possibly even much older.

There are many other ways to contact people in this age group. Family Reunions, Senior Citizens Groups, Bingo Halls, Stores and Gas Stations on the edge or outside city and town limits, etc. Maybe you know someone in a rest home. These people will talk with you for hours and be grateful for the company. Use your imagination and soon your information sources will become endless.

More often than not these places will exist someone's memory, not as a written record. Always have a map handy when talking with someone about locations from "days gone by." That way you can mark the general locations and then cross check this data with other people in that same area. If you don't have a map, then paper and pencil to draw one will do.

Farming areas..... It never hurts to stop at a farm house and ask directions ( even though you aren't lost ). You may even find yourself holding a cup of coffee, glass of ice water or tea and maybe a sandwich for your trouble. While you are there mention what your interest are, the response may surprise you. I have had offers to ride down the road and show me a spot just like what I was hopping to find when I started out that day. In some cases they even ask if I would like to hunt around their place. Maybe even look for a lost item.

Look close while you are there! I have seen cannon balls, insulators, and other items being used as door stops, or maybe just laying around the porch, at the end of a flower bed or hedge row, on the dirt floor or around the outside of an old abandoned shed, or barn. Sometimes, for a few dollars I would have a prize. Oh yes; don't forget to look up, not just down !

I have even offered to clean out and haul away all that old "JUNK" in order to clear the way for my metal detector. Regardless of what is left behind for the ShadowX2 to sniff out, I will already have some valuable "JUNK" in the back of my truck. Learn to SEE, not just LOOK !

Become a name dropper.....I have used this ice breaker many times over the years. Use the name of someone you've met in the same area. Also, it never hurts to take a minute and lend a helping hand to some in need of it. That person as a rule will be extremely grateful and tell you anything you want to know, or refer you to someone else that can put you on the right track. I have learned of enough new ( untouched ) locations to kept me busy a month or two just for helping to carry a little fire wood and stacking it on the back porch.

By the way.....pull tabs, gum wrappers, and other undesirable items, as a rule aren't a problem with these types of locations, which number into the millions in this country alone. That old saying....."One Person's Trash Is Another Person's Treasure" is more true today than ever before, and people will pay well for it too !

In closing just remember.....There are more valuable items yet to be found, than the sum total of everything found to date. The more creative you become the better your chances of finding your fair share.

Let us all practice good Metal Detecting & Treasure Hunting etiquette so that not only us, but those who come after us may enjoy the thrill of the find for many years to come.

Be Well, God Bless, & Good Hunting
Clif Bolton.....Phone 318-671-9267
Fax 305-675-6339
Full Time Treasure Hunter


I've yet to do this but thought it might work well: after gaining permission to hunt private property,search with 8" or 10" coils, mark all possible targets with popsicle sticks (but don't dig yet. Then switch over to the 4" to help pinpoint the actual target. Narrows down the size of the hole, which will keep the owner happy. One thing though, you'll have to do this all in a days time, so do it in a section at a time. Also, maybe after putting in to popsicle sticks show the owner them, see if any of them shouldn't be dug (at their request) perhaps "Fluffy" the cat is buried near one and best left alone.


Tips on hunting someone's property and/or getting permission to;
1. If you get a chance to hunt anywhere on a Main Street, (the one the most traffic is on) People will see you out and become familiar with you so when you show up at there door one day, they'll recognize you, and they'll already know how good of a "digger & filler" you are, lessening there fears of what their lawn will look like after you come through.

2. When hunting someone's property who is "picky" about what is left (visual marks) take along a plastic pail, with any clean empty cool whip or chip dip tub. Use the tub to clean out the deeper holes, putting the dirt into the pail, when done, pour it all back in the hole. Also doubles as a nice place to carry your digging tool as well, and won't make a mess(dirt traces) in their lawn.

3. Use 4" coil instead of 8" to help pinpoint better, and dig unless area.

4. Answer all questions from everyone that comes along while working a site, it may seem to be a bother but, sometimes they are interested enough to let you try their lawns, and maybe even turn them into MD'ers.

5. Find homes that are going through remodeling or repairs (die fixing a porch, re-siding, re-roofing) although there will probably be more nails than normal, remember this; the owners already have "Bob's Home Repairs" trucks driving across his nice lawn, so what better time to do some digging? Tell him that when the workers are done, so are you.

6. When asking permission, take along some coins (silvers work nice, polish them up), tell the owner that this is what you've found at houses like theirs, this usually will peak there interest, who wouldn't like to tell there friends that there are silver coins in their yards, die bragging rights?

7. Print business cards with your name on it & phone number, if you know some prominate business men or people in town (judges, policemen, attorneys, board members, etc.) ask if you can hunt there property as well as mention their names to prospects. In most towns we all buy goods by word of mouth, and when we know someone good (like LuckyDan) we always refer someone like that. Remember, an initial "NO" maybe changed later,if you give them the info. They can check you out for themselves.

8. Lastly, when digging, always take care to clean up best you can, I've MD'ed at a park across the street from a row of houses, And you'd be surprised how many people watch you (unknown to you while digging) that will see you in the store later and start asking questions (like # 4) the next thing you know, you've got an open invite for their lawns because they saw how well you treated a public place.


If you know someone interested in detecting or if you are trying to teach someone how a particular detector works, here is a very inexpensive way to do so. While trying to teach my wife about my xlt I purchased a Y-adapter plug at the local Radio Shack that would plug into the audio jack on my xlt and allow me to plug to sets of headphones in. This way I could show her just exactly what kind of responses different targets produced as I was detecting and still use headphones. One note- the battery life didn't seem to be affected too much at all. Good Luck--Rick


If you are wanting to hunt a piece of property, and the owner is hesitant, offer a spare detector for them to try out while you hunt. Take an extra if you have it, and you will have a response for them when they tell you you can't hunt it because they always wanted to buy one and do it themselves. This might help with those people that think there is a gold mine in their yard, and you may even turn someone on to the hobby. Good Luck, Mike(Iowa).


One overlooked place to find old coins is in old abandoned Cars and Trucks, money fell out of peoples pockets and slipped between the seats and under them, many of these vehicles were sold of just parked without ever looking for coins left in them, I have found some very good condition coins in these overlooked places. A tip from Jack

When my coins are finished tumbling, I separate them from the gravel an easy way. Using two small pails (I used the one's that mosquito repellent candles come in, but plastic "sand box" pails would do), just so one fits inside the other. Drill 3/8" holes in the bottom of one pail, put it inside the other. Dump the tumbler contents into it, and shake vigorously while rinsing. The gravel will fall thru the holes, leaving only your nice & shiny coins. Rinse the gravel & return it to your tumbler, ready for the next use.Happy Hunting!Frank (TX)


Something which has worked out really well for me in the past- I always make a point of going into the government office of whatever municipality I intend to hunt. I check on any restrictions on hunting, then I find out the name of the DPW chief. The Department of Public Works normally handles streets, sidewalks, etc...

I'll go to the persons office (usually in a garage) and introduce myself, saying Mary (or whomever) over in the city office said I should see you. I show them a nice coin, tell them this is what I am looking for, and ask them to please call me whenever there is going to be any street, sidewalk or building demolition, etc... I tell them I would be happy to share some of the coins I find with them and they usually fall over themselves accommodating me.

Of course, when the time comes that I do hit one of their recommended sites, I'll bring along a couple of coin shop coins that only cost a couple bucks and gladly turn them over when I'm through. We're both happy then and it leads to more introductions.

The key to recovery is sometimes being the first on the scene at a prospective site and this is a sure fire way to beat the competition.


Need a cheap & quick display board for some of your finds? Use a piece of Styrofoam about an inch thick...other dimensions to your needs....wrap it in a piece of felt (purple looks "royal") and keep it in place with straight pins or hot glue. Mount tokens or other finds with more pins at the edges to hold it in place. The pin heads are almost invisible, and arrangement of items is a snap. Fashion an easel or simply prop it up against something. Very impressive and rich looking display for your treasures. Regards, Frank (TX)


If you are detecting and your detector starts to give false signals, try to adjust the sensitivity. If that doesn't work change out the batteries. This will usually fix the problem.


I've discovered that carrying a hand-held scoop is fine for the beaches but I often go into the water because I use the Fisher 1280 waterproof detector. This requires the long handled scoop for reaching down in deeper water.
My point is to use the long handled scoop even on the beach. The idea is to drag the scoop behind you in one hand as you cover the beach. Presto! you have marked exactly where you have gone and can go back and forth on the beach and actually overlap your coverage without missing any areas.


I am getting ready to dredge on my claim in some deep holes inthe river. My idea was to use a Hummingbird Fish Finder to check thedepth and all rock formations which may include crevices etc. now I understand the new models have a printed readout, which is perfect. So for detectorist who are working along streams or rivers for gold it would be very helpful for depth . I know you need a 12 volt battery. Maybe a motorcycle battery would work. Put in a backpack with digging tools and lunch for those hard to reach spots you can not drive too. I will be using this "tip" later in August as my small dredge does not have air and I want to know the configuration of the river before I go under the water. I also plan on taking my fishing pole too. Carolyn Carroll


Do not leave any car windows or doors open when treasure hunting. Reason: when in a remote area and your hunting not far from your car, you might consider leaving windows open on a hot day. Don't do it! it will give you a safe haven when you upset a wasp or bee nest.


