Guide to Help You Get Started Detecting Metals in your Garden

Have you ever thought about what could be hidden underground in your yard?

Since the 1880s, people have been captivated by the idea of finding treasures hidden underground in their yards, lawn, garden and public places like schools and parks. Luckily, the invention of metal detectors has made finding hidden treasures a fascinating hobby that can also be rewarding if you are lucky enough to find gold. In addition to being a mesmerizing hobby, metal detection is also highly useful in significant areas such as forensic police investigations, military purposes, and archaeology among others.

Some of the things people have found hidden underground with the help of metal detectors include coins, metal toys, buttons, and jewelry as well as tools fragments.

metal detector in action

Finding the right metal detector as a beginner can be difficult largely due to the different models of metal detectors available on the market, but they all use the same methodology to locate hidden objects. Metal detectors work by passing a magnetic wave into the ground, which creates an electric current that triggers the detectors sensory system once it strikes a piece of metal.

Metal detectors can be used by people of all ages, but it is necessary to have a positive mental attitude and patience to succeed. As a newbie, you will likely be digging many junks until you learn how to discriminate and determine the ideal targets and thus, you should seek as much information about metal detection as possible before you start. In this metal detectors guide, you will learn about the history of metal detectors as well as how to choose the right detector.

How did metal detectors come about?

Despite the first metal detector being invented in the 1880s, it had nothing to do with the gold rush but with the tragic death of the 20th President of the United State, James Garfield. President James Garfield was shot in the back on July 2, 1881, but did not die immediately. Unfortunately, the doctors could not locate the bullet prompting Alexander Graham Bell to build a metal detector in an attempt to help find the bullet. Unfortunately, in spite of the best efforts of Graham and doctors, the attempt to detect the bullet was unsuccessful and the President died of infection on September 19, 1881. The failure of the first metal detector in detecting the bullet was due to the confusion caused by the metal Springs in the bed the President was lying on, which made the detector useless.

However, Graham’s invention became a prototype for which all other metal detectors have been based. The early detectors were big complicated and ran on vacuum tubes. Nevertheless, they were highly effective and useful resulting in remarkable growth in popularity. In fact, these metal detectors were highly used in Europe after WWI and WWII to find and clear unexplored bombs and landmines.

In the early 1900s, Gerhard Fisher discovered that radio beams were being distorted every time he came across an ore-bearing rock. He reasoned that the technology could be used in metal detectors. In 1925, Fisher was issued with the patent of the first portable metal detector. The machine was sold to the public in 1931.

Other inventors have also contributed in refining and perfecting the current metal detectors. Some of the notable inventors and technology that have helped make the modern detectors better include Charles Garrett who created a detector that eliminated oscillator drift, John Bardeen transistors, discriminators, wireless technology and new search coil designs. All of these inventions have played a crucial role in making the modern metal detectors lightweight, easy to use and effective deep seeking machines.

How to choose the best Metal Detector:

If you are about to get started in metal detecting, the most important tool you must have is a metal detector. Although including other metal detecting accessories with your purchase such as headphones and digging tools, will help make the activity more interesting, choosing the right metal detector is critical to your success. Some of the things that you should consider before making a purchase include:

Types of Targets:

It is necessary to note that different types of metal detectors are fine-tuned to help find different hidden treasures more effectively. The best types of metal detectors for gardens and lawns are those for jewelry and coin hunting.

Different metal detecting keywords:

Understanding different metal detecting keywords and functions will help you decide the most appropriate features for your treasure hunting. Some of the basic functions that you should familiarize yourself with include discrimination, ground balance, target identification, sensitivity, operating frequency and search depth.

Learn about different metal detecting technologies:

Different models have different capabilities due to the technology. Some of the common technologies include all/Very Low Frequency (VLF) detectors, pulse induction units, wireless models, water resistant models, and multi-purpose metal detectors.

Metal Detectors 101 Guide to Help You Get Started (1)

Join metal detecting clubs and forums:

Joining metal detecting club will not only let you make new friends but also learn more about your hobby. Sharing your experiences with other people will help you learn proper techniques and finer details about metal detecting.

Key issues you should address before purchasing a metal detector
One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying metal detectors is buying solely based on the suggestion of another person.

You should note that some people have used only one machine and thus, do not have a true feel of what is available on the market. Newer metal detectors come with new electronics and features and hence, it is important to research a broad variety of units to find the most appropriate for your hunting.

Another mistake people make is buying a general detector for special detecting. If you are prospecting for gold, you will better use a detector designed for gold prospecting.

However, it is important to note that some specialty detectors have more than one operation mode to help you find other treasures. Nevertheless, different brands and models have different features and characteristics such as swing speeds, weight, measurements and the number of sections that you can separate. Considering all these features and characteristics is necessary for ease of traveling and packaging. Another thing you should consider is your budget. How much are you willing to spend for your hobby? Although expensive units are usually durable and more effective, it is advantageous to consider the value of the unit. For example, it is not wise to spend more on a unit with the same features and characteristics available on a cheaper model.

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