What’s it Worth…Really!

The treasure has been contrarily valued in the press on blogs and TV at half a million dollars, a million dollars, two million dollars and somewhere, I remember someone writing that it’s worth is a colossal, three million dollars. This is a wide gap..half a million to three million dollars. The real value is a hard number to pin down because only Forrest has a list of everything that he put inside that chest. And even if you had the list in your hands there would be controversy and contradiction about the precise value of many of the items. A list does not give you a real sense of the item. Holding it in your very own hands is the only way to truly appreciate the actual value of a lovely artifact. Some feel that placing a monetary value on the objects in Forrest’s chest is a crass example of capitalism at it’s very worst. How can you, these folks inquire, place a value on history, on craftsmanship, on beauty, on the last vestiges of a once vibrant culture?

I have no idea.

Forrest’s treasure chest showing only some gold

And there are other problems too. Often times the owner of an object feels it is worth much more than someone who is going to pay for it. Ask any insurance agent. If, for instance, I own a shiny, red, 1945 Willy’s Jeep in mint condition. I might feel that it’s worth $33,000 dollars because that’s what the bluebook say’s it’s worth. But that is not it’s value because I haven’t actually found anyone willing to pay me that much. When my neighbor buys it from me for $19,000 we have now established it’s actual value. I think the phrase is, “It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it”. The rest is just speculation. So the half million to 3 million dollar guesstimates by the press and others about the value of Forrest’s treasure are simply speculation. There is no basis for those values. But can we nail it down any closer than somewhere between half a million and three million dollars?

Even Forrest has stated that the true value of his treasure is a moving target. For one reason, the price of gold varies a great deal from day to day. In “The Thrill of the Chase” Forrest wrote that there are “over twenty Troy pounds of gold” in that chest. Elsewhere he has used the number 20.20671 Troy pounds. There is more than just yellow metal in there but let’s concentrate on the value of the gold since it may be the easiest to attach a value too, albeit a value that changes from day to day.

So…moving forward, gold, silver and gemstones are measured in an older system of weight called Troy pounds. Each Troy pound is made up of 12 Troy ounces. If we look up the price of gold on the web we will not typically see that it is measured in Troy ounces. The listings simply say “ounces” or “oz” for short but in truth they are using the Troy pound system which is universal in gold pricing. It matters to us because a Troy pound contains 12oz while an Avoirdupois pound…the measure we typically use for…say calculating the weight of a salad from the grocer…has 16ozs.

20.2 Troy pounds is roughly 242 Troy ounces. At the moment that I write this blog entry the spot price of gold is $1,751.40 per oz. The spot price of gold is the price that someone is willing to pay for gold at the moment. Forrest’s 242.4 ozs is therefore worth $424,539.36 at this very second. In the not too distant past gold was priced at $721oz. At that price the gold in that box would shrink in value to $174,770.40. On the other hand some gold speculators are saying that gold will top $5,000oz soon. Exactly when, they do not say but that would mean Forrest’s gold would then be worth $1,212,000.00. Based on these fluctuations alone the value of the chest will certainly rise or fall on a daily basis.

Okay…but what about the rest of the treasure. Well…here things get really sticky. We know some of the other items in that chest but not all. And we may…or may not know the weight of the chest and its contents. I remember reading somewhere that the weight of the chest and its contents was 42lbs. In fact, someone who actually hefted it before Forrest hid it told me that he figured the whole thing weighed in excess of 40lbs. I have also read that the chest by itself weighs 20lbs. If true, the contents should weigh-in at about 22lbs. We know that the gold alone in that chest weighs 20.2 Troy pounds. Now the difference between a Troy pound and an Avoirdupois pound is 2.8ozs. In fact 20.2 Troy pounds is equal to 16.99 Avoirdupois pounds. So if it’s true that the chest and contents together weigh 42lbs and the gold weighs 17lbs and the chest weighs 20lbs than there is about 5lbs of “other items” in the chest.

The gold includes 265 coins, pre-Columbian animal figures, gold dust, placer nuggets and two pre-Columbian, hammered gold “mirrors”. The mirrors are 4-5 inches in diameter and have holes in them for wearing. But what about the “other items”? Forrest, once again helps us out. In his memoir he mentions some of the items that are not pure gold and therefore not already accounted for. He mentions the following:

– Ancient Chinese human faces carved from jade

– 17th century Spanish gold ring with large emerald

– Antique dragon coat bracelet with 254 rubies, 6 emeralds, 2 sapphires and numerous diamonds

– Silver bracelet with 22 turquoise disc beads and a wonderful history

– 2,000 year old Indian necklace from Columbia

– Modern olive jar with biography inside

I cannot begin to estimate the value of these things so I pressed an acquaintance who trades in historic and prehistoric artifacts to provide some estimates. Of course he declined, “its impossible”, he said. Of course I insisted saying “lets just make some educated guesses”, and of course he declined again. So I threatened to stay through day and night until he gave me what I wanted. That seemed like a terrible curse so he relented. I also agreed to buy him as much Bacardi on the rocks as he could drink and drive him home afterward and make sure he got in bed safely. Here is what he had to say about the items, understanding that he knows not a tinker more about them than you do. I promised not to reveal his name because he felt that this was a really ridiculous request and therefore his guesstimates are ludicrous and completely unprofessional. Perhaps, but I think it’s fun to try and place some sort of value on these things.