It's no secret that aerial views are a great way to spot old homesteads within fields, but unfortunately it's not always easy to find someone willing to take you up at a reasonable price. You may want to try finding the place on terra server There you can view aerial photographs of much of the United States and many other places in the world. Granted only higher populated areas are shown, but they do cover a pretty good portion. Good luck.


This is a great way to gain permission to search private property without asking, and with very little effort. Go to your local police station and volunteer your detecting services to the community to help find lost jewelry, wedding rings, and such. You'd be surpassed how many people go to the police when they loose their valuable jewelry. Police will also be more friendly when they "see you" especially when you have offered to help them better serve the community. This may seem pointless, to find things for people, free of charge, but you'd be surpassed how generous someone can be, when you find something so personally valuable to them once lost forever. On many occasions, I have been offered rewards and given permission to search entire yards, in return for my small effort. And not only that, people are so grateful at your generosity that they more times than not, turn up more private property for you to search. All this for spending a little time searching for a wedding ring. What a bargain. ~Jim (Iowa)


Here's a trick that will make your detector's standard loop size more versatile when hunting trashy "hunted out" park areas while using a 8" to 9.5" size loop. When you hit a trashy area, raise your loop a couple of inches off the ground and scan the area again. This will narrow the pattern that your search coil sends into the ground, only allowing it to "see" a much smaller area (depending on how far you hold the coil away). This enables your deep seeking loop to act much like the smaller coil, giving you greater separation in areas of high trash (that can "mask" valuable targets), yet allows you to find the deep signals when conditions permit. Your detector's loop sends a signal into the ground much like the shape of a funnel. This is also why overlapping the passes you make with your loop is critical when detecting those very deep signals. ~The best of luck to you bringing home the keepers that the others missed. ~Jim (Iowa)


This is for water hunters and night time hunters: Get a can of white (nonmetallic) spray paint. Paint your coil. When you are in the water you can see your coil much better. Also works great with low light hunts. Makes it easier to retrieve your finds!


Once when I recovered a clad quarter at less than 3" I lost the signal after I pulled the plug. After a little patient investigating I noticed that the coin had ended up on it's edge in the middle of my recovery. My signal vanished since the surface area of the quarter was greatly diminished from what my detector could see. Sometimes "stirring" the soil after the signal disappears in the middle of recovery, can make your target come back into view. Just thought this little bit of info could save you some frustration out in the field.Good luck out there! Jim (Iowa)


Get a Frisbee or plastic lid, when digging for target place the dirt in the Frisbee or lid makes it very neat when you pour the dirt back into the hole. Make sure you cut a slot in the lid for this and also make sure the lid is flexible but strong. I find it works great


SHADOW TIP: If you're in close quarters with another machine that is making yours chatter, press the coin check and hold it in. This will help reduce interference. It will give you some borrowed time.


Communication is priceless. Talking to other detectorists, visiting web sites like this one, reading TH'er magazines, etc helps you learn more about the hobby. Communicating to the non TH'ers (especially the land owners) helps you find more places to search. Both will increase your quality & quantity of finds.


DON'T GIVE UP: I search the park across the street from my house whenever I have enough time to hunt, but not enough time to travel to any of my other sites. I've been hunting this same park rather heavily the whole time I've been detecting. Even so, I had been missing that 1939 Mercury silver dime until just a few weeks ago. So don't give up on a site. You never know what you may have missed or what may have been lost there since the last time you hunted the site.


Check out your local sidewalk construction sites. I recently followed this advice, & my very first target was an 1882 Indian Head.


When beach hunting why not make a few bucks on the side:
When hunting on the beach buy a shirt and have someone print on the back:
A friend of mine make $500.00 one summer, He didn't charge everyone.....


A tip for beach hunting:
A scoop is needed for beach hunting, Try a magnet inside the scoop for pick up all iron objects so that you don't have to keep searching for that item that is too small and slipsthrought your scoop.


spray some WD40 on your digging tool for hard ground and it will keep it from rusting too. TX Joe


Almost all detectorists have experienced that "lost" feeling while detecting and notice the battery indicator is now in the low area. The solution, of course, is to carry an extra set, but they take up too much room in a pocket, and the chance of shorting is great, especially if you're also carrying keys or change in the same pocket.
An eyeglasses case with a belt clip is a viable option. It will hold two packs of 4 AA batteries, with room left for a 9 volt battery (for Tinytec or similar). The weight is negligible when clipped to a belt. This may not work for some detector packs, but for the Garrett GTA & GTI series, it is excellent. Regards, Frank (TX)


Detecting tip from Texas. If you are ever in a grown up area with weeds, thorns, poison ivy/oak, then take along a small sheet of plywood with a decent hole in it. First of all, you can detect through the plywood. Gives you something you can stand on while watching for critters around you. Pull the hole up to the pinpointed area and dig. Pretty good. They never knew you were even there. Cuts down on contact with poison ivy/oak. Phil Harrison Farmersville, Texas


Here's a tip for all you nuggetshooters out there, keep that coil right on the ground and parallel to the ground when you're swinging it. If you're not going through a coil cover every 4 or 5 times out you're not close enough to good old mother earth. Remember you might be missing some nice gold because you're swinging that coil 1" or 2" above pay dirt! Gary Benson


Here is a nice tip: Find your local detecting club and join up! You can learn a lot from others and have a great time with your fellow treasure hunters.


Have you ever wanted to hunt for just a given amount of time and didn't have your watch handy? My time is limited to say the least, and I often don't remember when I need to quit detecting and get on home (which leads me into trouble with my better half). What I have done to remedy this problem is to buy one of the small digital clocks (which have the stickum on the back) and stick it on the face of my metal detector. You can get them in all sizes and shapes and the time is right there in front of your face so you will never have an excuse to be late again because you didn't realize that a lot more time has past having so much fun MD'ing. It works great on my Fishers' and White's units. Happy hunting and God Bless!


Carry a bunch of brightly colored golf tees in your apron. Search a small area and mark your hits with the tees. After marking as many as you care to you can set your detector down, take off your headset and concentrate on digging for awhile. You can use white for 3", yellow for 6", red for 10" or something like that. Mike Terpin


Don't use the discriminate feature on your detector as the only way to reduce digging junk. Use pinpoint with a relatively low discrimination instead. A good clean hit in pinpoint mode always deserves a dig, as coins and rings hit sharply, while tabs come in often wavy. Wadded-up foil sounds off like a short blip. Crushed screw caps and pieces of cooper roof flashing and round pieces of lead will need to be dug, can't be helped.


When metal detecting old sites that you feel are basically hunted out, go back over the site in all metal mode. You would be surprised what your detector discriminates out.


I have found it so useful to use a three claw rock hammer with a $20.00 magnet attached to the top to pick up all metal in the ground when digging. It saves tons of time and sweat.

Posted 5 May 99 by Jim Vokes

PRACTICE PINPOINTING: Here is a really great way to practice pinpointing. Have a friend tape a dime to a large piece of cardboard. Then lay it coin down on the grass in an area that is free of metal objects. Now attempt to pinpoint the coin through the cardboard. When satisfied, place a pin through the cardboard and see how close you pinpointed. Try to visualize the spot on the coil where the coin actually was. After a few times doing this, you will become quite accurate and also learn something about your particular machine.
Jim Vokes Caledonia, NY
Home Page
AOL IM Screen Name JVokes15
ICQ #4825211

Posted 7 April 99 by
Try this the next time you go out just after a rain or in a swampy area. Get a pair of surgical gloves at any drugstore or buy em by the box at a wholesale food supplier. They are sensitive enough to feel coins in the dirt and they offer some protection for your hands. They can also be used several times or until they get a hole in them.Happy hunting.

Posted 11 March 99 by Rick Kilgore (

Here's a good idea for those of use that use a pin pointer, homemade or store bought. If you don't want to purchase a holder for it then here's what you can do. If you use a trash and cash or carpenters apron then place the pinpointerr in one of the apron pockets and mark the apron where the front and back meet. Take a needle and thread and sew along that line making a pocket just for youpinpointerr. When you put the apron on just put that pocket on your side so the wand doesn't dig into your stomach.

Posted 9 March 99 by Rick Rice (

Detect those end of the street spots where the kids hangout to catch the bus ; I just recently searched the one at the end if my street & found a gold plated ring ; A watch & a lot of coins for a small spot; there good possiblitys at these spots, Also check you state highway maps for parks & beaches listed & the old road side rest stops & picnic areas as in thee 50's these were very popular, Thanx Rich; also if you know of any more tips please add & I will donate a silver dollar to the one Tom draws out of his hat; we need tipsters.

