13 October 2012

Metal Detecting Post #86 - Tips for Using Metal Detectors to Find Civil War Relics in the South


The following is a guest post by Michael Bernzweig

Relic hunting metal detectors are the right equipment for finding such exciting authentic Civil War items as swords, musket balls, buttons, buckles, mini balls, and cannons. Though most detectorists and relic hunters don't sell their finds, relics can be worth a great deal of money, such as Civil War buttons which routinely sell anywhere from under $100 to well over $2,500 plus.  The condition of a piece and the rarity of it both contribute to its monetary value.  For many people, the excitement of uncovering a piece of history – in other words, metal detecting relics – is the prize in itself. Sharing their finds with family and friends is also gratifying. Many relic hunters also put on demonstrations for local schools and civic clubs and also donate finds to local museums.

There are many hunting sites in the south, both public and private, where you can search for Civil War relics.  It’s important to get permission before metal detecting relics on personal property.  Be sure to check with a local expert for advice on the laws in your area. Another important step is to equip yourself with the right tools.

You can probably imagine that many areas ideal for hunting Civil War relics may be well picked over.  The good news is that you can invest in advanced relic hunting metal detectors that will give you an edge in these worked out sties. Equally import is selecting a hand held pinpointing device like the Garrett Pro-Pointer. A pinpointer will let you quickly, carefully and easily recover your finds.  Some top relic metal detectors include the XP DEUS and the Fisher F75 Special Limited Edition metal detector. 

Target recovery can become a troublesome issue, if you don’t have the right tools.  Investing in quality target recovery tools ultimately saves you money, since inexpensive items don’t usually last.  There are three categories of target recovery tools:

•    A knife allows you to cut plugs of dirt speedily and speed up the recovery process.
•    Metal detecting trowels are constructed of hardened stainless steel and are available in different lengths and widths, to suit your needs.
•    Relic Shovels are a tool of choice for many Civil War relic hunters.

The metal detector you choose can also be designed specifically to hunt for relics on particular types of terrain.  In many parts of the southeastern U.S. the ground has heavy mineralization.  If you choose a metal detector with a ground balance, you will be able to filter out the interference caused by the minerals and hone in on what you’re looking for:  Civil war relics!

About the author: Michael Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written extensively on the subject of metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He has traveled world-wide in his pursuit of educating, exploring and advising others in the proper use of metal detectors. Outside of the business he enjoys mentoring students, being involved in the community and spending time with his family.


1st image is of the Garrett AT Pro. The AT Pro is an excellent relic machine and waterproof to 10 feet. I own one and, of the four I own, it is my favorite machine. The 2nd image is a silver George Washington button was and found with the XP DEUS wireless metal detector. Michael Bernzweig of MetalDetector.com notes that this is a rare and unusual find that would certainly be the center piece of any relic hunters’ collection.

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