Metal Detector Finds Buried Gold Coins Worth Over $100,000…35 Years Later!
Hoard of Sixty 1 Ounce, 22 Karat Gold South African Krugerrand Coins
MORE PHOTOS BELOW
When I was a young boy I found buried treasure deep beneath the sand in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Inside an old suitcase I discovered many items made of silver, such as trays and other serving pieces. It was that magical experience that always kept me dreaming of perhaps another day when I might discover a hoard of gold buried in the ground just waiting for me to unearth it and display its beauty once more. Most of us have this childlike wish to experience something so amazing as that, but few ever walk away from a field or yard with such contents. So many of us wish to have such an exciting fairytale moment, but few ever end up seeing that story come true. The story that you are about to read is that very fairytale adventure story that I dreamed of experiencing and one that in fact did come true in my life! I will forever be grateful to God for THE RING FINDERS directory and its CEO/Founder, Chris Turner, for creating and providing a directory that connects people in need with metal detecting experts that can help recover lost treasure that would have otherwise been missing forever.
I believe that the Bible Scripture, Psalm 37:4, rings true in my life when it says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” As I take pleasure in my relationship with my Heavenly Father, I know God hands me these “once in a lifetime” moments, such as the one that I am about to share!
I will never forget that evening when I was getting out of my car to do an errand at the local REI store in Rockville, Maryland. I received a phone call from an older gentleman named Bob who explained that he received my contact information from an owner of a metal detector supply store who was aware of my affiliation with THE RING FINDERS directory. This led the man to review some of my recovery articles on THE RING FINDERS website. From there, he clicked on some of my search videos found on YouTube. The elderly man was looking for a metal detectorist who was full of integrity and honesty and one who lives with the fear of God in him. After reviewing only a few samples of my searches on THE RING FINDERS directory and the video links that were attached to the articles, Bob felt that I was the one to help him search and recover his father’s lost buried treasure.
If you could have only seen me stop in my tracks out there in the parking lot when this gentleman started to share the background of this unusual story and what measures he and his son had already taken in their attempts to unearth the treasure that they were looking for in the past several months leading up to this conversation. The entire time that Bob was sharing, I continued to pace back and forth alongside my car in the dark, holding on to every detail that was being shared with me. This is what I was told:
35 years ago, back in 1984, Bob and his wife Brenda were hosting a family get-together at their home (the city and state where they reside will remain undisclosed out of respect for the family’s request for privacy). While Bob was still commuting home from his workplace, Brenda was entertaining their two teenage boys, her two in-laws and both of Bob’s sisters who were also present that afternoon. At some point during Brenda’s meal preparation in the kitchen, Bob’s father mysteriously left the house without mentioning where he was going or what he was planning to do. All of the other family members remained in the house at that time. After a long time had passed, with much curiosity, the two sisters walked out of Bob and Brenda’s house in search of their father. According to their account, the two of them saw their dad on the right side of the house, digging a hole in the ground with a shovel in hand. Their father explained that he was burying something that he would later reveal to the family once his son Bob returned home from work. At some point the ladies returned inside the house to let their father finish his mission and then Bob arrived back at his 155 acre estate just in time for the evening supper.
There was nothing unusual about that particular family gathering that night other than the fact that the patriarch of the family requested his wife, children and grandchildren to gather together in Bob and Brenda’s living room after finishing the meal that Brenda had provided that evening. Bob’s dad shared with his children that for many years he had been saving up his money and purchasing 1 ounce South African Gold Krugerrand coins dating back to over a decade. He had been accumulating this collection of coins for the sole purpose of providing for his children’s needs. The exact amount of krugerrand coins was not remembered, but Bob thought that his father mentioned that he had buried around 20 to 40 gold coins. In case any of the kids experienced difficult financial times in the future, he wanted his children to be taken care of by leaving this gold for them to cash the coins in and have immediate access to quick money. This man loved his children with all of his heart. So much so that he was afraid that if something should happen to him and if their mother did not have the means by which to help one of their kids in need, he wanted there to be provisions available at any time to assist any of their children. Because Bob was not present when his father buried the gold in Bob’s own yard, his dad told him that he buried the gold about a shovel’s distance from the house and that the coins were sealed in a two liter glass sparkling grape juice container. Bob had asked more questions but over the years the story became fuzzier and fuzzier until he forgot many of the specific details that were laid out for him on that very special evening in his living room. His two sisters were the only witnesses that saw their father digging that hole in Bob’s yard. However, they never actually saw their father placing anything in the ground because he was still digging the hole at the time that they were outside that day. There in that living room back in the year 1984, the children huddled around their father and thanked him and their mother for such love and thoughtfulness. Bob and his sisters were probably in their late 40’s at that time.
Many years drifted by, one after another, and then one decade after another. When Bob’s father grabbed his son’s shovel from the shed and started to dig in Bob’s yard, Ronald Reagan was president of the United States. Several wars would be fought and several more presidents would take office. The Cold War would end and new governments would be formed throughout the world. Bob and Brenda’s two boys would end up getting married and have children of their own. Sadly, Bob’s father and mother would pass away, leaving their love behind along with the lone rumor of the buried treasure in the minds of those who missed them so very much. Over the next 35 years little was ever spoken of or even thought about regarding Bob’s father’s words about the buried treasure in his yard. It almost became more like myth than actual reality. The calendar pages kept turning over and over again ever since the time that Bob’s dad spoke of what he had buried on Bob’s property back in 1984. Time marched on and the details of what was told about the gold coins had faded along with the changes of hairstyles, music and clothing. Blockbuster Video was the biggest thing in the mid 80’s, and now VHS tapes are gone and online internet movie channels rule the flat screen television viewing world! It was only until recently that Bob and Brenda thought that it was time to search for dad’s buried treasure because they were getting up there in years and they thought it was best to recover the gold (if the hoard was truly buried in the yard) just in case their health began to fail them. Thankfully, none of the family members ever had any financial needs great enough to consider searching for the gold. In addition to the couple’s concern about their health, they also weren’t sure how long they would be living on the property in the coming years.
