I just bought a White's DFX complete kit and am looking forward to using the down time between hauls to get some fresh air & exercise .....
Anyone here do this ?
Jim, back in. My scuba I used an under water rig to find cannon and musket balls from the war of 1812 under Lake Ontario. Every now and then I would find some really cool stuff. I found a class ring from the 40's. The newspaper did a thing on it and they found the owner. It seems it was thrown in the lake over a lovers spat. The woman got mad at her boyfriend and tossed it in 1942. They got married a week later and to my knowledge still are!
Really fun but stay out of national parks/battlefield, they have a stiff fine. Found lots of old coins, rings, belt buckles, jewelry, just be careful of ordinances and trespassing laws. Have fun.
I have an older Radio Shack VLF (63-3003) that I use quite a bit. It's only good down to about 6 inches in this soil but I mostly use it to find parts on the surface. Seems my flail mower doesn't particularly like digging dirt or stalks larger than 1 1/2". It will occasionally sling a flail or two and I have to hunt them down. If I can remember the general area(s) of the "bang", I normally go back and find them within a few minutes of sweeping.
State and National parks won't let you use them anymore. There may be permits available but I just heed the big signs that warn of a $10,000 fine.
My brother scours battlefields and old schoolyards. He has a very expensive one and has found quite a large collection of old coins and relics. He was visiting and found 4 silver dimes right at the curb in front of the house. He said everyone drops change right there. He does that in front of very old houses and does quite well.
If you like metal detecting, definitely try "magnet fishing"! You take a large magnet with a loop eye and tie it off to your boat and drag it along the pond, lake or stream. there's a few forums that have people finding 1800s muskets, boat props, anything that's iron! You can get the magnet at Harbor Freight for $20. I tried it and found a TON of old lures off of our lake dock.
the 350lb pull strength works good, it's strong enough to pick something up but you can still yank it off of a wreck or something big you attach to.
They used to call it "Public Land." Now it is "US Gov Land." Do not take your metal detector on National Forest Land, National Parks, National Monuments, etc. Uncle Sam does not have a sense of humor any more. People have been convicted on violation of antiquities laws and paid hefty fines. The laws were mainly passed to deter looters of Native American sites, but the courts have been interpreting them so strictly that if you drop a dime and then pick it up, you have violated the law.
Also, do not dig in a cemetery or anywhere near a human grave. The laws vary from state to state but some are very strict. In Missouri it is a minimum $5000 fine for each instance. Earlier this year, a man pulled a human leg bone out of the creek bank at Wilson Creek Nat’l Battlefield, near Springfield, MO, and took it home with him. Someone told on him and he had to plead guilty and pay the big fine to avoid jail time. Some archeologists dug at the sight and determined it was a burial of a Confederate Soldier. At Wilson Creek, all the dead were supposed to have been dug up and moved to the National Cemetery in Springfield, in the 1870s. However, it is a known fact that they did not find all of them.
I used a metal detector a lot about 30-35 years ago. I never found anything spectacular. The old timers laughed at me and said that people in the Ozarks were so poor that they didn’t have anything to lose in the old days. I grew up listening to old stories about lost treasure. Some of they are true, without a doubt, but many were just made up for entertainment. However, back in the 1960s, a bulldozer operator was clearing a lot at Fort Leonard Wood. He looked behind him and saw people frantically picking up coins on the ground. He had just busted open a chest of silver coins, with a face value of more than $2000. They were all dated before the Civil War and had been hid from the “Bushwhackers.”
I have had training to do archeological site surveys. I can survey the sites and fill out site reports, but I have been told not to do any digging unless I have a real archeologist with me. Even the real archeologists don’t do much digging any more. The new philosophy for the 21st century is, “Dig as little as possible.” There is more of an emphasis of preserving sites for the future, because once it has been dug, it has essentially been destroyed. We are facing a future that has no archeological sites to study if they have all been looted or dug and nothing remains in the ground.
Interesting thread, especially your post, Rick. I helped a neighbor try to find a dozen or more $20 gold coins his late father had hid in the wall of his house. We scoured the house with a borrowed cheap detector, and found a good hit in a wall, but it looked like it hadn't been disturbed, so he chose to leave it.
