Metal Detecting Finds: Beginners Identification Guide

Metal detecting is an exciting hobby that leads to uncovering hidden treasures buried beneath the earth’s surface. However, identifying these finds can be a challenge for beginners. Join our tours, where we’ll delve into the world of metal detecting finds identification, providing valuable insights and tips to help you understand and classify the treasures you unearth during your adventures.


Gold is one of the most coveted finds for metal detectorists, and discovering it in its natural form is incredibly rewarding. Identifying gold involves examining its colour, weight, and distinguishing it from common look-alikes such as brass and fool’s gold. Genuine gold typically has a distinctive yellow hue and a heavier feel compared to other metals. When found, gold is often covered in dirt; rinse it with water or even pop it in your mouth to reveal its luster. If you find a piece of gold, make sure to thoroughly scan the hole with your detector to check for more. It's wise to continue prospecting in the immediate area, as you might uncover a whole patch of gold.


Metal detecting often yields a fair amount of trash, including items like shotgun pellets, and pieces of scrap metal. While these finds can be disappointing, they are an inevitable part of the hobby. Quickly identifying and categorising common trash items can save you time and help you focus on more promising signals. Recognising the characteristics of trash, such as irregular shapes and materials, helps in efficiently separating them from potential treasures. Responsible metal detecting practices include properly disposing of trash to keep detecting sites clean and enjoyable for everyone. Here's a handy tip for recovering trash metal: attach a magnet to the end of your pick to quickly locate and remove unwanted items.


Coins are among the most common finds for metal detectorists. From ancient relics to modern currency, coins can provide valuable historical insights and, in some cases, significant monetary value. If you suspect you are uncovering a coin, it’s wise to use a pinpointer and carefully dig around it to minimise the risk of damaging the coin with your pick. Examine any visible markings to help identify the type and age of the coin.


Finding jewellery while metal detecting can be an exhilarating experience. Whether it’s a lost wedding ring or a centuries-old brooch, jewellery finds often hold sentimental or historical significance. Pay attention to hallmarks or stamps that indicate purity and origin.


Medals are intriguing discoveries that provide insights into specific events, and historical periods. Examining the engravings or inscriptions can unlock stories about the people, places, or achievements they commemorate, enriching our understanding of the context in which they were created.


Artifacts unearthed through metal detecting can range from ancient artifacts dating back thousands of years to more recent items from the past few centuries. From indigenous tools and ceremonial objects that offer glimpses into ancient Aboriginal cultures to relics from the colonial era such as arrow heads, buttons, and tools left by early settlers. Identifying these artifacts can sometimes pose a challenge. When in doubt, it's advisable to consult with experts for guidance and assistance.


Mastering the art of identifying different types of metal detecting finds not only enhances your treasure hunting adventures but also deepens your appreciation for the historical and cultural significance of each item you unearth. If you ever encounter uncertainty about your discoveries, don't hesitate to share them with us or send photos for assistance in identification! During our tours, our seasoned guides are readily available to offer expert support at every turn, demonstrating the most effective techniques for uncovering these extraordinary medals.