The ACE 250 is $212 and is easy to learn + could be resold easily or given to your son if you wanted to upgrade at some point. I found plenty of gold and silver to pay for the machine. The AT [all terrain] PRO is $600 and good for up to 10ft under water if beach hunting interests you. [hidden cost for beach hunting- waterproof headphones, sand scoop]. This year I've been using a $1,500 MINELAB that I picked up for $600 but I'm pretty hardcore into it now. Whatever machine you settle on, you'll definitely want a Garrett ProPointer to make life a lot easier. It's a small handheld device that pinpoints the target in the ground when you dig. That is $130 and super tough to find a price break on.. even on eBay. Check out Kellyco metal detectors website... They got all the shit you'll ever need.. Let me know if you have any more questions and I'll help you out.