We’ve all read stories about finding buried treasures of gold since we were children. For a couple in Sierra Nevada, this fairy tale of sorts actually came true!
An unidentified couple were walking their dog on their property one day in 2013 when they saw the top of a rusty canister poking out of the ground. The canister contained a bunch of gold discs and they took it home.
After brushing the dirt off of the discs, they were almost perfectly preserved $20 gold coins dating from the 1890s.
They hurried back to the location of their find and discovered a total of of eight cans containing 1,427 coins with a face value of $27,980.
The discovery was a coin collector’s dream: A total of 1,373 were $20 coins, 50 were $10 coins and four were $5 coins. The coins were minted from 1847 to 1894. About a third of the coins were in pristine condition and never circulated in the general public.
It is believed this is the biggest hoard of gold coins ever unearthed in the United States and is valued at $10 million.
The couple decided to remain anonymous, fearing treasure hunters would rip up their land.
Coin dealer Don Kagin and numismatist David McCarthy helped evaluate and restore the coins (dubbed the Saddle Ridge Hoard) for auction. McCarthy claimed he worked until his fingers literally bled restoring and appraising the coins for sale. Kagin will sell them on Amazon.com in the near future.
Just how the hoard got buried there remains a mystery. In March 2014, The U.S. Mint stated that “[they] do not have any information linking the Saddle Ridge Hoard coins to any thefts at any United States Mint facility.”