Greatest Metal Detector Finds Of All Time

Over the past decades, there were some amazing metal detector finds. The most common questions are ‘Can metal detectors find gold jewelry?’ and ‘Can a metal detector find gold nuggets?’. The answer is simply yes. Metal detectors have the ability to find various metal objects, including gold, silver, jewelry, relics, coins, and much more.

Let’s take a look at the most unexpected metal detector finds.

1. Golden Chalice

1. Golden Chalice

In 2008 just off the coast of Key West treasure hunter Mike DeMar found a 385 years old gold chalice. The chalice is from the Spanish ship Santa Margarita.

The ship sank in 1662 and it was full of treasures. Mike DeMar was honored with $1 million US for his find. If that is not encouraging to metal detect, then I am not sure what is.

2. The Boot Of Cortez

2. The Boot of Cortez

In 1989 a Mexican man came across something pretty unusual. While he was detecting in the desert, the man discovered one of the strangest metal detectors finds. He found a gold nugget which weighed over 389 troy ounces. Of course, it does not even get close to the Welcome Stranger nugget which is the biggest gold nugget ever found, but it is pretty impressive.

This also answers the common  ‘the metal detector finds gold’ question. The nugget was named Boot of Cortez due to the size, and it remains to this day the largest nugget ever found in the Western hemisphere. The Boot of Cortez was sold for over $1.5 million US in 2008. Yes, definitely one of the best metal detectors finds!

3. A Finger Bone And Ring

3. A Finger Bone and Ring

Well, this is one of the stranger metal detector finds. In Little Bighorn, a volunteer archaeologist discovered an actual finger bone which was still wearing a ring.

It is said that the finger and the ring were from 1876 when Sioux had wiped out the Lt. Col. George Custer troops.

4. Gold Iron Age Necklaces

4. Gold Iron Age Necklaces

This is an excellent representation of the Code of Ethics. In 2009 a Scotsman found four golden necklaces which are from the Iron Age. The necklaces were in absolutely perfect condition and some of the gold wires are finger thick. If you are wondering how much of these metal detector finds worth, the answer is a lot. The value is said to be over $2 million US.

5. Bronze Age Axe Head

5. A Bronze Age Axe Head

Historian Steve Hickling was treasure hunting in Huyton when he discovered a very rare Bronze Age axe head. There are only a few hundred discovered like this.

The axe head is dated between 1850 and 1750 BC, The axe is on display at the Fir Tree Farm shop where Hickling was treasure hunting and found the axe head.

6. Two-Pound Meteor

6. A Two-Pound Meteor

A two-pound meteor is a pretty exciting find for any adult, let alone a 13 years old boy. Jason Lyons came across the space rock in New Mexico with a cheap metal detector built by his grandfather.

It is said that the meteor has existed on Earth for about 10.000 years. It is made of nickel-iron which is a very common space matter.

7. Lost Class Ring

7. Loss Class Ring

It seems like lost jewelry has a way of finding a way back to you. Miles Baker lost his high school class ring which was found by Roy Lloyd in 1974. Talk about great metal detector finds! Lloyd found the ring in four-inch deep sand with the M.B. engraving. Baker lost the ring 48 years before! Lloyd gave the ring back to Baker.

8. Buried Treasure

8. Buried Treasure

This is truly one of the best metal detector finds. It is literally a buried treasure. Eric Lawes was searching for his friend’s lost hammer, he discovered silver spoons, gold jewelry and a bunch of silver and gold coins.

Lawes have found two full bags of goods, but he reported to them to the authorities. The next day archaeologist discovered 7.7lbs of gold, 52,4lbs of silver which were buried before 450 AD. The loot is worth around $2.59 million US. Do not worry, the missing hammer was also found.

9. Ringlemere Cup

9. Ringlemere Cup

An amateur treasure hunter can truly say that his metal detector finds gold. Cliff Bradshaw already found several 7th-century artifacts in an English wheat field when he discovered this gold cup. he dug down 18 inches to discover this ancient cup.

The cup was made between 1700 and 1500 BC, but sadly it was crushed by farming equipment. This remarkable cup was hammered from a single piece of gold. It was purchased by the British Museum for $520.000. If you are thinking about gold metal detectors, this is a great guide. 

10. 5th Century European Royalty Ring

10. 5th Century European Royalty Ring

This gold, glass, and sapphire ring is one of those awesome metal detector finds. In 2015 Michael Greenhorn discovered the ring which was probably owned by a 5th-century European royalty.

The ring was found in Escrick, Yorkshire, and experts try to figure out the exact date. The ring was purchased by the Yorkshire Museum for $44.000 US.

11. Crosby Garrett Helmet

11. Crosby Garrett Helmet

Definitely check out the fields in England because this interesting 1800 years old helmet was found in an English field. The metal detectorist who found the helmet fragment brought it to an auction house where restaurateurs put it together in 200 hours.

The helmet features a Roman face with a bronze cap and a griffin crest. The helmet was super popular at the auction, and it was sold for $3.6 million US. 10 times more than its estimated value. Wow. The rest of us are only hoping for these kinds of metal detector finds.

12. Viking Treasure Trove

12. Viking Treasure Trove

In 2007 David and Andrew Whelan found a single coin. The father and son duo thought this is a good sign to dig more. They were probably very pleased with their decision because they have discovered a huge pile of gold and silver Viking treasure.

It was found in North Yorkshire and it was sold for £750,000. The pair shared the money with the farmer whose field it was found on. The treasure is on display at the British Museum.


Hope these metal detector finds encouraged you to keep on searching. You could never know what kind of treasures you will find!