Over 60 Years in Metal Detecting
1953-1955 - As a soldier in the United States Army stationed in Korea in 1953, Stu Auerbach learned how to operate army mine detectors and became fascinated with the possible civilian uses of metal detectors. After his discharge in 1955, Auerbach purchased surplus military mine detectors and took them to a nearby beach in Miami Florida to see what he might find. As Auerbach later said, "It was a bonanza of coins, rings, jewelry, keys and other metal objects". Stu soon drew crowds of people each time he went to the beach wanting to see what he was finding. When people asked him where they could get a machine like his, Auerbach was quick to sell them others that he had in his car, and a business selling metal Detectors was born that later became Kellyco Metal Detectors, the largest retailer of metal detectors in the world.
1960-1964 - Spanish silver treasure coins were found on a beach in Ft. Pierce Florida by a man using a surplus army mine detector. The "find" led to the discovery of the remains of the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet which generated a huge amount of publicity on national television as well as newspapers and magazines throughout the world. The rush to find treasure had begun. People wanted metal detectors for beach hunting and metal detectors to search in the water. Kellyco was right in the middle of this new search for treasure and word spread that the place to get your metal detector for the beach or in the water was at Kellyco Metal Detectors in Florida.
1969 - Auerbach knew that the sport of metal detecting had the possibility of growing from a small group of dedicated detector users to a world-wide hobby that everybody, men, women and even youngsters could enjoy. Stu wanted the world to know the fun and excitement of treasure hunting with a metal detector so he decided to publish a catalog with metal detectors, detecting accessories, and books on treasure hunting. The catalog was advertised in newspapers and magazines and the demand grew from a few hundred to a few thousand, and soon Kellyco was mailing over one million catalogs a year.
1970-1989 - During the 70's and 1980's, Kellyco established the Kellyco Metal Detectors Test Team with a number of well experienced, dedicated metal detector users who were recognized experts. Kellyco Team members worked closely with detector manufacturers to help them produce metal detectors with features that would benefit newcomers and experienced treasure hunters alike. Kellyco also established "Adventurers International" a company where Stu Auerbach and his Team would guide metal detector enthusiasts (and their wives) on treasure hunting trips to islands in the Caribbean where they experienced detecting for real treasures. And in 1988, Kellyco moved into their new 30,000 square foot building in Winter Springs Florida complete with a large showroom/museum plus space for their 40 plus employees.
1991 - Kellyco continued partnering with manufactures, and in 1991 Kellyco team members went to the Garrett factory to inspect the brand new GTA, Master Hunter, and Freedom Series detectors before they were introduced to the market. Kellyco clearly has an edge on both the industry and the technology thanks to decades spent side-by-side with the innovators of many of the finest metal detectors.
1996 - In 1996 Stu was invited to visit the Minelab headquarters in Adelaide, S. Australia to learn more about the sophistication of multi-frequency, Broad Band Spectrum (BBS) detectors. Again, Kellyco's team members were given a huge knowledge a huge knowledge advantage in the new technology for metal detecting, and were the first ones introduced to wave after wave of new technology - including Minelab's Full Band Spectrum (FBS) technology. (right)
1998 - Kellyco went live with the first version of their website, Kellycodetectors.com. It wasn’t fancy but was a pioneer giving people online access to metal detectors The websiite had information about metal detecting that people could understand. As more and more people gained access to the internet, Kellyco’s reputation for customer service and support grew to enormous proportions.
2001 - Meanwhile, Stu and John continued their good relationships with metal detector manufactures and in 2001 they participated in a VIP Sales Meeting held by Garrett Metal Detector's for top selling dealers. Only the biggest and the best were invited and Kellyco was at the top of the list.
2005 - In 2005 Kellyco expanded online sales and became accessible worldwide. Making metal detectors and treasure hunting accessories available both in an online store and auctions brought a significant amount of business to Kellyco. At this point Kellyco became globally synonymous with everything related to metal detecting as they were only a click away from the world.
Known for excellence and information, Kellyco spent several years involved with local law enforcement and security companies. Even FBI members, trained to find the smallest piece of evidence or clues, were given tips by Kellyco team members and were given recommendations for detectors by Kellyco certified detector experts.
2006 - In 2006 Stu acknowledged the power of hurricanes to not only turn up great beach treasure but to also pause business. In the name of productivity Kellyco invested $50,000 in a complete generator back-up system to ensure that Florida's Hurricanes don't keep world-wide customers from getting the best service and metal detecting equipment Kellyco has to offer. A year later, the Kellyco shipping department was expanded four times its previous size and the warehouse was completely rearranged to enable more efficient packaging of orders. And soon after that a 64 line phone system was installed to ensure all of our customers talk to real people, no matter what.
Today Kellyco is larger than ever. Thousands of metal detectors are in our warehouse right now, with a fully-trained staff ready to both educate and support you through your purchase. With a customer service and test team, larger-than-ever shipping department, world-wide web access across a multitude of search engines, and dedication to the metal detecting hobby - we're proud to say our customers are with us for a life-time of treasure hunting.
2007 - Kellyco had the distinction of being the most popular Metal Detector website in the world ranking higher than any other metal detector company. In fact, Kellyco’s website attracted more visitors than the next 10 largest metal detectors dealers COMBINED!. Kellyco’s new “Metal Detector Comparison” page became the most visited page on the website.
2008 - Kellyco’s expansion continued with tens of thousands of new customers added to our customer base. During this year Kellyco became the exclusive North American distributor for the world famous Ground Penetrating Instruments and Metal Detectors by OKM Locating Technology. Now our customers could search as deep as 80 feet and see their finds on the hand held color screen!
2009 - This year became the Year of a New Gold Rush with the price of gold increasing at times to over $1000 an ounce. To fill the need for deeper penetrating detectors, Kellyco became the exclusive North American distributor for Nokta Deep Processor Radar Detecting Systems with Real Time 3D Imaging and Kellyco was able to offer this technology at an affordable price.
2010 - Began with a slowdown of the Gold Rush in Africa, especially in Sudan where gold nuggets the size of a persons fist were commonly being found in 2009. Metal detecting and Treasure Hunting became more popular as many cable networks added programming featuring different ways to find treasures. As Kellyco's reputation expanded, we received many new awards including the "Minelab Eagle" award for 2010 which is the highest award ever given by Minelab recognizing Service, Sales and commitment to the Metal Detecting Industry. Amazon ranked our customer service as A+ for 2010 Holiday Season and we are being considered for entry in the top 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States 2010 was also the year our Teat Team & sales staff continued their training to keep their Metal Detector " Expert" ranking.