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The Secret Guide to Finding Lost and Buried Treasure

Updated on December 11, 2018

Revealed - The Locations of the World's Buried Treasure


Everyone loves the supposedly fictional stories about buried treasure but most of these stories started for a reason. There are entire fortunes in lost and buried treasure all over the world if we could only find it.

Here are some ideas, clues and hints on where to search for those hidings caches of gold, emeralds, silver, precious minerals, meteors and dinosaur bones.

Treasure Map. This is a representation and not to be used for real treasure hunting.
Treasure Map. This is a representation and not to be used for real treasure hunting.


The bottom of Lake Guatavita in Colombia is supposed to be rich with gold and emeralds thrown overboard from boats as a sacrifice to the gods.

Be aware that previous efforts to find the treasure have involved draining the lake which the Colombian’s now frown upon so you will have to find another way to search the silt and mud covered bottom.

Trevi Fountain. Just an example of what you could buy if you found the treasure.
Trevi Fountain. Just an example of what you could buy if you found the treasure.


Head to California where there is still plenty of gold in them there hills. According to the United States Geological Society only 15% of the total gold deposits have been removed.

Try the Sierra Nevada foothills region or the towns of Sutter Creek or Jamestown where guided trips at this historic site take you to the local creeks to allow you to try your hand at prospecting. Some of the visitors are reported to have been really lucky with their finds, and others probably not so lucky.

Some random prospectors and a dog, who doesn't have a clue to what's happening, but looks cute.
Some random prospectors and a dog, who doesn't have a clue to what's happening, but looks cute.

Florida Keys

A visit to the coral shallows off the Florida Keys could uncover the lost gold, silver and gemstones from a Spanish galleon that was wrecked in a storm in 1622 and sank to the bottom.

Although some of its treasure has been found 56 kilometres off the coast of Key West; 128,000 coins, 27 kilos of emeralds, 17 tons of silver and 35 boxes of gold, estimated at 200 million dollars still wait to be discovered.

There should be other treasure hoards here as the area was a well known refuge for pirate ships and the most famous, such as Blackbeard, are all said to have anchored here at some point in their chosen career paths.



Quite a distance above the Arctic Circle lies the Kola Peninsula home to hundreds of rare rocks and minerals, the most prized and easiest to find being Amethyst.

Start your search in the Tersky Korabl Cape but beware that this area is very remote, windswept and somewhat difficult to get to without being part of mineralogical tour group. Whatever way you decide to explore this region, please wrap up warm.

Kola Peninsular.
Kola Peninsular.

Captain Kidd

To most Captain William Kidd was either a hero of the people or a villainous pirate. Whatever your feelings for the man are, the authorities didn’t like him, finding him guilty of murder and piracy and then hanging him.

In a delaying tactic to avoid the noose Captain Kidd claimed to have a huge amount of buried treasure which he gave directions to and some of which was then found, though to his surprise they strung him up anyway.

The point is that if some was found at the place he said it would be, then the rest of his treasure might still buried. Although it could be hidden anywhere, some suggested places where people have searched are; Gardiners Island (East Hampton, New York), Thailand and the Dominican Republic, his supposed favourite haunts when he sailed the high seas.

The Gardiners Island treasure has been found so better to avoid wasting time in that area, instead devote your energies to finding the missing genuine treasure map. Be careful though as there are many fakes being sold on the open market.

Captain William Kidd.
Captain William Kidd.

North Carolina

Join the quest for rubies, emeralds and moonstones as well as many other precious minerals by visiting the busy tourist mines in the areas in North Carolina around Boone, Hiddenite, Franklin and Spruce Pine.

Guided tours take you to different mines, where what you find you get to keep. Reported finds are numerous with some being valued at $3,000 to $4,000, and others nowhere near that value.

Gold Nuggets. Disclaimer: just a representation not actually found in North Carolina.
Gold Nuggets. Disclaimer: just a representation not actually found in North Carolina.

COCOS ISLANDS (Indian Ocean)

If you are looking for the Lost Treasure of Lima then the Cocos Islands is the place to go.

