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Metal Detecting Hobby Talk
   January 2022        Metal Detecting Hobby Talk News Brief                                             Volume 11 Number 142
Metal Detecting Hobby Talk Support The Hobby
I would like to point out to the News Brief readers that there are a number of organizations taking on the challenge against various types of legislation dealing with metal detecting and gold prospecting. MDHTALK's recommendation is to visit their website and give strong consideration to joining the fight. In some cases your support may be to send emails and / or write a letter to specific legislators or to provide funds to help with the fight. Here are the organizations and a link to their website.
Go to the Join The Fight MDHTALK Webpage to read more about each of these organizations


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What is a News Brief?
The news brief provides a brief look into any news event. The intent of the news brief is to provide you, the reader, with news clips on what was taking place in the hobby last month. To read the whole story select the Article Link or go to There are more news stories placed on the MDHTALK website for December the news stories listed in the MDHTALK News Brief are just a portion of all the hobby related news reported the past month.  The news Brief is now available in Adobe PDF format, there is a link at the top of this webpage. The news brief is no longer emailed; it is only available on the MDHTALK website and can be downloaded.

The Website's featured article for this month is: Metal Detector Member Self Certification Program
Article Download Here

Printable Version of: MD-101, MD-102, MD-103
Colored Background Version of: MD-101, MD102, MD103

This article involves responsible metal detecting and the community. While practicing the hobby of metal detecting there have been a number of issues and questions that continues to come to one’s attention. These issues have been evident while metal detecting at large, at club hunts, in metal detecting conversations and during some recent club visits as VP of the Western Chapter. So what are the issues and questions?
Generally, it is the lack of knowledge by both new people to the hobby and some old timers. This lack of knowledge covers issues like where one can / cannot go metal detecting, proper methods of pin-pointing and minimizing ground cover damage during target recovery. I am sure that most everyone who metal detects has been exposed to similar situations and has seem first hand the results of very poor target recovery, or has talked to someone who has been asked to leave a specific detecting place due to lack of permission. As more people start to practice the hobby proper training and guidance will become essential for responsible detecting. Without proper education / training the result will be damaged property, public entities banding metal detecting, and arrests; all negatively impacting the reputation of the hobby.
These are the issues that have prompted me to suggest creating a club Member Certification Program for metal detecting clubs and individuals. I would willing to work with a club or clubs to establish such a certification program for its members.
Let’s explore what a possible club metal detecting Certification Program would cover. A certification program is meant to certify metal detecting club members in a classroom environment on responsible metal detecting. The class would be approximately 6-8 hours in length, would cover an introduction to detecting, ethics for detecting and where to hunt, how to use a metal detector and target recovery.
Below is a four point outline for a club member certification program or some may call it a Metal Detecting 101 class.
1) The class would start with an introduction and discussion on:
  • The various Types of Metal Detecting (coins, jewelry, beach / water, prospecting, relics)
  • Who are the metal detector Manufacturers
  • General or Multi-purpose, Water, Prospecting, Relic Detectors
  • How to Purchase (local dealers, internet, etc.)
  • Equipment and other Detecting Accessories
  • The Internet and Metal Detecting
  • National and State Metal Detecting Organizations
   2) Instruction and discussion on:
  • Metal Detecting Ethics
  • Acquiring Permission to Metal Detect
  • Written and Verbal Contracts
  • Research (old newspapers, library, photos, etc.
where you can and cannot metal detect:
  • Local Public (parks, schools, public building grounds, beaches, pool areas, etc.)
  • State (parks, recreation areas, beaches, historical sites, etc.)
  • National (parks, forest, recreation areas, beaches, historical sites, etc.)
  • Private lands, lakes, resorts and beaches.
The section on the Local Public area and State can be tailored to a specific club’s location.

