A trip to the beach or a local park across Vancouver Island could prove to be a treasure trove for one lucky explorer.
A treasure hunt has grown across the Island, with a hand-poured, hand-crafted silver piece hidden as the prize for adventure seekers, families and explorers of all kinds, explained Robert Zeiler of Black Label Bullion.
Zeiler and his business partner Kevin Driver of WestKoast Melts and Buillion, both from Nanaimo, created the Facebook group Vancouver Island Treasure Hunting about four months ago. The idea of creating an Island-wide treasure hunt began shortly after Zeiler moved to the Island.
“(The Island) is such an amazing place, and I was inspired by all the places I was exploring and seeing. Also, Kevin is the best tour guide on earth,” Zeiler noted with a laugh.
The pair both own silversmithing businesses after they respectively changed careers - Zeiler to a head injury and Driver to a work accident.
To date, there have been 17 treasure hunts on the Island, spanning from Victoria to Campbell River. Hints can be found on the Facebook page, along with a treasure-hunting code of ethics.
Searches are in areas that have roots, rocks and other places, but will not be placed near a cliff edge, under high tide or anywhere where there may be a chance of personal injury.
Hint packs can also be purchased by donation through blacklabelbullion.com along with premium hunts, with half of the funds raised funding the silver treasure, and the other half going to the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society, explained Driver.
Hunt locations have included Neck Point (the inaugural hunt), Ammonite Falls, Beacon Hill Park, Elk Falls, Port Alberni and Comox.
Driver said the feedback received by participants has been extremely positive, with people describing the hunt as a great way to exercise both the body and mind while providing an opportunity to connect with others and their families.
The hidden silver pieces are valued anywhere from $40 to $200, and each piece is custom-made.
When a hunter is successful, they are encouraged to post the treasure in their hand on the Facebook page so that others know the piece has been found. Both Zeiler and Driver monitor the locations regularly along with posts on social media.
Their goal is to expand the hunts across the Island - particularly to the north Island as well as the Lower Mainland.
For more information and hints about current hunts, visit Vancouver Island Treasure Hunting.