Ancient Chinese human faces carved from jade

How big are they? I don’t know.

How many are there? I don’t know.

What color are they? I don’t know.

Are they the same or different? I don’t know.

How finely carved are they? I don’t know…but…knowing that they are Forrest’s I am guessing that they are the best of whatever they are.

Okay..lets say $550ea.

17th century Spanish gold ring with large emerald

How many carats is the emerald? I don’t know.

What color is it? I don’t know

What cut is the stone? I don’t know.

What kind of condition is it in? I don’t know…but…knowing that it was Forrest’s I am guessing that it is the best of whatever it is.

Okay…Last year Atocha divers found a 16th century Spanish gold ring with an emerald that was reported to be worth half a million. But I think that’s high. You can see it here:


Forrest’s is from the17th century so lets say $210,000 for it.

Antique dragon coat bracelet with 254 rubies, 6 emeralds, 2 sapphires and numerous diamonds.

I don’t suppose  you know anything about it?  No, I’ve never seen it. I don’t even know what a coat bracelet is.


Silver bracelet with 22 turquoise disc beads and a wonderful history

Forrest has stated publicly that he would like to have this bracelet back and will pay for it.

If you find this, Forrest wants it back.

The bracelet’s history makes this much more collectible and therefore more valuable. The fact that the beads came from Richard Wetherell means that there may be more known about them. The fact that the silver was worked by a Navaho also gives it more value. The fact that Forrest wants it back is even more interesting.

I’ll guess $34,000.

2,000 year old Indian necklace from Columbia

Do you know anything else about it. Yes…Forrest describes this in his memoir. It is a Tairona and Sinu creation. It contains 39 animal fetishes carved from quartz crystal, carnelian, jadeite and other exotic stones. It also has two cast gold objects. One is a jaguar claw and the other is a frog. Forrest considers it one of the prizes of his collection.

Sounds stunning and special…I’ll say $40,000.

There are other items too. Things never listed but hinted at. Items too numerous to mention.

There is also the chest itself. Forrest writes that he overpaid for it at $20,000, but it was the perfect treasure chest. Forrest likes to do things right!

A gold eagle coin made before 1933

And one other consideration about the gold. It’s value is going to be more than the spot price of gold because it is “collectible”. There are 265 gold coins in that chest. A few are ancient coins. Some are pre-twentieth century, US eagle and double eagle coins. They stopped making these in 1933. The eagle contains .48oz of gold. It’s face value as a coin is $10. It’s value based on the spot price of gold this minute is about $841. As a collectible it’s worth even more. Mint, they appear to be worth about double the spot gold price. Well worn they are valued at just over their spot gold price.

But all this talk about value is moot if a true collector finds Forrest’s 12th century bronze chest, the beautiful objects inside might never be traded for money. They will simply be appreciated, admired and enjoyed by the finder. The bracelet will go back to Forrest and the rest will become legend. Creative and embellished stories will be told and retold about the chest and it’s fantastic contents.

Oh…one other item that we know a great deal about is the olive jar. It’s a classic, modern olive jar that Forrest used to protect his biography which is rolled up inside the bottle and sealed tight. In a thousand years it might very well be the most valuable item in the chest but for now, that jar is…well…appreciating.

So…after all this talk, what is the treasure’s value?

Knowing what we now know I think we can pin it down to somewhere between half a million and 3 million dollars…give or take.


90 thoughts on “What’s it Worth…Really!

  1. Just adding some thoughts about your very interesting blog.

    I think the jade face estimate is low. Asian things right now are through the roof. Here’s a result for a little 2 1/2 inch figure as an example. Then depends on which dynasty it’s from as that has a huge impact on value. Like this result below is the Quinlong which makes it higher, because that emperor was a collector of fine things and things from his reign end up being more valuable.


    Also, another factor to value is that Forrest owned it which adds to the value and that it’s part of this chase. Just like someone would pay more for a book owned by JFK compared to if I was selling the same book. His ownership adds to authenticity, the quality and the history.

    I’m surprised the turquoise bracelet is so pretty. I think Forrest said he’d pay more than the value…was it three times the value he said? Can’t remember. So I think he’s added his own sentimental value to that if someone is going to sell it back to him.

