How to Hunt for Rings With a Metal Detector

Written by terry mcelroy
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How to Hunt for Rings With a Metal Detector
Gold and silver rings are waiting to be found. (Gold Ring image by Sujit Mahapatra from

Metal detectors perform a community service when it comes to finding lost rings. People searching for rings they have lost on a beach or a play area will resort to hiring a metal detector, especially if the ring comes with one or more precious stones. They often lack clear knowledge of what they are doing and the ring remains, waiting for someone with metal detection skills to pick it up.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Metal detector
  • Garden trowel or sand scoop

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  1. 1

    Concentrate your metal detecting in places that people are most likely to lose a ring. The best location is the beach, where hands are slippery with sunscreen, fingers shrink in contact with cold water and people are playing games. All lead to lost rings. Schools, sports fields and parks are also good locations for finding lost gold and silver rings which slip off fingers during activities.

    How to Hunt for Rings With a Metal Detector
    The beach gives you a good chance to detect rings. (detector de metales image by Marco Antonio Fdez. from
  2. 2

    Test rings of different types under your metal detector's coil so you will recognise their signals. Metal detectors react differently depending on metal conductivity. Gold is a low conductive metal, so gold rings give a low signal similar to an aluminium pulltab. Silver has higher conductivity, so silver rings give a signal like a large silver coin.

    The detector's discrimination control tunes out metals with low conductivity. This is useful in a manicured lawn area like a ball field where you may not want to dig low-conductive iron nails and pieces of aluminium foil. Using discrimination to eliminate aluminium trash could eliminate some small gold targets, so use it carefully when hunting for rings.

    How to Hunt for Rings With a Metal Detector
    Silver rings give a signal like a U.S. quarter. (Silver rings image by Ivonne Wierink from
  3. 3

    Purchase a metal detector that works in water if you intend to hunt beaches or lakes. Rings are found in the dry beach sand, but the most productive area is in shallow water. When your ring comes off in cold water, you don't realise it until later. By then the ring is under a few feet of water and may have already disappeared under the sand. Use minimum discrimination when hunting at the beach since digging all targets is easy in sand, and there is a good chance to find gold and silver rings.

    How to Hunt for Rings With a Metal Detector
    Heavy gold rings can quickly sink into the sand. (diamond ring image by jimcox40 from
  4. 4

    Hunt slowly and listen closely for signals that could indicate a ring. Water detectors can reach deeper into the sand since the water enhances conductivity. Dig for everything you hear, no matter how soft the signal.

Tips and warnings

  • Fill holes you dig even under water so a swimmer doesn't injure himself stepping in one.
  • Dispose of any trash you uncover and always abide by the Treasure Hunter's
  • Code of Ethics.

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