Treasure hunting equipment – inland and underwater

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Many are dreaming about finding a treasure and striking it rich. A bunch of skills and tools are needed to achieve that. In this article, I tell you what equipment you need for treasure hunting.

Equipment for inland and shallow rivers

Obviously, you won’t find a treasure laying on the surface. They are always buried deep underground.

The topsoil hasn’t been disturbed for a long time. So there is no way you can tell that something is buried underneath unless you have a metal detector.

It is a simple device that detects the presence of metals even if they are under concrete. The depth that they can reach depends on many factors, such as the object’s size, soil composition, the detector itself…

Standard detectors can sense coin-sized objects up to 12 inches deep. For larger objects like treasure chests, it can go deeper than that.detectorist

These tools are easy to use. You only have to swing them on top of the suspected area. You’ll hear a beep if it detects something metal.

This object isn’t necessarily gold. It can be a nail, a pull tab or any other junky stuff. You can adjust the detector to beep only if it detects gold or silver. This filter isn’t 100% accurate. You need some time to get used to it.

Detectors can also work in rivers, but don’t use them if the water is higher than the waist. So if you are asking about river treasure hunting gear, here you have it.

For deep ones, you need underwater tools. You’ll find them in the next paragraph.

There also palm-sized metal detectors called pinpointers. They are helpful for hunting small targets like gold or silver coins. But for larger targets like hoards, you don’t really need them; So stick with the standard ones.

There are many of them on the market. If you are new to this hobby, I recommend the Bounty Hunter Tracker 4.

After you acquired a detector, It’s digging time. For that, you need is a shovel.

Underwater treasure hunting equipment

Things get a little tricky for underwater quests. You need more advanced equipment, millions of dollars, an experienced crew and most importantly the know-how.

As always, metal detectors are a must. But not any detector; It should be specially built for underwater use.

They can hold up to 200 feet underwater. Some of them will flash whenever they detect metal, others will emit beeps. They can be used with special headphones.

In addition to waterproofing, engineers have to handle the problems caused by salt-water, which hinders the performance of entry-level detectors. Underwater devices are expensive. Professional scuba divers are the ones who usually use them.underwater metal detector

The bottom of the ocean is soft. So, you don’t need a shovel.  A sifter and a scoop are enough.

Because you’re looking for underwater treasures, you need a diving mask. It will protect your eyes from saltwater and it will help you see clearly. You can spot gold scattered on the seabed before your detector reaches it.

You will spend a long duration underwater. Therefore, a wetsuit will come in handy. You also need gloves to keep your hands warm and to protect them from sharp objects.

Although you can swim without them, fins are super helpful. They will help you to move faster without losing a lot of energy.

Let us not forget the most important piece of gear: air tanks and the breathing tube. They store the air that you need to breathe underwater. Snorkels are useful for shallow diving.

Other vital pieces of gear are needed: the regulator, depth gauge and the SPG (remaining air meter).

Atmospheric diving suits help you dive for deeper and longer durations and they eliminate the danger of decompression sickness.

Pro treasure hunters use unmanned submersible vehicles. They are mini submarines without a human occupant. They are remotely controlled. So there is no need for oxygen supply. They have cameras and robotic arms to help you do the work comfortably.

Can you find treasures for real?

There are my cases where people like you made their life-changing discovery. This paragraph is about three of them. You can find more here.

They are three of the most precious coin hoards ever discovered. They are not necessarily the largest. I am discussing the monetary value of the hoard not how many coins it contains.

Larger hoards have been discovered like the Frome hoard. However, the coins were struck from cheap copper alloy. The coins on this list are made from precious metals and some of them are extremely rare.

Hoxne Hoard

This hoard was discovered in 1992, by the metal detectorist Eric Lawes. He wasn’t treasure hunting, and this is no what he expected to find. He was only looking for his friend’s rusty old-looking hammer. His friend works on a farm near the village of Hoxne.

Eric ended up discovering one UK’s most valuable treasures. It consists of nearly 15,000 coins and 200 different items made from precious metals (silver tableware, relics, gold jewelry).

The 14,865 coins were issued around AD 407 a few years after the end of the Roman occupation of England. 14,191 of them are silver coins, 569 are made from gold and the rest (24) are from bronze. This hoard was declared a treasure. A committee of independent experts valued it at $1.75 million ($2.66 million today).

This amazing collection is now for public display at the British Museum. It is funny to know that the hammer is also displayed alongside this precious hoard.

Lenborough treasure

The Lenborough hoard consists of 5,248 Anglo-Saxon coins that were discovered by Paul Coleman in 2014 using an electronic metal sensor not far from Lenborough, Buckinghamshire.

This discovery was made after analyzing aerial photos that showed what appeared to be the remnants of historic settlements.

The coins were buried somewhere between AD 1030 and AD 1035. They were well preserved because they were placed inside a bucket.

The heads of the kings (Ethelred the Unready and Canute) that they depict were clearly visible. Some cleaning was needed though before displaying them at the museum.

Cleaning such a large collection isn’t an easy task. Coin experts should be very careful when handling this precious historic collection.

Using chemical substances to clean them is faster however the metal can be badly damaged. Nobody wants to take this risk. Cleaning them one by one is slower but safer.

This hoard was valued at 1.35 million dollars by the Treasure Valuation Committee. The money will be split between the Paul and the landowner upon whose property the trove was found.

Somerset hoard

This is the most precious find on this list. It is worth around $5 million and it consists of 2,571 silver coins. Museum experts needed seven months to examine this collection of extremely rare coins.

These coins are so valuable because of their historic value, they are made out of silver and most importantly they date back from the time of King Harold the second.

He is the last Anglo-Saxon king of England and his reign lasted only for seven months. Finding coins that were minted during this short period is very difficult.

Each one of Harold the second coins is estimated to be worth around $ 3000. Other coins from this era can be worth $ 1000. Coin experts estimated that this hoard was buried between AD 1069 and AD 1072 AD.


Underwater treasure hunting needs a lot of resources that are not available for anybody. Whereas, looking for inland ones needs nothing more than a shovel and a metal detector. You can learn more here.

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