Here are the 12 best beach metal detector finds from customers over the past decade

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By Michael Bernzweig

It is very common to see avid detectorists searching high and low on beaches around the world throughout the day. Not everyone finds something, but a few treasure hunters have turned up some exciting finds in their beach sand scoop.  Detectorists around the world dream of making a newsworthy find while combing a sandy beach. While locating treasure isn’t a daily occurrence, major beach metal detecting finds happen from time to time. 

Money, gold coins, jewels, and historical artifacts are all good targets that have been found during beach searches. But sometimes, it isn’t the most expensive items that make for a great story. This article explores 12 of the best beach metal detecting finds that metal detectorists have turned up under their search coil. All of these beach finds were made by customers over the past decade!

12. Wedding band found in Brazil

On a completely normal day on Barra da Tijuca Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one lucky detectorist, Augusto Vincenzo, was able to assist a local woman. The lady, Patricia, had lost her gold wedding band on the beach and approached the detectorist, who was scouring the sands for treasures. After a five-minute search, the detectorist found Patricia’s ring. Vincenzo has helped others on Barra da Tijuca Beach find their lost rings. He also located a young man’s lost wedding band in 2015. The city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is famous for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, as well as for its sprawling favelas. Brazil has the largest Carnaval festival in the world, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes, and samba dancers. 

11. Waitemata Harbor Beach Pandora Gift

Waitemata Harbor is located in Auckland, New Zealand, and it was the sight of a brilliant find for Brian Pethybridge. Pethybridge was detecting on Torpedo Bay just after Christmas when two 13-year-old girls approached him for help. The girls had lost a Pandora ring while swimming in the water. After getting some valuable information and creating a grid to search, Pethybridge pinpointed where the ring might be. After a bit of digging, the trio found the pandora ring, which had been gifted to one of the girls by her boyfriend. For the girls it truly was one of the best beach metal detecting finds. Auckland's main seaport is Waitemata Harbor. Auckland Harbour is often referred to as Auckland Harbour, despite the fact that it is a smaller lake. The Auckland Harbour Bridge crosses the harbour on the north and east.

10. Gulf Port Beach Treasure

Jason McHugh has a special spot on the beach in Gulf Port, Mississippi and searches the spot every few months. Using his new XP Deus, McHugh searched the “honey hole” and within minutes got a strong hit. At first, he found a load of pennies. Ready to give up, his XP Deus still gave strong signals over the same spot. So, he dug once more. Twenty minutes later, McHugh had found 967 pennies from 1940 up to 2014. Although it wasn’t an expensive find, it sure was an interesting one. 

9. Finding Treasure on Myrtle Beach

Donald Perdue searched the well hunted areas of Myrtle Beach around the bay. He found a variety of items including coins, shark teeth, and a Skyline Deluxe Laser Pointer. There was also a $5 bill sticking out of the sand. The items were located using Perdue’s Whites Gold Master. Perdue’s search shows the best beach metal detecting finds are not always gold and silver. The Grand Strand, a city and vacation resort on South Carolina's Atlantic coast, has 60 miles of beaches. A number of celebrities play golf here. Apart from the beachfront boardwalk, the resort also features an amusement park and one of the nation's tallest ferris wheels, the SkyWheel, as well as arcades and souvenir shops. 

8. Locating a Wedding Band

It takes a special detectorist to be called out to help someone locate a lost item. Gary Woonsocket is one of those special detectorists. He was called to help Lisa find her lost diamond ring wedding band. Lisa and her husband, Erik, were on vacation in Rhode Island when she lost the piece of jewelry. The ring had come off of Lisa’s finger while collecting quahogs from a murky pond. Woonsocket searched the area for five hours and just as the day was coming to an end, located the diamond wedding band. He pocketed it without telling Erik and Lisa the ring was found. Once back on shore, he emptied out the assorted items that were located. The last item to show them was Lisa’s ring! Anything can happen when metal detecting on the beach, sometimes very interesting things occur. 

7. Underwater Bracelet

Matt Kwiatkowski had a brilliant find while searching a local lake. While searching the floating tubes that separate the shallow and deep sides of the lake, he detected an item which turned out to be a 14 carat gold bracelet. Kwiatkoski’s day wasn’t finished. He also found a man’s 10 carat ring and girl’s 10 carat ring. All in all, it was a great day at the lake and some of the best beach metal detecting finds. Local lakes can be some of the best places to metal detect. It’s amazing what people leave behind. 

