Searching for coins is a fun hobby that can be profitable. It’s difficult to look for coins without tools. It can be hard to pick out a coin when it is hidden under sand, hidden under grass, or matches the pavement. When you use a coin detector, you have a better chance of finding more coins as well as better coins. We have compiled a list of the best metal detectors for finding coins to help coin hunters locate the most coins.
How Coin Detectors Work
Coin detectors are metal detectors and work by detecting metal, which can let coin hunters know that a coin is nearby. Most coin detectors work by using a sensor probe, which recognizes the presence of metal. The metal coin detector sends out an electromagnetic field that is transmitted into the ground and then receives an electromagnetic field back if there is a metal object nearby. Sometimes this may mean that nails or bottle caps are detected.
Specialized coin detectors are available for small gold nuggets or flakes as well as other valuable metals, including silver metals and relics. These coin detectors differ from the traditional metal detectors by having a more specialized electromagnetic field that can find minuscule targets. These coin detectors tend to be more expensive.
Choosing a High-Quality Metal Detector for Coins
Consider how often you will be coin hunting as well as where you will be coin hunting. Is the ground mineralized or not? Do you want a metal detector that can find small flakes and relics as well as coins? Consider the type of coins most often found in your area and choose a coin detector that will be able to best detect those kinds of coins.
The best frequency for coin hunting depends on your hunting goals. The lower frequency models are best at scanning deeper; however, higher frequency models are better at detecting gold and other tiny objects. Know the type of coins you want to hunt as well as the land you plan to hunt on (to determine your land depth needs).
Weight & Size
Most metal detectors weigh between 5lbs. and 15lbs. We recommend choosing a weight that you can comfortably carry for long periods. The lighter options, if they include advanced features, can be more expensive when compared to more substantial options. Most metal detectors are similar in size (35 to 55 inches length typically), and we recommend focusing mostly on weight when making your choice.
Target Identification Mode
Each metal detector comes with different target identification modes. Some offer greater identification settings than others, and these settings allow users to focus on different targets, including coins, gold, silver, relics, and precious metals. Target identification modes built-in to a metal detector can help you use frequency and sensitivity to distinguish targets further.
A pinpoint mode on a metal detector allows the user to more accurately “pinpoint” the location of a target so that you can disturb the ground as little as possible. This is important when you are searching in areas where the lawn is well-manicured, and you cannot dig up large areas of soil. This is also important when searching for coins at greater depths. The more accurate the pinpoint mode can be, the easier it is to identify and retrieve the coins.
Discrimination Scale & Sound Polyphony
The discrimination scale and sound polyphony with coin detectors allow users to search deeper in the ground for coins as well as distinguish between coins and iron trash. We have compiled a list of the best metal detectors for coins that include a strong discrimination scale and sound polyphony system.
Ground Tuning/Ground Balance
All metal detectors come with a level of ground balancing because ground balancing is the process of removing ground mineralization effects and focusing entirely on the coin target. The more expensive metal detectors include both manual and auto ground balancing features.
Height adjustments are a great additional feature that allows you to create a comfortable hand grip for long walks and coin searches. We recommend choosing a height-adjustable metal detector when possible for maximum comfort.
You want to choose a metal detector based on the types of coins you will be hunting. The larger the coil is on your metal detector, the deeper the coins it will detect. However, the smaller the coil is on your metal detector, the more precise detection will be, and the easier it will be to find the coin.
Price & Warranty
Consider the cost of the coin detector compared to the warranty offered by the company. These machines range in cost from a few hundred dollars to $10,000. The features provided on higher-end devices can help you more easily spot coins as well as find specific types of coins. More expensive machines tend to come with more extensive warranties.
5 Best Metal Detectors for Coins Reviewed
1. White's Spectra V3i HP
Our Top Pick For Finding Coins
Up to 4 ft.
44 x 9.5 x 12 Inches
Automatic and Tracking
2.5, 7.5, 22.5 kHz
Yes, two-year warranty
The White’s Spectra V3i HP is the best metal detector for coins on our list and our top pick for beginners and experienced coin hunters. The nine plug-and-go presets allow users to choose what they need to hunt for coins in various conditions up to 4 ft. in depth. Users can choose settings for different terrain options as well as for different types of targets, from coins to relics and gold flakes.
An HD color display allows for easy reading, and the SpectraGraph shows users whether the target is "good" or "bad." An adjustable backlight helps users find lighting that works for their eyes. This can be particularly helpful for coin hunters who plan to hunt at night. A 10" stock coil that is submersible can also be used in wet lake areas. Wireless headphones are optional and give you the best frequency feedback when included.
Bernard on White’s Electronics wrote, “Have been using the V3i since its first release. An awesome machine. Works great in wet sand at the beach, can tune out most noise from electrical sources, and the Wireless Headphones prevent tangled wires when hunting the woods. Finds include many gold rings, colonial buckles, and recently a cool Art Nouveau gilded pocket knife.”
