Metal detecting can be a very fun hobby but some people actually make money with a metal detector.
Here are five ways that you can make extra income while pursuing your hobby.
Start A Lost Object Recovery Service
People are always losing things like rings and when they do they need the services of someone who has a metal detector. Most amateurs with cheap equipment don’t have the skills necessary to perform a professional metal detector search, while correctly interpreting things like bottle caps and pull tabs which would lead to needless digging. To get started you need a good machine with a discriminator circuit. Ones that are fairly accurate can cost well over $500, but for around that price you can get a good used machine that once cost $1000 or more on eBay. Advertise your lost object recovery service on the web and on sites like Craigslist. You might also pass out your business cards to the police department. In smaller communities the police do not have trained people on staff to look for crime scene evidence with a metal detector and may request your services. Whether you are compensated or not, it is a great way to build a reputation as someone to turn to to find lost objects. See How To Start A Lost Object Recovery Service
Offer To Locate Underground Lines and Survey Pins
Another way to make money with your metal detector is to offer your services as an underground line and survey marker locator in your city. Again, place ads on the web and Craigslist using key words like “water line locator service”, and “underground pipe location service”. You will need a professional metal detector, such as the ones that penetrate the ground up to several feet and which are made specifically for pipeline location. A hobbyist pulse induction metal detector may work as well. Models such as White’s TDI can reach up to eight feet underground with the right coils.
Find Meteorites and Sell Them On eBay
Another idea to make money with your metal detector is to locate meteorites. For persons who live in the western United States there are far more opportunities for meteorite hunting. Some meteorites fetch as much as $1000 per ounce. You will have to find owners of large ranches and gain their permission or hunt on public land where metal detecting is allowed. Chances of finding a meteorite are small, but persistent hunters such as those portrayed in the show “Meteorite Men” do make a living at it.
Search For Surface Gold With Your Metal Detector
Nugget shooting is the term used by some in the hobby to describe hunting for surface gold nuggets. Again, the western United States, such as Arizona, are among the best places to look. You can see Arizona Metal Detecting Opportunities for places to look.
Search For Silver and Gold Coins
The most profitable finds made by metal detector owners are often silver and gold coins. Silver coins are among the most easily found, since gold often resembles other metals such as aluminum. For those with a good discriminator type detector the chances of finding pre 1964 silver coins are good around old homes and abandoned buildings. Silver coins are worth somewhere around ten times their face value. A hoard of coins in good shape also may have coin collector value. Recently a man in the U.K. found a hoard of old Roman coins worth thousands of dollars. Coin shooting is one of the most popular types of metal detecting.
There are more ways to make money with a metal detector, you just have to use your imagination. Old relics such as civil war bullets, military coat buttons, swords and guns often fetch good prices on eBay. Look for old relics on private property with permission and you just might find something that you could sell for a profit.
There are many good sites in larger cities to search for things with your equipment. The book Urban Metal Detecting is a good resource.