The Best Places to Metal Detect For Old Coins


When getting into metal detecting, you might be wondering, “How am I going to find some buried treasure like in the movies?” Finding a traditional treasure might be a little bit harder than you think, but one of the underappreciated treasures that you can find is the likes of old coins. Here’s your mini-guide to finding out what some of the best places are, where you can find old, valuable coins.

The best places to find old coins with a metal detector are places that have very high foot traffic. This includes places such as parks, old playgrounds, and fairgrounds. Older homes can be a great place for finding silver coins and old relics, with permission.

When metal detecting, you want to make sure that you have the proper permissions. Knocking doors, in older neighborhoods, can be a great way to get private property permissions. Other places that are best for finding old coins are public places, like schoolyards, old battlefields, and beaches. There’s a saying in this hobby “Location is everything.”

Using a Pinpointer

To make finding coins easier when metal detecting, it might be beneficial for you to find a pinpointer and use that alongside a traditional metal detector. Pinpointers are more accurate for looking in a smaller, more targeted area, and are perfect for locating small coins.

They can come in handy when you know that there is something you are looking for that can be easily passed over with a larger metal detector. However, you can also sweep the larger metal detector coil over the plug that you have dug out, to determine, if the target is in the plug or the hole.

If you have a larger metal detector, you don’t always think to purchase a pinpointer, however, it can be a great addition to your metal detecting kit.

Want to learn more about metal detecting accessories? Check out Metal Detecting Accessories and Tools

Best places to find old coins
Best Places to Metal Detect for Old Coins – Source Treasure Detection

What Coins Are Valuable?

There are a lot of coins that can be considered valuable that are still in circulation today. If you find any of these coins, you might be looking into selling them for a little bit more than a pretty penny.

  • 1943: Lincoln Head Copper Penny. This penny can sell for up to $10,000 if they are authentic.
  • 1955: Doubled Die Penny. These pennies run for almost $2,000 if they are in extremely good condition. The value comes from the slight misalignment when printing.
  • 2004: Wisconsin State ‘Extra Leaf’ Quarter. These quarters have sold for up to $1,400.

If you are looking into other coins while metal detecting, check out this article by about 15 of the most valuable coins in circulation.

Where Should I Avoid Looking for Coins?

While most places are fair game for finding coins, some public places are off-limits. The biggest no-no when metal detecting is a cemetery. It may be the one you want to go to the most, because, in most towns, it’s the largest public space available.

While it isn’t illegal, it is considered extremely disrespectful to the deceased and their families and goes against metal detecting etiquette. Cemeteries may have some great metal detecting finds, however, it is common courtesy to not go digging around the graves of deceased people.

Can I Use the Coins I Find While Metal Detecting?

This question depends on the coins that you discover while you are metal detecting. If the coins are old and out of circulation, they may be valuable, or worth very little. Once you get a knack for it, you will most likely start a collection, and become an expert on what is valuable and what is not.

You can take the modern coins you find (modern clad,) to the bank, or a Coinstar change machine. I’ve had hunts provide enough for a cup of coffee and a snack, just from the modern change in one day. One year, I saved up all the modern clad I found, for the whole year, and ended up with $200 in modern change to cash in.

Check out our article Can You Make Money With a Metal Detector.

Most coins that are out of circulation are coins in denominations that are no longer used, or you could find a coin that is so destroyed that it is unrecognizable. This is rare, but it does happen! Mutilated coins can be exchanged for reimbursement. Source.

Where Should I Research About Finding Old Coins in My Area?

Some good resources that you can use when trying to figure out where you can search for coins are asking people who have been living in the area for a while, as well as looking in your local library for any publications detailing popular hangout spots. Historical maps can be a valuable asset in locating old settlements and spots of interest.

These methods are going to show you the best places you can find old coins when metal detecting because you’re going to know where people spent a lot of their time, where they lived hundreds of years ago, and where you should be looking.

Best Places to Metal Detect Around Old Houses

If you can get permission, old houses can be a great place to find old coins. A property with an old house may have surrounding areas like old wells, underground cellars, and porch areas, where people had many opportunities to drop something valuable.

Old house sites are another hot spot for relics and old coins. Finding a foundation where a house once was, or a fireplace that has fallen over can mean that a house was once there, and these types of home sites can produce older coins. Back in the day, people would bury their money, and other items, to keep them safe.

Years ago, after discovering an old fireplace at a permission hunt, I moved a few loose bricks to find a silver half dollar and a set of love letters. The landowner let me keep the silver, and I passed onto him a set of letters that belonged to a distant family member. It was very rewarding.

Picture from one of my permissions. Source: Treasure Detection.

What Metal Detector Finds Coins Best?

One of the most highly recommended metal detectors on the market for finding anything from historical coins to other metal valuables is the Minelab CTX 3030. While this metal detector is a bit more on the pricey side, it’s one of the most high-end and most technologically advanced metal detectors that you can get.

This metal detector is suited for someone who is experienced in metal detecting and already knows what they want to find, using their detectors. Some lower-end models will be more beginner-friendly and will still serve the same purpose, however, learning to use this model early on, can have you hunting more efficiently, much quicker.

With a little bit of practice, anyone can become a seasoned metal detectorist. Check out our beginner’s guide for how to use a metal detector.


While looking for old coins, keep these different things in mind. If you are a coin collector who is looking for something valuable, there are many types of places where you can find old coins with your metal detector. With just a little bit of research, you can find out about the history of an area, and the possibility of finding rare old coins.

If you follow these simple tips and tricks, you’ll have no problem finding a sufficient amount of old metal coins, along with other types of treasures. The right types of treasures are the ones that hold value to you, whether it be an old coin or buried gold!

Chad Fox

Chad Fox is an expert treasure hunter who is experienced in metal detecting, magnet fishing, and geocaching. He enjoys the outdoors, making new discoveries, and helping people get started.

Recent Posts