Metal detectors are often used to find lost objects, or to explore vast beaches and land for treasure.
Below are some of the most amazing discoveries people have found while using a metal detector. Check them out!
1. Fool’s gold.
My uncle isn’t the brightest. We had a cabin by a stream, and he decided to buy a metal detector and see if he could find some gold. He picks up some rocks and scans over them. The detector goes off and he gets super excited. He does the same with multiple rocks, and now has a pile, assuming the rocks must have deposits. He’d been at it or an hour or two before he realized that he was holding the rocks with his left hand and scanning with his right. He was detecting the gold wedding band on his finger.
2. Dig deep enough and you’ll find yourself.
I went metal detecting with my Dad on an isolated island he used to play on as a kid 50 years ago. We found a hatchet head about 18″ down that he lost as kid building a fort. Maybe not the coolest find for anyone else, but it was awesome to see my elderly father instantly transported to his childhood.
3. You’ve got your first case, kid.
The year was 1996. I was 22 and just bought my first metal detector. I was at my girlfriend’s house and asked her mom if I could use it in the backyard. She says sure and then starts telling me about a precious ring her oldest daughter had lost in the backyard in 1979. It was a family heirloom and was missed very greatly. She pulls out home movies that were made the day it was lost. It was at a family reunion. Well I saw in the movie where the girl was mostly hanging out. I walked outside, turned on my detector and found the ring that had been lost for 17 years in about two minutes.
4. Here’s your birthday gift for me.
I bought my son a kid’s size one for his 6th birthday. I’m the one that uses it though. I feel pretty ridiculous walking around with it but I just can’t help myself! My family can be little jerks when I get it out and constantly throw coins in the sand when detecting on a beach just to see me get excited.
It’s kinda scary how many rusty nails and razor blades I find on beaches. I’ve found a few rings but pretty sure they’re just costume jewelry. Lots of coins too but mostly rusty nails. So many rusty nails.
5. I guess he kept a low profile.
A set of World War I medals, the ones that were given out after the war, belonging to a Lt. Rupert Frampton. Can’t find anything about him on Google.
I keep them in the box with the two sets I have from my great grandfather and step great grandfather.
6. War is never really over.
Found a platinum ring with a diamond in it once, it wasn’t shiny, as it had been under the sand for a while, but still pretty.
I also have a large collection of old coins and artifacts.
My personal favourite is actually two items found in the same field, two World War II bullets, one from some sort of ground to air rifle, the other from a plane that shoots things on the ground. I’m not actually sure what weapons or planes they’re from, I’m not very educated on World War II weaponry unfortunately.
7. Rode it into the ground.
My friend Dean found a bicycle buried under the sand at a beach.
An entire bicycle. it needed cleaning, and a new tire, along with a new chain, but after that it was as good as new.
8. Now THAT’S who should get deported…
My uncle found an authentic Nazi officer’s ring on the beaches of San Diego. Though in all honesty, the wild stories we came up with to explain how/why the ring ended up there is much cooler than the ring itself.
9. Size really does matter.
My wedding ring:
-in the garden, under some tomato starts
-in the garden, mixed in with carrot seeds.
-in my friends back yard, near the hammock I drunkenly fell off of.
-in a massive leaf pile ( 6 foot tall by easily 12 foot in diameter.) at another friends house.
I need to get this thing resized.
10. Is that technically mining or logging?
My dog once ate one of my mother’s sapphire earrings. My dad went out with the dog every morning and used my metal detector to ‘find it.’
11. His website is thebomb.com
I know a man who grew up in Normandy in France right after World War II, as you can imagine there were a lot of unexploded bombs left. So one day, he was around 8 years old, he and some friends go metal detecting and found one. They took it home and played a bit with it. As you can imagine, BOOM!
He still has pieces of this bomb in his chest nowadays and I think there was some lost fingers too.
Don’t play with bombs kids. And fireworks too.
12. My precious.
My girlfriend and I found a ring once on a children’s playground area. It turned out just to be sterling silver, so nothing expensive. Never did find the owner.
But I like to think some kid got dumped and threw their ring away.
13. An old-timey IOU.
Found a lead coin in a field. Apparently back in the day, farm hands used to be paid in these lead coins that they cashed out at the end of the week for real coins.
This was to stop them from turning up to work drunk/hungover every morning.
14. Leave it to a hippie.
This happened to my best friend. She lost her ring the day after she was proposed to at the beach in Los Angeles. She was crying and asked the lifeguard tower if there was anything they could do. They gave her a number to this metal detector guy named Harry. They said he was the best in town and not to call anyone else. So they give him a ring and he’s there 20 minutes later with his metal detector. Old tan dude with long beach hair.
She offered to give him $200 cash. He said no thank you. Their happiness was enough for him!
15. Foiled by foliage.
My husband had to rent a metal detector when he lost his wedding band in the backyard. He was chopping/stacking logs and took off his gloves for something and it must have been flung out during that.
Good news is that he found it almost right away in a pile of leaves.
16. This guy dug up a whole university.
Coolest thing I found was a silver button weighing 2.1 grams from 1780’s or so the history behind it is amazing. But let me tell you something my dad metal detects too and because of schoolwork I couldn’t go with him for the day. The guy finds a golden coin that was otherwise unknown. It is a coin so rare that it’s strange. It’s from around 1560 if you know Dutch history you know that the 80 year war against the Spanish the coin was taxed with some kind of staple this staple was also never used before. He sold it and got enough money to pay for my tuition.
