Treasure Enterprises of Australia

Australia's Oldest & Largest Supplier of Gold Prospecting and Treasure Hunting Equipment   (Established 1976)

We are Australia's leading professionals for Internet and Mail Orders

Email:      sildale@yahoo.com

Postal address:   P.O. Box 383, Archerfield, Brisbane, Queensland, 4108, Australia


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AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Many people have often asked how I got into this business! Well, it goes back a long, long way!  In fact, it all started in the late 1940’s at the age of six when I used to collect our meat order from our local butcher in Driffield, East Yorkshire, England, where I lived at the time. 

I was actually born in Bridlington ... (but don't hold that against me) ... as I love that town too ...  as a matter of fact I buried some Australian coins on the beach when I last visited 'Brid' some years ago, so no doubt some lucky treasure hunter has found them by now with his or her metal detector. Bridlington is a well-known seaside town just to the east of Driffield.

Anyway ... back to my story.

This butcher had an interest in local archaeology and at the rear of his butcher’s shop he had a small room of which I knew nothing about until one day he said to me “I want to show you something”. He led me out the back to this small room where there was displayed all sorts of Stone Age implements, pottery and various Roman and Saxon relics. I was amazed … and perhaps a little scared … as I was immediately confronted with rows of human skulls looking at me!

David ..... One of my visits to 'Stonehenge' in England


I soon wanted to find my own relics, so I did the next best thing and that was to promptly dig up the back vegetable garden at our home in Spellowgate. Incidentally, the name of this “road” was derived from the “Saxon” language meaning “Speakers Hill” (Spellow = Speaker and Gate = Hill).  Here, I found various forms of flint implements, arrowheads, scrapers and the like (so I thought) in the holes I dug between the rows of peas and cauliflowers much to the disgust of my parents – but I did get started as a treasure hunter!

(It is interesting to note at this point, that on the 24th September, 2000, three treasure hunters detected two large hoards of early Roman coins on a farm at Langtoft which was 'just up the road' from where I lived! A full account of this find can be read in 'Treasure Hunting' June 2001. Further finds from the Driffield area can also be read in 'The Searcher' November 2004. These are English metal detecting and treasure magazines).

Anyway, back to my life story .......

I then persuaded my father to take me to some of the old Roman sites in East Yorkshire. One of the main Roman roads was the one that ran from Malton towards Whitby, across Wheeldale Moor about 1 mile south of Goathland. (This village is affectionately known as Aidensfield in the British TV series 'Heartbeat'). Here, I used to walk up and down those old stone rough roads in the hope of finding a lost Roman coin, but alas, I never did, but this did not deter me. My ambition was to be an archaeologist but this was not to be so. This road today, is now a grey track from a long distance, for the road is now registered as an ancient monument, and 1˝ miles of the rough surface, with occasional kerb-stone edges, have been exposed. It seems almost a 'living thing' as it sweeps over the moor which hid it for centuries.

Above the rippling note of the curlew and the hoarse call of grouse, you imagine you hear the tramp of Roman legions, and a faint song to Mithras as they march. The road is also known locally as 'Wade's Causeway' from the legend that it was made by the giant 'Wade', so that his wife, Bell, could go dryshod over the moor to milk her cows. Wade was said to have built Pickering Castle while Bell built Mulgrave Castle, near Lythe, the two using one hammer, throwing it across the valley to each other as they required it ..... so the story goes !!

I also had the experience of "pot-holing" or "caving" ... in other words going underground squeezing through small holes into large caverns filled with Stalactites and Stalagmites. No wonder I took a liking to A Journey to the Centre of the Earth starring James Mason. That's probably where my geology started.

Later in life, I learned that the well-known Driffield archaeologist, John Robert Mortimer and his younger brother Robert who had an interest in geology, devoted much of their time in the East Riding of Yorkshire from the mid 1850’s until John’s death in 1911, excavating the burial mounds. Over the many years they found numerous Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon artefacts. In 1878, John constructed at his own expense, what was to become East Yorkshire’s only purpose-built museum at 25 Lockwood Street, Driffield, known as The Driffield Museum of Antiquities and Geological Specimens. On John’s passing, the whole collection of 60,000 archaeological and 6,000 geological specimens were eventually transported by a steam lorry and trailer to the Hull Museum in something like 20 lorry loads!  Unfortunately, part of Robert’s substantial fossil collection was destroyed during the bombing of Hull in 1943. An article on the activities of this gentleman can be read in 'Treasure Hunting' November 2005.

         John Robert Mortimer  (1825 - 1911)

If you would like to read more about the Archaeology and Geology of the Yorkshire Wolds, I suggest that you visit the following web-site: www.driffield.co.uk

Anyway, back to my life story .......again ........

In June 1955, we immigrated (or ... in my opinion ... I was exported) to Australia – a land of golden opportunity. In 1959, when I was walking home from Salisbury State High School (now known as Nyanda High School) here in Brisbane one day, when I happened to come across a piece of coal near the railway platform in which was studded large flecks of gold. When I showed it to my science / chemistry teacher (Mr. Ron Barnes) the next day, my hopes were dashed. “Common old pyrite” he said. “Is it worth anything?” I asked, but he just laughed and shook his head. It happens to the best of us - doesn't it?

From that day, I took a keen interest in rocks and minerals, and again I persuaded my parents to take me rock collecting to various spots around the Brisbane area. I picked up quite a ‘ton’ of material, but only a few of these specimens found their way into my rock collection – the balance being good filling for a retaining wall!  One day, I thought I had struck it rich – I found lots of shiny golden specks in the river gravels around Dayboro and set to picking them out with a pair of tweezers. After carefully taking them home in a small bottle, I referred to my “Rocks and Minerals” book and found that I had only picked up small particles of muscovite mica.

