Heartland Mysteries: Origin of $10 Million Buried Treasure Still Unknown
Heartland Mysteries: Origin of $10 Million Buried Treasure Still Unknown

It could be hard to believe that the romantic and fantastical notion of discovering buried treasure in America in the 21st century is actually possible. But, that is precisely what happened to a couple last year in the California Gold Country.

The couple decided to walk a route through their property near Saddle Ridge, Calif., that they had walked many times before. Only this time they discovered an odd can sticking out of the ground. Soon the couple uncovered a total of seven odd cans, and inside a total of 1,427 gold coins.

The coins date from between 1847 and 1894 and are mostly $20 pieces that are worth approximately $28,000 at face value and could fetch $10 million dollars total today at auction, according to Tribune Newspapers.

The couple has decided to remain anonymous and only revealed their story last month after the coins had been removed, cleaned, authenticated, and cased. But, the mystery remains as to how the coins came to be buried on the couple’s property.

A popular theory suggests the coins were part of the 1901 San Francisco Mint theft in which $30,000 in $20 coins was stolen and never recovered. Chief Clerk Walter Dimmick served time in San Quinton Prison for the theft.

“We do not have any information linking the Saddle Ridge Hoard coins to any thefts at any United States Mint facility,” US Mint spokesperson Adam Stump told CNN.

Another theory suggests that the coins are related to the activities of the subversive Confederate group the Knights of the Golden Circle, who are believed to have buried treasure across the United States.

A third theory says it could simply be the buried fortune of a businessman. Or even that the person who buried the hoard buried the stash over many years in order to keep it safe. Many people claiming that the treasure belonged to relatives who once owned the land have come forward, but so far there haven’t been any verified claims to the fortune.

Thirteen of the gold coins are the best in any collection. One in particular is a rare 1866 $20 piece minted in San Francisco that is missing the phrase, “In God We Trust.” This one coin alone could fetch $1 million or more.

  • BungeeCord

    I’d be happy to solve the mystery of who should have them! No one wants to see any gold coins go homeless.

    • HeyJude

      So that’s where I left them, Bungee! I was pulling out couches, checking cushions, and they were safe in the ground all that time. :-) Pretty cool, though, isn’t it? The mystery is as interesting as the monetary value.

      • rg9rts

        Check the pootie pile

  • Unlisted2u

    This is both an amazing find and an interesting story..

    One of the ‘problems’ I have with the vast majority of online news these days is the recent trend toward what I call “News Light.”
    With very little effort and a quick Google search for CA newspapers + this find there’s a wealth of additional information available for augmenting this story — which if added would make a much more interesting read while also setting ET a notch or three above all the other online news sources out there that are content with the trending News Light format..

    I’m hoping you read the comments, Paul — because this article can easily be added to in a manner that will set a much higher bar for your competitors to chase.. Believe it or not, there really are people still out here who want more than just the basic teaser headline / story..

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