Can You Make Money With a Metal Detector?


The short simple answer is Yes. You can make money with your metal detector, but it takes research and hard work to make it happen.

Hopefully in this post I can answer many of your questions about metal detecting, before you just run out and think you are going to find the next big gold or silver coin cache.

What Are The Best Places To Use a Metal Detector?

Virtually almost anywhere really. The main key takeaway is research, research, research and research. There are many good places to go if you do just a little research before hand. You certainly have your basic, easy locations where virtually NO research is needed to find some close to you: The beach, gardens, parks, fields, woods, lakes, rivers, footpaths, churches & deserted towns. If you’re willing to do some research, you can certainly locate some older hidden roads, ghost towns, with some potential lost or hidden treasures from the past.

One thing you MUST, MUST, MUST, MUST do before going onto any land is do your best to GET PERMISSION first. Sure there are plenty of BLM / public lands that you can detect without permission, but before you go out to a field of in the backyard of some abandon farmhouse. Make sure you do all that you can to find the owner(s) and ask for permission.

Metal detecting 2 private permissions with Richie Rich in Meridian Idaho


One of the best Apps that I have found for finding property owners information is a app called
OnX Hunt Map App.
“Public/Private Landowner Names and Boundaries with Nationwide Topo and Aerial. onX Hunt is the #1 mapping and planning tool used by millions of hunters on and offline.”


Places To Go Searching For Treasure And Metal Detecting

Lets dive a little deeper into places you can potentially go looking for buried treasure.

There are numerous perfect places where we can go detecting to delight in using your metal detector. It might be on a beach, or in an area that has lots of old antiques and artifacts in it.

What we can discover in these locations depends on how old the home and/or land is. It would be a lot of fun finding lots of souvenirs such as old coins, relics, bottles, jewelries, lost things or perhaps an entire collection.

Another fine place to do metal detecting is in playgrounds and parks. Our neighborhood parks, city parks, old parks, zoos, picnic locations, city play grounds, old playgrounds, sandboxes, swings, campgrounds and old battlefields is where we could go to look behind big trees, grassy locations, old trees, dubious areas, unpaved car park, spaces where lovers hide to get away from the crowd, or under park benches and pathways. It’s possible to find brand-new coins, old coins, lost rings or earrings, wedding bands, bracelets, watches, kids’ ornaments, toys — all left or lost behind.

Remember what I said earlier — Always ask permission, and don’t forget to check your local metal detecting laws for your state. Many times even your specific county might have certain rules on metal detecting that area.

Look in locations such as old ferry launches, old fishing areas, old swimming holes, and old bridges on the riverbanks. Go where people gather together, local beaches, old marinas, and ocean beaches are most likely the prime area for buttons, bullets, sinkers, Indian artifacts, old beauties, rings, coins and ornaments.

In your regional woods, you may look for foundations, cellar holes, old cemeteries or graveyards, abandoned mausoleums and fields such as old farm fields, tobacco fields, cotton fields, livestock, sheep, or any farm field. Do not forget to look on new paths, old overgrown courses, search near the roadway, check on treking trails, old wagon roads, foundations, old cellar holes, and upturned tombstones or go to the primary entrance of the farm after a heavy rain on the fields.

Metal detecting is an amazing, adventurous, and enjoyable method of finding lost belongings or items of emotional value to us. Utilizing the metal detector in locations such as parks, beaches, woods, play areas, fields, riverbanks, old cellars and graveyards, even on your own yard is a good way of starting out and getting some practice. It is a fascinating pastime, too, various locations bring different collections, treasures, and memories as long as we follow the correct code of ethics.

Spud Diggers – Metal Detecting a Gold Mine – White’s 24k

Treasure Hunting And Generating Income

Just what is Treasure Hunting and will it make you cash??

First we should check into the phrase ‘Treasure Hunting’ – searching for treasure. From this we can see that it is a hobby or task that involves hunting for precious metals, gems and so on. We can assume that any job or pastime including hunting for such items has an element of ‘Treasure Hunting’ included in it. This could include Metal Detecting, Wreck Hunting, Gold Panning, Bottle Digging, and even Magnet Fishing.

Generally Treasure Hunting is a collective name for a group of pastimes or tasks that look for Treasure. Some (in fact most) only participate in one specific type of hunting. Those who Metal Detect don’t typically dive in wrecks – however you will find that some of the pastimes overlap in some way.

The next concern is how can you Treasure Hunt and will it make you cash??

