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Finding lost treasures and recovering lost artifacts are the dreams that many metal detectorists have – but only a select few are privileged to make these dreams come true.
For most people, the anticipation of possibly finding a Spanish doubloon, a foot soldier’s sword, or an ancient Sumerian spearhead is enough reward – even if these valuable historical artifacts remain hidden and elusive.
However, there are people who are fortunate enough to find valuable artifacts by metal detecting, and their interesting stories are retold here.
The Spanish escudo
One morning, a young man accompanied by several companions went on a metal detecting expedition in northern Britain . He had taken a vacation from work and instead of the typical beach or ski trip, he decided that he wanted to try his hand at metal detecting.
His guide took him to what was once an outpost of the Roman Empire , and soon enough, his metal detector started beeping and ticking nonstop.
He managed to unearth several Roman coins, brooches, and other assorted artifacts that morning, and decided to stop for lunch afterwards. Continuing his metal detecting after eating, he came across what will turn out to be his most precious find: a golden escudo.
An escudo is a Spanish gold coin minted during the reign of Carlos I which means that the coin he had found was over 400 years old!
A Gettysburg sword
A West Virginia history teacher took her American History class on a field trip to one of the most celebrated battlegrounds in history, Gettysburg. She had brought along a metal detector and she allowed the students to take turns with it.
They used the metal detector throughout the morning and the afternoon, and they were able to unearth several belt buckles and spent shells from ancient firearms. It was nearing the end of their visit to Gettysburg when one of her students, a young boy, said he heard something while metal detecting on a large hummock.
The class immediately set to with picks and shovels, and they managed to unearth a beautiful 17 th -century saber with a long curved blade and a gold-plated horse head on the pommel.
It was clearly the sword of a cavalry leader. The class counted themselves fortunate for having found such a significant artifact as a result of their metal detecting.
The rest of the story goes that in the Smithsonian, there is now a Gettysburg sword in one of the display cases with a small plaque beneath it which reads, “With Gratitude to the American History class of Ms. M___, 1998.”
An English family on vacation in Cairo decided to take a tour of the pyramids. None of them had ever done metal detecting in their lives, but one of the guides offered to rent them a metal detector.
They decided to try their luck with it.
Soon after, they found what turned out to be a significant historical artifact. They discovered a golden scarab brooch underneath several inches of soil, some distance away from the pyramids. Later, the family took their find to a local historian and he postulated that the brooch must have fallen off in the process of interring one of the pharaohs.