By Dances With Doves
We got permission to hunt a park that use to be a Girl Scout camp from the 1920's to the 1990's when it closed down.The head caretaker of the park is a great guy and gave us the green light to detect there.We gave him a few scout relics which he would put in the park museum and he was very grateful for are finds.He told us that one capsule was found but a old farmer said a other one was still missing and gave us the area it could be in.It is probably from the 30's or 40's.I think the one is in a museum around here and we hope to see what it is made of.Have any of you heard of other Scout capsules and what could be in them ?I hope they are detectable.If not we could still stumble on to some silver coins or rings for a consolation prize. If found we will give the capsule to the caretaker to be put in a museum.
The Anglo-Saxons were and are renowned for their metalwork. This is not the crude metallurgy of an uncultivated barbarian horde, but the beautiful design work in the noble metals of silver and gold that only a truly cultured people could produce. Nowhere is this exemplified more than with the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon metalwork ever uncovered, even larger than the famous Sutton Hoo Hoard.
First, let’s talk about the tale of the tape: The Staffordshire Hoard includes 11 pounds of gold (5.1 kg), three pounds of silver, and over 3,500 pieces of garnet cloisonné jewelry. Manufactured during the 6th and 7th Centuries, it was most likely buried in the 7th, but like so many relics of the ancient world, it was uncovered a little closer to where we live — in 2009.
More than simply the value of the riches in this Hoard, there is the small matter of what this means for Anglo-Saxon archaeology and scholarship. None of the goods belong to women. Nearly all are martial in nature, the exception being three religious items. Thus, archaeologists now have an incredibly clear snapshot of Anglo-Saxon physical culture. The Hoard revealed that the Anglo-Saxons had perfected a technique known as depletion gilding that gives the surface of an object the appearance of being a higher purity of gold than it actually is. Some of the pieces are thought to have come from as far away as Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, but these likely date back to the Roman Era.
The Hoard itself is thought to be what is somewhat awesomely called a “war hoard.” What this means is that archaeologists suspect that the bulk or even the entirety of the hoard was captured by Anglo-Saxon warriors from the Kingdom of Mercia in the battle against the Northumbrians and East Anglians.
Sheet Gold Plaque, Staffordshire Hoard
Fully 80 percent of what was found belonged to weaponry. This is one of the reasons it was such an archaeologically interesting find. Gold sword pommels are rare in the extreme, with merely one being found in the entire Sutton Hoo Hoard. By contrast, the Staffordshire Hoard boasted as many as 50 of these. What this allowed archaeologists to conclude was that, as opposed to many other cultures, they were not rare among the Mercians. It was common for such finery to only belong to a king, but for the Mercians, it seems to have been a common item for the entire warrior class.
King Penda of Mercia is the most likely “owner” of the Hoard. But sadly, there is nothing on the Hoard that specifies him as the royal owner of these goods. It’s simply a conclusion that has been drawn by the time period that the wares date from.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of the Staffordshire Hoard is how it was discovered. Terry Herbert, a member of Bloxwich Research and Metal Detecting Club, is the man who made the discovery. He was doing what he loved — hunting around with his metal detector — when he came upon the Hoard. Over the course of five days, Herbert unearthed 244 gold objects before contacting Duncan Slarke, the Finds Liaison Officer for the Staffordshire and West Midlands Portable Antiquities Scheme. The landowner then allowed for a total excavation of the Hoard.
Unlike the Hoxne Hoard, which was noteworthy due to how close together everything remained over the course of several centuries, the Staffordshire Hoard was all spread out from years of plowing the fields. A 30×43-foot area had to be carefully combed to find every last piece. The Home Office conducted a final sweep of the area using highly sophisticated geophysical equipment and concluded that everything had been unearthed.
The Hoard was put on display at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery before Birmingham Archaeology was even done processing it, attracting 40,000 visitors during its initial showing. A coroner’s inquest found that the find was a treasure, which made it the property of the Crown. However, in accordance with British statutes adopted after the unearthing of the Hoxne Hoard, there was a bounty paid out both to the man who discovered the Hoard, as well as the landowner.
A hilt fitting from the Staffordshire hoard, which was declared to be treasure in September 2009
There was an additional excavation in 2010, whose aim was not to find more treasure but to unearth archaeological evidence with an eye toward helping to date the items from the initial haul. A third excavation in 2012, however, found an additional 91 pieces. Most of these were small, but there were some larger pieces, including a large gold cross. Only 81 out of these pieces were declared to be treasures at the inquest.
The Treasure Valuation Committee put the value of the original Hoard at £3.2 million, or about $5.3 million in 2021 dollars. According to the 1996 Treasure Act, which was passed partly in response to the discovery of the Hoxne Hoard, this was to be split between the man who found it and the owner of the land on which it was found. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery declared their intention to jointly purchase the Hoard and a public appeal was made to raise the funds.
