Home contractors are used to finding odd treasures behind walls and under floors, but in mid-February, Alif Babul and his brand new employee Dean Materi noticed something extra unusual amid a dusty pile of rubble while ripping apart a home’s bathroom in Calgary, Canada. It was Materi’s second day working with Babul as a plumbing apprentice.
“I seen a gold shimmery thing on the ground and I thought it was a copper light fixture,” Materi said. “But when I went to shovel it up, it seemed kind of heavy. I picked it up and it was a gold brick.”
Materi inspected the cellphone-sized one kilogramme gold bar imprinted with a serial number and the stamp of a well-known jeweller.
Babul, the owner and operator of home improvement company Perfection Plumbing & Gas Ltd., couldn’t believe his eyes.
“Finding a gold brick underneath a tub is kind of strange,” he said.
The duo’s research led them to believe the brick was worth more than $50,000 and they soon contacted the homeowner, who confirmed a gold bar was unaccounted for in the abode.
“We were pumped when we found it, of course,” Babul said. “Seeing the economy the way it is right now, it kind of sucks that we had to give it back. Obviously we were going to do the right thing.”
The gold brick now tops the list of valuables Babul has uncovered while renovating Calgary homes, ahead of several rare original Daredevil comics he found on a previous job.
“We always return what we find,” Babul said.
Babul believes the gold bar was stashed near the bathroom’s jacuzzi tub and over time was moved by the vibration of the motor.
The homeowners had previously searched their bathroom for the lost treasure and said they were thrilled to be reunited with the missing chunk of change.