In a Kentucky cornfield, an unnamed man recently discovered a treasure trove of more than 700 gold coins, estimated to be worth more than $1 million.
The New York Times reports that the finding ‘appears to validate the long-held idea by treasure seekers that Southerners buried riches before and during the Civil War to protect it from invading forces.
The discovery, now known as the Great Kentucky Hoard, contains actual $1, $10, and $20 gold pieces produced both before and during the Civil War.
The legend of the gold
The coins may have been buried before a General John Hunt Morgan-led Confederate attack in the summer of 1863, according to Ryan McNutt, a conflict archaeologist at Georgia Southern University, who spoke with Live Science.
In that period, Kentucky was deemed a neutral state. Some speculate that people may have buried their valuables in the ground for safekeeping because people were reportedly afraid of the Confederacy stealing their money.
The Civil War is said to have hidden wealth, which treasure hunters have been searching for since the 19th century. According to historical accounts published by The New York Times, gold was discovered in Georgia in 1884, and in Alabama, and Tennessee in 1926.
In 2018, a US treasure hunter charged the FBI with concealing the potential find of gold from the American Civil War in Pennsylvania.
Based on local mythology, the claim is that a shipment of Union gold vanished in 1863 while en route to the Philadelphia branch of the US Mint.
The FBI, however, said that the 2018 search turned up nothing.
A treasure hunter’s dream
Surprisingly, practically every penny is in mint condition after allegedly being buried for 160 years. One gold dollar in the collection was worth about $1,000.
A gold Liberty double-eagles coin from 1863 that is part of the collection might fetch anything from a few thousand dollars to over $380,000 at auction, depending on its quality and the year it was produced.
In a brief video uploaded to YouTube by GovMint, the coin dealer in charge of selling the coins, a guy could be heard indicating how many coins he had dug out and describing it as “the most insane thing ever.”
One reviewer stated that the man “lives the dream of every treasure hunter.”
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