Illustration for article titled Can You Make Real Money Metal Detection?Photo: Voyagerix (Shutterstock)

There has been a lot of eye catching news about people using metal detectors to uncover valuable artifacts –old coins, precious jewelry, Gold nuggets, maybe even a piece of the crown of Charles I.? (The British always have the best finds).

As exciting as these discoveries are, the chances of finding such items are slim and may depend on your experience, the metal detector you use, the places you explore and, crucially, your level of commitment. You could make a little more money with a metal detector, but don’t expect to make a living from it –maybe only $ 20 a week. On the other hand, the prospect of a big find is tempting too, but you need to invest the time, money and know-how if you hope so – and be ready to spot lots of old rusty nails along the way.

How metal detection can pay off

If you are lucky enough to discover valuable objects during metal detection, keep in mind that they have to make up for the cost – your time is money, metal detectors costs thousands of dollarsand you will likely have travel expenses too.

Illustration for article titled Can You Make Real Money Metal Detection?

Also, even if you find one, you may not be able to keep the treasure. While most states have a finder-keeper Treasury ActSome states require that items worth $ 100 or more be turned over to the police.

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Realistically, you will likely make more money as a professional detector searching for people’s lost jewelry. You can join websites like that Ring seekerSo people in your area can set you as a local metal detector. Note, however, that professional detectors typically only charge for gas money and a “retrieval fee” of $ 25-50 (for the trouble if nothing shows) and usually operate on a “reward basis” (pay what you can) . . The joy of finding a lost wedding ring might be a reward, but you probably don’t want to think of it as much more than a hobby.

Another way to make money is by doing a popular metal detection youtube channel, but you’d really need to invest the time and some money into these first (for more information on making money on YouTube, see here Lifehacker Post ).

Aside from that, who knows, you might find some hidden treasure under your porch after all?

Ethical considerations

There are many reasons why it is possible and it is possible to decide and regulate where you can perform metal detection. Do not try national parks, near monuments, on historical battlefields, or in Native American countries. People who ignore the rules tend to give the hobby a bad rap, which is why many detectors follow a Code of Ethics.

For more information on legal considerations, see Check out this post from the metal detection blog Tech Metals Research.