Anyone up for an intellectual exercise in cach burying?
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Thread: Anyone up for an intellectual exercise in cach burying?

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  1. #1

    Dec 2004
    Down in the pit
    Garrett 350 GTA
    776
    670 times

    Anyone up for an intellectual exercise in cach burying?

    The Dutch Schultz stuff got me wondering on how someone could bury a cache of jewels, precious metals and paper money in such a way that it survives 200 - 300 years. Let's say that there is $1 million in cash (100 stacks of $10,000, all $100 bills), and another $4 million in jewels and precious metals. Of course, the jewels and precious metals would have no problem surviving, which means that the paper money is the critical part of the cache.

    I don't think that it would as easy as it might seem at first glance. Depending on how you did it there would possibly be rust to deal with. But no matter how you did it there would be moisture of varying degrees, geological forces, erosion, crush stress, etc.

    The way I came up with is as follows. First, I'd put the cash in 6" PVC pipe along with a good amount of those desiccant packs. Then I would use PVC glue to fasten end caps to the pipe. At this point the PVC pipe should stay intact and sealed for between 70 and 100 years if it were buried as is. I'd do the same with the jewels and precious metals, though I would probably leave the desiccants out for fear of a chemical reaction with the metals. Once the pipes were all sealed and in front of me I would wrap each of them tightly with a heavy mil garbage bag and use that serial killer's friend known as duct tape to seal the bags as well as possible. I probably wouldn't go with two plastic wraps because any water that got past the outside layer would migrate deeper and deeper into the inner bag. Finally I would put the sealed PVC piped into an iron box of the same gauge as sewer pipe. The method I would use is to put bearing grease several inches deep into the iron box, then continually pack more bearing grease around the PVC pips as I added them to the box. I originally thought of using a large, plastic ice chest, but because of crush stress and ground movement I figured it would break apart after as little as 20 years. I would then seal the lid shut with all weather silicone gel. At this point, the box is pretty much ready to go, but I'd finish it off by covering the entire iron box with a few layers of that Flex Seal liquid that you see in TV commercials. That would give me an iron box that is completely covered with about 3/8" of a rubber coating. I'd find a good spot and bury the chest 3' - 4' deep, and hopefully find a slab rock big enough to cover the top of the chest with a couple inches of overhang on all sides.

    I figure the Flex Seal would last at least 2 decades before it began to degrade. 20 years. The cast iron chest should withstand the elements for as long as sewer pipe can last, with is another 80 - 100 years. So let's say we're at 90 years of protection. The bearing grease wouldn't begin to move until the box was sufficiently rusted, and it could only move at the speed of any holes in the iron. The bearing grease would also function as a displacement force against the water, and I figure that would take at least 50 years. 140 years. Once the PVC was exposed it should last another 70 - 100 years, provided it didn't degrade while it was protected. That's 240 years.

    Any flaws in that method? What are your ideas on how to do it?
    Crow likes this.
    Middenmonster

    There are things you can replace. And others you cannot. The time has come to weigh those things. This space is getting hot. Whoa! This space is getting hot!

  2. #2
    fm
    Raggedy old Crow

    Jan 2005
    In a tax haven some where
    ONES THAT GO BEEP! :-)
    2,218
    5540 times
    Growing old disgrace fully as possible.
    Gidday Middenmonster

    Interesting question. I have often wondered myself?

    I definitely agree it would not be easy to bury paper money. Because such burying of paper money would only ever be a short term resolution. As the risk of deterioration is high even with the best precautions. Another factor is paper money can become obsolete. So the value of the currency may fall from its market value. Damaged paper bill do not have much value.

    Here is case in question of old paper money buried in plastic container with plastic and paper wrapping in the early 1990s in Australia found recently. By 1998 all Australian banknotes were issued in plastic and Australia became the first country in the world to convert from a paper-based banknote currency to a polymer-based one. Thus paper money became obsolete.

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    As you can see a plastic container wrapped in plastic to make it extra water tight. Plastic wrapped around the money inside the container. Yet moisture within the container allowed humidity and paper decaying mold to form.

    Yet you can see the deterioration after only 30 years.