3) Next the class should cover how to:
  • Turn-on and Setup a Detector
  • Control Proper Swing and Coil Height
  • Proper Pin Pointing of a Target
  • Proper Recovery of a Target
Section (3) should be covered in a classroom and then practiced under classroom conditions in the field.
The certification class would be a requirement for every current member and every new member that joins a club.
At the completion of the class there can be recognition, with a certificate of completion or some other award.
This program can be a great selling point to your community authorities. The certification program demonstrates the clubs commitment to obeying laws, following good methods for practicing the hobby, and a willingness to reach out to educate its members and the community. The certification class can be used at schools to introduce students to the hobby, or offered as a metal detecting 101 class at your local community center.
In one case, I have witnessed a club that was able to get global permits for club members from city and school authorities by using a similar approach. In another case a club uses such a program to educate the community at large. It will work, and as more and more people join the hobby it will be a must in every club if the hobby is to continue to have access to public and private lands.
If you would like a copy of this article select Article Download Here
Hobby Related News

General U.S. and World Wide Hobby News
  • Ninety-Nine Fascinating Finds Revealed in 2021. Article Link
  • Finding “Buried Treasure.” What’s the Law? Article Link
  • Israeli Archaeologists Find Treasures in Ancient Shipwrecks. Article Link
  • European treasure hunter reunites American veteran with the bracelet he lost in 1945. Article Link
  • Ralph Gardner Jr.: Digging history in your front yard. Article Link
  • 6 years and counting: Ex-treasure hunter still stuck in jail. Article Link
  • Michigan man hunts for buried treasure, lost jewelry across the state. Article Link
  • Utah man wants to return 1940s class ring to rightful owner. Article Link
  • Shooting medal discovered on South Canterbury beach more than 60 years after being lost. Article Link
  • DetectHistory Announces the Annual Best Metal Detector Awards 2021. Article Link
  • Chicago metal detector hobbyists find treasure more valuable than gold. Article Link
U.K. News
  • They came, they saw, they cheated: Metal detectorist finds 2,000-year-old loaded dice that Romans used to boost their chances of winning when gambling. Article Link
  • Jersey coin hoard found by metal detectors is sold for £4m. Article Link
  • Detectorist finds 10,000 Roman coins in Huntingdon hoard. Article Link
  • Ancient jar that may have been used to anoint Anglo-Saxon kings is found after 1,000 years underground in hoard of treasure 'buried to hide it from Vikings'. Article Link
  • Father-of-two, 44, finds £100,000 medieval 24ct-gold brooch buried on farmland after going out out metal-detecting after work. Article Link
  • Bronze Age axe head and dagger found by detectorist in Shropshire. Article Link
  • Gold ring found on village farmland near Milton Keynes sells for £20,000. Article Link
  • British Museum records dozens of treasure finds in Gwent. Article Link
  • Archaeologists stunned as 1,000-year-old rare gold treasure found: 'Unseen before'. Article Link
  • Nearly a dozen buried treasure troves found in Cheshire and Merseyside last year. Article Link
  • Milly Hardwick, a 13-year-old from Suffolk, stumbled onto a cache of 65 artifacts dated to around 1300 B.C.E. Article Link
  • New Forest Celtic coin hoard to go on display in Lymington. Article Link
  • Norfolk Anglo-Saxon coin hoard could be worth £400,000. Article Link
  • Richard III archaeologists strike again with Roman mosaic. Article Link
  • The intricate piece of treasure thought to be over 300 years old - unearthed by metal detectorist. AArticle Link
North America Archaeology News
  • Excavation of Utah internment camp monument upsets descendants trying to heal. Article Link
  • Discovered in Baltimore park: Native American artifacts 5,000-9,000 years old. Article Link
  • ‘Archaeology Magazine’ Names Slave Tag Found at ofC Among Top 10 Discoveries of 2021. Article Link
  • Archaeologists unearth the oldest adobe architecture in the Americas. Article Link
Other News Sources
  • American Digger Relic Roundup. For diggers and collectors of history. An hour long program every Monday Night at 9:00 PM eastern standard time. Join your hosts Butch Holcombe, Jeff Lubbert and Heath Jones as they explore the past. Learn more about Metal Detecting, Treasure hunting in all it's forms, and the preservation of history. December Pod Cast Link
  • Archaeology and Metal Detecting Magazine present the BIG metal detecting podcast. A weekly show bringing all areas of history together with our guests, news and much more. December Pod Cast Link
  • Coin World - Numismatic and Coin Collecting December News
  • Garrett Searcher November - December Searcher
  • Gold Prospectors Assn of America (GPAA) - News on legal issues for the gold prospecting community December News
  • Mel Fisher Salvage Update
  • PLP December News
  • Prospecting and Mining Journal (IMCJ) December News
  • The Archaeology and Metal Detecting Magazine The Archaeology and Metal detecting magazine are one of the lead online sites in their genre. Offering multiple platforms for Archaeological, Historical and metal detecting news, articles, research areas and much more. December News
  • 1715 Fleet Society January Newsletter
Jewelry Returns
  • Wedding ring found in twist of fate after 18 months lost at sea. Article Link
  • Folly Beach neighbors miraculously help find newlyweds' lost wedding rings in water. Article Link
  • Something lost, something found. Article Link
  • Woman reunited with wedding ring she lost in potato patch 50 years ago. Article Link
  • Ring's journey makes full circle thanks to Richfield man. Article Link
Meteorite News
  • Shooting Stars: What exactly are they? Article Link
  • ‘Fireball’ streaks over Vancouver Island Sunday night amid meteor shower. Article Link
  • ‘Concerning’ asteroid will break into Earth’s orbit in a week: NASA. Article Linka
  • Man Keeps a Rock For Years, Hoping It's Gold. It Turned Out to Be Far More Valuable. Article Link
Finding “Buried Treasure.” What’s the Law? By ANDREW J. LUCA  Website
Many of us pay close attention to those Antiques Roadshow stories of lucky homeowners who started a renovation project and found a stash of cash or a can of coins buried deep in a wall or tucked inside a vent.

