Metal detecting can be a great hobby for those who love the outdoors and who love the thrill of a good hunt. While you may dig up great finds, some of which may be quite valuable, going into your searches expecting to get rich probably isn’t realistic.

That said, the more time and research that you dedicate to metal detecting, the more likely you are to consistently find valuable items. It wouldn’t be a great idea to quit your day job and travel the country detecting, but you can certainly up your game to make your hobby more profitable.

There are an endless number of places that you can go metal detecting, but when you take the time to research and pick sites with more potential, you can significantly increase your odds of success.

Consider the following strategies if you are looking to find more valuable items when you go metal detecting.

Find Jewelry on Beaches and at Swimming Holes or Under River Bridges

Detecting on the beach can net you some valuable finds – everything from common coins to expensive silver or gold jewelry. It’s common for people on the beach or at a swimming hole to slip off their jewelry before they hit the water. Sometimes that jewelry gets lost or buried in sand, and it is just waiting for you to swing your detector over it. It’s also possible that those who do wear their jewelry into the water might lose it while swimming, especially in colder water that causes fingers to shrink, making it easy for rings to slip off.

See how YouTuber Man + River finds tons of "river treasure" in his latest video below:

Find Coins in Large Event Areas

This strategy involves getting out hunting on the day after a big event. Think about things like outdoor concerts, farmers’ markets, antique fairs, or any other large event that takes place outside. Events like this frequently take place in city parks or other open spaces. Anywhere that hundreds of people have gathered is bound to have coins that have fallen out of pockets or were dropped while paying for merchandise.

Find Old and Rare Coins by Doing Research

At the previous two sites listed, you are likely to find common coins, and that’s great. But, if you are looking for old or rare coins, you will have to do some research. To be successful with these types of finds, you have to hunt in historic areas where they are more likely to be. This will require that you research your area and find out where people may have gathered long ago – churches, saloons, city halls, etc. Wherever the oldest history in your location is, hunt there. Stumped on finding old places to detect? Check out our 12 ways to find older areas to hunt guide.

Find Gold Nuggets in the West

If you live in the western U.S., you may want to spend some time detecting for gold nuggets. Arizona, California, Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon are all known for having detectable gold – if you know where to look. Research can help you determine where you are the most likely to find gold in these areas. The great thing about finding gold nuggets is that you never have to wonder about whether or not they have value, you know that you can quickly turn them into cash anywhere that gold is bought. If you are looking for a good gold metal detector, check out the brand new Makro Gold Kruzer which is waterproof and operates at 61 kHz!

Metal detecting can be profitable when you research thoroughly and work hard to make it happen. Even if you don’t get rich though, it’s a fun hobby on which you can spend tons of time without becoming bored.