MY METAL DETECTING PAGE 

SEND E-MAIL to mking11@earthlink.net

 

      

These are the some of the different metal detectors I use.

   

The Garrett GTI-1500 for Parks, Playgrounds and Demolition.

The New Garrett AT Pro for relic hunting.

The Original Minelab Excalibur for the Beach

Susan uses a Tesoro Conquistador uMax or her older Silver Saber II

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I Have been metal detecting on and off for over 27 years. My first detector was a kit from Radio Shack that I built when I was around 14 years old. It was $29.00!! That was alot money back then. It was just a plain BFO type detector. No discrimination. It would find everything, foil, pull-tabs, nails, iron, and just plain trash!

See a 1972 RADIO SHACK Catalog page of it here

I used it for a few summers but it finally went bad. I had tried to use it in a mud puddle and water seeped into the coil because the connection was not very well sealed. So I stopped detecting for about the next 10 years. At that time in my life I had better things to chase (girls) than dirty old coins in the ground. My next detector was one that I borrowed from a good friend. It was an old T/R type. It had some discrimination but no depth. I had stopped again for a few years. Then in 1989, I borrowed another detector while I lived down in Hobe sound, Florida. This was a Brinkman Treasure Sensor 5000. Not a high end machine by any means. But I was close to the beach and this made it easy to go. One night I went down at low tide. This is the first time I found something called "the coin line". All the coins had shifted down into a single line parallel to the water line. I found over $7.00 in 30 minutes! I was hooked again. I now knew I wanted a better detector. I did a lot of research before I spent any money. I wanted something primarily for land hunting, lightweight, but versatile, with target ID. I was not yet interested in water hunting yet, just parks, schools and the sandy beach. So my next detector was bought in 1989, This was my Garrett GTA-500. This machine paid for its self many times over. I have been very hard at it since then. I never leave the house or go on a vacation with out a detector ! In 1999 I happened upon a good deal on a used Garrett GTA-1000. This was the next step in the Garrett line above the GTA-500. I used that unit for about 2 years. Sold it when I upgraded to the Garrett GTI-1500. I love the imaging option on the GTI-1500. It's not a gimmick. It really does work. This helps a lot in trashy areas or around demolished buildings. I don't do parks or school grounds much anymore, the snowbirds keep those places pretty clean during the wintertime. I only do those places when the beaches are not producing and I am bored or there is no other place to go. I like  doing research about old places. Like going to the library and looking at old town photos and post cards. My favorite detecting is working demolition, old houses or even torn up sidewalks. No telling what you might find or how old it will be. Finding a single silver dime can make my day. Indian Head pennies and Barber type coins are a rare find in this area. Not to many people living here when those type coins circulated. It was all swamps and mosquitoes. 

I have found you just cant have one detector or even two. I have used many different units over the years. I have found that different units offer different options for each type of hunting. Once agian 1st and formost is the Garrett GTI-1500. I use this from most detecting from parks and play grounds to relic hunting and the sugar sand of the local beaches.

My first water machine was a Tesoro stingray. I used it for years around Stuart, Florida and the bathtub reef park. It was a great unit but it still falsed in the salt water if you moved it around to quickly. It sure could find small knotted up chains like no other machine. I still have that detector. But in late 1999 I got my first Minelab Sovereign XS. And I now also own an original Minelab Excalibur for those days when the waves are really ruff. This is a waterproof version of the Sovereign. And now also have a Sovereign GT that I will use for hunting in England.

For competition hunting I use my other half's Tesoro Conquistador uMax. It's lightweight and has a quick frequency change selector switch for those really crowded hunts. I have the early version with the frequency selector switch on the bottom like a trigger. I still keep my old Garrett GTA-500 as a backup and Susan still has her trusty Tesoro Silver Saber II.

