A man in Kentucky hit the jackpot after he discovered over 700 coins from the American Civil War era on his rural farm.
The findings have been nicknamed the “Great Kentucky Hoard” and include a group of 1863 Double Eagles and hundreds of U.S. gold dollars dated from 1850 to 1862, as well as a few silver coins, per Numismatic Guaranty Company®, which certified the pieces.
In a YouTube video posted by GovMint, one of the biggest collectible coin marketers in the United States, the unidentified man is seen digging up the pieces of treasure — potentially worth millions — from the dirt.
“This is the most insane thing ever,” he said. “These are all $1 gold coins, $20 gold coins, $10 gold coins and, look, I’m still diggin’ them out.”
The exact location where the coins were found also was not disclosed.
Ninety-five percent of the coins found are gold dollars, per GovMint. Also included are around 20 $10 Liberty coins from 1840 to 1862 and about eight $20 Liberty coins from 1857 to 1862.
Some of the rarest coins that they found were 1863-P $20 Gold Liberty coins, which are extremely hard to come by — and can command “a six-figure price,” according to GovMint. And they dug up 18 of them in the bounty.
The coin is so rare because they do not feature the phrase “In God We Trust” on them, according to Live Science. The motto was added to all gold and silver currency in 1866 after the end of the Civil War. Just one coin is estimated to potentially go for six figures, according to GovMint.
“While I’m always excited when someone calls asking for advice about a rare coin discovery, the opportunity to handle the Great Kentucky Hoard is one of the highlights of my career,” said Jeff Garrett, a rare coin dealer in the U.S.
“The importance of this discovery cannot be overstated, as the stunning number of over 700 gold dollars represents a virtual time capsule of Civil War-era coinage, including coins from the elusive Dahlonega Mint. Finding one Mint condition 1863 Double Eagle would be an important numismatic event,” he continued.
“Finding nearly a roll of superb examples is hard to comprehend.”
During the Civil War, Kentucky sat on the border of both Union and Confederate states.
In 1861, the state legislature declared its neutrality in the war, according to Middle Creek National Battlefield — but was largely under the control of the Union in 1862.
According to experts, the group of coins could have been a “result” of the conflict going on in Kentucky at the time, as many families were “pitted against each other” and it’s possible that the coins could have been lost.
Ryan McNutt, who is a conflict archeologist at Georgia Southern University, also told Live Science that the coins could have been “buried in advance of Confederate John Hunt Morgan’s June to July 1863 raid.”
The coins are available for purchase via GovMint.
“The coins, discovered in the ground and remarkably well preserved, possess an astonishing luster and a newfound freshness rarely observed in coins of this kind,” said Andy Salzberg, executive vice president of the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®), of which NGC is a part.
“NGC is incredibly delighted to have been selected as the preferred grading service for this extraordinary discovery, which can be deemed as a truly exceptional occurrence in a lifetime.”
However, these are not the only coins that have been found on people’s property in recent months.
Last month, a California man found 1 million pennies worth $10,000 in a basement crawlspace while cleaning out his late father-in-law’s home.
And, in July 2019, a couple in England found $800,000 worth of rare gold coins hidden under their kitchen floor.
One father even dumped 80,000 pennies on his estranged daughter’s lawn in June 2021 for his final child support payment.
The family planned to donate the money to a domestic abuse center.
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