Jul 11, 2016
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hello All,

I am sure there is a more appropriate thread to get this into, but I wanted to post here to get more eyes on it, and thus more recommendations.

I have a beach near me, full black sand, in the shadows of a volcano. To make things worse, there are salt farms on this beach.

The teaser is, the beach is pristine. No tourists, (I live on a tourist island) and ..... a history of pirates and two 19th century naval invasions, right on the spot I want to hunt.

I currently have a White's Vx3. As many of you will know, this isn't cutting it. Got all sorts of recommended settings from a knowledgeable White's expert, who said, chances are unlikely.

I am not THAT serious of a dectorists, the Vx3 is probably already above my level in terms of the amount of time I spend on the hobby. That said, I do want to spend more time, and would be foolish not to take advantage of where I am -- Indonesia.

Having two high-end detectors is a bit much. Of course I could sell one, but from what I have read so far, anything suitable for the black sand, will probably be a bit of a no go in other conditions.

So, my question is - What machine will help me hunt these conditions. It needs to be 100% able to pull the weight, as I would be gutted to buy something, only to take it out and get the dreaded overload and it being useless.

I also don't want to bankrupt myself buying a new machine. So an economical solution, if possible, would be very welcome

Please give be unbiased recommendations, hopefully based on experience and technical knowledge. Opinions are also welcome.. :) ha.

Looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say.

And many thanks in advance.

It would be helpful to know the location of Indonesia so we could figure out exactly the mineralization materials of the beach. Various forms of iron in nature and they all cause different effects on different detectors. It might be possible that there is NO detector that can work it.

These black sands - are they magnetic? That'd be my first question. If they're not magnetic, then no problems.

Next question - do you ever intend (or think you might) to go into/under the water?

How "set" are you on having a VDI?

You might consider a Tesoro Tiger Shark

My main location is Lombok. But there are heaps of other similiar black sand beaches throughout. A trip to Bandah Islands is in the works, they have jet black sand as well.

Thanks so much for the quick reply. Would be bummed if no detector can work.

I will have to stick a magnet in the sand next time down there to see if magnetic. Unlikely I will go into the water. Perhaps along the shoreline, but not essential.

VDI isn't a deal breaker. Main point is to get out there and get some hunting done.

Thanks guys!

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Tesoro SAND SHARK (Pulse Induction), Whites Dual Field (Pulse Induction). These are the two machines you want to look at.:occasion14:

...You might consider a Tesoro Tiger Shark

NO! This is a FRESHwater machine. Not for black sands and saltwater.

Oh?? Hmm... The Tiger has different metal modes, so there I go getting myself into trouble again and assuming. :BangHead:

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

I have decided to have a serious look at the White's TDI SL. From the information I've received, it's my best choice.

The only challenge now, is trying to figure out if it will indeed work on such challenging environment, BEFORE I buy it. I'm a bit isolated here. Not like I can borrow a machine and test it out.

Seriously thinking of digging some soil and sending it the nearest White's distributor - in australia.

My understanding of the local black sand is that it is mainly obsidian. The sand is made of volcanic glass. Like BobbyCBrite noted, take a magnet to the beach and see if it is magnetic. Let us know what happens...

This can't be good.

Dragged a rare earth magnet through my sand. Totally covered the magnet.

Any thoughts? Am I out of luck? Is this sand too hot for ANY detector?


You are going to have to use a Pi detector with ground balance I believe. A TDI, ATX, GPX all have adjustable ground balance. The ATX is the only one which is waterproof.

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Great. So the PI's will work. Still have my sights set on the Whites TDI SL.

Great. So the PI's will work. Still have my sights set on the Whites TDI SL.

Try to find a used Minelab SD or GP machine. They are out there and they are 10X the machine the TDI SL is. :occasion14:

There is a rock shop here that rents several different brands of detectors.
If there is a place where you live that rents you could experiment with
different brands.

This can't be good.

Dragged a rare earth magnet through my sand. Totally covered the magnet.

Any thoughts? Am I out of luck? Is this sand too hot for ANY detector?

View attachment 1336067

Electromagnet mounted on a crane or boom on a tracked vehicle, spend several months to possibly years picking up all of the Iron (Black Sand), sell the Iron, go back to metal detecting and hopefully problem solved.:dontknow::icon_scratch:


Look for a gently used ML Sovereign (any version). It is multi freq., ignores iron, and has no issue with black sand (no GB needed). Just make sure your coil is water poof, and keep the control box out of the water.

If you have more cash, look for an Excalibur.

Happy hunting.

Here's my take on this situation based on past experiences. I have pulled coins from magnetic black sand on beaches with my Whites Surfmaster PI. There are about 3 old versions of this detector. Mine is the one with the pulse delay control. There is a new version called the dual field. My detector is super sensitive to targets. I have found rings at 10" in normal sand and boat anchors at 4'. If I were you, I would pick up a used surfmaster with the pulse delay. Hay, it's waterproof also. Mine is 15 years old and works like new. That's my best suggestion. Good luck.

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