Metal Detecting in South Carolina: A Complete Guide for 2022

Are you looking for a site in South Carolina to start your metal detecting adventure? You’ve come to the right place.

Metal detecting is a hobby in which you go on an adventure and use a metal detector to look for anything from jewelry and coins to historical items. This hobby has been around for a long time. It sprung onto the scene, however, when people realized that metal detecting might make them a lot of money. Metal detectorists frequently look for and find rare metals like gold and silver, which they then sell for a profit. A high-end metal detector costs around $1000, and if you know where to look, you may recoup your investment in as few as three metal detecting trips.

South Carolina is one of the few areas in the United States where metal detecting is as good as it is. The weather is perfect for metal detecting, and the landscape is good for gold and silver prospecting. Whether you want to go metal detecting on beaches, rivers, streams, creeks, ghost towns, or state parks, South Carolina offers it all. However, you should do your homework and familiarize yourself with The Palmetto State’s municipal and federal metal detecting legislation.

Metal detecting laws in South Carolina

Even though metal detecting is considered a leisure activity, we can’t rule out the possibility of discovering something of historical relevance to the government. As a result, metal detecting laws and regulations vary from one state to the next.

Metal detecting criteria and limits have been set in South Carolina. Metal detecting on government land is also governed by the Archeological Resources Preservation Act (ARPA).

Always remember that state and federal laws do not apply to private property. They only apply to the activity of metal detecting on state or federal land. To metal detect on private property, you just need a written permission from the landowner or tenant.

The guidelines for metal detecting in South Carolina are rather basic. Make sure you’re not metal detecting in any historically significant areas of South Carolina. As a result, it is unlawful to use metal detectors or excavate artifacts on any historical site in South Carolina. As a result, exercise extra caution while digging native mounds, burial sites, or earthworks.

Metal detectors are likewise illegal without authorization on Trust’s land, according to South Carolina law. Furthermore, the State of South Carolina owns all historic and prehistoric sites in the Forest Preserves, and they may not be demolished without permission. Unless you have valid authorization, metal detecting is prohibited in certain places.

Overall, don’t dig up anything that appears like an artifact or is more than 100 years old if you’re metal detecting in South Carolina on state or federal land. If you locate and collect a historical relic, notify officials so they can properly care for it. In South Carolina National Parks, metal detecting is also unlawful unless prior permission has been provided. Metal detecting, on the other hand, is permitted in South Carolina’s public parks as a recreational pastime. It’s conceivable that you’ll be allowed to metal detect at recognized historical sites, but this is quite improbable.

Overall, while metal detecting in SC, it’s critical to understand and respect the restrictions. Breaking these regulations will result in harsh consequences, such as fines or, in the worst-case scenario, jail time. If you’re looking for a new metal detecting location in South Carolina, check with your local, county, and state officials to make sure you’re fulfilling all of the requirements.

Related: Dumpster Diving in South Carolina: A Comprehensive Guide

Is it legal to metal detect in South Carolina?

Metal detecting is completely legal in South Carolina. On the other hand, legality has its limitations. As previously stated, metal detecting without a valid permit is forbidden on historic sites, state parks, and federal lands in South Carolina. As a result, metal detecting on South Carolina’s public lands may require a permit. Permits can be obtained over the phone or over the internet. Please contact your local park and recreation office to obtain one. It’s inexpensive, with a single unit costing about $10.

If you use common sense and only seek for jewelry, coins, and gold nuggets on South Carolina’s public lands, you’ll be OK. Check with the local county office before metal detecting in a historically significant region.

Can you metal detect on BLM Land in South Carolina?

Metal detecting on BLM land is governed by the same set of rules that apply to all other South Carolina public lands. Metal detecting is permitted on BLM land in South Carolina, but you must use caution not to disturb or expose any artifacts. Remember that, according to ARPA, the government has the authority to take any “archaeological riches” uncovered on BLM land. Archaeological resources are tangible objects from human life or activities with archaeological importance and are at least 100 years old.

Where can you metal detect in South Carolina?

Despite the fact that many traditional metal-detecting areas are outlawed in South Carolina, there are still a few excellent metal-detecting spots.

If you live in South Carolina, one of the first places you should go metal detecting is your hometown. Knowing a location’s history not only saves time but also assists in the finding of valuable items. Where you metal detect and the history of the place determine what you find and how valuable it is. On average, metal detecting based on historical research will yield better results than detecting in random sites.

Some of the best places you can go for metal detecting in SC are:

  1. Abandoned Buildings and Structures
  2. Abandoned Parks and Mines
  3. Old wagon train routes and Churches
  4. Native American Trails
  5. Natural Disaster Destruction Sites
  6. South Carolina Beaches, Rivers, Lakes, and Creeks
  7. School yards and Ghost towns
  8. Civil war sites

Is there any buried treasure in South Carolina?

South Carolina is a lovely state with stunning beauty and fascinating history. Several Civil War-era buried treasures are reported to exist in South Carolina. To prevent the Union Army from collecting Confederate gold and silver coins, they are claimed to be buried beneath South Carolina’s soil. Some are hiding in the shadows, waiting to be found! Even though many of these claims have yet to be verified, treasure seekers and metal detectorists are optimistic that they will be discovered soon.

