The Realities of Treasure Hunting

Treasure Hunting is not all glamour and gold. Can you get rich from it? Yes but those odds are not in your favor the majority of the time. There are a lot of times I went out and got skunked on any finds coming home with trash that I cleaned up out of the ground. I have also gone out and found some great relics and coins from another century. Even though I use an older machine (Minelab X-Terra 70) it still works really well.

post

Advertisements

Photo Change

I figured if I wanted to up my profile a bit I would change my image photo as well. I guess it’s a good place to start. I want everyone to know who they were looking at.

Kevin

Antiques & Helping Others

I was surfing on line and ran across a Habitat for Humanity store in Florida’s Key’s location. I started browsing to see what they had to offer, and low and behold I found some antique and vintage furniture for sale. I always thought the Habitat stores only sold like new or unused items for building homes. I thought that was really cool since I thought you had to go to antique shops or second-hand stores that sold everything from clothes and knick knacks and old furniture. I couldn’t see the prices, but the funding goes to helping build homes for families that really need them. I know they get them from donations but the early 1900’s vanity they showed a picture of was awesome and reminded me of some family heirlooms that I have.

Kevin Stone

Treasures Above Ground

Not all treasures are buried underground, but there is a lot that is lost to time and buried and covered with dust. I’m referring to the antiques and vintage collectibles that can be found at yard and garage sales or flea markets that can be found cheaply. There are a lot of items anymore that have been repurposed like turning antique wheels into tables or the original ice-boxes turned into storage cabinets. I have a triple bevel mirrored buffet or sideboard that the flat screen television is sitting on and stores DVDs. I have a Model T wheel in really good shape that I thought about turning into a table with a Lexan or glass top.

More Extensive Research

One thing I discovered is all the places on the world wide web that you can find free maps and free map sites. I have gone as far as overlaying antique and old maps over new maps to make things easier to locate. There are old maps that go back to before the 1500’s that show a lot of really old areas and what was there including ghost towns that the buildings have been gone for centuries. This is usually a good winter project, but be sure and back up your maps and downloads as I have lost about a thousand maps as a result of a computer crash. If you are into the outlaw era you can look at historical societies and antique news paper sites. Most of the time you can type outlaw or some gang member name and it will pull up robberies, or just type robberies in the onsite search. It will pull up a lot of results and another option is if you know the outlaws real name it will pull up land records on the BLM site or their family members name.

Research

One thing I have learned over the years of treasure hunting is research. I have had to teach myself on using BLM maps and locations by the use of plat surveys. Its free to use and you can get within yards of places you are looking for. They also show roads and trails which are defunct or over grown now. There are east and west median lines and north and south lines. The only cons  about it is they don’t have all the states which makes it a little more difficult. Depending on the age of the state they can go back to the early 1800’s or earlier. Some county names changed and you have to research those as well.

Chisholm Trail

Twice now in my life I have had the chance to hunt the Chisholm Cattle Trail where it came to the end of the line in Caldwell, Kansas at the rail head. I didn’t find much of anything the first time, but that goes hand in hand with treasure hunting. The second time was really worth it after following behind several guys with detectors twice the cost of mine. I found one lonely little coin that was counter stamped W.H.K.. Those guys couldn’t believe what I had found that was from the late 1850’s to1860’s. After much research the only person was from Australia and he was a chemist in a drug store. William H. Kernot counter stamped coins & tokens to verify that it was of true acceptable value from about 1857 to mid 1860’s in Chilwell Geelong Victoria, Australia. The only penny coins or tokens with his  counter stamp are in a book or museum in Victoria. I know the coin made a long journey across a very big pond to get here.w.h.k

My Oldest Coin

 

My oldest coin to date now is from the 1700’s. It was a hot summer day when I dug it, and I thought I wasted my time after getting it out of the ground thinking it was a trash item. After it sat around with a few junk items I was going through a few weeks later I dropped it on the counter. It had a high pitched ring theat I had heard before from other old coins. I started cleaning it up a bit and there was a cross on the back or obverse side with the Castile and Leo’n or also known as castles and a lion across from each other. On the front was a shield and three Fleur-de-Lis. Its had a faint Philip on the right hand side next to the rim. The coin was about 28mm (half dollar size) and made from a copper based material. I wrote an article on it “Spanish in Oklahoma” (which was my very first) and sent it off and it was published in Lost Treasure magazine. I have successfully published in a couple of different coin newspapers so far. I have a colleague that we have cussed and discussed about the Conquistadors here prior to the mid 1700’s and know a lot more happened than what history books tell.