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Metal Detecting Finds.

Updated on December 13, 2013
For the Scrap merchant.
For the Scrap merchant.

Be prepared for a lot of trash.

This is the bit that can make you or break you when you first start metal detecting. Mostly you will find trash, and tons of it. As time goes on and your only finding rusty old bits of iron, nails, bottle tops, pull tabs and all the other rubbish laying beneath our feet it can get disheartening, Hopefully you will make a half decent find early and that will keep your motivation going. There is a married couple i know who have been detecting nearly as long as me. i see them about once a month and when I ask them what have they found since I last saw them and up to now I get the same answer, "nothing much, mainly junk". Yet there they are every time detecting away, I can only think that they are finding little half decent finds that keep them interested in the hobby. One of the greatest feelingsi is when you get that signal of something under your coil and the anticipation of what it can be. Some have hit a fantastic find first time out, but keep in mind that this is rare.

What do you do with all this trash you dig up, well, for a start it is common practice to take it all away and dispose of it. You will be doing the landowner a service and helping to keep our planet clean. Myself, I bring it all home for sorting. All the lead goes into one bucket, all the other metal trash in another bucket and when I have a fair bit of it, down to the scrap merchants it goes. Helps pay for batteries ect. Tin foil, bottle tops and the like goes in the bin for the binman to take away.

My scrap lead bucket.
My scrap lead bucket.

Copper Coins.

The common finds can be interesting and can make collections in their own right. As well as a fair bit of decimal money being found you will find a lot of pre-decimal coins. Old pennies, halfpennies, threepenny bits and farthings. Some of copper pennies for example can be quite old but mostly come up in bad condition, but hey!, its a find.

A pile of pre-decimals, mainly copper pennies.
A pile of pre-decimals, mainly copper pennies.

Buttons.

Many many buttons get found. I must say tho I do like buttons. My favourites being the military ones and other livery buttons with designs on. The few I have displayed here i have given a light cleaning to show off some of the designs.

Some of my favourite buttons.
Some of my favourite buttons.

Buckles.

As with buttons, you will find a lot of buckles. These come in all shapes and sizes and span hundreds of years. Cleaned up these would also make a nice collection.

A heap of Buckles.
A heap of Buckles.

Musket balls, Bullets and Shells.

I thought this made a nice picture. Lots of different size musket balls and pistol balls, shell casings and bullets. I have found live shells before so be very careful when you come across a bullet.

Musket Balls, Pistol Balls, Bullet Shells and Bullets.
Musket Balls, Pistol Balls, Bullet Shells and Bullets.

Horse Bosses.

Another common find you will come across. These can be interesting as many come with numbers, names or designs on them.

Some Horse Bosses. I like the bottom one of the arm holding a cross.
Some Horse Bosses. I like the bottom one of the arm holding a cross.

Badges and all sorts.

Rummaging around in my 'to keep' bucket i found these badges and trinklets. Always nice to find although most will not be that old, still makes nice finds.

Badges and Bits and Pieces.
Badges and Bits and Pieces.

Odds and Ends.

You will find many weird and wonderful things and some you won't have a clue what they were used for. All history and once had a purpose.

Weird and Wonderful Odds and Ends.
Weird and Wonderful Odds and Ends.

Now the Good Stuff.

This last picture shows the best of finds that come up. Silver coins do come up a lot and the gold coins more rare. Also plenty of Jewellery to be found.

Metal detecting has been popular from the 60s and even more popular today. So if you think, "Is there anything left out there for me"., just have a look in treasure hunting magazines, read detecting forums, listen to treasure find reports, see what's still being found every week, there's tons left out there. I did read once that there is still more coins left buried, yet to be found than there is in circulation today. How they reached that conclusion i don't know, but its a lovely thought.

In amongst the trash and the common finds, there's the best finds, you just have to walk over them with that coil.
In amongst the trash and the common finds, there's the best finds, you just have to walk over them with that coil.

Some recent finds.

I just thought I would share with you some recent finds I have made. I have had a few bad days where after a days detecting i had found nothing of any interest, but along comes a good day to make up for it. Two of my best recent finds are the two rings pictured. They were found on a local beach.

Two silver rings. The one on the left is modern. The one on the right is 19th century.
Two silver rings. The one on the left is modern. The one on the right is 19th century.
An 18th century Tombac button found on a pasture field.
An 18th century Tombac button found on a pasture field.
Two naval buttons.
Two naval buttons.

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    • profile image

      bri, darrenson. 3 years ago

      hi all,if you look at my wall on facebook under complete clearance, i have put a few photos of my first finds, only thing is i don't have a metal detector, i found all items in a small area by diging by hand using a scraper!! once i got to dark sand around large rocks a just kept finding pieces....

    • Janner53 profile image
      Author

      Janner53 3 years ago from Devon, UK

      Hi Jonahk, I'm not sure where you live, but here in the UK metal detecting in parks is a no no. Very rare the local council here will grant permission to detect on any of their land. If your outside of the UK and can detect in local parks that's good and a great place to start. Just think of all the losses made over the years in local parks waiting for you to come along and scoop them up. The park is also a good place to get used to your metal detector too, Learning the different sounds it gives off on different targets. In fact anywhere that you know where people have gathered over the years is a good place to start, like parks, or up on the dry sand on a beach, popular spots on a river bank, fairgrounds... in fact anywhere you think people have gathered.

    • profile image

      Jonahk123 3 years ago

      I'm not sure where to start metal detecting, but I really want to try. Where should I start? Parks?

    • Janner53 profile image
      Author

      Janner53 3 years ago from Devon, UK

      Hi Denise,

      In days of old the various leather straps that make up a horse's harness were often decorated with bells, studs, bosses and pendants. The earlier ones were mainly made of copper-alloy which had been gilded. Later ones made of brass.

      That heap of buckles I agree does not look very impressive, but some of the older ones, which I have yet to find, can be nicely decorated and make a fine collection.

      Regarding the trash it certainly does mount up. The code of practice is to take all this trash away and dispose of it sensibly. A sort of cleaning up the countryside. Most modern metal detectors have a 'discrimination' control on them where you can discriminate out some trash but the bigger trashy objects still get through and you end up digging them. One has to be careful here using the discrimination as take for example a ring pull from a drinks can, a ring pull gives out the same sort of signal as a small silver coin so by discriminating out the ring pulls you will also be knocking out the signal for small silver coins.

      That's why I dig so much trash, I hardly discriminate hardly anything out.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for sharing some of your 'treasures', Janner. I loved your photos and found myself getting all excited-like a kid on the peripheral of a treasure hunt! This would be so cool to experience.

      It certainly is a lot of trash that one can dig up, eh? I enjoyed your button and coin photos, as well as the horse bosses and odds and ends. I didn't care for the buckles, though.

      I do have one question-what is a horse boss? Thanks! UP/U and awesome/interesting. Will share and pinn.

    • Janner53 profile image
      Author

      Janner53 3 years ago from Devon, UK

      Hi pstraubie, Thank you for your comment. Hope your friend finds something really nice soon. That's the joy of this hobby, you just don't know what may turn up next.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      My friend has a metal detector and often finds 'stuffs'which makes this a great way for him to spend an afternoon. It looks as thought you have quite a few conversation pieces ....Thanks for sharing with us.

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps

    • Janner53 profile image
      Author

      Janner53 3 years ago from Devon, UK

      Hi peachpurple, Thank you for your comment. Yes, all cleaned up would look much better. One day I hope to buy one of those tumbling machines where you throw everything in and they get tumbled clean.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      these stuff could make a good collection especially after clean. Voted up

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