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The hobby of metal detecting is now firmly established in Britain, the USA, Australia and many European countries. The many thousands of metal detectorists who enjoy this fascinating pastime reap benefits in a variety of ways; relaxation away from the pressures of work or domestic life, fresh air and exercise, and making new friends and meeting other enthusiasts. But these are common to many other hobbies and there are more particular benefits which set metal detecting apart; the coins and artefacts recovered, the excitement and pleasure one feels when handling them for the first time, and the inevitable gain in knowledge of our past.

Initially, the newcomer to the hobby is happy to find anything other than silver paper, ring pulls and soft drink cans. A 1947 penny or an Elvis Presley Fan Club Badge is cause for great celebration, and a pocketful of modern coinage is proof positive that the detector works and the user knows how to work it. Sooner, rather than later, however, those detector users who will become serious hobbyists will discover that the common finds made on beach, park or other recreation area begin to lose their attraction. Words like 'old' will come into their vocabulary and they will begin to look further afield in pursuit of their new objectives.

Nowadays, metal detectors are extremely complex electronic machines with a variety of capabilities dependant on price. Most are 'user-friendly' being relatively simple to operate and most now have the ability to discriminate against certain metals. Prices range from £100 to over £1,000 for a top-of-the-range model. Newcomers are advised to contact a local club or NCMD Region and speak to members before committing themselves to buying a machine. Some machines on the market are just not up to the job whilst others can be too complex for the beginner. Seeking such advice can save the beginner a lot of wasted money and time. Joining the UK DETECTOR NET Forum will be beneficial as the newcomer can ask all the questions he or she feels and get answers to them all.

The hobby is suitable for all ages, from the very young to the very old. It is an outdoor hobby and obviously of benefit to health as it involves fresh air and exercise in the form of walking and extracting finds. Newcomers to the hobby are advised to view the rest of these pages so that they can get an overal view of the hobby, the equipment needed and current legislation.