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Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel

Posted by Justin Zzyzx  
avatar Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
December 27, 2006 07:23AM
If you get a chance,

check out the Cash and Treasures program on the travel channel

for lies, lies, lies.

Would it make my field collecting videos better if I held up a cracked agate and proclaimed, "fifty thousand dollars"?

I'll be Tivoing the series and doing a step by step guide to lies lies lies of "Best places to find cash and treasures" on The-Vug coming shortly.

My favorite from the sapphire episode...she takes and sifts a salted bag of rough, pulls out two "largeish" stones, has them heat treated and cut. Then a Gemologist looks at them, says "IF we mounted these two sapphires in 14k gold earring settings and sold them in our retail space (san Francisco, land of skyhigh costs for real estate), they would sell for around $600.00. (he was a VERY honest gemologist!)

Then, she holds up the two stones and proclaimes, $600.00 for these two little stones! WOW!

Of course, let's see. $600.00 targeted sale price, if they were mounted and sold in a high end jewelry gallery. It cost her $25.00 for the bag of salted rough. Then, the cost of heat treatment and cutting. They did a great job cutting them! Bet that would have cost a pretty penny! Then, she didn't even account for the setting, which would be around $40.00. All around, at the very least she would have spent over $100.00 to get the stones and processed. Then, she would have to try and sell the earrings.

Funny how that all got left out of the rational when she held up the two stones and proclaimed them to be worth $600.00.

This show would be good if they left out the fake dollar amounts. But basically, this program skirts the fields of markerting ploys and frauds.

Collecting minerals in the field is a LOT of fun. But people being motivated to find minerals because of an inflated sense of worth...

The last season was full of this inflated worth hype and this season looks like more of the same. I wish they would clean up their act!!!

Justin
avatar Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
December 27, 2006 12:20PM
    
But Justin, she's cute... that's gotta be worth something! (:D
avatar Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
January 03, 2007 12:47PM
But you know...the sunstone episode...not too horrible.

It was fun to see Chris Rose on TV too.
Leann Kenny
Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
January 05, 2007 10:08PM
I think this is a great show!! I am watching every episode...they do tell you how much she spent on the cutting and mounting.

Becky is great... what a fun job she has.

I am hooked!
avatar Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
January 06, 2007 12:37PM
Hey Leann!

Wow, logged onto MinDat just to post that little piece of fan mail?

Oh and look, it's your first post.

OK, so now that I have your attention.

The episodes that haven't aired yet...
Make sure you tell people FLAT OUT IN BIG BOLD LETTERS when you are at a SALTED location. Salted doesn't mean just straight up non-native stones, it also includes the bags and buckets of "mine tailings" that are not really mine tailings.

Then, on top of that, make sure to state the actual cost of making your material into the final product. I mean, if you are going to flash around the "worth" of the material, you should tell people the cost involved to get to that worth!

Then, nobody gruff like me will have an issue with it. I WANT TO LIKE THIS PROGRAM and for the most part I do. BUT DON'T give people a "get rich quick" mentality. That my friends, is the core of fraud.

Collecting minerals in the field is about the adventure and the fun you have with your friends (hey, you shouldn't go out alone!). When you start throwing dollar signs around, just remember what Mr. Dylan said...
"Money doesn't talk, it swears"
Iwannabelieve
Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
January 21, 2007 09:29AM
Are there ANY gemstones of value located in any of these S Appalachian Mtns. mines? or is it all hype and deception for the tourist trades ala Roswell?
Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
January 21, 2007 03:33PM
Hi Iwanna

Yes, there are actual gem-quality stones to be found in some of the old mines of the region - even, I expect, some of the "tourists traps" that salt their gravel piles for the general trade. The thing is, gem grade materials were never particularly plentiful at any of these sites - even during their haydays as operating mines. You would have had to sort through perhaps a tom of stuff - or perhaps even much more - to find anything worth bringing to the faceting machine's wheel. If you either get into a local club or do your own preliminary research and legwork to locate an old abandoned mine that isn't being operated as a tourist trap, you would have to expect to spend day after day working the gravels (or dumps of hard-rock mines) in order to find something worthwhile - and you might go a whole collecting season and never even find a single stone worth faceting. You just plain have to process a lot of stuff - put in a lot of work - in order to finding anything worthwhile.

