Where To Use Metal Detectors?
The UK has proven to be a mass treasure trove of hidden artifacts and valuable objects. It is estimated that a staggering 90% plus of the UK’s hidden treasure has been found by armature treasure hunters rather than by professionals. There is one area, or county, in England that has had more treasure found year on year than any other and this is the combination of Herefordshire, Buckinghamshire and North Yorkshire also known as Norfolk. The estimated treasure find per year, over the last few years, equal 116. The next is Essex with 71 finds per year, Suffolk with an average of 65 per year and Lincolnshire has an average of around 59 per year.
Some areas of the UK however have not had a significant find in the past three years and these include Bristol, the City of York and Coventry. Whether this means there is nothing of worth to find or it just hasn’t been discovered yet remains to be seen.
What is considered a treasure?
- It is any object that is at least 300 years old when found, so for our current year (2017) it would need to date back to at least 1717 or earlier to be consider a treasure.
- It also needs to be one of at least two coins in the same find with a precious metal content of at least 10%.
- However, if the precious metal content is less than 10%, it will need to be one of at least 10 coins in the same find.
- It is not a coin but has precious metal content of at least 10%.
- It is any object of any material found in the same place as another object that is deemed treasure. So, say you find 10 coins that are considered treasure and also find a clay pot or something similar then this could also be considered as treasure.
- If any group of two or more metallic objects are found of any composition of prehistoric date that come from the same find.
- It is an object mainly made from gold or silver but is less than 300 years old.
If you are considering going on a hunt in the hopes to find some untold riches, then it is worth doing a little bit of research before you set off out into the world. This can be done via the internet or in your local library, you will want to research your chosen area to see what would have been there at least 300 years ago to ascertain if there is any chance of finding something worthwhile.
Here are some proven treasure hunting tips for artifact and coin hunting in the UK that could come in useful. A point to remember is one or two trips across a field without any good finds doesn’t mean there’s nothing in the field. You have to remember that the land has been used for over 2000 years, most fields have good relics and coins hidden on them somewhere. Some of the fields are large and your first thought might be to take off fast and not overlap your sweeps. This is a common mistake and could cause you to miss most of the targets because you will either not get the coil over the target or you will be going too fast to hear the smaller targets.
Another good call is to take a friend with you, two of you going over the same area, with different sized coils can enhance your chances of a find. Other tell-tale signs that there may well be potential treasure in the area include finding lead or broken pieces of pottery. Many coins and relics have been found in these areas for the patient treasure hunter.
Always remove the trash items you dig up, or you may well find that you keep digging them up over and over. Also, there might be another target hiding underneath it and by removing the trash you find the treasure. If you are looking in a farmer’s field, with his permission of course, remember the ground gets cycled or moved by the plough each season, bringing artefacts and coins up for your discovery.
When you find a coin or relic it is recommended that you begin to grid a small area around the find. This proven method involves you walking slowly, in half steps and overlap your coil sweeps around the area. Keep track of where you have been in your grid by using your foot prints or if needed draw, mark, stake or use land marks for your grid square. Also, to grid or detect in the opposite direction or to use a different machine can reveal additional relics. If you turn up more items, then expanding the grid would make good sense.
Unlike hunting for U.S. coins where you may choose to set you discrimination levels high to avoid digging unwanted signals, in the UK keep your discrimination levels low and the reason for this is because of the Celtic’s. Small hammered silver and bronze Roman coins may range in the level of nickel they have in them making them harder to find with high discrimination ranges as they will give off very faint signals. The smallest coins and cut hammered coins will read more like tin foil, so when in doubt, dig. You may discover your best find ever by employing this tactic. In most cases the larger coils that come with your machine helps for depth and ground coverage while smaller coils may be more appropriate for stubble fields in some cases.
Public beaches metal detecting tips
First of all, you must research whether, or not a beach is private or public. If it is private make sure you have permission to be there and to use your equipment. If you’re looking for modern treasure, you may want to visit the beach and note where the majority of the people are sun bathing, playing, or swimming as this is these are the areas where you should search to discover recent losses such as jewellery or coins.
When seeking older finds, here are some useful tips
Where the sand is very deep, there is very little chance of discovering old finds. Try to find areas where the sand and shingle levels are low, (not deep) or where the hard pack may be exposed. Most beaches have a hard surface below the sand and shingle, and this is where the majority of the older finds will be found because coins and artifacts will quickly sink down through the upper layers of the beach.
Your best bet will be to research old boat landing sites or if you know of a beach where shipwrecks are known to be close by search these beaches thoroughly after any storms as this can bring up more treasures. You may need to set the discrimination level so that it ignores the salt, or reduce the sensitivity as well with some detectors. Search along parallel to the sea by doing this the sand you cover isn’t going between dry and wet, making some detectors lose balance all the time. Look for patches of black sand on the beach because this is a good sign that the top layers of sand have been washed away and you can get to the lower levels and therefore the older finds. Make sure you don’t leave any holes, even on the beaches and always take away all the rubbish you find.
Another way to search out treasure and be social about it is to look up treasure hunting tours. This can be easily Googled and you can find tours in many areas, including the treasure dense area of Norfolk. So, let’s have a look at these tours to see what the involve and the approximate costs involved.
Norfolk Metal Detecting Tours
This group won’t take you to over detected areas, or have massive groups at any one time which means your chances of as decent find it greatly increased. They run three separate groups a year so you won’t bump into another group in a field you’re detecting in and they have spent hundreds of hours researching their chosen sites and securing exclusive permission from the land owners for our small metal detecting groups. They also keep adding new farm land every year, to help keep it fresh and exciting. The tours are run by Steve Elden and his partner Hayley Watson. They work hard to ensure your trip has that perfect personal touch and they strive to make sure you will enjoy every minute of your English Treasure Hunting experience.
So what do they offer?
- Early morning pick up at your hotel, accommodation is included in price, at 8.30, then they will collect the days food at a nearby supermarket.
- A different field every day until the group hits a hot spot and return the next day is voted for by the group.
- Expert finds identification service. Steve has studied English Coins and Antiquities for 2 decades now.
- Museum service recording of finds over 300 years old. This guarantee’s you know what you’ve found and an accurate date of finds as well as detailed information about it.
- Export licenses of all historic finds over 50 years
- Steven and Hayley will be on site with you the whole time every day and serving refreshments, the minibus will be in the field to, in case of rain.
- Return transportation to your hotel (leave field around 5.30pm time
- There will also be two back up detectors on hand in case you encounter issues with your own.
The tours cover 14 days in total, 2 days traveling plus 12 full days of detecting. Prices do vary depending on the level of accommodation required and may also be subject to change year on year but for 2017 the prices for a single room is £1815, a double room is £1965 and a twin is £1660.
This is just one example of a treasure hunting tour that can be found in the UK, some will offer day trips and may or may not include the cost of accommodation in their prices. These are things that you need to research first to see which option fits you best. Other tours that can be found include:
- Colchester Treasure Hunting and Metal Detecting Holidays.
- England Metal Detecting Tours – which focuses on the Buckinghamshire area.
- England Detecting Tours – which focus on Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Suffolk and Wiltshire.