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Important technical terms about metal detecting

Even in the field of metal detecting there are some technical terms and definitions you should know. The following overview lists just some of it:

Metal Detector

A metal detector helps you to locate objects which are buried under the ground. It is used to find targets under the surface of the ground without the need to dig. A metal detector can locate all type of metals like gold, silver, copper, aluminium, iron targets and other valuable targets. The indication of a detected object can be via acoustical signal, a digital display, an analog display, a signal lamp or an image or curve. Metal detectors are used to search for hidden metals under the ground. Most treasure hunters are equipped with metal detectors to look for buried metals like gold, silver, cooper and other metals. There is a huge range of metal detectors on the market, starting from a simple metal detector up to the upper class of metal detectors and high professional metal detectors.

Metal Discrimination

Metal discrimination is the possibility to find out the type of metal which is buried under the ground. There is a regulator on the antenna or device, which can be adjusted on a specific type of metal like gold, silver, iron or aluminium. The metal detector filters out all materials which you don’t like to detect. This feature prevents the treasure hunter who is only searching for precious metals from useless digging. Some antennas can discriminate between ferrous and nonferrous metals and other antennas can tell you the exact type of metal.

Metal Detecting, Metal Detection

Metal detecting is the research for buried metals under the ground. Archaeologists, gold prospectors, treasure hunters are mostly detecting for valuable metals like gold and silver.

Measuring instrument

A measuring instrument measures the anomalies of the underground. So it is possible to locate buried objects, underground voids, water deposits or foundations which are located under the ground.

Gold detection

Gold detection is the research for buried gold, no matter if gold bars, gold coins, gold rings, gold nuggets or other gold objects. Specially interesting for a gold seeker is the possibility to discriminate between different types of metals with his metal detecting instrument to find out if there is a valuable target under the ground or not.

Precious metals

A precious metal is a rare metallic chemical element of high economic value. Precious metals are all non-ferrous metals such as gold, silver, copper. These are the most valuable metals which most treasure hunters looking for.

Ferrous metals / non-ferrous metals

Ferrous is a way to classify metals by iron content. Ferrous metals contain iron while non-ferrous metals do not contain iron. The word ferrous is derived from the Latin term 'Ferrum' which means 'containing iron', thus ferrous metals contain iron and non ferrous metals do not. Ferrous metals may be pure iron, like wrought iron, or they may be alloys of iron and other elements. Steel, being an alloy of iron and carbon, is therefore a ferrous metal. The iron in the ferrous metals cause the metal to rust, unless painted or oiled often, or if it is galvanized (plated with zinc) or chrome plated.


Ultrasound or ultrasonic technology is a measurement procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced into the ground. Some measuring instruments use ultrasonic measuring methods to visualize the underground structures and create a live image of the underground.

Ground Scan

Ground Scan is the operating mode where the searcher is able to receive a 3d image of the underground by scanning an area. The searcher has to walk over the ground with an antenna to scan an area. So it is possible to visualize the underground and its anomalies. In the mode Ground Scan it is also possible to measure the position, depth and size of underground objects or voids.


A magnetometer is a scientific instrument used to measure the strength and/or direction of the magnetic field and their disturbances. So it is possible to locate buried targets. Magnetometers are used in geophysical surveys to find deposits of iron because they can measure the magnetic field variations caused by the deposits. Magnetometers are also used to detect archaeological sites, shipwrecks and other buried or submerged objects. Magnetic anomaly detectors detect submarines for military purposes. The Magnetometer mode of FS Future Series devices mostly is used to locate ferrous objects which are located near to the surface of the ground. This function is very usefull to eliminate small trash from the surface and in fact prepare the scan area for a professional measurement in the Ground Scan mode.


Gold is a highly sought-after precious metal which, for many centuries, has been used as money, a store of value and in jewelry. The metal occurs as nuggets or grains in rocks, underground 'veins' and in alluvial deposits. It is one of the coinage metals. Gold is dense, soft, shiny and the most malleable and ductile of the known metals. Pure gold has a bright yellow color traditionally considered attractive.

Gold nugget

A gold nugget is a naturally occurring piece of native gold. Watercourses often concentrate the nuggets and they are recovered by placer mining, but they may also be found in residual deposits where the gold-bearing veins or lodes have decayed. Nuggets are also found in the tailing piles of previous mining operations, especially those left by gold mining dredges.

Gold prospector

A gold prospector is a person looking for gold using a metal detector or other metal detecting instruments.

Treasure hunter

A treasure hunter is a person searching for buried treasures. Professional treasure hunters use geophysical instruments, metal detectors or ground penetrating radar to research an area of interest.


An archaeologist is a scientist / historian that studies human culture through the recovery, documentation and analysis of historical artifacts and remains of former civilisations hidden under the ground.

Gold prospecting

Gold prospecting is the act of going equipped to find gold in rocks or in stream beds with a view to exploiting that discovery. This usually means individual prospectors, as opposed to those trained and educated individuals working for mining companies.

Treasure hunting

Treasure hunting is the search for real treasure which has been a notable human activity for millennia. Professional treasure hunters are well equipped by various of professional treasure hunting devices.


Treasure is a concentration of riches, often one which is considered lost or forgotten until being rediscovered.


Jewelry (also spelled jewellery) is a personal ornament, such as a necklace, ring, or bracelet, made from gemstones, precious metals or other materials. Jewellery was often made for people of high importance to show their status and, in many cases, they were buried with it. That is why grave and tomb detection became important for many treasure hunters hoping to find the buried jewellery.

Gold bars

A gold bar is a gold ingot which may be produced in many different types, weights and categories. The treasure much asked for.

Fighter plane

A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for attacking other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed to attack ground targets, primarily by dropping bombs. Archaeologist, scientists and historians are using geophysical instruments and metal detecting instruments to locate crashed airplane hidden under the ground.

Made in Germany

Made in Germany is a merchandise mark indicating that a product has been manufactured in Germany. The term Made in Germany was soon associated with product reliability, quality and even perfection.

Lost Treasure

Lost treasures are treasures which are still waiting to be discovered. They can be sunken treasures (under the sea, inside shipwrecks), buried treasures (pirate treasures, beach treasures) or hidden treasures (historical treasury, tomb and grave treasures). Lost treasures often are considered lost or forgotten until being rediscovered.

Pirate treasure

Pirate treasures are stolen treasures by pirates in former times. Pirate treasures are mostly located on beaches. Often pirates buried their collected treasures in boxes or chests (mostly coins and jewelry) on a beach to hide them from others and to come back one day, to get them. Most of these treasures still wait to be excavated.


Flagstone is a type of flat stone, usually used for paving slabs, but also for making fences or roofing. It may also be used for making memorials or headstones in a cemetery.


A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives an impact with the Earth's surface. While in space it is called a meteoroid. When it enters the atmosphere, air resistance causes the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting star. Today there are more than 31,000 well-documented meteorite finds. Metal detectors can be used to locate such meteorites hidden under the ground. There are 3 different types of meteorites: stony meteorites are rocks, mainly composed of silicate minerals; iron meteorites are largely composed of metallic iron-nickel; and stony-iron meteorites contain large amounts of both metallic and rocky material.

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