What is the best Metal Detector?

Let me set the scene….

It’s Wednesday morning, the sun is shining like mid July and whilst the kettle boils we decide to discuss what we think is the best metal detector. Now, i say discuss, but discussion soon turned into debate and debate into protesting and justifying our choice.

Unfortunately, whilst we could have continued to discuss what is the best metal detector out there all day, we sadly had to crack on with work; so we asked you…

Here’s what some of our Facebook friends had to say… Let us know what YOU think is the best metal detector and why, and see if you agree with any of the choices below…

Andy Holbrook: It’s got to be the minelab explorer 11 with a pro coil you can’t beat it!

Paul Rambo Campbell: Minelab Explorer XS with S.E.F Coil. But still think laser B3 & Power max 2 are worthy detectors switch on and go.

Graham McCall: Fisher F5 brought from you of course!    Thanks Graham!

Rob Capper: F75 for depth, F5 for coin shooting. Love em both thanks J.A. 🙂    Cheers Rob! 

Marcus Virgo: Xp goldmaxx power awesome machine deffo number 1 in my book! 

Hugo Fernandes: For starters, nothing like garrett ace 250! 

Julian Evan-Hart: I’ve been detecting for about 36 years too. I started off with several different makes including the then legendary Arado 120B. “The best metal detector eh?” now theres a question. I reckon the effectiveness of all machines is influenced by a combination of mental frame of mind (good or bad mood) determination, and Lady Luck. What then assists these come from the manufacturer and are performance and build quality. These have to be balanced good build quality and poor performance and excellent performance with poor build quality are non -runners. As a detectorist I feel that since I invest hundreds of hours researching and searching then Im at a stage where I deserve to have the best equipment on the market. Not what others say is the best what I feel and know from my experience to be “the top kit” For me and all my close detecting colleagues this perfect balance and “top kit” is provided by Minelab products. The X-TERRA series is unbeatable in its price range and the upper echelon models are in a league of their own. I remember my first Explorer 1 and how it destroyed the finds rates of my colleagues, so much so that they all went and got one…..well that was well over a decade ago now and Minelab have never let us down since….consistency, quality and top finds rates what more assistance could we ask for?….Jules

Peter Wathall: minelab couln’t agree more

Antony Provan: Dowsing stick.  Ladies and Gentlemen, Antony Provan… *round of applause*.

Chris Hughes: For 36 years I have only ever used C-Scope and don’t intend to change now. Current machine is 1220R.

Andrew Longman: XP Maxx power for me!

Alan Miller: Digging deeper with the DFX.

March 23rd – On this day in history:

At Joan Allen we love our History! Whilst you sit enjoying your elevenses, have a look below at 10 things that happened on this day, March 23rd.

Can you think of any interesting things that happened on this day in History?

1657 – France and England form alliance against Spain; England gets Dunkirk

1808 – Napoleon’s brother Joseph takes the throne of Spain

1840 – The first successful photo of the Moon is taken

1956 – The Islamic Republic of Pakistan becomes an independent republic within the British Commonwealth (National Day)

1963 – The Beach Boys release Surfin’ U.S

1976 – International Bill of Rights goes into effect (35nations ratifying)

1977 – The UK’s Labour government survives a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the House of Commons thanks to support from the Liberals

1991 – Saddam Hussein is defeated by allies fighting in the Gulf War, and he steps down from his position as Prime Minister of Iraq.

1998 – The motion picture epic Titanic wins 11 Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards

2001 – Russia’s Mir space station ended its 15-year orbit of the Earth, splashing down in the South Pacific.

Source: BBC, Wikipedia, historyorb.com, infoplease.com, history.co.uk, brainyhistory.com, on-this-day.com

Metal Detecting Law in Scotland and Northern Ireland

In this blog post I will cover the Law for Scotland & Northern Ireland.


What to do if you make a find

  • All finds, whether made by chance, by metal-detecting, fieldwalking or archaeological excavation are the property of the Crown and may be claimed as treasure trove
  • If you have found a coin and/or object which is likely to be of historical or archaeological interest or importance you must report it for treasure trove assessment.
  • If you are not sure what type of find should be reported please contact the Treasure Trove Unit (TTU) for advice in the first instance.
  • It is important not to dismiss a find if you don’t know what it is. The most unpromising find can turn out to be an important missing piece of the past.
  • The Case archive shows examples of recent finds which have been claimed as treasure trove and details of the museums to which they have been allocated.

