Some dream of roaming the Earth to hunt buried treasure. One Sierra Nevada couple didn’t have to go that far. They dug it up in their backyard – about $10 million worth, in 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. And it’s going on sale soon.
The bonanza emerged last year as the man and woman were walking their dog on their property in the Gold Country and noticed the top of a decaying canister poking out of the ground.
They dug it out with a stick, took it to their house and opened it up. Inside was what looked like a batch of discs covered in dirt from holes rotted through the can.
They weren’t just discs.
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.
A total of 1,373 were $20 coins, 50 were $10 coins and four were $5 coins. They were dated from 1847 to 1894, and after sprucing up they shone like, well, gold – which fortunately never corrodes. About a third of the coins were in pristine condition, having never been circulated for spending. Most were minted in San Francisco.
“It was a very surreal moment. It was very hard to believe at first,” the man said in an interview taped by the rare-coin dealer he eventually consulted to make sense of the find. “I thought any second an old miner with a mule was going to appear.”
The couple are keeping their identities and location secret for many reasons, the main one being to prevent treasure hunters from ripping up their land with backhoes. But they’ve allowed coin dealer Don Kagin of Tiburon, who helped evaluate some of the biggest sunken treasure finds in history, to offer the collection up for sale.
It’s dubbed the Saddle Ridge Hoard, after the spot on the couple’s property where it was found. The collection is expected to sell for at least $10 million, either as a whole or in pieces, based on the evaluated condition of the coins.
“You hear all those Wild West stories of buried treasure, and you think they’re fantasies – well here, this one really did happen,” Kagin said the other day as he and his senior numismatist, David McCarthy, laid out dozens of the coins and cans for inspection at their office. “And what is almost unbelievable about this collection is what pristine condition so many of them are in.”
According to “American Coin Treasures 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 $1 million.
Kagin and McCarthy met with the couple in April, two months after the hoard was dug up and the inevitable attorneys had gotten involved.
“The first thing the family did after finding all the cans was rebury them in a cooler under their woodpile,” McCarthy said. “They were terrified and had to think about what to do.”
He said when he first sat with the couple to examine the find, “the family had cut little squares into some foam and put 18 of the coins in the squares in a cigar box. I pulled out the first coin, and it was from 1890. It had dirt on it, but when I looked close, it dawned on me just exactly what it was.
“I almost fell out of my chair. It was mind-blowing. I was literally sitting with the most amazing buried treasure I’ve ever heard of.”
He spent the next several months restoring the coins – a job so consuming that “my fingers bled,” McCarthy said. It then took until this month for them all to be appraised and readied for sale.
About 90 percent of the coins will post on Amazon.com’s Collectibles site, probably in May, Kagin said. The rest he will sell privately, “to well-heeled collectors who desire the finest and the rarest.”
The oddest of the bunch are an 1866 $20 coin minted in San Francisco without the words “In God We Trust” on the back – the words were added to those coins, called “Double Eagles,” later that year – and an 1849 $5 coin struck in the short-lived Dahlonega, Ga., mint.
Professional Coin Grading Service of Irvine, one of the world’s foremost coin-assessment firms, evaluated the hoard and certified that 13 of the coins are either the finest-preserved known examples of their kind, or tied for that rating.
How all that cash came to be underground in the Northern California mountains is a mystery. Was it loot from a stagecoach robbery? Some miser’s life savings?
“The family and the attorneys researched who might have put them there, and they came up with nothing,” Kagin said. “The nearest we can guess is that whoever left the coins might have been involved in the mining industry.” He also reckons the cans were buried at various times.
However or wherever they were found, the collection is going to rock the coin-collecting world, said Donn Pearlman, spokesman for the national Professional Numismatists Guild. Kagin will offer a presale glimpse of some of the coins at the American Numismatic Association’s National Money Show, a three-day event that starts in Atlanta on Thursday.
