Best Metal Detecting Books

18 Best Metal Detecting Books (PLUS FREE PDFs)

It’s one thing to be interested in the art and skill of metal detecting, but it’s another thing to find the resources you need to help you get started. I’ve been metal detecting for a couple of years now, thanks to the internet, YouTube, and most especially, books. I’ve come across some helpful source material any metal detectorist would release a sigh of relief to have at their disposal. So what are these gems I’ve collected during my experience as a detectorist? 

The 18 Best Metal Detecting Books (PLUS FREE PDFs)

Fortunately for you, I went through these books. Yes, I went through 18 books on metal detecting, and I can sort of figure out which ones apply to which case scenario and skill level. But let me say that all of these books are helpful in their unique way. So, let me show you some great reads for your metal detecting journey. 

1. The Metal Detecting Bible  by Brandon Neice- The Holy Grail of Metal Detecting

Brandon Neice, the author of this book, did a fantastic job. With just 128 pages to read, this book is what I consider to be the holy grail of metal detecting. 

The Metal Detecting Bible RECOMMEDED for All Detectorists
The Metal Detecting Bible RECOMMEDED for All Detectorists

What’s Great About The Metal Detecting Bible? 

When I was a novice (we all start from somewhere) and got into metal detecting, I needed something that would quickly and clearly explain metal detecting fundamentals. This book delivered on that and gave a lot more than expected. It makes an excellent foundation for getting into metal detecting.

I highly recommend this book to any aspiring detectorist – absolutely excellent. Check out the latest prices and reviews on Amazon with this link -> The Metal Detecting Bible

Here are other reasons why it’s so great:

  • The author runs his own YouTube channel focused on metal detecting for additional reference.
  • It contains pictures and diagrams.
  •  It contains numerous helpful tips.

What’s Not So Great About The Metal Detecting Bible?

The book doesn’t touch on metal detector brands like Minelab, Garrett, Fisher, etc. It gives the general details of a metal detector how to choose one but never compares the industry brands. You might say that it’s unnecessary, but someone getting into metal detecting needs help comparing different units in the market. 

Here are other shortcomings of the metal detecting bible:

  • Lack of advice on dealing with unexpected environmental factors such as poison ivy or snakes during metal detecting. 
  • No advice on what to do when someone steals your metal detector.
  • No advice on getting a permit to metal detect on private property.

2. Metal Detecting: A Beginner’s Guide: to Mastering the Greatest Hobby In the World  by Mark D. Smith- A Beginner-Friendly Gem

This book, written by Mark Smith, is excellent for beginners. Not only is it beginner-friendly (it explains everything in precise detail). You could say that it’s the perfect book of training wheels for any novice detectorist. So what makes this book so great? Over 1000s reviews on Amazon, here’s a short cut link to check prices – Metal Detecting – Beginners Guide to Mastering Hobby

What’s Great About The Metal Detecting A Beginner’s Guide

  • It offers a lot of detailed information in comparison to other books.
  • It offers simple definitions to the reader.
  • It offers metal detecting tips for different situations.
  • It describes different metal detector brands and models.
  • The book contains research and community links. 
  • It offers the fundamental knowledge that every beginner requires, making it one of the most beginner-friendly books on this list. 
  • It has several illustrations and pictures. 

What’s Not So Great About The Metal Detecting A Beginner’s Guide

  • It doesn’t detail different metal detectors, their settings, and buttons.
  • It’s unsuitable for skilled metal detectorists.

Check Out the BUTTON Below to get a FREE EBOOK from the great folks at Garrett Metal Detecting


3. Metal Detecting For Beginners: 101 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started by Mary A. Shafer – 101 Tips From Start To Finish

Third, on this list is what I refer to as the 101 Things Book. It’s chock full of tips and tricks that any metal detectorist or enthusiast would enjoy reading. The concept of this book is to provide readers with 101 tips on metal detecting, which is pretty handy if you ask me. 

