Sunday, January 12, 2014

1/12/14 Report - Age of Those Who Metal Detect, Sand Surprises, Vintage Fort Pierce Coca Cola Bottle & Milkette Bottle

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Fort Pierce Coca Cola Bottle.

I decided to take a little walk today to do what I call mucking.  That is just some leisurely junking around in generally low-value target areas.

I enjoyed the walk and found a few things that I liked.   One was this old Fort Pierce Coca Cola Bottle.  I liked it because it is unlike any I've found before and is local.

The top is damaged.  That is a big disappointment.  I haven't cleaned it up yet and haven't done any research to date it yet.  Maybe I'll post some better pictures after I clean it up.

And here is another surface bottle that I ran across.  Also something that I've not found before.  Haven't done the research on it yet either.   I'll probably post more of today's finds in the future.

Vintage Milkette Bottle.
By now you probably know what the fox says.  (In case you don't, that is a reference to song on a YouTube video that became wildly popular.)   But do know where the sand goes?

Here is a link that will take you to a couple of videos on that topic.  I'd suggest you take a look.  You might think you know where the sand goes, but the second video especially surprised me.

Did you know that there is a sand mafia and that gang wars are fought over sand?  It seems like such an endless resource that we don't use for much except treading under foot and trying to dig through.  It is very useful and valuable though, and as the video points out is used in all concrete buildings, not to mention glass and a bunch of other things.

There is good sand and bad sand, rough sand and rounded sand, and there is regulated sand.  Like most everything these days, much of it is regulated by a government.  You can't go to the beach with dump trucks and cart all of it away to your cement or glass factory.

We all know that there are even some locations where there are laws about digging holes in sand.

Anyhow, the two videos that I'm talking about changed the way I look at sand.

Thanks to Eric L. for submitting the link.

The most recent blog poll has concluded and the results are in.  A good number of people (152) responded.  I guess it was an easy question that anyone could quickly answer with no hesitation.

First, I'm disappointed that there are so few young people involved.  Only 3, or 1% of those responding, are fifteen or under.  That does match what I see in the field.   I seldom see anyone that young detecting on the beaches, but am always glad when I see a kid going at it.

I suppose that of those 15 and under that do detect, they might not do much reading about it and therefore wouldn't be reading this blog or responding to any poll in it.  I suppose that young people might simply enjoy detecting with family members. 

If you are one of the few young people who detect, I'd love to hear from you and about how you got started and why you like metal detecting.

As I've said, I think metal detecting is a very educational activity that will increase curiosity in a variety of academic subjects as well as research and the scientific method.  I can't think of many more beneficial activities for young people.

In this poll, only 1 person, (less than 1%) was 16 to 25.   I guess those are the years when people are in school, into cars and chasing members of the opposite (or same) sex.  I was once told that metal detecting is for old people when I was still in mid-life.  That is the perception, and to some extent, whether it should be or not, is true.

Even more surprising to me is the fact that only 7 (2%) of those that responded to the poll are 35 or under.  Maybe it is for old people.  Younger people are going to school, getting married, making a home, etc. etc.  And maybe it is the more mature crowd that appreciates digging up or reading about the older stuff.  You might have even drank out of a Milkette bottle, but not if you are very young.

It seems that people start to get into detecting around the 36 to 45 age group, perhaps when children start leaving home or finances can more easily be put to metal detectors and leisure time.

You also shouldn't forget that as I learned in a previous poll, there are a good number who read this blog and respond to the polls but do not detect real frequently for various reasons, such as no time or opportunity.  I don't know yet if there are people who are interested in the topic and read about it but who might not have any interest in actually going out and doing it.  I know there are some arm chair treasure hunters.

Here is the biggest finding for me.  93% of those that responded to the poll are 36 or older.  That is pretty astounding even taking into account any margin of error or any possible interpretation of the results.

Most of those who read this blog and respond to the polls, and most of those who metal detect are at least middle aged.  Metal detecting, for whatever reason, and like it or not, is an activity in which it is mostly the mature that are involved.

For detector manufacturers that could be a problem.  I can't say that interest in detecting is decreasing overall.  It doesn't seem that way to me.

I don't have figures on detector sales, but I see more people on the beaches with metal detectors than I did years ago.  Perhaps that has something to do with the price of gold or the economy, or awareness of metal detecting as a hobby.  But you don't see many Parker Schnable's out there.  (If you don't know, Parker is a gold miner on the TV how Gold Rush.)

According to the poll, the peak age group is 56 - 65 (33%).  That certainly corresponds to the beginning of the retirement years, so maybe it is a matter of leisure time.

23% are 66 or older.  There is a time when detecting becomes more physically challenging.  It does seem that among hard-core detectorists, once they have the interest, it doesn't easily disappear.

Well, one thing the poll clearly says to me is that metal detecting, as reflected in this blog, is primarily of interest to those of more mature age.

I wonder what needs to be done to get more young people involved.  Do we need to do Youth Hunts or do presentations in the schools?

I'm sure some will say we don't need any more detectorists.  I understand where that would be coming from.  But we do need more interest in history and other subjects that metal detecting encourages.  Nothing does that better than hands-on activities.

I also have to say that my personal observations in the field support the data obtained in this poll.  Most detectorists that I do see out there are over 35.  No doubt about that.  So I have NO trouble accepting the poll results.

Happy hunting,