A Californian couple found a cache of 1,427 mint-condition gold coins dating from 1847 to 1894 buried buried in six tin cans in the shadow of an old tree. Although the face value of the coins only adds up to about $27,000,at today's market prices the haul could be worth up to ten million according to David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, which recently authenticated them.
[The finders] have lived for several years on the rural property where the coins were found. They have no idea who put them there, he said. The 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 metal detectors. Image:
Associated Press, 'California Couple Finds $10M in Gold Coins Buried in Yard', February 25th 2014.
It turns out the finders in fact may not be able to legally sell these coins, as they may have been stolen from the San Francisco mint, and if so therefore are government property (Tom Stienstra, 'SF heist at turn of century may explain buried gold', San Francisco Gate March 3, 2014). If these coins are linked with that theft, it would shed new light on an old crime:
New information, which adds credibility that the heist was an inside job at the Mint, became available late Monday afternoon from research by historian Jack Trout: An 1866 Liberty $20 gold piece — which did not include the words “In God We Trust” — was part of the haul, a coin that alone is worth more than $1 million. “This was someone’s private coin, created by the mint manager or someone with access to the inner workings of the Old Granite Lady (San Francisco Mint),” Trout said [...] I don’t believe that coin ever left The Mint until the robbery. For it to show up as part of the treasure find links it directly to that inside job at the turn of the century at the San Francisco Mint.”Intriguing.