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The Modern-Day Treasure Hunter: Is it a Real Thing?

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The history of human-kind is stacked with awe-inspiring tales of marvellous discoveries being made by adventure seekers and treasure hunters from around the globe. Whether as hobbyists or die-hard professionals, treasure hunters have been digging up the story of human history for centuries through discoveries of valuable goods and items of interest; often being fortunate enough to make a pretty penny out of their haul.

While the face of, and approach to treasure hunting has changed over the years, for a variety of reasons, the interest in discovering something new has always remained in those who are adventurous at heart, and the treasures they have uncovered have remained unsullied in the face of this. There is always something of value out there to be discovered, you just need to know how to look for it.

But for a lot of people, being a treasure hunter is merely the stuff of legends, or can only be seen through our tv screens as carefully scripted characters fain excitement at some amazing discovery they may or may not have found.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t believe in the myth of the successful treasure hunter. Contemporary explorers from all over the globe have been discovering loot as well as fame and fortune; all you need is the right equipment, the right information, and no small amount of persistence.

Why do people Hunt Treasure?

There are scores of reasons why people become treasure hunters, but they are often driven by the desire to discover a missing piece of the puzzle of human history. Treasure hunters usually find a passion for the activity long before they even realise they have become avid hunters; but for those who embrace the lifestyle, there are as many different reasons for becoming a treasure hunter as there are discoveries waiting to be found.

treasure map

Finding that missing piece:

There are few things more rewarding than holding a relic in your hands that has been untouched for years, decades, possibly even centuries if you’re lucky. For many treasure hunters, it is the sheer excitement of making a new discovery that drives them to scour beaches, shipwrecks, attics and junk-yards for loot.

Discovering a story:

Each and every relic buried out there, tells a particular story. They give us a glimpse into a distant past, tell us a little more about the times that produced it, the people who once owned it and possibly even a little bit about how the item got misplaced in the first place. It is through the uncovering of unspoken narratives of human history that treasure hunters take pride and excitement in their work, whether they are hobbyists or professionals.

Finding fortune:

Possibly the most enticing reason for becoming a treasure hunter, is to take a shot at seeking one’s fortune. The value of relics found by treasure hunters varies depending on the items age, condition, materials and connection to history, which means that successful treasure hunters stand to make some good money when working with collectors to sell their finds to. However, making your fortune through finding treasure is not as easy as it sounds. It cost money, time and effort, which a lot of would-be treasure hunters fail to understand.

Achieving fame:

The desire to find fame in a discovery drives a lot of treasure hunters to scour everything from caves and attics to shipwrecks for valuable loot and amazing finds.

Large enough discoveries that recover ancient items, stashed gold, coins and gems have earned more than one dedicated treasure hunter a medal of honour, which has galvanised many a hunter to seek fame through their own hunts.

red carpet

Types of Treasure Hunting

What if I told you that not every treasure hunter is the stereotypical tomb raider you see on the Hollywood silver-screen. People have been finding interesting way to bag new finds, often enough not even having to leave the comfort of their neighbourhood to do so.

Here are just some of the ways you may already be a treasure hunter without even realising it:

  • Do you ever find yourself searching hotel bathrooms, bibles and mattresses for goods, cash or loot? Well then, believe it or not, but you are well on your way to becoming a treasure hunter.
  • If you can’t resist foraging through a yard sale or thrift store for items of value which have gone unnoticed by the seller, you likely already have a keen eye for a good find, which makes you somewhat of a treasure hunter already.
  • Do you enjoy beach-combing or dumpster-diving? Well then you already know what I am about to say because you have taken your passion one step forward by investing in prospector equipment, and taking an interest in areas that might hold valuable loot.
  • Do you get excited at the prospect of a pond or lake in your area being drained? Many treasure hunters make astounding finds on banks where the water has receded enough to reveal its buried mysteries.
  • Does the idea of a shipwreck and all of its hidden treasures keep you up at night? Then you are one of many would-be treasure hunters who could find their fortune at the inky depths of the sea.

Is Treasure Hunting Expensive?

As it is with most hobbies and professions, becoming a treasure hunter requires no small amount of investment, both in time and money. But for those that meet with success, these investments can pay off in a big way.

A good hunter needs the right equipment, including a reliable GPS, metal detectors, as well as survival gear for those extended hikes.

Those looking to explore the galleries of shipwrecks beneath the ocean may find that the endeavour is extremely expensive. But for those that can afford to outfit the excursion, your finds can be far more profitable.


Being Prepared for a Discovery

As it is with most things you try your hand at, a successful hunt depends largely on the amount of preparation that has gone into it. While the prospect of walking off into the horizon to stumble upon your fortune is a romantic one, it is also very unrealistic.

A good hunter does his or her research, makes sure they are correctly outfitted for any excursions, and of course does not give up easily.

If you would like to find your fortune or fame by digging up lost relics from the past, remember to obtain everything you’ll need, do your homework, and most importantly, remember to have fun.