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The below stated guidelines are not the law, they are tried and tested guidelines that should always be followed by anyone swinging a metal detector. Please keep in mind, when you are metal detecting, you represent the metal detecting community and should always act in a kind and conscientious manner. Please always represent metal detectorists in the best of light by respecting local laws, using your detecting skills for the betterment of your local community, and following the below stated guidelines.

Code of Ethics

Familiarise yourself with your local, state, and federal laws related to metal detecting.


Know who owns the land you are detecting on (don't guess) this information can easily be looked up on digital town and county GIS maps. Respect all property. Never detect on private property without explicit permission from the property owner. Never metal detect on state, county, or town land without knowing your local laws and confirming with your local town hall that it is legal for you to detect on such land. Land owned by organizations, such as public parks and conservation areas should not be detected on without receiving prior consent from the organization in question. Never detect in known Burial grounds or undisturbed historical sites.


Leave no trace. Clean up your own trash. Clean up the trash and metal you uncover. Always leave the land cleaner than it was when you arrived.


Never damage personal property or structures on the land. Close all gates and doors after yourself.


Never leave a hole open. Always fill a hole you dig back up with the soil you removed from it. Always leave it flat, level, and neat. If you have removed a large metal object from the hole, it is a good idea to add some rocks or pebbles in its place so that the filled hole will be flat.


Always respect the local environment, never dig in a place that will damage vegetation, harm wildlife, or interfere with local waterways.


Always document and take care of your finds. Remember our history can not be recreated and the stories you may happen to uncover will be lost unless you do your part to help preserve them. Please report any significant historical artifacts to the appropriate local authority.

Do not detect on undisturbed historical sites. Our history is precious. In this linear world, where we have not yet invented time travel, our history can not be recreated. It is singular and must be protected. When items are removed from historical sites and added to personal collections the context and the item's historical significance is lost. Do not do this.


Always be kind to curious bypassers. Remember you were once a bypasser too. Please represent our community in the best of light by always showing respect for your local environment and the people in it. 

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