    Part of me doesn’t want to know what’s in the box really. If I’m ever fortunate enough to have figured out all the clues and found it….I want that moment where your freaked out looking at what he decided to put in there. When I’ve thought about it in the past…my dream always stops at finding the box….I’ve yet to open it. I just sort of sit with the box for a while. Just thinking about that now…I think that’s the tarry scant of it all. I mean I think he’s familiar with situation.

    Kind of thought he might have put a magnifier in the box to read the bio…but not sure I’m remembering that right.

    As for value…I hope it’s worth a dollar more than I’ve spent searching….so I guess I hope it’s worth 3 million lol *kidding* But I have spent a few bucks. Then again are we all indebted to Forrest already for the good times he’s given us? I know this past summer was the best summer I’ve ever had.

    • I’m with you on discovering the chest. If I don’t show up for a week it might be because I found the chest and had a heart attack…Good luck-Bad luck…as they say…ha!!

    • There is only person dumber than a hippy with a backpack full of crystals. The person who buys those crystals. The only things with real value are food shelter and family.

      • my food shelter is a 1969 Hotpoint upright refridgerator-freezer i won on Lets Make a Deal. I took the box instead of the cash.

        what’ll you give me for it Matt?

  2. I better try harder to find it. I wouldn’t want you to have a heart attack. That blog had to have taken a lot of research…

  3. oh and even though I hope it’s worth more than what it’s cost to not find as of yet….I don’t take for granted that it’s money I didn’t earn and am grateful that he’s done such a super cool thing.

      • Probably only out so often while being so so far away…I’m sure people who are fortunately near the mountains out west go out more than me. I’m going to buy a couple Powerball tickets in hopes to win so I can afford to look for Forrest’s treasure full time. If I win the PB, I’ll send you a few bucks to support your treasure hunting addiction too.

  4. Not that I couldn’t use the money right now, but the value of it just seems secondary. Not even sure if I’d sell all of it or any of it. Some of the stuff in there is pretty cool from a historical value and just to set it on the mantle and look at it once in awhile would be kind of awesome. Put the gold ring in my pocket and take history for a walk every now and then… that said, I’m fairly sure my wife would be more interested in the value…

      • My grandfather always carried a small change purse in his pocket. One of the items in the purse was a $20 gold coin. He always left it on the piano in his living room and I would always look at the coins in it when I visited. One day, while visiting, I noticed it was gone. When I asked, he told me he had sold it. He was about 93 then and died two years later and was selling everything of value to make his estate easier. I was upset and told him that he should have told me as I would have paid him more than he sold it for. When he asked what I would do with it, I told him I would carry it in my pocket just like he did. So if I find the chest, and there is $20 gold coin, while it is not my grandfathers, I will carry it in remembrance of him.

        • Nice remembrance Mark. I understand there are both Eagles and Double Eagles in that chest…so now you just have to find it…

          • Not sure If I knew where it was if Id even remove it. Maybe when the time was right. Has any one really thought about if it were sitting in front of them what they would really do. Would you think about Forrest and his new book or would you just be gold struck and haul it away? I think if ever faced with the reality of knowing where it may rest it may set you back in your tracks. I think it would be time to walk away and think think think. The value may be enticing But the real value is every thing involved with finding such a great find. Let us not forget the Man behind it all. Just a thought. JB

          • Jeff, I share these thoughts. Does the poem tell us what to do or is there something in the chest that gives “direction”?
            Curious thoughts, indeed. 🙂

  5. Hello Dal, I hate to admit to the fact that I’m attracted to shiny objects, but I am. I guess when all is said and done, I would need just enough. Yep! Just enough. Then I would tab it up just to see what the heck I’ve got. The golden mirrors really intrique me. Would I look better in a golden reflection? Heck Yes !!!!!!

      • Hey Dal, you can come visit anytime you want, treasure or no treasure. I’ll even make a pot of home made chili and we can talk about the genius of the book. What more can a man ask for? Besides Gold… But should I find this chest before you, I will give you a golden mirror. Great job on this story and the contents..

  6. I sent an e-mail to Mr. Fenn this morning that I thought I would share. Regardless of the value, that bronze box has sparked the imagination of many a seeker and I am no exception. I apologize in advance if I am longwinded.

