Q & A with Jocelyn Elizabeth…

Joceyln Elizabeth, a.k.a. the Relic Recoverist doesn’t need an introduction. She’s well-known throughout the metal detecting community and her blog, YouTube channel and column in American Digger magazine are extremely popular. Joceyln was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to share her story and if you have questions you’d like to ask use the comment section below…


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

A. I live about twenty minutes outside Gettysburg in a little town called Dillsburg, PA.

Q. Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself? Are you married, children, work or stay at home, etc.?

A. I have a son William, a daughter Juliette, and two rescued coonhounds. I work part-time for an information technology company. My job is really flexible, so I can work whenever is convenient for me–nights, weekends, or rainy days when detecting is a bust.

Jocelyn with Juliette Noelle & William…

Q. When did you start detecting and what was it that got you interested?

A. In November 2014, I was taking my kids for a walk in the woods. My daughter was one and a half and my son was three. My daughter was a little fussy, so I let her play with my keys. Next thing I know, my keys were gone. I sent out a plea on Facebook for someone with a metal detector to rescue me. Someone with a bounty hunter showed up and found them in five minutes. That interaction kind of sparked my curiosity. I had always enjoyed rooting around old bottle dumps as a kid and metal detecting seemed like a lot of fun.

Q. What was your very first metal detector?

A. My first detector was a Garrett Ace 250.

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

A. After I decided I wanted to purchase a metal detector, I joined a few Facebook groups and asked for recommendations. I had a dealer contact me and we talked at length about what I was looking for. He suggested I purchase the Ace 250. I used the Ace 250 for a couple of months and quickly upgraded to the AT Pro.

Q. Do you remember what was your very first find was?

A. My very first find was a pie tin. My second find was a drainage culvert.

Q. If you remember tell us about your very first GOOD find, as in wow!

A. My first good find was an Indian Head Penny. Up until that moment, I think I was more in love with the idea of metal detecting than actual metal detecting. All I had found was nails and soda cans… and drainage culverts. Looking back on that period in the hobby, I have no idea how I stuck with it. When I found that IHP, that was the moment that I was hooked.

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

A. When I first started detecting, I was really into relics… hence “Relic Recoverist.” Since then, I’ve really gotten into coin shooting. (I think maybe I’ve been spending a little too much time with The Hoover Boys.) I do still enjoy finding relics and I especially love finding buttons. I will never get tired of finding buttons.

A few of my button finds

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

A. My first silver coin was a Mercury Dime. I was digging at an old picnic grove and concentrating around the base of a massive tree. The dime was tangled in the roots and I worked for ten minutes straight–sawing at the roots with my shovel. I was so thrilled when I spotted silver in the plug.

A few of my recent finds

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

A. I had been detecting for a year and a half when I found my first ring. I was poking around the front yard of a permission, pulling out hunks of iron and nails. I had just pulled out a massive two-headed axe when I hit a mid-tone on the AT Pro. I popped the plug and instantly saw gold. I just about lost it. The ring was a 14k, turn-of-the-century signet ring. The initials had been worn away.

Q. Did you spend a lot of time researching and if so how do you go about it?

A. Compared to a lot of other diggers, I don’t do very much research. The extent of my research usually includes map overlays since I mostly dig old homesites.

Q. From what I know you often go out detecting with others. How did you meet them?

A. When I first started digging, I met all my digging partners through local Facebook groups and networking. Now I have a core group of people who I dig with and I usually only dig with people through referrals. When I dig with someone new, I always have one of my digging partners tag alone for safety (and good company.)

With Bob Horst. One of the Hoover Boys….

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

A. My digging partners and I alternate permissions. When I have a good spot, I invite them. When they have a good spot, they invite me. We share.

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

A. I have found so many really cool relics and coins. I always have a different answer for this question because I can never decide on just one. I would say that my favorite find–not necessarily BEST–would be my KGIII 1775 Hibernia. It’s my favorite because of the story that goes along with it. I found that coin in a blizzard under ten inches of snow. I also LOST that coin in a blizzard under ten inches of snow–or so I thought. A few months later, Kurt Franz (The Hoover Boys) found the coin in his truck console with modern change.

Q. Okay what is your weirdest and/or funniest find to date?

A. My weirdest finds to date was the leg bone from someone’s pet dog or cat. The bone had been repaired with a steel rod and my detector picked it up.

Q. What is your OLDEST find to date?

A. My oldest find would be either my blow-hole buttons or my KGI.

My two blow-hole buttons. The holes are to help the gas escape when the two pieces are soldered together. They date mid-1600s to mid-1700s. From what I understand, they are very rare. I’ve been lucky enough to find two.

