One hobby that is becoming more and more popular is prospecting for gold using metal detectors. It is a relatively simple and inexpensive hobby that allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature while giving you a chance to make some money from precious finds.
While you might just be in the hobby for the fun walks, it still pays (literally) to avoid making mistakes. To help you with that, we have created this list of gold prospecting mistakes to avoid—all for a better experience with fewer obstacles. With no further ado, here they are:
1 – Prospecting without permission
Make sure to look up the rules and regulations about prospecting and metal detecting in the area you plan to hunt in prior to making any plans. Prospectors might be required to obtain special permissions from the local authorities. If you’re detecting on private land, you will need permission from the owner as well. After all, you wouldn’t want your day hampered by a ticket for trespassing, a citation, or even an arrest.
2 – Forgetting to bring the equipment
Other than your metal detector, you will need additional tools and equipment on your journey. The most obvious choice is a shovel of some kind, but keep in mind that there are different types of shovels for different types of earth. Sand, loose soil, or dry clay need varying shovel strengths. It might even be useful to bring a whole spade.
3 – Tampering with artifacts
If you find any artifacts or antiques on your metal detecting trip, do not tamper with it or try to clean it until you’ve consulted an expert. In many cases, even just cleaning off the patina can significantly reduce an artifact’s value. If you find anything of note, make sure to bag it first and leave the processing, cleaning, and restoration to a professional.
4 – Searching in the wrong place
Whether you’re prospecting for gold or historical artifacts, it is essential to understand where these objects are most often found. By studying the local history and the geological data, you might just be able to find something priceless. After all, the hobby is fun, but it might be even more fun if you find things.
5 – Failing to track your progress
Anybody trying to find anything should carry a map. As they travel through the local area, they should mark and label any locations they’ve been in. Even if nothing was discovered in that location, it is still important to mark it, so you’re not exploring aimlessly. If you do find things, mark them on the map too; you might just end up discovering a trail or pattern in the discoveries!
6 – Not carrying a pinpointer
A metal detector can find metal underground, but it can’t tell you how deep in the ground it is. A pinpointer, however, can. Without a pinpointer, you risk digging blindly into the earth. You might end up damaging whatever artifact is under the ground, ruining its potential value. With a pinpointer, you can avoid this and dig as gently as needed.
There’s a lot of fun in exploring or prospecting with a metal detector, but it certainly is better if your outings are productive. After all, wouldn’t it be utterly sublime to find some gold or a precious antique on your journey? Having a metal detector is just the first step; success could be the next with the right strategies.
If you’re looking for metal detectors to take on trips, send us a message at Prospectors’ Patch. We not only have metal detectors, but we also have all sorts of gear for camping, prospective, and treasure hunting.