Tips for Beginners
Successful metal detecting obviously begins with your metal detector. If you can't afford the highest-quality metal detectors, then choose a less expensive model that offers good target identification.
Even with a good coin detector, about 75% of what you find will be trash. That's the nature of metal detecting. Don't let it discourage you. Instead, focus on learning how to identify the different types of signals.
Practice detecting etiquette. Fill in your digging holes, and take a trash bag with you for collecting what you find instead of littering or leaving it in the ground.
The day after a storm is a great time to go out with your coin or gold detector. Water makes the ground more conductive, which makes it easier to find deeply buried items.
Beaches: Beach detectors are best used in areas where people tend to congregate. On the flip side, such beaches are hotspots for metal detectorists. Try seeking out less-trafficked beaches or detecting at different hours, like weekdays or Friday nights. If you don't have a specialized beach detector, then pick a target area of the beach, keep your detector low to the ground, and dig whatever you find.
Water: We recommending using underwater detectors. Otherwise, get a local tide chart, and hunt at low tide. Work next to beach areas that have less sand or heavier sand and pebbles. If you're detecting next to a river, look for areas where people would have gone fishing or picnicking.
Woods: Coin detectors will often make finds by overgrown paths or old roads-anywhere that people might have walked.
Fields: Topographic maps, aka topo maps, are a good resource for those who like to use metal or gold detectors in fields. Get permission from the landowner first if the area is private property.
Finding Good Detecting Spots
Carnivals, fairgrounds, picnic or camping areas, old abandoned houses, parks and playgrounds, hiking trails: these are just some of the spots that could hold some interesting finds. Browsing old maps or talking to people at the local historical society could also lead you to little-known areas of interest.