Adventurers spent a decade looking for art dealer Forrest Fenn's $1 million treasure in the Rockies ― and someone finally found it this summer. Now, would-be treasure hunters have another opportunity to track down valuable gold, silver, and jewels, this time in Michigan.
That's because jeweler Johnny Perri has decided to send people on a series of buried treasure hunts of his own.
When the coronavirus pandemic forced him to close his store, J&M Jewelers, Perri realized he'd never truly been happy in the job. While quarantining in his home this spring, he came across an article about the discovery of Fenn's treasure.
"Wow!" Perri wrote on his treasure hunt's site about his immediate response to the article. "I've always dreamed of searching for that myself but never had the time."
Perri, who did not immediately respond to requests for comment, deeply connected with Fenn's mission to get people off the couch and adventuring in the wild. Ultimately, he was inspired to do so himself.
"I began traveling up and down pure Michigan with my fiancé," he writes on the site. "We went through woods, rivers, streams, mountains, and waterfalls. We even got married!"
On their journey, he writes, they "buried not only my entire jewelry store but thousands upon thousands of dollars of gold, silver, diamonds, and antiques in various locations in Michigan from the bottom to the upper peninsula."
Now, Perri is selling tickets for $49 or $59 per quest for a series of quests leading people to portions of his buried treasure. Each ticket will unlock a number of clues to find its given loot the day the adventure begins.
Four quests have already been announced, beginning August 1, August 15, August 30, and September 13.
Participants of the first quest will have the chance to find two 100-ounce bars of 0.999 pure silver, while participants of the second quest will have the chance to find treasure made up of silver bars, silver coins, and so on. Each of the first two quests' treasure is worth an estimated $4,200, according to Perri's site.
The latter two quests' treasures are worth an estimated $7,000 each.
Perri is selling about 500 tickets per quest, depending on the size of the prize. The first three quests have already sold out. As of mid-July 2020, there are still tickets for September 13.
Why do something like this in the first place? Perri addresses the unusual nature of his initiative on the site.
"I could have sold everything I owned and retired, but what fun would that be?" he writes. "I want families across the land to experience the quest and experience the adventure of a lifetime!"
Of course, at $49-plus per ticket, Perri is also making some money off the endeavor. Selling tickets "helps me maintain a living and provide for my family," he writes. (Art dealer Fenn had made his clues publicly available for free.)
For anyone keen to take on one of Perri's future quests, as the coronavirus pandemic persists, it's important to continue to keep the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for social distancing in mind. Make sure to stay six feet away from people, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask.
More from Grow: