$10 Million Find In Back Yard
March 10, 2014

$10 Million Find In Back Yard

In 1901, Walter Dimmick was convicted of stealing $30,000 worth of gold coins from a US mint in San Francisco. The six bags containing the gold coins were never found. However, in February, 2013, a North California couple, who wish to remain anonymous, discovered approximately 1,400 gold coins buried in their back yard.

These coins were initially alleged to be the missing coins from the 1901 heist. “If you had robbed the U.S. Mint in 1901, you’d have 1901, 1900, 1899 coins. But instead what you have here are coins from 1894 and before,” Don Kagin, who is assisting the couple, told CNN.

Kagin, who deals in rare coins, said the couple found the treasure while walking their dog on the property. They noticed a can protruding from the ground. The couple unearthed the can by using a stick to dislodge it. When they opened the lid they discovered coins mixed with dirt and small stones.

When they went back to where the can was found, another one was discovered. Using metal detectors in the area, the couple discovered a total of eight cans filled with the rare gold coins.

Adam Stump, a spokesman for the US Mint told CNN, “We do not have any Information  linking the Saddle Ridge Hoard coins to any thefts at the United States Mint facility.” Stump added, “We’ve done quite a bit of research, and we’ve got a crack team of lawyers, and trust me, if it was U.S. Government property we’d be going after it.”

Denominations of the coins include $5, $10 and $20 face values, dating from 1847 to 1894, and worth in today’s market roughly $10 million. One of the coins, an 1866-S No Motto Double Eagle, is valued around $1 million.

“The best theory is that — and this is collaborated somewhat with doing some research, title searches, etc. from back in 1800s — that someone in the mining business, as he got his remuneration, his bonuses, whatever, he would take the gold from the banks and put it into the ground in these cans. Back then, they didn’t always trust the banks.” Kagin said.

He continued, “Nothing resonates like buried treasure. These are not just coins, but they are artifacts. They tell a story … They speak to us. It’s like holding history in your hands.”

The couple plans to sell most of the collection online. Some on Kagin’s website and others on Amazon, most likely beginning in May. “Unlike other hoards and treasures, this one includes a great variety of coins struck over many different years, and many of the coins are still in pristine condition. And add to that a wonderful human interest story: this family literally found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” Kagin added.

It just goes to show what you might find buried in your back yard.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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