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Water Metal Detecting For Coin Collecting
Larry Smith
Larry Smith is an avid coin collector and metal detector enthusiast. He's been collecting coins for over 50 years. Larry is giving away his ebook, "Coin Collecting With The Home TOwn Advantage" FREE for a limited time. You can get your copy and start building (or expanding) your own collection right now. 
By Larry Smith
Published on 02/13/2009

Mother Nature can throw some big curves at the water metal detectorist. See how bad is really good! Discover how "POP" can double or triple your coin and jewelry finds in the water and why the most expensive equipment is not necessarily the best.

Living within a mile of a popular Florida beach, I started water hunting in 1970 with an interest in finding gold and silver jewelry as well as adding American and foreign coins to my collection. Water metal detecting is a science and not always an easy adventure, but it can be very rewarding. I use the word POP to guide my water detecting pursuits. One must be patient, observant, and persistent to meet with success in building a coin collection by water hunting with a metal detector. Mother nature can throw some big curve balls and the factors of winds, tides and currents change the beach by keeping the sand on the move continually. The average person will not notice these changes but the earnest water hunter must train their eyes and be patient, observant and persistent.

Water Metal Detecting For Coin Collecting

The equipment needed for water hunting is different than land hunting. If you do not have a completely submersible metal detector you will be limited to hunting only at low tide. You will also face the danger of getting water/salt water into your detector housing and risk the destruction of the detector itself. I do not recommend water hunting without a fully submersible unit. Having either a stainless steel or PVC long handle scoop is also important. Digging up water finds is complicated by the water movement working against you continually. So a large long handled scoop will keep you from having to bend over in the low tide as well as permitting you to hunt in deeper water. My favorite scoop is my self- made PVC 12 inch plumbing device that required only about two hours to construct at less than $15.00. My long handle stainless scoop sells for more than$150.00. There are other accessories that can add to making your hunting easier but are not essential.

Before entering the water to begin detecting, take a good look at the beach. Notice the parts of the beach with the least amount of sand. Normally the same conditions will exist in the water. These are the best places to start as finds seem to be more concentrated in these areas. If there are no noticeable areas with less sand, use your detector to find an area where there are more targets and enter the water there.

Another item to observe is channels, or cuts in the water. The more sand that is moved in these cut outs will likely mean more finds. Older coins as well as gold jewelry are located in the channels at a much deeper level, so make sure you dig the fainter, whisper-like signals. Rememder POP! Be patient, be observant and be persistent.

If you are a newbie to water hunting, this would be a good time to practice. Go out in shallow water so that you can look into the water and see the general area of your target and practice pinpointing. In deeper water or water that is clouded by sand movement, it is much more difficult to find your targets and this pinpointing practice routine will increase your success and save you time too.

Summertime is the best time to go water hunting if you live in areas where winters are somewhat colder. Living in central Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, all year is good. Fall and winter storms produce greater sand movement for us and older, more valuable finds in greater numbers are found in a short time after a storm surge. Timing is very important. Two friends of mine found over 2500 coins and 30 gold jewelry pieces after a no name storm hit our beaches a few years ago. I was at Disney World and missed that opportunity. Tides also play an important role in timing. Get a tide chart for your area. Newspapers are a good source for them. Try to get to the beach one to two hours before low tide. Hunt the beach until the tide coming back in makes hunting difficult. Your coin finds will be greatly increased by timing and patience. Do not go water detecting at night or in a thunder storm. Both are very dangerous and potentially life threatening. Why be shark bait or a lightening rod!

I have hunted beaches on both coasts and find each beach has its' own personality. However, a principle impacts all water hunting. Keep your discrimination down and dig everything. Pulltabs, bottle caps and small foil pieces are usually found close to the shore's edge where the water hits the beach. If you are finding too much trash move out deeper. Remember too that some of that "trash" is also of value. My children's ministry sold 1,000,000 found pull tabs for $244.00. Lead fishing sinkers earned me nearly 100 dollars.

It is also important to respect the water as much as you would the land. Fill all holes using your scoop to drag the sand back into the hole and properly discard all trash at the end of your hunt. Maintaining our treasure finding heritage as metal detector users is paramount. Courtesy in answering questions and abiding by ethical standards keeps our beaches open to this great and profitable hobby. Happy water hunting.


Here's to "diggin" it! Larry Smith

Larry Smith is an avid Coin Collector and Metal Detectorist. With over 45 years experience, he's fast becoming a world renowned expert in the field. Larry has put together a free ebook sharing his advice, insight, and amazing stories. He also gives away a FREE dug coin on the 15th of every month. You can enter to win your own coin and get his free ebook right now by going to:

Metal Detecting And Coin Collecting Free Report