The money was split equally between the man who discovered the Hoard and the owner of the land. This apparently led to some discord between the two men, eventually resulting at the end of their friendship, but little about the details of this is known other than that each accuses the other of excessive greed when it comes to the proceeds from the discovery of the Hoard.
The Staffordshire Hoard is fascinating on virtually every level — how it was found, where it came from, the contents of the Hoard, and what happened to the men who benefited financially from its discovery. There are doubtless many treasures lurking around the world today, buried long ago that are simply waiting for someone with the right equipment to come along and discover them.
The Staffordshire Hoard: The Largest Hoard of Anglo-Saxon Metalwork originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com
The biggest buried treasure ever found in the United States was, to put it mildly, nothing to sneeze at: $10 million in the form of over 1,400 gold coins. Known as the Saddle Ridge Hoard, it is shrouded in mystery because no one has any idea who buried the treasure in the first place.
The Ballad of Mary and John
It all started in February 2013 when a Californian couple was taking their dog for a stroll along their property. The woman saw what looked like a tin can sticking up out of the soil. Mary and her husband John then very carefully excavated the tinpot from the earth around it. Once they pulled it out of the ground, their life was changed forever. The couple had found 1,411 gold coins minted between 1847 and 1894. Not only were the coins in good condition, but they also had enough weight to be worth over $10 million.
All told there were eight canisters just filled with gold coins. Not only was this the biggest lost treasure find in American history, but to this day no one has any idea how the gold got there in the first place.
This wasn’t the first strange tin that was found by the couple on their property. There was another tin that had been hanging from a tree for so long that the tree had grown around it. After discovering the first can — which they initially believed contained lead paint because of how heavy it was — the couple returned with a metal detector to see if there was anything else laying around. They were certainly not disappointed as they had discovered an additional seven cans.
Where Did The Gold Come From?
Known as the Saddle Ridge Hoard, we know that it probably was buried on the property sometime at the close of the 19th Century but by whom and for what purpose we will likely never know. Most of the coins came from the San Francisco mint and were from the period of the world-famous California Gold Rush. But some earlier coins from Georgia raise questions about how they got there. It is worth noting that many of the 49’ers of California had previous experience in the Carolina Gold Rush and the Georgia Gold Rush.
The coins weren’t valuable simply because of the weight. They were also valuable because they appear to be in such good condition that they were likely never circulated, giving them a value far beyond their simple weight in gold. The face value of the coins is a scant $28,000, which isn’t a heck of a lot of money today but was a small fortune in the year 1900 — $578,000 in 2020 dollars.
One popular theory holds that the coins were buried after a 1901 bank heist where a bank employee made off with about $30,000 in gold coins. But the federal government has come out and said that this cannot be the case because the serial numbers on the coins don’t line up with the coins that were stolen.
Others claim that the gold was buried there by a famous outlaw, usually Jesse James or Black Bart, both of whom were known for robbing stagecoaches. The Knights of the Golden Circle are another proposed candidate, with the belief that this was a gold stash with the purpose of starting the Second Civil War.
Another theory is that the coins were put there by a miner who was doing his level best to hide his life’s savings from bandits and other prying eyes. This, however, seems unlikely as many of the coins inside come from after the gold rush was over.
Finally, there is the prevailing theory: A very wealthy person with an intense distrust for banks buried it there and forgot about it. We will likely never have a definitive answer, as both the names of the couple who found it and the location of their gold strike has thus far remained a secret. To this day, all we really know is that the coins were found somewhere in the Sierra Madre Mountains in California, with the recipients of this windfall, perhaps wisely, seeking to keep a low profile. After all, revealing themselves would be an invitation to treasure seekers to flood into the area in search of other tins filled with lost gold from a bygone age.
Of course, a number of people have come forward claiming that the gold belongs to an ancestor or other relative. However, no one has been able to successfully wrest the Saddle Ridge Hoard from the people who initially discovered it.
What Happened to the Saddle Ridge Hoard?
The coins presented a numismatist’s dream because it is very rare to find such a large cache of coins together all in one place. What’s more, as we mentioned, the coins were immaculately preserved despite being, in some cases, over 150 years old.
The coins were sold on Amazon with certificates of authenticity. The couple, known only as Mary and John, were represented by the noted numismatics firm Kagin in their sale of the coins. Prior to selling the coins, the couple kept their find safely stashed away in an old ice chest buried beneath a pile of wood.
Before the discovery of the Saddle Ridge Hoard, the biggest find was a stash of $4,500 in gold coins that sold for a million dollars in 1985. This was found by city workers in Jackson, Tennessee.
Taxes must be paid on such finds, which are considered regular income by the Internal Revenue Service. Still, even taxed as regular income, the take-home pay from a $10 million payday will have the finders sitting pretty for the rest of their lives.
The Saddle Ridge Hoard: The $10 Million Mystery originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com.