Other detectors I have owned, still own, tested or used over the years. Garrett ADS, Garrett GTI 2500, Garrett CXII, GTA1000/500, Garrett Infinium, Garrett Gold Stinger, Whites Coin-Master, Whites Surfmaster 2, Whites PI Pro, Whites 6000di, Whites Classic II, Tesoro Eldorado uMax, Tesoro Silver Saber I & II, Tesoro Cortez, Tesoro Cutlass uMax, Tesoro Sidewinder uMax, Tesoro Bandito II, Compass XP-350, Compass XP-Pro, Compass Coin Scanner, Brinkman 5000, Fisher 1225, Garrett Ace 100 and 300, GTA-350, Garrett ACE 250, 350. And there have been a few others.

Not much relic hunting here in Florida. When at the beach I use a Minelab Excalibur. I like these detectors because they do not false in or around the saltwater or when swinging from wet to dry sand. It also has fantastic depth! Most of the time I have a Sunray S-12 intruder coil attached when beach hunting. I have found many nice rings and jewelry items since 1989 when I first stated waterhunting. I live only a 5-minute drive to most of the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet wreck sites. I have found numerous bronze spikes from the ships. And I have seen a few gold doubloons that have been found in the area. Susan goes with me when she can. In 2000 using her Tesoro Silver Saber II, she found a 1/2 reale from one of the 1715 Spanish wrecks. Right on Wabasso beach! Ask me about that story sometime.

If you have any questions about anything posted here or just have general questions about the hobby, please email me and I will try to help.

 

SEND E-MAIL to mking11@earthlink.net

 


 

Here are stories and pictures of some of my finds thru the years. 

 

The Old Fort Pierce High School

In 1998 I found the old high school in Ft. Pierce, Florida was being remodeled. Built in 1914 it became one of the best places I had ever detected. I worked that place for over a year. What a bonanza of silver and old coins came from the ground there.  The first weekend produced over 100 wheat back pennies, and 20 pieces of silver, including 2 walking liberty halves! Later on I got my first standing liberty quarter and Barber half-dollar there too! Every weekend was different. All they had to do was dig a pipe trench and there would be more coins to find. I worked it right up to the day they put down the sod. Sometimes I think I could have worked it even harder. I would never go there without finding an old coin. The last target I recovered was an Indian head penny in early 1999. I made 100% of the recoveries using my Garrett GTA-500. Here are some pictures using my first low-resolution digital camera. 

* WORKING THE "BIG FIND" IN FT PIERCE, FL. 1998 *

* ANOTHER PICTURE *

* Click here for a partial list of items found there.*

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I caught the tide and conditions just right in February 2005. Click here to read about a great day at the beach finding lots of older silver coins and a unexpected coin find.

Big silver hit at Daytona Beach in Feb 05

More beach stories

Another Daytona Beach trip August 2006, Gold & Diamonds!!

Daytona Beach trip #3 ... More GOLD !!

Big Silver in the Surf !

Hurricane Nole finds 2007

Tropical Storm Bonnie 2010

Hurricane Sandy 2012


I try to return as many items as possible. 

HERE ARE SOME OF MY RECOVERIES and RETURNS

Click here to read stories of returning lost items to the owners.

(I lost several stories during a file upgrade. I hope to recover them someday and re-post them)


 

Yes, over the years I have found some Spanish treasure coins. 

 

   My 1st EVER RECOVERED Spanish Treasure coin, a 2 REALE    

 

  OTHER RECOVERED  1/2 REALES        HOW ABOUT SOME 8 REALES

 

ALL GOLD AND SILVER KEPT IN MY SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX AT THE BANK

 


 

METAL DETECTING TRIPS TO ENGLAND

Posted here are some pictures of the fantastic finds I made while Metal Detecting in England.

A 2000 year old Roman Cloak Broach!!

Coins from the 1200's and 1400's

Fall 2006 England Pictures Page  

This was my 1st hunt in England....WOW !!

Fall 2007 England Pictures Page  

1st Roman Coin !

Fall 2008 England Pictures Page 

Fall 2009 England Pictures Page  

I skipped the fall of 2010 so I could start hunting in the Spring.

Spring 2011 England Pictures Page  

My 1st Gold coin found !!!

