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 13 Best Ever Metal Detecting Finds

13 Best Ever Metal Detecting Finds

Have you ever dreamed of unearthing treasure that would make you rich for the rest of your days? For these people that dream became a reality.

With Metal Detecting the chances of unearthing something great is always going to be there weather that being gold, Roman coins or Viking treasure your opportunities are endless!

If you have ever considered taking up metal detecting as a hobby this top 13 list will defiantly push up your motivation on getting started on the fantastic hobby.

So, let’s get started with this list!

The Boot of Cortez

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Even though desserts may look bare, they might be rich in valuable metals such as one lucky metal detectorist discovered in 1989.

One day a would-be amateur treasure hunter in Senora, Mexico headed over to RadioShack and bought a relatively cheap metal detector just to play around with and see what they could find. After a few days of nothing they would stumble across a hot spot. Expecting to find another piece of junk, the man could simply not believe his eyes because what he dug up was a 26.6-pound nugget of gold!

This eventually earned the name The Boot of Cortez. This fantastic find was the largest piece of gold to ever be found on the Western Hemisphere. The boot of Cortez was then auctioned off for more than $1.5 Million dollars. This should motivate anyone to get the metal detector out and get hunting!

Torc Finds





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If you are looking for more inspiration here is another story of a guy that bought a random metal detector and then hit the jack pot. One day a 35-year-old man named Dave Booth bought a metal detector and then just 5 days later he went on his first treasure hunt in Stirlingshire, Scotland. Within one hour of searching around, he would stumble upon necklaces made of copper, gold and silver. These necklaces turned out to be ancient and were called Torcs.

Estimated to be at least 2000 years old, and where were they hiding you may ask? Well turns out they were just half a foot below the surface. When Dave had them appraised it just so happens, they were worth $500,000 dollars!

Aye would like to call this awesome find beginners luck!

Antique Gold Chalice






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The next time that you go out to the beach you might want to bring along a metal detector, that’s because in 2008 Mike DeMar was searching for treasure along the coast of Key West when he struck gold.

It’s no shock that tons of trash were washed up on the shore quite frequently, and when Mikes detector started giving off signals it was his first intention that he had come along another piece of junk. As he was digging it up, he couldn’t exactly tell what it was and thought that it may just be a beer can but boy was he wrong!

When he pulled it out of the sand, he realized he had just found a solid gold goblet, one that weighed nearly 1 pound. After having it analyzed and appraised it turns out that this chalice was 385 years old and was dropped from a ship called the Santa Margareta that sank in 1622 but here is the big question how much was it worth? Well as it turns out it was a whopping $1 million dollars! Not too bad for a day at the beach.

Anglo Saxon Treasure






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Now you don’t necessarily have to head to the beach or spend hours in the scorching dessert in order to find some great treasure. One man would find everything he had been looking for right in his back yard.

One day in 2009 a man by the name Terry Herbert decided to give his farmland, located in Stafford-shire England a once over with his metal detector, but little did he know when he acquired the land, he was also given the deal of a lifetime. On day 1 he uncovered just a few interesting finds but within 5 days he had found enough golden artifacts to fill 244 bags, that’s when he knew he was onto something.

After more searching and more digging he would find approximately 3500 pieces of artifacts ranging from garnet, silver and gold. Which when put together would have created hundreds of complete relics from the early Anglo-Saxon period. This find would become known as the Staffordshire hoard and was valued at approximately $5.3 million dollars! Not bad for a day out in the back garden.

Hidden Cash

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Speaking off things found in your backyard, that might not actually be the best place to hide your stolen cash. Many suspected a post office employee had been stealing money from the government for years. So postal inspectors jumped at the first chance they could to find out if their suspicions were true.

In 1946, after borrowing a metal detector from the US army they began searching the property of one of their employees. Sure enough when they scanned the back yard their metal detector went off instantly and after digging 9 feet down, they found jars, cans and even a stove pipe that was full of thousands of dollars of cash, $153,150 dollars to be exact.

Fortunately for the man he was dead before they ever got a hold of him.

Beginners Luck






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In 2013 34-year-old car salesman Wesley Carrington set out on his first metal detecting trip.  In only 20 minutes he struck the find of a lifetime.

He uncovered a hidden stash of roman coins using his Garrett Ace 150 metal detector. These were estimated to be worth $127,000 dollars. The coins were believed to be around 7 inches below the surface and were laying there for 1700 years.

These were described from historians as being of national significance. Wesley joked after the find that he peaked early in his career. I am sure this is something we can all agree on! So far Wesley has joined a metal detecting club and hasn’t yet beaten his first incredible find but hopes too one day in the future.

Ringlemere Cup








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Sometimes, your hobbies make you rich…like Cliff Bradshaw. In 2001, Cliff, a retired electrician, had always loved archeology and metal detecting, so he decided to make a hobby out of it.

One day, while he was scanning a field in East Kent, England, he found a crumpled-up piece of metal.  However, it wasn’t just any piece of mangled metal. It was a gold goblet from the bronze age that dated anywhere from 1700 to 1500. As it turns out there are only 6 others like it in the world, this one being the second one in Britain. Not only are these cups valuable but they also reveal a lot about history. For example, some of the other similar looking goblets from that era were found near the Mediterranean which leads to the fact that the Cornish and the Greeks had close ties.

