Treasure Detecting on Beaches

Professional Tips & Advice

Believe it or not … there is a lot to factor in when metal detecting the beaches if you want to be successful!  A lot of beach metal detectorists hunt for years and have minimal finds that would really be considered good. What is it that they are missing? How can you find the BEST locations for treasure detecting on beaches?

Don’t get me wrong now... you can go out metal detecting on the beaches dry sand, wet salt sand and shallow saltwater and find modern coins and you may even get lucky and find some jewelry occasionally! But what I am talking about is going out and drastically increasing your potential of finding jewelry, old silver coins and yes artifacts from ancient shipwrecks!

These tips and advice I am about to share with you are only the tip of the iceberg, but they will save you years (yes years) of learning on your own! The information that I am going to share with you has come from myself and the best beach and shallow water metal detectorists on the planet!

1. Seaweed2. Soft Sand3. Steep Cuts4. Bowls5. Black or orange sand6. Heavy Objects7. Weather


1. Seaweed can be bad

A lot of seaweed all over the beach is not a good sign! Seaweed is light as well as most modern trash like bottlecaps, pieces of aluminum, modern coins, etc… Also, sand is very light and when you see a lot of seaweed this means the beach probably has several feet of sand on it that has washed up too so your chances of finding the good stuff like gold jewelry, old silver coins that were dropped years ago and artifacts from ancient shipwrecks are going to be too deep for detection! Condition is called sanded in and you need to look elsewhere!

2. Do your feet sink?

If the wet salt sand near the water’s edge is soft enough for your feet to sink in, then once again the condition is sanded in… go somewhere else!

3. Look for steep cuts

Now let’s get to some good conditions…. Look for cuts, like 90-degree drop-offs that can range anywhere from several inches to several feet and more! What this tells you is that the sand has been removed from the area in front of the cuts which results in getting down deeper to detect. (For example, if the cut is 2 feet then you just added 2 extra feet of depth to your detection range!)

Can you see the difference between the two images below? It is the same location as you can see from the building in the background. But on the first image the beach is 'sanded in' and on the second image, it is a good example of a beach that is cut.

steep cuts 5 sandedIn
steep cuts 6 cut

Other examples of beaches that have good cuts.

steep cuts 2
steep cuts 4
steep cuts 1
steep cuts 3


4. Look for bowls of water

Look also for bowls of water which are caused by riptides… this is when you look up and down the beach and see the water in some places coming up a lot further than other spots. The reason the water is coming up further is because these are the low spots on the beach. So, therefore once again your getting more detection depth!

sand bowls 1
sand bowls 2
sand bowls 3
sand bowls 4


5. Black or orange sand

Look for Black Sand or even Orange Sand. This is telling you that it is the older sand which means your getting closer to the original sand that was on the beach many years ago! Once again, you’re a lot deeper than the sanded in areas of the beach!

Check Out the Orange Sand around the edge of the hole and look at the color of the water. Digging into Orange Sand!

sand orange black 1
sand orange black 2
sand orange black 3
sand orange black 4


6. Light or heavy finds?

If your metal detecting and finding a lot of modern aluminum trash, modern newer coins, light stuff then all the good stuff is too deep and out of detection range. Now… if your finding heavy targets like bullets or old lead sinkers then that is a good sign because you’re at the depth that gold rings and other older targets would be!

7. Check the weather

Check weather forecasts for the area you will be detecting to see if there are strong north winds. These strong north winds are what creates the cuts and erosion on the beach. November through February is usually the best times for these cold north winds!

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