Sunday, March 3, 2013

3/3/13 Report - More on Finding Small Gold & Other Stuff

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Most Valuable British Coin.

It is an Edward III 1344 Double Leopard.. The coin sold on 26 June 2006 for £460,000 (US$841,800).

Here is the link for more about that.

Yesterday I mentioned a few tips for finding small gold.  Last night I watched Savage Family Diggers, a TV show in which Rick Savage searches for artifacts and then sells them, splitting any profits with the land owners.  I saw a lot in that show that applies to what I talked about yesterday.

First off, Rick is hunting artifacts, mostly larger, it appears.  That is different from hunting coins and gold rings on a beach.

In both programs that I saw last night a back-hoe was used.  That tells you something.  They were digging big items.

Rick said once they were using a tight grid pattern.  I didn't see anything that looked like a tight grid pattern to me.  Certainly not tight.

That brings up one thing relevant to hunting small gold.  You can easily miss it.  When you find a place where you really want to focus on finding small gold items, you will want to tighten up your search pattern.  The smaller the item and the more faint the signal, the easier it is to miss the item.

You probably know that the depth you get under your coil is not uniform.  You will get greater depth under the center of your coil than under the outer rim of the coil.  That means that if you are hunting either small gold, or deep items, you might want to really tighten up your search pattern, perhaps even overlapping the area covered on sequential sweeps.

I've mentioned this before, but the cleaner the area is the easier it is to hear  faint signals.  I don't know what all causes that.  There might even be psychophysiological component.  It is certainly easier to pick out faint signals when there is less noise.   You don't need to be familiar with signal detection theory to understand that.

Hunting small items and hunting deep items is pretty much the same.  You'll be listening for faint signals.  That means your detector settings will be more important, as will your sweep speed, and search pattern.

On many of our over-hunted beaches, there will often not be many targets remaining, and those that do remain will often be deep or small.  That is why they were missed by other detectorists and remain on the beach.

If I'm only finding deep targets, I might suspect that the area has been hunted before and the previous detectorist or detectorists missed the deeper targets.  Maybe they were using too much discrimination, which can cause missing deep and small targets.  I don't mind hunting over-hunted beaches, I just change my strategy to focus on the more difficult targets that might have been missed.

Another thing I noticed on the TV program last night, was they were sometimes swinging their coil like a clock pendulum:  Close to the ground in the middle of the arch and higher at the ends.  You can get away with that if you are only listening for large targets, but if you don't want to miss faint signals from either small or deep targets, that isn't good.  Keep your coil level to the ground and close to the ground as you swing your coil from left to right and back.  You are giving up depth and signal intensity when you raise your coil off of the ground.  You can arc your swing as you go from left to right in the horizontal plane but not the vertical plane.

When they dug up a cast iron piece they ran into a buried statue at the bottom of the hole.  When digging one thing, make sure to double check your hole for other items, metallic and non-metallic.

They said it appeared they were in an area where things were dumped, including the statue from around 1850 that was worth $5000.  Once you find a good concentration of things, work the area intensely.

What I would have done in that situation, is used a probe to probe for more non-metallic items.  Take a long thin metal rod and repeatedly stick in in the ground around the hole.  A metal detector is just one tool.  There are other ways to find things.

Why are these guys you see in these TV programs so successful?  That is an important question.  Not only Rick Savage but also some of the others you see on TV, like Swamp Hunters, or Diggers.   The reason they are so successful is that they first do  research and then gain access to private property where old things are suspected and where no body has yet hunted.

In the one program I watched last night where they hunted on an old family estate, they found things that belonged to previous generations of the family and things that were part of the estate in earlier years, such as the statue.

They found one nice gold locket, the smallest thing I saw them find, and it was initialed and once belonged to the home owners grandmother and was lost by the home owners mother.  The home owner knew the story of the locket and it being lost and the diggers were able to return it to the family.  That was great.  And that is where the locket belonged.

Only the family knew the history of the locket.  It was a significance find for the family.  Nobody else,  no matter how much they studied the locket, could have appreciated its history  and significance like the family.   That is where the item belonged.  They deserved to see it and have the option of returning it a place in the family.


The Russian meteor that you read about in the news has started a treasure hunt.  Citizens and scientists alike are out hunting for pieces of the meteor.   Some pieces appeared on eBay very quickly.  Who knows if they are genuine or not.

As the number offered for sale goes up, as with most things, the price goes down.

Here is the link to read more.


The big news on the Treasure Coast, as far as I'm concerned, is the surf prediction for the end of this week.

The surf will be relatively small through most of the week, running around 1 - 2 feet, but for this coming Saturday, they are still predicting a 5 -  8 foot surf.  I hope that we actually get that much.  It could significantly improve beach detecting conditions.

We'll see.

Happy hunting,