Can you sell Metal detecting finds

Can You Sell Metal Detecting Finds?

Can you sell Metal detecting finds

While many people refuse to sell their finds as it represent good memories for them! Others would sell their valuable finds to collect some cash which is totally a reasonable choice.

But, Can you sell metal detecting finds? You can absolutely sell your metal detecting finds as far as they hold a significant value and also if you are selling it to a decent buyer who can recognize the value of your finds. The latters could be justified by the metal itself (like Gold, Silver …) or by being old enough like an antique glass bottle.

Now, you should recognize the best practices to adopt before selling your find depending on what metal it was made from. It is also important to take advantage of some online channels and market places to sell your items.

Finally, I would like to share with you some MD finds I won’t probably sell under any circumstances. Plus why most hobbyists won’t sell what they’ve found (I’ve asked 50+ hobbyists).

Why Selling Metal Detecting Finds is a good idea?

I understand that many hobbyists who are against selling their finds. I totally understand that … Yet, there are few things that I like about the concept of selling what you’ve detected:

Rewarding: This point is particularly for beginners, I mean at the beginning you will have a hard time finding anything with a significant value. Unless you were lucky! You will find lot of junk metals, not to mention the time you need to learn your machine properly. After that, when you will start finding some valuable items, selling them and earning some money will give you a beautiful rewarding feeling that will motivate you to continue digging.

Return On Investment (ROI): Practicing this hobby requires generally a significant investment. Of course, you can start out with a cheap machine, but it is always recommended to start with a decent one and additional accessories like a pinpointer, a scoop, reliable boots, glasses, gps … These things cost significant amounts of money. That’s why if you manage to find things to sell and cover these expenses it would be nice.

Make a living: It is a possibility even if it remains pretty difficult. Making a living out of your finds is a hard task that depends on many things. You can find out more about making a living of metal detecting.

How to Sell your Finds?

There are many ways and options to sell your finds pretty easily. Below a short list that you might find helpful. They may or may not apply to you according to your country/state …

Specific shops: There are some shops in some countries in which they mention that they buy gold or Silver or both. So if your finds are made out of either one of these metals give it a try. Usually, these shops don’t give the highest price but they sell pretty fast.

Jeweler: You can find them literally anywhere; they should generally give you a better compensation than the first option. You will probably need to visit many of them before getting the best bid.

Museum: If you find something relic or very old, you can suggest selling that to a museum.

Gumtree or Craig’s List: The nomination depends on which country you live in, Australia or USA/Canada … But these online market places accept buying and selling everything and anything.

Friends and Family: For jewelry this should be one of the best options. Selling a ring to a family member or a friend who will use it rather than sell it could be really profitable.

E-Bay : If you open e-bay right now and start crawling this massive site, you will find people selling all sorts of things including detecting finds. This includes old coins, relic stuff and even antique glass bottles. There are some people who make serious money out of this. However, you need to keep in mind that selling on eBay includes paying some charges like transportation which could be a little costly. Especially for items that have a considerable weight.

Scrap: If you’ve accumulated items with no big value but with high quantities. A perfect example of that is copper … You could sell that to a scrap yard. They usually pay pretty well if you’ve got high quantities.

Social media: they have got Millions of people visiting every single day. So, why not taking advantage of this massive traffic of people who might be interested in some of your finds? Using Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram could have a great benefit for you.

These are just some examples that have popped up to my mind. If there are other options you know about that I didn’t include in this list, please let me know in the comment section below …

Identify your Finds before selling them …

Acquiring the skills to detect valuable stuff is one thing, but identifying them accurately is another that you should absolutely master. Indeed, this will allow you not only to classify them and know exactly what’s what but also you will evaluate pretty precisely how valuable your items are.

For example if you find a gemstone like diamond, you should take it to a jeweler or use a diamond tester. It will allow you to say whether it is real or not and also whether it is high quality.

For coins, there are several ways to identify them like reading the date on it. But the best way is to use books that would help you identify which period and population were using that coin. An example of that is “2500 Coins of the World”, it gathers tons of coin pictures of about 180 countries since the antiquity.

You can also submit your finds to forums and consult experts and Detecting clubs nearby. By doing so, you will get the feedback of people who were practicing this hobby for years.

I’ve written this complete guide on identifying metal detecting finds that you should check!

It is important to know the law …

Before selling any find you probably need to have a little first check at the law. Most likely there won’t be any issue, yet that’s just a recommendation because you never know!