I then started to take this hobby more seriously, so I attended a geology course. I then progressed to a gemmology course with the Gemmological Association of Australia. In the very early 1960’s they had a Lapidary Section where I learned to cut and polish gemstones and eventually became an instructor.

David (left) inspecting an opal seam at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales (September 2005)

During my holidays I used to visit Biggenden, a small town in the South Burnett area west of Maryborough, Queensland and became friends with some old-time prospectors who used to take me to many old mining areas in the region to go prospecting. This made me realize that only serious prospecting can only be done practically. It was, however, very important that I read as much as possible, as this information proved valuable in the field thus I was then able to recognize various rocks and minerals that can be found in the same vicinity. This applies of course the same way in locating gold in different forms of gold deposits.

Whilst being involved in prospecting and gem cutting, the treasure hunting side had waned slightly, but was revived quickly in the late 1960’s after reading some U.S.A. metal detector and treasure hunting magazines that I happened to find in a newsagents shop whilst living in Adelaide, South Australia at the time.

I was perhaps, one of the lucky ones to buy one of the first metal detectors that were imported into Australia – after that, the rest is history!  I also remember the first time I went out treasure hunting – it was to Caloundra, a beach resort on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Many people stopped and asked what I was looking for. Having a sense of humour I replied “Worms” and they just shook their head in disbelief. However, it was amazing how many coins and rings I found in just one day.

Since then, I have undertaken numerous prospecting expeditions throughout Australia and around the world which include gold dredging and small scale mining and of course all facets of metal detecting whether it be gold prospecting, beachcombing, coin, relic and treasure hunting. One of my main passions is collecting convict and bushranger relics.

I have also detected in many countries around the world with many well-known prospectors and treasure hunters. I sometimes wished that the Egyptians, Romans, Celts, Saxons or even the Vikings had visited and lived in Australia then I could really get into it all!

The above comment may have to retracted !! .......  I urge you to read my new web-page:

 ARCHAEOLOGY IN AUSTRALIA    which could in fact, re-write Australian history!

However, by the same token, we are very lucky to have the largest goldfields in the world available for metal detecting.

All of the above activities that I have been involved in over the years all came together, when in early 1976, I decided to leave my job and establish TREASURE ENTERPRISES OF AUSTRALIA. We started off selling White’s metal detectors and within twelve months became the Queensland, New South Wales & Papua New Guinea Distributor for Garrett metal detectors. this lasted for nearly 20 years.  We no longer distribute Garrett metal detectors as we question, and disagree with their Australian marketing policies. Anyway, since then, we have found an extreme lack of demand for this brand of metal detector these days which clearly demonstrates this point.

Today, we are the sole Australasian Distributor for First Texas Bounty Hunter metal detectors. They are one of the world's leading manufacturers of metal detectors who are expanding at a fast rate.  They have recently taken over the Fisher Metal Detector company.

We also represent Minelab Electronics, as an authorized dealer. This company is the world leader in gold prospecting metal detectors as well as an authorized dealer for other leading brands of metal detectors including: Fisher, White's & Tesoro  metal detectors.

We are the Australasian Distributor for Ranger Hand-held Security metal detectors.

We are also the sole Australasian Distributor for Keene Engineering Inc (USA)  ....  the world’s largest manufacturer of gold mining equipment.

Our two other subsidiary companies – Aussie Books and Geological Specimen Supplies, which are divisions of Treasure Enterprises of Australia are also related to my interests.

AUSSIE BOOKS are publishers, distributors and agents of books specializing in Australiana and geological subjects. The Australiana books cover such subjects as: Australian history, local state histories, early exploration, convicts, bushrangers and natural sciences.

GEOLOGICAL SPECIMEN SUPPLIES offers a wide range of rock, mineral, fossil specimens and earth science equipment which are only supplied to educational institutions.

From day one, I have made a lot of friends both in Australia and overseas. Some of my customers have even found that large gold nugget they’ve always dreamt about, and for others, by introducing them to these exciting hobbies have enabled them to get out into the great outdoors to see this great continent as well as having some fun at the same time with the information that I impart freely from my experiences.

Even today, I still do a lot of in-depth research and field work  ... finding new un-worked gold areas for my customers. A typical example of this is a new untouched  gold-field I came across about 4 hours from Brisbane which has yielded many gold nuggets !!  

During October in 2007, one of our customers (Gordon McPherson from Brisbane) found 254 grams of nuggets from a very small part this area.

He found two (2)  large nuggets ... weighing 71 grams and 56 grams respectively ... plus 94 more smaller pieces weighing 127 grams  making a total of 254 grams valued over $6,500.00 with his brand new Minelab 'Eureka Gold' metal detector that he bought from us.

Note:  Due to some idiots who did not ask permission and did not respect the owner's property etc.  in April 2009 ... this particular area has now been closed off.

There are other customers who have been there too, but in this day and age a lot of people don't reveal to us what they have found. It makes all of my research worthwhile to see someone come into our store with a big grin on their face ! 

Another area is (the washed-out creeks off the road) from St John's Creek going toward Auburn (N.W. of Mundubberra) is worth detecting amongst the ironstone pebbles as many good nuggets have been found here too.

There are many other possible locations that I am still working on for the future .... all will be revealed in the fullness of time !

Please remember, I am here to help you ... because I care.

However, in late 2009 I (more or less) retired.

Sincerely yours:

David Cooper

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