Lately there’s been much talk on detecting forums about “dodgy” UK detecting holidays for Americans. It’s not new. For decades it’s been widely claimed that finds are “seeded” for customers to “discover” things. “Its pretty much like the big game hunting where caged lions are shot by these guys with plenty of money to spend.”

But the puzzle has been that despite those endless warnings the Americans keep coming – and paying their £2,000 fees, apparently unmoved by talk that their prize finds might have come from EBay. But last week in America there was a possible clue to their mindsets: “The Moonshine Open Treasure Hunt” offered participants the chance, for 90 dollars a day, “to dig up thousands of old silver coins and hundreds of real Civil War bullets that have been buried in a specific area for a timed event.”.

Could it be that they know the risks in Britain but they wear mental blinkers, as what really matters to them are their bragging rights when they get back home?

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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