So, this is where my role comes into the story. Over a month before I received Bob’s phone call, he and his son started their search for the hidden treasure. He told me on the phone that they tried everything to recover the gold but they couldn’t find it anywhere. They rented a metal detector from a local hardware store, however, they were not able to use it effectively because they had no idea what all of the tones meant and they couldn’t determine whether or not they were hitting signals that pertained to the hidden gold. When they thought they had a legitimate target, they would use their elaborate digging equipment (including a backhoe) to excavate those potential sites but no treasure was found during any of the attempts that were made. Over and over again the signals turned out to be nothing more than scrap metal or electrical interference. Eventually they returned the rented detector and started blindly using their digging equipment to lift significant amounts of dirt from the yard, hoping that they would hit the motherlode just by chance. Because so many years had passed since Bob’s father told the family what he had done in the yard, Bob’s sisters’ recollections contradicted one another. They had two different stories as to where they remembered their father digging a hole in the ground near the house. One sister recalled the hole being dug on the right side of the house, in the center position approximately 15 feet or so away from its siding. The other one recalled the hole being made on the right side of the house, but closer towards the bushes, which were only feet from the siding. Bob figured that the women were probably accurate regarding the basic positioning of where the hole was made even though there was a discrepancy with the number of feet from the house. Also, he kept reminding himself of his father’s words that he buried the gold a shovel’s distance from the house. Even with all of that information, none of his digs were successful. He traveled along the side of the house towards the right back corner and dug a fairly large trench that was approximately 15 feet in length, and still no gold treasure was recovered. Bob and Brenda’s son diligently helped his father search for the treasure, traveling long distances from his home to be there for the digs. As time went on, Bob was doing more of the searching by himself and each time that he tried to uncover the gold, he kept coming up empty handed over and over again. When the father and son team had exhausted all of their efforts, Bob decided it was time to take a different direction from the way they had been handling things. He started searching for a competent metal detectorist who would come to the site and use his expertise to search for the missing gold. His greatest concern was that if they hired someone who didn’t walk with the highest of integrity in mind and heart, the person might locate the treasure, not report the discovery to the family and then return some other time when the couple would be away from the estate and steal their father’s gold coins. Bob did his research to find someone that he could trust and someone who had similar spiritual values as he did. That someone turned out to be me. On the phone, he shared that he was still going to make a few more attempts to locate the treasure and if those searches failed, he would call me back and set up a time for me to come out to his home and allow me the opportunity to search and recover the buried treasure. His initial call was intended to find out whether or not I would be up for the challenge if their last attempts completely failed once again. I excitedly told Bob that I would be thrilled to participate in this possibly once-in-a-lifetime treasure hunt to recover his father’s treasure. I told him that this was the kind of search that I dreamed of participating in! I also assured the gentleman that he could trust me and that just as he read articles and viewed some of my search videos about my personal ethics and spiritual walk with the Lord, he would have nothing to worry about with regards to this search.
Bob and his son were quite happy to hear that I would accept the challenge to search for their treasure if they needed to call me back. In all honesty, I really did not think that I was going to hear back from Bob because I figured that the two of them would either recover the gold or that they would come to the conclusion that there was nothing ever buried, or that it was uprooted and stolen sometime in the past without Bob knowing it. This might involve another family member that knew about the buried hoard or that construction or landscaping was done in the territory where the treasure was buried and somebody pulled it from the earth without the family knowing about it. Again, I really didn’t think that I would end up being called in for an actual search for lost treasure; it just sounded way too good to be true. In the past, I had heard from several other metal detectorists that they had similar searches where people were told that family members had hidden gold in the yard, out in the field or even in the house and nothing was ever recovered. I did not think that this scenario was going to play out any differently.
Three weeks went by and though I thought about Bob’s initial phone call to me, I really didn’t give it much thought that I would be invited to be a part of his search efforts. But to my pleasant surprise, I received a second call from him one evening and he asked once more if I was still willing to come out and give it my best to find the treasure. I was beyond excited by his follow-up phone call! I thought, ‘I may have just gotten a chance of a lifetime by being a part of such a search for lost treasure!’ All my life I waited for something as fun as this, and it was now brought to my doorstep! We immediately set up a search date and time and I took down all of the information that I needed to prepare for this magnificent hunt! Just before I got off the phone with Bob, I once again reassured him that he could trust me and that I was delighted to be a part of this recovery effort. He reemphasized the fact that he would not have called me a second time if he wasn’t confident that I could find the treasure and that I could be fully trusted. When we got off the phone, I smiled and did some more daydreaming in my car before I continued heading down the road. I kept thinking about what it would be like to be a part of such a treasure hunt. I couldn’t wait to pack up the car with my search gear and head off to Bob and Brenda’s home, located an hour and a half away from where I live. I knew that this treasure hunt was something that was so unique and special, and for some reason, I had a confident feeling that this recovery effort was not going to be a waste of time. Bob gave no indication that he doubted his father’s word and he had no thoughts that one of his family members or hired contractors had already beaten him to the treasure. This information gave me much hope that I had a decent chance at finding the gold.