Spring 2012 England Pictures Page

Best finds where a Celtic silver coin from 20-25AD and a Saxon Silver coin from 600-700AD

I returned to the fall hunts in England as the weather is better.

Fall 2012 England Pictures Page  

Best find was another Celtic silver coin from 10AD

Fall 2013 England Pictures Page  

Lots of silver and a cool 1280 English jetton

Fall 2014 England Pictures Page  

1878 Gold Ring found ! 

Fall 2015 England Pictures Page 

This was only a 6 day hunt.

Fall 2016 England Pictures Page  

Had another fantasic hunt, 14 Hammered silvers !

Spring 2017 England Pictures Page 

This was my 1st 1 week "do it yourself" hunt.

Fall 2017 England Pictures Page 

Not there yet !!.

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I was Coin Hunter of the year in England for 2008 and 2012!!

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Coming up, new trips for the fall of 2017 an 2018 !!!

 

For information on Batteries and AC power in the UK, click here !

 


 

GRAND NATIONAL RELIC SHOOTOUT 

(GNRS) 

For more information on these hunts, CLICK HERE 

In October of 2002 I went to my first Grand National Relic Shootout (GNRS), which was held near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Actually on the Louisiana side of the Mississippi river near a place called "hard times landing". This was my 1st time "relic" hunting. Down in Florida there are not too many places for that. I had a great time and met a lot of neat and interesting people. Team Minelab took 2nd place that year. My other half Susan, was on Team Bounty Hunter as a last minute fill in because of a no-show. We both found many interesting artifacts. I found my 1st mini ball and civil war uniform eagle button. Susan found a gold ring and a trigger guard from an Enfield musket! This site was used by General Grant during his march to and siege of Vicksburg during the civil war. 

MITCH AT 2002 GNRS       SUE AT 2002 GNRS    1st Eagle Button   1st Mini Balls

For more information on these hunts, CLICK HERE 

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Both Susan and I returned for the 2003 GNRS in October at Fredericksburg, Virginia.  This was the same site as the 2003 North/South hunt. (Waugh Point) the site was used as a staging area by union forces that hade crossed the Potomac River. The area was in use as a camp for most of the civil war. 

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I also attended the 2004 GNRS at Fort Powhatan in Virginia. I found lots of really neat relics and my 1st Civil War period dated coin.

My 1864 Indian Head Penny

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In November 2005 and 2006, I also attended the GNRS once agian.  I found more cool relics and had a great time. Garrett metal detectors gave us great support. Thanks Garrett!!!

I returned for the 2007 GNRS in New England, and found Spanish Silver! This was also filmed for and episode of Best Places to Find Cash and Treasure

Pictures from the 2007 GNRS 

In 2008,2009 and 2013 I was captain for Team Garrett.

Pictures from the 2009 GNRS 

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THE NORTH/SOUTH HUNTS

(THESE HUNTS ALSO SPONSORED BY THE TREASURE DEPOT)

In March 2003 I was at the north/south hunt near Fredericksburg, Virginia (Waugh Point). This was the same site used for the 2003 GNRS. The site was used as a staging area by union forces for most of the civil war. 

In 2004 I again attended the north/south hunt near Vicksburg, Mississippi. This site was used by a Texas raiding party and then later occupied union forces. We once again traveled to the Louisiana side of the Mississippi river for this hunt. 

  Me at the 2004 N/S Hunt            

In March of 2005 I attended the North/South hunt at Fort Powhatan in Virginia. There I found my 1st Civil War plate. A Union soldiers Eagle breast plate.

Picture of my 1st Civil War plate      Me at the 2005 N/S Hunt

I also found an 1837 Large cent and 1856 Half Dime. Plus lots of Mini balls, dropped and fired.

Coin finds from the N/S hunt

I also attended the 2006, 2007 and 2008 NORTH/SOUTH hunts and had more great finds.

Some 2007 N/S finds

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GREAT SOUTHERN BEACH SHOOTOUTS 

In May 2003 I went to the great southern beach shootout in Daytona. I did not win the grand prize (2003 pickup truck) but found lots of silver, also a few gold coins. I did not find a numbered token for a Top 50 prize. Met lots of friends and had a great time. This is a great and well-organized hunt. If you never been to one, this is a great place to start!

