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I often use a metal detector with a screen and discrimination features out the wazoo.
I use target numbers on the screen as a good second opinion, but always base my digging decisions on what my ears are telling me.
The longer I have used metal detectors with display screens and probability target IDs, the more I rely on my ears.
I spend a lot of time answering questions from beach hunters and “What are the numbers?” is always one of the most frequently asked questions. Unfortunately, beach hunting by the numbers does not work in the real detecting world.
Basing your digging decisions on target probability numbers should be looked at as a situational thing.
For example, if you are getting frustrated digging a large amount of unwanted or nuisance targets in an area and you know the numbers, you can take a chance and not dig targets registering those numbers. Steady ferrous or conductivity numbers can help identify certain targets and help you avoid digging them.
I never advise block editing targets on the screen you do not want to dig, I prefer to glance at the target ID numbers just in case there are multiple targets reading on the screen. Block editing areas on the screen may cause you to miss any other target close to the area on the screen being edited out.
In Florida we get tourists from around the world, many gold rings have unusual mixes of alloys that can easily throw numbers off and even play tricks with your ears. Knowing the numbers of common beach found clad coins is cool and helpful at trashy tourist beaches, but thats about as much of a numbers game I play around with.
Once you get to a certain target depth, all bets are off on a lot of target IDs, another good reason not to get too wrapped up in the numbers. If you are searching areas known to produce old finds, they are probably going to be deep and on the edge of detection range, rely on your target depth reading before the target numbers.
You can tell just how little I take notice of target numbers outside of clad coins, when people ask me what numbers a gold ring rang up at and I have not got a clue. I was too busy listening instead of looking at numbers.
Here are a few reasons to leave the numbers game to tourist sites, and no I have no idea what any of the numbers rang up for these cool old finds.