It was a week after our second phone conversation and I was ready to go to Bob’s property and search for the buried gold. I loaded up the car with all of my metal detecting equipment and I went through my checklist just to make sure that I was not missing anything for this mission. As I shared above, I had a 90 minute drive to Bob and Brenda’s residence and I didn’t want to forget anything. It was truly a memorable commute, traveling way up into the mountains, passing old cornfields and dairy farms on my left and on my right. I couldn’t stop daydreaming about pulling gold from the earth! It was like being a kid in the candy store, savoring the moment to behold such incomparable sweetness in the jar! May the reader not misunderstand my heart. I first and foremost wanted this cache of coins to be safely returned to the owner to bring Bob and his family much happiness and relief. I wanted to see the smiles on their faces the moment that the gold would come out of the ground after being in the earth for three and a half decades! Next to that priority, I so wanted to fulfill my childhood dream of chasing after treasure and finding it from beneath the ground! As I drove to their house, I admit that there were countering thoughts that crept into my mind which kept whispering in my brain, ‘Perhaps the treasure never was laid in the hole’ or ‘perhaps it was discovered by someone else or taken by other family members, and therefore I will never get a shot at bringing the hoard of gold coins out of the ground’. Regardless, I stayed positive and was just extremely giddy about getting to the top of this particular mountain and begin this very unique kind of search.
The time was around eleven-thirty in the morning by the time I drove up the winding gravel path that led up to the couple’s 155 acre estate. The house was built sometime back in the 1960s and it was quite modest in size in comparison to the old barns and other large storage buildings that the family built over the past many decades. Some of the structures dated back to the 1800’s. The countryside was absolutely breathtaking. Just as I took the key out of the ignition of the car, Bob walked out to greet me. The elderly gentleman had a warm and kind countenance upon his face. He extended his hand over to mine for a kind shake and I immediately noticed how weathered it was from all of the farm work that such a property had required of him over the many years. Moments later, his wife Brenda came out of the house wearing a country apron and the three of us spent a little time getting better acquainted. At some point, Bob’s wife returned into the house to start cooking a meal for him. Meanwhile, the two of us remained out by my car and we ended up talking for over three hours about a recent tragedy that changed Bob and Brenda’s life forever. He shared with me that a year earlier he had lost his forty-eight year old son when he was tragically killed by an oncoming car as his son was jogging across an intersection. Bob said that nothing in the world could bring back his happiness or normality ever since this happened. Not even the gold that he was trying to uncover could bring him any sense of thrill to help fill in all of the empty spaces in his heart due to the loss of his son. Because we shared the same faith in the Lord, I spent those three hours listening to him, encouraging him with Bible Scriptures and sharing similar stories that others told me about in regards to how they were able to cope with life after enduring such devastation in their families. We truly had a heart-to-heart moment that lasted those several hours and it seemed that the whole idea of digging up treasure, (though romantic in its story), clearly became secondary and less important to the reality that no kind of suffering on this level could ever be healed with possessing silver or gold, and that no one could ever buy back another man’s son. Bob’s precious child was his true gold; he was the treasure that Bob wanted back and he expressed that he could care less about what was presumed to be in the ground, that which his father had left for him and his family. By the time we wrapped up our talk with a prayer for my newfound friend, Brenda called Bob inside for some lunch. They invited me to join them, but instead I used that time to prepare my equipment and organize my gear.
When Bob and Brenda finished eating their meal, the two of them were ready for me to begin metal detecting. They led me to the right side of their home and showed me all of the possible locations as to where their father may have buried the gold. I could see where Bob and his son had broken up the earth in search of the gold because there were piles of dirt in different places in the yard. He showed me the large area that was dug up with his backhoe located towards the rear of the right side of the house. Along the side of the house were bushes that were probably about 4.5 to 5 feet tall. According to Bob and Brenda, 35 years ago those bushes were just little plants. It would have been unlikely that their father would have hidden the coins so close to the bushes based on the root system below the surface. Also, Bob’s sisters did not make any mention that the treasure was buried near the bushes. Another clue was the fact that his father said he buried the coins approximately a shovel distance from the house. That would mean that the treasure was buried beyond the line of bushes. It was possible that it was buried close to the bushes but not so close up to the house because the bushes would have been in the way of one trying to dig a hole.
It didn’t take long before I started metal detecting the property, gridding back and forth along the side of the house. There were quite a few signals that were coming from the ground and it was difficult to discern which ones were more likely to be the cache of gold and which ones were not. Every time there was a legitimate target to search, Bob took his shovel and started digging. I would help him at times with a secondary digger and the two of us partnered in breaking open the earth to see if that was the spot that we were looking for. One target after another, we searched the ground and kept coming up empty-handed. Various types of scrap metal was pulled up along with bullet shells and a coin or two here and there. The biggest obstacle that I encountered was the interference that I was picking up along the line of bushes and around the corner, parallel with the back of the house. The aluminum siding made it impossible for me to discriminate between legitimate targets and ones that were just part of the house itself. Most of the areas that we concentrated on were just beyond the line of bushes on the side of the house extending out to around 15 feet or so. This was clearly beyond the measurement of one shovel’s distance, but Bob started to second-guess whether his dad ever said that or not, though he was pretty certain he did say that quote 35 years ago. I told him that this kind of search can take hours and possibly days to uncover the treasure if it in fact existed. There were so many possibilities that needed to be explored one by one, which meant that each legitimate target would have to be dug up to make sure that we covered every possibility in his yard. While we searched for the gold, Bob admitted to me that he didn’t think it would take long at all for me to find the treasure, even though I told him on the phone that it could take a very long time, especially if we were dealing with a lot of signals coming from the house or around the property. He added by saying that he thought it would only take 15 minutes to uncover the treasure and then he could get on with his life. I laughed and put my hand on his shoulder as we checked out another potential signal.
