Metal Detecting after Hurricanes: Treasure Awaits

After any significant storm on the coast, you’ll see metal detectorists out by the dozens, sweeping the beaches for freshly uncovered finds.

Any other day, whatever you find is most likely a “fresh drop.” Layers of sand are added to beaches every day, and so most valuable items are buried under seven feet of sand. But, when a hurricane strikes, the sand is pulled off the beach, revealing all the lost items that haven’t been seen in decades.

Hurricanes also throw a lot of items that were on the ocean floor onto the beach.

Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast last year. Metal detectorists found class rings from the 1930s, old coins, and treasures that were hidden in the dunes for months afterwards.

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Dunes are illegal to hunt, so when the hurricane blew through them, dispersing their contents across the beach, there was a lot to be found that had been hidden for years. Depending on what part of the coast you’re hunting, you could find actual treasure.

Metal detecting veteran and Kellyco employee Carolyn Harwick said it was a free-for-all after Hurricane Matthew. All the sand came off the beach and everything was released from the dunes. Detectorists even found Indian pennies, a find that’s very rare.

Millions of ships have shipwrecked over the course of human history, and an estimated $60 billion in treasure is buried with them. Vero Beach, which is located along the Treasure Coast in Florida, is home to the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet wreckage. Artifacts and coins still wash up on shore, and after a hurricane the chance of finding something of value is high.

Hurricanes toss and turn everything, bringing what’s at the bottom up to the shoreline. Everyone holds out hope that they’ll be lucky enough to find gold coins and jewels that have been lost for centuries.

And it does happen!

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Many areas of the beach will be blocked off after a hurricane in order to protect people’s property. It’s important to avoid trespassing and be aware of areas police have closed off.

We’ve got some great metal detectors and accessories that are perfect for beach hunting after a hurricane. Our beach scoops make sifting through the sand much easier, and don’t forget to pick up some waterproof headphones like the LS Pelso or Amphibian 2, too.

The Minelab Excalibur II is waterproof up to 200 feet, but it’s also effective on land. It features 17 different frequencies to help you find more coins, rings and relics buried deep down.

Other options include the Minelab Equinox 800 and Equinox 600. These are both great in saltwater and are multi-frequency. The Minelab CTX3030 is Minelab’s highest performing all-around metal detector and is submersible up to 10 feet, which makes it another fantastic option. If you plan on going scuba diving, take a Nokta Makro Pulsedive with you.

Note: Different beaches have varying regulations on detecting in the water. You should always consult local authorities before hunting in the water.