Money from the ground: how to make money during the search for treasures “When gold comes out of the ground, many of them get their heads off.” You never know what you will find with a metal detector. It can be either a bottle cork or a pot of gold.
The Village spoke to a professional treasure hunter about treasures from the period of Russian history from 1598 to 1613, jewelry in old Soviet houses, modern gold on the Black Sea beaches, and how to find a million dollars in a river near Moscow. We have prepared and conducted this article for you.
Modern gold. Make money with a metal detector
I am 47 years old, and I’ve been looking for treasures for 40. On my own and in groups, I found more than 20 treasures. The average cost of one treasure is from 5 to 10 thousand dollars. I specialize in the Treasures of the Time of Troubles (the period of Russian history from 1598 to 1613), I also like to look for small oblong silver coins from the time before the reign of Peter I. and do coastal beach searches.
Modern gold is to be found in the sea. Every year at the end of the season, I fly with my family to Crimea (Ukraine). There are practically no treasures under the water, and there are a lot of small jewelry pieces. People throw coins into the sea in order to return to the same place later, and I take out these coins – apparently, because of this, the beaches are empty and people no longer come. This is humor.
Where people swim, there they lose gold. I have two types of clients: the first are not thinking, the other are smart. The first ones enter the sea in a swimsuit and with gold, silver and costume jewelry. And the water acts as a lubricant, moreover, it is much colder in it than on the shore – people have narrowed blood vessels, their fingers become thinner, and they also play volleyball in the water and somersault.
Therefore, golden chains fly off them, rings fly off. And the second know that it is easy to lose jewelry in water so they put them in the back pocket of shorts, in a pack of cigarettes or a towel in advance. Then children run over their things or people get out of the water drunk – and all the gold ends up in the sand where it is practically impossible to find it without a metal detector.
During the day I dive with an underwater metal detector, and in the evening I walk along the beach with a ground metal detector. Recently, in one swim in the sea, I found two gold wedding rings weighing five grams – I spent 20 minutes swimming in the water and earned 6 thousand rubles. When gold with stones appears in the water and it shines in the sun – it’s just an indescribable feeling. I almost feel an orgasm.
If you constantly do this, you can collect 350 grams of gold per season and coins for 60-70 thousand rubles. But I don’t have such a goal, I just come to rest with my family and swim along the way – looking with a metal detector. I don’t break any laws, where I want, I swim there – I don’t bother other people, although sometimes they scare me.
What are the treasures
A treasure is something that a person has stopped using. For example, a man was killed in a war, and his things became nobody’s. Treasure hunt can be different, it can be divided into four types. The first is the search for everything that was buried before the Second World War: treasures of feudal civil strife, the end of the reign of Catherine, Paul and Alexander, the Time of Troubles, the time of Napoleon, the first and second revolutions.
During the Time of Troubles, banks were available only to merchants, nobles and artisans, and most people kept things in a land bank – on their own territory, the owner dug a hole and put a container with money there. Or he would break open the earthen floor of a house and create a kind of safe deposit box there. Then the owner went to the forest for firewood, and there the bear ate it. Then this cell becomes a treasure. He is in any locality, and, most likely, not one. But due to the debris layer, not all values are easy to find: nails, corks, pieces of iron and so on interfere. For 200 years, a lot of debris has accumulated over the hidden container. The older the treasure, the more trash and the more difficult it is to find it.
The second type of treasure hunting is working with military archaeological treasures: searching for medals, orders and other valuables. Imagine, for example, that in Smolensk the Nazis are advancing at a fast pace, and people in a hurry leave and grab only the most valuable with them. And you can’t take a silver candelabrum or expensive dishes with you, so they hide them – so the thing becomes a treasure.
The third type of search is modern urban. Jewelry can be found in sewers and city rivers. Once, with the help of a search magnet, I took out a coin worth a million rubles ($ 13,000) from the Yauza River. Also I am looking for lost items. More than 10 million people live in Moscow. Once a year, one of them loses a small valuable thing: a coin or an earring – it doesn’t matter. In two years, at least 20 million things are lost. Half of them, say, are found, and half are not. And I know where to look for all this. Even if we just walk under the windows of a nine-story building without a metal detector, we will find a lot of things.
