Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SPECIAL = California Couple Discovers GOLD!!

"It was a very surreal moment. It was very hard to believe at first....I thought any second an old miner with a mule was going to appear."   - The anonymous discoverer of the gold.

"I see somebody, maybe in the mining industry looking around making sure that nobody's watching them burying the treasure, planning on coming back to get it some day and clearly...he didn't make it." - Donald Kagin, coin expert.

Well whoever buried the coins is something we'll never know, but we now know what they buried, and how much it's worth: a cool Ten MILLION dollars.

There It Was! Right in Their Own Backyard...

In February of last year, a couple were walking their dog through the backyard of their property in what was once the fabled Gold Country near the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Then they spied what looked like a rusty old can poking out of the dirt.  They used a stick to dig it out of the ground, and found that it was fairly heavy.  So they took it back to their home and managed to get inside to it's contents and found that it appeared to contain a bunch of metal discs which were covered in dirt that had sifted through holes that had rotted through the can over time. They took the discs out and after a little brushing off they found that the discs were in fact gold coins dated mostly from the 1890's.  They went back and dug up eight cans which held a total of 1,427 gold coins.  The face value of these coins came to $27,980.  When they had organized the coins they found that they were all gold, mostly minted in San Francisco and mostly were 20 dollar coins, but there were also fifty 10 dollar coins and four were five dollar coins. Some of them dated as far back as 1847, some in the 1860's.  And about 1/3 of them were in mint condition, never having been circulated.

What to Do With It?  

Imme- diately after finding the coins, the couple took eighteen of them and put them into a cigar box with some foam rubber.  Then they took the rest of the coins, put them in a cooler, and re-buried them under a woodpile at their home. They were afraid of having all of this wealth in their possession and and had to think about what to do with it. They contacted some lawyers and eventually gave them to Don Kagin of Tiburon, California, who has evaluated some major gold finds in the past.  Kagin's senior numismatist, David McCarthy (above) were quite taken aback by what they were looking at:

" 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."

And as mentioned above, the value of the coins when they are auctioned off later this year is expected to come to ten milllllllion dollars!!

Who Buried It There to Begin With??

The coins took several months to be restored, and another month to be appraised.  They now have been mounted in individual containers, and readied for sale in the near future on Amazon. The couple who found all of this, "the Saddle Ridge Hoard" it has been dubbed after the area in which it was found, have decided to remain anonymous in order to keep their
property from becoming a magnet for others looking to find more.  But they have expressed a desire to donate much of their new-found wealth to homeless charities.  Also, they plan to keep some of the coins as keepsakes.  But they like their life as they have it, and will likely stay where they are. As to who put them there in the first place, nobody knows.  The family and their lawyers attempted to research that, but came up empty. Whether it was some loot from a stage coach robbery, some old miser just hiding his wealth somewhere, or if it was placed there over some time, like a savings account, as Mr. Kagin describes at the top of this posting is something that will likely remain a mystery.


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