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Northern California Couple Discover a ‘Pot-O-Gold’ in Their Backyard

Just a few weeks shy of St. Patarick’s Day, a Northern California couple announces the discovery of their very own pot-o-gold.  Instead of discovering it at the end of a rainbow this couple found their treasure buried in the shadow of an old tree.

Image Courtesy of The Associated Press Rare Coins Discovered in Northern California

Image Courtesy of The Associated Press
Rare Coins Discovered in Northern California

The couple was walking their dog on their property when they stumbled across this modern-day bonanza: $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins!  It was an old tin can peeking from the soil that first caught their attention.

“Don’t be above bending over to check on a rusty can,” said the woman.

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.

The couple has chosen to remain anonymous.  They are happy with current their life and do not want to draw unwanted attention.  Also, they want to avoid a renewed gold rush to their property by modern-day prospectors armed with metal detectors.  The couple plans to sale the coins on Amazon to pay off bills and slowly donate to charity.

Before they sell them, they are loaning some to the American Numismatic Association for its National Money Show, which opens Thursday in Atlanta.

What makes 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 into circulation. 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.

Kagin and McCarthy would say little about the couple’s property or its ownership history, other than it’s located in Gold Country, a sprawling, picturesque and still lightly populated section of north-central California that extends east of Sacramento to the Nevada line, running through the hills and valleys of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, about 50 miles northeast of Sacramento, set off the California Gold Rush of 1848.

One of 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.

Northern California Couple Discover a ‘Pot-O-Gold’ in Their Backyard

About Destaney Peters


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