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One Million Dollars in Gold Treasure Hidden by Eccentric Millionaire

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America’s westward expansion owes much to the search for gold. Strikes in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California set off some 300,000 explorers looking to transform their lives. Although few actually found their fortune directly in gold, other entrepreneurs “struck it rich” by establishing banks, saloons, grocery stories, and more to provide goods and services for prospectors.

American “gold fever” still lives on in our culture with reality television shows like the Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush” and PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow,” which appeal to many lost treasure seekers. With such a high demand, it’s no surprise that another form of gold rush reality “show” has sprung from the eccentric mind of 85-year-old millionaire Forrest Fenn.

A successful art dealer living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mr. Fenn has created the ultimate hidden treasure challenge, whose broad-ranging map and enigmatic instructions would impress the likes of Egyptian treasure hunter Giovanni Battista Belzoni or fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien.

thrill of the chase map

Fenn, a self-taught archaeologist, claims to have buried an “ornate, Romanesque box,” that’s 10 x 10 inches and weighs 40 lbs fully loaded with treasure, according to NPR. His longtime friend Doug Preston claims to have seen the box prior to burial in Fenn’s walk-in vault, full of  “gold nuggets, gold coins, pre-Columbian gold figures, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds.”

Assuming Preston’s description is true and the weight of the box is accurate, a conservative estimate attributing three-quarters (30 lbs. or 437.5 troy ounces) of the box’s weight in gold would bring the total worth in the yellow metal alone to $546,000 USD (437.5 oz at $1,248/oz). Adding in the precious stones may take the total worth to well over a million dollars.

Fenn has outlined the vague details of the location in his self-published book, The Thrill of the Chase, where he explains the treasure is buried somewhere between Santa Fe and the Canadian border at an elevation of 5,000 feet. That’s an area approximately the size of Texas, covering 255,000 square miles, and crossing four states.

The lure of finding the gold has tempted thousands to venture into the Rocky Mountain terrain and has so far accounted for one missing person, Randy Bilyeu, a retired mechanic from Florida who traveled to Colorado looking for the elusive horde. Although his car, his dog, and a raft were found near the Rio Grande, south of Santa Fe, Randy has not been seen since.

If you’ve got a daredevil spirit, grab your metal detector and a copy of Fenn’s book and get to work. For the rest of us, there’s an easier and much safer way to acquire gold and silver from the privacy and comfort of your own home. SchiffGold’s brokers are standing by to take your order today.

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