Can You Make Good Money From Metal Detecting?

If you have ever been on a trip to the beach, then chances are you have probably found yourself wondering what lies beneath the surface of the sand. Although the real answer probably involves slimy sea creatures or sandworms, other things could lie hidden just below the grit. 

As children, we are often told that pirates were known to bury their treasures on beaches, storing away large wooden chests brimming with golden coins, pearl necklaces and hordes of precious stones.

Even though the chances of unearthing a pirate’s treasure are highly unlikely, beaches are still known to be a hotbed of precious materials and objects. But how can you make sure that you are the one finding them? Well, buy a metal detector of course.

Metal detectors are considered a fast and effective method to finding lost booty on the beach, as they are capable of detecting traces of metal even under layers of sand, water and dirt.

Although people who use metal detectors consider the hobby nothing more than a relaxing pastime, there have been cases where metal detectors have unearthed historical artefacts, priceless coins and other treasures. 

But can you make good money from metal detecting? Well, the answer to that question can be found below, where we have gathered useful information concerning metal detectors and their profitability. Here you will find everything you need to know about pursuing a life as a professional metal detector and if it is even possible, to begin with. 

Can You Make Good Money From Metal Detecting?

If you have recently purchased a new metal detector, then chances are you have tried it out and may even have found some coins or jewellery down at your local park.

Now we understand that discovering buried treasure can be exciting, it can even give you a rush that can become addictive, but this does not mean that it will always occur. 

After a brief spell of lucky discoveries, you may even think that you are ready to pursue metal detecting as an actual profession, a way to pay the bills and to keep you living comfortably.

However, we would highly recommend against pursuing this idea, as metal detecting will rarely provide the sufficient funds needed to stay fed and sheltered. 

The sad reality is that you could spend years combing the beaches and parks in your country and still only find very little at the end.

In fact, many metal detector users have been known to spend thousands of dollars on equipment and accessories, only to discover that they have found the equivalent of $1000 over 3-5 years. 

However, this does not mean that you will never find profitable items during your metal detecting sessions, as certain locations and environments are known to yield objects and materials that can be sold or exchanged for a small price. 

Is Beach Metal Detecting Profitable?

The short and simple answer to this question is yes, beach metal detecting can be profitable to a certain degree.

Although using a metal detector on the beach will probably never result in you discovering a treasure chest or historical artefact, beaches are still known to contain a variety of profitable and material items. 

Beaches, much like festivals or concerts, are often frequented during the summer months by people looking for a chance of escapism. And during this time, beaches will become flooded with crowds of people who are constantly dropping things and then squishing them into the sand.

Although these forgotten objects will rarely be anything expensive or life-changing, they can be sold for a decent price if taken to the right person or dealer. 

Usually, metal detecting sessions on the beach will lead you to discover such profitable items as loose coins, watches, jewellery and sometimes expensive collector’s items.

There have also been numerous cases across the world, where metal detectors have found precious items that have floated to shore after a ship has sunk or capsized. However, this is known to only happen in countries that have a coastline. 

There have also been whole beaches that are known to be covered in gold and silver coins, with Florida’s Treasure Coast being the most prime example.

Although we would argue that the ethical thing to do is give the possessions you find back to their original owners, the decision is entirely up to you. 

Is Metal Detecting Profitable?

When it comes to using a metal detector beyond the confines of the beach, you may notice that the results will vary depending on location. Although general metal detecting may not yield the same spoils as that done on a beach, you can still find items or materials that can be sold or exchanged for a small profit. 

If you intend to use your metal detector outside the beach, then we would recommend going to parks or fields to search for items. Although metal detecting can be a profitable hobby, that profit does come as the result of hours of research and solitary searching.

When looking to scout a certain area, it is wise that you do some research first, as this can help you to discern whether the environment will deliver any profitable results. 

It is also recommended that you read up on treasure hunting laws in your country or state, as there are often regulations in place that may leave your findings worthless if they have not been examined by a historian or coroner.

Metal detectors who are known to store or hide their findings can have their items confiscated by the law if they are found out, which can also lead to a large fine. 

If you are keen to use your metal detector at a historical site or field, then you may need to ask permission before you set up shop, otherwise, you could be banned from the grounds.

Although metal detecting can be a highly profitable hobby when done correctly, this profit often comes with vast amounts of research and study, so you have to make sure you do your homework before you can pursue the fascinating pastime. 



Written by Gavin Bowler

Keen history and blogging enthusiast. I love metal detecting. Read more of Gavin's articles.