5 Mistakes while metal detecting for different targets

While people getting started with treasure-hunting often approach this hobby with great enthusiasm, one thing I often see them doing is getting started without doing proper research, which leads to them making mistakes while metal-detecting for different targets.

Just like any other hobby, there are common mistakes that can decrease your chances of finding these coins, treasures, and even gold

So today we will guide you through 5 mistakes while metal detecting for different targets. So you can hopefully avoid them, as mistakes often lead to complications later that further delay the goal you are hoping to achieve.

Common Mistakes When Metal Detecting for Different Targets

  1. Not researching your location
  2. Using the wrong equipment
  3. Overlooking proper technique
  4. Ignoring signals
  5. Being impatient

Here’s a look at five common mistakes people make when using metal detectors for various targets:

So let’s take a look at these five metal detecting beginner’s mistakes and how to avoid them:

1. Not Researching Your Location

  • Coins: Local parks, old homes, and schoolyards can be gold mines for coin hunters. Without proper research, you might end up in places where coins are rarely dropped.

  • Treasures: Historical sites, battlefields, or old settlements offer higher chances of discovering treasures. Make sure you’re detecting in areas with a rich history.

  • Gold: Natural gold is often found near riverbeds, old gold mines, or in regions known for gold deposits. Research is crucial to pinpointing these locations.

Use old maps, historical records, and online forums to gather information about your chosen location.

2. Using the Wrong Equipment

  • Coins: For coin hunting, a detector with good discrimination can help differentiate between valuable coins and junk.

  • Treasures: A metal detector with a deeper search range is needed to find older, buried treasures.

  • Gold: Gold hunting requires a specific metal detector that can detect small gold nuggets at greater depths.

Tip: Invest in a quality metal detector tailored for your specific target and familiarize yourself with its settings.

3. Overlooking Proper Technique

  • Coins: Sweep the coil slowly and at a consistent height above the ground to detect coins that might be just beneath the surface.

  • Treasures: For buried treasures, develop a systematic pattern to cover the area thoroughly. Go over the ground multiple times from different directions.

  • Gold: Gold hunting requires meticulous technique, ensuring every inch of the ground is scanned properly.

Tip: Join metal detecting clubs or watch tutorials to learn and refine your techniques.

4. Ignoring Signals

  • Coins: Setting discrimination too high might cause you to miss older coins made of mixed alloys.
  • Treasures: Not all treasures will give a strong, clear signal. Sometimes, it’s worth investigating weaker or inconsistent signals.
  • Gold: Gold can give off varied signals depending on its size and depth. Adjusting your detector’s sensitivity can make a difference.

Tip: Learn to differentiate between signals and always dig doubtful signals. Sometimes, what sounds like trash could be a significant find.

5. Being Impatient

  • Coins: You might not always find a rare coin immediately. It takes time and patience to uncover something valuable.
  • Treasures: Treasures are often well-hidden and can require multiple trips to the same location.
  • Gold: Gold hunting is notoriously challenging, and it might take many trips before you strike gold.

Tip: Enjoy the journey! Metal detecting is as much about the thrill of the hunt as it is about the items you find. Celebrate every find, no matter how small.


By analyzing these common mistakes of the new detectorist, you can make sure that you do not end up repeating them.

Whether you’re hunting for coins, treasures, or gold, avoiding these common mistakes can significantly enhance your experience. 

So when you are out on your adventure, keep these mistakes in mind so that you don’t repeat them.

We at Goldxtra want our readers to succeed. And make their treasure-hunting dreams a reality.

Remember, every beep of your detector is a potential treasure waiting to be found.

Howard rockse

Hey there, I am Howard a deeply committed individual who likes to share my knowledge and insights in this field, having spent over ten years as a metal detectorist.

My experience with GoldXtra has allowed me to provide trustworthy and informative advice to both new and experienced metal-detecting enthusiasts. I’m committed to assisting others in exploring and enjoying the world of metal detecting with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I have.

Howard Rockse
Senior Content Writer at GoldXtra

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