Making a Living With Your Metal Detector?


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There was a discussion recently on one of the treasure forums about the feasibility of making a living with your metal detector by becoming a full time treasure hunter.

Think of it! No alarm clocks, no early-morning commutes to the office, no suits and ties, no office politics, no boss!

Can it really be done?

In my latest podcast (radio show on the internet that you can listen to anytime) I examine the possibilities. Go here and click the pink button to listen:

http://thetreasurecorner.com

---Dan Hughes, http://danhughes.net

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"...Can it really be done?..."

It would have to be incredibly rare that someone makes his living - especially in todays economy - by

hobby prospecting alone. LuckyLundy above, finds as much gold as anyone on this forum and he's clearly answered

better than I can. I have known many fine prospectors and treasure hunters. There is no one

who has made enough to count it as his or her sole means of income.

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There are people who do, more than you may have guessed. I've done it , I've met others who have . In all cases all were living a more or less homeless type existance. Living in a van , camper, camping out in the desert, or in the case of coin/treasure hunters any place the cops won't hassle you since you would often be in an urban environment much of the time. The coin/jewelry hunters I met who lived this way had a route they followed every year. this route they followed as the weather changed . North in the summer , south in the winter, stopping at popular swimming holes, beaches, under ski lifts, sports stadiums, rodeo grounds, fair grounds. They had learned some good spots where coins fell out of pockets, jewelry slipped off of wet fingers or wrists on a yearly basis. Any good coin hunter can find enough modern coins in a day at a good park or beach to buy a couple of meals. A few better finds pays for gas to the next stop. None of these guys I've met who do this have a car payment, a house payment , a wife , (or even a steady girlfreind), and they live very frugally. They all enjoyed the lifestyle. It's worry free for the most part. It all depends on what you call making a living and what you call living good. It beats panhandling as far as self esteem. You are working for a living and paying your own way. Nuggetshooting for a living is similar , always moving around looking for a new patch, chasing rumors of new patches. I know, I did it for almost 10 years as my sole source of income most of the year. An odd job here and there gave me a break from the patch pounding and gave me a chance to get cleaned up and even have a girlfreind for a while. I've always said, if I have a detector I'll never go hungry. If you need a shower, a soft bed , a steak dinner every night forget it . If you don't mind living an existance that is quite a bit better than in a homeless shelter then it could work for you. It worked for me when I did it , but having a nice home , wife, nice car , quad , bass boat, AC in summer, heat in the winter , TV , computer, etc. is far more comfortable at my present age, and not possible on the income that detecting can provide. If you find a Rolex or a big nugget you can live good for a while but then it's back to a few coins, or a few small nuggets for the average day, and most importantly you have to live knowing that you may have a long run of bad luck with absolutely no idea what your income will be tomorrow , or next week, or next year.----Bob

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I todays economy, I'll say no! Detecting keeps me going, doesn't pay the bills, I detector not to live, But rather live so I can detect. Its a hobby, yes I have found lots of nuggets, pounds, But once you think you can make a living, your wrong, a Small but steady income, and a little gold sometimes to supplement it helps for sure. right now unless I hit a big pocket, it wouldn't even pay the co=pay on my meds or my wifes, little lone pay rent, electric, propane, insurance for the truck, gas, food, and genral stuff you haft to have to live. If I was single, willing to live in the camper shell on my truck, eat canned beans and taters, Maybe I could get by. But thats a great big maybe. Keep your day job, detect when you can, God gave us all life, but never said it was going to be easy. and its not Life is hard and its going to get much worse yet to come. Grubstake

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God gave us all life, but never said it was going to be easy. and its not Life is hard and its going to get much worse yet to come. Grubstake

Yea, you're right I'm afraid. It's our children and grand children that will catch the brunt of this wave. We all see it comomg in one way or another but I never thought it would come on this fast. Keep the Faith,Wyndham

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  • 2 weeks later...

The only way to pull this off and live comfortable is to hit the mother lode while keeping your day job. Searching parks for a couple bucks and hopefully a cheap gold ring won't cut it. You're off to the races looking for large caches but this requires a lot of research and money unless you get unbelievable lucky.

The only way I've ever seen someone have this existence is a combination gold mine plus metal detecting on the side. Even then it was a meager lifestyle involving a live-in shack and run down trailer home. It was without a question a no frills lifestyle.

So you are living on the claim and working in a hole 40 hours a week while always hoping to hit the big one. Plus, if its not private land you'll always have the govt looking over your shoulder.

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  • 4 months later...

I recently read a story about a guy in a large city near here who hires himself out to people who have lost articles such as rings, offering to find them for a fee. I will see if I can find it again and will post the details here. Just thught I would mention that as a possibility of one way of making some money.

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