The anonymous Northern California couple found 1,427 mint-condition gold coins that could be worth as much as $10 million stashed in buried, metal cans. The coins, all dated from 1847 to 1894, could be the most valuable stash of gold currency ever discovered in North America.
"I don't like to say once-in-a-lifetime for anything, but you don't get an opportunity to handle this kind of material, a treasure like this, ever," numismatist Don Kagin told the Marin Independent Journal. "It's like they found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."
The discovery has been dubbed the Saddle Ridge Treasure after a feature of the family’s property.
“We all dream about discovering buried treasure; seeing the real thing in person -- piles of gold coins encrusted in dirt and rust -- the experience was just indescribable,” said senior numismatist David McCarthy. “Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine coins coming out of the ground in the kind of condition that I saw in front of me. Many pieces were finer than anything known in major collections or museums.”
The face value of the coins is about $27,000, but coin experts believe some of them could sell for nearly $1 million apiece.