How to report a find

What will happen next

  • The TTU will contact you to acknowledge receipt of your form
  • If the find is suitable for further assessment or for recording purposes, arrangements will be made with you for the find to be delivered to the TTU.
  • If the find is not appropriate for treasure trove purposes (eg Victorian and modern coins, Victorian and modern horse gear, brasses, buckles and fragments of machinery etc,) you will be advised.

Finds which are claimed as treasure trove

Finds which are not claimed as treasure trove

  • Finds which are not claimed by the Crown are returned to the finder by the along with an individually numbered certificate stating that the Crown is not exercising its right to claim.

Treatment of finds

  • Please do not clean or apply substances such as wax or lacquer etc to coins or objects you have found. Rewards will be reduced or waived for finds which have been treated and/or damaged by cleaning or the application of such substances.
  • Please consult Treatment of finds page for information.

Illegal removal of finds from Scotland

  • Under the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003, it is a criminal offence to remove any coin or object from Scotland, see http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/20030027.htm
  • Finders should make themselves familiar with the Legal position relating to treasure trove in Scotland where finds are the property of the Crown, not the finder or the landowner.

Use of a metal detector in Scotland

  • Under Section 42 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act (1979) it is a criminal offence to use a metal detector on a scheduled ancient monument or a monument in the guardianship of the State. It is also an offence to remove from such a monument any object of archaeological or historical interest found using a metal detector. If in any doubt as to whether a site is scheduled you should check with Historic Scotland or the landowner.

Northern Ireland:

The   Treasure   Act   1996   came   into   force   on 24  September 1997 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, replacing the common law of treasure trove.

This leaflet provides a summary of the main points of the new law: further information will be
found in the Code of Practice on the Treasure Act, which can be obtained free of charge from the
Environment & Heritage Service (EHS).   Metal detectorists are strongly advised to obtain a copy of
the Code of Practice which, among other things, contains guidance for detectorists and restrictions
on searching for archaeological objects, sets out guidelines on rewards, gives advice on the care
of finds and contains useful addresses.

What is the definition of treasure?
The following finds are treasure under the Act (more detailed guidance is given in the Code of

1.  Objects other than coins: any object other than a coin provided that it contains at least 10
per cent of gold or silver and is at least 300 years old when found. (Objects with gold or silver
plating normally have less than 10 per cent of precious metal.)

2.  Coins: all coins from the same find provided that they are at least 300 years old when found
(but if the coins contain less than 10 per cent of gold or silver there must be at least 10 of

An object or coin is part of the same find as another object or coin if it is found in the same
place as, or had previously been left together with, the other object. Finds may have become
scattered since they were originally deposited in the ground.

Only the following groups of coins will normally be regarded as coming from the ‘same find’:

hoards that have been deliberately hidden;
✦   smaller groups of coins, such as the contents of purses, that may have been dropped or lost;
✦   votive or ritual deposits.
Single coins found on their own are not treasure and groups of coins lost one by one over a period
of time (for example those found on urban sites) will not normally be treasure.

3.  Associated objects: any object, whatever it is
made of, that is found in the same place as, or that had previously been together with, another
object that is treasure.

4. Objects that would have been treasure trove: any object that would previously have been treasure
trove, but does not fall within the specific categories given above. These objects have to be made
substantially of gold or silver; they have to have been buried with the intention of recovery, and
the owners or their heirs cannot be traced.
The following types of finds are not treasure:
✦   objects whose owners can be traced;
✦  unworked natural objects, including human and animal remains, even if they are found in
association with treasure; and
✦ objects from the foreshore, which are wreck.
Metal detectorists should be aware of the restrictions imposed by the Historic Monuments and
Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995. If you search for archaeological objects without a licence
issued by the Department you may receive a fine of up to level 3 on the standard scale. If you are found in possession of a metal detector or similar device on a
protected site without such a licence you may receive a fine of up to level 4.

What should I do if I find something that may be treasure?
All finds of treasure must be reported to the coroner for the district in which they were found
either within
14 days after the day on which you made the find or within 14 days after the day on which you
realised that the find might be treasure (for example, as a result of having  it  identified).  The
obligation  to  report  finds
applies to everyone, including archaeologists.

