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Metal Detecting

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 I have only been doing metal detecting from about 2007. It has been one of my life long dreams to be able to do it.

As a child, I always had a fascination in finding treasure, and in reading about treasure being found by others. Every town, no matter where abouts in the world you live, has history to it. Some towns are blessed with a long history, others not so long, but there is a history. That history, can be the type of money the people used, or the type of jewelry they wore, or what type of nails were used in building their houses. It is that history, that we treasure hunters are  finding, and putting together to make a full picture of the history of that town.

When I first started, I thought it was just a matter of swinging the detector across the ground, and digging the finds. I was so wrong....

There are many sides to this great hobby that a person has to learn, but each part is a lot of fun.

  • The hardest lesson I learnt, was just how unfit I was. After working with a detector for an hour, mixed with digging the finds and scrap, every muscle and bone in my body ached. This hobby uses all the muscles that are not normally used in your day to day activities. I have heard that people lose a fair amount of weight with this hobby also. So if you are a person like I was, that did not exercise much, this is a great hobby for you.
  •  There is much research to do before you can start detecting. You need to visit libraries, look at maps, and use the internet to help you find all the places where battles or other famous happenings happened. You need to find where all the old parks used to be, or where old houses used to stand. Where did people swim on hot days? In other words, where are the most likely places to find treasure from days past. I found that I have learnt so much history on the area that I live in that I never knew before, that in itself is a great bonus. I have researched the "Boer war", which is the war that was fought reasonably close to where I live. What I needed to know was where the battles were fought, what type of weapons were used, and what uniforms were worn by each party. How did the troops move around? In other words, If I am to find treasure from that war, where must I look to find it, and what can I expect to find.

The next Item to learn, is your detector. This is a very important part to finding treasure. Depending on the type of detector you have, you need to learn what it does for the different types of metals, the depth of the finds, will the detector work in water? And how does the detector work with different types of ground. This stage will keep you busy for a fair amount of time, as you need to learn your detector well.

This picture shows the main types of tools that you need to get started in this fascinating hobby.

When you find treasure, you also need to know how to clean and preserve them. This is also a very big subject, as there are many factors that have to be looked into. Sometimes, just water and a toothbrush will do the job, other times a clean-up in an electrolysis bath may be needed which gets rid of very hard to loosen rust and grime. Other times, you could loose money by cleaning an object that is valuable. Different metals also have different ways of being cleaned. 

Finally, you will need to document and display, or store your finds. Lots of work have gone into finding your treasures, so you now need to look after them. Make sure you document where you found each item, because a few years down the road, you may need to remember where you recovered that item, it may be of great importance. Good things to document would be the date of the find, place where the item was found, depth of the find, type of soil, and maybe the readings that the machine gave when finding it. It would be good to have a photo of the find in your records.

Each of these areas are a study in themselves. I have just touched the surface of what is "Metal Detecting" and what is involved if you take up this wonderful hobby. There are many resources on the Internet, and in your library, that you can find and read to help you through each stage of this hobby. 

Resources

Here are some resources that will help you to get started in metal detecting.

TreasureNet Forum: http://forum.treasurenet.com. This is the place where you will find me 99% of the time. This is a great forum where the users share their experiences and knowledge. An absolute for any treasure hunter.

World Coin Gallery: http://worldcoingallery.com. Great place to research any coins that you have found.

Ebay: www.ebay.com. If you are looking for any information on a find, this is a good place to start. Often you can get a gauge on what your find is worth.

Google Earth: www.googleearth.com. Google Earth is a great software that you can download for free, and use to see an aerial view of any place in the world. Great for looking for ruins in your area.

YouTube: www.youtube.com. On this site there are a fair amount of treasure hunting movies that you can watch online. These movies will give you some good tips on what to do and where to go.

Rock Key: http://www.rockhounds.com/rockshop/rockkey/#Key. This is a great site if you have found a strange rock and would like to identify it.

Join your towns local metal detecting, treasure hunting group. Information on these clubs can be found at your library or on the Internet.

Keep an eye open in the Forum page for items that I have found with the metal detector. 

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