A Couple of Shoreline Gold-Hunting Tips

Most of the success I’ve had finding gold at the shore has come from things i learned for others. A few of the most important ones are:

1/ Stay close to shore. All swimmers and waders start at the edge. When you go out further you are always reducing the number of people who are going to that section—especially if the water is cold. As well, the sand texture closer to the edge is more likely to be solid—keeping heavy targets within detector range.

2/ Pay attention to sand textures and contours. Soft sand reduces the amount of time that a gold target will be available to find. Look for deep gullies or trenches that are close to shore—these will be areas that give you access to the more solid layers of the strata.

3/ Let the conditions dictate: Some sites require that you are accurate, some require that you have a deep machine and some require that you cover ground. Some—the toughest ones need all three! Be able to operate in any of those ways. This is where owning several machines and accessory coils will help. Where there is a lot of competition—look for areas where focusing on one of these “values” will give you an advantage. For example I often use the Minelab Equinox’s accuracy to go into areas with dense trash and pick out small gold. This may even involve setting up the machine to run a “gold Notch” so as to stay off the coins and other high conductors that would slow down most hunters.

4/ Try and learn the difference between a good “clean” conductor and an alloy—such as a bottlecap. Gold is an excellent conductor and this difference can make it stand out. Gold signals tend to give narrow meter readings, stay in on the cross sweep and be strong signals for the size. Its possible to be accurate and conclusive, but it takes practice. The idea is to use your time well so as not to be continually going after obvious junk.  This requires a broad based approach—one that takes into account a signal’s size, shape, strength, tone, meter consistency—the whole signal—not just the conductivity. This is the kind of accuracy that will help you to identify gold in dense trash.

5/ Always hunt based upon where the “people traffic” is. Gold is a “function of the numbers”–it’s usually found in the “middle” of a section where the most concentrated activity is. Quite often when I find a gold object I realize that it was “right where you would expect it to be!”

Similarly, try and learn from every gold find you make. Why was it lost there? How does that spot measure up in terms of numbers and activity? What was the mechanism whereby it was lost? This is the kind of thinking that will point you towards the next big find.

6/ Remember–gold hunting at the shore is all about strata.  When you understand how heavy objects sink and are held within the layers of sand–the job of finding some is half done.  Learn to “track” gold by looking for the lowest ground on the beach and in the shallow water.  One saying that’s helped me is “..in the water–always be looking to walk downhill.”

For those who are interested in finding gold at the shore check out my books: “The Gold Jewelry Hunter’s Handbook” and “Site Reading for Gold and Silver” and more recently, “Water Hunting: Secrets of the Pros: Volume 2”  These books lay out some tips tricks and methods that have worked well for me and others.

Good Luck Detecting!


MInelab Excalibur, Whites Dual Field

some finds