Locating Ancient Coins with a Metal Detector

By Michael Bernzweig

Discover How a Hobby Can Benefit History

Ancient coins present a unique way in which to look at history. Many are stamped with images of rulers of the time, warriors, temple facades, and even images of daily life like men ploughing the fields. As we look at the coins in our pocket, in archaeological terms, like ancient coins, the visual details shown on these coins gives us insight into the culture the currency belongs to. Without these pieces of history, much of this information might not otherwise have been conveyed to future generations. As you are exploring the hobby of locating ancient coins, be sure to read our related article entitled "What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Coins?"

You see, unlike many other objects created throughout history, coins were made of metal. This gives them a much higher likelihood of both lasting through time as well as being located today. Ancient coins made of bronze, gold, silver, and other metals that can be found today with the aid of a metal detector. These modern machines can help hobbyists and researchers alike search through layers of earth in order to locate these precious, historically significant objects. Not only that, when ancient coins are located in an area, generally, the entire area can then be carefully excavated by archaeologists and many other historical finds can be recovered as a result.

Given the types of societies coins were used in throughout history, one of the best areas to find ancient coin caches has been in Europe. Recently, two metal detector hobbyists found a major haul of over 50,000 bronze coins dating back to 50 BC (the late Iron Age) on the Channel Island of Jersey in northern Europe. These Celtic coins were found only as a massive pile in a large block of soil after the men found about 60 silver coins and one gold coin in the area a few months earlier. If they had not located these ancient coins, these pieces of the past may have been lost to future generations forever. Be sure to read our related blog post entitled "Finding Ancient Coins with a Metal Detector."

Locating ancient coins isn’t easy though, even with a coin detector; the men mentioned above searched the same area for 30 years before finding this cache of ancient coins! Having the best metal detector for coins will help though. Because ancient coins are sometimes located in treasure caches or hoards deeply underground, two box metal detectors can prove useful in locating these larger treasures. You’ll want to look at a few factors that will help determine which is in fact the best overall machine for you. If you are looking to locate a large treasure cache of ancient coins with a metal detector, be sure to read our article entitled "What are the Best Two Box and Deep Metal Detectors?"

Metal Detector Design and Weight:
If your coin detector is too heavy or uncomfortable to hold, you won’t have any fun locating ancient coins, or anything else for that matter! Luckily, new materials are making lighter weight machines even easier to produce, so no matter what your physical fitness level, there’s likely a deep seeking metal detector that will be a weight you can manage with ease and comfort. If you are just getting started be sure to read our article entitled "What are the Best Beginners Metal Detectors?"

Ease of Use and Physical Configuration:
The configuration of the coin detector you choose is an important consideration as well. Generally, coin detectors are pole mounted or pole and hip mounted. Having the option to put some of the machine’s weight onto your hip is another way to make it lighter and thereby easier to use for some individuals. If you are looking for help picking out the best model, be sure to read our article entitled "How To Select A Metal Detector."

Target Identification:
Currently, some coin and deep seeking metal detectors offer a visual and or an audio target identification option. The visual display will show the probable identification of the target the machine is detecting. The audio identification option will provide various tones to alert you to the type of target sensed.

Ground Balance:
If you’re metal detecting ancient coins in an area with heavy ground mineralization, a metal detector that features a ground balance control is recommended. Ground minerals can create false chatter and this feature helps to reduce the effects of these minerals so that your machine can locate the intended targets.

Search Coil Size:
Because ancient coins are so old, they’re also typically found in deeper ground. Having a large search coil or a two box metal detector enables you to search farther down into the earth. This is important when searching for ancient coins. For the deepest treasure caches, you will want to select a metal detector with a very large coil or a two box coil option.

Explore Your Budget:
When trying to make your final decision on the best metal detectors for coins, let your budget be the deciding factor. There are great machines at every price point and keeping your budget in mind will make the entire hobby more fun and enjoyable since you’re not overextended.

To locate these hidden treasures, you will want to be sure to get yourself some quality digging tools. Be sure to read our article entitled "What are the Best Digging Trowels and Shovels for Metal Detecting?"

Remember, coins aren’t always at the surface like some treasure you might find. You may need to search deep, and dig deep in order to recover these precious pieces. Also, before you head out, be sure to take the time to conduct all the necessary research in order to find the right site to begin your search, as well as to gain permission from property owners that might be necessary.

In the end, locating ancient coins isn’t just exciting for you. The historical implications can impact your entire community and even the whole world! So, keep searching with your deep seeking metal detector and someday you too may find some rare and ancient coins that will provide a window into the past for all of us. If you enjoy locating ancient coins be sure to explore the related hobby of antique bottle digging in our article entitled "What are the Best Metal Detectors for finding Antique Bottles?"

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