Minelab Americas Events

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First Public Montpelier Detecting Certificate Expedition

The first Montpelier Archaeology Detecting Certificate expedition open to the public kicks off at James Madison’s Montpelier in Virginia in the USA this week on March 10 through the 16th, 2013. The certificate team of 9 detectorists and more than 7 archaeologists will work together to learn how to properly  discover, mark, and report historical finds and to use other techniques of properly recording historical finds. Two additional public detectorist expeditions are planned for later this year in March and early April.

Learn more about the Montpelier Archaeology Programs here.

MACP Team - March 2013

MACP Team – March 2013

National Metal Detecting Day – May 18th, 2013!

National Metal Detecting Day is coming up on May 18th, 2013! In support of our great pastime, Minelab and various other metal detecting community groups are sponsoring “Go Minelabbing” events in 4 cities: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Santa Barbara, California, Atlantic City, New Jersey and Toronto, Ontario, Canada!

Minelabbing is all about embracing the principles of what makes our hobby so great, coupled with the ethics for doing it responsibly. Choose from any of our four event cities to enjoy a day of fun and superb detecting in search of gold, silver and surprises!

There will be plenty of fun for both adults and kids – with multiple hunts and challenges along with the chance to WIN som amazing Minelab detectors and prizes!

Register at www.gominelabbing.com or call: 630-401-8150 or toll-free at 888-949-6522.

Stay tuned for the latest updates on NMDD 2013 through Facebook and Twitter – see you there!


Minelab’s Halloween Costume Contest

Snap a photo with you and your Minelab detector in costume & share your picture for a chance to win a Minelab goodie bag! The photo with the most “votes” by November 5th wins. Happy Halloween!

Official Rules:

No purchase necessary. Must be 18 or older to enter. Employees of Minelab are not eligible to win. Photo with the most votes by November 5th will win a Minelab Goodie Bag. This promotion is in no way ndorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Minelab and not to Facebook. No purchase is necessary to enter or claim prize. Data collected will not be sold to any third party. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. Minelab reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend this contest or any portion hereof, or to disqualify any individual who tampers with the contest.


Cabela’s Fall “Great Outdoor Days” Expo with ChicagoRon

Join us Saturday, August 18th when Cabela’s kicks off the Fall Great Outdoor Days Expo. One of Minelab’s most talented experts, ChicagoRon, will be a featured guest speaker for the Saturday Seminar at 10:00am. ChicagoRon will discuss beach hunting for gold and silver jewelry, as well as his experience nugget hunting in Alaska. Q&A will follow afterwards so be sure to stop by in time!

Cabela’s Hoffman Estates, Illinois Retail Store is located at Prairie Stone Business Park in the northwest metro area of Chicago near I-90 and Route 59. The 185,000-square-foot retail showroom is an educational and entertainment attraction, featuring a décor of museum-quality animal displays, huge aquariums and trophy animals interacting in realistic re-creations of their natural habitats. It will be a fun event for the entire family!

Thunder Run Fundraiser to Fight Diabetes

Join us on June 30, 2012 for a fun day with a kids’ metal detecting hunt and Minelab raffle – all to help raise money to fight type 1 diabetes.


June 30, 2012

Worth-Harley Davidson North
9400 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64153

Registration: 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Thunder Run: 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Silent Auction: Starts at 4:30 p.m.
Concert Starts: 5:00 p.m.

Cost: $25.00 per rider or passenger

Pre-registration includes: T-shirt, 1 raffle ticket for a custom bike paint job and 1 raffle ticket for a 2012 Dyna Switchback bike
The 5th Annual Thunder Run, motorcycle rally to raise money for JDRF. Mark your calendar for June 30, 2012, and get ready to make some noise!

Find out more here!

National Metal Detecting Day Updates – Indiana Dunes

We’re excited to see you on May 19th! Please see the below for updates and make sure to plan your travel accordingly due to the NATO summit in Chicago.

