Reporter Zoe Kleinman finds out how much money the metal detector business is worth:
it's an industry that's proving fruitful for the manufacturers of their tools. One of the big brands, Minelab, reported revenue of $70m in 2012 from sales in its three core divisions - consumer metal detectors, equipment for small scale gold miners, and countermining - or the hunt for unexploded IEDs. [...] "The consumer business covers primarily hobbyist metal detecting. Historically people would have termed it a first world activity - America, Western Europe, Australia," says regional sales manager Vincent O'Brien. "We're now seeing growth in new territories - Russia is a big market for us, Eastern Europe, Latin and South America."Artefact hunting on archaeological sites is illegal the Federation of Russia and most of Eastern Europe. If that is what Minelab are selling them for, they are supplying an illegal activity. But making part of their $70mln annually from it. If only a miniscule segment of that money is made from artefact hunters buying new equipment, that is still a huge amount of destruction of archaeological evidence by these people.
Zoe Kleinman, ' Meet the metal detectorists saving marriages', BBC 31 October 2014