A pair of Aussie treasure hunters have struck gold on a beach in Western Australia, unearthing a rare piece of history which could be worth as much as $100,000.
Leon Dechamps and Shayne Thomson were scouring the dunes at Shark Bay with metal detectors when they came across a figurine back in 2018, Nine News reported. Suspecting they might have hit the jackpot, the duo then made another big investment – and it's about to pay serious dividends.
The two friends then poured $50,000 into research to confirm that it was a bronze infant Buddha statue belonging to the 15th century Ming dynasty dating back to imperial China.
Travelling to the UK to appear on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow overnight, an Asian art expert confirmed the item could fetch $100,000 at auction.
He went on to explain that the infant figurine was brought out in ceremonies to celebrate Buddha’s birthday.
Figurine could challenge the history books
The historic find could even rewrite the history books, according to the experts.
“I’m amazed to find out that it is the Ming dynasty because that does make it the oldest Chinese artefact in Australian history,” Mr Dechamps said on Antiques Roadshow.
Its presence in Australia could mean a Ming dynasty treasure expedition, not previously thought to have made it to Australia, might've actually reached our shores.
While it could also indicate that the Chinese visited the region almost 200 years before the Dutch ever set sail.
“It was absolutely, unequivocally a genuine historic object that had been in the sand in Shark Bay for over a 100 to 120 years,” retired WA Museum fellow and corrosion expert Dr Ian McLeod told Nine News.
Cleaner finds penny worth $40K
In another recent rare find, an Aussie cleaner came across an old penny that is said to be worth up to $40,000.
Charlotte Bosanquet was working on a hoarder’s home in western Sydney last month when she ripped up some mould-infested carpet to discover a 1930 coin underneath, one of the rarest Australian coins and the most valuable copper penny in the world.
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