“It is always amazing when even a single gold coin is found, let alone more than 1,000 of them that date back to the Gold Rush era,” Pearlman said. “This will cause a tremendous amount of excitement.”
The couple, who are in their 40s and are self-employed, told Kagin and McCarthy they want to donate some of the proceeds to the homeless and hungry in their area. They also plan to keep a few coins as keepsakes.
“Like a lot of people lately, we’ve had some financial trials,” the man told Kagin in the recorded interview. “I feel extreme gratitude that we can keep our beloved property.”
The couple didn’t sound like they were suddenly going to live large, though. “We love our lives as they are,” the woman said.
Pieces of history
Kagin, whose 81-year-old outfit is the nation’s oldest family-owned numismatic firm, said he’s planning to send 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 from the record-setting shipwrecks of the steamships Central America ($130 million value, in 1987) and Republic ($60 million value, in 2003).
“This is not just a bunch of coins found in a bunch of cans,” Kagin said. “Coins like this are art, and some of the best artifacts we have of characteristics of our society.
“You look at these coins,” he said, gazing at a dozen of the “Double Eagles” spread before him, “and you see history. They are the Gold Rush, murders in the mountains, buried treasures, the Wild West, everything of that time.
“And it’s all right here before you. You can hold it in your hands. Amazing.”
generic viagra 100mg cialis cialis pills levitra coupons is viagra funded by government cialis effects viagra government funded cialis 20mg is viagra covered by insurance cialis tadalafil cyalis cialis otc viagra samples viagra coupons 75 off does the government fund viagra non prescribed viagra cialis coupon 20 mg buy cialis cialis on line viagra 100mg price walmart cialis vs viagra cialis discount canadian viagra levitra coupon otc viagra viagra without a doctor prescription usa viagra coupons cialis pills for sale cialis pricing side effects of viagra viagra price levitra vs viagra for hardness cialis medication stendra vs viagra how does cialis work cialis canada generic viagra herbal viagra viagra single packs cost of viagra viagra sex viagra side effects liquid cialis levitra cost how long does levitra last canadian cialis viagra coupons from pfizer cialis sample viagra alternatives what is cialis viagra without prescription cialis vs viagra viagra viagra canada generic cialis at walmart best price viagra discount viagra cheap viagra lowest cialis prices how to take cialis buy viagra female viagra pills cilias order online viagra generic for viagra inexpensive viagra pills viagra single packs cost cialis for daily use levitra reviews cialis 5 mg levitra vs viagra cialis online viagra patent expiration how does viagra work sildenafil vs viagra levitra 10 mg buy levitra online revatio vs viagra cialis patent expiration 2017 viagra pills for sale viagra coupon cialis coupons 2017 cialis 10 mg levitra dosage cialis voucher viagra pharmacy online viagra levitra 20mg over the counter viagra cialis copay card cialis canadian pharmacy viagra without a doctor prescription cialis for sale levitra 10mg cialis coupons from manufacturer cvs pharmacy viagra coupons levitra 20 mg viagra from amazon daily cialis viagra for women levitra side effects viagra savings offer cealis healthy man viagra cialis or viagra cialas cialis 5mg cialis coupon how much does cialis cost natural viagra alternatives that work cialis without a doctor’s prescription natural viagra cialis generic availability levitra online cialis 5mg daily cialis dosage recommendations levitra without a doctor prescription cialis 20 mg viagra prices without insurance what does viagra do viagra on line no prec buy levitra viagra online cialis 20mg directions pfizer viagra viagra ingredients viagra vs cialis vs levitra cialis generic tadalafil cialis testimonials female viagra viagra vs cialis vs levitra discount cialis cialis for women cialis for