Did you know that a person who uses a metal detector isn’t called a metal detector? Nope. They’re metal detectorists. If you make that mistake to someone who takes their hobby really seriously, they’ll probably laugh at you, so I may have just saved you considerable embarrassment.

You’re welcome, potentially.

Anyway, not every detectorist comes across a big score, but some of these 15 AskReddit detectorists did! Check it out:

1. *smh*

My uncle isn’t the brightest. We had a cabin by a stream, and he decided to buy a metal detector and see if he could find some gold. He picks up some rocks and scans over them. The detector goes off and he gets super excited. He does the same with multiple rocks, and now has a pile, assuming the rocks must have deposits. He’d been at it or an hour or two before he realized that he was holding the rocks with his left hand and scanning with his right. He was detecting the gold wedding band on his finger.

2. Lost and Found

I went metal detecting with my Dad on an isolated island he used to play on as a kid 50 years ago. We found a hatchet head about 18″ down that he lost as a kid building a fort. Maybe not the coolest find for anyone else, but it was awesome to see my elderly father instantly transported to his childhood.

3. Graveyard

A pre-revolutionary war graveyard in my backyard in Connecticut.

Got a metal detector to locate nails in some 250 year old chestnut flooring I was refinishing in an old Colonial I bought. Took my 5 year old son out to the back yard to play with it. Found out I had 6 people buried in the back corner of my yard.

Lead lined wooden caskets show up really well. State came in, made all kinds of nasty noises about things and then just sort of disappeared. Turned out they were the original settlers in my town and no-one knew what to do about the graves so we all just pretended like they weren’t there.

4. Heirloom Ring

The year was 1996. I was 22 and just bought my first metal detector. I was at my girlfriends house and asked her mom if I could use it in the backyard. She says sure and then starts telling me about a precious ring her oldest daughter had lost in the backyard in 1979. It was a family heirloom and was missed very greatly. She pulls out home movies that were made the day it was lost. It was at a family reunion. Well I saw in the movie where the girl was mostly hanging out. I walked outside, turned on my detector and found the ring that had been lost for 17 years in about two minutes.

5. Straight up crazy coincidence…

My grandparents moved to Maine almost 25 years ago from Kansas City, where my grandfather was a policeman. They metal detect on the beaches near their house in Maine almost every week, and four years ago they found, buried in the sand, a ring. It was a police department ring, from my grandfather’s division! It was engraved with the officer’s last name, and belonged to one of his friends from the force, a man he hadn’t spoken to in 20 years! My grandmother had his wife’s phone number, so they called to tell them they’d found his ring.

It turned out their family had gone on vacation in Georgia almost 15 years before (5 years after my grandparents moved to Maine), and he had lost the ring while at the beach, and it turned up on a beach in Maine close to the one person in the whole state who knew him.

They’ve also found other rings, including a few high school class rings they’ve returned to their owners, but all of those came from Maine or its neighboring states.

6. Rusty Nails Galore

I bought my son a kid’s size one for his 6th birthday. I’m the one that uses it though. I feel pretty ridiculous walking around with it but I just can’t help myself! My family can be little jerks when I get it out and constantly throw coins in the sand when detecting on a beach just to see me get excited. It’s kinda scary how many rusty nails and razor blades I find on beaches. I’ve found a few rings but pretty sure they’re just costume jewelry. Lots of coins too but mostly rusty nails. So many rusty nails.

7. Legit!

A set of World War I medals, the ones that were given out after the war, belonging to a Lt. Rupert Frampton. Can’t find anything about him on Google.

I keep them in the box with the two sets I have from my great grandfather and step great grandfather.

8. “An entire bicycle”

My friend Dean found a bicycle buried under the sand at a beach.

An entire bicycle. it needed cleaning, and a new tire, along with a new chain, but after that it was as good as new.


My uncle found an authentic Nazi officer’s ring on the beaches of San Diego. Though in all honesty, the wild stories we came up with to explain how/why the ring ended up there is much cooler than the ring itself.

10. A bunch of cool stuff

Found a platinum ring with a diamond in it once, it wasn’t shiny, as it had been under the sand for a while, but still pretty.

I also have a large collection of old coins and artifacts.

My personal favourite is actually two items found in the same field, two World War II bullets, one from some sort of ground to air rifle, the other from a plane that shoots things on the ground. I’m not actually sure what weapons or planes they’re from, I’m not very educated on World War II weaponry unfortunately.