Hunting For Meteorites In New Mexico


Meteorite hunting became a somewhat popular hobby starting in the late 1950s during the space race and saw an increase in activity from the 1980s to current.

The best areas to search for meteorites are large and barren deserts. Meteorites tend to be more blackish than the surrounding desert ground and are more easily visible. The Mojave Desert in Southern California and the states Arizona and New Mexico are ideal for meteorite hunting. 

You do not have to be a professional meteorite hunter or metal detectorist to spot meteorites. You only need to know where to look and what you are looking for.

What Are the Odds of Finding a Meteorite?

The majority of meteorites that have been found were found in deserts. Yes, Antarctica is considered a desert, only because the annual precipitation rate is exceptionally low.

Are Meteorites Worth Money?

Meteorites are quite valuable, up to about $1,000 per gram. Collectors want them for their reasons, and scientists want them to be able to study them. Meteorites are rarer than gold, platinum, diamonds, or emeralds because they are not naturally found on Earth.

Yes, it is possible; anything can happen if you only try. This can be the worst vacation that you will ever attempt, or it may make you rich! You will be looking for a needle in a haystack, but there are thousands of haystacks to inspect since you will be searching for Meteorites.

Each year 10s of thousands of meteorites strike the Earth. This is your chance to discover one. You certainly have the opportunity to state that you have gone into the Twilight Zone.

Did you ever go on a weird getaway? Well, this one is out of this world. Did you know that you can find meteorites with a metal detector? Even though you might think a meteorite is just a rock from space, they have minerals, and sometimes metal properties picked up by a metal detector.

Hunting for meteorites does not need to be a bone-chilling experience in the Antarctic, where the temperature level can be roughly 50 below, and the wind can exceed 100km/h for days at a time. Wind gusts well over 200km/h have been measured as well.

Meteors enter the Earth’s atmosphere all over. They impact everywhere, but because the Earth is so big and the populated areas are smaller in comparison, we do not really notice many of the meteorites entering the atmosphere and impacting the ground.

The technique in discovering them is to look where they have had a less likelihood of being affected by the Earth’s natural forces and have not been damaged by weathering.

This implies that deserts are an excellent location to look for meteorites. Deserts can change over the centuries and do not always have significant weathering. One site that has had a large discovery area of meteorites seems to be in New Mexico. Metal detectors can cancel dominant background rocks. We are talking about ferrous and nonferrous metals in rocks here. Because of this, that will boost the detector to discover meteorites. Metal detectors produce a continuous hum. The volume and pitch of this hum increases as the detector passes over the metallic item.

Is My Rock a Meteorite?

There are three classes of meteorites: stony, iron, and stony-iron. A meteorite is heavier than an ordinary rock and will be attracted to a magnet. A meteorite condition can range from fresh to very weathered. Fresh meteorites have fusion crust and an aerodynamic shape.

Spud Diggers – Metal Detecting in New Mexico with the MXT All Pro – We found some nice relics

Short Class on How Metal Detectors Work

A metal detector is a portable electronic gadget which permeates the ground magnetically to find traces of metal. Part of the appeal of metal detecting is this unidentified factor, keeping beginners and experts on a consistent scan for new sources of metal and more promising places.

Some metal detectors can discriminate between various metals, allowing users to decide if a specific discovery would be worth digging up. Some professional treasure hunters use very discriminating detectors set only for valuable metals; however, enthusiasts tend to check out even the less profitable hits.

Metal detectors are electronic gadgets that discover traces of metal by permeating sand, soil, wood, and other non-metallic compounds. The metal might be anything from discarded pieces of aluminum to buried treasures. Many metal detectors, handheld and walk-through ones at the airport, use a field-disturbance detector.

When a conductor passes through a magnetic field, a part of that magnetic field is disrupted, distorted, and minimized. You can do the same thing by jumping rope with a piece of wire instead of the rope. As the wire cuts through the Earth’s magnetic field, a percentage of electrical energy is produced at the wires’ end.

Electromagnetic induction is the development of an electric field by a varying magnetic field. According to Faraday’s law of induction in 2 methods, the electric field might be produced by the movement of a conductor cutting across the lines of magnetic flux of an electromagnetic field or by a modification in the magnetic flux going through a coil immersed in a non-constant magnetic field.

More Common Metal Detecting Questions

Why is the metal detector important?

Metal detectors are useful for finding metal inclusions hidden within objects or metal objects buried underground. If another coil is used to measure the magnetic field (acting as a magnetometer), the magnetic field change due to the metallic object can be detected.

What can metal detectors not detect?

