Rare jewelry found beneath the waves

Toronto, Ontario

Announcement    I've just returned from a 3 month treasure hunting trip in the Indian Ocean. Check out some of the amazing finds in my shop!


Last updated on 22 May, 2017

I've just returned from a 3 month treasure hunting trip in the Indian Ocean. Check out some of the amazing finds in my shop!


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About GoldUnderwater

Sales 4
On Etsy since 2014

My Shop is the Ocean! Rare jewelry & treasures from the oceans & lakes of the world...

Hi there! I am Alex, your friendly ocean & lake metal detector guy!

People often ask me how I got started in metal detecting.... A few years ago in Toronto, Canada, I bought a used mid-priced metal detector made for dry land from a scruffy looking young dude who desperately needed to buy his girlfriend a guitar or pay the rent or something.

Completely clueless about metal detecting, I set out to learn on my own. I didn't know whether I would like it or not. My life has been full of hobbies I tried to adopt and later dropped for one reason or another and I figured it would be the same with metal detecting.

And then I found my first gold ring... I was hooked!

Fast forward a few years later and I am still metal detecting and enjoying it tremendously. I have become quite good at hunting in the water in oceans and lakes, and that is now my specialty. There is something about the metal detecting life that grabbed me. Being outdoors in the fresh air, being connected to the earth and the water and to history. The exercise. Sharing news of my finds with other detectorists and marveling at the stuff other hunters are finding...

I am fortunate to split my time between Toronto Canada, where I hunt on fresh water beaches, and also on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and most recently the island of Mauritius, where I hunt in the ocean. Most of my finds are made in chest-deep water but I sometimes use a mask and snorkel to go into deeper water.

I try and get out detecting every day. Last year, in Toronto, on a brutally windy day in the autumn I went to a favorite hunting spot in Lake Ontario. The water was freezing, but I put on my neoprene chest waders and I hopped in the lake anyway, and hunted in waist deep water for an hour and a half, digging a finds pouch full of iron nails and metal rubbish in the howling wind and choppy murky water. But afterward, as I sat and ate my peanut butter sandwich and sipped some nice hot coffee from my vacuum flask, I felt so grateful to be able to be outside in the sun, where yesterday, at that very spot, I found a 1876 large Canadian penny with a hole drilled in it....

Over one hundred and thirty six years ago, some guy went swimming in Lake Ontario and in spite of pinning or sewing his penny to his clothing, or maybe even wearing it around his neck on a string for safekeeping - it was lost, only to be found over 136 years in the future. By me!

That is the part I like about metal detecting: it's like time travelling! Every find I make I try to picture the circumstance of the loss, and imagine what the area looked like back then. I go to the archives and to the library to look at pictures of people from the period. I look at old maps, I study trees and old buildings and landscape closely. Truly I am learning so much about the history of my surroundings in a tangible and profound way. That is what I like about metal detecting.

I like finding rings and jewelry (who doesn't?!), but when I find jewelry, I picture the type of person who would wear such pieces. A few years ago, I found many silver floral rings in one area where there were a lot of coins from the 1920's. Was there a fad one year in the 1920's where girls just HAD to wear carved floral silver rings? Was there one jeweler who had a big sale in 1927 in Toronto?

Who knows what I'll find next? And that is the best thing about metal detecting; the wonderful surprises.

Most of what I find and sell privately or on Etsy is old and one of a kind. I am sponsored by one of the leading metal detector manufacturers, and take people on metal detecting tours in South Africa each winter.

I also abide by a code of metal detecting ethics, which you can see here:

Metal Detecting Code of Ethics

1. Follow all local, provincial/state, and federal laws related to metal detecting.

2. Respect private property and never metal detect an area without permission.

3. Pack out what you pack in, and properly dispose of any trash you find.

4. Leave all gates, structures, and personal property as they were before.

5. Fill in every hole you dig. Leave no trace you were there.

6. Never dig in a way that harms vegetation, wildlife, or changes natural features.

7. Report any significant historical artifacts to local authorities.

8. Be an ambassador for the hobby by being courteous and thoughtful at all times.

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  • Alex


    I'm Alex, your friendly metal detecting guy! I love treasure hunting in the oceans and lakes of the world, and searching for treasure under water is my specialty. I abide by a code of metal detecting ethics.

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