Looking over what you guys search for in order to get to this page, and looking at the questions that come in to this site, either through our email address (it’s on our about page) or in comment sections, there are a few things that come back to haunt us every so often. Seeing that the need is there, and we are, after all, the “Nice Company” (Snälla Bolaget), we will try and deal with some of your questions the coming days and next week. First up: Precious metals!
What’s a precious metal?
There you have it. To put it in more simple terms, we’re talking about gold, silver and platinum. Those’re the ones that people will regularly carry with them, and that includes going through airport (or seaport) security with.
So what’s the question?
Well, it seems that there’s a lingering belief that airport security metal detectors will not “go off” on these kinds of metals, and that there’s some reason why gold and silver and such will pass through there without a peep. This usually means nothing more than that the line will be held up a little while someone harboring this belief goes back out through the portal in order to remove the jewellery, watch or bullion bar that they have somewhere on their bodies, but in more serious cases, people will actively try to hide precious metals on them in the belief that security or customs will not be able to detect them as they pass through and onto an airplane.
And the answer?
Well, if you’re anything like us, you read papers regularly, online or offline, it doesn’t matter. At some point or other, you’re almost bound to have come across articles about treasure hunters, right? People who roam the globe (or maybe just your neighborhood beach) with a portable metal detector looking for gold coins, jewellery and whatnot else that might have been forgotten, buried by time, or buried by people for that matter. Now… this should really be answer enough (but we know it isn’t, of course).
To be fair, the belief that airport security metal detectors are configured so as to not react to precious metals is a common misconception. There’s no reason to be ashamed of having believed it – you could just take a look at our search terms to see that there are a lot of people thinking the same thing out there.
The fact remains, and we’ve talked about it a little bit on our Airport Security FAQ as well, that airport security metal detectors will detect any metal, be it precious or not. Gold, silver, platinum, whatever your liking, they will all be detected by the metal detector, as the contraption’s name implies. End of story.
Is it possible to fool the metal detector?
Yes it is, and we’ve talked about that here, and a little bit here as well, but the ways that you can do this involves severely limiting the amount of metal and it looks seriously weird when you do it, so there’s no real idea to try it unless you’re a hundred percent sure no one will see you. Granted, distract the security officer, and you might get away with it there, but what about the people in line behind you? In these fanatical times, people will scream blue murder and terrorism at anything that moves funny.
Also, get a lot of practice before you try it for real. It’s kinda hard.
Are you sure the detector will find my hidden stash of gold?
The fact that the metal detector will detect your precious metals is undeniable, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to get it through the checkpoint – there’s just a need to think outside the box, so to speak, or in the case of airport security and their love of little boxes to put things in – think inside the box. We’ll get back to how you can disguise and hide your items when going through the airport security checkpoint in the coming days. Stay tuned.