Tips for Treasure Hunting with a Metal Detector at the Beach


    Working with a metal detector is a fun way to explore, uncovering lost items beneath the sand and discovering forgotten trinkets that can turn into valuable collections. Whether you’re looking for sunken coins, jewelry, or artifacts from shipwrecks past, metal detectors can be exciting tools for your hobbyist pursuits.

    1. Get a metal detector that can work on different beach terrains

    The first step to successful treasure hunting at the beach is to get the right metal detector. To get the most out of this pastime, it’s important to make sure you have a metal detector that is capable of working on different types of beach terrain. 

    Metal detectors with adjustable sensitivity are recommended for achieving optimal search results in sand, soil and other challenging environments. As an added bonus, they work both in shallow and deep water so you won’t miss any valuable finds.

    2. Prepare the right equipment

    Aside from a metal detector, you will also want to invest in a good quality shovel and bucket as well as some gloves to protect your hands.

    Meanwhile, a pinpointer is a small hand-held device that can be used to help locate buried metal objects. If you are having trouble finding something with your metal detector, using a pinpointer can help narrow down the search area and make it easier to find what you are looking for.

    3. Check out beach permits

    Before you start treasure hunting, it is important to know the rules and regulations in place at the beach you are visiting. Some beaches may have restrictions on where you can dig or what type of equipment you can use. Others may require you to obtain a permit before you begin treasure hunting.

    man using a metal detector on the beach

    4. Understand the tides

    Knowing when low and high tide occur can enhance your success in hunting for treasure, as the lower tide exposes more areas of the beach for you to search thoroughly. This is because the lower water level exposes more of the sand, making it easier to detect objects that may be buried beneath the surface. In addition, low tide is typically when people lose the most items, as they are more likely to drop things when they are in shallow water.

    Understanding if any higher waves may occur and being prepared for them can also be beneficial, as they often erode or move items around.

    5. Learn more about the sea current

    Research how various currents carry objects in and out of the area, understanding what types of surfaces are most beneficial for detecting items such as coins, jewelry or objects from shipwrecks. Aquatic elements like sand bars can also affect the direction an object will drift. Knowing these patterns not only allows you to plan your search route purposefully – it also increases your chances of finding special items that may have been recently carried in from other regions.

    6. Be prepared for the weather

    When treasure hunting at the beach, it is important to be prepared for the weather. The sun can be very intense, so make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat. It is also a good idea to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. If it looks like it might rain, it is best to pack up your equipment and head home since wet sand can be difficult to dig in.

    7. Follow the towel line

    If you want to maximize your chance for success when treasure hunting with a metal detector at the beach, then following the towel line is an important rule. The best hunts occur when the tide recedes and exposes more of the sandbar. By following where beachgoers have previously laid their towels, these areas may have been used before by others looking to find treasures or lost items. 

    Tracking the sand in deeper spots can lead to some potential big finds such as jewelry, coins, relics and more. 

    searching the beach with a metal detector

    8. Check troughs, sea pockets and rock-filled areas

    When it comes to treasure hunting at the beach with a metal detector, there are certain spots that you should be on the lookout for. Check troughs in the sand caused by wave action and sea pockets formed by rip currents; both of these irregularities in the sand can be prime locations for lost jewelry and coins. 

    Also, those rock-filled areas often surrounding outcroppings can hold buried treasures as well – old fishing lures, stones with pirate carvings, even rusty tools – so you’ll want to scan them too. Keep an eye out for these spots and chances are you won’t go home empty-handed when it’s time to pack up!

    9. Dig carefully

    Once you have found a promising spot, it is time to start digging! Be careful not to damage any nearby plants or animals as you dig. It is also important to fill in any holes you create when finished so that others do not trip and fall.

    When you have dug up some sand, it is time to start sifting through it carefully. Use your fingers or a small sifter to remove any large pieces of debris such as shells or rocks.

    10. Clean your finds

    After you have found some potential treasures, it is important to clean them properly in order to preserve their value. Depending on the type of object you have found, there are a variety of different methods that can be used for cleaning. For example, coins can be cleaned with soap and water, while jewelry should be cleaned with a mild jewelry cleaner. Once your objects are clean, they can be examined more closely to determine their value.


    In summary, going treasure hunting at the beach can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, it pays to know how and when to use your metal detector. With the right mindset and preparation, you can build your skillset while looking for lost coins, jewelry, and other hidden treasures. 

    When you are ready to take your hunt to the next level, make sure to review these tips before you hit the shoreline.

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