Finding riches in the great outdoors

A hiker in Israel found a rare gold coin of the Roman Empire recently, becoming the latest outdoor explorer to “strike it rich” while wandering the woods and walking among wildlife. There was no greater find story in the wild, however, than the 2013 Saddle Ridge Hoard here in America. 

Full video transcript:

Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief. I’m Jeff Starck of Coin World.

I am so thrilled that spring has finally arrived! And what better time to get outdoors and explore this great big, beautiful world? And, if you’re lucky, you might just find riches.

One hiker in Israel recently made the find of a lifetime, discovering a rare gold aureus of Roman emperor Trajan. What makes this coin special is the fact that it is only one of two known examples of the specific design type.

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The gold aureus comes from a series of “restoration” coins honoring past rulers and deeds, and the rare aureus depicts Emperor Augustus, who was also known as Gaius Octavius. Now, Augustus was the founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor.

The other example of the rare design type is part of the British Museum’s collection. While the Israel Antiquities Authority has not announced plans for the coin, the finder will only receive a certificate of appreciation from the nation for discovering the rarity.

You don’t have to go to Israel to stumble upon buried treasure and untold riches, however. You may remember the Saddle Ridge Hoard of California, which was discovered in 2013 and announced in May of 2014.

A couple walking their dogs on their property in the Sierra Nevada Mountains discovered the coins, which were stashed in eight metal cans. Many coins in the Saddle Ridge Hoard are Coronet gold $20 double eagles dated between 1855 and 1894, struck at the San Francisco Mint.

The collection is worth an estimated $10 million according to Kagin’s, the California dealer who helped the finders market the collection.

RELATED: Early sales of Saddle Ridge hoard of United States gold coins top $4.1 million mark

I love a good hike, but so far the only treasures I’ve found are refreshing oxygen, dynamic vistas, and sore legs. Keep on dreaming, though, right?

Whether it’s buried treasure or treasured memories of building your coin set from circulation, Coin World covers it all. Just follow us on Twitter, at Facebook, online at, and of course, in print in your mailbox.

Coin World, I’m Jeff Starck. Happy collecting!

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