Metal Detecting for Beginners 101 Things by Mary Shafer
Metal Detecting for Beginners 101 Things by Mary Shafer

What’s Great About The 101 Metal Detecting Things Book

The concept behind this book is worth raving about, but other incredible reasons make this book worth your while.

  • It’s short (93 pages) and covers the metal detecting basics within those pages, as well as providing tips and tricks.
  • It’s beginner-friendly.
  • The format is different from what’s on the market, making it unique.

I’ve really enjoyed reading this book. It’s written by someone passionate about metal detecting. Highly recommended, look for it on Amazon with this short cut link – Metal Detecting for Beginners 101 Things

What’s Not So Great About The 101 Metal Detecting Things Book

I’ve shared what makes this book truly shine in the industry, but what about its shortcomings?

  • Some tips are too straightforward and are the common sense type of information.
  • The book is too basic for advanced users. 
  • The book doesn’t apply to detectorists in other countries.

4. How to Research for Treasure Hunting and Metal Detecting: From Lead Generation to Vetting by Otto von Helsing – Excellent Research Tool

Metal detecting isn’t just about getting your detector and searching a random park. If you’re getting severe and need help finding locations, this book is the ultimate research tool. 

What’s Great About How To Research For Treasure Hunting?

  • It offers excellent tips on research using geology and history.
  • This book is for advanced metal detectorists.
  • It’s an excellent source material for metal detecting research.

What’s Not So Great About How To Research For Treasure Hunting?

  • The book recommends using other older books to find treasure, some of which you can only access from the ‘special section’ in a public library. The sources are not online whatsoever.
  • It’s not beginner-friendly.
  • The digital version may be illegible. 

Metal Detecting Tip:  Do research if you’re looking for relics. The internet, library records, heck, even just stories from the locals, make excellent prospects for a prosperous prospect. Get these tips from https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/.

5. Metal Detecting for the Beginner by Vince Migliore – Step by step instructions by a Pro!

The author Vince Migliore has helped me build this website. His knowledge of metal detecting has helped 100s of folks start down the treasure finding rabbit hole. This book is unique in that it starts at the base of the learning curve and develops the reader into advanced topics and techniques.

What’s Great About Metal Detecting for Beginners

The book starts off with what I would say is a “quick start guide” jumping into the equipment i.e. the metal detector and then touches on the ethics and code of conduct. Then moves into what it’s like to actually go on a hunt, emphasizing all the steps along the way.

What’s Not So Great About Metal Detecting Tips for the Beginner

I love Vince, I’m not sure I could say anything is bad about the book. It is starting to get a little dated. I’ve been pushing Vince to write an update, he’s got so much information to share.

Metal Detecting Tips: Vince has many articles here on Metal Detecting Tips including: How to Metal Detect the Complete Beginners Guide, How Deep Can Your Metal Detector Detect, and Where to Metal Detect in Northern California

6. Advanced Prospecting And Detecting for Hardrock Gold by Jim Straight – The Hardrock Bible 

As the name suggests, this book is for the more advanced detector. It also specializes in metal detecting on Hardrock. 

What’s Great About Advanced Prospecting and Detecting

  • It’s great for the advanced detectorist.
  • It provides more insight into your current metal detecting techniques and offers new methods. 
  • It clearly defines the different types of rocks and how to look for targets. 

What’s Not So Great About Advanced Prospecting and Detecting

  • The book is pretty old, but it still contains valuable information that you can apply today. 

7. A Guide Book of United States Coins 2021 by Jeff Garrett -The Coin Magnet

Metal detecting is an art and science; understanding the value of coins is part of it. This book is a staple for any metal detectorist.

What’s Great About A Guide Book Of United States Coins

  • It offers 32,500+ prices for more than 7,600 coins, tokens, medals, sets, and other collectibles.
  • The author provides pictures of every coin, specific details, and key dates. 
  • You can use it as a reference when buying from online coin auctions.

What’s Not So Great About A Guide Book Of United States Coins

  • The 2021 version is smaller than the previous hardcover versions of the book.
  • There will not be a 2022 version, but a 2023 version is in the making. 
  • The book comes in small print. 

