Sand Textures

This is equally as important as the grade.  As we move into examining the site conditions in deeper water, the texture of the material becomes more important.  Sand texture determines whether or not there will be heavy targets present. A big part of “staying off the light stuff” involves being able to recognize when the objects you are finding have been moved to where they are by the waves and current.  These will generally be junk–light coins, bottle-caps, tabs and other items that are basically your worst enemy. (It’s important to note that where there is strong current, even the presence of coins does not mean that there will be any gold present) A good term used by one Coney Island pro for this material is “fluff” worthless light junk, drifting around–like “dust bunnies”– and of about as much value.  Working in this sand is a critical mistake in that it takes up time that could be better spent even looking for areas with better sand grade and texture.  Where you do encounter soft sand, try to determine how deep it is, and whether it’s consistent.  Are there any areas that do allow you access to more solid ground?  The presence of soft sand does not necessarily mean that all heavy targets are out of reach.  Only what you dig up can confirm how the sand texture, grade and strata are related.  Corroded coins, gravel, clay– the presence of nails, or other dense objects are indications that you are on the right track.  Nails in particular are a good indicator in that they are heavy enough to move and rest in much the same way as gold.  At a site at which you do usually find nails, (or fishing sinkers), where you are seeing (or hearing) none, suspect that you are in overburden / new grade.

The kind of sand that is present can also relate to the season, (material that has been sitting up against edge ice over winter), the tide cycle, or wind and wave activity.

Although so many new pulse-hunters are concerned about the problem of having no discrimination with a pulse–the real question is not what a given target is, but more importantly:What is this material, and what could be in with it?”  There’s no use having a machine that searches 18 inches down if the sand you are working is too light to retain any solid targets.

It’s the dense, more solid material that will produce more often because it is more likely to have been there for longer.  As well, it will be closer to the marl.  Often where there is “mixed” (varied textures) ground the first thing I do when I get a signal is to dig my toe in and “swish” it around to get an idea of how the sand texture relates to the signal’s size and solidity.  You can often tell that something is too light to be gold just by doing this test.









This superb 1940’s 18K band (11.7 grams) is an example of the kind of targets that pulse induction depth and careful attention to sand grades /textures will produce.

From: “Pulsepower: Findng Gold at the Shore with a Pulse Induction Metal Detector”