Reference to some of the very first Metal Detectors in South Africa can be found in the Treasure Talk Magazine Vol 1 No 1 dated Nov/Dec ’86 as well as some of the earlier editions that followed which make for some interesting facts regarding the history of metal detecting in South Africa. These were underground metal detectors and underwater metal detectors like the Garrett Master Hunter 7 Advanced Detecting System (ADS), Garrett Freedom ACE Coin Commander, Garrett Sea Hunter XL200 Plus, Minelab Sovereign XS2, Fisher 1280 Aquanaut, Fisher 1212X, Fisher CZ-20 Quicksilver, C-Scope 4XZ and Whites Surfmaster II. This was soon followed by Minelab metal detectors in the mid 80’s. With its innovative technology, Minelab was soon recognised as the World Leader in Metal Detection Technology. Then later followed Teknetics gold detectors and Teknetics treasure detectors, Nokta gold detectors and Nokta treasure detectors, Nokta Makro gold detectors and Nokta Makro treasure detectors, XP Deus gold detectors and XP Deus treasure detectors, XP ORX gold detectors and XP ORX treasure detectors.
In the Treasure Talk Magazine Vol 1 No 1, dated Nov/Dec ’86, mention is also made of some of the very first Metal Detector Dealers in South Africa. Eric Beaton, of Deco Electronics, was the Importer and Distributor of Garrett Metal Detectors. At the time, Eric was also the publisher of the Treasure Talk Magazine. Of importance is also the fact that Lukas van der Merwe of Treasure Hunter Metal Detector Supplies, was one of the Garrett Dealers. Lukas, together with his two brothers, would also feature in an article in this first issue of Treasure Talk. Lukas would through the years become the most dedicated individual to the Metal Detecting Hobby and the South African History. He would also be the first importer of Fisher Metal Detectors, distributed by his company Excalibur Mining Supplies. Lukas is also the current Editor of the Treasure Hunters Magazine. It did not come as a surprise, when soon the Detecting community dubbed Lukas van the Merwe the “General” of Metal Detecting in South Africa. A title well deserved and carried with pride!
The history is not always clear and a work in progress to complete the story. But in short; Doculam would later become the Garrett Distributor, Wolfgang Roux of Detectors 4 Africa would become the Fisher Distributor, in 2008, Wolfgang would also become a Dealer for Minelab, also try his hands at Teknetics, White’s, and visited the shores of Turkey to give Nokta and Nokta Makro a chance in South Africa. Though Nokta and Nokta Makro did well due to the affordable price of for instance the Nokta Makro Simplex and Nokta Makro Gold Kruzer, it could not, as for all the other brands, stand up against the technology of the Minelab Brand. Henry Clapton of Treasure Quest Treasures would also join the elite of metal detector dealers, offering brands like Bounty Hunter, Fisher, Garret, Nokta Makro, Nokta Simplex, Quest, Cobra, White’s, Tesoro, Teknetics etc. Since 2005, Astro Automation were also involved with Minelab and supplied mainly the Artisanal Gold Market.
Until 2008, the growth in the metal detecting market in South Africa was quite slow but gained momentum when Reivilo Technologies trading as Minelab South Africa, was approached by Minelab International to also become involved in the Minelab Consumer market for metal detectors, which would include the gold detectors and treasure detectors. Since 2009 Minelab South Africa have invested considerable in time, effort, and capital to build the metal detector market for gold detector and treasure detectors. Considerable capital investment, never seen before in Africa, went into marketing material, exhibitions, TV & printed media, diving excursions, sponsorship and donations and working with law enforcement agencies like the SA Police Services forensics division and wildlife crime investigation structures. Most of all metal detectors currently in use in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent for Rhino and other wildlife poaching investigations, are Minelab Metal Detectors. Many of them donated to these organisations by Minelab South Africa. Other brands soon started to capitalise on the market interest that was created by Minelab South Africa, and others joined in. This include but is not limited to Garret gold detectors and Garrett treasure detectors, Teknetics gold detectors and Teknetics treasure detectors, Nokta gold detectors and Nokta treasure detectors, Nokta Makro gold detectors and Nokta Makro treasure detectors, XP Deus gold detectors and XP Deus treasure detectors, XP ORX gold detectors and XP ORX treasure detectors. Today the undisputed fact is that most of all metal detectors in South Africa for treasure hunting are Minelab Metal Detectors. This includes Minelab CTX-3030, Minelab E-Trac, Minelab Safari, Minelab X-Terra, Minelab Equinox, Minelab Vanquish, Minelab Go-Find, Minelab Excalibur. Even Minelab Detectors like the Minelab Sovereign are still doing duty. It is also known that 99% of all Gold Detectors on the African Continent are Minelab Gold Detectors. Specifically, the Minelab GPZ-7000, Minelab GPX-4500, Minelab GPX-5000, Minelab SDC-2300, Minelab GPX-6000, Minelab Gold Monster 1000 as well as the older Minelab Eureka Gold and Minelab X-Terra 705 Gold Pack. Even the Minelab GP 3000 and some Minelab SD Gold Detectors are still finding their owners lots of Gold Nuggets.