Posted 3 March 99 by

KEEP NOTES: Although nothing beats exploring uncharted ground, the stark reality for many of us is to go over that local ball field, or city park for yet a third or 4th time. I have found it is essential to keep notes. On a 3" X 5" note card or computer file, simply note the site location and any ground anomalies or site characteristics that you should remember. In one volleyball court I hunted several times, the contractor had secured the foundation with asphalt with 1" galvanized pipes pounded into the ground. A steel pipe on end looks just like a quarter at 8 -10". Because I had forgotten this fact since the last time I had visited, I dug the same false quarter signal. Keep copious notes of your programs, detector settings, where you start(when your fresh) and where you end (When your tired and missing signals). Good notes will let you spend more time hunting and less time re-learning your favorite sites.

Posted 1 March 99 by

I find that I'm always laying down my shovels,rakes,tools, etc. and having to go back to pick all of them up after detecting an area, just to lay them down again somewhere else. Problem solved: found an old two-wheel golf bag carrier at a yard sale for $2 and put a round bucket at the bottom to hold everything together, including my detector. As I traversed ground looking for THE place to start, all my 'stuff' rolled along behind me, ready for action. The strap at the top of the carrier nicely 'snugs' everything together!

Posted 12 Feb 99 by Gus Morrow (

Often, when small pieces of metal rusts (wire pins and nails), it blends into the soil and has the same color. You get a strong signal but go nuts trying to find it. This is especially true at dusk. In these situations I just wave my 3" long bar magnet over the dirt and the tiny piece pops up out of the dirt to kiss my magnet and saves my sanity.Gus Morrow, Oceanside, CA

Posted 21 Jan 99 by Tom Hale (

COMPETITION HUNT TIP: Here's some of the best advice that you can get for the competition field .....practice. When I attended my first hunt I was shocked at how poor my results were, I could'nt believe how low my numbers were compared to the other hunters. Not to be outdone I set up a private field in my yard and had a friend bury pennies cut in half for targets. I practiced this way for many days and honed my recovery speed, now I travel the competition circuit in the mid west and rarely come away with less than four times my entry fee. There are plenty of tricks of the trade, but the first step is recovering that target as fast as possible so you can make it the next one. Remember every second counts and theres only so much time.

Posted 17 January 99 by

When you are having trouble with your detector first turn off your machine & then remove the battery s for a little while to allow the computer to reboot; If that does't make it better put in newbatterys as yourbatterss could be weak; the other thing to check is the coil connection & to make sure the coil wire is not flipping around on the stem. I have had these problems with my Minelab Sovreign & Garrett GTa x 1000 before & the rebooting by removing batterys solved the problem; but this will work on all the computerized models; Thanx Rich

Posted 17 January 99 by

I have found a lot of TH'ing locales while scanning the classified ads of the New York Times and other newspapers. I'm mostly interested in auction ads because I've found properties being auctioned that at one time may have been resorts, etc. I've found a couple of ads announcing the sale of amusement parks dating from the late 1800s. Old, one-room schools are included and just about every type of old structures and grounds. Edward Lopez, NYC.

Posted 17 January 99 by
I live a 1/2 block from Central Park in NYC, an 843-acre paradise. Whenever we have torrential rains I take a walk in the park right afterward and look for soil erosion especially on steep inclines. I always come home with silver dimes and quarters (and other exposed goodies) and on my last trip (summer 1998) found, besides silver coins and a couple of gold items, a complete cobalt blue soda water bottle dating from 1848. It has been appraised at more than $200. Keep your eyes to the ground! Edward Lopez, NYC.

Posted 11 January 99 by Mark (

When winter sets in and the ground is hard as rock, I've found that by finding areas on hills where the water cuts gullys some coins are almost (and sometimes are) exposed. Check areas like this after the sun had hit them for while. Even better, after it rains. I found a 1912 Barber dime when checking a signal, and just picked it up, with no digging. I had almost given up for the winter.

Posted 7 Jan 99 by Chuck Milhouse

Cleaning Coins: I have used one part flour, one part salt, and just enough vinegar to make a paste.. and a soft toothbrush to clean copper, brass, some great... Good hunting. Chuck

Posted 3 January 99 by Mark (

This is a very simple and something that I find as enjoyable as the hunt itself. Whenever people walk by, most are very interested and ask many questions about my finds and the detector. I always take time to talk with them and many times they give me ideas about future sites to go to. Many have children and I will show them how my detector works. I think that this is a great way to promote the hobby with very little effort.

Posted 29 Dec 98 by victor a. reeves"

Do you ever get tired of walking, and stopping to dig those targets, you have to bend down with your headphones and detector and stop your searching to dig those targets I have a solution. Buy a bag of cheap golf tees if you want paint the tops of the tees a bright color so you dont have a tough time seeing the tees in thick grass, Start your search and as you find and pinpoint your target in the ground all you have to do is bend over and slip a tee in the center of the pinpointed area, and continue your search. As you cover a good area of the yard stop your search put down your detector grab a soda and go back to your tees and take your time digging your finds, so you dont feel rushed in covering a wide area in a quick time. This way after detecting for a while your able to get off your feet for a while and be able to take a little rest. I have found this technique to be very rewarding, and it is easier to spend time digging up those valuable treasures instead of spending time worrying about covering such a wide area in such a short time, and if you get tired very easy, as I do, it keeps you from getting tired so quick during your hunt. This could also be used as a buddy system for a couple of friends, paint you tees different colors and go back together and dig your finds, it can also be used with husband and wife, you can detect the finds and mark them and she can go behind you and dig the area marked, or visa versa. So give it a shot i really think if you tried it out a couple of times in certain areas it really pays off. HAPPY HUNTING!!

Posted 21 Dec 98 by Clem Porter

When beach detecting I find it best to work very slowly over a small area and dig every reasonable signal even if you think it might be a ring pull. Some of those 'uncertain' signals have turned out to be coins and rings.

Posted 18 Dec 98 by Dave Milsted (

Go to your local home supply super store and get a cheap tool box. I have filled mine with extra batteries, probes, headphones, hand shovels, sun screen, gloves, waterless soap, aprons, rain poncho, tape, and anything else you might need when detecting. When you go Md'ing all you have to do is grab your detector and your tool box. Happy Hunting Dave Milsted

Posted 18 Dec 98 by Kathleen (

When you get those long handled scoops, it is difficult to carry them out front of you, with it not interfering with some detectors, and it hurts like hell on the shoulder. So... the tip!
Go to your local home building supply company, get a small piece of air conditioning insulation tubing, it is a foam hollow middle type of has a slit on one side of the tube the length of the tubing, cut a piece that slips over the handle of the scoop and then rest it on your shoulder and it will be so much more comfortable, you may last out there longer in your search. Happy hunting. Kathleen, in Sebastian, Florida

Posted 17 Dec 98 by

Some versions of an icepick and screwdriver seem to be standard tools for those recovering coins in grass and not desiring to leave unwelcome signs. Those tools are quite hard and may damage a valuable coin. To minimize or eliminate damage I've fabricated the following tools:
For the probe I obtained a length of brass gas line pipe from a hobby shop just the right inner diameter to seize and hold on the tapered shaft of my ice pick without the need for solder or glue and then cut it a few inches longer to extend it's length. A bead of soft solder was formed on the tip of the tube. Alternately, you can fashion a piece of wooden skewer to fit in the end for an even softer touch. However, this approach lacks durability and that metal-to-metal touch when probing. Try it.
For the coin popper I use a sturdy square screwdriver with the blade cushioned by a small piece of heat-shrinkable tubing intended for electronic cutters and plier handles.
Since using these tools I've never scratched a surface or marred the milling on coins.

Posted 16 Dec 98 by

Looking for a place to hunt, Just check your local newspaper. A check of the Sunday paper for used building materials showed an ad for used doors and window frames from a home being demolished and gave the address. Another add under houses for sale (to be moved) listed three older homes and four barn's in good condition to be removed from property. Adds like this can provide you with a place to hunt just by picking up the phone and making the call.

Posted 16 Dec 98 by Greg Oehring (

I have found that wood lathe tools (the half circle kind) Make excellent plug-cutting tools. You can find them at yard sales. They're strong and have nice wooden handles on them for ease of use.

