West Jersey Detecting

Last Updated February 22, 2018


This area is dedicated to field tests, reviews, opinions and other related topics.  I hope you find the information useful!  

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A Word About The Metal Detecting Community And This Site

Posted on February 8, 2012 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

It has been nearly five years since I first started this website.  The original site consisted of a few pages of photographs of my own metal detecting finds.  There were also a few other pages with basic information about me, and a "Links" page which directed the user to other personal websites, but essentially it was my personal brag board.

Over the years the site has evolved into what has become one of the worlds most popular websites for metal detecting enthusiasts who are looking for in-depth information on metal detectors, equipment, techniques, and much more.  Each month thousands of visitors from all corners of the globe access the site.  Many are experienced detectorists looking to advance their detecting skills, while others are just getting into the hobby and are researching their very first detector purchase.

One thing that nearly all the visitors to the site have in common is that we are all part of the metal detecting community; a relatively small group of hobbyists who share two common goals; discovery and recovery. 

The information provided on the site is meant to enhance the visitor's metal detecting experience with words, pictures and sounds.  It is comprised of information provided by manufacturers and hobbyists alike.  I have personally spent thousands of hours compiling this information and organizing it in a way that is easily navigated.  

Recently the site has come under attack from a certain person who has accused me of routing people to the site in order to make a profit.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While I do offer a few metal detector accessories, it does not even generate enough revenue to support a starving cat in a third world nation.  I have invested quite a bit of my own money into domain names and hosting, not to mention my most valuable asset, time.  Why?  It is called passion.  I have a passion for the hobby that I know is shared by thousands of others. Guys like my friend Dave who is out detecting the shore even on the coldest February nights, when the thermometer reads below freezing.  Or my other friend, also named Dave, who detects the hills of CT, even when snow covers the ground.

I share the information provided here because it gives me a great feeling, seeing others discover and recover amazing things.  I strongly encourage you to share your experiences and your YouTube videos on the site.  We all learn from each other.  It is what makes our community what it is.  (Having your YouTube video embedded on this site also helps drive up your number of views.)  

I will gladly remove any material from my site that you feel you do not want shared with others, as this person has requested.  Unfortunately, some people do not understand the concept of community.  These people build walls instead of relationships and then speak out about our differences rather than focus on our similarities.

As I mentioned, I pay the entire cost of operating the site out of my own pocket, with the exception of the few products and an advertisement or two which help offset the cost of running the site.  I encourage you to click on "Donate" to help impove the site and add new features, and to make it the number 1 metal detecting resource in the world.

Thank you for your support!


Minelab Annoounces Pro-Find Pinpointer

Posted on February 8, 2012 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (2)


  1. Easy to use
  2. Proportional audio and vibration response
  3. Adjustable sensitivity
  4. Two mode operation Audio and vibrate or Vibrate only.
  5. LED light
  6. Water resistant
  7. Probe side sensitivity
  8. Durable holster included
  9. Auto power off


Putting Things In Perspective. It's Just A Hobby!

Posted on February 8, 2012 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes we get our priorities in life mixed up. I came to the realization recently that I took metal detecting a bit too seriously, and it almost became another full time job.  I thought about this a lot over the "winter break" and decided to re-prioritize things and came up  with a resolution.  

My New Year's resolution for 2012 to focus more on family and my professional career. That does not mean I have given up detecting. I just realize that sometimes I take metal detecting a bit too seriously, forgeting that it is just a hobby.

I have gotten out on some weekends and found some great things already this year, including buttons, a King George II Halfpenny, my first Seated Dime and more!  Check out my videos for some footage of my recent outings as well.

Check back for more content coming soon!

Tip For Faster Coil Changes

Posted on January 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

If you are like me, you hate down time while you are metal detecting.  Even something as quick as a change of batteries can be a hassle.  For this reason I always avoided bringing an extra coil with me in the past.  I dreaded having to go though the whole process of loosening the bolts, reconnecting them on the new coil, and wrapping the cord up the shaft.  Too much wasted time for me, so I picked the coil that was most likely to fit the type of detecting for the day and I stuck with it.    

