Best Places to Metal Detect for Old Coins (SECRET Website for Finding Abandoned Sites)

Where can you go for the best coinshooting in your local area? In this article, we’ll show you the best places to metal detect for old coins, AND share with you the secret website we use to find abandoned and/or demolished sites. These are sites where buildings used to be, but are no longer. With a little bit of research, you easily can find these sites near you.

The best places to metal detect depend on what you are searching for and the area that you live in. If you are searching for civil war relics and you live in the mid-west, you won’t have much luck. However, if you are searching for old coins, any sort of historical sites just about anywhere in the world can yield massive finds. In any of the areas below pay attention to walkways, entrances and exits, and places where people gathered such as dining areas and where people lined up to purchase ticket, food, or other items.

Before we get to our list of suggested sites – a word of caution. Here are TreasureTrackr, we do NOT recommend detecting a site unless you have express written permission. There are very few (if any) places in the modern world where you can just help yourself. Doing so can result in serious legal consequences. ALWAYS ask permission.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s dive into our list of the best places to metal detect for old coins…

Historical Homes

If you are anywhere near homes that are older than 1900, you have a good chance of finding some considerable metal. Most of these homes have never been combed by metal detectors since most people don’t want to knock on the door and ask for permission. Old coins and rings are the most likely finds on properties such as these.

Abandoned Homes

Old house sites, abandoned homes, torn down homes, etc. are all great places to metal detect. Many of these places are often overlooked by others and can be goldmines. Often times, looking at an old map is a great way to find these types of sites since they may not be apparent otherwise. Also, many cities have areas that have dozens of abandoned houses.

Old Churches

Much like older homes, you have to get permission to hunt at old churches, which is why many of them have never been searched. Also, like old houses, if the church is older than 1900, you will have more luck finding old coins that are worth money.

Old Swimming Holes

Old swimming holes are excellent areas to find lost items. These sites may be a bit more challenging to locate than others, and once you do find them, you may need a metal detector that has the capabilities to find things in the water. But, if you can put all of the pieces together, these spots can be flush with old jewelry and coins. Many people lose said items while swimming, and they sink to the bottom of the hole to never be seen again.

Parks and Picnic Sites

Any place where people have gathered is a great place to search for metal. Parks and picnic sites are wide open and flat, which makes them easier to metal detect. It is best to stick to highly-traveled areas of the park, like pathways, under trees, playgrounds, and around old pavilions.


Children lose things a lot, and as far as valuables go, this most often seems to be in the form of coins. Playgrounds on school grounds and sidewalks where students lined up to enter the building or board busses are great places to find antique coins.


This may seem like an undeniable place to search for old coins and jewelry, but that is one of the advantages. Sometimes people skip these obvious places because they think they will already be picked over. Also, as the grass grows around sidewalks, lost items will be buried over and over again.

Athletic Fields

The areas that fans and spectators gather at sports fields can be filled with lost coins and jewelry. Under bleachers and along sidelines are great places to metal detect. Baseball, football, and soccer fields are good places to start.

Outdoor Concert Venues

Many concert venues have large hills and grassy areas that spectators gather on. A lot of concerts take place once the sun goes down and lost items are less likely to be found in the dark. These hills and grassy knolls are great places to metal detect.

Camping Sites

Any place where people gather and/or live is a great place to find lost metal. People don’t necessarily bring their valuables when they go camping, but many people lose coins no matter where they are. Campsites are places where people change clothes often and set up temporary living spaces, and they are bound to misplace items of value in the process.

Hiking Trails

Hiking trails are highly-traveled areas where people can drop coins and jewelry. Areas along these trails are often overgrown and uneven which makes for excellent hiding places for lost items to fall into. Hiking trails that are no longer used or are now less traveled may yield higher quantities of items.

Carnival and Festival Sites

Again, places where large amounts of people gather tend to have the most lost coins, and carnival/festival sites are definitely in this category. People spend money on games and rides at carnival sites, which makes the chance of lost coins higher. Also, sometimes rides flip people upside down and cause items to fall out of their pockets. Visiting a carnival or festival site after the event is over is probably your best bet to find any hidden treasures.

Motels and Hotels

Hotels and motels house tourists and large numbers of people. Many travelers are lugging around baggage and items that coins can fall out of. Pay special attention to walkways and gathering areas on the hotel/motel grounds. Abandoned motels are also great places to find old coins and dropped items.

Other Places to Consider

  • Military Installations
  • Lookout / Outlook Sites
  • Fishing Holes and Camps
  • General Stores
  • Racetracks
  • Roadside Stands
  • College Campuses (Quads)
  • Around Parking Meters
  • Ski Slopes
  • Construction Sites
  • Drive-in Movie Theaters
  • Barns
  • Trailer Parks
  • Near Historical Markers
  • Railroad Stations
  • Outhouse Areas
  • Rural Mail Boxes
  • Beaches
  • Picnic Areas

A Secret Resource for Locating the Best Metal Detecting Sites

All of the locations we have discussed thus far contain some kind of structure. But what about locations where there USED to be a structure, but it’s no longer standing? Those spots are still prime metal detecting fodder. Here’s a website where you can find those locations within minutes…

It’s called Historic Aerials – a database of aerial photography, topographic maps and atlases that’s almost a petabyte in size. (One petabyte is equal to a thousand terabytes!) Some of these images date back to the 1920s.

You can compare, side by side, terrain from a given year to another given year. In the example, you can see Atlantic City, New Jersey. The left half of the screen was taken in 1920. The right side was taken in 2015.

When using Historical Aerials, look for buildings and structures that used to exist, but have since been demolished into open field or woods. Those are the best places to go coinshooting.

Any area that you have thought of to hunt for treasure has the potential to yield a high number of missing coins. A little creativity to think of new places and the courage to ask for permission can lead you to endless amounts of exciting metal detecting adventures. Happy hunting!

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