Posted 14 Dec 98 by Rick Rice (

When out detecting get your self a pair of dowsing rods or make A pair from 2 coat hangers; make rods in a "B" shape 6" x 17" long ; use a couple pcs of plastic pipe or hose or metal tubing to put your short end of rod in so they swing & pivot real free. Dowse by holding the rods about chest level about 14" apart with the tips of rods pointed down about 5 Degrees; drop down more if windy. Think about what you want to find before you start. Then think about following the tips of your rods & follow them to where they swing you around in a circle or cross. This is your target, mark it & several others with poker chips; then come back & detect an area about 6-8 foot around target area with your detector; you'll be surprised how good this works & ANYONE can do it. Checkout these American Society of Dowsing on the net for more info. plus they sell dowsing equipment real reasonable as they are a club. Email me if I can help. Do not buy a long range dowsing instrument unless the seller will give you a free demo to see it work. Also you can have you kidsor grand kids mark there targets with poker chips & you can check the targets with your better detector & help them dig if needed, Note : credit the poker chip trick to Andy SabichThananx Rich Rice

Posted 12 Dec 98 by Bob (

Patience,Patience and more Patience if all you are looking for is that Big Dimond Ring or that Gold Coin Have Patience, If you dont dig those signals,thinking its junk then ya have no Patience. Everyones searching for the mother load and if they dont find it well they spend more money on a bigger and better detector,have Patience,its out there, take your time and have FUN isn't this why we detect.If you done this long enough you already know all the tricks,so the best tip ya can have is,,,BE PATIENT AND HAVE FUN

Posted 12 Dec 98 by Tony Frisco (

New Scoop?: For you cat owners out there , you might be familiar with this. There is a new cat litter scoop on the market out there that is big, and has a huge round handle on it in which you slide a plastic bag over the handle. (newspaper plastic bags fit perfect. Slide the plastic bag on, scoop, shift, and the objects you just found slide into the bag. Very easy and it saves lots of time and trouble finding a place to put your new found goodies. Happy Hunting and Happy Holidays

Posted 11 December 98 by Dusty (

When ever I hunt a site I divide it into several small patches or grids. I lay a couple of sticks or rocks down to mark my course or I use landmarks like buildings, bushes, trees, or sidewalks. I hunt each grid in all directions untill I'm satisfied I have found evrything there is to be found on that day. Then I move to my next grid and do the same. I will sometimes go back to the site and do it all over again after a long steady rain or a hard frost. This method takes some patience, but you'd be suprised what will pop out of the ground during your second or thrid pass. Dusty

Posted 10 December 98 by Bob Shumpert (

My tip is if your in an area where you really know nothing about. turn disc maybe off till you see what`s in the paticular area & you can always add a little as you may need it for such items as nails,ect,,. make sure your coil is as close as possible to the ground to prevent loss of depth. Go slow & overlap those sweeps because the deeper the object (especially coins) the less coverage you may be getting if its down deep. oh ya, don`t forget to listen to those faint signals as well! happy hunting to all. Bob Shumpert.

Submitted 8 December 98 by Chris A Imes (

My tip is to never shy away from the bushes. Me and my step-dad had searched an old library that held a site of one of the oldest schools in this towns history. As we searched the grounds grass we collected nothing, as I started towards the library I entered the bushes and then a few minutes later I received three coins that are ones of my best to date (1856,1887-S Dime,and a 1857 Half Dime) all in a 10 foot area. So my advice to you is if you enough time to search a whole lawn you surely have time to sweep through a garden, trust me you wont regret it

Posted 7 December 98 by Gene Feierstein (

When using my trusty Garrett GTAx 500, I have found that nickels sound different from pulltabs if they are near the surface. A pulltab will give you a single beep when you sweep over it, but a nickel will produce two short beeps in rapid succession.

Posted 7 December 98 by

Dont buy foreign-made military shovels. you will always be money ahead buying durable u.s. military entrenching shovels, especially the all metal folding version.

Posted 6 Dec 98 by

My tip of the week Trashy park? getting Discouraged Don't overlook the playgrounds this area is especially good practice and productive for beginners Under the swings turn up Rings and earrings for me and the couple bucks in change buys lunch another Tip Get out there and Detect!

Posted 6 Dec 98 by Timothy Worrell (

When searching beaches it is easy to lose track of your search pattern, and thereby leave some ground unsearched. An easy way of keeping track of your search pattern is to DRAG something...anything behind you. This will leave a nice line in the sand that is easy to see. I drag my surf scoop behind me..but you can use anything...I have even gimped it down a beach...dragging my foot in the sand. Keep in mind on HOW you swing your coil also...this method will reveal short comings in how you search a beach rather quickly.

Posted 5 Dec 98 by Randy Steele (

Whenever looking for an old house site or just out walking in the woods, look for flowers or plants that seem out of place. These flowers could mark the edge of a walk or sides of a long gone house.

Posted 5 Dec 98 by Alan Friend (

I think the best tip is to find other people using metal detectors where you live and learn from their experience. Call up a local club. Check with Tom for a hunting buddy. Two heads are always better than one, especially if the other head has been treasure hunting longer in the area.

Posted 27 Nov 98 by Eric (

Well have I got one for you.If you live in a small city and have those nice old brick buildings that were built in the early 1900s or before most of those places had dirt basements no covering. I have found my best finds in these old places All you have to do is get permission.The coins come up looking like the day they were minted plus the nice old tokens and even some nice old bottles with the old metal caps on them. Thanks. Eric

Posted 27 Nov 98 by JAMES L KELLOGG

When I hunting a large area like a football or soccer field,and I want to do it from different directions over a period of days(weeks). To avoid having to "redig" those mangled cans that have such a good sound but you really don't want to dig a crater to recover simply use a golf "tee" to mark the spot, push it well down in the grass

Posted 27 Nov 98 by victor a. reeves

Heres a good tip - Learn your poisonous plants.Once while searching an old homestead site that was heavily overgrown,I was unaware that the plants all over the ground and on the trees was Poison Oak until I broke out with blisters on my hands and face .So before you go to unfamiliar territory make sure you know what Poison Oak,Ivy and Sumac looks like - If it has three let it be! (Happy Safe Hunting).Vic R

Posted 25 Nov 98 by

Having trouble reading dates on your coins.Try rubbing the coin with a pencil eraser. It will remove the dirt and even put a little shine on it without scratching. I do this with wheat pennies, older nickles and the newer coins that are tarnished. It also works on some jewelry.

Posted 24 Nov 98 by Joe (

Hi everyone out there, try this when you find a coin that needs cleaning and you don't have a coin tumbler. Take a brass brush and gently brush the coin, all the dirt will come off and will leave the dark looking old color, it will leave minor scratches but nothing bad, you don't want to do this on any silver coins, just pennies(wheat/indian heads/large cents etc, seems to work on nickles too and even works on relics like old buttons war metals etc. Try this on a Indian head penny and i think that you will agree that it really works great. The brass brush is no bigger then a tooth brush.

Posted 24 Nov 98 by Jim Vokes (

Instead of the various aprons offered to place detected objects into, consider wearing a pair of Army Camo Pants purchased at the local military supply store... They are strong, tough, have many large pockets and are relatively inexpensive... I have two pair, one set that fits normally and one set that is large enough to fit over dress clothes for the times when you are on the road and discover some "sidewalk construction' (hint, hint!) or old cellar hole!

Posted 23 Nov 98 by Claude Courtney (

If you have clad or silver coins which have been discolored from tumbling with copper coins, you can clean them using "Westley's Bleche White" (white sidewall tire cleaner). Use in place of your regular cleaning solution along with aquarium stone or whatever you normally use. Tumble for an hour, check and tumble longer if needed.

Posted 23 Nov 98 by Claude Courtney (

I put a piece water pipe foam insulation on the length of the shaft of my detector. This protects the shaft and cable when in heavy brush or under bushes etc. Fasten with electrical tape.

Posted 23 Nov 98 by Claude Courtney (

If you shallow water hunt in mud bottom and hip mount your control box fasten Styrofoam (approx 1"x2"x6") to shaft as close to coil as possible. Fasten another piece (same size) at opposite end of shaft. Your detector will now float when you let go of it and you can break off chunks of dirt or mud in your shovel to pass over coil to check for target. I use electrical tape to fasten styrofoam.

Posted 23 Nov 98 by Roy (

Very inexpensive scoop: Went to a farm supply store and bought a plastic feed scoop. Cost was $2.99 and plastic won't interfere with your detector. Then drilled several holes in bottom and sides just smaller than a dime. Countersink holes to remove any burrs. Dry sand will sift through the holes and if sand is wet then I swish it in a couple of inches of water and sand and small rocks are gone in no time at all. I've been using mine for 4 years now and it's still holding up really good.

Posted 23 Nov 98 by Victor A. Reeves (

When searching areas with squirrel or gopher holes, always check the dirt the little critters dig out. I have found many good coins this way.

Submitted 22 Nov 98 by

Battery tip: A large percentage of us use AA's in our machines. At least one of the major warehouse clubs (hint: the nation's favorite Uncle has the same name) carries a 40 pack of alkaline AA's for 9 or 10 dollars (fear not, it's a quality brand). That's a SERIOUS discount compared to what most of us pay in the average store.

Submitted 21 Nov 98 by Jim Lagowski (

Hi, this tip has little to do with MD but has saved my BUTT many times. When I go out I always leave my watch in the car and never know what time it is. When the boss says I should be home at a specific time I'm always late!!! and you know what that means. Problem solved!!! Go to any store and buy one of the cheap stick on clocks (with a big enough display) and stick it on the detector where you can see it!!!! Now, when I'm late I just say it was to dark to see the clock. Good luck. Jim Lagowski

Posted 20 Nov 98 by Steve McCue (

Here's a sure- fire way to get a bunch of leads. Go to your health dept and ask to see all the out of business swimming pool's addresses. The pools were required to register with them at one time. When you have the list go to each and detect. Many are now vacant lots, etc. Some are now parking lots or buildings but enough are just waiting for you .

