It’s almost too good to be true to think that stories of modern-day treasure finds still exist. And yet, they do. Stories of forgotten pirate ships and buried gold are well known to us from the pages of our favourite childhood books. To dare to imagine that many of the stories are based on real events is almost too fantastic to fathom. And yet, every once in a while, real people living in the real world happen upon these treasures when they least expect it! We’ve rounded up some of the top discoveries in recent years, and you can be sure that those who found them felt like they had hit the jackpot!
Chris Kutler, a South Western Londoner, is handy when it comes to using a metal detector. Chris recently spent four days out in a field in Essex in Britain, convinced that hidden treasure was to be found. His determination was rewarded, because hundreds of years ago the Anglo Saxon had decided to bury their gold in that exact spot.
The treasure hunter’s find has now been shipped off to the British Museum so that the coins might be appraised, but many believe the stash to be worth in excess of 10,000 British Pounds. Chris reports that he did not think that he had found anything noteworthy at first, thinking that the gleam in the field was a wasp. Upon closer inspection though, he realised that it was something different altogether.
Whilst Chris Kutler’s story is one of reward for the treasure hunter eager to find something of value, the best finds are often those that are stumbled upon completely by accident. On June 28th, 2011, a group of labourers who were in the process of renovating an ancient structure in Nepal in the Hanumandhoka Palace discovered a large stash of gold and silver ornaments.
The ornaments were found in the storeroom of the palace that belonged to the ancient kings of Malla. The kings of Malla ruled Nepal pre-unification, roughly two and a half centuries ago. The storeroom had been locked for centuries, all the while protecting the hidden treasure from prying eyes.
Who among us can withstand the seductive charm of gold? In 2011, one of the most dazzling finds ever to be made was discovered in India. The stash consisting of gold and rare jewels was discovered in an underground chamber of Southern India’s Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, located in the province of Kerala.
The treasure is one of the richest ever found, estimated to be worth around a trillion dollars. The find consisted of heavy necklaces made of pure gold, antique pieces of silver, bags full of glitzy diamonds, diamond and emerald studded classic, antique jewellery, a rope made entirely of gold thread, coins dating back to the age of Napoleon as well as precious stones wrapped in sovereign, luxurious silk.
The temple is now deemed to be the richest in India.
1985 was a big year for famous treasure hunter Mel Fisher. Mel and his team had spent 17 years searching for the Atocha, a Spanish galleon that had sunk off the coast of Key West in the state of Florida back in 1662. The value of the find was estimated at around $450 million, which converts to more or less $1billion today.
Kim Fisher, Mel Fisher’s son, was part of the crew when they made the magnificent discovery. He remembers finding about 40 tons of silver, gold and pure gold bars, many pieces of valuable jewellery as well as chains made entirely of gold.
Controversy followed soon, with the state of Florida and the Federal Government both laying claim to the treasure. Interestingly enough, Spain made no move either way to claim the treasure. Eventually, the Supreme Court intervened, ruling it came down to a simple matter of finders-keepers. The court case lasted a gruelling eight years.
The loot was divided among those who had invested in the trip. Fisher himself received a handsome portion of the treasure too, but elected to keep many of the pieces in a local Key West museum, saying that retirement didn’t sound like too much fun after all, even though it was at that point very much an option!