Hundreds of rare Civil War-era coins unearthed by Kentucky farmer

The Great Kentucky Hoard: 700 gold, and some silver, coins unearthed on a Kentucky farmer's property. (NGC)

A Kentucky farmer struck gold after he unearthed hundreds of rare Civil War-era gold and silver coins on his property back in June. 

The treasure is potentially worth millions of dollars. 

"The coins, discovered in the ground and remarkably well preserved, possess an astonishing luster and a newfound freshness rarely observed in coins of this kind," said Andy Salzberg, executive vice president of the Certified Collectibles Group. 

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A total of 700 gold coins were buried on the farm and the hoard included a group of 1983 Double Eagles and hundreds of gold dollar coins dated between 1850 and 1862, according to the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC). 

Some of the rarest coins in the bunch are the 1863-P $20 gold Liberty coins, according to GovMint. There were a total of 18 of these ultra-rare coins.  


One of the ultra rare 1863-P $20 gold Liberty coins.  (NGC)

These coins are rare because, apart from being 90% gold and the date, they do not have "In God We Trust" inscribed on them, according to LiveScience. 

These especially rare finds could each command a six figure price tag, according to GovMint. 

The treasure has been dubbed the "Great Kentucky Hoard" and all of the coins were certified by NGC, a third-party grading service for coins, tokens and medals. 


A 1862 gold dollar. (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," said Jeff Garrett, a leading expert in U.S. coinage and a rare coin dealer. 

Garrett has been contracted by NGC to specifically certify the authenticity of the Great Kentucky Hoard. 

"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," Garrett added. 

The location of where the coins were discovered, as well as the farmer, have not been disclosed. 

The GovMint, which is one of the largest rare coin retailers in the United States, has been tapped to sell the coins to collectors, according to NGC. 

"We are deeply honored and tremendously excited to have been chosen as the exclusive provider for the public sale of the remarkable coins that are part of the Great Kentucky Hoard. This extraordinary opportunity allows us to share these historic coins with collectors and enthusiasts, ensuring their preservation and appreciation for generations to come," said Bill Gale, GovMint founder and president. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.