She’s Kind of a Big Deal
If you are one of the four hundred people on this planet of seven billion that has taken the time to visit the site and read my articles then you know what’s coming up. It’s time for a chat with a star. She probably is much to humble to think of herself as a star, but she was on the cover of searcher magazine, knows a lot of the folks in the metal detecting industry, and has blazed the trail as one of the pioneers of the “detectorista” side of things. I’m pleased to present to you my readers this article where the Detecting Diva answers interview questions for Capn’ Jeff.
I want to go ahead and list her website here up top to make sure you see it in case you try to run off too soon, but why would you do that? She is over at the Detecting Diva, a lovely site with plenty of stories, knowledge, and information for anyone involved in the hobby. She has a much better site than mine, and I look to her site and a few others as inspiration of what this site can become. I just need to figure out how she finds all those good items for starters lol. I promise I won’t keep you folks following me through pull tabs and nails forever.
Can you give a brief introduction of who you are, where you’re from, and how long you have been metal detecting?
My name is Allyson Cohen, a.k.a. Detecting Diva or as my detecting buddies call me “The Diva”. I’m from Danbury, CT, but I currently live in Berlin, CT, and I’ve been metal detecting about 10 years.
How did you get started in metal detecting?
I was always fascinated when I would see folks out at the beach with their metal detectors, and thought, Gee, I would like to do that, but I never acted on it. One day I got an advertisement in the mail from White’s, and finally decided to buy a machine. I told my Dad about it, and he said he had always wanted to try it, and bought one too. Once I found my first coin, I was hooked, and its been my obsession ever since.
What equipment do you use, and what extra items do you take when you go out hunting?
I started out with a White’s Prizm, moved on to a Minelab Explorer SE, and then finally settled on the the Minelab E-trac, which I have been using for the past 6 years.
I use Detector Pro Rattler headphones, a Sampson T-handled shove, Lesche Digger, Deteknix Pin pointer, Mechanix gloves, a variety of finds pouches, and of course on of my infamous cadet hats.
I always have water, a protein bar and extra batteries with me, and depending how far away I’m traveling, I may bring an extra machine, pin pointer, and shovels, in case mine get lost or break down in the field, and on occasion, I have lent these items out to grateful folks who have lost an item or whose machines have malfunctioned.
What are some of the best finds you have made over the years?
That’s really hard to say, because I’ve found so many neat things, but this past weekend I found my first Hard Times token, and that I would consider one of the best, but only because it took this long to find one, so it has a sentimental value to me now.
My best coin find was a rare variety 1786 CT Copper, Scholars Head, in excellent dug condition, and one of my personal favorites was a Civil War Company B hat badge I found in Virginia.
What is the strangest thing you have ever found?
I found a cast iron grill buried on the side of a mountain in Massachusetts. It was difficult to carry it down along with all my gear, but it now resides in my garden.
What are some tips you can give to those of us just starting out and what are some things you wish you had known then that you know now?
Stick to one machine. This is one thing any successful detectorist knows. Learn your machine inside and out. It will become an extension of you, and the longer you use it and get to know it, the more great stuff you will find.
Folks keep buying new machines, thinking the latest and greatest will surely produce better finds, or give them the edge, but that’s basically BS. What really gives you the edge and makes you successful is knowing your machine.
Patience is key. If you don’t have patience, you won’t last long in this hobby.
Get and use a pin pointer. It was maddening in the beginning searching for targets in a pile of dirt that you knew were there, but just couldn’t see.
Research. You can’t find the good stuff unless you find the good sites.
T-handle shovels are a must. They make digging easier, and leave a cleaner, neater plug. Don’t show up to a hunt with a huge garden shovel, or any shovel that isn’t a T-handle, you won’t make many friends that way, and no one will want to invite you out detecting with them because they think you’re going to leave a mess behind you.
What books/websites/groups do you recommend as a good place to learn more about the hobby?
Any book by Dick Stout is worth a read, especially for newbies.
I can’t recommend any groups, because they are mostly just folks posting pics of finds.
You can also find a lot of useful info on my website if you search the archives, or if you want to read stories that capture the real side of metal detecting, and any detectorist can relate to.
Can you give us the name of your site again so we can all go out and join/subscribe?
Capn’s Conclusatory Statement:
So I was really excited to put this interview out and glad the Detecting Diva took time to do it with me. I’m pretty sure that is as far up the fame chain as I go…….I did get a picture with Turtle Man once and the time I was too scared to go up and talk to Jeff Hostetler at a Mountaineers game. This one will go at the top of the list for now. I hope you enjoyed the read and were able to get some good metal detecting tips. Once again thanks for tuning in to what happens when a Metal Detecting Diva answers interview questions for Capn’ Jeff.
Remember to check out her site, leave comments about this article, my site in general, or your own adventures in the comments below; and dig the trash to get the treasure.