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How to Hunt for Antique Toys With a Metal Detector (by Daniel Bernzweig)

Whether you played with them yourself, or you simply enjoy the quality and craftsmanship of

years gone past antique toys are a lot of fun! They were simple yet, they fed your imagination

and made for hours and hours of enjoyment. Antique toys are also something you just might be

able find with a metal detector. Here to tell us more about how metal detectors can be used to

unearth long, lost antique toys is Daniel Bernzweig of

Finding antique toys with your metal detector is easy in that most toys made prior to the 1950s

were made of some type of metal. Steel, cast iron, tin, and even lead for a time were all used to

make antique toys throughout our recent history. Wood was also a popular material used for

toy construction during these times, but often, parts like wheel axles, bolts, and other

accessories were made of metal. Given this, these toys are prime targets for today’s metal


Although they’re made of the right material, actually finding antique toys with your metal

detector is much less common than unearthing say, coins, or a piece of jewelry. These other

items were lost much more frequently than toys and by more people. However, if you look in

the right places and do your research you may just surprise yourself! Some ideas to get you

started include current and former parks and schools as well as old homesites.

Once you decide on a site where you have permission to go metal detecting, you’ll want to set

up your machine. A good relic hunting metal detector will help you easily target metal toys.

Remember, some metal toys were quite small, like toy soldiers for example. A medium search

coil will usually be what you want for this type of metal detecting so you can find all the small as

well as the larger toys. Also, a machine with a lower frequency may be particularly helpful in

identifying iron and steel toys. Although not necessary, a pair of metal detecting headphones

are quite useful when hunting antique toys in order to be sure you’re hearing even the deepest


In addition to these items you’ll also want to take a metal detecting shovel with you. These

shovels are compact, lightweight and easy to carry. You may consider a digging knife and a

pinpointing probe to help you zero in on your target as well. While these last two items aren’t

absolutely necessary, they’re helpful when hunting for relics like toys to help prevent you from

damaging the item when digging it up. You can never be sure exactly what’s under that ground

and the more you’re able to determine where you should dig in relation to the target the better

off your find will be in the end.

Now that you’ve got all your equipment and have chosen your destination, you’re ready to head

out and find some antique toys with your metal detector. Keep your ears open and dig all the

targets you can with care. You may just find a tin truck worth upwards of $1,000 or a cast iron

airplane – one of the most rare, and sought after antique metal toys around.


About the author: Daniel Bernzweig manages in Southborough, MA. He has written

on the subject of treasure hunting and metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He enjoys traveling with his

metal detector and helping to educate others in the correct use of metal detectors in their explorations.

Detecting in Belgium

Very Nice Video¡¡¡

AT Pro International and AT Gold used to recover early hammered coins, Roman bronze coins and other finds in plowed fields of Belgium.

Metal detecting in OLD virgin ground

Excellent video…Buen vídeo para pasar el rato… dentro de un par de horas os pongo post de mis Finds¡¡

A local construction project began removing old cement slabs exposing 1800s soil never hunted before!  A bountiful harvest indeed!