Tesoro – Just out to lunch?

Not sure how and where they originated but for the past year or so there’s been rumors that Tesoro might close shop. Last week it appears the company did in fact lay off a few employees but that’s all anyone knows at this juncture. I tried to reach someone at the factory to verify this but so far I’ve been unsuccessful.

I’m hoping that whatever is going on in Prescott is only a small glitch in the day-to-day trials and tribulations of a manufacturing company. Tesoro makes a great product, has a lot of dedicated users and fills a niche within our ranks. The Golden Sabre for example was the UK’s go to machine in the 80’s and in fact John Howland recently said…

“Being factory set to run silent over ferrous targets, it soon became apparent to UK treasure hunters (me included) that the Golden Sabre was top of its class in another arena; it was the machine to use on those roman habitation sites plagued with iron nails.”

Likewise Joe Patrick said here in his Q&A session…

“I still have great respect for Tesoro metal detectors of which I have owned and used most models of. They are well-built, compact and lightweight, reliable, easy and fun to use, effective and reasonably priced. They are truly worthwhile for anyone to own and use. I (and many others) have found a lot of good stuff using Tesoro metal detectors and I plan to own an Outlaw or older Bandido II Umax very soon as I prefer basic type detectors for “woods” hunting.”


Tesoro founder Jack Gifford…

I always enjoyed Jack and Myrna’s Gifford’s company when we’d cross paths back in the 80’s & 90’s.  Jack was also the first person to call and offer me a job when I was let go at Garrett. Had it not been for the fact that I just bought a home in Texas I might well have become an Arizonian.

With Jack and Myrna Gifford, Lost Treasure Classic, Tulsa, Oklahoma 1988

When Jack started Tesoro in the early 80’s he refused to get caught up in the cutthroat part of the business and sold “only” to the small mom and pop detector dealers, knowing there was no way they could ever compete and stay in business with the large mail order companies (a.k.a Kellyco). Jack was the only one who did that and I always admired him for it.

When Jack retired in 2004 sons Vince and James took over the day-to-day operations of Tesoro. Sadly Jack passed away in early 2015.

*Interesting tidbit…Jack Gifford was the “G” in C&G Technology before starting Tesoro! Ray Crum was the “C”.


Here’s hoping the folks at Tesoro will continue to be a player in the treasure hunting pastime. They’re old friends, part of the family and we need them. 


Who remembers…

A.H. Electronics, Compass, Metrotech, Relco, Treasure Electronics, Rainbow, Gardiner, Goldak, Gold Mountain, D-Tex, Vantage, C& G, Wilson-Neuman and Phantom, just to name a few.

Yeah I know, before your time…..


My second hobby

While trying to get enthused again I decided to pass on Bob Sickler’s knitting idea. This looks like a helluva lot more fun. Getting started tonight…






Filed under Metal Detecting

17 responses to “Tesoro – Just out to lunch?

  1. Randy Dee

    The Tesoro detectors were great switch on and go machines and they were among my first detectors, I had the “Silver Sabre” great tool for the hammered silvers, I have also still got the “Gold Sabre Plus” and it found me many Roman coins and artifacts here in the UK, I had the B2 & B3 and gave these to my son who still uses them.

    Here is a message which one of my friends got emailed to him.
    “I just got off the phone with Carl Isdal, lead technician at Tesoro for many years, and he has CONFIRMED that Vince did in fact lay off everyone on the factory floor this morning”

    Sad news.

  2. Tony from Bayonne

    Dick, it is sad news. It’s never easy to all of a sudden, lose your job. I feel for those folks as well as Tesoro. I did own one back in the 90’s but traded it up for a different detector.
    Nowadays I see many folks at competition hunts using Tesoro and swear by them for their performance. Hopefully they will make a turn around and get back in the market.

  3. Hi Dick,
    But what if you happen to be looking for iron?

    Re: the chair to hell with knitting it. It looks like it was made from wine bottle corks. If you have been saving your corks you must have enough by now 🙂



  4. Roy Rutledge

    Dick, I was also at the Lost treasure Classic in Tulsa. I also met Jack Gifford while I was there. Very nice person to deal with.

    Several years ago I went to Prescott and dropped off four detectors to be tuned, cleaned and holes drilled in the lower rods for a different size bolt. All this was done at no charge. I have always tried to support Tesoro. I am down to just two tesoros now.I met Jack and Vance while I was there. Very good men to deal with.

    I remember the A.H. Electronics, Compass,( Yukon 77B ) D-Tex ( Couple of different ones ), C&G ( had a Bobcat) and I used the Phantom down in Costa Rica with Richard Ray. Good machines but technology finally bypassed most of those old detectors.

    I did read a message that the shutdown was a temporary one, just on the production side. Hope that is all it was.


    • I figured you would know all those detector companies cuz you OLD, real OLD, LOL!

      Since I posted this I talked to a couple of people who also said this was a temporary situation and things will be back to normal before too long. That was encouraging to hear. Like you I hope it’s true.

      Have one for me Roy but just one because two might put you to sleep.

  5. John

    Sad to see this happen, they had some great people working for them. Tesoro makes a good quality detector, I still have a few, Cibola & Compadre. I sold my Lobo Super Traq for a Whites MXT, wish I would have kept the LST along with the MXT, similar but not the same type of detector. Tesoro was never the same after Mr. & Mrs Gifford retired and left the business to their sons, not saying they did a bad job, they were just different in their way of doing things. I hope they make some kind of come back for their sake and their employees.

    • John can’t speak for Vince or James. I did know them, nor was I privy to how things worked there. I have heard a lot of good things about their detectors from people who really work at this hobby. I did one field test for an entry level model way back when and it was used in their newsletter/booklet. I can’t remember the model.

      Can’t help thinking this will turn around pretty quick…..


    That’s sad news indeed. When I started detecting I bought a LST. Excellent machine for a newbie. Unfortunately, naive as I was I sold it on. I’ve been looking for another one but they don’t come up very often. Galling thing is the one I bought was like new and I didn’t pay a lot for it. We live and learn.
    Way to go with the knitting!!!

    • Funny John how we’re so quick to rush out and buy the next newest this and that and then realize we miss what we had. I will always be a knob, switch and boobs fan.


    Tee hee. I’m with you there. :):)

  8. Ed B.

    I don’t remember all those detector companies you mentioned dick but I do remember a few……A.H.Electronics, Compass, Relco, Gardiner, Gold Mountain, D-Tex, and Wilson-Neuman. I even have a stack of old treasure magazines with ads from those companies and others you didn’t mention. As for Tesoro, even though I’m a White’s user, I’d hate to seem them go under because they were around when I started detecting and for awhile I was using one of their detectors…the Silver Sabre. Don’t know what happened to it though…….maybe my ex threw it out along with my baseball cards.

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