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Our Newsletter



1. At what depths can a detector find treasure?
It’s impossible to predict with complete certainty how deep a specific detector can be expected to find metal. This is because there are a variety of factors that affect a detector’s performance. For example, the amount of minerals in the soil, the type of metal that’s being detected and the quality of the detector itself impact how deep your detector will hunt. The size and surface area of a target also affects detection. For example, the larger a metal target, the easier and more deeply it can be detected.
Generally speaking, a quality detector equipped with an 8” or 9” searchcoil can be expected to detect:

Small jewelry (e.g., necklaces, thin gold rings) at 3 to 6 inches
Large jewelry (e.g., class ring) at 6 to 12 inches
Small coins (e.g., dime, penny) at 4 to 6 inches
Large coins: (e.g., quarter, silver dollar) at 6 to 12 inches
Mason jar lid at 9 to 16 inches
Coffee can at 1 to 2 feet
Cannonball, helmet, etc. at 2 to 3 feet

Using a searchcoil larger in diameter can also help a detector achieve greater depth. A 12.5” searchcoil produces a more extensive magnetic field that penetrates the ground more deeply to find objects at depths that a smaller size searchcoil can’t reach.

2. How do I pinpoint a target?
Slowly and methodically sweep your searchcoil from side to side, keeping it one to two inches above the surface. Overlap each sweep by advancing the searchcoil by about one quarter to one half of its diameter. Scanning in a straight line helps to keep the searchcoil level and the overlap sweeps uniformly while reducing the likelihood of lifting the searchcoil after each sweep. Listen for a peak in the audio sound. Hold the searchcoil one to two inches off the ground and slowly sweep it back and forth in an X pattern. Note where the sound becomes the loudest. The target should be located in the center of the imaginary X. Many of today’s modern metal detectors are equipped with an electronic pinpoint button. Read your owner’s manual for complete electronic pinpointing instructions.

3. What do I need to know about my detector’s batteries?
NiCads (nickel/cadmium) and nickel metal hydrides are rechargeable batteries that last between 8 and 12 hours and cost up to 10 dollars each. Alkalines are disposable batteries that last between 25 and 30 hours and cost about two dollars each. Because extreme temperatures can drain battery power, it is recommended that you always carry a spare set of batteries. In cold weather, attaching the battery pack to your belt under your jacket can help keep batteries warm and dry.

4. What is discrimination?
Discrimination refers to a metal detector’s ability to reject a target, such as a pull tab and foil or accept a target such as a coin or piece of jewelry based on its metallic composition. With features like Target Imaging and Tone ID, your detector can tell you what your target is before you ever dig.

5. What’s the difference between Coin Depth and True Depth?
Most detectors only offer a basic coin depth reading. Coin depth and true depth are similar to human depth perception. A person’s vision is seriously impaired with the use of only one eye because his field of vision is much smaller with only one eye than it is with two. Coin depth is the equivalent of seeing a target with only one eye. True depth, which can only be found on Garrett´s GTI and GTP detectors, is made possible with additional receivers in a metal detector that offer added depth perception much like having two eyes open.

6. What is True Size?
True size is obtained in much the same way as true depth. Multiple receivers, within a GTI metal detector, add additional dimensions of target ID, not just material ID. Ultimately, however, it´s how multiple receivers relate to one another that provides these true measurements, not just merely having them. True size and depth are Garrett exclusive features and are only possible with Garrett GTI detectors, which were designed to give treasure hunters the most accurate information about a target before they dig.

7. Is overall depth compromised when searching with discrimination?
Yes. To achieve the greatest depths when searching for large, cache sized-objects, many professionals hunt in the All-Metal mode and use a large searchcoil.

8. What is the significance of a detector´s Operating Frequency?
A metal detector transmits magnetic energy into the ground and senses distortion in the magnetic field due to the presence of a metal object. The frequency content, temporal form and amplitude of this magnetic energy can affect detection capabilities and overall performance characteristics. There are two primary detection technologies used in today´s metal detectors: Single Frequency (also known as Continuous Wave) and Multiple Frequency (e.g. Pulse Induction and Dual Frequency). Each technology has its own detection characteristics, understanding these will enable you to choose the right detector for your treasure hunting needs.

9. Do I really need headphones when treasure hunting?
For maximum success when treasure hunting you should use headphones. They are essential in noisy areas and enhance audio perception by bringing the sound directly into your ears.

10. Do I need more than the one searchcoil?
The searchcoil is a vital part of your metal detector. It is the flat, typically circular disk, which generates a magnetic field and senses metallic targets in the surrounding environment. It is located at the end of the stem and is connected to the control housing via a cable that is wound around the stem. The size, depth and energy output (power) of the magnetic field is determined by the shape and size of the searchcoil. Understanding the purposes behind the various sizes and shapes of searchcoils will empower you with the ability to choose the best searchcoil for the right application. For a detailed explanation of the types and benefits of optional searchcoils see Understanding Searchcoils.

11. Are there any laws surrounding treasure hunting?
Every square inch of property is generally owned -- by an individual, group, corporation, governmental body, etc. And, there are definitely laws that have been written to apply to various treasure hunting situations. Each state has its own statutes concerning where you can and cannot search and whether you may keep the treasure you find. You must learn these laws, and remember that they can be changed at any time.

12. How far should my searchcoil be off the ground when I´m hunting?
You should hunt with your searchcoil a couple of inches off the ground (about the height of freshly cut grass) and scan at a pace of 2 to 3 feet per second.

13. Are there online forums or treasure clubs I can join?
There are countless online forums where treasure hunters share their own tips, help other hobbyists with their detector, and of course, show off their latest treasure. You can also contact your local dealer, he or she can point you towards all the exciting clubs and events that other treasure hunters are hosting right in your own backyard!