How to Use a Metal Detector to Find Old Coins

A detectorist is someone who uses a metal detector to hunt for items buried beneath the surface. It’s a popular hobby that draws people from all walks of life. Whether it’s an interest in history, a love of the outdoors, a penchant for collecting, or the eternal allure of finding buried treasure, more and more people are picking up metal detectors. Here are a few basic details anyone can use to get started.

Detectorist using metal detector to discover rare coins

How Does It Work?

A metal detector operates by creating a magnetic field. A battery carries electricity down the shaft of the device to a coil that generates the magnetic field. When the magnetic field passes over metal in the ground, it creates an electric current in the metal. That current creates another magnetic field inside the buried metal, which is picked up by a receiver circuit in the device, which makes the detector buzz.

Where Do I Look?

Rare coins and other treasures can be found just about anywhere. Beaches, parks, and other public spaces are good places to start. More advanced hobbyists often dig into the history of a city to look for the locations of old markets, stadiums, playgrounds, and other places where people used to congregate that aren’t there anymore. Churches or sights where churches used to be are also hot spots for finds. Anywhere with plenty of foot traffic and visitors is a prime location for treasure hunting.

What Can I Find?

One of the absolute best parts about searching for rare coins and other items with a metal detector is the endless possibilities. Over the years, detectorists have unearthed some truly amazing finds. In 2009, a man in England found a Roman coin from 207 B.C., when England was a far-flung outpost of the Roman Empire. Treasures like this are out there just waiting to be discovered.


Have you found some interesting or rare coins? Bring them to Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, one of the premier rare coin dealers in the Atlanta region, for a free appraisal and more information on your find. We purchase rare numismatic coins along with gold and silver coins and bullion. Contact us online or call 404-236-9744 to schedule an appointment today.

Tony Davis
Tony Davis