Metals detected by a metal detector are gold, silver, iron, copper, brass, aluminum, tin, lead, and bronze. On the other hand, the metals that are not highly conductive of electricity are considered non-metal or non-detectable objects. Gemstones, bone, diamond, pearls, and paper are non-detectable objects by metal detectors.

How do you find a lost diamond?

Fluorescence is your friend. Many diamonds will give off a colored luminescence when placed under ultraviolet light. Use your hands and feet. It is not going to bounce where you think. Diamonds are grease magnets. Double-check your purse and use a flashlight to sweep the floor. Now, if your diamond is still attached to your ring, any metal detector will find it.

Will a fake diamond sink in water?

For the floating test, you need a loose diamond and a glass of water. If the diamond is real, it will drop to the bottom of the glass due to the stone’s high density. If the diamond is a fake, it will float on the surface of the water.

Do real diamonds shine in the dark?

So, the answer to the question is, “No, Diamonds do NOT Sparkle in the dark!” They need light (which is why Jewelry Stores have tons of it).

Can a metal detector detect a phone?

Metal detectors cannot distinguish between cellphones and other objects made with metal. Even though some say phones do not have much metal in them, most phones these days can be found with any metal detector.

Who invented the first metal detector?

Alexander Graham Bell invented the first metal detector in 1881. His first electromagnetic device was called the induction balance. At the time, President James Garfield was dying of an assassin’s bullet. Alexander Bell quickly invented an elementary metal detector in an attempt to locate the fatal slug. This attempt was unsuccessful, but it was the first ‘metal detector’ ever made.

Will a magnet stick to gold?

If it is real gold, it will not stick to the magnet. Real gold is not magnetic. Fake gold will stick to the magnet, though. If you have a ‘gold’ necklace that leaps to a magnet, your significant other has some explaining to do.

Relics In New Mexico - Photographer Rob Johnson
Relics In New Mexico – Photographer Rob Johnson (Spud Digger)

Locations for Metal Detecting / Treasure Hunting

When you think about treasure hunting, perhaps precious stones and gold coins come to mind; however, it does not end there. You can begin in your attic to see what treasures you discover. You might be surprised at what old lost items you might have stored away and forgotten about.

Promising Locations for Metal Detecting Finds

If you are at a loss on where to begin searching for buried treasures, get your metal detectors and tools all set since we have several tips in mind for you.

National Forests: It is an excellent place to start checking out since many rangers are somewhat willing and polite to help metal detecting enthusiasts like you. **Check your state’s laws before heading into a National Forest.

Yards: Yes, your backyard could do, especially if it is OLD land. If you are detecting someone else’s yard, make sure you ask permission first, and it never hurts to guarantee them a share of your finds if that will help get a yes from the landowner. States vary; some let you keep the findings if you have permission. In some states, you must split the findings 50/50.

Parks: There are most likely more parks in your city, then you are aware of. Take out that city map and have a look to ensure you are not missing out on any.

Beaches: With the sun, the breeze, and the waves doing their things, it is no surprise that nature’s charm so overtakes beach fans that they tend to lose some of their belongings.

Group Treasure Hunts: If you are part of a local metal detecting club in your area, most will host group treasure hunting outings.

Playgrounds: These places are perfect if you are new and want to practice and learn your detector. You are not going to find much outside of some change and a possible toy now and then. There is always the possibility of a parent pushing their kid on a swing and losing a diamond ring.

Fields: Old farmsteads can have a treasure trove of older items, or if you are in the UK, some fields have caches of gold or silver coins. Your best bet is at the end of the year after farmers have plowed their fields and are done using it for the winter. Get out there and get digging before it gets too cold out. (ALWAYS ASK PERMISSION) Fields also can include old battlegrounds from the Civil War era. (AGAIN, following state laws)

Woods: Research old and brand-new trails in your local woods. Ask coworkers and buddies where they go hiking and where they stop to rest when they do so. Also, inquire about bike and horse-riding routes in your location.

Riverbanks: Drop by at your public library and research riverbanks that were once used for ferryboat landings. These spots are more likely to yield much older and very delightful finds than other locations.

Creeks: Talk to good friends and learn where their preferred swimming holes are on local creeks. What about their preferred fishing spots? Any place where individuals gather along a creek is a prospective good metal detecting area.

That is simply a small list of fantastic metal detecting spots to get you started. Be sure always to have permission to hunt the site you choose, leave the place as you found it, and be safe.

May your next terrific find be right around the corner! And possibly among the fore mentioned metal detector hunting areas.

If you find the right places to hunt, metal finding can be rewarding both personally and financially.

A Word of Warning

Wherever you decide to search for long-forgotten and long-lost treasure, make sure that you have legal authorization to do so at that place—also following all state laws for your area. Ask around if permission, a license, or any legal file is needed before your hunt.

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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