6. A Ring in a Haystack

Luke Schlining is 5 feet 9 inch, a height that makes it problematic for searching deep water. Searching in water over six feet deep and cold, Schlining found a palladium wedding ring. The ring had been lost by Sky; a man who asked for Schlining’s help. After a short search for the ring and braving the cold, deep water, Schlining found the ring in a muddy hay stack and returned it to Sky. Coordinating snorkel gear with a metal detector can be challenging at first. Once you get the hang of it, it can be downright exhilarating and a great way to explore the shallow water. Some short handheld dive detectors are designed for easy use in shallow and deeper water snorkel adventures. Just below the surface can often be a great place to enjoy your day.

5. Something is Better than Nothing

Liam Del Valle spent the day searching York Beach in Maine for hidden treasures. While he didn’t find anything of monetary value, Del Valle did find items of interest. His search located two beer bottle caps, a tent stake, and some coins. It wasn’t anything to make him reach, but it was some of Del Valle’s best beach metal detecting finds for fun. A fun vacation spot, York Beach consists of Long Sands and Short Sands beaches along the Atlantic Ocean coast. Short Sands Beach features a promenade with souvenir shops, restaurants, and an arcade, while York's Wild Kingdom is a zoo and theme park nearby. There are tide pools and a laid-back vibe at Long Sands Beach on the south end of the island.

4. Lake Superior Treasure Hunt

A search of Lake Superior turned up an awesome find for Chris. Using his AT Pro, Chris searched along the shoreline of Lake Superior finding a host of random items. As he searched further, he located an item four inches underground. Chris dug back the sand to find a 1970s era silver ring with a blue tear drop gemstone. It is interesting to note that Superior is the northernmost and largest of the Great Lakes of North America. It is the world's third-largest freshwater lake by volume and surface area. More than a tenth of the world's fresh water is contained within it.

3. The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Jim van Orden bought a Bounty Hunter metal detector for something to do on vacation. He was quickly hooked and found enough treasures to upgrade his equipment multiple times. In 2019, Van Orden used his AT Max to locate a 12ct gold ring with a real diamond. Van Orden continues to have excellent luck and certainly has some of the best beach metal detecting finds around.

2. Searching with his son and a Garrett Seahunter

After spending more than two decades as an on and off detectorist, Rob made one of his biggest discoveries. Searching a local beach using his Seahunter MKII, Rob found a ring buried 12 inches in the ground. After digging it up and sharing in the excitement with his nine-year-old son, Rob now only wants to hunt treasure. Spending time together as a family is one of the most enjoyable parts of the hobby. 

1. Saving a Family Heirloom

Justin Packan was hired to help a married couple get back a priceless heirloom. The couple had lost a wedding ring, which had been passed down through three generations of the family during a scuba dive trip. Packan located the wedding band on a 40-ft scuba dive recovery mission. The six-to-eight-millimeter gold wedding band happily returned to the owners. 

The best beach metal detecting finds do not have to make you rich. The best beach metal detecting finds can have symbolic meaning. Many of the items on our list show just how much fun and memorable treasure hunting can be. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do people find stuff on the beach with metal detectors?

You bet they do! In fact, salt water beaches are among the best spots to find valuable items. Shipwrecks along the coast of the United States make the headlines often. Famous treasure hunters like Mel Fisher and his team have uncovered some historic finds of the coast of Florida. The best time to hit the beach is after storms. The violent weather can dramatically churn the sand quickly.  In our article on Metal Detectors for Metal Detecting on the Beach we noted "When hunting at the beach, it is not uncommon to find jewelry. It is a simple fact that when exposed to salt water, the skin shrinks and jewelry inevitably falls off."

What are the best beaches to metal detect?

Public beaches are ideal spots to locate some exciting finds. It is important to check the local regulations before hitting the beach with your gear. Many private beaches do allow metal detecting when permission is requested. Again it is important to check with the local officials. In our guide to the Best Metal Detector for the Beach we noted "You can find some really fascinating items with a metal detector at the beach. Due to the saltwater, which can affect your detector's sensor, you'll want a model that has adjustable ground balance. You'll also likely want some sort of waterproofing for your detector when beach hunting, whether it's just the coil or a whole detector that is fully submersible. This gives you the flexibility to explore tide pools and do some underwater searching. Waterproofing will also prevent your machine from getting ruined by unexpected waves." Local town ponds can also be some of the best beaches to explore. Resorts and other recreational beaches are among the best spots as they are constantly packed with beach goers. Be sure to read our top metal detecting tips for the beach to learn the best spots on the beach to detect.

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