Or abandoned Khrushchevs (high-rise buildings built in the USSR during the Khrushchev period), which, by the way, will soon be a lot due to the new policy of the mayor of Moscow. They are full of vintage: for example, a faceted glass costs more than 200 rubles. From one entrance I will pull out valuable things for 15 thousand rubles, from the house – 60,000 (800 dollars). I can search five such houses a month – that’s 300 thousand rubles ($ 4,000). Before me, such houses are usually searched by “metalworkers” who cut off all the metal.
And the fourth type of treasure hunt is “natural treasure hunt”. That is, searching for ancient fossils, meteorites, gold nuggets and precious stones with or without a metal detector.
How to find a treasure using metal detector
90% of the treasures are in the former settlements. Usually I plan four or five points in advance, to which I go on reconnaissance in order to find traces of human activity. All the treasures have already been found on the old maps, so I work according to my own system of choosing places. In central Russia, people settled along rivers, so I’m looking near water.
The treasure hunting season lasts as long as there is no snow, but in winter you can do other types of searches: search attics and sewers, this activity does not depend on the weather. During the search season with a metal detector, I search for up to ten valuable finds. It doesn’t matter how much your metal detector costs, the main thing is to find the right place. I detect them by circumstantial evidence.
For example, I see a stream, then I look for high places, but with a comfortable descent, burial pits or meadows. Or I’m walking through the woods – silence, the metal detector is silent – suddenly a signal sounds – from which side? I look – there are traces of an old lake nearby – I check the Schubert maps (military topographic map of the Russian Empire) – I understand that roads used to come here. I see fresh vegetation – next to bricks and ceramics – that’s it, I’m in the right place.
Treasure hunting equipment
The detector reacts to all non-ferrous metals and large iron objects, so it is difficult to find a place where it would not give any signals. If the signal is stable, powerful, sonorous and repetitive, then you need to dig. Metal detectors are different: ground, deep, underwater, localizers and specialized. The latter are needed to search for something specific, for example, gold nuggets. And localizers are designed for pinpoint search of small treasures. An ordinary ground finder costs from 7 to 150 thousand rubles.
An average metal detector probes the ground up to 45 centimeters deep – no more is needed: most treasures are located at a depth of 20-30 centimeters. The shovel must be stuck vertically so as not to chop the find. If the signal is good, it is better to dig with a larger diameter. In general, if you are a beginner treasure hunter and have found something, I advise you not to touch anything, but just make a mark and tell me the coordinates (the editor of relicsww2.net laughed here).
I do not evaluate the found treasure – the market evaluates it. Each coin has a specific value. Naturally, the coins need to be restored, and each metal needs its own cleaning method – I do this professionally.
Where to begin search with metal detector
The first treasure – silver coins – I found in the 90s somewhere in the attic in an old house. In general, my hobby began in my childhood, which I spent in the Stupino district of the Moscow region. Our house was part of the estate complex of Count Orlov – I lived in historical places, and the atmosphere contributed to the development of my hobby. You will go out into the street from the house: to the left – a mound, to the right – a settlement. I was sick with history, went to the historical circle at the Museum of Oriental History and the circle of Scythians and Sarmatians at the Historical Museum. Naturally, he was fond of literature, in which the heroes were looking for gold and treasures. I remember endlessly rereading the moment when the Count of Monte Cristo finds his treasure.
Ten meters from my house, there was a stream, near which there used to be a road. My friends and I often ran to him after the rain for ancient coins that were washed away with water. Found several at a time. Already at the age of seven, I had my own collection of 17th century coins. I also liked to climb the attics and basements of abandoned buildings.
My parents treated my searches well, my father himself told me what and where he found. I remember all the time I begged him to go together to look for the treasure, and once, when I was about six years old, we started digging under the wall of the estate. The father said that his earth was softer, and called to dig in a specific place. I soon found a silver spoon wrapped in a white sheet of paper. I never stopped looking, and when the first metal detectors appeared in Russia in the mid-90s, everything changed dramatically – there were more treasures. Wherever you come, you are the first everywhere, and this is very important in my work. The treasures are not mushrooms, new ones will not grow next year.
In those days, a man with a metal detector was perceived as Yuri Gagarin. Half of the village came to look at me, and everyone offered to dig at their site: “And in our garden over there, the master hid the treasure, and there the priest buried the treasure.” But they themselves cannot find it, because without a metal detector it is impossible: try to find a small coin in a field with an area of 50 by 50 meters.
