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I'll Never Give Up looking with my metal detector! 

By Dan Breitenstein

Have you ever gone out to your favorite detecting site and found absolutely nothing of value after a couple of hours of diligent detecting? I would venture to guess you wandered back to your vehicle and put the detector away while thinking to yourself the whole time "I've just wasted a good afternoon". Many people - far too many people - drive home, put their detector in the closet, and "shelve" their hobby. They are so discouraged by one or two simple setbacks that they lack the desire to continue.

We've all been faced with the same "bad day" syndrome that can destroy our drive to keep going. This is a common malady that we all encounter, but I've come to realize that it's always a temporary thing.

When I first started detecting in a church yard near my home, an older gentleman came up to me and told me that he'd already detected that place with a detector that cost five times what I had paid for my Radio Shack Discovery 3000. We had a pleasant conversation and I listened to his stories of all the things he had found where I was detecting and he went on his way. Throughout the summer and into the fall I found more than five hundred coins, a large gold class ring, and an emerald set with four diamonds in a 10K gold ring right where he told me I was wasting my time.

Yes, I still had discouraging days. There were days when I came home and plopped four memorial pennies on the counter and thought the old place was just "tapped out". But I learned not to let the bad days overwhelm my desire to succeed. I learned over time how simple things like a good soaking rain can greatly enhance the signals and that digging every signal was the smart thing to do. I learned how to tune my machine and negotiate with things like black sand and coal cinders. (I had never heard about the coal cinder trap until I stumbled in it myself).

Moving to a different spot is always a good way to get me out of a rut. My sister lives in a 1930's vintage home and she invited me over last fall to detect her yard. I found a few Merc dimes, quite a few Wheaties, but more importantly, I found inspiration. When I had finished and was walking back to my truck, I looked down the street at a long row of same vintage houses and it hit me like an epiphany. I would imagine that every one of those yards was as productive or more than my sisters' yard had been. And I had only scratched the surface of her yard.

When I look at the overall balance of my time spent detecting, I can honestly say that all of the effort I've put into it has come back to me as a reward .... times two. There is always the dream that we support by metal detecting that someday we might hit a "big one". We can't buy that dream, it has to be earned and the only way to earn it is to keep swinging that coil.