The 10 Most Profitable Metal Detector Finds

by Chad Eicher

Best metal detector finds

Trying to find treasures with your metal detector from time to time is all fun and exciting.

But, it’s perhaps a game of luck, you might get things as valuable as a massive gold nugget or a piece of history, but you might also come home empty-handed.

More often than not, treasure hunters have found immeasurable wealth using their metal detectors.

Or sometimes, they build groups and small businesses that get their profit through selling their valuable finds, especially if it’s of historical or monetary value.

Without further ado, here are the ten most profitable metal detector finds.

1. Silverdale Hoard


Sixteen inches deeply buried in the ground, David Whelan found a lead container bearing ornaments, ingots, jewelry, and a Viking treasure dated around 900AD made in France and Germany.

This find is a shot as the Yorkshire Museum purchased it for $1.5 million, which David Whelan and the landowner split into half.

2. Hoxne Hoard


While Eric Lawes was looking for his friend’s lost hammer, he found something more than what they are looking for.

Fate or coincidence?

Well, Lawes just found tons of silver spoons, gold jewelry, as well as gold and silver coins.

The unexpected discovery made him all worked up that after filling two bags of these treasures, he realized he should call the experts for help to do deep excavation in the spot.

Afterward, archeologists came to the place early in the morning. They found more than 14,865 Roman coins and 200 silver tableware items, which compromised up to 7.7 pounds of gold and 52.4 pounds of silver all in all.

The hoarded wealth was sold for $2.59 million, and the best part of the story they also found the lost hammer.

3. Roman Coin Hoard


Made from debased silver and bronze dated from 253 to 305 AD, Dave Crisp fortuitously found a collection of 52,503 Roman Coins with a staggering amount of $1 million.

Who would have thought that coins are more valuable than the numbers engraved in them?

4. Staffordshire Hoard


Terry Herbert found ten pounds of treasure in farmland in July 2009.

It has 3,500 pieces of a gem, yielding up to 5kg of gold and 1.3 kg of silver.

The items were golden animals, jasper sword hilts, and betrothal rings, which is the finest example of Anglo-Saxon art.

Indeed, a spectacular find worth $5.3 million was purchased by the local museum.

5. Stirling Torcs


Imagine just getting bored in your life. You have decided to find a hobby that turns you into a millionaire afterward?

Well, that’s exactly what happened to David Booth, who found gold the first time he used his metal detector.

He discovered one of the most significant hoards in Scotland; the experience is a big hit considering his first time being a metal detectorist.

David Booth found four necklaces known as Torcs buried six inches beneath the ground. Two of the Torcs were designed in the Scottish style, while the other two were fashioned in French and Mediterranean styles.

The torcs were made between 100 and 300 BC, which the National Museum of Scotland purchased for around $1.5 million.

6. Crosby Garrett Helmet


Way back in May 2010, a metal detectorist found numerous pieces of an 18000-year-old helmet.

To build up the helmet altogether, he bought the fragments into an auction house and spent eight days and three hours restoring it. And the result is undoubtedly fascinating, as it displays an elegant classical Roman face. It even has a cap with the Griffin crest on the top of it.

Anyway, it is a happy ending since it was sold for $3.6 million.

7. Ringlemere Cup


Although he already discovered the seventh-century artifacts, Cliff Bradshaw is still hoping to seek more gems.

Well, fortunately, he did found a treasure again. Buried sixteen inches in the ground, he found an ancient gold cup known as the Ringlemere Cup, which is only the second example of Britain’s treasure; the other first one was discovered in 1837.

The cup was sold from the British Museum for $520,000. Lesson learned: keep on hoping for more.

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8. Boot of Cortez


A metal detector bought from Radio Shack… who would have thought it could discover the largest great gold nugget found in the Western Hemisphere, which is sold auction for $1.5 billion in 2008.

Well, that’s one heck of an easy way to become a billionaire.

The gold has a unique purity and shape, with an ounce of 389.4; indeed, a good metal detector finds of all time!

9. Vale of Yorkyard


This treasure find is indeed a father-and-son success goal as they unexpectedly found a large silver vessel containing 617 coins together with 65 items of jewelry dated back to the 10th century.

Well, Daniel Welland, together with his son Andrew, were just detecting an unplowed field near Harrogate England, but they found something more valuable.

Eventually, the British Museum purchased it for $1.5 million.

10. Gold Chalice


A twenty-year-old treasure hunter named Michael Denmark was diving in the 18 feet of water for about 30 miles west of Key West.

While he thought it was just a beer can, he decided to remove the layers of sand covering it, and there he found that it was a gold chalice!

The gold chalice is nearly five inches tall originated from the Spanish Galleon named Santa Margarita.

When Michael’s group discovered that the gold chalice is worth more than a million dollars, they celebrated by filling the gold chalice with champagne.

Hilarious part?

Michael Denmark was shortly arrested for underage drinking.

Anyway, it still has a happy ending since they get lots of money from it.

Were you amazed and dazzled with these metal detector finds? Would you sell these finds to get wealth for yourself?

While it can be so blinding to imagine and visualize finding these treasures, always remember that it can be a gamble of your time and safety. Remember, always to call the authorities if you found something dangerous to ensure your safety and others.

Now, remember that some treasure may seem worthless, and maybe you won’t find one. Don’t let that demotivate you.

What’s more important is to have fun while metal detecting. So charge up your metal detector and get out and try your luck to find some precious treasures. Go and read our guide on choosing the best metal detector (link) and check out the American Digger Magazine for more articles about metal detector finds.

Photo of author

Article by

Chad Eicher

Detectorist Chad is passionate about metal detecting since he got his first metal detector as a gift when he was 12 years old. He created Metal Pursuits to share his knowledge and create the ultimate metal detecting resource on the web.

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