Metal detecting for treasure in the UK can be fun! Important helpful advice here

Metal detecting for treasure in the UK ( for ancient artifacts, coins and other relics ) has become a very popular recreational activity over the last few years and there are numerous metal detecting enthusiasts and clubs across the country. 

You can join metal detecting clubs in the UK if you’re interested in treasure hunting and this can be a great way to connect with like-minded individuals, learn from experienced detectorists, and access club-organized outings to search for artifacts and relics. These clubs often have established codes of conduct and guidelines to ensure responsible metal detecting.

metal detecting for treasure

Joining a metal detecting club can be a fun and educational way to engage in this hobby while also contributing to the preservation of the UK’s archaeological heritage.


  1. England: In England, metal detecting for archaeological objects is legal, but you must adhere to the laws and guidelines set forth in the Treasure Act 1996 and the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Finds considered “treasure” must be reported to the local coroner within 14 days, and the finder and landowner may be entitled to a reward. The definition of “treasure” is relatively broad, but it typically includes items that are at least 300 years old and have a certain level of precious metal content. Non-treasure finds must also be reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

  2. Scotland: Metal detecting in Scotland is regulated by the Treasure Trove system. If you find any archaeological objects, including coins and artifacts, you are legally obligated to report them to the Treasure Trove Unit. The unit will assess the items, and if they are considered treasure trove, they become the property of the Crown. Finders may be entitled to a reward.

  3. Wales: Wales follows the same rules as England regarding metal detecting. The Treasure Act 1996 and the Portable Antiquities Scheme apply here. Finders are encouraged to report their discoveries to the local Finds Liaison Officer.

  4. Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland has its own set of rules and regulations governing metal detecting and archaeological finds. It is essential to consult with the Department for Communities – Historic Environment Division for guidance on metal detecting in Northern Ireland.

  5. Private Land: It’s crucial to obtain permission from landowners before metal detecting on private land. Trespassing without permission is illegal, and you could face legal consequences.

  6. Scheduled Monuments and Protected Areas: Metal detecting is prohibited on scheduled monuments and protected archaeological sites without special permission.

Please remember that these rules can change, and local bylaws may also apply. It’s crucial to stay updated with the latest regulations and to act responsibly when metal detecting to help preserve the historical and archaeological heritage of the UK. Always consult with local authorities, landowners, and archaeologists when in doubt.


Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Research Metal Detecting Clubs: Look for metal detecting clubs in your local area or in areas where you plan to do your searches. You can find clubs through online searches, social media, or by asking at local hobby shops.

  2. Contact the Club: Reach out to the club to inquire about membership. Many clubs have websites or social media pages with contact information. You can also attend club meetings or events to learn more and meet members in person.

  3. Membership Requirements: Each club may have its own membership requirements, such as annual fees or adherence to a code of ethics. Make sure you understand and meet these requirements.

  4. Participate in Club Activities: Once you become a member, you can participate in club activities, including organized metal detecting for treasure outings. These outings may take place on private land with landowner permission or in areas where metal detecting is permitted.

metal detecting for treasure

  1. Learn from Experienced Detectorists: Clubs often have experienced members who can offer guidance, tips, and advice to newcomers. Take advantage of this knowledge to improve your skills and understanding of responsible metal detecting.

  2. Follow Local Laws and Regulations: Even when you’re part of a club, it’s crucial to follow all local laws and regulations regarding metal detecting, reporting finds, and obtaining permissions to search on private land.

  3. Respect the Environment and Archaeology: Metal detecting clubs often emphasize responsible metal detecting, which includes leaving no trace, properly disposing of trash, and reporting significant finds to relevant authorities when required.

Make sure to check the specific rules and activities of the club you’re interested in, as they may vary from one club to another.


Metal detecting for treasure has gained a considerable following over the years as evidenced by the growing memberships of the clubs in the UK. High-profile finds, such as valuable hoards of coins or historically significant artifacts, have received media attention and generated lots of interest in metal detecting as a part time leisure activity


New focus on underwater metal detecting. Best tips on how to maximize success.

Underwater metal detecting can be an exciting and rewarding hobby, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and considerations.

Hobbyists who engage in diving expeditions, including underwater metal detecting, often enjoy a wide range of pleasures and experiences beyond just searching for treasures. Diving in itself is a rewarding activity that offers a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world and its marine life.

underwater metal detecting



Here are some tips to help those interested in underwater metal detecting have a successful and safe experience:

1. Choose the Right Equipment:

  • Waterproof Metal Detector: Invest in a metal detector designed specifically for underwater use. ( See section B below ) These detectors are sealed to prevent water damage.
  • Waterproof Headphones: Use waterproof headphones to hear signals clearly underwater.
  • Trowel and Sand Scoop: A trowel and sand scoop designed for underwater use will help you recover items from the seabed or lake bottom.