    Your method seems good but I would add I would place the money in sealed plastic bags and vacuum seal them thus removing any potential moisture air within the final plastic wrapping of the money.

    Crow
    Last edited by Crow; Nov 23, 2020 at 07:46 PM.
    Nitric likes this.

  3. #3
    us
    WP

    Mar 2014
    Dallas,GA
    CZ6A
    4,762
    6204 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I know you wanted thought in this...I don't have much of that...But my very first thought. Convert the paper to gold and silver. I'd be worried the cash would become worthless. I doubt gold and silver will become worthless. I also wonder.....If burying cash in a place where temp is fairly consistent would help.
    Crow likes this.

  4. #4
    fm
    Raggedy old Crow

    Jan 2005
    In a tax haven some where
    ONES THAT GO BEEP! :-)
    2,218
    5540 times
    Growing old disgrace fully as possible.
    Pablo Escobar buried American currency drug money was better preserved. Because the cash was in bunches in plastic bags in seal-able water tight plastic drum. Both caches was buried for a similar time frame.

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    Each caches give a valuable lesson on what to do and what not to do. In any exercise in planing to bury paper currency.

    Crow
    Last edited by Crow; Yesterday at 01:27 AM.
    Nitric likes this.

  5. #5
    fm
    Raggedy old Crow

    Jan 2005
    In a tax haven some where
    ONES THAT GO BEEP! :-)
    2,218
    5540 times
    Growing old disgrace fully as possible.
    Looking at known case studies gives you some references in what works and what does not?

    The case of buried money in South Africa proceeds from an armed car heist.

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    The money was buried in A trunk wrapped in black plastic garbage bags. Yet the time actually in the ground was not long even so you can see the process of deterioration.

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    Crow
    Last edited by Crow; Yesterday at 02:15 AM.

  6. #6
    fm
    Raggedy old Crow

    Jan 2005
    In a tax haven some where
    ONES THAT GO BEEP! :-)
    2,218
    5540 times
    Growing old disgrace fully as possible.
    In the following case amigos.

    Money ( US DOLLARS) was hidden hurriedly in an extreme circumstances during a Nigerian graft investigation in a grave . The corrupt official had hide money quickly with little preparation or thought into hiding the paper money. As you can see below. In that situation the money would deteriorate very quickly if moisture had entered the grave.

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    Crow

  7. #7
    fm
    Raggedy old Crow

    Jan 2005
    In a tax haven some where
    ONES THAT GO BEEP! :-)
    2,218
    5540 times
    Growing old disgrace fully as possible.
    Here is paper money recovered from armored car heist in United States 1 million in money buried in a blue Tupperware containers.

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    That money was buried a little of over or near a year at least buried in that container.

    Each one of these money caches lessons can be learned from them amigos.

    Crow

  8. #8
    fm
    Raggedy old Crow

    Jan 2005
    In a tax haven some where
    ONES THAT GO BEEP! :-)
    2,218
    5540 times
    Growing old disgrace fully as possible.
    And finally there is money hidden in England paper currency in 1940. Fear of Germans invading led to this cache being created. The money was found in dry dirt ground under the floorboards of dry cleaners.....Ha ha gotta be a joke there some where.

    That was 80 years ago.....

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    So as a rule of thumb the longer paper is in the ground if not correctly wraped and preserved can deteriorate over time.

    Crow
    Last edited by Crow; Yesterday at 06:31 AM.
    BillA likes this.

  9. #9
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,835
    2714 times
    Hi Crow, the lesson is more than obvious: Paper is Not a Store of Value

    I had to laugh at the British Bank notes, man - spend 'em while you got' em

    edit: one's descendent upon encountering a schd 80 PVC tube with crumbling old bills, thinks
    "I wish he would have bought the land next door."
    Last edited by BillA; Yesterday at 05:54 AM.
    Crow likes this.

  10. #10
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    1,835
    2714 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    And finally there is money hidden in England paper currency in 1940. Fear of Germans invading let to this cache. The money was found in dry dirt ground under the floorboards of dry cleaners.....Ha ha gotta be a joke there some where.