This simple fact of the sparsity of "good stuff" is why the tourists traps salt their gravels: People aren't going to keep coming back, paying for the privelege, if they don't find things in pretty short order. So in order to get people to come back - and to spread the word to others - they salt the piles, giving the tourists something to find. It's mostly junk, true, but people are actually pretty happy no matter what they are finding: So long as it is colorful and as long as they are finding it, they're happy.

It's just us die-hard rockhounds, who want the "real thing", that are unhappy with all that... :~}

Regards

Alan
avatar Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
January 21, 2007 04:03PM
    
Despite names like the "Discovery Channel" and the "Learning Channel", tv shows are about entertainment. A lot of people seem to love these "get rich quick" fantasies. Just look at the popularity of lottery tickets with millions to one odds againsting anything but loosing a few bucks. No one would tune into a show about having to work your ass off and take huge financial risks in order to stand a miniscule chance of finding something valuable. Now, if you want to gamble millions on some grandious scheme and then crash and burnin a spectacular enough fashion, then you might qualify for the another major area of televised entertainment - watching other people's disasters!

But then, with the potential for spending a lot of time and money for nothing but a load of grief, perhaps there's an angle for a good "Reality" show here. Take a group of would-be miners, give them each some start-up money (that they should be obliged to repay at some point), and a year or so to find and establish a mining prospect and produce something valualbe. Let's see, first, find and locate a claim with the BLM or negotiate rites with a private land owner, do an environmental survey, get an explosives license (really fun in these paraniod, terrorist-filled days!), find a compressor and an excavator that is within the budget, but won't immediately break down, hire some help that won't be spending most of their time drunk, stones, or hung-over, engage in months of back-breaking work moving rock and soil, and then, if you actually find something, get it cleaned, prepared and brought to market. You then have to pay back your investors and hope there's something left for all the work you've done. I'd watch a show like that, and you know, it would probably have a better chance of paying back an investment than actual mining. Any wannabe tv producers out there?

And yes, there are some valuable gemstones to be found in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, including the only American location for emerald. However, as with most mining, the cost of extraction is usually far greater than the value of what is recovered.

Cheers,
Jesse
avatar Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
January 23, 2007 10:08AM
Jesse,

That actually sounds like a REALLY cool idea for a show.

Digging in Hiddenite and the surrounding area sucks, it is a very sticky clay material and you need a backhoe, your own money and land and lots and lots of time.
Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
February 04, 2007 01:48AM
    
First of all, I agree with Alan Plante.

I have watched every episode on the Travel Channel,and watched several episodes more than once. I was impressed with the Ogdensburg, New Jersey episode because she took the fluorescent minerals she found back to San Francisco. They were evaluated by the museum curator and were placed in the New Jersey reference collection. She made the statement that the specimens were there for "future generations". This is a positive message that can only have a positive impact on the hobby.

Keep in mind that the program is not intended for geologist/mineralogists or even the experienced rockhound. The general public has a fleeting memory and has to be sold and resold the benfits of a commodity to the point of gross exaggeration. The average collector knows about the salted mines in the South and is not about to pay $125.00 for a bucket of gravel. However, I am for anything that benefits and promotes the hobby to the general public so long as the show does not promote fraudulent practices. If fraud is being committed it is on the part of the gem mine owners,not the show. The mine owners and faceters are the ones who told her the value of the gem material she collected.

How many people are going to tune into the Super Bowl tomorrow just to watch those Coors, Bud and Miller commercials. Do any of you out there think the beer companies are pulling our leg? Or do those ladies really come with a six pack?

