Let's go out and find some gold! No, this is not a joke.
Several people have made extraordinary discoveries when they least expected to find something as valuable as gold worth thousands of dollars!
All these people used was a metal detector!
The first time a metal detector was used was back in 1881 by its inventor Alexander Graham Bell who tried to use the device in an attempt
to find the bullet in the body of US President James Garfield.
The metal detector worked flawlessly in tests but did not find the assassin's bullet partly because the metal bed frame on which the President was
lying disturbed the instrument, resulting in static.
In modern days metal detectors are used to search for mines and we can see these devices at airports.
What you might not know is that thousands of treasure hunters also use metal detectors to search for valuable items and they often make the most
In 1977, using a metal detector prospector Ty Paulsen discovered a gold nugget in the Stringer district near Randsburg, California.
Known as the Mojave Nugget, it is the largest gold nugget ever found in California.
The nugget, which weighs 156 troy ounces (4.9 kg).
It is part of the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Collection of gold nuggets that was donated to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
The collection contains 132 pieces of gold and has a total weight of more than 1,660 troy ounces (52 kg).
The Mojave Nugget
In 1980, an English man was searching in an Irish bog and found a gigantic gold chalice studded with amber along with its accompanying tray and strainer,
the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Nine years later, in 1989, an Australian man who also used a metal detector found a 12-inch long gold nugget weighing 389.4 ounces.
It was shaped like a boot. They named it Boot Of Cortez after the famous Spanish explorer. It sold in an auction in 2008 for over $1.5 million"It's
the largest surviving gold nugget ever discovered in the Western hemisphere," said David Herskowitz, director of natural history for the auction house.
Two interesting discoveries were made in 2007. First, Philip Wills, a 78-year-old English man found a Roman coin used in 155 BC from the time where
England was a Roman territory. It was truly the find of a lifetime! Philip, known to his friends as Jim, started metal detecting in 1972.
"I found the first Roman coin," he said. "It was a small silver coin called a Denarius. The coin was minted in Rome and was
probably brought here by the Romans when they invaded in 43 AD.
"The coin remained in circulation for a long time and would have still been in circulation then.
"It was unearthed from only about six inches down. I was incredulous. This coin is, to date, the oldest Roman coin found on the whole site and I
understand it dates to 155BC-120BC."
He had found five Roman coins and other unrelated artefacts. The next day, he found nine more Roman coins with more turning up when fellow
enthusiast Dennis Hewings, of Paignton, joined him in the search.
Next interesting discovery took place when a father and son metal detecting team in England found an ancient Viking treasure trove of silver
and gold worth over 750,000 pounds.
The most important Viking hoard in the last 150 years was discovered on farmland in Yorkshire.
Barry Ager, curator of European objects at the British Museum, said: "It is an extremely exciting find, not just because it is the biggest
and best for 150 years. The fact that the items come from all over the world shows the huge extent of the Vikings' commercial links."
In 2008, an English man discovered an Anglo-Saxon 18 carat gold cross that experts say dates back to the 7th century.
The standard of preservation is remarkable and the anonymous finder knew immediately he had chanced upon a spectacular piece of history Photo: BNPS.co.uk
The Anglo Saxon artefact is set with red gemstones and might have originally held a relic such as bone from a Disciple or fragment of the Cross.
Measuring just over an inch long, the 18 carat gold cross has been decorated with fine detail and is thought to have been worn as a pendant.
It is English made with gold that was probably melted down from Merovingian French coins.
The specific location where the treasure hunter found this artefact has been kept secret.
The unnamed discoverer said: " Instinctively I put down the digger and scraped gently at the soil with my gloved hand.
"Then I made contact with a piece of metal that made me want to remove my glove. It seemed warm, almost alive, to my touch.
"My fingers closed on it and when I opened them I was gazing down, literally with my jaw dropped in astonishment, at the most wonderful find I've ever recovered."
In 2009, an English man found an ancient Anglo-Saxon collection of 1,500 pieces of gold and silver.
A gold strip with a Biblical inscription was among the 1,500 pieces unearthed in an English field.
The hoard includes 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of gold and 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of silver. That is more than three times the amount of
gold found at Sutton Hoo, one of Britain's most important Anglo-Saxon sites, said the local council in Staffordshire where the latest haul was found.
There was so much gold at the site that Herbert said he was soon seeing it in his sleep.
"Imagine you're at home and somebody just keeps putting money through your letterbox. That's what it was like," Herbert told Britain's
Press Association. "As soon as I closed my eyes I saw gold patterns. I didn't think it was ever going to end."
In 2009, a Scottish man went into a field and found a set of gold Iron Age necklaces worth over $2 million.
In June, 2010, a Swiss gardner was tending to a lawn when he found 10 gold bars worth a total of $126,000. He gets to keep the bar if it
isn't claimed within five years.
Extraordinary discoceries worth thousands of dollars.
Later, the same month a 52-year-old historian was walking through St. Helens when he unearthed a bronze age axe head that dates back to 1800 BC.
"It's as rare as hen's teeth.
It's something that you don't find every day and I've only been in the hobby for 12 months, " said Steve Hickling who found the axe.
Steve said he had been inspired to keep up his hobby after his trusty Garret Ace 250 metal detector helped him unearth the axe head.
He said: "It's not a dear machine, it's a starter machine really.
"I'll be carrying on with it. You never know - it would be nice to find something worth a few bob but it's not the end of the world if you don't."
Exactly! You never know! So, next time you see someone walking along the beach with a metal detector, think twice before you laugh - he can be a very rich man soon!
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