We must have dug up around 30 or more targets that afternoon and into the evening. We started at around 3:30 p.m. and ended the search at around 8:30 p.m. with no gold to account for. I felt bad for the man because I could tell that he was a bit perplexed as to why I was not able to pull the treasure from the ground. By the time we wrapped things up for the night, we had moved the search completely towards the backside of the house and then over to the left side of the property. Bob started thinking that perhaps he recounted the story incorrectly regarding where his father actually planted the gold, so we looked beyond his sisters’ recollections. I kept detecting one target after another, placing markers and orange colored cones in spots where there were potential signals for us to dig up. Many of those possible hits would have to be checked out during my next search attempt.
I know how disappointed Bob was that I was not able to find the gold that day, but thankfully he had a certain amount of resilience which I could hear in his voice. Bob truly believed that his father did in fact bury the gold coins and that he saw no reason to suspect that anyone with knowledge of the gold would have made their way over to their property and pull the treasure from the ground. By the time we wrapped up the final minutes of metal detecting, the headlamp that I had been using in the dark began to grow dim, perhaps it was an indirect sign for us that it was time to wrap things up and resume the hunt on another day. I packed up all of my equipment and said goodbye to Bob and Brenda there out by my car. Brenda was so sweet to pack up some baked goodies for me to take home and share with my family. I must admit that I didn’t promise her that even a crumb would make it safely all of the way home! My last words to them before leaving was that I assured them that if the treasure was in fact buried on the property and that the coins remained hidden in the earth ever since Bob’s father placed them in the ground, I would indeed find the gold without fail. There was no lack of confidence in me and Bob seemed very sure of my abilities to bring his search to a happy conclusion. The stars were brightly shining above me as I headed down the long and winding driveway and then making my way back to my house.
The next day, Bob and I touched base on the phone and we set up our next scheduled search time, which would end up being two weeks later. He and his wife would be heading out of town so we would have to wait for the following week for me to return to their property. I couldn’t wait to get back to the search site and continue my efforts in revealing the hidden treasure. Of course, those wretched thoughts of doubt kept coming into my mind and then exiting out at some point regarding whether or not the treasure really was there and if it had it ever been removed. This was completely normal to have such counter thoughts drifting in my mind, but I also knew better to not let those doubts stay at the forefront of my determination to complete this search successfully. Focusing on preparing for a positive end result was my main objective. Like I shared before, so many stories had been told to me about hunts like this that ended up being unsuccessful, but I believed that this one was handed to me to bring about complete success for this couple.
I used the next two weeks to prepare myself for the second search attempt. Being a part of The Ring Finders directory allows for all of our metal detectorists to connect with one another and get feedback from other experts to help with current searches. I talked to people like our directory CEO, Chris Turner, and metal detectorist Stan Ross, and both of them encouraged me in various ways, suggesting fabulous tips that would prove to be important in renewing my confidence about what methods I had already tried and what techniques that I still needed to implement in pulling the treasure from the earth. I did some tests with tin and aluminum lids along with silver dollars to see how those signals might react to my detector just to see how the test targets would ring out if they were a foot or so below the ground. I knew that it didn’t mean that I would necessarily come up with those similar signals, but I still wanted to know how my detectors would react to those scenarios.
As the search date was approaching closer and closer, I grew more impatient, waiting for the day when I could try again and hopefully bring the search to a close. For Bob and family, it had been months of searching and scratching their heads, wondering why they couldn’t find the treasure. I was greatly looking forward to my return to their property. Every night in bed, before drifting off to sleep, I reviewed in my head all of the facts regarding the search and I couldn’t have been more prepared to give it my all on the second go-around.
My return date finally arrived. I woke up early that morning ahead of my clock alarm because I couldn’t contain my excitement to get on the road. My mind was racing with thoughts and much anticipation to resume the treasure hunt later that morning. Just like the first time that I traveled to the search site, I gave myself the entire day to drive up into the mountains to Bob and Brenda’s lovely estate and give myself another 8 to 10 hours of searching, if need be. I had in my mind all of the strategies that I would be implementing in order to find the buried treasure. I headed off to Bob and Brenda’s sometime after ten in the morning and arrived at the couple’s house sometime after noon. Once I parked the car, I didn’t waste any time getting my gear set up for the search. Bob came out of the house reminded me that he needed to go to a doctor’s appointment just a few miles in town and that he would only be gone for a short while. Brenda would stick around with me and watch my search while Bob was away. As he headed for his car, I shook his hand and I looked into his eyes and I said to him, “Bob, if I should find the gold while you are gone, I promise you that I will not pull anything from the ground. I will let you do the honors. Your father would have wanted it that way. You can trust me.” I could tell how moved he was when I initiated that promise to him. He answered, “Brian, thank you so very much. This is why I sought after you to do this search because I knew I could trust you. Thank you so much for this. Good luck.” I prayed with Bob for my success in finding the gold coins and then he got into his car and headed into town.
