Is Metal Detecting Profitable 2024?

Gold nuggets, vintage jewelry, precious items, relics, and treasure- these are the kinds of things that one may find while Metal Detecting. And as such you may wonder- Is Metal Detecting Profitable?

You probably must have heard about the old proverb that says, “All that glitters is not gold,” and that is exactly how we feel about Metal Detecting as a career or as a serious job.

Wondering why? Keep on reading this blog to find out the truth about Metal detection and to find out if it is profitable or not.

Is Metal Detecting Profitable

What Is Metal Detecting?

Metal detecting involves using a metal detecting machine to detect anything valuable, be it coins, gold, or other valuable objects in the ground.

Although some people regard Metal Detecting as nothing but a pastime, it has actually helped people unearth coins, treasures, historical artifacts, and other valuable items.

Most people do metal detection just as a hobby, but there are some who do this seriously, which means there must be good potential in this business.

Keep on reading as we discuss how profitable Metal Detecting is and whether or not it is a good idea to pursue it.


Can You Make Money With Metal Detecting?

Yes, you can make money with Metal Detecting. You can do this either by selling the precious items you found during your hunt or by keeping the money and coins that you’ve found.

Or, you can deal with metal detecting by working full-time in fields requiring a metal detector. Or by sharing your knowledge and expertise in the field.

10 Treasures Found With Metal Detector


Categories Of Metal Detecting To Make Money

If you are serious about pursuing Metal Detecting, then here are some in which you can make money with it:

Gold Hunting

Categories Of Metal Detecting To Make Money

The idea of finding gold can be quite thrilling and profitable. But gold nuggets are usually buried deep inside the earth, and finding them is not at all easy. You not only need a dedicated metal detector for this but also need to have knowledge of where it is most likely for you to find gold.

Whenever you are gold hunting, it is important for you to research the area and the states surrounding it.

Also, in order to detect gold, you will need a detector that has excellent ground balancing and sensitivity features. Depending on your budget and features, there are plenty of gold detectors that you can choose from. Some popular names include the Fisher Gold Bug, Garrett AT Gold, etc.

Coin Hunting

coin detecting

Coin Hunting is one of the most popular and easiest ways to earn money by metal detecting. A lot of people lose coins in public places such as beaches, hiking trails, campgrounds, backyards, etc.

During coin hunting, you might simply find immediate coins, or you might also stumble upon silver, gold coins, or even rare coins, which you can later sell and make good money from.

Choosing the right location also plays a very important role in earning money with coin hunting.

For example, Europe could be a great place for hunting ancient coins, given its cultural history.

Once, two hobbyists found 50,000 bronze coins that dated back to 50 BC on the Channel Island of Jersey. A few years ago, a man found 60 silver and gold coins in a pile of large blocks of soil.

If you also manage to stumble upon such rare or precious coins, then you will be able to make a lot of money by selling them.

Jewelry Hunting

Jewelry Hunting

Just like coins, finding jewelry is another way to make money by metal detecting. However, the money that you can make from Jewelry hunting depends on what kind of jewelry metal you’ve found, how old it is, its size, etc.

For this, purchasing a jewlery metal detector is ideal. You may be able to find daimond rings, bracelts, gold or silver earrings, chains, or even antique jewelry. And just like coins, you might be able to detect these pieces in public spaces such as gardens, hiking trails, camp grouds, beaches, etc.

Finding Cache

Finding Cache

In the past, people used to hide their jewelry, money, coins, and other precious items in a box and bury them inside the ground. This was done mainly when banks didn’t exist and when banks were new and people didn’t trust them.

To be able to find these Caches, as such, is a true form of treasure hunting. Metal detector enthusiasts have discovered many famous treasures, and today, you can even find them in display museums.

However, the problem with cache detecting is that it is harder to find than other types of metals. Finding such kinds of treasures that are hidden deep within the ground would require you to invest in a powerful metal detecting tool.

