Forrest Fenn's Treasure Is Being Sold Piece by Piece

Much of the haul, sold by finder Jack Stuef to a group of buyers, is now on the auction block
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2022 1:14 PM CST
Forrest Fenn's Treasure Is Being Sold Piece by Piece
This undated photo provided by Forrest Fenn shows an estimated $2 million of gold, jewelry, and other artifacts that Fenn hid for treasure hunters to find.   (Forrest Fenn via AP)

If you searched in vain for Forrest Fenn's treasure, you can still get your hands on a piece of it. The mass of gold Jack Stuef discovered somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming in June 2020, more than a decade after Fenn revealed a trail of clues to its location in his memoir, is now up for auction. In a blog post, Stuef explains he sold the treasure in September to a "group of buyers" identified as Tesouro Sagrado Holdings, LLC, which is now selling individual items through Heritage Auctions. The Dallas-based auction house notes the anonymous buyers kept a "handful" of items for themselves, including the bronze treasure chest and a "dragon bracelet," but are ready to part with the remaining items.

The 476 items include gold dust, flakes, and nuggets, including 549-gram Alaskan gold placer; hundreds of rare coins; two frog pendants from the pre-Columbian Diquis culture of Costa Rica, believed to be more than 1,200 years old; and a gold pectoral from the pre-Columbian Calima culture of Columbia, thought to be at least 1,400 years old. There's also a small, wax-sealed jar holding rolled paper. Fenn, who died in September 2020, claimed the text of his 20,000-word autobiography, The Thrill of the Chase, was printed on the paper in so small a text that "a magnifying glass is needed to read the words." But the auction house notes there's some "discord" over the contents, which "will be known only to the collector who decides finally to break the wax seal and open the jar."

It's no wonder the jar is "perhaps the most coveted object for Fenn devotees," per Outside. The current bid is $19,000. If that's a bit pricey for your liking, there's also a rusty pair of scissors with a current bid of $675. Fenn estimated all of the treasure was worth about $2 million, per Smithsonian. The sale should please fans of the treasure hunt, who "reached out to tell me they hoped they could purchase an item from the treasure to commemorate their own adventures searching for it," writes Stuef. He adds, "I no longer own any part of the treasure and have no financial interest in its future on the collectibles market." The online auction wraps up on Dec. 12. (More Forrest Fenn treasure stories.)

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