It was a treasure hunt prepared as a beyond-the-grave adventure for a then 10-year-old “grandson.” And it all started, according to Sky Rys, a senior product account executive with Onica/Rackspace, a consulting and managed services company, with a letter and a friendship that became a family.

Rys has fond memories of Buddy, a family friend who had treated the youth as a grandson, even though they were not related. Buddy’s wife was Rys’ godmother. When Rys was 10 years old, Buddy gave him a “map” written in a code. “He gave me clear instructions which were ‘. . . when I kick the bucket, you can decipher this code and find the buried treasure I hid for you,’ ” said Rys.

Buddy passed away two years ago and last fall, the now-adult Rys was able to finally sit down and decipher the code. He cracked it in less than an hour. He had always suspected it was buried on family property near where he had grown up. He currently lives just down the road from his family home, so he just grabbed an old metal detector and started sweeping the field. And there it was, under several feet of dirt: an ammo crate filled with hundreds of pennies from the 1940s and 1950s.

“It took me longer to find and figure out how to get the metal detecting equipment working then it did to dig it up!” said Rys. “I do not know the value of the treasure. I plan to give [the pennies] a cleaning. Then I’m not sure what I will do. Maybe I will hang onto them until I have a child or grandchild whom I can treat to a similar experience.”

The ending message on the map from Buddy to Rys? “Treasure worth more than face value. Good luck, Buddy.”

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A few tips for treasure collectors.  Don’t clean the coins.  It may lower the value.  Pennies can be worth anywhere from a penny to hundreds of dollars depending on condition and age. If you have any aluminum pennies, they are worth more than a standard copper penny.

As collectors, treasure hunting can be fun, and sometimes the hunt can be as much fun as the treasure. Please post in the comments if you want to share your treasure hunting story.

u.s.a. pennies in buried box and coded message

Photos and video: Sky Rys



One response to “Found! Map Leads Man to Buried Treasure Near His Childhood Home ”

  1. limerickey says:

    This is such a great story! I’m just not clear on one thing. Did he or his family still own the land the “treasure” was buried on? If they didn’t, and he now lives down the road, and he went into the new owner’s field and dug up the treasure, I’m just wondering who it would really belong to? Thanks to anyone who can clarify this. Just curious 🙂

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