The short answer to this is ‘yes’ it can make you money, but certainly do expect to make a fortune overnight. For example if you take a look at Metal Detecting – a pastime I have actually been involved in for many many years now – I started out with a very old White’s Coinmaster Detector that was my dad’s. (Pictured below)

Vintage Whites Coinmaster
White’s Coinmaster Detector – Multi 4B Coil

I finally purchased my own Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector back in December of 2012. I have now invested many hundreds of hours searching parks, fields, beaches, mining claims, and middle of nowhere Idaho mountains. I’ve found plenty of junk, scrap metal, many coins, trinkets, jewelry and even a 50lb chunk of metal from the treads of an old Caterpillar D8H Crawler Tractor / Dozer 1958-1974.

The bottom line is that if you want to take up the pastime to purely make money – the odds are against you. If you want to take up a hobby and for fun and good exercise while still potentially finding some really really cool stuff, this certainly can be for you. Join a local detecting group and enjoy time with some new friends, you never know where you might end up. We did and we ended up at a mining claim and found some gold.

Found Gold
Gold found up at Miss Lucys Claim – Jason Smith

Then again you can find odd pieces of metal as well.

Rockville Stage Stop
Unknown Metal found at Rockville Stage Stop, Idaho – Jason Smith

Have you ever played “treasure hunting” when you were a kid? Perhaps you would remember the times when you and your childhood buddies concealed each others toys in the garden or some hidden location in the back yard and then had great enjoyment racing around trying to find the hidden gems?

Or you may think that treasure hunting is a video game for kids. The truth is that metal detecting, a form of “treasure hunting” in its own right, is an activity enjoyed by thousands of adults (and kids) from around the world. The metal which people are searching for may either be discarded pieces of aluminium, valuable coins, or other buried treasures, which might easily be discovered when identified by a metal detector.

Many have actually taken up metal discovering as a hobby. A hobby that also includes some great exercise as well. The miles of walking and getting up and down do wonders for the legs, and of course overall health of just being outdoors in the fresh air.

The more typical types of this pastime are:

Coin Shooting: Your focus is to find historical coins which are not only important but can also be unusual and rare. Start with places where people are likely to lose coins, like schools, churches, beaches and even car parks, the older the site, the better.

Gold Prospecting: Treasure hunters in this group normally take the time to do some extra research and effort to find caches of gold, silver or any valuables rumored to be hidden at some place. Hundreds of Metal Detectionist clubs have actually been established all over the world for this hobby. Gold prospecting with a club would offer more resources on the activity and tapping on the experiences of the experts. Numerous clubs also arrange regular treasure huts and trips for metal-detector enthusiasts.

Spud Diggers – Metal Detecting a Gold Mine – White’s 24k and MXT All pro

Relic Hunting: The items sought by relic hunters are those with historically significance such as artifacts, weapons from past wars. These finds can be either extremely interesting or incredibly valuable. Outstanding sources for where to begin consist of military records, maps of old war sites, old pictures, newspaper archives and soldier diaries.

Beach Hunting: For beach fans, here is another factor to check out the beach more. Beach hunting with a metal detector is incredibly popular along the seaside regions, specifically during the summer seasons when hordes of tourists head for the beaches. Go there frequently enough and you might discover lots of jewelery or other valuables left by others.

Now that you know all about metal detecting, you ought to understand it is an enjoyable pastime and is bound to supply lots of entertainment and exercise. Plus, if you are lucky or merely just hardworking enough, it might turn into a profitable pastime! It is time to pick up the metal detector and get out there!

The Underwater Metal Detector

Two of my favorite ‘underwater’ YouTubers is Aquachigger and DALLMYD

They both spend most of their time metal detecting rivers and lakes and just about anywhere they can find water.

Aquachigger tends to focus a lot on rivers and fields in the areas of American Civil War battles.

DALLMYD spends a lot of time in rivers finding phones, glasses and GoPros dropped from people tubing. DALLMYD has been an interesting channel, starting with gaming and then changing into fishing, which now has morphed into metal detecting / diving for treasures.

Many of the more current metal detectors made now are mostly or all water proof. Many beach and underwater metal detectors are rated for about 200′ underwater. Many other metal detectors are normally rated for about 10′ underwater.

One of the best, if not, the very best in metal detector today; the Elsec 5000 Diver Held Magnetometer made of tough non-corrosive material for heavy-duty, professional and amateur divers alike. Elsec was the world’s first ever company to use pulse induction technique of metal detection in commercial use back in the early 60s. By utilizing the best quality electronic components in the manufacture of underwater metal detector serves assurance in dependability and simple upkeep.

Jason Smith

Former Marine, IT Guy & Builder of Websites.  I have 5 US states left to visit. I enjoy hot springs, adventures, hiking, photography, sci-fi, wine, coffee & whiskey.  I am fluent in sarcasm, name that tune, & speak in movie quotes.  I spend most of my time building websites, fixing computers, metal detecting, magnet fishing and gaming occasionally.

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