Lakes and beaches, parks, and playgrounds might be a good place to start with cache hunting.

Relic Hunting

Relic Hunting

So many wars have happened in the past, and detectorists enjoy hunting for relics left behind to preserve history. To find relics, it is quite important to research and look for places where wars have happened in the past.

This involves researching where soldiers camped, which trails they followed, where they were involved in a battlefield, etc.

The most common type of relic hunting is Civil War relic hunting. Here, detectorists look for Civil War relics, including pistol bullets, belts, pistols, knapsack hoods, plates, etc.


Ways To Make Money With Metal Detecting

Ways To Make Money With Metal Detecting

If Metal Detecting interests you, then here are some of how you can make money with this:

Offer & sell your services.

You can learn this skill, become a metal detector, and sell your services. To get started, you will need to invest in different types of metal-detecting devices, including coin detectors, gold detectors, etc.

The Garrett Ace series is a popular basic model to get started with. There are plenty of other models available in the market, for locating buried sewers and pipes to locating gold nuggets. You can invest in one or more kinds of metal detectors based on the service you want to provide.

Here are some examples in which you can earn money by offering this service:

  • You can help people find their valuable lost items such as rings, necklaces, watches, bracelets, etc. Because of the fees, people are often more inclined to hire an individual rather than an agency.
  • You can rent out or sell your metal-detecting device to people in your neighborhood, friends, and family to help them find valuables they have lost.
  • You can also apply for jobs in museums or research institutes, as they require metal detectorists to locate minerals and other valuable metals.

Work for a company

There are a bunch of companies that hire talented treasure hunters with the right knowledge to find valuable items. This opportunity can allow you to travel, gain new experiences, and make money by metal detecting.

Some of the companies that you can work for include:

  • Mel Fisher
  • Odyessy Marine
  • The Ring Finders
  • Ship Wrecks

Publish Blogs or Books

If you have experience and knowledge about metal detecting, then you can share this knowledge with the world and make money from it.

You can write blogs or even publish a book and make money by catering to those who might be interested in getting into metal detecting.

Start a YouTube channel

If you are not as much of a writer as you are a speaker, then you can even start your own YouTube channel about metal detecting and make money by sharing your knowledge.

There are not many people who are doing this, and there is always an audience for anything in the world.

So, getting interested people to watch your videos could be easier for a metal detecting YouTube channel.

Offer clean up services after events

You can offer free clean-up services after events, concerts, weddings, etc. By this, you might find lost items such as jewelry pieces and other valuables to recover, which people might be willing to pay a lot of money.

And if no one shows up, then you can always sell the stuff that you’ve found.

However, make sure to get permission for metal detecting from the relevant authority before you do this.

Create a Course on Metal Detecting

Because of a lack of guidance, there are a lot of people who want to start metal detecting but don’t know where to get started. You can make good use of this opportunity and make money.

For this, you can create an online course where you share your knowledge, tips, and techniques to become a metal detector successfully.

Become an underwater metal detectorist

A lot of swimmers, surfers, etc., leave their precious items when they go into the water. You can make good use of this opportunity to make money.

However, you might require permission to become an underwater metal detectorist. And it might only be worth it if you do find valuable items.

Get into forensic work

You can work for forensic units to detect bullets, guns, knives, murder weapons, etc., from the crime scene. There is a growing need for metal detectors for forensic work in the world. You can take up this work anywhere in the world, have new experiences, and make money.


How Much Does a Metal Detector Cost?

The cost of a metal detector can vary largely depending on its type, features, brand, model, etc. Typically, you can purchase a decent metal detector for anywhere between $200 and $600, with top-of-the-line metal detectors costing $1,000 and above.

You can also buy a metal detector for kids for under $100, or for entry-level adults, you can purchase decent options for $200. Depending on your interest, budget and knowledge of metal detecting, you might want to purchase a good detector that can cost you between $500-$1,500.

