Allyson Cohen, a.k.a. Detecting Diva…

Allyson Cohen, a.k.a. the Detecting Diva

I may be wrong but one of the first gal tekkies to come on the scene in “recent years” was Allyson Cohen, a.k.a. Detecting Diva. I’ve never had the privilege of meeting the Diva but we have talked on Skype and stay in touch via email/social media.  From what I’ve heard she’s a dedicated, hard-working detectorist who will kick your butt when it comes to finding oxen shoes.

Sorry Diva, couldn’t resist….

Allyson thank you…


Q. Allyson I know you live on the East coast but where in particular?

A.  I live in Berlin, CT


Q. Can I be a little personal and ask what it is you do for a living?

A. Geez Dick, when you said it was an interview, I didn’t know it would be personal, but if you must know, I am an Office Administrator for a Tool Manufacturing Company in West Hartford, CT.

DS: Damn was hoping to hit you up for a few freebies but I want nothing to do with tools.

AC:  In the now old lingo of the younger generation, I think some folks might say you are a tool… 🙂

DS: I can see this is going to be one testy damn interview….


Q. So what was it that got you interested in metal detecting?

A.  Well, like a lot of detectorists, I had childhood dreams of being an archaeologist, but sadly, those dreams were not encouraged.  When I had my son, life just sort of took over. My interest in the past never faded though.  I would see people detecting, and I wanted one of those machines.  I wanted to be a part of finding history, and of course all the “treasure” I would surely dig up along the way.

A young Diva, who besides wanting to be a archaeologist, was also a Red Sox fan.


Q. When did you start and what was your very first metal detector?

A. My eyesight is poor, but my memory is poorer—I’m not sure, 8 or 9 years ago?  It’s all just one big blur of swinging and digging now.  My first detector was a White’s Prizm.  I loved that machine.


Q. And what was it that made you purchase that particular brand/model?

A.  It was an advertisement I received from Whites.  I told my dad about it, and he said he had always wanted to try metal detecting too (who knew?). I was psyched, so I requested more info from them, and then purchased it from my local White’s dealer/hobby shop.  After I showed my Dad, he bought one too, and we started the hobby together.


Q. What was your very first signal/find? Do you remember?

A.  Well, all I found in the beginning was pulltabs & nails, so I’m going to have to say pull tab or a nail.


Q. What was your very first good or decent find, as in keeper.

A.  It took a while, because I was totally clueless, but I finally found an Indian Head Penny, and I was hooked from that day forward.

Diva with an early copper


Q. In the beginning did you concentrate on one particular treasure? i.e., did you hunt for coins, relics, jewelry….

A.  In the beginning, I was happy so long as it wasn’t a pull tab, foil, or a nail.  I started out in playgrounds, then moved on to the beaches, but once I got into the woods & farm fields and  started finding old coins and relics, the playgrounds and beaches didn’t hold my attention anymore.

On the beach….


Q. How long did it take you to find your first silver coin and do you remember what it was?

A.  OMG–it seemed like it took forever.  My first silver was a barber dime, although I don’t recall the year.  After the first one though, it didn’t take long until I started finding silver everywhere.


Q. How long did it take you to find your first ring and what kinds of ring was it?

A.  Shortly after I found my first silver coin, I found my first ring.  It was in a dried up portion of the Norwalk River in CT.  A gold ring with turquoise stones (with one stone missing), and next to it were the remnants of a change purse with 5 Indian head pennies inside.  It was a nice little cache.


Q. Did you spend a lot of time researching in the beginning and if so how did you go about it?

A. NO–I was clueless, but then I read your book!

DS. And you were still clueless right?

AC: Is that a rhetorical question?

DS: Yup!


Q. Do you prefer hunting with others or are you a loner?

A. It doesn’t matter, but if I’m going to hunt with others, I prefer to hunt with diehards-hards who have no time constraints, and consider detecting an all- day event like I do.  There’s nothing worse than meeting up to hunt with someone, and then they tell you they have to be home in an hour or two—especially if they offered to drive!!


Q. If you do go out with others who decides on where to detect?

A. I don’t care, I just want to detect.


Q. I think you have a significant other. How did you two meet and does he detect also?

A. We met when I was selling oxen shoes at the local swap meet.  He had always had an interest in them, and wanted to know how he could acquire more of them.  I mentioned that I was an expert oxen shoe finder, and the rest is history….

Seriously though, I consider myself lucky to have found someone who encourages my hobby, and gives me the freedom to pursue it.  I introduced him to metal detecting and he likes it.  He goes with me when he has the time.

DS: “We met when I was selling oxen shoes at the local swap meet….” Love it!


Q. What would you consider to be your best find so far?

A.  The pennies my guy buried out around the barn with our initials stamped into them.

DS: Pennies huh….thinking you might want to tell him about quarters, halves and even fives, tens an twenties. Just a thought.

AC: Ugh!  Why didn’t I think of that?

A modern day love token?


