In the last few years there has been a huge uptake in the amount of people that have taken an interest in recreational metal detecting. This has become a nightmare for law enforcement agencies that are tasked with ensuring that all treasure hunting takes place legally.
There are also worries that amateur detectorists might not report historical finds that should be housed in museums, and that they may also damage items when extracting them. This has lead to a number of archaeologists calling for metal detecting to be far more heavily regulated and some are even calling for the entire hobby to be banned outright.
Fortunately most people do the right thing and are more interested in finding and preserving historical finds, rather than selling them for profit on auctioning websites. That isn’t to say that you cannot make a profit when treasure hunting. Some people go hunting for previous metals, gems and some even get hired to search for lost items like expensive engagement rings or sentimental jewellery.
If you are planning on getting involved with metal detecting, then you need to make sure that you find the best metal detector for your needs. There are plenty of different metal detectors available for your to purchase, and the decision should not be taken lightly, with metal detectors costing anywhere from $100 through to $5,000!
So it is important to know what use cases you think you will be using your detector for, as the type and model can make a huge difference to how successful you will ultimately be and how much money you will need to spend.
Once you have decided on the type of metal detector to buy, be sure to check with local councils as to exactly where you can and cannot legally go treasure hunting. The rules can vary greatly from state to state and council to council, so it is always best to make sure you are armed with the correct information. Some of the penalties for noncompliance can be quite hefty, and in some instances can even land you in front of a magistrate and having to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
If you are planning on hunting on private property, then be sure to get the land owner’s permission in writing before you start digging up their land. Most people are happy to allow amateur treasure hunters onto their property, provided they are consulted and they share the finds with them.
Many people like to become members of metal detector clubs so that they have other people to enjoy the hobby with. This can be a great option for newcomers, as they can learn the tricks of the trade from more experienced people and most clubs are well informed about the rules for the local area, so you are far less likely to get caught doing the wrong thing.
If you are into metal detecting, or know of a particular rule or regulation that people might not be aware of, please leave a comment in the comments section below.