Metal Detecting 101
by KJ Newby
The hobby of metal detecting is now firmly established in Britain, the USA, Australia and many European countries. The many thousands of metal detectorists who enjoy this fascinating hobby reap benefits in a variety of ways; relaxation away from the pressures of work or domestic life, fresh air and exercise, and making new friends and meeting other enthusiasts. But these are common to many other hobbies and there are more specific benefits which set metal detecting apart; the gain of knowledge about the past, the excitement and pleasure one feels when handling objects which haven't seen light for years, and of course the coins and artifacts recovered. The newcomer to the hobby is happy to find anything other than silver paper, ring pulls and soft drink cans!
Below is a list of websites that may be of interest to you as well as the do's and don'ts of metal detecting:
Go Metal Detecting
Dirty Knees Metal Detecting
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR RESPONSIBLE METAL DETECTOR USERS
Have fun and happy hunting!
- Do not trespass. Ask permission before venturing on to any private land.
- Respect the Country Code. Do not leave gates open when crossing fields, and do not damage crops or frighten animals.
- Do not leave a mess. It is perfectly simple to extract a coin or other small objects buried a few inches under the ground without digging a big hole. Use a sharpened trowel to cut a neat flap do not remove the plug of earth entirely from the ground, extract the object; replace the soil and grass carefully so that even you will have difficulty in finding the spot again.
- Help to keep land tidy - and help yourself. Bottle tops, silver paper and tin cans are the last things you should throw away. You could be digging them up again next year. Do yourself and the community a favor by taking the rusty iron and junk you find to the nearest litter bin.
- If you discover any live ammunition or any lethal object such as an unexploded bomb or mine, do not touch it. Mark the site carefully and report the find to the local police and landowner.
- Report all unusual historical finds to the landowner.
- Familiarize yourself with the laws relating to archaeological sites. Remember it is illegal for anyone to use a metal detector on a scheduled ancient monument unless permission has been obtained from the Secretary of State for the Environment. Also acquaint yourself with the practice of Treasure Trove.
- Remember that when you are out with your metal detector, you are an ambassador for our hobby. Do nothing that may give it a bad name.
- Never miss an opportunity to show and explain your detector to anyone who asks about it. Be friendly, you could pick up some useful clues to another site. If you meet another detector user, introduce yourself. You may learn much about the hobby from each other.