They say gold shows up real good, so I suppose silver does, too.
Thanks to all who replied ...
I am traveling from Portland, OR to Indianapolis, IN along I-84 and I-80 and taking my time (as always) ....
If anyone has any experience with metal detecting
in general or a White's DFX specifically I would like to visit with you and buy you lunch .....
There is gold in the creek at my place--known to be there. Right now the creek is dry. Would a metal detector find small nuggets, or a pocket of gold caused by water action??
PS YES, I do have the mineral rights here!
What type of composition is the creek bed? Mine will detect nails, coins, bottle caps and button size metal pieces down to about 6" in this dry clay-sand soil. It will detect larger items deeper. Like a beer can down to about one foot. I've never found gold so I don't know for sure but it should work if the "nugget" or pocket is large enough. The detectors work by a disruption to a moving field. The key word is moving. It won't detect anything holding the coil stationary. I would say borrow one and give it a try.
I forgot to mention: Most "good" detectors will have a discriminator feature that allows you to search for specific types of metals as well as adjusting to the soil or even rock. Some newer detectors may have this built in and just tell you what type of metal it detected. Mine just has a meter that will swing to ferrous or non-ferrous metal.
I just saw a bit on an organization called Ring Finders that help people find lost jewelry etc. Sounds like a fun way to pass time, travel, get paid, find treasures. You might do a search for them.
I have been detecting for over 30 years and have found everything from a cannon ball to an 18 K thimble, coins, to the 1700s and a war of 1812 era belt plate.
All here in Parsippany, NJ
The usual VLF detector will NOT do a good job on placer gold unless it is a large nugget (unusual). The normal VLF detector operates at about 6 KHz.
They can do a good job of finding gold rings because of the unique electrical/magnetic properties of gold in a ring shape.
What you need is a hi frequency VLF detector (strange name: A hi frequency Very Low Frequency detector). These usually operate in the 18 to 50 KHz range and can be on the expensive side. Expect to pay $500 - $1200.
Sometimes you can find an older Whites Goldmaster II reasonable. They are as good as anything you can buy today but a bit harder to operate.
Of course finding a fraction of an ounce can pay all your expenses. I spend a month each year prospecting near Golden, CO and whether I find enough to pay for the trip or not, I am still well rewarded!
If you get to north New Jersey I would be happy to take you out to one of my sites. Do you remember delivering my 1927 Roadster to me the past March ?
Randy Glowacki, Parsippany, NJ
The higher the frequency, the shallower it detects but is more sensitive to small objects. It is also more sensitive to iron deposits in soil so it is LESS desirable for general use. They are good if all you do is hunt gold though. The shape of an object probably has less to do with it. Mine is 15 KHz and does quite well. But we don't see much gold in the South Texas Plains. Mostly oil.
Hye Jim, I use a WHite's Spectrum XLT. Love it. I used to be the resident expert at the "All Experts" web site in the treasure hunting category.
I still get emails years later from people with questions.
(Good grief, just found one of my responses to a writer online from 2005. The web saves everything.)
Shape is important because ring shaped objects produce eddy currents that are much stronger than solid objects. That's why a 6 KHz VLF will detect a gold ring at considerable depth but won't detect a nugget at even relitively shallow depths.
Most HF VLF detectors have a iron cancellation circuit but are poor in high salt concentration ares. They also do not differentiate between non ferous metals well.
I will look you up when I am up your way.
I would like to visit with you when I am
in your area (wherever that is).
I really lucked out.
The detector came with the factory owners manual,
factory carry bag, CD's, digging tool w/ sheath, probe w/ sheath, rechargeable and standard battery packs, headphones ....
The guys' father in law bought it new in 2004,
the guy used it maybe a dozen times, it looks brand new.
At one time the National Park System could technically strip you NAKED and leave you stranded as they had the power to confiscate your car, too.
Reminds me of a gent in NC who was dealing in Native American artifacts. He was contacted by someone who wanted an "indian" bone. Gent said to come over and he would help the guy out.
Turns out, he had a full skeleton in his basement. As far as I know, he's still in prison to this day.