Saturday, June 18, 2011

6/18/11 Report - Silver Disk & Three Big Detecting Mistakes

Silver Disk Discovered Years Ago On a South Treasure Coast Beach.

The disk is about two inches across and is from the Weller Collection. I'd like to find out the name of the book that this image was published in, so if you know, please send me an email.

Yesterday this blog had over 1000 hits. That is the second time that has happened this year. The reason this time, I found out, is that the blog was mentioned as a resource in an internet article.

This site has a lot of daily readers who are dedicated and experienced detectorists. One of my surveys proved that. A lot of this blog's readers have over ten years of experience. I suspect that some of those that came to this blog as a result of the travel article are completely new to the hobby.

Not only does this blog promote the benefits of the metal detecting, but it also helps educate people about archaeological and historic resources and promotes tourism. A large number of daily readers are from up north and travel to vacation and detect in Florida.

I very much believe that metal detecting is a good way to interest young people in varied subjects such as history, archaeology, geography, numismatics, electronics, etc., but it also keeps many older people active, both physically and mentally.

Discussing metal detecting just yesterday with a world record holding power lifter and owner of a World Gym, he said he thought of metal detecting as being very good exercise. And indeed it is. It can be as rigorous or as easy as you like. But different people focus on different aspects of the activity.

From the comments left on one web site in response to an article about metal detecting, it is evident that a lot of people that have never tried metal detecting have a lot of misconceptions about the hobby. That is natural, but unfortunate. People have impressions about things that they know little about and often those impressions are wrong.

A small portion of the misguided and uninformed archaeological community has been successful in labeling detectorists as grave robbers or looters when nothing could be farther from the truth. As we know, the treasure salvers in Florida work with the State archaeologists to explore archaeological resources under professional supervision and are responsible for a large part of the State's archaeological collection. They make a huge contribution not to mention paving the way for the field of underwater archaeology.

According to, There is approximately $8 billion worth of coins circulating in the US today. The U.S. Mint produces nearly 30 billion coins for general circulation each year (28 billion in 2000 and 21 billion in 2001). Many coins are replaced because they are worn out, but many are lost.

I often wished I could figure out how many coins were lost every year, but I've never been able to do that.

Here is an interesting fact provided by the same web site. Every year Virgin Atlantic Airways discovered that it takes in an average of 18 cents per passenger per flight in loose change found in the plane's seats. If that figure holds for the approximate 320 million people who fly from one country to another worldwide each year, the total is about $58 million. Lost coins on domestic flights don't amount to much, however. Chicago O'Hare cleaning crews said they found only about 6 cents per flight. It is suggested that more travelers to other countries "accidentally" leave foreign coins behind to avoid dealing with them once they get home.

(If you want to check out that along with many other interesting coin facts, here is the link to that fun web site.

I don't know about leaving coins behind, I suspect that international travelers loose a lot more coins because they squirm around trying to get comfortable and sleep in their seats. But you can figure that if $58 million in coins is lost on airliners every year, it seems likely that as many or more would be lost on the beaches and in the shallow waters of the world.

How many times have you received, change for a purchase and looking at the change you could tell that one or more of the coins had been dug up by a detectorist? Its not that hard to recognize some of those dug coins, and there are a lot of the obvious ones still in circulation.

From my years of experience, I can truly say that detectorists are generally some of the finest most trust-worthy,hard-working, inventive, accomplished people you would ever meet. They almost always have another job or source of income. Detecting isn't how most detectorists make a living. You would have a hard time finding a single professional full-time detectorist without another source of income. Most just like the activity and have fun doing it.

I've personally found and returned many items - from eye-glasses lost in the ocean by tourists far from home on vacation, to house and car keys, to valuable pieces of jewelry, and all without any expectation of any reward. And that is common. Some detectorists spend hours and hours of their own time to find the owner so they can return lost items.

Although I could go on about this for much longer, I'll stop there for now.

I was thinking the other day that it always takes a while for me to get to like a new detector. It seems like the first few times out with a new detector, I never like it very much. It isn't until I really learn to use a detector well that I begin to like it.

I guess I start with some very high expectations. I've used a lot of very good detectors, and they've become old friends. It must be even more difficult for a new detectorist to get used to his or her first detector.

While detectors are generally relatively simple to use, there is more to learning to use a detector than you might think. Even if there are only two or three knobs to fiddle with, that gives you a lot of different combinations. Yet that isn't the biggest problem.

The big obstacle to becoming comfortable with a new or different detector, is learning what it will do, learning to know what the detector is telling you, and learning how to use it best under different circumstances. That takes a little time.
But until you do that you simply won't have a lot of confidence in your detector, and you need to have that.

I've recently discussed the best thing to do with a new detector - experiment, experiment and experiment with a variety of test objects in a relatively clean environment.

You will get off to a faster start if you have someone that can how you how to use a new detector. For new detectorists especially, I recommend not buying via mail order. It is much better if you have a sales person that will thoroughly demonstrate the new detector for you.

If you are lucky enough to have someone who is able and willing teach you how to use a new detector or you want to teach someone else, either remove the headphones so both of you can hear the signals, or get a Y splitter so each of you can listen to the signals on your own headphones.

Of course that wouldn't be possible with some detectors, such as submersibles.

Here are what I consider to be three of the biggest mistakes made by detectorists in general.

1. Not experimenting with test objects to learn the best settings for your detector.

2. Not experimenting with test objects to learn to recognize what your detector is telling you.

3. Using way too much discrimination or depending too much upon target ID.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

There is still no activity in the tropics. The wind is out of the southwest and the ocean is calm and if the predictions are correct will remain calm for another week. Of course, that means no change in beach detecting conditions.

My best bets would still be to hunt the tourist beaches, shallow water, and for something a little more challenging, hunt the banks of rivers, ponds and lakes while he water level is low.

My beach TCTBDC Rating is still a one (poor).

The blog survey is proving out my ratings over the past few years. I'll discuss that more when the survey is complete.

Happy hunting,