Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com.
|Coins Found by Richard O.|
Photos submitted by Richard O.
The most recent blog poll has concluded and the results are in.
People say that the three most important things with real estate is location, location, location. Metal detecting is similar, but I'd break it down a little differently. Location is the first thing in metal detecting, but there are other things.
Location is so important because you simply can't find things where they aren't. To find shipwreck items, you need to be near a shipwreck. That is obvious enough. To find relics you have to be where there are relics. To find good gold jewelry, you have to be where it is, etc. etc. And not only do you have to be in the right part of the country, you have to put your coil over that very small area where the item is actually hiding. I'm sure that location is the biggest determiner of our poll results. That means, for the most part, those finding the most gold were in the best locations for finding gold. There are other factors though.
I've said before that you won't find much modern gold on most of the Treasure Coast shipwreck beaches. You'll find some of course. A fisherman will drop a wedding band, or a tourist will drop an item occasionally. That will happen, but not real often like it happens on busy crowded resort beaches. The difference is huge, and I know that many, if not most of the readers of this blog, target shipwreck items and some are from other parts of the country. (I've reported on where the readers of this blog come from in a previous post.) Without a doubt all of that had an impact on the final poll results.
What you target will determine what you find to some extent - at least if you have any idea of what you are doing, and most people do.
In metal detecting, after location I would list two other factors that will determine how much of any item you will find. The second factor I would say is time on task. And third is knowledge and skill.
You might argue with my ordering of factors, but that is the order I would use - location, time, and skill.
There is no way you will find a lot of X, Y. or Z if you are not in the right area, but there is also no way you will find a lot if you are not spending time hunting. By increasing the amount of time you hunt, not only do you cover more area and dig more items, but you are in the field enough to know which spots are hot and you are more likely to be in the right place at the right time. You'll also learn a lot while you are in the field, and increase factor three: skill.
Skill includes a lot of things such as the knowledge you acquire from research, learning how to reading a beach, and using your detector well. I won't elaborate any more on skill now.
With all of that background in mind, now I'll get to the poll results.
40% of the respondents to this poll did not find any gold in the past 12 months. I'd say that a lot of those people are hunting areas where there is very little gold, and some are not hunting very often. I remember when I belonged to one of the metal detecting clubs, most of the members of that club didn't hunt real often. That was one club and it might not be typical, but there are a lot of people that are interested in metal detecting that do not get out real often for any of a variety of reasons, one being that they have jobs, families and active busy lives so detecting is an interest and hobby that is relegated to whatever little spare time they can find.
21% of this poll's respondents had found one or two gold items in the past twelve months, while 14% had found three to five.
I sometimes receive email from people who are just beginning the hobby. Sometimes they want to know what detector to buy. If you are considering beginning the hobby to make a living, yes you might be able to make a living from detecting, but you'll have to go through a learning curve and I do not believe that everyone can make a living from it. You'll need to get some experience before you seriously consider that. And it won't be easy.
I once received an email from a person that had not yet been detecting but who wanted to make a living detecting. I don't recommend to anyone that they quit their day job to go into detecting as a primary source of income. At the very least, detect enough to prove to yourself that you could make a living out of it and that you'd actually want to do it full time before quiting your day job.
Detecting professionally is very challenging. It is challenging physically. And if you don't live in an area where there are a lot of higher value targets, it will be real difficult. Plus there are expenses. Not everything is pure profit. You'll spend a good bit of money on detectors and equipment. There is travel to the site (again where you live is important), gas, parking fees, and other miscellaneous costs.
And unless you own a pawn shop or something and know how to market and sell your finds at a good price, you won't realize as much from your finds as you might think.
Many detectorists have no interest in selling their finds. Previous polls in this blog have shown that. Many want to collect and enjoy the things they find.
It is also much more fun to hunt when there is no pressure to make finds to pay your bills. While metal detecting as a hobby is a lot of fun, you can lose a lot of the fun if you are depending upon your finds to pay the bills. That puts a lot of pressure on and takes the fun out of it. Some people might not find it that way, but many will.
My point is, don't think it is an easy way for anybody to make a living. You'll need to be in the right location, put in a LOT of time, and have a lot of skill to make it work.
Many years ago when I was between jobs, I spent six months going detecting hot and heavy. Not real hot and heavy. I could have put more time into it. Nonetheless, during that time I proved to myself that I could make a living out of it if I wanted to, but I didn't need to, and I liked it much better as a hobby.
I also tend to lose interest in things after I feel that I've mastered them, but treasure hunting is something that you can not master in all its forms. There are always additional types of targets, hunting, and geographies to learn.
Only four percent of the poll respondents found 6 - 10 items of gold. That seems to be the dividing point for this population of respondents. There are a lot with fewer gold finds in this population, and a small group with more. I'd say that in general this is the dividing line between the harder core segment and the less intense group of detectorists. It is the line between those who are getting out a lot and those who are either more casual or are targeting other types of items or live and hunt in areas where there isn't much gold.
I'm sure the group with more gold finds, also includes more shallow water hunters. I once had it figured out from my years of records that water hunting produces several times more gold jewelry than beach hunting. I think it was something like 7 to 1, but I'm not sure of that number now.
Combined, 78% of the poll respondents found less than 10 gold items in the last 12 months. 19% found 10 or more. Three percent got lost due to rounding errors.
8% found 11 - 20 gold items, and 10% found more than 20.
I cut the range off at a relatively low number of items. If you are detecting full time and are in the right location, and have a high level of skill, I know that it is possible to get up in the hundreds of gold pieces in a twelve month period. Very few detectorists are actually doing that though, which is confirmed by the data.
I'm thinking about talking a little in the future about some of the guys that I've know that have done that.
Stolen Pittsburgh Steeler Super Bowl, Championship and other stolen rings were recovered during a homicide investigation.
They were supposed to be put into a safe deposit box, but hadn't made it there yet.
If you need to contact the Florida State Dept of Historical Resources for any reason, here are the email addresses of about 85 of their staff.
On the Treasure Coast the wind is out of the west this morning. Nothing much going on. The surf is only around 1 - 2 feet, increasing up to about 2 - 4 feet by Tuesday.
That means no improvement in beach detecting conditions. Water hunting should be easy enough.