Why can’t I find this in my yard?

  • April 24, 2016

On my Facebook page of the same name, I recently shared a story with the headline: Houstonian finds $2 million worth of civil-war era jewelry unearthed from recent flood. As you can probably guess, curiosity got the better of me. Stories like this fuel my digging addiction. I anticipate the day that I find my hoard of civil-war era jewelry. (I’m pretty sure its waiting for me on Fickel Hill.)

In the story by KRBC News–which happens to be an affiliate out of Houston–a young woman “battling severe debt and hospital bills was unsure what to do… after everything the flood took from her.” She was on the brink of financial ruin. In a near unbelievable twist of luck, the flood waters receded… leaving her back porch sprinkled with civil-war era jewelry.

jewleryThe article claims that, “The gold, diamonds, emeralds and pearls were appraised at a whopping $950,000, not even including their historical value, which all together totaled ~$2 million.” The accompanying picture reveals some mourning jewelry, cameos, lockets, gold watch fobs, and rings. The collection is quite impressive, but is it worth two million dollars? I’m looking at maybe $8,000 assuming its all gold.

When asked how she planned to spend her fortune, the young woman reveals “I’m buying a Ferrari today, and I’m going to party so hard for the rest of my life.” Who doesn’t want to drive a Ferarri and a party hard for the rest of their life? Sign me up! Just kidding… I’m content with my Subaru and the occasional wild dance party… in my living room with my kids.

The story seems all sorts of fishy. Before sharing this article, I searched KRBC News on Google. I expected to find something on Snopes. There was nothing. As it turns out KRBC News is an actual news affiliate out of Houston. This left me stunned and confused. Nothing about this story lined up.

I started picking apart the story. Perhaps our down-on-her-luck heroine stole the jewelry and claimed to have found it? If this were the case, wouldn’t someone come forward to claim it? How did she have the jewelry appraised so quickly? The article is from April 21st. The article claims the flooding was from the 17th to the 19th. That’s a pretty quick turnaround. Lastly, who the heck sells civil-war artifacts to buy a Ferrari and party hard? She could be related to this guy…who planned to spend his lottery winnings on hookers and cocaine, but that’s almost as unlikely as the story itself.

When I woke up this morning and discovered that the story was shared seventy-eight times from my page, I could not–in good conscience–let it spread any farther without digging deeper. As it turns out… the story is fake.

I’m afraid–and relieved–that this story is completely bogus. I’ve been duped… again. As treasure hunters, we need to believe these stories are legit… because they give us hope. Even though we may not find two-million dollars worth of civil-war jewelry or a viking treasure hoard sprinkled across our back porch, our treasure is out there. Keep digging, my friends. Keep digging.