When I went to the guy’s garden, I found 100 large silver coins with them. Half for them – half for me. Some villagers used coins to make spinners for fishing, and some sold me their share. Such coins with portraits of kings of the 18th century cost from $ 200 to $ 25,000 each. I asked the residents: “How much do you want me to you pay?” They called the price – I paid. They didn’t ask me about the real cost, and I didn’t speak.
In the early 90s, I often travelled to the nearest suburbs – at that time, many abandoned houses and settlements appeared. In attics, I constantly found firearms or edged weapons. Then there was no need to strain to find old things, hiding places, treasures.
In abandoned houses, I work without a metal detector. Standard storage areas are: under the floor, in the stove, in the attic, and in the basement. People leave their homes and throw their belongings, thinking it is junk. And this is not junk, this is vintage. Some things I keep for myself, and some I sell – it gives a good income.
What should be a treasure hunter
I love walking with a metal detector in nature and touching history. Moreover, the search is a lottery, constant excitement. The metal detector picks up the signal, and you don’t know what is hidden underground: gold or cork. Luck is central to my craft. The Lord either gives or does not give. Although those who seek, always find. The treasure hunter must have a large body of knowledge in various fields: soil science, biology, sphragistics, numismatics, geography, history, and so on.
A treasure hunter is an adventurer with an active lifestyle. Although everywhere, of course, there are bad ones, and there are few professional treasure hunters. The bulk of amateurs looking for coins and other people’s jewelry in the fields. They are not interested in the treasures, they can only find them by chance. I don’t go to places where others are looking. In 40 years I have only met another treasure hunter three times.
Most often, treasure hunters work in small groups, although I’m looking by myself. Of course, I have a partner who acts as a shovel – I pay him two bottles of beer. I won’t give three. And he has no other way to earn money. When you work in a group, you can’t be a scoundrel. Once a friend called me to dig, we searched and searched, then we decided to take a break – they made a fire, got together for a drink. And I was in some shock when he took out his own and began to eat alone, without even inviting me. This, of course, is not allowed among treasure hunters. It is also advisable to discuss in advance how you will share the treasure. Because when gold comes out of the ground, many people lose consciousness. People become different – negative feelings awake.
I remember that in the 90s I was looking on the beach in the Crimea – after a step I found silver or gold. Suddenly I see someone coming towards me and looking for something in the ground with my eyes. I thought it was a competitor and started shouting at him: “What are you looking for here? Get out of here, this is my beach. ” And it was just a bum who collected bottles.
My nearest goal is the treasure of the Governor-General from some gold-bearing region: either Kolymsky, or Taimyr. The former owner of factories, newspapers, steamers – he hid a very large treasure in his estate, 30 kilometers from my homeland and emigrated. When he left, his garden was cut down, the estate was burned. And then he returned to look for his treasure, already aged. He ran pale from side to side until he lost his mind. He just couldn’t come to terms with the loss. I will find his treasure soon. But how I found out this story is my professional secret.
How much can you earn on treasure hunting
I remember one Friday evening I arrived at the dacha after work and went to the nearest field for a walk with a beer and a metal detector. A few minutes later – I found five kopecks from the time of Catherine II. Soon a man approached, also slightly drunk, and said that 10-15 years ago the locals found a whole basin of such coins and most of them threw them into the river for good luck. I was looking for them for two years. The other side of the river is covered in silt, and I had to climb into it to pull out a couple of hundred coins. One of these cost from $ 200 to $ 4,000.
The most expensive treasure I found in the Crimea was a suitcase with family jewels. Of course, I remember that day, I will never forget it. I knew that the treasure was there, and I went to dig it up. It cost a lot – with this money I opened a treasure-hunting company, rented an office, purchased equipment, and so on.
I registered the company in 2003, since then we have been doing different things: we sell search equipment, advise people on treasure hunting topics, sell and restore coins, and so on. I don’t have a charitable foundation to donate finds to someone. The company employs nine people, and from time to time I involve outside specialists.
Our main activity is searching for a treasure by order. Usually people come to us with such stories: grandfather brought trophies from the war – 15 gold German coins – and periodically gave them to his grandchildren to play. Well, they lost one. The grandfather found the coin later, but was angry – he took a shovel, went out into the garden and buried the gold, and two weeks later he died. The grandchildren grew up, decided to find coins and turned to me. My lawyer checked whether this area was theirs, we concluded an agreement and in 15 minutes we found a container in the ground with a mitten in which coins were lying. We made money with a metal detector.
Apolon special for relicsww2.net