Brenda and I walked to the right side of the house and I began asking her for any more clues about where Bob’s dad may have hidden the treasure. She responded by saying that she remembered her father-in-law say that he buried the gold in a 2 liter grape juice container. She also thought that he hid the treasure somewhere near the right corner of the house towards the rear. She couldn’t confirm that fact one hundred percent, but she always seemed to remember that bit of information. I thought it was extremely helpful because I had been thinking that it was quite probable that Bob’s dad may have hid the gold towards the back side of the property as opposed to the side of the house where the two sisters believed they saw him dig a hole in the ground. Now, Bob had already dug a large trench from the corner of the house extending outward, about 15 feet, so there wasn’t much left to dig in that region. However, there were other places closer to that corner on the backside of the house that still needed to be searched. I had already detected those potential spots the last time I was there at their home, but it was hard to make any sense of what could be a legitimate signal because the metal coming from the house itself produced one solid wall of signals in my detector. This made it nearly impossible to discriminate out the types of metal that I was not interested in digging. This was the same problem with the wall of signals that I was getting along the line of bushes on the right side of the house. At the rear, there was another line of bushes and a fairly large space that was created when a tree and a couple of bushes were removed from the ground sometime in the past year or so. I could not make any sense out of the signals heard in those areas that were up against the house leading outward 3 feet or so because there was just sheets of metal that were masking any potential targets if they so existed. I determined in advance of arriving at their property that I would search out all of that space closer to the house, even though the signals could not easily be identified due to the probable masking that was taking place from the metal coming from the siding and reinforcement metal of the house.
Brenda kept me company for a few minutes while I was setting up my detector. She then needed to go into the house to tend to her shoofly pie and banana bread that she was making for the three of us. I thought that was so sweet of her. Meanwhile, I began to detect several feet from the right rear corner of the house, but closer to the back of the house and not where Bob had been previously using the backhoe. This area was reviewed the last time I was at the house, but because of the interference from the siding, it would have taken up most of my time trying to decipher the massive signals coming from the house versus what might be buried feet away from the actual building. As a result, my metal detecting of this section was less of a priority the last time I was at the house. This time around I would give this location more of my attention just in case the treasure was being masked by the metal of the house. Everything sounded the same, and there was no differentiation between a particular signal that the house was giving off and what a potential gold target in a container would be giving off. I would have to spend more time moving the coil slowly across the areas near the house and see if there was any separation of signals that would give me a clue as to whether or not I should start a dig.
Just before placing the metal detector coil on the ground to start searching for the gold, I prayed to the Lord and asked for favor and guidance as to where I should start looking. I was not going to focus on what failed the last time I was at Bob and Brenda’s house. I was only aiming at target areas that could potentially take me to the gold. I laid the detector coil on the surface of the earth and began to move it just about three feet or more from the edge of the house and I immediately got that wall of sound coming from the metal of the house. I anticipated this to happen because of what I encountered during my last search attempt. This time around I would study the signals more carefully. While making sure that the gold was not being masked by the amount of metal coming from the house, I kept moving my 15 inch coil back and forth slowly over the area, hoping to find some kind of cut or difference in the overall signal. I looked for various VDI numbers on my detector screen that might alert me to the possibility that there were more than just one kind of metal near or in the ground where I was detecting. There would most likely be rust on the lid of the glass jar where the gold was placed within. However, I did study different types of grape juice jars that were made in the mid 1980’s by various companies and aluminum was also used to seal grape juice at that time, as well. Because we did not know the exact type of jar lid used to cover the gold, I could not be certain whether the lid would be infested with rust or not. Even so, I was still looking for target signals that would point me in the direction of either a rusted top or an aluminum one, just in case. I kept my eyes on the Minelab 800 detector screen to see if there were any numbers that would jump up and down between iron and aluminum which might be an indication that two different types of metal were being picked up on my machine. As it turned out, I did pick up some peculiar changes in the numbers as I studied that first spot that I was detecting. Unless a detectorist is very familiar with their equipment and extremely comfortable with reading the various VDI numbers on the display, what I was reading on the screen would not have impacted or influenced a detectorist to stop and investigate those signals. I came back to the house this day very prepared in my mind as to what VDI numbers could appear on the detector and I was determined to take my time and analyze the most difficult of places to search due to all of the interference I was picking up. If the house was masking the iron signals coming from the jar lid and the gold coins themselves, then I had to move slowly and test everything.
I moved my coil away from the first signal that I was detecting in order to observe what consistent signals were coming from a long side the back of the house as I moved the coil parallel with the building. Once I finished taking note of the consistent numbers on my VDI screen, I went back to that original target signal that I started with and I analyzed what numbers were coming from that first location. I discovered that the signals were very similar to what I was getting a long side the house except for the fact that there were also additional numbers that were occasionally coming up on the screen. This told me that while I was picking up the house metal, there was also the potential for additional iron and possibly precious metal buried beneath the ground very close to the house itself. I immediately switched metal detectors and set up my other Equinox 800 which had a 6 inch coil attached to it. I wanted to do further testing with a smaller coil so that I could confirm what I observed moments earlier with my other machine. Having a smaller coil gave me the flexibility to move the detector over parts of the targeted area to find clear separation between signals that potentially existed. Everything that I took note of prior to switching machines matched up perfectly with the current results. This convinced me that the targeted area was worth investigating further by starting my first dig of the day.
