Buried for more than a century, 1,400 gold coins — worth an estimated $10 million — were unearthed in a California backyard in 2014. The middle-aged California couple who discovered the eight decaying tin cans full of gold remain anonymous.
Where did the gold come from?
The tale grew even more curious as we discovered that $30,000 worth of similar gold coins — that amount would be in the millions in today’s dollars — had been stolen from the U.S. Mint in San Francisco in 1901. Soon we were all playing a game of whodunit.
Former San Francisco Mint clerk Walter N. Dimmick was charged with that theft, but, by the prosecution’s own admission, he was convicted on wholly circumstantial evidence. Despite the fact that the Secret Service searched all over California for those coins, they were never found.
But maybe that couple living in Northern California finally did.
The Saddle Ridge Hoard is the name given to identify a treasure trove of 1,427 gold coins unearthed in the Gold Country of the Sierra Nevada, California in 2013. The face value of the coins totaled $27,980, but was assessed to be worth $10 million. In total, the hoard contains $27,460 in twenty-dollar coins, $500 in ten-dollar coins, and $20 in five-dollar coins, all dating from 1847 to 1894. The collection is the largest known discovery of buried gold coins that has ever been recovered in the US.