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Hello,

I am brand new to metal detecting. My girlfriend lost one of her grandmothers 1/4 ct diamond earrings, it is set in white gold. She inherited them from her grandmother after she passed so they are very important to her. We think the missing earring is either in the yard or in a parking lot with a lot of loose gravel making it impossible to spot amongst all the debris.  To try to find the earring I just bought a new Minelab Equinox 800. I used the other earring she still has to test the detector. I kept passing the earring by the coil but it doesn't seem to pick up anything, likewise i also tried the earring on the ground in a plastic sandwich bag and got nothing.  I did find other things in the yard tonight like some 1" round metal cap thing with the #2 stamped in it (no idea what it is but it registered between 21 - 24 on the detector) and some dark brown reddish rock that glistens a little in the light so it seems to be working.  I am not sure if I do not have the settings right or if it is the wrong coil or wrong metal detector for what I am trying to do.  

Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.  

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Unfortunately that is a near impossible target for most metal detectors. With the Equinox I would want the 6” coil and be tuned up as if I were hunting small gold nuggets, and even then would only expect an inch or two at most detection depth. I know the Equinox with 6” coil will detect this type of target because I have tested mine on a small 10K white gold earring post. About the only machine that has a good shot at doing better is a Fisher Gold Bug 2 with 6” coil, and having run both head to head the improvement is minimal to the point where I sold my Gold Bug 2. I hate to say it but you are going to be extremely fortunate to find the earring. It would challenge an expert operator let alone a novice. If it dropped into the gravel even just a couple inches it’s basically gone. Good luck though, hope you find it!

 

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Welcome to the forum. I’m sorry you guys are going through the loss of her grandmother’s earring. Maybe try raising the sensitivity on the Equinox and try again. Good luck!

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Like Steve said your detector is going to struggle with something that small. However if you are patient and willing to take the time, get a propointer and sweep the ground with it like a windshield wiper does to your car and just scoot along as you grid the area. I can attest to this as I have recovered diamond studded gold earrings in just this manner. It takes time but as long as you have the time it works. I've run my 800 over these type of earrings and never got a signal/tone but my propointer will pick it up.

Best of luck and I hope you find it.

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Where are you located??  Someone from the forum may be near enough to lend a hand and a little experience.   

 

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15 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

Unfortunately that is a near impossible target for most metal detectors. With the Equinox I would want the 6” coil and be tuned up as if I were hunting small gold nuggets, and even then would only expect an inch or two at most detection depth. I know the Equinox with 6” coil will detect this type of target because I have tested mine on a small 10K white gold earring post. About the only machine that has a good shot at doing better is a Fisher Gold Bug 2 with 6” coil, and having run both head to head the improvement is minimal to the point where I sold my Gold Bug 2. I hate to say it but you are going to be extremely fortunate to find the earring. It would challenge an expert operator let alone a novice. If it dropped into the gravel even just a couple inches it’s basically gone. Good luck though, hope you find it!

 

Steve, 

Thank you for your reply. I was hoping a metal detector would be the ticket to finding the earring. I was hoping it was just me being new and not also a limitation of the equipment. I’m going to look at the article you posted.

Is the Equinox 800 a really good metal detector or are there higher end ones that would be better ? 

 

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12 hours ago, Skate said:

Like Steve said your detector is going to struggle with something that small. However if you are patient and willing to take the time, get a propointer and sweep the ground with it like a windshield wiper does to your car and just scoot along as you grid the area. I can attest to this as I have recovered diamond studded gold earrings in just this manner. It takes time but as long as you have the time it works. I've run my 800 over these type of earrings and never got a signal/tone but my propointer will pick it up.

Best of luck and I hope you find it.

Skate, 

 

Thank you, What model propointer ? ( I am assuming you are talking about Garrett’s - I googled propointer) 

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3 hours ago, Noah (FL) said:

Where are you located??  Someone from the forum may be near enough to lend a hand and a little experience.   

 

Noah, I am in Western NY 

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1 hour ago, TechGuy said:

Is the Equinox 800 a really good metal detector or are there higher end ones that would be better ? 

The Equinox is an excellent detector. The problem is the target - a small white gold item has little measurable conductivity, and basically that is what a metal detector does - measure conductivity. More money does not equate to better performance on this type of target. A Fisher Gold Bug 2 with 6” coil may do a little better on this type target for a little less money. Many people would consider the Gold Bug 2 as good as is possible for this type target. Other alternatives are the Minelab Gold Monster and White’s Goldmaster 24K.  But I would again caution you that the difference is small and best obtained by an expert operator, so just running out and getting a Gold Bug 2 will not be a magic solution. Frankly, a rake and a screen plus sharp eyeballs is as much a viable option for this situation.

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16 hours ago, TechGuy said:

My girlfriend lost one of her grandmothers 1/4 ct diamond earrings, it is set in white gold.

Can you take a picture of the remaining one (with something in the field to show scale) and post it here?

16 hours ago, TechGuy said:

I kept passing the earring by the coil but it doesn't seem to pick up anything, likewise i also tried the earring on the ground in a plastic sandwich bag and got nothing.

From this description, the first thing I thought of was that you are discriminating out the signal from the earring.  The horseshoe button on the lower left of the control module front panel toggles between discriminate and non-discriminate (wide open or "all-metal" in Minelab jargon).  Where that discriminate level is set depends upon the mode you are searching in.  I would use Park 2 mode.  There is a large incomplete circle of small dark rectangles on the display that surrounds most of the display characters.  If you are in discriminate the lowest (most counterclockwise) 10 or so will not show.  When you toggle the horseshoe button those either come into view or disappear.  Make sure they are in view.

I'm not questioning what Steve has said.  Even if what I describe actually leads to you getting a signal with the surviving earring, there will be many targets in your search field which will likely give this same signal.  So I agree it's going to be a tough task.

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