California couple finds large gold coin hoard

Gold double eagles could be valued at $10 million
By Paul Gilkes and Steve Roach , Coin World
Published : 03/03/14
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A California couple’s daily outing with their dog led to an amazing and unexpected discovery: a buried gold coin hoard whose value a dealer says could top $10 million.

What is being called the “Saddle Ridge Hoard” consists of 1,427 19th century gold coins found in eight metal canisters in California’s gold country. The majority of the coins, which range from 1847 to 1894, are Coronet $20 double eagles struck at the San Francisco Mint from 1855 to 1894.

The coins have been certified by Professional Coin Grading Service, and more than a dozen of the coins are either the finest or tied for the finest PCGS has graded for the specific date and Mint.

Selected coins from the hoard were displayed at the recent American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Atlanta.

PCGS President Don Willis said in a Feb. 26 press release that was distributed on Feb. 25: “The Saddle Ridge Hoard discovery is not only one of the most amazing numismatic stories I’ve heard, it also is an incredible human interest story! This is one of the best stories in the history of our hobby.“

The coins were discovered by a couple while they were taking their dog on its daily walk on their northern California property in February 2013.

David McCarthy, senior numismatist at Kagin’s, in Tiburon, Calif., performed the initial evaluation and inventory of the treasure; Kagin’s will be marketing the hoard.

He said that the couple had walked this path for years and one day saw an old rusty can that had popped slightly out of the ground. The hoard got its name from the couple’s nickname for the property: Saddle Ridge.

An incredible buried treasure

McCarthy called his experience in working with the couple and the coins “Incredible.”

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