Tips for Finding Coins Metal Detecting

26 Tips for Finding More Coins Metal Detecting

Finding coins with a metal detector is a wildly popular hobby among metal detectorists. This activity, called coin shooting, is not only fun, but can be profitable! Some metal detectorists have found rare and expensive coins while metal detecting.

What Is Coin Shooting?

Coin shooting is a term used to describe finding coins with a metal detector. This is a popular hobby for metal detectorists and can potentially be a profitable endeavor!

I have read numerous articles about people finding large caches of old coins. Certain coins are worth a lot more than their face value. If you wish to know how much the coins you find are worth, check with a local coin dealer. They can give you a good idea of what you have found!

Finding a coin in my backyard
Finding a coin in my backyard

Where To Metal Detect for Coins

1. Parks – Picnickers Losing Coins

Parks are some of the best places to coin shoot, for both new and old coins. If you know of old parks in your area, those will likely have the most buried coins (and other treasures). Look for areas with mature trees and check near the roots.

Check near walking paths, picnic areas, and parking lots. Anywhere people gather or walk you have a good chance of finding a coin that has been dropped.

Metal Detecting for Jewelry at Parks and Beaches
Metal Detecting for Jewelry at Parks and Beaches

2. Beaches  – Magnets for Coins and Jewelry

Beaches are popular recreation sites and as such, there are a lot of dropped items on beaches. The sands are constantly shifting on beaches, so different items are being moved around a lot. Check the beaches after storms, as more sand and water are stirred up during storms.

Check during the off season when the beaches are less crowded. The fall months are a great time to metal detect the beaches for coins after a full summer of recreators! Sometimes old shipwreck coins get washed ashore, too. These old coins are a spectacular find! I highly suggest checking out this article 👉 Metal Detecting at Parks and Beaches for Jewelry

Metal Detecting Pro Tip: Check out these 3 Popular Metal Detecting Beaches

3. Yards  – Rolling Around in the Grass

Some of the best coins I have found have been in my yard or a friend or family member’s yard. The older your home is, the older the coins you can find. Most of the coins I found in my yard in Idaho were newer coins (1970 and newer).

So far, my home in Utah has not produced any coins (only old Matchbox cars). However, I did find a silver quarter in my in-law’s backyard a couple of years ago!

4. Schools and College Campuses

These areas are great for finding coins lost by students, especially around benches and walkways.  High traffic and folks in a rush usually mean something gets left behind.

5. Median Strip Between Road and Sidewalk

I’ve discovered that the grassy median between a sidewalk and street is often a treasure trove for coin hunting. It’s a spot where people frequently drop coins, perhaps while walking, jogging, or even getting in and out of their cars, making it an ideal place to sweep with a metal detector.

6. Old Homestead Sites – So Many Opportunities

Signs of an old homestead
Signs of an old homestead

Old homestead sites are some of the most profitable areas to metal detect for coins. Many such homestead sites have been abandoned for decades, and many have not been metal detected before.

There are so many coins, jewelry items, and artifacts left behind by these settlers. These can be treasure troves for old coins. Check around porches, steps, and driveways.

7. Ghost Towns  – Boom to Bust

Ghost towns are great places to coin shoot. Many ghost towns in the country are completely abandoned, while others have a handful of residents left. Be sure you are not trespassing on private property when metal detecting for coins in ghost towns.

Ghost towns usually seemed to pop up overnight, and often, they were abandoned just as quickly. As such, many coins were dropped in the rush to leave the town for more profitable areas.

8. Sporting Fields – Bleachers are Amazing

Sporting fields have a high volume of traffic. Areas with high human traffic will have a high potential of finding dropped coins. Look for areas where the patrons of the games would sit and walk.

Look for areas with concession stands and trash cans. These areas are where people usually drop coins. It is usually spectators who lose coins, rather than the players.

9. Abandoned Buildings and Houses  – The Older the Better

Abandoned buildings in and out of your own town or city are full of dropped coins just waiting for you to find them. As buildings are being built, and when people are using them, they often drop coins. Check the ground around the building, rather than inside. Going inside abandoned structures is not always safe, so stick to the outside.

10. Campsites  – Losing Stuff by the Campfire

Campsites are my all-time favorite locations to metal detect for coins and other relics. While metal detecting campsites in both Utah and Idaho, my family and I have found dozens of coins. Check near fire pits, areas with restrooms, and places where people park their campers. Coins are dropped when people enter and exit vehicles and campers.

11. Churches – Usually Years of Foot Traffic

Church grounds, especially older buildings, have a good potential to produce lost coins. Make sure you have permission to metal detect on church grounds, and ensure you fill any holes you dig to keep the area pristine. If you come across abandoned church locations, you may find even older coins than newer churches.

12. Rest Stops

Rest stops are places where many neglect to metal detect. However, they are areas where people are constantly exiting and entering vehicles. People get tired while driving and need a break to stretch their legs. As people get in and out, they often drop coins. They can be dropped while people dig through bags for various items. Many rest stops have never been metal detected, so you can find coins as well as other items!

