Susie and I started metal detecting over 40 years ago. Since then, we have enjoyed this hobby in probably over 20 states, two Canadian provinces, in the ground and in the water. We have searched yards, parks, farm fields, playgrounds, and elsewhere for lost and buried items. We have found old coins, metal toys, tools, relics, artifacts, jewelry, plus lots of bottle caps, pull tabs, aluminum cans, nails, and almost any other metal object which can be lost.
To find these items, we have used many different brands of metal detectors, including, White’s, Garrett’s, Tesoro, A.H.Pro, Compass, Technetics, Minelab, Fisher, Bounty Hunter, and several other brands which I can’t remember the names. Over the years, we have probably owned 30 different machines. At the present time, we have around 15 different metal detectors.
I have often been asked why I own so many machines. To which I reply, “Do you own one adjustable wrench or a set of different size wrenches?” Each machine I have can have different uses. And, as the years go on, detectors keep improving. Sometimes, just like cars, the new ones just look nicer and I have to upgrade. Often, we do not buy our new detectors, but win them in seeded hunts where the machine is a prize token buried in the ground and we are lucky enough to find the special token.
About a year ago, I acquired a Minelab Vanquish 540 detector. Because of health reasons, I haven’t gotten to use it as much as I would like, but I really like its features. Susie was way overdue for a new detector, so I got her a Minelab 540 for Christmas. Because of the weather, we haven’t used it until just recently.
The weather finally improved and she took it out into our front yard to see if she could find anything.
We have hunted our yard many times over the years with a wide variety of machines. I thought we had found almost everything out there.
I was wrong.
Her new Minelab started beeping as soon as she reached the yard.
The display box was indicating numbers which represented nickels (13), pennies (20), dimes (25), and quarters (30), plus other numbers for other metal items.
Another reading on the machine was showing these items were six inches or deeper in the ground. The detectors we were using before weren’t able to find these deep targets.
I was helping her dig these and we brought to light a nickel, three pennies, and two dimes in about a half hour.
We found all of these coins because our new Minelab Vanquish 540 machines were able to read deeper targets in the ground. It also shows how deep the machine thinks the target is buried.
Usually, if the detector shows a depth over six inches deep, I skip it because I don’t feel like digging that much with the hunting knife I use as a digger.
Now, depending if I am in a yard or field, I may use a short handle shovel and carefully dig a plug in the ground.
A few days later, we had a nice day in the low 70s, so we took our detectors out again.
We went to another area we have hunted several times. I knew we would find coins there because it is a place where a lot of people congregate (and lose things!).
Susie was still trying to learn her machine so she was digging every target. I was only looking for those items that read 30 on my machine or near 13.
The numbers from 11-15 are sometimes rings. This is helpful if we are looking to recover a ring someone has lost and asked us to find.
I finished a couple hours later with seven nickels and eight quarters. I also dug one of the presidential dollar coins. I found these also read 30 on my machine.
Of all the different metal detectors I have tried over the past four decades, the Minelab machines seem to be my favorite. The new Multi IQ technology in the Vanquish and the Equinox series enable me to search for coins, jewelry, relics and other metals in all types of soil or water, at greater depths than my older machines. I have the Vanquish 540 and also the Equinox 600. Both of these are outstanding metal detectors and with practice, they will find any of the items for which I search.
While I like to detect old yards to find coins, Susie prefers attending the seeded hunts. These events are conducted by clubs or assorted groups who charge an entry fee, then, take the fees and bury valuable items in the ground for the entrants to find. We have attended these from North Dakota to the east coast and Florida to Canada. We usually try to work a fishing trip into the area on these travels.
As I get older, I find metal detecting helps keep me healthy. It offers fresh air, lots of exercise, and the possibility of finding treasure, which comes in many forms.