I’m sure we’ve all heard it: save some money for a rainy day! But what happens when someone takes that adage a little too far? Maybe they really enjoy a certain coin series, and start setting aside examples whenever they find them. Or perhaps a distrust of financial institutions leads another person to stockpile “hard” cash over time. But regardless of the reasons why, over the years we’ve seen some impressive hoards. Here are some of my favorites:
- A “ton” of hidden coins – In the early 1980s, a Montana resident’s father passed away. When he went to take stock of his dad’s house, the gentleman discovered that he’d been saving coins for over 30 years! As the manager of a grocery store, the dad came across a lot of unusual coins, which he’d set aside. All told, there were nearly 300,000 pieces to sort through… but all turned out to be common dates!
Miss Drury Tokens, discovered in the VT Yankee Hoard
A fortune in a farm (1996) – Living in rural Vermont, Alexander and Imogene Miller appeared to be poor. Alexander still rode his 1903 bicycle to town and Imogene wore plastic bags for a raincoat. Yet, what was found after their deaths in and under the various outbuildings of their Vermont farm amazed everyone. A fortune – estimated at $3 million – in luxury antique cars, gold bars, silver ingots, stocks, high-denomination Federal Reserve Notes and more – the Millers’ cache was incredible! Tucked away in old cigar boxes and nondescript wrappers were dozens of Morgan dollars, some still in Choice Uncirculated condition, despite having been buried for years.
- Finding treasure on the “D” train – Following the 1943 discovery that a number of 1942 2 over 1 Mercury dime overdate coins had been released around New York City, token sellers for the subway system began eyeing their change. Morris Moscow, a D Train clerk, began looking not just for that issue, but other scarce coins as well. Over time, Moscow’s brother-in-law, George Shaw (a rare-coin dealer in Brooklyn) marketed several of the finds. When Shaw passed away, he still held a good-sized hoard that included 1914-D Lincoln cents, 1916 Standing Liberty quarters, the 1942 2 Over 1 dimes, 1896-S Barber quarters and more!
A portion of the vast Redfield Hoard
Just out for a walk in the yard… – In 2013, a California couple was walking their dog on their property when they noticed a can sticking out of the ground. A closer look revealed that the can was filled with gold coins – and there were 7 more cans waiting to be discovered! All told, the face value of the gold coins that were buried on the couple’s property totaled nearly $30,000!
- The fabulous Redfield hoard – Another famed eccentric was LaVere Redfield – a multi-millionaire who distrusted banks and the government, and kept much of his money in cash in his Reno, Nevada home. He put a lot of money into bags of Morgan and Peace dollars (including many scarce-date issues), which he kept in his basement. Following his death in 1974, more than 400,000 silver dollars were auctioned as part of his estate!
Do you have any exciting stories of buried treasure or hoard discoveries? If so, please share them below… And remember – you never know who could be hiding their own treasure!