A couple living in aptly named Gold Country, California has found a cache of gold coins buried on their property:
A Northern California couple out walking their dog on their Gold Country property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an old tree.
Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to 1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition, said David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, which recently authenticated them.
What were the coins doing buried under a tree? Well, on March 10 1933
Saint President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6073. In this order, FDR declared that
No permission to any banking institution to perform any banking functions shall authorize such institution to pay out any gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates except as authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury, nor to allow withdrawal of any currency for hoarding, nor to engage in any transaction in foreign exchange except such as may be undertaken for legitimate and normal business requirements, for reasonable traveling and other personal requirements, and for the fulfillment of contracts entered into prior to March 6, 1933.
What this meant was that American citizens could no longer demand gold in exchange for dollars. On April 5, 1933 FDR issued Executive Order 6102, which required all gold and gold certificates held by American citizens to be delivered to the federal government.
Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve Bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933…
Section 5. Member banks shall deliver all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates owned or received by them (other than as exempted under the provisions of Section 2) to the Federal Reserve Banks of their respective districts and receive credit or payment therefore.
Citizens who refused to turn over these items were threatened with a fine of $10,000 (over $180,000 today) and up to 10 years in prison:
Section 9. Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order or of these regulations or of any rule, regulation or license issued thereunder may be fined not more than $10,000, or, if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in any such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.
The face value of the coins (assuming that they are all $20 Eagles) is $28,540. This was a large sum of money in 1933; the equivalent value in 2014 would be $520,474.25.
This is pure speculation on my part, but it stands to reason that the owner(s) of the coins buried them in 1933 to avoid having them confiscated by the Feds. The owner(s) obviously never told anyone what they did, and when they died the coins were forgotten. At least they were until today.
The big question is, what happens next? The value of the gold in the coins is approximately $1,916,000. One expert has opined that the coins could be worth up to $10 million if auctioned. This would be an incredible financial windfall for the couple who found them.
But they need to be warned that the Feds may be coming for them. In 2011, one family fought the Federal government over a cache of gold coins worth over $80 million. They lost and the Feds took possession of the coins, which will likely never be seen again. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen to this couple. But it probably will.
That’s what happens when you call the Feds:
Yea, it’s Castle in space…