A coin probe or simply “probe” can be used to “pop out” or locate a shallow target like a coin or other object without digging a hole. Some detectorists will find an object with their metal detector and upon realizing it is a shallow target will gently insert a probe, usually a screwdriver type tool with a brass ball on the tip so as not to scratch the target, and attempt to locate it. Early detectors were not as good at pin-pointing a target so a signal would be located and if it was shallow a probe could locate the item and simply “pop” it out of the ground. Todays metal detectors are much better at pinpointing and probe use has become a lost art.
Coin probes can be made by rounding out a screwdriver tip or they can be purchased. I usually simply use the tip of my hand held digging tool or trowel but some swear by the probe.