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Dig’em All or Dig Select Targets?

Since “The Man” closed all the beaches in Florida, and I’m in Florida to detect all the beaches, I face a dire dilemma. Go crazy or detect places other than beaches here in Florida. So I went to the local county park and before “The Man” kicked me out, I was able to do the following experiment – see what ya think.

I hunted the local park for 8 hrs over a two day period. There were good sounding targets everywhere and even more pull/push tabs. For 4 hrs on Day 1, I dug all good sounding targets and all coins (.01, .05, .10, .25) based on my Equinox 800. I avoided most VID #15-17 as these are (too too many) tabs and also avoided VID numbers below #6, light foil, based on my settings.

The results from Day 1:

Day 1 Finds 2020.jpg

On Day 1, I found 67 coins and a total of $2.41; 5 - .25, 6 - .10 and 56 cents. Also found a 25 yr AAA pin or badge.

AAA Obverse Finds 2020.jpg

AAA Reverse 2020.jpg

For 4 hours on Day 2, I used the same criteria as Day 1 except I tried to ignored most cents and used the saved time to hunt for larger denomination coins and other valuable targets (other than cents). The results of Day 2:

Day 2 Finds 2020.jpg

On Day 2, I found 52 coins and a total of $4.23; 9 - .25, 15 - .10, 5 – .05, 23 – .01. Also found a 1999 Tootsie roadster, very heavy and cool.

1999 Tootsie Roadster.jpg

In areas with a high concentration of targets, one strategy is to basically dig everything. Another strategy is to be more selective and concentrate on higher valued targets. In the present comparison, albeit brief, the select higher valued targets (than cents) strategy shows an advantage at least in terms of total value of coins ($2.41 vs $4.23). The dig everything strategy did result in more cents; 56 in the dig everything strategy and only 23 in the select strategy. However, more quarters (9 vs 5), more dimes (15 vs 6) and more nickels (5 vs 0) were found in the select higher valued targets strategy. Internal validity.

Of course, when the target concentration is low, I tend to dig everything; even cents and, gasp, pull/push tabs. This usually happens in the water during the winter months – I’ve had stretches of more than 30 minutes in the surf when I would welcome even a push/pull tab to dig. After all, when metal detecting; you never really know what will come up from the bottom. Happy Hunting
"Stop, Drop --- Pop -N- Hop"
I used to detect a very heavily used waterfront park in downtown Portland, OR.
Using a small coil (6" or smaller i.e. 5" elliptical) with a Whites XLT or with a Tesoro Bandido II uMax, I found tons of goodies along with tons of junk.
I got pretty good at pinpointing, to the point of being able to stop, drop, pop, and hop in record time average of less than 10 seconds or so per target.
So, including the walking time and time between targets I would usually find somewhere north of 60 to 80 things per hour.
My back does not allow me to metal detect now, but maybe, just maybe again.
This included tons of junk, but... there were nice rings and gads of change and pocket knifes, etc. :)




Well-known member
Nice finds Usually that’s the way I hunt if there’s tons of crap I’m selective but few and far targets I’m usually digging most targets.


Active member
hey MKUS...isn't that the way minelab compressed all the good coins the nox scale ? So just about every target could be a coin , old and new coins?
Anyhow , that is how I see it when I look at most of the charts on the nox target id numbers. 8 up is usually a coin target, from what I see.


Well-known member
I dig good sounding targets. I totally ignore zinc pennies. Takes too long to dig and expends too much energy. Yes I am OLD. I do however dig a lot of junk targets that could possibly be a gold ring and once in a blue moon I get lucky. My beaches are closed and the cops will not even allow me on the island. So I have been planting roses and blue berry plants. I have beat the local parks to death this past winter and now I am sorry that I did.

still looking 52

Well-known member
I start out digging iff # at first in a New site then if I get a lot of junk I up my disc on a curve until I start finding better targets, there's only so many hours in a day.
Now in known sites where I've hunted the day lights out of and have found good targets previously I'll listen for those deep faint tones or little high tone chirps for the good stuff that most people miss.

Big Treble

Active member
Actually im a little odd on this one. I dig a few iffy or qustionable targets in the first hour, to verify the ground isn't covering good targets. Then i switch to selective mode to focus on quality. If my results aren't wher i want them to be at about 3/4 of the hunt, then i will go back to digging iffy targets as well.

I by no means, think this is a successful path, lol
hey MKUS...isn't that the way minelab compressed all the good coins the nox scale ? So just about every target could be a coin , old and new coins?
Anyhow , that is how I see it when I look at most of the charts on the nox target id numbers. 8 up is usually a coin target, from what I see.
On Beach 1, Nickels are "13", zinc cents "18-20", copper cents "24", dimes "25-27" and quarters "28-30". These will very quite a bit based on coin condition and ground environment. Gold rings range from "3" to "21", from personal data, and reports have gold rings ranging from "1" to "24". There is a positive correlation between gold ring weight (also applies to aluminum foil weight, lead weight and silver weight) and Equinox 800 VID - as target weight increases so does VID number.


Active member
Just going by the charts.... still seems like 8 up pretty much to me...I understand trash and ground can change these a little ...but I am no expert. Still looks like only a few open notches to me



Staff member
Might work if your coin hunting in America. Beach hunters and UK hunters not so much. JMO
HH Jeff


Active member
Too bad it doesn't have gold ring numbers on the would make life a lot easier.