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Metal Detecting

RhinoRhino TheRhinLOLRegistered User regular
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Anyone do this? Professionally or as a hobby?

It looks like a fun thing to do, but seems kind of pricey to get into.

I like collecting old coins, and silver/gold metals. Anyone ever find anything like that in your metal detecting adventures?

Is there a high frustration to fun ratio?

Rhino on


  • Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    If you aren't expecting to find a buried treasure, its a fun thing to get into. You can pick up a cheap metal detector that will work for about $100-$200.

    My mom found a couple of gold rings over the course of 4 or 5 years. Be prepared to find a lot of crap though.

    Be careful where you dig, lots of public parks have laws against digging.

    Forbe! on
  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Check your local laws, always ask permission of the land owner, NEVER DIG IN GRAVE SITES.

    My dad has done this for years now as a hobby and seems to really enjoy it. It is costly but can eventually pay a chunk of itself. There are many different metal detecting hobby sites around and if you are honestly interested, sign up there and ask around. There may even be people in your area who will take you out and get you into it.

    Expect to have to deal with some crazy people who think what you are doing is a cardinal sin. Also expect to have younger kids make fun of you. And as Forbe! said, you will find a lot more crap than actual worthwhile treasure.

    Otherwise, from what I've seen, it is up to personal taste if you enjoy it or not. Mostly it is older men (age>40) who are into the hobby than others.

    Comahawk on
  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    are you in the US?

    I have some family friends that do this in Poland, and there it's a little more exciting due to all the unexploded WWII ordinance in many of the forests :D, i'd assume it'd be the same anywhere major wars have been fought... you may be able to find interesting stuff if you're near any Civil War battle sites

    When i was growing up in Poland, i found a pit with a bunch of old rusty rifle ammunition while on a scouting trip

    around New Jersey, I often saw old people search beaches in early mornings and after storms... they tend to find lots of jewelry (and garbage) that people lose in the sand, or that washes up

    illig on
  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    My father tried this a few years back for fun. In our local woods he found rubbish like spoons and tin cans, however when he tried at the beach he found more interesting things such as old coins that had been washed up. Like Comahawk said, you may find some people giving you funny looks and a few kids laughing, but my father also came across a few people who were into the same hobby and people were genuinely interested in what he was doing.

    Liiya on
  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    At the very least, all the walking you'll do will be decent exercise.

    Einhander on
  • ChalkbotChalkbot Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    My grandpa was very into metal detecting. He'd drive around the country doing it and I would always go out with him when he came to visit. He had large collections of treasures he'd found, coins, rings and small metal devices from ages past. It was fascinating. I would listen to his stories for hours. Once he upgraded to a new metal detector and let me use his old one. This is when I realized how hard it actually was, as he made it seem so easy. Just by listening to the beep the machine made, he already knew what the object was and how deep it was buried. Nine times out of ten he would listen to the beep a couple times, then move on, knowing that the object was not worthwhile. I didn't have this luxury, so I spent an entire afternoon slaving around in the dirt to uncover bottle caps and aluminum foil. Plus waving the machine back and forth tired my arm quickly. My dreams of being a metal detector ended, I decided it was way more fun to follow grandpa around and help him dig up the treasures.

    Chalkbot on
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