Posted 20 Nov 98 by Weatherhead (

Buy your kids a cheap detector. This means they can enjoy themselves while your detecting. My 4 year old daughter Imogen, found a 1st World War Victory medal in our back garden under a tree. Unfortunately it was not rare as 7,500,000 were minted. The detector has already paid for itself from coins found on beaches. Happy hunting Pete

Submitted 19 Nov 98 by Mike Vande Voort (

HI All, Do your research!Tip: Find your way to the archives or records room in your local library. Then, ask the attendant where you might find the files on your city/local parks. Scan these old articles and pictures very carefully. I've found that a very over-hunted park in my town will still produce for me simply because I know where things used to be. I've found the original location of an old bridge, and a outdoor amphitheater, both circa 1900, and have found my oldest coin to date at this park. Keep searching and re-searching!Good Luck, Mike.

Submitted 18 Nov 98 by Larry Racine (


Submitted 18 Nov 98 by

Being fairly new to coin detecting i was always in a hurry and missed a lot of coins. One day in a park next to our properly i unearthed a 1887 sitting liberty followed by 2 buffaloes and 4 wheat pennies, all at a fast pace. The nest day i found a couple of wheat pennies dated in the early 1900!s all coins were found 4 " underground . after another pass i felt there were none left. After a year of experience and advice from my supplier i started the year off at a snail! pace and begin to fine more coins. I decided to try the park again and to my surprise the in the same area i my wife and i unearthed 30 coins dating between 1860 and 1920. My tip of course is don!t be in a hurry,make several criss cross passes and dip all beeps

Submitted 18 Nov 98 by Rick Rice (

Try getting your state highway map , it will usually list beaches & parks that you can hunt; just check laws if in doubt, & please use apron & cart out all your junk targets: Remember YOU may hunt this site again , also don,t even think about cleaning a coin if you think it is at all valuable as most coin collectors, dealers & buyers would rather clean them them their self or leave natural as is, also some coin grading services will not accept cleaned coins.

Submitted 17 Nov 98 by Dan Zydel (

I've found a great place to find jewelry and sometimes even "keeper" coins is old baseball and football fields. These can be at parks, town recreation areas, or even schools. Alot of people remove these items before indulging in the activity and sometimes can't find them afterwards. Other times they will wear them during the game; only to lose them when making a spectacular, game- saving dive or something like that. Of course, under bleachers or benches is the best place to start; followed by bases or goal posts. There is always the usual trash, but the finds are worth it. I've never left a field with less than at least a few bucks in clad, and rarely without a ring or two.

Submitted 17 Nov98 by

We're always reminded not to take a chance on spoiling a detecting outing by forgetting to carry extra batteries or even a back-up detector. Chances are, though, if anything is going to break it will be your headphone cord or connector. This may be hard to repair out in the middle of nowhere so keep your eyes peeled for an inexpensive headset to throw in the car with your other "emergency" could save the day for you!

Submitted 17 Nov 98 by

Although there are many different tools and methods for retrieving our finds, most of them work best when kept sharp. Knives, trowels and even plug cutters dull quickly out in the field. I always carry a file in my car or pack to freshen that edge when necessary.

Submitted 17 Nov 98 by

Rubber kitchen gloves (Playtex Living, for example) are an inexpensive way to obtain a great glove for MD'ing that is thin enough for dexterity, yet tough enough to keep you safe from broken glass and other digging hazards. They'll eventually "give up the ghost", but it's easy enough to move on to the next pair. And they're much less bulky than the average work glove. We all know how bulky pockets and cases start to get with all the accessories we bring at times.

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Lee Franzen (

Get 5 feet of 1 inch elastic strap.a buckle, a swivel snap,and a good spring paper clip. Bring strap through swivel snap and sew to gather about 10 inches back from swivel. You put this strap over shoulder opposite the side you hold your detector with, over neck down the side you do hold it with. On the detector near handle usually in front make a connector for the swivel snap to hook into.Can use plastic tie,strong cord ect.. Run wire from earphones through the two straps where the swivel snap is sewed and move it up and clip it with spring paper clip so it is out of your way. This will take some of the weight off your detector and if you let the handle go it will not jerk off your ear phones

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Dewey (

I found using a screwdriver to probe for coins etc. to be less than the ideal way to do it. My solution was to use a stainless steel welding rod embedded in an old mop handle to be the ideal probing tool. You can make it as long or short as you want it. Good Luck

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Jim Vokes (

When doing an old church or school yard... Check the edges of the sidewalks very carefully... I have found many old coins right up against the sidewalk at these type sites that are supposed to be hunted out!!!

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Jim Vokes (

To eliminate brown spots when detecting lawns, cut your plug in a wedge or pie shape leaving one side to hinge the grass.. Leaving the roots connected like this while retrieving the target will encourage growth and eliminated the dreaded brown spots... When removing some of the dirt, don't forget to use a drop cloth to place the excess dirt on.

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Jim Vokes (

There are many ways in which I find older sites to detect. First and foremost is my mouth! I talk about and promote my hobby with almost everyone I come in contact with. From my friends, my barber, the guy next to me in the restaurant, at weddings, etc. (you get the idea) - especially anyone who comes up to me when I'm actually detecting! I talk about my finds, where I found them and the types of sites I am most interested in. In the course of the conversation, I ask if they remember any sites like these. I talk about how I retrieve my targets and the kind of metal detector I use. I promise you that you will be absolutely amazed!!! If you follow my advice on this one tip alone, you will have more sites to detect than you can hunt in a lifetime...

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Jim Vokes (

I have maps from the 1800’s for the surrounding counties and villages. First I look for and mark the old schools, churches, railroad stations, parks etc. to actually go locate and verify. Sometimes they still exist which is great and sometimes they are now a vacant field which is BETTER. I then look at road names - i.e. - Church Street, Railroad Ave., Stone Falls Rd, Academy St. Grove St. - well you get the idea, for additional leads.

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by James Carnahan(

Read! There's a hundred thousand dollar education available between covers of books and magazines on just about any subject. Those with computers and the Internet have exceptional "face to face" opportunities to learn. Subscribe to, or buy, treasure magazines to get first hand accounts that you can put to use. Buy some of the numerous books that are available to learn about different fields of treasure hunting that tweak your interest such as water hunting, cache hunting, coin shooting, etc. Above all, when you buy a detector read it's manual; once, twice, a dozen times. If you don't understand the detector and how it works, your chances of much success are very slim. Pursuing the above will enhance your ability to become a successful treasure hunter.

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Lynd McCormick (

Here is my suggestion for a pair of detecting gloves: Buy a good pair of leather "drivers gloves" from your local home supply or hardware store, they will run you about $15.00. Wash them well with warm, soapy water and let them dry. After completely dry, soak them down with baseball glove conditioner, which you can buy at any sporting goods store for about $2.00. Make sure that you saturate them well, and let them sit for a day. They will become very flexible, soft, and tough, as leather should be. I often scrub them and re-coat them as the season goes on. These gloves are the best thing that I have found to protect my hands from sharp metal objects and glass that you often find in your dig holes. Especially if you hunt old homesites, these gloves are the ticket. Because the baseball conditioner is an oil, the gloves will also be fairly waterproof. These gloves will also protect your hands from drying out, as they will from all of the dirt.

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Pete Weatherhead(

My top tip is once I have located a coin or artifact, I stand on the hole I,ve dug, and really concentrate on the area within the radius of the detector. It amazing the number of people who lose more than one artifact

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by

Winter isn't the end of everything! We have had one snowfall that brought the plows out to a local shopping mall. Reasonably warm weather returned briefly and I ran my detector through the remaining snow the plows had deposited at the perimeter of the parking lot. Results? 2 silver rings, $2.53 clad coins and a very nice 1948 "D" Wheat cent. I have found a way to TH all through the winter months!

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Nelson(

When you are out in the park in the early morning watch the squirrels and the crows. It seems that city animals and birds are somewhat different that their country cousins in that they are part pack rat. They find the darndest things while they are out foraging. Squirrels will pick up anything shiny and so will crows and then they will hide it, squirrels hide things on the ground while crows hide things in trees, either in nests or the crotch of the tree. Try it and you will be amazed at what you will find. Norm

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Alan Friend(

If you live in a large city go to the Engineering Department and asked for the oldest aerial maps of the part of the city you wish to hunt in. These maps show what used to be in the area.
For example; I got copies of aerial maps for a large residential section of downtown area which was bought up for a new freeway. The construction of the freeway was put off for several years, however the streets and sidewalks were still left in place.
I used the aerial maps to find which how houses were oriented in relationship to the street. This allowed me to hunt the area where there was yard, where the trees were, where the driveway was and where the clothes line was in the backyard. If you hunt an old house it is a good bet that the clothes line will be a productive area for dimes and pennies which fell out of the pockets as Mom shook the pants and folded them before putting them in the basket. I used this same technique to locate an old park that used to be along a river which was channeled to divert the water flow. The old park was sold to developer who subdivided it into a commercial business center. I used the map to located areas where people congregated by a band stand. I hope these tips help. Alan Friend

Submitted 16 Nov 98 by Daniel Wheeler(

Subject: Newspaper Morgue With winter coming, a lot of TH'ers put their detectors away. But don't but your mind away with it! Winter is a perfect time to check out libraries and newspapers for tips. Things to check: gold, silver, found, robberies, and the lost and found ads. Why lost and found? Think about it: people who lost something of value probably had a good idea of where it was lost. In most larger cities, these ads go back 50 years or further, BEFORE METAL DETECTING. E'nuf said.