This coin hunter comes backed by a two-year warranty. If you want to hunt coins and want an advanced coin metal detector, then this model is a great choice.
2. Garrett AT Pro
best rated metal detector for coins
8.5 x 11 Inches
6 -10 inches
22 x 11 x 5 Inches
Auto ground balance
Yes, two-year warranty
The Garrett AT Pro is the best-rated metal detector for coins. This model has been well-reviewed by users because it is affordable and feature-rich. The Pro Zero Mode is easy-to-use and helps users find accurate dig information. Simple tones indicate where coins are as well as the type of coin.
This model can be used on land as well as in water (waterproof to 10 feet) and is one of the most affordable metal detectors available. This model has ground balance built in to handle saltwater readings and includes an easy-to-read graphic display. Large buttons give users the option to change the sensitivity to reject notch discrimination. High-resolution iron discrimination helps users identify coins faster and choose the best dig spots.
Jay wrote on Walmart, “Been using the AT pro for 2 months now and absolutely love it. Have found deep items as old as early 1800s and pulled out silver in areas others have already detected in the past. Well worth the initial investment in my opinion. If I were looking to sell the things I find then this would have easily already paid for itself. Utilizing the Pro Zero mode I am continuing to learn the tones and able to have a good idea what I’m digging up before it even sees the light of day.”
This model is great for both land and water use; however, some users have noticed that the model fails in brackish water. In freshwater, this model performs well. The headphones that come with the unit are not the most durable, but replacing them with an alternative set is worth it for the cost of this model. If you want an affordable metal detector for coin hunting, this is an excellent option for you.
3. Fisher F75
best metal detector for coin shooting
10.2 x 6.2 x 28.5 Inches
Auto and manual ground balance
Yes, five-year limited warranty
The Fisher F75 is the best metal detector for coin shooting. This model is the most ergonomic and comfortable design on our list with a 2-way adjustable armrest. This model is also lightweight at 4.7lbs. and is easy to carry during long days of coin hunting. We also like the targeted pinpointing settings that allow users to zero in on a target and understand precisely where that target is located.
This makes it easier to hunt for coins. The 11" search coil has a depth of approximately 12” and allows coin hunters to search well below the surface. A large LCD screen shows clear numbers and allows for manual adjustments while hunting. It also has a backlit screen option for hunting at night. Variable pitch tones are also available so users can customize their sounds while hunting.
Users love that this model includes saved memory settings. This allows users to configure their metal detectors in a way that works best for them. Although this model does include a waterproof coil and has a manual ground balance setting, it is not a good model for beach hunting. This model cannot read sand well and will offer false targets. However, this model works well in small streams and river beds. If you want a high-quality metal detector that offers ergonomic comfort and saved memory settings, we recommend this metal detector.
4. Teknetics Delta 4000
best coin metal detector for the money
11.2 x 6.5 x 40 Inches
Auto ground balance
Yes, five-year limited warranty
The Teknetics Delta 4000 is the best coin metal detector for the money. Many coin detectors are expensive, and finding a great model at an affordable price can be tricky. The Delta 4000 from Teknetics has everything that you need to get started hunting coins. A large clear LCD display is not only easy-to-read but also easy to understand. Targets are shown in detail from standard coins and half dollars to iron and aluminum.
This model is lightweight at 2.6 lbs. and has a built-in armrest for maximum comfort. The 8” coil is waterproof and can detect at a depth of 4-6 inches. A pinpoint control feature allows users to search deeper up to 8-9 inches and provides an accurate, specific point where the target can be found. This helps with locating targets and digging them up.
Lea wrote on Dick’s Sporting Goods, “Very good detector for the price. I have found rings, coins, and it is great for finding anything. I love mine.”
This model does not include headphones, so you will need to purchase your own set. Headphones are not required for this model, but they do make listening to the "tones” easier and therefore help you coin hunt more effectively. Users have reported that the higher sensitivity settings on this model can pick up false targets. If you need to use high sensitivity settings above 6 or 8, we recommend purchasing another model. However, if you want a great coin detector at an affordable price point, we recommend this model.
5. Minelab E-TRAC
best metal detector for silver coins
21.5 x 16.2 x 5.5 Inches
Auto and Manual
Yes, three-year warranty
The Minelab E-TRAC is the best metal detector for silver coins. It has a great depth of 12 inches, which is significantly deep for a metal detector and is compatible with numerous locations. The QuickMask with level adjust helps automatically edit out patterns so that you can distinguish targets easily.
A clean display panel includes intuitive icons and a simple keypad with large buttons. The metal detector is lightweight at 3.5 lbs. and includes a comfortable armrest. The FBS technology available with this model uses 1.5-100kHz signals to analyze possible targets and share location details. This is an expensive model, but it has all of the features that intermediate and experienced coin hunters will appreciate.