Q. I know you are big on Garrett and part of their family. How did that come about?

A. I’ve used a lot of different machines–Ace 250, AT Pro, Racer, FrosCore, XP Deus, MXT, TreasurePro, MX Sport–but I always felt most comfortable with my AT Pro. In September 2016, I was approached by Whites Electronics and asked to join the field team. I was so flattered that someone recognized my dedication and passion for the hobby–and I got to be teamsies with my close friend Dominique Da Silva (SilverSlingers on YouTube). Who could say no to that? After about six months, I made a decision to leave the team. My decision was no reflection on the people, the company, or the equipment. I had mentioned to Tim “Ringy” Saylor that I was leaving Whites. Not long after, I was talking to Steve Moore. The rest is kind of history. Steve sent me the AT Gold and I’m back to being a Garrett Girl. I’m totally humbled by all the opportunities and the doors that are opening with Garrett.

On a hunt with Tim “Ringy” Saylor

Q. What Garrett model are you using now and why?

A. I am currently using the AT Gold because I wanted to be cool like KG and Ringy.

Q. Can you share a few settings or programs that you use a lot?

A. My default settings are Disc 1, discrimination at 30, and iron audio on. I adjust depending on the site conditions.

Q. Do you use the standard stock coil?

A. I alternate between the 5×8 and the 8.5×11 depending on the location.

Q. And what accessories do you use?

A. I use all Garrett gear, with the exception of my shovel. I use the Predator Ranger shovel.

Q. How often do you get out detecting today?

A. My Tuesdays are reserved for digging. My work is really flexible. If Monday is gorgeous and I want to go out and dig, I can work my hours in the evenings after I get kids in bed.

Q. Where do you concentrate your time now….parks, rural areas, home sites, etc..?

A. I detect mostly old home sites if I’m by myself, but it really depends on who I am digging with. I try to adapt to my digging buddies.

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

A. The top item on my bucket list right now is a seated coin–any denomination. I really just want a seated. Other than that, I think my bucket list is similar to any other digger. I would love to find a plate, a George Washington button, and a silver cob.

Q. Have you detected overseas at all?

A. I have not, but chances are that I’ll be taking a trip to Detectival this September.

Q. What would your ideal detector look like?

A. My ideal detector would be pink and probably have a coffee brewing attachment of some sort. I’m still pitching the prototype to Garrett. The expected release date could be sometime in 2027.

Q. Tell us a little about your blog/website & YouTube videos…. I know they’re very popular.

A. When I first started detecting, I blogged. Writing has been my outlet since the second grade. I used to get in trouble with my second grade teacher because my creative writing assignments were too long. Naturally, I wanted to write about my experience with my brand new detector. Before I settled on Relic Recoverist, my blog was actually called “Rookie Relic Finder” but then I realized that surely I wouldn’t always be a rookie. (I’m glad I decided to switch early on…)

I blogged for about a year and a half and then I decided to give videos a try. I had never watched a metal detecting video when I started making videos. My YouTube inspiration came from vlogs that my son watched… which is probably why I don’t conform to the typical metal detecting video format. My YouTube channel just kind of exploded. My videos stress the adventure and the excitement of recovering history.

Just one of Jocelyn’s many YouTube videos…..

Q. I saw your recent FB response to someone who apparently took exception to your being a young and attractive female detectorist. Would you care to talk more about that here?

A: Never in my life have I experienced so much bullying and nastiness than when I started metal detecting. I could easily let the hate break me down and force me out of the hobby, but the truth is… if any of these bullies took the time to get to know me, I think they would change their tune.

Q. If you could pass along one or two words of advice to other detectorists,

A. If you are passionate about metal detecting, focus on that passion and don’t let anyone take it away.


Thanks Jocelyn for taking the time to tell your story. Happy Hunting….




Filed under Metal Detecting

31 responses to “Q & A with Jocelyn Elizabeth…

  1. BigTony

    Wow, what a breath of fresh air! Great interview so interesting I couldn’t stop reading and wanted more.
    Thanks to the both of you for doing that interview.

  2. ‘Ditto’ BigTony’s comments.

    It’s more than a pity that Jocelyn has been on the receiving end of the knuckle-draggers’ venom. Then again, these pervs hide behind the anonymity social media provides which only encourages cowardice.

    I wish her well and good hunting.

  3. Jerry Freeman

    Nothing but respect for Jocelyn.

  4. Kenneth J Roberts

    Unfortunately there are haters and A holes in the metal detecting life style. Watching Jocelyn`s videos and reading her posts. You can see she is having fun and respecting the hobby. Great job Jocelyn. 🙂

  5. Joe Patrick

    As a fellow Pennsylvanian and ‘old-timer’ in this hobby – 35+ years – it is refreshing to see someone so young, positive and attractive in this sport. I totally enjoy watching your videos, ‘sharing’ your finds and adventures. You make me smile… I can’t name one male detectorist who can do the same! Thanks so much for just being Jocelyn.