The treasure, valued at $200 million, was acquired in 1820 by one Captain Thompson who, instead of taking it to Mexico as his contract had required, decided the Mexicans didn't need it and instead is said to have buried it on the Cocos Islands.

What you are looking for, according to the cargo inventory, is 200 chests of jewels, 113 gold statues, 1,000 diamonds, 273 swords and hundreds of gold and silver bars. If you find them please let me know as it is always nice to share and share alike.

The stunning Cocos Islands. What a place to treasure hunt.
The stunning Cocos Islands. What a place to treasure hunt.


Tenochtitlan located on an island in Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico is where Montezuma’s Gold is reputed to be buried.

This is the Aztec gold the Spanish melted down and tried to escape with before the Aztecs decided they wanted to keep it after all and attacked them. A lot of the Spanish drowned in the muddy swamps surrounding the island due to the weight of the gold they were carrying, turning the whole trip into a bit of a disaster for the Spanish and not much better for the Aztecs.

To this day pieces of the gold are found now and again by archaeologists so a visit could be rewarding, but watch out for the swamps.

Tenochtitlan. How the fight might have looked.
Tenochtitlan. How the fight might have looked.

Papua New Guinea

According to the experts Papua New Guinea (or PNG for short) is awash with gold. The presence of numerous multinational mining companies is proof of that, but there is still room for the little guy to make some money.

Nuggets the size of “goose eggs” have been found in the past by individual prospectors but due to the wild terrain it makes better sense to join one of the many organised tours such as the ones to Misma Island. The rewards could outweigh the hefty costs.

PNG. Source: Russavia WMC.
PNG. Source: Russavia WMC.

OAK ISLAND (Nova Scotia, Canada)

Oak Island in Nova Scotia has been a magnet for treasure hunters for hundreds of years, searching for a buried fortune protected by ingenious traps. It is know as the Oak Island Money Pit and who the treasure belonged to is anyone’s guess. Suggestions range from Blackbeard and other well known pirates, to the Knights Templar or the Illuminati.

You should be warned that so far six people have lost their lives looking for this elusive treasure, so please don’t become another statistic.

Oak Island Diggings.
Oak Island Diggings.

Dinosaur Fossils

Any decent sized fossilised dinosaur bone is always going to be a great talking point if you display it correctly in your home, so they are something worth trying to find.

The best places to look for a wide variety of species are certain high desert areas of North America, Argentina and China.

Some clues to the areas worth searching in are those with sedimentary rocks, about 65 to 150 million years old, formed of layers of clay and silt. The best area of all is a location where a prehistoric river once curved or became shallow.

Another hint is to find a sedimentary rock layer called the Morrison Formation which is full of dinosaur bones. The area on the border between Colorado and Utah is the best place to start looking.

If you want to find a Tyrannosaurus Rex then look amongst rocks which are 67 million years old, if you would prefer to find a Stegosaurus then you will need to dig amongst 150 million years old rocks.

If you feel adventurous wander off to the Liaoning Province northwest of Beijing in China which is known as a dinosaur hotspot especially for feathered dinosaurs.

Tricerotops. You could get lucky and have something like this sitting in your front room.
Tricerotops. You could get lucky and have something like this sitting in your front room.

Meteor Hunting

Why not try something a little different and become a professional meteor hunter. Some have found rocks that have come from space worth $100,000.

Although they can land anywhere, start searching in dry places with lots of open space like a dry lake bed in Nevada, or the Australian deserts.

If you don’t want to be a professional, just join up with one of the many meteorite hunting expeditions which take place in the best known, and sometimes very secretive, meteor rich locations.


@ 2013 Brian McKechnie (aka WorldEarth)

Barringer Meteor Crater. They're not all this big and as easy to find.
Barringer Meteor Crater. They're not all this big and as easy to find.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • World Earth profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian OldWolf 

      4 years ago from Troon

      Thank you. I never even got as far as having gold in them there teeth or anywhere else. Maybe one day once I get my explorers hat back from Indiana Jones. All the best, Brian

    • ajwrites57 profile image


      4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      World Earth love reading about lost treasures. Only gold I ever had was in a few teeth but the dentist stole that! Enjoyed your Hub!


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