There are many reasons to check for gold on your property. If you live in a gold mining area you might be sitting on top of the mother lode. However, most people find gold in the form of buried treasure.
During the civil war, Southerners would bury their household silver, gold, and other valuables when the Northern army came near. I know a man who still buries his extra cash in jars in the backyard. I don’t envy the family when his day comes. They’ll definitely need a metal detector.
If you own gold, you know that storing it can be a problem. It can be difficult to find a secure spot that won’t be found by thieves or family members. Even a safe is not secure if you are forced to open it.
For this reason, many people – in the past, and even today – have resorted to burying their gold and other valuables. Sometimes the owner fails to tell his heirs where it is hidden, or even that it exists. Every property is a potential goldmine, especially older properties.
My Own Experience with a Metal Detector
We bought my son a metal detector for his birthday a few years back. A little exploring in our front yard discovered an abandoned oil tank. It was so rusted that I am surprised it hadn’t caved in from kids playing only a foot above it.
Later, our first trip to the beach with his metal detector turned up an iPhone, a gold watch and a few quarters. Talking to others with metal detectors, we heard a number of stories about the items they had found; gold wedding rings, keys, coins, jewelry and a lot of metal trash.
One retiree claimed to hunt almost daily and was able to supplement his retirement income nicely. He enjoyed finding hidden treasure of all kinds and said that the hunting kept him moving and healthy.
Related: How to Invest in Gold and ETF
What Can You Find with a Metal Detector?
You can find gold, silver, tin, aluminum, steel, and any other metal. Did you bury your money in a jar and can’t remember where it is? You can find that jar lid and any other junk metal or treasure with a basic metal detector. Some of the more expensive detectors are tuned to detect only gold or possibly silver. This keeps you from having to sort through a lot of bottle caps, but it can also cause you to miss other valuables.
If you’ve buried your emergency food supply in the backyard I can find it, as long as there are some canned goods or other metal included. This is a good point to remember if you are considering burying your cache.
Better metal detectors can find metal that is buried up to four feet deep, so dig your hole deeper or stash only non-metal items. Another way to foil a hunter with a detector is to bury your metal valuables or food deeper, cover it with a foot or more or soil, then bury some decoy metal on top of your cache. If you are lucky, they will find the decoy and move to another spot.
Related: How To Pan For Gold, Platinum and Other Metals
What Features Do You Need?
There is a wide variety and price range of metal detectors available on the market. What do you really need to find gold or other valuables on your property? We purchased a basic-model metal detector for our son and it did everything we needed.
For me, easy tuning, the ability to discriminate between target metals and background minerals, and a solid rugged build would be the most important features.
There is a learning curve with most metal detectors. You need to learn to tune the detector to pick up the types of metal you are looking for and tune out background noise. It takes a little practice to be able to do this quickly and recognize the signals for various metals.
For a beginner, an inexpensive model can be purchased for under $100. You can spend much more, but I recommend a basic model until you learn whether treasure hunting is for you.
As a prepper, you are probably aware of the importance of having some gold and silver in your investment portfolio. Preppers prefer to own physical gold for obvious reasons, but you don’t need a lot of money to get started in gold.
One way to build up your gold stores is to regularly use a metal detector as we have discussed here. You may have days where you find nothing, but the days where you find lost coins, jewelry or a hidden stash will make them all worthwhile. Over time you will build up a collection of gold items to provide your family with a little security when things get tough.
If you want to learn more about investing in gold, and why you should have some gold put away to protect your family, I recommend that you read Adam Baratta’s new book. He is offering a hardback copy of #1 Financial Book in America ranked by USA today! It includes valuable information on how to protect your investments and your family. Knowledge is power and in this case it could make a difference to your family’s survival.
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This post makes a lot of sense (cents). I can’t disagree that it’s a great way to find things of potential value. However, this activity would be rather low on my list. That’s just me. I’d rather spend my time growing food, and making my homestead, shall we say, more self sustaining. In my world, food is my gold and silver. And, if things go south, I think you’d see a lot of people suddenly showing an interest it the “value” of food. Food is taken for granted because here in America there’s plenty to go around. If you have a bucket of white rice, and the balloon has gone up, would you swap that rice for some gold or silver? …Me neither.
I agree, in a time of crisis, food wold be on one`s mind rather than gold. After the most important secret thing is taken care of, maybe gold might be next on the agenda.
