It is always important to have metal detecting buddies for safety. It is especially important if you are a female detectorist. Amanda reached out to me on Instagram to see if we could detect together. I heard about her through another local detectorist about six months earlier, but didn’t know much about her. The first time we met, we hit it off and now metal detect together doing beaches, parks, relic hunting in the desert or woods, and local and not-so-local permissions.
Amanda has been metal detecting for 11 years. However, she and her husband are newer transplants to California and only have lived here 4 years. She has done the vast majority of her detecting in New York, specifically Rochester, Westchester County, New York City and coastal Connecticut. Going from a place with a lot of history, where Indian Head pennies and Large Cents are an easy find, to a part of Orange County California, where most of the homes were built between 1980 to 2000 and most finds are modern clade it can be pretty challenging finding relics and old coins, especially after being used to digging up the old in Rochester, NY when she first started detecting in college in 2011.
While metal detecting with Amanda, I watched her do well at the beaches. The first time we hit the beach, she had a three-ring day and pulled out an old silver Benjamin Franklin a half dollar. In the last year, the Southern Orange County beaches have been almost bare with finds, so to pull that out in one day, in a couple of hours hunt gives a sample of her metal detecting skill set.
Detecting parks with Amanda, she finds various rings and old coins. At a permission at a burned-down house, I have watched her eyeball a small gold stud.
Amanda is also great to have around as a metal detecting buddy because her day job is designing high-end custom jewelry. Her jewelry designs have been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Star Magazine, OK! Magazine, the Huffington Post and more. When I find something gold, she knows the stone cut right away, and determines by the details if the piece is good quality or not. It’s a total bonus to have a metal detecting friend that is skilled in this area. Because of her, I learned what Pavé Diamonds are.
This interview is focused on tips and skills to help our readers improve their metal detecting skills. See my questions and her answers below.
Which Metal Detector For What Terrain
Where do you find you like the XP, Deus II, over the Minelab Equinox 600, and vice versa?
I find I absolutely love the Deus II on the beach and land. But I’ve recently rediscovered my Equinox for park locations and realized I like it for relic hunting. I swung the Nox for 2 years and Deus II for less than a year, so familiarity definitely comes into play too.
Metal Detecting Tips with the XP, Deus II
Which program do you feel works best with the XP Deus II in trashy parks to find deep coins?
I found a great custom coin program. See it below.
DISCRI – Start with 0.0 and then bump it up to 6.4 depending on the ground conditions. Mineralization in the soil will make a difference of how much you need to bump it up. For optimal performance and depth, always start off with the least amount of filters and add as needed.
Sensitivity – Start with 93. However, you can increase it until the detector becomes unstable, then lower it down until it gets less chattery and quiet. With the Deus II, the most of you can increase it is to 95 without having any problems using this program.
Frequency Shift – I leave the default 3.
Iron Volume – Start out at 1. However, if you get into iron infested areas, increase it up to 3 and adjust reactivity to hear target silvers in between all the iron.
Reactivity – If you are in a trash and iron infested area, then you will probably want to start out at 2 or 2.5. To get maximum depth, reduce the reactivity down to 0 or 1 if the ground conditions allow. The higher the reactivity, the less depth overall.
Audio RESP.- Leave it at the default of 4
Iron Audio – Put it at 3 so you can hear the iron grunts.
It’s program 5 park with 5 tones with specific tone breaks that make it really easy to hear a coin vs another object. I also utilize the XY screen for this program. I often will also use program 6 or deep HC if there is less trash.
Which program do you feel works best with the XP Deus II at the beach to find jewelry?
Program 12 Beach Sensitive. I run a custom program that’s only tweaked slightly, adding square tones, the XY screen, and increasing the audio volume and reactivity.
What VDI range do you dig on the Deus II when you’re at beaches and when at parks? Are they the same or different and why?
I use audio the most to listen for targets at the beach. VDI on the beach can change once the target is out. I’ve learned it’s because of the salt and mineralization. I dig nearly everything that has a strong loud consistent signal above 20. In parks, I discriminate much more, to about 40 and dig less low-tones and mid-tones and focus more on VDI and the XY screen, although the XY screen is only super helpful up to about 4 inches down. You can learn so much about an object with your ears, such as size and shape with the square tones.
Metal Detecting Tips with the Minelab Equinox 600
Which program for the Minelab Equinox do you feel works best in trashy parks to find deep coins?
I use park 2 with all metal and don’t use all metal if it’s too trashy and full of iron.
Which program do you feel works for the Minelab Equinox best at the beach?
I usually use beach 2 in dry and wet. I like to run all metal mode but if it’s super trashy, I’ll discriminate a bit. I also use the 50 tones for every program.
What VDI range do you dig on the Minelab Equinox when at beaches and when at parks? Are they the same or different and why?
At beaches with the Nox, I definitely also will dig anything that sounds consistent and strong no matter the VDI. At parks sometimes I’ll only dig low or mid-tones that sound very strong and all high tones.
General Metal Detecting Tips
For safety and the buddy system, how have you found other women to metal detect with?
It’s funny because I used to detect solo for so many years because I was so embarrassed about the hobby. As I’ve gotten older and more confident, I finally joined FB groups to seek out female detectorists. When I first met these two girls that love detecting as much as me, my mind was blown and I felt so amazing to have people to share my passion with. When I met Joanna, it was just the same! She has taught me so much about detecting relics and spots to go to.
What area on the beach do you concentrate on to find jewelry and why?
I usually hit the wet sand first, specifically in drainage areas. I do zig-zags in the wet for a while and hope to find a patch. If that’s not fruitful or I run out of patches, I’ll hit the dry on the way out, specifically near entrances and parking lots.
We have had some adventures and I know there are many more to come. This will be a fun question and I will enjoy reading the answer. What tips have you learned from metal detecting with me?
You’ve taught me that relic hunting can actually be done in Orange County! I had given up hope after being so spoiled in New York with old finds, so once I got my Nox, I just pummeled beaches. You’ve also taught me how to do better plugs and leave less of a trace since I hadn’t detected parks in so long. You’ve taught me better pacing, and to slow down a bit. I’ve found so much more that way. I also take more chances with mid-tones at parks now more than I used to after seeing you pull gold from parks. They’ve all been foil so far, but I’m determined to find gold in a dang park, haha.
Who are your metal detecting mentors, the people you learn from, basically where else do you find your metal detecting tips?
The only person I really followed and learned from was “Metal Detecting NYC” detectorist Merrill, and his YouTube channel. He is a teacher, so his videos have a natural ability to teach me instead of just pulling finds and having me guess how. He’s a master beach hunter. I’ve never met him, obviously, but we lived two towns from each other back in 2015-2018 and his NY accent just makes me feel at home. Other than that, I’ve really had no one until my three girlfriends, including you, that I actually interact with who detect.
I would like to thank Amanda for letting me interview her. I hope the XP Deus II and Minelab Equinox 600 detectorists got some valuable tips. Please remember to follow Amanda on Instagram at @More_Than_Ore
Joanna Jana Laznicka, a Czech-Canadian residing in Southern California, is passionate about all things associated with metal detecting. She mainly detects on the West Coast, from Southern California to Northern British Columbia. As the founder of Focus Speed, her goal is to bring quality content to metal detectorists.