Make metal detecting a family affair – how to get the kids involved

What child would pass up a treasure hunt in the middle of nowhere with a mini metal detector in hand to match your ‘grown-up’ model? It’s really easy to turn your hobby into a fun pursuit for all of the family – you justhave to get a little bit creative with it. Joan Allen show you how with our 5 handy ideas to make metal detecting fun for all.


Turn it into a competition

Unearth the competitive streak in your child by turning a few hours of metal detecting into an action-packed competition or race. Take them to a large field with their siblings or friends and let them roam for a few hours. The first person to find a few pieces of something could bag themselves a treat on the way home or better still, introduce a time-trial and see who can beat the stopwatch.


Role play

Practise your best story-telling techniques and create a grand fantasy tale around a deserted piece of land or a nearby beach. Exaggerate gruesomecharacters and vicious battles that happened hundreds of years ago and human remains that could still be found at this very spot. Let your child be a pirate, eye patch and all and see how fast they’ll be skulking around for treasure.


Detect at a birthday party

Take the birthday celebrations outside for what could potentially be a very cheap and cheerful day out for all the children and their parents. If you have the budget you could perhaps hire a few detectors for the day and let them pursue the gold in pairs or alternatively, there’s nothing wrong with an old-fashioned bucket and spade. Just make sure the young detectorists aren’t digging up mole-sized holes in your local park.


Bonding time

How heart warming is it to see two or three generations at the edge of a lake with a flask of hot tea and a fishing rod? Translate this into your dream picture and make metal detecting a regular bonding day with the family. It could be once a week or once a month but children will value that quality time and look forward to it when it comes.


Go to the museum

What you and the family find on an expedition could wind up on display in a glass cabinet so show your child what other impressive finds are in the museum. Drop in an impromptu history lesson while you drift in-between exhibitions and tell your child how amazing metal detecting can be. Trust us, it will work.


Joan Allen would love to hear about your family experiences so please do post them on our Facebook page with pictures of your finds. To view our full range of children’s metal detectors visit our website here and be sure to check out the laws on metal detecting in the UK before you set off.




10 Things that happened this day in History – August 17th

At Joan Allen we love our History, and we love to find out about interesting facts or events that happened on this very day back through the years. We picked the top 10 interesting things that occurred on this day throughout history, along with a handful of births and deaths.

Swat up on your facts and take a few minutes to think back on how this day might have been once…

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


1807 – Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat first becomes the first commercial steamboat service in the world as it leaves New York City.

1908 – The first ever animated cartoon – Fantasmagorie – is shown in Paris.

1943 – In World War II, the Allied invasion of Sicily is completed when the US Seventh Army and 8th British Army arrive in Messina.

1943 – The first Quebec conference begins as Britain’s Winston Churchill, USA’s Franklin D. Roosevelt and Canada’s William Lyon Mackenzie King meet in WW2.

1953 – The first ever meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is held in Southern California.

1959 – Miles Davis releases Kind of Blue and wows the world of jazz.

1962 – Peter Fechter becomes one of the big casualties of the Cold War as he’s killed as he tries to cross the Berlin Wall.

1970 – In the Venera Program: Venera 7 is launched as it becomes the first spacecraft to go to Venus.

1998 – The Monica Lewinsky scandal hits US politics over her affair with President Bill Clinton.

2008 – Swimmer Michael Phelps becomes the first person to win eight gold medals in the Olympics in Beijing.



1786 – American Soldier and frontiersman Davy Crockett

1943 – Actor Robert De Niro

1943 – Broadcaster and Journalist John Humphyrs

1944 – Billionaire and CEO of Oracle Larry Ellison

1977 – Former Arsenal footballer Thierry Henry



1657 – Admiral Robert Blake

1987 – Nazi Deputy Rudolf Hess


If you are into your history and metal detecting, make sure you share all of your latest finds on the Joan Allen Facebook page.


Part-exchange your old metal detector with Joan Allen


Want to upgrade your metal detector for a better model? Joan Allen are offering some great deals when trading in your old detector.

If you want to sample the delights of the Minelab E-Trac or covet the ability to detect underwater with the CTX3030, then we are giving you the chance to trade in your old detector and upgrade. Joan Allen are offering a minimum part exchange value of £200 on all proper working detectors.

Released at the end of May, the CTX3030 is a real game changer in the world of metal detecting. Using groundbreaking technology and possessing features such as waterproof, wireless audio and GPS locating, the CTX3030 is the ultimate high-performance treasure detector.

Now you can get your hands on one, courtesy of Joan Allen’s part-exchange programme.

For full information about prices and our part-exchange scheme, visit our Finance page on the Joan Allen website.

To apply for credit with Joan Allen, click here.