Here are different types of metal detectors and their average prices:

Type of Metal DetectorPrice Range
Gold Metal Detector$500$6,000+
Entry Level Metal Detector$500 -$1,500
Waterproof Metal Detector $250 – $2000
School Security Detectors$4,000 – $6,000
Handheld Metal Detector$100 – $6,000

Where To Go For Metal Detection?

How Much Do Metal Detectors Make

The type of land that is best suited for metal detection depends upon what category of metal detection you ideally do.

For example, for jewelry or gold nuggets, you might want to go to:

  • Beaches
  • Campgrounds
  • Hiking trails
  • Concert grounds
  • Playgrounds
  • Gardens, etc.

For finding relics or treasures, you might want to go to:

  • War grounds
  • State properties, etc.

However, make sure you obtain the necessary permission if you want to do metal detecting on government, federal, or private properties.

To find a shipwreck or underwater treasure, you will obviously go underwater. But then again, seek necessary permits


Which Metal Detectors To Buy?

If you are new to this, then you might be feeling overwhelmed with so many options of metal detectors that are available today.

To help you out, here are some brands that you can check out while getting started:

Low-cost metal detectors

  • Garrett Ace 200 Metal Detector
  • Fisher F22

Mid-level metal detectors

  • Garrett Ace 400
  • Tecnetics Omega 8500

High-end metal detectors

  • Garrett GTI 2500
  • XP Dues 2

How Much Do Metal Detectors Make?

Where To Go For Metal Detection

The money that Metal Detectors can make varies greatly depending on the expertise and knowledge they have, their luck, and the grounds they are exploring, among others.

A metal detector can make maybe just $20 a week to a couple of thousand, depending on what they find.

Also, the earnings of a metal detector are not consistent. Someday, you might hit a jackpot and discover a valuable item- the chances of which are bleak. Most days, you will barely find anything to survive.


Is Metal Detecting Profitable?

Time to answer your most burning question- Is Metal Detecting profitable?

No, Metal Detecting is only profitable when you end up discovering gold nuggets, precious jewelry, or other items, and the possibility of that happening regularly is very bleak. And most days, you will only end with a couple of dollars. Majority of metal detectors, in fact, end up making $1000-$3000 over a span of 2-3 years, which is not worth it.

If you sell a course, start YouTube, or offer Metal detecting services, you might still be able to make somewhat more, but Metal detecting will rarely make you rich.

It might be best for you to do Metal Detecting just as a hobby rather than thinking of creating a living out of it.


Is Beach Metal Detecting Profitable?

It is highly unlikely for you to find relics, artifacts, or gold nuggets while beach metal detecting.

However, plenty of people lose precious jewelry items at the beach during their vacation or after a wild night at a concerts.

You might be able to make a decent amount of money if you find these items. However, we still suggest you do this just as a hobby, as relying on it for survival might not be the best idea.


Wrap Up

Most people take up Metal Detecting as a hobby that regularly offers peace of mind but only rarely as an opportunity that can help them become rich or sustain their livelihood.

So, is Metal Detecting profitable? You can most probably tell now.

Hence, we suggest you to take up Metal Detecting as a hobby only and look it at as a means to earn some extra income.


Is Metal Detecting Profitable: FAQ’s

Is Metal Detecting worth it?

Metal Detecting allows you to be close to mother nature and spend some time with yourself in tranquility. If you dig that, Metal Detecting might be worth it for you, and if you only care about money, then it might not be worth it.

Can I sell jewelry that I found during Metal Detecting?

Selling jewelry might be difficult. You can, however, go to sites like eBay and Craiglist, or you can go to a trusted jeweler to find out the value of the item and maybe sell it to a pawn shop.

What to do when I find something precious while Metal Detecting?

Don’t assume you can fill your pocket with something valuable you find. The government has all sorts of restrictions when it comes to discovering significant finds.

If you especially end up discovering treasure, then please make sure to check your local laws surrounding the same, or else you may get in trouble.

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