Treasure Tactics | 'Digging it all' at the beach!?
One of the most confusing questions about metal detecting is whether to dig all signals on the beach... and is it worth ignoring signals that sound like common trash!?
The long answer is that you never know what you are going to uncover... and that a trashy signal that sounds like aluminum foil has a chance of being a MASSIVE gold chain. Likewise, a deep gold ring may very well sound like an iron target!
Most gold rings will identify exactly the same as a pull-tab and the truth is that there is no detector that is capable of distinguishing between these two targets!
This is the reason you’ll hear many detectorists cursing pull tabs 😉
So the question is, should we dig it all at the beach?
Counterintuitively the answer is NO, and I’ll explain why…
For example, there are some situations where there are SO many targets that ignoring certain tones will leave you more time to dig tones with a higher chance of being something valuable...
These situations are often quite fleeting, meaning you don’t have time to dig everything before the tide comes in, and the sand hides them for potentially another decade!
What I tend to do during these situations is actually ignore high conductivity items like copper coins, silver coins, and jewelry in favor of digging more low conductivity targets. (Low conductivity targets include gold chains, small gold rings, gold earrings, as well as pull-tabs and small pieces of aluminum, etc).
In this situation, this will massively boost your chances of finding higher value precious metals like gold and platinum because these erosion events tend to carry low-density items away along with the sand. This means that almost all the low conductivity items will be coins, sinkers, and gold!
Ultimately the ability of modern detectors to selectively ignore (discriminate) different metal alloys/shapes is an extremely powerful and often misunderstood tool that can be used in very different ways to potentially help or hinder the user.
For new users, those learning a new detector, or situations where targets are sparse, we do however recommend “digging it all” at the beach.
By doing this you will learn that incredible finds can be made anywhere at any time. Most importantly you will learn your detectors' language and how it describes all different items, at different depth, and from different angles.
It's true that many detectorists have 'finds' they would have never had discovered had they chosen to ignore that iffy signal, at the end of the day it always depends on the conditions at the beach, your available time, and how well you know your detector.
Thank you for reading, please feel free to drop any questions or comments below!