If you talk with anyone who's been involved in metal detecting for some time, you will likely find that they are most interested in finding older coins - 'Coinshooting' is but one very popular aspect of metal detecting, with older coins being the ultimate quest and find of the 'Coinshooter'.
Many will confess that it was the lure of finding old coins that got them involved in the hobby of metal detecting and that it was the continual finding of them that held their interest over the years.
While all metal detectors can certainly locate old coins, Fisher Research has taken it a bold step further with the introduction of their new model CZ-3D metal detector a detector specifically designed and optimized for finding older coins at older sites.
The Fisher CZ-3D is specifically designed to find more good metals such as brass, bronze, copper and silver, reporting them as a high-tone, rather than a mid-tone object. The CZ-3D is engineered to provide maximum success on older coins while retaining the best possible ratio of good targets vs. trash targets. In older-era sites, where aluminum trash is minimal, the CZ-3D will give exceptional performance on older coins.
Seven individually-metered I.D. categories and four unique audio I.D. tones enable the CZ-3D's user to readily identify the targets that are most likely to be worthwhile items. The CZ-3D is an easy to use, VLF multiple-frequency transmit / dual-frequency-processing search (5KHz & 15KHz) tone and visual target identification metal detector.
The overall appearance and operational controls of the new CZ-3D are similar to Fisher's other CZ models and users who are familiar with these, will be quite comfortable with the operation of the CZ-3D.
The CZ-3D features a 4-tone audio I.D. system that produces a 200 Hz Iron, 350 Hz Foil, 450 Hz Tabs and 1 KHz Coin I.D. tone. In addition to the four I.D. tones, the CZ-3D produces a bell tone audio signal for large, shallow, overload signals.
The front panel of the CZ-3D is well designed and labeled, easily accessed and quite logical. Even without reading the users manual, most experienced operators can intuitively operate the CZ-3D the first time they use it ... a big credit to Fisher!
The CZ-3D has the following front panel controls: GROUND - A single rotary control knob sets the ground balance point. When set to the red numeral 5", a preset, average, ground level is achieved. Ground balancing is a snap using one of two methods outlined in the user's manual. VOLUME Powers the unit on and off and adjusts the audio headphone and speaker volume level. Volume is gradually increased from 1 to 5 settings. From 5 to 10, loud target response is held constant while faint targets continue to get louder (audio boost).
DISC Seven preset discrimination points - eliminating Iron thru Zinc targets - plus an All Metal auto-tune position MODE ENHANCE and SALT positions to adjust the detector for land or saltwater detecting. PINPOINT - Enables the VCO pinpoint and depth-reading modes when pushed and held. Coin-depth readings are indicated on the lower meter display and range from 2 to 8 inches. The VCO audio range is from 500 Hz to 1 kHz. This button is also used in conjunction with the GROUND control during the ground balancing procedure.
SENSITIVITY - Dual function potentiometer and switch adjusts the level of operating sensitivity and checks the battery. In addition to the above features, the CZ-3D also includes: Surface Mount electronics; Turn-On-and-Go (Preset) Operation; Three-piece breakdown pole assembly. The CZ-3D requires two 9-volt batteries to operate. Battery life is approximately 10-20 hours with Alkalines.
Battery installation and replacement is simple and easy. A removable battery door opens to expose a drop-in battery compartment. There are no wires or connectors to attach ... or break! The CZ-3D is supplied with an 8-inch submersible concentric co-planar Spider search coil. Optional coils are available. Total detector pole-mounted weight is only 3.7 pounds. The detector control box may be easily pole, hip or strap mounted Every aspect of the CZ-3D's packaging is well thought out and the detector has a solid, polished, quality look and feel to it. It's one of those detectors that feels 'just right' to hold and use.
Before I begin this part of the field test, I want to emphasize and remind readers that the CZ-3D is somewhat of a 'specialty' detector when used in its Enhanced operating mode. In this mode, it is designed to excel at finding older coins, in part, by shifting the normal I.D. tone of some items to produce a 'coins' high-tone signal. It will also shift the I.D. readings of some trash signals as well, making them sound like desirable targets. While the CZ-3D can be successfully used in its 'normal' (Salt) search mode in trashy parks etc., it really excels when used in the environment that it was designed for--namely, older sites with older coins, using its enhanced operating mode.
To get a feel for how well the CZ-3D operates, I knew that I had to test it in both older, (minimal Aluminum) trash sites as well as heavy trash-laden park-type settings. I was curious as to how differently the detector would perform in the SALT vs. ENHANCE mode. The first site I selected to search was a 100+ year-old city park.
