When you’re new to using metal detectors, it’s a euphoric feeling to find your first piece of jewelry. This excitement is what drives most of us detectorist to keep searching. A common question is around how sensitive metal detectors are at finding jewelry. Let’s dig in!
The answer to this would be on a case-to-case basis. Jewelry made of ferrous and non-ferrous metals such as bronze, gold, platinum, and silver will set off metal detectors. On the other hand, jewelry made of diamonds, gemstones, and pearls will not set off metal detectors.
Although many treasures are waiting to be discovered, using metal detectors for locating jewelry is one of the most lucrative options. After all, focusing on jewelry allows you to merge your hobby and income into one fun activity.
As if the reasons above aren’t enough, did you know that using your metal detector to find jewelry offers more advantages than you’d thought? To start, here are some:
- Jewelry is easy to locate.
- Many lost, buried, and forgotten pieces of jewelry are waiting for you to find.
- Almost all metal detectors are configured to locate bronze, gold, platinum, and silver.
- You can find abandoned jewelry almost anywhere. You can find it in parks, beaches, concerts, and even sporting events.
- You can build up your jewelry collection with rare and highly valuable pieces.
- If you find jewelry that is not wearable or out of style, you can sell them as scrap at a competitive price.
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The beach is a favorite playground for metal detector enthusiasts to go metal detecting. With lots of people frolicking around, it’s easy to get lost in so much fun that you might unconsciously lose the jewelry you’re wearing.
The first layer of sand is usually where you can detect recently lost jewelry. You might even find antique pieces with high monetary value as you go deeper.
Another ideal place for locating jewelry using your metal detectors is old, abandoned houses and storage areas. If you’ve found one, get permission to check it out and use your metal detector to find unique (and possibly antique) jewelry. It is your perfect opportunity to look for historic and antique pieces with very high values.
Aside from existing beaches and abandoned areas, you can also look for obsolete and eroded beaches. Breakwaters, diverting streams, and harbor extensions are also good alternatives.
As mentioned, metal detectors are excellent for finding gold, jewelry, and silver. On the other hand, metal detectors can only detect ferrous and non-ferrous metals. It is why metal detectors cannot detect diamonds, gemstones, and pearls.
Metal Detecting Tip: Treasure hunting doesn’t mean making a mess, digging holes and destroying historic sites. Use some ethics and preserve history. Sharing pictures and documenting the location and researching the back story is the most important part of finding treasure. Read my article 👉 Metal Detecting Rules, Ethics and Laws
In order to successfully retrieve jewelry in varying terrains, it’s essential to invest in a multi-purpose metal detector with specific features for locating jewelry.
You need to look for two essential features in your metal detector – visual target ID and depth display. Both features tell you the type of metal your sensor has located in as well as its depth. These will save you time in digging only to find scraps.
The output of both features is called a VDI or Visual Discrimination Indicator, which appears on your screen. As you become more familiar with your readouts and audio signals, you can decide which range of numbers you can explore or skip.
To give you an idea, an expert jewelry hunter would tell you that 47 & up VDI is worth digging for suspected jewelry. An ideal VDI to dig in relatively clean areas would be the mid-40s and up. In dumpsites, it’s better to ignore lower VDIs since they are likely to be junk and foil.
If you’d like more articles about metal detecting check out the links below.
- Metal Detecting Digging Tools – Tells you all about shovels, scoops and how to dig a plug.
- DR.OTEK Shovel Review 👈 Read about a shovel that works perfect and is an amazing value.
- Where are the Best Places for a Beginner to Metal Detect? – Just like the title says, this article points the beginner to the highest probability places.
- Can You Metal Detect on BLM Land? – So many people have asked me about BLM detecting I had to write this article.
Aside from its ability to detect jewelry, your metal detector should also have other features that can make your metal detecting journey easy and convenient. You can start by deciding whether you want one that you can control manually or another with automatic settings.
Especially if you’re planning to use your metal detector in dumpsites, you can opt for one with a “discrimination mode” for easier filtration of trash items. You can also look for a metal detector with additional options such as “all metal” or “notch discrimination.”
If you’re looking for ancient jewelry that could be buried deeper into the ground, opt for low-frequency metal detectors. It is because their longer waves allow them to penetrate the ground easily. Hence, you can dig deeper into the site.
Ground mineralization can also interfere with your signal and make it confusing whether you found an actual piece or just trash. Large jewelry also emits a different sound than smaller pieces, so you need lots of patience and experience when locating jewelry.
