The hobby of metal detecting has gotten some bad wraps throughout the years. Mostly the thumping has come from archaeologists who believe they are the “supreme diggers of dirt.” They believe that this right to dig in the dirt was only bestowed by God upon them. So, the archaeology community bashes and trashes the hobby of metal detecting. They can often times be like petulant children.
Others who have bashed the hobby are individuals who just enter the hobby thinking they are going to find rare coins worth thousands of dollars, or a buried treasure. Unfortunately, what happens, as many of us know, is that these eager, and excited treasure seekers, with their new, trusty, metal detectors, end up digging pull-tabs, bottle caps, tinfoil, and many clad coins. Now, the vision of a mass fortune they held in their minds turns into a considerable heap of trash destined for the garbage bin. And the metal detector goes into the closet where it begins its lonely life as a dust collector.
Now some of these plucky individuals may go detecting one or two more times. “After-all”, they say. “The dealer who sold me this detector said it would find all kinds of nice things. I‘ll just give it another go.”
But what happens is the junk keeps showing up, and the good finds continue to elude them. So, once again, into the closet, or down to the deep recesses of the basement, goes the detector, never again to see the light of day. And then, the criticism begins.
“Metal detecting sucks.” There’s nothing in the ground but rusty nails, pull tabs, tinfoil, and junk.” “I’d rather have a root canal.” “The hobby’s a waste of time.”
I hear stories of metal detector dealers spinning tales of “fortunes to be found” as the neophyte newbie listens all wide eyed. “Buy this detector, and you will find old coins, gold rings, and even buried treasures.” Although it’s true that the above items are located, what the dealers fail to mention is that it takes practice, patience, and persistence to become good enough to locate these items. A first-time metal detector user rarely locates a gold coin or gold ring. It’s even rarer that a newbie will find a buried treasure worth millions, or even thousands of dollars.
Sometimes the newbie jumps on the bashing band-wagon at some forum or blog. Negativity spreads easy. But it shouldn’t have to be that way. Metal detecting is the best hobby. If it wasn’t, thousands of detectors would not be sold each year.
To become proficient in the hobby, you must first learn your detector. And that means at least fifty hours of digging every signal you hear. Yes, most of it will be junk. However, by digging lots of junk; you are learning to crawl before you walk. It’s true that the modern metal detectors today are now called, “turn on and go” detectors. So it’s easy to start searching. But you must learn how the detector operates once it’s turned on. “You need to understand how the detector reacts to the different metals beneath the ground”. How hard is that to say to a first time metal detector buyer?
As mentioned. Metal detecting is a great hobby. If you are one that is thinking of quitting, avoid the negatives, and the BS. Learn from your mistakes. And begin to enjoy the journey that so many of us have followed. Because for every negative that you hear about the hobby, there are many more positives.
Once you become proficient at understanding how your detector works, then the good finds will begin to appear, and that’s when the hobby becomes infectious. Signs that the hobby of metal detecting is growing on you will begin to appear. Like sleeping less at night because you’ll be thinking about your next metal detecting outing. Or your boss will be asking you why you’re missing more and more work. And another sign is if you’re married, your spouse will become agitated because you’re spending less time with them. That’s when you realize that the hobby of metal detecting has overwhelmed your very existence. And you will never be the same again.
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