UNEXPECTED GOLDMINE: Andrew, 12, Hailey, 9, and Damien Hepburn, 14, take a look around town for some unexpected metal surprises.
UNEXPECTED GOLDMINE: Andrew, 12, Hailey, 9, and Damien Hepburn, 14, take a look around town for some unexpected metal surprises. Contributed.

Young Guns dig great hobby

BOUGHT first detector in April 2017 after I searched YouTube and came across NQ Explores we found $1 and $2 coins at a property that we have permission to detect on.

We went back the next day and it was from this point that myself and kids became hooked,

We detected a fork and some old belt buckles so we watched more YouTubed metal detecting videos made by NQ explores I found their page on Facebook and messaged them with a photo of what we found and Warren replied from NQ explores saying "Awesome find mate” definitely from the 1800s as he could see a hallmark on the handle of the fork we dug up.

I soon realised NQ Explores had a wealth of knowledge not with just identifying relics but metal detecting in general.

Warren suggested different areas to detect so I asked the owners of Rockhampton's Indoor Sports Arena Gavin and Belinda Zielke if kids could detect the centre and they said "go for it” if we find a block of gold we go halves, well we didn't find any gold but have dug up around $200.00 in coins in the last few months.

I had a conversation with the kids, what do we do with the money we've found and without hesitation they said can we donate the money to someone as the money wasn't ours in the first place I said definitely and I made a suggestion that we donate it to Santa's Lolly Drop and they all gave the thumbs up, I spoke to Ash and Tanya the organiser of the group and they were rapt and very much appreciated as it was about giving back to our community.

So, our hobby was about to become a whole lot more exciting, I contacted Tamara the principal of Milman State School and asked if we could come out to metal detect the school grounds she said yep that's not a problem so myself and kids headed out to meet her and as they say the rest is history,

kids have dug up, pre-decimal coins like penny's, half penny's, shilling's, three pence, six pence, old belt buckles, and just recently a love heart locket and about $30.00 $1. $2. And other decimal coins as well as hundreds of pull tabs.

But 1 interesting find we dug up at the school is a copper ring with a skull and cross bone a quick Google search and we found the Chronicle Chamber website and they put us in contact with Gary Horne, this bloke is the foremost expert on Phantom Rings in Australia and confirmed that it's a mid-1950s Phantom Ring with a value of up to $100.00.

Another interesting find we had at #thesecretspot, we hit a target dug it up, was a copper button, we filled the hole in and Damien went over the same hole and his detector was still going off so we dug hole out again and about 3 inches down further from where we found the first button and laying horizontal was an old badly rotten partial shirt with buttons still done up, would have to say we had some interesting Facebook comments asking if anything was inside the shirt which we said definitely not, but we did kind of get that creepy feeling for a while.

At this point Damien, Andrew, Hailey had shown they were becoming more interested in metal detecting and it wasn't just a fad they would become sick off so I said how about we get some badges made up and have them stitched on some shirts, and they loved the idea and from here they come up with the name YOUNG GUNS Metal Detectors.

Our next step was to create our Facebook Page which is a "just for fun” page which is just to show everyone what these kids dig up some weekends, I don't think a lot of people really understand what could be laying buried just a few inches down in their own back yards these kids have found rings, ear rings, pre-decimal coins, decimal coins, tools, WW2 forks and spoons you lose it there's a good chance these kids will find it.

I'd much prefer my kids outside getting absolutely covered in mud or dirt having a ball digging up someone's lost item or looking for relics than be inside clued to the TV or playing computer games,

And to top it off the Young Guns Metal Detectors have just been made junior Ambassadors' of Garrett Australia Metal Detectors for all the hard work they've put into this hobby and I can't thank Warren from NQ Explores and Garrett Australia enough, after watching Warren and his wife on their YouTube channel Damien Andrew and Hailey said if we get into metal detecting we have to get a Garrett I said why they said "dad trust us” so I did, it was there call on which type of detector we bought and we haven't looked back since, everything that has been detected is because of these blokes they know there trade and are true professional's and top role models for all kids. You ask most kids what is a pre-decimal coin they'd have no idea, or how to scope an area to find the best places to metal detect, most kids probably don't even know what PPE stands for because there stuck inside all the time.

I've found with my kids since they've started metal detecting that they don't care if they dug up ring pulls, or rusty nails, or screws or anything that's scrap but when they hit a target and their detector starts singing out it's like the whole world stops to see what it is, and that's the best part because they know "you never know what you might dig up”.

We have called some of our metal detecting spots with the hash tag symbol,

#thesecretspot which stands for, "the secret spot”

this is given to respect the privacy of some places we detect.

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