Little interest means local society of treasure hunting hobbyists will have to shutdown

Amanda del Castillo Image
Thursday, October 3, 2019
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A treasure-hunting society in the South Bay is hoping to uncover an elusive prize-- new members.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A treasure-hunting society in the South Bay is hoping to uncover an elusive prize. The Treasure Hunters Society of Santa Clara Valley (THSSCV) is after new members.

Long-time treasure hunter Brian Picard told ABC7 News the society will likely shut down in January.

Picard first picked up the hobby when he was 14 years old. His family was at a beach in Capitola when they came across a man with a metal detector.

The man ended up inviting Picard and his family to a THSSCV meeting.

Now, at 48-years-old, Picard is THSSCV president.

Over the years, he's unearthed a number of artifacts including old coins, buried badges and other pieces from the past.

"Over here it's kind of like a geeky, nerdy thing," Picard said about the hobby on the West Coast. "But on the East Coast, there's all the battlefields. So, they have big, organized hunts with thousands of people."

The difference in interest is proving to be bad for business. After more than 40 years, the South Bay-based group is struggling.

Picard said a lack of interest across all demographics is making it difficult to keep board positions filled. He said older treasure hunters are moving on, and no one is coming to fill their spots.

"It's been like this for about a year now," he explained. "I'm just trying to keep it going."

With no one willing to take the lead, Picard said his options are limited.

"I think it's just because life is getting harder in the Bay Area," he said. "A lot of people spend a lot of time working, and then driving and sitting in traffic."

Like Picard, THSSCV members have jobs outside treasure hunting. These are jobs that make it tough to balance a time-consuming hobby like treasure hunting.

"I think we still have like 100 members, but there's only maybe 20 people who show up," Picard said.

The society holds monthly meetings where group members share what items they've uncovered.

Similar to treasure hunting, Picard hopes time will uncover hobbyists with a shared love for history, discover and archaeology.

This is a chance for those in Silicon Valley to try out a different piece of tech-- metal detectors.

If you'd like to check out THSSCV, click here.