Wait… Professional Metal Detecting?

From a satisfied customer…

“I don’t know if you remember me, but I bought the Winbest Premiere Edition Metal Detector from your website several months ago. As you likely already know, it is the one that can search underwater. Allow me to tell you my story as a longtime metal detector enthusiast and then I will relate to you how successful the detector I bought from you has been.

My first metal detector was a White’s Coinmaster with Ground Exclusion Balance (GEB). After I learned the sounds of various metal objects and started treasure hunting where people don’t typically search, I was finding 75-200 coins a day. On a bad day I’d still find 50 coins. That doesn’t include the two or three rings I found as well as tokens, toys, tools and other odd objects.

The word got around in my small town in Ohio that I was pretty good at helping people find their lost class rings, wedding rings, keys, etc. I’d charge a small fee to cover my expenses and never took advantage of anyone. While my wife was skeptical about earning money from metal detecting, I wasn’t. One day while reading a treasure hunting magazine, I came across a professional treasure hunt in Indiana. I paid my registration fee in advance. Six weeks later we loaded up our fold down camper, both kids, and off to Indiana we went for my stab at becoming a professional treasure hunter.

The hunt was a 2-day event with a total of five hunts rain or shine. Thankfully, it didn’t rain. As I got to talking with other men and women, I soon realized I was likely out of my league. Most of the people there were true professionals who went from hunt to hunt earning a living! My wife gave me “the look” as if to say, “You spent a lot of money on this!”

The first hunt was for Lincoln head pennies. I wasn’t overly thrilled about finding pennies as much as I was the silver dollars and tokens that were buried. Tokens unearthed could be exchanged for prizes. At the end of the first hunt I came away with 9 pennies. I wasn’t off to a good start. The winner found 72 pennies, three silver dollars and a token he exchanged for a tent. I was discouraged. My wife drank a beer and shook her head. She had married a dreamer and an optimist.

The second hunt was along a trail in the woods. It was a 60 minute hunt and we were allowed to search anywhere within the perimeter that was clearly marked off. When all was said and done, I had found 44 coins and one token. I exchanged the token for a free membership in the Civil War Relic Hunters Club in Nashville (but never used it). The third hunt was uneventful and I pretty much struck out. But I was hoping Sunday would prove profitable.

Sunday morning about 100 of us lined up side by side in a large grassy field. Having watched how the pros detected (sweeping their coils swiftly) I had practiced on my own Saturday evening. When the hunt was over Sunday morning I found a token and came away with a brand spanking new Garrett Ace 250 detector with a $250 value! When I walked back to the campsite my wife had her back to me. I called her name and then handed her the detector saying, “Here. I won this and want you to have it.” It really surprised her and from that day forward she never doubted there was money to be made metal detecting.

When the first pro hunt was over I came out about $125 in the hole but I was not deterred. Subsequently, I entered more hunts and began to make a little profit. I also started trading my finds with other enthusiasts and would then sell the items for profit on eBay. Things were looking good. I decided in my mind that I could go pro. But wait a minute, are there really professionals that travel and make a living from metal detecting? My answer is yes!

I broached the topic to my wife. Although she knew there was money to be made she discouraged me because I held a high-paying job with an auto manufacturer and she didn’t want to lose the insurance benefits and $750 a week paycheck, especially with the kids.I knew I had it in me to be a pro but finally capitulated to her wishes. I’ve been a hobbyist since that day.

Okay, now let me relate to you a cool story about the Winbest Premiere Edition Metal Detector I bought from your website. I had to assemble it which was no problem. I took it in the backyard and tested it out, adjusted my settings, and quickly found a 1963 silver quarter in an area I had been over near a maple tree several times. It was five inches underground. I also found two silver dimes along the sidewalk and a token from a fair from the 1950s.

The third day I had the machine a friend of mine was lamenting that the city was draining a pond because a kid had drowned in it. I knew the place was a popular place for teens to swim, party, etc. I drove over and checked it out a few days later. The pond was about 100 yards long and perhaps 60 yards wide. Since there was still a couple of inches of water in half of the pond, I used the Winbest machine. And let me tell you, I hit it big!

I spent an entire day at the pond, from like 8 in the morning until dark. I was sunburned, tired but elated! My wife was digging when I was busy locating items. I could hardly move 2 inches before I would find something! I would place a stick in the ground to mark the spot and she would uncover what I found. And since she got behind in a hurry, I helped dig as well. Here is what we found in an exhausting 10-hour period:

  • Gold rings. The first item I found was a nickel. However, the second item I found was a 14 carat gold high school class ring with the initials J.B. on it.I subsequently sold that ring for $125. At the end of the day we had found four gold rings and three silver ones!
  • Bracelets: My wife took over the hunt while I dug. Though the Winbest is light, it nevertheless strains a person’s arm after several hours, but this is true of all metal detectors. She found the silver bracelet about three inches deep. We went on to find two more that day.
  • Coins: The day’s tally for coins was 456. Yes, 456 coins! That is more than double than what I usually find. There was one Susan B. Anthony dollar, six half-dollars, 231 quarters (73 of which were silver), 114 dimes (31 were silver), 23 nickels, and 80 pennies (six were Lincoln head). But wait you say, that’s 455 coins! You’d be right. The remaining coin was an 1812-D NGC VF 35 France 5 Francs Napoleon Coin worth about $220 bucks. I sold it a month later to a coin dealer for $175.
  • Tokens: We found a variety of tokens that were interesting but they had no monetary value. Nevertheless, some were very interesting. The kids love to play with them.
  • Watches:We found 12 watches that day as well. Only one was gold, however. I sold it for $120 the next day. The rest of the watches weren’t valuable at all. However, my wife and I were surprised to find a Timex four inches down that was still ticking!
  • Handguns: I found two handguns. I took them to the local police department in the event they had been used in a crime. Six months later they were returned to me.

Here’s the kicker, recall the length and width of the pond? Well, we spent our 10-hours working virtually nonstop (we were so excited!) and guess what – we only covered three feet wide and the length of the pond at about 100 meters.

My wife had her calculator out figuring out how much we made. It was impossible to tell since we didn’t sell everything, but I’d guesstimate over $600! We vowed to return the next day to hunt another three feet wide. Unfortunately, it began to rain that evening and it rained all the next day and the day after that. When she and I returned on a Saturday five days later we were shocked to discover that the city had filled in the pond with dirt at about seven feet deep. I nearly cried! God only knows what lies beneath the ground that we nor others will ever find.

The Winbest Premiere Edition Metal Detector obviously paid for itself. I don’t always use it, but whenever I find myself near a stream I send the kids back to the truck to get it. It has been a great detector for the entire family. The kids like it because of the adjustable shaft. Since they are little tykes it is easy for them to operate. They don’t find much because they don’t know what they’re doing yet, but I am teaching them and expect them to be adept in a year or so.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you and let you know how much I enjoy the machine I bought from you. If I may, I’d suggest you add some information to your website about the detector. I’ll be back. I am looking at your safes to store some of my more valuable finds.”