My Silver Finds from the 2003 GSBS at Daytona Beach

I attended once again in 2004, but was just getting over a bad case of food poisoning. I could barley make it down to the beach from the hotel room. So I did not do very well. But my friend and fellow club member Ed, took home the $5000 grand prize. 

I went again in 2005 and was disappointed at the hunt field sizes. They where so crowed all the hunts that were supposed to last 1 hour were over in 7 minutes!! Again I did not find a Top 50 numbered token.

I missed out in 2006. I heard it went very well. I was set to go when my company called on a Thursday night and said some equipment was down and someone had to go to Texas to fix it. Guess who got the job? 

Well I had a great time at the 2007 Great Southern Beach Shootout ! I found a key that opened a lock to a box filled with 50 new Washington Dollars. Found lots of silver and finally found a Top 50 numbered token that got me a brand new Garrett ACE 250!  

Me at the 2007 GSBS in Daytona

The 2008 hunt went very well. The only disappointment was they did not plant any silver coins. Due to the price of silver, I understand. Instead they planted lots of new dollar coins, about 2500 per hunt. I found 65 dollar coins in all 4 hunts. I found a numbered token on the 1st day that was good for a leather-man type tool. I found a top 50 token the next day. This netted me a Fisher ID Excel. Had lots of fun, and it always a pleasure to meet so many other fellow hunters. A lady from the Florida Gold Coast Club won the $5000 grand prize.

Me at the 2008 GSBS in Daytona

 2009 was the last year for the Great Southern Beach shootout.

 I once again found a top 50 token that netted me a new Garrett Pin Pointer

Me at the 2009 GSBS in Daytona

2009 was the last year for this event. 

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Treasure Coast Archeology Society

I am currently vice president of our local metal detecting club. The Treasure Coast Archeology Society

And have been the clubs master hunter of the year 8 times in 12 years. 

Be sure to visit the clubs website here.......TCAS

We hold an annual hunt here in Florida every year. I showed up for this hunt for the first time 1994. I was not a member of the club, nor did I know anyone there. But I took first place in the competition hunt and second in the depth contest.  In the competition hunt, the field was seeded with 2000 tokens. You have 1 hour to find as many tokens as you can. There were over 60 hunters that year. 3rd place had found 90 tokens, 2nd place had found 122 tokens. I took 1st place with 298 tokens!!! I have since won that contest 4 more times. I no longer compete and now run the hunt since I am the clubs vice president. Someday I will return, to see if I still have it in me. I'm a little older now and there is always someone younger and a little faster coming along. I plan on trying to make more hunts around the country. If you are interested in our hunt, please see our clubs web page. The hunt is usually held in mid March.

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I hope to display some of my many finds from 20+ years of metal detecting here. I gave away a lot of

my early finds, So I don't have very many pictures of the stuff from before 1990.

ALL GOLD AND SILVER KEPT IN MY SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX AT THE BANK

My Better Finds of 1990-2001  

My Better Finds of 2002

My Better Finds of 2003  

My Better Finds of 2004  

My Better Finds of 2005

My Better Finds of 2006  

My Better Finds of 2007

My Better Finds of 2008

My Better Finds of 2009

My Better Finds of 2010  

My Better Finds of 2011  

My Better Finds of 2012

My Better Finds of 2013

My Better Finds of 2014  

My Better Finds of 2015

My Better Finds of 2016

 

ALL GOLD AND SILVER KEPT IN MY SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX AT THE BANK

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Detecting France 2007

2007 France Pictures Page 

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I have been in a few newspapers and TV programs about Metal Detecting.

