Treasure chest miniatures are usually worth using, but I am not so sure about loose piles of treasure. The problem is that usually show some explicit items — swords, helmets, scrolls, whatever — and your literal-minded players (who have perhaps been conditioned/spoiled by the fact that I often can throw out a mini that exactly mirrors what I described) assume that they are there in the treasure. Even so, I have acquired or made some loose piles for variety.
Here’s a pretty humble treasure pile, I think from Reaper:
Here are a couple of loose piles of gold coins (in this case glitter) with some random objects.
On the left, a crude scroll made of paper, a buckler from a 1/72 Italieri Saracen, a sword from a Rafm customizable fighter kit, and a tiny twig standing in for a magic wand. On the right, a wooden bead “urn”, a plastic Skaven shield, the helm from an MPC AD&D orc, another wand, and a pebble. The coins are gold glitter.
Next up some gold bars.
These came in a Grenadier Champions set, but the pile of gold bars mini was in production for a really long time — all the way back to their Wizzards & Warriors days, at least.
These chests see a fair amount of use. The one on the far right was the “open” chest from the Grenadier AD&D Thieves set, but for reasons I can barely fathom now, I closed the chest, filing off the treasure that was in it. For a while the chest was part of a portable war altar for a Warhammer army. The other two chests are plastic pieces from a “Weapons & Warriors” game.
The big hoard of gold is another plastic piece from the MPC AD&D set. It is a pretty accurate but scaled down copy of the treasure pile that the Grenadier dragon lair had.
Lastly, a pair of golden urns and a pretty bitchen dragon idol, both scratch built by a friend I haven’t heard from in a while. (I hope all is well, Scottsz!)
I dig the candles on the idol quite a bit. The urns are wooden beads, and the dragon idol appears to be some wooden blocks with a tiny metal dragon on it. I’m guessing he used Testors enamel paint to get that smooth, shiny gold effect.