Using A Metal Coin Probe along with your metal detector
By John Letson
I've used a probe for many years, and can tell you that after a LOT of practice, you CAN tell if you got a coin, piece of aluminum, or hitting a rock under the tip of your brass probe; a lot of the old time probe users can verify this. It's just a certain feel you develop over time using one of these.
Be sure it is a brass probe which does not have an extremely sharp point (but still sharp enough to penetrate the soil easily), as brass will not scratch a coin. In very rocky soil or very deep targets (usually greater than 4 inches or so), you got to dig, but where you can use it, pinpoint with your coil and carefully push the probe into the soil to locate the target. Once located, loosen the soil above the target by turning the top of the probe in a small circle and then "feel" your way, using the tip of the probe, to the center edge of the coin and start to pry it up to the surface. Sometimes working the coin a little in one spot and moving all the way around the edge in order for it to come up is necessary.
At times, you can turn it on edge and bring it to the surface easily. It's really something that each individual has to put their own "personal touch" to see which method works better for them. Like I said, it takes a LOT of practice, and is something that is not mastered overnight, but it is a great aide in getting you permission to hunt yards at old houses and doesn't leave a noticeable "scar" in well kept parks. Just "pinch" the dirt back together and your on your way! Matter of fact, some of the parks around here will let you detect ONLY if you use a probe of this type. To me, it's well worth taking the time to learn!
Good luck to ya!