Permission to detect at a Mansion

On this video I take a look for some spots to go metal detecting in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, detecting in city parks isn’t allowed in Amsterdam so I had to find somewhere else if I wanted to do some treasure hunting.

Metal Detecting Amsterdam

I used Google maps on satellite view to locate some areas where I could go metal detecting, but I only had a bike to get there so I needed to find somewhere close. The closest area I could see was at least a fifteen-minute ride so bringing a shovel was not an option for a ride that far, but it wasn’t going to stop me going.

My bike ride from the city to the nearest farms
My bike ride from the city to the nearest farms

I knew the areas north of the city was all reclaimed land so I ruled heading north out. The other option was to follow the city’s historic Amstel River down to the farming areas on its banks in the south. This seemed like a good idea, the Amstel has long been a trade route and people have been farming along its banks for centuries. I could see on the maps there were plenty of farms there too so I had a good chance to get permission on at least one of them. It was time to get packing and hit the road.

It was a beautiful day or a ‘helemooie dag’ as they say in Dutch so I couldn’t wait to get out detecting. In case you have never been to Amsterdam, riding a bike in the city is not easy, it’s actually chaos on two wheels. I’d been there for a while so I knew how to get around but filming and carrying my gear while riding was pushing the limits.

A view of the Amstel River
A view of the Amstel River- a great place to go metal detecting in Amsterdam.

It took a little while to get out to the farming area and when I did it was time to start knocking on some doors to ask permission to do some detecting. Sometimes finding the owners house is difficult so my strategy is to knock on every door and if they don’t turn out to be the owner I just ask where I can find them.

With permissions the worst thing anyone can say is ‘no!’ so I don’t mind knocking on doors. Most of the time I find farmers to be pretty easygoing people, my advice is to leave the shovel and equipment behind when you knock. I usually introduce myself and shake their hands to build some rapport before going into my spiel.

Today I was having no luck though, I kept getting no for an answer which meant I had to keep riding to the next place. It was getting tiring and I’d been riding for a while down one side of the river and with no luck so I decided to try my luck on the other side. I turned back and headed over the bridge to what seemed like the more fancy side of the Amstel River.

On this side there were mansions everywhere, again I don’t care how expensive the house looks, I just knock or buzz at the gate anyway. If you don’t ask you don’t get right! Well as persistence would have it I met a really nice guy who owned a massive mansion right on the river Amstel. This place was from the 17th century and only wealthy people could afford to live in a place this big so I hoped for some expensive finds.

A collection of artefacts found on the property

We got talking and the owner said his gardeners have found some artefacts around the property. He took me inside and showed me the display cabinet where he kept all the artefacts. Seeing all the old objects got me buzzing with excitement and I couldn’t wait to get digging. In the cabinet there was broken pottery, old buckles and coins and just everything you want to see to indicate a good site to go metal detecting.

The owner was just as excited to see what I could find so he gave me free reign on his property. This guy was a legend, his grass was so immaculate it looked like carpet and he didn’t care about me digging at all! I knew my pinpointing had to be spot on so I didn’t ruin his lawn by digging any large and messy holes. I couldn’t bring my shovel on the bike so was just using a digging knife so I knew my holes would be pretty neat. I wanted to be very neat so that he might let me come back sometime.

I liked the look of a thin grass strip along the side of the house so I worked my way along there first. At the end I got a nice sweet signal that I dug and when I popped out the target it looked like a gold coin. I was hyperventilating with adrenalin but as I cleaned off the dirt I could see it was a modern coin from the 90’s- nice try!

I thought this was a gold coin until I saw the date.

One of the gardeners came over for a chat and said the original house was going to be built on the grassy area nearby. He pointed out the moat had been dug all the way around the grass area so it was like an island but for some reason they never built there. It was a chicken area now so I wandered over to say hi to the chickens and see if they were hiding any golden eggs but the area was totally silent apart from one button.

By this stage I was getting a little bit frustrated with my metal detector, I was using the Minelab CTX 3030 and it was giving a lot of false signals. As I went along the CTX was just getting more and more erratic and soon after it was going absolutely crazy. I tried adjusting the sensitivity, switching on seawater option and editing the settings to get it under control but nothing helped. The detector just wasn’t right and the sounds it was making were driving me bonkers so in the end I had to call it a day. You can watch the full video here:

I was devastated to end the hunt as there was so much more area to cover and I knew there would have been plenty of finds to be made. I found a few bits and pieces, which I left at the door for the owner, as he wasn’t in when I left. I thought he might want to add them to his collection.

I’ve sent the CTX 3030 in for repair and have since left the Netherlands so I never did get the chance to go back metal detecting on this site. Hopefully I will and if I do I’ll keep you posted on how I go. But I guess the moral to this story (if there is one) is that the squeaky wheel get’s the oil- if you ever see an area or farm or even a mansion that you want to go metal detecting on, then go ask and don’t leave wondering what you might have found.

Anything could be anywhere!



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