One day a few years back I realized that the rods were identical on my shiny new White's V3i and my old mothballed PRL1.  I thought it would be a good idea to borrow the lower rod from my old detector and attach a 5.3 inch Eclipse "Bullseye" coil that I had recently purchased for the V3i.   I took off the nut, slipped on the new coil and wrapped the coil up the stem.  It fit comfortably in the backpack I carry.  I was ready for action!

On my next outing, I had both coils ready to go.  I detected for a while with my stock D2 coil until I ran into a trashy area.  I swung the pack off my back and removed the lower rod assembly.  I disconnected the coil connector, loosened the cam lock and removed the stock coil.  Next, I inserted the new rod, tightened the cam lock, wrapped the remaining coil up to the connector, tightened the connection, and in about two minutes I was ready to go again! What a time saver!

Lower rods range from about $12 and up and are available by contacting the manufacturers directly.  Minelab, Tesoro and White's have the rods available for purchase on their sites under "Accessories".

Look for another tip coming soon!

How to fight convenience fees.

Posted on January 8, 2012 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Earlier today I called the pay-by-phone number of my electric provider, PSE&G.  I was told at the beginning of the call that there was a  "convenience fee" for using the service, but it was not until the end of the call after the payment, bank information and confirmation prompt that I was told what the fee would be, a whopping $4.95 cents on top of my $272.61 payment!  When asked if I agreed to the terms, I answered with a defiant "no", and decided I would make them pay for the convenience of dealing with me directly.  

As soon as I hung up the phone I went to the local branch of my bank. (I will save my rants about them for another day).  I asked the teller for $208.11 in pennies, $15.55 in nickels, $26.20 in dimes, and $22.75 in quarters.  The teller was nice enough to provide with a box at no charge, which is about the only thing this bank does not charge for.  The box came in handy;  I went home and filled the rest of the box with packing popcorn, placed my bill on top, taped it up and went to the Post Office to mail it.  The postage was actually $5.71, a bit higher than the "convenience fee", but it was worth the addtional investment to get my message across.  

I am ready with an answer when they call me or write to me with a request to find another form of payment;  this is a convenient way for me to pay my bill.  I will have to charge them a $4.95 cent charge, creditied off my bill each month, if they wish for me to use another form of payment.

I do not actually expect them to honor my request for a convenience credit but I think it is important to send them, and companies like them a message.

Grading Dug Coins: Is It Worth The Investment?

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 9:46 PM Comments comments (0)

By Rob from New Hampsire

Coin grading companies are often frowned upon by metal detecting enthusiasts, but they are almost certainly a necessity when selling yourexpensive dug coins.  With all of the fake coins coming from China, these"coffins" provide buyers with peace of mind that the coin they arebuying is authentic, and at least reasonably close to the grade indicated.


Coin Collectors are a very picky group -especially those that collect early coppers.  Like most collectors, theylike their items as close to original condition as possible. Early Americancoppers are plagued with porosity and other problems such as verdigris. Coins with smooth "hard" surfaces and chocolate brown colorcarry a premium over those with a greenish color, large marks, rim problems,etc.

In the metal detecting world, a nice green patinaon copper is prized, but in the coin collecting community green on copper isalmost always a negative sign. Verdigris isactually damaging to the coin as it eats into the metal. Coins withverdigris should be treated to reduce the chances of damage. 

If you look through auction catalogs, see how manyexpensive coins are “raw.”  You’re not likely to find many. Just compare prices for a “raw” coin that has been cleaned, whizzed, or tampered with in some way to a coin that shows crisp, clean, problem-free surfaces,untouched by modern man. You will probably have to look through eBay for thosecoins, as many sellers try pawning off damaged coins as problem-free.  Andwhat could help buyers with this problem – the grading services!

And, feel free to trust the post office – just send your expensive items either insured Express mail, or fully insured Registered mail.  I’ve never had any problems and I’ve mailed many item susing them.  Just keep your documentation.  PCGS and NGC would be out of business if the Post Office failed to get coins to them.