Do those carboard pizzas really taste different or are we paying a lot of money for cheap flour, cheap cheese, watery sauce thickend with cornstarch and micro sliced pieces of pepperoni?
Wayne Corwin
Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
February 09, 2007 02:01PM
I love the show and would be upset to here Becky or someone was ever hurt.
I'v been collecting rocks and minerals since I was 5 years old and one thing I want to pass along is that SAFETY is always important. I'v collected for 47 years now with very few mishaps. I work at and have help set up mines and quarrys in New England and New York and SAFETY always comes first. If you get hurt.. you can't collect, and thats no fun.
I was watching your show on Aquamarine, and it's full of SAFETY problems that I can see.
1)Doesn't look like STEEL TOE SHOES on Becky.
2)Fingers in your ears don't make good HEARING PROTECTION.
3)Hands over your head is no substitute for a HARD HAT.
4)You should ALWAYS wear EYE PROTECTION when your working with hammers and chissels or even when drilling.
5)On drilling...You should (MUST) wear an approved DUST MASK. It sounded like the mine operator there has SILICOSIS from breathing all that dust.
6)A good Pair of GLOVES when working with sharp rocks and handling Dynamite. The Nitroglycreine in Dynamite can give you a bad headache or even make you sick.
7)Always use tools made for working with rock.. not carpenters tools. I'v seen too many people hurt when they break.
These are just some of the SAFETY TIPS. There are many more. Maybe part of a show should be devoted to SAFETY. It would be nice to see that someone was protected from harm and still can collect with no loss of body parts or worse.

Wayne (I Dig Rocks) Corwin
Hi Wayne!
February 09, 2007 04:48PM
Hey there, Wayne - Nice to see you've finally gotten on-line! :~}

My email address is: alsherxls @ verison . net.

Drop me a line.

KOR!

Al Plante
avatar Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
February 16, 2007 04:02PM
    
To all:
I have been watching this series from the beginning with much of the high expectations as given on this thread. I have very mixed opinions about what is being done here:
First, I like the host & she is cute, but she seems to be obsessed with the idea of "how much MONEY is it worth?!??" Every scrap, piece, and rock gets this inquiry withoput exception. I loved it when hunting for Civil War relics the guy told her in no uncertain terms that it "wasn't about how much MONEY it was worth, but the historical value" or something to that effect. I believe the show DOES exhibit how much fun this can actually be, which to me is far more important than something's value. I also disagree heavily on some of the "apprasials" given to some of these items, especially the value of the cut sunstone which was badly cut to any professional's opinion.

Second, some of the places she's visited have really BAD reputations for being honest, just like the notorious "ruby mines" in Franklin, North Carolina became decades ago. When I collected there in the early sixties, "salting" was not done (at least that I observed). I witnessed many fine NATIVE gems found there!! But in the past 25 years plus, I have repeatedly seen FOREIGN sapphire/corundum rough come from the SAME sapphire mine visited by Becky in Helena, Montana. These people are so dishonest that my shop refuses to recommend any of our client ever visit there. I wish the producers of this show would do a little research before they show the gullible viewers some of these phony operations.

Thirdly, I agree with Wayne wholly that they need to promote better safety; I literally cringed when I saw them handling dynamite with their bare hands. Boy, I can remember the massive headache I got once when I was foolish enough to do that! And they need to emphasize this (and other safety issues) well enough that the general public doesn't end up hospitalized, blind, or even dead from improper or negligent safety practices. I teach a silversmithing class here in my shop and one whole lesson is dedicated to shop safety!!

Finally, I wish this show success: we all would like to see our favorite collecting localities featured on a nationally-televised program!! Ther's lots of fun places to hunt for rocks, gems, minerals, fossils, crystals, and relics! The show that featured bottle-digging instantly brought back memories of digging through soot-black ancient dumps in Huntsville, Alabama, finding old "bitters' bottles, amber Cokes, etc., and coming home literally covered from head to toe with black dirt. My Mom was always thrilled, and the bathtub always suffered. When Becky stuck her head out of the hole and was covered in the same stuff, I had to laugh!
Chris
Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
March 26, 2007 05:56PM
I'm a beginner and collecting Minerals and Gemstones. Have enjoyed the entertainment value of this show but wondered about some of the sites they visit.

My wife and I are going to be in the Asheville, NC area in May and would like to do some of our own digging. Since we are very new at this, I don't know if we're up for digging on our own but I don't want to go to a complete tourist trap. Is there anything in the area that's in between? Ie, somewhere we could get some help and equipment but not somewhere that's going to rip us off. I'd like to be able to find something nice but am not worried about "investment" at all. Facetable would be nice but rough is fine too.