A British museum would then buy the object for $520,000 dollars and being the great guy that Cliff was he would split the money with the land owner where the object was found.

Roman Remains







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Sometimes when you’re digging up ancient artifacts, you’re bound to find the unexpected. Metal detectorists, Dave Derby and Alan Standish, were scanning a site that was known to yield valuable artifacts in Nether Heyford. After receiving a signal from their metal detector, they began digging and shortly after they came upon bones.

In order to keep on digging they needed a special license and in addition to getting a special license they would bring a team to excavate. As it turns out they would find two graves and the metal detector was actually picking up a shield with a man who was said to be from the 5th centaury. The second grave was that of a teenage girl who dated back to the 6th century.

Over the course of 10 years volunteers would then go on to dig up 6 rings, 20 brooches, 650 coins and nearly 2000 animal bones and 20,000 pot fragments at the same location. However, none of those finds would ever be as amazing as the ancient grave sites.

Roman Coins







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What’s better than finding a skeleton from the Roman era? Finding their stash of cash, of course. In 2009, thirty-year-old newbie metal detectorist Nick Davies was on his first metal detecting adventure, looking for hidden gems in Shropshire, when his metal detector started beeping. After he began digging, he then realized that he had unearthed a clay pot and that it was extremely heavy weighing in at over 70 pounds. One peak in at the pot and he knew that he had found a fortune. That’s because approximately 10,000 bronze and silver coins from the roman era were jam packed inside and that made it the largest ever haul of roman coins found in the area.

An analysis of the collection which then became known as the Shrewsberry hoard dated the coins back to be between 320 and 340 AD some of which appeared the represent the founding of Rome.

Now considering that Nick didn’t actually have permission to be on that stretch of land in the first place, he by law was actually not entitled to any of the reward but there is no word on if he actually received a cut. However, this is something to keep in mind if you search for treasure make sure you get permission on restricted area first.

Frome Hoard






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In 2010 Englishman Dave Crisp hit the jackpot, literally… He uncovered what is believed to be 52,503 Roman coins found in April 2010 near Somerset England.

The coins date from date from AD 253 to 305 and were contained in a ceramic pot. This is believed to be one of the largest Roman coin hoard ever dug up in Britain.

In the whole of Chris’s 22 years of metal detecting he had never found anything like this, no wonder the find was of huge significance! The find was to be valued at $405,527 dollars and Chris took half of the cash with him as the other half went to the landowner. This goes to show that 22 years of searching defiantly pays off.

Crosby Garrett Helmet







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Now when you go out metal detecting finding a helmet is probably the last thing you would ever expect. Well that became the reality back in May 2010. In Crosby Garret, England a unnamed metal detectorist stumbled across the unique find.

The cavalry helmet dated from the late 2nd or early 3rd century AD. It was most likely a ceremonial helmet rather than used in any kind of battle which explains why the eye holes are so small.

The helmet was said to be an outstandingly important find. The helmet was then sold at auction for $3.6 million dollars but not to a museum as you may expect. The museum was out bided by an unknown buyer.

Axe Head






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If you ever dabble with metal detecting, don’t be discouraged if you don’t find something within your first few tries. Finding something of value on your first excursion is almost unheard of, and fortunately for Steve Hickling, he never gave up.

After about a year of not finding anything valuable or rare he was then searching in St Helen where he heard the undeniable sound of his machine picking up something in the ground. When he would dig it up, he would then find something that looked like the head of an axe but it wasn’t just any old axe head. As it turns out it was a 4000-year-old copper axe head that dated back to the bronze age.

The man and his wife would then decide to keep it placing it behind their previous find that would include some coins and musket balls. However, if this were myself, I would cash it in to find its real value but everyone has their preferences!

Antique Pendant

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Who says you have to be an adult…. or even enrolled in kindergarten…to be able to find valuables with a metal detector? Four-year-old James Hyatt and his father were in a field located in Hockley hunting for treasure with their metal detector when they unearthed the find of a lifetime. As soon as their detector would go off, they began digging and sitting just inches below the surface was a 16th century golden pendant.

Upon further examination it would turn out to be a locket. However, the sliding panel no longer functioned. In the front of the pendant was the engraving of the virgin marry bearing a cross as well as 5 wounds of Christ. After bringing it to the British museum it would be valued at almost $2.7 million dollars!

The family then decided if they were ever to sell it, they would split the fruits of their labor with the owner of the field they found it in.


Metal detecting is a fantastic hobby. Not only does it get you outdoors, it brings the chances of a lifetime to unearth something that can stop you working the 9-5 lifestyle like some of these lucky people. If you are interested in starting metal detecting as a hobby but don’t know where to begin be sure to read my post on metal detecting for beginners guide here. Or my top 10 metal detectors buying guide here where I give detailed descriptions and reviews on metal detectors to make your buying options easier.


Happy Hunting!

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