OKM Treasure Detectors and Gold Detectors as well as AKS Treasure Detectors and Gold Detectors as well as UIG, GER DETECT, TITAN and a few more also offering Long-Range Locators or Long-Range Detectors, are also doing the round, but buyers beware! The following paragraphs explain why.
Various Long-Range Detectors or Long-Range Locators, mainly from the East, include Treasure Detectors, Gold Detectors, Long Range Gold Detectors, Long Range Diamond Detectors, Long Range Gemstone Detectors. Some claim to be of German origin, but this is just another trick to try and fool the uninformed. A lot can be said about some of these long-range detectors. The fact is that all these products cannot do what their makers claim it can do. Some of these manufacturers and distributors profit from the believe, and in many instances from the desperation, of the uninformed, hoping desperately that it will bring them instant wealth. For instance, claims made by various Long Range Gold Detectors, Long Range Diamond Detectors and Long-Range Gemstone Detectors are hard to believe as no science can support these claims. This is generally referred to as Pseudo-Science and with the least of effort you can confirm this for yourself. Here are just a few examples of what is said about these Long-Range Gold Detectors, Long Range Diamond Detectors and for that matter ANY Long-Range Detector claiming to be able to detect gold or detect treasures over distances of 2 or more kilometers and as deep as 50-meters. And in the first instance, a Diamond cannot be detected underground!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-range_locator “A long-range locator is a class of fraudulent devices purported to be a type of metal detector, supposedly able to detect a variety of substances, including gold, drugs and explosives; most are said to operate on a principle of resonance with the material being detected”. Follow the link for more.
https://raregoldnuggets.com/?p=5095 “Long Range Metal Detectors are FAKE – Buyer Beware! Many treasurer hunters (especially beginners) have considered a long-range metal detector for searching for a large cache of treasures buried deep in the ground. The devices are “designed” to find a wide range of items such as treasures, metallic minerals, and even lost coils deep into the soil. Treasure hunters who have used these detectors have found out that they simply don’t work. This has caused a lot of complaints online in the past. If you have never used long range metal detectors and you have considered buying one, then keep reading this article. We lay bare the facts for you to understand why buying one is just a waste of time and your hard-earned cash.” Follow the link for more.
So, do Long Range Metal Detectors Really Work? NO! Long Range Metal Detectors do not work! Over and Out! They are just one of many long-range locators – all of which are pseudoscientific hoaxes. Any piece of equipment that claims to be able to use resonant frequencies to find objects deep underground or far away, is most likely to be fake.
Then there are the counterfeiters trying their utmost to replicate the genuine Minelab metal detector products. You will also find various imitations of the Minelab Metal Detectors trying to fool the unexpected buyer. Just another fact that proofs that Minelab is indeed the World Leader because it is always the market leader that is targeted by counterfeiters and imitators!
Various 3-D Underground Detectors for applications like Gold Reef Detecting, Cavity Detection and Water Detection are also widely advertised. However, 3-D Detectors do work, but not in the normal application for treasure hunters and gold nugget hunters. A 3-D Detector will not find you that single rare coin or gold nugget. And this goes for Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) too. These devices are able so indicate large anomalies underground to identify large objects, cavities, and differences in underground density.
As far as devices and the history of metal detecting in South Africa are concerned, herewith a more comprehensive list of Metal Detectors that have visited (or tried to visit) the South African shores since the early 70’s: