California couple strikes gold with $10 million coin find

BY Justin Scuiletti  February 26, 2014 at 12:55 PM EST
The "Saddle Ridge Treasure" -- a collection of over 1,400 gold coins worth an estimated $10 million -- was found by a couple walking their dog on their property. Photo via Kagin's

The “Saddle Ridge Treasure” — a collection of over 1,400 gold coins worth an estimated $10 million — was found by a couple walking their dog on their property. Photo via Kagin’s

What started as a routine walk with their dog turned into one of the greatest treasure finds in U.S. history.

A California couple, identified only as John and Mary, encountered a rusty metal can sticking out of the ground while walking their dog on their property. After digging up a grand total of eight cans, the two found a collection of 1,427 uncirculated gold coins — dating from 1847 to 1894 — in mint condition. While carrying a face value of $28,000, the find is said to be worth more than $10 million.

“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,” said David McCarthy, a coin expert working for Kagin’s — the currency firm representing the couple . “I’ve never seen this face value in North America, and you never see coins in the condition we have here.”

The couple wishes to remain anonymous in order to changing their current lifestyle and to prevent possible treasure hunters descending upon their property in search of more gold. They aim to sell most of the coins through Amazon — using the proceeds to pay off bills and donate to charities.