Hobby metal detectors are well-known tools for finding metal objects, such as coins, jewelry, and relics. There are also metal detector enthusiasts who specifically search for metals such as aluminum, copper, and iron to exchange them for money.
One commonly found metal that is widely used worldwide is titanium. That’s why many people are interested in using a metal detector to locate this metal. But…
…Will a metal detector actually find titanium?
Yes, most metal detectors can detect titanium, but it’s important to note that titanium is non-magnetic and has low electrical conductivity. This means that you’ll require a modern VLF (Very Low Frequency) metal detector equipped with advanced technology to successfully detect it. These modern detectors rely on titanium’s electrical conductivity for detection.
It’s crucial to use the correct settings when detecting titanium; otherwise, the detector might not be able to detect it at all. Additionally, it’s important to know where you can find titanium.
In this blog, I will explain everything to you. By the end of it, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to find titanium with your detector. Enjoy Reading!
What does titanium look like?
It’s important to know what titanium looks like if you want to detect it with a metal detector. Titanium has a distinctive and unique appearance.
Pure titanium has a silver-gray color and a shiny, metallic sheen. It has a smooth surface with reflective properties. When titanium comes into contact with air, it can develop a rainbow-colored tint. Titanium is often compared to the appearance of aluminum.
However, titanium is often alloyed or mixed with other types of metal jewelry such as rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Naturally, the appearance of titanium in these cases can differ significantly. If you want to see how pure titanium looks, take a look at the image below.
What kind of titanium targets can be found with a metal detector?
Titanium is widely used in various objects due to its excellent properties. It is known for being both lightweight and strong (about 45% lighter than steel, yet equally strong).
Moreover, titanium exhibits remarkable corrosion resistance. It also has an incredibly high melting point, is non-toxic to the human body, and has an appealing aesthetic appearance.
With a metal detector, you can discover objects such as titanium rings, titanium jewelry (such as necklaces, bracelets, watches and earrings), titanium coins, titanium artifacts (like sculptures), and components from the aerospace and automotive industries (such as bolts, nuts, and screws).
Moreover, titanium is extensively used in the production of implants due to its non-toxic nature to the human body. Many individuals with titanium implants often wonder if they can pass through airport metal detectors without any issues.
Therefore, I will briefly address this concern to provide some clarity!
Will titanium set off Airport Metal Detectors?
The type of airport metal detector used can vary between countries and airports. This means that while titanium may be detected by metal detectors at one airport, it may not be detected at another.
Most modern airport metal detectors are capable of picking up titanium, despite its non-magnetic and non-ferrous properties. This is because they utilize advanced technology that makes them more sensitive to these type of metals. As a result, implants are often detected as well.
In such cases, you will be asked to undergo further inspection with a handheld scanner. Therefore, it is advisable to carry a note from your doctor as proof. This note can be shown to the TSA officer, helping to prevent any potential issues or confusion.
Can you earn money by finding titanium with a metal detector?
Metal detectors are often associated with the discovery of valuable items that can yield a significant amount of money. Consequently, the goal of many metal detectorists is to earn money by finding such items.
Finding titanium can be a profitable venture due to its desirable properties as a metal. Generally, the price of one kilogram of titanium can reach as high as $7. Additionally, there is potential to uncover other valuable items containing titanium, such as coins and jewelry, which can be worth even more money!
Therefore, many people wonder where they can find titanium…
Where can I find titanium with a metal detector?
Pure titanium can be found near mining regions in countries such as China, South Africa, Western Australia, Norway, the United States, and Canada. However, if your goal is to discover objects that contain not only titanium but also other metal alloys, you can search virtually anywhere worldwide.
This is because items like jewelry, coins, and artifacts (that incorporate multiple metal alloys) can be found everywhere on earth.
To increase the likelihood of finding objects with both titanium and other metal alloys, it’s advisable to search in areas frequented by people. These locations have a higher chance of accidental item loss. Think about places such as beaches, parks and fields.
