We all love a good treasure hunt, don’t we? Many will flock to second-hand stores, hoping to find that one item that everyone else overlooked.

Garage sales are still a thing here in Toronto.

Kijiji is accessed daily, on the off-chance that someone is selling a yet unidentified precious antique that is doing nothing more than collecting dust.

And you just might find your neighbour creeping around your backyard to find a Pikachu. Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game that is all about hunting down bits of virtual treasure.

Did you know that there are real treasures of gold and precious gems to be found across North America?

North America Treasure Hunts: Montreal, Quebec Edition
North America Treasure Hunts: Montreal, Quebec Edition

I hadn’t fully appreciated our epic cultural love affair with X-marks-the-spot until watching a recent episode of Josh Gates’ Expedition Unknown on the Travel Channel. If you’re not familiar with this archeologist, his adventures around the world are the epitome of “Geek Travel”.

Joshua Gates - Expedition Unknown

Treasure Hunts in North America

Here are some of the better known treasures to be found in North America.  This list will grow, as I find more to share in this treasure hunting series.

  1. The Secret: A Treasure Hunt in North America
  2. Pirate’s Gold along Florida’s Coast
  3. Plummers Gold in Montana
  4. Fenn’s Fortune in the Rocky Mountains
  5. Brother Twelve’s Gold in Vancouver, BC
  6. more to come soon!

The Secret: A Treasure Hunt Across North America

12 keys to 12 different treasures were buried across North America before 1982 by writer, editor, and publisher, Byron Preiss, and to this day, only 2 have been found.

If you find one of the 10 remaining Casques that Byron buried, a box with a distinct key inside, you can exchange that key for a precious gem.

Seemingly with a penchant for science fiction and fantasy illustrated novels, one of Priess’ more notable works would be Dragonworld (1979). What bits I’ve read of the book so far, largely remind me of J.R.R. Tolkien, so if you’re a fan of The Hobbit, you’ll likely enjoy this too.

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For treasure hunters though, Byron Preiss is widely recognized for his book The Secret: A Treasure Hunt.
The Secret Treasure Hunt Book Cover

As the Lore Goes….

The Secret is a fantasy story based on our ancestors’ immigration to North America.

23 pages are dedicated to lovingly illustrated stories “The Passage to the New World” and “The Vanishing”, where not only did man cross the ocean, but fairy folk as well, The Fair People.

On their travels, the Fair People brought gemstones for humans to find.

Within The Secret, you’ll also find 12 beautifully illustrated pictures and 12 riddles (known as verses in the book,) that describe where 12 keys can be found to unlock treasure.

  • A key to a diamond is believed to be buried somewhere in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • A sapphire can possibly be gained if a key can be found in St. Augustine, Florida. (Side note: I think I just missed watching Gates in action when I had visited St. Augustine back in October, urgh! I should have gone to the Fountain of Youth.)
  • And an Opal? Experts of The Secret believe that this key is buried somewhere in Montreal!

I will be traveling there in a couple months time, and you bet I’ll be looking for the key to an opal gem while I’m there!

This illustration is supposed to guide you right to the very spot that Priess personally hid a key in Montreal.

The Secret Treasure Hunt In Montreal Byron Priess
The Secret: A Treasure Hunt, Illustrated by John Jude Palencar

Can you see any of the clues that indicate you’ll find a gem in Montreal in this image above? The research conducted by treasure hunting enthusiasts is absolutely fascinating! Take a look at their work, and see what you can do to improve upon it.

I would love an original copy of The Secret for Palencar’s illustrations alone, but obtaining one may be harder than hunting down one of the ten remaining treasures yet to be found.

There is an incomplete PDF of The Secret: A Treasure Hunt that will get you on your treasure hunting way though.

Also, definitely check out the forum that is completely dedicated to finally finding these well-hidden Casques.

Up Next:  Pirate’s Gold along Florida’s Coast

Treasures Hunts in North America is going to be an ongoing series on Geek with Style. If you have any suggestions on treasures to follow, give me a shout!

Are you up for a treasure hunt? What would you do if you were given a map and clever clues to find something epic?