Couple Discovers 1,400 Buried Coins in Backyard, Worth at least $10 Million

Three months ago, a couple in Northern California discovered about 1,400 rare, mint-condition gold coins from the 19th century buried in their backyard — and on Tuesday evening, they auctioned off some of these coins at the Old San Francisco Mint and found out just how much their backyard dig was worth.

According to USA Today, one of the coins, an 1874 $20 double eagle normally worth $4,250 — sold for $15,000. Despite the fact that in 2013, gold’s market value fell by 28%, demand for rare coins in good condition remains strong as ever.

Because the coins were discovered in mint condition and are so rare, their worth to buyers and collectors increases significantly. According to USA Today, several individual coins could sell for as much as $1 million. The coins, in denominations of $5, 10 and $20 and worth almost $28,000 in face value, is anticipated to fetch at least $10 million when sold.

About 60 of the coins will be used in an exhibit at the Old Mint Building. The proceeds from the auction of the 1874 $20 Double Eagle will be used toward maintenance and repairs of the historic mint, USA Today reported. The LA Times reported that the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society hopes to also use the money toward its goal of renovating a second mint and developing a museum onsite. The rest of the collection will be sold individually on, with bidding prices starting at $2,575.

However, not all of the coins will be sold — according to the LA Times, the couple who found the coins plan to keep a few as keepsakes. 

The coins’ mint dates range from 1847 to 1894 and most were minted at the Old San Francisco Mint. There are several claims of where the coins came from and how they got there, but none have yet been proven to be true, USA Today reported.

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