Submitted 14 Nov 98 by Tony Frisco (


Submitted 30 Aug 98 by Sammy Nelson (
Cheap Pinpointer: for a real cheap and efficient pinpointing device try an electronic stud finder. I got one at the local hardware store and believe you me it works great. You cant poke it down in the hole but if you excavate the dirt on a drop cloth and check it out with the stud finder it becomes a coin and jewelry finder. Ive tried it for over a month now and am on the second set of batteries and it has saved me a lot of time. If its not in the dirt on your cloth its still in the hole and all you have to do is take out a little more dirt. These things sell for about fifteen dollars for a good one.

Submitted 28 June 98 by Scott Buckner (

Research: We all know the value of research to make our hunting outings more productive. But sometimes, research isn't possible -- especially if you have an hour or two to kill in a town in which you've never been and happen to have your detector in the back seat. One of the first places you should seek out (particularly if you're in an older town) is the main park. Almost without exception, they'll be in the downtown area either on or within a block or two on either side of the main drag thru the heart of town. It's also usually near the town hall. Pass up the temptation to hunt parks in areas of town where streets aren't laid out in a grid pattern (streets traveling straight north and south and east and west). Neighborhoods with winding streets are recent inventions (post 1960s), and will yield only modern clads in almost all cases. The oldest areas of town were always laid out in grid pattern and parks in those areas will yield the highest percentage of older coins and possibly relics.

Submitted 28 June 98 by Scott Buckner (

Hunting Picnic Areas--When hunting picnic areas, be on the lookout for large, isolated trees that are sitting in the middle of nowhere. Besides providing lots of shade, they also provide a measure of isolation for folks looking to put some distance between themselves and families with screaming, rambunctious children and beer drunks intent on practicing the Rebel Yell. Sweep the bases of these low and slow -- there's definitely a few clads (and sometimes lots more) just waiting there.

Submitted 28 June 98 by Scott Buckner (

Picnic Areas--While hunting in a picnic grove at a fishing lake during early spring, one thing occurred to me as I surveyed the landscape and saw a bazillion picnic benches just seemingly dying to be searched for clads that have fallen out of pockets over the past year(s):
Early in the year (especially if you live up North where the snow flies), pass these by in favor of any picnic benches that are permanently anchored or cemented into the ground. In my neck of the woods, the forest preserve guys collect all the picnic benches for winter storage every October or November. When spring rolls around, after conference calls unlimited they load 'em all up on trucks and drop them wherever they please. So the end result about this time of year is this: Just because a picnic bench is sitting there *now* doesn't automatically mean a picnic bench has always been sitting in that exact spot last year or the year before.
Permanently anchored benches are another story. They've been there for some time and will turn up at least one or two clads somewhere within a 5' radius at least 90% of the time, especially if the site doesn't get much THing pressure.
However, that's not to say it isn't possible to find spots where picnic benches *have* been. Look for areas where the ground is bare or well worn in long strips about the width of a typical picnic bench. People sitting at these benches have a habit of wearing down the grass to nothing where their feet go under the bench when sitting at it. The areas just behind the bench seats also get a lot of wear and tear.
The exception to the moveable bench rule is, obviously, just after major holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the area has drawn enough people to sit wherever the bunch might've been dumped off during spring.

Submitted 28 June 98 by Scott Buckner (

Old Homesteads---Here's some wisdom passed down to me by some old-timers years ago when I was living in rural Florida. When hunting old homesteads and you come to a large tree near the house, take a good look up before you look down to sweep the base. To mark the exact spot of their hidden stash so they'd always remember the spot on their next visit, it was common for people to hammer a nail into the tree (usually somewhere on the lowest large overhanging branch) over the dug spot. Then next time out, they'd bring along a length of string with a metal washer attached to one end and wrap the other end around the nail -- allowing the the weighted end to point straight down to the spot where the valuables were kept. If you ever see a nail in a homestead tree, take extra time and care sweeping the area beneath it.

Submitted 26June98 by Mr. Dave"

Keep your hands cleanWhile metal detecting, make sure to carry a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. It's great for sanitizing the little nicks and cuts I invariably get during digging as well as a quick way to disinfect my hands after scooping up a buried dog turd at the beach. The plastic bottles of Purell (as small as .65 oz.) are available at your local outdoor store.

Submitted 25 March 98 by

In the area I treasure hunt in (Southwestern PA) there are a lot of rural areas that are used by hunters. In my searches I have come across numerous spent and unspent cartridges which can present a hazard if one is not careful while digging. Whenever retrieving coins, relics etc. be careful in removing what may appear to be "a harmless piece of brass", it may turn out to be a live cartridge that could explode in your face if you happen to hit the primer by mistake with your trowel. Good hunting (and safe hunting). Jerry A

Submitted 14 March 98 by

I love to watch old documentaries that include footage or photos of out-of-the-way events such as boxing matches, races, etc. I tape the show, then photograph the needed view and when I visit the actual site I can compare the now view with the old view and head for the area where the crowds congregated. Read your camera's manual or visit your library for how-to books. Edward Lopez, NYC.

Submitted 14 March 98 by

Don't scratch that coin! Get a solid fiberglass fishing pole (thrift store, less than $5); a rasp's wooden handle with metal band near hole ($2); all-purpose white glue (8 fl oz - $1). Cut pole in equal lengths of about 9"/10" and fit into handle and add glue. Let dry, sharpen blunt tip to almost a rounded point. Use.

Submitted 14 March 98 by

I've gotten into many construction sites (& government's!) because I show up wearing a safety hat approved by OSHA. Thrift store bargains (less than $5). Edward Lopez, NYC.

Submitted 3 Feb 98 by

I use old County Highway Maps that I order from the State Hightway Department. They show where the roads were prior to the 1940's Most States have these maps on mirco film and you can order them by County for just a few dollars. Well worth the money. These old maps show old country roads not now in use, plus these maps show where homes, business's and schools now long gone were located during that time.

Submitted 1 Feb by (Frank A. Kaminski)

Keep that trash! I found a site over 2 years ago which produced several car-related finds. i.e. Old ford gascap, 1970's pennzoil 20-20 oilcan lid, set of keys(skeleton keys, too). I kept these for some unknown reason. My wife later showed me a book about antique collecting. Almost all my finds were worth some cash! Not much, but enough to pay for batteries, soft drinks, gas, digging tools, hand soap, and a nice dinner for my wife.

Submitted 29 Jan 98 by (Steve McCue)
I keep a tool box of things in the trunk of my car. Inside are : an extra digger, aspirin, root saw, knife, roll of duct tape, benedryl [ bites - stings ], band aids, bug spray and flashlight. This kit has saved more than one trip.

Submitted by WEBMASTER
Learn to use your detector, if you have the space plant a test patch in your back yard, Bury some coins both clad and silver if you can, and also some trash, draw a map of where you buried each coin and or mark the location some how ie a golf tee. Bury the coins at different depths. Then go over your garden with your detector and note how each target sounds, what it reads on the meter etc. Do this over a period of time, a freshly buried coin will not read like a coin thats been buried for awhile, so go over your test patch on a regular basis

Submitted 26Jan98 by
When I search a grassy area that's relatively soft I use a "bulb planter" tool to core a nice round plug of sod. The plug comes out the back end to be searched separately and can be returned to the hole neatly. It's like using a tool to cut a new hole in a golf green.

Submitted by

Here's a tip for getting an image from an INCUSE coin or token. If the design on your piece is incuse, or recessed, such as an Indian Head goldcoin, rubbings or pressings will not work, because there's no raised design. Strike a wooden match, and hold the item in the smoke, covering it's surface with soot. Carefully place a piece of clear Scotch tape over the piece, and rub it down really well. When you lift the tape, you will have a highly detailed negative image of your coin or toke. Place the tape on a piece of white paper, and it's ready to submit to an authentication service. It's kinda' like the method police use for lifting and preserving a fingerprint.

Submitted by

FILLING YOUR HOLES: I use an old anti-freeze jug with the front panel cut out for holding the dirt I remove from a hole. It holds more than a frisbee, and has a handle so it's easier to maneuver. Also, the dirt pours easily back into the hole because of the square corners at the bottom of the jug. Just remember to screw the cap on tight.