    NMAC states warm waters are those lakes, streams and rivers not designated as trout waters. I had thought Eagle Nest Lake would be warm waters and Cimarron Canyon was the canyon down. Cimarron river is home of Brown. German Brown trout. It’s even called that. Not far but too far to walk was indicative of the fact that not only was it too far to walk but you didn’t have to walk it because there was a highway that runs right through the canyon. You can drive it or at least this leg of the journey. No place for the meek I felt was an actual place just no place for the meek. Cimarron means wild place in Spanish so by definition it was no place for the meek. From no place for the meek, the end was ever drawing nigh which could mean near or maybe it could mean to the left or maybe both. There is only one creek that runs through the town of Cimarron and that is Ponil creek. You can turn left at Ponil creek and sure enough the road is ever drawing nigh or ever drawing to the left. You can see that on any map. It is going back to the west and remains doing so all the way to the end. This road, 204 eventually becomes forest road 1910 when it enters the Valle Vidal. The road is a forest service road at this point. You can keep bearing left by following the trail into greenwood canyon. If you keep going to the left you are basically making a big circle and the circle takes you to the ridgeline going up baldy mountain. Baldy is riddled with old gold and two copper mines. I figured heavy loads meant heavy lodes or mother lode. Since lodes are always upstream from placer fields, water high could mean water at a higher elevation or where water once was at a higher elevation. Basically the entrance to an old gold mine could be both heavy lode and water high. The baldy ridgeline will take you to the deep tunnel mine, a mine that was tunneled through or almost through the entire mountain looking for the mother lode. They never found it but many still believed that it is there and remains so, waiting to be discovered. The blaze I felt was the crash of the Douglas invader in 1988 which sits somewhere just above the deep tunnel entrance. If you get up to the crash and look down, I was betting we would see the entrance to the mine or any mine. So, you see I was following the clues in the poem. But not only that, the journey from eagle nest lake to baldy mountain also fit the stories in the book. The Cimarron river is considered one of the premier brown trout fly fishing areas in the west. It runs through Philmont boy scout ranch and it seemed to me that you made numerous references to the boy scouts with your texas A&M and yarn ball with square knot stories. And one story referencing Philmont in particular, the six cats and five squirts of milk. Urracca mesa. The place is steeped in history on the old west with the old santa fe trail and the railroad going through here. Cimarron is an old west town and it appears that every notorious character of the wild west spent at least one night in no place for the meek. Kit Carson made his home here for awhile. There’s older stuff too. The ponil people were Paleolithic people I think whose material culture is that of those using folsom and clovis points. Apaches, Utes and Comanches all at one time or another called this land home and if the story of Urracca mesa is to be believed, the Anasazi too. And to top it off, the Valle Vidal, nicknamed Little Yellowstone. Just coincidentally sitting in the middle of my journey. And what of my latitude coordinates, N36 degrees, 41 minutes? I’m sure you know I got that from your story of the 36’ chevy and the 41’ Plymouth. It just so happens to run through this area? Copper park, a high mountain meadow close to the top of baldy not only gives meaning to the red, black and green teas but to a place where the chamisa and mountain laurel flourish as well. I could scrounge an old penny out of my purse right now and observe that copper starts out red but will tarnish to black and eventually turn green. This place is set below both the crash site and the long tunnel mine but very close to both. There is a helicopter landing area to the west of Copper park and presumably very close to the deep tunnel mine entrance. Of course you could not walk up to this place carrying a bronze box but you could fly a helicopter in to a place where you could jump out hide the box and be back out in a very short time. If anything would be considered bold, this would be it. You wanted us to know you could fly a helicopter as well as a plane.

    Why am I re-hashing all of this since I’ve told you all of these things before in so many e-mails? It’s because I am mourning the loss of this place as the treasure jackpot spot. It seemed so perfect to me. Hopefully you didn’t get a migraine from reading that long jumbled up paragraph above. Where do warm waters halt? Still sounds like fishing to me. It seems to me that saying where warm waters halt is the same thing as saying where trout waters begin. And that’s where I’m stuck at. …..The beginning.

    • WoW!
      Nice investigation Cloudcover. What great deductive reasoning.

      The big problem for me is the remoteness of the area. Forrest has said that he hid the chest when he was 79 or 80. Unlikely that he would clamber up there with the chest as you stated. But that was also well after he stopped flying. Any other way he could get his chest up there? He’s a clever guy and has a lot of practical skills.

      • Only other way would be horseback. You can’t drive a car up there. Well that’s not entirely true. There is an old logging road on the Elizabethtown side of Baldy. Not sure how far a truck could climb it. I wanted to stand up there at copper park and look north into yellowstone. Little yellowstone that is. Like he did in the picture on the front cover of his book. There is a pipe that extends out of the deep tunnel mine that feeds water to Copper Park. Also like a picture on the front of his book. Then there’s the other picture with an old bomber in the background to the left. twin propeller engines. A B26 perhaps. Many confuse the B26 with the A26C. The Douglas that crashed was an A26. crashed the same year Mr. Fenn was diagnosed with cancer, A26 was the main small bomber used in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. What say you if I suggest a group of treasure hunters climb old baldy in the spring just for the hell of it and view the Earth from the top of the world?

