Acht solcher Metallbehälter hat ein Ehepaar in Kalifornien auf seinem Grundstück gefunden: Darin beinahe anderthalbtausend Goldmünzen, fast alle unbenutzt, zusammen wohl mehr als zehn Millionen Dollar wert.
Die Münzen stammen aus der zweiten Hälfte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, der Zeit des Goldrauschs in dieser Gegend. Möglicherweise ließ ein Goldwäscher seine Funde wie üblich in Münzen prägen und versteckte sie dann.
Das geschah offenbar über einen längeren Zeitraum: In einigen Behältern sind ältere Münzen, in anderen sind Münzen aus den folgenden Jahrzehnten. Was mit ihrem Besitzer dann geschah, ist unbekannt.
Der Fund ereignete sich schon vor fast einem Jahr; seitdem wurden die Münzen gesäubert und bewertet. Das Paar, das den Goldschatz fand, will anonym bleiben. Gegenüber dem Münzhändler, den sie beauftragt haben, äußerten sich die beiden allerdings.
Die allermeisten der Münzen sollen verkauft werden. Die nächsten drei Tage sind einige der Funde aber noch auf einer großen Münzmesse in Atlanta zu sehen. Dort ist auch der Münzhändler mit einem Stand vertreten.LOS ANGELES, Feb 25 (Reuters) – A trove of rare Gold Rush-era coins unearthed in California last year by a couple as they walked their dog may be the greatest buried treasure ever found in the United States, worth more than $10 million, a currency firm representing the pair said on Tuesday. The 1,400 gold pieces, dating to the mid- to late 1800s and still in nearly mint condition, were discovered buried in eight decaying metal cans on the couple’s land last April, said coin expert David McCarthy of currency firm Kagin’s. “We’ve seen shipwrecks in the past where thousands of gold coins were found in very high grade, but a buried treasure of this sort is unheard of,” McCarthy said. “I’ve never seen this face value in North America and you never see coins in the condition we have here.” Kagin’s has declined to identify the couple, who according to the firm want to remain anonymous for fear treasure hunters will descend on their property in Northern California’s so-called Gold Country, named after the state’s 1849 Gold Rush. The couple had been walking their dog when they came across a rusty metal can sticking out of the ground and dug it out. After finding gold coins inside they searched further and found the rest of the cache. Also unclear is who hid the gold pieces, which were minted between 1847 and 1894, in a variety of 19th-century metal cans on land that eventually became part of the couple’s yard. McCarthy said it was curious that the containers were discovered scattered across one section of the property at different depths, suggesting that they were not all put there at the same time. The $20 gold pieces appeared to have been new when they went into the ground and had suffered little damage from being in the soil for so long. McCarthy said the couple wisely refrained from cleaning the coins themselves and brought a sampling of them to him in little baggies, still covered in soil. “I picked up one of bags. It was an 1890 $20 gold piece. It was covered in dirt,” McCarthy said, recalling when he first saw one of the gold pieces. “An area of the coin was exposed and the metal looked as if it had just been struck yesterday.” His company took what became known as the “Saddle Ridge Hoard” to an independent coin-grading service, which found that it was comprised of nearly 1,400 $20 gold pieces, 50 $10 gold pieces and four $5 gold pieces. One of the coins, a so-called 1866-S No Motto Double Eagle, is said to be valued at $1 million on its own. “The Saddle Ridge Hoard discovery is one of the most amazing numismatic stories I’ve ever heard,” said Don Willis, president of Professional Coin Grading Service. “This will be regarded as one of the best stories in the history of our hobby.” McCarthy said Kagin’s will sell most of the coins on Amazon for the couple and that a sampling will be displayed at the upcoming American Numismatic Association show in Atlanta later this month. San Francisco (dpa) – Ein amerikanisches Paar hat Medienberichten zufolge einen millionenschweren Goldschatz auf dem eigenen Grundstück ausgebuddelt. Die beiden Glückspilze aus Kalifornien, die anonym bleiben wollen, hätten acht rostige Kanister mit mehr als 1400 Goldmünzen aus dem 19. Jahrhundert entdeckt, berichtete die Zeitung “San Francisco Chronicle” am Dienstag (Ortszeit). Es handele sich um unbenutzte Geldstücke im Wert von 5, 10 und 20 Dollar, die zwischen 1847 und 1894 geprägt worden seien. Experten schätzen den Sammlerwert des Fundes auf rund 10 Millionen Dollar (7,3 Millionen Euro). Es handele sich vermutlich um einen der “größten vergrabenen Schätze, die jemals in den USA aus dem Boden geholt worden”, schrieb das Fachmagazin “Coin Update”. Der Megafund in der historischen Goldgräberregion im Norden Kaliforniens habe sich bereits vor einem Jahr ereignet. Das Paar war den Berichten zufolge mit seinem Hund spazieren, als es die Spitze eines der Kanister aus der Erde ragen sah. Die beiden hätten ihn mit einem Stock ausgegraben und geöffnet. Nach einigem Schrubben der “verdreckten Scheiben” darin hätten sie erkannt, worum es sich handele. Sie seien zurückgerannt und hätten die anderen Behälter hervorgehoben. Wer den Schatz vergraben hatte, ist unbekannt. Die Goldmünzen sollen nun ausgestellt und verkauft werden.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Northern California couple out walking their dog on their property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an old tree.
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 more than $28,000, 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.”
Kagin, whose 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 in California’s Gold Country, 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.
They also don’t want to be treated any differently, said David McCarthy, chief numismatist for Kagin Inc. of Tiburon.
“Their 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.
They 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.
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.
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 in six cans, McCarthy said, with the 1840s and 1850s pieces going into one can 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.
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 stretches along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada.
The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, about 50 miles northeast of Sacramento, set off the California Gold Rush of 1848.
The coins had been buried by 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,” Kagin said she told him.
They were 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.
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.
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.