Metal detecting on the beach or as it is sometimes known beachcombing is by far one of my favourite ways to metal detect. I have always lived within a few miles of the sea so to not go beach metal detecting when I'm a
metal detectorist would be a sin.
In my eyes metal detecting on the beach is a bit more complex than detecting in a ploughed field. It requires knowledge and research into the shifting of the sand which can often put finds well out of depth of a metal detector. Some days I have noticed the sand has risen by a couple of foot in one area and dropped a couple in another, which means you always have to take note when you are down there.
If you are to find anything metal detecting on the beach it is also just as important to get an understanding of how different metals behave in the sea and sand.
I have always found that the lighter metals such as aluminium ring pulls and cans are pushed up the beach towards the high water mark in the dry sand. However you will find the odd recent coin or jewellery loss in this area so if the beach is I'm season it is worth a search.
The medium density metals generally seem to congregate between the high water mark down to around the middle of the beach. These finds usually consist of brass, copper and bronze which is obviously a good area to search if you are coinshooting. You will also find the odd ring or other jewellery here as well.
From the halfway mark down to low water in the wet sand is where you will find the more dense metals like gold and silver coins and jewellery. This is due to a lot of reasons but mainly the fact their density makes it difficult for the sea to push them up the beach like lighter metals.
Metal detecting on the beach also requires different detectors to the ones used on land. This is due to the highly mineralised sands and salt water. I recommend that if you are planning to do any serious beachcombing that you invest In either a pi (pulse induction) metal detector or a multi frequency metal detector such as a minelab etrac, sovereign or safari.
last but by no means least if you fancy your chances metal detecting on the beach, you need to apply for your crown foreshore permit. Which I might add is free and only takes five minutes. The link is here for your convenience.