Buried Treasure: Saddle Ridge Hoard

In the coin collecting world, part of what adds to a coin’s value, besides the quality of the coin, is the story that goes along with it, and these coins have a whopper of a tale to tell.

One morning in February 2013, a couple living in northern California was out walking their dog on their property– in California gold country. One of them saw an old, moss-covered tin can that was half-buried in the mud. They used a stick to dig the can out and scrape the can clean. When the can, which was sealed on both ends, was opened it revealed a treasure trove of gold coins.

The couple later went back with a metal detector and found an additional 7 sealed baking powder tins, each packed full of gold coins. There were 1,427 coins in total– 1,373 $20 gold pieces, 50 $10 gold pieces, and four $5 gold pieces. The coins are worth an estimated $10 million.

There was a theory that the coins might be from a 1901 theft from the San Francisco Mint by Walter Dimmick, but the coins in the hoard predate those that would have been stolen in 1901. (The hoard coins are 1847-1894, and the stolen coins would have been dated 1900-S and 1901-S.) The hoarded coins were also packaged in Golden Gate brand baking powder cans consistent with the 1880s packaging.

If you’re interested in buying a little piece of this history, get your pocket-book primed and ready to go– the pieces go on the market starting May 27, 2014.

Purchase Coins for Fixed Prices on Amazon

Now, if only I could find buried treasure in my back yard!

* Video Link: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/02/california-couple-finds-10m-buried-treasure-in-back-yard/
* “Ready for Gold Hoard Coins?” Numismatic News 20 May 2014: 1,40. Print. http://www.numismaticnews.net/