Kellyco Metal Detectors is offering a $10,000 reward to the person that brings us an interview with the individual(s) that found Fenn’s Treasure!
As a pilot and knowing Fenn was a pilot, dead reckoning came to mind, so we first thought to draw intersecting lines to locate the treasure where X really does mark the spot (in spirit). We didn’t see the clues as part of following a linear path, but more creating a drawing on the map that would lead us to Fenn’s Treasure. There were also double meanings to what we saw as clues, which strengthened our resolve. You don’t need the history to solve it, but it’s there and it helps.
Clues to Fenn’s Treasure in Forrest Fenn’s Poem
“WWWH” Firehole river into the Madison. Ojo Caliente works great as Fenn’s secret swimming spot within Yellowstone, but any point on the Firehole, like the falls, works to get you quite close.
Down river in the Firehole Canyon is North, so your next point is North not far, but too far to walk.
“Put-in below the home of Brown” – Joe Brown Put-In, below where Brown found his gold in the Beartooth mountains.
Between WWWH and HOB is a nearly perfect vertical line at 110° 50′ W Longitude. These two points from the first two clues create the Y-axis that Fenn’s Treasure is on, so… you could theoretically walk the line to find it, similar to Fenn’s statement on having the first two clues.
Here we’re also getting close to the famous lone semi-colon. Not a necessary information, but a helpful hint. It separates the poem / clues for the two lines you’re drawing.
“From there it’s no place for the meek” Saw this as a hint we were on the right path, but not needed to solve it. “From there,” or “After drawing that first line / from Joe Brown Put-In,” across the cold Yellowstone River, Joseph Meek escaped up into Yellowstone from Devil’s slide, Really close to the vertical line you’ve drawn. This also leads you toward the general vicinity of the old mining town of Electric, Mulheron Creek, one you can easily drive and known for white-water rafting, and Beattie Gulch, a dry creek that’s on public land and used to be drivable in 2010.
“The end is ever drawing nigh.” Now we’re about to draw the second intersecting line, and getting close to the treasure.
“No Paddle up your creek” – The treasure is likely on a dry creek you’ll be walking along.
“Just heavy loads and water high.” Sounded like directions to us, like “just over on South and Main St.” We saw this as containing the two clues for our intersecting line. Just Electric (heavy mining loads / electrical loads), and High Lake, (or water high) a place possibly familiar to Fenn on his fishing adventures as a teen, or his horseback adventure with Donnie. A place a young kid could see nearby on a map and make the connection.
Finding Fenn’s Treasure
These four points create the blaze, a cross sticking out of Ojo Cliente, casting a long shadow over the Madison River – a lament on his own mortality in the forward from Too Far to Walk / also the meaning behind the cover photo with his shadow. On topological maps, grave site are marked with a cross, so we took this as Fenn being buried in spirit in Yellowstone along the Firehole River, and how the X that marks the spot is there “in spirit.”
In this solve, the cross points to a spot on Deaf Jim Creek in a wooded area accessible by car, just outside the park boundary that meets all the criteria. One, it’s overlooking Gardiner (note Fenn’s reference to Gardiner’s Island in TTOTC just after the poem). Two, it location gives credence to “hear me all and listen good”, and the area was previously burned down in a real blaze before 2010, which created beautiful meadows. Three, if you check the topo map, it’s in the only square of public national forest, surrounded by private land, with an easement for public use of the road. You can rent a cabin for 10 at the top, accessible by Beattie Gulch, and be a short drive or hike through their ” rented backyard” to the hiding spot – easy for Fenn to hide a treasure on a family trip, the one likely mentioned in Too Far to Walk when he discusses showing his grandchildren his secret swimming hole. This also solves the mystery that he hasn’t been back to W. Yellowstone in a long while – he entered the park through Gardiner – and part of the discussion around the legality of finding lost property on private land. Maybe he wanted his bracelet back for legal reasons to make the claim go smoothly.
Anyhow, we’re truly sad the chase is over, but had the BEST trip the first time ’round, adventuring & exploring in the snow, even in crappy BOTG weather. The kicker is we had a trip booked for, yep, June 1st, which we pushed back due to Covid-19. Doing our part staying home. Fenn’s Treasure would have been cool to find and re-hide to keep the chase alive. Maybe keep a coin, but ultimately pass it on with a new chase. Hope the finder does right by it.
This post was originally posted by u/antimethod on reddit.
Treasure Finds: Fenn’s Treasure originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com.
This treasure is close to where I used to swim as a kid during Xmas school holidays in Victoria Australia during summer.
By the way the wife found a gold sovereign in the Inverlock region but was not related to the above treasure.
This is a lengthy article about the hoard finds in England. It follows the saga of two detectorists who found some great objects in 2015.
We are often times a forum that has many more details than the reporters so maybe there is someone here who can help us understand even more.
I hope the link works for everyone.