In this short metal detecting article, I would like to go through just a few key points aimed at helping you and your metal detector find hammered coins.
Machine choice and settings
Over 20 years ago when I started metal detecting most machines had an operating frequency of between 4 and 7 kilohertz, now looking back those low frequencies were not the best at locating those small Silver Hammered coins.
Today’s modern metal detectors have the options of running at a much higher frequency, if small Medieval silver coins are your quest I would suggest 14 kilohertz and above will be your optimum range.
XP have named this feature Reactivity
Once you have the correct frequency, it is just as important to have a
machine with a fast recovery speed, we will cover the importance of reactivity a little later in the article.
Technique and discipline
For the best chances of success, you will need to match your sweep speed with the machine and the ground you are searching.
You would think, keeping the coil close to the ground goes without speaking, but this is a delicate art and needs a lot of practice.
Top Tip – Meet the ground with a steady, confident sweep speed which matches the terrain and indeed the machine.
Location and terrain
location is really important, I guess you can find hammered coins just about anywhere in the UK, but they are probably casual losses, if you want to maximize your chances you need to be where the ancients lived and worked.
Top Tip -Try and talk to locals and landowners, see if you can get some inside information.
You really need to be looking for little hamlets close to a water source, deserted medieval villages are not always recorded, so you need to use your detectorists nose, ask yourself, would I be comfortable living here, is the soil easy to work, does it have good drainage, is it out of the wind.
Top Tip – Why not do some field walking without a metal detector, look out for pot – tile – clay pipe stems and oyster shells.
Putting it all into practice
The metal detectorists big secret !
Find that Iron!
You need to find the iron… find the iron you’ve found habitation.
This is where your faster recovery speed and high frequency is going to unlock the fields true potential, concentrate on sweep and technique, and you are well on the way to mastering your craft.
By Paul Bancroft