men pfizer viagra coupons cialis 30 day sample how much does viagra cost cialis from canada buy cialis online levitra loc us cialis alternative viamedic cialis how long does viagra last levitra canada viagra for sale viagra porn is viagra government funded cialis cheap free viagra viagra prices generic cialis viagra pill what is levitra canada viagra viagra vs cialis viagra pills cialis patent expiration date extended cialis for bph what is viagra side effects of cialis price cialis cialis pharmacy prices levitra vs cialis levitra prices cialis price buy viagra online levitra vs viagra cialis samples erectile dysfunction cialis utilisation viagra levitra generic cialis dosage strengths cialis savings card where to buy viagra trial viagra sample generic cialis tadalafil women viagra viagra cost 200 cialis coupon 9 levitra at walmart cialis dosage cialis website cialis coupons printable sex viagra for women levitra 20 mg cost walmart cialis samples overnight cialis side effects walgreens viagra substitute viagra dosage cialis free trial viagra best price generic viagra available in usa cialis daily cost of levitra generic for cialis viagra vs cialis sophia viagra viagra substitute viagra from canada levitra cialis trial viagra activate canada cialis generic levitra cialis coupon print cialis prices cialis cost cialis patent expiration cost of cialis viagra generic viagra on line viagra government funding viagra 100mg tablets retail price online cialis viagra girls viagra dose is viagra government funded in america cialis generic does viagra work wholesale cialis viagra cialis cialis reviews cialis or viagra cialis coupons is viagra federally funded cialis 30 day trial coupon viagra costs when will cialis go generic cialis professional free cialis cheap cialis
finasteride 1mg levitra bayer 20mg meilleur prix generic for lexapro cost of cialis buy viagra thuoc azithromycin escitalopram 10 mg lexapro dosage viagra sex cialis coupons printable viagra price cipro 500 cialis tadalafil levitra prices cialis cheap viagra viagra soft tamoxifen and foods to avoid acyclovir dosing cialis generic finasteride 5mg tab buy levitra levitra generic what works better than viagra viagra from canada buying viagra female viagra side effects of ciprofloxacin levitra 10 mg prezzo azithromycin pregnancy viagra 100 cialis testimonials how to take cialis discount viagra finasteride viagra nebenwirkungen levitra 20mg cost per pill azithromycin without a doctor’s prescription levitra online tamoxifen interaction is tamoxifen chemotherapy cialis for bph cialis effects side effects of cialis finasteride 5 mg tab is ciprofloxacin a penicillin revatio vs viagra lexapro overdose cialis voucher lexapro side effects in men lexapro 10 mg levitra 20 mg viagra 100mg tablets retail price viagra pills viagra kaufen how to wean off lexapro what is acyclovir how to wean off lexapro without withdrawals azithromycin 250 does lexapro cause weight gain azithromycin 250 mg treatment cialis pricing buy levitra online cialis patent expiration ciprofloxacin 250 mg vardenafil vs viagra lexapro generic azithromycin 500 tamoxifen and bone pain viagra medicine viagra bestellen tamoxifen cost ciprofloxacin azithromycin what is tamoxifen how much does cialis cost what is viagra viagra without a doctor prescription acyclovir escitalopram nebenwirkungen acyclovir vs valacyclovir ciprofloxacin eye drops levitra erfahrungen tamoxifen side effects viagra effects how does viagra work generic lexapro what is ciprofloxacin used for generic viagra finasteride medication cialis patent expiration date extended utilisation viagra cialis canada lexapro 20mg best price viagra how long does viagra last what is cialis cialis 5mg daily levitra without a doctor prescription acyclovir 800 mg 5 times a day escitalopram 20 mg cialis generic tadalafil generic levitra vardenafil 20mg viagra alternative zithromax 500 mg viagra natural levitra vs viagra azithromycin 500 erfahrungen escitalopram lexapro generic name what is ciprofloxacin antibiotic ciprofloxacin what bacteria