Hugh McCardell searches for buried coins and tokens during the Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters' 2013 Treasure Chest at Heritage Park on Saturday.

Hugh McCardell searches for buried coins and tokens during the Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters' 2013 Treasure Chest at Heritage Park on Saturday.

More to metal detecting than buried treasure

It's not all about the money or the thrill of finding lost items. The folks metal detecting are doing a public service to their communities.



Beep. Beep. Beep beep beep beep!

Carole Snider’s hand shoots up in the air. “I found it!” she yells.

In her left hand she’s holding a dull, dusty token. In the other she’s gripping her metal detector. Snider just found a special token that has won her a silver coin prize.

She’s one of more than 40 people taking part in the Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters’ first annual Treasure Chest at Heritage Park on Saturday. Chilliwack’s Mark Lewis is the founder of the local group which started in January and already has 45 members.

The ‘hunters’ at Saturday’s event are from B.C., Alberta and Washington State and they’re using one of the outdoor sand rings for their treasure hunt. Lewis ‘salts’ the turf by pelting dozens of coins and tokens into the soft, sandy ground. The coins are from different countries, and the tokens, if found, will be traded in for prizes. All the tokens have hand-written numbers and letters on them to distinguish them from the coins. Nothing of great monetary value is planted into the sand in case the hunters don’t find them.

Colin Broughton from Langley has been metal detecting for 14 years. About eight years ago, he found a 78g 14-karat gold bracelet with 22 diamonds and 32 emeralds. It was appraised at $6,200. He found it in a soccer field in Ontario.

Brian Doctor of Penticton has been at it for seven years and has found coins, watches, silver, jewellery and more. He finds about $600-$700 per year in treasures.

But it’s not all about the money or the thrill of finding lost items. The hunters are doing a public service to their communities by returning jewellery to their rightful owners.

“We return stuff whenever we can,” says Doctor.

School rings are the most common pieces returned. It’s easy to find the owner of the class rings as the person’s name, school and year are all engraved on them.

A lot of the items found are old and have been buried for years, but when the hunters find something that they believe has a chance of being returned, or appears to have been recently lost, they will try to locate the owner as best they can, including searching the ‘lost’ ads in their local newspapers.

Sometimes people have called metal detecting clubs directly to see if a member can help them find their lost item at the location it went missing. Finding the lost item has proved successful on more than one occasion.

Like the time a woman lost her 18-karat solitaire diamond wedding ring on a beach in Penticton. She called the Penticton Metal Detectors Club and the ring was found within 15 minutes.

“It’s really great to give back to the owners,” says Broughton.

For more info, go to www.sites.google.com/site/fraservalleytreasurehunters, or email fraservalleyth@gmail.com.

photo@theprogress.comtwitter.com/PhotoJennalism

Just Posted

The new emergency department at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Conference Centre is slated to open June 8. (Screenshot from Province of BC video)
Expanded emergency department slated to open in June at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Project cost $15 million with an additional $1.25 million donated for equipment

Abbotsford Christian Middle & Secondary School closed until May 25 after 10-day exposure. (File photo)
Entire population of Abbotsford Christian Middle & Secondary recommended for testing after COVID cluster

Several staff and students affected after continuous 10-day exposure; campuses closed until May 25

People take part in the Father’s Day Walk Run for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC in Chilliwack on June 21, 2015. This year’s event will still go ahead, but will not be an organized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Progress file)
Awareness, funds for prostate cancer still needed in pandemic, says Chilliwack man

People to walk/run their own route for Father’s Day fundraiser event for prostate cancer

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Rosedale tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

RCMP Supt. Bryon Massie, officer in charge UFVRD, and Sgt. Mike Sargent of Agassiz Community Policing holding awards from the recent ‘Recognizing Excellence’ ceremony. (RCMP)
Salute to local officers during National Police Week in the Fraser Valley

Exceptional performances and selfless acts noted during the ‘Recognizing Excellence’ awards

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex after one person was killed and two others were injured during a shooting in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Man, 23, killed in latest Lower Mainland shooting had gang ties: IHIT

Jaskeert Kalkat was one of the three people hit by gunfire at Market Crossing mall at around 8:30 p.m.

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking the public for help identifying a suspect who allegedly hurled anti-Asian slurs at a family in a Richmond drive-through on May 1. (Benjamin Wong/Screen grab)
Suspect at large in racist tirade at Richmond drive-thru, says RCMP

The Caucasian man was recorded May 1 yelling anti-Asian slurs at a Richmond family in the lineup

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Most Read