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FAQ: Are metal detectors worth buying?

Many people new to the hobby of metal detecting often wonder if there is anything out there worth digging up anymore.  And, is a metal detector worth buying?  As one of the largest dealers in the U.S. I cannot even begin to tell you the success stories I have heard.  For example, I received an email from a customer about a recent find.  I wrote a blog article about it called, "Scott S. of North Carolina Shares a Once In a Lifetime Metal Detecting Experience - Four Spanish Coins!".  This gentleman found four Spanish coins in a very short period.  We get emails, calls, and people stopping by daily about very unique, interesting, and often valuable finds.  

For as little as $219 you can get a high quality detector like the Fisher F22 Metal Detector

Fisher F22 Metal Detector with Extra Free Gear

I know one guy here in the Kansas City area that has dedicated his entire basement to his metal detecting finds.  He has a vault with untold value that is completely full of artifacts, collectibles, and valuables....and when I say full, I mean ceiling to floor packed with stuff.  He has been doing it 50+ years and has kept every single item he has found.  The collection is impressive to say the least.  

Finding valuable coins and jewelry are only one aspect of metal detecting.  According to an article in Forbes magazine, Americans lose $62 million dollars in coins each year...and considering coins have been circulating in the U.S. since well before the first U.S. mint was established in 1792, can you imagine how many lost coins there are still out there to be found?  Considering the Spanish and French settlers widely used coins for currency, the possibilities are staggering.  Anyone who has metal detected for any length of time knows first hand that on any given day, you can easily go dig up a few dollars in modern clad coins.

Another aspect of detecting is relic hunting.  Finding old interesting items beneath the earth is an activity that is fun and enlightening.  These items may be of little to zero monetary value but may hold historic or sentimental significance.  Often at first some of the metal you will dig up will look like junk.  Then, upon second glance you may realize you have unearthed a tiny treasure.  At first you may not know what it is.  But, curiosity will get the best of you and you will find yourself scouring the internet trying to find out what such oddity might be.  In essence you will become an amateur historian by happenchance. 

Once you find these relics you may choose to keep them in their "dug" condition or you may decide to restore them, use them for a decorative piece, or perhaps even repurpose them as a piece of art.  The restoration process can be fascinating in itself.  Below is a buckle I recovered from a pre-civil war era ghost town that is now nothing but a plowed beanfield.  Click here to see the video of me finding the buckle.  Click on the image to see the video of the restoration process.

So, to answer the question.  "Are metal detectors worth buying?"  My simple answer is YES - in more ways than one.  I have a great number of metal detecting customers who own multiple metal detectors and it is for good reason.  One gentleman in particular has bought several detectors from us in the past and has recently retired.  He is an avid detectorist and travels the country hunting relics, jewelry, coins, and gold.  He just purchased a new gold prospecting metal detector, the Minelab SDC 2300 for $2,300.  His comment was, "I don't buy a metal detector unless it is going to pay for itself.  This one will pay for itself quickly," he said.  And, I firmly believe it will.

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