I know slabs aren’t liked in the metal detecting community, but if you want top dollar, you have to “suck it up” and play the game.  Now there have been times I haven’t been pleased with them, but overall they’ve done great good for the coin collecting hobby, and they’re here to stay.  


Tips For Buying A Used Metal Detector: Part I

Posted on June 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

 There are some great deals available on used metal detectors, if you know where to look. I will tell you first hand, because I have 3 top of the line detectors that I got for under $1000... TOTAL!.  I am always a bit skeptical when the deal seems too good to be true, so I make sure I cover my bases.


If you are considering purchasing a metal detector, a used detector may be an excellent choice. With a wide selection of used detectors available on such sites as eBay and Craig’s List you can often get a used metal detector at a fraction of the cost of a new one.

Although buying a new, name-brand metal detector is always the safest bet, with a little research you can avoid some of the pitfalls associated with buying used. Metal Detector Reviews (http://metaldetectorreviews.net/) offers in depth reviews of metal detectors by actual users, including detector features and street prices for new detectors. There are also many online forum sites dedicated to metal detecting. Some, such as TreasureNet (www.treasurenet.com) , have brand specific forums. Find’s Treasure Forum (www.findmall.com) even has model specific forums. Read through the topics, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The forums are where the real experts can be found!

Once you have narrowed your choices down to a few models, it is time to start shopping. Remember, when buying a used metal detector, you will be limited to what is available, especially on Craig’s List. SearchTempest (www.searchtempest.com) can make your Craig’s List search a bit less daunting by searching all Craig’s List sites within a preselected radius. Unlike eBay, Craig’s List also narrows down competition from other buyers, and if you act quickly you can sometimes get unbelievable deals. Unlike eBay, however, Craig’s List offers no buyer protection.

While there are no guaranties when purchasing a used metal detector, the following tips can help reduce the risks.

Choosing a model: Make sure the used detector is either a current model or recently discontinued model. Older models use outdated technology and can not compare to the performance of metal detectors manufactured over the last decade. They can also be difficult, if not impossible to find parts for. Some manufacturers will not repair models that are more than 10 years old. Additionally, older models on CL are often greatly overpriced. One recent ad was asking $250 for a metal detector made in 1982, stating that he paid $325 new. Overpriced? Think back to the 19 inch color TV that you had in 1982. What would you expect to pay for that technology today?

Warranties: All major manufacturers offer some type of warranty on new detectors, but not all of them are transferable. White’s Metal Detectors come with two year, transferable warranties. Check the manufacturer’s website for the warranty period and transfer policy on the model you are considering. Never trust the seller’s word on this, unless they are a friend or relative.

Serial Number: This is one of the most important bits of information to get from a seller, yet it is the most commonly overlooked.  On White's metal detectors it can be found on the inside of the battery compartment door. Serial numbers can be used to find the original purchase date and time remaining on the warranty (if any). The number can also be used to look up the repair record of the metal detector in the manufacturer’s database. Multiple repairs can often be a red flag indicating a lemon. The serial number can also be used to find out how many owners the unit has had over its life. Multiple users can also be an indication of a lemon. Lastly, stolen detectors can also be tracked using the serial number. If the seller is reluctant to give you the detector’s serial number, BEWARE.

Since buying stolen property is a crime, you should use caution when buying a used metal detector. There are often red flags that may alert you that something is not right. A price that is just too good to be true can be a sign of stolen goods. Ask a lot of questions about the detector to see if the person knows anything about its operation. Questions on its features etc. that only a user would know. If the only knowledge the seller has is how to turn the unit on, be cautious. Sometimes you may hear that it belonged to a friend or a relative...again be a bit cautious. Ask more questions.

Missing accessories can be an indication of a stolen unit. Your research should tell you what was included when the detector left the factory. Missing battery chargers are the most common accessory to be missing on a stolen detector. When I bought my Minelab Excalibur, the CL seller did not have the charger, stating he could not find it. I was cautious but was also was able to use this as a price negotiating point. I told him I was buying a unit that he claimed was a working unit, yet I could not power it on. I paid much less than half of what he was asking for the detector, but had to buy a new charger.

