A Northern California couple walking their dog stumbled across what is likely to be the largest treasure trove in US history.
10 million dollars in gold coins minted at the end of the 19th century, laid out in six metal cans and buried right in the yard of the lucky spouses - they, of course, could not even think of such a treasure.
Most of the 1427 coins found are in excellent condition, and at least one of them should go under the hammer for $1 million, according to predictions from Tiburon, Calif., antique coin dealer Kagin.
The happy family literally found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The importance of this find is due to the fact that, unlike the bulk of the treasures, this treasure includes coins from different years, and many of them have not been touched by time.
Kagin President, Donald Kagin
The couple introduced themselves to the press as "John and Mary", but in fact wished to remain anonymous - not least in order to prevent the start of the "California gold rush" right in their possessions.
In an interview for the Kagin website, “John” said that he often passed by the place where the treasure was buried, but had not noticed the jar sticking out of the ground before. The first jar, according to John, was so heavy that he thought it was filled with white lead.
I couldn't figure out what could weigh so much. Then the lid gave way, and the edge of a gold coin appeared from under it ... It was a very surreal moment. It was hard to believe that this was actually happening. It seemed to me that at any moment an old miner with his mule would appear around the corner.
Soon the couple found four more cans, and then, using a metal detector, they found a sixth.
The number of $20 coins in the incredible find is almost 1400, $10 coins are fifty, and four more coins have a face value of $5. Minting dates on the coins range from 1847 to 1894. Based on these dates and the state of the coins, the researchers suggest that the coins were buried in several batches in the late 19th century. Irvine, California's Professional Coin Grading Service has confirmed the authenticity of the coins.
Most of the loot - about 90 percent - will be sold on Amazon Collectibles, but the couple plans to keep some of the gold as a memento. In addition, some of the John and Mary coins are going to be donated to museums and the local community.
As for the lessons the couple learned from the incredible event, “Mary” says she understood one thing for sure: “Whatever answers you're looking for, they can literally be on your doorstep. Solution of our (financial) difficulties we have trampled under our own feet for years. So don't be taller than bending down and checking what's in a rusty can."