Old coins, discarded jewelry and much more can be found with the aid of a simple metal detector. Metal detecting can be so much fun, whether you are on the beach, walking through the fields, or just pacing with your detector through your own back yard. Get started with metal detecting is very easy, there are just a few hints and tips to remember and these are laid out in the guide below.

==What You Will Need==

* A metal detector.

* Batteries for the metal detector if it is battery operated: place some batteries in the detector itself and keep some spare.

* Strong outdoor shoes and outdoor clothing, suitable for the current weather conditions.

*A map or a GPS enabled phone to keep track of your surroundings.

* A spade, trowel or other tools for digging with.

* An old toothbrush or other brush for cleaning earth off your metallic finds.

* A bag, tray or box to keep any discoveries in.

* Protective gloves to keep your hands safe if you find yourself picking up any metal.


1. Unbox your metal detector and practice carrying and using it. Metal detectors can be quite heavy, so make sure you get one that you can manage to hold for an hour or two.

2. Choose a spot of land to focus on with your metal detecting. Your own back yard is always a safe bet as this is land that you own and you can use your metal detector on it undisturbed. Public land such as parks and beaches is also popular with metal detection enthusiasts. If you want to use your metal detectors on farmers' fields or on a neighbor's property (or any land owned by other people), it is a good idea to gain the landowner's permission first so that you will not be violating any trespassing laws.

3. Run your metal detector over the surface of the land. There is no need to actually touch the ground with the metal detector, just sweep it a couple of inches off the surface. This is especially important advice if the ground is wet or muddy: you do not want to let your metal detector get clogged with mud.

4. Listen out for bleeps and beeps. if your metal detector beeps, then it has found something! The strength of the beep will usually correspond to the distance of the object. A strong beep will indicate that the metal object is nearby or close to the surface. A welder beep will indicate that it is further away or buried more deeply.

5. Hover over the spot where you heard the beep, to pinpoint exactly where the buried metal is. When you hear the sound at its loudest and clearest, this is where you should start digging.

6. Don your protective gloves, and use your spade or other digging tool to dig down until you find the buried metal. Be careful here and watch out for any sharp bits. At the same time, some ancient pieces of metal can be fragile, so take care not to damage any historic finds with an over energetic use of your spade.

7. Use your brush to brush the earth, sand or soil from the metal object you have found.

8. Stow the metal object you have found in your bag or box. Label it to remind yourself where you found it. Wrap it in tissue or newspaper to keep it safe until you get home.

9. Keep on metal detecting, but keep an eye on the weather conditions, the time and your location so that you do not get lost or caught in the rain as night falls.

10. When you get home, review your finds and clean them all off properly. Display them in a cabinet if you are particularly proud of them, and get in touch with the landowner or the local museum if you think you have found something of historical value.

11. Clean your metal detector with a soft damp cloth and a little warm soapy water so that it is as good as new again and ready to use for a new treasure hunt soon.

==Optional Steps==

1. Read up on the geology and history of your local area so that you have an idea of what sorts of metal object you can be expected to find there.

2. Enlist the help of a numismatics expert or historical expert to help you to identify any interesting finds. Alternatively, read some books on the subject or do some relevant research online.


Different metal detectors will detect metal and different depths. An 8 inch metal detector, for example, will be able to detect metal object buried at a depth of up to 8 inches. If you want to detect even deeper objects, it will be a good idea to purchase a more powerful metal detector.

Take a friend with you to help you carry your finds, and to make the day of metal detecting more fun and sociable.


Be aware of your surroundings at all times. When using a metal detector, it is easy to become obsessed only with looking downwards at the land beneath our feet. However, it is crucial for our safety to look out for incoming tides (if using the metal detector on the beach), steep inclines, potholes and 'no trespassing' signs. Laws can vary from state to state regarding whether or not you will be able to keep the metal objects that you have found whilst metal detecting. Sometimes, you can pocket whatever you have found whilst other times you will have to notify the local landowner (if detecting metal on someone else's land) or the federal government or local museums. Make sure that you are aware of the law that applies to your area.

Ensure that you know who owns the land that you are going to use your metal detector on. You do not want to be accused of trespassing! If using your detector on private land, make sure to politely ask the landowner's permission beforehand.

Rusty metal can spread tetanus. It is crucial to wear protective gloves and be up to date with your vaccinations.