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California Couple Strikes Gold

March 3, 2014

A Northern California couple was out walking their dog when they made the unexpected discovery of a lifetime: a veritable treasure trove of an estimated $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins.


Saddle Ridge Hoard

The collection has become known as the “Saddle Ridge Hoard,” and it contains a total of 1,427 coins dated between 1847 and 1894—1,400 $20 gold pieces, 50 $10 pieces and four $5 pieces, according to the numismatic firm Kagin’s Inc., which evaluated the findings.

The coins’ face value adds up to over $28,000 and, if melted, the gold itself could be worth about $2 million. Their rarity and condition, however, give the collection an astounding estimated value of over $10 million, a single 1866 $20 gold piece minted without the “In God We Trust” motto being a standout valued around $1 million.

Recent reports say that the couple may owe around half of the find’s value in taxes due to a federal court ruling that “if you find and keep property that does not belong to you that has been lost or abandoned (treasure-trove), it is taxable to you at its fair market value in the first year it is your undisputed possession,” and Kagin’s Inc. has reported that the collection could be listed on Amazon as early as May.

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