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.
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.
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.