Rare coin experts, Kagin's Inc., today announced that a
hoard of over 1,400 rare U.S. gold coins has been discovered buried
on private property in California's gold region. The treasure
was found by a couple on their property while taking their dog on
its daily walk. It is believed to be the greatest buried treasure
ever unearthed in the United States, with an estimated value in
excess of $10 million.
"What's really significant about this find," noted Don
Kagin, president of Kagin's Inc. of Tiburon, Calif., "is that
unlike other hoards and treasures, this one includes a great
variety of dates, many of which are in pristine condition; add to
that a wonderful human interest story: this family literally found
the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."
One of the eight decaying metal
canisters filled with 1800s-era U.S. gold coins unearthed in
California by two people who want to remain anonymous. The
value of the "Saddle Ridge Hoard" treasure trove is estimated at
$10 million or more. (Photo courtesy of Saddle Ridge Hoard
discoverers via Kagin's, Inc.)
The Saddle Ridge Treasure is named after a feature of the
family's property. Based on the dates of the coins included
in the find, their condition and the condition of the decaying
metal cans protecting them, it is believed that the coins were
buried over a significant period of time in the late 19th
After unearthing the treasure, the family contacted Kagin's
senior numismatist, David McCarthy, who evaluated the coins and
informed them of the significance of their discovery.
"We all dream about discovering buried treasure; seeing the real
thing in person - piles of gold coins encrusted in dirt and
rust - the experience was just indescribable," said McCarthy.
"Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine coins coming out of the
ground in the kind of condition that I saw in front of me.
Many pieces were finer than anything known in major collections or
This photo taken by the
anonymous discoverers of the "Saddle Ridge Hoard" treasure trove
shows one of the eight decaying metal canisters they unearthed
filled with U.S. gold coins from the 1800s. (Photo courtesy
of Saddle Ridge Hoard discoverers via Kagin's, Inc.)
Each coin has been independently authenticated, graded and
certified by the Professional Coin Grading Service of Irvine,
Calif. The find comprises almost 1,400 $20 gold pieces, 50
$10 gold pieces and four $5 gold pieces, all of which were struck
between 1847 and 1894. Highlights of the cache include at
least 13 finest known specimens, among them an 1866-S No Motto
Double Eagle valued at close to $1 million.
Other highlights include finest example or tied for finest
example certified by PCGS: 1875-S graded MS64 (tied); 1877-S PCGS
MS65 (tied for "top pop"); four 1888-S PCGS MS64 (tied for "top
pop"); two 1889-S graded PCGS MS65 (tied for new "top pop"); and
1894-S PCGS MS65 (tied for "top pop").
One of the 1,411 "Saddle Ridge
Hoard" buried treasure gold coins certified by PCGS is this 1886-S
Liberty Head Eagle, graded PCGS MS66. (Photo courtesy of
Professional Coin Grading Service.)
A sampling of the coins with special gold-colored foil "Saddle
Ridge Hoard" PCGS certification insert labels will be displayed
this week at the Kagin's booth (#707) during the upcoming American
Numismatic Association National Money Show in Atlanta, February
"One of the great things about being involved with PCGS is the
occasional 'discovery coins' we get to grade. This is one of
those fantastic discoveries!" said David Hall, Co-founder of PCGS
and Collectors Universe, Inc.
"The Saddle Ridge Hoard discovery is one of the most amazing
numismatic stories I've heard. This will be regarded as one of the
best stories in the history of our hobby!" stated PCGS President
Through an exclusive arrangement with online retailer, Amazon.com, approximately 90 percent
of the coins will be available for purchase at a later date via
Amazon's collectibles store (www.amazon.com/collectibles). This
will be the first major numismatic treasure to be sold through
The previous largest reported find of buried gold treasure in
the United States had a face value of $4,500. It was
discovered by construction workers in Jackson, Tennessee in 1985
and was eventually sold for around $1 million. The face value
of the Saddle Ridge treasure is over $28,000.
Kagin's, Inc. is the nation's oldest family-owned numismatic
firm tracing their origins to 1933. The firm specializes in U.S.
gold coins especially those of the gold rushes, paper currency and
classic rarities. Dr. Kagin holds the first B.A. degree in
numismatics and the nation's only Ph.D. in the field.
For additional information contact
1550G Tiburon Boulevard #201
Tiburon, CA 94920