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The California family who discovered over $10 Million in buried gold coins while walking their dog has decided to use the first piece of their newfound fortune to help save the National landmark where 1,312 of the 1,427 gold coins in the now-famous Saddle Ridge Hoard were struck.

San Francisco Mint

The family learned that a San Francisco non-profit, the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society (SFMHS), was attempting to raise money to renovate the second San Francisco Mint and develop an on-site museum, but that the funds raised thus far would not begin to meet the project’s needs.

In a bid to raise both money and awareness for the project, the family agreed to allow the SFMHS to auction an 1874-S $20 Double Eagle from the Saddle Ridge Hoard at the Mint during a fundraiser on Tuesday, May 27th.  The $20 gold piece, struck during the Mint’s first year of production, will be the first coin from the Saddle Ridge Hoard to be sold and is the only coin from the treasure that will be sold at auction.  The family also agreed to loan 60 coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard for display during the fundraiser.  The group will include an 1866-S No Motto $20 gold piece valued at over $1 Million and will be the largest number of coins from the hoard that will ever be seen together publicly.

“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 story of a family discovering a cache of 1,427 U.S. gold coins buried on their property has been reported by over 1,000,000 web sites and news agencies worldwide. The treasure, contained in eight buried cans, consists of four $5 gold pieces, fifty $10 gold pieces, and 1,373 $20 double eagles – most of which will be offered for sale by Kagin’s on immediately following the San Francisco Mint fundraiser.

“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.  This was a perfect opportunity to do just that.”

“The auction of the first Saddle Ridge Hoard coin represents a wonderful opportunity both to raise funds for the continued renovation of the Old Mint building and to bring greater awareness of this iconic landmark and the urgent need for funding its full restoration,” explained SFMHS president, Jim Lazarus.  He thanked the finders of the hoard “for their appreciation of the Old Mint’s connection to the Saddle Ridge Hoard and California history and their public-spirited generosity in donating the auction proceeds.”

The San Francisco Mint first opened in 1854, quickly becoming the largest Branch Mint in the United States.  California gold production soon overwhelmed the first Mint, and by 1870 construction had begun on a new mint, now affectionately known as The Granite Lady.  Opening in 1874, the second San Francisco Mint produced more coinage each year than all other U.S. Mints combined and was one of the few buildings that survived the 1906 earthquake that devastated San Francisco, becoming an essential part of efforts to rebuild the city.  In 2003, the U.S. Government Service Administration sold the Mint to the City of San Francisco for $1.  The City then awarded the SFMHS a lease to develop “The Granite Lady” as a museum of San Francisco and Gold Rush history.

Following the auction, at 9:00 PM Pacific Time (Midnight Eastern Time) the balance of the coins from the Saddle Ridge Treasure will be made available for sale live on the and websites. For further information contact Kirsten at or 415-435-2601.


1866-S $20 NO MOTTO PCGS MS62





Maybe there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In early spring 2013, while taking their dog on their daily walk, a young couple noticed a canister jutting out of the ground at the edge of the trail.  Their property in California’s gold country had a colorful history that stretched back to the earliest days of the gold rush, and they were accustomed to finding evidence of its past in the form of old nails, cans and tools buried around their land.

Using a nearby stick, they unearthed the can.  Unlike most of the containers that had turned up over the years, this one was sealed and very heavy – so heavy that they guessed that it must be full of old lead paint.  As the can was set down, the lid cracked off, exposing the edge of a single gold coin.  The couple immediately realized that they were looking at a proverbial “pot of gold”.

Returning to the site over the course of a week, they managed to locate another seven cans – each filled with rare gold coins.  In all, 1,427 U.S. gold coins with a face value of $27,980 were uncovered in an area that they nicknamed “Saddle Ridge” – little did they know that they had made the greatest find of buried treasure in U.S. history!

In all the treasure consists of 1,373 $20s, fifty $10s and four $5 gold pieces.

Recognizing the need for professional numismatic assistance, the owners contacted Kagin’s Inc. of Tiburon California, the nation’s oldest family owned rare coin dealership and gold coin specialists. They met with senior numismatist, David McCarthy, who informed the family of the significance of their discovery. He and Kagin counseled that the group would be best served by having Kagin’s professionally conserve each coin in order to restore its original luster and preserve the integrity of the coin’s surfaces.  Months of painstaking work resulted in an incredible transformation of the coins: in some cases, pieces that appeared to be no better than lumps of dirt or rust were transformed into pristine specimens, thereby adding millions of dollars to the value of the coins.

First Coin We Examined and Conserved

Once the coins had been conserved, Kagin’s arranged with the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) to authenticate, grade and encapsulate the coins in hermetically sealed plastic.

The certification revealed that over a dozen of the coins are either the finest known or tied for the finest known specimens of their respective dates.

“This super high quality hoard is a literal time capsule,” exclaimed PCGS founder David Hall, “The Saddle Ridge Hoard discovery is not only one of the most amazing numismatic stories; it also is an incredible human interest story!”

“This will be regarded as one of the best stories in the history of our hobby”, added PCGS President Don Willis.

Once the discovery of the Saddle Ridge Hoard was made public, the story went viral throughout the media – stories about the coins made their way around the world and onto over 1,000,000 websites.  Within a week, Kagin’s had been contacted by more prospective purchasers than there were coins in the entire hoard, and several individuals offered to buy the group outright; however, from the very beginning, the family that found the treasure felt very strongly that anyone interested in owning one of the coins should have an opportunity to buy one.

The collection includes the following:


1886-S $10 Liberty Eagle PCGS MS66 – Tied Finest Known

B.19-B – Cert # 28751209 ..... 1886-S $10 Liberty PCGS MS66 – Tied Finest Known


1866-S $20 No Motto PCGS MS62 – Finest Known

B.20-A – Cert # 28824709 ..... 1866-S $20 No Motto PCGS MS62 – Finest Known


1866-S $20 With Motto PCGS MS62+ – Finest Known

B.20-B – Cert # 28824710 ..... 1866-S $20 With Motto PCGS MS62+ - Finest Known


1877-S $20 Type-III PCGS MS65 – Tied Finest Known

B.22-A – Cert # 28810233 ..... 1877-S $20 Type-III PCGS MS65 – Tied Finest Known


1890-S $20 Type-III PCGS MS66+ – Finest Known

B.23-A – Cert # 28810300 ..... 1890-S $20 Type-III PCGS MS66+ - Finest Known


It was with this in mind that Kagin’s was able to strike an unprecedented deal with to make approximately 90% of the coins available on this website.  It is the first major sale of such a collection on Amazon, and may be the first hoard of major historical significance to be offered outside of traditional numismatic channels

Congratulations, to all successful purchasers of a coin from the Saddle Ridge Hoard, you will be owning a timeless piece of American History!

Added Benefits ……..

  • Kagin’s will sponsor a one year online membership in the American Numismatic Association for every purchaser of a Saddle Ridge coin
  • A free copy of Dr. Kagin’s new book, Profit from Gold and Rare Coins Now.
  • Each buyer will receive a free copy of A Guidebook to U.S. Coins (Red Book) courtesy of Whitman Publishing Company.
  • Purchasers will receive a one month virtual subscription to Coin World compliments of Amos Press.

Anyone not purchasing a Saddle Ridge Hoard coin but wanting to “own the story” can order a copy of the 30 page Saddle Ridge Hoard Treasure Brochure, a free 3-month online membership in the American Numismatic Association, and a free Washington Quarter collecting folder and a pamphlet offering a 3-month free trial of Whitman Red Book on-line compliments of Whitman publishing. For just the cost of Postage & Handling – $5.99




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