11 Ways To Make Easy Money With a Metal Detector

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Updated Oct. 30, 2023
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man using metal detector

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Side hustles can be a great option to use a hobby you love to make money or try something new to boost your bank account.

One side hustle you might not have considered before is picking up a metal detector to make money on what you can find.

Check out 11 ways you can make easy money with a metal detector, whether you’re a weekend detector or retired and want a hobby that can occupy your time and make you money.

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Hunt for coins

Dmitriy/Adobe searching for old coins

Coin collecting is an exciting hobby, with plenty of people willing to shell out some cash for interesting coins.

It's a good idea to look for coins in public places like beaches and parks, which may be great for finding treasures. 

Consider searching out-of-the-way areas other metal detector enthusiasts may not have scoured to try and boost your bank account with some nice finds.

Hunt for gold

Evgeniy Kozlov/Adobe metal detector in a field

Another great option is hunting for gold, which you can sell for its weight, depending on what you find.

Some areas historically have gold in them, so you may want to focus on those spots. However, you may need a different detector that can focus specifically on gold, as other detectors may not do such a good job detecting the precious metal.

Offer your services

MIRACLE MOMENTS/Adobe sea sandy beach

Many people have lost a wedding ring while playing with the kids in the backyard or dropped an earring while hanging out at the beach and not noticing it was gone until later.

If you live near a well-traveled area, it could be a good idea to advertise your services and find others' treasures for them for a small fee. You can make a little cash while also making someone happy by reuniting them with an item.

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Hunt for relics

dislentev/Adobe treasure hunter

Plenty of locations throughout the United States may have metal relics you can dig up and sell.

You may live near Civil War or Revolutionary War battlefields. Perhaps you may live out west near abandoned towns or other historic locations.

So enjoy your metal detector hobby while also finding some unique historical relics that are hiding underground.

Write about your finds

dwhome/Adobe pot of treasure coins

Perhaps you want to search for treasure so you can keep it, or maybe the best thing you like about the hobby is the process.

You can earn money with a blog or newsletter that allows you to tell others about what you've learned through the process or what you discovered about specific things you've found. Many potential readers would love to know more about what's out there.

Make videos

vanden/Adobe man holding metal detector

Another way you can monetize content is to make videos about your side hustle to teach others about it.

You can make short videos about the items you've found, including their history or what you plan to do with them.

You may also be able to generate interest in specific items as a form of advertising for your services or to sell the things you've found to make a profit.

Hunt for jewelry

zakob/Adobe girl in sungrasses

Finding jewelry can be a lucrative option for your metal detector, or you can help others find jewelry they may have lost in exchange for a reward.

Like coins, the best place to look for jewelry is in public spaces like beaches, parks, trails, and other well-traveled spots where it's impossible to lose a ring, earring, or necklace along a path or in the sand.

Educate others

ProstoSvet/Adobe metal detector at work

Perhaps you just see metal detecting as a hobby, and you don't want to try and monetize your actual finds.

Instead, think about other people who may be interested in the hobby and find ways to teach them more about it.

You could make a class and charge people to teach them more about it. You could also do reviews of certain metal-detecting products that generate advertising revenue.

Work for museum

trek6500/Adobe metal detector and shovel

You may enjoy going to a nearby museum to look at different objects or relics that have been found in the area.

Ask them where they got the objects from and if they pay for acquisitions from the area. You may be able to get a contract with the museum to search for items, or you can bring different pieces that it could decide to pay you for, depending on its needs.

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Offer repair and maintenance

Voyagerix/Adobe metal detector on sea beach

Some metal detector enthusiasts may not be as excited about what they find compared to how they find it. Metal detectors can be cool devices, but like anything else, they can break or need maintenance.

If you've become comfortable with repairing and maintaining your equipment, you may be able to offer similar services to other enthusiasts.

Check with metal detector groups and publications to see what it takes to advertise your services and help others who enjoy the hobby.

Explore shipwrecks

ChiccoDodiFC/Adobe to find lost objects under

Shipwrecks can be a great place to find hidden treasures with a metal detector.

You'll need additional equipment, such as a metal detector that can work in water, as well as underwater equipment and training.

But it can be a fun choice if you want to combine your scuba or snorkeling hobby with your love for metal detecting (and make some extra cash).

Bottom line

Couperfield/Adobe exploring autumn field

Hobbies can be great side hustles if you're struggling financially or just want to make a little extra cash after you retire.

It's a good idea to compare the costs and characteristics of different metal detectors to figure out which one you think will be best for your work while also being affordable.

You should also research different places to sell what you find or get an expert who can help you make sure you get the best prices.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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