13. Get a Metal Detector that’s Good for Coin Shooting

There are several considerations to keep in mind when searching for a good coin shooting metal detector. You want to find things like manual ground balancing, iron discrimination, a maximum search depth of at least 6” and notch discrimination.

Exploring the Essential Features of Coin Shooter Metal Detectors

I’ve learned that the right metal detector can make all the difference. In this section, I’ll share the crucial features that set apart a great coin shooter metal detector. We’ll look at everything from target identification to depth indicators, essential for finding those elusive coins.

  • Target Identification: Helps to determine what the target is before digging, increasing efficiency in finding coins.
  • Notch Discrimination: Allows you to filter out unwanted targets and focus on specific conductivity ranges, like those of coins.
  • Adjustable Frequency: A frequency range of 10-15 kHz is ideal for coin detection, balancing depth and sensitivity.
  • Depth Indicator: Shows how deep the target is buried, useful for assessing whether a signal is worth digging.
  • Ground Balance: Essential for reducing false signals from mineralized soil, especially important in varied terrains.
  • Pinpoint Mode: Helps in locating the exact position of the target, making digging for coins more precise.
  • Sensitivity Control: Allows you to adjust the detector’s sensitivity to detect coins at different depths.
  • Audio Tones: Different tones for different types of metals can help identify coins without looking at the display.
  • Waterproof Coil: Enables searching in shallow water where coins are often lost. Read more about 👉 Waterproof Metal Detectors
  • LCD Display: Provides visual identification and depth information, enhancing the coin hunting experience.

Entry Level Coin Metal Detectors

Garrett Ace 300

The Garrett Ace 300 is the mid-level detector in Garrett’s Ace lineup. This detector is great for finding coins at an entry level price! The waterproof search coil can find buried coins up to 10” deep in good soil conditions. This model also has a pinpoint mode which makes it easier to zone in on your coins easily.

Bounty Hunter Mach 1

The Bounty Hunter Mach 1 is a great entry level metal detector for coin shooting. This model has 3 discrimination levels and can detect coin sized items up to 6” deep. It is lightweight and has a weatherproof search coil.

Fisher F11

I love how simple the Fisher F11 controls are
I love how simple the Fisher F11 controls are

Fisher’s F11 is a weatherproof, entry level metal detector with a specific coin mode. This model has adjustable sensitivity and volume and is lightweight and simple to use for beginners. The F11 can find coins up to 9” deep. Learn more about the Fisher F11 here 👉

Mid-Level Coin Metal Detectors

Nokta Simplex +

The Simplex collapses down to a nice size for transporting
The Simplex collapses down to a nice size for transporting

I personally use Simplex + and have for a couple of years now. I love this metal detector! It is a great option for finding coins in the high soil mineralization I have in Utah. This detector is relatively easy to use and can find coins up to 6” deep in my soil, and at least 9” deep in better soil conditions. This detector is great at identifying targets. Read my review of the Simplex + here 👉

Minelab Vanquish 440

The Vanquish 440 is the mid-range model in Minelab’s Vanquish line. This detector has a specified coin mode, adjustable sensitivity, and operates on multiple frequencies. This makes it a great detector for finding coins of all metal types. It can find coins up to 10” deep in good soil conditions.

Garrett Ace Apex

Garrett’s Ace Apex is a multiple frequency metal detector. You can also use it in single frequencies mode. This detector is great for coin shooting! The Apex features adjustable discrimination, so you can find exactly the coins you are looking for.

High-End Coin Metal Detectors

XP Deus

The XP Deus is one of my favorite metal detectors. This detector is completely wireless, which makes it lightweight and simple to pack around. This detector has multiple frequencies available and can find coins up to 12” deep!

Nokta Legend

Nokta’s Legend is a multiple frequency metal detector that is fully waterproof up to 10 feet. It has excellent discrimination and works very well in trashy sites. This detector can find coins up to 10” deep.

Titan GER 1000

Titan GER 1000 Metal Detector Review
Titan GER 1000 Metal Detector Review

The Titan GER 1000 is an extremely advanced metal detector. This monster machine will have no problem at all finding any coins you are searching for! The price also reflects its capabilities, as it is much more expensive than any other detector on this list. This machine can detect up to 147 feet in the ground! Learn more about this model here 👉

👉Hey David here the guy behind this website. Check Out My Favorite Metal Detecting Equipment Below 👍 Recommended

Nokta Ultra
Nokta Simplex ULTRA 👈 Awesome Machine!

When asked what I recommend, the 👉 Nokta Simplex Ultra stands out. Perfect for beginners, it’s waterproof, includes wireless headphones, and offers five functional modes, growing with your detecting skills.

Lesche T Handle Shovel picture
Lesche T Handle Shovel digs through everything

The next thing you need is a great shovel, believe me when I say you’ll dig more knowing you can dig FASTER. The nearly bullet proof Lesche T- Handle Shovel is the most comfortable heavy duty shovel I’ve ever used.