Submitted by

Have you ever recovered a coin that you just couldn't identify, because of it's condition? Here's a tip. Lay a small square of aluminum foil over the coin, and use a soft rubber eraser to press the foil down into the details on the coin. You'll be amazed at the amount of detail that can be revealed this way. If you can locate an old notary public seal at a flea-market or garage sale, remove the plates, and replace them with round rubber patches cut from an old inner tube. This way you can do both sides of a coin at once. You can send these foil pressings to a coin authenticating service, such a A.N.A.C.S, instead of sending the coin itself. Just be sure to ship them in a small box so they don't get crushed.

Submitted by

CACHE HUNTING: One series of caches was located by noting a small difference in fence posts. Many times old tin cans are nailed over the top of wooden fence posts to prevent splitting. One alert TH'er noticed in a certain fence row that a few cans were nailed in place, then the nails were sealed with tar. Beneath each can treated this way, a roll of bills was discovered! It pays to notice the small details!!

Submitted by

CACHE HUNTING: In addition to burying a cache outside, there are many good Inside areas to check. In the floor of barn stalls and chicken houses is a great place to look for caches, as the animals made a great warning system, alerting their owners to trespassers. Beneath the floorboards in a doorway was another popular hiding spot. Also check under and behind any stairways, especially those in basements and cellars. Caches were also marked/protected by piles of barbed wire inside barns or grain silos. Just a few spots to check that have been proven in the past!

Submitted by

When hunting around old home sites and such, make sure to look at the old trees in the area. Often someone burying a cache would use them as a marker. The giveaway will be a nail or spike in the underside of a large limb. A string and weight would be suspended from this point like a plumb-bob, indicating a point on the ground where the stash was buried. Even after MANY years this point would still be close, because of the slow growth of the tree limb. Also, by being under the limb and shielded from the rain, even an old rusty nail will survive for a LONG time.

Submitted by

SNOW A PROBLEM: Okay, you've researched your site, and narrowed your glory hole down to a few square yards of soil. But, before you have a chance to swing your coil, mother nature turns down the thermostat and freezes the ground SOLID! Try this tip. If there's no significant snow cover, stake out a few black plastic bags over the area(s) you want to hunt. After a few days of sunshine, even in freezing temperatures, the black plastic will absorb enough heat to thaw the ground, and you won't have to wait until spring to do your thing! Just make sure to stretch the plastic tight, so no cold wind can get under it.

Submitted by

DIGGING TOOLS: Tried them all potting shovels, buck knives, fancy coin extracting gadgets,ect....Nothing beats a SEARS CRAFTSMAN Heavy duty flat tip screwdriver! By the way I dont work for SEARS nor own stocks :) Seriously and if your serious at coin shooting get one! The shank is square and doesn't bend It's long enough for great leverage and has a nice grip for prying. The tip comes sharp so grind it smooth(to avoid scratching that nice face on the busted quarter you are standing over). Also it doubles as a defensive tool if you're alone in an unfamiliar area being approached by un-wanted guests and over anxious dogs and serves as a nice back scratcher for those hard to reach places!

Submitted by

Hunting Technique: I'm a meter reader! When searching with my Whites 6000D I turn down the Descriminator, ground balance and the volume. (this may sound strange but let me explain) With these settings the meter pegs to the right alot due to the mineralization and beeps off the wall but.....the depth is unbeatable. I search very slowly and watch the meter, when a favorable reading such as dime/quarter holds steady with a slow pass I pin point. This then allows me to determine if it is an actual object. Then I dig......usually resulting in recovering an object that normally would have been passed over. In the past I would turn the descriminator off completly and get similar results but the ground balance would recognize slight mineralization and overide the good readings. I've recently recovered an 1888 seated dime at 10-12 inches with this technique that was passed by a friend using a SPECTRUM. Try it when you think youv'e got the deep stuff you'll be shocked! And mostly open the door for better hunting. Be patient is the clue!

Submitted by

Always keep a positive attitude, never let trash signals get you down. I hunted for two and a half years before I really got the hang of listening to the detector talk back to me. Then one day BAM, a buffalo nickel right where I had hunted before many a times. At first dig those odd signals and tones, its all part of the learning curve. If you can get into a club do so just so you can get an experienced partner, don't be afraid to ask questions. Everybody was a newbie at one time or another. Read, Read, Read it will get you very knowledgable quickly as well as keep you motivated through out the year.

Submitted by

Mosquitoe Problem? When the ground finally thaws out in the Midwest, my wife and I take 250mg vitamin E. daily It really helps Keep the bugs off of our tender bodies.. Does not help much with flies on the beaches, but is almost fool-proof against mosquitoes. Also good for good looking hair and nails.

Submitted by

Many times you will find yourself faced with vast expanses of open pasture, knowing that SOMEWHERE out there, an old house once stood. Let Mother Nature give you a hand in locating it. A light blanket of snow will obscure the ground cover, and allow you to see irregularities in the terrain, such as foundations, trails, and roads, that had been hidden from your sight. Make notes, or if possible, plant marking stakes to help in finding these areas after the snow melts.

Submitted by

RESEARCH: Pay a visit to your County Assessors office sometime, and ask about aerial photo's of your county. They are a GREAT tool for locating old homesites, roads, trails, or other potential hunting sites. The photos are easily cross-referenced with tax records for finding the current owners, and copies can usually be purchased for a few bucks. They will make an invaluable addition to your reference library.

Submitted by

Whenever I am granted permission to hunt a site, I ALWAYS leave an old coin or two with the landowner, even if they tell me I can keep everything I find. This has never failed to secure future permission, as well as jarring the owner's memory about other sites I may try. Even if I have to return later with an old wheatie or mercury dime, I like to leave them with a coin from the year their old house was built. It's a small gesture on MY part, but it means a LOT to them.

Submitted by

Research can be the most boring job of this hobby. When I go to research anything no matter where it is, or what it is, I take along a video camera. At a library if you find a book or paper or anything you can just video it and take it home and view it when you have the time. When you go to a site take the camera along and take a video of it and study it when you get back home and see if you are missing something. All VCR's have some sort of counter on them and you can make a log on that tape of the map, paper, or any article or site that you have found. On top of that you have a record of the research that you have done. Reading off of the TV is much easier then that little print in the books or papers that you have been looking at. It saves time and money, no copying costs. Set your video camera up some day and tape yourself hunting and see what you are doing wrong. This will show you if you are keeping that coil level, are you overlapping that swing, or what ever else that we all do wrong. To me the camera is the best tool that we have for this hobby, until something better comes along. The Video Camera will cut down on that age old rule of 90 percent research and 10 percent hunting makes for a good hunt.

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NUGGET HUNTERS To all you nuggeters out there, here's a good one that I foregot. I think that in our hurry to hunt we don't use enough. It's a test nugget. Don't have one, well get one fast, or better yet make one out of those little nuggets that you have found. Don't make it so big that any body could find it . This tool needs to be small and hard to find, lets say in the 1/2 to 1 grain size. Now we need to start to use this tool,and thats what it is, a tool to help you find gold! How many times have you been out detecting and said to your self I wounder if I could find any thing here in this hot ground. Is a little light going off yet? Throw down that test nugget, if you can hear it, ok if not, retune the detector tell you can. Also for you newbes, when you get to where you are going throw down that nugget,listen to it,thats a sound that you want to hear out in the field, remember it, tune to it and find it out inthe field too. Hope this helps, and good luck to you.

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Do you love to fish as well as metal detect? Do you have one of those great fishing vests with all the little pockets and a few big ones? Great! Your all set then! Make the vest pull double duty. I do! I wear mine all the time metal detecting. I use the left side for "trash" targets as I always take out what I dig. I use the right side for my "good" targets. Those small pockets with the pull over velcro flaps are exellent for holding your coins, rings, earrings, etc... and because of the shut flaps your "good" finds will not fall out no matter how much you bend over to dig! They are also very light weight so you do not over heat with them on but yet they provide a little protection on those mild windy days. Try it!

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FINDING SITES: Building contractors can be a great source of info when looking for newsites. I have helped one contractor in my area locate property marking stakes on a couple of occassions, in exchange for him letting me know when an old house is being demolished. Often you will be able to hunt these sites before, as well as after their work is done. Due to the fact that these houses are being totally demolished, I have never had a property owner refuse me permission to hunt. When seeking out these contractors, it's a good idea to have pre-printed business cards made, announcing yourself and your services. This is a bit more professional than a scrap of paper, and they will be more likely to see you as offering a service, rather than just looking to hunt for fun.

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Often when looking at a new site, the obvious can escape your attention. I find that by taking pictures of a new site, I can often spot clues later. Certain growth patterns in the trees or foliage can define the outline of an old homesite, and the presence of certain types of plants and trees will show that there was a home in the area at one time. I find that the single-use, disposable cameras work well for this, as they take good shots, and handle a fair amount of abuse well.

