Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Every find tells a story.

So I've been metal detecting now for about 10 years and I always am amazed at the things I dig up and I never take a find for granted because every find is unique. Everything I dig up while metal detecting has a story behind it and I often try to imagine what that story might be.

Like an old coin that I find, or an old piece of jewelry, I often wonder who held it last, why is it here? I once found a beautiful Victorian diamond ring and it was one of the happiest times of my metal detecting experience, but I also realized that losing that ring was probably one of the most "unhappy" experiences of someone else's life, how ironic.

I found a beautiful gold men's wedding band on the beach and did the usual fist pumping and exclaiming yes, as I happily placed it in my finds pouch. Then it dawned on me that someone, a husband or husband and father, was at the beach one day, probably with his wife and possibly children.

I picture them running happily towards the water, hand in hand, then splashing into the waves swinging their arms as people often do when jumping into the water. Next thing you know, the man is looking at his hand realizing his ring is gone and then there is that devastating feeling that comes with knowing that you won't be able to find it.

A ring that may have meant the world to someone, may have been blessed by a priest at a wedding ceremony or handed down in the family. A ring that someone might have saved for to be a gift for that special day or a ring placed on a finger and sealed with a kiss from a loving new bride that now sits somewhere covered in sand, gone forever.

Fast forward, here I come with my detector several years later, a few months later, or maybe the next day, who knows? I hear that tone shouting GOLD into my ears and dig up that beautiful ring and I'm doing the "happy dance."

One of the hard truths about metal detecting is that usually one man's good fortune is a direct result of another man's misfortune.

So whenever I find a piece of jewelry, an old coin, or any other item I dig up, I try to imagine the story behind it and whenever possible, if circumstances allow, I try to locate the owner of a lost piece of jewelry and return it to them. That's just the right thing to do and you know something, I feel good doing it.

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

It’s not just about the Bling!


 
  With all the recent metal detecting television shows and advertisements for metal detectors it’s no wonder so many new people are getting into the hobby. How can anyone resist with the TV show exclamations of “BOOM BABY!” and the comments like “I’ve found over a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in jewelry” or “I’ve found over a million dollars in artifacts” being made over the airwaves to millions.

 
  Unfortunately some folks approach metal detecting as a “get rich quick” scheme only to be severely disappointed and quickly give up. What doesn’t come out in the TV shows is the hours upon hours of digging “trash” or items that may have “history” but no “historical value” so to speak.
 
Part of the reason many of us stick with this hobby is the understanding of that reality, combined with getting satisfaction from digging up something that was dropped or buried years ago, and questioning the story behind it, the mystery of how it got there, who may have held it last, and why it is where it is?

 
  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t or won’t find valuable stuff, what I am saying is that it won’t come easy for the vast majority of metal detecting enthusiasts. I am able to pay for my hobby by cashing in on some of my finds but the hobby is not making me “rich” in the monetary sense, however it does make me “rich” in other ways.

 
  For one, I get to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, I love getting up before sunrise and hitting a nice serene & scenic beach in the earliest hour when the tide is going out and especially when there is a nice sea breeze.
 
I also enjoy a beautiful park late in the day when most folks have left and I can scan the ground without concern or interruption.

 

  And hey, while pulling hundreds of pull-tabs, rusty nails, bottle-caps, etc. I do find an occasional silver coin or ring, gold jewelry, or an old relic as an added bonus.  
 

 
  Just go into this hobby with the understanding that it’s not just about the bling, there is so much more to it. If you can do that, then this hobby is for you!


Happy Hunting

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Going for the Gold!

As a metal detectorist, one of the things we all look for and hope to find is gold. Whether it be a gold coin, nugget, ring, chain, or any other gold jewelry, it is always in the back of your mind while swinging a detector. But, it is elusive, and at least in my experience as a metal detecting enthusiast, not something you find everyday.
I find that here in Massachusetts my best chance for gold is on a beach and that is usually where I find it. The problem with that is a lot of people like to enjoy a beverage or two while at the beach resulting in lots of pull-tabs and bottle-caps, from soda & beer cans, being left behind.




Well, those items just happen to identify on metal detectors the same as gold does, making it frustrating in the search for the elusive gold.

However, if you are patient and persistent enough, you will eventually find the gold. When metal detecting on a beach you must dig everything and I mean everything. If you keep digging those signals and keep getting pull-tabs you can't get frustrated, you can't stop digging those signals because you will find gold.

On one beach hunting trip I dug the 18 pull-tabs in the picture, some bottle-caps and some pieces of small foil, not pictured, before I found this 14k gold turquoise and diamond ring. Guess what it rang up as on my detector?

A pull-tab!

So you see, my patience and persistence paid off in a big way! Keep digging those foil, pull-tab, nickel & zinc targets and you will find your gold.

Happy Hunting!