Kentucky Man Lucks Out with Hoard of Civil War-Era Gold Coins

A Kentucky man stumbled upon a hidden treasure while excavating his field earlier this year. This unexpected find, dubbed the “Great Kentucky Hoard,” comprises an astonishing collection of over 700 coins dating back to the American Civil War era.

The anonymous discoverer, who has chosen to keep his identity and the exact location undisclosed, captured the moment of revelation in a brief video. As the coins spilled out of the earth, he exclaimed, “This is the most insane thing ever: Those are all $1 gold coins, $20 gold coins, $10 gold coins.”

Experts from the Numismatic Guaranty Co. (NGC) and GovMint, where the coins were subsequently sold, have confirmed the authenticity of the hoard. The vast majority of the trove consists of gold dollars, with the remaining portion comprising several silver coins. 

Notably, among the cache are 20 $10 Liberty coins and eight $20 Liberty coins, with the rarest being the 1863-P $20 1-ounce gold Liberty coin. These coveted pieces can fetch substantial sums at auctions, and the Great Kentucky Hoard boasts an impressive 18 of them. 

According to GovMint, each of the coins was “struck in 90% gold at the Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans or Carson City Mints.”

NGC’s website explains that the $20 Liberty coins, minted by the Treasury Department between 1850 and 1907 after the discovery of gold in California, are especially scarce as they lack the inscription “In God We Trust,” which was added after the Civil War.

According to Ryan McNutt, a conflict archaeologist from Georgia Southern University, the cache could have been buried prior to Confederate John Hunt Morgan’s raid from June to July 1863, considering the time frame and Kentucky’s neutral stance at the time. He further suggests that wealthy Kentuckians might have buried substantial sums to prevent their money from falling into Confederate hands.


Information for this story was found via NGC, GovMint, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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