metal detecting finds

10 Best Metal detecting Finds Ever! (+ Most Common Finds ..)

best metal detecting finds

Let me describe to you the feeling when you get your first metal detector and decide to go out hunting! Indeed, you just feel you are about to find a treasure and become rich …

… But, let’s be real here, we all know that finding treasure is always a possibility … Yet, you will need some Luck, Experience, Skills and Knowledge all combined to get there!

In this Post, I will make you dream a little bit! In fact, I will list 10 of the very Best Metal Detecting Finds of All time … Hopefully; this will inspire you quite a bit and excite you to go out more swinging your beloved detector.

Best Metal Detector Finds Ever

1. Wickham Market Hoard

Wickham Market Hoard

Valued at approximately at multiple 6 figures the Wickham market hoard was found by detectorists Michael Darke and Keith Lewis.

The hoard contained 840 Iron Age gold coins and was found in a field near Wickham Market in England in March 2008.

The reward of $381,750 was split between the two detectorists and the landowner.

2. The Golden Chalice

Found underwater in off the coast of Key West, Florida, in 2008, the gold chalice was 385 years old and was from the Spanish ship Santa Margarita.

It was discovered by detectorist Mike DeMar, who was rewarded $1 million for the find. The ship had sunk in 1622 and was full of treasure when it sank.

3. Two Pound Meteor

Two Pound Meteor

Found by a 13-year-old boy with a homemade detector in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 2-pound meteor was named Rio Rancho Meteorite, after the location where it was found.

4. Frome Hoard

Telegraph voted the Frome Hoard as the UK’s top treasure hoard in the last 20 years in 2017. The treasure was discovered near Frome in England in April 2010 by gold prospector Dave Crisp with a metal detector.

This treasure consisted of 52,503 bronze and silver coins that dated back to AD 250 to 290. The hoard has been valued at $388,110.

5. Boot of Cortez

Found in 1989 by a detectorist searching in the desert in Mexico, this is a gold nugget that weighs over 389 troy ounces.

The gold nugget has been nicknamed Book of Cortex due to its huge size.

This find still remains the largest gold nugget to be found to date in the Western hemisphere.

6. The Mojave Nugget

The Mojave Nugget

Found by gold prospector Ty Paulsen with a metal detector in 1977 in California, the Mojave Nugget is one of the biggest known gold nuggets ever to be found in California.

This nugget weighs nearly 5 kilograms and is now a part of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It has been valued at $400,000.

7. Leekfrith Torcs

Valued at $393,868, the Leekfrith Torcs were discovered in December 2016 by detectorists Mark Hambleton and Joe Kania.

The four Iron Age gold torcs were found in a field in Leekfirt, England, and dated back to 400 – 250 BC.

These torcs are believed to be the oldest pieces of jewelry from the Iron Age ever to be found in the United Kingdom.

8. Bronze Age Axe Head

Bronze Age Axe Head

Found by historian Steve Hickling with a metal detector, this rare Bronze Age axe head was dated to 1850-1750 BC.

The axe head is on display at the Fir Tree Farm shop, which was the place in the UK where the treasure was found. The axe head is valued at 300 GBP.

9. Ringlemere Cup

Found by detectorist Cliff Bradshaw in 2001, the Ringlemere Cup is valued at $522,900. It was found in a field near Sandwich in England, and the cup turned out to be a Bronze Age chalice.

This artifact dated back to 1700-1500 BC and was bought by the British Museum for $522,900.

10. 5th Century European Royalty Ring

The ring was discovered by detectorist Michael Greenhorn in 2015. It is made of glass, gold, and sapphire and is believed to be owned by 5th-century European royalty.

The ring was found in Yorkshire, UK, and it was bought by the Yorkshire Museum for $44,132.

Best Metal Detecting Finds You Can Come Across!

The list above is just for inspiration purposes … I am not telling you that you will find such things (I mean, you might!) but, these are once in a lifetime things …

… However, there are always decent finds that you might stumble upon frequently as far as you know what you are doing!

Below a List of the most common valuable finds to expect:

1. Coins

I love coins, they are one of my favorite finds to be honest. I like the historical aspect that comes with it! In this Website I have a whole section about coin collecting and numismatic that you may want to check in the menu.

There are many kinds of coins you can find:

  • Gold Coins.
  • Silver Coins.
  • Rare Collectible Coins.
  • Ancient Coins.
  • Antique Coins.
  • Uncirculated Coins.
  • Error Coins.
  • Spendable Coins.

I highly invite you to check this Coin Detecting Guide! I breakdown some very good information.

BTW, the machine I generally recommend for coins is the Garrett AT Pro (Check it Here on Amazon)!

2. Civil War and WW artifacts

For this you will need to visit fields that have witnessed Civil Wars to have higher chances picking such finds. You’ve got a several options here:

  • Soldier Hats.
  • All different types of ammunition.
  • Belt buckles.

The Fisher F44 (Check it Here on Amazon) is really adapted to find all sorts of relics!

3. Jewelry

Sounds interesting, isn’t it? That’s where you should start getting an ROI on your machine and make some good money (I would still suggest you ethically return that to the owner if you are able to find it)

Most Jewelry are made of metals like:

So, just make sure you’ve got the knowledge and still to identify each and every one of them. So you could recognize their actual value.

4. Antique Glass bottles

Unlike what you might think antique glass bottles is a common find, I really like such a find as it holds some good historical value in it.

5. Gems

These could be life changing finds!

In fact, Gemstones like Diamonds hold crazy amount of value that could turn you rich overnight …

… Unfortunately, can’t find gems directly! The good news is that you have a good indicator which is gold in its pure form …

… In other words, if you come across a locations rich in minerals where gold nuggets could easily be found, then chances are, you are not that far away from gems.

For that you will certainly need a Gold Machine (Check this Gold Detector Here on Amazon)!

Also, I’ve written this Quick Diamond Detection Guide … I am sure you will learn some helpful tips in there.


What do you think? What are the finds that has resonated with you the most and why? Let me know in the comment section below …

… For me, I really like the Coins finds, I just smell history once I touch an old coin!

Really hope this article was helpful for you!

Finally, I highly encourage you to have a look at these metal detection & treasure hunting books! You will get to discover even more books there.

About the Author

Carissa Harmer

Carissa is the huge metal detecting enthusiast that loves collecting coins. She is also highly interested in other treasure hunting activities like magnet fishing and gold prospecting/panning.