Mint, researchers dispel Saddle Ridge rumor

Gold hoard not linked to San Francisco Mint thefts
By , Coin World
Published : 03/07/14
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The gold coins in the Saddle Ridge Hoard are not stolen U.S. Mint property, according to the Mint and to two researchers.

Researchers Richard Kelly and Nancy Oliver have extensively researched the records of the San Francisco Mint. They have concluded there’s no possible way the hoard of gold coins, today valued at $10 million, discovered on a northern California property in February 2013 are those stolen from the facility by Mint employee Walter N. Dimmick in 1901.

U.S. Mint officials agree.

Adam Stump, deputy director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications, said via email March 6: “We do not have any information linking the Saddle Ridge Hoard coins to any thefts at any United States Mint facility.”

A March 4 article in the San Francisco Chronicle quotes Stump as saying, “We’ve done quite a bit of research, and we’ve got a crack team of lawyers, and trust me, if this was U.S. government property we’d be going after it.”

Dimmick was convicted and served prison time for stealing $30,000 face value in gold coins at the beginning of the 20th century. 

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, dated from 1847 to 1894, are Uncirculated Coronet gold $20 double eagles struck at the San Francisco Mint from 1855 to 1894.

The hoard is currently being marketed by Kagin’s, located in Tiburon, Calif.

Researchers comment

Kelly and Oliver, frequent contributors to Coin World, state there is no truth to rumors that began circulating soon after the Feb. 25, 2014, announcement of the hoard’s existence that the coins from the hoard and those stolen by Dimmick are one and the same.

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