Treasure Hunting and Archaeology

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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 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’.

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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....

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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


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.”...

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Rare Richard III Gold Half Angel Coin

Detectorist finds rare Richard III gold half angel coin

By Jeff Starck , Coin World 
Published : 12/04/17

A rare gold coin from the brief reign of Richard III and found near where the king famously met his death in 1485 will soon be auctioned. 

Michelle Vall from Blackpool at Monks Kirby in Warwickshire, found the gold half angel coin with a metal detector just a few miles from Bosworth Field where the king died....

Just a handful of gold half angels survive from the king’s two-year reign.

“This is a very rare discovery that has miraculously survived in a Warwickshire field for more than five centuries,” said Christopher Webb, head of the coins department at Dix Noonan Webb. “Its importance as a coin is enhanced by the tantalising possibility that it may have belonged to one of Richard’s army whose defeat at Bosworth ended the Wars of the Roses and ushered in the Tudor dynasty.”

Detectorist Vall, a 51-year-old primary school teaching assistant from Blackpool, was taking part in a charity detecting rally at Monks Kirby, between Coventry and Leicester, in September this year when she discovered the coin.

“After detecting for two and a half hours in a farmer’s field, I got a signal,” she said, according to the auction house. “The coin was deep down, about 16 inches below the surface, and the soil there is thick clay so it took a bit of digging out.”

“I spotted this glint of gold in the hole, although I obviously did not know exactly what it was at first. I put it in the palm of my hand and then I went back to the organisers’ tent. One of them identified it and people became very excited. That was when I realised that it was a half angel.”

“I have decided to sell it because it is too valuable to keep,” said Vall, a mother of two. “I did not want to keep it in a locked cupboard. I feel very privileged that I have found something so precious and historic. The memory of that day, the excitement not just of myself but also of other detectorists, when I found that beautiful, tiny, piece of historic gold will live with me forever.”...

The half angel gold coin was introduced in 1472, its name deriving from the image on one side of the archangel Michael slaying a dragon. 

It was half the value of the angel coin, introduced in 1465, which is so iconic that many English pubs are named after it. 

Richard III issues are rare because his reign was so brief. 

There has always been intense interest in Richard, a controversial figure, particularly since his remains were discovered in Leicester in 2012.

The Battle of Bosworth Field was fought on Aug. 22, 1485, and marked the end of the Wars of the Roses between the Lancastrians and Yorkists that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. 

The Lancastrian Henry Tudor defeated the last Yorkist King Richard III and began the Tudor dynasty. It was one of the most important days in English history.

Ruffian's picture
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What a find !

Every since you posted the gold bars. I'm not too sure I would have turned them over. 

The coin yes ... But bars I dunno for sure. 

Good stuff again!! 

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Russian Plane Loses 3 Tons Of

Russian Plane Loses 3 Tons Of Gold On Takeoff

Profile picture for user Tyler Durden

by Tyler Durden

Thu, 03/15/2018

"Gems, precious metals and diamonds worth hundreds of millions rained over Russia’s coldest region when a Russian plane with ten tons of gold, platinum and diamonds lost a significant part of its cargo upon taking off from an airport in the Russian region of Yakutsk, famous for its rich natural resources and diamond deposits....

The Nimbus Airlines AN-12 cargo plane hit problems during takeoff, resulting in a breach in the hull that allowed its precious cargo to fall all over the runway.

The plane then dropped some bars of gold as far as 26kms from the airport."

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King Bluetooth treasure trove:

Here's a fresh one...

Amateur archaeologist finds 1,000 yo coins & jewels

Nice stack of Silver!

Bluetooth's Silver Hoard

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Finally Found: Spanish Ship

Finally Found: Spanish Ship That Sank With $17B in Gold

The exact location of the wreck of the San Jose, often called the "holy grail of shipwrecks," was long considered one of history's enduring maritime mysteries

By Mark Pratt, May 23, 2018

A Spanish galleon laden with gold that sank to the bottom of the Caribbean off the coast of Colombia more than 300 years ago was found three years ago with the help of an underwater autonomous vehicle operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the agency disclosed for the first time....

The 62-gun, three-masted galleon, went down on June 8, 1708, with 600 people on board as well as a treasure of gold, silver and emeralds during a battle with British ships in the War of Spanish Succession. The treasure is worth as much as $17 billion by modern standards....

The treasure has been the subject of legal battles between several nations as well as private companies. Several weeks ago, UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency, called on Colombia not to commercially exploit the wreck, whose exact location remains a state secret.

As for the treasure, that remains on the seabed -- for now.

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