I didn’t waste a moment of time as I went and picked up Bob’s shovel that was leaning up against something nearby. I made up my mind that I would start the first dig with that first target area where I was getting those mixed signals. This was my very first attempt of the day to recover the gold. Though I had a good reason to start the dig, I really thought I was most likely going to discover that the signals were simply groups of interference from the house or I would find some scrap metal lodged deep below the surface. If I told you that I thought I would find the hoard of gold upon digging up the first target that I was searching for, I would have had to confess my dishonesty with you. I planned to spend all day searching for the gold if necessary and I thought that this would be the first of many attempts in searching for the treasure. Regardless of what was going through my mind at the time, I brought the shovel down and kicked it into the earth with my right foot and began displacing the dirt over and over again. I shoveling until I hoped to at least find some object that was giving off that unique signal in addition to what I was consistently hearing when I moved the detector parallel with the house.
After digging about a foot deep, I looked once again into the hole and this time I saw something black coming out of the side of the plug. It did not look like a solid object, but rather something plastic like a piece of a garbage bag. My immediate thought was that it was material left over from a landscaping company when they once lowered the young bushes into the ground many years back. Then, another thought occurred to me, ‘Could it be the buried treasure? Could the jar have been buried in something plastic to protect it from the elements?’ I continued to dig a little closer to the material that I had discovered, and the more that I dug around that area, the more I was growing convinced that I had found a garbage bag that was purposely buried in the ground for some other purpose than to plant bushes or small trees! I was more confident of this when all of a sudden I felt the shovel hit something hard which was located deeper in the dirt where the black plastic still laid mostly hidden. I started getting more curious and a bit more excited within me!
I was all alone in the backyard. Brenda was still in the kitchen and she had only left perhaps 10 minutes before I put the shovel to the ground. Bob had not returned home from his appointment and I was not about to continue any further with my recovery efforts without having Bob and Brenda present for the unveiling of whatever this was that was stuck in the earth. Without ripping the bag wide open or pulling it too far out of the earth, I pressed my finger up against the material and it was then that I was quite convinced that I may have indeed found what we had all been searching for! I touched several objects in the plastic that matched what felt like shards of glass! I further concluded that I may have discovered the very pieces of glass from the jar that contained the gold coins! I dropped the shovel and began talking into my GoPro video camera, analyzing the situation and having fun daydreaming around the idea that I may have just hit the right spot on my very first attempt of the day! It was just too good to be true, but I was still hoping that what I had just dug up was in fact the buried treasure!
Though Bob had not requested me to wait for him to bring up any potential targets that might be the gold coins, I was the one that gave him my word that I would wait for him to return home if I should find the gold. I wanted him to see the cache unveiled before his very eyes. I was certain that Bob’s father would have wanted this for his son when he supposedly buried the contents 35 years ago. The kind man trusted me with this dig and I was going to make sure he knew that there was not even a question that all of his property was safe with me, if in fact I had found the gold. What I do in private is always seen by my Heavenly Father and so I was only going to show the highest level of integrity and honesty before the Lord and towards these very kind people who entrusted me with their possessions.
I was just getting so giddy and excited as I thought more about what I may have just discovered! I took off my gear and headed to the front of the house where I knocked on the door hoping that Brenda would come out and see what I was looking at in the ground. I don’t think she expected that I would potentially find the buried gold this soon after just starting the search, especially with how many hours I was searching the last time I was at the premises. I will never forget the expression on Brenda’s face when she came to the door and I told her that I may have found what they had been looking for all these months! I encouraged her to come out immediately and take a look at what I had found in the hole! Brenda walked out of the house so excited that she forgot that she was still carrying the broken egg shells and banana peels from her banana bread recipe and she quickly threw the rubbish in the woods to fertilize the ground before walking with me to the hole that I had dug.
I pointed to the plastic bag and shared why I thought that I had found the gold coins. I explained to her t
hat I hit a bag and there appeared to be broken glass inside of it. This would line up with the account that Brenda remembered from 35 years earlier regarding the 2 liter grape juice container that her father-in-law used to bury the gold in! She didn’t want to wait for Bob to return to reveal what was inside, but I reminded her that I gave Bob my word. So instead of pulling the bag farther out of the ground, Brenda reached inside the plastic material and carefully pulled out a piece of broken glass. It was that moment when she brought the shard closer up to our eyes to study, that we grew almost completely certain that the gold that the family had been searching for was indeed finally found beneath the earth! The very piece that she pulled out of the bag was the bottom part of a 2 liter glass container! This is what convinced both of us that I had found the lost gold! We were beyond excited and in a way I was still in disbelief that I may have found the gold on my first try that day! Incredible! Absolutely fantastic!
Just as we were about to call Bob on the phone to let him know that I may have discovered the gold, he appeared on the side of the house, walking towards us without a clue in the world of the news that he was about ready to have reported to him! The man was so very encouraged when I told him that the very first target that I was focusing on did in fact match up with the description of the glass container that we were seeking after! He had such a happy grin on his face upon hearing the search update! Bob was trying to keep himself reserved just in case it was a false alarm. However, he also seemed to be pretty convinced that I did in fact find what they were looking for all this time based on the location of where the broken glass was uncovered and the type of vessel that was discovered in the plastic. I just cannot describe with words just how excited I was at this entire experience! I couldn’t wait to see if I had struck gold! I thought to myself, ‘This would be absolutely thrilling if my very first hit of the day ended up being the gold hoard that we were looking for!’ It just seemed too easy this second go-around, and yet, everything seemed to line up perfectly thus far!
