Finding Lost Buried Treasure


There are things that are buried and will be dug up by the person who buried them someday, and then there is lost buried treasure. This is the loot that has been forgotten, left behind, erased from memory and so on. Let's look at an example of how this happens.

Years ago I buried 100 ounces of silver in a plastic container five feet from the south and west wall of my parent's house, in a crawl space accessed through the basement, six inches under the dirt. Until the day I dug it up (and cashed it in for $6 per ounce--big mistake) I had told nobody about its existence. There was also nothing written down about it. So if I had died before removing it, not a soul in the world would have a reason to suspect there was 100 ounces of silver buried at that spot. In fact, it might only be discovered a hundred years later when the house was torn down. Even then someone would probably have to hit the area with a metal detector to find it.

Burying things is not that uncommon, but people don't talk about it much. And even buried currency can often be found with a metal detector, because it is common to put it in a coffee can or other metal container (and even glass jars have metal tops). So why not use a metal detector to check any dirt under houses, whether that means in the crawl space under your own home, the partial basements of friends' houses, or underneath old abandoned homes.

How Much Can You Make?

According to some sources, there are billions of dollars of currency that are not accounted for in bank accounts--more than people have in their purses and wallets. How much of that is buried in basements and crawl spaces is anyone's guess, but it can't hurt to check it out. As I write this (the end of 2010) that silver would have a value of $2,600 (had I not cashed it in for $600).

Interestingly, in that same crawl space where I had my silver, there was actually a lost buried treasure. Well, it wasn't really buried, but it was a chest tucked away under the house, in the dirt. It had Vietnamese coins and bills along with some other items. I returned these to the previous owner of the home, who had completely forgotten that he had put them there.

Note: This is a Money Making Ideas page, part of the section that is all about undeveloped and untested ideas for making money, so any comments on profits or income are just speculation.

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

You might offer your metal detecting services to owners of old homes for a percentage of whatever you find, or if they are afraid of losing out on too much, they can just pay you an hourly fee to search their property (don't do it for less than $25 per hour).

Dig carefully, since you may run into pipes and even buried electrical cables in some crawl spaces.

Qualifications / Requirements

You'll need to buy or borrow a metal detector.

First Steps

Get out there and start looking.


The Urban Treasure Hunter: A Practical Handbook for Beginners, by Michael Chaplan - Square One Publishers; 2nd edition 2004. - My site, which covers metal detecting and lost buried treasure among other topics. - A discussion forum and great informational pages.

Metal Detecting Secrets - An e-book you can download and read right now. - Used and refurbished metal detectors starting for less than $100 or so.

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Every Way to Make Money | Finding Lost Buried Treasure