      • Mr. Fenn would not have confused the two. I only thought that if he didn’t have a picture of an A26 with him in it, one with a B26 would do just fine. Course, not being any sort of an expert on planes, I don’t really know what that plane in the picture is. Only that it isn’t a fighter jet like the one on the right is.

  7. I’m glad I checked the box to be notified of new comments. Wow, what a search. I too have searched Cimarron as there’s many things that fit from his memoirs and funny that I came up with different things. I found a lone grave site(meek)…I think it was near mile market 292…It’s west of Perryville on the south side of the road. There’s a white cross that you can see from the road. I actually found a geocache near Jessie Phillips grave, but won’t say where it is in case anyone wants to go see if they can find it. I thought the white cross might have been the blaze and looked all over while standing by the white cross as it’s up on a little hill. By the way…don’t dig up the gravesite…I’ve been told it’s a 4th degree felony. I also found an island somewhere in the Cimarron river with electrical lines(heavy loads) that came down so close you could touch them with a section of the river that went around it(creek?). I’ve looked in many of the culverts which have the road over top(heavy loads). I’ve gone up both clear creek and tolby creek. I found what I thought was a “hole” where the water swirled around near Clear Creek that I thought he might have dropped it down into….but can’t look into the water that well there to see. I heard there’s some sort of man made pond up Tolby, but haven’t gone that far to see. There’s also a Turkey Creek Trail which I haven’t found…but don’t believe there’s any water associated with it(without a paddle?). I’ve looked at the St. James thinking it could lead all the way there and looked at the paintings they have around their patio(he owned an art gallery) for a blaze which included the magpie painting(checked the pea gravel below him at two in the morning after three glasses of wine). If we ever all meet up…I vote for at the St. James on a hot summer night with the music playing and ohh the fountain made of big giant boulders(heavy loads and water high)….and the magpie was on the other side with a painting of that same fountain. I also rearranged rocks to divert the Cimarron river where it came out of the gravel pit lakes(heavy loads and water high) to see if the treasure was there. Found another island there with a lone burned tree trunk(blaze)…but didn’t find the treasure below it. I’ve figured out three things that can be warm water halting in that canyon…and one goes towards Eagle Nest Lake. That’s what took me to Tolby Creek. I saw Johnny Depp there too this summer…he was filming the new lone ranger. It was the best 10 seconds of my life (ok…not really..he’s not really my type to be honest). Also, did wonder if the horseshoe mine could have been meek…but thought it just fit more with him learning to make a horseshoe. Also, the ghost town Perryville that’s no longer there was founded by a blacksmith. I was going to keep all this to myself…but figured as long as someone else is letting their Cimarron clues go…it would be fun to share. Maybe someone will get lucky with all these possible clues and come up with a solution.

    • One more thing…if you realize that there are 4 secret tent sites(bring a bed roll) back in the Ponderosa Campground(your wise enough to find)….that’s where the bear lives. Oh and across the road is the Maverick campground…doesn’t he say something about being a maverick?

    • Tolby creek was my first trip to Cimarron Canyon, actually Tolby Meadows was but I didn’t make it up there. Been to Maverick campground. His buffalo bull Cody would qualify as a maverick I think. Bull of the woods by JR Williams is a favorite of his and Baldy is home to the Bull of the woods mine. And I tried to find Horsehoe mine in the Canyon but although know the area it’s in, could not find an entrance.

      • We had trouble finding the mine too. It’s directly on a curve and there’s bright orange spray paint on the face of it. You have to park across the street and walk over to it. I have a video of us looking in it that I might put up now that I’ve exposed where I’ve been searching. I think if a hundred of us searched that canyon, we still could all miss it.

      • Well for goodness sake, CC, share already. There’s already so much good sharing under this post heading – even Stephanie spilled a bunch of beans a few posts above ! (;) j/k S!)

        • Ha! You want me to spill some beans? Like my play by play story above wasn’t enough? I’ve got some other beans I can spill. Just kidding. No, actually I’m not but these beans are still simmering and I can’t bring myself to say they’re ready yet. What does (;)j/kS) mean? I didn’t quite get that part.

  8. Words and phrases have meanings, they were created and started somewhere. In locations all over the world, different languages, different cultures you will find the exact same saying, with the same meaning as in English. My guess is that Ice Age man, and on back could relate to what I am about to say.

    A an example of this is “to get the point”. Ever since man sharpened the first stick and jabbed his buddy in the ass, the meaning is the same. Forrest found his first arrowhead in his youth and has the point, he’s still has it now and the government wants to come and just take it away, he’s rubbing our face in it forcing us to look at the clues. It’s probably his most valuable piece. He’s an arrowhead collector first and foremost, long before the Air Force and the Art gallery. Many of us are missing it. This is not a story about gold but it is about treasure all right and what’s really valuable in this life.

