In England, before 1980, metal detecting required a license. They did away with that nonsense though. There are generally not enough people who do it to make licensing worthwhile. Many people don’t even know that it is a hobby.
Often, you do need to acquire a permit to detect in public parks and beaches. In the United States, these permits can be free, or cost from $3 to $40. Metal detecting on private land requires permission from the owner of the land.
You can go treasure hunting anywhere that is public and doesn’t require a permit or doesn’t prohibit metal detecting. Be aware, though, that many places, such as parks, have rules like no digging. If you have a permit for a place that requires a permit, then you are free to roam with your detector. Courtesy is always important though. Choosing a time of day when you are least likely to interrupt others and disturbing the ground as little as possible are respectful things to do.
Popular public places can lead to good finds- coins, jewelry, etc. You will probably find more junk than you do treasure though. Deciding to dig up the junk you come across can lead to finds. Things which are gold will often seem like garbage because gold puts out a weaker signal than other metals. Hidden treasure can be found underneath things that are garbage too.
Public places that are more remote can offer greater rewards, although they might also offer nothing. Metal detecting is a hobby that gets you outside and gets you exploring. Even if you don’t find anything, don’t count it as a wasted day. Think positively and enjoy the process.
For private property, ask the owner. Note that it is much more difficult for them to turn you down if you ask in person. If you call them up, it is easy for them to say,“No,” over the phone. This is something that gets easier with practice. Try to look at it from their perspective. Be respectful and assure them that you won’t leave big holes in their yard.
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