Beach Metal Detecting
One of the most entertaining and fun pursuits is metal detecting on the beach. Why? because you get be in the sun, surf and sand and your chances of success increase dramatically if you know what you are doing.
Why does Beach Metal Detecting yield better results?
The first reason is that sea sand is not as compacted as regular soil. There is a lot of air in between the sand particles making it porous. This allows your metal detector to detect deeper and more accurately. The second reason is that recovering your finds is very easy. Digging in loose sea sand is a breeze compared to touch soil with a grass covering, so you will cover a lot more ground quicker. Thirdly Beaches are “hot Spots” they are areas where many people congregate all year round and a very limited space. This makes it much more lightly to find a lost ring or old coin.
First do your research. Old photos or postcards of beaches will show you where many people congregated in the old days. I have had great success in old tidal pools. Tidal pools stop waves washing away lost items.
Secondly, always respect peoples private space. Do not weave your way in between sunbathers and make a nuisance of yourself. Pick your time and location with respect to the public.
Handy Hint – Often after large storms deep treasures from shipwrecks get washed up on the shore. Take a poke around after a big storm.
Another top hint – I have found that beaches that have a shallow gradient (they don’t fall steeply into the waves) are better prospects. Steep beaches often come with rough wave conditions and constantly shifting sands which often cover treasure in meters of sand. Flat beaches protected from rough surf in coves or calm sea conditions will hold more finds just beneath the surface.
Surf or Wet sand beach metal detecting.
Here you will likely locate older finds. You will be detecting below the high tide mark and often within the shallow waves. It is best to have a water proof metal detector. (most metal detectors have waterproof coils that can be submerged including the stem). Finding firm sand and walking in a zig zag between the high tide and low tide mark is a good bet.
Example: Many of our club members have found many old British coins and plenty of gold rings on Kwa Zulu Natal and Cape Beaches using this technique.
Pitfalls of metal detecting in wet beach sand:
Salt water makes non pulse induction detectors have a difficult time. Cheaper detectors have lots of trouble with false signals in wet sand due to mineralization and salt water. Some still do OK but you may need to turn sensitivity down or turn on your salt elimination if you have the feature. Pulse induction detectors like the Sea Hunter MK2 and Minelab Excalibur 2 are almost not affected by salt and sea minerals at all.
Dry sand beach metal detecting (above the high tide mark).
This will produce much newer losses like rings, watches, cellphones, hotel room keys, modern coins and everything else under the sun. Once again search the areas where people normally congregate over time. Without being a nuisance and avoiding the inevitable hoards of children following you will mean detecting before people have arrived and after they have left. Remember to cover every hole after you are done.
Handy hint again: Try detect along or over the line of debris deposited by the last high tide – You never know what was washed up there in the last tide.
Metal detecting on the beach will bring you many good finds, a killer tan and a fun time for the whole family.
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