The biggest treasures ever found

December 2, 2017

The treasures are always hidden from man. To find them, you need time, strong will and determination. Is it the effort or luck that counts? Probably a little bit of both. If you are an enthusiast, you will enjoy treasure hunting itself, if you are a beginner, you will have to put a little bit more effort into it but it will be worth it. But sometimes you don't need either. Just luck, pure luck. And of course a good piece of equipment, which will drastically increase the probability of finding a treasure. 

If you decide to go treasure hunting, this is the first thing you have to consider. A great detector! With TreasureHunter3D detector the treasure hunting on the right location is just a walk in the park. In the text below we will talk about the biggest treasures ever found by a metal detector. 

 

The Hand of Faith: $1.1 million

In 1980, near Kingower, Australia, Kevin Hillier found the largest gold nugget ever using a metal detector. The nugget is of fine-quality gold, weighing 875 ozt. (27.21 kg). The gold nugget was only 12 inches below the surface, resting in a vertical position. It was initially incorrectly stated as weighing only 720 ozt, but after correction, the new calculation was 874.82 ozt. This nugget is still regarded as the largest modern nugget found by a metal detector, anywhere in the world. Dimensions are 47 cm × 20 cm × 9 cm. The nugget  was sold to the Golden Nugget Casino Chain for over a million dollars, and is currently on public display at their property Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Hoxne hoard: $2.3 million

In 1992 in the village of Suffolk in England, metal detectorist Eric Lawes was asked by a local farmer Peter Whatling, to help him find lost prized hammer on one of his fields. Lawes didn’t find the hammer, but he did discover something else. He discovered the largest stash of late Roman gold and silver in Britain. The oak chest was filled with items in precious metal, sorted mostly by type, with some in smaller wooden boxes and others in bags or wrapped in fabric. The chest contained a collection of silver spoons, gold jewellery, and coins, all to the 4th or 5th century CE. It is likely that the hoard represents only a part of the wealth of its owner, given the lack of large silver serving vessels and of some of the most common types of jewellery. Valued at $2.3 million (£1.8m) at the time, the find is worth $4.3 million (£3.3m) in today's money. The hoard was bought by the British Museum in London, though it was so valuable the museum had to call in funds from donors like the National Art Collections fund to afford it.

The hoard is also of particular archaeological significance because it was excavated by professional archaeologists with the items largely undisturbed and intact. The find helped to improve the relationship between metal detectorists and archaeologists, and influenced a change in English law regarding finds of treasure.

The Staffordshire hoard: $4.1 million

Terry Herbert was using his metal detector on a recently plowed field near Hammerwich in Staffordshire, when he stumbled across the largest trove of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found. It consists of over 3500 items, amounting to a total of 5.1 kg (11 lb) of gold, 1.4 kg (3 lb) of silver and some 3500 pieces of garnet cloisonné jewellery. There were more than 300 sword-hilt fittings, 92 sword-pommel caps, and 10 scabbard pendants. There were no coins or women's jewellery, and out of the entire collection, the three religious objects appeared to be the only non-martial pieces. Intriguingly, many of the items seemed to have been bent or broken.

This treasure, then, was a pile of broken, elite, military hardware hidden 13 centuries ago in a politically and militarily turbulent region. The hoard was most likely deposited in the 7th century, and contains artefacts probably manufactured during the 6th and 7th centuries. This metal detecting discovery is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found. The hoard was purchased jointly by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery for £3.285 million under the Treasure Act 1996.

Black Swan Project: $500 million

In 2007, Salvage firm Odyssey Marine Exploration used metal detectors to find a staggering $500 million (£380m)-worth of gold and silver coins, which went down with a Spanish frigate off the coast of Portugal in 1804. Initially Odyssey kept the origin of the treasure confidential. It was later proved in trial that the recovered cargo was being carried by the Spanish frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, which sank off Portugal in 1804. The frigate had been engaged in a naval battle with four ships from the British Royal Navy. An internationally-agreed maritime law called the doctrine of sovereign immunity stipulates that active-duty naval vessels engaged on non-commercial missions remain the property of the countries that commissioned them. This in turn gave Spain grounds to claim the treasure as the exclusive property of the wreck and its cargo.

Odyssey was sued by the Spanish government in U.S. courts, which eventually ordered the treasure to be returned to Spain. Odyssey pursued all legal avenues, even taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Finally, it was ruled that the US has no jurisdiction over this matter and that therefore the treasure should be returned to Spain. On February 27, 2012 the ship's treasure was flown back to Spain where the coins and other artefacts from the shipwreck are now exhibited in public museums. In 2015 a U.S. district court ordered Odyssey to pay Spain $1 million for "bad faith and abusive litigation."

The Caesarea sunken treasure: priceless

Scuba divers exploring the seabed near the harbor of Caesarea National Park, Israel, thought they’d stumbled across a child’s toy when they found the first gold coin.They didn't realize that they had discovered a 1600-year-old shipwreck, its valuable cargo still in the remains of the deteriorating wooden hold.

They reported their find to the Israel Antiquities Authority, and returned with metal detectors to search the area more thoroughly. The found coins were of several different denominations, and had been minted at different times, sometime between the 10th and 12th centuries.

So far, no one’s attached an exact value on the find, except to say that it’s so valuable, it’s essentially priceless.

Divers found a bronze lamp depicting the ancient Roman sun god Sol, a statue of the moon goddess Luna, fragments of jars, and more. One of the most significant finds was two metallic lumps weighing approximately 40 pounds (18 kilograms) and made up of thousands of ancient coins, fused together in the shape of the pottery vessel in which they were held. The ship wrecked in shallow water, and layers of sand hid the wreck and saved the valuable cargo from the recycling process for more than 1,000 years. Metal statues are rare archaeological finds because they were always melted down and recycled in antiquity.

These are just a few examples of random finds. You never know what lies beneath your feet until you decide to sacrifice your time and will to explore. Sometimes there is nothing, but once in a while you find something that pays off for all your efforts and gives you the pleasure to continue with treasure hunting. And that is why it is all worthwhile.

Treasure hunting is probably one of the most rewarding and profitable hobbies. All you need is strong will, determination and great piece of equipment. The use of the ordinary metal detector is enough if you scan the ground just few tens of centimetres below the surface. But if you need to search deep underground, we we highly recommend TreasureHunter3D detectors, which detect up to 30 meters deep. With the latest technology you can connect to your personal phone, scan the area and save scans with the GPS location. Later you can look and examine the saved scans and decide if the area is worth digging.

To find the right place, time and determination is up to you, up to us is to provide you with the right equipment and the treasure might be yours 

 

With TreasureHunter3D detectors no treasure is left hidden. 

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