South African Coin Shooting
A lot of metal detectorists use their metal detectors to search for coins, a hobby which is also known as “coin shooting”.
Coin shooting is a fun thing to do if you are into searching and collecting old coins.
It’s also a good way to enjoy your hobby while making money at the same time.
If you are a diligent metal detectorist and get out frequently enough, you can easily and completely pay for your metal detector within one year’s time, believe me, all those R1, R2, R5 coins quickly add up.
The first coin I ever found with my metal detector was a R1 coin at the beach.
I was really happy with this find even if it was only R1 haha as I was a newbie and still learning my way around my Teknetics T2 and the reason I was happy was because I could see the machine worked.
Coin hunting at the beach is not recommended as the saltwater literally eats the coins and most times when you do find a coin, if it is an old coin, it will more than likely be indistinguishable.
Also another point of important information to remember when coin shooting is that if you are metal detecting for coins on a recently ploughed farm then the fertilizer also unfortunately eats the coins and a lot of times they too will be worn away.
I recently found two British penny’s at Boulders Beach in Cape Town, and they were both worn terribly.
The one coin as you can see is totally eligible and the other only two things are barely visible, ‘oria’ and the date 1877.
I quickly realised the ‘oria’ was from Victoria and what a luck that the date survived on the one!
So far this is my oldest coin I have found and I am stoked to add it to my collection.
Another thing that metal detecting taught me and in particular metal detecting on the beaches of Cape Town is that the more recent money I find it is clearly evident that the quality of material being used to produce our new coins is of a substandard nature and most times the R1, R2, or R5 you find will be so worn away that you will not even be
able to use it as legal tender.
To see some of the latest coins we have found, click here to see our South African metal detecting blog.
Here are a few tips for coin shooting with a metal detector in Cape Town, Joburg, Gauteng, Durban and the rest of South Africa.
Coin Shooting Tips
Know your machine!
This is probably the best and most important tip for coin shooting and why I list it as number 1.
Get some old coins borrow, buy, whatever, just get some old coins and then test them to see how they read on your metal detector. Learn to identify the noise they make and the reading they give.
Use a Pinpointer like the Garrett or Minelab pinpointers.
Coins are usually small and not only will this limit the amount of the digging you will have to do by accurately pinpointing the Coin, but a lot of times this will be the difference between damaging the coin with your
spade or Lesche knife. Trust me there are few things worse than finding a really awesome old and valuable coin only to discover you scratched it with your digging tool!
Check the dates on the coins you are finding.
The dates give an indication of when the area was mostly in use. If you are only finding R1, R2, R5, 10c, 50c coins etc you can be assured it is not an old area and you are probably not going to find any older coins. Double check your holes! A lot of times people will dig out the coin and immediately cover their holes without checking to see if there is anything else there. This is a metal detecting newbie mistake as sometimes you will find more coins, which is known as a coin spill, someone perhaps sat down and all their change fell out. I have dug up R8.50 from one hole once.
Carry a spray bottle with you filled with water to clean your coins. You don’t want to tarnish them by rubbing too much on the coins. Coins generally lose their value if cleaned too much as collectors like the old untouched look.
Find a local coin dealer you can trust to give you an indication of the price of your coins.
Ralph 081 411 5496