How do I report a find of treasure?
Very simply. You may report your find to the coroner in person, by letter, telephone, fax, etc. The
coroner or his officer will send you an acknowledgement and tell you where to send your find. The
Code of Practice has a list of all coroners with their addresses, telephone
and fax numbers. A police station will also
be able to provide details of the local coroner

You could also bring your find to a museum or to EHS for examination and, if such a body determines
that the find might be treasure, they will report it to the local coroner on your behalf.
Where will I take my find?
You will normally be asked to take your find to the Ulster Museum, a local museum or EHS, if you
have not already done so. The body which receives the find on behalf of the coroner will give you a
receipt. Although they will need to know where you made the find, they will keep this information
confidential if you or the landowner wish.
The body receiving the find will notify the Sites and Monuments Record in EHS as soon as possible
(if that has not already happened), so that the site where the find was made can be investigated by
archaeologists if necessary.   If the find was not brought originally to the Ulster Museum, the
receiving body will deliver it to them for investigation.

What if I do not report a find of treasure?
If you fail to report a find that you believe or have reasonable grounds for believing to be
treasure without a reasonable excuse you may be imprisoned for up to three months or receive a fine
of up to level
5 on the standard scale, or both. You will not be breaking the law if you do not report a find
because you do not initially recognise that it might be treasure, but you must report it once you
do realise this.

What happens if the find is not treasure?
If the object is clearly not treasure, the museum or EHS will inform the coroner, who may then
decide to give directions that the find should be returned without holding an inquest.

What happens if the find is treasure?
If the museum curator or archaeologist believes that the find may be treasure, he will inform the
Ulster  Museum.  It  will  decide  whether  it wishes to acquire the find. If it does not, other
museums may express an interest
in acquiring the find.

Metal Detecting Law in England & Wales

Following my previous article on “etiquette in metal detecting” I thought I would touch on the law surrounding metal detecting and how it affects the metal detecting fraternity in the UK.

Please be aware that the legislation is different if you live in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  • The following finds are Treasure under the Act, if found after 24 September 1997 (or, in the case of category 2, if found after 1 January 2003):
  1. Any metallic object, other than a coin, provided that at least 10 per cent by weight of metal is precious metal (that is, gold or silver) and that it is at least 300 years old when found. If the object is of prehistoric date it will be Treasure provided any part of it is precious metal.
  2. Any group of two or more metallic objects of any composition of prehistoric date that come from the same find (see below)
  3. All coins from the same find provided they are at least 300 years old when found (but if the coins contain less than 10 per cent of gold or silver there must be at least ten of them). Only the following groups of coins will normally be regarded as coming from the same find:

    • hoards that have been deliberately hidden
    • smaller groups of coins, such as the contents of purses, that may been dropped or lost
    • votive or ritual deposits.
  4. Any object, whatever it is made of, that is found in the same place as, or had previously been together with, another object that is Treasure.
  5. Any object that would previously have been treasure trove, but does not fall within the specific categories given above. Only objects that are less than 300 years old, that are made substantially of gold or silver, that have been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovery and whose owners or heirs are unknown will come into this category.
  • Note:
    An object or coin is part of the ‘same find’ as another object or coin if it is found in the same place as, or had previously been together with, the other object. Finds may have become scattered since they were originally deposited in the ground.2) “of prehistoric date” means dating from the Iron Age or any earlier period

Etiquette in metal detecting

Etiquette in metal detectingI was asked if there was any particular etiquette when starting out in metal detecting, so I have done some research and found the following list from the National Council for Metal Detecting.

Most of it is common sense, but it is a great “refresher” or introduction into the exciting world of metal detecting as we have come to know it.

I also feel it sums up our hobby by showing that we are a respectful and mindful bunch of people. Over the next few articles I will also be expanding on some of the legislation surround our exciting hobby

“NCMD Code of Conduct

  1. Do not trespass. Obtain permission before venturing on to any land.
  2. Respect the Country Code, leave gates and property as you find them and do not damage crops, frighten animals or disturb nesting birds.
  3. Wherever the site, do not leave a mess or an unsafe surface for those who may follow. It is perfectly  simple to extract a coin or other small object buried a few inches below the ground  without digging a  great hole. Use a suitable digging implement to cut a neat flap(do not remove the plug of earth entirely from the ground), extract the object, reinstate the grass, sand or soil carefully, and even you will have difficulty in locating the find spot again.
  4. If you discover any live ammunition or any lethal object such as an unexploded bomb or mine, do not disturb it. Mark the site carefully and report the find to the local police and landowner.
  5. Help keep Britain tidy. Safely dispose of refuse you come across.
  6. Report all unusual historical finds to the landowner, and acquaint yourself with current NCMD policy relating to the Voluntary Reporting of Portable Antiquities.
  7. Remember it is illegal for anyone to use a metal detector on a designated area (e.g. scheduled archaeological site, SSSI, or Ministry of Defence property) without permission from the appropriate authority.
  8. Acquaint yourself with the definitions of the following documents: –

    (1)Treasure contained in the Treasure Act 1996 and its associated Code of Practice, making sure you understand your responsibilities.

