By Steve Gillman
A treasure hunt can mean different things to different treasure
hunters, but the bottom line is always the search for something
of value that is hidden from the general public. With that in
mind, here are four of the more unusual secrets of successful
Treasure Hunting in Snow Dumps
Shopping malls in the north often have an area where they
dump all of the snow that is removed from the parking lot. The
snow contains all the things dropped in it, ranging from coins
to rings and sometimes dollar bills. All of these things are
concentrated into a small area in the spring, once the snow dump
A lot of part-time treasure hunters have known this secret
for years. I stumbled on the idea when I walked past a melting
snow pile in a Walmart parking lot and saw a necklace and five
coins on the pavement at the edge of the snow pile. County snow
dumps are another possible place to look into, at least the ones
where snow from parking areas is dumped.
Estate Auction Treasures
Watch an estate auction sometime. Some of the people may not
be bidding for the items you see, but for what is inside these
items. In the past people commonly stashed currency in their
books. When such a person dies, their secret likely dies with
them - nobody is aware that there is money in those books. In
fact, a relative of mine found thousands of dollars in the books
of a departed uncle.
Now, if a treasure hunter gets to peruse the auction items
beforehand, he can check a few books, and possibly other items
that might contain hidden money or valuable things. If there
are a few bills or jewelry inside of books and other items, he
can then bid on the lots that contain these. The book collection,
for example, is often sold as a whole. Who can say many more
bills will be discovered once he goes through all the books he
Storage Unit Auctions
If the storage fee isn't paid, the contents of storage units
are auctioned off. Individual items might be auctioned, but it
is more common to auction off the entire contents of a unit at
once, or split it into several "lots" and auction each
group of things. Bidders are normally allowed to check out the
items before the auction.
I met a man who did just that and found that an old milk can
in one lot was full of coins. At $10, his was the winning bid
for the lot that included the milk can. He found a few salable
items, as well as $75 in coins! He said he regularly found "treasure"
at these auctions.
Treasure in Hotels
Treasure hunters, as well as hotel owners and room cleaners,
report that money is sometimes stashed in the bibles in the dresser
drawers. The cash is presumably then forgotten by the customer.
Next time you check into your room, check out those bibles -
and any other books that are there.
Many hotel owners also report finding men's wedding rings
hidden in the rooms. This is more common in hotels that cater
to business travelers. Maybe the men who are taking off their
rings and hiding them before going out for the evening deserve
to lose them. In any case, it makes for another interesting way
to go treasure hunting - just look in anyplace a ring might be
For much more information about different types of treasure
and how to find them, visit: