Monday, April 4, 2016

4/4/16 Report - Sifting for Treasure.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

When you metal detect it is not surprising that you find mostly metal.  There are a lot of other things you could find.  Some of those might be interesting or valuable.

I do a lot of eye-balling, both when detecting and otherwise.  As a result I find a good variety of things that are not made of metal.

If you think there might be things worth finding that are not made of metal, you might consider sifting.

Sifting is sometimes done on shipwreck sites.  That can result in finding things like emeralds.

I know of one sifting project that was conducted on a home site recently.  Finds included a lot of vintage marbles.

I've done some sifting in the past.  I once posted pictures of a very portable home-made sifter that I used.  It is easily carried in the car in case it is needed.

Any time you have a good heavy concentration of interesting items, you might try sifting.  You'll discover things that you would otherwise miss.  You might discover stone tools such as arrowheads, wax or clay seals, fossils gems, or even gold that is so small that it could easily be missed by a metal detector.

There were times when I sifted a beach instead of detecting it.  I had a sifter that could be pulled through the sand.  It picked up everything large enough to not fall through the wire screen.  It picked up pull tabs as well s coins and things, but you could easily pick up the coins and good things and dump out the junk.

Sifting can be a good choice when there is so much trash that detecting is impossible.  That can be the case around picnic tables that are surrounded by a carpet of pull tabs, bottle tops, tin foil, etc.

It can also work well around walks, driveways and fences where it is impossible to detect.

Sifting can be done a variety of ways.  You can use water to more quickly wash materials through the screen.

I plan to make a video of a small sifting experiment to show you in the very near future.

If you are a water hunter, a floating sifting screen can be useful.  It is easy enough to make one, and it can be a quicker than using a hand scoop.  The water speeds up the process.

The first fossil that I ever found came up in a scoop when I was digging a target in the water.  I didn't know exactly what it was at the time but kept it until I found out what it was.

You can buy sifters if you want, but they are easy enough to make.

Simple Portable Sifter
This is as simple and inexpensive as it gets.  All you need is four pieces of board and some chicken wire.

The way it is you can roll it up for hiking.

Just two more boards and you can make it rigid.

Add some styrofoam and it floats.  Add legs or a tripod if you wish.  

Remember, if you want to find things there might be methods that are more effective than using a metal detector and picking them up one at a time.


You might have noticed that I added a poll to the blog.  I appreciate your participation.

I have some more polls planned, but wanted to get this information first.  All responses are anonymous.


On the Treasure Coast the surf will be smooth Monday and Tuesday.  It is a little cooler.  Very nice weather.

Happy hunting,