Every now and then you read a story about a lucky person who finds an item that make them an instant millionaire. While it may seem like thats a premise for a fairy tale, these things can - and do-happen in real life. One Sierra Nevada couple didn’t have to go that far. They dug it up in their back yard – about $10 million worth of 19th-century U.S. gold coins stuffed into rusty cans.
It's believed to the biggest hoard of gold coins ever unearthed in the United states. Last year, as the man and woman were walking their dog on their property and noticed the top of a dacaying canisted poking out of the ground.
The dug it out with a stick, took it to their house and opened it up. What inside was what looked like a batch of discs covered in dirt from holes that had rotted through the can.
A little brushing revealed nearly perfectly preserved $20 gold coins with liberty head designs on the front, dated from the 1890s. They ran back to the same spot, and when they were done digging they’d found a total of eight cans containing 1,427 coins – with a face value of $27,980.
According to the American Coin Treasure and hoards, the bible of buried treasure finds, the biggest hoard of gold coins dug up before Saddle Ridge was a collection found by construction workers in Jackson, tenn. In 1985, it had a face value of $4,500 and sold for $1million.
Donald H. Kagin showed a photograph of the gold coins found on the S.S Republic, one of the largest gold coins finds in history.
Kagin and McCarthy met with the couple, two months ago after the hoard was dug up and the inevitable attorneys had gotten involved.
Kagin, whose 81-year-old outfit is the nation’s oldest family-owned numismatic firm, said he’s planning to send the buyers a write-up of the collection’s place in Gold Country history. He did similar research when consulting on the gold chunks and coins fetched up from the record-setting shipwrecks of the SS Central America ($130 million value, in 1987) and SS Republic ($60 million value, in 2003).
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