In this computer era when children are so much into passive leisure activities like playing video games, being on social media and watching, metal detecting comes in handy. Metal detecting involves searching for metallic items beneath the ground like coins, jewelry, and civil war relics among other valuables. A good, quality metal detector will be needed to make the activity fun.
Metal detecting instills creativity, discipline, perseverance, patience, imagination and problem solving skills in children, which are important in their daily lives. The kids can sell the valuables or make their collection of valuables, something they sure will take pride in.
There is no better way of bringing back childhood memories than carrying out treasure hunt through metal detecting. Metal detecting is also a great way to explore a place with some history that interests you. The treasures carry with them a rich and interesting history. Metal detecting can actually be used as an excursion study for history classes, making learning interesting.
Treasures that a metal detector can find
They are various treasures that can be found through metal detecting, they locate basically every metallic object. Objects that are made of; gold, copper, brass, nickel, iron, silver, aluminum, bronze, lead and tin are detected. Some of the objects that people who are into metal detecting find pride in finding are hidden coins, jewelry, watches and civil war relics like colonial buckles, buttons,swords, musket balls, arrowheads and knives.
How does a metal detector operate?
The three main players in metal detecting are sensitivity, discrimination and ground balancing.
Discrimination is the distinguishing between metals. The higher the discrimination of a metal detector, the more likely it is to leave many items undiscovered, and the vice versa. It is important to have the right discrimination level to avoid detecting everything including items like foils in trash due to low discrimination, or leaving out valuables due to very high discrimination.
Sensitivity is the degree to which a metal detector reacts to objects in its magnetic field. Very high sensitivity makes the detector respond to all mineralization in the ground, while very low sensitivity leaves some objects undiscovered.
Ground balancing majorly deals with soil mineralization. Ground balancing filters out the mineralization in the soil preventing the detector from stuttering erratically. Some metal detectors have automatic ground balancing while others have manual.
Important tips on metal detecting
It is not reasonable to expect to go metal detecting and be a professional on the first trial. Practice leads to mastery but there are some basic tips that will help you big time in the exercise.
- Use the right metal detector. Using the right metal detector is paramount. Different detectors are best suited for different uses and persons. For instance, beginners metal detectors, gold metal detectors, etc.
- Have knowledge on your detector. Using a metal detector that you have no knowledge on will end up frustrating you. Understanding the proper settings, capabilities and the mechanism technology is key. You can read the manuals that come with the detector, use the internet to get more ideas or YouTube for additional guidelines.
- Know your location of metal detecting. Having some background information about the place you intend to go for metal detecting plays a big role in delivery of success. High activity areas like parks, schools, beaches, fairgrounds and sport fields are some of the best areas to go for metal detecting as items are likely to be lost in those places. Old grounds are also important sites.
- Know the local laws and regulations on metal detecting.Laws and regulations on metal detecting are mainly localized to a place. Before going for metal detecting on private property, ensure to acquire a written permission from the owner. Metal detecting on a private property without permission is regarded as trespassing, which is a law tort or crime.
Metal detecting in national and state parks maybe illegal, depending on the local laws. When found treasure hunting in those parks, one is fined and their metal detector confiscated. Other places like schools may also prohibit metal detecting. It is important to know every law and regulation relating to metal detecting to keep off trouble.
- Have reasonable expectations. Having unreasonable expectations will get you frustrated with metal detecting. You will not always get the oldest or most precious treasures. Some hard work like digging up trash in order to reach the treasures will also be involved.
- Choose a testing location. You will use this location to test the efficiency of your metal detector. Playing with the controls like discrimination, sensitivity and ground balance will help you determine the optimum working settings for your detector. You test by burying items at various depths. Mark the location of your items during the efficiency tests to avoid losing them.
- Scan a specific location more than once. If you found an item at a specific location, fetch the item and rescan. Some locations have multiple items.
- Always be safe. Go metal detecting in safe places and in safe hours. Avoid unfamiliar places at night or when alone. Never attempt to show anyone your finds. Beware of people who try to trick you in to surrendering your treasures by claiming they lost them. You can avoid by not letting anyone know whatever you found.
- Maintain your metal detector. For your metal detector to serve you the best way and last longer, take care of it. Keep the wires lubricated, brush off the soil and dust out of the joints, always use clean fresh water.