One review on BassPro wrote, “This machine is not a kid’s toy! If you want to hunt land, white sand, and/or wet beaches then this is the machine for you. The depth can go down 12 inches (yes it really does in the right conditions). It has so many bells and whistles that you will be able to configure this one to your heart’s content.”
This model is great when hunting on all land types, but the machine is not fully submersible. If you plan to hunt on dry sand or wet sand, this model holds up. However, if you plan to hunt in streams or river beds, we recommend purchasing a fully submersible metal detector.
Users have reported that the E-Trac technology used with this model is a complicated interface for beginners to use and understand. If you are new to coin hunting, we recommend choosing a more beginner-friendly model such as the Fisher F75. If you want a high-quality machine with numerous configuration options, we recommend the Minelab E-Trac.
Metal Detecting Code of Ethics
Metal detecting has its own code of ethics for treasure hunters, as well as specific laws that must be followed. One of the most important rules is to always seek permission before metal detecting and coin hunting on private property. If the owner does not give you permission, find another location. If you are allowed to coin hunt on someone’s private property, take care to be a good land steward. Do not damage their crops or hurt domestic animals on the property. Do not leave trash behind or litter. When digging for a coin or relic, try to disturb the land as little as possible.
Using Metal Detectors in Finding Coins
Once you have found an area to hunt for coins, it is time to set up your metal detector and begin coin shooting. Metal detectors come with built-in configuration settings that allow you to choose appropriate settings based on what you want to hunt. Choose the setting that matches the type of land that you are on as well as the type of coin that you would like to find.
Then, plug in your headphones and begin moving your metal detector over the land slowly. Listening to frequencies through your headphones will allow you to pause and stop when possible coins are detected. If you believe that you have found a coin, you can begin a short dig to locate the coin.
Care & Maintenance: Coin Metal Detectors
Your coin metal detector is a valuable purchase, and regular maintenance will ensure that your metal detector lasts for years to come. We recommend cleaning your metal detector every six months. To clean your metal detector, use a damp cloth and wipe down each individual part. Take the coil covers off of the machine and clean each thoroughly after every 3-6 coin hunting trips. Avoid running the damp cloth over any electrical connections and make sure to store your metal detector in a safe, dry place.
Metal Detecting Coin Shooting Tips
When you embark on a day of coin shooting, it's essential to understand where you are going and to have obtained prior permission to hunt at that location. It's important to consider the weather conditions and dress accordingly. You want to stay warm and dry. Make sure that your metal detector is completely charged and won’t run out of power on your trip.
To have the best day coin hunting, we recommend first looking at maps of your area and finding areas that are high traffic. High traffic may mean that the area is currently popular or it may mean that historically it was a popular area. For example, many coin hunters who want to search for old coins will find historical maps at local libraries that show where an old trading post used to be or where an old riverbed used to be located. These types of places offer the greatest coin hunting finds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is coin shooting?
Coin shooting is the process of looking for coins with a metal detector. This is a common hobby for people who enjoy finding rare coins as well as searching for them. Some people also consider coin shooting to be a financial opportunity and sell their coins.
Where is the best place to find top deals when buying coin metal detectors?
The best place to find top deals when buying coin metal detectors is on Amazon.com. Amazon has a variety of coin metal detectors available for purchase with different capabilities and price ranges.
Where is the best place to look for coins with a metal detector?
The best place to look for coins with a metal detector depends on where you live and the landmarks in your area. Many coin hunters search areas such as river beds, churches or schools, beaches, camping grounds or old showgrounds, parks, and abandoned stores. Determine where you plan to hunt for coins before purchasing a metal detector so you can consider the area's ground type.
Do I need to get permission to metal detect coins? Can I metal detect on public land?
Yes, you may need to get permission to metal detect coins. Most federal and state land is not open to coin hunting. However, public parks have different rules and may allow coin hunting. If you want to hunt for coins in a particular area, check with your local county office to ensure that your coin hunting is permissible.
Where to look for old coins with a metal detector?
If you want to look for old coins or relics specifically, you will need to consider search areas that have the most promise. We recommend starting with a local historical society or visiting your local library to learn about the history of your community. Look for areas on the map where old tradeposts used to exist, for example, and search for old coins and relics there. However, make sure that you get permission to coin hunt before venturing onto private property.
How deep can metal detectors detect coins? Which metal detector has the best depth?
Most metal detectors can detect six to twelve inches below the ground. However, some metal detectors can detect up to 5 feet below the surface. On this list, White’s Spectra V3i HP has a detection depth of up to 4 ft.
Metal detectors allow users to explore their neighborhood and find coins, gold nuggets, relics, and even ancient artifacts. The best metal detector for coins is the metal detector that makes the most sense for your location: concrete, water, or grassy fields. For most coin hunters, we recommend the White’s Spectra V3i HP. This model is perfect for hunting coins in various geographic locations and features a wide range of adjustable options.
If you need a more affordable option, we recommend the Garrett AT Pro. This model has everything a beginner needs to get started with coin shooting.
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