Q. Okay what is your weirdest find to date (other than Todd)?

A. I’d have to say Todd is the weirdest.  If he hadn’t been hitchhiking that day, I don’t think we would have ever met.  And even though he’s a handsome guy, I noticed the White’s he was carrying, and that was the main reason I stopped the car. Other than that, I’d have to say it was the cast iron grill I found buried on the side of a mountain.  It’s in my garden, looking odd, yet very cool, at the same time.

I’ll have mine medium rare thank you (can’t believe Diva actually dug this puppy up)….


Q. What is your “oldest” find to date?

A.  Such hard questions!  I’m not sure. I do recall some coins with dates in the 1730’s, and I find a lot of colonial stuff, just know that it is old.

One of Diva’s early finds


Q. I may be wrong but I think you are now using Minelab detectors, and if so what model are you currently using and why?

A. I use a Minelab E-trac, which I love, and have been using for about 6 years now.  Dick, you will probably find this tragic since you are a White’s guy, but when I wanted to upgrade my White’s Prizm, I went back to the hobby shop with the cash to buy the latest and greatest White’s model.  I told the owner what I wanted, and he would not take me seriously.  In a very condescending tone, he said, and I quote “For what you’re doing, I’d stick with what you have”.

I pressed on, insisting I wanted a better machine, and got the same type of responses.  I got annoyed with his attitude, and left the shop feeling he was discriminating against me (because of my gender), and very embarrassed.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have told Mr. Hobby Shop man what to stick where.  I subsequently told a friend about my experience and he hooked me up with a Minelab.  I think though, that any machine used long enough becomes a part of you, and if I had bought another White’s, I would probably still be using that machine today, and love it as well. I’m currently in the market for a new machine though, any suggestions?

DS: Wow, I’m sorry to hear that.


Q.  What accessories do you use?

A.  I have a back up or two of every item, including my machine.  Pink Camo Mechanix gloves!!  Detector Pro Rattler headphones;  Xpointer pinpointer by Deteknix; Lesche digger; Sampson T-handle shovel; cadet hat, and lip balm.

Diva’s arsenal…


Q. You left out the wine. What label and year?

A.  Any year, as long as the label has Cabernet written on it somewhere. 


Q. How often do you get out detecting today?

A.  Not often enough!!


Q. Where do you concentrate your time….parks, rural areas, homesites, etc..?

A.  The woods, farm fields & old cellar holes.

Click on the above photo to read Allyson’s “What is it with camouflage?” article in the Searcher! 


Q. You surely have a bucket list. Care to share it?

A.  No. Just kidding. Umm…golden oxen shoe, Pine Tree, legible NJ Copper, GW button, gold coin & the oh so elusive Trime.


Q. Have you detected overseas at all?

A.  No, and the worst part of that, is that I’ve been to Europe so many times!! I used to visit my grandmother in Germany a few times a year, but at that time I didn’t detect, and since she passed I haven’t been back.  My Uncle still has quite a few acres in Northern Germany though, so I might go in the near future. I’d really like to hunt some of those farm fields in England too.


Q. What would your ideal detector look like?

A.  Pink Camo, naturally.  I’m surprised you asked.

DS: Ah yes, you and your damn pink camo….


Q. What do you see for the future of our pastime? Will we have one ten years from now?

A.  I think there will be a huge increase in the amount of people taking up the hobby, but in this modern world of instant gratification, I predict that at least a third of them won’t have enough patience to continue. 

And in 10 years, who knows?  Our sites are slowly being bulldozed, and built upon, tot lots and parks are beaten to death, and permissions are getting harder and harder to find.  On top of that, our rights to enjoy this lawful hobby are being challenged by clueless local governments, and when the detecting community should be coming together to challenge these things, it is instead, infected with apathy.   SIGH…


Q. Allyson, know you were quite involved with the Task Force. Can you share what happened to the organization?

A. The Task Force is still an entity, however, it is the sad victim of apathy (see previous answer). We still respond to inquiries, and lend a hand where needed, but without some major support from manufacturers and the detecting community, we can’t shine as vibrantly as we once did.

And yes Dick, I’m working on a web site, you’ll be the first to know when it’s done.


Q. Okay, have to ask….as a female detectorist how many male counterparts hit on you, and you don’t have to answer this if you don’t want….

A.  Umm… When I started in this hobby I was about a decade younger and 20 pounds lighter, and was “hit on”? (you’re dating yourself Dick) frequently. I dated three detectorists, their names were Drama, Cheater, and Texter.  After that I swore off detectorists as potential date material, and opted for the guy named “Trust”. But, in answer to your question, yes, I still get “hit on”, but the guys are older too, and they play a different game now; smooth, sincere, and über confident, instead of awkward & nervous, but I can still see right through it. 

DS: I “date myself” all the time….no one else will go out with me…


Q. Allyson at one time you were thinking of doing a “Gals Who Detect” calendar….is that on the back burner now?

A.Well, it was going to be a joint effort, but my vision for what I wanted for the calendar, and the other persons vision weren’t in sync, so yes, I put it on the back burner for now.