Tickets for admission:

If you have not received a hard ticket via USPS, if you have it available, please bring a copy of your PayPal receipt. If you have paid your admission for you and your guests in full, you will be on the registration lists at the entry of the event. Please note, if you are planning on or know of anyone that is considering coming, we strongly encourage you to register before May 17th at 8am CST as our online registration will be closed at that time. Due to the number of registrants, walk up registrants may not be able to participate in the hunts. Registrations may be completed at www.gominelabbing.com


The NATO summit is being held in the City of Chicago over the weekend. Due to the events and extra security precautions, many routes in and around the city will be closed, delayed, or detoured. For those of you coming from the Chicagoland area, we encourage you to plan alternative routes and allow yourself adequate time to arrive at the event.   We’ve been informed that the Dan Ryan may be periodically closed and may be subject to random vehicle inspections. We suggest that you considering using I294 as an alternate route as in the example in this link: http://g.co/maps/rw2su

This link has a list of routes that are expected to be affected: From the City of Chicago  http://bit.ly/JeeYgP   and from a Secret Service Press Release:  http://bit.ly/SecretServiceChicagoRoads

We want to wish everyone safe travels and we look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday-it is going to be a great event!

National Metal Detecting Day is Coming!

May 19th is National Metal Detecting Day. In support of this and our great pastime, Minelab and various metal detector community groups are sponsoring “Go Minelabbing” events in 6 cities in the US, México, and Canada. Minelab will be hosting fun and interactive games, hunts, and prize giveaways throughout the day in each location. These family-fun events are designed to bring the passionate metal detecting communities together in one place, for one reason: the love of the hobby.

With over $25,000 in prizes and giveaways, including the grand prize of the GPX 5000, Minelab will also give each registrant a Goodie Bag, Minelab Hat, Raffle & Drawing Entry, Lunch & Dinner, a $25 Minelab Gift Certificate and a fun day detecting with friends, new and old. Visit GoMinelabbing.com to register now for National Metal Detecting day on May 19th, space is filling up fast!

***UPDATE*** Mexico registration is already full - Register now for one of our other locations as space is limited!

What? National Metal Detecting Day!

When? May 19, 2012 – times vary in each city. Visit GoMinelabbing.com to register & learn more!

Where? Atlantic City, NJ – Anaheim, CA – Chicago (Indiana Dunes), IN – Orlando, FL – Cancun, Mexico – Toronto, Canada

Who? Minelab, metal detecting communities and groups, fans, families, and anyone who loves our passionate hobby!

Why? Because we love metal detecting and the community that supports this pastime!

An Interview with Lance Crosby at Montpelier

What made you get into metal detecting and eventually fall in love with it?

Well I was 7 and my dad took me out to a firing range from the Civil War in northern Virginia. I think we found about 800 bullets on the first day. We had to hike about 3 miles to get there so the hike back was a bit heavier. We ended up with about 2,800 bullets and it just went from there. I really didn’t get into it seriously until I was about 16 and could drive and find camps and battlefields. It always had a draw to me. It was the Civil War altogether. The more you find, the more you get into the history of it. My dad actually built a detector back into the ‘60s. I’ve tried all brands of detectors and now I use Minelab. You can’t hold a candle to Minelab–they have the technology to penetrate our red clay soil out here. I think every machine can be used to its best ability and full potential as a tool and you should have an everyday machine mastered at the very least.

What has been your most interesting or valuable find over the years?

Everything is. I’ve never sold anything. A bullet can mean something totally different depending on where you are and it just depends.. I’m passionate about buttons. Before I moved to Orange, Virginia I think I had 12 confederate buttons. I moved here in 1999 and now have over 150 confederate buttons not including the ones from Montpelier.

What are your thoughts on the MACP program? Is this the first step towards a new relationship between archaeologists and detectorists?

I hope so. As long as archaeologists understand that they don’t need to transform a metal detectorist into an archaeologist and as long as we’re on the same playing field and understand we both have our own expertise. We need to understand how to conserve, preserve, and work together and we’ll be fine. We need a common understanding of what needs to be done. Archaeologists do so much detail work on their craft and with their schooling and knowledge of the field it’s too much for either of us to do both. But we can’t do it without each other. we understand that now and kind of have a marriage that works.

Have you seen other historical sites use a metal detectorist on their staff?

I don’t know of any on staff. I know other archaeologists use metal detectors for certain projects but I don’t think they use them consistently. I know here at Montpelier, Matt Reeves (the Director of Archaeology) bought some detectors for the archaeologists to use but that was not efficient enough. Why pull the archaeologists out of the field to do metal detecting work when they’re not used to it? It can take them months to learn the machine and techniques so it just didn’t seem logical.

What’s most interesting to you about Montpelier and being at this place?

