Using the Anderson rod in one hand and my detector in the other worked surprisingly well. I had absolutely no issues balancing the Anderson, I suspect its weight keeps it stable. I did initially have a bit of a problem storing the Anderson when I needed to dig. I started by carrying a cloth to lay the Anderson on, when I put it on the ground, but that became a bit of a chore. Then I discovered that the Anderson could be rested across the handle and against the control box of my Detech EDS detector and would sit there quite happily when I was still holding my detector while digging. I do keep my hand on it though, as should it fall it may damage the antenna. The antenna is replaceable but why have the hassle of buying and importing a new one from the manufacturer? If the digging gets a bit tough I need to lie my detector down and I found that the Anderson will rest in the detector’s arm cup.
So I started by baiting the Anderson with silver and that seemed to work well in that I found silver coins and silver plated objects as well as copper-alloy (the Anderson is constructed of brass, I believe) and lead (old lead tends to contain silver as an impurity). So far so good!
I then baited the Anderson with gold, which I expected to turn up gold coins but that did not happen. Over the past 200 years many fields in the south of England have been fertilized with rag waste, which was contaminated with buttons and other metal objects associated with clothing. The Anderson took a great liking to gold plated buttons (as in picture) and the like as well as copper-alloys. I guess this is because I was using almost pure gold bait and gold plating generally consists of high karat gold so to the Anderson it is a perfect match.
Now I was hoping to find Iron Age gold stater coins which have a variable mix of gold (70-80%), silver (10-20%) and copper (5-10%). This is a moving target effectively so even using a gold coin as bait there would be no guarantee that the coins buried scattered in the field would be a match. I could persevere with the gold bait or on the basis that all man-made gold objects contain either silver or copper or both I could switch back to silver bait…