    (2)Advice for Finders of Archaeological Objects including Treasure 2006.

  9. Remember that when you are out with your metal detector you are an ambassador for our hobby. Do nothing that might give it a bad name.
  10. Never miss an opportunity to explain your hobby to anyone who asks about it.

Appendix A to the NCMD Constitution
Revised February 2000
Amended AGM June 2007”

The best thing about metal detecting is…

Over the weekend, whilst having a quiet cuppa and listening to the dishwasher gurgling round, i started to think about what an old school friend I’d bumped into in the Supermarket had asked me after we’d updated each other on our lives to date…

“Metal Detecting? What is good about that? Don’t you just trudge through fields and dig up bits of old tat?”

Once those words had left his mouth, i remembered exactly why i had nothing to do with him and had ‘sadly lost touch’. He clearly had no idea about it and yet was making a judgement on me and my wonderful hobby. How dare he.

I carried my mood with me into Monday and into the office; along with my overly large packed lunch. The guys thought i was being tetchy and overreacting but I was still annoyed. I think what annoyed me more was that, when he had asked me the question, my answer as to why i go metal detecting and enjoy it was less than succinct and simply didn’t do it justice. Hence i turned to my colleagues and trusted Facebookers for support and reasons why our hobby is so great!

Here’s what you said…

Paul Vernon: “Getting out from the stress of every day life”

Peter Davey: “The best feeling for me is Holding that Roman coin i have Just found and thinking whys it here, who dropped it did his wife have a go at him when he got home? Love it :)”

Doogles Lydiate: “The whole thing, it’s a fantastic hobby, especially the fantastic surroundings.”

Allan Vint: “Uncovering and discovering hidden history”

Paul Rambo Campbell: “Discovering finds that people from my village can once again see and hold, they say that’s better than going to a museum when all you do is look at then through glass”

Jason Leach: “The getting out on a Sunday, having 2 disabled kids to look after during the week, i need the break! Once on the field, i’m in my own little world, surrounded by the Devon countryside & sea views & the excitement of not knowing what the signal could be…”

Trevor Jones: “Everything that we pull out of the ground has a history/story, even the shotgun cartridge (of which there are plenty) and I love working through it.”

Marcin Malkuszewski: “Definitely the connection with past, with people who held the same item hundred or few hundreds years ago…time travel in miniature?”

This day in History: If we have no past, we have no future…

On This Day in History: March 2nd

When I was in School, there was such an importance placed on History and I loved it. We learnt the ability to prioritise information, marshal an argument and critique sources. History was, and is, so many things: if we have no history, we have no future.

History is the material culture of the past, the rise and fall of civilisations, the understanding of lost communities, it provides us with a collective memory, giving us a sense of connection to place, time and community…and so much more. I feel like that importance just isn’t there anymore, and this elimination of the past is nothing short of a national tragedy in my opinion…and this why I have decided to have a look back on this day in History, and look at what happened on some of the previous March 2nds!

March 2nd 986:  Louis V becomes King of the Franks. Louis V was the last Carolingian King of Western Francia and reigned in Laon from 2 March 986 until his own death, at the age of 20, in 987. It may be because he reigned for only one year that medieval biographers awarded him the title qui nihil fecit – “who did nothing”.

March 2nd 1797: The Bank of England issues the first one-pound and two-pound banknotes.

March 2nd 1825: Work began on the Thames Tunnel in London, the world’s first tunnel under a navigable river! It will take 18 years to complete; after several floods, human disasters, and delays caused by financing difficulties, it remains in use as the oldest part of the London Underground.

March 2nd 1941: First German military units enter Bulgaria after it joined the Axis Pact –  a pact signed in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1940, which established the Axis Powers of World War II. The pact was signed by representatives of Nazi Germany (Adolf Hitler), Fascist Italy (foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano), and Imperial Japan (Japanese ambassador to Germany Saburo Kurusu).

Do you feel History is important and is being lost? What March 2nd in History interests you? Please share your views with us below…