It goes from Indian artifacts to the Civil War to the DuPont’s living here which sheds light on how the elite lived even through the Great Depression. It’s a mix of everything. Knowing we are where the constitution was written, it’s just a beautiful place. You know, you feel it, there’s something about the land here. Plus the government doesn’t own it. We’re all constantly learning out here, it’s like a big family.

Can you talk a little bit more about how you define the word “valuable?”

It’s all about what’s valuable to you personally. There have been times when I’ve dug bullets out of an area that’s already been dug to death and there’s no story there. Here you can see where and when it’s coming out of the ground. The story is in the ground. You’re basically recovering it and re-telling it. I tell Matt: every nail and every bullet is like a sentence. The more sentences you put together, the more the story gets to be told.

Kira Runkle, an archaeology intern here had described it as “turning back the pages of a book,” it really seems like everyone has the same goals in mind.

You have to understand that there’s a lot more than just metal in the ground. It can lead you to so much more. That’s where the detectorist needs to learn how to dig properly and dig responsibly. I don’t do any digging here, I’ll work with the archaeologists on excavating, but if you just go in and dig you lose so much of it–the seeds, the mouse vertebrae… the sentences, the tiny things you need to finish the story.

My Week in Montpelier

Treasure Talk contributor David Shackleton recounts his experience at Montpelier in his recent post: “A Week Worth Remembering.”

To summarize, here are some of Shackleton’s key takeaways from his experience as a bystander at the Minelab Archaeological Certification Program:

  • Archaeologists and Metal Dectectorists realized they have key interests in common: A love of history, research, a commitment to recover and preserve artifacts, and a desire to share their stories
  • Minelab technology proved to save time, money, and resources by helping Archaeologists uncover history quickly and accurately
  • Participants learned how to survey grids, mark and plot hits on a map, locate key patterns, dig less-intrusive test holes, and clean and preserve artifacts

The Minelab Archaeological Certification Program wrapped up last week (March 17, 2012) and was deemed a “huge success” by both the participating Montpelier Archaeology team and hand-selected Minelab dealers and retailers who participated. Check out the full story at Minelab.com.


It’s Shovels to Trowels

“From what I see, archaeologists and detectorists are from virtually the same backgrounds. We all have niche interests and events in history that we are extremely passionate about. The only thing that seems to separate us is the amount of reporting we do.” Justin Herbst, Archaeology Intern at Montpelier says. “I could definitely see myself working with them in the future, I think these guys are awesome.”


Justin Herbst & Gerry McMullen looking at nails in the lab

The week is winding down and everyone has seemed to get into a sort of routine here at Montpelier—wake up at dawn, scramble to eat breakfast and make it to the archaeology lab for a lecture with Matt Reeves, head out onto the grounds with Minelab, clipboards, and tools in hand. It feels like a family—it feels like we’ve all known each other for years. From the barbecue lunches to the porch beers at night, this group of very different, yet very similar people seem to have a limitless list of conversation topics. The crazy part is, everyone can actually relate. Whether the interests revolve around Civil War artifacts or Native American reservations, everyone seems to have a passion for history and what lies below the ground. The difference, as Herbst puts it is “shovels to trowels.”

As we finished up some surveying in the woods, Matt Reeves spoke about the consistency and method to what we were all collectively doing. The goal, he noted, was to get consistent data mapped out on the grid with counts of the hits from the detectorists. Those hits will in turn help the archaeologists determine which areas on the GPS-gridded map have the highest concentration of hits, and thus interest. By utilizing metal detectors as a surveying tool, the result is a highly reliable map of key areas in a fraction of the time and with a lot less energy.Image

Tim Garton & Cat Evans working together in the woods

One might wonder: how on earth would archaeologists normally go about an excavation without metal detectors? Kira Runkle, an Archaeologist at Montpelier explained: “Well you have to start with the topography of the land. You look for the dips in hills, the sources of water—you build a picture of what makes sense. Then you would conduct a test dig to look at the layers of soil and go from there.” As much work as it sounds, detectorists approach excavations in a similar way. Gerry McMullen noted that he often took his knowledge of history and the outdoors to decide where to begin: “I look for the sunny side of the hill and start near the top. I make a good guess and go from there.”

With so much combined expertise at this high of a level, the excavation process at Montpelier has been extremely successful thus far. “We really are all learning from each other. To have people come out with this much knowledge and decades of experience is really awesome,” adds Runkle. As we head into day five, it has become even more apparent that combined knowledge truly is a powerful thing.

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