Test The Unit: When buying from an online seller, it is not always possible to test the detector, however when buying from a local CL seller it is a must! Ask the seller to bring fully charged batteries. If a rechargeable battery pack is included, make sure the seller brings a fully charged pack. Replacement rechargeable batteries and chargers for metal detectors can be very costly. Bring a pocket full of change so you can try out the detector before finalizing your purchase. Turn on the detector and listen for the beep as you pass over the coins. It may be wise to search YouTube videos (http://www.youtube.com/) for how the model operates before picking up your detector so you can see and hear what it looks and sounds like.

Use Common Sense: Meet the seller in a public place. If possible, bring a friend along for the ride, especially if they are knowledgeable about metal detectors. If anything does not seem right, decline the offer and walk away.

Most metal detecting enthusiasts have a high level of integrity. When I sell a unit, I always give a quick, five minute demonstration on the detector’s operation. I also leave give the buyer my email address and my telephone number and insist that they call me if they have any questions. I have never had a complaint, and have even made a few new friends. 

NOTE:  There seems to be a growing trend on eBay listings on used products to simply copy the list of features from the products original brochure or packaging.  Often this information includes warranty information such as Tesoro's "lifetime warranty" .  This description implies that the product will be covered, but in many cases this warranty is non-transferable.  Make sure you check the manufacturer's website for detailed information regarding the transfer of original warranty.  On products with transferable warranties, such as White's,  make sure the seller agrees to provide a copy of the original sales receipt showing the date and retailer's name. 


Whites V3i vs. Minelab E-Trac on Small Gold

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (2)

I know there have been many recent forum posts on the topic of which is the best VLF metal detector for finding gold, the Minelab E-trac or the White's V3i.  The different opinions posted are often conflicting, confusing the potential buyer, so I thought a simple comparison of the two can be helpful to someone who is considering buying either detector.


First of all I want to state that they are both great detectors, but each does have its advantages.  My detecting buddy uses the E-trac, and I use a V3i.  We are constantly comparing questionable signals.  On deep coins, there is little difference on the depth capabilities on each of these detectors when it comes to deeply buried copper and silver coins. In some instances, especially in more difficult soils, I have seen the E-Trac pick up an extremely deep signal that the V3i barely gets a whisper.  An experienced V3i user would certainly investigate such a signal further, however a novice may not.  For this reason, I would say the two are nearly equal, however the Etrac may have an ever so slight advantage on deep silver and copper

When it comes to small targets like gold and tiny pewter buttons, however, the V3i has a distinct advantage.  

A few weeks back I was testing different targets in my yard with my newly purchased Minelab Excalibur 1000.  I was very surprised that the Excalibur could not detect a tiny, hollow 14K gold charm unless the coil was within a half inch of the charm, while the V3i sounded off nicely at more than 4 inches.  The All Metal setting picked it up at an additional half inch on the Excal, while the V3i did at greater than 6 inches.  When the V3i was switched from Multi-Frequency- Best Data mode to 22.5 KHz, the signal strengthened even more.


Now I was curious to see how the Etrac fared on the gold charm, so I made sure I brought it along on my next hunt with two of my buddies  It turned out that both were ETrac users, so this would insure that the results were accurate from unit to unit.


I carefully placed the tiny target on the ground and stood back so my detector did not interfere and waited for his Etrac to go through the Noise Cancel process.  As my friend passed the coil over the target there was only a faint blip sound within an inch of the target.  The other Etrac had the same result.


Here is what you should consider before you buy. The V3i is more sensitive to small targets such as tiny gold charms, earrings, etc.  If gold jewelry and relics (such as small pewter buttons) are your focus, the White's V3i may be the best metal detector for you, while if your focus is on coins and higher conductive metals such as copper and silver, the Etrac may be a better choice.  

