Last Wednesday night while, coincidentally, in Culpeper County for an organized Civil War relic hunt, I had the opportunity to catch the first episode of American Digger. As one who takes metal detecting and relic hunting seriously, I must say watching that show was, well, rather painful. Frankly, I was embarrassed by what I saw. It was over-hyped and unrealistic. That being said, I don't want to be too quick to judge the show. Maybe the first episdoe was an intentionally over-hyped "hook" to get folks to watch more. Maybe it will get better. Let's hope so. We'll have to wait and see.
As noted in a previous post by a fellow metal detectorist, metal detecting is much different than what was depicted on American Digger. For every interesting "keeper" I find, I will typically dig 10-20 pieces of junk - sometimes even more. I have, on numerous occasions, detected the better part of a day and found absolutely nothing worth keeping.
The vast majority of relic hunters don't metal detect for the money. I don't do it for the money. I've never sold anything I've found, though my collection is beginning to grow in monetary value. When I'm gone, whatever I've accumulated will simply be passed on to a museum and my children. I relic hunt because I am fascinated with the past and what we can learn from it and for the sheer joy of finding something that would otherwise be lost forever.
Relic: "Something that has survived the passage of time, especially an object or custom whose original culture has disappeared, but also an object cherished for historical or memorial value. A trace of some past or outmoded practice, custom, or belief. A survivor or remnant left after decay, disintegration, or disappearance."
“When you hold an early implement . . . you are near to another being in another life, and you are that much richer.” ~ Eric Sloane