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You carry spare batteries with you, right? Well, you should! However, caution should be exercised when carrying these spares in your pocket, particulary 9 volt, or packs with 9 volt style connectors. A coin, or other metal object in your pocket can easily short across the battery terminals, causing the batteries to overheat. Not only does this drain the batteries, but the potential for explosion, leakage, or at the very least, a nasty burn, is very real! Place a small strip of electrical tape over the battery terminals before heading out, and avoid this danger.

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The areas I hunt have a high percentage of clay in the soil. This is nasty stuff, sticking to even stainless steel diggers. To make the digging, and cleaning my tools easier, I often carry a small bottle of oil. Old used motor oil works just fine. A few drops on my trowel or knife, and it slips easily through the clay. Only use this trick where turf damage is not a problem, as the oil tends to kill the grass. However, at old homesites or in the woods, it will definitely make your hunting easier.

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COIN hunting vs. NUGGET hunting, well, gang they are two different animals. I do both and I wouldn't think of taking my Soverign out to nugget shoot. And likewise, I wouldn't take my GoldBug out to coin hunt! When nugget shooting you want no discrimination. Out in the desert, where I hunt, there are lots of minerals and iron in the soil. Small gold nuggets would be lost with any kind of discrimination. In gold country there will be less trash than most coin hunting spots. To find small gold nuggets in the 1 to 2 grain size, and that will be your bread and butter, you will need to dig all targets. You will just have to dig some 22 shells, some old rusty boot tacks, sometimes. You wouldn't want to skip over and miss the little nuggett. All good coin detectors with ground balance capabilities will find nuggets in the 1/4 oz. size or bigger. But how about the little ones, no way those machines just can't do it. They aren't made for that. A coin is larger than most nuggets that you will find. So I say that you have two different machines. They both have their specialties, use the one that is suited to what you want to hunt. Good luck.

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Finding property owners. In the past I've found sites that I had researched the history on and finally located in the field but was often unable to find the owner of the property by asking neighbors in the area. I discovered by going tthe Tax Assessors office located at the county seat of the county the site is in, that finding the owner is easily done. Just tell the clerk the approximate area it's located in and they can show you on their property maps who the owner is. Copies of the maps can also be purchased for under a dollar.

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Like some of you, I carry a spare detector along and suggest that the land owner hunt with me. This really works great - well, almost great. On one trip, when we had hunted for a couple of hours, I found a lot and he found nothing. He was one sad puppy. I did not get a return engagement. I suspect he thought I passed off a sorry detector on him. Well, I solved that problem. Now I take along a Mercury dime and plant it so he will find it. May not be ethical, but it really works wonders. You should see the land owners face when he uncovers that dime. I always get a invitation to come back. Just hope my supply of Merc's holds out.

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Hunted out spots . I love to hear people say that . In a place that has been well hunted , there my be good gold left ! Most people that nugget shoot in the desert don't take the time to look under or near cactus . It can be painfull , but if you take your time and do it right the rewards can be great . I have found lots of nuggets under small cactus and or under spiny tree's . Give this a try and I think you too will find gold that others have missed .

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When running your search pattern, it is easy to veer off course and miss patches of ground. Try this tip. I like to hunt an area two or three days after it has been mowed. Not only can you sweep closer to the ground, but, if they didn't bag the grass you can follow along between the "wind rows" of discharged grass. This will keep you on course, and, it'll be just about the right width for sweeping the coil.

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When searching around old trees and foundations, try this one. Tip your searchcoil up to a 45 degree angle, to "fire" the signal under these obstacles. Many times, trees have covered targets with roots, and you cannot get the coil close enough to pass over these targets. Also, many good finds have been made under old foundation stones. Using this method, you can hunt under the foundation, without constantly bumping your coil against it. You will lose alot of depth, but targets in these areas will usually be shallow, since they have been protected from surface traffic.

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Digging tools aren't cheap! I frequent garage sales and flea markets, where boxes of old kitchen knives can be bought, often for 10 cents or a quarter apiece. I look for knives with heavy carbon steel blades, and grind a cutting edge on the back side of the blade, as well as re-sharpening the factory edge. This will double the knife's usefulness in the field. Even if the knife only lasts for one season, it more than pays for itself, usually with only one target!

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When out detecting for gold nuggets, kick those bigger rocks out of the way . Lots of gold nuggets hide under them . Most people will detect right over them and miss the little nuggets that might be under the rock. If you move them you will be in new ground and your coil will pick them up . Don't let a rock stop you from getting a nugget

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All too often you will find that your coil doesn't pinpoint in the exact center, where it's supposed to. This is due to normal variations in the manufacturing process. I test all new coils, and mark the "pinpoint" center with a permanent waterproof marker, before using them in actual field conditions. This saves me from having to remember that it's "between the 'A' and the 'R' on the 8 inch coil, but it's below and to the right of the first 'T' on the 12 inch."

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Have you ever had a landowner reluctant to allow you to detect his/her property? Sure, havent we all?! Next time you go out, give this tip a try. Take your back-up detector along, and suggest that the owner hunt along with you. This will serve 3 purposes: It shows you are sincere, and open about your intentions; It will keep you from having to constantly answer questions while you hunt, as the owner will be busy hunting "over there"; and finally dividing up the finds will be easier, finders keepers!

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When I get a "mixed signal" on my tagret ID machine, such as "Penny" + "Half dollar", I use the following method to narrow the ID down. Once the target has been pinpointed, I hold the coil motionless on the ground untill my machine goes back to search mode. I wait a second or two, then quickly sweep the coil off center from the target. This will cause the machine to respond only one ID, and it is invariably closer to the target's actual identity. This is very useful for telling dimes from pennies!

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When I am doing general research, looking for coinshooting sites, I bypass a LOT of useless info in the library newspaper archives by only focusing on holidays, special events like large family reunions, or other similar events. Page after page of unrelated stories can make you glassy-eyed, and cause you to miss the leads you're looking for. Focus on when and where the people congregated, and you're research will be more productive!

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On sites where I have standing permission to search, I use the following method of clearing out the junk. I will start with my 8 1/2" coil, and dig all the pinpointable signals. Then I switch to the 4 1/2" coil, and focus on the mixed signals and tight places. Once I have dug all I can get, I will switch to the 12 1/2" deep seeking coil, and pick up all the signals that had been masked by shallower targets. It's time consuming, but it works!

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Don't overlook the areas UNDER old hedges and bushes. On old homesites these can be quite large, and difficult to search under/around. If it's hard for you to get to, it probably discouraged others as well, and they went on to easier pickings. I have even crawled on my stomach to hunt under old blackberry bushes, and made many good finds in hard hit areas. As an added bonus, these targets will usually be shallower, due to reduced surface traffic.

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In the late fall and early spring, when the vegetation is sparse, an aerial view of the farmland in your area will often reveal old homesites. Have you ever wondered about those "islands" of trees in the middle of a crop field? Many times there is an old foundation or cellar hole there, and the farmer simply works around it, rather that go to the trouble of clearing it off. Carry a county topographic map, available from the County Assessor's office, and mark possible sites for later investigation.

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In need of fast cash for battery money that these detectors just love to eat? Under the bleachers at high schools is a good place for surface money or just below the surface money. Also childrens milk money that has fallen out of thier pockets while hanging upside down from the monkey bars at an elementary school. Other places are under the bleachers of your local little league fields. Just remember to get permission and cover them holes

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Ok, for all you prospectors out there here's a couple of things that have worked for me many times.In fact, a good example of it is detailed in my article in the Sept 97 Western and Eastern Treasures entitled " Braggin'Rights" Whenever you are hunting an area that others have been through, ALWAYScheck other peoples dig holes. Not only the hole but the dirt they pulledout. Pick up the junk if they left it. Many times the previous hunterdidn't re-check the hole or the dirt after recovering the nugget. Spread the dirt out of the pile and detect it carefully. I've found that gold is notlonely. If there's one, many times there's two or three. Digger Bob

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Once again, when hunting where others have hunted, watch for obvious pieces of iron or other junk on the surface. Whenever possible, pick it up,move it, pack it out.What happens is nobody has hunted under or near the junk. When it can be seen, it has been given a wide berth by other hunters due to the sensitivity of the modern gold machines. The ground under it is essentially virgin ground. Many times I have found nuggets in worked out spots with just a little more effort. This is another way that your coinhunting skills can be transferred to nugget hunting.

Submitted by (Jeremy Willis)

When I find a site with a lot of potential, but seems too trashy to hunt. I rake alot of the surface trash up, then make a trip or two specifically to dig trash. I dig every signal. You would be surprised how many targets that trash is masking out. Takes alot of patience but will be worth it when you start pulling out those old coins. Alot of hunters either pass up these sites or use alot of discrimination, and are missing so many good finds it is unbelievable. Good luck!

Submitted by (Jeremy Willis)
A very good source of coinshooting leads are oldtimers in your area. Search them out and talk to them. Most love to talk and tell stories of yesteryears. Find out where those old gathering spots and carnivals etc. were located years ago and probably make a good friend in the process. My grandfather alone has provided me with so many leads I havent even had time to scratch the surface. Good Luck!

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