    When you get a cancer diagnosis, that first sleepless night you quickly figure out that shrouds don’t have pockets. Trust me, I know.

    Forrest is a master of the double meaning, words upside down and inside out. So many of the clues in the book are hidden in plain sight. The poem has to be figured out first for the book to make any “true” sense. I am in awe of what he has done and the way it was written.

    I am imagining that the bio inside the box will have specific instructions on what he would like the finder to do, even if it’s a thousand years from now. Just think, if you find it now and return the bracelet, you may get them direct from the master.

    Ask yourself, how cool would that be?

  9. The best thing a man can do is spark the curiosity of other men. Countless numbers have come to appreciate the history and relevance of their fellow, and former man. Forrest Fenn , a wiser man then me once said…you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day but you can teach a man to fish and feed him forever.
    I hope the treasure never gets found.

    • If it gets found, I hope the finder will leave some significant portion of it in place…that way a lot of folks will still wanna try to find it, with all the enjoyment/mystery/fun that will entail.

  10. Don’t forget this is Forrest Fenn’s Treasure. It may be worth more as a whole collection to someone. Someone who found this whole thing so interesting that they want to buy the whole thing for who knows how much. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

  11. IF I FIND IT ? The thing to do is document each item, keep the biography, insert your own, and hide it all in a new place….
    In other words, start the process all over again. A person can make millions on the book and film rites alone, without selling the treasure…
    Be apart of the legend, not the end!
    Also give the bracelet to Fenn,
    If you do find it, Think, before you go public, talk to Fenn, or it will be taken from you by the government.
    By the way, its not in New Mexico..

      • We all think we know where it is, I believe I have all 9 hints in the poem deciphered, and all the new clues/hints confirm them.
        All the hints people are using in NM are far from complete, there all have far fetched “fill-ins or maybes” for the hints they cannot verify.
        And Fenn wants his bracelet back, if it was close to SanteFe he would just go get it…..
        People are going to extremes on the poem, when its not that complicated.
        I have studied the geography and history of the Rocky Mountains for 20+ years now, and hope to pic up the treasure this summer.
        If found, I will possibly try to keep the legend going as stated earlier.
        What would you do with it ?

    • There is nowhere in NM that fits in with all the hints.
      People are making up goofy answers to the hints, because they cant find the rite place.
      My divorce has stopped me from picking up the treasure, I hope to have it by fall.
      You go ahead and look in NM, but don’t forget to take time to look at the view, because that’s all you’ll find.

  12. There are a lot of good places in nm if you kno what your doing I might be wrong and if I am only other place I see it is in Yellowstone anything else don’t have much hope for next clue will be its not in Colorado

    • JR-
      I agree NM and Yellowstone are good places for the treasure to be located but they are big places and certainly not the only places Forrest has connections. Look at his interests in the trappers, the traders, the Indians, the Spanish explorers, the cavalry, the battlefields, Lewis and Clark, etc. In a broader sense, the history and prehistory of the mountain country. I think a better way to think about the treasure is where to start…not where it might be hidden. I think any search needs to concentrate on the nine clues and more importantly, as Forrest has stated a number of times:
      “Start at the beginning.”
      “Begin where warm waters halt.”
      “Follow the clues in sequence and they will take you directly to the treasure.”
      “No one will guess where it is hidden.”

      So I choose to concentrate on where to start, not where to end. It may be in NM or in Yellowstone but unless I can follow the clues to get to it I will never find it.
      Forrest said, “No one will stumble on it.”

      So where do warm waters halt…that’s the real question.
      And why would a child know the answer?

      • Well put, Dal. It’s amazing how some won’t have an open mind, yet still haven’t discovered the T.
        Any input about July’s clue?

        • If your mind stays open too long, you will get more confused, once you’ve done your research, you need to focus and move on your decision. If you fail, then rethink, but don’t second guess yourself to early.
          Many people are overcomplicating this.
          A lot of this is who can outsmart who first, but we all tend to outsmart ourselves most of the time.

          • I don’t know whom you are trying to outsmart and I can see you have outsmarted yourself. I have an open mind and I’ve been married 47 years. If I wait until fall to find I’ve failed I WILL enjoy the views. Hope you do also.

          • Hey guys, don’t get your panties in a bunch, If I didn’t have to wait till fall I wouldn’t, They asked me about NM and I gave everyone some pointers even though I don’t think its in NM.
            And I will enjoy the views (both mountains and treasure)…..
            Good Luck

          • Billy-
            I agree…
            Confusion and self-doubt are two issues we all have…
            Forrest says “move with confidence”
            Thats the hardest part after you have failed a few times…

            By the way, I don’t think I am any kind of expert at finding the treasure. I do consider myself somewhat of an expert at NOT finding it though…
            36 times out and 36 times empty handed at the end…

            Been having fun looking though!

