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Author Topic: Beach detecting - black sand?  (Read 4168 times)
Old Pete
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« on: September 28, 2014, 09:07:10 AM »

Hi all, I've just started detecting and I am interested on beach detecting. I have noticed a few people on this forum are mentioning "black sand". Can someone please tell me the significance of this, should I be detecting on the black sand and is it where most of the finds will come from?
Also, where is the best place to detect, is it around the high water mark, the low water mark or somewhere in between. I don't expect anybody to give away their exact finds positions but a few pointers in the right direction would be gratefully received.
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Val Beechey
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2014, 12:27:24 PM »

Hi Pete,  Was trying to remember what machine you bought, it makes a difference.
  In general it is thought that items get washed down the beach and get stuck in the black sand.  This is because it's sedimentary and heavy. Usually it can be found at low water mark, the lower the better. Having said that, if the sand gets washed off the beach (like through a storm), you'll find black sand any and everywhere. (It sits below the normal sand all the time)
That doesn't mean you wont find stuff any where on a beach.  Look out for low spots where the pebbles show. Knowing your beach is useful. It will change with each tide.
It will be mostly more recent stuff you'll find at the top end of the beach. There is a school of thought that says mid way between high and low tide and a few mtrs each side of that is the way to go.  This is because that area gets 'stirred up' with every tide. Then, of course, things like Piers, rocky out-crops etc. anything the water has to go around. Things will often get stuck behind them. Not to mention where most of the people go.
Don't forget you need a beach Permit. There's a link in the Forum listings, under Beach Detecting. It's free and can be done online, they send confirmation by EMail, just print it off. Also a link to Tide Tables.
In the meantime, just get out there and have a go. Nothing nicer when the weather is kind. Just enjoy.(I'm off for a walk and swing now)

Val

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Chef Geoff
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2014, 12:37:08 PM »

There are a few definitions of "black sand" it's original use and that most frequently seen on forums in the US is to do with magnetic sand particles, which are inevitably black, these are heavier than the normal sand and after agitation from the water will eventually filter down to either the bedrock or hard packed sand the same thing happens to gold particles and so has always been a draw for prospectors. Here in the UK a great deal of the beach black sand is from coal and oil (shipping) but the same rules apply and coins, rings etc work in just the same way as the gold dust, so the site of black sand gives you a hint that the beach has very little overburden of sand Wink
Every beach works differently depending wind and tides which effect long shore drift  and your best bet is to speak to someone who already works the beach but the sea in much the same way it sorts out the gold will grade losses depending on size and "drag" up and down the beach so my advise would be to zigzag along a new beach until you make some finds and this should give you an idea of how the beach works Wink
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Old Pete
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2014, 01:24:56 PM »

Thanks Val and thanks Chef. I have a Minelab Sovereign XS and I intend going to Brean. I did go down for a day earlier in the week but I wasn't sure where to try and spent most of my time on the top of the beach. I got just under 2 in small change but other than that it was all ring pulls, foil, bottle tops and buried beer cans. I also dug some quite large ferrous items as they gave me a signal but I think I'm getting used to knowing what that signal is like now and hopefully won't waste too much time digging those anymore. Anyway the beach is a bit safer for kids to walk on since I've removed the rubbish  Smiley  I also think I may have been swinging the detector too fast so I'll try a bit slower next time. Thanks Val but I've already got my permit before I went the first time. I think I'll go down for an hour or so this afternoon and try further down the beach and I'll let you know later how I get on. Once again many thanks for the info, Pete.
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Chef Geoff
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2014, 02:01:06 PM »

Head for the wreck Pete and look for any clay showing through that end of the beach was the more popular until recently Wink
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celticspikey
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2014, 04:36:10 PM »

Thanks Val and thanks Chef. I have a Minelab Sovereign XS and I intend going to Brean. I did go down for a day earlier in the week but I wasn't sure where to try and spent most of my time on the top of the beach. I got just under 2 in small change but other than that it was all ring pulls, foil, bottle tops and buried beer cans. I also dug some quite large ferrous items as they gave me a signal but I think I'm getting used to knowing what that signal is like now and hopefully won't waste too much time digging those anymore. Anyway the beach is a bit safer for kids to walk on since I've removed the rubbish  Smiley  I also think I may have been swinging the detector too fast so I'll try a bit slower next time. Thanks Val but I've already got my permit before I went the first time. I think I'll go down for an hour or so this afternoon and try further down the beach and I'll let you know later how I get on. Once again many thanks for the info, Pete.
Good advice from Geoff and Val, Bad news thou myself and keepmeteethinthejar..........has had every ring of this beach having done it for years Huh Na I wish but it has been kind with BLING and me old mate has been more successfully than me. You will not see large amounts of sand moved like many other beaches across the channel on the welsh coast but black sand is not that hard to find concentrate 100 yards down from sand dunes as far as Geoff said the wreck and watch for mud patches and work around them, be prepared to dig hundreds and hundreds of the dreaded bullets. You can pick up Gold on the slopes at bottom of beach I'm sure you know the dangers of going out to far Cry we haven't been down for a while but may catch you one day,  Wink Wink
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Old Pete
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2014, 08:34:47 PM »

Thanks Chef, I left home before I got your post but I will try there next time.
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Old Pete
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2014, 08:56:47 PM »

Quote from: celticspikey link=topic=22446.msg205574#msg205574
[/quote
Good advice from Geoff and Val, Bad news thou myself and keepmeteethinthejar..........has had every ring of this beach having done it for years Huh Na I wish but it has been kind with BLING and me old mate has been more successfully than me. You will not see large amounts of sand moved like many other beaches across the channel on the welsh coast but black sand is not that hard to find concentrate 100 yards down from sand dunes as far as Geoff said the wreck and watch for mud patches and work around them, be prepared to dig hundreds and hundreds of the dreaded bullets. You can pick up Gold on the slopes at bottom of beach I'm sure you know the dangers of going out to far Cry we haven't been down for a while but may catch you one day,  Wink Wink

Thanks celticspikey I think you and keepmeteethinthejar must have had all the bling from there and just left the rubbish for me  Sad As I said to Chef, I left home before I got your posts and decided to go up the end of the beach by the bird gardens - good spot for ring pulls  Cheesy  The car park shut at 6 so I called into burnham-on-sea for 1/2 an hour and managed to find 1.05 so I guess you can't have been there yet Smiley  seriously though, thanks for all your advice, as I said I will try there the next time I can get down to Brean.
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galoshers
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 08:09:12 PM »

black sand is black because of the pollution left behind by mankind in the past caused by possibly organic material on their feet .thats what happens on the Thames foreshore and is a good sign of plenty of finds .
when i see black sand i know it will be good .on the sea shore it could be general pollution left behind in the past .
it can also be very corrosive to hammered coins ,eating them away into holes
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Val Beechey
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2014, 08:13:29 PM »

Galoshers,  try coal dust.   I reckon if we got really stuck, we could dig up some 'black sand' dry it out and burn it.

Val
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galoshers
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2014, 11:40:46 AM »

yep black sand comes in many forms for sure from pollution in the past
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galoshers
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2014, 11:43:29 AM »

yep black sand comes in many forms for sure from pollution in the past
usually i would expect it to be packed with brass pins as well as coins certainly from the thames foreshore

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