Is Metal Detecting Worth It?

Why do so many people love metal detecting?
Marc McDermott

In this chapter of our metal detecting guide, we talk about why metal detecting is so popular. Let’s start off with a simple question: why do people go metal detecting, and what’s so exciting about it?

As someone who loves this hobby and actively detects, this is such a hard question to answer because there’s so much to say.

The first thing to understand is that different people have different reasons to detect. Here are just a few more of the common reasons:

  • The love of history and thrill of being able to hold something in your hands that hasn’t seen the light of day in hundreds of years.
  • The love of coin collecting. Whether that be older colonial silver coins or more modern coins like wheat pennies.
  • The love of being active and in the outdoors. Believe it or not, metal detecting can be a fantastic form of exercise.
  • And of course financial gain from either selling your finds (gold/silver jewelry) or even gold nuggets.

Personally, my interests lie in the first three categories – as do most metal detectorists I know.

In fact, very few people I know are in this hobby for financial gain. Their finds are often more meaningful to them than a few extra dollars in their pockets.

Contrary to what a lot of people may think, people who metal detect are often history buffs and collectors who don’t frequent the pawn shops.

Metal detecting can also be extremely addicting – especially when you find yourself digging up relics that are hundreds of years old.

One of my very first finds was a French Military button from the late 1700s. I dug it near an old colonial homestead that, through research, I determined was once owned by a French family hundreds of years ago.

Pulling items like that out of the dirt gives you a huge adrenaline rush. For me, this is my ‘why’ for metal detecting.