          • Dal, good job, keep looking, you made up your mind and you moved on it, if you didn’t you would never know, I hope you fine tune your search and Good Luck

      • I agree completely, where to start is the key…..
        I (like everyone else) am sure that I have all 9 clues nailed down without using far-fetched fill ins for ones that don’t fit, in fact there are a few other words in the poem that even fit my spot. The clues all fit perfect for the place I have convinced myself that holds the treasure, and yes its still a big area.
        I have searched 1 of my 3 spots, My son and I will take another trip asap, and finish the search.
        The new clues all verify my spot also..

        More later……

  13. Like forrest says don’t over think it and start from the beginning the end is the beginning think bout that and dal the reason that a child would know the answer is look at the pictures in the book the pics are the hints

  14. New Mexico Clues

    If its in NM, and I dont think it is, consider the following:
    1. Above 5,000 ft elevation? Well Sante Fe is already at 7,000, so why wouldnt Forrest start at 7,000? We know its North in the Rockies at even a higher elevation…
    2. Its got to be on public land of somekind. First lets omit the Indian reservations, no way would he have left us to the mercy of them, where we cant hunt in the first place. Second lets omit the deeper wilderness area, remember he carried the treasure in there in two trips from a road somewhere.
    3. We know its around water of some kind.
    4. Its not to found by accident, its not on a well traveled path.

    SO: Make a MAP considering the above (to name a few), go to:

    http://www.geocommunicator.gov/blmMap/MapSiteMapper.jsp (pick topo)

    1. Look at all topo area above 5,000 feet.
    2. Omit reservations.
    3. Omit all but the edges of wilderness
    4. Mark all yearound streams and edges that
    are in or near deeper canyons.
    5. Apply poem to these areas only.

    Now you have narrowed it down, good luck:

    • What if it is in reservation we all know that mr fenn loves Indians and Indian land and maybe that’s why you gotta be brave like Indian brave. And when asked what type of land he hid he answers can’t say will give too much away. And not all north of Santa Fe is 7000 there’s some 5000 above sea level as well

      • I like the “Brave part” but I’m sure its not on Indian land, and yes there is lower elevations, but not in the Rocky Mountains proper.

  15. In the book he mentions mountains north of Santa Fe. It wasn’t till later that he said Rocky Mountains so I don’t think it’s too high up especially for 80 year old might be in between the Rockies and not in the Rockies to trick people.

  16. Help me out here: the density of gold is 0.698 lb/ cubic inch. Therefore, 17 pounds of gold is about 24 cubic inches. The chest is 500 cubic inches (10″ x 10″ x 5″). This is one or two nuggets at most. 265 coins at roughly 0.5 oz each provides another 8 lbs, not to mention the other items supposedly inside the chest. The pictures, the list and the weight don’t match the math. What am I missing?

    • Mathguy-

      I don’t know what you’re missing but a couple of things to consider come to mind..
      The pictures we see of the chest and the gold show only some coins and a few small trinkets. In fact, the chest has many trinkets, some large, some small. I think some of the items, like gold dust or cut gemstones would be in a container of some sort…also taking up room. Then there are items like rings, bracelets, pins and many other objects made of gold or with gold settings. There is also an olive jar taking up space. These things take up a lot of room because they are irregularly shaped and require more space than a solid chunk of gold in a coin or a nugget. I mean, if we were to pour melted gold into the entire cavity of the chest wouldn’t it weigh a lot more than 22lbs?

      There is also the wood lining of the chest..shrinking its capacity for storage by an unknown quantity.

      Is that .698lb/cu.in. figure using troy lbs or avoirdupois lbs?
      My guess is that Forrest weighed the chest using avoirdupois lbs…but I can’t be certain.

      I’m not certain what difference it all makes. Forrest weighed the chest and it’s contents at 42lbs..
      I doubt he is lying..

  17. Didn’t know the lockbox had a wood liner… Hmm. There goes my ‘it’s in a lazy riverbed’ theory.

    My boy and I have a solution (or three) to why a child can figure it out. (Let’s just say Injun Joe could be the Brave, and a tallow might be the blaze… )

    We’ve also talked about what to do with the treasure. He and I agree if we’re lucky enough to be the finders, we’ll take a fair portion (1/3?..10%? suppose it depends on whether it’s 500K or 3 million $). and “buy 9 little chests and rig up 9 small treasure hunts to pass on the fun. Each will include a one-ninth of a map or clue to a tenth hoard.” 🙂
    I like his way of thinking

      • Yeah, not sure either, but I can imagine if it’s a tight fit like it looks, then expansion could damage the bronze — worst case scenario: burst the lockbox. Mr. Fenn said he imagined it lying in wait hundreds of years…

    • If the treasure was pieced out and lost its identity, then it would only bring the going rate; but as a whole, I think it would carry a premium given the uniqueness and story of it. How much premium? Well, depends on the person, how special they thought this whole thing is, and how much prestige they would feel by owning it.

