A unnamed California couple discovered up to $10 million in coins in their California backyard, according to ABC News, Feb. 26, 2014. The couple, who wish to remain anonymous and live in California's Gold Country, found the buried treasure under an old, large tree on their property.
Although the face value of the coins is around $27,000, some of the rare coins could bring in around $1 million apiece, totaling around $10 million. The couple had the coins authenticated by Dr. Don Kagan of Kagin's Inc., which is a professional corporation that assesses, authenticates and appraises rare coins.
The manner in which the coins were discovered was truly phenomenal. The couple was taking a walk on their Sierra foothill property and saw a can sticking out of the ground. One of them reached over to brush moss off the can and discovered that it was full of gold coins. Four more such cans were to be discovered before it was over, totaling 1,427 coins with a multi-million dollar total value.
The entire matter causes one to speculate on how the coins ended up being buried in the couple's backyard. Were they coins that were taken from a bank in a hold up? Were they stolen at gun point from a stage coach that was traveling across the property when the incident occurred? Are they coins that were hidden by a robber who forgot where he put them after he got out of jail? Could they have been buried there by a robber who later died in jail before he could retrieve them? Could they have been buried there by an eccentric millionaire who did not trust banks and died before he could unearth them?
The nineteenth century coins, which date from 1847 to 1894, were produced during one of the most notorious periods of American history, which included the Westward Movement and war with Native Americans (1840's-1890's), the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the California Gold Rush (1849), California statehood (1850), and the Civil War (1861-1865).
Needless to say, the possibilities relating to the origin of the coins are endless because of California's complex history. But then again this is part of the character of the West and what makes it such a mysterious, intriguing and interesting place to live and/or visit.
The fortunate couple plans to sell some of the coins and to use the money to pay off bills and donate to charity, including the homeless. They indicated that they definitely want to "give back" and feel compelled to do what they can to help those who are not so fortunate.