does ciprofloxacin kill cialis generic availability side effects of lexapro in women cipro drug class what is escitalopram tamoxifen side effects in women how to get off lexapro viagra vs cialis finasteride efectos secundarios discount cialis viagra coupon cipro escitalopram side effects viagra substitute cialis pills for sale viagra receptfritt escitalopram effets secondaires azithromycin 500mg cialis azithromycin coverage withdrawal from lexapro lexapro dosages side effects of azithromycin 250 mg where to buy viagra cialis or viagra finasteride for women azithromycin tablets cheap viagra ciprofloxacin dosierung ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg cialis trial tamoxifen langzeitfolgen viagra on line cipro side effects in elderly what is acyclovir for vardenafil 20mg viagra tesco levitra prezzo in farmacia zithromax dosage cialis prices azithromycine 250 mg cialis professional ciprofloxacin 500mg side effects of acyclovir ciprofloxacin for dogs cialis coupon sex viagra for women cialis discount acyclovir 800 mg for shingles cialis online cipro antibiotics lexapro vs celexa cialis coupon 20 mg azithromycine cialis pharmacy prices zovirax cream what is azithromycin acyclovir ointment zovirax dosage lexapro 10mg propecia side effects tamoxifen lawsuits what is finasteride viagra ohne rezept auf rechnung viagra coupons generic levitra what is lexapro nolvadex free viagra when will cialis go generic is azithromycin sophia viagra viagra pillen kruidvat zovirax cialis 30 day sample cialis from canada lexapro for anxiety weaning off lexapro cipro dosage cialis vs viagra levitra vs viagra for hardness escitalopram 10 mg para que sirve finasteride side effects cialis copay card buy viagra online levitra 20 mg cost walmart azithromycin pediatric dosing lexapro benefits for women cialis 20mg lexapro and weight loss generic viagra 100mg what is cipro finasteride vs dutasteride cialis 5 mg lexapro withdrawal symptoms zithromax z-pak azithromycine eg 500 mg bijsluiter escitalopram 10mg ciprofloxacin side effects in women viagra for sale cialis for women azithromycin vs erythromycin azithromycin for pneumonia tamoxifen therapy what is ciprofloxacin prescribed for cilias cialis savings card viagra alternatives side effects of ciprofloxacin 500 mg finasteride 5mg side effects mayo clinic pfizer viagra coupons from pfizer what does ciprofloxacin treat viagra side effects viagra for sale uk lexapro coupons acyclovir 400mg viagra 100 mg cialis patent expiration 2017 tamoxifen side effects in women over 55 azithromycin side effects acyclovir dosage for cold sores women viagra cialis pills viagra without a doctor prescription usa azithromycin pregnancy category finasteride permanent side effects cialis 20 mg viagra samples acyclovir for shingles buy cialis lexapro and weight gain in women azithromycin 250mg ciprofloxacin dose cialis dosage viagra 100mg what is cipro usually prescribed for levitra 20 mg von bayer over the counter viagra what does finasteride do ciprofloxacin 500 mg for urinary tract infection lexapro side effects cialis 30 day trial coupon viagra cost viagra wikipedia side effects of azithromycin online viagra viagra wiki lexapro vs zoloft viagra prices lexapro vs wellbutrin side effects of tamoxifen viagra online viagra activate lexapro weight gain liquid cialis zovirax pills levitra dosage 9 levitra at walmart canada cialis stopping lexapro celexa vs lexapro cipro dangers viamedic cialis lexapro and wellbutrin combination therapy acyclovir side effects lexapro para que sirve cialis samples free cialis what does ciprofloxacin 500mg treat cheap cialis ciprofloxacin 250mg generic for cialis lexapro what does viagra do levitra 20mg effects of stopping lexapro suddenly what is lexapro used for viagra for women lexapro withdrawal azithromycin 5 day dose pack azithromycin 250mg tablets 6 pack acyclovir 800mg finasteride 5mg side effects azithromycin liquid escitalopram oxalate acyclovir dosage 200 cialis coupon viagra on line no prec ciprofloxacin nebenwirkungen tamoxifen and