      I can imagine there are more than a few very wealthy persons out there who would be willing to drop some significant cash well beyond its intrinsic value if it were to come up at auction who would love to have it as part of their collection, if it is found some day. Certainly important enough to give a person some real brag-a-roo.

      • IMO, the likelihood of finding that 1 person willing to drop 3 million for the whole thing is next to nil. …Right Now. **

        Much better, if selling is your plan, to present at auction as a whole, but sell in groupings or pieces. Any junkyard owner knows ‘Part out’ always yields more $$ if you can sell every part: and this would be a case where every single piece Would sell.

        **if the hunt were to go for 25-50 years, that’s another story entirely: (even with zero inflation ) because at that point a museum would be moved to bid on it /fame will have increased to ‘legend’ status.

        Maybe a pretty good motivation for a savvy/greedy searcher to wait until FF is long gone before nabbing the chest — then no one to “know when it’s been found” and end the hunt. That person would go get it, keep mum, maybe pay for marketing to make TTOTC even more well known, and let it ‘appreciate’ for 3+ decades. More $$ for cancer charities, more in your pocket — I guess that’s a win -win.

        Me, I’ll trade it for comic books as soon as I get back to Seattle. 😉

  18. anyone know how to contact Forrest directly I would like to talk with him before i go pick up the chest 🙂 He has already given too many clues its not that difficult at all and if he keeps talking he may as well just tell everyone exactly where it is lol I’m stuck till the 1st of next month but ill be picking it up then and that’s a fact – once you work the clues in the 2nd stanza it becomes very obvious

        • Well…I thought we had a photo of them somewhere on this blog but I can’t find it. Forrest said they are thin gold about 5″ in diameter and have a hole, presumably for a lanyard and wearing around the neck. They may have been used as actual mirrors or they may have signified something more important.

  19. After reading most of what’s here, it is obvious to me (at least) that the whole treasure is worth more than the sum of its parts. Keeping it together would be/should be paramount for the finder (I would guess/think) but depending on the finder’s ability to secure the chest I could see some of it sold off to secure the remainder. Maybe that’s why Forrest put in the gold dust and glacier nuggets – knowing that they have value only in their weight and not as art pieces.

  20. One last but in my opinion the most important consideration of all is the Provenance of the Forrest Fenn Treasure. For those of you who don’t know what Provenance is, it is according to the Definitions from the Merriam – Webster Dictionary; the origin or source of something and the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature.
    So putting this information into the perspective of lets say that of Christie’s or Sotheby’s Auction Houses, two of the world’s most prestigious which many would concur, and given the “Provenance” as it were of the “Forrest Fenn Treasure,” the FF origin, history and ownership and the fame and notoriety that’s been attributed to it, the old axiom would still apply; “It is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.” But given what I had just stated, the treasure can be valued well beyond it’s intrinsic value ie; its market values based on current item specifics for individual objects such as a 1930 Double Eagle coin in mint condition. But,.. a Forrest Fenn 1930 D E coin is quite another animal indeed! So, in my opinion the treasure at hand is priceless or without intrinsic value and it in fact is again whatever someone is willing to pay for it and so conceivably it can be worth several times what has already been proposed by others higher estimates in this blog.

  21. Fun to read this old post Dal, not that I’ll ever find the treasure, but it’s interesting to read about the contents and speculate about the value. 🙂

    • I don’t try and speculate the value of the items or contents… while it’s been est. to be 500,000 to 5 mil. what i see is ‘time’ as a factor.
      In the very beginning, the value may have been the contents alone… the story was still new. Now the story and hype is a factor to its whole. In the far future it may be much more… not so much the value of gold increasing, but the tale itself.

      Find a pot of gold, you have today’s market value… put a public interest to that, and the value just increased… add time… and you have a great story to be told and the items related just went up in value as well. Even fenn said; there’s a gold nugget that is more valuable because of it’s size than its weight, and then a story / public hype… you have a piece that could double on its own.

  22. Just commenting on what a Dragon Coat Bracelet is… Chinese Dragon Coats are those robe like items with wide, loose sleeves.
    A bracelet is used to hold the sleeves tightly around the wrist when one is doing something, like eating, writing, whatever where the loose sleeves can get in the way.
    The bracelets are wide and have a lot of small gems in them.
    Here’s a picture of one at auction soon at Heritage Auctions….

    One loaded with rubies would be a beautiful site.
    From what I’ve seen, these are not a cheap item. But I can’t remember exact figures.
    Dal, your estimate of $26,000 seems like a good starting point to me, but again I’m not sure. A lot depends on the total carats of the gems, the purity of the gold, etc.

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