2. Learn to Swim:

If you’re not already a competent swimmer, it’s essential to learn how to swim confidently before attempting underwater metal detecting.

3. Research Your Location:

  • Check Regulations: Ensure you are aware of and adhere to local regulations regarding underwater metal detecting. Some areas may have restrictions or require permits.
  • Know the Conditions: Understand the water conditions, including tides, currents, and visibility, as these factors can affect your safety and success.
  • Historical Sites: Research historical sites and shipwrecks in the area. Knowing the history can help you pinpoint potential treasure hotspots.

4. Safety First:

  • Buddy System: Whenever possible, go underwater metal detecting with a buddy for safety. This is especially important in case of emergencies.
  • Use a Float or Dive Flag: Attach a dive flag or float to your equipment to make your presence known to boaters and other water users.
  • Check Weather: Always check the weather forecast before heading out and avoid metal detecting in rough conditions.

5. Dive Responsibly:

  • Respect Marine Life: Avoid disturbing marine life and coral reefs. Be mindful of the underwater ecosystem.
  • No Dig Zones: Some locations may have restrictions on digging in sensitive areas. Make sure you know where you’re allowed to dig.

6. Proper Target Recovery:

  • Digging Tools: Use a sand scoop or trowel to recover targets. Be gentle to avoid damaging objects or the environment.
  • Mark the Location: If you can’t recover an item immediately, mark the location with a buoy or marker to return later.

7. Clean and Maintain Your Equipment:

  • Rinse After Use: Thoroughly rinse your equipment with fresh water after each dive to prevent corrosion.
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your metal detector and gear in good condition by performing regular maintenance checks.

8. Record Finds:

  • Log Finds: Keep a log of your underwater metal detecting trips, including the location, date, and details of any significant finds.
  • Report Treasure: If you find significant historical artifacts or treasure, report your discovery to the appropriate authorities. Laws regarding treasure finds vary by location.

9. Practice and Patience:

  • Practice in Shallow Water: If you’re new to underwater detecting, start in shallow water to practice your skills before diving into deeper areas.
  • Be Patient: Success in underwater metal detecting often requires patience. It may take time to find valuable or historically significant items.

10. Respect Private Property:

  • If you’re detecting near private property or beaches, always obtain permission from landowners or authorities.

underwater metal detecting

Remember that underwater metal detecting can be physically demanding and may require additional training, such as scuba diving certification, for certain locations. Safety should always be a top priority when engaging in this hobby.


Minelab: Minelab is a highly respected brand in the metal detecting community and offers a range of underwater metal detectors suitable for both shallow and deep-water hunting. Their Excalibur II and Equinox series are popular choices for underwater use.

underwater metal detectors

Minelab Equinox 900 Waterproof Metal Detector

Garrett: Garrett is another reputable brand that offers waterproof metal detectors suitable for underwater detecting. The Garrett AT Pro and AT Max models are popular among detectorists, and they can be used in wet conditions, including freshwater.

Fisher: Fisher produces a range of underwater metal detectors designed for various depths and conditions. The Fisher CZ-21 and Fisher 1280-X Aquanaut are known for their underwater capabilities.

Nokta Makro: Nokta Makro offers the PulseDive and Anfibio Multi metal detectors, both of which are designed for underwater use. The PulseDive, in particular, is highly portable and suitable for snorkeling or shallow diving.

Whites Electronics: Whites Electronics has a history of producing quality metal detectors. While they are known for their land-based detectors, some models, like the MX Sport, are designed for both land and underwater use.

Tesoro: Tesoro metal detectors are often praised for their simplicity and effectiveness. Some of their models can be used in shallow water environments.

Aquascan: Aquascan specializes in underwater metal detectors and offers a variety of models for different applications, including professional and recreational use.

XP Deus 2: The XP Deus 2 metal detector operates well in most conditions, both on land and at sea. It operates to a maximum depth of 20 metres.

For details of how an underwater metal detector operates check out the following YouTube video HERE

When choosing an underwater metal detector, consider factors such as your budget, the depth of water you plan to search in, the types of targets you are looking for (e.g., coins, relics, jewelry), and your level of experience. It’s also important to read user reviews, seek recommendations from experienced underwater detectorists, and test the equipment whenever possible to ensure it meets your needs and preferences.


It is important to keep in mind that underwater metal detecting may require additional accessories like waterproof headphones, floats, and sand scoops designed for use in aquatic environments.

Always follow safety guidelines and regulations when engaging in underwater metal detecting, and check local laws regarding the use of metal detectors in specific bodies of water.