weight gain lowest cialis prices cialis coupons 2017 herbal viagra zithromax acyclovir for cold sores daily cialis is lexapro a controlled substance viagra vs cialis vs levitra azithromycin class finasteride tablets cialis dosage recommendations cheap levitra how does cialis work online cialis cialis samples overnight finasteride 5mg finasteride dosage ciprofloxacin drops viagra tablets tamoxifen nebenwirkungen viagra ohne rezept aus deutschland cialis on line what is acyclovir used for viagra sans ordonnance levitra rezeptfrei deutschland what is azithromycin used for post finasteride syndrome side effects of finasteride how does acyclovir work ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg tab cialis coupon print finasteride results azithromycin medscape cyalis azithromycin eye drops levitra vs viagra cialis alternative ciprofloxacin uses order viagra side effects of lexapro viagra costs cialis reviews levitra 20 mg precio farmacia finasteride reviews cialis for sale azithromycin 500 mg ciprofloxacin ophthalmic solution ciprofloxacin side effects after age 60 is azithromycin penicillin viagra single packs ciprofloxacin 500 mg tabletten equipe argentine viagra price cialis what is cipro used for levitra coupon acyclovir dose side effects of lexapro 10 mg ciprofloxacin hydrochloride ophthalmic azithromycin 250 mg acyclovir ointment 5 finasteride and enlarged prostate canadian cialis generic cialis viagra tablet zithromax antibiotic ciprofloxacin bnf finasteride hair loss how does lexapro work tamoxifen bijwerkingen cialis website lexapro reviews zoloft vs lexapro lexapro bula what is tamoxifen used for cialis cost cipro for uti cialis coupons from manufacturer cialis sample how long for azithromycin to take effect azithromycin uses azithromycin z pak azithromycin dosage finasteride long term effects cialis free trial cipro side effects erectile dysfunction cialis cipro uses lexapro manufacturer website what does azithromycin treat ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg side effects effects of stopping finasteride ciprofloxacin side effects buy generic viagra azithromycin drug class lexapro medication finasteride side effects in men buy cialis online acyclovir 400 mg viagra pill acyclovir cream cialis coupons tamoxifen viagra uk azithromycin and alcohol cialis without a doctor’s prescription generic cialis at walmart ciprofloxacin dosage cialis otc ciprofloxacin hydrochloride cialis canadian pharmacy what is lexapro for ciprofloxacin hcl viagra for men lexapro and weight gain buy generic levitra cealis ciprofloxacin 500mg antibiotics side effects azithromycin for strep throat cipro antibiotic ciprofloxacin 500mg antibiotics what is finasteride used for side effects lexapro cialis dosage strengths lexapro 5mg azithromycin three times a week cialis 10 mg generic cialis tadalafil cialis side effects viagra vs cialis finasteride effets secondaires viagra vs cialis vs levitra cialis daily viagra canada azithromycin cost natural viagra cialis vs viagra wholesale cialis common side effects of ciprofloxacin 500 mg finasteride 5 mg what is azithromycin for viagra cialis cialis 5mg ciprofloxacin class canada viagra cialis price lexapro side effects men canadian viagra ciprofloxacin used for ciprofloxacin 500mg tablets azithromycin for uti cialis 20mg directions cialis for daily use ciprofloxacin 500 mg lexapro side effects in women ciprofloxacin coverage acyclovir medication cipro and tendonitis propecia tamoxifen citrate acyclovir 200mg lexapro dosing how to use viagra side effects of finasteride 5mg acyclovir 800 mg levitra viagra 50mg pfizer viagra cialas viagra generic cost of viagra cialis for men cialis medication ciprofloxacin spc how long for lexapro to work ciprofloxacin 500 zovirax for cold sores viagra en ligne livraison 24h first few days on lexapro viagra generico ciprofloxacin drug class side effects of viagra viagra dosage zovirax ointment finasteride for hair loss what infections does ciprofloxacin treat levitra coupons wellbutrin and lexapro azithromycin tablet