Beachcombing with Your Metal Detector
From dry sand to deep salt water, match your detector to the conditions
Water and sunscreen have a sneaky way of slipping rings from fingers of swimmers and sunbathers, making beaches a lucrative location for metal detecting. Recovering an object from sand is pretty easy, too, especially compared to digging in hard ground. Necklaces, watches, and bracelets are also great finds on beaches, along with coins— lots of coins. Although some beaches can yield historic artifacts, most finds will likley be of the modern variety.
WHEN TO GO. Purist beach detectorists will argue that the best time to find goodies on a beach is after winter storms. While that’s certainly true, summer crowds can mean a fresh crop of coinage and jewelry just waiting to be found by the average beachcomber everyday.
WHAT TO TAKE. Beach hunting can be done on the dry sand or out in the water where many more rings are lost. Salt water beaches present special problems (mineralization) and you must determine if you will hunt only in dry sand, dip the coil under water in the shallows, or desire a totally submersible machine suitable for deep water wading or diving. All quality metal detectors have submersible search coils but not all control boxes are waterproof or suitable for the pressures of deep water diving, so match your detector to the type of detecting you’ll do.
In all types of beach hunting, the discrimination must be kept very low, eliminating only small iron (bobby pins and nails). Aluminum pull tabs and tin foil should not be discriminated or you will lose some gold and/or platinum rings as well. Some beach hunters operate with zero discrimination and dig everything. Use of a sand scoop makes target recovery fast and easy.
If you plan to hunt only in dry sand and in very shallow water, a good coin shooting detector will work well if you... article continued here