Valuable advice on the best locations to find gold in Western Australia using metal detectors

Some of the best locations to find gold can be found in Western Australia. Western Australia is known for its rich gold mining history, and there are several regions within the state where using metal detectors to find gold can be productive. However, it’s important to note that gold prospecting regulations and access to certain areas may vary, so be sure to obtain the necessary permits and follow local laws before conducting any prospecting activities.  

best locations to find gold

Gold prospecting using a metal detector around Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia can be quite rewarding, and there are several areas with a history of gold discoveries that may be suitable for this activity. Here are some of the best locations to consider for gold prospecting with a metal detector:


1.Golden Mile, Kalgoorlie-Boulder: This historic gold-bearing belt, including the famous Super Pit, has yielded significant quantities of gold over the years. While the Super Pit itself may not be accessible for metal detecting due to modern mining operations, there are still plenty of areas within Kalgoorlie-Boulder and its outskirts where you can prospect. Focus on the old mine dumps, tailings, and areas with a history of gold production.

2. Coolgardie: Coolgardie and its surrounding areas, such as Fly Flat and Siberia, were among the first to experience the Western Australian gold rush. Many small historic mines and gold-bearing patches are scattered throughout the region. You can explore the old diggings, dry creek beds, and gullies with a metal detector.

3. Laverton: Laverton and its vicinity have been productive gold mining areas for decades. The region has a mix of old and modern mining operations, so be sure to follow local regulations and obtain any necessary permissions. Look for areas with known gold occurrences and check with local prospecting clubs for advice.

4. Leonora: Like Laverton, Leonora has a rich gold mining history and offers opportunities for metal detecting around old mining sites, abandoned shafts, and dry washes. Joining a local prospecting club can provide valuable insights into the best locations.

5. Menangina: This area, not far from Leonora, has historical gold workings, making it a potential spot for metal detecting. Always obtain landowner permission and adhere to local prospecting regulations.

6. Ora Banda: Located west of Kalgoorlie, Ora Banda has a history of gold mining, and remnants of old mining activity may still be present. Be sure to obtain landowner consent before prospecting in this area.

7. Kambalda: While Kambalda is known for nickel mining, it has also produced gold. Check historical records and maps for known gold occurrences and try your luck with a metal detector in these areas.

8. Gwalia: Gwalia, near Leonora, was home to the historic Gwalia Mine, which produced substantial amounts of gold. Explore the area around the old mine site and nearby gullies for potential finds.


Always research the specific regulations and requirements for metal detecting and prospecting in these areas, as rules may vary depending on land ownership and environmental considerations. Joining a local prospecting club or seeking advice from experienced prospectors can be invaluable in identifying promising locations and ensuring you’re following all the necessary rules and safety guidelines. Additionally, be respectful of private property and the environment while prospecting.


1. Research and Permission:

Start by researching the specific regulations and requirements for gold prospecting in Western Australia. You may need to obtain a permit or permission from the relevant authorities.

Check if the land you plan to prospect on is private or Crown land, as different rules may apply.

2. Historical Goldfields:

Consider targeting areas with a known history of gold mining, as these locations are more likely to have gold deposits. Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the surrounding region are famous for their gold mining history.

3. Geological Knowledge:

Study the geological maps of the region to understand the rock formations and potential gold-bearing areas. Look for areas with quartz veins, ironstone, and other indicators of gold.

4. Metal Detector Selection:

Invest in a quality metal detector that is suitable for gold prospecting. Minelab is an Australian company known for producing detectors specifically designed for gold hunting.

5. Join a Prospecting Club:

Consider joining a local prospecting club or association. They often have experienced members who can offer guidance and access to private prospecting areas.

6. Online Resources:

Explore online forums, websites, and social media groups dedicated to gold prospecting in Western Australia. These can be valuable sources of information, including tips on promising locations.

7. Detecting Techniques:

Learn the proper metal detecting techniques for gold prospecting. This includes understanding ground balance, discrimination settings, and target ID features on your detector.

8. Safety and Preparation:

Be prepared for remote and challenging conditions. Bring plenty of water, appropriate clothing, navigation tools, and communication devices. Tell someone your plans and estimated return time.

9. Environmental Considerations:

Be mindful of the environment and local flora and fauna. Follow Leave No Trace principles and prospect responsibly.

10. Ask Locals:

When you arrive in the area, consider asking local residents or experienced prospectors for advice. They may be willing to share their knowledge about good prospecting spots.


Remember that gold prospecting can be a time-consuming and uncertain pursuit, and there are no guarantees of finding significant amounts of gold. However, with patience, persistence, and the right knowledge, you may uncover some hidden treasures in the Western Australian Goldfields. Always respect local laws and regulations and practice ethical prospecting.