The Cost of “Your” Toys…

I was bitten with the treasure hunting bug eons ago and I became obsessed with it to the point where I lived, ate and slept it.  I thought every beep was silver, and thankfully in the beginning a lot of them were.  I subscribed to and read every metal detecting magazine on the market and then read them a second time.  I continually read the owner’s manual, just to make sure I hadn’t  missed anything, kept my detector ready to go and spent countless evenings passing metal items over the search coil so I could better understand their sounds.

I likewise adjusted my work schedule whenever I could so that I could squeeze in a few minutes of detecting, and started keeping very detailed records, recording what coins I had found, the dates, mint marks, the location, the weather, what detector I was using and yes, if I could remember, even the settings. I would then study these notes as  if they were dead sea scrolls. I was obsessed and enjoyed every damn minute of it.

Over the past 39 years I found a helluva lot of coins, some jewelry, a few relics, met lots of great people, got to travel to places I had only read about and spent a couple of years working for a major manufacturer. Today?  I’m older, fatter, lazier and enjoy watching you all do those very same things.  It’s a changing of the guard I suppose. Oh I still enjoy detecting, just at a less frequent and slower pace.

As I visit the various detecting websites, blogs and forums I can’t help but notice how obsessed everyone is today with their equipment. I know, you’ve heard me harp on this before but it baffles the hell out of me.  Detectors, headphones, coils, pinpointers, swingey thingey’s, cameras and so on.  I just wonder where in the hell you get all your money for this stuff, and if you wouldn’t be better off if you spent more time looking for places to use it.  Kinda like “all dressed up and nowhere to go“. I understand your exuberance…just that I never had the deep pockets you all seem to have.

havingitallI look at the price of today’s detectors, pinointers, headphones, diggers, shovels, cameras and I am amazed. In the dark ages all I had to worry about was whether my detector had fresh batteries in it and where I would take it.  I had a cheap pair of headphones, a screwdriver and carpenter’s apron, all of which probably cost me around $25.  I was also pretty damn good at recovering a coin without leaving a trace and miracles of miracles, I didn’t have a pinpointer.  Okay, okay, so maybe once or twice I had to replace the apron.

I am guessing here, but I am willing to bet that most of you reading this have spent “at least” $1,000 on your equipment…if not more.  I also understand that times have changed, and that there’s a zillion other pastimes where one can spend the same amount of money and more.  I also think that Tiger Woods would still shoot a pretty good round of golf with a set of clubs from Walmart.

A couple Nike quotes come to mind…

“You don’t always get what you wish for, you get what you work for”   &   “just do it!”



As I am sure you know, today is the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, and a day that will always be remembered. Hardly anyone will forget where they were when they heard the news.  I know I won’t and I can only hope that those who were too young to remember will learn more about that fateful day and understand the full meaning of it all.

I have to also add that today is my daughter Molly’s birthday and Barnum’s too.  I will not share Molly’s age, but will tell you that Barnum turned 12 today, and he is fast asleep next to me here in his “brand new” bed…




They are predicting cold temps here along with sleet and freezing rain so you all take care, and if you’re planning to do some detecting, dig out the ice pick.



Filed under Metal Detecting

11 responses to “The Cost of “Your” Toys…

  1. Nitpicky here, Dick. I was with kinda with you until you said Wal-Mart golf clubs would do a decent job. Now I’m not a golfer, but I’m pretty heavy into adult slowpitch softball, and no serious player in his right mind would use a Wal-Mart softball bat. There is a HUGE difference in the distance you get from a cheap bat as compared to a good bat. Whenever I see a player come to bat with a Wal-Mart bat, I bring my outfield in about 40 feet.

    And I know that there are similar expensive golf drivers now, made of the same composite material as the softball bats, that hit the ball several yards farther than the equivalent cheapie driver.

    For putting, any club is fine. But for distance driving, there is a HUGE difference.

    No need to post this, because it’s way off topic. Just thought you might like to know.

    Love ya,


  2. Bob K

    Dick so sorry for the cold air on the way down to you. Hate to say it, but forget the ice pick…. Seems like prices always go up up & up, just like my age. LOL

  3. Give me a $10,000 set of golf clubs, and give Tiger a set of walmart clubs, and we know who’s gettin their arse kicked, and his name aint Tiger! I hear ya Dick, I’m like you, I don’t have that kind of money that some of these fellas seem to have. Been eye-balling the AT Pro, and by the time I get one the AT Pro will be an AT Retired…lol I guess having kids, a mortgage and everything else to pay for comes first, so for now I can just window shop… I would bet you that a large portion of those guys swinging $1500 machines are so in debt that they barely hold their head above water! Just like the guy up the road that always seems to have a new truck… but apparently it’ll never actually be his, because he keeps puttin himself further into debt…lol Anyway, I could spend more money at the bars than I have on my equipment, that is, IF I drank…lol But, I don’t so… detecting gear it is when I get extra money! For now, I swing the F2 and live in a new house. I’d rather live in a new house than swing a $3000 machine, anyday.

    • Funny you mention that new truck thing…. Have a family in the neighborhood with two kids and they have a total of five cars. ALL parked on the street and they keep changing them out. They’ve bought more cars in the past two years than my wife and I have in our lifetime. Asked them once why they don’t park in the driveway in the back, and was told they like looking out the window at their cars. Jeez, I like my car, but I don’t drool over it….

      Have been tempted to make a used car lot sign and stick it in front of their house. Oh well, each to his own….

  4. Doug Frantz

    I guess it’s an obvious thing but even over the last thirty years there has quite a bit of inflation. Just checked and $200 in 1983 is equivalent to $469 in purchasing power today. And for me a pinpointer is a must-have. In any hobby there are those who get obsessed with the gear and have to have the latest and greatest. I’m satisfied with what I bought four years ago, and can’t justify spending the big money, unless I hit the lottery.

  5. There is an anecdote out there about Gichin Funakoshi, the Okinawan master who took Karate to Japan. Allegedly, on his death bed, he performed an outside block (arguably, one of the easiest moves in Karate), and exclaimed “Ah, I think I finally understand this move!”.
    My point is that there is A LOT to be learned about this hobby before we ever need to buy an expensive machine. Unfortunately, I’ve learned this lesson only after buying a bunch of machines already. Still, newer tech is nice to have since the easy silver is long gone.

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