Coiltek Blog - Stone Hunter - 10x5” CTX coil

Stone Hunter

Hello, my name is Bruce and I am addicted to metal detecting. I dug my first find in June of 2013 and have not put the detector down since then.

As you can see my detector of choice is the Minelab CTX. Each year I have managed to make at least one outstanding find, and this year is no different. With one caveat though, the find of the year this year is not metal, it is stone. Yes I know that sounds strange putting in an entry for metal detecting find of the month but if you bare with me you will see that it actually has quality.


The CTX is an amazing detector, once you become familiar with it you could walk onto any field or into any park and cherry pick the best finds if you so wished. However that is not my style of detecting. I hunt wide open, zero discrimination, and listen to each target to choose what I will and will not pull from the earth. Being as I live here in Canada, clad (modern coin) hunting was almost a no go with the CTX.

From 1968 to 1999 our nickels, dimes, quarters and one dollar coins were made from 99.9% nickel and since then they changed to 94% steel, 3.8% copper, with a 2.2% nickel plating. The CTX stock coils are completely useless in differentiating between these coins and a rusty nail. What a game changer the Coiltek 10×5” coil is not only nickel based coins but stainless steel as well. The CTX now sings out on all of these items whereas before it was simply an iron grunt. The slim line design and closed construction of the coil also make it a must have for anyone detecting in woodsy areas and stubble fields. It glides over stubble and will never get hung up in the bushes.


Ok time to get back to the narrative. During the summer months I can normally be found up to my chest in the Gorge waterway here in Victoria BC. By the way the Gorge is a saltwater estuary which extends inland from the Victoria inner harbour 5 kilometres up to Portage inlet. While in the Gorge I use a homemade floating sifter which I attach to my finds pouch. The reason why I use a sifter is all too obvious if you look at the picture. The Gorge is nothing more than black muck mixed with oyster, clam and mussel shells. So although I use a scoop to retrieve the target, placing the scoop full of muck into the sifter is absolutely the only way to go.


On this particular day I was driving around and noticed that the tide was out. If I had been properly dressed for water detecting the Coiltek coil would have been replaced by the stock coil and I would never have made this peculiar find. The one and only problem with the 10×5” coil is that it floats. However since I only intended to go knee deep that was not going to be a problem. I slipped on my kayak boots and headed off with my gear for an hour of enjoyment while the tide was still low.

Well there I was, killing time and finding a few modern pennies for my troubles, and I get an odd tone in the headset. Just like any other target recovery the scoop is stomped into the muck and a good ten pounds of muck is then dumped into the sifter. I rest the CTX on top of the sifter and start swishing away the muck. The target itself was a nothing find. It turned out to be a stainless steel wristwatch backing plate. I was almost thunderstruck though to see a black face staring up at me out of the remaining muck. This is a Haida carved black argillite pipe, most likely circa 1800 to 1835.


This beautiful pipe would never have been found if I had changed to the stock 11 inch coil. By deciding to use the 10×5” coil this beautiful relic now sits in my collection instead of being forever stuck in the muck of the Gorge. Thank you Coiltek you make great products.

Bruce Campbell