Top 5 Books About Metal Detecting: The Ultimate Reader’s Guide

Reading books about metal detecting or treasure hunting is arguably one of the best ways to expand your knowledge on the subject. You will not only become better at detectorist in general, but depending on the books you read you can also specialize your hobby.

That is why we have created this ultimate guide to finding the best books about metal detecting, so no matter what you are looking to do with your hobby there is a book that can guide you.

What to Look For…

No matter the writing style, we have found that the best metal detecting books will have the following:

  • Clear step-by-step instructions: Not everyone likes having their hand held, but this tends to be the best policy when learning something new.
  • Photos and/or illustrations: Visuals of what you are going to see and what you should do are invaluable.
  • How to keep proper records: Tracking locations on where you have found items in order to revisit.
  • Lists of other resources: While books are great, there are other resources out there (meetups, libraries, museums, etc.) and it’s helpful when the book includes this information for you.

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1. Metal Detecting: A Beginner’s Guide by Mark D. Smith

It’s hard to look into metal detecting for beginners and not come across Smith’s book. Published in 2014, it has become the go-to resource for those looking to get started in the world of treasure hunting.

One of the first things his book asks is why you want to start treasure hunting – because even if your motivation is simply to find buried treasure, it is still a hobby that will take up space in your life and it’s important to Smith that his readers know that right from the beginning.

From there Smith goes on for several chapters into the different types and brands of metal detectors you are sure to encounter. This can save you loads of time and money because even if you don’t know what direction you want to take your newfound passion this information may direct you to the path you ultimately take.

Smith’s book is rounded out by covering the vitals of lingo, best locations for the type of treasure you’re looking for, and finally how to determine just what you have found. Thus making it one of the best guidebooks that bundles a good amount of general information for those just starting out.

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2. Metal Detecting the Beach by Mark D. Smith

With fear of sounding redundant, in addition to his beginner’s book Smith provides another great metal detecting guide, this time for the hunter’s near the shore.

When we think of metal detecting, it is this very image of a man dragging a metal detector across the sands of a storm claimed beach that usually springs to mind. Because this is probably the most common type of treasure hunting there is, it is important for those who indulge in it to have the proper pocket guide.

Smith’s book on beach metal detecting gives different, more specific insights into this subset of metal detecting. From new terminology, to proper beach hunting etiquette, to the best waterproof metal detectors, to even dealing with the type of unpredictable weather you will encounter and what that can do for your finds.

It is once again a great resource for any beginner to intermediate hunter who dreams of dredging up treasures swept up from the depths of the ocean.

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3. The New Successful Coin Hunting by Charles Garrett

If you have already done some looking into the hobby of treasure hunting then the name Garrett should be familiar to you. In 1964 Charles, with his wife Eleanor, founded Garrett Electronics, which is now the world’s largest manufacturer of metal detecting tools and equipment.

Though Garrett’s book is bound to have some bias towards his own product, that doesn’t mean it is not a valuable resource for those interested in finding interesting and valuable coins in their treasure hunting pursuits.

Garrett provides the dos and don’ts of using your metal detector to find coins. This includes the best locations, finding the most coins with the least effort, and finally identifying the type of coin you have found. If you want to know if the coin you have found is made of gold, Garrett’s book will help you.

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4. Metal Detecting Gold: A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Gold Prospecting by Mark D. Smith

We return once again to the works of Smith, only this time he is giving you the knowledge to find that most elusive of metals – gold.

No, he’s not talking about finding an old ring or gold coins, what Smith talks about in this book is the raw kind of gold that you may have only heard about when you were a kid learning about the gold rush.

The word beginner in the title refers to being a beginner in finding gold – not necessarily a beginning metal detectorist. There is an understanding by Smith that his readers know the general basics of treasure hunting at this point, which is why we think this book is more for the intermediate detectorist.

Again, Smith gives you heaps of information on the types of metal detectors that work best in finding gold. From there, he goes on to discuss the best locations by state, what to do with gold once you find it, and he also gives additional resources outside of his book to make sure you are fully prepared.

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5. How to Research for Treasure Hunting & Metal Detecting by Otto von Helsing

Of the books we have talked about thus far, Helsing’s is by far the most advanced and aims to give you the best results for the time it wants you to dedicate to treasure hunting. This book is not for the casual hunter who settles for finding one or two pieces of jewelry or a couple coins.

Helsing wrote a book that is tailored to helping you research and locate the best locations that will produce a large cache of treasure for your time. And that’s just it… the book demands that you to put in the time and effort.

Skipping over any tips or techniques on how to use a metal detector (you are expected to know this already) Helsing’s book instead digs deep into researching a location for optimal treasure hunting finds. This includes scouring historical information about the site, going through local records at the library, and visiting museums, the works.

Helsing’s goal is to provide you with the expertise you need to locate the perfect spot and then set you out on your own to discover the payoff, because once you follow the information in his book and have found a site, you are basically on your own. You have become the expert.

While there are other books available to you, this list is the best compilation of what the sport can provide from those just starting out to the expert you wish to become. Happy Hunting!

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