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What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Relics?

By Daniel Bernzweig

In this article, I will cover the basics of picking out the best metal detector for relic hunting. From King Philip's War in 1675 to the Spanish American War in 1898, patchworks of relics remain scattered across the United States and the world. There is nothing more exciting than recovering a relic that was lost hundreds or even thousands of years ago. In this article we will cover everything that you need to know about relic hunting. From equipment selection and site selection to understanding the types of relics that you might unearth.

There are lots of great public and private relic hunting sites that are open to treasure hunting. Always remember to be sure to check the current local and national laws as they relate to the area that you are considering hunting. When hunting on private property, you must obtain permission from the land owner. Take the time to do your research as your rewards can be great.

You will need to consider several features in picking out a metal detector to use for relic hunting. One of the most important considerations is the type of ground you will be hunting. In most cases, some of the top spots for relic hunting around the world are in heavily mineralized areas. For example, the American Civil War occurred throughout the Southeastern United States, an area known for having heavy mineralization. To combat this, you will want to select a detector that features a ground adjust or ground balance control. This feature will allow you to filter out the interference from the minerals while still maintaining good sensitivity to a wide variety of relics. The next item that you will want to consider is the frequency of the detector. Many relics are produced from iron, brass and steel. These lower conductivity items can be difficult to locate with the wrong frequency. A detector with a lower frequency will more easily pick out these targets than a detector with a higher one. A pinpointing control on your detector is also important. This feature will allow you to easily zero in on your target for quick recovery.

The following entry level relic hunting metal detectors are great for first time relic hunters.

Entry Level Relic Metal Detectors:

If you are a comfortable spending a bit more, consider the following middle of the line units.

Mid Level Relic Metal Detectors:

High End Relic Metal Detectors:

Top Relic Metal Detectors:

The final step in selecting the best equipment for relic hunting is to make sure that you are well accessorized! To begin with you will need a good set of metal detecting headphones. The Depthmaster Audiophone II is an excellent choice and will not break the bank. Headphones let you hear the oldest and deepest relics. They also block out external sounds and shut off your detectors external speaker. This will slightly extend the battery life on your detector. Next you will want to pick out a decent digger to retrieve your relics. Keep in mind, some targets might be quite large or deep. Always be careful when digging up relics as you might come across some fairly sharp objects. We suggest the Lesche line of digging tools for relic hunting. They offer a broad range of high quality tools for all types of relic hunting. Finally, you will want to consider an accessory coil or two. Remember, the larger the search coil, the deeper you can detect. If pick out one of the Minelab X-Terra series detectors you will want to select a lower frequency coil for relic hunting. Smaller search coils will not go quite as deep, but they will allow you to zero in on smaller targets. They are also useful if you are hunting in tight areas or close to large metal objects like fences.

So what types of objects are relic hunters finding? The exciting thing about relic hunting is that you never know what the next find might be. Some of the more exciting finds include colonial buckles, buttons, swords, musket balls, cannons and mini balls. A Civil War Southern army C.S.A. belt plate for example can command $3,000 to $5,000 in reasonable condition. The value of your relics will depend on the condition of the item and the rarity of the find. Civil War buttons for example can range in price value from under $100 to well over $2500.

Keep in mind, the civil war and other large incursions occurred over vast amounts of territory. While there are several major battlefield locations throughout the United States, armies moved on foot from area to area. Campsites, bridge crossings and the like are areas where large numbers of relics turn up. You will want to spend your time researching for locations in the town room of the local library. Other sources of information can come from the internet, reading old guides and war books. Nothing can beat hearsay and following up on tips and advice from old timers. Wherever your research takes you, have fun along the way. Take your time and you may find that the journey to finding treasure can be as exciting as the relics and treasures that you will undoubtedly unearth.

Copyright 2011 Detector Electronics Corp.

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