While out walking their dog, a California couple saw something shiny on the ground. When they dug it up, they discovered eight metal cans, containing more than 1,400 gold coins.
Within those metal cans was $10 million mint-condition gold coins that were buried in the shadow of an old tree. A total of 1,373 were $20 coins, 50 were $10 coins and four were $5 coins.
Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to 1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition, said David Hall, who authenticated them. Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds up to more than $28,000, some of them are so rare that coin experts say they could fetch nearly $1 million apiece.
No one knows how they got there, or who the coins might have belonged to, but the gold coin discovery is thought to be the largest of its kind in U.S. history, according to David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service.
“Somebody could have buried them and then died before they let anybody know where they were,” Hall said. “Believe it or not, I know cases where they forgot they had something, or they moved or whatever … It could have been some kind of robbery deal … Who knows?”
“It’s quite a story. People were walking along on their property in Northern California, noticed something, began digging and they found cans of gold coins,” Hall said. “It should have happened to you and me.”
The couple is planning to sell most of the collection.
Approximately 90% of the coins will go up on Amazon.com’s “Collectibles” site, according to Don Kagin, of Kagin’s, Inc., who is assisting the people who found the coins and want to remain anonymous.
Collectors wanting a sneak peak can see some of the coins at the American Numismatic Association’s 2014 National Money Show in Atlanta, which opens Thursday.
Rare Gold Coins Worth $10M Found in California
A couple stumbled across a canister of 1,400 gold coins in California’s Sierra foothills. They asked to remain anonymous, but the rare, mint condition coins date from 1847-1894 and could go for a total of $10 million at auction.
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