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In the Corner with Dan Hughes


Jul 5, 2013

Somebody asks you to use your metal detector to hunt for his mother's wedding ring.  He describes it, and where she lost it a decade ago, and you recognize it because you found it three years ago, and sold it to a gold dealer.

What do you tell this person?

You're digging in your own yard and you find a human skeleton.  Do you tell the authorities?  Even if you know it's going to cost you $5,000, like it did a Canadian citizen a few weeks ago? 

Ethical dilemmas, morality problems.  What to do?

For more articles about metal detecting and a look at my book, The Metal Detecting Manual, visit http://treasuremanual.com.


Buried Crap NJ
almost four years ago

Dan, each and every treasure hunter needs to set their very own ethical standard early on.
I started at the age of 14 and it was finders keepers back then. Later I realized the value of the return. This brought more value then the goods. Hunters should realize that returns can go horribly wrong with bad results towards the returnee! I use a set of standards to match the depositors with the lost item. I do this for a set period of time. Then its mine. I don't keep items that can't be reused they are sold for scrap. Why? You would always be forever holding the goods, with little reward in the find. In 40 years I have no clue to what I have spent on treasure hunting, but I have $25,000 in detectors in my garage as we chat. I have a bunch of HS class rings posted on Alumni boards forever resigned to my draw awaiting claim,some over 20 years?