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Golden Age Of Metal Detecting?

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34 minutes ago, Steve Herschbach said:

If gold detecting the 80's was a serious for real gold rush, with gold prices higher than today in equivalent dollars. And a decent VLF was all you needed since stuff was essentially virgin.

My old business was launched on the back of that gold rush.

The family in question was using nuthin but Fisher 440's. 1st trip got them about 20oz....2nd was maybe 200oz. Nuthin smaller than 2-3 grammers though.....them was the days....

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I know that the 1850's was the best time for gold for the small time prospector. I would like to go back to 2050 instead, then I would know that I made it past 110 years of age.

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Well, I might have made my usual mistake of putting in too much detail/requirements.  I think some of you picked up on what I was getting at.  Detectors have improved over the years, although (not surprisingly) not in a steady trend.  Gold, in particular, but even relics and coins, have been constantly vacuumed up.  If you start too early, you have lots of good sources but little capability to find them.  If you start too late you have great tools but limited sources.  Is there a sweet spot in between?  Here's something to keep in mind (and note that silver tends to track gold) -- see graph below.

The sweetspot probably occurred somewhere between the late 70's and the new millenium for gold, coins, and maybe relics.  Jewelry is a bit different in that there is a source component (fresh drops) as well as a sink component (finds reducing the supply), but as has been noted on this site multiple times, among the common person gold has lost its luster.  Otherwise why are we finding these disappointing titanium and tungsten-carbide wedding bands?

So which detectors were the right ones to swing?  Here I'm even less certain, but the Garrett Groundhog, Fisher CZ series and Gold Bug I & II, and several White's Goldmasters come to mind in the IB/VLF world.  Minelab PI's (although apparently quite expensive throughout their history) have led the way, if you could afford them.

Yeh, these are the kind of things I think about when I'm spending several hours finding the crumbs left behind....  😢



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      The TimesMachine archive viewer is a subscriber-only feature.
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      A version of this article appears in print on August 15, 1999, on Page LI14 of the National edition with the headline: Finding Happiness With Metal Detectors. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
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