When you think of a metal detectorist, you may conjure up an image of someone walking along the beach, occasionally finding coins and earrings buried in the sand. This is an accurate descriptor for many detecting enthusiasts, but others have found some downright interesting things during their detecting outings! Check out these fascinating things people have found with their metal detectors.
In Rio Rancho, New Mexico, a 13-year-old named Jansen Lyons was scanning the ground with his metal detector when he found a two-pound meteor. He called the local university to report it, but they doubted his claim, so he picked up the meteor and brought it to them himself. It was eventually named the Rio Rancho Meteorite, after the location where it was found.
Good To Know:
Want to unearth some unusual finds of your own? As you shop for metal detectors, choose the right one for you based on your needs and skill level.
Cast Iron Toy Gun
A detectorist named James Resinger secured permission to detect at a house built in 1909 in Elma, Washington. He found a variety of interesting things, like antique coins and a golf club money clip, but his capstone find was an old toy gun made of cast iron. Antique experts dated the gun back to the 1930s, but toy guns have been manufactured since the 1840s.
Veteran metal detecting enthusiast Mike Smith was on one of his regular jaunts when his detector picked up an old chain buried in the ground. As Mike pulled on the chain, he saw that it led to a hidden room underground.
Inside the room, he saw strange, Roman-like inscriptions on the wall—and the skeletal remains of a human being. Because he knew the laws surrounding metal detecting, Mike notified the police right away.
British detectorist Terry Herbert’s story is one that many metal-detecting enthusiasts can only dream of. He was detecting on farmland in the village of Hammerwich in Staffordshire, England, when his detector started to go off. He unearthed a massive hoard of gold and silver pieces that filled over 200 bags!
Herbert realized the site must be of historical significance, so he contacted antiquities experts. The owner of the land gave permission for archeological excavation, and the collection of gold unearthed there became known as the Staffordshire Hoard. It is the largest collection of gold artifacts found in England’s history.
People have found all sorts of interesting things with their metal detectors over the years, from space rocks to gold hoards. If you want to make unique finds of your own, research your local history and secure permission to detect on old or historic grounds.