Metal Detecting Adventures on the Infamous Oak Island

14 Aug 2015

In 2014 I was honoured to be invited to help the owners of Oak Island (located in Nova Scotia, Canada) in their quest to solve the mystery of the famous “Money Pit”. For those who do not know the story, Oak Island is rumoured to have buried pirate treasure hidden in a mine shaft with an elaborate booby-trapped flooding system to prevent people from recovering the treasure. To read more about the famous Money Pit, Google search Oak Island or visit Wikipedia at to see the history and legends of the longest treasure hunt in North America…

I remember being fascinated with this story of Oak Island as a boy growing up in England. Little did I know that one day I would be asked to help solve the mystery! Because of my reputation as a Spanish Treasure hunter in Florida, I was asked to try to recover old coins or artefacts near the Money Pit and on the beaches around the island.

I took several Minelab metal detectors to Oak Island to help me in my quest. The main treasure hunting equipment I used during the filming of the show was my versatile CTX 3030 with several different size search coils and the PRO-FIND 25 pinpointer. I was free to roam the island from dusk to dawn for several weeks, and I quickly racked up an impressive assortment of coins and artefacts found at various locations around the storied island.

All my finds were logged and recorded using the CTX 3030 GPS feature, another advantage to using this great all around metal detector. One of those finds was a Templar coin, shown on an episode of season two earlier this year. The Templar coin was recovered in the woods above the Money Pit. Luckily I was using my CTX 17 search coil and detected the deep coin.

When I came across an area with old coins using my modified preset Beach Mode, I would search the area again using no discrimination to try finding iron tools or weapons. This old iron trade axe head was recovered using a wide open screen. The axe dates from 1710–1720. It could also have been used as a ships rigging axe. This cool iron relic was one of two axe heads recovered in the same area.

My CTX 3030 allowed me to switch between a discrimination search mode and a relic hunting mode with just a simple press of a button. This two search mode hunting strategy is one of my favourite Spanish Treasure hunting techniques in Florida. On Oak Island, I recovered several silver coins on beaches after I removed iron objects from productive sites, including old Canadian silver coins from the early 1800s being masked by large ferrous targets.

I also searched for fine gold in soil removed from the Money Pit area. Soil was placed on tarps for me to search with my SDC 2300. My SDC 2300 is really hot on small gold, just the right tool for the job of finding small pieces of gold in heavily mineralized areas. The beaches all around Oak Island were covered in iron pyrite rocks, but this 'Fools Gold' had no effect on the performance of any of my Minelab metal detectors.

Unfortunately I did not find any gold during my time spent treasure hunting on Oak Island, but I did find many pieces of old silver.

This really cool piece of old colonial silver was one of my favourite finds on Oak Island. A silver salt or sugar spoon handle, made by silversmith William Miller in Philadelphia.

The late 1700s silver spoon also has the owners initials engraved on the front of the handle.

As you can see, I had fun and a great treasure hunt on Oak Island. All my finds were donated to the local museum, including this superb Victorian portrait brooch that I recovered in the woods above the Money Pit. The brooch was probably lost by another searcher, seeking his or her fortune on Oak Island in the 1800s.

These are just a few of the many old coins and artefacts I recovered during my stay on Oak Island, hopefully the owners of the Island will find the ‘Mother Lode’ buried out of surface metal detector range. The treasure hunting show is shown around the world, check out your local TV listings and see me in action on 'The Curse of Oak Island' season two. To see more coins and artefacts I recovered while Minelabbing on Oak Island, go to my website and check out my Treasure Finds page or


To make comments you must be logged in, please note comments will not display immediately due to moderation

Mr. Drayton! Thanks for your advice on waterproofing my GPX 4500! I thought I heard one cast member mention that the lead cross could cover gold. Has a specific gravity test been conducted? Let me know if one has,please. A lead cross just doesn't seem right. Enjoy watching you on the show!
Posted By: miller on February 19, 2018 05:50am

Return to Top

arrow_back Minelab
arrow_back Main Menu
arrow_back Minelab
arrow_back Product Filters
arrow_back Minelab
arrow_back Filters