By Jeff Filaseta – Ohio USA
If ever the treasure gods were smiling down on me, it was this day.
The Call Out
I recently had a friend reach out to me recently and said her husband and his father were looking for a bucket of silver coins he’d buried nearby over 20 years ago.
After making contact, I was told that his 90-year-old father had buried a bucket of about 250 silver dollar coins over 20 years ago and they couldn’t find them. They’d even hired a metal detector, but had no idea how to use it and gave up. I knew the family and they knew I was into the hobby and figured I had the mother of all detectors and asked if I could come and help in the search.
I agreed to meet them at the location and look for the stash. When I got there I was met by the 90 year old father and his two sons. They walked me out to a wooded area and told me they were sure it was about 12 feet from a particular tree they were indicating. Looking around you could tell they had been digging all around the tree area.
The Hunt Begins
Luckily, I’d brought 3 metal detectors with me. Minelab Equinox 800, XP Deus and a Garrett PI machine. I first started with my Equinox and spent about a half hour sweeping the area. We dug probably 10 holes only to come up with junk. I then had an issue with my Minelab as the aftermarket shaft broke loose so that the coil wouldn’t stay on. So, out came the Deus and then finally the Garrett, but no luck.
We were at the point of giving up as it just didn’t seem that we were going to find it. The father was cold from the weather, he thanked me for trying and headed back into the house with one of his sons. I gathered up my gear, but couldn’t help feeling bad that I hadn’t found it for them. I wanted to make sure before I left that I’d done everything possible, so I asked the one remaining son if it was possible we were searching around the wrong tree? He said his dad was sure it was that particular one we were looking around and that he had already ran the rental detector in a wider area with no results.
Just to put my mind at rest, I picked up my Deus and decided to try another nearby tree. Not long after, I got a solid 96/97 signal. I called him over and asked him to bring the probe and shovel. I could see the look of doubt on his face, but I assured him that this was probably the right numbers for large silver. There definitely was an excellent feeling about this one, you know, when you” know” you’re onto something good?.
The Eureka Moment
He poked the probe into the ground where I indicated, and he felt a “thunk!”. He looked up at me with a big smile and said, “I can feel this vibrating under my feet”. I picked up the shovel and started digging. I cleared about 8 to 10 inches and saw what looked to be a white lid. The son chimed in, “that has to be it!” After widening the hole, it was clearly the item we were looking for. Before us was a white plastic bucket lid, obviously attached to a bucket buried below.
The great moment of the reveal! Reaching down into the hole, I pried the lid off. To my utter shock, there before me was countless silver dollars, all in slabs and all graded! That was something I wasn’t expecting, I was expecting to find junk silver dollars in tubes.
I got to look at a few of the coins and they looked to be in great condition. I only saw one slab that appeared to be broken. It certainly was a site to behold.
We were able to get the bucket out of the ground intact and took everything back up to the house. The father and son were shocked when we walked in carrying that huge bucket of lost treasure. You should have seen the look on their faces, especially the father, it was priceless.
But Wait, There’s More!
During all the excitement, I did manage to ask one of the sons why his father had buried so many beautiful coins in the first place. He said his Dad was worried about the Y2K. This was the big fear in 1999 as to what would happen when all PC’s around the world clicked over to the year 2000. Supposedly they were all going to crash, causing chaos around the world’s economies.
To my shock, he added that his father had originally buried THREE buckets of silver coins and that they’d managed to recently recover the first two as they were easy to find because they were buried next to fixed markers on the property. Turns out the bucket I found was not near anything but a bunch of trees.
After all the back patting and excitement died down, I once again gathered up my stuff to hit the road. The father asked me what he owed me and I told him “nothing”. I told him I didn’t charge friends. He tried to make me take a $100 bill but I refused. I’ve known this guy and his family for more than 30 years and I wasn’t about to charge them a dime, it’s the least I could do.
During a year like 2020 I figure we all could use a good deed and this was mine.