I love the CKG Sand Scoop for Beach Metal Detecting
I love the CKG Sand Scoop for Beach Metal Detecting

Metal Detecting and Beaches are a perfect match. To search a beach you’ve GOT TO HAVE A SAND SCOOP. CKG Sand Scoops are heavy duty and able to be used as a shovel.

Minelab Equinox 800 amazing Metal Detector
Minelab Equinox 800 amazing metal detector

If it’s time up UP YOUR GAME , 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.

Coin Shooting Techniques

There are a few techniques you can use to find more coins quicker. Sometimes you will get lucky and find coins while you are metal detecting for other treasures or in all-metal mode. Other times, you will want to do a few things to ensure you find exactly what you are looking for.

14. Select the Appropriate Coil Size

Use a smaller coil in high-trash areas for better pinpointing, and a larger coil for deeper coins.

15. Know Your Detector

The most important step in finding more coins with your detector is to become proficient with that detector.

Test your metal detector at home to learn what sounds and target ID readings come through when you find various types of coins. Learn how to use the coin mode on your metal detector and use discrimination.

16. Discriminate

When coin shooting, discriminate all targets except for coins. Digging all targets will waste a lot of time and decrease the number of coins you find. You can learn to use your discriminate at home with a test garden.

Test gardens are where you bury several types of metal items, like coins, at various depths. You can learn to adjust the discrimination on your machine to detect only the coins while ignoring the other targets.

17. Observe and Analyze the Site

Look for areas with worn-down grass or high foot traffic as these are likely spots for lost coins.

18. Dig All Deep Signals

While many coins can be found near the surface, if you come across a signal that is deep, you want to dig it. Many old coins are deeper underground than newer coins. You will find more older coins if you dig deeper signals.

19. Use a Pinpointer

Using a Pin Pointer
Using a Pin Pointer

Pinpointers are small, handheld metal detectors. As you dig a target, you can use your pinpointer to easily check the dirt you dig up and the hole you are digging the dirt from. This is much easier and more accurate than using your traditional metal detector between each scoop of dirt.

My favorite pinpointer is the Garret AT Pro, of the Garrett Carrot, as it is affectionately called! Read my review of this pointer here ☞

20. Double Check All Holes

Coins can often be found together, so make sure you double, or even triple check your holes! One of the biggest ways to lose out on coins is to dig a hole and walk away with one coin. When I have found coins in my yard and in the mountains, I almost always find more than one in the same area.

21. Learn Your Detector’s Sounds

Familiarize yourself with the distinct sounds your detector makes for coins to quickly identify potential finds.  This tip is especially important for coin shooting.

22. Dig Carefully

Garrett Edge Digger
Garrett Edge Digger

When digging your coin targets, make sure you do not scuff or damage the coin. If you have found an old coin, you can severely diminish its value by marring the surface. Added to this, be sure to clean the coins you find with only water as using chemicals can damage the patina and the surface.

When digging in older, compacted soil, the Garrett Edge Digger is my favorite tool. Read my review here ☞

23. Find a Reputable Coin Dealer

When you have found a pile of coins, and need help identifying them or valuing them, you will want a reputable coin dealer to help. These dealers, often called numismatists, can help you evaluate the coins you found including years produced, composition, and worth.

24. Use a Sand Scoop When Coin Shooting Beaches

A sand scoop is a game changer when looking for coins along sandy beaches. These tools are designed to filter out sand while leaving targets inside the basket. Read more about using sand scoops here ☞

25. Check Dates on Coins

The dates on coins can be very revealing about an area. If you are unsure of the age of the area, the coins you uncover can be telling. If you are finding only newer coins from the past 30 years or so, the area may be new.

If you find coins dating from the early 1900s, however, you may be onto an older area. This means you are more likely to find silver coins, too!

26. Check After Storm

Storms of all kinds move the soil around. As the soil moves, older items are now closer to the surface or moved to new areas. After storms is the best time to check for coins that may have been deeply buried or previously inaccessible.

One More Sweep for Coins

Coin shooting is a great past time for metal detectorists. You could find both new and old coins, and depending on where you metal detect, even a coin hoard! If you are scuba certified, you may even want to shipwreck dive to find lost Spanish gold coins off the coast of the United States.

If you find yourself in Europe, you may find ancient hoards of coins from civilizations of the past. If you metal detect closer to home, you can find coins from when settlers initially came to your part of the country.

To ensure you find more coins, use the proper metal detector, use a pinpointer, learn to discriminate with your machine, and search for the right locations.

Happy Hunting!

Malory Ericksen discovered metal detecting in 2015, initially unearthing nails and pull tabs in Idaho. The finding of an old railroad tie cemented her passion for the hobby. Now in Utah, she delights in uncovering historical treasures, driven by her love for history.

Read Malory’s complete bio 👉 About Malory Ericksen

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