For those who are keen on metal detecting in damp areas such as the beach, you can choose a waterproof metal detector too.
Any veteran metal detecting enthusiast will tell you that having in-depth research is essential before investing in a metal detector. You can narrow down your choices by specifying the type of metal and jewelry you want to locate, your current expertise, and your budget range.
We categorized our recommendations into three types:
Most entry-level metal detectors come with an audio tone, expanded depth learning, and an LCD. Here are some examples:
- Bounty Hunter Legacy 2500
- Fisher F22
- Fisher F 4
- Garrett Ace 400
- Bounty Hunter Platinum
- Fisher F 5
- Garrett AT Pro
- Makro Multi Kruzer
- XP ORX
- Fisher F75 Ltd
- Garrett AT Max
- Teknetics T2
- XP Deus
Airport scanners and metal detectors are very sensitive to metals. However, it is essential to remember that airport metal detectors are configured differently than the one you use when treasure hunting. Otherwise, airport metal detectors would beep endlessly from the abundance of coins, pens, hair clips, and other metals.
That said, your jewelry will only be set off in airport metal detectors if it’s made of metals with magnetic properties. You’re less likely to cause an alarm if you wear high-quality jewelry.
Aside from jewelry, orthopedic metal implants and surgical stainless steel will also set off airport metal detectors. Implants are composed of metals like cobalt chrome, surgical-grade stainless steel, and titanium.
Small pieces of solid gold will not set off airport metal detectors. It is because they are calibrated to disregard lower gold levels but will detect more significant amounts of gold. On the other hand, chunky gold jewelry, such as large gold chains, is highly likely to set off airport metal detectors.
Body piercings, even if made of metal, will also not set off metal detectors as long as they’re small enough to notice. However, more extensive and longer body piercings such as hoop earrings will highly set off metal detectors.
With understanding the complicated regulations in keeping jewelry in airport facilities, I recommend you minimize wearing jewelry and instead put it in a travel jewelry box to save time.
Detecting the wide variety of caches that metal detector enthusiasts can choose from, such as coins, gold, old buttons, relics, and shipwrecks, there is a unique charm in jewelry hunting that makes it incredibly enticing to many.
So yes, if you believe that looking for the jewelry with your metal detector is something you can both enjoy and possibly earn money from, then investing in a good metal detector is worth it. Until then, you can finally answer the question “do metal detectors detect jewelry” through your own experience.
- The Metal Search, “Can Metal Detectors Detect Aluminum?”, The Metal Search, n.d. Accessed August 24, 2022. https://themetalsearch.com/can-metal-detectors-detect-aluminum/
- Karen L. Hudson, “Will My Body Piercings Set Off a Metal Detector,” Byrdie, January 25, 2022. Accessed August 27, 2022. https://www.byrdie.com/do-body-piercings-set-off-metal-detectors-3187305
- David Humphries, “What Metals Cannot Be Detected by a Metal Detector? (Find Out Here)”, Metal Detecting Tips, n.d. Accessed August 27, 2022. https://metaldetectingtips.com/what-metals-cannot-be-detected-by-metal-detector/#:~:text=Metal%20detectors%20are%20good%20for,do%20not%20have%20metallic%20properties.
- Daniel Bernzweig, “Lost Jewelry is Frequently Found with a Metal Detector,” Metaldetector.com, n.d. Accessed August 27, 2022. https://www.metaldetector.com/learn/buying-guide-articles/coin-jewelry/lost-jewelry-is-frequently-found-with-metal-detector#:~:text=Endless%20amounts%20of%20rings%2C%20watches,break%20on%20necklaces%20and%20bracelets.
- Tiger, “Does Real Jewelry Go Off In Metal Detectors?-Detailed Answer in 2022”, A Fashion Blog, n.d. Accessed August 27, 2022. https://www.afashionblog.com/does-real-jewelry-go-off-in-metal-detectors/
- Discover Detecting, “What’s the Best Metal Detector for Jewelry,” Discover Detecting, n.d. Accessed August 27, 2022. https://www.discoverdetecting.com/whats-the-best-metal-detector-for-jewelry/
- Pirateering, “Do Metal Detectors Detect Gold and Silver?”, Pirateering, n.d. Accessed August 27, 2022. https://pirateering.com/do-metal-detectors-detect-gold-and-silver/