17. Mmm. Free food.
When we were in high school, my buddy and I were metal detecting around his dad’s yard. Found a door to a small fallout shelter that the original owners of the house had built out of paranoia. Still stocked with several weeks worth of canned food, tools, medical supplies, and a radio.
18. Turns out you can bury your feelings.
My wife would most definitely say her wedding ring. While we were dating metal detecting was our hobby that we did together. Long story short I made a heart shaped plug (cut out piece of grass) and put her ring in it, then I made her come dig it up. She loved it and we’ve been happily married for two years now.
19. Ghost money.
At the beach, my brother and I found a monogrammed Sterling sliver money clip stuffed with $20’s and five $100’s.
Fortunately, it was buried in the sand far enough away from the ocean that the paper bills were still intact. We looked around, but the area where we discovered it was deserted.
20. Found some spare time.
The remains of my neighbor’s dad’s pocket watch, dropped in the yard ~50 years ago. Beyond repair certainly, but recognizable and somewhat satisfying to my neighbor I hope.
Mostly I find old farmyard rubbish because of where we live, but I’m happy to get that out of the ground too. Old leaf springs and axles, an axe head, a jalopy-type hood. Sometimes the hit coincides with the old midden pile, where you’ll find bottles and crockery and china as well.
Found a 1915 Barber quarter at the inlaws, too.
21. Sir, are you the Tin Man?
Unlike most, my metal detector is used to check you in to the Emergency Room. One time, this fellow kept making the detector go off, near his abdomen.
I wasn’t satisfied so I used our handheld metal-detector-wand. Turns out his pocket knife had fallen into a hole in his pocket into the inside of his jacket.
He thanked me and explained his grandfather had given him the knife when he was a boy, and he was coming to see his grandpa in the ER.
22. Grandma was a squirrel.
My grandparents were newlyweds, vacationing at a beach a few hours from home. My grandmother is sitting on the beach in a chair, lazily fiddling with the sand with her left hand while she sunbathed. Looking down later, she realizes her diamond ring is lost in the sand. She searched frantically for hours and couldn’t find it.
TWENTY years later, they are still vacationing in the same place every year. My grandmother sets up a beach chair, reaches down into the sand casually and what does she find? Her ring from 20 years prior, lost on the same beach outside the same hotel.
What are the odds?
23. One man’s trash…
My dad rented a metal detector because he lost his wedding ring doing yard work. He went over everything and finally moved to the compost pile in the back. Around that time, I got home from school or something and I see him with this weird contraption. I ask him what he was doing and he said he lost his wedding ring and was trying to find it.
At that point I see something shiny and ask, “is that it?” It was.
Anyway, I got to play with the metal detector the rest of the afternoon and found two really old, rusty matchbox cars and an old Budweiser can. I still have the cars.
24. From rags to riches.
I once found a stash of quarters hidden in a small wooded area as a kid with my buddies. It was about $20 worth. We took them and bought pizza and two litres at the pizza joint on the corner.
25. Digging up a good deed.
I found a class ring with year and initials. This was before the internet so I went to the local high school and got the old yearbook. Three names matched the initials. Looked them up in the phone book, found the owner and was able to return it 7 years after she lost it.
26. That coin won’t fit in the vending machine.
A 300AD Roman coin I found on the Thames River. It was full moon and a very low tide so I was searching almost in the middle of the river.
I can’t wrap my head around how old the coin is. My personal experience of old is my grandfather, who is 2 generations away from me. Someone lost the coin 68 generations ago. That find put everything in a different perspective for me.
When I read about King Edward the Confessor (died 1066), I think it was so long ago. And then I think – wait, it’s 700 years after someone lost the coin I’m holding in my hands.
27. Barney the Dinosaur?
I once found a big pink and purple sex toy that was buried in a plastc bag. I covered it back up.
28. He didn’t know he was the Cryptkeeper.
A pre-revolutionary war graveyard in my backyard in Connecticut.
Got a metal detector to locate nails in some 250 year old chestnut flooring I was refinishing in an old Colonial I bought. Took my 5 year old son out to the back yard to play with it. Found out I had 6 people buried in the back corner of my yard.
Lead lined wooden caskets show up really well. State came in, made all kinds of nasty noises about things and then just sort of disappeared. Turned out they were the original settlers in my town and no-one knew what to do about the graves so we all just pretended like they weren’t there.
29. These aren’t CHICKEN nuggets.
In 2004, I found a Gold Rolex Yachtmaster in seven feet of water off Salt Creek Beach in Southern California.
Not me, but a friend in Northern California found a 6.07 pound (2.753 kilo) gold nugget with his detector in July 2014.
He got about $400,000 for it.
30. How did it POSSIBLY get there?
My grandparents moved to Maine almost 25 years ago from Kansas City, where my grandfather was a policeman. They metal detect on the beaches near their house in Maine almost every week, and four years ago they found, buried in the sand, a ring. It was a police department ring, from my grandfather’s division! It was engraved with the officer’s last name, and belonged to one of his friends from the force, a man he hadn’t spoken to in 20 years! My grandmother had his wife’s phone number, so they called to tell them they’d found his ring. What are the odds?!
31. All that’s gold does not glitter.
Found a wedding ring on beach of Lake Superior. I was able to track down and return the ring to the owner in Iowa. I received a very nice thank you from the grateful owner. That thank you is the favorite thing I have from metal detecting.