I've always enjoyed imagining the excitement of those who unexpectedly find hidden treasures, whether it be a priceless painting in their attic, or a kid finding a million-year-old fossil in the woods while walking the family dog. A fisherman in Okinawa a few days ago went out to gather some conch, and came back with some very, very valuable gold coins.

These eight gold coins were actually found inside some conch in the waters off Okinawa, Japan's southernmost island. Because they were in the shells and not exposed to the natural environment, the coins were preserved with minimal damage, even though they had been laying at the bottom of the sea floor. And these gold coins aren't just any old coins. They are over 500 years old! That is a long time ago. The conch themselves are obviously not that old, but somehow they had the coins in their shells.

These types of coins are dated back to the Ryukyu Kingdom, which was an independent kingdom that reigned over much of the Ryukyu Islands from the 15th to 19th centuries. The coins themselves are thought to have been made in the 15th or 16th centuries, as gifts to the gods. Some have been found in the past, but never inside a conch shell. The conch probably figured if the gods weren't gonna take them, they would! The past has a tendency to show itself in the most unexpected of places. Who knows what other artifacts and stories lay hidden all over the world?

The eight coins will be exhibited for public viewing from September at the Okinawa Prefectural Archaeological Center.

What happens when romance develops between an obsessive compulsive mystery writer and a love-shy psychiatrist? Find out in It’s Okay, That’s Love