When we think of treasure, we often think of gold. Emperors, kings and queens were adorned with gold in their crowns and scepters, of course, and gold bullion is the first thing we think of when we hear about buried pirate treasure. It is, as they say, the stuff of fairy tales.
Or is it?
Beachcombing for gold with metal detector technology has become increasingly popular as the price of gold has risen significantly over the past several years. There have been many finds that keep the dream of the “big score” alive in our minds. Beaches offer some of the greatest, every day finds in the form of coins and some gold lost by visitors over the years. (Here is a hint if you live near a beach: Beachcombing for gold with metal detector machines is best right after a storm where the beach has been recently eroded.) Other amazing finds have come from using metal detectors in less than obvious locations. So fear not. If you don’t live near a beach, you can still get lucky.
In 2008, a gentleman used his metal detector in a field in England to discover a trove of ancient artifacts, including an Iron Age gold collar worth more than $500,000. While he didn’t get to keep the artifact, which he found in Nottingham, England, he was given an undisclosed amount in the form of a reward, and the collar is on display at a local museum.
Another terrific find came in England that same year. After metal detecting and beachcombing for some 30 years, the gentleman unearthed a gold ring with an incredibly rare black diamond near his home in England. The markings on the ring indicated it came from the medieval period, perhaps the 11th Century A.D. It is estimated to be worth in the range of tens of thousands of pounds sterling.
Gold has often been recognized as a mark of the wealthy. Even in ancient times, only the incredibly fortunate could afford jewelry made from gold. The ring found in England probably belonged to either a member of the Church, or even royalty. With the ups and downs in the price of gold over recent years, many people have come to appreciate owning gold in the form of jewelry. Gold wedding bands are the most popular, and we’ve become so used to gold in our daily lives that many of us have gold jewelry that we don’t even wear anymore. Much of that gold lands in the sand after a trip to the beach, so grab your metal detector and hit the shoreline. You may not find an ancient Iron Age collar, but there may be some lost gold in your future.