My Metal Detecting Story

My metal detecting story began a long time ago. After reading countless metal detecting, and treasure hunting magazines, and feeling the eagerness of wanting to try this hobby, I finally broke down and purchased my first metal detector. It was a used model. A Whites Coinmaster.

The metal detector that got my hooked on the hobby.

I purchased the detector from Jerry, an old time, treasure hunter, who owned a treasure hunting store in the area where I lived.  Jerry also became my mentor into the world of metal detecting and treasure hunting.  After Jerry showed me how to use the detector, I immediately drove to a large, old,  picnic grove near where I lived. The grove, is a park today.

I parked my car, excitedly grabbed my metal detector, turned it on, and haphazardly began swinging my detector over the ground as if I was trimming the grass with a sickle. Looking back now, I realize that I had no clue what I was doing. My detector coil, as I was swinging the detector, was about a foot off the ground. Of course that’s a no, no. I was not swinging the coil parallel to the ground. That’s a no, no. And I was swinging my detector way too fast, another no, no, in the world of metal detecting.

After an hour I disappointingly gave up. I did not find anything, not even junk. As I drove home I kept thinking about all of those old coins, and jewelry, and treasures that the people I read about in those magazines were finding. Why didn’t I find anything like that I thought.

The next day I drove back to see Jerry at his treasure hunting store. I brought my detector with me. I told him I was disappointed in the metal detector. I said to him. “It didn’t find anything.”

Jerry laughed and said. “Let’s see how you use this detector?”

We went outside and he asked me to demonstrate how I was using the detector. He pointed to a patch of grass across from his store.

“Go over there.” He pointed.

I began swinging my detector over the small grassy area, and then Jerry yelled out. “Woo. Stop! You’ll never find anything if your coil is a foot off the ground, and your swinging your detector like a madman.”

He then reached into his pocket and with some coins in hand he tossed them on the ground.

“Now swing that detector coil over one of those coins, slowly, a few inches off the ground, keeping the coil parallel to the ground.”

As I did that, my detector began to beep, beep, telling me there was metal beneath my coil. It rang out over each coin. And when I lifted my detector coil too high, there was no sound emitted from the metal detector.


With new found confidence, I drove back to the old grove, and began detecting an area in the back of what used to be the oldest part of the grove. I swung my detector slowly making sure that I kept my coil low, and level to the ground, and overlapping each swing. Soon I began to dig old, rusted, metal objects, some tinfoil, and old bottle caps. And then…I dug my first silver coin. I still remember the feeling of seeing that shiny mercury dime laying in the bottom of the small hole I dug. It was a 1934 Mercury dime, and to this day, I still have it as a reminder of the exciting journey the metal detecting hobby has taken me on over the years.

1934 Mercury Dime

And that journey led me to producing and hosting the first metal detecting, TV series.

I have shared my metal detecting story with many newbies to the hobby, hoping to ignite in them the same passion that I have felt throughout the years. If you are new to the hobby, or if you are thinking about starting the hobby, I hope this story will inspire you as well. Metal detecting is one of the most exciting hobbies there is.

My metal detecting finds!


Perhaps you have a story that you would like to tell. If so, you can do as others have and post your detecting story with pictures here. 

A metal detecting story could come from these areas.

And if you do metal detect. Know what the laws are.

Thanks for visiting my metal detecting story page!

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Privacy Policy

My Podcast Interview

"The Digger" Newsletter


Back Issues


Your email address is safe, and  unsubscribing is easy.