Check out the most amazing discoveries with a metal detector! This top 10 list features some of the most unique, valuable and mysterious ancient treasures found by metal detecting around the world!
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10. Roman Coins
Detectorists spend most of their time searching fields and coming up empty, but occasionally they’ll find something that makes it all worthwhile. This is what happened to Dave Crisp, a hospital administrator. In 2010, he made an amazing discovery in a field near Frome, in the county of Somerset in England.
Expecting to find the usual discarded metal objects, he started digging on a spot where his detector had signalled a strong reading, and to his surprise, he uncovered a large pot that contained a hoard of Roman coins. In total there were over 52,000 of them! 766 bore an image of Marcus Aurelius Carausius, who ruled over Britain between 286 and 293 AD. As the first leader to strike coins in the country, this was a particularly important find- one that was valued at over 1 million dollars. The coins were sent to the British museum where they were cleaned by archaeologists and put on display.
9. The Mojave Nugget
While you may think that the gold in the California hills is long gone, this story shows that it’s still out there for those who look hard enough.
In 1977, Ty Paulsen was using his metal detector in the Mojave Desert in Southern California when he discovered something people always dream of- a huge golden nugget. It turned out to be one of the largest ever found by a metal detector in the US, and weighed a massive 4.5 kg! Known as the Mojave Nugget, it was worth a whopping $200,000, and can now be seen on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Unsurprisingly, Paulsen has never revealed the exact location where found the nugget, but it’s thought to have been from the Stringer Mining District- an area that has been linked with large quantities of gold discovery over the years. Who knows, if you get out searching you might make the next big discovery there yourself!
8. Bullet in Dallas, Texas
It’s not just valuable treasure in monetary terms that can be found with a metal detector, as Richard H. Lester discovered in 1974. He was in Dallas, Texas, searching for hits on Dealey Plaza when he found a bullet fragment. Now, this may not seem too out of the ordinary in the US, but this location just so happened to be about 500 yards away from the Texas School Book Depository, the location thought to have been used by Lee Harvey Oswald when he shot JFK.
Lester kept the fragment for a number of years, but he handed it over to the FBI in 1976 as a part of ongoing investigations . They conducted tests on it, which they published the following year, and while the bullet had the same 4 grooves and right hand twist pattern as Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano, the lands were spaced further apart than they should have been- meaning it was unlikely from his gun. No-one suggested at the time that it could have been from a second gunman, but from a day out with his metal detector, Lester found himself in the middle of the greatest conspiracy ever.
7. Spanish Gold Chalice
You don’t have to be an expert to make an amazing find, all you need is commitment and hard work. Mike DeMar took a job as a diver with a treasure hunting firm when he was 20 years old. Sounds like a great job! They were searching the Florida Keys for treasure from a sunken Spanish ship, the Santa Margarita, that had sunk over 400 years ago. The efforts of the company, Blue Water Ventures, had been on-going since 1980, and they had just begun looking at a new site. Within a couple of months of working there, DeMar was underwater and his metal detector pinged. He dug a bit with his hands and found what initially seemed like a piece of rock, but on closer inspection turned out to be a Golden Chalice.
The ornate object, thought to be from around the time of the ship, at least 400 years old, was subsequently valued at over $1 million dollars- more than enough to warrant the rest of the day off and a toast of champagne with his new colleagues. The ship had sunk in a storm that scattered the debris in one direction, but another storm hit and scattered it all across the seabed. Following this discovery, Blue Water Ventures were confident that they’d make further finds- although as of yet they haven’t announced anything quite like the chalice.
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