A US couple who unearthed gold coins worth more than $10 million might have to return them as they may have been stolen, a report said.
The California couple uncovered eight cans filled with more than 1,400 coins on their property, in what is believed to be the most valuable treasure trove ever discovered in the United States.
They took them to a firm specializing in ancient coins, Kagin’s Inc, which valued them and announced last week that they will sell them, via online retail giant Amazon.
But on Monday the San Francisco Chronicle linked the find — called the Saddle Ridge Treasure trove — to a robbery at the San Francisco Mint.
It published a newspaper report from January 1, 1900, referring to the recent theft which it said mostly involved mint, uncirculated coins, with an overall face value of up to $27,000 — similar to the Saddle Ridge trove.
Company boss Donald Kagin however told AFP he was “very confident” that the Saddle Ridge trove was not linked to the San Francisco Mint theft.
He cited records from the time of the San Francisco theft suggesting it involved five canvas sacks filled with $20 gold coins — whereas the Saddle Ridge horde also had $10 and other coins.
In addition the stolen coins “would have all been mint state, recently struck coins,” he said.
He also pointed to a statement from the US Mint in Washington, sent to him in an email, which said: “We do not have any information linking the Saddle Ridge Hoard coins to any thefts at any US Mint facility.”
Kagin said plans to sell the Saddle Ridge hoard in about two months remain in place.
Asked if he could guarantee to the couple, named only as John and Mary, that there would be no hitches in the sale, he said: “Nobody can guarantee anything.