If you’re determined to locate pure titanium (which is extremely challenging due to its non-magnetic and low conductivity properties), it’s crucial to use a suitable metal detector with the correct settings.
This is because titanium is typically present in relatively small amounts within titanium-bearing minerals like ilmenite and rutile. Consequently, the concentration of titanium must be sufficiently high for detection by a metal detector.
How do I find titanium with my metal detector?
To successfully detect titanium with a metal detector, it is important to use the appropriate metal detector with the correct settings. Additionally, using the right technique is crucial. Let me explain the steps briefly.
1. Choose the right metal detector
Since titanium is a non-magnetic and low-conductive metal, it is important to ensure that you use a metal detector capable of detecting low-conductive metals. This means you will need a modern metal detector with advanced technology.
Therefore, I recommend using a modern Very Low Frequency (VLF) metal detector or a multi-frequency metal detector if you want to find titanium. These types of metal detectors are capable of detecting low-conductive metals like titanium.
A VLF metal detector often features an adjustable discrimination function, allowing you to set it specifically to detect titanium. A multi-frequency metal detector offers the option to set multiple frequencies, enabling you to choose the appropriate frequency level.
Some highly suitable metal detectors for detecting titanium include:
- The Minelab Equinox…
- The Nokta Makro Simplex+
- The Garrett ACE 400
- The Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker
2. Adjust the settings of the metal detector
After selecting the appropriate metal detector, it’s time to adjust the settings. If you’re using a multi-frequency metal detector, it’s important to choose a high frequency (around 15 kHz to 20 kHz). Higher frequencies are better at detecting low-conductive objects like titanium.
Furthermore, most metal detectors have two main adjustable functions:
- Sensitivity function: It’s crucial to choose a high sensitivity level here. This will ensure that your metal detector can pick up low-conductive metals such as titanium. Gradually increase the sensitivity level until the detector starts producing false signals, then slightly lower it to eliminate phantom signals.
- Discrimination function: It’s important to set the discrimination level correctly, allowing your metal detector to respond only to titanium. Since titanium is a non-ferrous metal and doesn’t contain iron, select the “non-ferrous” option for discrimination. This will make the metal detector ignore ferrous objects and focus solely on finding your titanium object.
Advanced detectors may offer target ID capabilities, allowing you to differentiate between different objects. If your metal detector has this feature, I recommend setting it to respond specifically to the target ID associated with titanium.
You can determine the target ID for titanium by scanning titanium objects and observing the corresponding target ID displayed by the detector.
Finally, when searching in mineralized soils, it’s advisable to perform ground balancing on your metal detector. This adjustment allows the detector to adapt to the soil conditions, minimizing false signals. Keep in mind that not all metal detectors have a ground balance function.
By following these guidelines, you can optimize your metal detector settings for detecting titanium effectively.
3. Use the right swinging technique
One often overlooked but incredibly important step in finding titanium is utilizing proper swing technique with your metal detector. This means gently swinging the detector from left to right.
Keep in mind to hold the search coil parallel to the ground surface. Additionally, try to keep the search coil as close to the surface as possible without touching the ground. Avoid lifting the search coil at the end of each swing.
Lastly, avoid tilting the search coil, meaning it should maintain a consistent angle throughout the swing. By following these tips, you can achieve maximum detection depth, ultimately increasing your chances of finding titanium.
4. Dig and find the titanium object
Once you have properly adjusted your metal detector and it starts beeping, you are ready to start digging. As mentioned earlier, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to dig very deep to uncover the titanium object.
Often, you can refer to the metal detector’s display to determine the depth at which the titanium object is located in the ground. It’s always a good idea to check this before you begin digging.
I suggest avoiding the use of large and sharp shovels, as they can potentially damage the titanium object. If you plan on searching at the beach, I recommend using a sandscoop.
How deep do you find titanium with a metal detector?
