Have you ever dreamt of finding some missing relic or buried treasure in your yard and making millions for doing basically 0 work? Like winning the lottery without even playing, right? Well those lucky few individuals do exist out there!
Some of the people in this list became millionaires over night with their findings, while others weren’t quite so lucky.
We’ve gathered seven of the best stories of large scale finder’s keepers.
1. The Hoxne Hoard
From the British Museum itself:
“The Hoxne (pronounced ‘Hoxon’) hoard is the richest find of treasure from Roman Britain. Alongside the approximately 15,000 coins were many other precious objects, buried for safety at a time when Britain was passing out of Roman control.”
The Hoxne Hoard was found in 1992 after a British farmer was looking for his hammer which he had lost. His neighbor tried helping using a homemade metal detector, which detected an old silver coin.
The neighbor continued to dig in that spot where the coin was found and eventually unearthed numerous old relics, including coins and jewellery!
All in all, the collection he found was valued at being worth around $15 million, and he was awarded $2.3 million which he split with his farmer neighbor!
You can buy all the hammers you want with that kind of cash!
2. The Staffordshire Hoard
You thought the last story of a metal detector gone right was good?
Well this story blows that out of the water.
An amateur archaeologist used a metal detector on a friend’s farmland in Staffordshire, England and within a few days of his hunt he found four thousand artifacts that had all likely belonged to English lords of some variety or another from the 12th century. His findings valued in at $5.3 million!
3. The Declaration of Independence
Garage sales are always pretty safe bets that with enough searching and patience you’ll find some hidden treasures. This Pennsylvania man took that idea to the next level when he bought a random painting for $4 at a garage sale.
He was changing the frame when he found a document hidden behind the painting!
It was the Declaration of Independence. Nick Cage style.
More precisely, it was one of the 25 original copies from 1776! He was able to sell it at auction for $2.4 million. That’s a return on investment if I’ve ever heard of one!
4. There’s alwasy money in the banana stand.
A Cleveland contractor found two chests of money in his client’s home back in 2009! The money totalled out at $182,000 except some of the bills were so old and rare that the contractor and home owner were told they could make up to $500,000 because of their scarcity!
The question came up of how the money should be split. (Never an easy one.) The homeowner proposed the contractor receive 10% of the profits, but he was thinking something more like 40%.
A legal battle ensued and the intended recipient of the cash caught wind of the situation.
The intended recipient of the cash was the P. Dunne News Agency, and by the end of the court battles, the money was split evenly among all three parties. Ouch!
5. Black opal
An Australian miner was at work when he found a big, pretty rock at the bottom of a bucket. Thinking the rock was rather nice, he kept it as a souvenir.
After 14 years, he showed the rock to a specialist. It was a black opal.
Black opals are the rarest, most coveted opals in the world, and this was the largest found yet! It apparently sold at an auction for $3 million and was named “Royal One.”
6. Gold nugget
Another lucky Australian was exploring the lands surrounding his farm with a metal detector. When it detected that metal, as metal detectors are wont to do, he began digging!
He started uncovering small pieces of gold until he finally dug up a massive behemoth of a gold nugget that weighed 5.5 kilograms!
That much gold was valued at $315,000!
Do you want a metal detector yet?
7. An ancient coin wall
We all know that if there’s an abandoned house, kids are bound to break in and explore it. It’s like flies to honey!
There was a house in Pennsylvania that was abandoned for over 20 years before some neighborhood kids found some coins by a wall while they were playing in the old house.
After their parents were told about their findings, they went in and broke the wall down, revealing hundreds of coins! The sheer number of coins already totalled in around $8500, but there were some rare coins in the mix!
The rare coins were very old, issued in the 1700s and 1800s, and their values were calculated to be around $200,000!
Talk about lucky! But there’s that pesky issue of who gets the money again…
If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, go get a metal detector and start looking around your backyards! You never know what you might find!
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