Treasure Hunting and Archaeology

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erewenguy
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Man finds £2 million of gold

Man finds £2 million of gold in tank he bought for £30,000
Simon Robb for Metro.co.ukMonday 10 Apr 2017
 

A man who bought a tank on eBay for £30,000 got more than his money’s worth after he discovered £2 million of gold bars hidden in the fuel tank.

Nick Mead, 55, found the valuable bullion while restoring a Russian T54/69 with his mechanic friend, Todd Chamberlain.

He filmed himself opening up the diesel in case he found weapons and needed to show it to bomb disposal crews.

But instead he uncovered five solid gold bars, weighing up to 12lbs each – which are believed to be worth around £2 million in total.

‘We didn’t know what to do. You can’t exactly take five gold bullion bars down to Cash Converters without questions being asked, so we called the police,’...

The pair believe the gold was looted by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait during the Gulf War in the early 90s.

‘They must have cut a hole in the fuel tank and rammed it full of gold bars,’ he added.

The bars have since been taken away by police for analysis.

Nick has been left a receipt which he has placed in a safety deposit box.

But if it turns out he is unable to keep the bullion, Nick said he’ll still have his ‘beautiful tank’.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman told the newspaper they could not comment ‘for operational reasons’.

http://metro.co.uk/2017/04/10/man-finds-2-million-of-gold-in-tank-he-bought-for-30000-6563708/

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Insert karat joke here

Woman finds long-lost diamond ring on carrot in garden

  • 16 August 2017

Mary Grams, 84, was devastated when she lost the ring while weeding on the family farm in Alberta in 2004.

But she had kept the ring's loss a secret from all but her son for more than a decade.

On Monday, her daughter-in-law discovered the secret - and the ring - when she pulled up a lumpy carrot.

The carrot had grown straight through the ring, enabling it to be plucked out after many years hiding in the soil....

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40956139

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Coin stash that puts new spin

Coin stash that puts new spin on China’s 100 years of humiliation

Inside a nondescript Hong Kong warehouse sit seven tons of Qing dynasty coins – proof, their owner says, that it was the imperial monetary system, not the opium trade, that brought China low in the 19th century

BY EDITH TERRY

22 OCT 2017

The Qing dynasty produced millions of coins annually, but Burger started his collection with a mere two million. A friend in Hong Kong, Lau Chi-man, imported scrap metal from Indonesia, where Qing cash was in circulation until the Japanese occupation in the 1940s.

“He let me have 70 bags full of coins, each about 100kg,” Burger says. “I could choose whatever I wanted. The rest he used as scrap metal. This was the basis of my collection, and it was 95 to 96 per cent Qing coins.” Lau’s gift was a stroke of luck. “I had enough coins to do what nobody else had done,” Burger says. “Arrange the coins year by year.”...

“My goal was to write about the whole Qing dynasty, but I needed more information,” he says.

He approached Sinologists around the world, asking where he might find mint archives. Alfred Kaiming Chiu, head librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library until his retirement in 1964, gave him his first clue, pointing him towards the First Historical Archives.

“The archives are open to serious researchers, so every time I went to Beijing, I asked about mint reports. ‘Oh, we don’t have them,’ the gatekeeper would say. ‘It’s you again, we still don’t have them.’”...

“We went over [for] 16 years,” Lucy says. “Every time we brought presents. Every time he said, ‘You poor things, give up.’ But Werner is German. He doesn’t give up.”

Then, in 1996, the perennially resource-starved archives received a windfall that allowed renovations to be conducted. Workers knocked down a wall, and found a room packed to the ceiling with Qing imperial archives. The discovery was comparable to the finding of Buddhist texts in the Mogao Caves, in Dunhuang, Gansu province, in 1900, revolutioni­sing Qing studies at one stroke....

After completing the monu­mental task of compiling and arranging, in chronological order, the production of each mint from 1735 to 1911, Burger did two things with the data.

First, he was able to calculate with a high degree of accuracy the total annual cash production across China, and compare it with census-based population records. The result is an index of economic activity, from 18 coins per person at the height of China’s prosperity under the Qianlong Emperor to its depths during the period when the Empress Dowager Cixi ruled and China was deep into its period of national humili­ation, the antithesis of President Xi Jinping’s Chinese dream.

By the late 19th century, production ranged between 0.5 to one cash per person annually, which, combined with the runaway devaluation of cash currency against the benchmark value of silver, meant that economic activity had slowed to a crawl....

Second, Burger analysed prevailing annual exchange rates.

The massive devaluation of Qing currency in the 19th century is typically blamed on the opium trade, which was funded in silver imported from Mexico through the Manila galleon trade from 1565. Burger’s microscopic focus on mint data, matched with the most extensive cash collection in existence, tells a different story. Forgeries, both domestic and foreign, undermined the currency as early as the Qianlong reign....

Burger’s own theories remain controversial in China, within the small circle of experts in numismatics. In 2003, the China Numismatic Museum, in Beijing, held a conference on his first book, Ch’ing Cash Until 1735, published in 1975. The assembled experts were incredulous.

“They challenged him,” Lucy says. “Werner asked, ‘Has anyone in this room seen seven tons of coins? Two million coins?’ They were just dead quiet. The curator is still laughing about it.”...

http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/2116027/coin-stash-puts-new-spin-chinas-100-years

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