White's Metal Detectors: Splendor in the Grass

Shop Talk by Kitty Kaufman

Ah, the search goes on for the fountain of youth, why good fences make good neighbors, and broadly, for any signs of intelligent life in the universe. Closer to home it turns out that if you've got prospecting dreams, there could be gold in the hills and cache in the sands if you just have the right tools.

A treasure of a shop, White's Metal Detectors sells state of the art gear to fuel the "you never know what you'll find" spirit. These light (under three pounds), metal detectors use display technology that shows what's buried beneath your feet. You set filters for sensitivity, depth, coins, or jewelry and the detector does the rest with visual or audio signals. It can distinguish between the tiniest rings and trash like nails and bottle caps.

If you grew up near the water you've seen beachcombers with headphones and metal detecting gear. Fields, parks, campgrounds, beaches, fishing holes, and under the boardwalk are all hot spots for combers.

Treasure hunting is a calling.Michael White, president and owner of White's Metal Detectors, readily acknowledges. He's found buckles, bullets, shields, coins and jewelry. The shop stocks an impressive selection of books on gold nuggets and Civil War relics, and how to search ghost towns, shipwrecks, maritime disasters, scuba sites, and my favorite: the Pirates Who's Who.

Customers write testimonials of what they find with the equipment they're using. They're all collected in White's magazine: Dreams Come True. I read about collectors finding civil war shirt buttons in Georgia, a coin from 1748 in Pennsylvania, pieces of meteorite in Colorado, and jewelry in Oahu. White himself has a display of jewelry, along with rare state trooper badges, that he and his father found over the years. None of it is for sale. "Most collectors don't sell their finds," White told me. "The thrill is in the search." From a recent trip up north he showed me a US two-cent piece from 1865. It was pretty exciting and as White said, "When somebody dropped this, it was during the Civil War."

White's business is multi-faceted. Hobby hunters can rent one of his inexpensive detectors for /day. He sells stereo headphones, diggers, sand scoopers, target probes, and high-end detectors to experienced hunters. Venues like TD North and the Tweeter Center rent security walk-through scanners and personal search detectors. As the New England distributor for White's (no relation), he sets up new dealers. And plumbers and contractors find his industrial gear useful for locating property stake pipes, valves, sprinkler heads, shallow pipes and cables. White's Metal Detectors website

© July 21, 2004 for The City Shopper
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