Reporter tries her hand at treasure hunting

I am a treasure hunter. I am completely hooked. I am ready to go again with Kevin Lykins, treasure hunter extraordinaire, after only a brief outing in which the earth at Sandusky's Central Park surrendered to us a quarter, two dimes and a ring.
Melissa Topey
Apr 11, 2012

I am a treasure hunter. I am completely hooked.  I am ready to go again with Kevin Lykins, treasure hunter extraordinaire, after only a brief outing in which the earth at Sandusky’s Central Park surrendered to us a quarter, two dimes and a ring.

My find was modest, but thrilling nonetheless.

Lykins, however, has found many coins in his years of treasure hunting — silver dollars, Standing Liberty quarters, everyday quarters, dimes and nickels.

He has found rings and jewelry, too.

Some of it is cheap paste jewelry, but some is worth a pretty penny, such as the men’s gold ring he wears, which has a 2-carat diamond.

On a recent weekday, Lykins and I capitalized on sunny skies as we set out for the park with a high-end metal detector.

When the finder screeched out a tone, it was game on.

Lykins would listen to the tone, then read aloud the finder’s display, helping me determine if it was the real deal or just a false reading.

It was a real reading.

We both dropped to the ground.

He handed me a digging device, and I was breaking ground quicker then a real estate developer.

First was a dime.

I thought, “This is fun.”

Some kids eventually noticed us and crowded around to get a piece of the action.

A minute later, the machine toned again.

The display indicated our find: a quarter.

But the machine was reading funny, too, as if it were picking up two signals. So I started digging.

The kids demanded to know: “What is it?”

I soon found the quarter, then checked the hole with a handheld probe that detects metal.
Always double-check the hole of a find.

The probe sounded.

The machine was right: Something else was there.

I started to dig.

Something metal — a flash of sparkle in the dark.

We both reached into the hole.

It was a ring.

How did it get there? Is it real? Was this a setup?

Alas, it was the real deal.

Now I was drunk on treasure. More. I wanted more.

Swinging the metal detector around, I surveyed the ground and stared at the machine, waiting.
Come on.

The machine toned out, the display advertising our find: a dime. We plucked the coin, and I was basking with loot in my pocket.

For those people who think someone with a metal detector is a joke, you are so wrong. Lykins has three metal detectors worth $9,000.

His finds have earned him much more than that throughout the years.

My bounty was worth nowhere near what some of Lykins’ finds have tallied.

I later had the ring appraised by Michelle Bertsch-Harold, of Bertsch Jewelers on West Market Street.

She said it’s worth about $45.

Lykins, meanwhile, has also found some amazing historical pieces.

To me, that’s the real treasure: the stories attached to these old pieces.

Who held them? How did they come to fall in this certain spot? Lykins once found an 1824 50-cent piece in Sandusky.

Almost two centuries ago, it was worth a lot of money to the person who held it in his hand. What was he planning to buy with it?

Another one of his great finds: a medallion that was given only to descendants of those people who came over on the Mayflower.

Lykins found it in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A name and date engraved on the back of the medallion was scratched off by time, making it impossible to read.

There was no way to find the owners, no way to learn the true story behind the medallion. Maybe that’s what treasure hunting is about.

It’s a thrill to find buried treasure just inches under the soil, but the historical mysteries are an unmistakable lure, too.

I am a treasure hunter.  And I want another story.

Comments

nofufucat

Is it legal to dig in public parks or other public areas?

Darkhorse

I think these stories are a waste of a good reporter. 

FruGalSpender

the name of kevin lykins has come through to me by the network. he is a biker but he has a lot of common sense. the network tells me that he has posted very often on sanduskyregister.com. he would make a good candidate for state office. take a chance at state office kevin. i will help to give you some exposure. you have the common sense shared by most people. go for it kevin!

FruGalSpender

since i am in the center of a network, my comments and ideas can explode into outer limits.  just so you know.

FruGalSpender

he is a big man, isn't he?

LabMan

Or she is a little woman

Captain Gutz

Geez Kevin, why don't you buy a real metal detector?       A Minelab!

 

She is really short.

Bluto

 Frugal , you say he 's a biker , but he has a lot common sense . So are saying most bikers don't have common sense ? Just messing with ya ; )

Super Judge
7 Concerning: Lykins, Kevin R
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 11/06/1991
Arr. Agency: SSPD Case #: CRB9104201
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: DOM VIOLENCE
Case Type: Criminal 8 Concerning: Lykins, Kevin R
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 05/10/1993
Arr. Agency: SPD Case #: TRD9302569
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: LIGHTS REQUIRED
Case Type: Traffic 9 Concerning: Lykins, Kevin R
D.B.A./A.K.A.:
Filed: 01/17/1995
Arr. Agency: SPD Case #: TRD9500200
Docket Entry: Click
Charge: EXCESSIVE NOISE
Case Type: Traffic

 

sandy2

This story sounds like it was written by a third grader.

Secretary1

WOW, they put his BIG Record in the paper!!  OMG and if you read the DOM VIOLENCE it's his ex-wife that everyone KNOWS is a nutcase herself!  WHATEVER, whoever is putting in records, why don't you display your own???  I know I have stuff on mine but it's medical bills that were supposed to be paid by insurance and weren't and are all settled plus some credit cards I got over my head in once upon a time years ago nand they are paid off so does that make me a bad person??  NOPE, just a real person!  GROW UP whoever the culprit is.  This was a good story and sounds fun! 

Taxpayer

A Minelab E-TRAC is over $1,600 a copy.  I wanted to upgrade from my Garrett Ace 150, but that is way too much for finding bottle caps and junk.  Metal detecting can be fun, but a few of you are correct, many places and owners of property do not like you searching on their property, expect you to pay them a fee, or want some kind of "cut" of anything you find.  You will get a lot of "hits" but the more expensive units will help ID what you are detecting before digging it up.  I would like to find an iron/nickle meterorite one of these days.  It is a lot of fun, but it is not like those TV shows where you find a lot of items in 30 minutes.  After a couple of hours of disappointments, you will get tired and call it quits.  I find a lot of modern day coinage, but never enough to pay for a Minelab.  I think the beach at Cedar Point after the season would be a good hunt.  I do not have the time to be a serious hunter, but it is great exercise and fun to get you out of the house.  Happy hunting!