Nation

Calif. couple unearths $10 million in gold

David Hall, cofounder of Professional Coin Grading Service in Santa Ana, Calif., showed some of 1,427 gold coins found underground.
Reed Saxon/Associated Press
David Hall, cofounder of Professional Coin Grading Service in Santa Ana, Calif., showed some of 1,427 gold coins found underground.

LOS ANGELES — A Northern California couple out walking their dog on their property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of a tree.

Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to 1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition, said David Hall, cofounder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, which recently authenticated them. Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds up to about $27,000, some of them are so rare that coin experts say they could fetch nearly $1 million apiece.

Veteran numismatist Don Kagin, who is representing the finders, said, ‘‘It’s like they found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.’’

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Kagin would say little about the couple other than that they are husband and wife, are middle-aged, and have lived for several years on the rural property in California’s Gold Country, where the coins were found. They have no idea who put them there, he said.

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The coins had been buried by a path the couple had walked for years.

On the day they found them last spring, the woman had bent over to examine an old rusty can that erosion had caused to pop slightly out of the ground.

Associated Press