The Curse of Oak Island recap: Gary Drayton’s ‘bobby dazzler’ turns out to be TREASURE

Alex Lagina, Craig Tester and Marty Lagina on The Curse of Oak Island
Alex Lagina, Craig Tester and Marty Lagina after finding out they have found their first gold on Oak Island. Pic credit: History

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read below here if you don’t want to know what happens on The Curse of Oak Island Season 6 Episode 2.

The Curse of Oak Island Season 6 continued last night after last week’s blockbuster premiere revealed huge breakthroughs for Rick and Marty Lagina and their team — including one spectacular “bobby dazzler”.

In fact, it was Gary Drayton’s “top-pocket” find of a brooch set with a red stone — the most intriguing and exciting find from the first episode — that kicked off last night’s installment.

As the episode starts, Gary and Rick waste no time taking the brooch to the patriarch of the Oak Island Fellowship, Dan Blankenship. The treasure-hunting legend turned 95 years old this year and has spent a good part of his life working and living on the mysterious island, determined to uncover its fabled secrets.

After getting situated around Dan’s kitchen table (Marty Lagina is already there), Gary opens his hand to reveal what he modestly describes as “a nice piece of jewelry”.

The brooch, which obviously had a lot of work go into its making, was found on Lot 21 and represents the second piece of possible antique jewelry found by Gary. If it is as old as it appears to be, it might validate the legends about gold and jewels laying beneath the island, secreted away hundreds of years ago.

Dan Blankenship
Dan Blankenship as Rick and Gary arrive to show him the “top-pocket find”. Pic credit: History

Last year the metal-detecting legend found an amazing brooch with a hand-cut, center-set rhodolite garnet, possibly dating back to the 16th century. This brooch is similar but, in the words of Rick, more refined and better preserved. Indeed, with a bit of polish and scrub, it might be wearable as a vintage, if not priceless, bauble.

How old is it, Marty muses? To which Gary replies that he would not be surprised if it spilled out of a pirate’s pocket as he ran across the island hundreds of years ago!

Then again, if legend is correct, it could have been dropped by Marie Antoinette’s maid while fleeing the French revolution.

Dan brings everyone back to reality, saying they need to get a date on it. The men agree.

Later that day other team members scrutinize the goings-on on another part of the island, as Eagle Canada continues to set off explosives in a grid work pattern. Oak Island historian Charles Barkhouse oversees the operations as the cutting edge geophysical exploration company works to reveal what lies hidden beneath the island’s unforgiving surface.

Alex Gauthier from Eagle Canada
Alex Gauthier from Eagle Canada, who is leading the seismic scanning team. Pic credit: History

The operation is termed seismic scanning and involves firing off eight explosions at a time, 20 grams of dynamite each. The explosions set off sound waves which are measured by geophone receivers and the data will be processed to create a 3-D underground map of the Money Pit.

According to Rick, it’s the first time anything on this scale has been done in the area, and if successful the result will be the creation of a map 150-200 feet below ground that reveals both natural and man-made voids, secret tunnels and, yes, maybe even the infamous treasure vault.

Meanwhile archaeologist Laird Niven drives up to the visitor center where Rick, Marty, and Gary show off their brooch. Laird concludes he’s never seen anything like it, saying that archaeologists “don’t get a lot of jewelry”. He ventures a guess that the receptacle is gilded. So far, so good!

Gilding involves layering gold over an item. Could it be? In 12 years of searching, this could be the Lagina’s first gold find!

The next day Rick and Gary motor out to meet another crew of professionals who will oversee the installation of a 28-foot cofferdam off of Smith’s Cove. The dam allows for draining of the area, hopefully exposing any buried artifacts and/or treasure.

But first a crane of enormous proportions must be set in place, necessitating a new road, something that it will take a large construction crew to accomplish. Off camera an optimistic Rick tells a producer that he “hopes a small section of box drains yet survives” and will be exposed once the dam is put in place.

Next up, the brothers journey to their go-to pub in Mahone Bay and meet up with other team members, including the Laginas’ nephew Peter Fornetti and Marty’s son Alex. A beaming Dave Blankenship informs the duo that they didn’t wait for them to get the party started!

