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Old 02-12-2008, 05:33   #1
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Metal Detecting for Treasure?

Hi there,

Anyone use a metal detector to comb the beaches for coins/treasures to augment the income? Wondering if it's profitable or maybe just a good work out? Or go diving w/ a metal detector?
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:18   #2
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Used to do for fun on Daytona beach after a good storm....lots of pull tabs...a couple pair of glasses...a gold colored toilet token once.... you know that got me excited!
Never found any treasure...wasen't a good workout...
Wouldn't count on making a living at of it!
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Old 02-12-2008, 15:08   #3
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I bought a Garrett XL500 Underwater Metal Detector in the early 80s and carried it all over the world looking for treasure in my spare time. On beaches in the Pacific, especially Guam, I found lots of very old ammunition and casings.
On beaches in the Med, Carib, Socal and the East Coast of the US I found pull tabs and broken eye glasses and every once in awhile I found a cheap bracelet or necklace.
No diamonds, no Rolexes, no significant coins.
A friend who was an avid treasure hunter, as in devoted his life to it, always had 30-50 tubs full of jewelery and coins that he was cleaning.
He had a huge safe that he kept the most valuable items in until they could be turned into cash.
His name was Scotty Slaughter he was a retired Underwater Demolition Team member. I met Scotty when I was 18 and right out of UDT training. His office was like a museum and I could spend hours in there just reading the memrobelia on the walls. He had a framed National Geographic cover showing him spearing a 10 or 12 foot shark while free diving and many many articles about his treasure hunting and shark killing exploits. He had a great photo of him and his wife being crowned Mr and Mrs Nude America also. Sometime in the 60s I think.
He told me how to get started hunting treasure and finally after about 6 years of dreaming I took the first step. It didn't take long to realize that it required more than just walking or swimming along the beaches.
You have to do it for hours and more importantly you have to do it in the right places.
One thing I figured out quickly was that most popular beaches have regulars who are up early every day and treat it like a job.
Diving with the metal detector wasn't hard but you can only cover a small area during each dive.
I still try it occasionally and I still haven't made any significant find. I'm still hopeful.
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Old 02-12-2008, 16:51   #4
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What is a good detector that you can use in shallow water 18" to 24"?
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Old 02-12-2008, 20:49   #5
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What is a good detector that you can use in shallow water 18" to 24"?
I am no expert on metal detectors in general but google White or Fischer

They both have detectors that will work well on the beach. The control boxes are sealed and the coils can handle getting wet.

Right now I have a JW Fischer Pulse 8X with an extra 18 inch coil on 100 feet of cable.

The machine is good to 200 feet and the extra coil can be dropped straight down and very slowly moved along the bottom. I was trying to come up with a way to tow the big coil a little faster than very very slow but so far I haven't had any real luck.

I have also been playing with some drop down and tow cameras with displays at the helm.

I did have some luck with that recently when I dropped a small aluminum fitting from the top of the mast. It hit the boat then the dock before going in the water. I didn't know exactly where it entered the water and the water is very dirty and cold so I thought I'd try and pinpoint it before I got wet. I dropped the camera and manipulated it around until I saw the piece. When I got in the water I swam right to the part. The whole process took about 30 minutes.

In cleaner water I used the camera to look at the keel, prop and rudder. I also tried inspecting some through hulls. I put the camera on my boat hook and it worked. I could easily see how much growth was in the opening.

One camera tows very well behind the boat and can be adjusted to run just above the bottom. I have used it look for a small diver propulsion vehicle that was lost in relatively clear water.
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Old 02-12-2008, 21:12   #6
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That makes it sound like fun!! Personally I think that with my luck I might find a lost ship or something and then forget where it was before I went back to it.=)
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Old 02-12-2008, 21:28   #7
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That makes it sound like fun!! Personally I think that with my luck I might find a lost ship or something and then forget where it was before I went back to it.=)

We always keep some marker floats handy to throw overboard. Milk or laundry detergent bottles with line wound around the middle tied to a fishing weight works best and they are cheap to make. We write on the bottle the line length so we know which ones to use where. We have 50, 100, and 150 feet line lengths.
When you see something of interest toss the bottle in the water then get anchored up and dive!
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Old 25-12-2008, 09:10   #8
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After Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne we beachcombed every day in Hope Town (without a detector). Along with a multitude of modern coins we found a 1876 Spanish 25 Centavo coin, 1897 US V nickel, an English half-penny, a US 1923 quarter, a modern 14 kt gold ID bracelet, a Charleston souvenir bracelet, and a small intact glass bottle with an intertwined H&T. It was a lot of fun.
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Old 25-12-2008, 11:55   #9
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In the alluvial regions of Australia, people use Minelab metal detectors to find gold nuggets. There are people who make a living detecting gold in this manner. Many of them are "ferals" living in remote areas of Cape York. I almost purchased a detector when I was cruising Australia just to have some fun detecting gold when driving in the hinterlands of OZ in my Defender 130 Land Rover. Maybe I will do some detecting next time around. I still have my Defender, so all I need is the time, and the detector.

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Old 25-12-2008, 12:17   #10
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Onboard Makai we carry a garrett seahunter II. We hit almost every beach and found silver

bolivar coins from the 60's (when they were worth something) to coins by the ton along with one 3 diamond ring.

The best place was the beach in Phillipsberg, StMartin. We only hit about 2% of the primary beach area. The picture is 1 hour worth of hunting. We have a swag bag of everything we found, except for giving aaway some things to the kids on the beach. They amazed.

You probably won't get rich, but it is fun and profitable as well as great excerize.
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Old 25-12-2008, 13:40   #11
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A company that manufactures magnetic anomaly detectors hires me periodically to provide a boat to test out their instruments on the SF Bay. We stream a stereoscopic MAD out behind the boat a few hundred meters and start "mowing the lawn" as it is called. We have had numerous hits and I have always been curious to know what it detected. I will never know of course but it sure has my imagination going sometimes as to what it might be.
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Old 26-12-2008, 09:16   #12
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I'd be happy if someone could find my glasses and winch handle, each of which went over the side where I dock, in 8ft of murky water.
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Old 26-12-2008, 15:23   #13
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I'd be happy if someone could find my glasses and winch handle, each of which went over the side where I dock, in 8ft of murky water.
You just need a magnet.
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Old 26-12-2008, 17:25   #14
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I'd need a pretty strong magnet to pick up aluminum (paramagnetic).

I tried two garden rakes duck-taped together like clamming tongs. Doesn't work.
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Old 14-02-2009, 08:30   #15
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I hobby detected for several years, though seldom in beach areas.

The most important and time consuming part of detecting is doing the research. Sure, you can find random coins and the occasional ring or necklace on any popular beach, but to find anything more than that on any kind of consistent basis takes LOTS of research (being a history buff, and having lived in areas that were important in American history, I liked the research better than the actual detecting).

There's no way you are going to make any kind of profit. Unless you are VERY lucky, just finding enough to pay back the price of the metal detector would take several years of dedicated work.

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