It was time for the unveiling! The three of us walked a few feet over to the hole that I had dug earlier. At first, Bob got down on one knee to take a first peek at the old black plastic bag that was sticking out of the ground. Again, he expressed how appreciative he was of me waiting for him to return before the contents were removed from the earth. Could this be the very bag that Bob’s father selected with his own hands thirty-five years earlier to cover up the glass jar of gold coins? If so, it would be his son that would fully bring the treasure out into the open, seeing the light of day for the first time in three-and-a-half decades!
I stood off to the side where Brenda was and gave room for Bob to unveil what was buried in the ground. He took a hold of the plastic and pulled it farther and farther out into the open until it was completely exposed before our eyes. Apparently, the plastic was exactly what I thought it was. It was in fact a trash bag. As the black material was moved farther out into the open, we could hear the broken glass moving around inside of the bag. All three of us were pretty certain that I had found the cache! My heart raced, and the anticipation was just unbearable! The excited son proceeded to rip the bag open with his two hands until we all saw it! That beautiful sight! The color of orange and yellow was shining in the midst of the dirt and glass! There it was! I had found the buried treasure! With our very eyes we were looking at what had been buried in the ground all of those years earlier by Bob’s father! I had done it! I truly did strike gold! It was one of the most exciting moments in my life! One after another, gold coins that had been hiding amongst the glass shards and clumps of dirt, began to appear all over the inside of the black plastic! We concluded later on that I most likely broke the glass container that held the coins when the shovel reached a certain depth where the jar had been buried. It was an amazing sight to behold! Most of the coins were still resting inside the white coin holders which kept the gold coins stacked one on top of the other. I looked at the first gold coin that Bob took in his hand and it was clearly marked as a South African Krugerrand! I looked at another one and another one and another one and they all were South African, 1 ounce, 22 karat gold coins! The whole experience was absolutely fantastic! Bob’s face could easily be read at that moment! He was filled with extreme elation and full of relief! Brenda was so happy for her man! Dad’s gift to his loved ones was finally unearthed and revealed for the surviving family to receive!
For me, it was like I had been transported back to 1976, back to being that seven year old child again in Virginia Beach when I had found that other treasure full of silver! I remembered my mother, brother and I studying the contents in that old beat up suitcase and learning that the silver had been stolen from a nearby hotel located near the beach. There was nothing like returning the property to the manager of that hotel and seeing the look on his face! There was nothing like it…until now! After all of those years, again I was able to help recover and return treasure to its rightful owner! This time it was a hoard of precious gold coins! Another dream came true! Something like this is so very rare and extremely special to experience! I felt humbled and honored to be a part of such a hunt and to be the one to find the gold treasure!
As Bob pulled the coins out of the ground, he placed each one of them back in their original coin holders, the very white plastic rolls that his father had slowly filled up during the time that he had been purchasing the coins in the 1970’s through the mid 1980’s. Those containers still had Bob’s father’s fingerprints marked on them! At some point during the recovery, Bob found in the ground the piece of glass that had a gold colored grape juice label on it and it was clearly marked “Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice”! Also, by reading the label, we were able to verify once again that the container was in fact a 2 liter container – just as Brenda had remembered after all of those years! All of the details checked out perfectly!
Before long, Bob had recovered all of the coins that were buried in the ground. The search and recovery of the beloved gold treasure was complete! The embraces that I received from both of them at that moment truly meant the world to me! The mission that they embarked on several months ago had finally come to a close. The couple was so very grateful for my help in recovering the lost gold which they had spent so much time searching for! I told Bob and Brenda that I was just as grateful for being a part of such an exciting hunt!
That moment that the three of us were experiencing was so very surreal. It really was a fairytale moment that I will never forget! It may sound strange to read this, but in a special way, I felt very connected to Bob’s father even though I had never met him. By discovering the gold, it was like I was helping his father bring that treasure back to the very ones that he wanted it disbursed to so many decades earlier. I was also showing the deceased gentleman my greatest respect by having Bob do the honors of pulling the contents out of the ground. Nothing could prepare me for such elation and thrill that I was feeling and experiencing at that moment! I saw that countenance of relief upon Bob’s face.
After a while of celebrating this marvelous discovery, Bob began to ask me questions as to how I found the treasure so quickly after so many hours of not finding it during the last visit. I explained to him how difficult it was to follow the signal that we were looking for based on how the house metal was masking the signal that was needed to lead us to the buried treasure. I did a reenactment for him so that he could see what I was trying to decipher on my detector. I also pulled out my handheld metal detector (a pinpointer) and demonstrated how all of the metal that was coming from the house was being picked up on the handheld detector and a long with the Equinox 800 metal detector as far away as three to four feet from the house siding. This made it almost impossible to determine if there was any treasure buried in the spot that I decided to investigate.
The next preoccupation that Bob was dealing with was the fact that I found the gold just feet from where he had been digging in the past couple of months. He was so close, but he was looking in the wrong place. He was focusing on one side of the right corner of the house when he needed to be looking at the other side of that same corner! He just couldn’t believe how close he was! The couple also realized upon seeing where the gold was buried that there was a strong chance that their father’s treasure could have been stolen right from underneath their noses within the past year! This was concluded because they had hired workers to come out and pull a tree out of the ground, which was literally a foot or two from where the gold coins were buried. There were also bushes that were pulled out of the ground alongside that area in recent years, and any of those hired hands could have stumbled upon a piece of that plastic and eventually pull the treasure right out of the ground and into their pockets! Bob shook his head and realized that my conclusions were quite accurate, and it was quite possible that someone could have stolen his family treasure without him ever knowing about it.
