Saturday, December 19, 2009

An Introduction to Metal Detecting

A metal detector is a device which responds to metal that may not be readily apparent.The simplest form of a metal detector consists of an oscillator producing an alternating current that passes through a coil producing an alternating magnetic field. If a piece of electrically conductive metal is close to the coil, eddy currents will be induced in the metal, and this produces an alternating magnetic field of its own. If another coil is used to measure the magnetic field (acting as a magnetometer), the change in the magnetic field due to the metallic object can be detected.The first industrial metal detectors were developed in the 1960s and were used extensively for mining and other industrial applications. Uses include de-mining (the detection of land mines), the detection of weapons such as knives and guns, especially in airport security, geophysical prospecting, archaeology and treasure hunting. Metal detectors are also used to detect foreign bodies in food, and in the construction industry to detect steel reinforcing bars in concrete and pipes and wires buried in walls and floors.
The Most common use for metal detectors are for Hobby Use or as it is commonly known.
Metal detector enthusiasts or "detectorists" as they are usually reffered to can be aged as young as six or seven and some carry on well into their seventies and eighties.
It is a fascinating hobby and most trips out with a metal detector results in the detectorist uncovering a lost or discarded item or two from the past. Not every item found with a metal detector is treasure..I have spent many a day digging up ring pulls from soft drinks cans on the beach and pieces of lead and shotgun cartridge caps from the fields,but its not all about finding a lost kings hidden cache...or a hoard of shiny gold celtic coins.The thrill of digging a button from a soldiers tunic, or a seal that would once have been used to authenticate georgian documents, is more than enough to give most finders a thrill and make the day wothwhile.
Depending on which part of the world you live, the "treasure" differs. For example, in Australia the main target for detectorists are the beautiful, shiny and hopefully large gold nuggets that we all dream of! The united states detectorists are keen on digging up relics from the civil war and anything being dug dating to pre 1880 being classed as a good old find. While in the Uk its Celtic Coins, Roman Torques and the like that are wish for the day.
Places That detectorists search:
BeachesLakes/Rivers and Sea BedsFieldsSchoolyardsFestival or Market sitesFootpathsKerbsHomesteadsChurchyardsGardens Etc
Metal Detectorist Are not just active in the field they are very active on the internet and forum style social networking sites such as THE WORLD METAL DETECTOR COMMUNITY Are very popular providing, Information on finds , Photos, videos, and live chat. Beginners are catered for with forum discussions enabling even the greenest "detectorist" to lear the hobby quickly.
There are several worthwhile publications on the subject which are not only useful for seasoned beepers but for the complete novice and people with the thought of maybe taking up the hobby, such as Treasure Hunting Secrets and Treasure Hunting Expo
Who Knows Maybe the next big Discovery Will Be made by you?

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