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Little boy discovers $4 million treasure first time he’s out metal detecting
When the metal detector first started beeping, little did they know, they'd found a centuries-old item worth a fortune.
Patricia Lynn
12.07.22

Everyone dreams of finding buried treasure, but it’s not too often that it actually happens.

One three-year-old named James Hyatt did indeed strike gold – and incredibly, it was during his very first treasure-hunting experience.

This wasn’t an ordinary piece of gold either.

It was a 16th-century locket believed to be embossed with an image of the Queen of Heaven and Earth.

YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3

“It went beep beep beep,” said James of the sound his metal detector made.

When they heard that sound, James and his father, Jason Hyatt, had no idea they were about to unearth a 500-year-old Virgin Mary pendant estimated to be worth about $4 million.

YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3

“All of a sudden we got a buzz from the metal detector, quite a strong buzz,” the boy’s father Jason Hyatt told BBC.

“We dug six to eight inches down and lo and behold, we got a flash of gold. I moved the earth around and brought it to the surface and there it was.”

YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3

James, Jason, and James’ grandfather were metal detecting in a field in Hockley, Essex at the time of their discovery.

James had been using the device for only minutes before it began to beep.

The gold pendant was found about 8 inches below the surface.

YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3

“Then we dug into the mud. There was gold there. We didn’t have a map – only pirates have treasure maps,” James told Daily Mail.

The pendant, which is about an inch long and 73 percent gold, is believed to be a reliquary which is a container used to hold religious relics such as the remains of religious figures or objects associated with them.

The piece has a back panel that slides out to reveal a cavity to hold the relic.

According to The British Museum, this could have been believed to contain a piece of the true cross.

It features an image of a woman, initially reported to be the Virgin Mary but the museum says it could also be Saint Helena.

She is shown with a halo of light supporting a cross while standing over a checkered floor.

The diamond-shaped pendant is also inscribed with the name of the Magi, also known as the wise men, three kings, or men from the East, who followed a star to find and pay homage to the newborn savior Jesus Christ

Their names IASPAR, MELCIOR, BALTASAR, are inscribed on the sides of the pendant, while the back of the pendant shows a heart shows with an incision and four eye-shaped symbols that are weeping.

These are believed to represent the five holy wounds of Jesus Christ, which was a popular part of medieval piety.

Experts say the locket is from the era of Henry VIII and could have been owned by a member of the royal family.

There are only three other similar reliquaries like this one that are known to have survived.

The piece was declared a treasure trove at inquest which means it was required to be sold to a museum.

Jason said the proceeds of the sale will be shared with the landowner.

YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - nsotd3

“James was so excited when he realized he had found real treasure. Dad was blown away. In 15 years doing it as a hobby I’d never found anything like it. If we get any money it will be for the children,” said Jason.

Apparently, James is known to have luck when it comes to finding things of value.

“My son is one of the luckiest people ever. If we go to the doctor he’ll put his hand down the side of the sofa and pull out a tenner,” said Jason.

Colin Watts
Source:
Colin Watts

If this story doesn’t make you want to go treasure hunting, I don’t know what will.

Press play on the video below to hear more about this very lucky little boy!

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By Patricia Lynn
[email protected]
Patricia Lynn is a senior writer at Shareably. Patricia is based out of San Francisco and can be reached at [email protected]
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