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There's much more to the hobby of metal detecting than just buying a machine and strolling to the nearest promising field or beach. It's a hobby that requires you to know at least the basics of who to ask permission, what you're looking for, when to seize an opportunity, where to hunt, and how to use your machine.

And you will need patience. Not everyone will find a fortune in ancient coins on their first try.

History of the Metal Detector
By Mary Bellis, About.com

Metal Detecting 101 -- An Overview of the Complicated History and Current State of Metal Detecting
National Geographic

10 Fascinating Amateur Metal-Detector Finds
National Geographic