New found fame: The National Geographic TV show Diggers has helped boost metal detector sales. *AFP photo
New found fame: The National Geographic TV show Diggers has helped boost metal detector sales. *AFP photo

Many have thought about finding buried treasures. Who wouldn’t love stumbling across a chest of gold left beneath the ground centuries ago?

The popularity of using metal detectors has begun to rise thanks to the National Geographic Channel’s show Diggers featuring Tim “The Ringmaster” Saylor and ‘King” George Wyant. 

The show debuted on August and runs on Wednesday nights. The pair use metal detectors to find historical artifacts and other treasures.

When P-Tech offered me a chance to test their Discovery 1100 Metal Detector, I jumped at the chance. With Bermuda’s long history of settlement, I have often wondered what might be hidden beneath the ground here.

There is some assembly required, but it was fairly easy. I’m not known for my mechanical skills but I got it put together correctly the first time.

The detector isn’t heavy-duty like the ones used on the show, but it can detect items buried up to eight inches. The display also shows what kind of metal is in the item is found – silver and copper, mid-range or iron.

The Discovery 1100 is adjustable, so if you have T-Rex sized arms like me you can put it at a comfortable distance. The detector also comes with a strap to help take some of the burden of weight from sweeping back and forth.

I did a quick test in my yard by dropping a few coins in the grass. It picked up the quarter, penny and nickel, put I did have to hold the detector close to the ground.

My street has water rights to Harrington Sound, but the path is often overgrown with grass and weeds and it sides along a wooded area. I’m sure it’s never been inhabited and would make a good test to see if anything had been left behind in a bygone era.

I used the detector from my house down to the Sound, a stretch of approximately 0.6 kilometres. While I did find a bounty of metal along the way to the water, none of it was of a precious kind unless you’re a big proponent of ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. 

While hoping to find an old Hog Penny or some other item from the 17th century, what I got instead was a piece of rebar, a few beer bottle caps, a nail and some wire.

Disappointed, but not discouraged, I did a second test at Shelly Bay beach. 

Rings

I did find six rings — unfortunately, they were of the pop top can variety. 

The Discovery 1100 also uncovered two rusted metal drain pipes leading into the water, which was more interesting from a historical perspective than worth dollars in my pocket.

A couple of ladies asked if I had found anything valuable and when I said ‘no’ they replied I should check out some of the ‘richer’ beaches in Bermuda.

While I didn’t strike it rich and had to show back up to work on Monday, I found using the Discovery 1100 fun and easy. There are probably places in St George’s that might be a better spot to use it. n