In many ways, Damir Bijelic is an ordinary member of Makarska youth. Yet, he has a rather unique and original hobby. He is what could be described as a treasure hunter, and that is how residents of the charming Croatian settlement perceive him as well. Almost every day, Damir ventures the shores and beaches of Dalmatia with his metal detector, searching for long-lost items and artifacts in the ground.
“My first detector wasn’t much of help, to tell the truth, “ Bijelic explains. “However, once I got my hands on the current model, called Excalibur 1000, I started making noticeable progress.” Most common findings include coins, necklaces and rings, probably accidently lost by tourists during the summer season. Just a few minutes after talking to our field team, Damir managed to dig out a ring which he believes was made from 18 karat gold.
“I find a lot of rings. My friends actually call me ‘The Lord of Rings’ because of that,” Damir laughed. However, he noted that he is the happiest when he finds an old coin. “I was always interested in numismatics, and that’s the prime reason for me doing this job.”
His biggest success happened while searching the shores of Osejava Forest. There he found a rare Venetian coin, dating from late 17th century. “The coin was inscribed with words Dalma et Alba, meaning it was specifically made for regions of Dalmatia and Albania. It was made of copper, as silver was used much later.”
Although Damir has education for a cook, he is currently lacking position, and plans to spend more time with his hobby. “I actually intend to offer my searching services to general public. In case you have lost something which can be detectable with my gadgetry, just give me the call and I’ll come.”
Damir is very excited and dedicated to his searching activities, but he is not a sole treasure hunter in the region. The data obtained from social media suggests that up to 1500 people on Balkan Peninsula participate in similar activities. In case you have your own detector device, don’t hesitate to bring it with you on your next vacation in Croatia. You’ll have a competition, but also a very rich searching ground.