A Metal Detecting Tip  
Use a Smaller Coil

A metal detecting tip that pays off in more finds, but is rarely used, is using a smaller coil when you’re detecting in trashy areas.

What I mean by a smaller coil are those 4-4 ½ - inch coils that every detector manufacturer sells. Honestly, if you haven’t used one in those “this is driving me crazy” trashy areas, then you’re missing out on the possibility of finding some real keepers.

The knock on the small coils by many users is the fact that they don’t cover a lot of area, and you don’t get much depth. I’ll address both issues. But the positive effects of using a small coil in trashy areas far outweigh any disadvantages.

These miniature coils were designed to zero in on separate items that are in proximity with multiple objects. The tiny coil detection of good finds in a junk-filled area is like finding a friend in a crowd. This type of coil was not meant to cover lots of ground, it was meant to find your friend in that crowd.

A Metal Detecting Tip That Works Wonders

A metal detecting tip.

The small coil is made to separate, more accurately, the different frequencies it gives off. They are far better at reading individual targets. And because of their narrow detection band, the small coil is perfect for those junk-filled areas.

I love going back to high junk areas that I detected, then changing to a small coil, and slowly and working the area again. I’m always surprised at what goodies I find in those areas that were missed with my larger coil.

My dear friend and co-host of my metal detecting TV show, John DeCharo , RIP buddy, and I went back to an area we had searched multiple times using our standard-size coils. It was farm property with an old colonial home and two old barns. And it was loaded with trash of all kinds. We brought with us small four-inch coils. Methodically we detected the same area using a grid pattern as before. I found two Indian Head Cents, and John located two small cast metal Tootsie Toys and a Barber Quarter.

No, you won’t cover a lot of area with these miniature coils, nor will you get great depth, however, you will find items you missed when using a larger coil. 

A metal detecting tip won't work if you don't use it. So... when using the smaller coils, it’s best to work an area at a time, be sure of overlapping your swings while moving slowly. I’m not going to be technical here, so I’ll just say that small coils need time to read the ground. If you move too fast, you’ll miss the individual targets because your detector will be screaming out to all the targets at once.
Small coil = S-L-O-W down.

If depth is your concern, and that’s a reason why you won’t use a small coil, then I’ll make this point.

Most good finds when using coils that are six to eight-inch sizes are found at depths between 2- 8 inches. One of my oldest coins from the 1500’s was found at six inches with an eight-inch coil. The smaller coils will also read to those depths on many targets. I found an 1838 Seated dime, with a 4 ½” coil, at 6 inches in an area I detected twice while using my regular coil. That coin was located after I used a grid pattern to cover the entire, trashy area. The coin was in the ground and surrounded by bottle caps and pull-tabs. I know I covered that area with my larger coil but missed that coin due to the conflicting signals I was receiving from the bottle caps, pull tabs, and the coin.

Give the small coils a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

And always remember the laws regarding digging on State and Federal Lands.

A Metal Detecting Tip For Certain Areas.

Small coils are a must have when searching around these areas.

Here are more article about metal detecting and treasure hunting.

Buried Treasure Books
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