Can You Metal Detect in a Cemetery?

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Cory Haasnoot

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There is no right or wrong answer to can you metal detect in a cemetery? In some places of the world you can and in others, it’s prohibited by law. You will find that many people will frown upon a person metal detecting in a cemetery. They will say it is unethical and or immoral to do so.

If it’s legal in your area then it’s up to you depending on if you think metal detecting in a cemetery is within your moral compass. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with the practice of metal detecting in a cemetery as long as you don’t disturb the gravesites themselves.

Get Permission Before Metal Detecting in a Cemetery

Before you start metal detecting in cemeteries I would make sure that you get the church’s permission and make sure that it’s a legal thing to do in your area. And even if it’s legal to do so get permission first! 

If it’s an old cemetery that’s no longer owned by a church, find out who owns the property the graveyard is on and get permission from the owners. Doing this will save you a lot of legal troubles in the long run. You don’t want to get caught with your pants down so to speak! 🙂

How to Find The Owner of a Property

So how do you find the owner of a property? There are a few ways you can go about doing it and a public record search is a good place to start.

 County Tax Assessor’s Office

First, you can try and locate the owner of the property through property tax records. Do a search on Google for county assessor and then include the county in which the property is in. Once you find the website you are looking for you might have to do some searching on the site to find the owners of a certain property.

Keep in mind every county’s website will be different so your search for information will more than likely never be the same on different websites. Knowing the property identification number will make life a lot easier when searching for the owner. The more information you know about the property before you start your search the better.

Title Companies

Title companies are another way you can search public records for the owner of a certain property. Call your local title company and ask for a general FARM (Focused Real Estate Marketing List).

The FARM list will have various information about local properties in the area. Using the information in this form you might be able to find the name and address of a particular property owner.

County Recorder

You can find information from your county’s recorder of records. Go to and include some information. This site will hook you up with the appropriate website.

What Finds Can You Detect For in a Cemetery?

People have been congregating in cemeteries for centuries. In the old days, people would go picnic and have family gatherings at cemeteries. So the best cemeteries to go metal detecting at are ones that are old.

You can detect a number of items at a cemetery. Including antique coins, and jewelry. Where people have been there will be lost items. If you find personalized items like engraved rings or necklaces make sure you make an effort to find the rightful owners before you claim the item for yourself. This is just good ethical metal detecting practice.

Digging Deeper:5 Best Places to Metal Detect For Jewelry

Leave The Cemetery The Way You Found It!


Before you leave the cemetery after a day of metal detecting make sure that you cover up any holes you might have dug. Also, pick up any trash you might have left behind. If you leave the site undisturbed you will have a better chance of being asked to come back again in the future.

A Cemetery is a Sacred Place to Many

Many people will frown at you metal detecting in a cemetery and there are those that consider a cemetery a sacred place. But as long as you have permission and it’s legal I see nothing wrong with metal detecting in a cemetery. Just don’t dig or detect close to the graves themselves.

Detecting along fences and in any congregating areas or roadways and parking lots would be just fine in my opinion. You never know what you might find at a cemetery. I would recommend not detecting at a cemetery when there are people there visiting their deceased loved ones’ graves. Early in the morning or late in the evening are probably the best times to metal detect at a cemetery.

And definitely don’t detect at a cemetery when there is a funeral going on. That is a no no of the highest order! Just use common sense and follow the laws and you will be just fine.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below. Until Next Time Happy Treasure Hunting!

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Author: Cory Haasnoot

Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.

2 thoughts on “Can You Metal Detect in a Cemetery?”

  1. Cory,
    I think I have read almost all your articles about treasure hunting and find them very interesting. It’s something I always wanted to do, lost my job because of Covid, sold the house in Maryland after 33 years and moved to the Delaware beach area! I’m sure there are lots of lost treasure in the area, but I didn’t realize the State Parks only allow metal detectors between the dunes and the beach. I know people occasionally find lost rings & coins along the beach, I guess I was hoping for more . I guess I need to start searching old properties, I’m sure they have some good things to find, not sure how I feel about the old cemeteries, but I know there are lots of old properties around, just wasn’t sure I’d find any real treasures! Any other ideas?
    Marty Schuch

  2. Sorry your information is far away from the Truth .. because for example you talked about the hollow Baptist church cemetery treasure . But when I searched I found nothing about this cemetery.. it don’t exist.. so I would not go through the rest of your treasures stories.. because of the dishonesty in one of them .. which means all are the same !!!?? It just about selling your books and makes money 💰..


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