Types of the best metal detectors
Using the best metal detectors available plays a big role in making your treasure hunt fun. Metal detectors are categorized in to the following;
Beginner Metal Detectors
As the name suggest, beginner metal detectors are used by beginners in metal detecting. They are quite easy to use. Some of the beginner metal detectors available are;
Bounty Hunter Tracker IV
It is ridiculously easy to use. It has automatic ground balancing, so all you have to do is set the sensitivity and discrimination and you are ready to go. The manual guide from the manufacturer will adequately guide you in using this metal detector.
Garret Ace 150 & 250
It is exactly what a beginner needs, simple to use and highly efficient. It has LCD screen, easy to programme discrimination and a single touch sensitivity adjustment. To use it only requires pressing the power button, adjusting sensitivity to desired level using the sensitivity button and choose desired discrimination using the mode button. Its precision is its most important feature. It has coin depth indicator and target ID legend. The coin depth indicator tells you the exact depth of the item while the target ID legend tells you what item it is! Imagine no worry of digging up feet only to find an item you don’t like.
It is one of the easiest to use metal detectors. The operation involves only turning the dial. Continued turning however discriminates more items. It is extremely easy to use by simply using manufacturers manual.
It is great for beginners, with features of Garret Ace 150 & 250, more features that enhance its efficiency. It has a list of targets at the top of the LCD screen, which you can click the plus sign on the right side to discriminate.
Beach Metal Detectors
Beach metal is quite popular due to the ease that comes with metal detecting there. Here are a number of metal detectors used for beach metal detecting.
Garett ATX is an ‘all terrain’ metal detector, making it suitable for beach metal detecting. It has an automatic ground balance and despite being a pulse induction metal detector which are known for their inability to discriminate iron, it has a special iron check, giving it iron discrimination capability.
It is great for all types of metal detecting, making it applicable in gold prospection and relic detecting. It has features that deal with heavy mineralization of iron rich soil and saltwater, making it a good choice of metal detector for beach hunt.
Tesoro sand shark
It is a pulse induction machine and makes only tone when the target is found. It lacks target identification, but gives depth of the item discovered.
Garret AT Pro
Like other Garret metal detectors, it uses a LCD screen rather than knobs making it more user friendly. It is an all-terrain machine. The only problem with this machine is changing of ground balance when moving from dry sand to water.
Garret Infinium LS
It is the deepest and most sensitive machine but with a steep learning curve. It is a pulse induction machine and is used in water and dry land (sand). It is highly sensitive to even small amounts of gold hence used in gold prospection too. It takes some time to learn this machine.
It is water metal detector which like Garret Infinium LS detects very minute amounts of gold hence doubles up a gold metal detector.
Minelab Excalibur 11
This metal detector uses the Broad Band Spectrum (BBS) technology which transmits and receives multiple frequencies at the same time, which makes it possible to analyze and provide much information about the target and the ground. Requires some time to learn and its success depends mainly on expertise.
Gold Metal Detectors
There are a number of metal detectors, made specifically for gold. Gold is usually seated in highly mineralized soils with a lot of iron, which makes normal detectors give fake target, commonly known as hot rock. Special meal detectors have been made to deal with that problem when prospecting for gold using metal detectors.
Garret AT Gold
It has manual and automatic ground balance, fast recovery time and water proof.
It is a great metal detector, which is affordable and has fast recovery time.
Minelab Eureka Gold
It shows the depth and size of the gold, through change in the reading at the elliptical coil.
Minelab GPX 5000
Requires high professional knowledge. It is mainly used for commercial gold prospection in Arizona and Australia gold fields.
Relic Metal Detectors
Tesoro Cibola Metal Detector
It is suitable for dry hunting places like the parks, dry sand beaches among others. It is easy to use
Fisher F75 Metal Detector
It is light with LCD screen with buttons interface and not knobs, giving better configuration as the presets depends on what you want to detect.
Minelab X-Terra series
It has customizable controls such as ground balance adjustment, sensitivity and discrimination.
It can be customized for any terrain and location. It has specific modes, universal settings and preferences. The modes are used to change the configuration of the machine depending on the location.
Garret AT Pro
It is an all-terrain machine that is widely used in relic metal detecting.
Metal detectors for kids
Elenco Metal Detector
It has easy setup, perfect machine for kids.
Bounty Hunter Junior
Very easy to use. Can be used be used by kids as young as 8 years.