Rare 1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime Found With White's V3i

Posted on May 7, 2011 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

March 5th, 2011-  It was the start of a typical metal detecting outing on the morning of Saturday, March 5th 2011. The sun was warm, with a stiff breeze blowing from the south.  I was with a few of my detecting buddies, Dale & Jim.  Jim's friend Matt who was new to detecting also came along to learn from some of us because of our experience searching for colonial coins and relics, which was, as usual, our goal. In the past we have all dug many Large Cents, colonial coins, Spanish silver and an array of artifacts.

This particular day we started out at a site that looked like it had a lot of potential.  The site is a young forest now, but not long ago farmland dominated the landscape. Getting through the thick underbrush was not easy, and after about an hour with only an old encrusted nickel to show for our efforts, we decided to abandon the site and try another site, an old farm field up the road.   Within a few minutes of detecting this new site I got a fairly deep signal and dug an old gold plated gold signet ring. I thought that maybe my luck was beginning to change, but I never would have expected what was soon to come. 

A few yards away from the spot where the ring was found I got another similar sounding deep signal. This signal had a VDI that jumped from the ring range to the coin range on my V3i, with a depth reading of 9.5 inches. It is the type of signal that is typical of deeply buried buttons.  I have dug hundreds of old buttons over the years and each one that I dig is a welcome addition to my collection.  At that moment in time I was hoping for a nice flat button, or perhaps if I was really lucky this day it would be an early military button.

I dug a deep plug with my Relic Pro digging tool and flipped it over.  I picked up my V3i and swept the coil over the plug.  I could only hear the steady hum of the threshold. The target was still in the hole.  I pinpointed the bottom and edgesof the hole and got the beep of a small target.  Taking my Lesche out of its holster, I carefully dug out another chunk of dirt and placed it next to the plug.  I pinpointed the spot in the hole where the target had previously been, but the pinpointer was silent.  I had successfully removed the item from the hole.

Picking up my detector once again, I swept the small pile of dirt, and saw the small, shiny, round disk just as I swept over it with the coil.  This time the VDI was locked on 53.  A few thoughts were running through my head based on the VDI and what I was seeing.  My first thought was a silver three cent piece, but when I first picked it up I thought it was a Spanish half reale coin.  As some of the dirt fell off,  I could see the stars, and the word LIBERTY.  Could it really be what I was seeing?  This was no Spanish silver!  I yelled so loudly that the others could hear me from 100 yards away, despite the strong winds.  I looked at the coin again, thinking that perhaps my eyes were playing tricks on me, but there it was. A find of a lifetime!

As the others approached, I looked up and said "This is big.  I think I just found a 1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime". Jim looked closely at the coin and confirmed. "1795"he said.  "You did it!"

Unfortunately my detecting day was cut short by some prior obligations.  I left the others, who went on to dig some wonderful old coppers that afternoon.  As soon as was humanly possible, I emailed my friend and early US and colonial coin expert, Don H. who was able to get me a tentative ID on the variety which was later confirmed by a friend of his who specialized in early US silver coins, stating the following:

That is, indeed, an LM-3, in mid to late die state, with the diagnostic obverse die crack.It is currently listed as an R5. It looks to be in extremely good shape having been in the ground for such a long time. It appears to be at least AU, although it is difficult to grade any coin from a picture.  

According to Coinfacts.com, the half dime was one of the original denominations introduced almost as soon as the United States coinage system began. The Flowing Hair design was only struck in 1795, although numerous varieties are dated 1794.

Later that week, when I had come back down to earth, I finally had a chance to examine my other finds from that morning.  What I had not realized at the time, was that the crusty old nickel found in the young forest turned out to be my first Shield Nickel.  Had I realized this at the time, I may have never moved from the woods to the field.  Sometimes things have a way of working out!

Needless to say, the 1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime is the find of a lifetime.  I doubt I will ever be able to top this, but I will keep my eyes and ears open while I search for the elusive 1792 Half Disme.


Picked up a Minelab Excalibur 1000 Today

Posted on April 21, 2011 at 6:57 PM Comments comments (1)

I am psyched to do some real beach detecting for a change of pace!