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7 Treasures You Can Find With a Metal Detector

7 Treasures You Can Find With a Metal Detector

Metal detecting is an excellent pastime, especially if you like to find buried treasure. With the right equipment, you can locate ferrous materials and figure out precisely where to dig. From coins and bottle caps to artifacts and precious metals, there’s no telling what lies just beneath the ground’s surface.

If you like going outdoors and having adventures, metal detecting may be the perfect way to spend your free time. Whether you’re interested in making money or uncovering the past, valuable items are hidden all over the place, just waiting to be discovered. Here are seven treasures you can find with a metal detector.

1. Coins

Old coins are some of the most common things people find while metal detecting. Lost coins are everywhere, making them easy targets if you’re just starting out. Old homes, parks, and historic sites are the best places to look. You may be able to find mints that are no longer in circulation, and they can be highly valuable.

While you can find many coins just below the surface, you may need to increase your search depth to find older ones. If you find a coin, you can look it up to learn how many were in circulation. The fewer, the better. Extremely old coins may be historical artifacts, so knowing the local laws and regulations governing antiques before you dig is essential.

2. Bottle Caps

You’ll also probably find a lot of bottle caps while metal detecting. While they may seem like garbage at first, some people like to collect vintage caps from companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

You can still take the bottle caps to a recycling center for a small profit if nobody wants them. Their value primarily depends on the market, but vintage caps are generally worth more money. Older steel bottle caps can bring in as much as nine cents apiece, with newer aluminum caps worth much less.

3. Artifacts

Some people find buried artifacts while metal detecting. Historically significant items can be incredibly valuable, although they’re usually expected to be donated to a museum. Ancient statues, building materials, and tools can provide important details about our past.

You should know the local rules and regulations governing cultural artifacts to ensure you don’t run afoul of the law while digging. Federal, state, and local laws dictate what people can and can’t claim. In most cases, you shouldn’t disturb items you find on public land. However, there may be an exception if you have a permit or permission from the local authorities.

4. Precious Metals

Many people get into metal detecting in the hopes of finding rare metals such as gold or silver. While difficult to find, deposits do exist, making it well worth the time and effort. It’s crucial to ensure you have a metal detector that’s sensitive enough to locate the signal. Other metals such as nickel, iron, and copper are also worth money, especially in large amounts.

You may also be able to use a dredge, sluice, or pan to locate additional materials. Getting a four-inch gold dredge for sale at a reasonable price can help you in finding precious metals. Dredging does require a lot work, but when done correctly, can produce great results for its user. 

5. Jewelry

You may also find lost or discarded jewelry with a metal detector. You’ll most likely encounter large, bulky items consisting mainly of metals. Jewelry made of bronze, gold, silver, and platinum can be highly valuable.

Public spaces like parks, beaches, and trails are the best places to find old jewelry. You’ll need to check around to ensure the items haven’t been reported lost or stolen. Once you’ve established whether the items belong to anyone, check the jewelry for a stamp indicating the manufacturer and date. If you’re unsure, you can always take the jewelry to a professional to get it appraised.

6. Recyclables

While you won’t always find the most valuable items, you’ll probably uncover countless recyclables during your search. If you dig up old tin cans, glass bottles, or plastic materials, you should set them aside and dispose of them properly. While you won’t make any money, it’s good for the environment and helps keep public spaces clean.

While metal detectors can’t locate diamonds or other precious gems, they can uncover reusable products for recycling. You can take some items to a depot for a small profit. Scrap metal consisting of aluminum, steel, and copper is worth quite a bit. Other discarded items discovered during your dig, such as car parts, cardboard, and electronic waste, can net you a healthy return if you collect enough of them.

7. Other Items

There’s no telling what kinds of things you’ll find when metal detecting. Whether you’re looking for treasure in your own yard or a public area, you should always be careful when taking things out of the ground. Classic toys, memorabilia, and other valuable items can be excellent finds so long as they aren’t damaged beyond repair.

Other common areas to check include sporting fields, fairgrounds, and other recreational spots. Historical sites, ghost towns, and old barns can also turn up some items of interest. If you want to be sure you’ve found everything, you can use a gridding technique to mark the ground where you’ve previously scanned.

You Never Know What You’ll Find

The most fun aspect of metal detecting is not knowing what you’ll find. With so much history buried around us, it’s hard to tell what kinds of things you’ll uncover when digging. If you’re looking for items with some value, you’ll need to dig deep and ensure you’re not covering the same ground over and over.

Historical artifacts, collectibles, and other lost or discarded items can fetch a nice profit if you know what you’re doing. With so many treasures you can find with a metal detector, it’s no wonder the hobby is so popular.


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