Matt is a painter and part-time writer who loves fishing and metal detecting. Matt writes about various topics.
Finding Deep Silver Coins With the AT Pro
If you've ever found silver coins metal detecting, you know how exciting it is when you see that shiny silver rim sticking out of the dirt plug. All of the coins and relics in my collection, including silver, were all found with the Garrett AT Pro metal detector.
While the AT Pro certainly isn't the best metal detector on the market for depth, anyone who's used it knows it's a coin magnet and perfectly capable of locating deep coins when used correctly at the right settings. I still believe the AT Pro metal detector is an excellent option for anyone new to the hobby or for someone wanting to upgrade to waterproof gear.
Although the coil on the detector is rated for a maximum depth of 10-inches, I've made some awesome finds deeper than that, all using the stock coil. Quarters and larger metal objects still ring up at the 12-inch depth. Most of the older coins I find are 8 to 10-inches deep, but not always. Some coins sink deeper in the ground than others.
Here are a few tips to help you find those deep silver coins with this detector:
Always Do Research in Advance
Historical research is critical for finding old coins with any metal detector. Go metal detecting at sites with known activity in the 1800s or earlier. One of the best ways to find silver coins is to get permission to metal detect private property or old forgotten swimming holes. You can find deep silver in old parks too, but it's becoming very difficult to find public places that haven't already been picked clean.
Turn Off Iron Discrimination
The iron discrimination feature on the AT Pro works well for eliminating some trash signals, but setting it too high reduces coil depth. Keeping the detector in all-metal mode and using a small search coil maximizes depth and makes it easier to find deeper targets.
Metal detecting trashy ground in all-metal mode is noisy, but if you move the coil slow enough and listen carefully, you'll hear those faint silver high tones through all of the chatter. Sometimes using this feature is the only option if the ground is super trashy, but don't turn it up to the highest number. If you use it, try 15 or 20.
Turn Up the Sensitivity
You should always set the machine to the Pro mode and turn the sensitivity up to full bars whenever possible. Using full sensitivity near power lines and buried cable will result in electrical interference, but if you're in the woods and away from power lines, crank it up full blast to find deeper targets.
I'm constantly tweaking the sensitivity when I'm coin hunting around old homes. I turn the sensitivity up all the way until I get chatter from electrical interference, then I'll turn it down a notch to stabilize the machine. You should turn up the sensitivity at least one bar below the maximum setting whenever possible.
Swing the Coil Slowly and Listen
Moving the coil over the ground slowly is key to finding deeper coins with this metal detector. If time permits, I'll search a yard section by section, moving slowly, listening for faint high tones. I've returned to places I've already metal detected and recovered coins I passed up the first time.
Always wear metal detecting headphones and turn the volume up high enough so you can easily hear faint tones from deeper targets. Headphones cut out background noise and make it easier to hear those deeper targets you'd otherwise have a hard time hearing.
Dig All Deep Targets
The AT Pro target IDs aren't always accurate, especially smaller objects more than 10-inches down. Trash in the ground, the depth, soil conditions, or even a coin buried on its edge can alter the target ID and the sound. If you rely solely on the ID numbers, you're going to leave a lot of old coins in the ground for someone else to find.
I've pulled silver coins out of the ground that showed a totally different number on the screen than normal. When I hunt old sites, I dig almost every signal deeper than 6-inches. This does result in more trash finds, but you won't pass up that awesome silver coin or something even better.
Metal Detect a Site Twice
Finding everything in one visit usually doesn't happen unless you're searching a small area for several hours. More times than not, you'll make more finds on the second visit. I usually return to places a couple of times before writing it off. Another tip is to metal detect in different directions because some coins are buried on edge and only ring up at certain angles.
Is the AT Pro a Good Detector for Deep Silver Coins?
I've owned my AT Pro metal detector now for over four years, and I've recovered hundreds of coins at various depths, some more than 10-inches deep. Some coins are buried 8 to 12 inches in the ground, but most of the silver coins I find are around 8 inches deep.
Beyond the 8-inch depth, audio signals for silver coins, especially dimes, become faint and harder to hear at deeper depths, but you can still find and recover them with some patience. Swinging the coil too fast is one of the mistakes I made when I started out with this metal detector. Slowing down and taking your time to listen for those high tones is one of the best ways to find the hidden gems that other people have missed.
It took me some time to learn the AT Pro target IDs, sounds, and settings, but this detector will find deep targets when used correctly. You can buy a high-end Minelab detector to maximize depth, but you're going to spend thousands of dollars, which you don't have to do to find coins.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Matt G.