8. Metal Detecting the Beach by Mark D. Smith – A Book That Specializes In Beach Hunting

Metal detecting the beach is a unique art form. This book breaks down what you need to get started on beach hunting. 

What’s Great About Metal Detecting The Beach

  • This book is beginner-friendly and perfect for advanced metal detectorists. 
  • This book is perfect for beach hunting.
  • It also gives tips on underwater prospecting.
  • The author consistently prioritizes staying safe during beach hunting throughout the book.
  • The book gives in-depth information on the different beach areas and how to work with them.
  • It also gives information on metal detecting in general.

 What’s Not So Great About Metal Detecting The Beach

  • The author suggests being secretive about your finds which doesn’t help the metal detecting community. 

9. New Successful Coin Hunting By Charles Garrett – A Timeless Book

The late Charles Lewis Garrett wrote this book back in 1989 during the metal detecting boom. It still holds value (to some detectorists) till today. Despite its age, it carries timeless information to detectorists.  

What’s Great About New Successful Coin Hunting

  • The book is timeless and clearly explains metal detecting jargon to 
  • It’s an excellent book for beginners.
  • Despite its age, it offers accurate and relevant metal detecting methods.

What’s Not So Great About New Successful Coin Hunting

  • Due to the evolution of the metal detecting industry, some of the details in this book might become inapplicable.

10. Metal Detecting Gold: A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Gold Prospecting By Mark D. Smith – A Specialty Book On Gold

Mark D. Smith is a consistent name on this list because he’s written numerous publications on metal detecting. This book specializes in metal detecting for gold. 

What’s Great About Metal Detecting Gold

  • This book is a quick way to learn about gold prospecting.
  • The book explains not only gold prospecting but metal detecting in general.
  • The author offers elaborate technical explanations regarding gold prospecting. 

What’s Not So Great About Metal Detecting Gold

  • The author heavily focused on his personal experiences in the early parts of the book and less on prospecting. 
  • This book isn’t for the more advanced metal detectorist. 

11. Metal Detecting: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide By Mark D. Smith – A Great Opener For Novice Detectors.

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide is a book that many novice detectorists will enjoy. It offers insight into past and present metal detecting methods and treasures.

What’s Great About The Metal Detecting Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

  • The book contains colorful illustrations. 
  • This book offers insight into metal detecting equipment.
  • The book includes gold prospecting.
  • A lot of detailed explanations on beach hunting and underwater prospecting

What’s Not So Great About The Metal Detecting Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

  • This book contained no information on a metal detecting method known as dowsing.
  • This book isn’t for the more advanced metal detectorist. 

12. Gold Beneath the Waves: Treasure Hunting the Surf and Sand by Jim Brouwer – A Book That Specializes in Beach Hunting

The author is a veteran beach hunter and showcases his finds in the book. This book is for anyone looking for more detailed beach hunting methods.

What’s Great About Gold Beneath The Waves?

  • The author teaches geological phenomena such as erosion and how they fit into finding treasure.
  • The book is incredibly detailed.

What’s Not So Great About Gold Beneath The Waves?

  • I would not recommend this book for beginners because of the complex explanations.
  • Some tips from this book are inapplicable in other countries.

13. Permission Impossible: Metal Detecting Search Permission Made Easy by David Villanueva

This book offers insight into getting permits to detect private or inaccessible land. 

What’s Great About Permission Impossible?

  • This book is excellent for both beginner and advanced metal detectorists.
  • It contains helpful tips and tricks on getting permits to detect.

What’s Not So Great About Permission Impossible

  • The author focuses on his home country of Great Britain. So it might not apply to detectorists in other parts of the world. 

Metal detecting tip: Be respectful and follow the law. Unless you own the land or have express permission from the landowner, you need to make sure that it is legal to detect metal on the land you plan to detect. Get these tips from https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/.

Metal Detecting on a Beach
Metal Detecting on a Beach

14. Coins of England and the United Kingdom by Spink – A Reference Book On British Coins

Coins from different regions have different values; this book specializes in coins from the British. This book should be a staple in your collection for the English and British. 

