Saltwater detecting with the Minelab Equinox

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to test out the new Minelab Equinox 600 for a week. Since detecting in salt water has always been an issue for my X-Terra 705, I spent the week detecting on the beach. There was a lot of hype around the Equinox and I can say as far as salt water detecting goes it is well deserved.

We spent the week doing some beaches around Bribie Island, a place I know gets done over a lot. The idea was to go out at low tide and see what was left to find. Some of our finds are below, not all the coins we found made it home to be photographed.

I found this very worn 1941 threepence when I was calf deep in the ocean and the coin was about 6 inches deep in the sand. Finding it by myself was difficult and some sort of sieve is needed if you want to hunt in the water.


After what seemed a thousand sinkers I managed to find my first ever gold ring. Only a couple of inches deep stuck in the rocky bottom.

9ct, 4 grams

We found a few coins where the water was running out in channels on the beach at low tide, suggesting the coins were moving down from higher up on the beach. Also picked up a silver bracelet and silver necklace piece.


Made in Italy, silver bracelet


This penny was right out on the water line at low tide, has been in the water awhile.

1950 penny

Picked up a lot of random stuff as well. Below we have a WW2 military buckle; a tear drop piece of copper that looked very much like gold; possibly a token, it has letters stamped on it but is heavily corroded; 2 junk rings and a silver ring; a Mexican dollar.


The most common item by far were sinkers, here is a picture of just some of theones we got in a week. We have over 5kg of them for our efforts.


I got my second gold ring high up on the beach but in wet sand. Almost didn’t dig this as I was getting sick of pulling up sinkers and I had only found a couple of dollar coins for the day. Both gold rings were in the 12 – 14 range on the Equinox.

9ct, 2 grams

After the ring came up it helped inspire us to continue and we ended up with a few more coins for the day.

bellara coins

Overall the Equinox is a very impressive detector for the beach, far more capable in the wet sand than the X-Terra 705. The depth is also surprising, I got a couple of coins and numerous sinkers a foot deep in the wet sand. I didn’t get a chance to get it into trashy areas for a test but early reports are that it excels over the X-Terra’s there too. Looks like an upgrade is going to be necessary.


Detecting at an old settler’s house Pt 2

We headed back out to the old farmhouse with the X-Terra’s for another day’s detecting to see what else had been missed. There were 2 old dumping spots near the ruins which we went over and in between the junk managed to extract some nice coins and old curios.

1867 penny
1867 Penny
1877 penny
1877 Penny
1921 Half Penny
1921 Australian Half Penny

Someone had put a nail through the half penny for whatever reason. The 1867 Penny was in nice condition for the age.

There was the customary pile of buckles, shoe heels and some vintage shotgun shells.

I managed to find an interesting style of brooch that appears to have gold gilding on it. Looks to be very simply made and is probably pre-1900’s.


We found 2 old buttons close together, one is a Fire Brigade S.A. button from an old uniform and the other I believe is a button from a British soldiers uniform. Both made by Stokes & sons circa 1900.

British Army Button
settlers house 010
Fire Brigade S.A.

From the same area we also pulled up an Australia shoulder title and part of an American military badge which I’m still to identify.

Australia title
Australia shoulder title
american military badge
American military badge?

Down on the banks of a creek I turned up this vintage mickey mouse brooch, it has seen better days.


A few silver-plated spoons, some sort of pin and an old lid with Chinese writing.

And finally here is the gold ring we found on the first trip after a clean.

gold ring
Gold ring

Old coins found at settler’s farmhouse

We went to check out an old farmhouse ruin today which we know has had a few people detect around it. Rather then detect near the ruins we headed away from it and did the surrounding area. There was a ton of iron in the ground and the signals were not at all clear but we started getting good items straight away.

dog rego tag
1890-91 Dog Tag
dog rego tag
District 118

A little patch of ground near a winter creek below the house gave us 4 nice coins all dated 1863 – 1865.

1863 Penny
1863 Half Penny
1865 half penny
1865 Half Penny
1863 penny
1863 Penny
1865 penny
1865 Penny

There were a lot of old shells and random items in the ground which had to be dug as the coins weren’t coming up clear on the X-Terra’s. There were too many items to clean and photo so here are just a few of them.

This ring turned up just down from the farmhouse where a path to the creek most likely was. It’s a copper-alloy ring with gold gilding and carries the stamp ‘WMNC’ which is an unknown English maker and was dated approx. 1850 – 1900.

gold ring
Gold gilding visible
old farmhouse 014
‘WMNC’ stamp

On the way back to the car we hit a very noisy patch of ground around the stump of an old tree and turned up 2 more coins amongst old pieces of wire. The 1849 Penny is quite rare but it hadn’t aged well in the ground.

1849 penny1849 penny back

This threepence was just a couple of meters away from the penny.

1880 threepence

All up it was a very good dig and there is still plenty of ground to go over. It does go to show that even when people have been there before you it doesn’t mean they have found everything.

Detecting an old camp ground

We headed out to an old camp site today with the X-Terra 705’s. The area was used for school camps as far as I’m aware and was still in use until about 15 years ago. Today all the buildings have been removed and there is a lot of trash left lying on the ground. It didn’t take long for the coins to start turning up though, usually concentrated in small patches.

pile of coins
54 coins, not a bad few hours work.

All that for about $6 in change with a 1951 penny thrown in. Picked up a few random things among the trash. Round button (top left) looks to be gold plated, it was a solid 18 on the X-Terra.

I was on the way back to the car when I got a nice sharp 42 on the road leading in. The tag was a good 7 inches down, below the driveway gravel buried in the dirt. I’ve only given it a quick wash under water so it’s in nice condition for it’s age. I’m not up on dog tags so if anyone knows what district it is (South Australia District 58) please shoot me an email or leave a reply.

1894 dog tag
1894 – 1895 SA Dog Registration Tag

1894 dog tag back

We barely covered a tenth of the site due to the amount of trash and the need to move slow to discriminate targets. We’ll head back to this site in awhile but there are a couple of old farm houses we have permission to check out so we are off there next.