Dont knock it. If I found some today, buy preps tomorrow. Five gallon churn full was found near me. Know another man that found a copper box full using a ww2 mine detector. Another was a in the woods and noticed three marked trees. Dug in the center and there it was. I been looking too. Glad deer season is over. Oh, everybody wonders why Sue abd Bob moved to be by his mother. I know mom showed Sue a safe loaded with confederate gold her late husband plowed up. Smart people keep it quiet and go on with life.
My dad did this after he retired from the Canadian Forces – I was drafted as his “digger” and we did find a small mountain of coins, rings, some watches and jewelry, etc. I also learned to hate the era when pop cans had pull rings that came free of the can and were tossed away. I dug up thousands of those damned things. I’m not sure if he found enough stuff to live on or sufficiently enhance his income, but he did get plenty of fresh air, exercise, and found some fairly old coins. Hopefully the technology has advanced enough since the late 70s to eliminate endlessly digging up those fracking pull tabs!
I agree with the article, with one exception. It has to do with the buried caches and using scrap metal to fool those with metal detectors. Here, as in many other articles I have read, it says to bury the cache and then scatter around some metal over it.
People looking for valuables that they know have been hidden in modern times where metal detectors are known about and being used to find all kinds of ‘treasures’, know that people will do this. A bit of scrap a few inches to a foot down, even quite a bit of it, is not going to keep a treasure hunter desperate for what could be down there, such as food or precious metals, from going deeper.
For one thing, the newer detectors can ‘see’ past some metals under some conditions and detect something deeper, if the upper items are not pretty solid.
Not to mention, finding a circle or square of random metal bits and pieces in a place where there is no likely reason for them to be there is going to be more of an indicator that something important is there somewhere, and that scrap is simply a decoy.
Now, it is one thing if there is metal at various fairly shallow depths all over the place. Things that make sense being there. Scrap around an old auto shop, metal shop, or even an old homestead with rusted tin cans that were simply thrown out when the food was eaten.
It is logical to find that stuff, and would not be any kind of real signal that they were intentionally put there. Salting a place with shiny, recently emptied food cans is a sure give away to anyone that has seen anything about prepping caches.
Spread a great deal of material over a wide area will help, since the treasure could be anywhere inside that perimeter. Or the whole area could be a dummy area.
There are ways to salt an area with metal to make it very problematical for a treasure hunter take the time to do the work involved in searching that area. Unless they know for sure that something of real value is in that area, for sure, there is a high likelihood they will not take much time. Check the obvious places, of course, but not the whole open areas. Fence posts, gates, trees, and other things that have been there a while or are the kinds of thing that will be there for a long time, thus making them good locator points.
So, yes, salt your caches, but in a way that will actually fool or discourage a treasure hunter, not give them a road sign that says there is something being hidden here. Kind of like a sign on a window that says, “Safe inside is protected by alarm.”
Just my opinion.
A lot of old folks would hide a crock jar(pottery jar) in the outhouse hole, with a rope tied under the seat for easy retrieval. Another fact is that it was a common practice to put a single silver dollar under the foundation on the South corner of houses.
after having over 50 years swinging a metal detector I have some of the best facts around.
1. Dont quit your day job to do this.
2. Do it for the fun of it because you will not get rich!
3. As stated buy a cheep detector to start with.
4. After 50 years I have yet to find any large amounts of gold with a really good detector.
5. Depending on where you are located in the US find an area close by where gold has been found and learn to use a gold pan from an experienced gold miner.
in regards to burying, a fellow advised me to bury my PMs in a piece of schedule 80 pvc at least 2 ft down. Said the metal detector wont register the PMs. Anyone know of this??
I assume PMs are precious metals. I doubt that schedule 80 pic would be sufficient to deter detection. There is a good way to find out. Bury your precious metals in a piece of schedule 80. For less than $100 you can get a metal detector and do some checking on your own. It may be that if you go down deeper than two feet it may cover. It may be that you have to put a heavier piece of plastic over the precious metals. Put them in a pipe just barely big enough to hold them and put that piece of pipe in a bigger pipe and then again in a still bigger pipe. The dead air space and the plastic may do what you seek to do. But you will know for certain that with at least a $100 metal detector, your gold and silver is hidden or in plain sight.