Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Welcome to the World of Metal Detecting

I have always been interested in metal detecting.  I had always wanted, but never got around to buying, a metal detector.  Naively, I dreamed of striking it rich by finding jewelry that had been lost by others, or caches of coin that had been buried in coffee cans at the base of some ancient tree.

Three years ago my children got together and bought me my first metal detector.  It wasn't fancy...didn't quite have all the bells and whistles...but I was in heaven.  I immediately went out into my back yard and started detecting, my head reeling with thoughts of gold and silver, and did I mention jewelry?

I walked three steps into my yard and was rewarded with a high ping.  The screen on my detector assured me it was only 2 inches deep...and within the silver range.  I dropped to my knees and began to dig.  I wasn't too careful with the hole I dug...dirt was flying everywhere in my excitement.  Two inches down my trowel scraped against something and I saw a slight silvery glint through the dirt.  I dug around it and pulled the object triumphantly from the ground...a soda can?  Not to be discouraged, I scrounged around for the dirt to refill the hole, placed the can into my "finds" pouch, and continued my walk across the yard.

An hour later my pouch was full...I had nails, another soda can, pieces of scrap metal from when our house was built, bits of tin foil, and more can tabs than I cared to count.  No gold, no silver...and certainly no jewelry.

My children laughed.  My husband was barely impressed.  Only slightly disheartened, I placed my detector on a shelf in the garage and vowed to "show them."  And two days later I did.  After getting on the computer, joining an online detecting forum, and devouring every bit of advice other members had to give about metal detectors, I took my detector out for another 'walk' through our yard.  And this time I struck pay dirt...a 1964 silver quarter.  I was hooked for good.  

And so began my foray into the world of metal detecting.

No, it's not a glamorous world.  No, you don't always find something.  But when you do it's a feeling like no other.  Sometimes it's something simple...modern day change dropped by an unsuspecting passerby.  Sometimes it's more exciting...a lost coin or piece of jewelry from a bygone era.

And the stories those older finds could tell....well, that's a story for another time.

Oh..by the way...my children are no longer laughing, and my husband now has a detector of his own.  And so is the world of metal detecting.