Gold Coins Found in Sierra Up For Sale

Cache of pristine 19th-century ducats could fetch $10 million

By Chris Roberts and Jean Elle
|  Tuesday, May 27, 2014  |  Updated 11:28 PM PDT
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The stash of 19th-century gold coins found in the Sierra Nevada mountains in February by a couple out walking their dog is up for sale. Jean Elle reports.

The stash of 19th-century gold coins found in the Sierra Nevada mountains in February by a couple out walking their dog is up for sale. Jean Elle reports.

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Nobody knows where it came from. But wherever the Saddle Ridge Hoard ends up, it'll be somewhere rich.

The stash of 19th-century gold coins found in the Sierra Nevada mountains in February by a couple out walking their dog is up for sale.

The bidding opens Tuesday evening, after a viewing at 7:30 p.m. at San Francisco's Old Mint -- where many of the coins were stamped -- but the bar's been set high.

The cache is expected to fetch up to $10 million, officials said..

Sixty of the coins were on display before an 1874 coin was sold at auction. The coin was sold Tuesday night for $15,000.

The rest will go for fixed prices via prominent online retailer Amazon.

Of the coins, the most valuable is an 1866 "Double Eagle" $20 coin. Face value: $1 million, the newspaper reported.

The coins, which date from 1847 to 1894, are notable for being the largest gold hoard ever discovered in the United States. Some of the coins are also -- literally -- in mint condition, having never been circulated, the newspaper reported.

Theories about their origin vary. They could be a Black Bart haul. Maybe they're Jesse James's coins. But experts have dismissed these suggestions, leaving nothing but guesswork.

That, and a lot of paper money in the bank for the lucky anonymous couple.

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