What’s Great About Coins of England And The United Kingdom?

  • It’s a must-have for any detectorist in the UK or any that came across British or English coins.
  • Great for both beginner and advanced metal detectorists.
  • It offers pictures of British and English coins.

What’s Not So Great About Coins Of England And The United Kingdom

  • Inapplicable to detectorists that are not in the UK.

15. A Guide Book of Canadian Coins (Official Whitman Guidebook) by James Haxby – A Reference Book On Canadian Coins

This book specializes in Canadian coins and their values. I highly recommend this book if you’re a detectorist in Canada or if you find a Canadian coin during one of your prospects. 

What’s Great About A Guide Book Of Canadian Coins?

  • It contains illustrations and pictures of Canadian coins.
  • Great for both beginner and advanced metal detectorists.

What’s Not So Great About A Guide Book Of Canadian Coins

  • Inapplicable to detectorists outside Canada.
  • It does not contain all the variants of Canadian coins.

16. Relic Quest: A Guide to Responsible Relic Recovery Techniques with Metal Detectors by Stephen L. Moore – A Focus On Techniques And Relics

This book is fantastic for detectorists looking to change their locations while focusing on historical events. The author emphasizes the American civil war of 1861-1865. 

What’s So Great About Relic Quest?

  • It specializes in identifying American civil war relics.
  • It contains numerous photos for reference.
  • The author provides ideas on newer locations to prospect.

What’s Not So Great About Relic Quest

  • It solely focuses on the American civil war relics, revolutionary war relics, other military relics of the 1800s.
  • The author focuses on Garrett metal detectors.

17. Buried Treasures You Can Find: Over 7500 Locations in All 50 States by Robert F. Marx – A List of 7500 Metal Detecting Sites

If you’re not hell-bent on doing some research yourself, this book lists locations you can try for your prospecting. But take note of the disadvantages of this book. 

What’s So Great About Buried Treasures?

  • You get 7500 locations in states all over America.
  • It’s excellent for beginners.
  • The author shares stories of treasures found by other metal detectorists.

What’s Not So Great About Buried Treasures

  • Some of the locations mentioned in this book are illegal for metal detectorists.
  • It focuses on Garrett metal detectors.
  • There is an issue with misinformation in this book. 

18. The Metal Detector Book by Andrew Palmer – A Gold Prospecting Book

Last and certainly not least is Andrew Palmer’s book. He did an impressive job with this book, and it gives a fantastic insight into gold prospecting as well. I highly recommend this book to beginners in the UK.  

What’s Great About The Metal Detector Book

  • It offers insight into general metal detecting and gold prospecting.
  • This book is beginner-friendly.
  • The author shares detailed metal detecting techniques and methods.

What’s Not So Great About The Metal Detector Book

  • The author is from England, so most tips and tricks might not apply to countries outside the UK. 
  • The book isn’t suitable for advanced metal detectorists. 

A Metal Detectorist Summary

I know that YouTube and other online sources provide metal detecting information. However, books give the same information and more. You’re more likely to find new information from a book than your random Reddit thread. I highly recommend getting books to add to your resource list.


I’m frequently asked what machine I use and recommend. No doubt about it, for the beginner get the Nokta Makro Simplex + Kit it’s the best. 100% waterproof, wireless headphones and pinpointer. Check prices and reviews with quick links below.

The next thing you need is a great shovel, believe me when I say you’ll dig more knowing you can dig FASTER. Links below to the nearly bullet proof Lesche T- Handle Shovel

Metal Detecting and Beaches are a perfect match. Sunshine easy digging and lots of people means dropped coins and jewelry. To search a beach affectively you’ve GOT TO HAVE A SAND SCOOP. CKG Sand Scoops are heavy duty and able to use as a shovel.

If it’s time up UP YOUR GAME and get the industry standard metal detector. The Minelab Equinox 800 IS THE BEST. Okay it’s not cheap, but your finds are going to increase with this machine. Shortcut links for reviews and current prices.



David-Humphries-Metal-Detecting

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

Read about David -> HERE

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