Sunday, August 25, 2013

How to use your metal detector (proper swing)

The following is a video showing proper metal detecting swing technique. It is not intended to cover all aspects of how to use your metal detector but to help beginners and others understand the importance of proper swing technique.

Notice in the video how the detectorist keeps his coil to the ground, makes a wide sweep covering lots of area and overlaps his swings.

Then notice in the second half of the video the demonstration of improper technique when swinging your metal detector. Many people, especially beginners, will use what is known as the "banana swing" when out detecting. This type of swing only covers a few inches of the ground per sweep, missing all sorts of potential targets.

The proper swing technique will cover the most ground and give you the most depth from your metal detector, therefore providing the most opportunity for good finds. I hope this video on how to use your metal detector with a proper swing is helpful to you.

Happy Hunting!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Acid Test

Anyone that is serious about their metal detecting should have an Acid Test Kit, and I personally can't imaging not having one. I can't tell you how many times I dug a ring or other item and I wasn't absolutely sure of the metal content.

Ever since I purchased one of theses Acid Test Kits that has not been a problem, and I have discovered a number of pieces of jewelry that I had were silver or of a certain karat of gold. You will find that many older pieces of jewelry don't have any markings, or a custom hand made piece might not be marked.

This kit is a must have for anyone swinging a metal detector and they are reasonably priced at Amazon. Here I have posted a nice kit that has the scratching board and a scale for a decent price.

I also am posting an Acid Test Kit without the scale that I think is very reasonably priced that also includes an acid for platinum, and another that includes a diamond tester, scale and jeweler's loop, that is also very reasonably priced.
If you purchase a kit and are new at acid testing be sure to read the directions and the precautions very carefully.

Below is a picture of the results of a silver acid test that I conducted on 4 different items that I found while metal detecting. As you can see I scratched each item on the testing stone and then put a couple of drops of the silver acid on the scratchings.

What you need to look for with silver is that if the scratching of the metal does not dissolve and turns a bright red or magenta color then you have a pretty pure silver. In my test below you can also see the bright reddish color that the acid test produced telling me that all 4 items was silver.
Silver acid test
The gold test is a little different than the silver test so be sure to follow the directions, but a brief description of the process is as follows.

Gently scratch the gold onto the scratch pad and then use the acid that you believe represents the karat of the gold you want to test, so if you think the gold is 14k then start with 14k acid. If there is no effect on the scratch sample then try a higher karat acid like 18k. If the scratch sample dissolves then the gold is 14k, if it doesn't dissolve then try the 24k acid. If the scratch test dissolves with the 24k acid then the gold is 18k.

Now if the initial test with 14k acid dissolves the scratch sample then try the 10k acid and if it doesn't dissolve, it is 10k gold. If the 10k acid dissolves the scratch sample then it is probably not gold.

If the acid test doesn't resolve the question for you then take it to a reputable jeweler and have them take a closer look. Once you are comfortable with the acid testing process you will using it successfully.

Remember to be careful using the acid test kits and to carefully wipe or rinse the acid off. I also highly recommend wearing some rubber gloves while conducting any acid test.

Good luck!