What a special moment! I indeed found the lost gold treasure! In total, I had unearthed 60 South African, 1 ounce, 22 karat gold Kruggerands, worth an estimated $100,000. The dates that were on the coins ranged from the 1970s up through the early 1980s. It was an extraordinary find! After I made sure that there were no more coins left in the hiding place, Bob called their son to inform him of the exciting news! He was just as happy and relieved as his parents and I so greatly appreciated his kind words of encouragement for successfully completing the mission!
Next, the three of us went inside the house and had a time of celebration. As Brenda prepared to cut her homemade shoofly pie and banana bread for all of us to indulge in, Bob placed all of the coins onto a plate and set it on the stove for the meantime. I had the time of my life sitting at their kitchen table and eating the best baked goodies along with recounting the whole search story from two weeks ago up until the present hour! It was simply fantastic for all of us! I was still pinching myself within, almost not believing that I had really found the gold and that it was in fact my very first target that afternoon! Incredible! I felt so honored to be a part of this story, and I kept thanking the couple for calling me and entrusting me with this search!
When we finished eating the pie and bread that tasted so heavenly, it was time to pack up the rest of my gear and head down the mountain towards home. I took a look at the pile of gold there on that plate one last time and I wondered if I would ever have such an amazing search and recovery ever again. Many have tried to recover lost gold for family members and it’s rare that the story concludes the way this one did. Therefore, I was beyond grateful for what I was able to be a part of that day! The three of us held each other, praying for my safe trip home, giving many thanks to the Lord for allowing for such a successful day and for giving us the privilege of intersecting our lives in the way that we had. I also prayed for the healing of their hearts regarding the endless suffering that they were experiencing with the loss of their beloved son.
We would probably never see one another again until our reunion in Heaven, so we expressed our warm feelings for each other with several hugs and handshakes before I got inside my vehicle. Just as I was about to put the key into the car ignition, Brenda extended her hand towards me and gave me several pieces of paper that contained her shoofly pie and banana bread recipes! She wrote them down for me inside the house. I was so touched by Brenda’s kind gesture of taking all of that time to gift me some of her family food secrets! She hoped that my wife would find a chance to bake these scrumptious recipes at some point. I couldn’t thank her enough! Along with the recipes came a bag of dessert that was left over from earlier that afternoon! I was truly in « sweets » heaven! Lastly, I couldn’t have been more grateful for the very kind and generous reward that the couple blessed me with just prior to me leaving their beloved estate. Over and over again I expressed my sincere appreciation for their thoughtfulness. Into the night I traveled down their long driveway until I could no longer see the precious couple that had been standing in the same yard that had finally given up the hoard of gold earlier that day. Once again, down the mountain I went, but this time…I was leaving with “golden” memories that I would cherish for the rest of my life.
I will never forget this amazing adventure in helping this family recover their lost gold treasure. I am so grateful to THE RING FINDERS and the directory’s CEO, Chris Turner, who started this incredible directory over a decade ago to provide a way for people like Bob and Brenda to make contact with metal detectorists like myself who could help them find what they could not. If it wasn’t for Mr. Turner, there may have never been stories like this one and the many thousands of other recovery stories that are documented by other detectorists on the directory website! My gratitude is greatly extended to Mr. Turner for providing such an incredible service for people like Bob and Brenda and also for making dreams come true for recovery experts like myself who waited all my life to experience something as awesome as this gold treasure recovery! Furthermore, I give God all of the praise and thanks for allowing me to bring this story to a successful and happy ending! The experience that I was afforded was truly as fantastic as the gold coins themselves that I helped to recover. I will never forget this story, nor will I ever stop sharing just how amazing it was to help the sweet, elderly couple in need and the electricity of excitement that was felt the moment that I saw the lost gold bullion rise once again from the forgotten earth!
As the reader finishes the account above, I hope that one comes away with the same feelings and observations that I experienced throughout the amazing search. It is clear from the many past events that led up to the recovery of the gold treasure that this was all about a family love story. The patriarch (Bob’s father) spent almost a decade-and-a-half of his life purchasing gold coins for the single purpose of providing for the needs of his children. He loved his family so much that he thought ahead, looking into the future, way past those current moments of time back in the early 1970’s through the mid 1980’s in order to preserve an investment that would one day flourish in the hands of his children and grandchildren. His love was so pure that in his spending, savings and burying of the gold, the man knew from the very beginning that he would not be alive to witness the unforgettable elation and gratitude felt by the beneficiaries. There was nothing in it for him other than the reassurance that the ones he loved the most would be cared for with these coins if they in fact encountered difficult seasons in their lives. Reflecting back, something made me feel that Bob’s loving father was watching over us happily as his beloved son pulled out the bag of gold from the ground! The man who left his loving investment behind for the well-being of his children, truly showed himself to be the most beautiful treasure of all!
Do you have any idea what Bob’s father paid for a 1 ounce gold coin back in 1970?
Ready for this?… $35.00 per coin!
Then, by 1980, Bob’s father was spending an average of $650.00 per coin!
In 1984, when the 60 gold coins were buried in the earth, each coin dropped its worth to $400.00, making the grand total worth of the cache at $24,000.00.
Now, jump 35 years into the future! At the end of 2019, each gold coin sold between $1600.00 and $1700.00, establishing the grand total worth of Bob’s treasure at an amazing amount of $102,000.00!
If you would like to view the gold charts showing the changes in the gold market over the past many decades, feel free to click on this link:
What a “love-filled » return on Bob’s father’s investment!
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