I am currently helping a friend search through his father’s home for approximately $30,000 worth of gold coins he suspects are somewhere in the house. We’ve taken a number of measures: flipping through the pages of every book, knocking on walls, pulling out the insulation in the attic, testing out wood paneling. We’re considering pulling out shoe inserts, unscrewing outlets and heating vents, etc. As the days go by, we lose hope bit by bit that we will ever find it.
As we hunt, which is admittedly thrilling, I often think about all the other experiences I’ve had with gold hidden on private property. It occurs to me that I’ve never actually heard a story about gold going to the person it’s supposed to go to. It has always been lost forever or found by a stranger.
When I was young my family moved into a small rental house in Hawaii. My parents happened to find 15 gold coins in the cupboards–gold that must have belonged to a previous resident. Who left them there? Did they die suddenly and no one knew about the gold? Did they themselves forget they had put it there? All I know is I’m sure they hadn’t meant for it to be found by strangers. Lucky for them, my parents are decent human beings and had the landlord locate them so we could send it back.
Another incident involved a great-aunt of mine who was a wealthy hoarder. We knew before cleaning her house that there were gold nuggets inside and that we were supposed to be on the alert. Nine months of cleaning went by and we never found them. Her daughter recently said to me “We must have thrown it away on accident. We must have thrown away more than $15,000 in gold.”
If you peruse the popular articles for “how to hide gold” you will find a plethora of suggestions about burying it, plastering it into the walls, etc. Maybe you don’t want my advice, but speaking from personal experience, JUST PUT IT IN A SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX. That’s what they’re there for (and it will be much easier for your distraught relatives to find). If you think, like many do, that the banks will be closed during the apocalypse and roving packs of madmen will laser their way into your deposit box…well maybe you should stop watching so many dystopian movies.