There’s something special about fields full of golden ears of corn. But, while any farmer is happy to see a healthy crop growing in the soil, one Kentucky man discovered a cache of actual gold in his field earlier this year.
The cache, which has since been aptly named The Great Kentucky Hoard, includes more than 700 gold coins from the Civil War era. The U.S. pieces are mainly gold, with a few silver pieces reportedly dating between 1840 and 1863.
The discoverer’s identity will remain confidential, as will the exact location of the find, but videos of him unearthing his treasure can be found circling the internet. The total value of the haul has also not been released, but according to Numismatic Guaranty Co., a company that certified the coins, one of the coins found is an 1873 $20 Gold Liberty coin that’s been recorded as being sold at $100,000. The cache reportedly includes over 80 of these coins as well as 600 $1 dollar coins.
Realistically, the entire lot is estimated to be worth millions.
Despite being buried for over a century, the coins were well-preserved and entrusted to rare coin dealer Jeff Garrett for grading, who told NGC, “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.”
Kentucky, the Bluegrass State, played an essential role in the American Civil War. Located between Union states in the North and Confederate states in the South, the state’s Governor, Beriah Magoffin, confirmed the state’s neutrality with the “Kentucky Declaration of Neutrality.” Despite their neutral stance, coin experts assert that The Great Kentucky Hoard may have resulted due to conflict within the state.
“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. Finding nearly a roll of superb examples is hard to comprehend,” said Garrett.
GovMint, one of the largest rare coin retailers in the country, was chosen to offer the hoard to collectors. Each piece has been preserved and encapsulated with an NGC Great Kentucky Hoard certification label.