Nestled between the towering cliffs of the Zorian plateau, lies a vast cavity that is wide enough to swallow an adult bull elephant with enough space to spare for a small herd of draft horses on either side. There you will find gold, an abundance of it. But what is that you say? That the natives tell you that it is a place of death and home to hideous monster that will devour you? Ignore the savages. They only seek to protect what they are too indolent to grab for themselves.
-A Khanate offical assuring a bunch of miners.
Pirates' many bejeweled rings and piercings actually had a practical purpose - when the pirate or sailor died, the rings could be taken off as payment for a proper burial, saving him from a watery grave. This could be tied into regional culture, or made into a quest (The Pirate's Lost Rings, etc.). Also gives treasure-seeking divers another thing to look for besides crusty old chests.