10 fascinating metal detecting finds from around the world

Exploring vast areas of dusty and deserted landscapes with a metal detector in tow doesn’t always lead to any great discovery, but if luck’s on your side you may join these other 10 detectorists in unearthing some amazing pieces of archaeological dynamite. From copper coins to meteorites down on earth this list has it all, and all within the past five-years. We start up in Essex with a curious toddler…

1. 16th Century pendant

Decorated with the five wounds of Christ, four-year-old, James Hyatt, of Billericay, Essex found the gold pendant on a hunt with his dad in a field in Hockley. Engraved with an image of what is believed to be the Virgin Mary supporting a cross, the British Museum valued its gold content to be near 73%. Worth up to £2.5m, the generous family said they would share the sum with the landowner if the pendant was sold.

 Find out more >

2. Copper axe head

Said to be one of only 1,000 known to experts, 52-year-old historian, Steve Hickling discovered the axe head on a treasure hunt in St. Helens. A newbie to metal detecting, Hickling had only taken up the hobby for 12 months before finding the copper flat axe with his Garret Ace 250. The 4,000 year old artefact dates backs to the middle Bronze Age from between 1850 – 1750 BC.

Find out more >

3. Rio Rancho Meteorite

13-year-old Jason Lyons from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, walked into the University of New Mexico’s Institute of Meteoritics with what he said was a 2lb chunk of “space rock,” to be told it was in fact an L6 ordinary chondrite, in other words, a meteorite. Found with nothing but a homebuilt metal detector his grandfather made, this rare meteorite is estimated to have been on the ground for 10,000 years. Composed of part nickel-iron metal, it’s the second most common type of ‘space matter’.

Find out more >

4. Civil War Saber

Spurred on by a neighbour’s impressive Civil War collection, little Lucas Hall requested a metal detector for his birthday. Four outings later, the 7-year-old found the 1840/1860 cavalry sword and like us, couldn’t believe his luck. According to locals, Clarke County, Virginia is popular amongst detectorists because of its history in the Civil War, so maybe that might be somewhere for us to think about for our next expedition?

5. 17th Century Coin Hoard

Back in England, experienced detectorist, Howard Murphy, discovered a haul of coins on a stretch of farmland in Bitterley, South Shropshire. Rather than trying to dig it out himself, he alerted his local Finds Liaision Officer who was amazed yet intrigued at the amount of coins retrieved from the ground. Staff at the British Museum said the collection of one gold and 137 silver coins, would have only been worth a minimal £9, 11 shillings and 6d (pence) when buried, but can you imagine now?

Find out more >

6. Roman skeleton

Slightly more chilling and without any monetary value, what Kenneth Mordle thought would have been another piece of jewellery, (he had earlier found a silver ring) was in fact remains dating backing to the 1st or 3rd century. On a routine check near Chichester, I hope Mordle hasn’t since been put off his hobby, can’t say here at Joan Allen we would be quite so brave. Would you?

7. Iron Age Neck Ornaments

Who wouldn’t be ecstatic at the prospect of being £460,000 richer? Dave Booth’s sentiments exactly when just an hour into his first metal detecting mission in Stirlingshire, Scotland, he discovered four gold, silver and copper necklaces called ‘torcs’. The 35-year-old was the proud owner of a five-day-old metal detector when he came across the 2,000-year-old pieces just six inches underground. Booth said he was “completely stunned“ and by all accounts, so were we.

Find out more >

8. Nummi coins

Another new detectorist on a quest for treasure, this time unearthing 10,000 silver and bronze Roman coins  one of the largest collections of Roman coins ever discovered in Shropshire. 30-year-old, Nick Davies found the coins nested inside a clay pot weighing over a massive 70 lbs. The coins that were initially identified date from the period 320 – 340 AD late in the reign of Constantine, and amongst them are coins celebrating the anniversary of the founding of Rome and Constantinople.

Find out more >

9. Anglo-Saxon treasure

Worth something close to £1 million, one man’s amazing find brought tears to the eyes of experts and fellow enthusiasts, supposedly. Brace yourself for Terry Herbert, the amateur detectorist who discovered the largest Anglo-Saxon gold hoard ever in the Shropshire countryside. The some 1,500 pieces of silver and gold, however, were stressing out their 55-year-old temporary owner who was glad when archaeologists took the find so he could finally relax. Bless him, a million must be such a burden.

Find out more >

10. The Harrogate Hoard

Another father-son duo, the Wheelan family, David, 60 and Andrew, 35, were growing tired of metal detecting when a signal alerted them to a single coin. As true enthusiasts they continued digging and unveiled a haul of silver and gold Viking treasure  the most significant find of its kind in England for more than 150 years. Needless to say, their substantial find was estimated at £750,000 of which the Wheelans decided to only keep half, if that, and give the remaining cash to the farmer whose field it was found. Nothing like a kind gesture to finish off our fascinating finds.

Find out more >

Have you had some fantastic finds to tell us about? Please share your photos with us on the Joan Allen Facebook page.