  6. wintersen

    Jocelyn – if you make it to Detectival in September, look up The Searcher stand, pop in and say ‘hello’ and maybe pick up some freebies!

  7. Bob Sickler

    It is rare and refreshing to see a young lady be so genuinely interested in a male dominated hobby/sport. One woman early in the hobby that comes to mind is Kay Modgling. Her finds were stunning… she out-hunted her male counterparts in the day with flare. In my opinion, if more women had become involved in the hobby long ago, there probably would be less negativism in the minds of our current day detractors. Whether you enjoy history at a museum or like digging it up first-hand, it is everyone’s history to discover. No person or group has an exclusive right to any of it.

    Jocelyn… Negative social comments mostly come from people who are jealous of a person’s skill, good fortune and countenance. Never be sorry for anything you have the good fortune to possess. Continue and be a fine example for more women to get involved in a great hobby and sport! Garrett is making some great choices in the people they choose to endorse them. Good for you!

    • Bob, you are too kind. I’m embarrassed to admit that I had not heard of Kay, but I’ve since looked her up. I even found a picture of her with her relics here on Stout Standards. What an incredible hobbyist! I’m not sure I’m worthy of the comparison, but I thank you for your kindness.

  8. I agree with John Howland and Big Tony, she is a breath of fresh air. And she is correct about some of the nastiness in the metal detecting community. Obviously, it is not slowing her down! A great read Dick!


    Me encanta tus videos, tu trabajo me parece fantastico, no deje que nadie se interponga, este hobby es fascinante, y no sabes que vas encontrar bajo tierra. sigue adelante, y no dejes que la fama te haga dejar de subir videos. que espero inpacientamente. soy fan de su cazeria, aunque no entienda lo que dices. saludos.

    • I took the liberty of taking the above to Google translate and this was the result:

      I love your videos, your work seems fantastic, do not let anyone get in the way, this hobby is fascinating, and you do not know what you’re going to find underground. Keep going, and do not let fame make you stop uploading videos. Which I hope impatiently. I’m a fan of your hunt, even if I do not understand what you’re saying. Greetings.

    • Jocelyn

      Thank-you so much for your kind words. (And thank-you, Dick, for translating.) I have no plans to discontinue sharing my videos. I’m hoping to get lots of footage in the coming months. 🙂

  10. Thank you for such an informative interview. Please keep the videos coming.
    As I’ve said before, you’re cute as a button. Keep finding them. I do hope you’ll
    find a GW soon.

  11. Cristina

    Aww your the best it’s kinda weird cuz I’m a Garrett girl from the start I’ve only Ben doing this for 3 months our dad passed and he left his old Garrett gold stinger we r totally hooked now . Truth fly I don’t know what I would do without you . My friends and family all look a me like I have really lost my mind doing this for a hobby . We joined a great group omg it’s so fun but gosh were r all the 25 and 35 yr olds they r sooooo missing out on great fun . My point is to see another woman and one so young and pretty makes me feel a lil less like a total nerd . I ordered my2 T-shirt’s from your site I’m also happy to have some hip stuff to wear while doing this . I soooo badly want ur neck less charm tho ! Would u ever come to California for a dig we do a huge hunt in April and we r soooo close to Disneyland .

    • relicrecoverist

      Hi Cristina! I’m so glad you are enjoying the hobby so much! And I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. I know for me, the hobby has always been therapeutic and I hope it will help you heal after the loss of your father. It sounds like it’s already become an obsession and I can say—I know the feeling!! Keep swinging and good luck out there!

  12. Susan Knight

    Jocelyn are you coming to the UK event in September 2019 ? I am a superfan and live in the Cotswolds. Also called Sue, similiar age to your USA friend. Ifyou would like any help or info , my Dad was a numismatist, so I can identify English coins. It would be great to meet up, I am keen to start detecting, as I have learnt to walk again after hip surgery. Susan Knight

    • relicrecoverist

      As of right now, I plan to attend Detectival. I’m not sure yet what my plans will be while I’m over there, whether it will be a short trip or I’ll be there for a while.

  13. Greg Blackwell - Michigan, USA

    A great interview with Jocelyn! She is a great inspiration for young newcomers and oldtimers both!
    I love watching her videos and reading her writings!
    Jocelyn, never change please!

  14. Bob

    Always love your videos you do them well .you seam to have a buitiful family keep up the detecting you keep me inspired to keep going never stop detecting ,have a good one next time out Bob the Bulldog from Nj see ya

  15. Kent O. Hulse

    Reference “Extreme Heat Warning” You Tube 2 years ago, At 2:48-50 what is the object between your knees. It appears to be an arrow head pointing to the dig hole. Ironic next dig a KENT pocket knife.

    Kent Hulse
    “The Digging Fossil”

  16. Teresa

    I am a 63 year old female who Loves metal detecting, don’t do it as much as I would like to now but will soon

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