Knowing the typical depth at which titanium is usually found in the ground can save you a lot of time and effort during metal detecting.
The depth at which titanium can be detected depends on multiple factors, such as the quality of the metal detector, the size and shape of the titanium object, the soil conditions, and the presence of other metals or objects that may interfere with the detection. In general, titanium can be found about a few inches to several feet beneath the surface.
This means that you don’t have to dig extremely deep to find titanium using a metal detector. Really convenient!
How do I know I found titanium with my metal detector?
Sometimes, it can be challenging to determine whether you have actually found titanium or if it is another metal that closely resembles titanium. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to confirm if you have indeed found titanium.
Firstly, take a close look at the appearance of the metal you have discovered. If it has a silver-gray color and a shiny surface, there’s a good chance it could be titanium. Additionally, keep in mind that titanium is known for being extremely lightweight. If the metal feels light when you hold it, it is likely to be titanium.
Another method to check if it is titanium is by using a magnet. If the metal you found is not attracted to the magnet, it could indicate that it is titanium, as titanium is non-magnetic.
If you happen to have a conductivity tester at home, you can also perform a conductivity test on the metal. Titanium has low conductivity, so if the conductivity reading is low, there is a possibility that it could be titanium.
However, if you want to be absolutely certain that you have found titanium, I highly recommend seeking professional analysis. Specialized experts possess advanced techniques like spectroscopy or X-ray fluorescence, which can accurately determine the composition of the metal.
How to clean the titanium objects I found with my metal detector?
When you have found a titanium object with a metal detector, you naturally want to clean is as thoroughly as possible to reveal its true beauty. Fortunately, titanium objects are relatively easy to clean due to their durability and corrosion resistance.
1. Rinse the titanium object
The first thing that you want to do is to rinse the titanium object you found. Rinse the object under warm running water to remove dust, dirt, and surface contaminants. Avoid using harsh brushes or abrasive cleaners, as they can potentially scratch your found object.
After rinsing your titanium object with water, you should dry it using a towel or another cloth. In many cases, following these steps will leave your titanium object clean and in great condition.
2. Use a mild cleaning agent
If simply rinsing your object does not provide satisfactory results, you may consider using a mild cleaning agent. In this case, create a solution of lukewarm water and the cleaning agent, such as dish soap.
Using a soft cloth, gently clean your object in this water and cleaning agent solution. Avoid using abrasive materials or cleaners, as they can cause damage to your titanium object.
3. Use a soft toothbrush
An effective method, especially for cleaning hard-to-reach areas of titanium objects, is to use a soft toothbrush. The soft bristles of the brush allow you to clean small crevices and remove dirt.
In my opinion, this is a very affordable and extremely efficient way to clean your metal detection finds!
4. Things you should AVOID!
Many people tend to use hard brushes or abrasive cleaners when cleaning titanium objects. This is something you should avoid at all costs, as it can cause scratches on the object.
Furthermore, it is important to avoid using chemicals or other corrosive substances, as they can react with the surface of titanium objects, leading to damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of sound does my metal detector produce when it detects titanium?
Titanium is a non-ferrous metal. In general, a metal detector will produce a high, loud, and consistent sound when detecting non-ferrous metals. This means that your metal detector will probably produce a high tone when it detects titanium.
Can a metal detector distinguish titanium from other metal objects?
Yes, most metal detectors have a discrimination feature that allows you to eliminate specific objects you don’t want to find, which makes it possible to distinguish targets. However, this feature is often limited to distinguishing between ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Nevertheless, there are some metal detectors that separate targets based on their target ID. These modern metal detectors can accurately differentiate titanium from other metals.
Should I use a VLF of PI metal detector to find titanium?
You should use a VLF metal detector to find titanium. VLF metal detectors are suitable for detecting low-conductive targets such as titanium. Furthermore, they are less expensive than PI metal detectors which means that they are more suitable for detecting titanium.