Q. If you could pass along one or two words of advice to other detectorists, what would they be?

A.  Stick to one machine.  It’s kind of hard to learn a machine if you’re always switching them up.  Do you see successful detectorists showing up at every hunt with a new machine? – Because Women Detect Too!


Thanks Diva for sharing your story here…happy hunting!





Filed under Metal Detecting

32 responses to “Allyson Cohen, a.k.a. Detecting Diva…

  1. Very good interview Dick! As an engineer I used to visit a few manufacturing companies in Berlin, Connecticut to audit their manufacturing process, and I was born in Hartford, but was brought up in Florida since age 3. Still have an 88-year-old uncle who lives in Westford, Connecticut, who complains about tripping over US civil war belt plates on his property…he uses them as coasters for his coffee cups.

    He also took me, in 1963, when he was younger, to the tumbled-down remains of an old colonial inn on what was previously the main road between between Washington and Boston, deep in the thick woods of Connecticut…you could still see remnants of half-moon cuts over the doors my uncle said were for shooting at the indians. If I could only remember where it was! Long way from Florida, anyway.

    Good interview, right to the point, no off-camera stuff. Allyson Cohen certainly seems to have it together and knows what she is doing. Connecticut is probably one of the best of the original 13-colonies in America, formed because the King of England prohibited metal detecting in Britain, and nobody was gonna put up with that! Informative, and enjoyable, Dick Cheers!

  2. Dominique

    Nice to see an interview with another female digger! Well done, Dick & Allyson, I enjoyed the read and laughs 🙂

  3. Very nicely done Dick, I’m impressed. Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit about myself and this awesome hobby with you and others.

  4. Hey Ricardo:
    Great interview. Sooper lady. Diva says she can see thru the chat-up lines, damn, damn, damn! There’s a lot of mileage in the idea of a ‘Gals Who Detect’ calendar and I have a few ideas of my own on this one……

    Happy hoiking

    • Yup, you’re out of luck, not to mention you are decaying, and Diva, if you ever do the calendar leave this guy out of the mix.

    • John-why do I get the feeling that if you were in charge there would be a lot of scantily clad women, with a beer in one hand and a detector in the other? Wait, that’s every guys dream, that calendar would surely sell out–forget I said anything.

      • Diva I don’t believe you just encouraged him…jeezus!

      • Hi Diva:
        Dunno where you are coming’ from, but I was thinking more about ladies off a certain age sitting in rocking chairs doing embroidery. Some of you colonials I have to say, have disgusting minds. I am appalled!

        Er…how about wet T-shirts then? We could even include a few gals, maybe! I can just see Stouty, pouting in Lycra, in a wet T-shirt.

      • What’s wrong with embroidery? I was once very good at it, well, until I took up metal detecting. And wet t-shirts, I won’t comment, I’d like Dick to maintain his “G” rating.

      • Allyson I lost my “G” rating the day John came on board…..and I actually have to clean up a lot of his updates.

  5. Todd

    Great Q & A Dick and Allyson. Enjoyed the read. Hope your still the same die hard Allyson if so, I’m sure you’ll find that GW.

    • Thanks Todd. I think I’ll always be die hard when it comes to detecting, and maybe someday I’ll find a leftover GW that by some unfortunate or tragic accident, you or Dave missed.
      You are one of the nicest, kindest people who I’ve had the pleasure to get to know in this hobby–don’t ever change.

  6. Steve Desanto

    Great interview Dick. Allyson is one of nicest people I have ever chatted with about detecting. First meeting her at Gold Diggers in Raritan. Great hunter, great ambassador to our hobby, great amount of knowledge. I absorbed a bunch from her in our short meeting that day. I only wish I lived closer to her to get an invite to hunt.
    Buried Crap NJ

  7. BigTony

    Cool interview thanks to you both. I agree with you Dick she would probably kick my butt too if we went detecting.

  8. njfella007

    Dick, you’ve really hit your stride with these Q&A’s, and I believe you’ve found a good niche for yourself.

    While I’ve enjoyed all of them thus far, the latest one featuring Allyson was especially good. Like many, I too started off using a Whites (which I did well with), but now use a different brand more suitable for my style of hunting. So, the fact that you aren’t just interviewing Whites devotees is a plus, IMO.

    I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Allyson on a few occassions, and yes, she’s the real deal. An exceptional detectorist, and more importantly, a nice person.

    Don’t stop putting out those blog posts about your personal rants however, as I’ve really come to love them, and look forward to the notifications I get whenever you publish a new one.

    Just food for though, but aside from hunters themselves, how about some interviews with those behind-the-scenes, like; detector engineers, designers, writers, etc. This is a large hobby with a lot of moving parts, not just the people like us who go out and make the finds.

    Keep up the fine work 🙂

    • Thanks Joe. the Q & A thing is only as good as the individual supplying the answers, and your idea of bringing in some of the other “moving parts” is a good one. Thanks the suggestion. Have a great weekend.

    • I’m sure I know you, as you said we’ve spoken before (and thank you for the kind words), but njfella007 is throwing me off-give me a hint who you are.

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