Saddle Ridge Hoard of Buried Gold Coins Authenticated by PCGS

1886-S $10 Gold Coin, Saddle Ridge Hoard
One of the gold coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard

19th century gold coins estimated at a value of more than $10 million were discovered last year buried on private property in California.

These same coins were recently authenticated by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) with a portion of the treasure to make a public debut at the upcoming ANA National Money Show in Atlanta.

1,427 gold coins were found in February 2013 by a couple as they were walking on their property near a hill they had named Saddle Ridge. They contacted David McCarthy, senior numismatist at Kagin’s Inc of Tiburon, California, who did an initial evaluation and inventory.

The "Saddle Ridge Hoard" was found to contain well over a thousand coins dated from 1847 to 1894, the majority of which were $20 Liberty Double Eagles struck at the San Francisco Mint.

"This is the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," stated Don Kagin, President of Kagin’s. "What’s really significant about this find is that this treasure combines a great quantity of pristine coins along with a great human interest story."

The find, touted as "one of the greatest buried treasures ever unearthed in the United States," has been authenticated, graded and certified by PCGS.

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

Of the graded coins, more than a dozen have been classified as either the finest known or tied as the finest known examples in the PCGS Population Report.

"What is really special about this discovery is the incredible quality of many of these coins," commented David Hall, PCGS Co-Founder and Collectors Universe, Inc.

"I’ve always called rare coins ‘history in your hands’ and the Saddle Ridge Hoard is a historical time capsule of immense numismatic importance."

Some of the gold coins will appear at the American Numismatic Association National Money Show to be held in Atlanta from February 27 – March 1, 2014. The certified coins will feature a special gold-colored foil "Saddle Ridge Hoard" PCGS certification insert label.

The complete collection has a combined face value of $27,980 but has been estimated with a current market value of over $10 million.

The couple who found the treasure has asked to remain anonymous and have chosen not to disclose the location of the original find.

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Any thoughts of how this find and pending auction might affect sales and market of similar aged gold coins of not so mint condition?


Gerry McGuire

Not much. They are really two different markets, with intense buying pressure at the higher grades and far less for lower grades.


WOW, Great story, it is just fantastic to hear a story like this, them lucky people, I hope they somehow can show them thru a news story after the grading, would be great to hear about the history of the most oldest coins in the lot !! so we can all enjoy a super great find !!! excellent stuff !!!


This couple appears to have discovered the long missing gold stolen from the SF mint in 1901 –

Tim O'Fallon

David, you asked how this discovery would affect the market of other, similar gold coins in lower grade.

Over time, finds like this (the Saddle Ridge Hoard) cause more buyers to enter the rare coin market, and this causes pressure from the demand side for all better U.S. Coins. The trend, in a few years, should be positive on rare U.S. Gold as an indirect result of this offering.

Having said that, I would focus on buying gold coins with a favorable price/rarity ratio, which should benefit the most. I’m always analyzing that stuff 🙂


So wonder if some forensics would disclose a relationship between Mr Dimmick and the people who “discovered” the loot last year? If so, like the purloined 1933 coins, the government could show up at any time and confiscate them. I would be very leery of buying anything that could have been stolen in the past.


So where did Walter Dimmick live back in the day? Any wife or kids? The coins last seen on the Southern Pacific commuter train at Oakland?

Gerry McGuire

All in all an amazing story.


Worthy of a geraldo Rivera TV special.

Raquel Ortiz

Where can I authentic a coin that I have in Tampa, Fl.!