You could find some of the best antique coins around
if you head out with a metal detector. So, read on and learn
from a pro how you can build your coin collection and so much more
simply by going coin hunting with the right metal detector.
Selecting the Machine
Overall, the best metal detectors for finding coins
are Very Low Frequency (VLF) style metal detectors; probably the
most popular type on the market. From here, it gets a little
personal! For example, you'll need to decide if you'd like
the metal detector to be waterproof. Some of the best coin
caches have been found underwater after all and, if you're an
experienced diver you can have even more fun (and possibly success)
selecting the best metal detector that's not just waterproof
but also rated for diving.
A metal detector with a medium to large search coil is
best for coin hunting as well because it will search more deeply
into the ground than a machine with a smaller search coil.
Choosing the right weight machine for you and looking at
other more customized features like this will further assist you in
zeroing in on the best metal detector for you personally.
Learning to Use Your Metal Detector
Most metal detectors come with excellent user manuals
to assist you in learning to operate that specific device.
You'll also enjoy reading metal detecting books and/or
watching metal detecting videos to further hone your craft and
increase your success rate. Basically though it's just
practice that will help you become more and more successful with
As for using your metal detector to find the best
antique coins, you'll want to be sure to do a few things.
Concentrate on one specific area and sweep it with your metal
detector slowly and with small motions several times, as opposed to
simply walking the area doing large sweeps with your machine.
You see, the better coins are located deeper down in the soil
because they're older. As a result, you want to use your
metal detector to search as deeply as it can. These types of
slow, concentrated motions will help you do that.
Choosing the Site
Now that you've got your metal detector and you know
how to use it for coin hunting, you've got to figure out where to
go. Always check the local laws before metal detecting on any
site. If it is a private location, be sure to obtain permission
from the owner. Some ideas of good places to find antique coins
Also if you do some research, you'll find more
specific places in your area (or places you like to travel to)
where you might find coin caches. Look for old properties
where people gathered like former commons, fair grounds, public
train stations, etc. You may also come across information on
former garbage dumps that are now buried or other types of places
like this that were active when these old coins were actually being
used as currency but have since almost disappeared.
Then, once you find a place you'd like to go coin
hunting with your metal detector, always be sure to find the owner
and ask permission to metal detect on his or her property. If
you don't get permission, you can't go metal detecting there.
Also, metal detectorists are very keen on leaving a search
site just as they found it. This means filling in and
covering back up any digging holes you make, as well as not
damaging vegetation while searching, and packing out any and all
trash you make or find. We want people to keep letting metal
detectorists onto their properties after all and only respectful
behavior will help that happen.
At this point all that's left to do is head outside
and start searching for coins! While you're sure to find some
trash targets, and some treasures you weren't counting on, you're
also highly likely to find some unique coins that otherwise would
have remained buried deep underground where no one could enjoy
them. However, if you equip yourself with a metal detector,
you can not only enlarge and enhance your own coin collection,
you'll be able to share these finds with other coin collectors,
historians, and fellow metal detectorists too.
Michael Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in
Southborough, MA. He has written on the subject of treasure hunting
and medal detecting since the mid 1980s. He enjoys traveling with
his metal detector and helping to educate others in the correct use
of metal detectors in their explorations.