Before you leave the house excitedly with your new metal detector, please do a couple of things. One of them is please check the link below to the P. A. S. This is the Portable Antiquities Scheme. This information is relevant to the UK but it might be semi relevant to other people around the world as I am sure there are similar schemes so please check that out.


Guide for Metal Detectorists

In the link below is important information as to what you need to do if you find anything that has historical interest or come under the Treasure Act, or what you need to do if you find human remains, or what to do if you find something of archaeological significance or historical significance. Also, There is plenty of really good advice concerning metal detecting so please go check it out.

While you are there, have a good look at what a PAS is all about, learn how it builds up our historical knowledge and local historical understanding which can be very rewarding. Unless your find comes under Treasure Act It is voluntary to register your finds but I recommend you do it.

The other important thing any responsible detectorist should do is contact his FLO, (Finds Liaison Officer) you can find your local FLO and contact details within the PAS website. Put their contact number into your phone, because you never know what you’re going to find when you’re out metal detecting and will need to contact them if you find treasure!


In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, all finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins from the same finds, over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report such items under the Treasure Act 1996. Prehistoric base-metal assemblages found after 1st January 2003 also qualify as Treasure.

Finders of potential Treasure in England and Wales should contact their regional Finds Liaison Officers for help in reporting Treasure and for further advice. By law, finds of potential Treasure must be reported to the Coroner in whose district they were found within 14 days of discovery. Queries about Treasure finds from England should be directed to and queries about finds from Wales should be directed to

The Treasure Act 1996 does not apply in Scotland or the Isle of Man, and the Portable Antiquities Scheme does not operate there.


For the current government advice on searching for archaeological finds (with a metal-detector, field-walking or mudlarking) in England during COVID-19 please see: