Saddle Ridge Hoard Gold Coins Go on Sale

by Darrin Lee Unser on May 27, 2014 · 11 comments

A hoard of 19th century gold coins discovered in the ground last year will once again see intense interest as the family who found them proceeds with their sale.

Saddle Ridge Hoard Gold Coins

Cans of Saddle Ridge Hoard Gold Coins

Adding to the excitement, one of the gold coins will be auctioned to raise money for the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society (SFMHS) to help its efforts in saving the national landmark where a majority of the coins were struck.

1,427 gold coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard, named for a hill near where they were found in buried cans, include strikes dating from 1847 to 1894. Most are $20 Liberty Double Eagles produced at the San Francisco Mint.

1886-S $10 PCGS MS66, Saddle Saddle Ridge Hoard

One of the gold coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard, a 1886-S $10 Gold Piece graded PCGS MS66

A young couple walking their dog found the stash in eight sealed cans. The couple originally sought the assistance of David McCarthy, senior numismatist at Kagin’s Inc of Tiburon, California, who helped to conserve and catalog the find before independent authentication and grading was completed by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). PCGS determined that more than a dozen of the gold coins were either the finest known or tied as the finest known examples in the PCGS Population Report. In total, the hoard featured a face value of $27,980, but their value to collectors is estimated at more than $10 million.

Preceding the sale is the auction of an 1874-S $20 Double Eagle from the Saddle Ridge Hoard. The auction is scheduled during a fundraiser on Tuesday, May 27 at the second San Francisco Mint location with proceeds to benefit the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society. The SFMHS plans to develop an on-site museum at the old minting facility.

"I applaud the discoverers of the Saddle Ridge Hoard for making a charitable donation their first act," noted Don Kagin, Ph.D., president of Kagin’s, Inc., the numismatic firm that will sell the balance of the hoard, "Their thoughtful generosity will significantly increase awareness of this wonderful architectural icon and the need for capital infusion to develop space that is currently underutilized into a state-of-the-art San Francisco History, Gold Rush and Money Museum."

The San Francisco Mint opened at its second location in 1874 and became affectionately known as The Granite Lady. It was sold by the U.S. government in 2003 to the city of San Francisco who in turn leased it to the SFMHS for a museum of San Francisco and Gold Rush history.

"The family loved the idea that these coins could help in the effort to restore the building where most of the Saddle Ridge Hoard coins were made,"says David McCarthy, Senior Numismatist at Kagin’s,"Gratitude has been one of the words that has come up in nearly all of our conversations. The family believes that gratitude is not just a feeling – it is a responsibility to share their good fortune."

The Saddle Ridge Hoard include 1,373 $20 Double Eagles, 50 $10 gold coins and 4 $5 gold coins. Following the completion of the auction, at 9:00 PM Pacific Time, the remainder of the gold coins will be made available for sale on the websites of Kagins.com and Amazon.com.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Frederick Crews May 27, 2014 at 6:23 pm

The value of money sure is funny!

Boz May 27, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Hard to understand how “hot” coins stolen from the mint by a government employee can be sold privately even after 100 years.

C. May 27, 2014 at 9:15 pm

And why did you assume they were stolen? You are misinformed for sure.

Vachon May 28, 2014 at 9:52 am

And here I thought I was fortunate when I found a dateless Type II Standing Liberty quarter that had been unearthed at a construction site…

Ilovesilver May 28, 2014 at 10:29 am

just saw the $1.2 M gold coin sold, people are getting rich, ?

Ilovesilver May 28, 2014 at 10:39 am

Those GOLD COINS was belong to US Mint and US Government , that mean is illegal to sell and own by private

drew scott May 28, 2014 at 11:03 am

These coins are dated between 1847 to 1894 with different mint marks on them. Everyone says it’s unlikely the SF Mint would have held onto these coins. Even the US Government said there’s no connection with these coins and concluded the case to be closed.

Not sure why so many folks are wanting to side with the Government on this. Must be jealousy.

Boz May 28, 2014 at 11:59 am

This was all on earlier thread. The clerk from the mint got off a train carrying two heavy satchels within walking distance. He served time in prison but never disclosed the location of the coins. The number of stolen coins was identical to those found. Just a coin incidence one must presume.

Joe May 28, 2014 at 11:59 am

Unbelievable condition, high end quality. The gold coins didn’t get banged up being in the ground in cans for so long. Great score.

Kevin May 29, 2014 at 1:09 am

The govt will recoup lots of $ in taxes from the sale.

Mike Irwin May 29, 2014 at 6:29 am

Those of you that side with the assumption that they were stolen from the mint even though the U.S. Government does not, obviously you have a socialist mentality. So I guess you better go check to see that your welfare credit cards have been loaded at the end of the month. Your Uncle Obama will see you’re covered. If you had found the gold I’m sure you would have given them back to Obama.

Leave a Comment