    That was 80 years ago.....

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    So as a rule of thumb the longer paper is in the ground if not correctly wraped and preserved can deteriorate over time.

    Crow
    the bills were there to be died to look like Marks

  11. #11
    fm
    Raggedy old Crow

    Jan 2005
    In a tax haven some where
    ONES THAT GO BEEP! :-)
    2,218
    5540 times
    Growing old disgrace fully as possible.
    Money is a medium of exchange; it allows people to obtain what they need to live. Bartering was one way that people exchanged goods for other goods before money was created. ...

    The four most relevant types of money are commodity money, fiat money, fiduciary money, and commercial bank money. Commodity money relies on intrinsically valuable commodities that act as a medium of exchange. Fiat money, on the other hand, gets its value from a government order.Fiat money is government-issued currency that is not backed by a physical commodity but by the stability of the issuing government.

    For me the biggest flaw in burying or hiding paper money is for long period time is the value of the more succumbing to inflation or hyper inflation. So to bury paper money for 300 years or so would be no guarantee what you buried would be worth anything. That is danger of paper money.

    A classic example is Germany after WW1 when a million Marks was needed to buy a loaf of bread.

    Or even today In late March 2019, a photograph supposedly showing piles of “worthless” currency thrown into gutters in Venezuela

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    Hyperinflation is disorienting. Five or six years ago, 500 bolivars would’ve bought you a meal for two with wine at the best restaurant in Caracas. As late as early last year, they would’ve bought you at least a cup of coffee. At the end of 2016, they still bought you a cup of café con leche, at least. Today, they buy you essentially nothing.

    That is why gold and silver has always been a universal safe haven.

    So the need for long term hoarding over 20 -30 years is not worth the risk. Hiding of paper money is more a short term affair as you can see there are ways to preserve paper money. But it does not need to be over complex either.

    Crow
    Last edited by Crow; Yesterday at 03:49 PM.
    BillA likes this.

  12. #12

    Dec 2004
    Down in the pit
    Garrett 350 GTA
    776
    670 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I definitely agree it would not be easy to bury paper money. Because such burying of paper money would only ever be a short term resolution. As the risk of deterioration is high even with the best precautions. Another factor is paper money can become obsolete. So the value of the currency may fall from its market value. Damaged paper bill do not have much value.

    Here is case in question of old paper money buried in plastic container with plastic and paper wrapping in the early 1990s in Australia found recently. By 1998 all Australian banknotes were issued in plastic and Australia became the first country in the world to convert from a paper-based banknote currency to a polymer-based one. Thus paper money became obsolete.
    I agree, but if the hypothetical cache only contains gold and silver bars or diamonds it could be buried for millions of years without much problem. There would also be no need for someone to bury paper money for hundreds of years because they would be dead. Let's face it, if someone's cache is buried for longer than an average jail term something went wrong with their plan. I'm not going to bury millions of dollars in my twenties with the expectation that I'll dig it up in my 60's and enjoy my retirement. But those pictures you posted are very interesting and illuminating. It looks like even if the money remained dry there was significant deterioration. That might be due to even low moisture levels, or even chemical reactions of the accumulated chemicals on the money or the material it was buried with. So it seems that if someone wanted to bury paper money (or paper anything of value) for extended periods of time the paper would have to be sterilized and immediately sealed to protect it from both water and air. Based on the way ancient writings are kept it would still probably be a process of periodic attention to make sure deterioration is thwarted. So it definitely looks like precious metals and jewels would be the only logical way to go when burying a cache for a long period. But that raised another question: How hard would it be to convert $5 million in precious metal and jewels into modern cash as needed? You could do it slowly to avoid the eyes of Big Brother, but how many times could you convert a couple thousand dollars of gold into cash without the buy getting suspicious? $2,000 per transaction totals 2500 transactions. Even if it took 10 years that's 250 transactions per year. You could almost find yourself traveling around the country with the sole task of cashing in your gold.
    KANACKI likes this.
    Middenmonster

    There are things you can replace. And others you cannot. The time has come to weigh those things. This space is getting hot. Whoa! This space is getting hot!

 

 

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