A California couple who unearthed a trove of gold coins on their property are a few million dollars richer after the treasure was sold at auction. The unnamed couple uncovered eight cans filled with more than 1,400 coins in March, in what is believed to be the most valuable such find ever in the United States.
On Tuesday night the coins went on sale, and made more than US$1 million in the first hour, said Don Kagin of Kagin's, a firm specialising in ancient coins that valued the whole collection at US$10 million.
Proceeds from the first coin to be sold, a US$20 piece dating from 1874 which was snapped up for US$15,000, went to help the San Francisco Mint's restoration fund, Kagin said. Nearly half the cache was sold within the first 24 hours, he added.
The so-called Saddle Ridge Treasure trove is named after a feature on the couple's property, in an area of Northern California known for buried treasure since the gold rush in the 19th century.
The couple, named only as John and Mary, said they were simply taking their dog for its daily walk when they made the find.