In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Gold Doubloon Dig Kit. These excavations are super easy to make and are a great teaching resource to include in your next lesson or discussion about pirates, treasure, gold, and more.


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Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.

Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.

Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.

Imitation Gold Doubloons - You can buy these online but they can often be a little pricey. You can simply use pennies and let your Excavating Adventurers imagination take over. You could also spray paint some old washers with gold spray paint. I have used plastic gold coins as well. These are really cool but are a little tricky as they tend to want to float when you are pouring the mixture. 

Any small container that will fit your doubloons and allow room for the plaster mixture will work. I love rummaging through recycle bins for fun and unique containers I can use for excavations. For this tutorial I will actually use a little wooden treasure chest I purchased from a craft store. I think I paid around a dollar. The wooden chest is super cute and even has little metal hinges and a latch. 


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  1. Place the doubloons in the treasure chest.
  2. Mix 1 cups sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the doubloons.
  5. Optional - Sprinkle a little glitter over the surface of the excavation to give it a little extra sparkle. 
  6. Place the Gold Doubloon Dig Kit in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry. 
  7. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome doubloons you have hidden inside.
  8. The little treasure chest can be decorated and used to store the doubloons. 

Golden Marvels: Glittering Facts and Dazzling Doubloons!

Fun Facts about Gold and Gold Doubloons:

  1. Gold is a precious metal that has been highly valued by humans for thousands of years due to its rarity, beauty, and malleability.

  2. Gold is often referred to as the "king of metals" because of its enduring popularity and association with wealth and luxury.

  3. Gold is a dense metal. A small cube of gold weighing just a few ounces would fit easily in the palm of your hand.

  4. Gold is resistant to corrosion, which means it doesn't rust or tarnish like other metals. It retains its shiny appearance over time.

  5. Gold is often found in rivers and streams, as well as in underground deposits. People have been panning for gold for centuries, hoping to find small flakes or nuggets.

  6. Gold has been used for making jewelry, coins, and decorative items for thousands of years. Its beauty and rarity make it a prized material for craftsmanship.

  7. Gold is measured in karats. Pure gold is 24 karats, but it is too soft for practical use, so it is often mixed with other metals to increase its strength and durability.

  8. Gold doubloons were a type of coin used during the age of pirates and were often associated with pirate treasure. They were made of gold and were highly sought after.

  9. The value of gold can fluctuate based on supply and demand. It is often used as a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty.

  10. The largest gold nugget ever found, called the Welcome Stranger, weighed over 200 pounds (93 kilograms)! Imagine stumbling upon a nugget that big!

  11. Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity, making it valuable in various industries, including electronics and telecommunications.

  12. Gold is not only found on Earth but also in space. Some asteroids and meteorites contain traces of gold, adding to its mysterious allure.

Remember, gold has captivated humans for centuries with its beauty and rarity, inspiring tales of hidden treasures and igniting our fascination with this precious metal!


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Question 1: What makes gold resistant to corrosion and tarnishing? A) It is mixed with other metals B) It is found in rivers and streams C) It is measured in karats D) It is a dense metal

Correct answer: A) It is mixed with other metals

Question 2: What were gold doubloons commonly associated with during the age of pirates? A) Ship navigation B) Pirate battles C) Hidden treasure D) Trade with other countries

Correct answer: C) Hidden treasure

Question 3: What is the highest purity of gold called? A) 12 karats B) 18 karats C) 24 karats D) 30 karats

Correct answer: C) 24 karats