metal detecting likelihood spreadsheet

The Toughest Part of Prospecting? Deciding Where To Go!

By: J.C. Allen

When I started prospecting just over two years ago, one of my first major purchases was a metal detector.  Since the closest “proven” gold in my neighborhood for prospecting is almost two hours away, I wanted to enjoy the prospecting adventure regardless of location or “gold” being searched for.  Metal detecting provides the very same challenges and great times with the kids, so I was hooked!

Now that I have been fully focused on researching for likely metal detecting or other gold prospecting locations, I have a new problem…where do I go metal detecting first?

Since in addition to heavy internet researching, I have spent most of my adult life running financial calculations, there was only thing to do!  Combine my prospecting with my mathematical ability to create an estimated “coins or other lost items” rating spreadsheet to better focus my metal detecting time!

So that is what I have done in the spreadsheet below (a download is available for your personal use below the snapshot).

For every metal detecting or “gold” prospecting spot you have, merely enter the following numbers based on your research of course…you can even change my “assumption” numbers if you care to.

I used the following numbers to begin my “best metal detecting place” calculations:

  1. date a location opened,
  2. using this date I assigned a “quality” rating,
  3. number of weeks per year a location was/is used,
  4. number of days per week it is used,
  5. date the location closed (using the current date if it is still open and used regularly),
  6. the number of daily attendees or users for the location,
  7. the number of “exposures” (how many times someone reached into their pocket each day),
  8. and assigned a 1 out of 1,000 items exposed are lost percentage.

These numbers combined with the specifics of each of my metal detecting possibility sites, gives me my highest likelihood of finding great coins, relics, or other “gold” even when I am not actually gold prospecting.

You can change all the numbers to meet your needs and your personal opinions about how many items were exposed and what percentage were lost.  You can even vary these by type of location…old school kids probably lost more than 1 in 1,000 chances, but I wanted to just start with a baseline for my prospecting needs!

Take a look, and let me know what you think!


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