Buried treasure and the stories that make our hobby so fun
- Published: Feb 27, 2014, 7 PM
The announcement this week that a $10 million treasure of 1,427 19th century gold coins, called the Saddle Ridge Hoard, is the kind of story that gets people excited about collecting coins.
Expensive gold coins!
Millions of dollars!
The finest known examples!
It is one of those occasional stories that get the attention of mainstream news and move numismatics to the mainstream.
Add in Kagins president Don Kagins statement, printed in various forms, that the family found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and its clear that few other stories have seemed so well-suited to making noncollectors curious about our hobby.
Then theres the sales strategy that includes the worlds largest online retailer, Amazon.com. With this marketing partner, the coins from the hoard have a chance to reach a wider audience than they likely otherwise would.
This hoard, as with many hoards, is characterized by a fact: for every one extraordinary coin, there are many more regular coins that, but for their presence in the hoard, would be considered ordinary by collectors.
To add to the story, the couple who found the coins — they wish to remain anonymous but are in their 40s, identified as Mary and John and self-employed — give a great interview.
When asked why they were lucky enough to find the treasure, if it was divine intervention or karma, Mary referred to her interest in astrology and said: "Actually, I did look back at it. Its very funny, my [astrological chart] did talk about treasure, but it was more about the treasure of spirit. ..."
Upon getting an inkling of what the coins were worth, John said, "I dug a hole under the wood pile and got a slab of green board to cover it, put the coins in plastic bags, then put them in a box inside an old ice chest and buried them."
Thus, the buried treasure was buried once again.
John added, "Yeah — the old-timers had it right — its safer than a bank." A bit more interesting, too.