FOX 66 News at Ten
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Northern California couple out walking their dog on
their Gold Country property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10
million in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an
Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to
1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition, said David Hall, co-founder
of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, which recently
authenticated them. Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds
up to about $27,000, some of them are so rare that coin experts say
they could fetch nearly $1 million apiece.
"I don't like to say
once-in-a-lifetime for anything, but you don't get an opportunity to
handle this kind of material, a treasure like this, ever," said veteran
numismatist Don Kagin, who is representing the finders. "It's like they
found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."
family has been in the rare-coin business for 81 years, would say little
about the couple other than that they are husband and wife, are
middle-aged and have lived for several years on the rural property where
the coins were found. They have no idea who put them there, he said.
pair are choosing to remain anonymous, Kagin said, in part to avoid a
renewed gold rush to their property by modern-day prospectors armed with
They also don't want to be treated any differently, said David McCarthy, chief numismatist for Kagin Inc. of Tiburon.
concern was this would change the way everyone else would look at them,
and they're pretty happy with the lifestyle they have today," he said.
plan to put most of the coins up for sale through Amazon while holding
onto a few keepsakes. They'll use the money to pay off bills and quietly
donate to local charities, Kagin said.
Before they sell them,
they are loaning some to the American Numismatic Association for its
National Money Show, which opens Thursday in Atlanta.
their find particularly valuable, McCarthy said, is that almost all of
the coins are in near-perfect condition. That means that whoever put
them into the ground likely socked them away as soon as they were put
Because paper money was illegal in California
until the 1870s, he added, it's extremely rare to find any coins from
before that of such high quality.
"It wasn't really until the
1880s that you start seeing coins struck in California that were kept in
real high grades of preservation," he said.
The coins, in $5,
$10 and $20 denominations, were stored more or less in chronological
order, McCarthy said, with the 1840s and 1850s pieces going into one
canister until it was filed, then new coins going into the next one and
the next one after that. The dates and the method indicated that whoever
put them there was using the ground as their personal bank and that
they weren't swooped up all at once in a robbery.
Although most of the coins were minted in San Francisco, one $5 gold piece came from as far away as Georgia.
and McCarthy would say little about the couple's property or its
ownership history, other than it's in a sprawling hilly area of Gold
Country and the coins were found along a path the couple had walked for
years. On the day they found them last spring, the woman had bent over
to examine an old rusty can that erosion had caused to pop slightly out
of the ground.
"Don't be above bending over to check on a rusty can," he said she told him.
are located on a section of the property the couple nicknamed Saddle
Ridge, and Kagin is calling the find the Saddle Ridge Hoard. He believes
it could be the largest such discovery in U.S. history.
the largest previous finds of gold coins was $1 million worth uncovered
by construction workers in Jackson, Tenn., in 1985. More than 400,000
silver dollars were found in the home of a Reno, Nev., man who died in
1974 and were later sold intact for $7.3 million.
Gold coins and
ingots said to be worth as much as $130 million were recovered in the
1980s from the wreck of the SS Central America. But historians knew
roughly where that gold was because the ship went down off the coast of
North Carolina during a hurricane in 1857.
Wednesday, February 26 2014, 09:19 AM EST
National News Headlines
|Gunman who shot and killed 2 NYPD officers in Brooklyn had troubled past, mother, police say|
|The mother of a gunman who ambushed and murdered two NYPD officers as they sat in their squad car Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn told authorities that she was scared of her son and he had a troubled childhood, often acting violent.|
|4 people including 2 young boys shot and killed at Rockford duplex|
|Four people, including two young boys, were killed in a shooting late Saturday at a home in the northern Illinois city of Rockford, authorities said.|
|A look at the 2 NYC officers killed in an ambush shooting as they were sitting in cruiser|
|Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were in their marked New York Police Department cruiser on a Brooklyn street when a gunman opened fire on them, then fled to a subway station where he committed suicide.|
|Cardinal Dolan mourns murdered NYPD officers|
|Cardinal Timothy Dolan called the death of two police officers ambushed in their car "brutal and irrational" and expressed his solidarity and love for their fellow officers.|
|Mike Mokrzycki, former AP polling director who started survey business, dies at 52|
|Mike Mokrzycki, a former journalist and election polling specialist at The Associated Press who later started his own survey research business, has died.|
|Suspect questioned after NYPD issues alert of cop killer threat sent via Instagram|
|The New York Police Department issued a warning to officers Sunday that the department is actively investigating reports that a man is driving to New York from Tennessee to kill two more police officers, Fox News has learned.|
|Civil rights leaders face backlash over the ambush killings of 2 New York police officers|
|Civil rights leaders are condemning the ambush killings of two New York police officers and expressing fear that the backlash over the bloodshed could derail the protest movement that has emerged around the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.|
|Charlotte public employee fights dismissal over Ferguson comments|
|A Charlotte Fire Department employee is fighting her dismissal for posting a racially-charged comment on Facebook about the Ferguson police shooting.|
|Tent city sprouts in shadow of downtown Detroit|
|Bankruptcy behind it, Detroit's atmosphere swirls with the promise of better days. Charles Floyd Jones can only hope that the city's good fortune trickles down to him and the 10 other residents of a tent city that's sprouted in the shadow of a resurgent downtown where rental occupancy is close to full and restaurants and shops are doing brisk business.|
|Authorities ID Maryland woman shot by man who killed 2 NYPD officers|
|Authorities in Maryland are identifying a woman who was shot by the same man who killed two NYPD officers before shooting himself to death.|