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Published: September 11th 2017
3 things to know before you begin
There is a great deal of interest in treasure hunting these days. There is also an increased demand for travel tours that encompass metal detecting in their travel itinerary. The discovery of a cache of Roman coins in Great Britain renewed interest in metal detecting. The coins were found in 2014 and had an estimated value of £40,000 ($52,000US).
Although this discovery is certainly the exception, the fact that they do happen fuel countless dreams of wealth and discovery. The dreams, not the reality, are the most important part of the hobby of metal detecting.
1. You probably won’t get rich.
The odds of striking it rich are not zero, but pretty close. If you are getting into the hobby to make money, you probably won’t like it. Metal detecting can be a long, tiring slog through the woods or along the beach with a couple of coins or a piece of jewelry to show for it.
Professional treasure hunters – and there is such a thing – know that researching a distinctive treasure is more likely to result in a find than just searching along a public beach. Most “lost” treasures are well known and even the general area where they were lost can be found out through general research.
But, there are roadblocks between knowing about a treasure and finding it. Take, for example, the CSS H.L. Hunley – the first submersible credited with sinking an enemy ship – which attacked the Union fleet in Charleston Harbor. The location of the attacked ship was well known, as was the route the Hunley would have taken to escape from the fleet and return home. However, it took over 130 years to locate and raise the submarine. It also spawned several lawsuits about who discovered it.
2. There are laws about metal detecting.
Many communities have laws preventing the use of metal detection on public property. Conversely, metal detecting is not allowed on private property without permission from the owner. In other words, you need to know the laws of the community where you are wanting to use your metal detector.
Towns and cities don’t like people digging up parks and greenways, while private property owners can feel the same way. One of the reasons that you see people using metal detectors at the beach is because there usually aren’t laws restricting their use. Of course, some locations do have rules or laws forbidding it, but these are usually posted on a sign at the beach.
3. Equipment matters.
Like most hobbies or pastimes, there will be equipment to buy. The most expensive piece of gear will be the metal detector itself, but having digging tools and carry bags can run up the expenses fairly quickly. Fortunately, you can start small and build up your took kit as you go.
Having the best metal detector for your budget is a wise investment. Entry-level metal detectors can be bought at the big box stores for around $100 but don’t have the discrimination to tell the difference between junk and actual treasure.A truly-effective metal detector for beginners
can be found that will fit in anyone’s budget.
Most metal detector users also find that specialized hand digging tools are a sound investment. These tools that look like gardening tools with a serrated edge are used to dig small plugs without damaging the sod. This way once you have found whatever the detector was pinging on, you can replace the turf without damage. Consideration will go a long way to keeping good relations with property owners.
Although the financial returns on metal detecting are minimal, the popularity of the hobby illustrate the romantic hold that treasure hunting has on even the most staid and stable personality. There is a little Indiana Jones inside all of us and a metal detector allows us to walk in those shoes for a little while. That’s why there is an upcoming new trend in the tour world - metal detecting tour.
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