Finding Treasure

Every so often, hard work and dedication really do pay off in fabulous ways! Recently, Mary Hannaby, a 57 year old English housewife, hit the jackpot while metal detecting in a field that she had searched many times over the years. An avid treasure hunter for the past 7 years, Mrs. Hannaby found a 15th Century reliquary or pendant which depicts the Holy Trinity. It is valued at more than 250,000 British pounds (more than US$400,000) and could be worth ten times that much at auction.

Imagine the shock and the joy of digging four inches below the surface of ground that thousands of people have crossed over the centuries, and finding such a treasure. It happens every year, and it could happen to you, if you considered some of these very cool treasure hunting hobbies:

Metal Detecting

You might be the next Mrs. Hannaby, but it does take time and some investment. You will need to research the availability of sites suitable for metal detecting in your area and you will definitely need advice from an experienced treasure hunter before you buy a metal detector. Of course, you will also need to know that you will consistently have time to go metal detecting to justify your investment. That said, if you have the time and the money for the initial purchase of a metal detector, you will very likely to quickly find enough “treasure” to cover the cost of your investment. There are a lot of metal detecting clubs so you may want to check out a club before you jump in with a purchase.

Gold Mining

A friend of mine who is a bit of a modern day adventurer, spent several months last year prospecting for gold in New Guinea. He is now developing night clubs in the Caribbean but he told me that he had a lot of fun prospecting and he did make some money while he was doing it – of course he would not tell me how much! You do not need to travel to New Guinea to seek your fortune as a prospector. There are still plenty of places to pan for gold in the USA and in other countries. As you would expect, the gold is usually in the places where gold has been found in the past so in the USA that means the West Coast. There are locations in Alaska, Washington, California and even Georgia. I am sure with a bit of research, you can find possible gold panning areas in your area too

Diamond Mining

There is only one place in the world where you can search for diamonds at a diamond mine and actually keep what you find. That place is Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. You may not find anything more than a souvenir, but a few people have found some significant diamonds.


Not all treasure is in the dirt. If you take the time to learn about antiques, you will often find tremendous bargains at yard sales, flea markets and even in antique stores or out on the street with a neighbor’s trash. One fellow I know found an 18th century chair that someone had put out with their trash. The fellow picked it up and sold it in his antique store for over $1,000 — and that was in the 1980’s. If you know what you are doing, you can find valuable collectibles from furniture, to baseball cards, to books and anything else that people collect. You just have to take the time to search.

What about you? Are you a modern day prospector? Do you live for the rush of finding treasure? What treasures do you seek? Have you found any?

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6 Responses to Finding Treasure

  1. simpleyme says:

    I was shocked to find out about rules about treasure hunting in my state

  2. Dawn says:

    I love reading about finds – however when I find out the location it is always over in the old countries.
    Our country is must newer and though natives lived here before the colonies, we don’t give a great value to native artifacts like we should. Instead we go back the requisite 3-500years, which makes our finds slim in comparison to the multi-centuries of Europe, Middle east and beyond.

  3. Leila says:

    I always imagine some old man bent over his metal detector. I just can’t do it. Too embarrassing.

  4. Ann says:

    It really doesn’t have to involve a hunt for big bucks to be fun!

    I have a friend who loves yard sales and swap meets and hole-in-the-wall “antique” stores. She decided to learn everything there is to know about one area of collectibles — hers was early pottery but it can be almost any subject. Once she knew how to recognize originals from fakes and reproductions and stuff, she focused her “hunting” for just those things at prices that indicated the people selling them didn’t know what they had. She’d buy cheap and sell for market value.

    Main thing was that she had fun in the hunt, was focused and made enough spare change to pay for vacations. Treasure hunts don’t need to be for gold and diamonds; they can be for first edition books, old glass, old pottery, old silver, old furniture, tramp art, Inuit carvings, netsuke, or just about anyting that catches your interest!

  5. spicoli says:

    My dad used to collect old bottles that he found in abandoned trash heaps near his home. He eventually sold the bottles for a lot more than I ever could have guessed that they might be worth!

  6. persephone says:

    I agree completely about the antique stores. I have found many a treasure while wandering through cramped aisles and dusty shelves!

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