Saluda Lost Silver BullionsSaluda, ten miles northeast of Greenwood, is a location where six tons of silver bullion might still be found. Union forces seized the silver and threw it into the Saluda River at Saluda.
Santee River Buried TreasureA region along the Santee River is where Confederate forces took a $100,000 Union payroll in gold and silver coins and buried it near St. Stephen.
Fort Randall Civil War TreasureFort Randall, just north of Myrtle Beach, is the site of a Civil War treasure tale, according to which there are Civil War valuables buried there.
Murrell‘s Inlet Pirate’s TreasuresMurrell’s Inlet has yielded a few modest golds and Spanish silver artifacts. It’s possible they were pirate valuables buried. The inlet is situated halfway between Georgetown and Myrtle Beach. Metal detectorists still believe there are a lot of treasures still undiscovered in this spot.

Metal detecting on South Carolina Beaches

South Carolina’s coastline stretches about 187 miles. Because South Carolina’s beaches get so busy, it’s the ideal area to seek missing jewelry and money. As a result, you’ll find a lot of other metal detectorists out late at night on South Carolina beaches for their metal detecting adventure.

As of the publication of this article, metal detecting on South Carolina beaches is legal. The state of South Carolina, on the other hand, has the authority to take anything older than 100 years.

Some of the most famous beaches to go for metal detecting in South Carolina are:

  1. Sullivan’s Island, Sullivan’s Island Beach
  2. Burkes Beach, Hilton Head
  3. Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island
  4. Murrells Inlet, Georgetown County
  5. Pelican Beach, Seabrook Island

Metal detecting in South Carolina Rivers and Creeks

South Carolina not only has a large coastline, but it also has a large number of rivers and streams. It’s a great place to do metal detecting because there are so many rivers, creeks, and streams. Make sure you have adequate waterproof metal detectors while detecting in rivers and streams. The following are some of South Carolina’s best metal detecting rivers and streams:

  1. Ashepoo River, Colleton
  2. Chauga River, Oconee
  3. Fairforest Creek, Union
  4. Jones Swamp Creek, Colleton
  5. North Santee River, Georgetown
  6. Taylor Creek, Oconee

Metal detecting in Ghost Towns of South Carolina

Hundreds of abandoned villages and ghost towns dot the South Carolina countryside. These are the towns where mining used to take place, but as the ore ran out, people departed. People flocked to other cities and towns for a variety of reasons.

In South Carolina’s ghost towns, all of the villages and towns have been abandoned. These communities in South Carolina have a long and famous history. Metal detecting in South Carolina’s ghost towns may require municipal permission as well. South Carolina’s ghost towns will rapidly become one of your favorite metal detecting locations after discovering if you need a permit and acquiring one.

These ghost towns may include historical items. In these South Carolina ghost towns, coins, fine jewelry, and other treasures abound.

Some of the popular ghost towns in South Carolina for metal detecting are:

  1. Andersonville, Anderson
  2. Hamburg, Aiken
  3. Hillsville, Laurens
  4. Meyers Mill, Barnwell
  5. Ellenton, Aiken

Metal detecting clubs in South Carolina

Metal detecting in SC is one of my favorite pastimes since it allows me to reconnect with old friends while also creating new ones. I definitely recommend joining a metal detecting group in South Carolina if you want to meet new people and go on a metal detecting trip with them.

Metal detecting has been increasingly popular in recent years, with clubs cropping up all across the United States. Members of the club are involved and supportive of one another. Once a month, these groups meet together to show off their discoveries, plan their next expedition, and discuss how to assess the variety and value of their finds.

Metal detecting clubs might be an excellent method to learn about new treasure-hunting locations. Setting up your metal detector for a specific place might be tough if you’re a beginner. As a result, being a member of a metal detecting group is an excellent approach to addressing this issue.

In South Carolina, there are a number of fantastic metal detecting clubs. Metal detecting groups in South Carolina can assist you to improve your abilities whether you’re a novice or a seasoned hunter.

It is not necessary for metal detecting groups to have an online presence. As a result, you may join Facebook groups to network with other metal detectorists in South Carolina and share your expertise.

Some of the best Metal detecting clubs in SC are:

  1. Carolina Coin & Relic Association, Goose Creek
  2. Low Country Metal Detecting Club, Summerville
  3. Coastal Empire History Hunters Association, Beaufort

Similarly, some of the most popular Metal Detecting Facebook groups in SC are:

  1. Metal Detecting SC’s Lowcountry
  2. Metal Detecting SC
  3. SC Metal Detecting Group
  4. South Carolina Metal Detectors and Relic Association

Final Thoughts

Overall, South Carolina is a fantastic location for your metal detecting requirements. Nature, history, weather, and liberal legislation all help to make this pastime enjoyable in South Carolina. Before attempting it in public, make sure you’re aware of South Carolina’s metal detecting laws. If you’re going to private property, be sure you first acquire permission from the proprietor; otherwise, you might be charged with trespassing.