Metal detectors are commonly used by hobbyists who want to search for treasure and for a variety of professional or safety reasons.  They work by creating an electromagnetic field that generates electricity through the ground.

Although they were originally designed for use in WWII by a Polish officer to help detect German land mines, today is more common to hear or see metal detectors that are used to detect weapons at an airport or by hobbyists looking for treasure.

Metal detectors are also used by construction workers to locate metal poles and pipes that may be hidden behind walls, during war time to find land mines, in food and pharmaceutical companies to detect iron in food, and by archaeologists at digs.

Today many people participate in metal detecting as a hobby and choose to comb beaches, other land areas, or compete against each other in a game called coin shooting at public events in a race to find the most coins.

Metal detecting as a hobby became common after the close of World War II and there are many clubs throughout the UK for people who are interested in the activity.  Those who are just starting out may find that joining a club is the best way to get started.

This is because clubs often organize events and can help new metal detector hobbyists find the best locations to hunt for treasure.  They also can provide dozens of other useful tips to help make treasure hunting easier.

Some common tips for new metal detecting hobbyists include starting out at the beach or in one’s backyard so that you can learn how to tell the difference between trash and actual treasure or coins.

It is realistic to expect that at least 60% of your finds will be rubbish, but as you learn how to discriminate better you will be able to skip past areas that you know will only garnish trash making your day more productive.

During the spring thaw following winter and after a large rain storm are two of the best times to head out to try out metal detecting because wet ground conducts electricity better allowing you to reach farther depths than you otherwise may be able to.  This will help you to find treasure even in areas that are over searched.

Today the common law of Treasure Trove, which dictates that all treasure found, belongs to the Crown until an owner is established is no longer in effect in most of the UK.  Instead, the Treasure Act of 1996 replaced the Treasure Trove laws carefully outlawing what qualifies as treasure and what does not.

However, those who go metal detecting in Scotland still are obliged to follow the Treasure Trove laws as they are still in place and thus must turn over any treasure they find to the Crown by heading to a local museum who can determine if the item needs to be given away or if the finder can keep it.