I Was working the Hillcrest area in West Palm Beach. These house were being torn down or relocated because of a change in the flight paths around the Palm Beach International Airport. Most of the houses were built from 1920's to 1950's. The area has now been fenced off by the city and is posted. There are plans for redevelopment into a park. I was able to hunt there on and off for over 2 years during the removal and demolition of the houses.  In this area I found my 1st Silver half dollar! A 1918 Walking Liberty. I went on the find two more in the next few months. I found many silver coins and a few pieces of jewelry around the 300 homes that were torn down or relocated. This area became the second best place I ever detected. While I was detecting, a local newspaper reporter was taking pictures of some of the old houses in the area. he came up and asked if I had found anything. I showed him a few coins. He then took a few pictures and left. I did not think much about it till I went to work the next day. Suddenly ever one at work knew I detected and were making jokes. I did not know why. Then someone shows me the local newspaper. There I am on the front of the locals section!! Here is a scan of a newspaper clipping from the Palm beach Post......................................

PALM BEACH POST PICTURE

Of course the flip side of this "fame" was the next weekend, everyone with a metal detector showed up! Must have been over 25 people there the next weekend. Up till then, only a few of us had been working the site. Our secret was out.  I never went back without seeing someone else there with a detector. The area is now owned by Florida Atlantic University. It is posted and fenced off from the public. 

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In 2010 I did a short clip for a local news story.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THAT CLIP

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I have appeared in 3 different episodes of 

Best Places to Find Cash & Treasure

This program is was of the Discovery Channel and airs mostly on the Travel Channel. In the first episode I gave a nice interview about some of the finds I have made around The Spanish Wreck sites. But it ended up on the editing room floor. I am only seen using my Minelab Excalibur near the surf line.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A CLIP OF THE COMMERCIAL

The second episode is during a Civil War dig in Virginia. I can be seen wearing a black jacket and  leaning over the table of finds discussing an object with another hunter. This hunt was a lot of fun. Filmed in 2006, it is another part of The Treasure Depot called the Get-R-Done hunt. This hunt is by private invitation only. Maybe I'll get a clip someday and post it here.

In 2007 I was on location for another  filming of Best Places to Find Cash and Treasure. This time it was in Connecticut at a colonial ghost town. Lots of great finds were made. They actually filmed me recovering a 1775 Spanish silver 2 Reale coin. Once again I ended up on the cutting room floor. But you do see my hand holding my 1775 2 reale coin. See my posting above about the 2007 GNRS for pictures of my finds.

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Another great place I got to detect in the mid 90's was the old barracks for the Palm Beach navel air station. This is now known as Palm Beach International Airport. We found lots of old silver and military insignias. I found my 1st Franklin half dollar there. Another nice find was some coins from Australia. They were dated around the early 40's. I guess a soldier had brought them back after being stationed over seas awhile. Or an Australian pilot may have trained at the base during WW2. A strange little note..... My father was stationed here for a short time while he was in the Air Force. He might have even stayed in some of the buildings that were torn down. 

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I was also featured on the front page of the local Sebastian news paper in January of 2003. The story was about our local club  (TCAS). But somehow my pictures and story became the highlight of the article. I will try to post a copy here.

 


Most Wanted List

You know in all the years I have been metal detecting, there are still some things I have yet to find. 

These are on what you might call my "Most Wanted List".

#1  Gold Coin. I have seen them found near me, I just did not put my coil over the right spot! FINALLY GOT ONE IN ENGLAND in 2011 !!!!!

#2 Silver Dollar. Same as the gold coin. I don't count the one I have found in seeded hunts.

#3 Intact Pocket Watch. Man do I have lots of pocket watch parts.

# 4 A Gun. Yes a gun. Rifle or Pistol. Civil War or otherwise. Working or non-working. It would make a nice display item.

 

I have many more stories to tell. I will post them and more pictures when I have the time. So check back for updates.



Coming soon.....

Stories of my assistance to Indian River County Sheriff's Office Crime Scene Investigation unit. (CSI)


Pictures of the damage to our beaches from the 2004 hurricanes


Click here for information on water hunting the TREASURE COAST


Precious Metal Info and Trivia  


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LAST UPDATE: July 2017

 

Click the above picture for GTI-2500 Hip Mount Conversion information.