Editor's note: The Top 10 Stories of 2014 have been judged
by Coin World staff to be the most impactful and memorable
numismatic stories of the past year. They are not ranked in any
See all of the Top 10 Stories of 2014
Every day for years a California couple walked with their dog in the
hills of California gold country unaware that right below their feet
was a buried
gold coin hoard.
But one day in February 2013 they found what eventually came to be
known as the “Saddle Ridge Hoard,” consisting of 1,427 19th
century gold coins in eight metal canisters.
In February 2014, Kagin’s Inc. in Tiburon, Calif., made news of the
hoard public. Don Kagin, president of the firm, put the value of the
coins at $10 million plus.
The majority of the coins, which range from 1847 to 1894, are
Coronet $20 double eagles struck at the San Francisco Mint from 1855
The coins were certified by Professional Coin Grading Service, and
more than a dozen of the coins were either the finest or tied for the
finest PCGS has graded for the specific date and Mint.
David McCarthy, senior numismatist at Kagin’s, performed the initial evaluation and inventory of the treasure
and is marketing the hoard.
McCarthy 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:
The couple, in their 40s and self-employed, wished to remain anonymous.
McCarthy called his experience in working with the couple and the
coins “incredible,” adding, “We all dream about discovering buried
treasure; seeing the real thing in person — piles of gold coins
encrusted in dirt and rust.”
The highlight of the hoard is an 1866-S Coronet, No Motto gold $20 double eagle
graded PCGS Mint State 62 that is the finest known certified by
the grading service. Kagin’s estimates its worth at around $1 million.
Approximately 90 percent of the coins were made available for
purchase via retailer Amazon. Visit Amazon.com, type “Collectibles &
Fine Art” into the search box, then search for the term “Saddle Ridge.” Some 137 coins from the hoard
were still available at Amazon as of Dec. 23.
More from CoinWorld.com:
time capsule opened, Pine Tree shilling and other coins found inside
70 Enhanced Uncirculated 2014-D Native American dollars sell for
Mint making Proof 2015-W silver American Eagles available for more
customers during FUN Show
U.S. coin market overall near $5 billion say PNG officials (not
counting Mint sales)
patterns in the Top 10 Stories of 2014
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