To quote Shakespeare, ‘All that glitters Is not gold,’ but SOME of it is.  The lure of buried treasure, an occasional flight of fancy for some and a soul-selling obsession for others, is an ageless fascination.  


No soul bartering here, but I’ve done some research for would be treasure hunters and discovered  there are many yet undiscovered troves in America.  Apparently in every state according to the book Buried Treasures You Can Find by Robert F. Marx.   An interesting and informative read, however the font size decreases to minuscule proportions when Mr. Marx reaches the part of the book where he actually lists possible sites, so don’t expect me to recap without a magnifying glass.  Instead I’ll touch on some of his general  guidelines.  I, for one, would be happy to discover even a single gold doubloon , but it would have to wash ashore.  I’m not scuba diving.


Author Robert Marx has been treasure-seeking ever since he quit his newspaper route as a youth and has recovered an astonishing array of lost, hidden, or mislaid treasure both on land and plucked from the depths of the sea. First of all, he says you need a good metal detector and devotes pages to weighing the merits of various kinds.  Agreed, a premier detector would be fun to have, and considering I live in historic Virginia, I might actually find a Civil War button or something from the past which would thrill me.   Bear in mind that I’m easily delighted.  I once unearthed what I thought were shards of old pottery while planting a peach tree that turned out to be the remnants of an antiquated septic system.  Not very exciting.  However, my determination to dig the hole deeper in search of my imagined find got the tree planted in a hurry.  The most I’ve ever unearthed on our farm are old medicine bottles, but I’m fond of old bottles and have a kitchen windowsill filled with them.
The next step Mr. Marx advises after you’ve conducted a thorough study of metal detectors (I haven’t) and made your purchase is to learn how to use it properly and practice, practice.  Yada, yada,  we’re up to page 63 now–this book is for serious seekers–when he describes some of the most famous still to be discovered caches, also discussing WHY people bury treasure.    I assumed because they didn’t want thieves to find it, but there’s more.  In Colonial America banks were rare and often unavailable so most people buried money on their property.  Indians might suddenly attack  or the British were coming, so they prepared for calamities, possibly dying before recovering their money.
During the Civil War people in the South buried their treasures not only to keep them out of enemy hands but to avoid having to donate to the Confederate Treasury for the war effort.  As before, the ‘safest bank’ was a hole in the ground or some other secret location.  Some of the largest undiscovered treasures occurred during the Civil War: Excerpted from the book Civil War Gold & Other Lost Treasures by W. Craig Gaines. ”The really big lost treasure is that of the Confederate Treasury in custody of Jeff Davis upon leaving Richmond, fleeing the Yankee hordes. Portions of it are believed to be in Greene & Morgan Counties of Georgia. The combined hoard is believed to be between $500,000 and $600,000 in gold, the combined values of the Richmond Bank & Confederate Treasury. Most made it to Washington, Georgia, but an untold amount remains unaccounted for.”
On the Western frontier, there were many cutthroats who preyed on hapless pioneers, and Lord knows those gold prospectors were justifiably paranoid.  So they kept their big strikes secret, some taking that knowledge with them to the grave.  And there were the gamblers, soldiers, saloon keepers…who hid their earnings.  Not to mention the stage-coach robbers who hid their  loot while escaping from the posse,  thinking to return for it later. But they didn’t all.   Get the picture?  Untold treasure is still out there–somewhere.  The key word is 'somewhere.'
If you’re seeking a specific cache, and there are some famous ones, Mr. Marx says to first be certain it truly exists and isn’t the stuff of legend.  Would you believe some disreputable people will  try to sell you treasure maps that aren’t actually genuine.  *Shakes head.
Mr. Marx suggests seeking documentation recorded as closely to the time of the original event as possible and that old newspapers and books are a valuable resource.  If you’re just searching out potential historic sites, then he suggests ports, river banks, anywhere construction is moving earth, old homes, ghost towns, abandoned trash dumps from bygone days… Mr. Marx has oodles of suggestions and lists them by state.
The book of mine that best fits this theme is light paranormal/time travel romance Somewhere My Lassin which the hero and heroine seek an ancient relic with miraculous powers.   
Blurb for Somewhere My Lass:
Neil MacKenzie’s well ordered life turns to chaos when Mora Campbell shows up claiming he’s her fiancé from 1602 Scotland. Her avowal that she was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, is utter nonsense, and Neil must convince her that she is just addled from a blow to her head–or so he believes until the MacDonald himself shows up wanting blood.
Mora knows the Neil of the future is truly her beloved Niall who disappeared from the past. Although her kinsmen believe he’s dead, and she is now destined to marry Niall’s brother, she’s convinced that if she and Neil return to the past, all will be right. The only problem is how to get back to 1602 before it’s too late.
The balance of the present and future are in peril if she marries another, and the Neil of the present will cease to exist. An ancient relic and a few good friends in the future help pave the way back to the past, but will Mora and Neil be too late to save a love that began centuries before?~
Any treasure hunters out there?  If so, happy hunting!

13 comments

  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 28, 2011 at 2:30 PM  

    Oh, I want to go treasure hunting. But it is way to hot in Georgia for treasure hunting. Maybe in the fall....

  2. Beth Trissel // July 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM  

    Way too hot in Georgia, even too hot here in the valley. Fall would be a lovely time. We need a good metal detector.

  3. Judy // July 28, 2011 at 7:31 PM  

    It would be fun to be on a treasure hunt! I see people walking beaches with metal detectors and I always think the possibilities are endless! Fun to think about anyway...

  4. Barbara Monajem // July 28, 2011 at 7:40 PM  

    Fascinating, but I'm like you, Beth -- the doubloons would have to be washed to shore.

    I would love to dig up some Celtic or Anglo-Saxon treasure... not likely to happen to me in real life, but sounds like a fun idea for a story.

  5. Mona Risk // July 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM  

    Do you think we can find buried treasure in the States? If you dig in Egypt, you are likely to find some ancient statues, sarcophagus or who knows...If we dig in other areas of The MiddleEast you may find oil!!! the real traesure!

  6. Beth Trissel // July 28, 2011 at 9:40 PM  

    Treasure is everywhere, apparently. And yes, there are some very big stashes in America.

  7. Autumn Jordon // July 28, 2011 at 9:59 PM  

    This is so interesting, Beth.

    My family has a tale that my great-great uncle buried a box full of gold coins up in the hollow. No one has ever found it. Maybe he did and maybe he didn't, but it's fun to search and hope.

    I've got o look this book up. Great post!

  8. Beth Trissel // July 29, 2011 at 8:23 AM  

    Thanks Autumn. You definitely need to rent or borrow a metal detector and have a look!

  9. Toni V.S. // July 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM  

    Treasure under our feet! What a thought!

  10. Toni V.S. // July 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM  

    Treasure almost under our feet! What a thought!

  11. Josie // July 29, 2011 at 1:29 PM  

    Beth,
    The closest I've ever come to treasure hunting is panning for gold in the NC mountains. This is an interesting subject, though, and the book is a great find.

  12. Beth Trissel // July 29, 2011 at 2:11 PM  

    I love the idea of finding any sort of treasure.

  13. Mary Marvella // July 30, 2011 at 2:07 PM  

    My comment isn't here! I suggested we have an expedition and go looking!