Talk of the brooch comes up and Rick informs the men that they’ve found a gemologist who will inspect the find. Marty tells the crew that “the old guys are off to Calgary” to meet him, and they toast to the hunt.

The group raise a toast
The Oak Island team raise a toast to the hunt. Pic credit: History

To be specific, Rick, Marty and Dave Blankenship travel 3,000 miles west to Alberta College of Art and Design where an expert looks over the two brooches, or as Marty calls them, “spendables”.

Charles Lewton-Brain carefully handles the ruby-red stones that have been removed from their settings and cleaned up considerably. Using a digital video microscope with 220x magnification, he declares about the first brooch, “the facets don’t meet perfectly, definitely hand cut.” As he continues to mutter about sharp edges, Dave asks in his blunt fashion, “is that good or bad?”

In the end the gemologist confirms that last year’s bobby dazzler is a semi-precious garnet. On the newer brooch he finds an inclusion, made of tiny bubbles. He breaks the bad news: the second stone is glass.

A bit deflated, Marty tells an off camera producer, “I wanted it to be a ruby…we’re searching for treasure…so…disappointment.”

But wait, there’s more!

Cut to the gemologist who informs the group that the glass is handmade, not modern. Which means it could date back 500 years. And the red color could be from a secret, coded recipe. Which sounds very interesting to the Laginas, who have heard of legends about secret societies using Oak Island as a treasure ground. Could the Rosicrucians, led by Sir Francis Bacon, have left this glass bauble behind? Their symbol was a blood red cross. Is there a link?

Or could there be a link to the Knights Templar, who wore red crosses?

The gemologist takes a closer look at the setting and declares that it’s “not your ordinary old brooch found in the ground!” He tells the group that it shows evidence of an ancient way of making wire.

The group is stunned. They’re informed that the brooch has “block twisting”, a method which dates to the Bronze Age and went out of  fashion in the 1400s. If correct, this find could be 300 years older than the English and Spanish coins found on the island.

A close-up of the brooch
A close-up of the brooch, showing the “block twisting”. Pic credit: History

Marty the doubter tells an off camera producer that he has has been completely unwilling to believe what happened on Oak Island was before the 1400s, but says that this second bobby dazzler “opens up all kinds of avenues”.

The next day Rick supervises construction of the new road, while in Halifax, Marty, Craig Tester, and Alex venture to another lab at St. Mary’s University to have the second brooch scrutinized and tested yet again. The expert finds copper, zinc and brass which she says “imitates gold very well”. Bummer.

Not so fast! After further analysis, it’s clear that Gary will get another gold dance! The expert proclaims that the brightest area of the setting is gold. Maybe 700 years old.

Marty confirms that this is the “first piece of verified gold…actual treasure!” Fist bumps all around.

The brooch which contains gold
The brooch, which contains the first gold ever found on Oak Island. Pic credit: History

Later that afternoon the group assembles in the War Room and Marty announces the good news that they have found their first gold on Oak Island, to which Dave complains, “I want more gold than that!” Suffice it to say that Marty shoots him a look and says, “c’mon man!”

So, the 223 year hunt for gold is just getting started. Are the two brooches connected? Did pirates bring them to the island in the 18th century or earlier?

Next up, Rick and Dan Henskee head to the Money Pit area to check on the explosive action. They receive good news: the seismic work is done!

The seismic scanning being carried out in the Money Pit area
The seismic scanning being carried out in the Money Pit area using explosives. Pic credit: History

Now the data goes to Calgary for assessment. In other words, it’s hurry up and wait time.

In other news, the new road is complete. The team watch as heavy equipment makes its way down the roadway to the end of the island. Once the crane is in place, construction begins on a 500-plus foot, watertight barrier.

With the ocean water drained out, the area will be excavated, and in two-three weeks down to target depth, with 12,000 square feet of land excavated. Will they find evidence of an ancient flood tunnel system? A treasure trove?

Marty says that regardless of what is exposed, at the very least it will be more than ever before. Rick replies that there’s a story here “constantly unraveling”, and that the quest is to find out what happened on Oak Island all those years ago.

Will the team find the answers they’re so desperately searching for? Be sure to tune in next week and find out!

The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on History.

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