A senior expert at the firm representing a Northern California couple who discovered buried gold coins worth $10 million says he has not received any credible claims to the huge find and does not expect to.
The Saddle Ridge Hoard, named for the space on their property, may be the most valuable cache ever found in North America, with an estimated value of more than $10 million. If you melted the coins, the gold alone would be worth $2 million, said David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Services in Newport Beach, who recently authenticated them.
Thirteen of the coins are the finest of their kind. One "miraculous coin," an 1866 $20 piece made in San Francisco and missing "In God We Trust," could bring $1 million on its own, Hall said. When the motto was added to the coin in 1866, some were still minted without the phrase, he said.
The coins were never recovered.
Each bag of coins in Dimmick's cache would have contained coins with the same date and mint mark, said David McCarthy, senior numismatist for Kagin's Inc., which evaluated the Saddle Ridge Hoard.
The cache discovered last year contains a mix of coins with 72 distinct date and mint mark combinations, he said. The 1,427 coins, most of them $20 pieces, are dated between 1847 and 1894.
"That's 12 times as many permutations as we should have if it was the group that Dimmick defalcated with," McCarthy said, adding that it's doubtful the mint would have coins made more than 50 years earlier still in its stocks.