Golden Tips to Metal Detecting on Beaches

Published: 25th July 2011
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Beachcombing is one of the most popular uses of the metal detecting machine. Here are some tips to help you optimize your opportunity for finds on the beach.

1. Search the Beach in Daytime

This is the peak time for beachgoers and so with all the activity itís a good time to search for lost items such as jewellery. However, you might get some dirty looks from the sunbathers as people feel uncomfortable with you digging amongst them and you might accidentally hit someone with your swinging coil. If you search at this time of the day, itís better to search a little distance from large groups and then quickly search areas if you see groups leave.

2. Search late in the afternoon

Since fewer people are on the beach at this time, you can search undisturbed for any items that might have been dropped during the dayís frivolities.

3. Search immediately after it rains

Rain will naturally erode the beach and help pull items to the surface of the sand. Itís therefore a perfect time to search the beach if it rains during the summer beach season. Youíre also likely to have the beach to yourself.

4. Look for natural Erosion cycles

Part of the natural cycle of beaches is to undergo erosive activity and rebuilding through wave and tide action. Take careful note of where the beach is undergoing natural erosion and be sure to search these areas to maximize your chance of finding valuables that are being exposed by the natural processes.

Essential Items for Successful Beach Combing

Here is a list of some key items that will help you effectively search for treasure on the beach:

1. Trowel or shovel Ė Even on the soft sand of beaches you will need to dig under the sand to find your treasure and you canít always use your hands. In these cases, some detectorists choose to use a long-handled shovel if they have a bad back or weak knees as they wonít have to bend down as much. Others prefer a short-handled shovel or trowel. In either case, itís a good idea to get a shovel made from stainless steel since the salt will soon erode any iron or lighter alloy.

2. Beach basket Ė this is simply a box made of wire. Put any finds you make in the basket and all the sand will fall off as you carry on searching. The wire mesh for the beach basket should be fine enough that your treasures donít fall out as well.

3. Earphones are useful when searching on the beach to ensure you hear the signals emitted from your machine properly. Earphones will block out all the background noise of people or of the waves crashing on the beach helping you pinpoint your targets more accurately.

4. Garbage bag Ė Itís always good ethics on the part of detectorists to clear up any trash they may uncover. Do your part to clean the environment.

5. Belt pouch Ė a belt pouch is important to keep extremely valuable finds such as gold rings. You donít want to put these valuable items with all the other stuff in your beach basket but rather keep them extra safe on your person.

6. Flashlight Ė A headlamp or flashlight is critical if you want to go metal detecting at night when the beach is empty.

7. Pads Ė Sand is highly abrasive and kneeling on the sand digging up your finds can eventually play havoc with the skin on your knees. Itís a good idea to wear knee pads to save yourself some pain.

Now itís time to get out there and go find that treasure!

Ken Rowsby is an ardent treasure hunter. If you'd like to get more tips on metal detecting and treasure hunting, especially metal detecting on beaches then visit

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