My Favorite Metal Detecting Story

James Hyatt 3 Years oldNow I know this happened some time ago, and it’s not breaking news but it is however one of my favorite metal detecting stories. I haven’t included it in the news section as it is an older story. I do love it though, because my boy is nearly at that age where he will be able to come with me into the fields, and onto the beaches to “treasure hunt” awww the perfect father & son time.

James Hyatt, 3 years old defined the term “beginners luck” when he struck gold. Just minutes into using his very first metal detector, he found a gold locket. This gold locket was said to be potentially worth any where between 2.5 and 4 million pounds.

He had only just been passed the metal detector, when it began to buzz in Hockley, Essex.

The gold locket was a religious container used to hold religious relics, and was dated to the early 16th century. The Henry the VIII era, and the locket could have quite possibly belonged to one of the royal family.

The religious gold locket was declared treasure trove at an inquest by the coroner, and the money will be shared between James and his family and the land owner.

James’s father told newspapers that his son is one of the luckiest people ever. “He’s the kind of kid that goes to the doctors, searches down the side of a sofa and pulls out a tenner”

James was on a family metal detecting trip with his father, and grandfather when he asked if he could use the metal detector.

His dad, a web designer from Essex said “James was so excited, when the detector beeped, and even more excited when he realized he had found treasure” Dad was even more excited!

James told newspapers that he was holding the detector and it went “beep, beep, beep” Then they dug in the mud. He said “we didn’t even have a treasure map, only Pirates have them”

James Hyatt TreasureThe gold locket is about an inch square and is 73 percent gold.

It is engraved with an image of the Virgin Mary on the front, and on the back has 5 bleeding hearts engraved.

There was much speculation that the relic could be worth millions but in actual fact, was acquired by the British museum for £70,000 and split between James and the landowner. The locket is on display in the British Museum’s Medieval Europe Gallery.

I have tried to look a little further into why there was so much speculation about the locket being potentially worth millions, and then only actually selling for thousands, but the information is very vague. Is this another case of the BM valuing finds far below there value? I’m not sure, but never the less it is still an amazing story and an incredible find. Well done James for discovering such an important rare piece of history!


I’m one of the founders of this blog. A 32 yr old from Lincolnshire & proud father of 3 beautiful children. My first metal detector was a garret ace 150 but I am currently using the Garrett ace 400i. My best find was a roman coin. Feel free to ask me any questions.

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