Thanks!

-ds
avatar Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
March 26, 2007 06:02PM
    
You might try the McRocks forum. The webmaster is from North Carolina and they also have a number of field trip reports on the site.
[www.websitetoolbox.com]
Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
March 28, 2007 10:48PM
Thanks for the forum recommendation. I posted a message and got several responses.

-ds
DigDug
Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
December 05, 2007 06:44AM
I am disgusted with the episode at Hiddenite aka Emerald Hollow! ALL IS SALTED! I live down the road from the place, been there many times. The multiple Emerald finds in the creek is a crock of crap. DOES NOT HAPPEN! You will see me on the show walking the creek in the black boots. They interviewed me...of course they cut that out because I told them EVERYTHING is salted even though you may find some nice material. I explained that this place has been salted since forever and the older materials are buried 1 - 2 ft below the creek bed. For example, to name a few items found in the creek...Savanah River Agate, Sodalite & Amethyst, ...NOT NATIVE to Hiddenite, N.C. and Labradorite & Tiger Eye is not native to U.S.!

Hiddenite is a great place to go to get supplies for your cabochon needs...i.e. a supply run for only $8.00 per person.
avatar Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
December 14, 2007 09:55AM
Oh god...

Has anyone seen the NEW season of this show? They are now only 30 mins long and boy oh boy, while the show POPS more, the crys of "MY GOD TELL ME HOW MUCH THIS IS WORTH!!!" and "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE WE JUST FOUND THIS ROCK IN THE GROUND AND ARE SELLING IT FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!" Ok, I'm exagerating, however, watch an episode from season three and see if you don't feel like this lady could care less about minerals and is only interested in MONEY.

It is so sad. If they just took the MONEY out of this program it would be the coolest television show ever made. They way they make it about 100% greed makes me want to complain like a bitter old man with nothing better to do.

Now, get of my lawn!
Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
December 14, 2007 02:54PM
Justin Butt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh god...
>
> Has anyone seen the NEW season of this show? They
> are now only 30 mins long and boy oh boy, while
> the show POPS more, the crys of "MY GOD TELL ME
> HOW MUCH THIS IS WORTH!!!" and "OMG I CAN'T
> BELIEVE WE JUST FOUND THIS ROCK IN THE GROUND AND
> ARE SELLING IT FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!" Ok, I'm
> exagerating, however, watch an episode from season
> three and see if you don't feel like this lady
> could care less about minerals and is only
> interested in MONEY.
>
> It is so sad. If they just took the MONEY out of
> this program it would be the coolest television
> show ever made. They way they make it about 100%
> greed makes me want to complain like a bitter old
> man with nothing better to do.
>
> Now, get of my lawn!

So what? The show is singlehandedly getting thousands of fat, lazy Americans off their couches and into the real world to enjoy the dying hobby of rockhounding. It deserves commendations for that. I have been contacted by the show and from talking to them on the phone I can tell you that if it doesn't involve profit they can't sell the show to the cable network, it's as simple as that. A show strictly about rockhounding, gold panning, etc. DOES NOT SELL ON CABLE and WILL NEVER BE PRODUCED. Sad, but true. I ignore all the blather about the value of what they are finding and actually have enjoyed most of the episodes. I do agree that the salted mines are tourist traps and with a little research they could have hooked up with M.A.G.M.A. and found authentic NC gemstones on their own.

One of the upcoming shows is on petrified wood and was shot in Oregon, some at a friend's ranch. If it gets as many people interested in rockhounding for wood as the sunstone show did for the commercial mines down by Plush, I will be ecstatic. All of our local rock clubs are dying for lack of members and if one person joins each club as a result of this show it will be worth all the deceptions about the "value" of rocks, gemstones, and minerals they find. If any TV program in the past 20 years has generated as much interest in rockhounding as this one, I would love to hear about it. Cash & Treasures, keep 'em coming!
avatar Re: Cash and Treasures Program on the Travel Channel
December 28, 2007 10:09AM
Each new episode that comes out makes me die inside.

This new season is just one giant GREED fest.

Greed is not a good starting motivation for quality rockhounds!

This show could be so good. =(
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