The key to being a successful coin and jewelry hunter is to have an abundance of places to search with your metal detector. This is the greatest challenge to those who participate in metal detecting as a hobby. Some property owners will file charges on you if you are caught digging for coins, no matter how neatly you cover up your hole. Others may take the law into their own hands, seeing you as stealing something that was theirs, even though they would have never found it.
Of course you should always observe posted no trespassing signs and avoid metal detecting in what is obviously private property. Public property can be just as great a challenge, with groundskeepers upset that you are digging holes, even though they are small and will be covered back up.
I have found that possibly the best way to find places to go metal detecting is to place an ad on Craigslist and in small local newspapers requesting the permission of property owners in exchange for half of what is found. You will be surprised at the number of people who want an old farm or homestead searched by an experienced treasure hunter for a share of the bounty.
Some of the best places to search for treasure with your metal detector are old abandoned schools, churches and businesses. Avoid old taverns and restaurants unless your detector has a good discriminator circuit and you know how to interpret cans, pull tabs and bottle caps. These items are the curse of those in the hobby. Look under old playground equipment for silver coins dated prior to 1964. These are typically worth around ten times face value, possibly more if they have numismatic value.
A favorite urban metal detecting location of mine is next to old parking meters. Those that have been around for more than 40 years may have a few silver coins buried next to them or in cracks in the sidewalk close to them.
A very good resource for urban treasure hunters is the book Urban Treasure Hunter, seen below.
How To Make Money With A Metal Detector
Meteorite hunting is becoming a very popular way to earn money with a metal detector. A recent reality show called “Meteorite Men” has brought this obscure niche of metal detecting onto the national spotlight. Believe it or not there are actually people out there making a living finding and selling meteorites on eBay. The book “Rocks From Space” is an interesting read for those considering becoming meteorite hunters.
Though they are extremely rare, a large meteorite could be worth as much as silver or gold per ounce, depending on the makeup of the meteorite. Since they are primarily iron and nickel and may last underground in dry places for centuries, you will want to hunt with a pulse type detector capable of penetrating the ground up to five feet or more. One of the best on the market at the present time is the White’s TDI Pulse Scan, and is capable of penetrating up to eight feet with the right coil. It sells for around $1600, so you can get the picture that meteorite hunting is a bit of a gamble, considering the high cost of the equipment you will need. On the other hand a good pulse induction metal detector for meteorite hunting will last for many years and is versatile enough for other types of treasure hunting such as gold and relics. Pulse scan metal detectors are not as well suited for coin hunting, so you would most likely want another machine.
Arid climates are the best since iron meteorites are better preserved. Since they are not relics, on public lands the park warden or BLM manager may allow their removal .
Large ranches in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and other western states are some of the best places to look for meteorites. Inquire in small towns about ranchers who may allow you to search for free or for a small daily fee. Most are curious about the hobby and what might be on their land and will allow you to search for free, provided you cover up holes and close gates behind you. All you have to do is look on eBay at what they are selling for for an idea of how much you could make if you get lucky.
Another way to make money with your metal detector is to search for lost objects such as rings for a fee. See this article for tips on how to start a treasure recovery business. How To Start A Lost Jewelry Recovery Service