How to get a Metal Detector to Find just Coins

Many people believe that metal detectors will just beep when they come across metal, and this was certainly true of the older electromagnetic induction sets. In the past forty years though there has been many great leap forwards in metal detecting technology, and they are now a lot more discerning than they once were.

Simple metal detectors work by using an alternating current, as produced by a oscillator. This current is then passed through a coil creating an alternating magnetic field. When a metal that conducts electricity comes close to that field, eddy currents are produced which allow the metal detectors to ascertain the presence of metal.

Metal detectors though have moved on since the initial days of detecting, and one of the biggest leaps forward was with the use of discriminators within the equipment. These discriminators work by looking at how unbalanced coils become when metal is placed near to them, and as different metals produce varying phase responses, types of metals can be determined. Problems though arise by the fact that some metals do have very similar phase responses, and also for a coin detectorist it wouldn’t be able to tell between a silver coin and a small lump of silver.

Further developments in discriminators and pulsars have allowed more accuracy in the identification of types of hidden objects. This development has allowed for metal detectors to be built with individual settings, settings which can be changed depending on what is being looked for.

There are a number of major brands making metal detectors, and if you look at just one firm, Garrett Metal Detector firm, there range can be put to a number of usages. Some of their metal detectors are best used to search for coins, others for jewellery, some for prospecting for gold, and some for looking for metal underwater.

It is impossible for a metal detector though to be a hundred percent accurate all of the time, after all how can a basic machine know what is buried beneath the ground. One small piece of metal will look very much like another, one may be a coin, but another may just be a shard of metal made from the same material. Therefore it is important to use a metal detector in an environment where it will do the most good. If looking for gold then it is best to use it where gold prospecting has been undertaken before. Equally if looking for coins, it is best to look at places where people have lived or gathered before, the most likely places for coins to have been lost. Therefore research may be needed.

Of course every other month it seems that some cache of coins has been discovered by a metal detectorist. This though ignores the fact that thousands of others have spent their weekend searching fields in vain. Metal detectors can be used to scan a field comprehensively but is many pieces of metal may be found before any cache of coins is found.