In 1622 a fleet of twenty-eight ships laden with riches from South America foundered in a hurricane 40 miles west of the Keys. In 1985 diver Mel Fisher and his team recovered the fantastic treasures from two of the lost galleons, the Nuestra Señora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita.
The above piece of gold alone is valued at around US $400,000!
So far the Fisher family have recovered a portion of the vast amount of treasure that sunk on that fateful day in 1622, a treasure containing Gold and Silver coins, Gold chains as well as Emeralds. The total value of this treasure is estimated to run into many millions of Dollars.
Anonymous Californian Couple
A trove of rare Gold Rush-era coins unearthed in California by a couple as they walked their dog may be the greatest buried treasure ever found in the United States, worth more than $10 million. The 1,400 gold pieces, dating to the mid- to late 1800s and still in nearly mint condition, were discovered buried in eight decaying metal cans on the couple’s land!
Peter Whatling and Eric Lawe
On November 16, 1992, a metal detectorist in the village of Hoxne in Suffolk, England discovered a hoard of late Roman silver and gold. The hoard was discovered in a farmer’s field, about 2.4 kilometres southwest of the village. Peter Whatling, the tenant farmer, had lost a hammer and asked his friend Eric Lawes, a retired gardener and amateur metal detectorist, to help him look for it. While searching the field with his metal detector, Lawes discovered silver spoons, gold jewellery, and numerous gold and silver coins.
The hoard consists of 14,865 Roman gold, silver, and bronze coins from the late fourth and early fifth centuries, and approximately 200 items of silver tableware and gold jewellery.
The objects are now in the British Museum in London, where the most significant pieces and a selection of the rest are on permanent display. In 1993, the Treasure Valuation Committee valued the hoard at £1.75 million (today £3.02 million).
On July 5, 2009, Terry Herbert came across a hoard with his 14-year-old metal detector as he searched a field near his home in Staffordshire, England. The treasure, believed to date back to the Seventh Century, contains around 5 kg of Gold and 2.5 kg of silver, far bigger than previous finds. Many of the items in the hoard are warfare paraphernalia, including sword pommel caps and hilt plates, often inlaid with precious stones. Experts said that the collection of more than 1,500 pieces, tentatively dated to the 7th or 8th centuries, may have belonged to Saxon royalty of Mercia.
The treasure was valued at £3.285 million!
David and Andrew Whelan
On January 6, 2007, David Whelan, a semi-retired businessman from Leeds, and his son Andrew discovered Viking treasure consisting of 617 silver coins and 65 other items, including ornaments, ingots, and precious metal, which were hidden in a gilt silver vessel lined with gold that was made in France or Germany around 900.
The independent Treasure Valuation Committee valued the hoard at £1,082,000!
In April 2010, metal detectorist Dave Crisp found a hoard of 52,503 Roman coins near Frome in Somerset, England. The hoard was officially valued at £320,250.
Wealth beyond your wildest dreams
When we read such stories it is only natural for us to begin to think about what we would do if we were to find such a treasure. In fact there are numerous examples of lost treasure that have still eluded discovery.
Buried somewhere beneath the grounds of The Alamo, Texas, a massive treasure of gold and silver worth millions of dollars is reputed to have been buried by Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie.
Somewhere hidden in the Catskill Mountains is a treasure reputed to be worth up to ten million dollars, the proceeds of gangster Dutch Schultz’s ill-gotten gains.
Aztec leader Montezuma’s treasures, reportedly worth millions of dollars, were hidden by his own people in order to protect it from the Spanish conquistadores led by Hernán Cortéz.
On December 11, 1978 at JFK International Airport, an estimated five million in cash and $875,000 in jewels were stolen. To this day no jewels or currency have ever been recovered.
A Portuguese ship called the Flor do Mar or Flower of the Sea, was lost in a storm in 1511. The ship is said to have carried the treasure of the Melaka kingdom, located in modern day Malaysia, which reportedly included more than sixty tons of gold.
Priceless treasures often mistaken for junk
Something seemingly ordinary, and of little value, can hide an immense treasure. Once a gentleman bought a cheap painting at a garage sale only to discover that hidden behind the painting was an original copy of the American Declaration of Independence that sold for $2.4 million. Similarly another gentleman paid $2.48 for what was advertised as a modern reprint of the Declaration of Independence. Eventually it was discovered to be one of 200 official copies commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820 and netted $477,650 in auction.
In 1980 a Spanish farmer found a 100kg rock in a field, which he took home and used to press ham with. 30 years later it was discovered to be a rare meteorite worth at least £3.5million.
Junk often mistaken for priceless treasures
Then there is that which looks like gold but is not. Many a prospector has seen what looks like gold glistening in underground rocks convinced that he has found a fortune in ore, only to find out that what he thought was gold turned out to be Iron Pyrite, or Fool’s Gold! Only the discerning prospector can distinguish between Fool´s Gold and the real thing.
A hidden treasure right under our noses
Sometimes we can overlook so much because what we perceive to be useless and of little, or no, relevance to us may actually turn out to be a priceless gem! Such is the case with Jesus Christ.
The Book of Isaiah prophesies of the Messiah:
…he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2)
In the same prophecy it is written:
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)
So it is with the Gospel of the Kingdom, men despise its message and pour scorn upon the things of God:
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Unless a person realises the value of the treasure hidden behind the message that person will only see it as something useless and irrelevant.
In speaking of the Kingdom of Heaven Jesus said:
The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matthew 13:44)
As believers we have been warned about envying what others have:
Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Deuteronomy 5:21)
Rather we have been exhorted to be content in whatever situation we find ourselves in:
…godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
Treasures found in earthenware jars
In 1946 Bedouin shepherd Muhammed Edh-Dhib, his cousin Jum’a Muhammed, and Khalil Musa, discovered many clay jars containing ancient scrolls. These men had no idea what they had found in fact they did not know what to make of them. A dealer in Bethlehem thought that the scrolls might have been stolen from a synagogue and that they were worthless. It was only when original seven scrolls were brought to the attention of the American scholar Dr. John C. Trevor that the full significance of the find came to light. These were the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls and the rest is history!
As with the Treasures of Qumran, we have the priceless treasure of God’s Kingdom within us, something the world cannot see:
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Corinthians 4:3-7)
The treasures we have are, without doubt, greater than all the world’s treasures of gold, silver and precious jewels put together. Thus we are rich beyond compare! What Christ has purchased for us is of far greater value that Gold or silver. The world may mock and pour scorn upon us but we can stand with Moses:
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. (Hebrews 11:24-26)
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