Sidharth Thakur/Getty Images/iStockphoto

X Marks the Spot

When it comes to searching for treasure, the hunt is half the fun. Maybe you’ll unearth gold or silver. Maybe you’ll find an important piece of history. Or maybe you’ll discover that there’s something far more valuable — great memories of the travel experience.

Get Inspired

Ron, Bernie and Diane
Ron, Bernie and Diane

Ron, Bernie and Diane

Gem hunter Ron LeBlanc travels to Madagascar with his 2 most trusted specialists: geologist Bernie Gaboury and jewelry maven Diane Robinson. 960 1280

  

Pink sapphires

Pink sapphires

Ron negotiates for a parcel of pink sapphires in Madagascar’s market village of Ibitzi. 960 1280

  

Purchasing gems

Purchasing gems

Diane, Ron and Bernie buy gems from local dealers in Ibitzi. The gem hunters are forced to use all their skill, cunning and guile to outsmart the local gem dealers who are often swindlers. 960 1280

  

Gem hunters

Gem hunters

The gem hunters take a break in the village of Ibitzi. 960 1280

  

Ibitzi

Ibitzi

Bernie and Ron walk the streets of Ibitzi. Local gem dealers know Ron well, and often stop him on the street to try to make a deal. 960 1280

  

Diane poses with a Chameleon

Diane poses with a Chameleon

Diane poses with a Chameleon on the side of the road during their trip from the city of Toliara to the gem mines of Ilakaka. 960 1280

  

Gem Mines of Ilakaka

Gem Mines of Ilakaka

Ron and his crew travel to the notorious gem mines of Ilakaka to watch workers hunt for gemstones. Finding a large stone is an extreme rarity. 960 1280

  

Madagascar

Madagascar

After purchasing pink sapphires in Ibitzi, Ron, Diane and Bernie travel the island of Madagascar in search of the perfect piece of aquamarine. 960 1280

  

Ron examines a gem

Ron examines a gem

Ron, a geologist, is a pro at spotting synthetic gemstones. 960 1280

  

Aquamarine

Aquamarine

The gem hunters get more than they bargained for when smugglers and a government agent offer them a $700,000 piece of aquamarine that is about to be whisked out of the country. 960 1280

  

Ron holds a large gem

Ron holds a large gem

Ron holds a large gem after it’s been cut. 960 1280

  

Malagasy ariary

Malagasy ariary

Ron has $20,000 to spend on gemstones, which he turns into 17 million Malagasy ariary, the local currency. It’s a black-market country so Ron cuts his deal for cash in an alleyway. 960 1280

  

Pink sapphires

Pink sapphires

Diane examines a pink sapphire. 960 1280

  

Dirt Diggler
Dirt Diggler

Dirt Diggler

Mike Scott breaks out his new prototype metal detector, the Dirt Diggler. But will this shiny new detector live up to Mike’s hype? 960 1280

  

Eastover Plantation

Eastover Plantation

When Mike begins pulling in huge finds, Mark Slinkman and Ron Guinazzo sabotage the spot by planting “stinking Lincolns,” modern-day pennies that will make it impossible for Mike to tell the difference between a real signal and a waste of time. 960 1280

  

Eastover Plantation

Eastover Plantation

As Virginia natives, Josh and Abby Silva have the home-field advantage at Eastover. After arriving at the plantation, they quickly head to the west side of the manor house, where the stables would have been. 960 1280

  

Metal detector

Metal detector

Mike shows off his new detector. 960 1280

  

Eastover Plantation

Eastover Plantation

Eastover Plantation was established in the mid-17th century. It stands on a cliff across the river from Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. 960 1280

  

Virginia plantation

Virginia plantation

The land that became Eastover was granted to Henry Browne as payment for transporting colonists across the Atlantic. Like most of the plantations along the James River, Eastover grew tobacco, the cash crop of Virginia. Today, Eastover is a retreat center. 960 1280

  

Digging Eastover Plantation

Digging Eastover Plantation

Ron explores the plantation with his metal detector and a shovel. 960 1280

  

Tobacco fields

Tobacco fields

Larry Cissna and Mike decide to search Eastover’s old tobacco fields. 960 1280

  

Larry Digging

Larry Digging

Larry thinks he’s found something! 960 1280

  

Dig Wars

Dig Wars

Mark and Ron inspect one of their finds. Later, all 3 teams will bring their loot to Governor’s Antiques for appraisal. Find out who picked up the most valuable relics on Dig Wars! 960 1280

  

A sample of petrified wood shows its age. 960 1280

  

A sharp trio of shark's teeth. 960 1280

  

Black obsidian shimmers and shines in the light. 960 1280

  

Dungeness crabs await their fate. 960 1280

  

A colorful and craggy chunk of copper. 960 1280

  

A glowing cube of pyrite. 960 1280

  

A trilobite peeks from the sand. 960 1280

  

Sea glass comes in a variety of shapes and colors. 960 1280

  

A pile of red plume agate. 960 1280

  

During the Gold Rush, prospectors panned, sluiced, dredged and dry-washed in search of nuggets. 960 1280

  

The Hot List

Explore America’s most stunning scenery.
Join the conversation on Social Media!
Stay updated on the latest travel tips and trends.
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.