The Saddle Ridge Treasure of U.S. Gold Coins
The story of the Gold Rush and the American frontier in the 19th Century has captured the imagination of people around the world, expressing itself in art, literature and numerous movies. Tales of pioneers, prospectors, ranchers, outlaws and the host of other colorful characters who populated the Wild West have fascinated millions of people for over a century, while many of the realities of a life lived on the edge of civilization have taken on the aura of myth.
Today, tales of buried treasure are an accepted part of this Western lore, but few people stop to think that these legends spring from the actual stories of men and women doing their best to get by in a world where banks didn’t exist on every corner, and the few that did often failed.
In California’s gold country, the legend of buried treasure has become one family’s reality. While taking their dog on his daily walk across their property, a couple noticed a partially buried can jutting out of the ground.
Using a stick, they were able to dislodge the can and decided to carry it back to their house. The can was unusually heavy, but nothing could have prepared them for what they would find when they pried the lid open: mixed in with dirt and stones, they could see the edges of numerous U.S. $20 gold pieces—a literal pot of gold!
They returned to the site and immediately located the remains of another can, buried a bit deeper and about a foot to the left of the first can. Rust had consumed about half of the can’s sides, exposing another cache of gold coins. Repeated trips to the site (and the help of a metal detector) eventually uncovered a total of eight cans filled with over 1,400 rare U.S. gold coins.
This turned out to be just the beginning of their good luck – somehow, despite being buried for over a hundred years, many of the coins were preserved in pristine condition; some being finer than anything seen to date.