Forgotten treasures left behind by a home’s prior owner is a wish come true for most but can be an interesting question of law for the Courts.

The age-old phrases “finders-keepers” or “possession is 9/10ths of the law” may not always apply and the results are often dependent on the treasure itself and where it was discovered.

Property Owners:

In New Jersey, finding items of value in your home or on your property belong to you if the law views those items as abandoned.

Abandoned property is property that the owner has intentionally waived ownership. Lost property, on the other hand, like many other states requires reporting of the find to authorities as well as the public.

New Jersey requires 120 days public notice once the reasonable effort to publicly notify has begun.

Naturally, the fortuitous party who discovered the loot wants it considered abandoned and thus “finders-keepers.”

Finding hidden treasure in the home you own is usually yours to keep under the law.

Rented Property:

What happens in those situations where renters accidentally put a hole in the wall and find old jewelry long since forgotten as evidenced by the mound of dust collected on it?

Or, what if a landlord gives permission for renters to store some of their belongings in an area of the basement which has been ignored and unused by its owner for years?

In those situations, the law would consider the find lost and a requirement to first notify the landlord would ensue. Found property of value does not always have to be excavated for ownership to change hands.

In the event a tenant vacates the premises leaving behind personal property, which could have value, the landlord must advise the tenant in writing and wait 30 days before taking possession. If the landlord mailed that notice to the prior tenant (Certified Mailing, Return Receipt is recommended), the landlord must wait a period of 33 days.

Public Property:

How about the metal detector wielding warriors strolling the beaches along the coastline looking for discarded trinkets or the weekend treasure hunters searching to unearth forgotten cargo of the Sindia or the George F. Skolfield shipwrecks?

The stretches of beach where these historical items might be found are publicly accessible land and are owned by either the state or the local municipality.

Who owns the discovery on this land if it’s revealed with the use of hand-held shovels and sifters?

While the items buried in the sand amounting to pocket change or rings usually belong to the finder (hats off to local metal detectorist, John Favano, who is often asked to find lost wedding or engagement rings to the relief of visiting vacationers), items of historical or cultural significance found on public land belong to the state or town and are typically donated to local historical societies who display such artifacts for community enjoyment and educational purposes.

Closing Out the Year:

Abandoned or lost riches found in your house or on your property is a tale that we would all like to tell. Traditionally, and especially at this time of the season, the wealth that our homes routinely give to us are the treasured memories created with family and friends throughout the year. Happy Holidays!

About the Author: Andrew J. Luca, Esquire is a co-founding member of the CKL Law Group, LLP and has been practicing Real Estate and Consumer Fraud law in New Jersey for nearly 20 years.

Event News

Metal Detecting & Gold Prospecting Events.
Now is the time to start planning and getting your club's 2022/23 hunt information on the web. The sooner it is out and available to the metal detecting community the greater the chance for people to see it and give your event some consideration.

  • January 21, 2022 (Three Days)
    Stanton, Arizona
    Mining Event - Push Dig
    LDMA-Lost Dutchman Mining Assn
Select here to View the Complete Event

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Check out your event before going it may have been postponed or canceled.

Metal Detecting Hobby Talk