In some countries and states, selling things you’ve found in a private land could be prohibited. Unless you’ve got the authorization from the owner. This could require an agreement with him, by splitting the value of what you’ve found.

In some countries, it is forbidden to sell anything before you make sure that the owner is not around for a period of time. Otherwise, you should immediately return it to him.

If you find something ancient of relic, the law in your country may oblige you to return it to the local authorities. Because, this may be considered as a part of history which belongs to everybody.

These kinds of laws are pretty rare, yet just make sure that you are doing everything right!

Selling gold finds

I would like to add some tips and considerations that you should take note of before selling your gold finds:

  • Take note of the current price of gold.
  • Weight your gold item and make the math to know approximately its value before you visit any store.
  • Don’t visit too many stores in the same location. Usually they propose similar prices, I don’t know why they do so, but it is common practice in my country.
  • You should rather visit buyers in different locations and get at least 3 to 4 bids before you choose the best one.
  • If the buyer asks you to leave the item and come back later, this means 95% that he wants to somewhat cheat you. If so, just tell him No, I might come back later …
  • If you are looking to buy your item fast, you can visit a pop-up buyer. But, be sure you’ll get far less what you could potentially get.

These points are also inspired from my wife’s experience. She had some great deals following these tips above …

… Finally, if you are looking for a good machine that will help you to come up with Gold finds! Then I recommand using the Garrett AT Gold (Check it Right Here on Amazon!)

Selling copper

Copper is a different story! If you’ve got several grams of copper this won’t pay you any significant money. In fact, it starts paying off when you’ve gathered several pounds. I know some people who’ve earned thousands of dollars selling just copper.

First, you probably need a space like a garage in which you could gather all the junk pieces of copper. After you’ve got enough quantities you need to classify them into categories (Wire, Alloys, Solid and Breakage).

Generally these types or categories are priced differently, so you can take advantage of that.

Finally, there are many scrap yard websites that you can consult and check what deals you can get. You can also call them by phone or visit them to talk and eventually negotiate a deal.

A good example of machine that will help you to come up with Copper and other similar metals is the Fisher F22 (Check it Here on Amazon!)

Selling antique glass bottles

On e-bay there are many vendors who sell antique glass bottles that can be 300, 400 or even 500 years old. Of course, detecting glass using a detector is not possible as its electrical conductivity is little to none. Yet there are many antique glass items that have got some metal on them which would allow you to detect them.

The price depends on the size, color, age and other things. But the money you can get could be really sweet.

Finds I would never sell!

This is just an opinion that may or may not resonate with you. But there are some finds that I would never sell!

This includes the first few finds ever. They represent a memory or a reminder of where you were at the beginning. Also the finds of my kids because I would rather preserve them to remind them what they were doing when they will grow up.

Also, anything that would or could remind me of something beautiful. Even if it is highly valuable.

What Detectorists Generally think about selling Finds (I’ve asked 50+ Hobbyists) …

Most Metal Detectorist don’t like selling their finds … That’s the conviction I had about them and I checked that by asking more than 50 people actively practicing this hobby.

Below some relevant opinions and answers of experiences people:

“I don’t sell anything and I’ve been Detecting for 50 years“.

“I have 3 buttons that together are worth about 2500 dollars. They are my retirement fund LOL I won’t sell until there are no other options“.

“I’ve never sold a thing in 30 years. Too many good memories with the finds“.

“I thought I would sell until I did my first dig. Then I realized the treasure of finding something so cool can’t be sold. Not to say I wouldn’t if it was a newer ring/item, but old….I doubt it“.

If you are already a practitioner let me know about your opinion in the comment section bellow …

Finding items and selling that as a Service …

There are some professionals who were practicing this activity for years and they sell finding lost things as a service. “The Ring Finders” is an example of that (Google it to find out)… Indeed, if you lose something made out of metal, they will help you to find it.

They charge you for that, but it is totally worth it … Sometimes they help you find things like jewelry that cost 1000s of dollars.


Selling your finds could be a great opportunity to put some cash in your pocket. It could be also, in some rare cases, an option to make a living or a complementary income. Yet most hobbyists still prefer to not sell their finds. Too many memories to be traded for money.

At the end of the day, either way you choose is fine! Just make sure you do it correctly in case you want to sell what you’ve found!

Hopefully, you’ve learnt something new and that you’ve got all your questions properly answered!

Now I really want to hear from you! Did you ever find something valuable? If so, are you willing to sell it or not? Either way, why you’ve chosen to do so? Share your thoughts on the comment section below so other people will learn …

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.