After ground balancing and 'setting up' the CZ-3D, I began my search in the old picnic grove of this park. Within minutes, I had my first target a high-tone signal that I.D.'d as a Nickel. Sure enough, that's what it was. Continuing to search, I had four more Nickels within a ten-minute period. At this point, I was certain that the CZ-3D was going to be a 'Nickel killer!' Over the next hour, I retrieved mostly newer coins. I decided to move across the street to a small knoll. Slowly searching, I soon heard a high-tone signal that identified on the meter in the Zinc/Screw Cap range. At first I ignored the signal and passed by, but then I remembered what I had read in the CZ-3D literature about digging all high-tone signals when searching older areas. I quickly backtracked to the signal, pinpointed and was surprised to retrieve an old Victorian-era brooch that was about two-inches deep perhaps ignored by other detectorists who thought that it was trash.
Moving to the side of a slopping, trash-strewn hillside, I soon heard another high-tone signal, which was located between two small sapling trees. Digging to a depth of about five inches, I retrieved a large, round disk that upon cleaning, turned out to be an old token from the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.
Later in the day, after lunch, I was searching another wooded area when I heard a high-tone signal that was also breaking up. The signal was at the base of a very large tree that a storm had blown over, providing me just enough room to walk between the stump and downed tree.
Carefully pinpointing and digging, I soon held a beautiful 1892 Barber Quarter in my hand. After admiring the coin for a few minutes, I swept back over the hole and heard nothing. Curious, I switched to the All Metal mode and heard a small, solid 'round sound' that turned out to be a rusted, steel shell of an old button. This had been partially masking the 1892 Quarter, but the CZ-3D was not fooled the Quarter was now mine! The following weekend, I selected a different old park to search, but this one is more recent and with a lot more trash.
I know this place like the back of my hand, as I have searched it for almost 25 years now. It has both 'virgin', extremely clean areas and also places that are like searching at the city dump a perfect first place to try both modes of the CZ-3D!
Over the years, this location has produced everything from Colonial coppers to the latest 2004 coinage and just about every other vintage coin imaginable, plus its share of gold rings, jewelry and artifacts. Mostly though, it is a haven for 20th century coins. I recall times, in the early 1980s, when it was common to find handfuls of coins with five to ten silver coins per day being the norm. Lately, it's a good day to find one or two!
Keeping in mind that the CZ-3D is an older coins 'specialty' detector, I decided to concentrate my search on the fringe, less trashy areas of the park, using the Enhance operating mode.
For the first 45 minutes or so, all I found were newer coins that I.D. properly and varied form surface finds to about five-inches depth. I was searching the outer fringes of some older picnic shelters and the edge of an old overgrown forest.
Finally, I heard a high-tone signal that identified on 'Coin' and pinpointed with a much weaker VCO audio tone the sign of a deep coin. Digging to a depth of about seven inches, I pulled up a mint-condition 1940 Mercury dime. Upon finding this coin, I slowed down and started working 'patterns' in the area. I began finding Wheat cents and a few Buffalo Nickels. I then spotted the remnants of what may have been an old swing, as there were a few evenly spaced small concrete slabs buried in the ground.
Staying in this area, I later found another Mercury dime a 1920-S. These were the only silver coins recovered that day. I used a combination of the Enhance and Salt modes. Close to the picnic shelters, I used the Salt mode and further away, in less trash, I used the Enhance mode. This 'strategy' seemed to work well for me and I was very content with the performance of the CZ-3D.
Although the Fisher CZ-3D looks very much like other CZ models, it is truly a different 'animal' when used in its Enhance mode. It is a detector that I found to be easy to use and easy to like. Its performance is top rate!
While I dug some trash that identified with a high-tone coin sound, I feel the CZ-3D was doing its job well, giving me the best chance of finding older coins, relics and jewelry items. An occasional, highly rusted item would fool the CZ-3D at times, but not often. Overall its Iron discrimination is very good. If needed, I could always switch to the Salt mode, enabling the CZ-3D to operate more like a traditional CZ model. Overall, I like and am impressed with the CZ-3D. I have confidence in using it; it is easy to operate and it is comfortable. My only wish would be for a switch to select either normal 1266-X type audio or VCO audio for pinpointing.
The Fisher CZ-3D retail price is $899.95 and is covered by their Lifetime Limited warranty. For additional information, contact: Fisher Research Laboratory, 200 W. Willmott Rd., Los Banos, CA 93635. Phone (209) 826-3292, FAX (209) 826-0416. Website: www.fisherlab.com. Email: infofisherlab [dot] com
Relics and coind found with the CZ-3D.