Most people don’t consider men and women combing fields with metal detectors to be even remotely in the same league as, say, Indiana Jones. Although these enthusiasts may not crack a whip quite like Harrison Ford, the treasures they unearth would put even the great Dr. Jones to shame.

When one Vermont man went trekking through the forest with his metal detector, he was hoping to find anything that would make his expedition worthwhile. What he found instead may be the greatest discovery in treasure hunting history…

A lifelong metal detector enthusiast, Brad Martin of Green Mountain Metal Detecting has pulled all kinds of forgotten treasures from the earth. But nothing could prepare Brad for what would become the greatest find of his life. 

Green Mountain Metal Detecting / Instagram

Though some treasure hunters prefer the prospects of a sandy beach, Brad’s frequent sweeps of his native Vermont have always proved to be more fruitful. Thanks to his rapport with the people of the area, Brad was given free rein over thousands of acres of privately owned land.

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On one fateful day, Brad decided to hike into the mountains to an area known to contain the ruins of an old building. When he arrived, he came upon a large hole in the ground — likely the remains of the building’s basement — and miles of dilapidated stone walls.

Brad was convinced that his next great find was lying somewhere in this patch of woods. He could almost feel it. Little did he know how right he really was.

No sooner did Brad begin searching that he stumbled upon his first find of the day: a tombac button. This type of button was very popular in the 1700s, but fell out of favor due to its brittleness. 

This button’s discovery meant that whoever had searched the area before had missed it, and likely many more hidden treasures. Sure enough, Brad’s intuition was spot on, and the finds just kept coming…

Brad’s next big pull of the day was this valuable copper coin. Though the surface had been worn over time, Brad concluded that it was either a British halfpenny or a coin from an early colony.

When Brad pulled this peculiar-looking object out of the ground, he couldn’t make heads or tails of it. While he initially believed it to be an old clock hand, Brad later said that it was likely the trigger-guard plate from an old musket.

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Finally, Brad unearthed a coin from the ground that he was actually able to identify! The face of the relatively large coin depicted a bust of King George II, and alongside the image was the word “CONNEC”. For Brad, this could only mean one thing…

This was a Connecticut copper, struck 1785-1788, likely worth a few hundred dollars. Though this find in and of itself was enough to make Brad’s expedition a success, there was one unbelievable treasure still yet to be found.

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As the sun began to set on his day of detecting, Brad decided to slowly make his way back to his truck. Detecting as he walked, Brad’s device suddenly picked up a reading just a few yards from the road. 

The metal detector rang out a solid 79, which was right around the same reading that his other finds of the day had been. Taking out his camera and shovel one last time, Brad began digging.

Green Mountain Metal Detecting / YouTube

The higher the reading on the detector, the more valuable the item below is likely to be. Though Brad believed this find would turn out to be another button he was shocked at what he found this time…

Brushing off the soil, Brad unearthed a massive silver coin in amazing condition. He was stunned: a find like this easily should’ve read as a 99 on his metal detector!

After carefully cleaning the coin, Brad realized he had unearthed an incredible 1780 Spanish Eight Reales. This was the same fabled coin known as a “Piece of 8” from the pirate legends of old.

Spanish silver coins came in five varieties during the time they were minted: 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 Reales, with 8 being the most valuable and sought-after. Though considered legal tender in the US up until the 1800s, finding a coin like this — and in such good shape — was one in a million.

As Brad’s excitement over his amazing find wore off, however, he began to grow suspicious of some of the coin’s features. Not only did the coin’s 79 reading still linger in his head, but someone had also carved the initials “DS” into its face.

After doing some research, Brad learned that this coin was one of the most counterfeited in the world during its circulation. In fact, Britain heavily counterfeited this coin in order to cripple the Spanish economy during the Anglo-Spanish War, 1796-1808.

Though Brad’s life-changing find is likely a fake, the counterfeit coin will fetch a respectable price on the open market. Of course, Brad’s not in it for the money, and the thought of his next big find will surely have him back out there with his metal detector in no time!

Green Mountain Metal Detecting / Instagram

Check out the video of Brad’s once-in-a-lifetime find to experience his excitement firsthand! It just might inspire you to start your own metal detecting adventure. 

What an amazing discovery! You never know what kind of treasures may be hiding just below the surface!

Share this incredible find with your treasure-hunting friends below!