Treasure Hunting: Finding Rare Coins in Hidden Places

Old churches and schools are a great place for beginners to start . . .

Old churches and schools are a great place for beginners to start . . .


In 2010, with nothing more than a basic metal detector and a small shovel, treasure hunter James Hyatt, unearthed a gold pendant worth $4 million after only five minutes searching a field in Hockley, United Kingdom. The artifact, found eight inches below the surface, is engraved with the Mother Mary on the front and

Christ’s wounds and heart on the reverse. This was James’ first attempt at treasure hunting and admittedly, his results were unique – particularly since he was only three years old at the time. . .

Compare that story to this one:

In December 2012, 69 year old Walter Samaszko Jr passed away. He lived in Carson City, Nevada in a modest home worth $112,000. Samaszko had $165,000 in his retirement account and $200 in his checking account. Walter had another asset – treasure encompassing thousands of gold coins and bars that dated back to the 1800s, and swords and similar items from the 1600s. Most were stored in old wood boxes in his garage; their value – $7.4 million. Friends, family and authorities have no idea how he acquired the hoard, particularly since he had not worked since 1968 and lived off a small investment that generated about $500/mo in income. . .

James Hyatt – Treasure Finder
. . . but, parking lots only yield loose change.

. . . but, parking lots only yield loose change.

The first story above is what most people think about when they think about treasure hunting – a random find akin to winning the lottery. Here’s the problem, James result was unique, in that as one can imagine at three years old, he had no formal training in treasure hunting, and his technique is not repeatable. Like winning the lottery twice, the chances of it happening again are astronomically low. Worse yet, would be treasure hunters that could actually find hoards of coins and other treasures with a little bit of training, will be discouraged and eventually quit after a short period of time when they don’t find their $4 million pendant.

Walter Samaszko Jr – Treasure Hunter

Was Walter Samaszko Jr a professional treasure hunter? His profile suggests so. He had no visible means to support himself, yet he had $7.4 million in gold upon his death. Surely he could have cashed in his hoard long ago and lived like a king, but in doing so he would have had to disclose his secret – something professional treasure hunters just do not do.

There are two types of treasure hunters, those that talk about their craft and those that don’t

Those that talk, do so at friend’s houses and at dinner parties. They proudly show their maps, bought online, to friends at school and work. They might belong to a treasure hunter’s club, have a certificate from a treasure hunting organization and perhaps even speak about treasure hunting at the local high school or community college.  They spend every spare moment out “in the field” with their metal detector, sweeping the same areas other “treasure hunters” have swept in the past: school bleachers, town parks and even parking lots around strip malls, hoping to find a few hundred dollars a month in extra change. We’ll call these the “masses” treasure hunters because for them, the craft is as much about being a treasure hunter and part of the treasure hunting community as it is actually discovering rare and precious artifacts.

Old school houses like this one built in 1829 in Bedford, NY are great for treasure hunters

Old school houses like this one built in 1829 in Bedford, NY are great for treasure hunters

Then there is the other type of treasure hunter, those that never, under any circumstance, talk about what they do or the method in which they do it. They are low key in their discussion of money and finances; seem to glide effortlessly through life; go on “vacation” in strange and exotic places, and many (Samaszko aside) seem to come from a wealthy family because they have beautiful homes and no apparent means to pay for them. We’ll call these the “classes” treasure hunters.

The masses use brute force to discover a few pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters for their mason jar; the classes use their own proven proprietary system that generates predictable, (and importantly repeatable) highly remunerative payoffs; payoffs that involve a research system not taught to the masses; a research system that in some cases generates tens of millions of dollars over the treasure hunter’s lifetime.

Which type of treasure hunter do you want to be, one of the masses or one of the classes??? If you want to be one of the masses, read no further. You can spend less than $100 on a metal detector and you’re done. Your metal detector will probably even come with the instructions necessary to uncover the spare change you are looking for in parking lots and city parks all around this great country. Every weekend you can go out and, after eight hours of work, come back with $50 or $60 in change. The metal detector’s box may even come with an “application” to join a secret treasure hunting society or club in your area, that is, “if they accept you” (hint: they will).

If however, you want to be one of the classes, then read on. This book will help you form the foundation of something much more spectacular in your life. A foundation that will very quickly show you how to develop your own proprietary system to locate rare coins and even hoards of rare coins, that have been hidden near you in plain sight for hundreds of years; a system that, once developed, will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Research is Not Hard
Old country churches from the 1800s are great hunting grounds

Old country churches from the 1800s are great hunting grounds


Who makes the best treasure hunters? Those trained in basic research for a start.  Research right and you’ll hunt well. Research poorly (or never) and you’ll hunt badly!

Even though 99% of treasure hunters don’t do the right (or any) research, believe it or not, research is not actually difficult. Between town hall records, old newspapers available on Lexus/Nexus, survey maps, and now Google Earth, you can get the information you are looking for with very little work.

What is difficult, and has always been difficult, is not researching the right answer, it is asking the right question.


Consider two very different questions:

1. How do I locate old coins that have fallen out of people’s pockets over the years and are hidden in fields somewhere;

  • Next Question: Is there an area around town that other treasure hunters may not have totally picked over, yet loose change would be easy to locate?
  • Last week’s carnival…

2. What social events in the distant past would have caused many people to congregating together and would require them to reach into their pockets to pull out silver and even gold coins to pay for products and services rendered?

  •  Next Question: What is one of the most powerful and profitable organizations in the world one that might have people reaching into their pockets to pay for services each week, with say, 10% of their income?
  • Yes, you are correct, the Church…
So the question you are really seeking the answer to is:
Old stone walls tended to aggregate gold and silver coins as they were erected

Old stone walls tended to aggregate gold and silver coins as they were erected

3. where are abandoned Churches, pre 1965 (the government stopped minting silver coins after 1964) in and around your area and are these old sites:

  • accessible,
  • safe, and
  • legal to search?

A Church is an easy and obvious example. What about the old stone fences put up 150+ years ago to divide property in and around small towns all across this country,? These simple stone walls were often built by the property owners themselves. 150 years ago, property ownership was not as prevalent as it is today – mainly the wealthy owned land, and they usually worked it themselves. Is it possible that a wealthy landowner reached into his pocket to pull out a handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his brow after a hard day of stacking stones, and a few silver or even gold coins fell out in the process? Very possible . . .

If you stopped right now and did nothing but search abandoned church sites and ten feet on each side of select stone-walls, you’ll probably do better than 95% of the members of the local treasure hunting club. In the chapters ahead, we’ll multiply this manifold by setting up your own proprietary system.



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